Are things really that bad?

If you look at the league table how many teams would actually say they’ve had a good season?

Then ask the same question for “not big” teams.

There are two: West Bromwich Albion, who had a good year but also a big striker on loan from Chelsea; Swansea, who have made some very clever moves in the transfer market and are generally admired throughout the land.

That’s it. Everyone else is more or less in the relegation mix, or would be were it not for three measly points.

Is this what happens when the rich get too rich?

Are Fulham just one of many clubs finding this out the hard way?

Are we – gasp! – really not that bad?

25 thoughts on “Are things really that bad?

  1. How exciting. A CCN post! I hear what you say Rich. The loss of Dejagah, and then Sidwell’s two stupid red cards, seems to have totally knocked the stuffing out of the side. The question is, should the loss of a relatively new and emerging player, and a journeyman midfielder have that sort of effect – to lead us on an extended run of losses. I would say it shouldn’t – a few blips maybe but the sort of run we are closing off the season with seems to point to a much deeper malaise.

  2. Sadly Mike this is not the only bad run this season we have been decent in only around 6 or 7 games, average at best in about 10 and poor in the rest. Its easy to try to look on the bright side and say 6 points more and we’d be top ten but 6 points less we’d be relegated. We must now have less depth in the squad than we did 2 years ago if missing 2 players puts us on this sort of run. Its also not just bad luck either, performances have been terrible too, we’ve deserved to lose most of the games we have lost so cant even blame that. We’ve got about 10 or 11 players at end of their contracts or ending their loans so thats a lot of additions required even if some re-sign and a couple of youngsters come through.

    Long hard summer no matter who is in charge.

  3. Yeah. I was thinking how many teams could say that they have had a good season. The league in general has been in the doldrums a bit. What about English teams in Europe this season? However, this has been dismal one for us. Up (potentially) by goal difference. Terrible.

  4. Welcome back – we have missed you!!

    How many teams could lose their 3 best midfielders (Dembele, Dempsey & Diarra) and still have a good season?

    1. Well we had the January window and didnt replace them when we had the opportunity and frankly shouldnt have planned our team around them when Dempsey made it clear he wanted to go, Dembele had a release clause in his contract and Diarra has a long history of injuries.

      Id blame bad planning rather than anything.

      1. But then, we don’t really know what the options are for replacing them in the January window (Huddlestone was mentioned but the reports were that the asking price was absurd) so how can we really say that the moves that were made (the Enoh and Frimpong loans, and to Jol’s credit Enoh has drawn praise even in the past month or so when everyone else has been slumping) weren’t the most sensible options? Would you rather have spent (read: wasted) a pile of money on mediocre players like QPR?

  5. Welcome back, and provocative post, which of course contains a good point. There’s a lot of parity in the league between the 8th and 17th spots. The bottom teams do seem worse than the others and the top do seem that much better, but on most days of the week I wouldn’t place a bet on who’d win between West Brom and Sunderland. One is flirting with a spot in Europe (or are they definitely not getting one now?) while the other could still go down. Seeing Fulham struggle and perform poorly at home is tough but it’s not too far off the type of season I thought we’d have back in August. There are terrible streaks and good streaks, I think because consistency is a mode that’s not easily arrived at. Liverpool and Arsenal fans moan more than any these days, at least as far as I hear, but to Rich’s point, isn’t that the result of City and Chelsea’s ascendancy as much as anything?

  6. It has been a hugely disappointing run in and whilst matches against Arsenal , Chelsea , Liverpool and Everton were always going to be tough , for an “established ” mid table team we should be taking points off at least one of them .

    In fact we have lost at home to all of the big teams this season (and only just snatched a draw from Everton ) and our away form against them wasn’t much better with 5 points in total.

    The table certainly doesn’t lie in our case and we have to accept that we have a painfully thin squad in all areas which will require some radical surgery in the summer but will Jol be given the funds ?

    Tee team that goes into free fall at final stages of a season is typically a prime candidate for relegation the next and I place us squarely in that category .

    However , given the choice , I would stick with Jol rather than bring in another “failed ” manager like Di Matteo .

    1. I agree with that, I’d much rather see Jol stay. Continuity is a good thing and it seems to me too many teams suffer from the disruptive nature of the rotating manager door.

  7. Ooh – You back?

    I think we’ve been shocking for the most part this season. Something missing in the heart of our team. Lot’s of factors contributing to this but the bottom line is Jol failing to get the best out of what he had available.

    I agree with Lee & Thomas though, sacking Jol is not necessarily the right thing to do. I think it would be very hard to cope with another new manager and another fresh start. That said if Jol left for another job I wouldn’t be that sad. I’ve not enjoyed this season at all and I genuinely cannot remember the last time I felt this way.

  8. Great to see you back, Rich, even if it’s only going to be once in a blue moon.

    Since Roy’s revival we have been a team that punched above our weight so that despite the inevitable blips we finished at the upper end of the non-stellar part of the Premier League.

    I wonder though just how far we have fallen behind other mid-table teams in our wage bill and transfer budget. Too far perhaps. Income from the Dembele and Dempsey sales has not yet been reinvested. That said there appeared to be enough talent in the squad for a better haul than 40 points.

    Jol took a long time to work out his team shape and selection (by his own admission), and even when he did find a settled eleven, before Sidwell’s red cards and Dejagah’s injury, the balance didn’t look quite right.

    By all accounts Jol is fed up with the constraints put on him by the lack of funds. This needs sorting out if the situation is to be turned round.

  9. Aha! A welcome chink of light through the curtain.

    One of many clubs indeed, but there are subsets…..Southampton and Norwich will be more grateful than us for mere survival, while Villa, if applicable, have a team with a future, meaning that it’s us, Stoke and Sunderland (if applicable) who have most in common.

    Can’t speak for the others, but in our case it’s not so much the points and places shortfall as the lack of encouragement for the future, the shortfall of personalities to rally around as the heartbeat of the club, the absence of any particular sense of direction, the knowledge that the Europa League era did not lead anywhere and we’re back to being a contributor of nothing in particular to this division.

    We lack fantasy-for-the-future material. Kaca is becoming interesting and Djegah was clearly beginning to be so. That’s about it, short of wild guesses about the youth. Fresh blood will doubtless yield fresh hopes.

    (Does Stanley now have a sibling btw?)

  10. Am I right in thinking, that despite this being a mediocre season, it is our first in the premiership where we have not once been in the bottom three.

  11. It wasn’t a great season, but it’s been a patched up side all year. I’d argue that letting Danny Murphy go was probably the most calamatous decision, because despite his age he ‘got’ how we played, was still a pivotal squad member and it would’ve been interesting to see him feeding Ruiz & Berbatov with consistent, early service.

    Dempsey/Dembele were, as noted above, always likely to leave, but we ended up having to bring in an even older player in Karagounis to try to mediate that impact. Diarra’s injury left Sidwell as our only ‘Premier League’ ready player in the middle….and we’ve seen the hole that’s been left by his consecutive red cards.

    Jol perhaps deserves credit for getting this ‘patched up’ side over the line early on, albeit the final 6 or 7 games have been poor. 40 points has proven enough though, and he got us there in good time through a combination of astute loans, short term deals & tactical decisions.

  12. Sack Jol, sack the board, stop the development, relegation awaits.

    Oh sorry thought this was FOF.

    What’s that you say, only 2 clubs have had good seasons? Wish you’d been around all season. Comforting to know there’s still some sanity out there.

  13. I’m really beginning to sour on Jol as the man to take us any further, but I’m willing to be proven wrong… as I have been done here many, many times.

  14. Whilst I can acknowlegde that the loss of Murphy, Dembele & Dempsey have hurt us on the filed, the loss of CCN has hurt us in our collective souls – surely more damage was done by this … : )

  15. Quite agree. I hope this heralds the return of CCN. It’s been sorely missed.

    I’ll also add my congratulations on the new little one, Rich. Hope all goes well.

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