We find ourselves at the other end of the international break and with the MK Dons game behind us, it appears Mike Rigg, Shahid Khan and Co are no closer to appointing a permanent replacement for the outgoing Kit Symons.
If the information given by Rigg during a club interview immediately after the decision to remove the Welshman is anything to go by, then we were led to believe that the decision was made specifically with view to the window that an international break offers to make an appointment. Discussions appear to be ongoing with a number of candidates, although it seems that both Reading’s Steve Clarke and Nigel Pearson, formerly of Leicester, are not keen on taking the hot-seat.
The current list of candidates from the bookmakers does not exactly make for inspiring reading. Just today, it appears Gary Rowett has been made the frontrunner, with the likes of Tisdale and Curbishley following behind. While I am by no means saying that I was completely happy with Symons at the helm, it goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for. My argument had always been that with Kit we had the opportunity to develop a better manager than we could attract. Yes there were many questionable decisions and he certainly had a lot to learn, but do you genuinely believe that any of the aforementioned candidates will be a long-term option for the club?
Factor in the speech from Rigg around finding a coach rather than a manager who fits in to the club’s vision, and it is easy to see why perhaps the job is not as appealing as it would be should the right candidate be given free reign to build something with longevity. To even consider the likes of Brendan Rodgers & David Moyes as options would be a long shot for the club even if we were looking for a manager rather than a “head coach”, but when the likes of Pearson and Clarke see it as untenable then you know the eventual appointment may be ever so much more underwhelming.
The fact is the combination of location, reputation, finances and a balanced young side should, in all seriousness, make Fulham at least a considered option for the likes of Rodgers to implement a philosophy early, alongside offering the club a managerial tenure that can go beyond simply achieving promotion. As much as I would like to think that the club may be open-minded in giving the right candidate more say and power than simply as a “Head Coach”, in reality we all know which way this one is going to go. Worst case scenario we end up appointing someone who is, at best, one year ahead of Kit in their development, and best case scenario is appointing someone who despite achieving promotion to the Premier League, will be lacking in any ability to take the club further than battling against relegation only to result in yet another Managerial or “Head Coach” search commencing May/June 2017.
It is interesting that despite having been employed by the club for a while now in a rather unknown capacity, Alan Curbishley’s long list of responsibilities clearly didn’t extend to any sort of caretaker role for the MK Dons game, and as it stands he is the bookies’ third favourite for the role… How very Fulham-ish.