The Tinkerman has been tasked with an arduous assignment.

Claudio Ranieri was named Fulham manager on Wednesday, and in relieving Slavisa Jokanovic of his duties, the Italian gaffer is faced with pulling off a miracle at Craven Cottage. Through a dozen matches, the west London lot sits bottom on five points, three adrift of safety. The attack has been dull, and the defending a punchline as Fulham aim to avoid Derby County’s record of 89 goals conceded in a 38-match campaign. Ranieri’s new charges are on track to allow 98 goals.

Ranieri’s last taste of Premier League football ended much like Jokanovic’s. After leading Leicester City to a historic Premier League title in 2015-16, the affable manager was sacked the following February with the Foxes treading water in 17th place. Two-time Leicester assistant Craig Shakespeare was handed the gig, beat Liverpool on his debut, and became the first boss to win his first four matches in charge. Leicester finished 12th and were the only English side to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League. While the decision to relieve Ranieri of his duties was met with derision in some circles after his heroics the previous season, Shakespeare steadied the ship. All’s well that ends well, certainly..

For every manager coined a specialist in safety for pulling off minor miracles, there is a slew of gaffers who fail when tasked with securing top-flight football. That said, recent history has been kind, and with Ranieri the latest employed with a massive demand, here’s a look at four managerial changes from the 2017-18 campaign that proved fruitful:

Roy Hodgson

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  • Club: Crystal Palace
  • Position when appointed: 19th
  • Position at end of season: 11th

Months after losing his job at Inter after just 14 matches, Frank de Boer arrived at Selhurst Park set to transform Crystal Palace into a possession-based team. It was doomed from the start, and the Dutchman was relieved of his duties after only four matches, with the club having picked up zero points and as many goals. De Boer’s dismissal after 450 minutes is a league record. “There wasn’t really the right mixture (of players) for the way we wanted to play,” Palace star Wilfried Zaha told the Independent shortly after the fact.

Local boy Roy Hodgson was appointed on Sept. 12, joining his boyhood club on a two-year deal. It was a match made in heaven, and despite losing his first three matches in charge, the well-traveled multilingual tactician led the Eagles to a miraculous 11th-place finish, with Palace becoming the first side to secure safety despite losing its first seven games.

Sam Allardyce

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  • Club: Everton
  • Position when appointed: 18th
  • Position at end of season: 8th

There’s no questioning Ronald Koeman’s acumen as a player, though criticism of the Dutch legend’s managerial experiences are fair game. The tail end of his Everton tenure caters to that spotty CV, and after leading the Toffees to a seventh-place standing in 2016-17, he had the Merseysiders stuck in the relegation zone despite a club-record £150-million transfer spree. Koeman got the boot on Oct. 23, a day after slumping to a 5-2 defeat against Arsenal at Goodison Park.

To a chorus of groans, disgraced former England boss Sam Allardyce snubbed retirement to take the job. For a manager who has never tasted the pungent tang of relegation, the goal was clear. Allardyce met his end of the bargain despite tedious tactics and an awful attack, with Everton at one point registering five clean sheets in a seven-match unbeaten run to ultimately finish eighth.

Claude Puel

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  • Club: Leicester City
  • Position when appointed: 18th
  • Position at end of season: 9th

Leicester City didn’t have the patience to wait for the Ides of March to sack Shakespeare, relieving Ranieri’s successor of the job on Oct. 17 with the Foxes claiming nine points in as many matches and flirting with a return to the second tier. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Shakespeare after he was named to Allardyce’s Everton staff a month-and-a-half later. The Premier League coaching carousel spins on a continuous axis.

In stepped Claude Puel just four months after losing the Southampton job, and the impact was immediate, with Leicester taking 22 points from their next 14 outings. Puel switched to a flexible 4-2-3-1 that valued two-way play and transformed into a 4-2-4 in attack with wingers pushing high up the pitch. Puel turned the King Power into a fortress and guided the Foxes to a top-half finish.

David Moyes

Arfa Griffiths / West Ham United FC / Getty
  • Club: West Ham
  • Position when appointed: 18th
  • Position at end of season: 13th

There’s a recurring theme of teams sacking their managers whilst stranded in 18th place. Former tough-tackling Hammer and fan favorite Slaven Bilic lasted until Nov. 6, with his tenure in east London largely marred by Dimitri Payet’s acrimonious departure, successive Europa League dismissals to Romanian minnow Astra Giurgiu, and a terrible start to the 2017-18 campaign. Even so, Bilic’s 1.33 points per match in two-and-a-half years is West Ham’s best Premier League return to date.

David Moyes took over on a six-month deal, and for the formerly ridiculed Manchester United stopgap, it proved to be a spell that both saved West Ham’s season and breathed life into the Scotsman’s increasingly dismal managerial career. Moyes became the fourth manager to reach 200 Premier League victories (Ferguson, Wenger, Redknapp) and secured safety with two matches to spare in finishing 13th.

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