The memory is enough to make you shudder. Eight years ago, Fulham fixed upon Felix Magath as the man to save them from Premier League relegation. They fired Rene Meulensteen, who had just 75 days in sole charge at Craven Cottage, and brought in Magath with disastrous consequences. The club even botched the initial announcement as they failed to keep the Belgian on in his previous role as first-team coach.

The tales from the German’s reign of terror are legendary. Everyone knows how he got Brede Hangeland to place a block of cheese on his injured thigh and call his mother rather than stick with the fitness coach’s tailored recovery plan. He would invite players into his Motspur Park office for a private chat and then blank them for three minutes. His response to a defeat was to get the squad to stand still in the middle of the training ground for forty minutes as penance for not running far enough. After one away defeat, he forced the players to do laps around the field between 1am and 2am.

Magath alighted on promoting young players from the club’s academy who wouldn’t question the methods in his madness. He tried to fine two first-year professionals thousands of pounds for being late for training, which led to a meeting of senior players to decide how to take him on. Eventually, Scott Parker settled the fines himself. The impact of Magath’s wholesale elevation of young talent was to ruin a succession of careers: poor Cam Burgess was never the same after being asked to operate as a holding midfielder at Ipswich on the opening day.

Many experienced heads left quickly after relegation, either at Magath’s instigation or their own. There was the row over Brede Hangeland’s release, with the club captain, who became an outspoken critic of the German, insisting the first he knew about it was by email. David Stockdale was ditched days after committing to the club in the Championship, with Steve Sidwell swiftly joining him in a Brighton side that won the title. Of the team that lined up at Portman Road for Fulham’s first Championship fixture, only Parker, Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele had played English senior football before.

Maddeningly, Magath somehow soldiered on until the middle of September, until he was eventually sacked following defeat at league leaders Nottingham Forest. Quite why he wasn’t dismissed as summarily as the man who replaced remains a real mystery. There have been a litany of failures in the Fulham dugout, but none was such a spectacular failiure. John Arne Riise memorably accused him of ‘flushing all of Fulham’s values down the toilet’ in the space of a few months. Kit Symons, who took on one of the game’s worst hospital passes, doesn’t get enough credit for steadying the ship in his first experience of management.