A few weeks on since the announcement that the club would be appointing Stuart Gray as senior coach and seemingly being no closer to appointing anyone that mildly resembles a new manager, as a club, Fulham are taking a number of steps backwards in our progression with results on a decline.
Any evidence of the defensive improvement the former Sheffield Wednesday man was supposed to bring about certainly hasn’t been reflected in points or clean sheets so far, while the team have not tasted success since the victory at Ashton Gate back on October 31st.
Gray was never going to be a popular appointment with the fans, certainly not someone you would associate with an ambitious attempt to push for promotion, as outlined by Mike Rigg in the reasoning around the departure of Symons following the Birmingham game. Had he been announced as our new manager or even head coach I would have felt a lot more inclined to at least back him to the hills and hope for the best, but instead we have been left with almost a feeling of being in limbo.
Is a search continuing for a new man? When will we be looking to make an appointment? Couldn’t Alan Curbishley have held the fort for a few games while we find someone? These are the questions I find myself asking, but I would also expect many of the players are as well.
This may well have been the case even if we did have a new manager, but we face going in to the January transfer window with any potential incomings and outgoings being heavily dictated by Rigg and Khan, while no one of any note or power will be in the dugout to push back or say otherwise.
Given the interest in a number of our top performers, such as Moussa Dembele and Ross McCormack, I get the feeling that January may only suffice in further worsening our predicament. Kit was certainly inexperienced and if promotion really was the aim this year then I appreciate he would have likely fallen short of that milestone. However, the majority of the squad would have at least felt some affinity to him where as now, like many of us fans feel, the club seems a hollow and faceless entity that has little in the way of convincing some to stick around, let alone attract further quality in January.
I have to say I still don’t believe things are bad enough for us to consider relegation, but if we are ever to continue on from Symons’ period and make those tweaks to a squad with a good balance of talented youngsters and experience then an appointment must be made sooner rather than later.
Wishing all Fulham fans a Merry Christmas. Enjoy it, because we are away at Derby on Boxing day and I don’t think we will all be feeling particularly festive after our trek to Pride Park. Who knows though, it could be the Christmas miracle we are hoping for.