After the celebrations of the return of Fulham back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, it is time to take a step back and access their chances of surviving in the Premiership next season.
It is a well know fact in football that sides who get promoted through the play-off route in the Championship, normally struggle.
In recent times the likes of Aston Villa, Huddersfield, Hull City, Norwich City and QPR all finished in the bottom six places in the division.
Two points that may make it possible for Fulham to survive in next seasons campaign would be the Manager and the experience of being in the top flight of English football before.
In Scott Parker they have an astute man in charge of the Cottagers. In the play-off final against Brentford his master tactics came out on top. By spotting the gap at Brentford’s near post and Joe Bryan’s technical ability to find that gap was a pure master stroke from the former West Ham player.
Since Parker has been put in charge, he has turned around the club’s fortunes. Just two years ago on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2018, five players were signed as the clock ticked down to zero.
Fulham spent an astonishing £100 million on no less than twelve players, only to look considerably worse for signing these players. In season 2018-19 Fulham sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri but a second play-off victory in three seasons gives them a chance to heal some scars.
For the club to survive next season in the top flight of football they will have to learn by their mistakes of 2018. Pointless splashing out that amount of money to try and survive in the Premiership. In truth, it rarely works out.
Parker needs to keep the spine of this current side to have a chance of surviving. The key player to hold on to has to be Aleksandar Mitrovic. The goal machine will learn by his poor return when Fulham were last back in the top flight. If he does so and can get back to a return of around twenty goals in a season, then the London club have a good chance of staying up.
They also need to keep the likes of Tom Cairney, Aboubakar Kamara, Denis Odoi and Tim Ream. If they can hold on to this talented group, then they could realistically keep out of trouble.
Parker will know that the hard work starts now. It will be an interesting few weeks before next seasons campaign as to what he will do in the transfer market. Key to their chances of survival will also be who they bring in.
In terms of the other two promoted sides Leeds United and West Brom. For the Yorkshire club with the flamboyant Marcelo Bielsa managing at the main table this will b e a massive challenge for him. His toughest assignment to date and hardest task for the upcoming season will be to survive.
Under normal circumstances with Leeds outstanding fan base and home fans would be worth a lot of points for the club but the likelihood of having no full capacities for the foreseeable future, this could well go against the Whites.
West Brom under Slaven Bilic look like a side that could well survive next season. Having the advantage of previously being in the Premiership for eight seasons, the Baggies know exactly what is required not to face a relegation battle.
One thing is for sure, having three shrewd and intelligent managers in the form of Parker, Bielsa and Bilic managing in the biggest league in the world and pitting their wits against other more experienced managers is going to be a sight worth seeing.