A parachute helps Fulham and smothers Millwall

ANYONE who watched Fulham’s calamitous 2018-19 season probably felt there was no way the team constructed by the club’s owner and his son was “too good to go down”. Certainly, even if the players bought in the summer of 2018 – an example of scatter gun team construction – underperformed because of a lack of cohesion, Fulham’s record was still poor and relegation was on … Continue reading A parachute helps Fulham and smothers Millwall

Fulham show calm regrouping pays off

ONE YEAR after newly-promoted Fulham were throwing money around and buying players for fun, the Cottagers found themselves back in the more humble surroundings of the Championship. The moneyball experiment, if that’s the right word for the way the club accumulated quantity over quality, was over and some of the higher profile names, notably some under-performing Ligue 1 captures, had been sent out on loan … Continue reading Fulham show calm regrouping pays off

River-Cottage-Football: Fog on the Thames

NEWCASTLE UNITED’s fans are incredible. Just consider the club’s honours list: last trophy of any significance, 1969; most recent FA Cup triumph, 1955; last league title, 1927. They haven’t had much to cheer about, but they are intensely loyal, passionate and mostly, very well behaved considering that the river Tyne, in football terms, has been very foggy for years. At Fulham, they were signing their … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Fog on the Thames

River-Cottage-Football: Where it all went horribly wrong

MY year at Craven Cottage didn’t work out as planned on two counts. First of all, I was taken ill in Japan in November and my trips to Craven Cottage were curtailed for a couple of months while I recovered, and then after a setback in early March, I was again prevented from returning to my seat in the Hammersmith End. Secondly, after eagerly awaiting … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Where it all went horribly wrong

River-Cottage-Football: In defence of Fulham

OK, SO THE Premier League is tougher than expected. One hundred million pounds may have been spent, but most of it went on players that nobody had really heard of, and it is taking time to come up with a settled, competitive team. Alright…it is going to be a tough winter. There, it has been said. After a string of defeats and a leaking defence … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: In defence of Fulham

River-Cottage-Football: When wealth is all relative

JUST imagine, if Chelsea’s founding family, the Mears, had got their way, there might not have been a Craven Cottage and the football world would have been deprived of one of the real pleasures of watching the game in London. Is there a more pleasant experience than walking from Hammersmith, past the Odeon (the theatre where, in 1973, David Bowie killed-off his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust), … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: When wealth is all relative

The Etihad experience

NOT everyone appreciates the modern football model – the excess, the hubris, the invasive marketing and the extraordinarily high wages. It’s easy to find fault with it and dismiss the achievements of clubs propped up by the cash of oilmen or oligarchs as an inevitable consequence of inflated investment. Manchester City are one such example, a club that is now part of the City Football … Continue reading The Etihad experience

River-Cottage-Football: Right-on, Brighton

THE American Express Community Stadium is an excellent example of a new-style, modern venue – good sightlines, roomy, comfortable access points, welcoming atmosphere and on a sunny day, with seagulls flying overhead, there’s few more pleasant places to watch football. There is a drawback, though, and that’s the inadequate train service  that serves the stadium. Brighton is not, by any means, alone in having poor … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Right-on, Brighton

River-Cottage-Football: Mitro’s definitely on fire

IF LONDON’s often abysmal infrastructure had got its way, I would not have reached Craven Cottage on time for Fulham’s second Premier League home game of the season. Train delays, tube disruptions, over-crowding from the Notting Hill Carnival and to top that, incessant rain. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, but a damaged knee made the journey all the more challenging. Hopefully, the game would compensate. … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Mitro’s definitely on fire

River-Cottage-Football: Sticking £ 100 million where?

AN experiment? An indulgence? Folly? Or merely the search for something new and rewarding? The purchase of a Fulham season ticket, before – I might add – knowing if the club was going to be in the Premier League or the Championship, was a bid to regain something from my lost youth. In the past couple of years, I have been suffering a form of … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Sticking £ 100 million where?

Down by the riverside, something stirs

SOME impressive new signings, a significant chunk of cash invested and a healthy amount of continuity. Fulham have embarked on their return to the Premier League with gusto, arguably making more noise this close season than their far more celebrated neighbours along the road. I have to admit I have a vested interest in Fulham doing well having bought a season ticket for 2018-19 when … Continue reading Down by the riverside, something stirs

A £400 transfer to Fulham. Why?

CALL IT Premier League fatigue, economics or just a case of marginalisation. I have bought a season ticket for Fulham for the 2018-19 season and frankly, I am looking forward to spending a year at Craven Cottage. In exile, perhaps, maybe a marriage of convenience, but I prefer to call it the search for something new. As a Chelsea fan since 1968, I’ve had season … Continue reading A £400 transfer to Fulham. Why?