The View From South Texas – how the game is played
I watch a LOT of football – Championship, Bundesliga, Premier League – and I’m learning more about the game all the time. What follows finally kicked in when I watched Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich after the season re-start. What I finally realized watching that match, got me looking elsewhere to find similarities – and I found them.
Dortmund had a slight chance of overtaking Bayern before the match was played. Had they taken all three points at home, they’d have been only 1 point behind in second place. Bayern won and the gap expanded to 7 and that was that. Now, you could say that Bayern are the better team – and they are. You could say that Marco Reus’ injury hurt Dortmund – and it certainly did. You might even say that the lost wasn’t a rollover because they held Bayern to only one goal. You’d be right about that. I told myself at the time that had Lewandowski been injured and Reus been healthy, Dortmund might have won...
The first half of Fulham’s 2019-20 season has been the best first half since the 2000-2001 season when Fulham dominated the second tier on its way to a first place finish and automatic promotion. So despite Fulham’s current position outside of the top two feeling a little disappointing, it shouldn’t be forgotten that this has generally been a very good start.
Fulham has six more points at the halfway mark than in 2017-18 when Fulham went on a 23 game streak without a loss in the second half of the season to just miss out on automatic promotion by finally losing in the last game of the season. Fulham has two more points than the 2016-17 season when Fulham took the last playoff spot, five points in front of seventh place Leeds.
Based on that recent history Fulham at least has a good shot at making the playoffs for the third consecutive year in the Championship. You may remember from my posts in the 2017-18 season that typically 75 points is enough to get into the playoffs. Fulham is...
In the 2007-2008 season Fulham had their “Great Escape” to avoid relegation. Fulham closed out that campaign with three straight wins to finish even with Reading at 36 points and claim safety with a superior goal differential of -22 to -25.
There are a number of similarities between the two seasons:
New managers were brought in mid-season
The second half of both seasons started with Fulham in 19th place
After the New Year’s Day match 2008 Fulham had 15 points and 2019 Fulham had 14
The new year started with both teams 5 points from safety
Both seasons saw Fulham lose in their opening FA Cup pairing to a team from the fourth tier of English football
In 2007-2008 Fulham were 6 points from safety with just five matches left, but they managed to win four of those matches to close what had been an 8 point gap with Reading. Fulham’s explosive finish earned 1/3rd of its points for entire season.
During the Great Escape, Fulham was never more than 6 points from...