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?