Tuesday, 10 February 2009

State of the nation

First post of the year? In February? Well in fairness there has only been one home game in that period thanks to the annoying Blackburn postponement (bloody QPR managed to get their game on). The daft thing is there is only one home game scheduled for this month as well.
Anyway, let's look at what's been happening. I've not reported on it but the 2-2 home draw against Chelsea was somewhat amusing. Chelsea played far better than they did in the same fixture on New Year's Day 2008 when falling Michael Ballack managed to con a penalty in a 2-1 win, yet only came away with a draw this time. This was mainly down to the endeavour of our All American Hero Clint Dempsey whose last minute bullet header brought Fulham a point they really didn't deserve. But who cares?
Of course the Chelsea match was the first game that Jim Bullard was 'injured' for and he continued to be injured with one ailment then the next whenever a game came along. What seems to have been happening during this time is Jimmy 'Five Agents' Bullard had threatened to go on strike if his contract wasn't improved and extended, despite there being 16 months + to go on his existing contract, of which he had been injured for about 16 months.
Woy took a gamble on no-one wanting to give an injury-prone 30-year old £45k a week for nearly five years, as well as pay £5m, but he was wrong. Why on earth Hull City thought it was a good investment is beyond me, but they wrapped up the deal and Jimmy is now a tiger. And injured after playing half a match.
I've always liked Jimmy as a character, but he's not as good as his press. I think Fulham will miss his endeavour on the pitch, but I don't think he is an insurmountable loss to the team. As for the way he went about his business agitating for the move, well... I think he has gone down in a lot of football fan's estimation. He'll do well to get another England call-up with Hull. It makes the Tiger's visit in March a bit tastier as well!
The home win against Portsmouth was a very important one, as FFC hadn't won many in the league. However it was pretty comprehensive in the end. Portsmouth played some nice football, and at times dominated, but were very slack at the back with little penetration themselves. AJ's goal seem to come out of nowhere and Nevland score two goals on the break after coming on for Zamora, who seemed to have a mental breakdown mid-game. Put through on goal, Bobby seemed to do literally nothing with the ball until a defender managed to get back and clear the danger. Within five minutes, Bobby was off, Erik was on and putting a composed finish to a very similar through ball.
Bobby Z has always been a confidence player, but the strange thing is he'd scored his second(!) of the season only the week before against Kettering. It looked like he was up to his old 'handful of a non-scoring striker' schtick against Wigan though, where a draw at the moment appears to be a good result. Will Fulham make it through the entire season without winning away from home? They nearly managed it last season, so I wouldn't be surprised.
Which is what makes the current cup run so unexpected. I didn't think they'd win at Hillsborough and they nearly cocked it up against Kettering and now they are away at an in form Swansea. Another draw would be an excellent result for Fulham here. We might actually get two games in February if they managed it, but I wouldn't count the chickens. Ridiculously, if they do get past Swansea, Fulham would be in the quarter finals. Now that would be a turn up for the books.

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