There is an old joke in the rag trade that goes like this:
“How is business?”
“It was bad a few months ago but now it’s tailing off.”
Speaking to Alan T post match, that seemed to sum up the plight of our two teams. Both Brighton and Fulham had a mini revival under new managers but we have lost our last three games, two at home. Fulham’s last 3 results of two defeats and a draw yesterday are not much better. Both of us were disappointed about the lack of activity in the transfer window and the quality of the football.
Yesterday the Albion totally dominated the first half, hitting the bar from a free kick and it was thoroughly deserved that Lewis Dunk, a defender, scored his 7th of the season from another free kick. Then Stockdale made a blunder coming for a free kick, changing his mind, stuck in no man’s land as a soft header floated over him and just about got over the line. Forest perked up after half time and scored two more whilst the best we could manage was a headed goal from new boy Kayal and Teixeira hitting the post. I did think we were unlucky but once again we did not convert supremacy into the hard currency of goals.
Footballers normally come out with bland stuff in any interview but Kayal, an Israeli Arab from Haifa, interestingly spoke of his many Arab and Israeli friends. The Arab integration might come as a surprise to those who accuse Israel of oppressing Palestinians but actually the two ethnic cultures live happily side and side. My brother after a recent trip to Israel had a Arab taxi driver who said how well he flourished in Israel. It is the only country in the Middle East where an Arab can vote.
I know many Fulham fans will be disappointed that Alan is not featuring his report on the Birmingham draw. He told me that the Fulham midfield of Tunniciffe, Fofana and Kacaniklic worked ever so hard and after a rocky period at the start of the second half it was Fulham that finished the stronger. Blackpool and Wigan looked cast away and Millwall are not faring well but our league position is worrying.
There is so much cross-over between Brighton and Fulham. Micky Adams’ Brighton promotion side of the mid 90s contained many players that achieved promotion at Fulham namely Walton in goal, Watson and Cullip in defence, Morgan and Carpenter in midfield and Brooker on the wing. We also has Bobby Zamora scoring for fun. Yesterday Alan Mullery in his programme column was complaining that Alec Stock did not keep his word in offering him the Fulham job by retiring as agreed and he went to Brighton instead. I asked Alan about this.
He replied that Fulham ex players who went straight into management with the club often did well, citing Malcolm MacDonald and Chris Coleman, so Mullers would have probably done so too. But the regime that appointed him, that of comedian Tommy Trinder was replaced by Ernie Clay who went for Bobby Campbell whose vivacious daughter Rachael, a vivacious woman, recently attended the Arsenal cup tie as her husband is a Gooner.
Mullers may have done as good job at the Cottage as at Brighton where he bought in the likes of Lawrenson and Peter Ward but he was not nearly as successful at QPR ,Charlton and at another spell at the Albion.
Everyone likes Fulham and no one wants to see them were they are. We have been more of a yo-yo club but we did make the play-offs in the last two seasons, we had 24,000 at the Amex on a bitter day so we Albion fans are disappointed we are not faring better. With Dale Stephens and Lua Lua to return there will be stiff competition for midfield places but as ever it’s up front that we need strengthening so hopefully Leon Best will be the answer here. Otherwise it will be a case of another rag trade joke:
“How is business?”
“Very bad. Even the liars are complaining. “