So it's actually been a month or so since my last chance to really sit down and write about Fulham, the selfish priorities of my soon to be wife have seen me distracted with wedding plans when what I should of been focusing on is the rapidly approaching start to the season that we don't quite seem ready for.
I did manage to draw myself away for long enough to get down to Crawley for the friendly outing but for the large part have been content with just sitting and watching as players seemingly come and go on a daily basis.
Up to a few days ago I must say that I had been rather impressed with the way in which Felix has overseen what was always going to be a difficult summer of transition. The vast majority of last seasons first team are already elsewhere and the few that remain are unlikely to be here for much longer. In my own mind I had already mentally prepared for the exodus and tried to seek solace in the few seasoned pro's who would definitely still be here forming the basis of a solid but unremarkable Championship outfit.
David Stockdale would certainly have been one of them and while I fully appreciate the difficult job both Magath and Alistair Mackintosh have in overhauling a whole squad, I can't help but feel that a little stability in one area could have gone a long way to providing a base for us to be ready for the first day of the season.
The fact that Maarten Stekelenburg has been given the Number 1 shirt suggests that there may yet be a future for him at the club although I suspect we are simply going to put him in the shop window for a few games in August and end up with A) Someone from the Bundesliga or B) Adam Bogdan.
It remains to be seen if this fabled move to River Plate will come about for Rodallega who is another I felt could do a job this season. Dejagah leaving was fairly inevitable with the only disappointing aspect being that I thought he would leave because he was too good for this level but instead he ended up taking early retirement in Qatar.
Based on the Crawley game and the reports throughout pre season it seems to me that despite all of the upheaval we are not to far away from having that solid base, albeit with far more new faces than I would have liked. Hutchinson looks a solid addition alongside Burn and in Stafylidis it seems for the first time since forever we actually have a left back. Voser and Hoogland both seem adequate at right back although who really cares when you still have Zverotic right?
The diamond midfield seems a decent idea based on the premise that Parker can stay fit and Chris David does what he has been doing consistently. Hyndman also look promising and the addition of Eisfeld could be inspired. It remains to be seen what the futures of Mitroglou and Ruiz hold but in McCormack, Woodrow and Taggart we still have options available. Despite the impressive hat-trick in the US I remain unconvinced that Dembele is quite ready for first team football week in week out.
I think as fans we need to set our expectations for what lye's ahead. Playing someone like Ipswich first game of the season, McCarthy will have them organised, relatively unchanged from last season and hard to beat. We are going to need at least 3/4 games to find our shape so expect a slow start. We have all been moaning for years about the retirement home we have been running under Martin Jol so now is the time to embrace the youth and show a degree of patience.
I'm not saying it is going to be a smooth ride but here's to the next step......... #COYW
As a side note I am sticking with my prediction of a late push for a play off place having sacked Felix in December despite being 11th and 6 points off the top 6. No idea who we will bring in before you ask but he will get results!