Five men Fulham could turn to as they seek Felix Magath successor
In his own words, Felix Magath described Fulham’s season so far as “a catastrophe”. Sitting rock bottom of the Championship, they are 9/2 chances with Coral for a second successive relegation following the German gaffer’s sacking.
Magath’s glittering playing career, including a European Cup winning goal and World Cup final appearance, plus Bundesliga managerial credentials just did not translate into success in England. He brought Fulham down from the Premier League and club owner Shahid Khan decided he could not allow their slide to continue.
Radical changes, namely an almost unrecognisable roster of players to pick from following relegation, simply failed to work. Magath’s new broom swept clean, but took himself adrift on a tide of Fulham underachievers out of the club. Some stability is now needed as Khan seeks a fourth different permanent manager of his boardroom tenure.
The Craven Cottage hierarchy thus have a key appointment for the dugout on their hands now. Khan will not want Fulham to follow in Wolves’ footsteps and drop two divisions in as many seasons. Kit Symons is in caretaker charge, but is the assistant of Wales national boss Chris Coleman, who was once in charge in west London.
Coral experts assess five managers that could take on Fulham and turn their fortunes around.
Newcastle United fans want London native Pardew out, despite his ironclad contract which runs until 2020. Magpies owner Mike Ashley could sack his team’s trainer amid supporter-led protests and if the Toon Army cannot celebrate a favourable result at home to Hull City.
Pardew, who is odds-on 1/2 favourite in the next Premier League manager to leave market, will be due plenty of severance pay, but would simply swap being bottom of one division for another if he made a swift return to management at Fulham. Khan will be encouraged by the two promotions this man has on his CV with Reading and West Ham United. It’s 10/1 he’s next Fulham manager.
A predecessor to Pardew at Newcastle, Hughton steered the Magpies to the Championship title in 2010. This former Republic of Ireland full back finished his playing career at Fulham’s west London rivals Brentford, but the Cottage faithful should surely overlook this in favour of his achievements.
Hughton steered Birmingham City into the play-offs in 2012, just missing out on reaching the final at the hands of Blackpool What Fulham fans wouldn’t give to repeat the famous feat achieved by fellow London club Crystal Palace over a decade ago; going from bottom to finishing in the top six and promotion.
In a similar vein to Magath, though, Hughton effectively relegated Norwich City in his last job, but was sacked prior to the end of last season and the Canaries officially going down. A cautious management style and predictable tactics also count against him. Hughton is the 4/1 favourite to take up the reins at the Cottage nonetheless.
The Newcastle theme continues with another ex-Magpies caretaker Clarke. Best known during his playing days as Chelsea’s right back before Roman Abramovich’s billions turned them into world-beaters, the Scot has been out of work since being sacked by West Bromwich Albion just before last Christmas.
Clarke has learned from legendary managers Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish, and the pearls of wisdom they have passed onto him could be invaluable in Fulham’s fight to stop their freefall. Despite his playing past down the King’s Road, this would be a good appointment at 8/1.
Former USA national boss Bradley has had to rebuild his reputation with Norwegian club Stabaek, following a hammering by Ghana in the World Cup play-offs when in charge of Egypt. Why not have a crack at English football next?
Fulham boast a rich tradition of giving Americans a chance to ply their trade with them; Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey and Carlos Bocanegra being the main examples. These names were huge successes, so why not try something similar in the dugout?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Recently resigning from the post of Cardiff City coach, former Manchester United frontman Solskjaer left on the same day as Khan sacked Magath. The Norway international brought the Bluebirds down from the Premier League alongside Fulham, so there’s a sense of swapping one failure for another, and that’s reflected in his odds of 33/1.
There are any number of other out of work coaches who could be offered a way back by taking charge at the Cottage. Tim Sherwood (6/1), Brian McDermott (10/1), Malky Mackay (33/1), Neil Lennon (5/1) and Billy Davies (33/1) will be among that number. Former Fulham captain Danny Murphy has also thrown his hat into the ring, despite being a managerial novice and is a 10/1 chance get this gig.