Fulham manager Felix Magath wastes no time in criticising predecessor Rene Meulensteen for his 'destabilising' tactics

Magath has replaced Meulensteen at Craven Cottage and feels that the Dutchman did the side no favours by switching from an attacking style to defensive after just four matches

Jack de Menezes
Wednesday 19 February 2014 18:29
Magath’s history is of a man who makes an  instant impact before eventually falling out spectacularly with the men who hired him
Magath’s history is of a man who makes an instant impact before eventually falling out spectacularly with the men who hired him

New Fulham manager Felix Magath has wasted no time in hitting out at his predecessor Rene Meulensteen after claiming his lack of tactical direction “destabilised” the squad.

The 60-year-old German was appointed last week with confirmation coming today that Meulensteen and his support staff – made up of Alan Curbishley and Ray Wilkins – had all been replaced, and Magath has criticised the Dutchman by claiming his switch in the side’s tactical approach did them no favours at all.

Speaking to German weekly magazine SportBild, Magath said: “My predecessor let them play very attacking football for four games. Then he suddenly rearranged the defence, and that destabilised the whole team.

“My most important task is to bring in a clear structure.”

While the former Hamburg midfielder stressed that he was “focused only on Fulham”, but conceded that he wouldn’t even be in London had his old club supported him in his offer to take over until the end of the season.

Ex-Germany international Lothar Matthaus hit out at Magath earlier this week when he claimed “Magath messed a lot of people around (in his discussions with Hamburg)” before taking the job at Craven Cottage, but Magath has fired back at the 150-time capped midfielder.

“I didn’t mess anybody around,” explained Magath. “I played with my cards on the table, and was clear that I had other options, but there wasn’t a universal support for me in the club.”

Reports in Germany claimed that the Cottager’s new manager offered to work for Hamburg without taking home a salary in an effort to aid the €3m pay-off Bert van Marwijk received upon his exit from the club, although it was also widely reported that this was on the basis of a €1m bonus should he keep the club in the Bundesliga.

Magath went on to explain that the squad had no problems with his first act at Fulham, in replacing their day off with training in a bid to turn around their problems and save them from Premier League relegation, starting with a meeting with fellow strugglers West Brom this weekend.

“No one had a problem with that,' explained Magath. “West Brom are a direct competitor in the relegation fight, and this is probably the most important game in this club’s history.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in