I have just found out something very good for Fulham this close to our Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg at home. Hamburg has just sacked their manager on the back of their stalemate with Fulham and then a 5-1 demolishing at Hoffenheim on Sunday. Below is what the BBC had to say-
“We saw that as things were we would not be able to succeed against Fulham,” club chairman Bernd Hoffmann said.
Assistant coach Ricardo Moniz will take charge until the end of the season.
Labbadia succeeded former Tottenham boss Martin Jol at the northern German club last summer, enjoying a successful start to the season.
However, they won just four of their 15 Bundesliga games since the winter break.
“There was no alternative to this,” added Hoffmann. “We need to improve the probability of us being successful on Thursday.”
Labbadia had admitted that Sunday’s performance was “depressing” but angrily dismissed rumours he had lost the dressing room.
“If a team were to play against their coach, then they would also be playing against themselves,” he said. “That would make no sense.”
Despite their erratic league form, Labbadia had led his troops to the verge of a European final.
After negotiating PSV Eindhoven, Anderlecht and Standard Liege in the knock-out stages, Hamburg endured a frustrating evening against Roy Hodgson’s well-organised west London outfit last week.
Labbadia rued his side’s profligacy in wide positions after that stalemate but remained ultra-confident they could advance in Thursday’s return leg at Craven Cottage.
“Unfortunately, when we did manage to get down the flanks, the delivery was too inaccurate,” he said.
“We’ll probably have it easier in England, though, because Fulham will be forced to attack. It’s going to be very tight, but I believe my team will secure their place in the final.”
However, it will now be 45-year-old Dutchman Moniz, a former member of Spurs’ backroom staff who followed Jol to Hamburg, who has the task of trying to take the Germans to a decider against either Atletico Madrid or Liverpool.
“He is incredibly enthusiastic, knows the team and English football well and lives for football,” said Hoffmann of Labbadia’s interim replacement.
This is interesting. I wonder sometimes whether sacking managers at times like these is right. How likely is it that Hamburg will recover in time with a new manager for 3 days before possibly the most important night of their season. Hopefully Fulham will take advantage of this. It is extremly important however that we stop any away goal but I am confident that we will win this one. We are on the verge of something huge!