What are we lacking then?

Clint Dempsey in happier times. Oh…

All this “we must have four new players” type demand people are on about. Is it really so desperate?

If you go to the club’s squad page and have a look, there’s not really all that much to worry about.

The defence is still pretty stacked.

The midfield is okay. Sidwell and Diarra can run a team. Duff is very good. Kasami, Frei and Kaka are not a waste of space, just as they are not seasoned pros. Between them they can hold down one position for a season. Clint Dempsey is still a Fulham player. Riise can play wide left. Reither is also a holding midfielder, right?

Up front we have Petric, Ruiz, Rodallega and Trotta. We need another body here I suspect, if only to cover for fatigue and to give Jol some flexibility.

This is partly why I used to defend the Greenings and the Etuhus of the world – there is value in being average, and it’s harder than we think to find good players who don’t demand to be first teamers at a team like Fulham. People groaned at them but if they were still here those same people might be a bit more relaxed (probably not though).

As it stands we’ve trimmed the wage bill enormously, brought in some good transfer money, and have the shoots of some good young talent coming through. We can’t deny that losing Dempsey now (and Hangeland and Schwarzer next summer) would be another blow, but it still feels as if we’re a better team than the panicking masses believe.

So go on then – who would you sign? I wanted Dimitar Berbatov, whose partnership with Ruiz would’ve been the single funnest thing ever to happen in the league, but it seems he’s going elsewhere now.  Failing that, even the much maligned Carlton Cole would be an almost perfect fit for what we’re lacking. Find us another midfielder or two – Jenas would work – and we’re not far off, are we?

14 thoughts on “What are we lacking then?

  1. I’d say we need another first team, creative CM.

    Moussa is a big loss to the way we play but if we can bring in a good, young, energetic CM who has a decent pass on him and can tackle we will be set.

    I’d also try to add another winger, on the right probably. If Clint stays, we need width on the right and Duff is not adding the width we need when he is on his wrong foot.

    1. “I’d say we need another first team, creative CM. ”

      I wonder whether Jol might have a mind to try Simon Davies, the forgotten man, in that role. He tried him there once (in the loss at Swansea), and it didn’t work out in that instance, but it suggests to me that Jol sees similar qualities in Davies to those he saw in Dembele that prompted his subsequent (and, obviously, quite successful) transition to a deeper role. He’s got good tactical awareness and passing skills and a solid work rate when not in possession. He’s perhaps not as quick as he was before the injuries he’s had the past few seasons, but then that’s perhaps not as important in a central role as it would be if he were playing in his traditional position on the wing. It seems to me, the fact that it worked out so well with Dembele would encourage Jol to try the same again with Davies.

  2. Looks like you might get your wish as the intalian press are reporting that Berbatov has snubbed Juventus and Fiorentina to sign for us, now that would make me happier about the season to come

  3. “This is partly why I used to defend the Greenings and the Etuhus of the world – there is value in being average, and it’s harder than we think to find good players who don’t demand to be first teamers at a team like Fulham. People groaned at them but if they were still here those same people might be a bit more relaxed (probably not though).”

    I quote you on this all the time. It’s important to have those guys. Stephen Kelly is one of the holdovers who still fits that mold. Yeah, maybe he isn’t good enough to be a Premier League starter, but he’s hardly an awful option to have as the backup to Riether. Baird, same thing. Injuries happen. Four matches in a ten-day span around Christmas and New Year’s happen. You need depth.

  4. What are we lacking?

    Well, of the two Dems, whichever you think is the better player (ok, it’s Moussa), Moussa is arguably the far bigger loss because of where he plays.

    We seem to have started this season functioning pretty damn well without Clint – amazing really, given his impact and success last year. But we now play with two proper wingers with Petric ahead of them and Ruiz floating in between. Clint, cutting inside from wide as he likes to do (and has done so well), would almost get in the way.

    By contrast, Dembele has become the centre of the team, as Zamora used to be. Everything those front four (whoever they have been) have been able to do over the past six months has relied on the killer combo of Diarra/Dembele in the middle. Both of them have the rare combination of being comfortable on the ball AND able to tackle. Dembele can also beat a man. How often have we been blessed with such a gifted central midfield partnership at FFC? How sad that it was so shortlived!

    It’s what made me think – hope – that Dempsey was clearly off but maybe Dembele wasn’t: Demps was clearly being phased out whereas Jol’s new-look team seemed to be being built around Moussa. If only.

    But if I was Jol it’s for that reason I would be tempted to spend all of the £25m (or however much) Dem-Dem transfer money – or whatever proportion he’s allowed – on one top-quality recruit to replace Demble directly and fit in alongside Diarra. Does that player exist?

    1. btw: I just read a statement from Fiorentina …

      “The player got on the flight with his agent and on tickets paid for by Fiorentina. He never arrived in Florence.

      “This was down to outlandish and arrogant behaviour of other clubs, who have nothing to do with fair play and sporting ethics that go even beyond the confines of fairness.”

      Fulham is now being linked with outlandish and arrogant behavior! Hooray, we’ve finally made it to the big time! ;-)

  5. If we lose Clint we have 3 prem quality midfielders. Kaca played a couple of good games I don’t see him playing that way week in and out. Frei and Kasami are not the finished product and Davies is almost certainly past it.

    Our side right now is much, much weaker than it was last season

  6. I am guessing that Jol will try to pull the Dembele-as-a-midfielder trick again by moving Ruiz back into that position? And Berbatov will play where Ruiz has been playing.

    1. Really can’t see this. Would negate all of his best assets and highlight his worst.

      Dembele was different, he was a man playing in the wrong position for his skill set and no one saw this until Jol.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s