After another devastating defeat away to Southampton, Fulham have parted company with Claudio Ranieri. The self-styled ‘Tinkerman’ was appointed on November 14th following the sacking of Slavisa Jokanovic.
Claudio Ranieri Sacked
Fulham owner Tony Khan was not at the match against the Saints, but it was a defeat too far as Fulham slipped ten points from safety with ten games of the season remaining. When Ranieri took over, the Cottagers had already shipped 31 goals. They have now shipped a further 33. Ranieri had said he would shore up the leaky defence but he only made things worse with constant team changes, and his ‘tinkerman’ tag now looks like a curse rather than a compliment.
Fulham handed the Premier League-winning manager a contract until 2021 and sacking him after just over three months in charge could consequently be an expensive mistake. The Italian will forever be remembered for his astonishing success at Leicester City, but the following season he was sacked and, as likeable a man as he is, his tactics leave much to be desired.
At St Mary’s, he was subjected to chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ and cries for the return of former boss Jokanovic, the man who led Fulham back to the promised land of the Premier League and was a fan favourite. The Fulham fans also vented at owner Khan, who sanctioned a summer spend of around £100 million. Along with compensation to two managers in one season, running a club this way can lead to financial despair and relegations. Relegation now looks to be a certainty with the likes of Ryan Sessegnon certain to depart in the summer.
Who Will Become Fulham’s Third Manager This Season?
The usual suspects are already being touted for the job. Sam Allardyce is an early favourite for the post until the end of the season. His miracle working hands are surely not enough to save Fulham now. Harry Redknapp is looking for a return but whether he would want to drop to the Championship is questionable. Jose Mourinho would be an astonishing appointment but it’s fair to say that it won’t be him.
Gary Rowett is a young manager out of work; maybe even former boss Jokanovic could return to the club where many feel he has unfinished business.
As for Ranieri, maybe it is time he walked away before he is remembered as a one-season-wonder. One who ‘tinkered’ just once too often.