Fulham have made a change at manager, hiring German boss Felix Magath to take over at the club with immediate effect. Strangely, Fulham's release made no mention of current first team coach Rene Meulensteen. The club have not indicated whether he has been hired, demoted or reassigned. Meulensteen, however, took to the radio to state he'd been sacked.
Here's what Fulham owner Shad Khan had to say about his hire on Fulham's website.
Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honours in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the Barclays Premier League. I'm especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times, often late in the season, and lifting them to their potential and beyond. Felix knows that is precisely the task awaiting him at Fulham, and he made it abundantly clear that he wants and is ready for the opportunity.
Magath had a spell as Bayern Munich boss and won two titles while in charge of the German giants, but he's probably best known for his surprising title win while he was the manager of Wolfsburg in the 2008-09 season. Since then, things have gone a bit downhill for Magath. He was fired from his next job at Schalke, then fired by Wolfsburg after his return spell with the club didn't go well. He has not been employed as a manager since October of 2012.
While Fulham are in a relegation battle, this is a strange time to change managers given their performances over their last two matches. They snatched a last-second draw from a great performance away to Old Trafford and were unlucky not to get a point against Liverpool on Wednesday, with the Reds stealing a win with a last-minute penalty.
The Cottagers' play has improved significantly in recent weeks and Magath is not a man with a reputation for going with the flow and letting his players adjust to his style over time. He's notorious for his temper and his brutal training sessions. It's a style the polar opposite of typical relegation battle panic-hires in England; no one would mistake Magath for someone who gives players freedom or has a cheery disposition.