So what went wrong? Did Jol feel that he couldn’t measure up to Roy Hodgson? Did negotiations stall over Mohamed Al Fayed’s failure to offer Harrods discount vouchers? Were the red lights of Amsterdam simply too bright to ignore? My money’s on the latter – seriously, could you drag yourself away?
The cynics woud argue that Jol was just playing hard ball in order to force the directors to free up some of the cash generated from the firesale of their players. Or maybe they just emptied a few more Euro into his own piggy bank. Genius, now he’s got even more money to spend on hookers, hash and Heineken.
Either way, if Jol is feeling higher than the Gerbrandy Tower the Mighty Whites have been left high and dry, without a general to command their forces. The Premier League club have got to start their search all over again and they need to get a shake on because the season starts in three weeks.
So who should take over the Craven Cottage hotseat? Sven-Goran Eriksson had been linked with the job before Jol was approached, and the former England boss is the second-favourite behind Cardiff’s Dave Jones, who would relish the chance at managing in the Premier League after being denied from doing so in the Play-Off final in May. Bob Bradley also deserves a chance at the big time after impressing with USA, although his knowledge of the European player market might be suspect.
For my money, though, Mark Hughes would make the best appointment. The Welshman worked wonders at Blackburn and Wales and if he came unstuck at Manchester City it’s because his impatient new owners always intended to bring in their own man.
The 46-year-old has just the right amount of top-flight experience, intelligence and hunger to prove his worth. Whether he is prepared to move to London or not remains to be seen, but he did play down the road at Chelsea for three years and, all things considered, why wouldn’t you move to the beautiful south? Hughes is a tasty 10/1 shot to take over.