Fulham have endured a horrid start to their first season out of the top flight in thurteen years. The London outfit sit just inside the relegation zone in 22nd place after suffering eight league defeats out of the first 13, conceding the more goals than any other club in the process.
Even a manager of Felix Magath’s reputation, a manager who has guided some of Germany’s top teams to domestic and European success, couldn’t save the Cottagers. The German coach failed to stop his side from relegation but he, and most football fans including myself, expected Fulham to widely dominate the Championship the following season.
Magath made his intentions clear with the record breaking signing of Leeds United striker Ross McCormack for £11 million but the early season favourites made a shocking start with four consecutive defeats and only one win out of the first nine games.The 5-3 defeat away at Nottingham Forest sealed Magath’s fate and since then, caretaker boss Kit Symons has started to turn things around.
Symons, an ex Fulham player with 102 appearances for the club, has taken ten points out of a possible fifteen but there is still a lot of work to do. The only issue with Symons is that he has no full-time managerial experience to his name. The 43 year old has taken temporary charge at Crystal Palace on two separate occasions as well as a stint as caretaker manager at Colchester United in 2008.
However, Symons is the odds on favourite at many bookies to take permanent charge at Craven Cottage but there are a host of other names in the hat which could be considered.
Ex West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke is an option and would be many people’s ideal candidate for the job. Clarke was sacked in December 2013 but the season beforehand he guided West Brom to an impressive 8th place finish in the Premier League.
Former Norwich City and Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton is the second favourite to take the reigns at Craven Cottage but he could be set to take charge for the second time at managerless Birmingham City.
A poll by the Birmingham Mail shows that Hughton is the fans’ favourite to become the next Blues boss which may rule him out of the running for the Fulham vacancy.
Other names in the hat include recently sacked Bolton Wanderers’ manager Dougie Freedman, Gianfranco Zola and even David Moyes who is as short as 20/1 to return to management.
Who do you think should get the job at Craven Cottage?