Fulham have named former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri as their new head coach replacing Slavisa Jokanovic with immediate effect. The news of Jokanovic leaving the Cottagers is not a major surprise, but the fact the Cottagers revealed his replacement in the same announcement was slightly surprising.
Different factors in Jokanovic’s exit
Slavisa Jokanovic seems to have the knack of getting teams promoted to the Premier League. Earlier in his coaching career, the Serbian boss helped Watford to promotion before a contract dispute saw him leave the club prior to their return to the top-flight.
Jokanovic got Fulham promoted in similar circumstances, as the Cottagers won promotion against all odds. This time he did get a chance to manage in the top-flight and in truth his team have struggled.
The Cottagers have not exactly given him a massive budget to spend, with the majority of the summer signing arriving on loan and free transfers. A lack of quality throughout the team has shone through, as Fulham currently sit bottom of the table.
Ranieri a highly experienced boss
Claudio Ranieri should be a safe pair of hands for the club in their time of need. The experienced Italian has done a solid job wherever he has managed. Until season 2015/16 when he managed Leicester City to the Premier League title, he had never really been rewarded for his efforts.
However, that campaign, team and Ranieri will always live in the memory of most Premier League fans. The Foxes pulled off the biggest miracle of the Premier League era.
While Ranieri pulled of one miracle, he is not a serial miracle maker. What he brings to a club is all his managerial experience and Fulham should be a lot more solid and well organised with Ranieri in charge.
Ranieri built his success at Leicester on being solid and hitting teams on the counter-attack. His predecessor Jokanovic likes his teams to play attractive football, which is not always conducive to teams in a relegation scrap. The new boss’s style may suit a relegation battle better than the Serbians.
Has a challenge on his hands
Claudio Ranieri will know that he has a massive challenge on his hands to keep the Cottagers in the Premier League. The London club are currently bottom of the top-flight table after winning just once in their first 12 league outings.
Despite being one of the favourites to suffer relegation, Fulham are just three points clear of the relegation zone. However, the challenge for Ranieri is to lift the spirits of the disheartened players and fans at the club.
This season has been a painful one for the Cottagers faithful. They will be hoping that the appointment of Ranieri will bring an improvement in the team’s results.
Fulham does not have a great squad, but they have some talented players within their ranks. If Claudio Ranieri can just get something slightly more out of the players, then the Cottagers will still have a fighting chance of staying in the Premier League this season.
Will Claudio Ranieri keep Fulham in the Premier League?