Saturday Football Spotlight: Fulham’s Martin Jol

Martin Jol statue

As Fulham prepare for a must-win match against Stoke City, Vincent Ralph turns the spotlight on Martin Jol.

1966 is a year forever etched into the minds of every English football fan. But it is also the year Fulham have to look back to in order to find a worse run of top-flight home-form than they are currently in the midst of.

Without a win in their last seven league matches at Craven Cottage, and currently in the relegation zone with just four points from a possible 18 so far this season, the pressure has never been greater on Fulham boss Martin Jol.

With the home fans growing restless, the Dutchman called on them to put their efforts into supporting a team on a terrible run of form.

The supporters should get behind the team,” Jol said after his side’s loss to Cardiff City last weekend.

It’s not about me, it’s about the club. We will be fine. Even with the injuries we will be fine. If I’m not here it can still go wrong. They don’t have to support me but support the club.”

See also: Fulham v Stoke City: Five players under the spotlight

This afternoon, Fulham welcome Stoke City to Craven Cottage. And defeat will almost certainly spell the end of Jol’s time in charge.

That is a fact he readily entertains; at least that was the impression in the wake of the Cardiff defeat. But he can still turn it around.

With a strike-force of Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham should not be struggling for both points and goals. But they are men for whom the difference between their past glories and their current form increases by the week.

The loss of Scott Parker is a big one, but Fulham should still have enough to be higher than their current position.

This afternoon’s match is the first of four winnable games for Jol’s men, with away matches against Crystal Palace and Southampton followed by a League Cup match against Leicester City.

Four wins from those matches and Fulham will go into November – and a game against Manchester United – full of the confidence that has temporarily left them.

But should they fail, starting today, Jol will surely make way for a man who can win the winnable games. After all, it is those that keep teams like Fulham at the top table.

What is your prediction for today's match, and is Jol the man to steer Fulham back up the table?

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