Back the manager


This is good on the off field stuff but at no point did the club sell us on Kit Symons. Symons didn’t sell himself really, other than some fluff about being stronger for going through the adversity.

I remember hearing Rio Ferdinand being interviewed during a World Cup. His point was that despite all indicators to the contrary, England would thrive with their “backs to the wall” and come through when it matters. Of course nothing of the sort happened.

I don’t know what I expect them to say but other than “Kit got a tough assignment and so we owe him another opportunity” what am I to believe in here?

Norwich City brought in a new manager last season. Alex Neil had no celebrity in the English game but what he did have was a track record, albeit a brief one, of winning football matches. Norwich, under Neil, were phenomenal. They were promoted.

I’m not saying anything new here, I appreciate, and I do understand Rigg’s comment about the need for stability, but I think they might have done more here in reassuring us on Symons. Fine, maybe there’s a good atmosphere about the place, lovely, terrific, but where do we get reassurance that Kit will stop the team from conceding 100 goals next season? We have to infer that this will happen because Rigg and the clever committee will go about things the right way in identifying talent (and I get this, and believe them, to a degree). But still your manager has to impose something on the team.

We have to keep an open mind and I’m sure a mid table finish is likely here, but with all the excellent questioning from Sarah Brookes, we might have seen a bit more in our respondents’ replies. Back the manager properly, tell us about things he’s done in the past that suggest he can manage a football team. Because otherwise it’s still a leap of faith, which feels dangerous, especially when there are probably managers out there who can offer a greater degree of reassurance through their own CVs.

Unless the club doesn’t think the manager matters that much…

14 thoughts on “Back the manager

  1. “Unless the club doesn’t think the manager matters that much…”

    Interesting that you’ve said this my friend. Because if you look at that video with Kit kind of stuck there in his tracksuit in-between the ‘corporates’ it didn’t look like the club were interviewing Kit. It looked like they were trying to prove to us that there is a good structure in place now above Kit and that it really doesn’t matter who is sat there in between Ali Mac and Mike.

    Do the club think our success is dependant upon a good footballing and business structure married together? yes it is to some degree. But I think a manager and his coaching team are still hugely important in terms of getting this club promoted. As it stands, Kit is still there, his coaching team are still there and nothing has been done to improve the coaching of the team or convince us that the team in place is good enough to achieve this.

    1. As you say. 100% of Fulham good times over my 50 seasons have involved top coaches: Dave Sexton (the original Great Escape), Bill Taylor, Ray Harford, C. Damiano, R. Hodgson. The first three were virtual unknowns at the time of arrival. The good coach we need may be somebody fans have never heard of, but he evidently was not in place last season. Correct to warn that the other fine talk leads nowhere, at the level of the first-team anyway, without this aspect sorted.

  2. Your comments are spot on . Stability requires ability and we saw nothing of that from KS over the last 20 odd matches . Christensen or no Christensen , we required a far better run to convince the majority of the supporters that KS should be allowed to keep his job .

    I suspect that we have probably lost about 1500 supporters just by keeping him there . I really hope he does well but I don’t believe he will .

  3. “stability requires ability”? Sorry but that is just not true. Any club who fires a manager before at least 2 full seasons is just admitting that they never should have hired him in the first place. Fulham are not ready to admit that for the 3rd time in just over a year nor should they. Kit took over a team in shambles and they out performed more than have of the league in the time that he has been here. To not give him at least another season to build his team would be asinine. Clubs without unlimited funds just to not behave that way and succeed.

  4. Every managerial appointment since Hodgson has proved to be a bad one, There are many conclusions that can be drawn from that but one is that it is incredibly difficult to pick the right man.

    Most managers fail and are sacked within two years. Few of those who are sacked then go on to succeed elsewhere. It may just be that most managers are actually incapable of adding sufficient value to satisfy the owner and supporters.

    I wasn’t at all happy with Symons last season but he did keep us up after an appalling start and had to do that largely with overpaid misfits and untried kids.

    Maybe keeping him on with a better structured squad is the least bad decision.

  5. We will not push for promotion until we get a manager who has experience of taking a club out of this division. If the present manager remains we will be lucky to remain in this division. Mid table obscurity is all we can hope.

    1. Bournemouth, Norwich and Watford managed it without such a manager. Derby and Ipswich failed despite having managers who met that condition.

  6. “excellent questioning from Sarah Brookes” You have to be joking. It was a set up interview where the questioner is employed by those she is questioning and so was in no place to ask tough questions like why the hell KS sent Matt Smith away on loan or explain his utterly incomprehensible team selections and use of substitutes. It was only a nice little media whitewash cosy, concocted by management and the Communications and Marketing Director. All it served to do was confirm that we will have to put up with Symons again next year and that the chairman is too tight to put his hand in his pocket.

    1. I seriously doubt Rich thinks the interview wasn’t set up, everyone involved works for ffc. What Rich must of meant – and I agree! – is that Sarah’s questions were well thought out; the club did the research on what the fans wanted to hear. I thought it was very honest

  7. Kit seemed quite uneasy in this interview – clearly if on-pitch matters don’t improve he will depart.AM and MR are in for the long haul. I took it that MR has a lot of power and that he will be the one to wield the axe.
    Top 10 after the first 10 or goodbye Kit.

  8. I am very surprised and disappointed that Kit is staying. Looking back at the last couple of seasons, although our managerial appoints in total add to a bit of a shambles, I couldn’t fault the at any point. Biggest error for me was to hang on to Jol for as long as we did (some of the shots on goal vs shots conceded stats on here summed up perfectly what we were witnessing). All other appointments and periods of sticking by and sacking Meulensteen, Magath and Kit made sense to me at the time.* Keeping Kit after the last 20 games of last season, I think is a bit crazy. I think we got lucky. If Huddersfield had stuck in one or two of their penalties or any of the four other attempts they hit the woodwork, we would of been bang in the relegation battle at a point when our form was probably the worst in division (bar Blackpool).

    *one reason why I think it’s ridiculous when our fans start accusing the CEO of incompetence. The same guy that was with us when we were punching well above our weight 4/5 seasons ago.

  9. I’ve been mulling this over and wonder whether in fact FFC are trialling a management model that’s new to English football.

    I think Mike Rigg is to all intents and purposes our new manager. He’s certainly Kit’s boss and AM was clear as to the extent of his duties – finance and business only.

    Rigg has responsibility for player acquisition but if that were all he’d have little to do most of the year and the players we bring in have to fit with the formations and tactics that will be used. Rigg at the least ought to be involved with that.

    If the Terry Burton rumours are true then he may be our defence coach leaving Kit with what? Player liason and a sort of Sargeant Major role – the man who implements the decisions made by his superiors.

    There’s no way a traditional English manager would accept that role – certainly not an Alladyce or Warburton – but I suspect that Kit would be relaxed about having his duties and responsibilities down graded.

    It may not in truth be that different to the way that Alex Ferguson ran ManU but he of course had the title of manager. I suspect that all the decisions that matter will be taken by Rigg and not Kit.

    Who picks the team? I’d guess Rigg.

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