After just over a year in charge at Fulham FC, Kit Symons was sacked on Sunday. Symons was given the job back in October 2014, after steering Fulham clear of the mess that Felix Magath had left them in. Following a brilliant run of results when he was caretaker manager, Symons was given the job on a full time basis amid a wave of fan support. But those days seem so far away. What made the Fulham faithful turn against the well liked chap that everyone was rooting for?
In the end, the fears that some had at the time of his appointment as manager materialized, sealing Symons' fate. His sheer inexperience had shown through at crucial times during his reign, characterized by inept substitutions and questionable tactics. It was painfully obvious at times that the Fulham job was Symons' first ever managerial position. During the latter stages of matches his game management was poor and his substitutions were often lacking in tactical expertise. Symons has also failed to shore up our ridiculously porous defence, which holds the embarrassing record of having conceded the most goals in the league.
However, the most infuriating shortcoming of Kit Symons' time at Fulham was the team's inconsistency. If you want to be promoted in a tight league like the Championship, it is vital to be able to string results together and move up the table. But time after time, the Cottagers would fail to build on positive performances. A side that thrashed QPR 4-0 would lose 3-0 at home to Wolves four days later. A side that demolished Reading and Bristol City, scoring 4 goals in both matches, would go and lose 5-2 at home to Birmingham City. These frustrating instances of inconsistency were depressingly constant throughout Symons' time in charge of Fulham, and are the reason that we lay in 12th, 8 points off the playoff places.
Over the summer many called for Symons to lose his job, after a disappointing run of fixtures toward the end of the season. But Shahid Khan stuck with him and gave him money to spend in the transfer window. The club made 12 signings, and many of them have impressed, most notably Tom Cairney and Jamie O'Hara. But although we purchased no less than 6 defenders, the defence still remains an issue and the expected results failed to emerge.
Overall, Kit Symons did the most he could with Fulham. It was always going to be a difficult task for Symons, as it was his first foray into managing. It should not be forgotten that the instant impact that he engineered after taking over from Magath was superb, and he saved the club from successive relegations. However, the focus must now turn towards promotion to the Premier League, something that Symons was not up for. Given the money to spend over the summer, he failed to provide consistency and results for a solid playoff push.
There is no ill will towards Kit Symons, one of the nicer men in football. He is a club legend and will remain that way. But no matter how likable he was, a real manager is needed at Craven Cottage for the important task ahead: promotion.