No fewer than six players have left Craven Cottage under Martin Jol's new, animated regime, and to think that will bring a close to the SW6 departure lounge could be considered well beyond foolish. Clearly, the Dutchman is a man of upheaval and the likes of Diomansy Kamara and Eddie Johnson aren't going to make him think twice about abrupt, inexorable redundancies.
With such an exodus will of course come an influx; one which is notably preceded by the ginger head of John Arne Risse, an astute, if unexpected purchase, given Jol's ramblings of a bright, young future.
However people may perceive it, though, the mass culling at Fulham is nothing short of a necessary act, probably well overdue, irrelevant of the admirable consistency that a wholly unchanged squad achieved from 2008 right through to 2011. The insignificant end of that team of consistency were always in the decline, and it took a change in manager to pull out the grim reaper's scythe.
The assumption has always seemed to be, perhaps even to a nationwide extent, that Fulham have continued, over the prevailing years, to possess a thinning squad. Given our humble background and underestimated finances, even the best in the game see us as a team of little depth; certainly not a side that can boast considerable talent in every position on the field. Yet, it is a thankfully misguided stance to take. How can a side of such a shallow standing survive a Premier League season, finishing comfortably in mid-table, and fight so wondrously on a European front that would last an arduous, if delightful, nineteen matches?
The fact is, quite simply, that we do own a side of considerable expanse, and at times it can be a plague to progression. Zoltan Gera aside, the removal of said players, as well as those rumoured to be on the way out (Jonathan Greening and Carlos Salcido) is a simple ploy to make room in the squad and to halt a dragging decline in morale. Kamara and company were less than happy sitting on the sidelines, and stated so vocally.
Not only does it free up some required space in what was becoming a tight first team, but the action Jol has taken should also put us well on course to financial security, given the new Financial Fair Play implications set to be imposed in 2014. Perhaps, you could say, I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but we have firmly established ourselves as a team of great European pedigree and to throw such a nicety away would be nothing short of irresponsible. We are, as is any club, ambitious, so any hesitation to make progress would be nonsensical.
And progress is just what Jol plans to provide. As with any revolution, large or almost ineffectual, foundations need to be laid and the sales come hand in hand with Martin Jol's statement of intent that a younger Fulham will follow. Matthew Saunders ignored, the average age of the departed players reads twenty-nine years old. Not quite ancient but certainly not fresh.
The evacuation should provide a moral impetus for the younger players who have always harboured aspirations for first team football. With the proverbial blockades taken out of their paths, little is standing in the way of the likes of Kerim Frei and Matthew Briggs from making Jol's first team with refreshing regularity, as, let's face it, for all our success, the progress of our youth has been a flaw throughout the Premier League years.
The youth will not be the only ones to prosper, of course, as our humble abode will be blessed with a bountiful array of new arrivals. Funds raised and room prepared, Jol now has a deserving freedom to bring in the best that his far reaching knowledge can. His connections to Holland and Germany will no doubt prove indispensable, and his eye for potential will undeniably be invaluable. Christian Zaccardo and Antonio De Negris are the latest to be connected with Fulham moves. Hardly small fry.
With any set of leavers, there will be always be a degree of animosity towards those who instigated it; especially when John Pantsil is involved. However regrettably, though, revolutions require change and there will always be victims.
Yet hopefully, as the season progresses, the Craven Cottage faithful will be reaping the rewards of a quick and decisive manager who may, on the outside at least, appear genial and warm.