Tonight Fulham fans heard the news we had been expecting for weeks now: Kit Symons was appointed manager on a permanent basis. He got the job after revitalizing a team in freefall and that looked set to be relegated two years in a row. However, even with the backing of the Fulham faithful and a run of great recent results, is a man with relatively little experience being a first team manager going to take us up?
Symons was a defender during his playing days, making a hundred plus appearances for Manchester City, Portsmouth, and Fulham during his seventeen year career. Symons also was capped 36 times by his native Wales in international football. He was caretaker manager at a number of lower league English clubs in the 2000s, and came to Fulham where he led the U21 side to great success. During his time as an academy coach he was appointed to the Welsh national team set up under former Fulham manager Chris Coleman.
After a demoralizing 3-5 away loss to Nottingham Forest in mid September, under fire boss Felix Magath was sacked and Kit Symons put in his place as temporary manager. He inherited a team that was winless in the Championship, rooted to the bottom three and that had mustered one win out of eight matches all season: not an easy job by any means. His reign started with a tight loss at home to Blackburn, but he followed that up with four wins out of our next five, most notable being a 4-0 thrashing of Bolton at the Cottage. The form has been superb, and even more impressive given how poor we were under Magath.
Tactically, Symons has brought much needed stability to a team haunted by the odd selections of Felix Magath. Establishing a consistent centre back pairing of Bodurov and Burn has given us defensive strength, and the decision to grant forgotten man Bryan Ruiz a first team place has worked wonders. With Rodallega's new found scoring confidence and McCormack's more creative role, we look a very solid team.
Even with the great turnaround in results and performances, Kit Symons is still relatively inexperienced at this stage. Candidates for the job such as Chris Hughton and Steve Clarke have much more experience in promotion and the Championship than Symons. But the fact that Symons is Fulham through and through makes all the difference. Our first British manager since Hodgson knows his way around the club and their youth set up, and has found the right balance of youth and experience. Here's to promotion to the Premier League, with Kit leading the way!