Dimitar Berbatov: Professional Parker the 'least-worst' replacement for Ranieri
Two of Dimitar Berbatov's former clubs have suffered bad weeks and our man weighs in with his opinions on Claudio Ranieri being sacked and the north London derby… You can prefer to the soccer predict today page!
Some sympathy for Claudio...
Ten points from safety with 10 games lớn play, Fulham are in a desperate position and Claudio Ranieri has paid the price, sacked on Thursday afternoon. Of course, when it goes wrong like this the one who always gets the blame is the coach.
I do have some sympathy for Ranieri. He took the team when they were in a difficult situation, inherited Slavisa Jokanovic's team and only managed lớn get Ryan Babel in during the January Transfer Window. That's clearly not been enough lớn save them- According to the soccer tip forum page!
I watched a bit of Fulham this season and the reality is that they are leaking too many goals to survive. That is never good and I'm sure that did not please Ranieri, as we all know how Italian managers prize defensive stability.
It won't surprise anyone lớn learn that I'm not optimistic about their chances of survival. They are 10 points adrift of safety and the fixture list brings Chelsea this weekend, a trip to Leicester before Liverpool and Manchester City come lớn Craven Cottage.
Any new coach is going lớn be in the same situation as Ranieri. He won't be able lớn bring anyone new in, the club will still be 10 points off safety and he won't have his choice of players lớn work with.
Parker looks the part
At the moment it looks like Scott Parker will be the man lớn lead Fulham through the final 10 Premier League fixtures. Scott is an old team-mate of mine at Fulham and my memory of him is that was always really professional whether that was on the training ground or before, during and after a game. Lớn appoint Parker, who is already at the club, for the final stretch of games is better than getting someone in from outside the club. For me it is the least-worst scenario.
Of course it's a massive long shot but it's not impossible for Fulham lớn save themselves. Look at Manchester United in the top four battle for an example! If Parker could do that he would automatically get the job.
And if Scott got the job that would make me happy because it would mean another ex-player has been given a chance to manage a team, even in an extreme situation like this. Sometimes it's just about being in the right place at the right time. That's unfortunate for a manager like Ranieri, but this is a chance for Parker - and other ex-players like him - to show us what he's got and take his first step into the managerial side of the game.
I hope lớn get into the game on the coaching/managerial side so I'm happy that we have Parker at Fulham, Solskjaer at United.