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A Cottagers Contemplation - Sinking feeling

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A positive unbeaten start to the season has been met by a storm of negativity. Fans can't help but feel a sinking feeling surrounding the club.

Brentford v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The start of the season has been one of a relief to the fans of the club, witnessing a positive and inspiring start to a season.

Six games played and yet to record a loss, the best start in recent memory.

An optimistic start looks to be the revival of fortunes the fans have been craving. Fulham are by no means a 'sleeping giant' as the likes of Newcastle United but are definitely worthy of Premier League status.

In tow with Fulham's healthy form, the club is boasting an optimistic youth system with the likes of Dembele, Hyndman and Patrick Roberts finding their success at the club; landing them a transfer to the Premiership and Scottish Premiership respectively. Ryan Sessegnon is the latest off that conveyor belt and is touted for a bright future, with the 16 year old catching the eye of several of the Premiership’s top clubs.

Fulham U18 v Chelsea U18 - FA Youth Cup Final: First Leg Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

However at the beginning of the week whispers began to reach the media and soon spread like wildfire. Before we knew it, we had a state of panic surrounding the club yet again.

So what is going on at Fulham?

Slavisa Jokanovic vented his frustration of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Cardiff, verbally announcing his displeasure of missing potential transfers in his interview with BBC Radio London.

The head coach expressed his frustrations towards Craig Kline, a friend of Shahid’s son Tony, who is employed by Fulham for his expertise in analytics. Mr. Kline seemly has undermined the head coach’s requests.

In my opinion, Mr. Kline's policy shows lack of any education on transfers and the sport in its entirety.

What are we to make of Slav's comments and will him publishing his view publicly get the coach sacked?

If Fulham were to lose Jokanovic due to the current state of affairs, the fans could possibly turn against the club’s hierarchy.

We have seen a glimpse of how powerful a message this can be, when Liverpool fans staged a walk out in protest.

Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

If Jokanovic was to leave, he would not be short of potential suitors, which leads me to think that this could be a publicity stunt to swing the power back into the hands of the Serbian.

I myself do believe that there is a place for statistics in football, along with a majority of fans of the game.

However the role of analysts should be to present the manager with possible scouting options or further scout acquired targets. The idea that Slavisa's options are overridden seems ludicrous to me.

The fact that the Serbian is head coach of a respectable caliber proves that he has risen through the ranks, obtaining knowledge of the game along the way.

He himself was brought in to achieve success after the clubs turmoil, so why over ride his desires?

Do you think Barcelona's scouting team traveled to Argentina to scout a juvenile Lionel Messi off the back of statistics?

Granted at a young age it was evident that Messi possessed natural talent. However, that is only one such instance and there are many more examples.

The year was 2003, Arsenal and Manchester United extended their battles off the pitch as they fought it out over the signature of a young Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international had emerged onto the scene whilst plying his trade at Sporting CP in his homeland.

Sir Alex Ferguson finally prevailed as the Scotsman made the bold decision to sign the winger for £12.5 million. Ronaldo was a raw talent and over the years has trained hard to become a superstar.

These two have broken record after record as they conquered Europe in becoming the worlds best and arguably the best players of all time.

Argentina v Portugal - International Friendly Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Do you think these scouts were following spreadsheets?

No they made a calculated risk on nothing more than gut instinct of future potential.

A players potential growth cannot be assessed by statistics, yes I agree with the argument for statistics. It is hard to disagree with the practice in its entirety, due to its success in sports across the Atlantic Sea. Nevertheless, my opinion is a confident one in saying that the place for analytics in football should remain marginalized.

Sakari Mattila was a prime example of the failure in the system with the Finn's short and unsuccessful stint at The Cottagers.

Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Unfortunately I feel Shahid Khan's purchase of the club was more of a extending his franchise rather than the clubs benefit.

The proposed Riverside Stand extension project would bring a financial gain to the club, increasing match day revenue and open up the river walk on non match days with a bar and shop with estimating an additional £2 million annual increase.

The project would benefit in funding future transfers but with the current situation of the transfer policy, you could argue if this is what we really want for the club?

The blueprinted plans in theory are beneficial, but is this something that's going to regain Premier League stature?

I am thankful for his finances, but Shahid Khan has been that of an absentee since his acquisition of the club. In the present day, a majority of football clubs are seen as a tidy investment for a businessmen.

I feel that if this is to be the end of Jokanovic, then we should say goodbye to Mr Khan, as his ambition for the club would no longer progress

Listen to the thoughts of Cottage Talk hosts on the matter here and here, I also urge you to read an excellent article by Andrew Beck on our website explaining the similarities between Mr Khan’s franchises The Jaguars and Fulham.

I am interested to hear other Fulham fans opinions, leave your thoughts in the comments below.