December 18 2013 Latest news:
Ben Walker, London24 Fulham blogger
Thursday, May 17, 2012
“A solid season all told. Ninth place with some good football to watch has left everybody pretty satisfied”
It’s all over. Joey Barton has elbowed his last victim (though the Twitter drivel from him rumbles on), Phil Jones has gurned for the last time, King Kenny has shouted at his last journalist, Chris Foy (#FoynotHoy) made his final shocking decision and Martin Fulop is probably hoping he never has to play football again. What an end to the season and somehow QPR stayed up! With the season done and dusted, the Champions League doesn’t count so long as Chelsea are in it, it’s time for……(drum roll please)……
The View From The River End Of Year report
What’s occurred: A solid season all told. Ninth place with some good football to watch has left everybody pretty satisfied. We’ve been great on our day and post-Christmas have consistently picked up good results. The Pog coming in for Bobby has been a great signing and Diarra has really added something to the team. Our away form still hasn’t been great although it has picked up with wins over Liverpool, Bolton and QPR. There were a few days where we weren’t great (Everton away and Swansea home spring to mind) but for the most part it’s been a very encouraging second half of the season 50+ points and 9th place is a good effort all round.
How’s the teacher (boss) got on: The team have definitely warmed to Jol’s way of playing and he is without doubt more popular with the fans than Hughes ever was. It will be very interesting to see what kind of players he can attract over the summer and who he can keep hold of…
Who passed the class: Top of the class (as ever) has got to be Clint. 50 Premier League goals is a fantastic return at a club like Fulham and 17 league goals this year has made him our top ever Premier League scorer. Diarra and the Pog both were shrewd signings in January and Moussa continued to weave his magic and is very quickly looking like the real deal in centre midfield. It’s also been very encouraging to see Frei and Kacaniklic come in and make an impact. Our back three of Hangeland, Hughes and Schwarzer have been as reliable as ever and Riise has looked solid defensively and given us genuine width and drive going forward.
Who got an F: I would say Bobby but he flunked the class to go to the “ambitious” lot up the road. Whilst we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from Ruiz, next year is going to be an important one for him. There are also lots of loyal squad members/back up players who may not be taking their seats in class next year, principally Etuhu, Davies etc.
Grade: B+. Realistically this has been a very good year for us. We are never going to go much higher than 9th and I would be more than happy with the same again and a cup run next year. Of course if we managed to keep Dempsey and Dembele then maybe, just maybe, we could push on. But that’s a question for another column, the next one in fact.