They Fall Like Flies - But Not Pardew!

Last updated : 02 December 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

Owen Coyle leaves Wigan and Martin Jol quits Fulham, on a weekend of chops.

Coyle has left Wigan 'by mutual agreement' just six months after he was appointed.

The Latics have parted company with the former Bolton boss after a run of three successive home defeats in nine days left them 14th in the Sky Bet Championship and on the verge of Europa League elimination.

Coyle's side were swept aside 3-1 by Derby on Sunday with the manager using his post-match press conference to suggest some supporters' expectations were too lofty following an eight-year stint in the Barclays Premier League.


1 Leicester 38
2 Burnley 35
3 QPR 35
4 Blackpool 31
5 Derby 28
6 Reading 28
7 N Forest 27
8 Leeds 26
9 Brighton 25
10 Watford 23
11 Ipswich 23
12 Huddersfld 23
13 Blackburn 23
14 Wigan  22
15 Middlesbro' 19
16 Bolton 19
17 Bournemth 19
18 Doncaster 19
19 Birmingham 18
20 Charlton 17
21 Millwall 17
22 Yeovil 12
23 Sheff Wed 11
24 Barnsley 11

Latics visit Leeds on Wednesday night and the club have placed first-team coach and former boss Graham Barrow along with assistant manager Sandy Stewart in charge for the clash.

Boos cascaded down from the stands on Sunday when the Rams scored all three of their goals inside the opening 29 minutes and the away fans' cheeky claims Coyle would soon be axed were greeted with applause by certain sections of the Wigan faithful.

That speculative chant has now turned to reality and despite insisting Coyle was "far and away the best for the job" back in June, chairman Dave Whelan has a managerial vacancy to fill once again as Latics bid to instantly return to the top flight.

Coyle, chosen ahead of Steve McClaren - the man who led Derby to victory at the DW Stadium, was originally tasked with doing just that as he rebuilt following the Roberto Martinez-led exodus which followed their relegation and May's FA Cup final win.

Meanwhile new Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen is confident he can keep Fulham in the Premier League. 
Martin Jol paid the price for six consecutive defeats on Sunday afternoon when he was fired after two-and-a-half years at the club.

Meulensteen had two spells on Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom staff and the Scot described the 49-year-old as a "magnificent coach" in his autobiography.

Meulensteen's previous experience as a number one is very limited, however.

He lasted just 17 days at Anzhi Makhachkala and his previous management roles came at Brondby and Qatari teams Al-Gharafa and Al-Sadd.

Former Brondby player Per Nielsen criticised Meulensteen in his recently published autobiography, claiming the Dutchman alienated some players with his tactics and training routines.

Meulensteen, who is understood to have a contract until the end of the current season, concedes being in charge of a struggling team like Fulham will be difficult after spending 12 years at Manchester United, but he insists he is up to the challenge.

Premier League

15 West Ham 13
16 Stoke City 13
17 Cardiff 13
18 Fulham 10
19 Sunderland 8
20 C Palace 7

"I am confident because of the sort of experiences I've had for so many years at Manchester United," Meulensteen told Sky Sports News.

"I know what is required at the top end of the Premier League.

"This is a different challenge with different pressure. This is making sure you realise the need to keep three teams below you.

"Don't even speak about getting into the top six, top 10, whatever it is.

"You need to make sure you close your ranks, and you make sure you start winning again."

The sorry performance that Fulham delivered during Jol's final game in charge summed up just how big a task Meulensteen has ahead of him.

The Cottagers were static at the back, they were slow in midfield and lacked any kind of attacking conviction in what was a truly demoralising 3-0 defeat at West Ham.

They sit three points from safety and have a tricky home fixture against Tottenham coming up on Wednesday.

"It's a massive challenge," Meulensteen added.

"But when you're faced with a challenge like this it comes down to making sure you get the basic things right.

"You need to stay mentally strong and make sure the fans are getting behind the team.

"We need to make sure the players are mentally strong and believe."

Jol and Meulensteen have spoken since Fulham owner Shahid Khan dismissed the former Tottenham and Ajax boss.

"I rang him straightaway," Meulensteen said.

"I said to Martin, 'Listen, I don't know if this is anything to do with me, but in the time I worked 12 years with Manchester United, and for five to six years with Sir Alex Ferguson, I had no problem, but I go to Anzhi and Guus Hiddink departs after two weeks, and Martin does the same'.

"I don't know if was anything to do with me, but it was definitely not something I was anticipating.

"We wanted to turn this corner together."

Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz used his official website to thank Jol for bringing him to Craven Cottage while throwing his support behind the new boss.

"I am very grateful to Martin because he was responsible for bringing me to Fulham, I learned a lot from him," Ruiz said.

"He came to my defence. I always tried to do my best to back him."

On Meulensteen's appointment, he added: "It's a change that we hope will help the team. We as players are going to give our best."