This season has been a huge disappointment to say the least. Hopes were high with the board giving full support to Kit Symons. He has since been fired and after more than a month of Peter Grant and Stuart Gray we have a new manager in Slaviša Jokanović.
The team brought in two established Championship center backs to try to fill a void in Richard Stearman and Tim Ream. The two have had trouble gelling and have had some disappointing performances to say the least. Dan Burn and Shaun Hutchinson have played in place of the two when one is out and only been serviceable. Dan Burn has been disappointing at times because he seems to make mistakes that he shouldn't and because he has played in this division before with with Birmingham City. Shaun Hutchinson has been decent, but not special.
At left back, James Husband was brought in on loan, but since he has returned to Middlesbrough and subsequently moved to Huddersfield Town for a month. Luke Garbutt, despite scoring versus Bolton Wanderers, has not performed at the same level as Husband.
The right back position has driven supporters crazy due to the repeated appearance of Jazz Richards. Ryan Fredericks was purchased from Bristol and has shown moments of great promise. His pace going forward is lethal and is solid defensively. Most supporters find it hard to explain how Jazz has maintained his spot due to Fredericks performing better across the board this entire season.
The goalkeepers have played out of their minds this year. Despite having an inconsistent back line in front of them, they have produced great displays. All goalkeepers; Joe Lewis, Andy Lonergan, and Marcus Bettinelli; have proved their worth to the team.
In the end, the defense has been a roller coaster this season. A good game against Queens Park Rangers followed by a thrashing by Wolves at home and a horrible record defending set pieces has left supporters wondering how the defense will play despite consistently superb displays from the goalkeepers.
In the midfield the results have been somewhat better. Ben Pringle, Rotherham's best player last season, was brought in on a free and had a successful start to his Fulham career. However, he has fallen of the bus lately with a string of average or below average performances. He has been replaced by Alexander Kačanicklić, who has had a surprisingly good campaign. Ever since arriving from Liverpool he has failed to live up to his promise; however, this year he has changed. He has shown great pace on the wing and through the middle and as delivered good crosses and has scored a goal or two.
Tom Cairney has been brought in from Blackburn Rovers for around £3 million and has shown how he can justify the price tag. He has scored some crackers against Hull and Brighton. He also has shown great creative talent, but has gone missing in some gamess and been sent off for a two footed tackle versus Wolverhampton.
Jamie O'Hara has been a tremendous signing. he came on a free from Blackpool and has been quality. His only disappointing performances have come when he was played out of position.
Scott Parker has been a good leader, but this season should be his last because he is out of gas. His replacement has been Emerson Hyndman. A promising youth player he has shown why people believe he can be an impact player one day. However, he has spoken to the media about wanting to leave. We can only hope his mind has been changed due to his increase in playing time.
Sakari Mattila has impressed this year with some solid displays and a great game versus Stoke. He has has shown good value for the small fee we payed in the summer to sign him from Norway.
The engine during the fist half of the season has been Ryan Tunnicliffe. He has impressed week in week out and shows great promise moving forward. His injury has hurt the team more than the loss of Marcus Bettinelli and Matt Smith combined.
Finally, we have the Danish Iniesta, no bias, Lasse Vigen Christensen. He impresses me every time he plays. He has great stamina and passion. He is a box to box midfielder with good passing and tackling, nice pace, and good skill. He has dipped during some games but I love him so much as a player I have refused to blame him for anything. Overall, the midfield has been good but not good enough if we want to win promotion.
The strike force has been the major bright spot this season. Cauley Woodrow has scored some crucial goals for Fulham this year. He has salvaged Fulham a point with a last minute goal versus Huddersfield and scored two in a must win game versus Rotherham.
Matt Smith was injured early in the season at Hull, but has scored vs Cardiff City and shown his great aerial ability.
Moussa Dembele has been a fantastic player since has been given his chance over Matt Smith. He has scored eleven goals in all competitions and has provided a distraction that has allowed Ross McCormack to shine. All fans hold their breath though due to Moussa being out of contract at the end of the year.
Finally, where would Fulham be with Ross McCormack? He is an absolute god-sent to Fulham this year. He has scored seventeen goals in all competitions but his impact is even greater. He threatens constantly scoring crisp finishes and sublime free kicks. He is our captain and undoubtedly our best player by a country mile. In the end, we have scored the second most goals in the championship. Our attacking can win us promotion, the rest of the team is holding us back.
In summary, the defense has been poor. The forwards have been great. And the midfield has been mediocre. Jokanović has nineteen matches to figure things out and get Fulham into a position to compete next year. Can he do it?