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Fulham, kings of meh

03 October 2010

It was bound to happen at some point, but yesterday, Fulham’s striker injury woes probably cost them a win.

Hmm, 31 more of these and we'll be safe on 40 points!

While Clint Dempsey scored a nice goal and created several other fine chances, Fulham’s lack of a cutting edge condemned them to a 1-1 draw with a West Ham side that, on that form, looks very good value for its current relegation spot. It’s another point on the road, yet extended Fulham’s away winless streak to 22 matches.

That pretty much sums up Fulham’s entire campaign so far. It’s been … “OK.” The Cottagers are one of two remaining unbeaten sides, but sit 10th in the table. There’s no result so far in their win and six draws that’s a huge disappointment, nor is there one that stands out as a great achievement, either. The home draw with Manchester United? The Red Devils have drawn all four away matches this season and Fulham had won that fixture handily the last two seasons. The draw at Blackburn is certainly credible. The one at Blackpool now looks better and better as the Seasiders continue to surprise. Then again, you could note that Blackpool has three more away wins in five Prem matches than Fulham has in more than a year.

Prior to the season, I suspected that this could be a “calmer” campaign for Fulham, but with the way some of the contenders have underperformed early, there has been ample opportunity for Fulham to make a statement about legitimate European aspirations. Injuries have played a sizable part of leaving some points on the table, but at some point, someone needs to make a play and there haven’t been enough difference-making ones yet this season.

Expected to be healthier off the international break, Fulham has a critical trio of games against banged-up Spurs, at West Brom and home to Wigan. Assuming Moussa Dembele and Andy Johnson are back, six or seven points is a reasonable expectation from that run. If they don’t get that haul, it probably will be an uneventful mid-table slog, as the schedule will stiffen and so-called contenders find their stride.

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