Popular with the media, Fulham manager Martin Jol enters the 2013-14 Premier League in what could be seen as a precarious position.
The Cottagers were recently taken over by Shahid Khan – and we all know about new owners wanting to bring in their own managers.
Shahid Khan’s takeover of the NFL Franchise Jacksonville Jaguars coincided with the firing of their head coach. The Jaguars that season had been one of the worst teams in the league. The replacement coach was then fired after his first season in charge.
Fulham finished the second half of last season really badly – a 3-0 win at Swansea City on the final day of the season saw them finish 12th to perhaps paint over some of the cracks (defeat would have seen them finish 16th).
Prior to the end of season victory, Martin Jol’s side had picked up just 1 point from their 8 previous games – a 1-1 draw at a poor Aston Villa side.
Defeats during this run including being beaten 3-0 by Chelsea, 4-2 by Reading and 3-1 by Liverpool, all at Craven Cottage.
By the end of the season a number of players were on loan – Urby Emanuelson , Eyong Enoh, Emmanuel Frimpong, Stanislav Manolev and Sascha Riether. These players, with exception of Sascha Riether who has since signed permanently for Fulham from FC Köln have all gone back to their parent clubs.
Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer too has left but been replaced by the one highly-rated Maarten Stekelenburg. He along with Riether are the only two players Fulham have spent a transfer fee on so far this summer.
Fernando Amorebieta, Derek Boateng and Ange-Freddy Plumain have all arrived on free transfers.
Chris Baird, Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petrić are other notable departures from Craven Cottage this summer.
The team relied heavily on Dimitar Berbatov for goals last season, particularly from January onwards. He scored 15 of Fulham’s 50, whilst Petrić was joint-second top scorer with 5.
Hugo Rodallega scored just 3 in 29 Premier League appearances (14 starts).
The Cottagers have a number of young, highly-rated players, particularly in their midfield – Alexander Kačaniklić the only one of them featuring in more than half of last season’s Premier League fixtures. Kerim Frei and Pajtim Kasami saw very limited action.
Alan Pardew is the clear 2/1 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his job – but I wonder, if Fulham make a slow start to the 2013-14 (Sunderland, Arsenal, West Brom, Chelsea to kick off the campaign) season, I wonder if Martin Jol would be worth a punt?
Martin Jol is currently best priced at 8/1 to be the next Premier League manager to leave his job as you can see here: http://www.thesackrace.com/competitions/premier-league