Fulham began this season cascaded in uncertainty, following a summer that saw Mark Hughes quit as manager and then enjoy an acrimonious war of words with owner Mohammed Al Fayed, that proved to be as embarrassing as the Michael Jackson statue currently haunting the North side of Craven Cottage.
Fast forward to the business end of the campaign, and Fulham now look odds on for a top half finish, led by Dutch tactician Martin Jol, the man Al Fayed originally wanted before hiring Hughes in 2010.
The latest test of Fulham's top 10 credentials came with the visit of battling Wolves on Sunday afternoon, in a fixture expected to be tight and physical. It was anything but, with a hat-trick from rejuvenated loan star Pavel Pogrebnyak and a brace from the vastly under rated Clint Dempsey helping the Cottagers to a comprehensive 5-0 victory.
It was the type of result that couldn't have been imagined in January, when almost all of Fulham's in form forwards were linked with moves away. Bobby Zamora, perhaps the most important of them all, was the only one to actually leave, being replaced by Pavel Pogrebnyak, a man who had only scored once in 14 VfB Stuttgart games this season.
Hardly a signal of their intent, but as 'who needs Zamora when we've got the Pog' beamed around the Hammy End yesterday, few could have predicted the impact Pogrebnyak would have already had in English football. In just three matches, he has scored five times, with his first four strikes coming from his first four shots in the Lilly White shirt.
A notable achievement, but Pogrebnyak represents just another excellent piece of Fulham business. The club have gambled remarkably well in the foreign market in recent years, bringing in the likes of Brede Hangeland, Moussa Dembélé, Bryan Ruiz and the aforementioned Dempsey for good money, after they shone elsewhere, but failed to attract big interest.
Yet the key to getting the perfect mix has been cherry picking cheap, reliable Premier League talent to complement the squad, something many have failed to successful pull off. Mark Schwarzer, Steve Sidwell, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes, Danny Murphy and Philippe Senderos were all risks given their injury records, but have added experience and guidance, and are now mainstays of Jol's improving side.
Move further down the system, and Fulham's transfer nous has paid dividends there, too. The club have always had a decent Academy, but with the addition of some exciting but off the radar prospects, they look set for a bright future. Talents like England Under-17 striker Cauley Woodrow, who was plucked from non-league Luton Town, and midfield starlets Kerim Frei, Muamer Tankovic and the newly signed Ryan Williams are all further examples of well thought out deals.
There are undoubtedly flops; Orlando Sá, Rafik Halliche and Bjørn Helge Riise all look out of their depth and have struggled to assert themselves, but for a club operating with such a budget and scouting in a European talent pool lacking real value at present, they boast an impressive track record.
The key now for Jol is keeping the transfer window roulette playing in his favour, but having signed the vastly experienced former Lyon and Real Madrid star Mahamadou Diarra on a free last week, he is heading in the right direction.