The body language of Marin Jol, arms crossed, head lowered is one of a man shortly to go the gallows. We are now in international fortnight when lack of incident will only lead to more intense press speculation on his future at Fulham . I do not feel sorry for him: he is well paid, will get a fat severance payment, and find work again
When I do feel some sympathy I lose it in his post match interviews as he adopts a lofty air of his own abilities and a dismissive one of us fans. Recently he spoke of how he signed players of high quality that never happened before citing his keeper Stekelenburg .As a former manager of Ajax where he did not fare that well either he should have known we signed Edwin Van der Sar Holland’s record capped keeper for £6 m.
You tend to judge a manager by the team he builds. Jol has generally signed players whose best days have past, like Parker,Bent, Berbatov. Only Kasami aged 21 of the first team is with more than £5m . Stefano Ursolini was in London the other day and generously invited me to to a top notch Italian meal . I was complaining about our signings. He said Fiorentina in the few years had recruited from the old Yugoslavia Nastasic and Jovetic sold to Manchester City for £45 m and Llajic sold to Roma for £11m . There is no reason why Fulham could not scout such talent and offer them a platform. Jol has also failed to convert any of the winning Academy team into first teamers.
Two things might yet cause his survival. There is firstly the reluctance of the American owner Shahid Khan who does not understand premiership football immediately to dismiss his manager. Secondly there is neither an obvious replacement not the resource in the club to appoint one. Al Fayed who would have sacked Jol 4 games ago made some successful left field choices in Tigana, Coleman and Hodgson .His chief executive would draw up a list, the board of Fulham men would filter it and al Fayed would when have the final selection. No such structure exists.
Although Jol has lost the confidence of the supporters its not easy to gauge whether he has lost the dressing room too. So many of the players not trying hard enough are his signings notably Berbatov whose despite his selfishness must realise a new boss won’t indulge him as Jol has . One likes to think they care.
When the fourth goal went in at Anfield I texted a close Fulham friend who sits near to me. “”where do we go from here?” “Only one direction” came the speedy reply