So we had the last rites last night at Craven Cottage with Burnley easily disposing of Fulham with 2 goals late in the first half.
There were three distinct phases to our season.
In the first, it was clear the promoted team was not good enough for the Premier, especially the defence; in the second, Scott Parker virtually replaced the whole back four. Some excellent results were produced with wins at Leicester, Liverpool and Everton – giving us every hope of survival; in the third, we lost our form and key late goals were conceded to Aston Villa, Wolves and Arsenal.
One theme ran through every phase – the inability to score.
Alex Mitrovic, who scored 26 goals in the Championship, could only manage 3; Ivan Cavaleiro only netted three times; Ruben Loftus Cheek score just the once and Marc Zambo Anguissa and Harrison Reed none at all.
Of the 7 loanees, only Joachim Andersen and Alphonse Areola and Ainareally shone.
We still have the availability of many of the team that achieved promotion – Rodak, Hector, Bryan, Cairney, Mitrovic – but will the latter and other permanent signings Anguissa, Robinson and Tosin stay?
Crucially will Scott Parker still be Head Coach?
There is no obvious replacement and if he is sacked then the fans will question how others survived.
The season threw up some odd statistics. Fulham have won as many games in the city of Liverpool as in London. Burnley have scored more goals in Craven Cottage in 2021 than Fulham.
This is my seventh relegation and – because of Covid, empty stadia, fan negativity and questionable VAR decisions – probably the worst.