Slavisa Jokanovic is still our guy, insists Fulham owner Shahid Khan
- Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has received the backing of owner Shahid Khan
- The Serb has overseen a difficult start to the season for the Craven Cottage side
- Fulham slipped to a disappointing 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday
- But publicly, at least, Jokanovic still has the backing of the club’s owner Khan
For a manager overseeing such a dreadful mess, there can be no doubting the clarity of Slavisa Jokanovic’s thinking.
Not so much on the matter of his defence, which is on course statistically to be the worst in the history of the Premier League – that unit truly is in a muddle and Jokanovic himself appears no closer to fixing it – but on the topic of his future and the precariousness of his current role, there is no confusion.
‘If you ask me about my personal relationship with the owner, I have a really good relationship,’ he said in response to a question regarding his closeness to Shahid Khan.
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has received the backing of owner Shahid Khan
Fulham slipped to a hugely disappointing 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday
‘But it is our professional relationship that matters. He expects victories from my side. It is natural he cannot be satisfied with our situation. So, personally our relationship is fantastic, but he didn’t bring me here because I am a good lad.’
Khan was singing from the same song sheet. ‘Slav’s our guy,’ he told Sky. ‘It was not a good day for us against Bournemouth. I spent quite a bit of time with him. I have all the confidence in Slav.’
However, this cannot go on forever. And yet the rub is that there appears no end in sight for Fulham’s suffering, not when they concede so frequently and haplessly. The tally of 28 is equal with Barnsley in 1997 and Southampton in 2012 as the most conceded at the 10-game mark in the history of the division.
Each of the latest three, shipped to Bournemouth on Saturday, was avoidable – Timothy Fosu-Mensah gave away a needless penalty for Callum Wilson to score the opener, Jean Micheal Seri coughed up possession in midfield ahead of David Brooks getting the second, and Wilson’s late strike came from poor marking by Ryan Sessegnon.
But publicly, at least, Jokanovic still has the backing of the London club’s owner Khan
It was a farcical way to turn an occasionally decent performance into a heavy defeat – their fourth in a row for the cost of 15 goals.
The worry, aside from Jokanovic still not knowing his best defence, as shown by him not keeping the same back four for successive games this season, is that you can legitimately question if the squad has enough character to reverse the slump. Just last week defender Tim Ream admitted there are ‘not enough guys who want to fight for each other’, which shows just how dark the picture is.
Bournemouth have no such issues. In £11m recruit Brooks, who has three goals in four, they have made a brilliant acquisition and in Wilson, they have a striker who Eddie Howe believes merits an England call after five goals and four assists this season.
‘He is certainly going to be in Gareth Southgate’s mind, I have no doubt about that,’ Howe said. ‘If Callum continues to score and keeps doing well then I think it will only be a matter of time.’
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