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What’s Happened to Fulham?

Bottom of the league, the most defeats by any team, the worst goal difference, and an ageing squad, things are looking bleak for the Cottagers.
A glorified assistant manager, whose step up to management, or head coach as so many teams now tend to adopt, has looked lacklustre and uninspiring. The arrival of Alan Curbishley was strange, meanwhile Ray Wilkins appointment looked promising, but as yet, these three footballing brains have failed to light up Craven Cottage.
Fulham were once a team that were guaranteed mid table security and even the odd push for Europe as we saw under Hodgson, but they have fallen drastically to the foot of the table, and with no signs of improvement.
Most teams, no matter how insufficient or lifeless they may appear, have that one player that stands by them and sometimes single handedly carries a team through a season. Fulham have no one of that stature. Parker and Sidwell offer a solid foundation in the middle of the park and are undoubtedly their best players, but defensive players very rarely win you a match.
Their problem lies up front, Martin Jol brought in Rodallega a year and a half ago, who this week has taken to the Colombian media to publicly criticise René Meulensteen. Pot and kettle! Darren Bent had exciting periods at Charlton and Sunderland, but everywhere else has looked inadequate. The new man from Olympiacos, Konstantinos Mitroglou along with the short term signing of Clint Dempsey appears optimistic, and will improve a monotonous strike force, but it will not be enough. Fulham broke the bank on a Greek international who has averaged nearly a goal a game in Greece this season, but this is the Premier League, and that great form will count for little in the fast and furious world of premiership football.
Fulham’s one chance of survival, one shining light, was Dimitar Berbatov, a footballing genius. He possesses the ability and awareness to run a match, just as we have seen him do over the years, but he needed support. Fulham’s biggest mistake this season was letting him go to Monaco. Lazy, Selfish and uninfluential at times, Berbatov can frustrate as well as mesmerize, but referring back to that one flare player that every team needs, surely he was the one?
Another strange outgoing was Bryan Ruiz, again his form this season was poor, and he looked uninterested, but he is a player that retains the ball, creates space, and if given the chance, scores goals.
The home defeat to Sheffield United summed up their season so far, but a cup run, contrary to popular belief, gets in the way, just look at Birmingham and Wigan. They need to focus, and now can, on aiming for survival.
The arrival of Lewis Holtby from Tottenham was also a positive move. But when are teams going to realise that you cannot reshape a squad in the January transfer window. The bulk of business has to be done in the summer, leaving time for teams to gel. Ultimately, whether down to money or a lack of ambition, Martin Jol had sealed Fulham’s fate, by the 31st of August 2013.

About Charlie Clark

I am currently in the final year of a Media Studies degree at the University of Derby. I would love one day to venture into sports media, but for now I am excited to write for FootyBlog.net, and share my views and opinions on the beautiful game. I am a huge football fan and I have the pleasure of supporting Tottenham Hotspur, which constantly keeps me on my toes!

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