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2010/11 Review of the Season: Fulham

June 17, 2011

Mark Hughes inherited a well put-together, hard-working and defensively sound squad when he took over from Roy Hodgson at Fulham. The former Wales coach didn’t need to overhaul the club, unless he wanted to and he wisely chose not to fix what wasn’t broke. He simple supplemented what he had with a bit more depth in Moussa Dembélé, Carlos Salcido and Philippe Senderos.

He didn’t try to re-invent the wheel with Fulham’s style of play either. The midfield remained hard-working and tireless as they tried to support the front men and it eventually lead to 8th place in the Premier League; the 2nd highest placing in the club’s history. Fulham were difficult to beat for pretty much every team in the league although they failed to record any memorable results against the big guns of the league. Bobby Zamora was a big miss following the leg break he suffered in September and had he of played a full season, Fulham could well have finished higher.

Things appeared rosey for Hughes at the London club after a year only for him to go and run it by resigning. With the jobs at Chelsea and Aston Villa seemingly of interest, he decided not to activate the second year of his contract. Mohamed Al-Fayed had the last laugh by insisting Hughes serve out a month’s notice and with it, the interesting jobs have apparently passed Hughes by.

Regular Starting Eleven

Game of the season Fulham 4-0 Tottenham Sure they were helped by Michael Dawson’s sending off in the 13th minute, but for the first forty-five minutes Fulham played the Champions League-chasing Tottenham off the park in the FA Cup. Wave after wave of white attack rained down on the Spurs goal and they could do nothing to deny them scoring four goals/

Danny Murphy and Steve Sidwell bossed the Tottenham midfield and allowed Duff and Dempsey to get in either side of the visiting defence. Fulham were superb and gave Tottenham no chance to get back into the game or save their Cup campaign.

Player of the season Clint Dempsey Just as his role within the US national team has grown and become more important, Dempsey has continued to improve for Fulham this term. With the two central midfielders anchoring the play, the American has been given a licence to support the strikers more and more. Cutting in from wide positions, sitting in the hole or arriving late in the box; Dempsey played the role of attacking midfielder brilliantly throughout the season and ended up with 13 goals to his name.

Season in a tweet

Biggest disappointment Moussa Dembélé Far a disaster by any stretch of the imagination, the £5 million signing did struggle to make an impact on the goalscoring charts. The Belgian commanded the biggest fee of Fulham’s summer and will have been expected to produce more than three league goals for the club. He should improve next year after finding his feet in the first term.

Changes needed for next season? Martin Jol looks like an excellent match for Fulham. He was poorly treated by Tottenham when they got rid of him and with Fulham he can prove them wrong while doing a fine job at Craven Cottage. The first task for the Dutchman will be sorting out any problems with Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy and Simon Davies. Jol sold them on when he was at White Hart Lane and will need to mend some bridges to get them onside.

After that, he can look to improve on the solid squad he has inherited. He’ll need to do it quickly as Fulham’s season starts on June 30th with the Europa League which he will hopefully take seriously. Jol should have enough knowledge of European football that will allow him to improve his playing staff while remaining within Fulham’s budgets.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard permalink
    June 17, 2011 8:59 pm

    Dsagree entirely about Demebele being the biggest disappointment. He may not have scored that many goals, however his build up play was often fantastic. The ease with which he glided past players and switched directions and was 10 yards away before they knew it was insane. Yeh he’s a “forward”, but there’s much more to him than just goals (thankfully!), and he was truly exciting at times.
    For me it was probably Gera, who after a pretty fantastic 09/10 season – granted a lot of it was in Europe – was a pale imitation of his former self. The most noteable thing he did was get sent off and nearly cost Fulham the much coveted 1st Qualifying round of the Europa League! Or Pantsil, who while being absolutely mental and earning himself a place in most Fulham fan’s hearts scored too many own goals and cost them points.

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