The season of festive cheer often overlooks us football fans. While Ebenezer Pellegrini and his band of not so merry Mancunian Scrooges spoiled our comeback on Saturday, it still seems only appropriate to wish everyone connected with Fulham Football Club a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
2013 has been a year of mixed fortunes and troubled transition for our fabled football club. Too often the brief highs have been followed by conspicuous lows.
Now, after another encouraging performance, it appears that we have emerged from the period of prolonged worry and fear, and can hopefully move on into the second half of the season with renewed hope and a sense of optimism under new Head Coach Rene Meulensteen.
We are obviously a long way from safety and while we may not have turned the corner completely, we have certainly approached the bend. With festive fixtures against four fellow relegation candidates in a row to come, we will soon see if our transition translates into points on the board.
This season, the Premier League is living up to its reputation to expect the unexpected. Across the division we have seen a quarter of managers lose their jobs with that number likely to rise. Christmas cheer it seems is in short supply all around.
In the Fulham household there is a palpable sense of us all wishing for Good Saint Nick to come down the chimney clutching gifts, albeit a day late on Boxing Day. Three points on Thursday would be the present we’re all craving. A defeat and we may as well be looking at a lump of coal.
With Chairman Shahid Khan at Craven Cottage last Saturday, he would have seen a motivated Fulham side playing in front of a spirited crowd. The atmosphere was tremendous. Hope has sprung its merry web amongst the Fulham Faithful.
January will prove pivotal. If the performance against Man City proved anything, it’s that the squad and first team remain short on quality even with a good new coach. It is no use if our players play to the best of their ability, yet their maximum performance ceiling is still short of the level we need to escape the doldrums. Clint Dempsey’s return is a great first present sitting under our tree, but Santa Khan must provide the chequebook for several more players to follow.
Regardless of the matters on the field, Fulham fans and the devoted hardworking staff at the club have had an arduous and fraught few months. With relationships and communication becoming fractious and increasingly agitated, it is splendid to see the club, its staff and fans once again unified.
Like any family at this time of year, the Fulham family has had its fair share of squabbles. Now though, we go onwards to the New Year as one; a cohesive body of collective support for the new Head Coach and his chosen charges that will undoubtedly aid our ascent from the depths of relegation candidacy.
Merry Christmas Fulham Family. Let’s make 2014 memorable for the right reasons.