Why Scott Parker has reason to fear for his Fulham future

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 27 October 2020, 10:29

When Scott Parker was named caretaker manager of Fulham, he became the club’s third incumbent of the ultimately doomed 2018/19 Premier League season.

Earlier in the campaign Slavisa Jokanovic was given the boot after the club’s owners pushed the panic button following a return of five points from 12 top-flight matches. 

In came Premier League champ Claudio Ranieri, who was discarded after 106 disappointing days. 

By the time Parker was thrown into the fire, the chances of Fulham surviving were pretty slim given that the club were 10 points adrift from safety with only 10 games left. They were relegated soon after.

This rapid change in manager was nothing new for Fulham, who did exactly the same in their previous spell in the top-flight.

Back during the 2013/14 campaign, The Cottagers dispensed with Martin Jol - in December - who became the first managerial casualty of the Shahid Khan era. They handed Rene Meulensteen the job but his spell lasted a couple of months.

"They have hit the panic button on emotion and fear - but hey ho, that's football," Meulensteen said in the aftermath of his sacking.

 So, Fulham ended up finishing the season with three-time Bundesliga winner Felix Magath at the helm. No one was too surprised that his bizarre cheese methods didn’t work out. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, click here.

What we’re basically trying to spell out is: Fulham have developed a tendency to wield the metaphorical axe when results aren’t going their way, which is why Parker will be seriously sweating following his winless start to the season.

The current situation the 40-year-old finds himself in isn’t great.

Fulham have only registered a single point from 18 available, which unsurprisingly leaves them rock-bottom of the table. 

Of Premier League managers to take charge of at least 15 matches, only Jan Siewert (80%) and Brian Laws (78%) have a higher loss percentage than Parker (75%), who has now sunk to defeat in a dozen of his 16 top-flight games.

Parker is the favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave, and in truth not too many people outside of the club’s fanbase will be particularly optimistic that the still relatively novice boss will last the season, or even through to Christmas.

Twitter is often a chaotic collection of opinions, however from what we can see Parker is still backed by the majority of fans on the platform.

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Scott Parker is still searching for his first win

Parker clashed with the owner’s son Tony Khan, the club’s director of football, after the American took to Twitter to publicly apologise for the defeat to Aston Villa.

Fulham have since only taken a point from their following three matches, leaving Parker in a precarious position, more so given Fulham’s history of making a cascade of managerial changes in their past two Premier League campaigns.

The Londoners may well decide to revert to type as they bid to change their early season narrative. While keeping Parker is a risk, sacking him would arguably be an even bigger gamble.

Parker is an adaptable young manager who has brought into the culture of the club. After a successful first season and busy end to the transfer window, Parker deserves time to mould this team together. The defence is new, the midfield is developing, and once his set of individuals become a collective more opportunities in the final third will arise. 

“It’s a young team that’s still trying to gel, there were some big positives today, but we don’t have any points,” Parker said after the Crystal Palace defeat last the weekend.

"We now have to dust ourselves down and we need to face up, keep working hard and hopefully we’ll come out of the other side and I’m sure we will.”

Wins may have eluded Fulham so far, but many positives can be taken from their last three games.

Against Crystal Palace they dominated possession (64%), had 16 shots and hit the post a couple of times, but were caught twice on the counter in a 2-1 defeat. Against Sheffield United they were minutes away from sealing all three points, while their display in a narrow defeat to Wolves was encouraging.

But, with Fulham’s trigger-happy owners hovering in his thoughts, Parker knows that he desperately needs to orchestrate a victory on Monday against fellow winless new-boys West Brom.

Another defeat, and unfortunately the league’s second-youngest manager could be toast.

Next Premier League Manager To Leave Odds

Chris Wilder

Team: Sheffield United


Slaven Bilic

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Scott Parker

Team: Fulham


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Team: Manchester United


Steve Bruce

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Sean Dyche

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Roy Hodgson

Team: Crystal Palace


Mikel Arteta

Team: Arsenal


David Moyes

Team: West Ham United


Dean Smith

Team: Aston Villa


Graham Potter

Team: Brighton & Hove Albion


Frank Lampard

Team: Chelsea


Nuno Santo

Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers


Marcelo Bielsa

Team: Leeds United


Brendan Rodgers

Team: Leicester City


Ralph Hasenhuttl

Team: Southampton


Pep Guardiola

Team: Manchester City


Jose Mourinho

Team: Tottenham Hotspur


Carlo Ancelotti

Team: Everton


Jurgen Klopp

Team: Liverpool


Odds Correct as of 2020-11-30 10:37:18
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