It’s been an odd month for Fulham. On the one hand, they beat Juventus to get to the last 8 in the Europa League. Wolfsburg are up next, and the ticket is already secured for the Cottage game on Thursday night.
On the other hand, that is the only game that Fulham have won since February 21st. In the league Fulham have lost the last three now that they have fallen to Hull City today. Spurs edged them out of the FA Cup thanks to a superb comeback in the second half of the replay (and a loss of momentum from Fulham after a great start in the first 45).
Bizzarely, it seems to be that Fulham’s form varies by month this Season. In even-numbered months they do well, and in odd numbered months they slump:
August: Won 3, Lost 3, Scored 7, Conceded 6, Qualified for Europa Groups
September: Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 3, Scored 5, Conceded 7, Knocked out of the League Cup
October: Won 3, Drew 3, Scored 11, Conceded 6
November: Won 1, Drew 2, Lost 2, Scored 6, Conceded 5
December: Won 4, Drew 2, Lost 1, Scored 10, Conceded 5, Qualified for Europa KO rounds
January: Won 2, Lost 4, Scored 6, Conceded 10, Only wins in FA cup against lower division sides
February: Won 5, Drew 3, Scored 13, Conceded 3, Busiest month by far, and beat UEFA Cup holders
March: Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 5, Scored 7, Conceded 14, Out of the FA Cup, but still in Europe
The last few weeks will have taken a lot out of the squad, and there’s more to come with the Wolfsburg games and the rescheduled game against Stoke to play in the midweek. Away form is pretty poor still. All season, Fulham have won in only four games on the road, and only one of those has come in the Premier League (Portsmouth, on day one). Looking at the remaining away games (Wolfsburg 8 April, Liverpool 11 April, Everton 24 April and Arsenal 9 May), I can’t see that changing much.
And so Fulham find themselves in 11th place in the table. 38 points so far renders them pretty safe and the last home league games are all winnable (Wigan 4 April, Stoke 14 April, Wolves 17 April, West Ham 1 May), so while there’s not many ways to climb much above 9th or 10th, the Whites should not slip back much further.
Still, at the beginning of the season, the worry was that Europe would prove such a drain that Fulham would struggle. Getting to the Quarter Finals in the Europa and to the same round of the FA Cup shows that the club has the quality of players and the management to move forward, and so next season they should really be looking at a solid top-half finish.