Here and now

Amazing how a good result or two can change how we look at things.  Everyone seems fairly relaxed now, including Martin Jol.

Glenn Moore’s story about the game is instructive:

I thought he was worth a chance because he scored regularly in Russia, and he has 45 caps,” said Martin Jol. The Fulham manager consulted compatriots Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat, both of whom had selected Pogrebnyak for Russia, but admitted: “it is a risk because players can take months to settle in England and you don’t know how he will do. But in the first training session he scored a hat-trick in ten minutes, so he gave everyone a boost.

Nice!  Hasn’t he (Pogrebnyak) hit the ground running, eh?

Meanwhile, down the road:

A tough run-in waits and everyone at the club is acutely aware that they need to win matches in this spell of fixtures but all is not well. Hughes is trying to blend a fractured dressing room. Last season’s Championship winners, Barton’s “gang”, and a Francophone foreign group are in different camps and the new signings are uncertain of which clique will welcome them. In addition, Hughes and his own tightly knit coterie of staff are yet to bond with the ones he inherited. The word is last week’s trip to sunnier climes did nothing to heal the divisions but a club fighting relegation needs everyone pulling together.



8 thoughts on “Here and now

  1. The stuff about QPR raises an interesting question: They were GOOD last year. Drew a lot, but rarely lost, and were in first place almost wire-to-wire. Would they be a better team if they’d simply made a couple of minor changes built around the existing core of Taraabt and Faurlin and Derry, rather than completely overhauling the squad by bringing in Campbell, Barton, Young, Traore, SWP and Ferdinand, and more recently Onuoha and Cisse and Zamora? Say what you will about their playing styles, but sticking with what got you there is what’s kept up Wolves and Stoke. (Although doing the same is what got Blackpool relegated. MAN did they give up a lot of goals last season.)

    1. I really think there is something to this.

      If was a manager who was looking to survive in the premier league, I would do the following:

      1) Maintain the successful set up of the team in terms of tactics and playing style
      2) Build the team around the key ‘spine’ of players who took the team up
      3) Focus on the defence – goalkeeper and a dominant centre back are crucial.
      4) Make one big signing which is attacking based (A striker, probably).

      Where QPR have gone wrong is trying to overhaul a squad 10 mins before the end of the transfer window. Firing their manager appears to only have made things worse with players being uncertain about the role they are meant to play.

      1. They’ve overhauled the squad 10mins before BOTH transfer window closings, lest we forget. Players signed days before both windows closed:

        26 August 2011 Joey Barton
        27 August 2011 Luke Young
        30 August 2011 Armand Traoré
        31 August 2011 Shaun Wright-Phillips
        31 August 2011 Anton Ferdinand

        24 January 2012 Taye Taiwo (loan)
        26 January 2012 Nedum Onuoha
        30 January 2012 Samba Diakité(loan)
        31 January 2012 Djibril Cissé
        31 January 2012 Bobby Zamora

        Absolutely crazy squad size and turnover that rivals our own 2007-08 madness:

  2. Interesting point. Swansea would seem to be a similar contrast — they’ve stuck with the horse that brung them to great success.

    And it really is remarkable the psychic transformation that’s come over the team in the past two weeks.

    Lastly, in my mind I can’t stop comparing the Jol/Hughes handshake situation to a similar incident in the NFL last fall when 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh enraged Lions coach Jim Schwartz by shaking his hand and clapping him on the back too vigorously after a game. Schwartz went berserk and tried to start a fight on the field; Harbaugh later offered a fairly hilarious non-apology that boiled down to his handshake being too masculine. Anyways, the point is that the Lions team sputtered and stagnated after this, while the underdog 49ers nearly made the Super Bowl.

  3. You could say that this is what is happening at Fulham, buying and bringing through youngsters who will in a couple of years be schooled in the club’s ethos and slot into roles vacated by duff, Ethu, Riise, etc. All this combined with a sprinkling of experienced loans and signings to keep the club from losing quality. It feels like exciting times, I know it’s been said before but I really hope we can keep Dembele and Dempsey in the summer. I think Ruiz is really starting to show his class now and the combination of the 3 could be dynamite next season.

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