There’s a stat going around the interwebs that states our (mighty) 8 goals scored on the road is the worst in the entire Football League. And as a result, we’re 18th in the away table.
But here’s another stat for you: we’re somehow tied for fifth best in the EPL on away goals conceded with just 19. And would be tied for 4th had Bobby Zamora not completely skied a wide open net against Everton in October.
Here’s the top 5 away goals conceded for the EPL. Who top the list? Take a wild guess…
That’s some pretty fine company I’d say. And if you look down the entire Football League, only five other teams have conceded less than 19 goals on the road, with three others concedeing exactly 19. They are:
You may think “comparing us to Swindon negates your argument. We’re EPL. They’re League 2” True, they are. But they and majority of the other teams with a equal-to-or-less-than-19-away-GA are in promotion places in their respective leagues and have decent away records. Fulham are enjoying mid-table mediocrity with a terrible away record.
Additionally, Fulham are mathematically on par for another record low (though not lowest) season of goals conceded on the road. Last season, they conceded just 20 goals on the road: tied for first with Chelsea. In 2009-10 they conceded 31. In 2008-09 it was just 18(!!!), which would only place them fifth (First-place United would only concede 11 on the road all of that season. Three of which Fulham scored).
Going back further: in 2007-08, it was 29. 2006-07, 42 (which put us last in the league). In 2005-06, 37; in 2004-05, 34.
Now, Fulham still have trips to Goodison, Anfield, White Hart Lane, and yes, even the Reebok, that could muck all this up. But I’d say we’re on par for a pretty commendable season considering how our offense has misfired on the road.
And speaking of that and the original stat, here’s some context: under Roy Fulham scored only 11 goals on the road in 2008-09, and 12 in 2009-10. Only teams that were relegated did worse than that (except for Stoke in 2009-10). So Fulham would only need to score at least 3 goals in our remaining road fixtures to equal that. (Could they get as many wins or points? Probably Not. Goals? I’d sure like to think so.)
Ironic though that Jol is commended for his offensive prowess (at Craven Cottage that is), yet he’s actually done a wonderful job with our defense. Even better than Hodgson, once.