Finishing the season with a win, albeit against rock-bottom of the league and already-relegated Bolton, was certainly a nice way to end not to mention a clean sheet to boot.
The vast majority of us leaving Craven Cottage in the early afternoon though had, much like myself, probably spent the past 90 minutes debating who we were genuinely looking forward to seeing again come the first game of next season, and those who we would be hoping were deemed surplus to requirements by Jokanovic in the summer and depart at the earliest opportunity… Presumably to QPR as is standard in these instances.
While some will argue that the bigger worry is who we hold on to, outside of Dembele, and perhaps Cairney or Hyndman in midfield, no-one will be touting any of our defenders and I can’t see many other unplanned departures. I don’t doubt we will see a few contentious choices for release, but given his post-match interview I think it is clear that SJ sees the summer very much as a clean slate and a chance to shape a squad full of those players he sees as viable starters, rather than just one of the available bodies inherited from multiple managerial regimes before him.
Of course we have no idea how much Shahid Khan plans on backing his manager financially this transfer window, but a need to adhere to financial fair play regulations may mean we will need an end to the long-running Mitroglou and Stekelenburg sagas before we see any major outlay. It wouldn’t be a Fulham pre-season without the usual quota of free transfers and loan signings anyway. I think more than how much we spend, it’s just nice to be able to spend again should we find reason to do so.
The statistics speak for themselves, improve the defence while maintaining our attacking potency and we will improve. Dembele is a big part of that but I think people forget there was a time before the injuries that Woodrow appeared to have stepped up, he may well be a key figure next year whether the Frenchman is around or not. We have been looking for a left-back ever since Konchesky left, is this the season we sign one? Can Slavisa find another Madl to play alongside Madl? It all seems so simple but we all know with Fulham it never is.
The same question we have been asking all season has finally been answered – when will this season end? And now it has we can seek comfort in watching England. And that is what it’s come to ladies and gents.