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West Ham 3-0 Fulham Prem 13 1314 Daily Mail

last updated Monday 02nd December 2013, 9:39 PM
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West Ham (0) 3 Fulham (0) 0

Martin Jol became odds-on favourite on Saturday night to become the third Premier League manager to be cast out of work this season after Fulham surrendered to West Ham without a semblance of a fight.

Fulham have now lost six matches in a row, five in the Premier League, and the statistical evidence against Jol mounts higher when it is revealed his team have lost 15 of their last 21 league games if you dredge through their results from the end of last season. On Saturday, Fulham did not have a shot on target.

Jol looks to have no plausible argument left to defend his position. In east London, his team looked as rudderless and as dispirited as Sunderland and Crystal Palace appeared before those clubs parted company with Paolo Di Canio and Ian Holloway.

Time is the enemy of all managers when their club fall below the waterline that marks Premier League survival.

Last night, Jol seemed careworn, a man beyond despair.

'Will you still be manager when Fulham play Tottenham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday?' he was asked. 'It's not in my hands,' he admitted. 'Are the players still fighting for you?' someone persisted. 'I think so,' he came back.

Neither his answers nor his body language exuded any kind of confidence that the solutions to this growing crisis are at his fingertips.

'This is my worst run as a manager,' he said softly, behind empty eyes. 'Over the last couple of months, sometimes I think we have not been strong enough. It's disappointing not to have had a shot on target but it is not the first time.'

It is a withering indictment. To compound Jol's plight, Fulham have a ready-made replacement already on the payroll. Rene Meulensteen, whose last employment was working alongside Sir Alex Ferguson in his final days at Manchester United, was ostensibly brought to Fulham to assist Jol as a coach.

However, if Jol's influence has now dissipated to a point of irrelevance, Meulensteen could step up if Fulham's American owner Shahid Khan is advised that he must act sooner rather than later to try to affect change.

By way of contrast, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce felt a sense of relief after opening some daylight between his team and the bottom three. But a lifetime in football has not stripped him of his humanity and he expressed some compassion for Jol.

'You can't help but feel for another boss who is in trouble,' he said. 'It's a lonely old job. Only other managers know what you are going through.

'You are in a position where you take all the heat. When things are going badly, no matter there can be many reasons for it, you have to take the responsibility. There are no excuses in the end.'

Fulham were authors of their own sorry story at Upton Park on Saturday. After a goal-less first half, West Ham took the lead just two minutes after the interval when first Scott Parker, then Steve Sidwell, were dispossessed in their own territory.

Parker and Sidwell, two vastly experienced players, dawdled on the ball until West Ham's Mohamed Diame seized unlikely control of it through sheer persistence. Diame stole sufficient ground to unleash a shot that took a deflection off defender Fernando Amorebieta to wrongfoot goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Jaaskelainen 6; Demel 6, Collins 6, Tomkins 6, McCartney 6; Diame 7, Noble 7; Downing 8, Nolan 6 (Morrison 77mins), Jarvis 6 (J Cole 68mins); Maiga 4.
Subs not used: Adrian, Collison, Taylor, O'Brien.

Booked: McCartney, Diame, Tomkins.

Goals: Diame 47, C. Cole 82, J. Cole 89.

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Stekelenburg 6; Zverotic 5, Hughes 5, Amorebieta 5, Richardson 5 (Dembele 83mins); Kasami 6, Sidwell 6 (Karagounis 77mins), Parker 6, Duff 5 (Ruiz 65mins); Taarabt 6; Bent 5
Subs not used: Stockdale, Senderos, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Boateng.

Booked: Richardson, Sidwell.

Referee: Martin Atkinson 7

Attendance: 34,946

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