Monday, February 22, 2010

10 things I think about Fulham Football Club this week

Each week I will summarize my thoughts on the team . I will give you my "10 things I think." The past week was a huge success for Fulham. They beat Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday at Craven Cottage. They followed up with a victory on Sunday against Birmingham City. Roy Hodgson and the Cottagers have their work cut out for them to top last week.

1. I think Shakhtar Donetsk's players and coaches might have come into Craven Cottage a little over confident. They did start off a little slow. They are the defending UEFA Cup Champions. Fulham were fortunate to get an early goal on the Ukranian team. Shortly after the first 3 minutes Shakhtar controlled the rest of the first half. Going into the second half the game was tied 1 - 1. It took a great goal by Bobby Zamora early in the second half to gain control back to Fulham . I have a feeling Shakhtar will not be over confident this Thursday.

2. I think not having Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka available for the Europa League makes it much harder on Fulham to advance. Nicky Shorey has been very solid on defense. Stephen Kelly in my opinion has been below average. I am a little nervous seeing him out there in the Ukraine. Stefano Okaka not being available as a striker just hurts the bench and adjustments if needed. I think Stefano also needs more action. It is too bad these 2 players are not available.

3. I think even if Fulham do not advance the Europa League their play in the league is a success. I keep going back to 2 years ago. Look at how far Fulham have come. It seems like yesterday the Cottagers were fighting just to stay in the EPL. Roy Hogdson has done such a great job in a little over 2 years.

4. I think I actually miss John Pantsil. Until he got hurt in the Chelsea game he was holding his own with Drogba. He also could push the ball up and get everyone moving forward. Chris Baird has done a nice job except for his own goal yesterday. You could argue if Pantsil doesn't get hurt they might have pulled that game out against Chelsea.

5. I think there is a chance that Clint Dempsey might be coming back sooner than later. I keep reading reports that he might be coming back as early as next month. I find that hard to believe. If he could come back for the last 4 - 6 games to me that would be a huge bonus.

6. I think Alex MacLeish is a class act. I read his comments after the Birmingham City match. He was very gracious after the loss. These are quotes from an article on called "From the other Side" . McLeish stated " We lost because of 2 pieces of inspiration from Fulham. The finishes were brilliant" he said. "That is the difference in quality that we need to aspire to." McLeish also discussed one of the Fulham strikers. He stated " And Bobby Zamora was the big difference. Today, My players had a hard games against one of the best strikers in the league."

7. I think Fulham can conquer America. I wrote about this last week. If you are interested please check out that entry. Fulham I think are the type of team that could be a huge draw in the States. America loves an underdog. I think Fulham fit that bill.

8. I think it is still possible to get into 7th position by the end of the year. I know it is a longshot but you never know. Aston Villa currently have 45 points in 7th position. That is 8 points ahead of Fulham. We would have to go on an incredible run including winning on the road. I know I am probably just dreaming.

9. I think it will take an incredible effort to move on in the Europa League. Shakhtar Donetsk look "scary good". If we get a good result on Thursday it would be incredible. This team has so much quality. I am sorry if I can't be more optimistic.

10. Bobby Zamora I think should be playing for England in the World Cup. I think his play over this year speaks for itself. I don't think I need to say anymore about this subject.

It was a great week for Fulham. I can't wait for Thursday.


  1. Re. your third point: wind the clock back a little further and it was only in 1996 did Fulham, then 91st in the league, go to the only team below them and lose. For those of you who grew up during the dark days when going to Fulham was about seeing your mates rather than watching quality football, what we've achieved has been simply stunning.

    The credit goes to a lot of people but should start with someone too easily forgotten: a guy called Micky Adams.

  2. I was at the Birmingham game on Sunday (Blues fan), it was my first ever visit to Craven Cottage and although a quite small ground it is steeped in character, cleanliness, friendliness and is very pleasant place to watch football. The Blues team bus disembarking our playing staff at the turnstiles where the fans were queuing was a nice touch and yes you're right Alex McLeish is a top man and manager. I hope Fulham can expand on that site, if indeed you ever harbour plans to ground swell.

    On the match he is absolutely bang on; I think Blues shaded it particularly in the middle of the park, but two stunning strikes were the difference.

    One thing I will say though is that the tiniest of margins make the difference too. I mean let's hypothetically put Duff's shot 2mm to the left and put McFadden's 2mm lower down and a very different result could have been seen.

    Good win though, and I'll certainly visit you again next season if I can.

  3. Dan,
    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the history that just goes back 14 years. Your story is just another reason why the Fulham story is incredible.
    It doesn't start with Roy Hogdson. He is just a part of the story of Fulham. He just as taken this team so far in such a short time.

    Thank you again for sharing.

  4. I agree with the bluenose on the game - and thought Birmingham were very unlucky as it goes. Lovely to see such praise for our ground (and how pleased we are to be back there).

    That part of the history's particularly personal to me as it runs right now my own time of watching Fulham. If you (Fulham Pats Fan) or your readers are interested in reading more about the first promotion season, I'd recommend getting a copy of the Adams promotion season book, which is currently available at Ashwater Press (

  5. Anonymous Blues fan,

    You mentioned the McFadden strike that was 2mm from being a goal.Schwarzer just got his fingertips on it.
    You have a good team that is probably going to be better next season. As a fan of Fulham your defense was difficult to break down.

    Good luck the rest of the year.

  6. Dan,

    Thank you for the recommendation on the book. I am very interested in reading that book. I appreciate you leaving that information.