Kit Symons: the right appointment

Fulham get their man. Kit Symons made sense as a caretaker manager and the club’s form since he took over has made his promotion to the permanent role all but inevitable. He may or may not be the right choice long-term, but his work so far meant that Khan’s headhunters were left with a tricky job: either come up with someone very, very good, or the decision makes itself. Ultimately, you couldn’t replace Symons with a nothing manager.

And this is where Fulham realised that the only choice was to make no choice. It’s very likely that the club has sounded out various highish profile names in the preceding months, but, with last season’s chaos fresh in the memory, been met with polite “thanks but no thanks” emails back.

So in lowering their sights a little they moved into the realms of the not quites, the ne’er do wells, the once did wells. Aidy Boothroyd, Craig Brown, Lee Clark, Steve Clarke, John Collins, Owen Coyle, Billy Davies, Roberto Di Matteo, Dougie Freedman, Chris Hughton, Paul Ince, Paul Jewell, Brian McDermott, Mark McGhee, Tony Mowbray, Sean O’Driscoll, David O’Leary, Martin O’Neill, Tim Sherwood, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Gordon Strachan… you see the problem?

Even then, for all we know some of the above said no. And this largely omits international appointments, which might have offered the possibility of bringing in a recognised winner but also of another horrible mess.

It’s to Symons’ eternal credit that he made this decision into a non-decision. For this moment in time Kit Symons is the right man for this football club. No question. Whether he remains the right man in six months or a year we’ll just have to see – I remain suspicious that there’s a slight “anyone but Magath” halo effect going on here – but he has absolutely, unquestionable, earned the right to prove himself one way or another. It’s the right appointment.

10 thoughts on “Kit Symons: the right appointment

  1. You’ve got it pretty spot on here I think. They would have to pull someone pretty special out the bag to not risk a backlash from supporters that Kit didn’t get the job.

    I do worry a little that now he has been promoted, the players may not play with the same degree of passion that comes with new manager syndrome and the ‘thank god the nutcase has gone feeling.’

    This is a sensible decision right now, he gets a contract until end of 2015/2016 (presumably with a break clause at the end of this season) so if things don’t go to plan then it won’t be too expensive to change things up.

    I think coaching appointments are quite important now too. Get a decent team around him and if possible, finding a role above him (DoF) to handle transfers. As lovely as Kit is, will he have the reputation required to convince decent players to come and play for him?

  2. I’m happy for Kit, and on the basis of the change in form and attitude since his takeover I think he deserves it.

    I harbour the same reservations that you mention Rich, but I think we have this season to see how he does without it affecting future plans too much. He is absolutely the right man to help bring this crop of youngsters through (and he’s done a great job so far) and this season will be a learning process for the players and the manager. His most noticeable weakness for me is game management – but this is something that can be improved with practice, the way he sets up the team and the basics do seem to be there.

    I get the feeling mid-table beckons, and that would be a good achievement considering the horrible start we had, anything more and the appointment of Kit will look inspired. Anything less and Fulham can consider their options.

    1. ” He is absolutely the right man to help bring this crop of youngsters through (and he’s done a great job so far)” Yeah, how did that go against Derby?

      1. Because that was a concious decision to play a weakened line up due to fixture congestion. Otherwise he has protected the youngsters and brought through the ones who he thought were ready.

        His strategy has been to use the good experienced players as the base and then bring in the ‘older’ young players such as Dan Burn, LVC, Woodrow and Kavanagh. All of whom have been excellent after a bedding in period. THAT is how you integrate youth, as opposed to the way that Magath did it, throwing in a group of 18yr olds v Ipswich with little/no veteran help. If he keeps doing this throughout the season, next year, we will have 4-5 youth products who will be ‘seasoned’ and ready to play a big role in the team.

  3. My favourite stat from last week was that from his 13 games in charge Kit had the same average points per game as the league leaders Bournemouth (1.85). With the Leeds win this has improved further.

    I think we all expected best case Kit would bring stability and further development of our young prospects (interestingly LVC did not start under Magath)

    But for a rookie to deliver Championship winning performance (so far) from a team with 1 point from 8 is remarkable (even if having Ruiz & Rodellega waiting in the wings was a bit of a gift)

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