To say Scott Parker’s two-and-a-half seasons in charge of Fulham have been an emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement. The 40-year-old, who spent four seasons at Craven Cottage, was sworn in to replace the sacked Claudio Ranieri in February 2019. However, he couldn’t save Fulham from the drop.
Still, he was awarded the job on a permanent basis by the club’s owner Shahid Khan, and the billionaire’s decision to give the inexperienced manager the full-time job paid off, as Parker guided Fulham back to the Premier League on the first time of asking – beating local rivals Brentford in the play-off final.
However, unfortunately for Parker, his attempt to try to make the west London side a mainstay in the Premier League like they once were looks to have failed. Fulham have spent the most part of the season on the wrong side of the English Premier League relegation odds, and it’s seemingly only a matter of time before Championship football is back being played a Craven Cottage.
The question is: what next for Parker? He may be staring down the barrel of his second relegation of his short managerial career, but plaudits are never far away from fans and pundits alike, who have grown to love the 40-year-old for his positive style of play and the effort he puts into his job.
It’s fair to say that much of the blame for Fulham’s struggles in the English top flight cannot be directed at Parker. He has tried effortlessly to turn around their fortunes, but he has been let down by the lack of quality at his disposal. The fact that he won’t yet accept relegation despite being nine points adrift from safety with just four games to play is evidence that he won’t go down with a fight.
“We’ll try to go and win four games now,” Parker said after the recent 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. “That’s the aim, we’ve got to try and do it.” It’s remarkable that Parker has such high hopes given the fact Fulham have won just five times all season. However, whilst he isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, he might well be come the end of the season.
After two-and-a-half years of yo-yoing between the divisions, Parker must now surely want to establish himself as a Premier League manager. There’s no doubt that clubs in the top flight of English football will be sniffing around this summer. Most notably Tottenham Hotspur, whose managerial options are beginning to dwindle with RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann joining Bayern Munich and Erik ten Hag reportedly extending his contract with Dutch giants Ajax.
Having spent two seasons with Spurs and starting his managerial career with their youth sides, it’s another club Parker is very familiar with and it’s believed that their chairman Daniel Levy is a massive admirer of the 40-year-old.
It’s a move most Tottenham fans wouldn’t mind seeing happen. They’ve missed out on two top targets already, and with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers making it clear he has no intentions of taking the hotseat, why not take the chance with Parker?
For now, Parker’s attention is clearly trying to save Fulham from the drop. From there after, he can focus on what happens next. But we certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to the Premier League next season should Fulham go down.