With new Fulham head coach Rene Meulesteen speaking to the media for the first time since his appointment under manager Martin Jol, some things have been made painfully clear:
Martin Jol has lost some responsibilities to his new inferior.
“Martin is obviously a very experienced manager in the game,” Meulensteen told Sky Sports. “I think it comes to a time in his life – as a manager as well – when he has got experience and he wants to step back a little bit and let the groundwork over to somebody like myself. I think we can work perfectly well together.”
It is unclear exactly what “groundwork” Meulensteen is referring to, but given his background as a training and tactical expert, one could speculate that Meulensteen will take over most of the training duties as well as probably much of the tactical instruction and decision-making on matchday as well.
Martin Jol’s main responsibilities will most likely be headlined now by more figurehead duties as well as those in the transfer market and headlining decisions.
Jol’s connections and persuasive abilities were most likely too valuable with the January window coming up for owner Shahid Khan to part with.
Despite a relatively disappointing summer window for the Cottagers considering the vast amount of holes they needed to fill, Jol still has the power to lure players such as #1 Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to the Cottage, just like he did with Dimitar Berbatov over a year ago.
However, with the club struggling on the pitch to perform up to the standards they’ve set the last few years with strong mid-table finishes, and the danger of relegation looming, something had to be done to shore up Jol’s static tactics on matchday.
Meulensteen has already made his coaching debut with Fulham, on the staff that saw Fulham beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in a friendly behind closed doors. The match served as work for those who were not selected for international duty, and probably helped to experiment with some fresh tactics and ideas brought in by the newly-hired Dutchman. Adel Taarabt was the lone goalscorer in the match.