When Martin Jol left Tottenham Hotspur in 2008, even the Dutchman wouldn’t have been able to envisage he would be out of the English game for as long as he has been.
Jol’s name still echoes around the White Hart Lane stands with the Spurs faithful still owing a debt of gratitude to the man who stepped up from the shambles of Jacques Santini’s reign todeliver two consecutive 5th place finishes.
Current boss Harry Redknapp is eager to tell all who will listen about the miracles he has worked at Spurs, that their Champions League finish last season was the stuff of dreams.
While the former West Ham boss deserves his plaudits for his efforts, it is easy to forget that Jol would have achieved the same feat three years earlier and with a far less talented squad worth much less were it not for the now infamous “lasagne-gate”.
With successful spells in Germany and the Netherlands behind him , Jol will now have his chance to prove his time in charge of Spurs was no fluke.
There will inevitably be some concerns that having been out of the Premier League for such a length of time that he will need time to feel his way into the job, but credit must go to Fulham for getting their appointment in early and given Jol as much chance as possible to get to know the club.
Chelsea and Aston Villa should take note of the class that Fulham have shown as Mark Hughes left the club.
Now Jol will be armed with a motivated squad and a Europa League spot for next season, and few would bet against the likeable former Ajax boss succeeding.
Jol proved himself an excellent man manager and did well to get the best out of all of his teams – and it is that approach that attracted Fulham in the first place after a couple of years of upheaval.
With Roy Hodgson and Mark Hughes coming and going in quick succession, this could be an excellent move for the Cottagers as they look to stabilise – and in Jol they have a talented manager with a love for the English game; this could be a match made in heaven.