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.
Fulham won their first home league match since April today against a Stoke side as uninspired and uninspiring as their hosts. A well taken goal by Darren Bent in the 83rd minute separated the two teams in a match in which neither side did enough to earn three points. As a matter of fact, neither side did enough to gain ONE point. About 65 minutes in, I wondered how many people in the Cottage were watching their first ever Premier League match and wondering to themselves, “THIS is the best league in the world? Really? Is this what all the fuss is about?”
But I digress. Martin Jol, who slipped out of the pressure cooker to frown for 90+ minutes on the Fulham sidelines, turned out an interesting XI. The back four consisted of three centerbacks and one German. One of the many things we learned today is that Amorebieta is NOT a left back, and yet Mark Hughes’s Stoke City was so poor in attack that they were never really able to unlock this makeshift back four....