You know the drill.
Championship club gets promoted to the Premier League and is full of optimism for the new season.
Everyone is swept along on the wave of positivity and a couple of early season wins continue the feelgood factor.
Then, around mid-September time, the evenings are starting to draw in, X Factor is back on, and the reality of life in the English top flight is beginning to seep into the veins of every supporter.
Fulham would only be following a pattern so the expectations will already be set quite low.
However, the Cottagers are likely to surprise an awful lot of people.
Lest we forget that the Londoners went on a club-record unbeaten run last season which saw them almost promoted automatically.
Ultimately, they did it the hard way through the play-offs, but ever since that final whistle at Wembley, the board of the club have been working overtime to ensure that Fulham are in the best possible shape to stay up and consolidate in the top division.
Wolves were scarily good in last season’s Championship, and that meant that a lot of the good work done at Fulham went under the radar. That will suit Slavisa Jokanovic and his team just fine.
When you take into account the incredible transfer business that’s been done across the summer, including right up until the last minute of the window, it’s understandable why those at the club are in confident mood.
Jean Michael Seri was a €40 million target for Barcelona just 12 months ago. Nice were ultimately at fault for that deal not taking place, and even Xavi Hernandez said at the time he was the type of player the club needed, given that he had ‘Barca DNA.’
At £27m, Fulham have bagged themselves a bargain, and the player will quickly dictate the direction of this team in games.
Up front, Aleksandar Mitrovic will put himself about and score goals. A great target man, he can bring others into play with ease and at less than £20m, the Londoners haven’t broken the bank.
Getting Andre Schurrle on loan from Dortmund to complement Mitrovic’s more direct style is a ridiculous piece of business too.
Though he’s not really been given a chance at Manchester United, Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s credentials are solid, and with Sergio Rico as either first or second-choice goalkeeper, there are an embarrassment of riches in almost every position now.
Not to mention the incredibly exciting 18-year-old Ryan Sessegnon, who took the Championship by storm last season and, despite confirmed interest from a number of sides, decided to stay put and continue his education at Craven Cottage.
Talked about as a future England regular, the forthcoming campaign could well enhance his claims.
In Jokanovic, Fulham also have a sensible, studious coach and one who loves his players to go out and express themselves.
Not frightened to tinker with his formations, it will be interesting to see how he fares up against the likes of Klopp, Guardiola, Pochettino et al.
In any event, Fulham will certainly rattle a few cages and don’t be surprised to see them still flying high at the business end of the campaign.
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