I remain upbeat about Fulham's performances under Rene including for the most part the defensive performance against Everton. Does the defense need to improve? Yes of course it does. Everton exposed some of this season’s defensive frailties that are neither new nor unexpected but I am convinced the defense has already shown a marked improvement in the last three matches. My hope is that given time and a slightly easier run of matches than Rene’s first four will be at the helm the defense will only continue to improve. Not convinced about a defensive improvement? Let me see if I can be of assistance.
We first need to deal with the obvious because the marked difference in Fulham's performance has of course has come in the offensive end of the pitch. In thirteen matches this season under Martin Jol Fulham only managed to out shoot the opposition on one occasion and only managed to put more shots on goal than the opposition on two occasions. Rene Muelensteen has managed to duplicate...
I am so pleased that Jol is no longer associated with our club and I'm more than ready to stand strong behind Rene. I have no idea what he's going to do with the present squad, and I have no idea who he's going to sign -- or try to sign -- in January. I WILL say this, though. I think that we're about 75% certain to be relegated regardless of what he does, and I'm okay with that ... IF
... there is a turnaround in how we play and how we approach the game. Over the last year or so, with only a few exceptions, Fulham's play has been a blight on the reputation of the Premier League. If we had kept Jol and if we continued to play like 11 dead men walking, our relegation would have been met with a combination of joy and relief by other clubs and by television audiences around the world. It sickens me that this might have happened.
If Rene can get our guys playing in a more positive manner and once again make Craven Cottage a fortress again ... if Rene can have 11 players fighting until...
We're ten matches in and I thought it would be interesting to see if our views have changed any from the start of the season.
The top 4 are Arsenal (25), Chelsea (20), Liverpool (20) & Tottenham (20).
City (19), Southampton (19) and Everton (19) occupy the Europa slots.
United (17) have rebounded to 8th after a slow start under Moyes. Newcastle (14) and Hull (14) round out the top 10.
In the 11th-17th places, we have WBA (13), Cardiff (12), Swans (11), Villa (11), WHam (10), our beloved FFC (10) & Stoke (9).
Norwich (8), Sunderland (4) & Palace (3) are in the relegation places.
Goal differential has always been a decent barometer for where a team will finish. Based on that, City (+17) should get back into the top 4. Arsenal are 2nd at +13, Chelsea are +8, Soton & Liverpool are +7. At the other end of the spectrum, Palace and Sunderland are on -15 & Norwich are -14. Then there's a big gap until you find Fulham on -5 and Stoke and Cardiff with -4.