Fulham’s Next Manager – The Candidates

July 12, 2010

Although I have as much of an idea as the papers as to who will be managing Fulham next season (read: none at all) lets have a look at the candidates, or at least the ones that I consider serious candidates.

The Early Favourite – Sven Goran Eriksson. Has been touted by almost all papers as the successor to Roy Hodgson. As has been mentioned on other blogs Sven would represent continuity going forward. He learnt from Hodgson and plays a very similar style, albeit a slightly more attacking one. Opinion amongst the fans seems to be split here, some fans worried that he is a mercenary who will try to suck Fulham dry  whilst others see his outstanding track record at club level and his potential appointment as a massive step forward for the club. I am very much in the latter group. For me, Sven would represent a coup for the club. I am not expecting to be challenging for Europe, but Sven would consolidate Fulham further, maybe bringing in more flair and I would expect Fulham to comfortably steer clear of relegation. Will he come? Is he actually even in the running? Who knows, but I would be delighted if he was appointed.

The Safe Pick – Alan Curbishley. Greeted with derision by the vast majority of Fulham fans, Curbishley would be the safe pick. He has an excellent record in the premier league with both Charlton and West Ham and would steady the ship. Again, I would expect Curbishley to help steer Fulham clear of relegation next season. Whilst not the most inspiring pick, he would undoubtably be good for Fulham and my Charlton supporting friends cannot say enough good things about him. The biggest obstacle to Curbishley coming to Fulham however, is his relationship with several key players. He has a rocky relationship with both Konchesky and Murphy so this move seems unlikely to me.

The Young Manager – Mark Hughes. Not exactly inexperienced but one of the youngest potential candidates. An excellent manager at Blackburn, Hughes was unlucky at Man City. Whilst there is no doubting his credentials as a manager, he is probably my least favourite manager personality wise, too often moaning in post game interviews and ungracious in both victory and defeat. I am sure that he could take the club forward but I just can’t see this coming off. Not only does Hughes come with a large entourage but I can see his demands being fairly stringent in terms of his wage and guarantees over the transfer budget.

The International Manager – Slaven Bilic. This would be the adventurous pick. Has a good record with Croatia but has very little managerial experience at club level. He would certainly be an exciting pick and Fulham would play more expansive football. It was rumored that he was poised to take over before Coleman took over, but that never materialised. Brave pick, but fortune often favours the brave.

The Wildcards – Ottmar Hitzfeld and Vahid Halilhodzic. These are the guys that I would love to see. Hitzfeld is one of the most successful club managers of all time. For me he would be a class appointment and show a real statement of intent by the club. He is currently with Switzerland but with a few years until the next tournament he may be looking for a new challenge. Halilhodzic is my preference. He has not even been mentioned as of yet, but he would be a very Hodgsonesque appointment. He has had lots of success with clubs a similar size to Fulham (Lilles and Rennes) but has struggled over the last few years in the wilderness. He made a comeback as the Ivory Coast manager but political rangling got him fired 4 months before the World Cup. Halilhodzic is experienced and out of contract, two things that Al-Fayed seems to prize above other things.

Now that I have laid out some of the options for the vacant managerial position, expect someone completely different to step into the breach!


One Response to “Fulham’s Next Manager – The Candidates”

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