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....
Today, Fulham performed as poorly at home as I’ve seen since that cold November day that was Lawrie Sanchez’s last game as Fulham manager. On that day against a sub-par Newcastle, Fulham showed little effort and no cohesion. We saw that again today … at the Cottage … against Cardiff. Yes, we lost Scott Parker to injury within 5 minutes, and that certainly hurt us, but it doesn’t explain the overall lack of impetus, the impossible to detect game plan, nor does it explain the fact that our back four resembled a bunch of fit young gentlemen standing on an underground platform not looking at each other.
If you don’t want to read any further [and I certainly don’t blame you], just read this: Fulham faced the weakest side we’re likely to see at The Cottage this season and let them dictate the terms of the match for nearly all of the 90 minutes. According to the stats I saw, Fulham got off a massive nine shots against the VISITOR’s 22. Our corporate...