Consistency is a friend we haven't yet met this season

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Martin Jol, manager of Fulham looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on December 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Not knowing quite what to expect is, generally at least, a rather pleasing notion at this festive time of year, but then again, football has a habit of countering the norm and taking you on a ride of both depression and bliss.

The matter is no better exampled than by Martin Jol's Fulham, a team who have failed to win two Premier League games in a row so far this term and whom have inflicted a 6-0 win on Queens Park Rangers while also being humiliated on home turf against a Manchester United side short, practically, of a whole starting eleven.

It's a rather irritable genetic variation to inherit. It has that perplexing and somewhat pestering ability to get your hopes up to an almost cosmic degree, only to bring it down within seven days to a point where the only logical reaction is to shout nonsensical abuse.

The QPR win came before a shoddy display at the Brittania Stadium, in which Fulham succumbed by two goals to nil. The away victory at Wigan only came with a dismantlement from Spurs in tow and a spontaneously uplifting defeat of Liverpool only triggered a lackadaisical showing in Wales. Why can't we just retain even a morsel of momentum?

It's a lot to ask, I'm aware, especially in a league where one week you can be facing a defence prefaced by Titus Bramble and the next you can be up against Sergio Aguero, but consistency is a friend that is often taken for granted in return for sporadic wins against superior opposition and combative draws against great, old foes. I'd much rather pull out of January with six points attained from Newcastle and Blackburn than merely three from Arsenal. It seems common sense, but, as it stands, Jol's men appear to only bring out their best when it really and truly matters.

This, however, will never be enough. A season isn't won or lost under the limelight, it's deemed a success because of the nitty-gritty. Beating Kenny Dalglish is a nice feeling at any time of the year but it's no substitute for a few wins on the trot and a significant impetus to keep you moving forward.

That's why the focus needs to change. We're out of Europe, which should have been a lesson hastily learned in itself, and we only have the league to concern ourselves with. Fulham should be throwing the likes of Blackburn aside and giving teams such as Newcastle a genuine test of guile - not like Jol's men did early on in the season.

Because, consistency is an oft overlooked factor in football. We had a similar issue last season under Hughes but it was eventually reversed and even our away form became reputable reading. Once a head of steam had been built up, we achieved an eighth place finish. Is that not again attainable if the thought is put into it?

Of course it is, but don't be expecting anything just yet. Having just given Chelsea a shock, we're due a defeat. Cue a sorry New Year's Eve in East Anglia.

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