With feelings running high following last Saturday’s desperate defeat there has clearly been a shift in the number of supporters now agreeing Sanchez’ time is up. That's added fuel to speculation on the message boards that the club are already lining up a replacement. The Internet is a powerful medium, and past experience has shown that much of the goings on at many football clubs are accurately reported unofficially. The problem is for every true rumour you read there are probably 50 false ones.
Posters on The Fulham Independent speculated early in the week that Jean Tigana was in the crowd for the Newcastle game. A photo was found that seemed to prove JT’s presence a few rows in front of Al Fayed. This may not seem like much but if true would suggest a seismic shift in stance between both men. The fallout from JT’s sacking was pretty hefty leading to litigation and lengthy court proceedings. Having seen the relationship between Tigger and MAF turn so acrimonious it was hard to believe we'd see him back at the club at any capacity other than opposition manager. The photo is not conclusive but it does look a lot like Tigana, and if so suggests a definite reconciliation between the two men. Coincidentally, I’ve been thinking about the Tigana years a lot recently. The last few months under him were difficult but I strongly believe that under Tigana we would at least be trying to play good football. We might not always win, and surviving in the Premiership would be no less certain than it is now but we'd be better placed to come back should the worst happen.
Prior to this exciting piece of news my leading contender for replacing LS was Martin Jol. I like him a lot, he's a bit of a character and, I believe, a good coach. Like Tigana I feel he’d get us playing decent football again and would be good for our long term development as a team. My biggest problem with the Sanchez era is my lack of confidence in his ability to develop our team in the right way. I have no proof of that, it’s based on gut feeling and some fairly minor things that have happened so far. However, having reached that conclusion it’s hard to shake off and, when coupled with our poor run of form, is probably magnified out of proportion. Jol had previously talked about being keen to stay in England and the Premier League. This seemed to add credence to a suggestion some time ago that he was being lined up to replace Sanchez. However this week Jol came out with a flat denial that he was interested in the job, stating that he did not want to be involved with a team in a relegation fight.
In between the speculation there was some good news in the shape of returning cult hero Jimmy Bullard. JB played for the Reserves against Reading where he completed 60 minutes and scored a goal. Great news for Jimmy who must have begun to wonder whether he would ever play again, and great news for the club. I’m sure his recovery has a long way still to go. However desperate our need for a player of his calibre we must make sure his return to full league football is managed at a sensible pace. Having been out for so long it would be foolish to rush him back into first team football. But still very good news.
Today it’s all kicked off on The Independent Fulham Forum with the news that John Collins has resigned from Hibernian. People “in the know” are suggesting that Sanchez had been dragged off the training ground for show down talks with MAF and was soon to be fired with Jean Tigana returning as Director of Football and John Collins becoming the new manager. I am ridiculously excited about this and have been trying to calm myself down since first reading it. For me the Tigana/Collins combination is a dream team that would mean a return to classy passing football and genuine development of young talent. I would feel the club was back in safe hands and we could enjoy the football again whatever our final position in this years Premiership.
It’s all just rumour though. No actual facts. We’ll have to wait and see.
Whatever happens, I can’t wait for the Wigan game.