Is Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic on borrowed time?
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Fulham Football Club spent big bucks over the summer, following an excellent Championship campaign that led to promotion via the play-offs.
Many thought that, like Wolverhampton Wanderers, The Cottagers would be sitting comfortably in mid-table. Signings like Jean Michael Seri and Aleksandar Mitrovic were supposed to guarantee that. However, spending big only works when you have the right man at the helm.
I want to preface my next point by claiming that Slavisa Jokanovic deserves immense credit for the work he has done. The 50-year-old has given Fulham fans some memories they'll never forget. The man born in Yugoslavia will always be remembered fondly, but perhaps he has taken the London side as far as he can...
They say that success at the highest level starts from the back. Defensively, Fulham have been nothing short of diabolical. They're yet to keep a clean sheet. We're almost in November. That's just not good enough if you're trying to survive in the most competitive league in world football. Sure, nobody is expecting them to keep the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool at bay, but shipping four to Cardiff City just isn't going to cut it.
Last time out, at home to AFC Bournemouth, Jokanovic's men were well beaten. The game finished 3-0, it could have been more. Sure, Kevin McDonald's late sending off didn't help matters, but even with eleven men, The Cherries were ripping Fulham to shreds at times, and it was happening all too easily.
Now, Fulham sits on five points from ten games. They're in the dreaded drop zone. It may be time for Shahid Khan to act before it's too late.
Arguably the most integral thing for promoted sides is to play for each other, work hard for the cause, rather than trying to shine as an individual. Fulham have looked like they're playing for themselves rather than as a unit. It's as though Jokanovic has built a team with top-class footballers without a real plan.
In this day and age, that's never going to work. They're sort of like Manchester United in that regard. Jokanovic, like Jose Mourinho, is seemingly content on buying a big name and worry about where he'll fit him in later. It should be the other way around. Perhaps the best example of this is Andre Zambo Anguissa. He wasn't cheap, we've seen him play a few times, but he's hardly set the world alight with his performances.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes there is a limit to ability. Jokanovic has done some great work for Fulham, but perhaps to move to that next step, they need to change things. It's not going to be easy moving on from someone who has delivered success, but this business is cut-throat. Sure, some portions of the Fulham faithful won't be happy with the decision that I think will inevitably have to be made, but I'd much rather see it done sooner rather than later. At least then, The Cottagers will have a chance at remaining in the Premier League, giving them an opportunity to build from that next season, rather than being set back a year or two...