When the Chips are Down: Fulham Football Club’s Fight for Survival


Fulham manager Felix Magath is in the unenviable position of guiding Fulham out of relegation.

By, Kyle Gibson

It’s not pretty, it’s not flashy, it’s not even that dignified.

Then again, when you’re in a fight for your life, you could care less about how things look.

That’s where Fulham Football Club finds itself as the English Premier League fades to a close. The Cottagers are very much hoping not to fade to the Football League Championship.

The team has been in the cellar for much of the season, which strangely didn’t surprise anyone, considering that the team has become a mainstay in recent years, not going down since it came up in 2001.

However, things have changed recently. Key players (Dempsey, Ruiz) have left or gone out on loan, Players that were key are still there, but now a lot older and less ready for a 38 game league season.

The club has also gone through three managers this season. I predicted Martin Jol would be gone, but did not expect his replacement, Rene Meulensteen, to be sacked after only a handful of weeks in charge, Felix Magath, the new manager, was given only 2 months to right the ship.

In its last 10 league games, Fulham is 2-6-2, which means just 8 out of a possible 30 points. However, those two wins have both come in the last two weeks of gameplay, with a 2-1 win at Villa Park last week and a 1-0 win against Norwich City Saturday. Suddenly, a lifeline for Fulham, which is now just 2 points away from surpassing Norwhich City, which recently fired manager Chris Hughton.

The bottom of the league is so close that Fulham has a very real chance to stay in top flight soccer. Unlike most years, when a bottom three can be decided even before now, the middle of the table can still be considered in danger.

Out of the the teams in the bottom, Fulham has been around the longest. Fulham has also been in these fights before. I would like to think that, with the passionate fans at Craven Cottage behind them and the recent surge, that Fulham might just be able to stay in the league.

Felix Magath looks like a mad scientist. If he can engineer a team that appeared dead back to life, he might just be as good as Dr. Frankenstein.


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