Win or lose on Saturday, it will be the end of a team that has had an extraordinary run. If Fulham makes it to the Premier League, new faces will come in and higher caliber teams next season may make things not quite as fun next year (although I feel like Fulham and Villa will play a better match at Wembley than the one today for the FA Cup). If Fulham doesn’t make it to the Premier League then the team will be gutted and our top players, and likely the manager, will head to the Premier League without the club. In that scenario Fulham should come away with a nice wad of cash, but they’ll be starting over. Either way, the end is here for a remarkable and memorable team.
I realized in the Derby match that every one of the starting players have earned my respect and appreciation. So before getting caught up in the inevitable changes that will follow the playoff final, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the guys on this team and what they’ve accomplished.
A Miracle Needed for Automatic Promotion
A few weeks ago the first edition of this series looked at Fulham’s Promotion chances with 15 matches to go. At that time, as we entered a tough stretch of six straight matches against the top teams, I said:
“If Fulham comes through with five wins then they will be an automatic promotion contender.”
Although I didn’t think it was possible, Fulham did it. The team secured five wins and one draw. This announced to everyone that Fulham is the best team in the league right now. Unfortunately, I also didn’t think it was possible for Cardiff to continue their run. In fact, Cardiff managed to win all of their matches over the past six giving them two more points than Fulham and stretching their lead back to eight points.
Fulham and Cardiff Continue to Move In Tandem Up the Table
Fulham Doing All the Right Things, But Automatic Promotion Still Unlikely
Fulham is halfway through their stretch of 6 matches against competition in the top 8 positions. The team has done well getting 7 points out of a possible 9 so far. Unfortunately, due to Cardiff’s return to top form, our chances of automatic promotion remain unlikely.
After losing all of their matches in the holiday season, Cardiff has gone on a run equal to Fulham’s with 6 wins and 2 draws in the past eight. So while Fulham’s run has allowed them to move up the table they have stayed even with Cardiff. In the past eight matches Fulham has gained 9 points on Derby, 10 points on Bristol City, but 0 on Cardiff.
Cardiff and Fulham Moving Up In Tandem
In just twelve matches Fulham needs to find three more wins than Cardiff. Cardiff does have a difficult schedule and will face four teams in the top six: Wolverhampton, Derby, Aston Villa, and Sheffield United...