Martin Jol may have let a sigh of relief slip quietly through his Cheshire cat grin in the aftermath of Fulham’s 4-1 victory romp at Selhurst Park, but there are reasons to regard those three points as only so many more emperor’s new clothes.
The Cottagers got four points from the 2012/13 renewals of their next nine games last term.
Fulham face trips to Southampton, Liverpool, West Ham and Everton and home matches against Swansea, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Man City before they next meet a team in the current bottom five.
Martin Jol’s side have picked up nine of the ten points they have on the board from current occupiers of rungs 15-20 on the Premier League ladder.
They won’t play Norwich until Boxing Day, suggesting there could be a lean autumn and festive period in store.
Crystal Palace have now lost eight of their nine games in all competitions in 2013/14.
A Patjim Kasami worldie and a Steve Sidwell corker that was only prosaic by comparison to their equaliser sent Fulham in 2-1 up, but strikes like those aren’t exactly ten-a-penny.
Their win against a clueless Eagles side was then burnished by goals from set pieces defended woefully by their hosts.
If not for the two wonder-strikes the game could have had a very different complexion as a Palace side already well versed in defeat were forced to take the game to their visitors.
Four points separate places 8-18 in the Premier League after nine games.
Sunderland and Palace (who have afforded Fulham six of their 10 points) are the only teams already adrift in the division, meaning that the third relegation place could be filled by any one of several teams.
The oft-repeated mantra of relegation threatened clubs, that there are “at least three teams worse than us”, is far from obviously true in the case of the Cottagers.