The Fulham Soapbox: no outing the Cottagers

Was even X Factor more entertaining that this, without costing £35 to watch? A bore draw with little to relieve the tedium beyond the magnificence of John Mensah. At least Pete Sixsmith enjoyed the pre-match real ale …

Last year at Craven Cottage, we succumbed to a Bobby Zamora goal, saw Anton Ferdinand limp off and began an awful run which left didn’t end until late February.

Twelve months on, we took a point in a dull 0-0 draw, Anton Ferdinand limped off and it is difficult to see a repeat of last year’s trials and tribulations. But is taking a point off Fulham enough?

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The West Ham Soapbox: head start on the Hammers

Not a great game. Pete Sixsmith‘s words, echoed by many, but he also sees reason to draw on such results, from largely uninspiring play, for hope that we may actually be on course in our loftier ambitions …

So, another three points in our relentless quest for a Europa League place and the delights of Sherif Tirana or Bangor City on a Thursday night. I am tingling with excitement at the prospect of playing such giants of the European game.

If we do make it to such exalted heights, games like this one are the ones that really count. This was a bread and butter fixture, against a side similar to what we were: one perennially struggling in the lower reaches of the Premier League.

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Molineux Soapbox: how not to keep Wolves from the door

Pete Sixsmith digs himself out of the snow – and chucks snowballs at the underachievers who ruined his Saturday …

My Chambers Dictionary defines a yardstick as “n, any standard of measurement (fig)”. The fig means figuratively, but after Saturday it could also mean Figgin awful defending.

The yardstick by which we measure our progress is not by drawing with or beating the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. It is by how we do against the sides who are not (on paper at least) as gifted as we are.

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Everton Soapbox: the absolute certainties of taxes, death and Cahill

Pete Sixsmith
offers his measured assessment of a game that Sunderland might have won, but will feel satisfied not to have lost – and also remembers a true Stadium of Light character, one year on from his untimely death …

The 18th century American polymath Ben Franklin is widely accepted as being the man who said that there are “only two things certain in life and that’s death and taxes”. Were Mr Franklin still on this mortal coil, he could add: “And Tim Cahill will score against Sunderland.”

When he headed home in the sixth minute of this frenetic but not particularly skillful game, I feared the worst. Fortunately, Everton had an attack that was even more toothless than Old Mother Riley after a visit to the dentist, with Louis Saha doing a very passable impersonation of Jonathan Stead.

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Soapbox: life on the road. Kerouac had nowt on this

“My fault, my failure,” Jack Kerouac wrote, “is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” Pete Sixsmith’s lack of control over his passion for non-league football took him (mercifully?) far from SAFC v Colchester the other night, memories of some stonking exam performances by the lads and lasses at Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College (does that mean school?) fresh in his mind …

Fair weather supporter, that’s me. One defeat at West Brom, the toys are slung out of the pram and I miss our most important game of the season until the next one comes along. Disgraceful, I know.

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