Whites are Better than Arsenal

A busy week here means I’ve been fighting to find the time to update my blog. Where to start? Well, today I took a day off to take care of some domestic stuff, and oversee the installation of a new washing machine. Delivery of which the shipper informed me could be ‘anytime between 9 and 6.30.’ Wow, there’s customer service for you UK style! Anyway, it gave me time to get out the laptop.

Good day for Fulham Saturday as you will no doubt have read up by now.

Something of a low-key win against the Villa and maybe a game you could console yourself missing. Neat finish by the defender though to find the winning goal. Chris Baird seems like your average joe Mr. Reliability and I guess you need a few blue collar guys in every star team. Go Bairdinho! Villa made it hard for us but I’m pleased to see Fulham take three points while not at their best. That’s the mark of a good team.

So we sat above the Arsenal all week and that made for some interesting comments at work. Normally I have to suck it up from all the office guys supporting the bigger London teams. There’s no doubt though that Fulham are starting to be taken seriously outside of West London. Signs are we are moving on up, and the fan feeling right now is for things to only get better. How high can this team go?

Three points last time out did not radically elevate us in the league, but another win going back-to-back this weekend at Reading sure will. Here is another game we can take the win no question. Martin Jol has a fully fit roster for the first time in weeks and the opposition are no great shakes. Reading are winless this season and hot tips to make a rapid return back into the Championship. This is the game for Berbatov to get back scoring, Duff has shaken off illness, the camp looks strong with Ruiz free of injury and Diarra able to run the midfield after knee surgery.

I remember fondly Brian McBride scoring there a few seasons back and Reading fans have never forgotten how we sent them down while we survived back in 2008 – it was only by goal difference, so they will have a score to settle come Saturday. Everyone tells me to expect goals from this game too, so should be quite a match-up. Makes me wish I had gotten a ticket, but any ideas that I might persuade my dear wife to walk around downtown Reading for two hours while the game was on were firmly batted back…So I’ll be hollering at the laptop during the game.

No forecasting from me this week, I ambitiously said Fulham by three over the Villa last week. The office king when it comes to betting bore down on me Monday with a wry smile. “Remember what I told you about the smart money being on a 1-1 last week,” he smirked. Yeh – you lost I reminded him.  “No I didn’t, ‘cos I took the odds on a Fulham home win as insurance, but the real gamble was forecasting a 1-1 at full-time. You saw the highlights, the Villa sub missed a sitter on 85 right after you scored…had that gone in for a very modest outlay I would have cashed $300.”

We call this guy ‘the shark’ and he certainly seems creative – and successful – when it comes to his bets. Anyway, he’s one of our regulars on the team for Tuesday night games and is always giving me sly little hints over beers after. The wife keeps warning me to stay away from him!

Hey, I wanted to talk about Arsenal. Watched their CL match up with Schalke Wednesday night and they have turned into the ‘new Fulham.’ Actually Arsene Wenger must be showing them last season’s DVD. Gervinho is doing a great impression of Andy Johnson. The team played without wingers and tried to tippy tap the ball through the midfield all night. And they never looked like scoring. They were wide open in the left-back position (Santos?) – okay I know John-Arne has been steadier this season. And they have expensive misfiring strikers who cost a bunch of Stan Kroenke’s money in Chamakh and Giroud (read Bryan Ruiz). As for that first goal by the Germans – the Gunners defence has been watching too much Senderos!

For years it seemed Fulham teams wanted to play like Arsenal, now they’re not even playing as well as us. They had an AGM this week in London, now that would have been interesting…Three more points in the FFC bank by the time of next posting. Meanwhile, greetings to all Fulham USA followers.


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