Fulham’s 3-2 win over QPR last night made it two London derby wins in a row for the Cottagers.
This recent victory came after an excellent win at White Hart Lane against north London outfit Tottenham.
That Spurs team featured two players that were key to Fulham last year, and it is a massive credit to Martin Jol that Fulham are still going strong this time round.
Currently sitting in tenth, with a game in hand over Swansea above them, Fulham look set for another season in the Premier League.
Jol told the BBC: "Hopefully 39 points is enough but it is a tough competition, probably the only one in the world where the team in 10th could still possibly go down."
Dimitar Berbatov scored a brace to make it five goals in his last four games, and 13 for the season, and the Bulgarian has delighted the Craven Cottage crowd since his £5 million move from Manchester United. Bryan Ruiz has adapted to English football, while the ever dependable Mark Schwarzer and Brede Hangeland marshal the Fulham defence.
Clint Dempsey scored 23 goals in all competitions for Fulham last season, over double the next player, while Tottenham also signed Dembele for £15million. Yet despite the departure of arguably their best two players, Fulham have avoided being sucked into the relegation fight and can aim for a fourth top 10 finish in the last six years.
For a team of Fulham’s size, playing in the 25,700 capacity Craven Cottage and without the safety net of owner Mohamed Al-Fayed’s open wallet, that is an impressive achievement, especially when the whereabouts of former giants like Leeds, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, former Premier League Champions Blackburn, Wolves and Coventry are considered.
Manager Martin Jol must take his fair share of the credit, as well as his players and the backroom staff. Anything more than a top half ambition may be asking too much of the club, but if the Cottagers can continue to compete despite losing their best players (and making hefty profits in the process) then that is something to be proud of.
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