Fulham Season Review (the short version)

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by SteveFakeBlood, May 24, 2012.

  1. SteveFakeBlood

    SteveFakeBlood Member

    Feb 8, 2010
    Broward County , FL (from DuPage County, IL)
    So I spent a good half an hour writing a post with some end of the year insights, only to inadvertently lose it in a sleepy stupor. So I'm just going to go with the bare bones here- I'll add justifications later if anyone asks- although a lot of them should be pretty understandable. I'd like to see everyone else's opinions as well.

    Best match 1/2/12 v. Arsenal (W, 2-1)
    Worst match 12/14/11 v. Odense BK (D, 2-2)
    Player of the season Clint Dempsey
    Young Player of the season (Under 23 years old) Kerim Frei
    Most surprising player Pavel Pogrebnyak
    Most disappointing player Pajtim Kasami

    That wasn't so painful...

  2. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Kind of agree about Kasami. After seeing his first couple of appearances for the whites, I thought he was immediately going to be Murphy's understudy, but that didnt happen. And now we have Diarra. He is young though so the most disappointing title is a little harsh.

    What is the deal with Briggs while were talking youngins'.
  3. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    Best Match: I'll have to agree with Arsenal, especially with the chat room being at its best for that game (KILL!!!!!!).
    Altough QPR and Wolverhampton drubbings were fun to watch, but it's kinda like dunking on a 4 year old in nerf basketball and yelling "In your face!!!" There's no honor in that.
    Worst match: Regular season, either the ManU home drubbing or away at Everton. Europa, yeah, I have to go with the Odense match...should have gone to the next round, but Fulham were in their full on give matches away at the end mode. Sigh.
    Player of the Season: Of course Dempsey, not only for his goal scoring abilities, but his passing has improved dramatically. If he leaves Fulham in the summer, the team is not only going to miss some goals but his passing in the final third as well. He will not be easy to replace, and won't be just because of his skills. The guy is one of those special competitors that will not quit, ever.
    Most surprising player: I'll have to agree with you again...I was expecting a slow robot juggernaut from Stuttgart fans description of the guy. He's not speedy and is a bit limited. But he does have a high work rate and does know where the goal is when he's on. I hope we can bring somebody in with a better track record.
    Most disappointing player: Can't think of a player that hasn't met my expectations, so I will not mention of a player for this honor. I can see why people would put Kasami or Ruiz in here, but I tend to give new players a bit of leeway for error in their first season in a new league. You hope for the best, but it seems to be more often miss than hit.
  4. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    Sorry Steve on losing the longer version, but great idea for a thread.

    Best Match: Tough call on this one. I'll go with the 5-2 thrashing of Newcastle as the best. However, mauling QPR 6-0 in our true derby, then following it up by beating Hughes & Zamora at their place deserve mention.

    Worst Match: The Odense ending was brutal, but being humiliated at home by ManUre takes the prize. Being the only team to lose to Aston Villa after Jan 21st in a truly awful performance is also worthy.

    Player of the Season: Clint was involved in 53% of the team's goals. Only Robin Van Persie had a higher percentage. The greatest season of any American player in any league EVER (including the GKs). Deuce was well deserving to be in the Prem Player of the Year discussion.

    Young Player of the Season: Will agree w/everyone and pick Frei. Now if he can only learn to use his left foot to keep defenders honest... Have to also like Kacaniklic, who had a very successful loan at Watford, and looked good in a couple of appearances, and has a last name we can all shorten to Kaca :cool: .

    Most Surprising Player: Pog and Steven Kelly. He was a lot better than the David Elm clone I thought we were getting. Never rated Kelly and he really stepped up and took advantage of his opportunity.

    Most Disappointing Player: I might lean towards Bobby Zamora, but Kasami and Grygera (for different reasons) get recognition. Zamora because of his attitude and at times lackluster effort. Kasami's talent is quite evident, but for whatever reason the young man didn't rise to the challenge. I hope he decides to work even harder and force his way onto the pitch. I'm only throwing out Grygera's name because his play was outstanding, but his injury was disappointing.

    One more category;

    Signing of the Season: Mahamadou Diarra. Still boggles the mind this guy was waiting for a team to sign him. He just turned 31 on May 18 and looks like he still has plenty of gas in the tank. Dude oozes class. Would be remiss not to mention Frei.

    **Mo, good shout out about Briggs. Only 21, and needs to be playing every week. Riise just got better and better as he got readjusted to the league so a loan at the beginning of the season seems in order.
  5. SteveFakeBlood

    SteveFakeBlood Member

    Feb 8, 2010
    Broward County , FL (from DuPage County, IL)
    Actually, most of you made my job of justification easy for me as my initial post had many of the points also mentioned here. I realize the reason I lost my post was because after you're idle for a while you're automatically logged out. I figured when I logged back on, I would be redirected to the post I was working on, unfortunately that's not the case- and now I know that I should Edit+Copy what I'm working on so it'll be there just in case this happens again.

    Anyhow- we'll get to the justifications:

    Best Match: I went with the Arsenal match because of, to steal an expression used by a commentator during our Europa run, the "sheer disbelieving joy" of scoring two late goals against a Champions League side. As Fulham fans we're not used to having games stolen at the death, not the other way around (although fortunately, we're not conceding late goals as often as we did in darker days a few years back). The Newcastle match was pretty great as was thrashing QPR 6-0, but in addition to the joy of late goals- I also didn't see those live so it lessened their impact.

    Worst Match: The Odense match was the most spirit crushing. Being up by two goals at the half and conceding one with virtually the last kick of stoppage time- which pushed a team we had beaten 4-1 (Wisla Krakow) into the Round of 32 over us hurt more than any other loss this year. As everyone mentioned the Man U loss was terrible (as was the Villa lost, I'd put that one out of my mind), both losses to Everton were poor (one getting beaten out of sight and the other, conceding two stoppage time goals at home to throw away a point) and being a man up and still conceding two goals to lose to now relegated Blackburn was probably technically the worst, but Odense hurt most. Although, perhaps it did help us gain a few spots in the league by shortening our fixture list. Of course, our early exits from the FA Cup and League Cup (at the hands of a weakened Chelsea side) were nothing to write home about either.

    Player of the Season: Yeah, basically exactly what Heather said about Dempsey. Also, he's the Rodney Dangerfield of the Premier League- only Robin Van Persie and Sergio Aguero scored more league goals than he did and he still gets no respect (i.e. a PFA Team of the Year nod). Also honorable mentions to Moussa Dembele for playing the most aesthetically pleasing brand of soccer and to Brede Hangeland for being himself.

    Young Player of the Year: Frei, not only for his promise and youth, but also for being good enough right now to force his manager into finding a way to give a 19 year old 15 league appearances for a top half side. Special K and Briggs are both contenders and should be making an impact on the side next year. Hopefully, we'll see a bit more of Marcello Trotta as well.

    Most surprising: It's hard to argue against Pogs- he's a great complement to AJ (when AJ's healthy)- as he's pretty much the opposite type of player- strong and powerful. That said, I did like SoCalJoe adding the "best signing" and including Diarra- who I would put as #2 on this list. Also agree with Joe about Stephen Kelly, I never thought much of him either and although he's not exactly the future at Right Back, he did everything asked of him this season. Also, Damien Duff is worth a mention, we all know what he can do, but he nevertheless came on strong in the second half of the season after what seemed like a lackluster first half in the league (probably wore himself out in all those Europa matches).

    Most disappointing: Yes, Mo, you're right in that it is kind of harsh to hang the "disappointing" tag on Kasami- since he is young and expectations weren't super high for him. Nonetheless, he seemed pretty over-matched in the league for the most part and this was a hard category to pick from. Davies and Etuhu couldn't be picked since they were the victims of either injuries or fell out of favor with Jol. Sidwell looked at times like he had a shot at this one, but the injury that knocked him out for a few months, made it seem kind of unfair to pick on him since he didn't have a chance to turn things around. Orlando Sa was a bit disappointing, but he started the year far from a starting candidate up top. Grygera's injury was disappointing, but not his play. Ruiz and Zamora were also contenders, but both had moments of absolute brilliance to overcome subpar performances for the former and a subpar attitude for the latter.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it, more or less...

    ~ Steve
  6. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    Talk about a match I totally forgotten about in terms of worst match; Blackburn away, wow that disaster :doh:
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