So we’re through to the next round of the League Cup after a win against Morecambe. It was an unconvincing performance again, but it looks like, no matter who’s in the team, that breathtaking, fluid, counter attacking football of the latter end of the 11/12 season is gone forever, and basically, unless Hatem Ben Arfa can conjure up moments of brilliance, then we’re going to be watching some extremely dull Newcastle United performances until something dramatic changes.
It should never have taken Ben Arfa to come on just to beat Morecambe, we should be able to beat them easily, without our goal keeper having to fly all over his goal, like Superman, to keep us at 0-0 against a 4th division side, but, that’s where we are at the moment and being thankful for small mercies, we didn’t get shown up and now face the prospect of a feisty 3rd round tie against Leeds United.
There’s still no movement on the transfers, but the good news is that Wiki-Joe has found time to move house this week. So that’s a holiday and a house move now squeezed in to the transfer window, during his 2 months in the post of Director of Football. Wicked.
So, Fulham at home on Saturday. We could probably do without the drama of last season’s fixture against this lot, my nerves in particular would rather we don’t have to wait until stoppage time for a winner.
The Cottagers (Guffaw) have been busy in the transfer market this summer, so far bringing in Dutch goal keeper Stekelenberg from Roma for £5m, Scott Parker from Spurs for £2 million, Darren Bent and Adel Taraabt on loan from Aston Villa and QPR and Derek Boateng from Dnipro, whilst Mark Schwartzer left for Chelsea.
After an opening day success (0-1) on Wearside, Fulham were beaten 3-1 at home by Arsenal. They were taken to extra time and penalties at Burton Albion on Tuesday evening in the League Cup.
Darren Bent is off and running already on the goals trail. Stekelenberg and Richardson are injury doubts.
It seems Cabaye has been told to get his boots on for this weekend. Personally, I’d select players who want to play before players who don’t, every time and it’s a bit harsh on Anita if he makes way. However, once the game starts and if Cabaye is in the team, then I’d hope our fans didn’t give the lad stick, that’s not going to help anybody and you never know, a bit of an SJP love in, might tug on the heart strings a bit. Elsewhere, most senior players should be fresh, although I have no idea what got into Yanga-Mbiwa on Wednesday but I hope we don’t see it ever again. There’s still no Tiote. Pardew has also indicated that Remy may be on the bench.
Jonas Gutierrez – Hip - no return date
Cheick Tiote – Groin – next month
Massadio Haidara – knee – no return date
Ryan Taylor – Knee – not expected back this year
Mike Williamson – knock – Should return for Aston Villa
Steven Taylor 1 more game
Possible Team (4-2-3-1)
1.Krul: 2. Debuchy, 5. Yanga-Mbiwa, 6. Coloccini, 3. Santon: 4. Anita, 8. Cabaye: 7. Ben Arfa. 10. Sissoko 11. Marveaux:, 9. Cisse
Elliot, Dummett, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi, Remy, Gosling, Gouffran
Referee: Chris Foy
History vs Fulham
Fulham’s stint in the lower leagues meant there was a huge gap in competitive fixtures beyween the 2 clubs but it’s been a bit of a mixed bag of results against the West Londoners.
1983/84 Won 3-1 as goals from Keegan, Mills and Blakelaw’s finest, Kenny Wharton saw United continue a cracking start to the season.
2001/02 A 1-1 draw Kieran Dyer’s goal cancelled out by ex Mag, Luis Saha. The atmosphere was pretty awful this day.
2002/03 A 2-0 win thanks to Nobby Solano and Craig Bellamy with Fulham reduced to 10 men
2003/04 Won 3-1. A breathtaking Laurent Robert goal at the Gallowgate End
2004/05 Humped 1-4. Souness ers – best blanked from memory
2005/06 1-1 draw Owen’s debut, our first goal of the season and e red card for Scott Parker
2006/07 Lost 2-1. Parker’s header before disaster struck!
2007/08 Won 2-0. Comfortable win under Keegan. Viduka nd Owen with the goals
2008/09 Lost 1-0. Bassong sent off, Viduka’s header disallowed! Kamara with their winner.
2010/11 0-0 ZZZZzzzzz
2011/12 2-1 win with Leon Best getting both
2012/13 1-0 Cisse’s dramatic winner and bedlam ensuing
There’s Only One F In Fulham – click here
Fulham Mad – click here
Ed: we tried to contact There’s Only One F in Fulham for a pre-match Fanzine Craic but it seems they might have gone to sleep.
Bent, Duff, Parker, Hughes. You know the drill.
Follow Chris on Twitter