Brian Talbot was on Talksport yesterday morning. He was largely asked by the disgraced duo (Keys and Gray) about his thoughts on his old clubs but there was time for a tantalising taste of what’s currently on his plate as one of Fulham’s scouts. You can listen to the entire exchange here.
Some things jump out immediately. The difference between our previous manager and our current one is clear. Mark Hughes, in his bid to take Fulham further, was targeting established players, who would come with a significant price tag and presumably hefty wages and signing-on fees. Jol apparently wants younger arrivals who are comfortable on the ball, have a good range of passing and add some flair (perhaps people in the Ruiz mould?). This would accelerate the move towards a continental 4-3-3.
It seems as though there will be some significant turnover come the summer. A clear out has to be expected since Jol has already undertaken to reduce the average age of a squad that hasn’t been helped by the arrivals of Riise senior and, now, Mahamadou Diarra. There would be several candidates to be moved on, mostly from the fringes of the first-team squad. You’d imagine that all those out of contract at the end of the season would depart, although Stephen Kelly has surely done enough to earn a new deal. The likes of Duff, Dalla Valle, Halliche, Sa and Etuhu might also be on their way out.
Lork wrote a fairly prescient piece last week about when we’ll be able to judge how Jol’s doing. The fickle nature of football fans means that we’re all feeling much better about his project this week than we were a fortnight ago. His side is evolving nicely and there are signs that we’re playing far more expansive football. You can’t quibble with his dealings in the transfer market and there are a few promising youngsters knocking on the door. The fact that Talbot affirms that, whilst there is money available, Fulham will only enter the market for the right player is certainly reassuring.