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The sun is shining on Marco Silva’s Fulham

Written by Jack J Collins on 15th April 2024

Marco Silva manager of Fulham celebrates the win during the Premier League match
Picture: Andrew Yates (Licenced via Imago Images)

A Sunday in the spring sun in Stratford, and a result to match the weather as Fulham recorded our first league double over West Ham since before England last won a World Cup. The smaller records keep falling this year for Marco Silva’s Whites. 

As the season draws to its conclusion and many bemoan a lack of drama in these final weeks, it struck me that in so many ways, the fact that we’re in this position is a beautiful thing. 

For a decade from 2012 to 2022, every single season for Fulham was fraught with jeopardy – either in terms of nail biting relegation scraps or promotion rollercoasters. 

Obviously these can be thrilling, but they also take their toll – I remember being taken out to a gig in March 2016 after we’d lost 2-1 to Bristol City at the Cottage courtesy of a late Lee Tomlin free kick, and being able to think of nothing else but the looming spectre of relegation to League One; and these days seem heady in comparison. I couldn’t even tell you who I went to see that night. 

With safety all but secured in the Spring, there’s an opportunity for Fulham to finish this season with a flourish – to play Criston Cole Kingmaker to the big boys with their eyes on the title, to have our say on who ends up dropping down to the Championship, and perhaps most importantly, to reclaim the bragging rights when we travel to Brentford. 

Tom Cairney spoke after the Forest game about the need to remain motivated, but I think some of the lacklustre nature of the Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest performances can be put down to a collective exhale in the squad in the international break after all but securing safety against Spurs before it.

We obviously lost against Newcastle, but I didn’t think the performance was in any way abject. Profligate, yes, but not lacking in desire or creativity. Against West Ham we looked calm and tidy, stifling a Hammers side who are in a European quarter-final with relative ease. 

And now, with the 40-point mark passed, we come to the fun bit. The opportunity to have our say on the best Premier League title race in years, the opportunity to go to the GTech and right the wrongs of both last season and the home defeat in this. And all without the spectre of relegation looming over our shoulders. 

In Rodrigo Muniz, we have a Premier League Player of the Month. In Antonee Robinson, a Team of the Year contender. Calvin Bassey has been a revelation. Andreas Pereira is playing for Brazil. Willian’s class continues to shine through, and João Palhinha is a top five defensive midfielder in world football. And they all play for the club we love. 

Out on loan, Jay Stansfield is on a one-man mission to keep Birmingham City up. Kieran Bowie is banging in goals for Northampton, Martial Godo has impressed at Wigan, and Luke Harris is finding his rhythm with Exeter. They will all look at Muniz taking his chance in the first team and wonder why it couldn’t be them next. And rightly so. 

This is a time to enjoy. As the weather brightens, Marco Silva’s Fulham are blooming. Drink it in. 

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