Though we certainly have a long way to go, it can be said that most Fulham fans are breathing a sigh of relief with our recent good-form elevating us to 12th in the Premier League table.
This is due to improved tactics from Mark Hughes, a better overall effort from the squad as a whole, but most significantly to a return to health and form of Andrew Johnson and Damien Duff; both of whom have scored in recent weeks.
It’s timely productivity from the two veterans, indeed, as Clint Dempsey’s nine goals have accounted for a third of our PL goals this season (27 scored by Fulham squad; 1 Scott Carson OG).
Brede Hangeland sits second on the teams in League scoring with three. When one of your central defenders is second on your squad in scoring this late in the season, it is quite revealing.
To say that Dempsey has carried the squad this season is a bit of an overstatement, but you can’t dismiss the fact that he has shouldered the goal-scoring load for us.
To most (myself included), this highlights a glaring weakness in the squad, but the return to form of Andrew Johnson and Damien Duff, the signing of Steve Sidwell and Gael Kakuta, and the impending return of Bobby Zamora will hopefully see an overall increase in scoring and a greater contribution from other members of the squad.
Depending on one player for most of your scoring is just asking for trouble; especially this season as parity reigns and more than half the clubs not yet safe from the drop. That being said, as long as we keep winning, who cares from whom the goals come, right?
One more goal will see Dempsey reach double-digits in Premier League scoring. No big deal, right? Well, it is for Fulham. We’ve not had a double-digit Premier League scorer since Collins John (11) and Brian McBride (10) in the 2005/06 season.
Most of the larger clubs will laugh at us for heralding such a feat, but for us it’s significant and worthy of applause. Let’s hope Dempsey reaches double-digits on Monday versus Chelsea while helping us claim three-points from our West London rivals for the first time since March 2006.
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