[dropcap]We[/dropcap] trek down to that London tomorrow for a match that both teams will be desperately hoping to win, and one where a loss would see the other team sitting in the bottom three come 5pm. A draw wouldn’t be the end of the world for either, but that would leave us in the bottom three, which will undoubtedly raise the pressure on the players. At this time of the season, this is just as much a psychological battle than a footballing one, and as our results against the teams around us have shown, we’re struggling in this one.
We’ve not been to Craven Cottage before (well at least I haven’t, so it amounts to the same thing) so the chance to tick another ground off (I think I’m in the mid-sixties of the current 92 at the moment – will need to tot up properly) is one that will be taken by a fair few of our lot It’s expected that we’ll take around 1500-1600, which is a fairly sizeable away following by our standards. It should be added that of those fans, there are a number who are making their journey down there as difficult as possible, so they can raise money for Willen Hospice – Bootsie and Radar by kayak and Dan, Ashley, Emmaaaaaaaaa, Tracy and others on foot. Good luck to you all – you have both my admiration and my money, so stop asking.
So what can I tell you about Fulham then? Well as you will know by now, here at MooCamp Towers, we consider research to be cheating, so we go with what we know.
What I know about Fulham is:
- Jimmy Hill was their Chairman at one point, and they ended up getting relegated on the basis of a goals scored rule (as opposed to goal difference) that Jimmy introduced
- Mohammed Al Fayed used to own them, and might still do for all I know
- They used to have a statue of Michael Jackson outside their ground, which is perhaps the most surreal of all the football-related statues that have ever existed in these isles
- Richard Osman of Pointless fame is a fan, and was good enough to retweet about our fans sponsored travels
- They have a neutrals section of their ground, presumably to cater for all the tourists who can’t get into the games at clubs that they’ve heard of. A neutral area is an interesting idea, though not one that we’d ever use of course 😉
- Lewie’s dad Ray used to be their manager
- They’ve never won a major trophy. Ever. A good opportunity for our fans to get out the silver foil and cardboard replicas of the Portiamao cup, it would seem
In preparation for the match, we spoke to Andrew at CottageConfidential and gave him three questions:
1) Sum up your season for us – how’s it gone, how does that compare to your expectations and how is it going to end?
This is a season in which most Fulham supporters thought we would be challenging for a playoff spot, instead we’re flirting with relegation. At this point so little has gone right that I’m almost resigned to relegation
2) What needs to change at your club, and what mustn’t change?
I have no idea what is wrong. The players the club have brought in have played great defense at other clubs. They get to Fulham and they simply forget how to defend. It was easy to chalk that up to bad coaching. But now that Jokanovic is in charge, it’s really hard to use that excuse. If I knew how to fix this club, I’d certainly shout it from the rooftops, but I’m just as confused as everyone else.
3) What’s your take on the whole Wimbledon move to MK and the subsequent birth of the MK Dons?
To be honest, I didn’t really understand all the anger over it for quite sometime. I’m an American, and sports teams moving is just a natural thing here. The NBA team where I live (Seattle) moved to the place where I grew up (Oklahoma). It happens enough here for it to almost become business as usual. But I’m sure the first teams that moved in this country caused just as much commotion as Wimbeldon moving. In the future, this kind of thing might happen more. It’s going to be easier for a rich guy to buy a team in a smaller local and move them to a bigger venue that it will be to invest wisely in the small club to build them up the old fashioned way. I’m not sure what rules the FA has in place to prevent this, but it’s something I could see happening more and more
As to what’s likely to happen on the pitch, that’s anybody’s guess. We’re capable of winning this, but we’re also capable of getting good hiding from them. My money is on a nil-nil draw, but secretly, I think we’ll do this 2:1.