Having secured a swift return to Premier League football with a first league title in 21 years, Fulham began the 2022/23 campaign with one thing on their mind – survival.
To achieve their goal, the Cottagers needed to halt a worrying streak of being relegated as soon as they secured promotion – a run stretching back to 2018/19.
Fast forward nine months later, and it’s a carnival at Craven Cottage with Marco Silva’s side defying expectations to secure their highest top-flight finish since 2008/09.
Fulham will be considered overachievers following a brilliant campaign riddled with highs and lows. Here’s Fulham’s 2022/23 season review.
Player of the Year: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic spearheaded Fulham’s Championship win, and the Serbian continued in the same fashion to ensure his side retained top-flight status for the first time since 2012/13.
The 28-year-old underlined his importance to Silva’s team scoring 14 goals in 23 Premier League appearances, making him the club’s top scorer this term.
Mitrovic’s goals and all-round performances played a pivotal role in Fulham’s success story this season, with the Serbia international also bagging two assists in a standout campaign.
Performance of the season
Fulham had several impressive performances, including their famous 2-1 victory over ten-man Chelsea in January. But their best display came in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool at the start of the season.
The Cottagers reintroduced themselves to the Premier League with a standout performance that nearly stunned Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Mitrovic grabbing his first two goals of the season.
Liverpool, who subsequently endured an abysmal campaign, were arguably not up to their usual standards, but that takes nothing away from Fulham, who earned a result against the Anfield giants.
Disappointment of the season
Fulham endured a topsy-turvy campaign but emerged stronger than ever with a solid foundation they will hope to build on next season.
The only thing that could pass as a disappointment for Silva’s side is their unlikely European push that faded into despair, but all’s well that ends well.
Establishing themselves as a top-half team is enough evidence that there are better days to come, but it remains to be seen if the Cottagers can rally to a place in Europe next season.
What do the stats say?
Fulham were impressive last season, and they have not looked back since, with Silva waving his wand to produce another magical campaign for the Cottagers.
They finished 10th in the Premier League table, having won 15 of their 38 league games (D7, L16), seven points above bottom-half toppers Crystal Palace.
The stats behind their successful campaign are also impressive, with the Cottagers scoring 55 goals – the third most of any side outside the top seven.
They averaged 1.4 goals per match, which is fair enough, considering they created 40 big chances (1.6 per game).
However, Silva would not have been impressed with his side’s defensive performance, with Fulham conceding 53 goals – the second-highest of any side in the top half of the table.
Signing Bernd Leno from Arsenal proved a masterstroke, but even the German’s heroics were not enough to stop Silva’s side from shipping in goals.
Leno made an impressive 146 saves (3.8 per match) that led to nine clean sheets but often had to pick the ball out of his own net, with his side averaging 1.4 goals conceded per match.
Fulham have defied expectations with aplomb, and Silva has proven a shrewd acquisition by the club since joining in 2021.
Two years under the Portuguese tactician, and the progress has been immense, with the club securing their highest Premier League finish in 14 years.
The Fulham faithful can dream of an even better campaign next season – although much of that will be down to the club’s activity in the transfer market.
Fulham cannot complain about their season, with the club punching above their weight, but Silva will undoubtedly be eyeing an elusive place in Europe next season.