When Fulham sacked Claudio Ranieri back in February 2019, Scott Parker perhaps wasn’t the obvious choice to replace him despite being Ranieri’s assistant. However, Parker’s appointment has turned out to be an astute one.
Although Parker was unable to prevent the Cottagers from relegation to the Championship when he first took the reins, he brought them back up at the first attempt during the pandemic disrupted season. Parker led them to the play-offs where they beat Brentford to secure their place in the Premier League.
Parker’s men started the 2020/21 season as one of the favourites for relegation, and it seemed that the bookies were right as they started the season with four straight defeats, conceding nine goals in the process. But Parker slowly stabilised things, and their form has improved as his team has grown in confidence. Fulham have won three and drawn two of their last seven games, putting them in touching distance of nearest rivals Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion.
The belief appears to be there, so can Scott Parker defy the odds and keep Fulham in the Premier League? According to tipsters on this portal he can.
The benchmark for Premier League survival has traditionally been 40 points, and to achieve this, the Cottagers will need 14 points from their remaining 9 games, which would appear to be a big ask. Four of those games are at Craven Cottage, and it is here where Fulham will hope they can gather points: all four games are winnable, particularly their last two, Burnley and Newcastle United. Indeed, their fixture with the Toon Army is the last game of the season, and it could be a winner takes all scenario. Away from home, things appear to be a little more difficult – but not impossible – with trips to Aston Villa, Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton, and Manchester United.
But while things appear difficult for Fulham, you couldn’t really write them off given their improved form of late. 9 or 10 points from their remaining home games would leave them needing 4 or 5 from their away games, and given that their last game with Newcastle is the proverbial six-pointer, that may well prove to be enough.
If Scott Parker manages to keep Fulham up, he’d be a definite Manager of the Year candidate, and deservedly so. But even if they do go down, he will have done enough to prove that he would deserve to retain his job at Craven Cottage.