Fulham fans can breathe easy as Claudio Ranieri not Alan Pardew is new manager
Claudio Ranieri is the new Fulham manager.
Defeat at Liverpool had left the Cottagers rock bottom of the Premier League and an international break is always a likely time for Premier League clubs to change managers.
Slavisa Jokanovic will wonder what might have been if VAR had been introduced, as it is in every other major European league. Fulham getting the very worst of decisions made by officials at Anfield.
It had been expected Jokanovic would get one final chance as Fulham play relegation rivals Southampton at home a week on Saturday – but instead the club have decided a new manager gives them the best chance of kicking on, starting with that next match.
After defeat at Anfield on Saturday, bookies had made Alan Pardew the odds-on 8/11 favourite with Claudio Ranieri second favourite at 4/1. No doubt a fair few Fulham fans grateful that those odds were overturned and the favourite didn’t make it past the post.
A bit of an achievement that the Premier League have reached this point before a manager was sacked.
Last season, De Boer (Palace), Shakespeare (Leicester), Koeman (Everton) and Bilic (West Ham) had all been sacked by this time last year, with Pulis (West Brom) the fifth to go on 24 November 2017, with Alan Pardew replacing him.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan describes Claudio Ranieri as a ‘risk-free appointment but not too sure you can say that about any managerial appointment in the English top tier.
However, great to see Ranieri back in English football, as well as the miracle he performed at Leicester, he is always great value in press conferences and is definitely one of the good guys.
Interesting to see how he will set this Fulham team up and especially in terms of how Mitro will fit into it.
Official Fulham Statement:
‘Shahid Khan, Chairman of Fulham Football Club, today announced that he has appointed Claudio Ranieri as Manager of Fulham Football Club, replacing Slaviša Jokanović.
Ranieri, who led Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2016, was given a multi-year contract to lead Fulham, who currently sit at the bottom of the table with five points from 12 matches. Fulham’s next match is Saturday 24th November versus Southampton at Craven Cottage.
“It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history,” Ranieri said. “The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”
Khan thanked Jokanović for his service to Fulham, where he led the Club to two consecutive Play-Off appearances in the Sky Bet Championship and a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium in May to secure promotion to the Premier League.
“I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slaviša and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the Club and our supporters,” Khan said. “Slaviša will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football. I am hoping everyone in the Fulham Family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slaviša and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be.”
Khan said he and his son Tony Khan, Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations at FFC, considered and spoke with a number of potential candidates within the past week, with Ranieri becoming their mutual and obvious choice. Tony Khan and his staff will continue to oversee First Team player recruitment and contractual agreements, and he will work closely with Ranieri.
“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option, so having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential,” Khan said. “Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham. His recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary, and then you look at Claudio’s experience with Chelsea and big clubs throughout Europe, and it’s pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]