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[Archived] Fulham Preview


philipl

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Good morning and a Happy New Year to one and all.

Our first Premier League fixture of 2009 is a total unique as far as I know.

Never before in Rovers' history have we played consecutive league games against teams managed by former Rovers managers. In fact, I cannot recall Rovers playing league fixtures against former Rovers' managers ever before with the exception of John Carey's Everton in the early '60s. Even if we extend this to Cup matches I am struggling to think of Rovers coming up against former bosses.

A nice brain teaser to start the new year with!

So its off to Craven Cottage to face Roy Hodgson's Fulham. A dip into Wikipedia produces the following comparison:

The figures read from left to right: G W L D W%

Blackburn Rovers 1 June 1997 21 November 1998 62 22 22 18 35.48

Fulham 30 December 2007 Present 41 13 15 13 31.71

It is worth remembering that following Roy's appointment, the first half of the 97/8 produced the most exciting and attractive football team in Rovers' recent history cumulating in that 3-1 win at Highbury when Rovers quite simply destroyed the Arsenal side destined to be that season's Champions.

Sadly it was all down hill thereafter and a combination of Roy's ego and stubbornness destroyed all he had achieved and the cohesion of the Rovers' team with it. There were some mind boggling reckless transfers including £7m on Davies whom we could/should have picked up for a bit over £1m a year earlier and Roy destroyed for being a bit podgy when he arrived at Ewood.

To the game on the 10th which I think will be a massive test for Sam's Rovers and a game we could very easily lose. Fulham have been spending the Harrods millions again and have assembled a very useful outfit which keep popping up (and being totally ignored) in the Premier League top 10.

They are tough, strong and extremely well organised and I believe are ideally set up to expose Rovers' weaknesses in central midfield. I simply cannot see us winning this one unless Sam is quick in the transfer market. Sorry to be gloomy but just because us Lancastrians see the word Fulham and think this lot will be soft us putty, it doesn't mean its going to be like that.

Of course we have our own visiting/resident Fulham Fan so I asked ffan a few questions:

Craven Cottage is the only "proper" ground left in the Premier League- certainly the only one a fan travelling forwards by time machine from 30 years ago would recognise. What are the pluses and minuses of watching your football in a living museum? - I don't think there are many minuses to Craven Cottage. It's a beautiful ground by the river, nice scenery and a relaxing place to go to, in my opinion. I like the way that the Cottage is not, what I would regard as a Plastic Stadium like say the Emirates is or what Spurs new stadium will be. If I had to be really picky I would have to say that the only thing wrong with our ground is the Neutral Section.

Going to Fulham is also an authentic experience- a pint or two in the Eight Bells at Putney Bridge and the walk through Bishop's Park. Any other recommendations for visiting fans? - I think you have hit the nail on the head with those two suggestions you have made. I love Bishops Park, full of excitement and buzz on a Matchday but in a strange way I also find it relaxing. The Golden Lion is a niceish enough pub but is a Fulham pub, so stay clear!! The Eight Bells is the way to go I'd say.

Does the neutral section work? I noticed that with almost identical sized gates and identical 2-2 results, the Fulham-Chelsea game didn't seem to make the fans anywhere near as passionate as the Rovers-City game and Ewood is no throbbing hotbed most days? - I hate the Neutral section. It allows alot more opposition fans in than would normally be allowed, or so I am told. The one advantage of it though, is that it can also prevent a good atmosphere from being created by the opposition fans as Fulham fans, or actual neutrals, would be mixed in with them.

I remember quite recently you posted a very negative comment about Woy. Are you still of the same opinion? - I can vaguely remember it! If you remember, Fulham went on a 5 game losing streak earlier on in the season including losing to Burnley and West Brom which was very frustrating. The thing that annoyed most Fulham fans though was that Roy did not make any changes to the team during the run. He still frustrates some of us by not giving the likes of Nevland or Andreason a chance.

Against Chelsea, Fulham looked extremely well organised and difficult to break down but Chelsea were pressing most of the game. What are you like on the attack? - Funny, I thought we were very disorganized on Sunday compared to our recent form. We are very strong defensively however our attack is a tad bit blunt. We have nice build up play through the middle but we lack a natural finisher, well we have one in Nevland but he hardly ever plays. We have never lost a game by one than more goal this season and have never conceded more than 2 which is a story in itself.

What brought you to brfcs.com and what do you think of the web site? - Some relatives support Blackburn and I think we were playing you so I registered to see what you were like and have kind of stuck around since because I have a soft spot for Blackburn. I like the website, new articles every 2 - 3 days and some nice people on here to.

How did you come to start supporting Fulham? - Was born there and lived there for a large chunk of my life. I live in Ireland now though. I do get to around 15 home games a season though!

What are your hopes and fears for the January transfer window as it impacts Fulham? - Obviously my biggest fear would be losing Hangeland, not to concerned about Bullard leaving if I am being honest. I don't really have any hopes for the transfer window, maybe a winger? I trust Roy to buy what he thinks we need.

Any thoughts about the current Rovers team and a prediction of the score? - I think Allardyce will bring Rovers organization and some fight which I think you lacked under Ince. There is some rank average players in your team on top of players that just haven't been performing this season, which is not a good mix. However I think Allardyce is the man to sort that out. I think it'll be an interesting January for Rovers, with Allardyce buying a few "unknowns" from obscure countries. As for a prediction, hopefully a Fulham win!

Rounding off, I have pleasant memories of going to Craven Cottage- from watching George Best sort of doing his stuff in a 0-0 draw (was Bobby Moore playing that day as well), an Ian Miller cracker for a 1-0 win and an other win, draw and loss as we have peregrinated around the leagues bumping into each other every so often.

Of course, Rovers and Fulham came up together with Bolton for company in 2001 and amazingly/incredibly this trio remain continuous and unbroken members of the Premier League to this day. Last season, with only four games to go it looked like both Fulham and Bolton were going down but they both improbably escaped. This season we are dangling off the end and let's hope Roy has some words of wisdom for Sam after this fixture, win draw or lose.

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Happy New Year to you too, Philipl. I trust the sun will warm the cockles of your heart out there in Malta :)

Thanks for the nice gentle (and gentlemanly) introduction to the game. Your approach fitted well with my impressions of the Fulham set up - quietly confident and well organised.

As for the game, I hope Sam has been working on our 'Glass Jaw' over the period since the Citeh game. If the defence is able to work as a unit for 90 mins and to concentrate for a full game, I can see us grinding out another decent result here. My prediction therefore, is a 0-0 or (ideally) a 0-1 scoreline to Rovers.

Thanks again & thanks & Happy New Year to ffan too :)

C'mon You Blues!

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Philip

Nice preview of the Fulham game.

Another must not lose game for Rovers and try and pinch a win.

On the subject of ex-Rovers managers to manage against Rovers. The only one i can think of in premeirship is Howard Kendal during his second spell at Everton. Another to manage against Rovers at league level would be Jim Smith during his days at pompey and Oxford.

Happy New Year.

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Happy New Year to everyone.

I remember the reverse fixture at Ewood quite well. I thought we worked very hard that day and got our just rewards ( just about ). The worrying aspect as usual is how the central midfield will stand up to the challenge.

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Good morning and a Happy New Year to one and all.

Our first Premier League fixture of 2009 is a total unique as far as I know.

Never before in Rovers' history have we played consecutive league games against teams managed by former Rovers managers. In fact, I cannot recall Rovers playing league fixtures against former Rovers' managers ever before with the exception of John Carey's Everton in the early '60s. Even if we extend this to Cup matches I am struggling to think of Rovers coming up against former bosses.

A nice brain teaser to start the new year with!

Great Preview.

How's about thisfor an answer to the brain teaser:

last game of the 97-98 season home to King Kenny's Newcastle.

First game of the 98-99 season home to Jim Smith's Derby.

I know there were a few pre-season games in the 3 month gap but consecutive league games they are.

:rover:

If I'm right maybe edit your post to "Only once before ......." :blush:

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Great Preview.

How's about thisfor an answer to the brain teaser:

last game of the 97-98 season home to King Kenny's Newcastle.

First game of the 98-99 season home to Jim Smith's Derby.

I know there were a few pre-season games in the 3 month gap but consecutive league games they are.

:rover:

If I'm right maybe edit your post to "Only once before ......." :blush:

I bow to your superior memory and powers of research- you are absolutely correct sir.

Unfortunately I am timed out for editing the preview now but congratulations to you and dingles staying down 4 ever!

OK- here's a challenge: consecutive games against clubs managed by ex-Rovers bosses in the same year and in the same season, I don't think there are...

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I bow to your superior memory and powers of research- you are absolutely correct sir.

Unfortunately I am timed out for editing the preview now but congratulations to you and dingles staying down 4 ever!

OK- here's a challenge: consecutive games against clubs managed by ex-Rovers bosses in the same year and in the same season, I don't think there are...

Purely from memory.....I vaguely remember that......

Jim Smith wins it again

Oxford FA Cup

Oxford division two

Oxford FA Cup replay

circa Feb 1984 or 1985

but by no ways am I certain

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Happy New Year to one and all and a good read.

For me, this game hinges on the team that scores the first goal.

Because of that I am going for a Rovers 1-0 win, its the result our season is pivotal on.

Step forward Sir Matty Derbyshire, your going to score the goal to make up for City at home.

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Good morning and a Happy New Year to one and all.

Our first Premier League fixture of 2009 is a total unique as far as I know.

Never before in Rovers' history have we played consecutive league games against teams managed by former Rovers managers. In fact, I cannot recall Rovers playing league fixtures against former Rovers' managers ever before with the exception of John Carey's Everton in the early '60s. Even if we extend this to Cup matches I am struggling to think of Rovers coming up against former bosses.

A nice brain teaser to start the new year with!

I am a bit confused... where does Graham Souness fit into this? We played him a few times in his stint at Newcastle.

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It was consecutive, so we would've had to play another club managed by an ex Rover the match after or before.

Well it was this bit I didn't get "In fact, I cannot recall Rovers playing league fixtures against former Rovers' managers ever before with the exception of John Carey's Everton in the early '60s"

I thought Phillipl meant we have never played a former Rovers manager in a league fixture between Hughes and Carey?

Anyhow, looking forward to this game, I will be there. Fulham have come along in massive strides and this will be a very difficult game against two teams who - providing our best players are on form and Allardyce gets his tactics right - are very evenly matched. I imagine we will play roughly the same as we did against City. High work rate, deep formation, looking to catch them on the break. The main issue will be Bullard's long shooting imo.

A lot will depend on Roberts and McCarthy continuing their excellent form as they will get little support before the midfielders break so will need to hold up the ball. Plus Grella will be back which (hopefully) will improve the centre of midfield considerably. Also we may have a singing or two to come in.

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Thanks FFan and philipl, great preview and nice read. Hopefully we can shut down Dempsey and walk away with all 3 points.

He is really coming in too his own these past few weeks. Considering he didn't get a look in at the start of the season but is now showing Roy and the rest of us what he can do.

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I can't help but laugh at Dempsey because of his appalling rap song!

Type in Clint Dempsey AKA Deuce on youtube...

Good player though, cracking header v Chelsea

I predict Fulham 1-2 Rovers

Roberts and Pedersen

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Thank you Phillipl & Ffan for a good one.

I very much doubt if the word "peregrinated" has ever been used on any football web site before. For which sir, I doff my (flat) cap to you.

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As I've lived 200 yards from the cottage for most of the last decade this is always my favourite fixture of the year, usually a good game as well although we've not always had the best of luck. I remember a brilliant Matty Jansen performance a few years ago that ended in defeat but last time we came to Fulham (or Shepherds Bush as it was then) in relegation trouble we played a blinder to win with goals from Amo and Jon Stead and the best Rovers goal I've ever seen live from Andrew Cole of a 40 yard Tugay pass. More of the same would do me this time but realistically I think we're looking at a draw unless the midfielders can offer more support to Benni and JR.

1-1 for me.

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dm - it was at loftus road i think, i remember getting there early watching lara get 400 in the test match against england, then convinced at half time we were relegated and then singing 'you'll never get a passport' to al'fayed. And that cole goal was excellent and i can't find it online anywhere. Flitcroft on the right wing. Who would have thunked?

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