By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal as we well know, have brought in five players this summer and a lot have left. The leavers break down into
Sold for a fee: 5
Given away on a free (including end of contract): 2
Loaned out: 18
Those figures come from the Guardian’s transfer pages which also suggest that the deals that are left to complete are: Neto and Tielemans incoming, and Pepe off to Nice on loan.
Fulham have spent less money, obviously, not just because they are a smaller club but also because they have been spending a fortune on what is a magnificent new stand at Craven Cottage. And it does look good, although it only offers 3000 new seats and won’t be finished until next year (according to our old chum RE Ports.)
Their net spend has been around £36m including João Palhinha, Issa Diop, Andreas Pereira, Kevin Mbabu, and another old chum Bernd Leno (who went for £3m up front with £5m add-ons depending on appearances.
According to the Telegraph, Arsenal are still trying for two more purchases, Pedro Neto from Wolverhampton W, and Youri Tielemans from Leicester. Which reminds me to mention again that Leicester have bought no one so far – the only club in the Premier League in that position.
Since ending a 13 year run in the Premier League Fulham have been playing yo yo with the Championship, coming up through the playoffs in 2018, going down in 2019, coming up through the playoffs in 2020, going down in 2021 and winning the Championship in 2022.
Much is due to the work of Aleksandar Mitrović whose goal scoring needs to be spelt out in a little detail…
In 2019/20 he scored 26 goals in 41 games in all competitions. The following season in the Premier League he managed just four in 31. Then in 2021/22 it was back to form with 43 goals in 46 games (and yes that is not a misprint it was 43) and this season three in three. Extraordinary figures, and indeed I have checked them and they seem to be right. 41, followed by 4 followed by 43.
So last season Fulham won the Championship with 90 points, and 106 league goals which is 32 more goals than second placed Bournemouth got.
And so far this season they are doing ok, placed seventh…
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… which appears to be above such luminaries as Manchester United, Manchester United (so amusing they need to be mentioned twice) and Liverpool, and above also West Ham (still on zero points, poor saps). But Fulham have just lost 2-0 to Crawley Town in the League Cup of League Two. I am not sure which club has the smallest capacity in the whole of the 92 but Crawley must be one of the smallest – 6134,
But I digress. Fulham this season have beaten Brentford and drawn with Wolverhampton and Liverpool in the league, which is not a bad start. And that is particularly interesting since they had a bit of an iffy end to the season last time… winning just four games in their last ten, drawing one and losing five.
But now, they are above Manchester United in the last six league games table – which obviously at this time of year includes three from this season and three from last…
We may be top of the league this season, but that dodgy end to last season is still in the “last six” charts of course, although even with that we are still in the top four. And above Liverpool and Chelsea. Manchester U are included … at the end. Just for amusement.
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