Fulham - Fate Not Sealed!
On the heels of a disappointing, but not completely unexpected loss in Rome, many Fulham fans must be thinking that our European adventure is surely coming to a close. Immediately after the match, I must admit that the thought certainly crossed my mind.
Having time to think about it, however, I`ve realized that we have all for which we could ask as a team - our fate is completely in our own hands. If we win both remaining matches, we WILL progress. It`s a simple as that. And what`s more, we SHOULD progress.
Not to be dismissive, but I think most would conclude that we will likely grab all three points from our home match with CSKA Sofia on December 3rd. Assuming this to be true, it all comes down to our away match against FC Basel on December 16th. To be fair, we`ve not shown very much in our Europa League away performances, but until last night in Rome, we`ve fielded squads made up largely of second and third team players.
Additionally, we can`t ignore the fact that FC Basel comfortably defeated Rome at St. Jakob Park back in September. Gaining three points will not be easy, but I believe we have enough talent to do it.
For both matches, there really is only one course of action for Roy Hodgson - field the strongest squad possible and go all out for victory. It`s a simple matter of showing some pride and demonstrating that not only do we take this competition seriously, but that we do, in fact, want to progress.
I must admit that I feel slight bit of trepidation as I`m not 100% convinced that we will put our best foot forward, and should that be the case, I will be disappointed and ashamed in much the same way Aston Villa fans were disappointed by Martin O`Neill`s team selection in their decisive match versus CSKA Moscow in last season`s UEFA Cup. I can accept losing, but I can`t accept not making our very best effort to progress… and Roy Hodgson hosting a make-up dinner won`t make me feel any better about it!