When Fulham were promoted to the Premier League, their swashbuckling style and impressively cobbled together side was a prominent example of what can happen. With a bit of planning and a lot of preparation, great success can come from keeping a squad together. Instead, Fulham were judged to have ‘won the transfer window’ they lashed over £100m in signings.
Coach Slavisa Jovanovic was relieved of his duties earlier on in the season, having failed to get the season up and running. After a raft of signings replaced his carefully and slowly built Championship side, though, is it any doubt?
His replacement, Claudio Rainieri, came in in November. Since then, inept performances and the regular concession of points late in matches has seen the Cottagers slip to a shocking 10 points from safety. With former Fulham midfielder Scott Parker set to step into the role until the end of the season, this is surely the end for the Italian tactician in England.
Despite his incredible win with Leicester City to win the Premier League, Rainieri has often struggled with relegation dogfights when presented in his career. An unbalanced and oddly put together Fulham side looked out of kilter with what the Italian could do, and it’s now seen the 67-year-old leave the club before the season is even out.
With Parker in charge, it looks like Fulham have accepted that relegation is more or less assured. For a club that was seen as a fine example of careful building without excess, a botched summer out of kilter with their previous success might just change the perception of Fulham for the near future.
Given the scattergun nature of what’s happened until now, it’s unlikely that we’ll see either the London outfit of Rainieri anytime soon in the Premier League.