Fulham make managerial change: Meulensteen out, Magath in

Fulham

René Meulensteen has been replaced by German manager Felix Magath after just 17 games as manager of Fulham Football Club.

Fulham have appointed former Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath as the club's new First Team Manager with just twelve games of the season remaining.

Initially, Meulensteen was brought in as an assistant to Martin Jol, who was later sacked. In the aftermath of his sacking, Meulensteen was called upon to replace the former Tottenham boss.

Alan Curbishley joined the club as Technical Director, before appointing Ray Wilkins to assist the former Manchester United coach.

Meulensteen lost ten of his seventeen games at the helm of the West London club. The owners of the club were said to have been "freaking out", according to Meulensteen.

Chief Executive of Fulham Football Club, Alistair Mackintosh recommended the appointment of Magath to replace Meulensteen earlier this week.

Tonight the deal was completed, with Magath being named as the new manager on an 18-month contract.

Magath comes to the Premier League with a reputation for being a meticulous and hard-line manager in the Bundesliga, having saved several German sides from similar situations to the one in which Fulham find themselves.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5live, Meulensteen said: "They have hit the panic button on emotion and fear - but hey ho, that's football."

Meulensteen lasted just sixteen days as manager of Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala amid internal club issues, and this latest sacking comes as a tough blow to the Dutchman and his reputation.

"I have not had a lot of time and people who came to the Manchester United and Liverpool games could see what I was trying to put in place. I couldn't care less what they put in the statement, to be honest."

Magath joins Fulham with no compensation costs, having left his role as manager of Wolfsburg in 2012. He succeeded in winning a Bundesliga title with Wolfsburg, the third of his career, having won two during his tenure as manager of Bayern Munich.

Magath inherits a squad that is still in the teething stage, having made five deadline day additions, including the £11m signing of Greek international Kostas Mitroglou.

Fulham Football Club owner Shahid Khan released an official statement, which reads:

"Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honours in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the 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.

"Our club has shown promise in recent matches, but the fact is we have not won a league match since 1 January. Given our form, we can no longer merely hope that our fortunes will finally turn.

Felix Magath becomes the Premier League's first-ever German manager, and his first game in charge will be away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday the 22nd of February.

image: © nicksarebi

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