From the prospective candidates – e.g. pound-signs-for-pupils, Sven – Jol is certainly one of the more appealing names.
Appointed in 2004, he was largely a popular figure at Spurs, providing relative success in taking Tottenham to 5th place, and indeed the periphery of Champions League football, on two occasions; one such juncture notoriously hampered by a queasy sick-stomach inducing ‘last supper’.
However, a slow start to the 2007/08 season proceeded and, most significantly, his position was increasingly undermined by incumbent ‘director of football’ Damien Comolli and associated backroom dealings. Thus, in October 2007, he was harshly dismissed and replaced by Sevilla manager Juande Ramos.
Undeterred, he has since picked himself up, dusted himself down and …erm, done some other tediously related cliché.
Jol took over at Hamburg for the 2008/09 season, and duly led them to a Europa League finish, whilst reaching the semi-finals of both the UEFA Cup and German Cup competition; Werder Bremen eventually proving a right little nuisance on both occasions, and halting any further progress.
Last season was appointed head coach at Amsterdam giants Ajax. Back in his homeland, Jol battled it out with Steve McClaren’s FC Twente for the Eredivisie title. A tightly fought and intriguing combat ensued, but a revived McClaren eventually took Twente to their first ever League title, surpassing Ajax by one point. Nonetheless, Jol didn’t end the season without the satisfying shimmer of a silverware; winning the Dutch Cup for the second time in his managerial career (the first time being back in 1996/97 with Roda JC).
So, ‘Mr Soprano’ could soon be back in Premiership. A respected and experienced figure, with reputable Premier League previous, Jol would be a great appointment and probably a welcomed name for the Fulham faithful.
But would you be happy to see him at your club? Would you give him a warm-hearted embrace?
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