Rapid Fulham exits for Alan Curbishley and Ray Wilkins following arrival of Felix Magath
Technical director and coach dismissed as club continue the changes that started with Felix Magath's appointment as replacement for former manager Rene Meulensteen
Tuesday 18 February 2014
The turmoil at Fulham has continued with the dismissals of Alan Curbishley and Ray Wilkins less than two months after they took up their posts at Craven Cottage.
Wilkins had been assistant head coach for just seven weeks, Curbishley first-team technical director for almost eight, but both have been dismissed as Fulham continue the changes that started with Felix Magath's appointment, and Rene Meulensteen's departure, on Friday night.
Curbishley and Wilkins were brought in at Christmas as new owner Shahid Khan attempted to drag Fulham out of the relegation zone. Meulensteen had been appointed head coach on 13 November, initially working alongside manager Martin Jol, whom he replaced on 1 December. But now all three of those new appointments have left the club, although Meulensteen's departure is yet to be officially confirmed.
None of the recent changes produced any real improvement in results. Fulham are bottom of the Premier League, four points adrift of safety, with comfortably the worst goal difference in the league, at -32. They have taken one point from their last six games – that from an admirable 2-2 draw at Old Trafford – and have lost 14 of their last 18 league games. They were recently knocked out of the FA Cup at home by League One Sheffield United.
Fulham spent £12.5m on Kostas Mitroglou from Olympiakos last month, but the striker has yet to play for them. Meulensteen signed Manchester United youngsters Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe, and Everton defender Johnny Heitinga. Fulham also took Lewis Holtby on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and William Kvist from Stuttgart.
Magath's first game in charge will be away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, before they host local rivals Chelsea at Craven Cottage on 1 March. Magath has managed most of Germany's biggest clubs, most recently Wolfsburg, where he won the Bundesliga title. He also won the league twice at Bayern Munich, in 2005 and 2006.
Magath's recent spell at Schalke ended in his dismissal in March 2011, and Fulham midfielder Holtby was there at the time. The Germany international said that any difficulties he had with Magath were in the past. "I don't have any fear," said Holtby. "I have grown as a player and my time under Magath is already almost five years away. We are both in Fulham to reach one goal and that is staying up. Everything else is secondary."
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