A policy of underinvestment and treading water for two seasons has come home to roost for the Premiership's most popular club. It is now down to new Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen to rebuild the side and avert the very real threat of relegation. January will also test the commitment of new owner Shad Khan to putting a substantial budget into the transfer kitty.
Many long-suffering fans would suggest we need a whole new team. However, with Fulham sitting 16th and facing a winnable game in the next week at home, don't expect too radical an overhaul in the coming month.
Meulensteen does not strike me as someone to panic. Ask me how many new faces I'd like to see, and I would put it at six -- three new faces across the back four, a midfield lynchpin, one direct winger and a striker. My guess is we may have to settle for three. And we know we've got Clint Dempsey for two months.
Forty-one goals conceded to date, and this having signed a world-class keeper in Maarten Stekelenburg, tells you where our current problem lies. Why has the club not thought to recall Dan Burn from Birmingham? How close are Philippe Senderos and Brede Hangeland to returning?
Deciphering Fulham transfer targets has always been a puzzle. Here's my take, for what it's worth.
Phil Bardsley, 28, RB (Sunderland); Benjamin Angoua, 27, CB (Valenciennes); Tomas Rincon, 25, DM (Hamburg); Anderson, 25, CM (Manchester United); Wilfried Zaha, 21, FW (Manchester United); Balazs Dzsudzsak, 27, FW (Dynamo Moscow); Ishak Belfodil, 21, CF (Inter Milan); Aaron Cresswell, 24, LB (Ipswich Town); Alex Buttner, 24, LB (Manchester United).
Bryan Ruiz, Dimitar Berbatov, Steve Sidwell, John Arne Riise, Darren Bent, Adel Taarabt, Giorgos Karagounis, Fernando Amorebieta, Elsan Zverotic, Kieran Richardson, Matthew Briggs, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes, Derek Boateng, Hugo Rodallega