The Words "What If" Could Drive Talk Ranging From Relegation To The Europa League Regarding Fulham

Jordan Mansfield

As we get ready for a new season, I was thinking about all of the talk I am expecting to hear from fans and the media regarding Fulham. The talk could really run the spectrum as two words I feel really can dictate what is talked about. The words "what if" could drive the talk about Fulham this season.

When it comes to fans, I feel you can have a a glass half full or half empty approach to the club as we look forward to the new season, and the words "what if" can really dictate it.

First, if you are looking at it from a glass half empty approach you might be saying "what if" Fulham do not strengthen the squad before the transfer window closes? You might be thinking that Fulham could be headed towards a relegation battle. "What if" Fulham get off to a slow start? "What if" Dimitar Berbatov or Bryan Ruiz get injured during the season? All of this potential talk is a really negative way to approach the season, and you are expecting the worst to happen.

Now for these fans, I understand where you are coming from, and your concerns about the upcoming season. My thoughts on this deals with history. Fulham have been in the Barclays Premier League since the 2001-2002 season. Every year it seems I see that fear of relegation, and it could happen one year, but since the Great Escape of the 2007-2008 season, Fulham have ended the year the worst being 12th and the best 7th.

I feel there is way too much talk given to the fear of relegation. The possibility does exist, but at some point it needs to be downplayed until there is a realistic chance that Fulham could be relegated. I have always stated that if Fulham are near the bottom at the beginning of March, then you have every right to worry, but to focus on it now, or the first couple of months of the season I feel is an over-reaction.

On the other side of the coin, if you are a glass half full fan like myself, the words "what if" can be used to project the upcoming season for Fulham. "What if" Fulham add a creative central midfielder, another striker, and a left back before the summer transfer window closes? Well if Fulham are able to fill those holes, I could be hearing talk about a potential Europa League spot. However, this would be a premature reaction, because if these additions were to come to Fulham, we still have to see how the club plays together.

Again, in this scenario, the positive fan still needs to wait and see how the club reacts to new signings. To really get an indication if Fulham were headed for a Europa League spot, I truly believe we will know around March. It would be an over-reaction positively I feel to think Fulham can ultimately get there until then.

The bottom line of this article is whether you are a glass half full or empty fan, Fulham have established themselves right in the middle of the Barclays Premier League. They are a mid-table club, and have been one for awhile now. There have been several highs, and have been some scary moments, but in the end, Fulham seem to end somewhere between 7th - 12th, and there is nothing wrong with that.

So, when you get ready for the new season of football for Fulham, history tells us that whether you are a positive or negative fan, Fulham could end up comfortably in the middle. There will be so much talk this season, but I have a feeling that in the end Fulham will end up where they have been for the past five seasons.

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