Mark Hughes photo via getty images
I think it is easy to get too high or low about the club you follow. After a win it is easy to feel that your team can go far this season. After a few losses I can see feeling that your club is going to be in a relegation battle. I try to not ride that wave of emotions after a game. It is very hard, but I am looking at the bigger picture, and I think it is still very bright for Fulham this season.
I saw this interesting article in Fanhouse UK by Ben Hunt. I would highly recommend it. His story seems to be of the opinion that Fulham might be counting a great deal on the return from Andy Johnson to be very productive. His commentary seems to center around that Fulham need Johnson to score goals especially while Bobby Zamora is out. He is sending the message through his article that if Johnson does not produce Fulham could be in trouble.
Now, I respect Mr. Hunt's opinions on Fulham. I actually commented at the bottom of his story. However, I disagree with some of his comments regarding the team. He is painting a picture that Fulham could really be dependent on Johnson being a major contributor this season for Fulham. I don't see Fulham this way, and I will be happy to explain why I see Fulham's future is still very bright.
First, the Fulham I have watched are a true team. I have not seen Fulham dependent on one player to make or break their season. Last season I saw Fulham go through large spells of injuries. They overcame those obstacles and actually thrived. The versatility of many of the players to play different positions helps the process of overcoming injuries. Chris Baird is the ultimate example of how he can play on defense and in midfield. Clint Dempsey has played up front in the striker position as well as in midfield.
Second, right now with Johnson, I don't think he is looked upon as a saviour. Johnson could be an excellent compliment up front with Moussa Dembele. I do think that Dembele is the man to play the Zamora role while he is gone. When Zamora comes back, I think him and Dembele will make an incredible pairing up front. In the meantime, I feel that anything that Johnson can bring to Fulham would be a great bonus.
Third, what is hurting Fulham right now is that a number of injuries in the midfield, at the same time have caught up with them. You currently have four starters in midfield out. Danny Murphy in my opinion is the one that hurts the most. He is really the engine in the middle of Fulham who feeds the players up front. Murphy is still a wonderful passer who really sets up the offense for the Cottagers. Chris Baird is doing a nice job filling in, but he is not the passer of Murphy.
These injuries reportedly in the midfield are supposedly not long term. This is a major reason why I see the losses lately for the Cottagers as temporary. They might be 16th right now, but I don't see that position lasting long.
The main reason why I see the future so bright is I can see the change of style being a huge benefit for this club under Hughes. It is just a matter of time before we start seeing more goals and wins. As the teams gets more experience in this system, I feel the results are going to come.
By the time Zamora returns, Fulham could be ready to take it to the next level, and he could be the piece to take them over the top. So I will stick by my prediction from the beginning of the season. I still see Fulham finishing seventh in the league, and hopefully getting back to Europe. Why would you doubt this team now after watching the last two seasons?