The MOTD2 introduction to our game with Birmingham on Sunday enraged a few fans. Adrian Chiles surmised that Fulham and the Blues were punching above their weight. Either he slept through last season (entirely possible given how poorly West Brom performed) or he’s forgotten that we’ve been in the top flight for eight years and have been steadily improving under Roy Hodgson.
This piece puts it a little more politely, but I personally am bridling at these assertions of overachieving. Hodgson certainly would want a top half finish this season I’m sure.
At the same time Fulham are looking set to duplicate last season’s top half finish and are in good positions in both the FA Cup and Europa League. There are even some suggestions out there that Fulham’s victory over Shakhtar Donetsk has elevated them to being one of the favorites to win the tournament. With great players at every position, including Bobby Zamora, who is being tipped for an international call up, Roy Hodgson has done a marvelous job guiding his team into 9th place.
In a league that tends to relate money with success Birmingham and Fulham have managed to play their way into the top half with only minimal investments. The main key for both of these teams has been their brilliant managers and untiring work ethic. These two teams further illustrate the class that permeates the Barclay’s Premier League. It may be big spending clubs that make the league famous around the world, but it’s teams like Fulham and Birmingham that make the Premier League competitive and keep the others honest.
It’s difficult to argue with the sentiment but if Hodgson stays for a while by the Cottage shouldn’t mid-table be our expected level?