When Rene Meulensteen arrived at Fulham as head coach to work alongside then-manager Martin Jol, it seemed like everyone barring the Dutchman had considered the idea that the former Manchester United assistant could one day step into the top job.
Instead Jol brushed aside such talk insisting that the club “needed something and he’s the right guy” when his compatriot first arrived at Craven Cottage.
“He was not a manager before so I think his qualities are on the training ground during the week,” he said.
“Maybe he has aspirations to manage, you’ll have to ask him. But if you look at his CV, he’s more of a head coach or assistant manager.”
Three weeks later Jol was gone and Meulensteen moved into the top job adding a little extra to his CV and proving he was more than simply a head coach or an assistant manager.
While the timeline for these developments was quickfire to say the least, it’s a situation that has played out at various Premier League clubs over the years.
In the mid-90s Liverpool brought in Gerard Houllier to work alongside Roy Evans with the latter soon opting to depart the club while Harry Redknapp’s first spell in charge at Portsmouth came to an end after club owner Milan Mandaric brought in Velimir Zajec as director of football.
Unhappy at the move, Redknapp quit the club with Zajec moving into the top job, where he struggled for five months before Alain Perrin’s arrival.
And while current developments at Queens Park Rangers appear to come with Harry Redknapp’s seal of approval, the appointment of Glenn Hoddle as first-team coach at the club is intriguing.
Under pressure for long periods of last season, QPR’s dramatic play-off final victory undoubtedly saved Redknapp from being sacked by trigger-happy club owner Tony Fernandes.
Since 2008 the London club has averaged at least one new permanent manager a season and if the new campaign starts badly for the R’s the axe could well be wielded again.
Little wonder then that Ladbrokes has Glenn Hoddle at 7/2 to be the next QPR manager.
With the former England boss making no secret of his desire to return to management, following a series of flirtations with the Tottenham job prior to Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment, QPR could be the ideal project for Hoddle.
And with Rangers among the favourites for the drop, his wish could yet be granted.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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