Goodbye, Lawrie Sanchez
Another Premiership manager has bitten the dust as Fulham fired Lawrie Sanchez today with immediate effect.Sanchez joins Martin Jol, José Mourinho, Chris Hutchings, Sammy Lee, and Billy Davies as managers who started the year with a Premiership club and have been fired or have left by “mutual consent” during the season. Steve Bruce left Birmingham to join fellow relegation candidate Wigan in mid-November as well.After a decent start to the season, Fulham have struggled recently and are in 18th place in the Premiership right now. The Cottagers haven’t won since November 3 when they beat Reading and have picked up just one point in their last five league matches. To be fair though, they’ve been one of the most unlucky teams in the Premiership all season. Fulham very nearly won at Chelsea on September 29 but had to settle for a 0-0 draw, outplayed Arsenal at the Emirates for 80 minutes in the first game of the season but lost 2-1, were robbed of a point by a poor refereeing decision (what else is new?) at Middlesbrough on August 18, conceded a 90th minute goal to lose 2-1 at Aston Villa the week after the Boro loss, and on and on and on.The injury bug has also hampered Fulham, with Brian McBride’s absence due to a dislocated kneecap since that Boro defeat really limiting the options Sanchez could throw out there up front and making it much tougher for the London club to score goals. Creative midfielder Jimmy Bullard has been out for over a year with knee ligament damage but is back in training and could return to the lineup within a week or so, and McBride was no more than a month away from doing the same.Still though, the Premiership is a business and Fulham have decided to cut ties with Lawrie Sanchez and move on. This club is too talented to be relegated in my opinion, but with Sanchez gone, you’d have to believe that the Northern Irish players he brought in this summer may want to leave during the January transfer window.Former Fulham midfielder and Scotland international John Collins is now the favorite to replace Sanchez as the former just resigned from his managerial post at Hibernian. Collins is relatively young for a manager at 39 years of age and is very inexperienced as a manager, having only coached Hibs. He was at the helm for 54 games with the Hibbies and won 23 of them, with 15 draws and 16 losses as well.