Distress signals are being sounded around west London today after Fulham suffered another defeat, their sixth in a row, after losing 3-0 to West Ham at Upton Park. It’s no surprise that Fulham manager Martin Jol is at risk of being fired if the results continue this way, especially with the Cottagers in the bottom three, and facing upcoming matches against Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton. However, the surprise news tonight is that Martin Jol admits he could get sacked after the defeat.
After the defeat today, here’s what Jol said when he was asked whether he’ll be in charge for the game against Spurs this Wednesday:
“It’s not in my hands.
“I have to worry, I was worried a couple of months ago. It’s not from one day to the other, it’s the last few months that we’ve been inconsistent. I’ve got [more than 650] games under my belt as a manager and I know three points can give you a totally different view. That is why we’re in the bottom three. If we’d beaten West Ham they would be in the same situation.”
Is a tactic by Jol to force the issue to make Fulham owner Shahid Khan give him a vote of confidence? Or vice-versa, is Jol seemingly losing faith in his side and wants to force a sacking, which would certainly deliver a severance package and a ticket away from Cottage Cottage to coach back in the Netherlands or Germany?
What do you think? Share your opinions in the comments section below. And if you were watched the game today, or you’ve seen Fulham play lately, is it bad luck or bad management? Share your valuable opinions.
Side note: It’s the first edition of the Nightly Soccer Report in over a week. I took a vacation last week on a Caribbean cruise to recharge my batteries. With no Internet access and no sports network in my cabin, the only access I had to “soccer civilization” was CNN International and ESPN (only in one or two of the bars).
So what did I learn while I was away last week? The two main sports headlines on CNN International for 48 hours were (1) the match fixing scandal as reported by The Daily Telegraph and (2) the crane that collapsed into the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo. Each news report was just a couple of minutes each, if that. So details were few and far between. But when I returned to Miami and was able to dive into more thorough reporting, the feeling I got was that the story was sensationalized by CNN. Two likely incidents have happened in 13 years in the Premier League. Yes, the Premier League needs to investigate the claims and stamp out this virus on the world’s most popular sports league, but it’s hardly a crisis. Unless, that is, that I’m completely missing something in the story line, which is entirely possible since I’ve been out of touch with the soccer sphere for one week.
Listen to Kartik’s must-hear interview with Declan Hill, the investigative reporter who just published a book about what’s involvement in fixing a match.
When I go on vacation, I can’t help but keep an eye out for soccer shirts. On my cruise, I saw two Barcelona shirts, one Colombia away jersey, one Manchester United knock-off shirt and that was it. Soccer may be taking over the US nation, but the cruise goers (some of whom are from overseas) are not wearing many soccer shirts. Having said that, I didn’t see many NFL jerseys either!