Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Magath - the man to keep Fulham up perhaps?

Hello again everyone, and welcome to my latest blog post. I do not for one minute want to jinx anything by what I am about to say today in this post, but I have looked thoroughly and analysed many parts of this (the thing I'm about to say) so I feel I could be proved either right or wrong come the end of May this year. 

However, I am going to boldly state that Fulham's new manager Felix Magath could be the man to keep Fulham in the EPL this season - if he isn't, no-one can save the club now. 

Unveiling: Magath is Fulham's last hope of avoiding relegation, can he do it? 

Thumbs up: Magath has it all to do to help Fulham avoid the drop this season

Changed tactics: Magath has changed the tactics ever since he joined, will it pay off though? 

I say this because of a number of different reasons:

  • His disclipine and tactics have benefited Fulham's performances of late, they play as if they are a new team completely with a different playing style
  • His experience of managing good teams in the Bundesliga and helping to push mid-table teams to the title shows he knows what he is doing
  • Even though he has not managed in the EPL before, it is better to start small (i.e. at a smaller club before moving onto the top 6 and top 4 etc)
  • Fulham were in need of some good leadership, Jol was under too much criticizm for poor form and Meulensteen was considered as a coach instead of a manager
  • The fact that he has nothing to lose means that he will be able to make whichever decisions he feels are correct, so far they have not been bad choices 
Fulham's results since Magath took over:
  • 1-1 draw away against West Brom
  • 3-1 home loss against Chelsea
Now from those two matches, it does not look too promising for the new man in charge - however there has been a significant increase in workrate shown from the team, and it seems as if he has motivated the players to play their hearts out every game whereas before the team looked lethargic and as if they didn't want to play anymore.

Fulham currently have 21 points from 28 matches, but the bottom half of the table is very tight and only 9 points separates them and 13th placed Stoke City with 10 matches left to play. 

Here is Fulham's fixture run until the end of the season (all matches on Saturdays):

  • Cardiff City (A) on Saturday
  • Newcastle (H) on 15th of March
  • Manchester City (A) on 22nd of March
  • Everton (H) on 30th of March
  • Aston Villa (A) on 5th of April
  • Norwich (H) on 12th of April
  • Tottenham Hotspur (A) on 19th of April
  • Hull City (H) on 26th of April
  • Stoke City (A) on 3rd of May
  • Crystal Palace (H) on final day, 11th of May
The matches highlighted in red are the matches that I do not expect Fulham to win, simply because of the quality of the teams that they are up against. 
No disrespect intended either, it would take a massive feat to beat the likes of Manchester City but it is still possible.

The matches highlighted in blue are the matches that Fulham have a fair chance of winning or getting a decent result (for example a draw) but should not expect to win the match unless they perform very well on the day.
As many managers already know, every point counts if teams want to stay in the league regardless of the situation from the opening day of the season to the final day. 

The matches highlighted in green are the matches that Fulham HAVE to win if they want to prove that they are good enough to stay in the league, beating the likes of fellow-strugglers Palace is imperative otherwise they will get relegated.  

So as you can see - Fulham have it all to do if they want to avoid relegation and finish a hectic season in a respectable position. The supporters will be desperate to encourage their side to win vital matches that they need to, but you have to understand that it will not be easy. 

Magath has already turned the team tactics around and got the team playing good football, but is it too late or can the German help The Cottagers avoid the drop come mid-May? We will see.