Fulham: Too good to do down?
At times, Fulham have played some lovely football this year only to lose their concentration for a few moments each match squandering precious points. Conceding a goal to Wigan in the 91st minute; losing at Middlesbrough having taken the lead twice; conceding a goal in the 7th minute at White Hart Lane and then even stevens the rest of the match; the the 3-3 draw to Aston Villa at the Cottage, and the 1-0 lose to Pompey with Gary O'Neil controlling the ball with his hand are five examples and 9 points dropped. Fulham would be level on points with Bolton who sit in 7th with 32 points. Fulham were worthy 2-0 winners over Liverpool, lost 3-2 to Man U at Old Traford and acquitted themselves well in a 3-2 loss to Chelsea. The 4-1 loss to Arsenal featuring a Cygan brace was the only true hiding incurred this year. I blame Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum for that performance (Zat Knight and Zesh Rehman). The gaffer publicly exudes confidence and believes results will come Fulham's way with a little rub of the green. The fact is the last three matches were far easier than what lies ahead and Fulham only took 4 of 9 points from those matches, injuries and dodgy calls and noncalls by refs prime reasons. Newcastle and Tottenham at home in January become must wins. February and March include Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea and away to Bolton. The lads will have to be on their game, show bottle and concentrate till the final whistle to get any points from those matches. Fulham also face West Brom at home and Villa and Everton away. No match is ever easy and with Fulham's away jinx Villa and Everton will be tough. Fortunately the run-in is not too bad with home matches to Portsmouth, Charlton, Wigan and Middlesbrough. A healthy confident Fulham could take maximum points from those matches. Without being a doom monger but also not being blinkered the points might look something like this. Current points 23; Jan - Need fix point but based on casualty ward posing as squad go with 4 points, Feb and March - 6; April run-in 12 (21 points is maximum). That's 45 points. I should point out though that West Ham went down with 43 or 45 points and finished 7th the preceding season so no club is too good to go down. The key will be the defence. No lead is secure when Zat Knight's on the pitch; Bolton making a match of it late at the Cottage being one stomach turning example. If Fulham can stay up and Coleman can keep the team intact, i.e. not sell Papa Bouba Diop, Fulham could go on a nice little run next year and challenge for European honours. There's a cart and a horse, however, and for now the Great Escape is the goal. Let's hope West Brom and Birmingham continue their poor form. With "arry" back at Pompey and Russian riches you got to fancy them to buy their way to safety this season.