Two years ago Cardiff played Fulham in the Premier, yesterday they met in the Championship and drew 1-1. One of the fascinations of the Championship, as opposed to the Premier, is that you cannot write the league now as it would stand in May. Last season no one predicted Bournemouth, few Watford. This season the favourites are Derby, Middlesbrough, Hull and Wolves. One of the relegated sides is likely to challenge but who will be the Bournemouth this season? Your guess is as good as John Pargiter’s.
Given Fulham have conceded 83 goals last season it’s a bit surprising that the three of the signings – Ben Pringle, Jamie O’Hara, and Tom Cairrney have been in midfield . Against Cardiff Kit Symons replaced keeper Bettinelli with Lonergan and paired Hutchinson and Burn in central defence with Voser at left back. It reflects the eccentric management of Felix Magath that in a crucial game aguanst Stoke he selected six foot six Burn at left back , the first and last time he had ever played in that position.
John Pargiter and I were kindly invited for a meal with by Ivan Conway on the South Coast to discuss Fulham, Brighton and most of all his bettting options. Fulham have the financial muscle and ambition. There is still the parachute payment, the revenue from selling Patrick Roberts and the chairman’s wealth but here are other clubs that have our ambition and wealth notably QPR and Hull. At 25-1 I advised him to have a tickle on Fulham but Ivan said he cannot see Brighton scoring enough to make the play-offs.
Yesterday by all accounts we played well. We took the lead and Cardiff equalise through a stunning strike from Noone (what a dream name for copywriters -“Noone from nowhere !”). Ross Macormack had a good chance to win the game in injury time but scuffed it. With a more redoubtable defence we might have defended the lead. We now have two games, Brighton at home and Hull away, and more potential signings after which time we should have a clearer picture of our promotion credentials.