Fulham are bang-average. They are middle of the road. Run of the mill. 

Since securing promotion in May 2022, the Cottagers’ odds in the Premier League betting have remained distant to drop and very distant to end up in the top six and that’s because in their subsequent 63 matchweeks they have resided outside of that mid-table sweet spot of 7th to 13th on just ten occasions.

Like Wolves, they epitomise mid-table fare. That is their domain. Last season, when they maintained momentum from coming up, Fulham flirted with sixth for a good few weeks, but nobody took their challenge seriously. Indeed, it looked a little odd them inhabiting such a lofty perch. 

Similarly, when they encounter a defeat here and there, and teams directly around them do well, nobody suggests they are in any great danger. Ultimately, there are at least three teams who are in a worse state, with inferior players. More likely, there are seven or eight.

And because of this, it naturally follows that Marco Silva’s side is often over-looked. Taken for granted. Ask the man on the street to reel off the twenty teams in the Premier League and what’s the betting it is Fulham who are omitted. Or Wolves.

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Moreover, each and every week, their opponents’ fan-base has to remind themselves of who is being faced that Saturday afternoon, and each and every week their game is buried near the end of Match of the Day. 

This seems to be Fulham’s lot. This appears to be their fate.

Now if you’re a Fulham supporter reading this, no doubt you are readying yourself to reply on Twitter with that Tom Hardy meme where he’s pointing to the sky and insisting what’s above him is bait, but wait, because here comes the twist. The denouement. 

It is to be hoped from Fulham’s perspective that excelling and failing in equal measure – and consequently staying under the radar - is to be their fate. Furthermore, what a remarkable feat that would be.

Because for several seasons that was not the case. For several seasons, the Cottagers would be too good for the Championship only to then sign a multitude of new players, or refuse to compromise on their style of play, and promptly return to the second tier. 

They were well on their way to becoming a yo-yo club, joining the ranks of Norwich, West Brom, and Watford, who for long stretches of the Premier League era have fallen between two stools.

That’s no way to exist. There’s no future in it.

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Instead, there is now stability, led by an excellent manager who is approaching three years in charge, and enlightened by the likes of Willian and Andreas Pereira. Instead there is now over-achievement. 

Fulham have the eighth lowest wage bill in the top-flight and are consigned to forever struggle to lure top-class talent to Craven Cottage over and above their capital rivals. Finishing mid-table will never not be a fantastic return.

And who knows what seasons to come have to offer. From the top down this is a very well run club and every additional season at the highest level brings in greater resources for it to be run even better.

For now though establishing themselves among the elite is everything, to gain a firm foothold and parlay the financial rewards. To build and build again.

In that context finishing mid-table is a huge and significant success for Fulham, whether it is noticed, or otherwise.

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*

Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.