Hull City made the right choice in Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long - Fulham made mistake signing Kostas Mitroglou
The pair scored in the 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage
In January Steve Bruce spent £14m on Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long, two strikers who had a track record in the British game. Fulham, as part of a seven-man transfer window splurge, spent £12m on Kostas Mitroglou, a regular scorer in Greece, but new to the Premier League.
Two months later it is clear who made the better decision. After Jelavic and Long both scored at Craven Cottage on Saturday Hull City are all but safe, Fulham are staring into the abyss of relegation.
Hull’s new strikers have scored four goals apiece at a rate that would bring them a dozen each over a season. This is decent rather than prolific, but it has done the job for Hull, keeping them above the choppy waters of the drop zone.
Mitroglou has not only not scored for Fulham, he has only played 119 minutes for them with his last goal coming for Greece in November. He has been hampered by injuries, but also by the apparent belief of manager Felix Magath (who inherited Mitroglu) that he lacks the fitness required to play in England.
“For me the two strikers we brought in at the right time have made the difference,” said Bruce. “We were in comfortable position in January and the chairman spent a lot of money. The two of them are a handful. You are only as good as your strikers, and they are as good a pair as any in the bottom half of the division.”
When Fulham signed Jelavic and Long they were four points ahead of Fulham. Had Fulham held on to the 2-0 lead Ashkan Dejegah and Fernando Amorebieta gave them on Saturday the gap between the clubs would have been three points. Without the goals of Long and Jelavic this spring the clubs would probably be level.
Instead, while Bruce can forward to enjoying Hull’s first FA Cup final, Magath has to pick his players up. “The players were very disappointed in the dressing room,” he said. “It seemed like it was the end of the season. They don’t talk. I told them: ‘it’s too late now, we have to let it go’. We cannot do anything about this now. We have to stand up and try to win at Stoke next week.
“We had chances to score after the second goal so the performance was all right. If we had played this game in September, nobody would care about it, everybody would be fine and the fans would be looking forward. But as the situation is for us now, then no.”
Latest in Sport
Alvaro Morata non-celebration: Real Madrid tried to stop Juventus striker playing against them
Juventus vs Real Madrid - Champions League LIVE! Latest score and updates from semi-final first leg
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
Gareth Bale performance slammed by Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Lee Dixon: 'His team-mates can't be happy'
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show