After narrowly escaping slipping down to the Championship following a bid from family friend 'Arry Redknapp, Scotty Parker found himself on the wrong end of an Arsenal tonking in his debut game for Fulham.
Not surprisingly, the Arsenal midfield over ran and outclassed Parker who, despite his energy and commitment, has always been found lacking when pitched in against top class opposition.
Jol was careful to praise his debutants after the game and talked of needing time to gel, but the Premiership doesn't give you a lot of breathing space. Fulham have now lost their last five home Premiership starts, a startling stat which explains why they narrowly escaped a relegation battle at the fag end of last season.
On paper Fulham look too good to go down, but at West Ham, we know that good looking paper teams can be torn to shreds if confidence dips. Fulham fans should also note that Taarabt (QPR), Parker (West Ham) and Bent (Charlton) have all suffered relegation from the Prem in their careers and, as QPR found to their cost last season (Wright-Phillips, Green, Dyer, Ben Haim, D J Campbell, Hoilett), players who have gone down once are a reasonable bet to go down again at some point in their careers.
The win at Sunderland, themselves probable relegation contenders, was not without good fortune so this may prove a long and tough season for Fulham and Parker. Still, if the Cottagers go down, Scotty may pick up Player of the Year again!