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.

Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Fulham

I guess Mark Hughes would know how physical Rovers would be, as they were hardly the most stylish side when he managed them. I think they were among the top three teams for cards every season he was at Ewood Park. But for Fulham, it’s galling to see a goal given to the opposition following what looked like a clear foul on the keeper. And a flukey goal at that.

A goal from Dempsey saw the Whites claim a point from the game, and remain unbeaten. That goal was no lucky deflection following an elbow to the goalie either, but a header from the six-yard box off of a cross from new boy Carlos Salcido.

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 »

Fulham 6-0 Port Vale

Last season, Fulham went out of the League Cup in the second round (the first game for most Premiership sides), having put out a team mainly of second-stringers against a full strength Man City at Eastlands. Understandably, with a game the previous week in Sofia and ahead of the visits of Arsenal and FC Basel, Hodgson was not going to risk tiring out the first team in such a game.

But this season there are no European distractions, and we know that we have a squad capable of a good cup run, so it was heartening to see the first team out last night. Read the rest of this entry »