© Press Assoc
In light of recent form the boys did a satisfyingly professional job at the weekend. Martinez side showed their resilience and strong organisation, but could have few complaints at losing. In particular, our defence was sound, with Mark barely having a save of note to make. Wigan's wing play which has served them well over their recent upturn, was entirely nullified, while Fulham went up a gear the second half, and looked far more threatening coming forward. Diarra was immense. As I suggested recently, imagine what he'll be like after a full pre-season with the squad. The Pog marked his return with a neat goal, and was within a whisker of another hat-trick. And even though Frei was only on the field for 10 minutes, again, see how he makes things happen.
My only caveat as the minutes ticked down and my nails took a bashing, how galling it would have been to end with just one goal to show from so much enterprising approach play. When we are playing to the max like this - although Duff perhaps might have given us a bit more - we are almost impossible to stop. I am getting the feeling from the stands this Fulham side are just a fraction away from becoming a team to really fear. Phew! Please post in and tell me I'm getting carried away...
I foresaw us winning by two or three, and had Mason been up to it with the early penalty shout, and had the woodwork - yet again - not twice denied us, Fulham would be breathing right down Liverpool's neck with a similar GD. A top ten finish is surely on the cards now, and who's to say we won't find more points from our last three away games. Yes, call me crazy. We all know Fulham's record at Everton, Liverpool and Spurs. But, come on boys, these teams are there for the taking! My, but we have some old scores to settle at those grounds.
Which result would give you the most satisfaction? Sticking it to old goggle eyes and eradicating memories of both our limp FA Cup exit, and the outrageous good fortune Everton had in stealing victory from us at the death last autumn? (The one side in the EPL where we've never gained so much as a point). Adding to Liverpool's misery and hastening 'King' Kenny's path to the scrapheap? Or silencing Spurs mouthy mob with a masterclass at the Lane. Heavens, but did the Spuds look average at QPR, they can't get out of the mire surely, can they?
Which brings me on to my next topic. Not that it really matters, because England's international stock is low, and unlikely to improve anytime soon. But come on, 'Arry for England? Can't pick a side to embarrass the Ha ha's? With every passing week surely the FA can see Redknapp is not the man for the job. If we want England to regain some international honour and respect there's only one man up to the task. Step forward the acceptable face of football, Roy Hodgson. Folk thought he was good enough for our Olympic team, so give him the top job say I, and not just for nicking three points off the Reds.
But the press boys have made their minds up. Just like refs at Old Trafford who are pre-ordained never to award a penalty to the away side. So the press pack, a bunch of lazy freeloading hyenas in the main, have handed down their Player of the Season award to Robin van Persie. No surprises there - the man's a superhuman goal machine. But Paul Scholes edges Clint down into 4th place on the back of a handful of run outs in the Red shirt? How lamentable is that? It's the Man U factor at work once again, as personified by the useless jerks on Match of the Day. When was the last time you heard any serious assessment of Fulham? The awards are for a season of excellence and consistency. Not a cameo run of starts in a star-studded team at the top of the league. It diminishes any relevance to the awards, a theme I know echoed by all the Cottage Talk guests this week on Russ's radio show. Fulham fans recognise a return of 22 goals - and counting - from midfield for a mid-table team in transition. Shame the hacks are too craven and star-struck for intelligent assessment of Dempsey's value. Keep flying below the radar Clint and extend that contract.
Onto news of another bright star in the camp. Danny has posted requesting news on forgotten kid Danny Hoesen, over in Holland on loan at Fortuna Sittard. I've done some research, and it makes good reading. He's one of the nominations for player of the season. In the last third of the season Dutch coaches voted him the most outstanding player. Venlo asked to sign him, he's on the radar of Twente, Groningen and den Haag, Fortuna fans definitely hope he'll stay for another season. Nice one. Hoesen made it onto the bench this time last year at the end of Hughes time. Will be very interesting to see his development when he comes back.
If Pogrebnyak signs, which I'm certain he will - why else would you move into Mourinho's old flat in London - a good move for Trotta next year will be to test himself in similar fashion with a strong European league. Before I go, I hope our travelling Texan cousins enjoyed Saturday. I made a call to the club press office and Clint was happy to meet them in the player's lounge post match. Not sure if that happened, if so, really hope you guys can post in your experience.
Also, did anyone have money on either Emmerson Boyce or Philippe Senderos to be on the scoresheet? First goal in two years for Boyce, Phillipe's winner was his first since 2008!
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