The writing was on the wall for manager Martin Jol of English Premier League club Fulham. Either start winning some games or he would certainly be the next manager fired this season. When West Ham United beat his team 3-0 in a London derby on November 30 it didn’t surprise anybody that he was relieved of his duties less than 24 hours later.
The road loss left Fulham in 18th place in the 20-team league and in the relegation zone. The team has just 10 points from a possible 39 after 13 games from three wins, a draw and nine losses. They’ve scored just 11 goals and have allowed 24 against. Ironically, Jol also helped seal his own fate and made the firing easier for club owners when he hired fellow Dutchman Rene Meulensteen as his assistant manager earlier in November.
Meulensteen, who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s right-hand man at Manchester United for numerous years, was handed Jol’s job after he was given his walking papers. The decisions were made by new club owner 61-year-old Shahid Khan of Pakistan, who bought the franchise earlier this year. Khan also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL).
He released a statement which said, “Our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary.”
Jol was hired by Fulham in 2011 to replace former manager Mark Hughes after previously managing fellow London club Tottenham Hotspur for three years. Tottenham fired him in October of 2007. He has also managed in the German Bundesliga with Hamburger SV as well as in his homeland with Ajax Amsterdam.
In his first season in charge, Jol’s team finished in ninth place in the league table, but slipped to a 12th place finish last campaign. Jol also released a statement, which read, “It was a privilege to manage Fulham, one of the great clubs in the Premier League or anywhere in the world. I am disappointed in this season but know there are better days ahead for Fulham and its supporters. I will always treasure my experience here and want to thank Mr. Khan and everyone at Fulham for the opportunity.”
The hiring of the 57-year-old Jol in the first place had many Fulham fans scratching their heads due to his reputation as a manager who employed negative tactics. His team failed to register a single shot on net in his last game in charge against West Ham. Jol was under contract with Fulham until June of 2014 and leaves the team with a record of 38 wins, 47 losses and 28 draws in 113 games.
Mean while Meulensteen remarked that he appreciates the faith that Khan has put in him and he’ll do his best at trying to get Fulham back on the winning track starting with his first game in charge on December 4.