After beginning the season on good notes, with wins against Arsenal and Bolton, Fulham looked to be on the right track to avoiding relegation troubles. While Fulham may not be in the relegation zone as of now, they are only out of it on goal difference. That is not a good sign of things to come.
Some of my fellow supporters try to spin the season so far to make things not seem so bad. They say things like, "Well we have given up fewer goals than x number of teams in the EPL, that has to count for something!" or "It's still early in the season."
I heard the same stuff last season when Lawrie Sanchez slowly watched us slip to a position that took the rest of the season to get out of.
While it may be easy to blame it on the players and claim this and that, I would say more blame should be placed on Roy Hodgson. After saving us Cottagers from the drop last season, he could do no wrong in our eyes. That was last season, and this is now. And now we worry about Oll' Roy's game time selections and strategies.
The biggest complaint is the lack of playing time American forward/attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey has had this season. The math just does not add up. He was last season's top scorer with a paltry six goals, but now he can't find valuable time on the field.
What boggles us the most is that he has been replaced by Zoltan Gera. While they both have one goal this season, it is easy to see that Dempsey is the more potent attacker and has created as many chances in a fraction of the time.
We hoped for a start for Dempsey after he came on late at Portsmouth and snatched a point with his goal. If nothing else, it would give Gera a chance to rest since they had three games in a week. But no, it was not to be.
The case of "Duece" is just the beginning. We've seen Hodgson go entire matches without using any subs. This does nothing but keep tired players out on the field, which leads to the inevitable late goal we give up and lose points.
As a fan of Fulham FC, I cannot take another relegation battle like last season. It's to the point when being relegated would almost be welcomed. At least then, one would hope we would be able to win away from Craven Cottage more than twice during Obama's presidency.
I could go on for some time about the current affairs at Fulham FC. Bullard's slump, Murphy's inconsistent play, our attacking ineptitude, etc etc. The one bright spot on the season has been our defense. The back four and the Aussie goalkeeper have kept the Whites in many games until the end. I, for one, do not fault them for our poor form. Hangeland, Hughes (Aaron Hughes), and Paintsil are doing admirably.
I expect a busy January transfer window, with Dempsey and others out, and more players coming in than really needed. Plan to see more good quality players sitting either on the bench or in the stands, and expect Fulham to be fighting it out with four or five other teams by the end of the season.
We are Fulham, and I love it.