Results so far this season have not been good enough for Fulham, and it looked as if Martin Jol’s time as Fulham manager could be up after their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend.
They seem to have reached a compromise though. Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has joined the backroom staff in the position of head coach. Jol’s job seems to be safe for now, but does the arrival of Meulensteen undermine Jol’s position?
Many clubs just have a head coach in charge of the team and they don’t have an actual manager. The position is unknown in all honesty, whilst it is the highest position at some clubs, it is seemingly the number two role that Rene has taken on at Fulham. Although Fulham already have another Dutchman as Assistant Manager; Michael Lindeman. Former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Billy McKinlay is also at the club as first team coach. It would be interesting to see the clarifications on all those roles.
Meulensteen arrives with an excellent reputation mainly gathered from his time working under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Many felt that it was a bad decision by Moyes to not keep the coach on, as he was an important cog behind the scenes at Old Trafford. He moved on to Anzhi Makhachkala as head coach, this time that position meant he was number one. However due to financial problems, with the owner pulling out a lot of his investment, he only last 16 days in the job. `
Fulham Chief Executive Alistair Mackintosh believes the club have brought in one of the greatest coaches in the world. He is well respected throughout the game and was hotly tipped to take over at Crystal Palace, although it now seems that no one is interested in taking that job. Even Aitor Karanka has preferred to manage Middlesbrough instead.
Owner Shahid Khan will be hoping results improve sooner rather than later, but if they don’t will it still be Jol’s fault? He will probably take the blame, and the fans will most definitely direct their anger at the former Spurs manager. Jol will know that he is now on his last chance. The board have brought in Meulensteen to try and improve the team’s performance. If things don’t pick up then I wouldn’t be surprised if Jol fell on his own sword and Meulensteen was given the manager’s job. Either way this recent appointment won’t have done much to ease the pressure on Jol.