Martin Jol is expected to be confirmed as the new manager of Fulham on Tuesday following the club’s departure with Roy Hodgson. It will be the Dutchman’s first return to English football after being forced out of Tottenham.
Since Jol’s acrimonious departure from White Hart Lane, he has served one-year tenures at German club Hamburg and famous Dutch outfit Ajax.
Joining Hamburg at the beginning of the 2008 season, Jol lead his team to the top of the Bundesliga – for the first time since 1999/00 – after a successful start to the season which saw them draw and beat perennial favourites Bayern Munich. However, Jol couldn’t sustain the side’s impressive form and, consequently, Hamburg lost half of their remaining eight games. They eventually finished fifth, managing to reach the semi-finals of the German and European cups, losing to Werder Bremen in both.
Ajax, induced by Jol’s ability to get the most from his Hamburg players, quickly lined the Dutchman up to replace compatriot Marco van Basten as team coach. Amazingly, in spite of scoring 106 goals, in spite of conceding four goals at home all season, in spite of achieving a goal difference of +86 – double that of their nearest rivals, in spite of accumulating a run of 18 games without loss, Ajax and Jol narrowly missed out on bringing the Eredivisie trophy back to Amsterdam by one point. Instead, Steve McClaren’s FC Twente won their first ever title.
Now it seems likely that Mohamed Al-Fayed’s considerable contacts and persuasiveness will tempt the 54-year-old back to the Premier League with a contract that is reported to be worth around £2million-a-year.
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