As a Fulham supporter, I’ve experienced several up and down seasons, but the performance on Saturday against Reading at Craven Cottage was disgraceful. Fulham have reached forty points, and should be safe from relegation, but the door is still open, and the club unfortunately did not close it in their 4-2 loss to Reading. As the season has two more matches left for the Cottagers, how will Fulham end this campaign? The best word to describe the state of Fulham right now is uncertainty.
I can stomach a bad loss from Fulham, as long as the effort to win is there. Unfortunately, watching the last match, I can’t help feeling this was a match played with no determination and passion by several of the Fulham players. Their approach seemed to be that they would coast through this match.
Well, huge credit needs to be given to Reading manager Nigel Adkins and his players, who showed the determination to earn their victory at Craven Cottage. It would have been easy for Reading not to show up on Saturday since they have already been relegated. They certainly deserve credit for their play and approach.
With Fulham, I’ve seen them suffer horrible defeats recently but not one to a club that you should beat at home, in front of your supporters who pay very good money to see you play. I think the club and the supporters deserve a better effort from the players than what was on display last Saturday.
The word uncertainty now shows itself for Fulham because Wigan are still alive, and have not been relegated yet. I can tell you that I have seen many Fulham supporters on social media extremely fearful of relegation. I certainly understand the fear, but I just don’t see that happening for Fulham.
I feel it is unlikely that Fulham will be relegated for two reasons. First, I do not see Wigan getting two victories in their last three matches. Second, after the embarrassment at Craven Cottage on Saturday, I actually think Fulham will get a result from either the Liverpool or Swansea matches.
After a club has played so poorly, we often see a positive response in their next match. Players don’t like to be embarrassed, and the Reading loss might be the medicine they need to kick them into gear in these final two matches of the season.
Many Fulham supporters are counting out these last two matches, but I think they will be pleasantly surprised by the effort, and hopefully the results. To put the uncertainty away this season, it’s in the hands of the Fulham players to get rid of the fear of relegation by winning their matches.
Now, the uncertainty for next season needs to be addressed for the club this summer as well. There are many decisions to be made, but one I feel strongly about is the future of Fulham manager Martin Jol. For Fulham to push forward, Jol needs to stay, and he needs the finances to bolster the club this summer. I’m not talking about spending crazy amount of money, but enough to bring quality to the midfield, and also a pure striker. I think eventually you are going to start to see some Fulham Academy players break through, but this should be a gradual process. This mix of money and youth could really insure Fulham’s future in the Premier League.
The state of Fulham right now really is “uncertainty”, as we don’t know exactly what direction they will go. It is in the hands of the manager, players, and management to steer that direction hopefully forward.