Jol has all the right pieces, but he can’t get them to fit.

October 4, 2013 in Premier League by Matty Deller

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Being a Fulham fan right now isn’t exactly a bed of roses. The team has won once in the league all season, and twice thrown away leads against beatable opposition in Cardiff and a West Brom side who were at the time, without a win that season. The team looks sluggish going forward, too defensive throughout the game and even though we play deep win, lose or draw – we are still leaking goals every game. So what gives? A section of fans have nailed their colours to the mast be it through their voices or their keyboard that Martin Jol is working on borrowed time, if you read the tabloids and the online sources �in the know’. But what exactly has gone wrong down by the river?

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Fulham v West Bromwich Albion - Craven Cottage

First off, Martin Jol has got the tactics completely wrong for the team we have. We are spoiled with the amount of creative midfielders that we have, with the likes of Bryan Ruiz, Kaca, new signing Adel Taarabt, Patjim Kasami, Askhan Dejagah and youth product Mesca. But we are still playing a 4-2-3-1 with two holding midfielders and constantly backpassing when we should be going forward, playing the dullest brand of football I can remember at the Cottage.  This is frustrating many Fulham fans that are used to a more exciting brand of football, and to have what we have at our disposal and not use it to its fullest potential is incredibly frustrating.

The second issue lies with the talent that we’ve brought in over the summer. Not to sound too spoilt, but whilst the players we brought in were good – they could have been so much better. Over the summer, we were linked with Nathan Redmond, Will Hughes and Wilfred Bony. We ended up with Scott Parker, Adel Taarabt and Darren Bent. Now, Bent has shown flashes of the goal scoring talent that everyone knows he has, but he’s still an older talent in a squad that is barely under an average age of 30. That might be acceptable in League 1, but that is unacceptable in the Premier League. Our team is low on pace, stamina and again, limited to no creativity.

Darren-Bent-Fulham

Thirdly, our high age average is also showing our reluctance to use any of our stellar youth talent. Mesca has made a breakthrough onto the bench and Patjim Kasami is getting sporadic appearances but we have just sold a great talent in Karim Frei, and none of the impressive Under 19s or 21s graduates are getting a look in. Where are the Jack Grimmers and Dan Burns helping out the defence? Why isn’t Ryan Williams getting a run-out in the league cup? Why is Cauley Woodrow farmed out on loan and Chris David in the youth set-up when we have Hugo bloody Rodallega on the bench? We’re gonna end up wasting a lot of long-term solutions by thinking short term – which is a recipe for disaster.

This all lays the blame, firmly at the door of Mr. Jol. You have the funds at your disposal (if you read one of my previous pieces you know Shad Khan is comfortable with splashing the cash) and even without that, you have the players to make a decent fist of the league, but you insist on constantly playing for a draw and then have the arrogance to accuse Fulham fans of expecting too much? Now, whilst I feel many Fulham fans have acted spoilt in the past by thinking we are a top 6 side, to state 5 points from 5 games is good enough is something that isn’t going to win you many friends sir. This weekend sees Fulham host Stoke and may also see Fulham host Martin Jol as manager for the last time.

Martin-Jol

To paraphrase Radiohead Martin, �You did it to yourself, you did – and that’s what really hurts’.

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