Picking Fulham’s Next Manager

With the Scott Parker saga finally concluding, we now find ourselves without a manager for the first time in two years. I have decided to look at some of the favourites to replace him and analyse whether they would be a good fit for the club. Each manager will get a rating out of 10 based on how suited I think they are for the Fulham hot seat…


Image: Sky Sports

Age: 53

Current Club: Unemployed

Preferred Formation: 3-5-2

Chris Wilder is another man heavily linked with Fulham who, with Sheffield United, defied all the odds in getting a top-half finish in the Premier League in his first season. He now finds himself unemployed after leaving The Blades in March with the side bottom of the league. The biggest advantage Wilder has over the other managers on this list is his vast experience in the Football League. He has spent the last 12 years managing teams in the EFL gaining three promotions, two as champions. Like Cooper, Wilder prefers to play a 3-5-2 formation but plays in an attacking manner. He likes to create overloads in wide areas and encourages his outer centre backs to get forward. Wilder prefers players with a good work ethic and drive to those with good technical ability, which could spell the end of Tom Cairney if he gets appointed. Despite being a great manager, he has expressed discontent about working with a Director of Football before so I don’t think it could work. Especially when ours is Tony Khan.

Sam’s Rating: 5/10


Image: Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Age: 41

Current Club: Swansea City

Preferred Formation: 3-5-2

First on the list of potential Parker replacements is Steve Cooper. The Swansea manager has done very well in his time at the club, guiding them to a playoff semi-final and final. This is even more impressive when considering the shoestring budget he has been working with. With most of his managerial career spent managing youth sides, he has proven he is particularly adept at developing young players and giving them a pathway to the first team. This is something that Fulham fans have wanted from a manager for a long time. We have a Category 1 Academy and one of the best youth sides in the country, so Cooper could be the man to make the most of it. The sticking point with the Swansea boss is that the football he plays is very dull. His sides are very structured and rely on wing-backs to create most of their chances. He did play better football with the England and Liverpool youth sides and maybe he hasn’t at the Swans because he hasn’t had the right players, but that is a risk. We would also have to pay around £3 million compensation to release him from his contract. Despite this, I still see him as a good option and could see him being a successful replacement for Parker.

Sam’s Rating: 7/10


Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Age: 52

Current Club: Beijing Guoan

Preferred Formation: 4-2-3-1

It may shock you to find that Slaven Bilić is not unemployed after his spell at West Brom but is managing Beijing Guoan in China. He has been out in Asia since January but might return to England as our manager. If we want success while playing entertaining football, he is our guy. His spells at West Ham and West Brom were rather successful and was fantastic with the Croatia national team. Admittedly he has had a few managerial roles that he will want to quickly forget but overall, he has had a good career. When appointed at West Brom he got told to get the side promoted in three seasons and he managed to do it in his first. His side struggled so much in the Premier League because the owners wouldn’t invest enough to improve his uncompetitive squad. This would unlikely be a problem at Fulham. His possession-based football would suit our players and is attacking enough to get the fans on side. Like Cooper, he might require a large fee to release him from his contract, which could put off the Khan’s, but I like this appointment.

Sam’s Rating: 8/10


Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Age: 43

Current Club: Unemployed

Preferred Formation: 4-4-2

Eddie Howe is my favourite for the Fulham job and the man who I think can take us back to the hefty heights of being an established Premier League team. Over his two spells at Bournemouth, Howe performed miracles. In his first season at the seaside club, he overturned a 17-point deficit to stay in the football league before getting promoted to League One the next. Howe had two years at Burnley in the Championship before returning to Bournemouth to finish what he started. Two promotions in three years secured them a spot in the Premier League, which he maintained for five years. Since leaving in 2020, Howe has been unemployed with some people speculating he is waiting for a Premier League team to approach him. His style of football is based on creating overloads in wide areas and in the penalty box to increase the likelihood of a good goalscoring chance. It is very pleasing on the eye, and he also showed in the Premier League how well he can adapt his tactics based on the team he is playing. His ability to develop young players is another string to his very impressive bow. Despite reports saying he isn’t keen, Fulham should do everything in their power to ensure this man is our new manager.

Sam’s Rating: 9/10


Image: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/ Getty Images

Age: 43

Current Club: Unemployed

Preferred Formation: 4-2-3-1

Marco Silva was once touted for big things but now finds himself unemployed having been sacked by Everton in December 2019. His first three jobs in management were with Estoril, Sporting Lisbon and Olympiakos, enjoying success with all of those teams. At Olympiakos, Silva broke a European record winning 17 domestic games in a row. It is in England where his career has veered off track. Despite positive starts at Hull, Watford and Everton, results would get worse as time went on until each club had had enough. Throughout his career, Marco Silva has played an exciting brand of attacking football. His philosophy relies on good movement in forward areas, aggressive pressing and building from the back. He would also most likely bring Luís Boa Morte with him as his assistant which is a massive bonus having somebody who knows the club alongside him. At 43, Silva still has time to live up to his potential, but it would be a massive risk for Fulham to appoint him. While his style of play and the plus of Boa Morte returning to the Cottage are both positives, he has no experience in the EFL and his poor form in England is worrying.

Sam’s Rating: 4/10


Image: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Age: 55 

Current Club: Henan Songshan Longmen

Preferred Formation: 3-5-2

The last man on the list is Javier Pereira. Like Bilić, Pereira is out in China managing Henan Songshan Longmen. He is very familiar with Craven Cottage having been with us over two spells, first as Slaviša Jokanović’s assistant and second as Assistant Director of Football Operations. Spending most of his coaching career as an assistant, it is hard to judge his style of play or philosophy. At Henan, Pereira has played a 3-5-2 formation sometimes switching to 3-4-3. In terms of playstyle, we can hope that he would try to replicate our football under Slav having been his assistant at three different clubs. This appointment has major red flags. He has very little pedigree as a manager, and he has a frosty relationship with Tony Khan and the board. This is a recipe for disaster and while I would happily welcome him back to the Cottage, it should not be as a manager.

Sam’s Rating: 2/10


Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Age: 50

Current Club: Unemployed

Preferred Formation: 4-2-3-1

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon is linked to the Fulham hot seat. With most of his managerial success coming in Scotland, it is quite hard to judge this potential appointment. His success with Celtic was very impressive winning ten trophies, including five Scottish Premiership Titles. Admittedly Celtic had a much larger budget than everybody else and their main competitors Rangers had numerous struggles during these times. His spell at Hibernian was his most impressive job in management, getting them promoted from the Championship in his first season and then securing European football in his second. Lennon has had one spell as a manager in the EFL with Bolton and it was far from successful. In his first season at Bolton, he kept his side in the Championship in 18th, finishing one point behind us. His second season however was terrible, and he left in March with his side bottom of the league. During his most recent spell at Celtic, Lennon played very pragmatic football with a result first, style second approach. This does not match up with the club’s philosophy and with him regularly finding himself in hot water with the press, he is a manager we need to avoid.

Sam’s Rating: 3/10