After Fulham survived a tough season in the Barclay’s Premier League, slipping to 12th in the league, the speculation continued about the future of Fulham manager Martin Jol. Sacking a manager happens often, but when is the right time for a change? How long should Fulham stick with Jol?
Fulham have been a mid-table club for a long time, so how do they progress forward and be a club that is fighting for a Europa League spot each and every year? Well, I think Fulham should look at the blue side of Liverpool for that answer.
Everton Manager David Moyes has been with the club since the 2001-2002 season, until his decision recently to move to Manchester United. Moyes has brought stability and consistency to Everton for twelve seasons. There is something to be said for sticking with a manager, and giving him a chance to see his vision through.
Everton during the Moyes era has been for the most part fighting for a top ten spot the majority of the time. The rewards of sticking with a manager for Everton showed up back in the beginning for Moyes at the club.
When Moyes first took over in March of the 2001-2002 season, he helped them avoid relegation, and ended the season 15th in the league. The very next season saw Everton go up to 7th in the league.
Now, in the Barclay’s Premier League, there are ups and downs, and Everton in the 2003-2004 season barely stayed in the league ending 17th in the EPL. The management could have at that point moved on from their manager.
Instead, Everton stuck with their manager and were rewarded as the club ended the 2004-2005 season in 4th, which got them into the Champions League. That was the season Everton sold Wayne Rooney to Manchester United, which makes this achievement even more remarkable.
By sticking with their manager, Everton have seriously prospered over his tenure, and as Moyes leaves Goodison Park, he leaves a team that just finished 6th in the league. The legacy that he built could continue as Everton still have a good amount of talent to push forward.
Now, the current Fulham manager has only been with the club for two seasons. His first saw Fulham end the season 9th, and this season as stated earlier had the club end 12th in the Barclay’s Premier League.
Fulham were dealt a serious blow last summer as they were forced to sell both Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey at the end of the transfer window. Jol did not have enough time to find suitable replacements, and I could argue he still needs to replace those players.
So, I feel it makes perfect sense for Fulham to have Jol back for this season to see if Fulham can push forward under his guidance. Hopefully he will be given the resources he needs to build the club he wants, and to ultimately see his vision for Fulham through.
I understand the supporters that want change who feel the time is now, but I think the frequent change at the managerial position over the years could be one of the reasons Fulham have not gotten out of mid-table. Sometimes patience is needed, and I truly believe Jol needs one more full season with the club before you can ultimately judge the job he has done with the club.