Wigan 1-1 Fulham and a few observations from MOTD

November 8, 2009

Context 1 : Liverpool at home, Roma away midweek (a gut-punch game) and now Wigan away. Tiredness was always going to be a factor, so any points gained would be a bonus. As Alan Hansen said on MOTD 2, how many points would have hoped for from the aforementioned fixtures. Two was his answer and you cannot really argue with that.

Context 2: Injuries. We were without AJ, Danny Murphy, Dio Kamara. Davies, Etuhu and Duff on the way back from injury.  To have this many first team players out should be a huge problem for a team like Fulham, but amazingly it has not been so far, so all credit to Roy and his system.

It was a game that focused on two goalkeepers. Schwarzer stole the headlines with save after save, throwing himself around the goal like a man possessed. He certainly looked closer to 27 than 37 today. Lets hope he continues his fine form and trains up young Stockdale as a good replacement once he leaves.

Neither of the goals were anything to write home about. Boyce took advantage of some slack marking to power home a shot from six yards and Demspey put away a spot kick after going down in the area. Other chances of note for Fulham were Nevlands early header which looped off of his head onto the post and deflected away, and an excellent double save from Kirkland , who denied first Dempsey then Greening. I have always rated Kirkland and the antics of his dad have mad me warm to him even more. If Wigan ever go down I would love to bring him to Fulham.

Some other thoughts having watched MOTD 2:

That Alessandro Diamanti looks like a quality player. He has one hell of a left foot and enjoys dropping deep to create chances for others, plus he is Italian and shares the same first name as me so always bonus points. I think West Ham are in trouble. Zola is a good manager, but I fear for their finances.  It will be interesting to see what happens in January.

It was good to see Bullard back for Hull. I for one am well past the stage of believing he was greedy to go to Hull. Good luck to him, and it would bring a smile to my face if he was influential in their fight against relegation (as long as we beat them next time we play). It is easy to see why Bullard never fit into Roy’s system, and Lee Dixon showed why today albeit in a positive way. Bullard was all over the pitch, drifting around, starting every move and generally creating a nuisance. Great if you want a box to box midfielder, but not if you are looking to keep a strong midfield 4 who hold position and stay solid he could be a nightmare.

The comments of the pundits made me laugh in reference to the Man Utd-Chelsea game. They kept talking about how both teams were out to win etc etc, but United were defensive, playing on the counter and Chelsea were stifled creatively by the deep defensive line that United played. I for one really hope that Arsenal win the league this year. I think it would be great reward for Wenger and a good advert for the game as a financially sound club with a realistic long-term plan, who stick by their manager succeed.

Two week break now, great news for the Fulham squad, but no so good for football fans. I cant wait till we kick off again in a few weeks time.

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