Fulham-SAFC Who are You?: ‘a little in love with Lily Allen’

Jake resorts to old tech to touch base with our Fulham technocrat

We all know that but for the necessary evil of publicists, Lily Allen would be a regular on these pages, offering her bons mots each time Sunderland played Fulham. Next best thing given the obstacles placed in our path? Step forward Matty Deller, radio presenter, Fulham nut and star of the Ballsy Banter podcast. He
loves Lily; he also has a lot of time for Martin Jol, Clint Dempsey and Lee Clark and rather more than we have for one Asamoah Gyan. Here, then, is the first of our two Fulham ‘Who are You?s’ …

Salut! Sunderland: Fulham have had a real up and down season, great results punctuated by heavy defeats, resulting in mid-table safety but a disappointing end to the season. More changes needed?

This season has been more good than bad, Martin Jol has started the building process to bring in the younger talent like Frei, Kasami, Kacaniklic whilst maintaining the decent older guard and dropping the deadwood (*cough* Zamora *cough*) this season has been successful in that respect. Undefeated against both QPR and Chelsea, decent results against bigger teams and only one embarrassing result, this past weekend against Everton. The Europa League fixtures has been the main catalyst to our flagging end to the season, but all in all its not been a poor season – but we are rebuilding so a transitional season is to be expected.

Roy Hodgson for England: do you wish you still had him and, either way, why is that your view?

In our podcast, I did make a shout for Hodgson when Capello first resigned – as I felt England needed a safe pair of hands in this current time. Like Fulham, England is going through the rebuilding phase – the ‘golden age’ is starting to rust and the younger players need to be bled in slowly enough that we have the experience but not ditheringly enough that we end up with an ancient squad and young players with no caps. Hodgson is a well-travelled manager both nationally and internationally, having coached in a World Cup already and led Switzerland to third place in the FIFA world rankings and whilst Uncle ‘Arry was the pundits’ choice, I think Hodgson was the right one. In an ideal world, he’d be coaching Fulham – but he wanted to test himself at a bigger club, and hey – he started his rise and rise in England at Fulham so its something to be proud of.

What is your honest view of the best a Fulham supporter can hope for given the current hierarchy in football?

Right now, we are a top half club – small stature, but decent enough players to sometimes upset the applecart now and again. With our new plan, with a new Riverside Stand being built and Al Fayed trusting Martin Jol to bring in the right players to push us on over the next few seasons – I reckon we will soon graduate to a Europa League contender, top 10 side. If we can hold onto Dempsey, Dembele, Hangeland and keep developing the young players – 6th to 10th place will be our domain for many years to come.

And do you welcome or – notwithstanding the impact of your own benefactor on Fulham’s fortunes – condemn the money-fuelled resurgence of Man City?

Money makes the world go round nowadays sadly, so a team like Manchester City being anointed with such riches is just how the footballing world works. From a business standpoint, it did make sense (location where football is already big, world class stadium, solid foundation) and it seems they have got the formula just right. I personally don’t have the problem with the transfer fees in themselves – but the wages they pay are abhorrent, really detaching football from the common man. But they did bring Mario Balotelli into our lives so I can’t begrudge them that. For a team to spend that much money to amuse the rest of the league is nice gesture.

Not Lily Allen

Is it likely that Mohamed Fayed will ever dig deeply into his pockets again?

What I like about Al Fayed is that he will spend money when it is needed. Sadly, he only spend money on managers he likes, but luckily he likes Martin Jol so he is letting him spend enough to keep us in the position we deserve to be. If we got into trouble, I’m sure Mo would dig deep to help the cause, but I’d rather keep it simple and not do a Portsmouth. With a team like us, it makes good sense to not get it over our head.

So who is going to win the title race, and who comes third and fourth?

I am going for Manchester City, but on the last day – as I think City will lose to Newcastle in their next fixture. Arsenal have got third wrapped up, and for fourth – it’s gotta be Newcastle. Papiss Cissé is going to fire them back into the Champions League.

Not Matty Deller

And who is going down with Wolves?

I am opting for Blackburn and Bolton – but none of the teams down there really deserves to be in the Premier League, they’ve all been utterly rubbish. An outside bet is Aston Vila, they aren’t safe yet and they have dropped like a stone. McLeish could take the other Midlands team down, and probably be hounded out of Birmingham in the process.

Where will our two clubs finish?

As much as my goal for the end of the season was to finish above Liverpool – I reckon we are comfortable with 9th, I think this is where we’ll stay. With Sunderland’s run-in – I think you’re right where you will finish this season, in 10th. Both respectable areas.

Johnny Haynes, Jimmy Hill, Tommy Trinder, George Best, Rodney Marsh, Alan Mullery, Lily Allen. Do they all have places in the hearts of Fulham fans and which names ring out most clearly for you?

All of the legends of Craven Cottage always stay long in the memory – the likes of Hill, Haynes and Mullery always will be forefathers of Fulham Football Club. Johnny Haynes is a man who will always be synonymous with the club – the fact he has a statue and a stand speaks volume of his importance to us. Lily Allen is someone who sticks out for me, but that’s because I’m a bit in love with her. The image of her in tears at the Europa League final will stay with me forever – I will never forgive Diego Forlan for that.

How does your present crop of players compare with the best you’ve seen – or wish you’d seen?

If Clint Dempsey stays with us – he will become one of our modern legends. Up there with Brian McBride and Lee Clark, Clint Dempsey is a Fulham player through and through. I’ve never seen him not give 100 per cent in the white, and the fact he is our leading Premier League goalscorer shows his skill in the top flight. I reckon Alexander Kacaniklic could be a future great, he is one of the fastest players i’ve ever seen in person, he bossed the wing against Norwich a few weeks back. Pogrebnyak could be our next striking god they way he going about his business.

How have you managed to keep tabs with Fulham this season (this was originally directed at a US-based fan … I assume you go to the matches?

I try and get to as many games as I can – but working in radio is a pain as I do a lot of work on Saturdays. The internet is the best friend of any football fan, you can now see the highlights of your team on the go. I never miss any games if I can help it, but working in sports radio makes it a lot easier. Getting paid to watch the Fulham game is a plus.

Is there any Sunderland player, past or present or both, that you’d welcome in Fulham colours?

Asamoah Gyan without a doubt. It might be sore-spot with some Sunderland fans but he is a fantastic out-and-out goalgetter. He deserves better than to be playing out in the Middle-East, he is one of the finest strikers to come out of Africa in the past 10 years.

Which game do you most regret having missed?

I missed THAT game against Juventus (where we won 4-1) because I messed up the kick-off times. I lounged about at university thinking it was a 7:45 kick-off when it was an earlier one. I got a text from my mate and only just realized – ran home, and managed to see the amazing Dempsey lob to seal the tie. I have watched the game about a thousand times on YouTube though.

Jake's simple question: can we play this one the whole game through?

Which form of cheating most annoys you and who is/are the worst culprit/s?

Feigning injury is the worst form of cheating for me – diving isn’t as bad as everyone says it is, its really clever play if someones not blatantly trying to fool the referee. If the defender is silly enough to leave a trailing leg, they deserve to give away a penalty. Feigning injury is the worst, as it could lead to a ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation – where a player is ligit injured and the referee doesn’t get physios on straight away because they think they might be faking it.


Click here for the Martin O’Neill ‘Team of all Talents’ mug: £9.50, post-free for UK buyers, from the Salut! Sunderland Shop

And will you be more interested in the Olympics of Euro 2012 this summer?

Now ‘Woy the Boy’ is in charge of the England squad, I am more interested in Euro 2012 – but I am intruiged by The Olympics. a GB football team should be a great prospect, and two footbal tournaments in one summer is perfection for any football fan. But right now, Euro 2012 just shades it.

Give me Sunday’s scoreline!

We need a win to keep up with Liverpool and to finish as high as possible, and with Pogz and Dempsey in their great form – I am going to go with a 2-0 Fulham win.

* Matty Deller on Matty Deller: I’m 22, a radio presenter and co-host of Ballsy Banter podcast. My first Fulham game was Fulham vs Sunderland in 2006. My favourite all-time players are Brian McBride, Zoltan Gera and Brede Hangeland.

Interview: Colin Randall

13 thoughts on “Fulham-SAFC Who are You?: ‘a little in love with Lily Allen’”

  1. Hello everyone, I enjoy all the feedback – good or bad, everyones entitled to their opinion.

    The diving situation for me is thus, in Spain if someone puts their leg out and goes to ground easy, it is seen as clever play, as you have fooled the opposition into out-stretching a leg in a dangerous area. I agree with this, but the act of diving when not touch (eg: Ashley Young) is an abhorrant act. Leading a foul is a more accurate statement that saying ‘diving’ perhaps.

    The Lee Clark comment I have only just realised it might be seen as a wind-up lol. And whilst I may have only started my Fulham watching a few years ago (I wasnt in a sporting family, so only got into football at age 16 – long story involving not wanting to support West Ham) I did my research and made sure I was aware of my history. A lot of hours spent of youtube watching Lee Clark back in the day was done before I even attempted to strike up a conversation with Fulham fans. So hence my love for Clark even though I am a younger Fulham fan.

    Gyan is a great player, a money greedy so and so, but a great player. He deserves better than the middle east game, but he made that cash bed, he’s gotta lie in it. I agree with you on that.

    RE: Away support – yeah, we aren’t great shakes with away support, our support is a mish mash of harderned fans and upper-class toffs who want a day at the association football. It’d be nice to have more away fans, but the minority we have are very loyal. And I like Diddy David Hamilton, personally.

    I enjoyed doing this and love the website. Thanks guys.

  2. Fulham’s next target must be to get more than 200 fans to travel to away games in the North of England. Their pathetic away support undoes all the good work they do at home.
    Oh, and get rid of Diddy David Hamilton; he’s almost as embarrassing as Mark Page was at Middlesbrough.

  3. How long did Lee Clark even play for Fulham? Suppose Matty’s age is relevant, as pointed out. Staying with that, his first game was only six years ago. Seems irregular for people who feature in these sorts of things.

    On another note, i think Clint Dempsey is a fine player. It is of my opinion that had he not been American he would have been signed by a bigger club quite a while back. It is in my head that we are snobs when it comes to our friends across the pond, and any association they have with football. Sorry, ‘soccer’. Can’t think why.

  4. Greenhoff’s dive is a great read but I cannot recall seeing it? When it comes to dives I have witnessed first hand, I have never seen a better one than McCallister’s;

    Oh, and I enjoyed Matty’s thoughts.His view on diving is not mine but corresponds precisely to how the Spain-based Spurs fan we had here recently summed up how Spanish supporters see it

    • Seek and thou shalt find enough evidence to convince you that McCallister’s was only a “belated tumble” compared to someone who rolled over and over until he reached the penalty area.

      Please ask PS about the two incidents – I think he witnessed both!

      • I should have added that Ken Stokes was, supposedly, going to be the referee in our next game (against Everton IIRC) and it had to be announced, over the Tannoy, that he was not.

        He would not have left Roker alive!.

        I’m not sure if he was ever allowed to referee another “first class” match.

        I’m sure that someone, on here, will be able to give a detailed answer to that.

    • ” Better one”?

      Next year, synchronised swimming?

      Maybe, in future, you should ensure that the person supplying the answers to a “Who are you” questionaire can count to more than the numbers of his/her fingers and has enough experience to give objective answers.

      I was going to post “Not talk out of their a***, but thought better of it!

  5. My views on diving are well known; the ducking stool strikes me as a great punishment however well someone does it

    Phil: if you knew how weary I became dealing with the JH fallout from Coventry fans, you’d know why I left it to him. The very mention of the man’s name is enough to set SAFC thoughts running … but I can also invoke the French elections, which necessitate a lot of work of the paid-for variety and less time to spend here.

    Lee Clark? I thought he did a great job for us and am not surprised to hear a (young) Fulham fan eulogise what he did for them. I don’t give a fig about his obvious allegiance and am sure, as others have pointed out; that he was put up by his mates to the t-shirt jape. It was right he left but that doesn’t alter the fact that until that Wembley moment, he was utterly professional while we had him.

    • Hey!!!

      I have a great respect for those that are prepared to be controversial.

      Give me one person who is prepared to question the “accepted” perception, instead of 1,000, who act as sheep, any day!

      Sometimes, though, I can lose it (temporarily) for those that are not prepared to be what they claim to be.

      Coming to Lee Clark – A player that I thought (as you) did a great job for us.

      I do wonder, though, even at his tender years, if he was unaware of the T shirt episode, which lead to him joining his club.

      Somehow, I doubt it.

      Hence my question.

    • “My views on diving are well known; the ducking stool strikes me as a great punishment however well someone does it”

      You never did respond to my request for which you considered the worst.

      McAllister (your, often quoted favourite) OR Greenhoff?

      What do YOU think?

      The ducking stool should only, ever be considered as a punishment if kneecapping is unavailable – and even then the minimum time spent, under water, should be 5 hours!!

  6. Asamoah Gyan “deserves better than to be playing out in the Middle-East…” It was Asamoah Gyan’s money-hungry decision to go there; it’s not as if he was sent into exile.

    “Diving isn’t as bad as everyone says it is, its really clever play if someones not blatantly trying to fool the referee…” I don’t fully understand what that means but the concept of diving as “really clever play” speaks volumes.
    Thumbs down on this one.

    • “Diving isn’t as bad as everyone says it is, its really clever play if someones not blatantly trying to fool the referee…” I don’t fully understand what that means but the concept of diving as “really clever play” speaks volumes.

      The guy is, obviously, a buffoon!

      Why did M. Salut ever decide to include his copy?

      He knows nothing, has no experience of anything and yet professes to be qualified to comment on two Premier League teams.

      On this occasion, if that was all he had, he would (IMHO) have achieved a better result by trawling the Rues of Marseille (or wherever) and finding someone who spoke no English (only Arabic), was not interested in football and just wished to left in peace to enjoy a drugs overdose


  7. I was hoping that M. Salut would have asked MD about the Jimmy Hill “incident” and if he thought we could expect another appearance, from one of “Fulham’s Forefathers”.

    The songwriters quills would be being sharpened, as I type, if the answer had, then, been in the affirmative!!

    As an aside, does M. Salut believe that the reference to Lee Clark as a “modern legend” was sincere, or (maybe) an attempted wind up?

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