Much to ponder at 7/1 Fulham
Fulham’s 4-1 loss to Watford on Tuesday means they will join Huddersfield in playing Championship football next season and there are now a number of decisions to be made in the summer (Fulham 7/1, Huddersfield 1/16 – To Finish Bottom).
Hopes were high when Slavisa Jokanovic led the Cottagers to the top flight and bolstered his squad with 10 new players during last summer’s transfer window.
However, they failed to gel and the 50-year-old Serbian tactician was sacked in November last year, with the west Londoners struggling.
The appointment of Claudio Ranieri was supposed to bring back the feel-good factor to Craven Cottage but the Italian had no impact whatsoever and he was jettisoned on February 28 this year.
Scott Parker was handed the reins on a temporary basis but the former Fulham player has been unable to get a single point on the board during his tenure, with the club on a nine-game losing run.
They have lost 12 of 13 Premier League games since beating Huddersfield on December 29 and it has been a tail of woe by the Thames.
Spending so much money on new recruits last summer was always going to be a risk, with Jokanovic working with virtually a fresh team from the one that came up via the Championship play-offs.
History suggests that flooding a squad with new players is not always successful and it is obvious where the problems lie.
Conceding 76 top-flight goals – the worst in the division – was always going to be a recipe for disaster and Fulham’s defence has been a shambles for most of the season.
Not enough work was done on defensive shape or strategy in pre-season and their lack of class among the rearguard has been ruthlessly exposed this term.
The choice now for owner Shahid Khan is whether to stick with 38-year-old Parker or bring in an established manager with a track record of promotion and stabilising a club.
The former Newcastle midfielder was clearly saddened by the club’s relegation and will put forward his case to continue in the role when discussing the situation with the powers that be.
“I am obviously bitterly disappointed,” said Parker. “I have ideas [of where it went wrong] but it’s not the time to broadcast them.
“When a club gets relegated from the Premier League, you know there are some serious issues.”
Cardiff are likely to join Fulham and the Terriers in being relegated and are 1/6 for the drop.
Odds subject to change.
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