Is Jol really right for Fulham?

Paul Thomas

Derek Finn asks the important questions on our form, Al Fayed and Martin Jol

I have been a Fulham supporter since my father first took me to Craven Cottage, aged 9. That was decades ago and apart from around aged 13-32, when I pursued my own football career, I have have been a relatively regular visitor to what I consider the home of football in London.

Over the years I have had to mostly witness mediocrity from Fulham teams apart from our 1975 FA cup run, our years under Tigana and the highlight for me, Hodgson's time with the club when I at long last saw solidness at the back, work rate in midfield and the will to win, culminating in that unforgettable Europa Cup run.

Since our arrival in the revered Premier League, Fulham fans have had to endue quite a number of seasons when survival was uppermost. This season, though, after coming out of the blocks with some purpose and just as it was looking like a season to remember, the team has faltered badly in the last 12 games and us Fulham fans look at the league table with some concern - our usual adopted position.

Fulham fans have also seen a number of managers come and go whilst the team has been in the Premiership, the worst of which being Sanchez, but in Jol I believed we at last had a manager recognised as a quality coach with a proven track record who could move us forward.

Over these past weeks, however, some performances have been woefully short of acceptable - Liverpool away for example, where we were simply outclassed. For me, there were players out there who were just not interested - including our Bulgarian striker.

The inconsistent performances continued with Jol making the same excuses after matches and at times his comments became boringly repetitive, particularly the constant references to the loss of Dembele & Dempsey. If they weren't mentioned, it'd be injury issues with Ruiz, who seems to have missed far more games than he has played.

We look incredibly fragile at the back, lacking in ideas both in midfield and up front & despite the apparent quality of at least one of our strikers, we can't score.

If all this wasn't enough Jol has clearly had some issues with players since his arrival at the club; Zamora, AJ, Etuhu & Murphy cited as having problems. All have now gone of course.

Hangeland is still wavering over signing a new contract, Riise is reported today (16th January) as also having had a 'falling out' with Jol and furthermore, reports suggest that FFC have given him permission to find another club in this transfer window.

What's going on behind the scenes? Has Jol lost the dressing room? Why are we seemingly inactive in this current transfer window when the team clearly needs strengthening? Has Fayed lost interest in FFC focussing on trying to claw back his invested millions in the club? Where's the money from the Dembele & Dempsey transfers-is it to be invested in the stadium re-development and not players?

Questions but no answers as yet but, based on the current form of the players we have at our disposal, it's looking like another season when survival becomes of paramount importance. Surely by now, though, Fulham should at least be competing each season in the top 10?

I can't speak for all the Fulham fans out there but for me since we hit that brick wall and went on this dreadful run it has all been to way too familiar to watch - mediocrity has returned as Fulham struggle to get back to winning ways, poor quality football, consistently giving the ball away and worse of all conceding way too many goals.

I am desperately hoping that things will improve but with the games coming up, Man City away & Man Utd at home amongst the next 3, it's hard to see where the next 3 points are coming from given the consistently poor performances of late (WBA away excepted) we have all had to endure for, seemingly, an eternity.

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