I’ve waited a few days to try and articulate my post-Bournemouth thoughts in an attempt to come at things from a more balanced stand point. When the final whistle went on Saturday I just sat in the quickly emptying stadium for about 20 minutes trying to understand what is going wrong at the minute at the club. We looked to be in the game at 1-0 down, with Bournemouth rarely threatening, but when they scored the second it was obvious that we weren’t coming back from that. A sending off and another goal conceded later and we were left with another result that pushes our relegation credentials upwards. There’s nothing positive we can take from 28 goals conceded in 10 league games. It’s diabolical.
On Saturday the only real issue I had going into the match was Aboubakar Kamara on instead of Luciano Vietto, but I can see what Slav was going for. He wanted pace in the forward line, and in AK we have that. However, at half time we could all tell that it wasn’t working, so I can’t understand why he wasn’t withdrawn to allow for the system to be changed. It was also a shame that Cairney wasn’t brought on earlier than he was, although this may have been injury related. We looked a better team with him on the pitch and he was trying passes that either others couldn’t spot, or were too cautious to try and from that a few opportunities to get the ball into the box were created. I wholeheartedly believe that when we have Cairney back as a starter things will start to change for us.
I’ve already had a fair few non-Fulham fans asking me if Slav will be the next manager who gets sacked from a Premier League club and it’s easy to see why people from outside the club reckon his P45 is on its way with the current run of results. The football ‘hire and fire’ culture is a dangerous one, with managers often not given the time to remedy mistakes, or to build a project. While I believe that Jokanovic has made some serious errors in selection so far this season, I still don’t believe that sacking him would be productive. Yes, he needs to stop the constant chopping and changing, but I think removing him and bringing in someone new would just unsettle things even more. We also have to be aware of what a successful season should look like this year. We were never going to canter through easily, we were always going to have bumps along the way. While I think that it’s critical to address our defensive frailties, we are still strong in attack. Our target this season is survival, and I still believe that when the defence is settled that Jokanovic will be able to achieve this. If we are still shipping goals left, right and centre by New Year then that’s a different story, but sacking someone ten games into a season would be a mistake.
Stick with him for now.