Writer: Kristian Balkin
Date:Thursday July 22 2010
Martin Jol has, after all the hype and histrionics, spurned the opportunity to manage Fulham Football Club.
It's incredibly easy to blame the club for what could prove to be a catastrophic failure.
Behind the scenes, mistake after unforgivable mistake eventually led to this frankly embarrassing finale with regards to the now securely-placed Ajax manager.
Saying that though, it is practically an impossibility to comment upon what truly went on in Amsterdam.
Even as Fulham fans, we were kept as much in the know as anyone else, and all we have to work with are two blatantly biased statements from both the London club and the Dutch team, as well as a whole host of contradictory and far-fetched media reports reigning from both here in England and rosy old Holland.
What we can gather, however, is that we ultimately failed.
Fulham wanted Jol to so much of an extent that we ignored any fall back option and laid all our money and pride on the black half of a roulette wheel, only for it to land on a red.
The pain only gets worse when we find out that the big Dutchman knew all along that the ball would eventually land within the confines of a red square; leaving the ex-Spurs boss grinning cheekily and Mackintosh and co, ironically, red faced.
While the club's statement makes a practical attempt to lay the blame solely on Ajax's shoulders, it must be considered that this all boils down to some slightly naive work from our back room staff.
As is the case with any signing, approach or transfer, the club, in this case, Ajax, should really be contacted first. If Alistair and his cronies knew from the off that Ajax were going to be quite so difficult and stubborn, Fulham would have left their options open and perhaps this whole pursuit wouldn't be in the public limelight and perhaps we wouldn't be so ashamed of today's media onslaught.
Also, with Jol in mind, Al Fayed and his 'gang' crossed out all other names on what was originally a lengthy shortlist consisting of some quite reputable gaffers. The likes of Eriksson and Bob Bradley took this into account and may have already pledged their futures to a National side, although, this is of course no guarantee.
A good two to three week's work has now been all but undone by Martin Jol, and it's now up to our board of directors and more importantly, our chief executive, to pick the club back out of the proverbial gutter and make a sensible appointment that's worth talking about.
After all this nonsense I do not want a second-rate managerial signing, as, it won't be long before every inch of Roy's brilliant work here at Craven Cottage is systematically un-stitched and dumped into the metaphorical wastelands for history to forget.
We are supposedly, after all, a club which has turned the corner.
Date:Thursday July 22 2010
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