Craven Cottage hero believes Dutchman has attributes to pick up where Hughes left off
FULHAM great George Cohen has backed Martin Jol’s appointment as manager after the Cottagers moved quickly to hire the Dutchman as a replacement for Mark Hughes.
Former Tottenham boss Jol has signed a two-year contract thought to be worth £1.5m a year and will join up with the squad for pre-season training later this month.
Confirmation of his arrival came just five days after Hughes activated a break clause in his deal and walked away following a successful first season in charge.
And 1966 England World Cup-winner Cohen (below) believes Jol has the pedigree and skills to prove just as popular as Hughes and his predecessor Roy Hodgson.
“I think he is a good appointment. He did reasonably well with Tottenham and got them into the top five. He’s been around, he knows what’s going on, including in England, and he’s an experienced man, which we do really need,” Cohen told City A.M.
“I understand he’s a very personable man, enthusiastic, gets on with people – and that’s what you’ve got to be able to do as a manager. If you get a team that wants to play for you, you’re halfway there.
“The board have acted very quickly; they’ve been very decisive. They’ve got it right on the last two occasions and there’s no reason to suspect they haven’t got it right here.”
Jol came close to joining Fulham last summer before they appointed Hughes and emphasised his desire to return to the Premier League. “I’m very happy to be back and especially at a club like Fulham,” he said. “I could have gone to other countries, but I was waiting for the opportunity to come back to England.”
Fulham return to pre-season on 23 June as the Europa League qualifying round begins in early July, and Cohen warns Jol will have to familiarise himself with the squad urgently.
“He’s going to have to find out what kind of team he wants and who our best players are very, very quickly,” he added. “He may need these games in Europe to sort out his league team.”
MARTIN JOL: MANAGERIAL RECORD
1996-98 Roda JC
Won the Dutch Cup, delivering club’s first silverware for 30 years
1998-2004 RKC Waalwijk
Won coach of year awards in 2001 and 2002 for steering club away from relegation zone
Finished fifth in successive years but sacked after poor start to 07-08 season
Came fifth and reached semi-finals of German Cup and Uefa Cup
Dutch Cup winners and second in the Eredivisie but quit in December while in fourth place