Martin Jol Will Thrive at Fulham If Given the Proper Backing

Sean HartnettCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2010

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 25:  Ajax head coach Martin Jol watches the action during the UEFA Europa League Round 32 second leg match between Juventus and Ajax on February 25, 2010 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The lure of managing a club as prestigious as Liverpool was too much for Roy Hodgson to turn down. 

Fulham will be wise in appointing a manager who has some similar qualities in Martin Jol as his successor.

The term "tracksuit manager" is thrown around a bit too often but that's what Jol is in the truest sense.  Like Hodgson, Jol is the type of manager who inspires belief in his squad and understands how to get his ideas through to modern day footballers.

His time as Tottenham boss was cut short far too soon as he had the club playing their best football since the early 90's. 

Jol almost helped Spurs achieve Champions League qualification in 2005-06 and just missed out as the majority of the team suspiciously came down with food poisoning before the final Premier League match of the season. 

Despite the loss that day to West Ham, it was the club's highest Premier League finish until Harry Redknapp's fourth place finish this past season.

Jol's methods had strikers Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov playing the best football of their careers and helped each earn their dream moves to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively. 

Both haven't produced similar form since, and endured difficult times ever since Keane's brief spell at Celtic. 

In 2006-07 Jol was able to help the "Lilywhites" reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup and FA Cup while becoming one of the more highly regarded managers in the Premier League.

Afterwards Spurs' director Damien Comolli gained control and forced unwanted transfers upon Jol and refused to allow him to sign Martin Petrov. 

The relationship between the Dutch manager and the Tottenham board grew increasingly strained and the final insult was the club going behind his back to reach out of Sevilla manager Juade Ramos. 

Jol was sacked shortly into the 2007-08 season.  It was an unjust exit for the man who had taken Spurs so far.

He has had his fair share of success since leaving the English game. 

With Hamburg, his team finished fifth in the Bundesliga and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.  Jol earned them a Europa League place but then departed for Ajax. 

He impressively had the Dutch club playing wonderful attacking football and finished the season with 106 league goals and an enormous goal differential of +86.  Ajax missed out on winning the Eredivisie by a single point, but Jol had done a phenomenal job.

Jol had always wanted to return to the Premier League and Fulham must promise him the proper backing and transfer funds in order to secure his services. 

His first move would be trying to beat out Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill in the race to sign Robbie Keane. 

The striker is surplus to requirements at Tottenham and Jol would be eager to link up again with a player whom he shared a great relationship as Spurs' boss.

Keane would be an ideal signing that would genuinely excite Fulham supporters and could form a strong partnership with Bobby Zamora. 

The presence of Jol could help keep hold of the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Clint Dempsey, Brede Hangeland, Paul Konchesky and Damien Duff who have been linked with moves away from Craven Cottage.

Jol's reputation as a "builder" at Spurs would make him a solid hire for Fulham as he will be able to help the club climb the Premier League table if given the time and backing. 

He's a quality manager who has the experience needed to take "The Cottagers" forward.