Opinion: Fulham on way to legend?

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by pettyfog, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    {Warning! Typical pettfoggish 'Stream of Consciousness' scribblings to follow!}
    Less Mod, more footy!

    It's amazing what a single good performance by your team can do for your mood, especially when it isnt a three point result.

    For Fulham, right now, everything seems to be going right:

    Chris Coleman as manager - I've been following sports for a while and seen this player to coach scenario fail more often than not; but Coleman is apparently going to be the shining exception.
    Sometimes it's hard to grok (bring the word back!) the true thoughts of a team boss, because the published quotes are all from the same 'Manager-speak' handbook but it now looks as if he's the real deal.

    Mid-spring I expected Coleman to be gone by this season. Though I was neutral on my choice whether he should be out, the writing seemed to be on the wall. But he was smart enough to see the obvious rather than keep trying to force the square peg and the season ended brightly.

    Then he changed the team training paradigm from "they are all professionals, after all" to 'fitness first!' This idea of teardown-buildup is familiar to the egg-chasing athlete, whether gridball or rugby but I think Cookie is smart to bring it to Fulham.

    The idea is simple... build the muscle mass and aerobics, then retrain and fine-tune it to perform the skills. Brilliant! And training for a week in the hot and humid Columbus environs wasnt all that bad an idea, after all.
    Watching the two results there, didnt greatly affect my view of the team so much as it did reinforce my opinion that there really wasnt that much difference between first division in-form to mid-table prem out of form performance.
    So it seemed to some who watched the team against MLS that Fulham was poor, so what!

    Then, with the added restraint of a tight purse, Cookie was forced to be the wise shopper. Well, I was sure that he already had an eye for the bargain value.. but most couldnt know that.
    But look what he did: shut up the moaners about Boca with Niclas Jensen - solid!
    Saw that Knight wasnt so much an oaf as he was mis-matched in his working partnership. I saw that, too, while watching Zat on England.. he's a "Sweeper"!!! fucrineoutloud!
    So he needed a partner who he could trust and anticipate even the foul-ups. I think Bocanegra is that guy... and Christanval may be, as well.
    So with Volz, Liam, Zat, Christanval, Carlos, Goma, N. Jensen to choose from, things suddenly look very bright for our defense... not to mention the amazing Tony Warner coming out from under the bushel!

    Sidenote: From the looks of it, Warner is good enough he might even be a starter on an MLS side. And dont laugh - Hahnemann was VERY ordinary in MLS, a legend at Reading.
    Further..Arse aside, looking at the goals scored on us, THREE of them were brilliant and unstoppable.


    This is a puzzle remaining to be solved. Look at the starters: There's no doubt that Diop, Steed, and Boa must start. And how do you leave out Claus?
    So then, considering that Fulham HAD been seen to be a perfect team for an aspiring midfielder to break into English football, what to do with Elrich.. and how to utilize CJ and Radz as mids.. so as not to waste them on the bench? And Liam.. isnt he good enough to break into defensive midfield?


    First we have McBride, who seems to have certainly learned a lot in the last season or two.. from one who wasnt Prem-quality, just lucky to have scored winning goals in Korea-Japan, to a seasoned professional who "rises to meet the challenge". So has Cookie "taught an old dog new tricks?"

    So who to pair him with? Radz, so far.. but to mixed reviews and certainly still under-achieving as to potential. Collins John, could be a brilliant pairing if he can subdue the brash tendency to do it all himself.
    {To all who admire Jeff Cunningham - same scenario. Hard to overcome!}

    Helguson: He's 'mcBride-like' can two of them work together? In a perfect world of unspoken understanding - yes; in the REAL WORLD, not sure.

    Now, when you consider that the key to winning seasons in consistency in your lineup, there's a rejoinder to those who complain that Fulham is thin and has no depth in talent to choose from.

    Sure! If Fulham was considered one of the top four and Europe bound, that might be true, but they aren't.... yet. And those who sit the bench and some who arent selected will feel they arent being given the chance.

    So, as Fulham continues through the season and amazes one and all in their results, Cookies primary consideration will be in managing the expectations of the ones who think they should be playing or starting and aren't.

    And THAT is a really tough job!
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