Author Topic: Jack and Loz at the Cottage - Blog 70  (Read 2089 times)

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Jack and Loz at the Cottage - Blog 70
« on: January 21, 2018, 04:01:57 PM »
Jack and Loz at the Cottage - Blog 70
Date: 20th January 2018

Opposition: Burton Albion

Score: 6-0!!!!!!!!

Weather: grim. At one point it was actually raining IN the Hammy End

Atmosphere: fantastic. The Cottage was full and it was rocking.

Opposition fans: to keep out of the rain the Burton fans sat at the very back of their section of the Putney End. This also meant they were further away from the carnage their team suffered on the pitch

MOTM (football): there is a long history of the most maligned Fulham players turning out to be among the best and most popular. Chris Baird is a good example of this strange tenancy as is Tim Ream. Rui Fonte has suffered all sorts of criticism since arriving in August despite his obvious skills and propensity for hard work. On Saturday his two goals and productive partnership with Lucas Piazon meant epiphanies were experienced in all quarters of the ground

MOTM (non-football): the minute's applause for Cyrille Regis, a giant of the game on the pitch and a pioneer off it was observed with respect and vigour

Pub: the OSP is still closed and we have heard a worrying rumour that it is going to reopen as a "sports bar" which we suspect may not be our sort of thing at all. Meanwhile, the Blue Boat is fast becoming our new local

You are a small but perfectly formed football club from by the river. Due to an administrative error when a crazed German sociopath was accidentally given control of the team you are currently experiencing Championship football for the 4th season in a row. You now have a different manager - a deep, dark, dangerous Serb, your captain is the best midfielder in the league and your left winger the best 17 year old in the world. On the whole, you've enjoyed the exciting unpredictability of the Championship and you know the challenges of the Premier League will be hard to face but you are ready. The time has come.

Having had a slow start to the season and cruised to 8th in the table under the radar due to the UK media's misplaced obsession with larger clubs, how do you announce to the rest of the league that you mean business, that you are coming through? You harden your heart against weaker opposition, you hone the skills of your team to point where all flaws disappear and you play the most perfect game of football in the history of the sport.

Burton Albion have become something of a bogey team for Fulham. We well remember the appalling time wasting of their sloth-keeper in last season's draw at the Cottage and of course our loss to them earlier this season was one of our more Fulhamish recent results. The victory, never mind the manner of it, was therefore by no means a foregone conclusion.

Burton had one throw of the dice and they cast it early, electing to make Fulham shoot towards the Hammersmith End in the first half, a set up that we always dislike. As an attempt to unsettle the Fulham players however this tactic could not have failed more miserably. From the whistle this was one of the most one sided games we have ever watched. Burton did themselves no favours letting our players have time on the ball and space to use it but such was the dynamism, the organisation and the togetherness of the Fulham team that no opposition could have survived that encounter unscathed.

We have all wondered what happened to the team of last season with their fast flowing football and fancy footwork. On Saturday they reappeared, a Phoenix from the ashes of the hard fought, ground out victories from our sneaky ascent of the table. The range and accuracy of the passes: long, short, quick, considered, feinted; perfect. The calm efficiency of the defence - Kevin McDonald was so effective in front of them that Kalas and Ream had almost nothing to do. And that attack - ah, be still our beating hearts! The crosses from Fredericks, the vision of Norwood, the work rate of Johansen, the majestic understanding between Fonte and Piazon, the all round attacking expertise of Fulham's own Ryan Sessegnon.

And the 6 brilliant goals:-

1. The unselfishness of Piazon, the sublime finish from Fonte

2. The skill of Fredericks, the class of Piazon

3. The ruthlessness and desire of Fonte

4. The ability of Sessegnon to be in the right place at the right time....

5. .....every single time

6. AK's awesome athleticism and cheeky chip

If the first half was good the second, following the introduction of Tom Cairney was even better. Fulham were so dominant it was like watching a government without an opposition. Marcus Bettinelli had so little to do he was literally creating work for himself, pulling off an excellent diving header and retrieving the ball for corners at the other end of the pitch. Perhaps he should have found a more productive occupation for 45 minutes than watching and applauding his team mates: macrame-ing a pot holder, for example, or designing a bridge over the English Channel.

Random musings:-

- it was Tom Cairney's birthday on Saturday and we were pleased to see that he has spent his birthday money on a nice new pair of red boots

- it was also Lucas Piazon's birthday on Saturday. Hopefully they have coordinated over who will be bringing cake into work on which day. It's so annoying when people don't do that

- following the highlights debacle and the beard saga Oliver Norwood now seems to have gone for a shaved at the sides with a weird thin line in it look. He really should leave this kind of thing to Kebano

- we have commented on the connection between Fonte and Piazon already but as well as Fulham's supremacy another key element of the game was how hard the players worked for each other and their heartfelt joint celebrations of all the goals. Both Fonte and AK rushed off to hug people on the bench after they scored - not something you see very often.

- once again we were impressed not only by Ryan Sessegnon's performance which as usual displayed a maturity which belies his years but it was lovely to see his commitment to the club and fans in his badge patting celebration after the game. We also appreciated the photos after Norwood's penalty against Middlesbrough: Oliver was thrilled to have scored, Ryan was thrilled that the team he supports, as well as plays for, had won

Interestingly, the transfer window is still open and so all positions are still up for grabs. In the debate about a new striker no one, except perhaps Fonte and Slav, was expecting that player to emerge from our own ranks. Will their be a new recruit, or will the rest of 2018 be the season of the Portuguese?

So we ended Saturday in 7th place, 1 point behind 6th and 8 behind 2nd. There is a long way to go but time, for once, is on our side. Our goal difference is resurgent and our reputation is formidable. Look out Top 6, Fulham are on the way.

Offline grandad

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Re: Jack and Loz at the Cottage - Blog 70
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 06:01:05 PM »
Great Blog. Enjoyed it very much.

Offline Mo

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Re: Jack and Loz at the Cottage - Blog 70
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 06:29:55 PM »
Good to hear a well balanced blog by a FFC fan it is also good to hear pretty much the same from an obviously knowledgeable and passionate Burton blogger-