There are poor results, there are off days, and then there is the noxious rubbish that Fulham produced on Saturday against local rivals Brentford. Down 2-0 within the first ten minutes, down 3-0 before half time, the Whites turned in yet another abysmal performance in what has been an extremely disappointing season. Defeats such as these to Brentford, a small club that we should be dominating, are simply unacceptable and disgusting.
Laughingly, the buildup to the match was characterized by a feeling of optimism. The logic was that the shackles were off, our Championship status was secured, and Fulham would be properly up for the match and raring to go in the West London derby.
But those dreams were shattered before the match had even started. Slavisa Jokanovic selected an odd first XI, with Ross McCormack on his own up front and Moussa Dembele on the bench. Leaving the division's deadliest strike partnership on the bench was odd, as was handing a start to Jazz Richards.
Fulham proceeded to ship a goal four minutes in, and let up a second two minutes later. 2-0 down within 10 minutes, so much for a end of season morale boosting win. To rub salt in the wound, Brentford added a third off a corner before half time. Classic Fulham. Is there a club in the world that is anywhere near as inept as we are at defending set pieces?
The Brentford fans were letting the Fulham faithful hear it, and the atmosphere in the away end had turned toxic. Chants of "You're not fit to wear the shirt" reverberated from the Whites supporters, and it was hard to argue against them. Fulham failed to play with any determination, grit, or passion for the 90 minutes. It was truly a spineless display from a spineless squad.
And possibly the most frustrating aspect of the whole situation is that we are in almost exactly the same position as we were a year ago. There has been no meaningful progress made over the past 12 months, and one could argue that the Whites have even regressed further.
Flashback to the 2015/16 season. Fulham had started the season poorly, sacked their manager in the fall, and appointed a new one to much fanfare and optimism in early winter. Then results had soured, the side found themselves in an unexpected relegation scrap, and ended the season barely escaping relegation. Sound familiar? Oh, and throw in a three goal to defeat to Brentford in April as well for good measure.
It is clear massive changes need to be made over the summer to avoid a repeat of our Championship nightmare. Days like today have become all too commonplace for Fulham fans over the past three years. It has been said before, but every time you expect Fulham have reached rock bottom, they manage to find new ways to disappoint. Being outclassed and outworked against bloody Brentford is a new low, and the club must take this feeling of anger and embarrassment and channel it into a successful offseason.
This summer will be crucial in setting the tone for Fulham's future. A poor offseason and Fulham could be staring down the brink of a fourth relegation scrap in as many years. Changes must be made, or else the club we all love so dearly could be truly transformed into a spineless laughingstock.