There’s been a lot of uproar over Fulham’s spectacular failings on transfer deadline day to fail to add competently to the squad – despite signing a genuine world class forward, a versatile and proven Englishman and a rated winger. No doubt this is a reaction to losing our two best players in Dembele and Dempsey, and although the club would have been doing their best, and we have some of the best working for us, I too am disappointed in our failure to replace Dembele, at least, in the centre of midfield.
But our squad is still impressive. Take the first and second choice 11s (I’ll choose to deploy the 4-2-3-1 that Jol seems to favour, although I feel that may change in order to optimise the talents at our disposal):
Riether – Hughes – Hangeland – Riise
Diarra – Sidwell
Dejegah – Ruiz – Richardson
Kelly – Senderos – Baird – Briggs
Kasami – ?X?
Duff – Rodallega – Kacaniklic
We also have Davies, Trotta and Frei to help supplement the squad, and talented young players in Mesca, Minkwitz and Burn who are not far from the first team either.So you see, it’s actually fairly deep, especially with our attacking options and our defensive positions are well stocked too. You also cannot understate the quality of Petric and Berbatov either, we should be very excited that they’re here.
There is one big concern in the centre of midfield. We now rely a lot on Diarra keeping his fitness, an attribute that he’s not been too consistent with over the last few years, and there’s some doubt as to the quality of Sidwell; personally I think Sidwell is ok, and adequate enough to carry us over until January, but clearly we will miss the guile we used to have in that position provided by Dembele and Murphy before him. Not just that but our variety there is limited, so it will be difficult to change games with substitutions in that area, but as I say the problem there really isn’t as bad as it’s made out and elsewhere we should be fine, until January at least where we will no doubt be active in the transfer market with hopefully a bit more gusto than we demonstrated over the past two weeks.