Fulham: With Winnable Games Ahead, Magath's Work In Progress Is Promising
Frustration has become common place amongst Fulham fans, which meant the manner in which we conceded our late equaliser came as little surprise to all, but still produced the same level of annoyance.
Whilst I nursed a sliced shin wildly celebrating Ashkan Dejagah’s opener in the away end, it was a result that produced many positives, but posed the same questions. The tone of late has been to instill faith via the means of a good first half performance, only to proceed to eradicate it in the second half.
Magath opted to hold onto our lead, which puzzled many, especially when you have conceded 59 Premier League goals and find yourself bottom of the league. This sort of thinking resembles getting rejected by every girl in the club, only to proceed to attempt to woo one of the models. It was never going to work.
Sitting on a slender lead away from home was always going to end one way. Considering the way we played in the first half, it was a negative approach to disregard our attacking potent and use the option of exploiting one of our weakest points. Magath made the point of us having to forget about glamorous performances and concentrate on points, but neither were achieved.
Pessimism is a strong point of mine as it is so easy to maintain, but had I been offered a draw before kick-off, I would have taken it. When you remind yourself that their last two home outings ended in draws against Liverpool and Chelsea, you can’t consider yourself too unfortunate. Looking from West Brom’s perspective, they will certainly be more aggrieved at only gaining a point.
Realism needs to be instilled into some fans, with many lambasting the result as if we had thrown away the title. We haven’t become Barcelona over night, and there are still 11 games to go. A work in progress is the current predicament we are in, and whilst we don’t have much time, we have to take it how it is.
Although we find the light at the end of the tunnel flickering, largely due to Martin Jol spending our electricity money on the likes of Elsad Zverotic and Mickael Taveres, we still find ourselves with a number of winnable games. We crucially face home games against Newcastle, Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace along with away games at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Stoke. They will all be looking to pick up points as much as us, but it gives me a cause for optimism about our survival chances.
The ifs and buts are what drive football fans crazy, and having played out the Premier League table predictor more times than is good for my health, I’m verging on borderline psychopath. I do, however, have faith in us picking up maximum points in a number of those fixtures. You live to rue missed opportunities and conceding late goals, but doing so will leave you in the same mental state I find myself in. Despite telling my brain on numerous occasions to let things be, it is the only place I can find my fix of hope.
It’s funny how the mood of a fan can be altered by the occurrences of events in a game, and in particular, the timing of them. Had we of conceded early on and mustered a late equaliser, the mood would be a damn sight brighter. But it’s having those three points in your grasp, and throwing two of them in the river in such a fashion which creates the uncertainty and pessimism. As Jimmy Greaves would say, it’s a funny old game.
Follow Jaik on Twitter, @jaikbfenton