In his programme article the chairman Shahid Khan spoke of how the appointment of Ray Wilkins was welcomed by the Fulham family. This must be a Fulham family I neither know nor understand. Our Fulham family remember a Chelsea legend replacing a Fulham one in Micky Adams. Wilkins failed to get Fulham promoted and was duly sacked. I do know 3 Fulham families – that of Michael Cole, Mark Collins and Dennis Turner – who gave Mr al Fayed first rate advice. Mr Khan’s first act was to dispense with them. It’s hardly surprising that we have had such a awful season and the gloom continues with yet another 4 goal thrashing. Each of the goals conceded can be attributed to a defensive lapse. Stockdale, who has been playing well, could not get firm hands on Adam Johnson’s free kick; Ki was unmarked when he slotted the second; Riiise failed to intercept Ki’s pass to Johnson for the third; the clumsy Senderos fouled Altidore for the penalty 4th. Don’t just blame the defence. Berbatov played disinterestedly and Taraabt was back to his selfish ways.
I spoke to a Sunderland fan on the tube home. He was surprised that when we got back to 2-1 and the crowd behind us we did not maximise our momentum. I explained that, with a team so aged, we simply did not have the legs and there is little hope of a late revival whe the stamina is not there to achieve it.
In the next few weeks we play Arsenal and Manchester United away and Liverpool and Southampton at home.
I am often accused of being pessimistic so I offer 2 grounds of hope. Brede Hangeland, club skipper and pivotal in every sense, is back in training and secondly the table is still very compact. I do not regard the transfer window as a source of hope as it’s a difficult market and we are buying by committee of Wilkins, Curbishley and Meulensteen. My Fulham family hark to the saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.