Fulham turn to hardman Magath
Fulham have recruited Felix Magath to preserve their Premier League status, but with a reputation for big spending and tough training methods, he comes with mixed reviews from the Bundesliga.
All of last week, the German media had touted Magath as a replacement for Dutchman Bert van Marwijk at Hamburg, where ex-Germany international Magath won the 1983 European title as a player.
Reports suggest struggling Hamburg could not meet the wage demands of Magath, who was soon raving about England's Premier League as a "fantastic working environment for every coach and footballer".
Having coached eight Bundesliga teams, this is Magath's first managerial sojourn outside of Germany and his first job in 18 months.
First, the good news for Fulham supporters.
The 60-year-old won three Bundesliga title with two different clubs, leading Bayern Munich to the league and cup double in both 2004-05 and 2005-06, then Wolfsburg to the 2009 Bundesliga title.
He is a fitness fanatic who enjoys sending his squads on long runs, preferably up hills, and has the nickname 'Quelix' -- a crude combination of his first name and the German word for torture.
As TV pundit and former Norway international Jan Age Fjortoft put it, from their time together at Eintracht Frankfurt, "I don't know if Magath would have saved the Titanic, but the survivors would have been fit."
Fjortoft took to Twitter on Friday to sing the praises of his time working with Magath, who saved Frankfurt from relegation in 2000: "I loved it. I was just too tired sometimes.
"Dear Fulham-fans! Never will you say again: - the players didn't run enough, the players don't train enough or the boss is not clear enough."
But there are plenty of Magath detractors after he left both Schalke and Wolfsburg with little success and a huge wage bill.
"Last dictator in Europe"
Magath has had his fair share of either keeping teams up through hard work or being relieved of his duties when relegation was imminent and his players close to revolution.
Fjortoft's former Frankfurt teammate Bachirou Salou once famously dubbed Magath "The last dictator in Europe" after one long run too many.
Despite back-to-back doubles, Magath was dismissed by Bayern in January 2007 with his side fourth in the league, outside the Champions League places in those days.
"Felix Magath likes to use pressure," summed up Bayern captain Philipp Lahm in his autobiography.
"He leaves many players in suspense as to whether he needs them and uses this method to get the maximum out of them.
"For the players, he is very demanding, and there comes a point where they no longer stand by the coach's side."
The harmonious spell of four titles in two seasons quickly soured when results refused to go Bayern's way.
"It was a logical farewell," said Lahm.
"There was a fatigue-based breakdown between the coach and the team."
Magath then masterminded VfL Wolfsburg's stunning run to the 2009 Bundesliga title, including a 5-1 romp at home to his ex-club Bayern.
Strikers Edin Dzeko and Brazilian Grafite both scored twice while play-maker Zvjezdan Misimovic ran riot to embarrass the Bavarian giants.
Having earned the plaudits, Magath immediately left to take charge at Schalke 04, finishing his first season as runners-up.
But things unravelled at the Royal Blues, where Magath was all-powerful as both director of sport and coach, leading to his dismissal the following season with poor results and a huge wage bill.
"I don't ever want to see Felix Magath again, his number has long since been deleted from my phone," fumed Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones.
"Our time shared at Schalke was unbearable."
Having been dismissed by the Royal Blues in March 2011, Magath was out of a job for less than 48 hours as Wolfsburg asked him to step in after ex-England manager Steve McClaren was sacked.
But with the 2009 squad dispersed, Magath failed to bring success back to Wolfsburg despite heavy investment.
The team finished mid-table in 2011-12 and he left by mutual consent in October 2012 with his enormous squad bottom of the table with five points from eight matches.