Fulham must address their business in this January’s transfer window

Warren Little

If we are to avoid the drop this season then we must spend wisely and assertively in this January's transfer window.

These last two months have been difficult ones for Fulham, and Martin Jol in particular. As a team we have lacked serious cohesion and there is a stagnating air of frustration present onmatch days.

These problems however have not just materialised. Apart from finishing last season with a win at Swansea, our run of form up to that fixture, picking up a single point in seven games, was abysmal.

After beating Queens Park Rangers and securing 39 points, it appeared the team were content with the years work and so commenced an early summer holiday.

For me the season couldn't come to its conclusion quickly enough, and suddenly as a club we were acknowledging that changes needed to be implemented if we were to retain our premier league status the following year.

With the finger pointed at Martin Jol, the transfer window would be his opportunity to right the wrongs of the previous season and begin to introduce his managerial style to the team - signing players that would suit his system, whatever it was.

With many ageing players featuring in the starting line-up some young talent was vital. Not only would it increase our pace and energy levels on the pitch, it would supplement the likes of Damien Duff and Giorgos Karagounis, players who are now, arguably, unable to put in an effective shift for the full 90 minutes.

We also needed a creative midfield player - one that would emulate what Moussa Dembele was achieving for the team before his departure. As the transfer window slammed shut, we had indeed signed some useful players, but once again, in hindsight, did we make the most of it?

In my opinion, no we didn't. The way we went about our business in the transfer window was both tentative and short sighted. Yes we made what looks to be a great signing in centre-back, Fernando Amorebieta, and yes I must admit I was excited by the prospect of goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg and signing of workhorse Scott Parker, but we ignored the vital areas that needed improving.

I understand that the media play a part in the circus that is the transfer window, and that not everything you hear is to be believed. That said however, both the signings of Scott Parker and Darren Bent were far too tentative. The impression from both players was that, despite interest from other clubs, they were interested in joining Fulham, so why did the deals take so long to complete?

Speculation was that both were on their way, then not, then going elsewhere, then signing etc. etc. It was as if these two players were back up buys that we were forced into signing as their availability was diminishing and nothing had materialised elsewhere.

Derek Boateng was bought with some assertion, but one game in finds himself dropped, as the similar aged and styled Scott Parker joins the team. The signing of Maarten Stekelenburg too was riddled with mistakes. Yes his injury could well be a bit of bad luck, but suddenly as a team, having told Mark Schwarzer he is no longer first choice, we are without a quality goalkeeper.

Recently we have been linked with Wilfred Zaha, and there is speculation that he may be joining the club on loan. I personally however just cannot see this happening. It makes too much sense for us to bring in a young and talented playmaker and due to our aforementioned lacklustre attitude to signing players, and the understandable competition for his temporary signature; he'll no doubt be going elsewhere.

Martin Jol is now well aware of the pressure he is under, and although many are calling for his head, I question who can come in and make an immediate impact. The January transfer window, for me, is his last chance. It's the perfect opportunity for him to demonstrate not only his ambitions, but also those of the chairman, Shahid Khan.

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