Date:Tuesday January 5 2010
I think 19 games into a season is a very sensible point to look back and assess the happenings so far in our 9th consecutive Premier League campaign.
In my own rather miserable way, I held fears of a poor 2009/10 season for us here at Fulham. Not poor as in relegation, but poor in comparison to the highs of the previous year.
Of course, this is a very 'glass-half-empty' way of looking at things, but with us constantly being classed as a 'small club', it would have been nice to prove some critics wrong for a second year on the trot.
In this sense, I am delighted at how things are shaping up for us here on the banks of the Thames.
I had predicted, along with pundits alike, that we would be lingering in mid table at best, simply propping up the big boys and looking down on the relegation fodder.
However, when I glance for the 'F' of Fulham in the Premiership table, I see us sitting pretty in 9th place, with, I hasten to add, a game in hand other the majority of clubs. All this, with a European campaign to uphold as well!
Remarkable! On top of that, I have failed to leave out the finer details, such as a rather heart-warming 3-0 stuffing of Manchester United and an equally pleasing win over Liverpool.
Our injury list should not be forgotten either, with Etuhu, Murphy, Davies and Andy Johnson all unavailable for substantial periods of time. So, the term 'sitting pretty' that I used above, is, in fact, rather an understatement.
Taking into consideration all the facts, we are having a fantastic season, and, I say this very cautiously, I feel we are on the top of our game. That said though, it is certainly not over until the fat lady sings. Anything can happen in football, and if I can draw one negative out of what has so far been a brilliant footballing season, it is that we are very unlikely to replicate a 7th place finish come the end of May.
I feel we have played equally well to the last campaign, sometimes even better, but, the teams around us have improved considerably. I think it may even be plausible that we achieve a higher points tally to last years, but fall below the Europa League spots.
In retrospect though, football isn't about comparisons. We are playing it now, not last season. It's about the points we pick up, game by game, and how we set about proving the critics wrong. So far, we have done that, without a shadow of a doubt, and not only in the Premier League! Long may it continue Fulham. Come on you Whites!
Date:Tuesday January 5 2010
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