Tag: Fulham

The 200% Pre-Season Previews: Fulham

How long is a reasonable time for a club to be expected on find its feet in a new division? One year? Three years? Five years? It’s a question worth answering in the case of Fulham Football Club, because after over ten years in the Premier League, there are still some that consider this club to be interlopers in the top division, the plaything of an occasionally eccentric multi-millionaire. Football supporters are an inherently conservative bunch, and Fulham had the temerity of break through the glass ceiling that we had put in place for them. After eleven years, however, times have changed. No longer, in some respects, that quirky club with the pretty ground on the banks of the River Thames and Jimmy Hill hanging around somewhere in the background, Fulham FC has grown up, and not everybody, it sometimes seems, has even has noticed yet. Fulham FC has, however, kept most of its charm in spite of the pace of change around it. The redevelopment of Craven Cottage has – Michael Jackson statue excepted – been more tastefully handled than that of any other club at their level in recent years, and there remains something modest about the club, an ongoing sense that for as long as the club is competing in this division and isn’t struggling too badly, all will be right with the world, and it...

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Match Of The Past: Fulham FC

At their picturesque home on the banks of the River Thames Fulham have long been a favourite of the television broadcasters, and today we have six matches from their archive, from the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s. The sixties began with the club having just been promoted to the First Division for only the second time in its history, and our first match is home match against Nottingham Forest from November 1967. The club ended the 1967/68 season being relegated from the First Division and a second successive relegation followed the next season. Our second match sees Fulham travel to Stockport County for a Third Division match from September 1969. Our third and fourth matches are both from the teams FA Cup run of 1975, when a team captained by the former England captain Bobby Moore made it all the way to its first – and to date only – FA Cup final. First up, we have their quarter-final match, which sees the Second Division side face a daunting trip to Goodison Park to play Everton. Following this up, we have their semi-final match from Hillsborough, another match in which they started as the underdogs, this time against Birmingham City. The FA Cup run ended in disappointment, with Fulham losing at Wembley – in a match given the sobriquet of “The Friendly Final” by the press – by...

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Match Of The Week: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Fulham

August is the month in the football calendar for untrammelled optimism, and most pre-season predictions for their team this season were less than flattering, but the supporters of Wolverhampton Wanderers will finish the second weekend of the season with something of a smile on their face as they look at a league table that sees their team in second place on the Premier League table after a comfortable win against Fulham at Molineux this afternoon. After frittering away a position of relative safety to the extent that the team needed a goal three minutes from the end of the season against Blackburn Rovers, Mick McCarthy also seems to have learned the lesson that, in the thirty-eight game Premier League, every minute of every match counts, and the question that he now faces is that of whether his team can confound their pre-season critics and spend a season of mist and mellow fruitfulness in the relative sanctuary of the mid-table of the Premier League. What was, perhaps, most encouraging for Wolves this afternoon was the manner of their victory. They mustered seventeen shots on goal over the course of the ninety minutes, and two goals in five minutes just before half-time were enough to secure a win against a Fulham side which has now failed to score in either of its two matches so far this season. There is no...

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The Twohundredpercent Premier League Previews: Fulham

It has, in general terms, been a summer of poor career decisions but, in football terms, if there was to be a winner for this particular award over the last three months, it would be difficult to argue against the winner of said award being Mark Hughes. Hughes departed Craven Cottage at the start of the summer, according to common belief, in full anticipation of landing the then-vacant managerial position at Aston Villa, only for Villa to decide that he wasn’t the man for them and award the position to Alex McLeish instead. Time will tell whether Villa made the right decision regarding McLeish. Fulham, meanwhile, appointed Martin Jol as their manager and quietly got on with the job of preparing for their tenth consecutive season in the Premier League. It’s worth pausing a moment to consider what an achievement this is. In 1997, Fulham were in the bottom division of the Football League. Such a lengthy stay in the Premier League hasn’t been without its occasional close shaves, but Fulham are still there, merely getting on with the job of being many peoples second favourite team. Roy Hodgson took them to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2010 before being – arguably unwisely – poached by Liverpool, but Hughes continued the good work and took the club to eighth place finish at the end of last season....

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The Mark Hughes’ Career Path Turns Into A Cul-de-Sac

The end of the domestic football season can be a tough time for anybody that works in the game. As contracts expire, many players are left with their livelihoods hanging by a thread and, for the adulation afforded to Paul Scholes upon his recent retirement, there will be dozens upon dozens that slide from view, seldom thought of by anyone apart from their nearest and dearest. For managers, meanwhile, the russian roulette nature of their employment is placed sharply into focus by the glinting of the guillotine blade that hangs in the air. What were expectations of their clubs owners? Did they meet them? It often feels as if there is no other profession in which the livelihoods of many are dependent on the whims and indulgences of others. In an outstanding recent review of Simon Kuper’s new book, “The Football Men”, the website Twisted Blood hit upon a fundamental truth at the heart of professional sport – the schism between the professional sportsman and the supporter. The one thing that can almost be guaranteed in modern sport is that loyalty is a one-way street, and a culture of loyalty has been built into a sophisticated framework that envelops the whole of modern football. Loyalty, we are told, is everything if you are a supporter. Yet those that benefit fiscally from the game – the players, the managers, in...

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