Writer: Kristian Balkin
Date:Wednesday October 27 2010
Given the last two years or so, we, as Fulham fans, have a right to feel slightly aggrieved at where we stand in the Premier League table at the moment.
While we're far from relegation fodder, 16th place is not what I would call 'sitting pretty', especially when you take into account that our goal difference is all that saves us from entering the dreaded bottom three.
It's too early to moan, you may say, and frankly, you're probably spot on. However, a good start is imperative to a good season, and a good start is something we haven't had the pleasure of viewing at Fulham in 2010.
I'm not just talking results though. In fact, nine points is a decent return from nine games which have included Champions League Tottenham and Manchester United.
I am in fact talking more about luck. That mythical and frustrating, yet often praised superstition that seemingly favours everybody at some point. Everybody but us.
Al Fayed clearly didn't invest too wisely in luck during the Summer break, and should have perhaps cashed in on the likes of David Elm and Fredrik Stoor in order to fund some good fortune for the Cottagers.
Instead we're likely to exit October at the wrong end of the table, without a capable striker and with a defence that never looked quite-so-weary under the now forgotten Roy Hodgson.
Nevertheless, is it all doom and gloom?
Well, I'd like to think not, but, one thing is for certain; it's not Mark Hughes' fault.
The season started brightly enough and we were one of only two unbeaten sides in the Premier League as we entered our 8th game of the campaign. I for one was happy to brag about that fact.
However, two defeats later and suddenly every other Fulham fan I meet is hitting the panic button.
Yes, we haven't had the perfect start, but it's outright stupid to call for the head of Mark Hughes when in reality, a large part of our misfortune is out of his control.
Bobby Zamora's injury, for example, was a shock to all of us. He's a great player and I don't think it's a particularly big weakness to say we do rely on him, as when push comes to shove, he can win us games and there's no-one else around like him.
Then you mix in some outrageous refereeing decisions along with some more injuries to boot, and you have yourself a deeply difficult situation to oversee; even for the coolest and most experienced head.
With that in mind, rather than being my normal, pessimistic self, I shall look forward with confidence, almost arrogance, as we head into a weekend of high importance with Wigan at home.
In recent seasons, we haven't looked nearly-as-threatening as we do now, disregarding our lack of potency in front of goal.
Our away support is, without a doubt, bulking up and it's become more of an expectancy than a shock that we outsing the home gathering on occasion.
The Fulham back-line may look less stable than it did under 'Mr Defence' Roy Hodgson, but, it's made up of similar components and will be back on task before we know it.
As for results? They will see to themselves.
Fortune is said to favour the brave, and regardless of manager, we are a brave football team.
Date:Wednesday October 27 2010
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