Meulensteen who had been in the job just 75 days
- Felix Magath appointed manager at Fulham to replace Rene Meulensteen
- German has won three Bundesliga titles, two with Bayern Munich and one with Wolfsburg
- Meulensteen feels the club have hit the panic button in sacking him
- Owner Shahid Khan felt something had to be done with the club bottom of the Premier League
Fulham have sensationally sacked Rene Meulensteen after just 75 days in charge of the club, replacing him with Felix Magath.
The German coach will begin work at his new club immediately, looking to ensure Premier League safety for a team currently languishing at the bottom of the table.
Meulensteen, who revealed his departure on the radio after he wasn’t mentioned in Fulham’s club statement, felt that owner Shahid Khan pressed the ‘panic button’ in sacking him
New man: Felix Magath has been appointed as first team manager at Fulham
Who is Felix Magath?
The German coach, a keen chess player, hasn’t had a role since leaving his manager, and director of football role at Wolfsburg by mutual consent in October 2012.
Stuttgart: UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2002
Bayern Munich: Bundesliga: 2004–05, 2005–06
DFB-Pokal: 2004–05, 2005–06
DFB Ligapokal: 2004
Wolfsburg: Bundesliga: 2008–09
Meulensteen, who had just led his club to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United and a narrow defeat to Liverpool, felt hard done by.
‘The club have pressed the panic button,’ he told BBC Radio 5Live. ‘Obviously the way forward we have discussed was one of longevity.
‘I haven’t had a lot of time. I’d think people who went to the United and Liverpool games would see what I’ve put in place.
‘I’ve always felt i had all the support from Mr khan, it was always a healthy relationship, so the decision comes as a little bit of a suprise.
‘I couldn’t care less what they put in the statement, to be honest.
Shock: Meulensteen felt Shahid Khan pressed the panic button in replacing him with Magath
Rene Meulensteen took the reins at Fulham 75 days ago on December 1. Here’s his record in all competitions…
GAMES: 17 WON: 4 DRAW: 4 Lost 9
Magath has a fine reputation in his home country Germany, winning three Bundesliga titles, two with Bayern Munich and one with Wolfsburg.
He was close to taking over at Hamburg, but preferred the financial package available at Fulham.
Despite praising Meulensteen in recent weeks, and removing Martin Jol as manager at the beginning of December, new owner Khan felt urgent action was required.
‘Our Club has shown promise in recent matches, but the fact is we have not won a league match since January 1,’ said Khan.
‘Given our form, we can no longer merely hope that our fortunes will finally turn. And with 12 matches remaining and at least four points separating us from safety, we certainly can no longer post empty results. Action was required.’
So close, but so far: Fulham narrowly lost to Liverpool on Wednesday night
Delight: And earned a credible point at Manchester United on Sunday
Fulham’s statement… where’s Rene?
Fulham Football Club today announced the hiring of Felix Magath as First Team Manager, effective immediately.
The announcement was made jointly by Chairman Shahid Khan and CEO Alistair Mackintosh. Magath receives an 18-month contract. An announcement on the Fulham backroom staff will be made in the near future.
Statement from Shahid Khan
‘I am very happy to welcome Felix Magath to Fulham Football Club. Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honours in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.
‘I’m especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times, often late in the season, and lifting them to their potential and beyond.
‘Felix knows that is precisely the task awaiting him at Fulham, and he made it abundantly clear that he wants and is ready for the opportunity.’
A former first team coach at Manchester United, the step up to management hasn’t been a successful one for Meulensteen.
He was sacked after just 16 days at Anzhi Makhachkala, and will have been surprised to have been given the axe so early on in his first English managerial venture.
Speaking just a week ago, he said that him and Khan kept in ‘good dialogue’, and insisted he still had the American businessman’s backing.
‘He gives me his full support and we make sure we remain focused and optimistic,’ he said on February 7.
‘There are still a lot of games and points to play for and that is what I intend to do. I’m fully aware we need to get results.’
Fulham strengthened their squad heavily in the January transfer window, bringing in Clint Dempsey, William Kvist, Larnell Cole, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Johnny Heitinga, as well as two star players in Konstantinos Mitroglou and Lewis Holtby.
Holtby was signed on loan from Tottenham with Meulensteen calling him a ‘fantastic player’, while Greek striker Mitroglou arrived from Olympiakos for £12million, but has yet to feature for the first team due to fitness issues.
Wrong turn? Since leaving his coaching role at Manchester United, Meulensteen has been sacked twice
Strengthened: He didn’t get to use £12million striker Konstantinos Mitroglou
Meanwhile Magath spoke of his delight to be back with a major role in football for the first time since 2012 via his official Facebook account
‘Here we go again, I’m coming back into football, he said.
‘I am manager of Fulham with immediate effect. It’s a fantastic working environment for any coach and footballer.
‘This amazing club, steeped in tradition, and its owner Shahid Khan have totally convinced me and given me the managerial responsibility.
‘I would like to thank the club and the owner for this faith.
‘I’m looking forward to [moving to] London and particularly to the fans and employees of Fulham, in particular the backroom staff and team there.
‘I’m now looking forward to the football and even more so to the work.’
Fulham’s next game is away at West Brom on February 22.
The professor: Magath, a keen chess player, is delighted to be back in football
Source : Daily Mail