The time of year appears to be upon us: those at the top of the league trading blows and 3 points as they battle for glory; the desperate scrap at the bottom with teams battling for their Premier League lives; and then those lucky few who can plan their summer holidays to Dubai or some other place where millionaires like to relax, safe in the knowledge that they’ll neither be travelling to far-flung pockets of Europe, nor Luton. Fulham, for the first time in many a year, are falling into that latter category.
Whilst there may be a few dissenting voices among the Whites’ support (including a very questionable #SilvaOut one!) who believe our season is about to crumble following 3 successive Premier League losses (we’ll ignore that result in Manchester), but we still find ourselves in the top half of the table just above the managerless, and seemingly-rudderless, lot down the road) and 13 points clear of the bottom 3. I don’t think we need to be worrying about retaining our yo-yo status just yet! We may just have to wait another season before we can start practicing our renditions of the Champions League theme that’s all.
Saturday’s game on the south coast was certainly a disappointing result, but at least there’s not a gloating ex-manager to have to deal with these days. To go 1-0 up and still come away without anything is always frustrating, but at least it wasn’t a case of needing those 3 points to put one more nail in the trap door.
On the flip side, we don’t want to be seeing too many more of these situations with 10 games remaining of the season. Silva and his team have worked wonders this year and deserve all the plaudits they receive, but it would be disappointing to end the season with a whimper after such a good first two-thirds of it.
Of course, the big Mitro-shaped hole up front is glaring and for all his effort, Vini just isn’t in the same league. With Mitro’s 8 game ban announced yesterday, it’s fair to assume that the chunky Brazilian will be our go-to option for the majority of our run-in, so we just have to get behind him as much as possible and hope he adds to his 2 goals so far. However, he will definitely have to improve on his weekend performance (and fair to say, majority of them to date) if he is going to be that man to lead the line successfully moving forward.
Whatever does happen over the next few weeks, I think we can all agree that this season has surpassed expectations and watching it has been FAR more enjoyable than our previous two attempts at retaining our Premier League status. The only obvious downside of it all is that certain teams are now (apparently) sniffing around Silva, however you would like to think there is the desire to push this project on to the next level rather than taking a gamble on a job that you may only hold onto for a few months (albeit with a juicy payoff at the end of it!).
We move onto the next match against West Ham with the hope that we can at least bring an end to the run of losses and begin a final surge towards the finish line and end the 22/23 season in the top half of the table (and maybe even get ol’ Bug Eyes fired in the process), something which is certainly doable but perhaps we just need a bit of luck to add to our undeniable qualities that have been on show this year.
Just one little request from myself (and I imagine many others): no more of that f***ing mint kit!!