You only need to look at what Bournemouth’s young English manager Eddie Howe has done since taking the reigns at the small South Coast side, given a chance, success can be managed without a massive spending spree. There are no real big name players on the books at Bournemouth, but Howe has put together a team that wants to work hard for him, and that is obvious when you watch them play.
The defeat at home by relegated Fulham must have come as a shock, as only a week earlier they had thrashed Brighton away 5-0. You can sympathise with the players at this time of the season when all the hard work had been done, with Bournemouth looking safe in keeping their Premier League status for another year at least.
Scott Parker was keen to grab a chat with Eddie Howe following Fulham’s victory. It was a good idea, as he could learn a lot from Howe’s experience in preparing a team strong enough to keep their Premier League status intact. What would Fulham’s fans had given to be more like Bournemouth this
Many Fulham fans have already made their thoughts clear by backing Scott Parker to lead the Cottagers in the Championship next season. Parker has tried his hardest to bring the squad closer together, and it has shown in recent matches that at last, they seem happier as a team, and moving in the right direction.
We are all aware that several players will be leaving. A few returning to their clubs after a loan, and some released/sold that are not needed next season. Parker has apparently asked Fulham owner Mr Khan, to try to keep star striker Mitrovic. He could prove to be the key to success, just as he was in helping the club achieve promotion last season.
If the Whites could also persuade Ryan Sessegnon to stay for one more year, with his twin brother Stephen, who could break into the first team next season and hold onto captain Tom Cairney, Fulham would be a strong contender for a swift return to the top flight.
Marcus Bettinelli will hopefully fully recover from his injury and be reinstated as number one goalkeeper. Mawson should be fit to join Tim Ream as a centre-back pairing, and with Bryan at left back and a new right-back brought in, the defence should be much stronger. McDonald should be brought back into midfield with Anguissa. With Sessegnon, Cairney and Mitrovic, Fulham should be a force once again to be reckoned with in the Championship.
Roll on next season, while our wonderful new Riverside Stand prepares itself for Fulham’s return to the Premier League with Scott Parker at the helm, establishing the club as a permanent fixture in the world’s elite league.
Dreams can come true!
Previous article by Brian Gower