Just a few days after Fulham finally pulled the plug on the horrible Lawrie Sanchez experiment and the insiders are beginning to tell the story of how it all went wrong.
A massive revamp of a squad that was barely above water of much of last season overseen by a manager who had never coached at the highest level always seemed risky to me – and you never really got the sense that Sanchez was sure about what he was trying to do. The signing of Steven Davis, a sparky, slight, energetic playmaker seemed totally at odds with a philosophy that boiled down to launching it from back to front as quickly as possible to take just one maddening example.
The Times takes up this point with some quotes from inside the club:
“Players were told that it was a waste of time passing the ball backwards or sideways and the emphasis was put on hitting the channels and crossing the ball early in training sessions”.
“Sanchez was a nice guy but his methods did not suit the players.
Clint Dempsey sounded a whole happier when discussing Ray Lewington’s caretaker tenure on Radio 5 Live:
“I am happy with the manager we have right now. I like Ray and Billy; they give us more freedom to express ourselves as players; I enjoy that. I think we showed a better style of play and I think you could hear the response from the fans, even if they were frustrated we didn’t get the win, as the players were.
I like the style of keeping possession more, not playing so direct, and trying to create chances instead of trying to jump the ball in. That is just what I think personally, I can’t speak for the team, but I think the fans showed they agreed by the way they got behind us.”
The Guardian confirms suggestions that Sanchez had become toxic in the dressing room.
“He frequently criticized the players’ attitude and is understood to have launched into an expletive-laden assault on the team at half time of the Newcastle game, accusing them of wanting to get him the sack.”