As the fifth goal went in the Wolves back four stood aghast, bedraggled, pointing, shrugging, begging: who are these people? And why are they torturing us?

There were, of course, no answers, just as there had been no defending. Fulham had simply been very, very good. 5-0 flattered Wolves.

For a good time it felt like one of those games Fulham dominate then let slip for lack of goals. A curiously one-sided first half remained level for far too long, Pavel Pogrebnyak (who else?) breaking the deadlock with a diving header inside the six yard box from a corner. It was a McBride like goal, but a huge assist for the defenders who opted to leave him so alone. Still, three games, three goals for our burly number seven.

He got another on the verge of half-time, a terrible lapse from Wolves seeing Fulham break at speed, Pog-AJ-Pog-goal, a lovely low cross converted crisply and lethally… made Jol’s half-time team-talk that bit easier and the points all but safe. Some finish. Some player.

The second half was a procession.  I suggested that Wolves might, for goal-difference purposes, have been better off shutting up shop, but Toby reasoned that inviting pressure onto this defence would surely not be a good idea. Indeed not, but they suffered badly for an inability to fulfill basic defensive activities, and whatever Mick McCarthy’s shortcomings, surely he would never have sent out a team to lie down like this?

Pogrebnyak scored again, AJ (what a game he had) forcing a save, Pogrebnyak reacting well to the rebound and stabbing home for the club’s fourth hat-trick of the season (how about that, eh?). Terrific stuff, enough to break through the afternoon’s terrible weather and warm the hearts and minds of all present. He’ll be that bit more expensive if we try to buy him in the summer now.

Then Clint Dempsey joined in, a fantastic 1-2 to finish things off.  First he jostled with Ronald Zubar as Danny Murphy prepared to take a free-kick. Dempsey and Murphy knew exactly what was going on, Zubar didn’t, and the Captain’s pass found the top scorer’s devilish run and Dempsey scored again. Then – THEN – came something even better, a 20+ pass wonder-move conducted by new-signing Diarra, culminating with Dempsey firing high inside Wayne Hennessy’s near post for a face in the mud thrashing-sealer.

Oh yes.

Who can doubt Jol’s Fulham now? Who dares doubt a machine like this? Who has seen a better Fulham side?

19 thoughts on “FULHAM 5-0 WOLVES

  1. Thank you, Rich. I’ve been waiting for this post all day.

    Today we got a sneak peek at what’s to come next season: fluid, attacking football based around possession and positional awareness. I’ve always liked Shrek, but until lately I’ve been very pessimistic about the season. Perhaps we can still play for a spot in Europe that we actually earn?

  2. I’ve not seen a better fulham side.

    AJ should be man of the match but cannot be because of the hatrick. Best game for us. He’s the one player I truly doubted all season and he’s proved me very wrong.

    I’m worried about our need to convince dembele, Dempsey, AJ, pogrebnyak,murphy and maybe Diarra contracts. I hope we can because these boys can go really far. We’re building top-6 quality and depth here: and I don’t mean squeeking 6. Most exciting team in the Prem at the moment

        1. I understand why you say that but given that we’ve long struggled against sides we should beat, isn’t there something to be said for a player who can tear apart 70% of the league? Its a squad game, and AJ has proven he has a place. I didn’t think that was the case a month ago.

          1. yep, and Jol (despite what people say) is surely far and away the most flexible manager we’ve had in Prem era so won’t be frightened to pick teams to match occasions.

    1. every time our attack has looked lethal this season, AJ has been on the pitch. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  3. What a game.

    The current crop of players complement one another wonderfully. The fluidity between AJ, Pog, Dembele, Dempsey and Duff is sublime. I was expecting Pog to be more of a bruiser. His vision and awareness were astonishing today. Can’t wait to see this team go up against some of the bigger clubs.

    I really liked what I saw from Diarra and hope he gets more playing time in the future. I think he and Dembele would absolutely run the midfield. Murphy has been solid this season, but his legs won’t last forever. There have been games this season where I think it may already be happening. I wouldn’t be comfortable going into the 2012-13 season without another option.

    It’s important to note Ruiz was not on the field. On an abstract level, Ruiz’s style of play may be emblematic of what Jol is trying to achieve, but the team actually achieves that style of play when Ruiz isn’t playing. You can’t take off Dempsey. You can’t take off Pog. You can’t take off Dembele. That leaves Ruiz competing with AJ and Duff, both of whom are in fine form right now. I’d love to see Ruiz adapt to the team and to the EPL, but if Jol is intent on fielding the best possible team, it’s hard to see where Ruiz is going to get much playing time.

  4. What a fantastic day. Odd to compare it to the drama down the road where chaos reigns–yet they’re in 5th and we’re in 8th (hey, we’re 8th! and w/in spitting distance of Liverpool, in March!). Go figure!

    A friend passed these gems along, I will treasure them for some time:

    From the BBC website: “Fulham were doing a passable impression of Barcelona”

    From The Guardian:
    “Ain’t nothing cooler than being cool. And right now, there’s nothing cooler in the Premier League than Fulham, who are starting to play some of the best football you’ll find this side of Swansea.”

  5. Incredible performance. I don’t think enough is being made of Diarra’s cameo, I thought his movement, balance and vision looked world class. He seemed to have more time on the ball than anyone else straight away. Perfect replacement for Murphy. Regarding the potential for next season, it will boil down to our old adversary, the away game. If Jol can sort that out we could fly.

  6. Couldn’t agree more about Diarra. How fantastic to see a player similar to Vierra, playing in a Fulham shirt. Also so good to see that neither he or the Pog appear to have big egos…..that’s why our old squad stalwarts are working so well with them. They can only get better. Wow, what a thought !

  7. I think you’re doing us a discredit to say their defending was poor. Certainly some poor errors were to blame for 2 of our goals but the sheer number of blocks they made prevented us from hitting double figures. We could easily have won 10-0. I don’t have the statistics but I expect that would be our best ever win.
    That we could break down such a stubborn defence is very pleasing, all too often we’ve not been able to make our dominance count. I feel if we can keep everyone here and add a right back we’ll be complete.

  8. stubborn? you having a laugh, standing off and not challenging anyone is not what I would call stubborn and neither is sitting deep whilst not pressing anyone.

    congrats by the way, Fulham looked superbly fluid yesterday and rightly punished mistakes, as a Wolves fan it was annoying to be brought to this site via a google search (trying to find out what happened to the Chalkboards on the Guardian) a day after being smashed yet again.

  9. Since Europa League elimination (Dec 14), this team is 6-3-3 with a +3 goal differential. Against teams not from Manchester, it’s 6-1-3, +11. (I did that by hand just now, so hopefully it’s correct.)

    Obviously, the pieces are starting to fit together really nicely (and at this point, does it look like anybody did better during the transfer window than Jol?). The question I have is whether the extra games in Europe helped (by letting the team work through transition faster) or hindered (exhaustion / general disruption to practice / etc).

    Anyways, just a fantastic game. With Aston-Villa and Swansea coming up, it would be great to pack in a few more points before our revenge game at (gulp) Old Trafford.

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