Now the dust has settled, the team reflect on another memorable campaign as the Whites impressed in the Premier League.
I never thought the championship-winning season could ever be topped, but this might just have done it. Our recent experiences of Premier League life have just been loss after loss, with unbridled relief on the rare occasion we find a team as useless as us and win.
Marco has turned my perception of top flight life on its head. This year we’ve been rock solid, keeping the also-rans of the division at arms length, winning numerous games away from home and pushing top teams all the way.
On a player level, the fact that choosing a player of the season is so difficult is testament to how this entire team has chipped in. Mitro has proved all the doubters wrong, plus Palhinha and Leno are potentially the acquisitions of the season for the entire season.
Thanks for the wonderful memories, I really hope that next year comes close.
Be like a duck, they say. Remain calm on the surface, and paddle like hell underneath. It feels like a good analogy for this Fulham season – outside perspectives will have seen a serene campaign that never saw the Whites drawn into the vortex of chaos below us, but that’s based on Marco Silva’s team fighting tooth and nail for every ball, and an attitude that has meant almost every single game has been truly contested.
Some brilliant signings have helped turn last year’s Championship annihilators into a team capable of pushing the European envelope – from the one-man wrecking ball João Palhinha to the secure gloves of super Bernd Leno in goal. Silva has also pushed his original charges to new heights – Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream and Kenny Tete have all stepped up to the mark hugely. It’s been an absolute joy watching Fulham go about their business this season. Now, we build.
This campaign was statistically up there with the 2008/09 season. But in terms of narrative, this was a season that Fulham went full drama. The Goodfellas shocked Liverpool on day one. Chelsea were Cast Away, both times under Moonlight. 12 Angry Men thought to go Apocalypse Now at Old Trafford. Solomon shouted Catch Me if You Can at Lewis Dunk. Mitrovic had his Shawshank Redemption, Robinson was an American Beauty, Ream and Willian showed that this is A Country for Old Men. All under the masterful eye of the Godfather, Marco Silva. Let’s hope Spurs don’t make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Well, what a season following Marco Silva’s Blawhite army. I’d say our best since the run to Hamburg in 2009/10. From the Algarve Trophy to Sunderland midweek to Solomon’s winner at Brighton it’s really been some season.
If I was going to highlight my top five favourite moments I’d have to go for.
5) Mitro’s Return v Southampton
4) Mitro winner v Brentford
3) Three goals in six mins at Forest away
2) Solomon’s winner v Brighton
1) Vinicius v Chelsea
I really do think this is the most important summers in the Khan’s time at the club. We need to push on. We’ve got a manager who’s getting the best out of our players. Mitro is on top form, Palhinha is the best tackler in Europe, we have a revitalised Willian. Go get Marco on a new long-term deal and sign the players he needs to consolidate us as a midtable/top 10 Premier league side for years to come and getting us back to that side we all knew in the 2000s.
Roll on ’23/24.
I had a premonition over the summer that we would finish 14th, and I put money on what felt like an ambitious, biased gamble. I clearly wasn’t ambitious enough.
Marco took the Championship’s best team, brought in key players, evolved our playing style, and produced a season that I will never want to forget. The away wins at Forest, Leeds, and Brighton, the home games against Liverpool, Brentford, Chelsea. I could go on and on. Marco and this team deserve so much credit; they have been a joy to follow, and they’ve made us all proud. We are no longer the butt of Premier League banter pages. We have earned respect from the footballing world this season, and deservedly so, we are Premier League, and we are here to stay.
‘Who would have thought it? Not us!’
In July we were panicking, and we couldn’t find the panic button! What a season. Marco Silva, a genius, and has guided Fulham to a 10th place PL finish with some incredible memories and goals. Finishing above Chelsea, an added bonus.
Seasons like these are – sadly – best appreciated when they’re well in the rear view mirror. It’s human nature.
But while we may have taken things like our record 15th PL win for granted, or the fact that we barely dropped out of the top 10 all season, days like the derby wins over Brentford and Chelsea were fully savoured in the moment. And those – like this campaigns achievements – will live forever. A busy summer ahead, and the realisation that even a bottom half finish (outside the bottom three, of course), would be an achievement on par with this term’s heroics. Recording that difficult second album starts now.
Well, that was fun. I approached this season with the same trepidation as a postman tiptoeing his way towards a house he knows to be inhabited by a tempestuous alsatian. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect, first game of the season, to be watching the goading smiles drop from the faces of invading Liverpool fans sitting in the Putney end. That mood rarely dropped. Thank you Marco, Boa, and the boys for the most enjoyable season since 2009/10. Same again next year please!
What a season that was then. Never really worried about relegation, aspirations of European football until March and a “headloss” moment away from an FA Cup semi final. Marco Silva has got a tune out of this Fulham squad and a new contract has to be on the cards. Just imagine how good we’ll be when Mitrovic can do it in the Prem!
Everything this season (and last) has been magic (Old Trafford excluded). To think within 24 months we’ve won a league title, beaten and finished above Chelsea and found ourselves with players like Joao Palhinha who can turn a game around in seconds. It’s rarely been so good to be Fulham, and the best thing is we’ve got every chance to make it continue for years to come. Thank you, Marco.
The season’s come to a close and I am so, so proud of what the lads achieved upon their return to the big time. Nobody gave us a fighting chance, lowly little Fulham were destined for the drop and we crammed words down throats with a solid 10th-placed finish. That’s insane. It’s a rarity, newly-promoted teams aren’t supposed to shine so brightly, the gulf in quality’s meant to be huge but the Whites bridged the gap, they defied the odds and along the way, we earned our Premier League stripes. 52 points, eight points better off than Chelsea, there’s a tidal shift in SW6, we held our own against the cream of English football and Silva’s impact upon our squad’s been immense. Ah, the feel-good factor – I’ll drink to that!
This season was in many ways a special one for me both watching on the pitch, and personal changes off it. Whilst at the start of this season I was sure that no other new arrival would take my heart away like João Palhinha – my firstborn had other ideas and both continue to be a hit with the fans.
Situational management is a key, but often overlooked part of Marco Silva’s gameplans, with Fulham seemingly able to shake the mantra of “conceed early, looking shaky, probably lose”. While it would have been easy for us to see Shane Duffy thrown on to make up a shaky back five to ‘see out games’, Marco opted for the progressive approach of controlling a game in midfield, bringing the best out of Tom Cairney in his maestro-sub role.
I’d like to see next season a continuation of what has worked well for us, with some well needed top qualtity reinforcements (that we’ll no doubt be able to attract after survival), prioritising CAM with the injury to Pereira and looking for depth across the squad.
Favourite Moment: Mitrovic last minute winner vs Brentford. Proved his Premier League class early doors to any doubters.
Least Favourite Moment: Mitrovic’s disallowed penalty vs Newcastle away. I’m still not over it, and don’t think I will be until he’s taken off of penalty duty.
Think back to July and I’m sure you’ll agree that if we had been promised an undeserved 17th placed finish secured on goal difference we’d have taken it, so in contrast this season has been phenomenal. It felt different from minute one versus Liverpool and continued throughout. The fact there are so many “what if” moments in a season spent miles clear of relegation throughout (West Ham VAR x 4, Man Utd in the cup, last minute league defeats to the Manchester clubs, European hopes), shows there is an exciting amount of room to improve even more next season.