If you are a Fulham fan and I am wholeheartedly, the month of October has been miserable. The only real shining light being Pajtim Kasami’s absolute wonder-goal and the subsequent performance, thereafter versus an even-poorer Crystal Palace side. That however, was probably the only real sign of “cheer” for fans in what has been a dour month. The most “cheering” to come from the Hammersmith End this season so far, has been that of “JOL OUT!” – and as much as I didn’t want to, I have joined that brigade in recent weeks, particularly after the Southampton game.
To be brutally honest this probably isn’t the greatest time to be writing this article as if you’d listened to last week’s show, I got rather emotional…
Fulham 1-0 Stoke City
The long-awaited return of Mark Hughes to Craven Cottage saw his Stoke City side leave South-West London with a real sense of injustice after Darren Bent’s cool finish in the 83rd minute gave us a priceless winner. We had struggled to deal with Stoke’s aerial threat all day and Bent’s goal was a fortunate one as it came from a deflected Kasami strike; in hindsight a huge three points.
Performance Rating: Grade D+; Gave Sparky as always a good old V-sign, but to fair to the fiery Welshman, his Stoke side deserved a point; not vintage Fulham but we stuck in there and grinded out the result.
Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham
Up until the 19th minute, the “Fulhamish” trait of given the worst team in the league the three points, alla QPR last season, looked highly on the cards; but then it happened. The biased, goal of the season from Pajtim Kasami in a game which also saw Steve Sidwell and Philippe Senderos score corkers in their own right. Senderos’ in particular, “rubbing salt into the wound”.
Performance Rating: Grade B+; Would have been an A*, if we’d rushed out of the blocks before the 19th minute. Scoring four goals away from home is always good, but the goal we did concede was worrying. Final words – PHILLIPPE SENDEROS, TAKE A BOW SON!
Southampton 2-0 Fulham
After back-to-back wins, things were looking a lot rosier for Fulham fans but then we were royally brought back down to Earth with a thud, after the truly woeful display at St. Mary’s. Unable to deal with Pochettino’s high-press game, the less said about this game the better.
Performance Rating: Grade F; This game was truly a “head held in hands” performance. We just wasn’t up to the task and made Southampton look like world-beaters. Admittedly, the Saints are on form but to have one shot, off target, all game in the Premier League is scary indeed.
Leicester City 4-3 Fulham (Capital One Cup)
In the 87th minute, Tom Dorsett screams at the top of his voice, “GIORGOS KARAGOOUNIS YOU F***ING BEAUTY YOU!!” only to be followed precisely two minutes later by, “F**K OFF LEICESTER!” In a classic, end-to-end cup tie, things started brightly with Hugo Rodallega giving the Whites the lead only to see his side have a disastrous end to the first-half. The second-half that followed nosedived for Fulham, quicker than a Gannett after its lunch; that aforementioned Greek warrior, Karagounis gave us hope but it was to be short-lived as Lloyd Dyer snatched a winner at the death to break the travelling support’s hearts.
Performance Rating: Grade E-; Would’ve been an F, if for not the way in which we fought back, but an utter defensive horror show cost the boys in Black and White the game. Whether they had forgotten who was the Premier League team I don’t know, but conceding four goals to a Championship team is never a good sign of things to come.
Overall Rating: Grade E; Dismal displays against Southampton and Leicester City made the back-to-wins over Stoke City and Crystal Palace seem meaningless. Admittedly one was more convincing than the other, but the atmosphere around the club and its playing staff just feels stale. Following up the Capital One Cup exit with a drubbing at the hands of a Manchester United team, who by their high standards have not even moved out of third gear yet, only increases the dark cloud hanging over Martin Jol’s head.
I can honestly say that I have stuck with Martin Jol in times where the majority haven’t, but the club are going backwards under him and the team spirit of the “Roy Hodgson Years” has all but disintegrated.
A change is needed in order to revitalise my beloved club and bring back that team spirit that served us so well or I fear for my fellow Fulham fans that it could get worse before it gets any better…