Remember when we Aston Villa supporters had a minor meltdown during the first match of the season, fearing relegation because the Villa lost 1-0 at home to West Ham United? Well, Fulham just lost 3-0 at Upton Park -- and the Cottagers are a side that many feel should be emulated, what with inexpensive pickups and all that. But Kevin Nolan scored in the first minute, and after that, there was no coming back.
Yes, Fulham just sold Clint Dempsey. But let's remember, they won 5-0 against Norwich in their first match. Then they managed a 3-2 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. And no, neither of those matches included Clint. The lineups did, however, include Moussa Dembele, who also just made his way to Tottenham Hotspur.
Is the loss of one player enough to have made Fulham fall so quickly that they'd lose by three goals to the Irons? Or might West Ham be...yikes...good? This wasn't the same sort of approach by Sam Allardyce that we saw in the 1-0 loss: West Ham didn't buckle down and defend after scoring just one goal. Perhaps the big man has a few tricks up his sleeve.
I don't actually believe West Ham are destined for greatness this season -- although Allardyce will likely be able to keep them up. No, what I'm trying to say here is that sides can have off-days, and perhaps it's best to just chill a bit when those happen. Fulham experienced a few upheavals over the last week, and Martin Jol is probably working out how to best deal with these changes. Kieran Richardson had an off-day, and Mladen Petric was really nowhere to be found.
As we learned from Paul Lambert's quotes to Sky Sports, the Villa project will likely take time. The club is bringing in players that need to prove themselves, and the gaffer needs to figure out how they best work together. The Lions are probably not going to look fantastic against Newcastle tomorrow. But keep the long-term in mind, because it looks like this will be worth it.