Writing an article last week, the future of Fulham Football Club looked the brightest it had it a long time and despite the sacking of their fourth manager in less than three seasons, there are still many reasons to be positive for Fulham fans.
Fulham’s 5-2 home loss to Birmingham on Saturday was the last straw in Kit Symons first spell as a permanent manager, leaving his Fulham record at 22 wins 17 draws and 25 losses. The record itself shows that you could never quite predict what was going to happen at Fulham over the Welshman’s reign and this was probably the main reason for his downfall.
Taking on the job after a quite simply disastrous period at Fulham under Felix Magath, was at the least a daunting prospect, Kit was tasked with keeping Fulham in the Championship a job he completed, albeit not as easily as many Fulham fans had hoped. The next season which would be Symons first full one in charge and was a totally different prospect.
Despite losing the influential Bryan Ruiz, experienced defender Michael Turner due to the end of his loan and their second top scorer from the previous season Hugo Rodellega, Kit used the budget he was assigned by chairman Shahid Khan to the fullest, signing; Richard Stearman from Wolves, Jamie O’Hara from Blackpool, Tim Ream from Bolton, Thomas Cairney from Blackburn and Ben Pringle from Rotherham whilst still making a profit in the window, mainly due to the sale of Patrick Roberts to Manchester City.
With the integration of the new players and the Fulham regulars, the squad was much improved and is now as good a side Fulham have had since before their relegation from the Premier League. However, despite glimpses of brilliances being shown in certain matches throughout the season it couldn’t be done on a regular basis and with the quality of Fulham’s new look squad seemingly going to waste the Fulham hierarchy saw no other option than to replace Symons as Fulham manager.
It has to be remembered that Symons was by no means an experienced manager when he was appointed at Fulham, but he was a Fulham man who knew the club inside out. Joining as a player in 1998 Kit experienced two promotions whilst at the club and then returning to Fulham in the same decade and he experienced many successes as manager of the under 18 and then under 21 side whilst moulding many future Fulham stars in the process.
Despite the sacking of Symons, the club with its financial backing and improved squad looks like a good opportunity for an experienced manager to join and take Fulham to the next level, a much changed scenario than the one Kit inherited as manager around one year ago.
Thanks to Kit the clubs future is now a much more stable prospect, as referred to in the statement released yesterday by Fulham chairman Shahid Kahn “Kit came through for us last year at this time and helped stabilise our Club on and off the pitch, and we’re very grateful for that and his many other contributions over the years. It is now time to take Fulham to the higher level of success that we expect from our First Team Manager and our players, and our supporters here in London and throughout the world deserve.”
All things considered Fulham can now look for a manager to take them up the table rather than over their shoulders and despite the tenure of Symons not being an out and out success fans can look back on his Fulham career as a player and a manager with fond memories and respect.