Vital Football

Latest Fulham FC News

Fulham - The Enigma of the Draw!

Fulham - The Enigma of the Draw!

UNDEFEATED. it sounds great, doesn't it?

But, is it really? In Fulham's case, I'm not so sure. Yes, we've lost no matches, but we have only one win in six. Draws provide a false sense of security, and paired with an unexpected string of losses, can quickly turn into an anchor around the neck that can see you dragged down the table. Wins are what matter.

I'm not suggesting that draws don't have value; obviously they do. If you're a struggling club, draws sometimes make all the difference. They are often the difference between top-flight status and relegation to the Championship.

In 2007-08, eight-win Fulham owed our survival to twelve draws that allowed us finish even on points with ten-win Reading, where goal differential kept us out of relegation.

In 2004-05, a six-win West Bromwich Albion squad with an inferior goal differential finished a point above seven-win Crystal Palace on the strength of sixteen draws.

Draws also have an impact at the top of the table. Chelsea claimed the title last season by a single point - one more draw in place of a loss than Man United. In fairness, Chelsea's superior goal differential would have seen them claim the title even if the point totals would have been equal.

The exact same scenario occurred in 1998-99 season when Man United claimed the title by a single point over Arsenal. The additional draw in place of a loss in that case was even more significant as United had a one-goal advantage in goal differential that would have been nullified had Arsenal shared the same record.

Again in fairness, Man United would have still won the title on goals scored.

In the preceding season (1997-98), Man United lost the title to Arsenal by a single point, but in that case, could've won the title on goal differential had points been equal. In that season, a single draw crowned the champion. So draws are good, right?

Uummm. maybe not.

If you're not concerned with relegation, and aspire to championships or European qualification draws can be killers. In recent times, just ask Liverpool and Manchester City.

In 2008-09, Liverpool suffered only two defeats and had a superior goal differential, but eleven draws saw them finish four points behind a four-loss Manchester United squad for the title.

Last season, Man City had three fewer defeats and a superior goal differential, but thirteen draws saw them finish three points behind Spurs for the final Champions League place.

Beyond the mathematical significance of a draw, there's the mental aspect. Draws can bring out differing emotional responses for players, coaches and fans based on the circumstances. Draws at home tend to be disappointing; while draws on the road tend to be acceptable.

But, that doesn't always hold true. Draws against the big clubs, even at home, tend to be satisfying; while draws against lower opposition (or perceived lower opposition), even away, tend to be frustrating. Additionally, regardless of where the draw occurred or who it occurred against, the manner in which it happened can enhance whatever the initial reaction might be. Fighting back to earn a draw tends to elevate satisfaction or allay frustration. Conceding late to give up a win tends to have the opposite effect.

So, what are we to make of Fulham's five draws in six matches - good, bad, neither? Of course, it's too early to say. The next two matches will reveal their significance. Pick up two wins (or a win and a draw) and the early draws are looking pretty good. Lose one or both and the early draws begin to loom large. Draw both. c'mon. Could we really have seven draws in our first eight matches? Could you imagine - undefeated, but sitting in the bottom half of the table? I don't even want to think about it.

Join The Vital Debate

Vital Fulham on: facebook

Vital Fulham on: twitter

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday September 29 2010
Time: 5:04PM


a good article - it kept me intrigued!
Red Boy
29/09/2010 19:24:00
I'll second that -article of the week (so far) I reckon
Al Billy
29/09/2010 19:34:00
Looking at who we have played so far is a fair indicator. Home: Man Utd - Draw, Wolves - Win, Everton - Draw. For me this is fine as Man Utd is no easy feat despite the last two season, Wolves with the injury to Zamora was a great result, and Everton with the lack of attacking options was, for me, expected. Away: Bolton - Draw, Blackpool - Draw, Blackburn - Draw. Out of all of those Blackpool is the only disappointment as some horrible defensive mistakes were made. The other two, are fine. All aside though, Hughes has only been in the Fulham hot seat for just under 3 months. He is still learning about the team and to be fair he has alot to live up to. I'm still confident we will get top 10 despite our current injury crisis. Oh and I'm predicting a 1-0 win over West Ham on Saturday.
Riverside Chanter
29/09/2010 19:39:00
upton park has been a bogey ground for us, has it not? i'm hoping for a win, but who knows what will happen...
29/09/2010 21:47:00
true woody....i will miss my usual lunch time refreshments at the demark arms before rolling into upton park to watch us lose, then it's out and doing the rounds at local hammers pubs! Of course the colours stay at home! please win fulham! COYW!!!
01/10/2010 12:08:00
truth sayer ffc
02/10/2010 20:29:00
truth sayer ffc
02/10/2010 20:29:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Fulham Articles

After Game Player Interviews Explained

Scientific researchers have discovered that a tendency for professional footballers to overuse the words 'um' 'ah' and 'err' in post game press interviews...

Parker Will Stay With Fulham

Parker's career in football as a player could come to an end at the end of the season but even if it does Jokanovic is expecting the veteran to remain at Fulham in some capacity.

January Might Bring Some Loan Exits

Jokanovic isn't in any immediate hurry to send any of the younger players at Fulham, who aren't presently getting many (if any) minutes as he feels they've still got a part to play.

Villa (a) - Views from the Bench

Up at Villa Park yesterday, Fulham`s unbeaten away from home record, in the Championship, ended when they lost 1-0.

Archived Vital Fulham Articles

Vital Fulham articles from

Site Journalists

Andrew Joyce
Editor email

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v Aston Villa (a)?
Suggested By: putney
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Fulham Results (view all)

Fulham Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Huddersfield Town (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 4 2016 7:45PM : Brentford (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Sheffield Wednesday (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 3 2016 3:00PM : Reading (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Vital Football Comment