Which Fulham will turn up to face Reds?

Posted by Phil Mison

Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesCan Martin Jol rouse his charges against Liverpool?

Anything consistent with the dreadful run of form we've witnessed since Rangers were seen off on April 1st and Liverpool will be taking three points back up the M6 Sunday. Even without arch villain Luis Suarez and injured duo Stevie Gerrard and Daniel Agger, Brendan Rodgers has enough in his arsenal to suggest a comfortable away win for the Reds.

Unless, that is, toothless Fulham decide to confound us all by doing something quite outrageous to upset the odds and send us off for the summer with a smile on our faces again. Am I that optimistic? No, but at the end of this forgettable season it would be oh-so-typically Fulham-ish for us to find a win from somewhere and leave Martin Jol with the last laugh.

Thank goodness after the Villa result Saturday we need have no fears now of slipping outrageously through the trap door. Though not mathematically safe, we'll be back again in August with a clean slate and a mission one hopes to build for a brighter future. Whether a new season sees Martin still in charge, and what transfer strategy the board unveils, remains the stuff of conjecture for now.

But surely signing off the season with just three wins from the last 14 league games must raise serious question about Jol's credentials for getting the best from this team?

We've seen some excellent posts to this forum highlighting the mental fragility of the Whites this season and the lack of leaders on the park. When the manager's 'untouchables' are the two biggest rotten apples in the barrel you have a big problem.

It is apposite in the week tributes to Sir Alex are flooding the sports pages, here at Fulham a situation has been allowed to develop at the Cottage Sir Alex would never have tolerated. We can’t match United’s resources and ability to bring in the best, but it costs nothing to try and emulate the methods of their manager – the best the game has ever seen.

The bald facts for our last home game of the season is that we are looking at a 5th defeat on the spin, with Liverpool unbeaten in six in the Premier League, and just one defeat in 11 in all competitions. Philippe Coutinho has been especially productive now he’s settled into the side, who you may recall won 6-0 at Newcastle in their last away game. The Cottagers worst defeat of the season came in a 4-0 thumping at Anfield before Christmas.

Team news sees Fulham still unable to call on Diarra, Dejagah or Simon Davies, while top scorer Dimitar Berbatov hasn’t hit the back of the net since the QPR result six games ago. Is he perhaps beginning to wonder what life might be like in Turkey?

Jol has little capacity to manoeuvre when it comes to finding eleven men who will gel and are ready to run through brick walls to gain a famous result. After his aberrations last week team selection is anyone’s guess.

Defeat will be palatable as long as we see some effort and so the sell out crowd – stunned into silence 8 days ago, may have to rouse themselves into being our 12th man. Was it really just last season we did the double over Liverpool? For what it's worth, fans might want to give Mark Schwartzer an especially warm hand at the final whistle. I don't fancy Mark's chances of still being between the sticks in August.

COYW!

Twitter@fulhamphil

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