The quality of opposition faced to date gives us all cause to keep things firmly in perspective, but certainly these early European ties are serving Fulham's needs in every respect. For those not yet drawn away on family hols it's an early chance to slake their thirst for all things Cottage related. There's a buzz about the place while still allowing for the fact that genuine hard-core competitive action remains three weeks away. Waverers still have time to weigh up the cost of another season ticket, while the commercial department get the bonus of shifting plenty of new kit early doors.
Despite the perennial nitpickers the aforementioned kit designs seem to have gone down well, while nobody can complain about the appetite shown on the park from the players to date. Jol has continued to field strong sides, and those knowing the competition for places is going to be fiercer than last season, have all made sure Martin gets to see what they're about.
As pre-season develops one can't really argue with management plans to send Stockers out on loan - and who in their right mind would ever consider £2.5 mill the right price for this future England international? Or was that the Jacks just trying it on. And better too to let Hoesen go back to the Eredivisie for a season where he can only mature and give due notice of his real worth to the Whites. Meanwhile, a sizeable fee for Marsh-Brown, if one can be gathered, will repay FFC for their work with him through the academy - and I have a feeling for the right club this could be a decent signing in the mould of Darren Pratley.
As the summer moves on apace, and with Jol yet to make a real splash in the transfer market, Fulham remains a pretty attractive proposition for incoming players. The early Europa games have shown the inherent quality throughout the side, while many professionals would I'm sure relish the chance to work under Martin Jol. Analysis of our players filling the left-back role over the past 5 seasons give you a snapshot of progress. In that time we've gone from relegation fodder with Liam Rosenior through to Konchesky, then Salcido, and now Riise senior. You'd have to say each has been an improvement on his predecessor.
As for our next foray into Europe - I'm certainly not expecting any banana skins in Split...geddit?
As we build towards the big kick-off, it will soon be time to engage that most risky of exercises, the pre-season prediction. Well, nobody in their right mind is surely going to be tipping the Whites for a relegation battle - as so many lazy pundits did for years, unable to see beyond the 'little club by the Thames' myopia of most media types - obsessed by the top four.
If the feeling has to be that a finish in the top half of the league is the least of our expectations, might we go madly optimistic and dream perhaps of a finish as high as 6th? I tell you, if they manage a season free for the most part of injury, I can see a massive year ahead for both BZ and Senderos. Both players give us enormous tactical freedom to switch across to 4-5-1 and 3-5-2 alongside the more pragmatic 4-4-2 should the pattern of games demand it.
I shall return to my daydreams on the beach for a while longer, in the meantime let me know if you are feeling 'the vibes' of a great season approaching from wherever you are.
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In Fulham we Trust. Twitter@fulhamphil