Slumping to a 2-0 defeat away at Southampton and with one foot already in the Championship, it’s fair to say Claudio Ranieri’s arrival at Fulham has been nothing short of shambolic.
Coming under increasing pressure and sections of his own supporters chanting “you don’t know what you’re doing” at Ranieri on Wednesday night, the Cottagers currently sit 10 points adrift of safety.
Now appearing to be on the verge of leaving Craven Cottage only three months after arriving in West London, the former Premier League-winning boss will hold talks with Fulham on Thursday regarding his future.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 28, 2019
With only 10 matches remaining this season, Ranieri was due at the club’s Motspur Park training ground this morning, with some at the club expecting him to be dismissed.
Despite spending over £100million during the summer, Fulham have picked up just four wins this season and hold the worse defensive record of any side across Europe’s top-tiers.
Suffering a 2-0 loss at fellow strugglers Southampton on the South Coast in midweek, Ranieri has now seen his side lose seven of their last eight Premier League appearances.
Despite the mounting pressure on the man who led Leicester to the title in 2016, the 67-year-old has insisted he will continue to fight for an unlikely great escape.
Speaking after Fulham’s latest defeat on Wednesday, Ranieri said:
“Something could happen. If you don’t believe, it’s done.
You have to believe. You have to fight. If you don’t fight, already you’ve lost.
Always in my career, I’m used to work hard. I know it’s very difficult but until mathematically it’s impossible we continue to fight.”
While the traveling Fulham fans at St. Mary’s may have voiced their frustrations at Ranieri, he was not the only high power figure to come under scrutiny.
A banner containing the words ‘ Risk-free? Are you watching Tony Khan?’ was unfurled in reference to comments made by the club’s vice-chairman following Ranieri’s appointment.
After bringing in the Italian to replace Slaviša Jokanović in November, Shahid Khan described the appointment of the Italian as “risk-free” after handing Ranieri a two-year deal – which included no relegation break clause.
Sadly for Fulham, with or without Ranieri in their dugout, this year’s leading relegation contenders face a very stern run of fixtures.
The Cottagers will face one of the Italian’s former club in Chelsea on Sunday afternoon before meetings with both Liverpool and Manchester City during March.
If Ranieri is to be axed after just three months in charge at Craven Cottage, former Fulham midfielder and England international Scott Parker would be a possible option to take charge until the end of the season.