Crusaders 1 – 3 Fulham

After last week’s bore-draw in the Faeroes and a loss in a friendly against AFC Wimbledon, it was a bit of a relief to win a game. Still, that did come from two goals in the last 20 minutes after the Belfast team equalised to cancel out Matthew Brigg’s opener.

As far as I’m aware, the tickets for the home leg have been booked. My first live game of the season will be pretty much a dead rubber, a game to avoid losing by more than 2 goals, but a pleasure to see the Whites in action.

The signing of John Arne Riise is also good news. Not as good as it would have been 10 years ago, when we were originally after him (and he went to the Scouse Reds instead), but he made it to the Cottage at last!

Fulham 3 – 0 – NSI Runavik

It’s still a bit odd to see the competitive football season starting in June, but at least Fulham have hit the ground running. Last week’s game wasn’t on proper TV in the UK, and the feed that the ‘Official’ facebook group recommended didn’t seem to work, but after about 20 minutes I did find a feed that showed live pictures from Craven Cottage. One camera angle for most of the match (high up on the Hammy End) and stilted tedious commentary, but it was good enough to see what was going on. Read the rest of this entry »

First of 23?

The new football season starts early for Fulham. A mere 39 days after the last Premiership game of the 2010/11 campaign will see the first match of the 2011/12 Europa League. When Fulham got to the final in 2010, it was the 19th game in Europe. Then, the Whites entered at the third qualifying round. However, this time because the qualification was through the Fair Play place, Fulham have to begin at the very beginning. Should they reach the final again, it would mean 23 games in Europe (on top of 38 Premiership games and at least two more in the Carling and FA Cups).

Today was the draw for the first two of those qualifying rounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Fulham 1 – 2 Spurs (or, the fundamental unfairness of the application of the offside rule)

Not that I’m bitter or anything, but the winning goal was scored with Gallas in a clear offside position, he went for the ball and was spotted by the linesman.

Still, Fulham should have scored more than one, and to let an equaliser in within a minute of taking the lead suggests a fair bit of complacency. So the Whites have lost their unbeaten record and have slipped into the bottom half of the table.

West Ham 1 – 1 Fulham

Yet another draw for the Whites, with West Ham getting an equaliser to frustrate us. Dempsey had opened the scoring, and he, Kamara and Eddie Johnson all had chances to score. But Robert Green had a good game, and the hosts posed a threat through the game.

It will be of concern that Fulham are not winning games, but at the same time they are still unbeaten in the league. Andy Johnson is back in training, but is not likely to be starting games for a short while.

Fulham 0-0 Everton

A pretty grim clash really. Everton are at the bottom of the Premiership, but shouldn’t really be. We are in the top half but missing three forwards. The Toffees are also short of the likes of Saha. So attacking play was not going to be a major feature of the game.

Dempsey and Gera are good players, and did not do too badly, but they are best alongside a natural forward like Zamora or Dembele. There were chances, but all went begging.

Still, on the positive side, there’s only one team other than Fulham who are unbeaten in the Premiership, and that’s Man Utd who have a tough away trip to Bolton to come. Arsenal were nearly humiliated by West Brom but ended up losing 3-2 at home in the end, and Chelsea lost at Man City.

Stoke City 2-0 Fulham

It had to come some time. Fulham have now lost a competitive game in the 2010-11 season. And not by fielding a reserve team in the League Cup. No, the first team were out, with Gera starting instead of Duff and the rest as per the last Premiership match.

The last time Fulham went to Stoke it was a mid-week game in January, on a day when most fixtures were cancelled from the snow but the Whites went out to lose 3-2 and Zamora took a bad knock to his shoulder. And that started a really bad run for Fulham.

Hopefully this is just a glitch, and the team will learn from this for the Premiership games. We’ll just have to save our cup form for the FA.

Good on Brentford for knocking Everton out though!

EDIT: when I wrote this, I hadn’t seen that Dembélé was stretchered off after a bad tackle – Stoke have a habit of crocking our players, don’t they? He’s off for two weeks, which leaves Fulham short up front. Not only is Zamora out until next year, but Andy Johnson is still a few weeks away from being able to play. Gera and Dempsey need to step up for the next few games.

Zamora out

Poor Bobby has not had the luck recently. He had a few injury problems last year, leading up to a period at the end of the 2009-10 season when he could only play for about an hour in the Europa League games, and needed an operation in May that ruled him out of the World Cup.

A minor injury a couple of weeks ago meant he was again unable to play for England, and now at the weekend he suffered a broken leg with ligament damage. Latest reports suggest he won’t be back until early 2011.All from a silly tackle half an hour into the game against Wolves.

At the same time Andy Johnson is still recovering from his knee problems and won’t be available for some weeks. Luckily for Fulham, Dembele has been scoring goals, as Gera and Dempsey have not been on top form so far this season.

It was two second half goals from Dembele that meant that Fulham took their first win of the season after Wolves went ahead in the first half. It’s strange that Fulham are now one of only five unbeaten sides in the Premiership, while Roy Hodgson is already facing questions about how he’s managing Liverpool – a disappointing goalless game that needed quality goalkeeping to stop Birmingham City winning leaves the Reds in 13th place. After only four games, Liverpool are seven points behind the leaders Chelsea, which doesn’t suggest that Hodgson’s new team are going to be winning the Premiership this season.

Summer 2010 Transfers

On Tuesday the final deadline for buying and selling players in the Premiership passed, and yesterday the club had to name the 25 senior members of the squad (I believe that young players can also play if they are not in the list).

The only transfers on the day were the sale of Paul Konchesky to Liverpool, with part of the fee being made up with two youngsters, Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic. Read the rest of this entry »

Blackpool 2-2 Fulham

A bit of a lucky escape that one – Blackpool were clearly trying to take the game and the occasion for them was pretty massive – the first top-flight home game for decades.

Zamora showed how important he was, and that’s a bit of a worry as much as it is a blessing. He took the first goal with aplomb, heading in a Dembele cross late in the first half. However, Bobby came off early with a problem in his thigh, and the team seemed to collapse as a result, conceding two goals in five minutes. It’s quite likely that he won’t be fit for the next England game on Friday, which is a cruel twist of fate. Read the rest of this entry »

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