Fulham were a team in complete disarray in the month of December last season as they were breathing gingerly with a slender lead of merely three points from falling into the clutches of the relegation zone when Slaviša Jokanović inherited the command of the club from Stuart Gray. Under him began an era of revolution, the birth of something spectacular which was missing in their veins. As a result, the London-based outfit finished 20th in the league table, eleven points above the dropout places. One might wonder as to why the former Maccabi Tel Aviv manager gave his consent to a move to the English soil.
More than anything else, it was the romanticism which prevailed at the Craven Cottage which appealed Jokanović to the core. In his first full season at the helm, the 48-year-old has made a massive overhaul by bringing key players and at the same time, letting a mass exodus of the ones he deemed as inappropriate and unwanted to his ambition.
Venturing into a place beside the river Thames after six job spells in Serbia, Thailand, Bulgaria, Spain, Israel and England, Jokanović bolstered the squad, has been shrewd in his tactical nous, and not to mention the charismatic brand of attractive and attacking brand of football that he engineered, have all played a pivotal part in Fulham’s resurgence.
Chairman Shahid Khan wasn’t unaware of the imminent danger of losing the manager who was attracting admirable glances across the continent and the fact that he has become a fan-favourite at Fulham. His contract was to expire this summer and thus, it was a quick yet calculated move from Khan to extend his contract and to tie him down at the Craven Cottage until 2019.
The Black and White Army have won three games on the trot in the Championship, including a 2-0 away win against Bristol City, to silently crawl up to the seventh spot. After 32 games this term, Fulham have accumulated 52 points and their play-off spots aspirations aren’t really a far-fetched at the moment. They trail Sheffield Wednesday by 6 points but do have a game in hand.
At this point of time, showering a sense of trust is likely to yield huge dividends going into the business end of the season. He was the architect in Watford’s uplift in 2015, so is there another promotion on the cards to boost his CV? Only time will tell.
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