On May 4 2006, Sunderland beat Fulham 2-1 in the last home game of the season, with Kevin Ball as caretaker manager. We were already doomed and all that was at stake was avoidance of the added humiliation of becoming the first team in English league history to fail to win a single tie at home all season. We do not have to go back quite as far now as we did then for the last Premier win (home or away): it was, of course, Nov 21 when we beat Arsenal and thought ourselves in clover.
Is Sunday to be our day? James Alexander Tizzard*, our undercover, non-Lily Allen Fulham fan discovered at the Cottage Corner fansite, thinks we will have to wait a little longer for our next victory. We should wish his team well tonight at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League – and hope they’re too knackered to muster much of a challenge on Sunday …
Salut! Sunderland: As a Sunderland fan, I was embarrassed by our first half performance at Craven Cottage, and I know you all felt it was a 3-0 win dressed up as 1-0. Were you surprised at how bad we were?
At the start of the season, Sunderland looked like a side capable of pushing for Europe. The past two seasons you had dominated the games at our place so it was particularly suprising to witness such a poor first half display.
And Fulham fans are entitled to say don;t just knock your team, give us credit?” Indeed, a very good bunch of footballers playing well together. All down to Roy Hodgson?
Hodgson deserves all the credit for the position we find ourselves in. He has built a squad of honest, hard working players which play a very disciplined and attractive style of football. Much of our success has been built on a solid defence
How far can Fulham go? Is it simply unrealistic to hope for a top four breakthrough?
Top 4 will always be out of reach due to the financial restraints at our club. Many fans would like the chairman to flash the cash and live the dream but its important we don’t get ahead of ourselves and try to build our club steadily
And what about us? Have you memories, good or bad, of games between us, of players and officials linked with both clubs (Andy Melville, Paul Bracewell, Steed Malbranque, Lee Clark spring to mind)?
I’ll stick to the names above! Andy Melville has a cult hero status at the club. Never the classiest, most reliable of defenders, he did play a big role in our promotion to the Premiership and game us a couple of solid years in our first few seasons. Lee Clark also is remembered fondly at CC. Obviously the way in which he left Sunderland will stick in your fans’ minds, but he was a true talisman in our rise to the Premier League and was a great captain. Injuries really held him back but he still managed to play an important role in a strong premiership season 2004/2005.
Name this season;s finishing top four in order.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City
And the bottom three
Pompey, Hull, Burnley
If Fulham and Sunderland were in neither, where will we each end up?
Fulham should finish 9th or 10th Sunderland 13th or 14th
The Eduardo question: last second opf the last game of the season. It’s 1-1 and you need a win to secure a place in Europe/top four/ or to win the cup. Murphy or Johnson goes down in the box. Everyone in the ground knows it was a dive – except the ref. You score and win. You take it gladly, you take it guiltily or you’re so ashamed you almost wish you’d only drawn?
After the incident with Thierry Henry, it’s clear that cheats will be allowed to prosper in the game. Whilst no fan likes to see his player cheat, football has a tremendous ability to let things go. With that in mind, I’d happily take any form of cheating if it meant success for Fulham
How outrageous was it to suggest Danny or Andy would do any such thing, and who are the Premier’s worst divers?
Danny is very unlikely to throw himself down for a penalty. Johnson has been labelled a diver most of his career! Diving seems to be a dying out in the Premier League. The last one i remember doing it was Rooney.
Club vs country. With the World Cup looming, who wins for you and why?
Club everytime. Its hard to supports an English Team that consists of characters such as John Terry or Ashley Cole (not just because their Chelsea). England seems much more a money making thing these days
Will you be at the match – have you ever been to Sunderland? – and what will be the score on Feb 28?
I will indeed be at the game. We play in Donetsk the Thursday before so its going to be a really tough ask for our side. That said our side have surprised me this season so I’ll go for a 1-1 draw.
* James Alexander Tizzard on James Alexander Tizzard: I have been followed Fulham since the mid-70s. My late father Jack was a season ticket holder for some 30 years and was chairman of the Disabled Fulham Trust. It’s great to be able to watch Fulham in what has been the best period in the clubs history, hopefully we can add our first major trophy to crown it. The club is very much growing in stature, as can be seen in the slow rise in attendances over the past few years