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Magath to Jump Sinking Fulham Ship, Pulis to the Rescue?

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Ever since his arrival at Craven Cottage in February, it appears that Fulham Football Club are on a rapid downward spiral under the stewardship of Felix Magath.

The former Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 boss finds himself in serious bother even this early in the season following Fulham’s relegation from the Barclays Pemier League last term. Magath came in during the middle of the season last time out after the west London side sacked René Meulensteen not long after he replaced Martin Jol, the first casualty of new owner Shahid Khan’s tenure.

This is the first time Fulham have found themselves in England’s second division since 1999/2000 campaign, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting out of it any time soon.  Tipped for promotion by many during pre-season, the Cottagers are staring the barrel of consecutive relegations having lost all four of their championship outings thus far. It has happened before, Wolves come to mind as of late and League One football could prove fatal for Fulham following some reckless transfer dealings last season, including splashing out on £12M  flop Konstantinos Mitroglou. This Summer they’ve spent a huge £11M on ex Leeds United front-man Ross McCormack alone, the latter yet to score his first league goal for Fulham. The signs are ominous for the German unless Fulham miraculously recover from their abysmal start to the season and soon.

Several players, past and present have launched scathing attacks towards Magath and his ruthless training regime, including Matthew Briggs who’s now at Millwall and long serving captain Brede Hangeland who is now plying his trade at London rivals Crystal Palace. Both publicly suggested that Magath was ‘partly to blame’ for Fulham’s relegation to the Sky Bet Championship citing fatigue as a major issue when it ‘came to a Saturday’. The latest to have a pop at Magath is John Arne Riise.

The former Fulham left-back had this to say,

“With his arrival, they’ve flushed everything [that club stands for] down the toilet. His methods are ancient,” said the 33-year-old Norwegian.

“He spoke to a few players after the Derby match. Once they returned to London, Magath ordered a team meeting at 10.30pm.

“Then the next morning [normally a day off], players were ordered to run for one hour, then another training session at 2.30pm. It’s not the way to get the boys going. And training methods are terrible.”

Riise added: “All football sessions are 11 v 11, working on tactics. Interrupted every five minutes. It’s a shame, but I fear for Fulham. Responsibility lies with Magath and the guys upstairs [directors]. They knew exactly what they were getting with this guy.”

With Fulham in the mist of a crisis, could someone of the pedigree of  a Tony Pulis come in and steer them back to the promised land? The Welshman who famously left Crystal Palace two days before the start of this season’s Premier League campaign, has a more-than proven track record in stabilising something from nothing during his time at Stoke City and Crystal Palace respectively. Pulis would be the at the top of every chairman’s list of managerial candidates, but whether the proposition of working with a club in so much turmoil appeals to him, well that’s for another day. Will Pulis put his well-built reputation on the line for a second tier team? It’s a long shot, but Pulis would no doubt be Khan’s best bet if he wants to reap the rewards from his investments into the Craven Cottage outfit.


 

Felix Magath may soon leave his post as Fulham manager with Tony Pulis being rumoured as coming in to replace him at the Championship club. Would this be a good choice by the Fulham board? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .

Championship

Fulham fans would hate it, but Chelsea should chase Slavisa Jokanovic and Ryan Sessegnon

Chelsea may need a new manager in the summer and Fulham offer a perfect solution.

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Fulham are flying this season yet again. For the second season in a row Slavisa Jokanovic is leading the club to a promotion push and Cottagers fans will no doubt be hoping the Serbian can take them all the way this time.

He is a massively important part of the reason why Fulham find themselves where they are right now, but so is left-sided phenomenon Ryan Sessegnon. The Championship star has most of Europe tracking his progress as he continues to exceed expectations at such a young age in the Championship.

Fulham are flying and excitement is high at Craven Cottage.

But, success attracts attention and plenty of teams have been linked with Sessegnon. Jokanovic, however, is also a name that is being linked with other clubs.

Fulham’s West London rivals Chelsea are looking likely to need a new manager this season. The general consensus is that Antonio Conte will be on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer and whilst plenty of names are being linked with the job, a surprise option appears to be the Fulham boss.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Back in March, his name emerged as a surprise candidate for the position, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Whilst he has no managerial credentials in the Premier League he still has fantastic form as a head coach.

After leading Partizan Belgrade to back-to-back promotions he guided Muangthong United to an undefeated season and the Thai Premier League title.

Short-lived spells at Levski Sofia and Hercules followed before getting Watford promoted to the Premier League in 2015.

Before Fulham lured him back to England, the Serbian had guided Maccabi Tel-Aviv to the Champions League group stage, by knocking out perennial entrants FC Basel.

Jokanovic is rightly a highly rated manager. Chelsea would be making a smart move by bringing him in this summer. Of course, he is also a former player, although there are few highlights of his time at Stamford Bridge.

(28 Oct 2001: Slavisa Jokanovic of Chelsea gets away from Darryl Powell of Derby during the match between Derby County and Chelsea in the FA Barclaycard Premiership at Pride Park, Derby. Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson/ALLSPORT

Bringing in Jokanovic could also give Chelsea the upper-hand in any fight to sign Sessegnon this summer.

The Blues are just one of many teams to have been linked with the young talent this summer. If Jokanovic was present at Stamford Bridge, they would have a massive advantage in the hunt for the impressive teenager.

Fulham fans would, of course, hate to see their excellent manager and young starlet head to their biggest rivals, but Chelsea would be making a smart move by making it happen.

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Fulham

After inconsistent Fulham season, is there a place for Sheyi Ojo at Liverpool?

The 20-year-old has failed to nail down a starting role at Fulham.

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Photo: Getty Images

Sheyi Ojo joined Fulham on loan from Liverpool back in August amid great fanfare, expecting to build on his bright appearances at Anfield.

However, the 20-year-old has endured a frustrating season in southwest London, struggling to nail down a starting spot and dividing opinion among Fulham supporters.

After failing to set Craven Cottage on fire, it looks like a return to Anfield is highly unlikely next season.

Ojo has made 22 appearances for the Whites this season, but has scored just four goals and produced two assists – disappointing returns for a player who has made eight Premier League appearances for Liverpool.

The England U21 international enjoyed a fine run of form in the latter stages of 2017, scoring all of his four goals in a one month spell from November to December.

The winger’s standout performance came in Fulham’s wild 5-4 win against Sheffield United in November, when he bagged a brilliant brace and chipped in with a wonderful assist for Ryan Sessegnon.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Unfortunately for the Liverpool loanee, he has struggled to recapture this promising play in recent months. Ojo’s time at Fulham has been characterised by poor decision making, ambitious dribbles, and erratic finishing.

His lack of end product was painfully on show in Ojo’s last appearance for the Whites, against Sheffield Wednesday. Ojo featured prominently in his hour on the pitch, but all of his shots in dangerous positions lacked any purpose or power.

He has not featured for the Whites since being taken off after 62 minutes at Hillsborough.

It seems Ojo has fallen down the pecking order for the coveted right wing position at the Cottage, with Lucas Piazon, Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano, and even wingback Cyrus Christie preferred ahead of the 20-year-old.

With the current Liverpool loanee struggling to assert himself at Craven Cottage, a return to the first team fray at Anfield looks increasingly unlikely.

It seems Sheyi Ojo will have to settle for yet another Championship loan spell next season, as the youngster searches for first team football that is vital for his devlopment.

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Championship

Fulham should try and bring £11m Patrick Roberts back if promoted

Fulham are hoping to push toward Premier League promotion after another brilliant season.

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For the second season in a row, Fulham are having an outstanding campaign under the management of Slavisa Jokanovic. The Serbian is leading them to the Championship play-offs but is also still firmly in the battle for automatic promotion with Cardiff City and Aston Villa.

It would be a fine reward and the culmination of a brilliant season for Fulham if they could indeed secure a place back in the Premier League.

If they did manage to do just that, the Cottagers should start looking at bringing one of their former talents back to the club.

(Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Fulham have developed some great young talent in recent years as Ryan Sessegnon’s form and stature would attest to.

Another player reared at Fulham is winger Patrick Roberts. The 21-year-old emerged as one of the Championship’s top talents in the 2014-15 season. It piqued the interest of several top clubs, including Manchester City. According to The Guardian, he arrived in a deal which could eventually be worth £11 million.

But he has spent most of his time out on loan at Celtic from City. With Manchester City crowned Premier League champions at the weekend, a first-team opportunity looks incredibly unlikely next season.

Celtic are often mentioned as having an interest in signing the player permanently but, as of yet, no deal has been formalised.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Fulham would be wise to try and bring the player back to Craven Cottage. After an initial 18-month stint at Celtic, the Bhoys wanted to sign him permanently last summer, but Pep Guardiola would not allow it. A new loan deal instead was agreed.

This time around it has not been as successful, in part due to injuries, but Fulham would surely tempt Roberts back to his home club if they were in the Premier League.

Whether it be on a loan deal or permanently a return to Fulham would be excellent for the 20-year-old.

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