A few years back Fulham sold a promising starlet Pat Roberts to Manchester City. Out of curiosity I went onto the City official website to see how he was greeted.
It was a £8m signing, a significant figure in those days. There was no mention of him at all, the coverage being on the acquisition of Fabian Delph.
Almost immediately Roberts went on loan to Celtic and I have no idea where he is now.
No doubt he is a very rich young man but he’s not playing football at the highest level. Clubs like City do not promote youth – worse, they prevent a sale to another club that might. Some might argue that my argument fails as academy graduates Bahrim Diaz and Phil Foden played last night but it was a rare outing in the Caribou Cup.
Fulham by contrast fielded a strong team. One assumes SJ wanted to generate more cohesion and consistency in selection. Kevin McDonald was out (suspended), Joe Bryan at left back was injured but most chosen and playing will be selected in the key game at Huddersfield on Monday night.
Goal scoring is beginning to look a problem. Jean Michel Seri is not the sparky midfielder of his first 5 games, Alfie Mawson does not get a game, Angoissa yet to impose himself in midfield.
When Clubs like City can reportedly offer a new contract to Raheem Sterling at £300,000 per week – and a talent like Foden has to get past De Bruyne, Mahraz, Fernandinho, Silva, Gundogan, Zinchenko and Delph in midfield – the Premier is not a level playing field.
Fulham need to recalibrate and do a Brighton: concentrate on not finishing in the bottom three. It all starts and possibly finishes at Huddersfield Monday.