The competent man theory

I think the reason some of us have been reluctant to go around shouting “JOL OUT!” towards the birds in the sky has been a perhaps misguided notion that he is a good football manager.

And if he is a good football manager then what we’re seeing is an aberration.

Because really, the team’s last few seasons have established Fulham as a mid table club. The spending has been a bit thin on the ground but the players all look reasonable enough.

So we sit here stroking our chins with our eyes closed and our heads shaking gently, whispering ‘patience, fans, patience!’, because we know in our souls that any football team can have a bad run of form, and really it’s just part of football’s great randomness: the ship will be on course soon enough, as long as nobody panics*.

(*yes, I know that we’ve been bad since last year, about all kinds of other indicators, too).

And as long as a competent football manager is in charge then this is exactly what will happen. The team, whether it takes a week or a month, will soon find its mojo and start winning again. We’ve all seen it happen in football. Confidence is hard to find when you’re down, but all it takes is a bit of something and soon we’ll be flying.

Those of us sighing ‘calm down, angry men’ did so because we assumed Jol knew what he was doing, that we were seeing a downswing, an aberration. Personally, it hadn’t occurred to me that Jol could be in top flight football for so long, doing relatively well, if he were not a competent manager.

This is exactly what we’ve been asked to believe, that someone who could lead Spurs to relative success, who could hold down positions at Hamburg and Ajax, who could do all this and keep a decent reputation within the game… we’ve been asked to believe that this man is not a competent football manager? And we’ve been asked to believe this by people who, with all due respect, don’t always know what they’re talking about.

Absent better information, as we all are, it remains very tempting to ignore everything we see, all the numbers we read, and assume that Martin Jol is a good manager and Fulham will rise again.

But at some point you can’t ignore everything, can you?


6 thoughts on “The competent man theory

  1. There seems to be a lack of tactics,fitness and guts. Also Jol appears to be in denial over the slump we are in. When someone starts digging out facts about lack of investment then you know they are trying to justify themselves. I like Jol, I thought he would be good for Fulham, but something is not clicking. Great Managers do not explain, they work out things and make them right.

      1. Based on his comments, he believes that we will get better, therefore not showing enough urgency about rectifying things now.

  2. I’m 63.

    I know more than I did when I was younger but new ideas don’t impress me. I find it hard to absorb them and tend towards cynicism. I don’t mind working but I don’t have the same energy levels I used to have and look for shortcuts. I’m forever being offered advice based on new thinking and understand the benefits in theory but my old ways worked perfectly well in the past.

    I’ll retire in 18 months time. My colleagues don’t want me to (or at least they say so) but I recognise that I’m rapidly reaching my sell by date. I’m winging it to some extent but still getting away with it. I’m wise enough to realise that this can only work for so long.

    I’m the boss so the decision is mine but if I was an employee, no matter how senior, I’d need my boss to recognise when it was time to let me go.

    I think the above my explain why Martin Jol used to be a good football manager.

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