Always interesting. This basically sums us up:
Normally I am fairly conservative about suggesting managers should be sacked. After all, if you are going to bother firing one, they should probably be really bad andyou need to be able to replace them with someone better.
On the other hand, I have publicly battered The Guardian’s writers on Twitter for writing that Fulham were too good to go down.
Martin Jol should have been fired months ago.
As of October 1st, Fulham were giving up 20 shots per game while only taking 8 themselves. This is very, verybad. Through this weekend’s dire performance, where they lost to one of the worst offensive teams in the league by a 4-0 score line Fulham are…
Giving up 20 shots a game, while only taking 8.
Even Pescara, who most models considered to be the worst team in the big European leagues by far last season took 10 shots while giving up about 18 a game. Fulham were worse than that.
(Yes, I know our predictive model liked them more than I do, and I know why, and all I can say is that it was horribly wrong here. Welcome to modelling.)
The important question is: Can they be saved?
I honestly don’t know. I think Riether and Hangeland are pretty good in their back line, and I think Berbatov and Ruiz are very good up front. Everyone else on that team is either a question mark, actively bad, or truly horrific. The midfield simply doesn’t work with how Jol wanted to play, and the axis of Sidwell and Parker seems to do absolutely nothing to help either end of the pitch. Meulensteen has his work cut out for him, but the next few months should teach us a lot about whether a bad team with pockets of talent can be saved by a new manager.
Fulham need to be really careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.