I’ve always quite liked Fulham. They’re a fairly inoffensive club with a decent stadium/set of fans. But just like any club they have had their fair share of bad managers and the 2013/14 season in particular was not a good time to be a Fulham fan. Today we will be focusing on the third and final manager of that ill-fated season, Felix Magath, and it is safe to say he doesn’t do very well. In fact Magath’s reign was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. So with that in mind lets dive in and see what exactly went wrong for Fulham.
It is important to remember that before coming to England Felix Magath had been very successful in Germany. He had one the Bundesliga three times, twice with Bayern Munich and once with Wolfsburg, a club he had managed on three separate occasions. He had also won the German cup and the ever prestigious UEFA Intertoto Cup too. Magath was the real deal in Germany, but here lies the problem, Magath had only ever managed in Germany. He had never managed in the Premier League and this might go a long way to explain why he flopped so badly at Craven Cottage.
Magath arrived at Fulham with twelve games to go as the Cottagers were deep in relegation mire. He was their third manager of the season and needed results. Immediately. So one point from his first three games was less than ideal. Magath’s training methods are notoriously tough, heavily focused on fitness, so it is safe to say that he did not gel with the players at all. A 1-0 win over Newcastle proved to be a bit of a false dawn as result were not going to improve long term, as demonstrated by the 5-0 thrashing dished out by Manchester City the following week.
Fulham would go on to collect one more win from their remaining seven games and get relegated but somehow Magath was kept in the job for the start of the Championship season. His signings, besides Ross McCormack, were pretty awful and following four straight defeats at the start of the season Magath was relived of his duties in September 2014. Magath had been nothing short of an utter failure at Fulham.
Before evaluating his time at Fulham it would be remiss of me not to mention the Brede Hangeland cheese story. When the Fulham defender had a thigh injury Magath’s brilliant idea to heal it was not to use proven scientific methods but rather to rub some cheese against Hangeland’s thigh. Yes seriously. Other Fulham players have since said this story was greatly exaggerated, but I’m choosing not to believe them as this story is simply too bizarre.
Felix Magath’s time at Fulham was horrific. The German never got to grips with English football and the whole appointment was just a bad idea to begin with. He never got on with the players or fans and seeing Fulham relegated under him came as no surprise. What’s Magath up to now? Well he’s managing in China. Obviously.