Fulham fans have every right to feel a degree of trepidation when it comes to their start to the new season. Six matches in and they’ve failed to secure a win and only have four points on the board. That’s Fulham’s worst start to a Premier League season. Indeed, only West Brom have scored fewer goals. It strikes me that they’ve yet to awaken from their summer slumber and will need to up their game as things progess.
It’s certainly a far cry away from the good feeling that permeated amongst fans when Martin Jol arrived at the club promising entertaining attacking football. But should Fulham fans be worried about the future of the club?
It strikes me that there’s not too much to worry about and there’s every reason to remain reasonably upbeat. Fulham aren’t getting ‘turned over’ and their defence has mostly stood-up and been as reliable as ever. Given that the season is young and a couple of wins will see Martin Jol’s side shoot up the table, any nerves would have to be considered a little premature. Jol himself recently told the Press:
“On Saturday we could have won easily; we could have beaten Chelsea; against Man City we came from two down to make it 2-2 and could have nicked it at the end. If you play good football, your opponent will be under pressure, and they will be the ones who have to shift to a 4-5-1, and that was good to see against Man City.”
That’s another promising aspect to Fulham’s start to the season: the team is more than holding its own against the big boys. If they could perform on the same level against ‘smaller’ teams, there’s no doubt that they’d start picking up points and climbing up the table.
There also has to be an increased emphasis on attacking rather than defensive football. Whilst at times Fulham have had the cutting edge of a year-old razor, at times the teams have produced some eye-catching attacking football. Martin Jol has made it clear where Fulham’s priorities must lie:
“My ambition is to follow the same Dutch principle. If you play your best football, starting from the back, the results will come naturally. If you don’t, you go back to the defensive, compact way – it’s good, because it’s the style Fulham used – but to go forward you need to score goals. The focus for me is on the performance and style – if you get that right, then you will achieve your objectives.”
The trouble it seems, will be adopting a more attacking approach without sacrificing defensive stability. With Jol at the helm of the club, however, I’m sure this wont be a problem.
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