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The Tanner Report

Alan's glass is full to brimming after Fulham beat West Ham in a relegation dogfight.

In a game where result and points were all, I was nonetheless pleased that we stuck to our passing game and traditional footballing values, unlike West Ham. Passing was all the more difficult in gusty conditions and if I had a criticism – was this the early Ray Wilkins influence?- we were over-passing in our build up. Certainly the fans were getting frustrated as the ball was retained but most international analysts believe that England has been such an underachieving force due to the failure to hold the ball.

Matters did not get off to the best of starts when the vulnerable Fulham central defence failed to deal with a high ball and allowed Mohammed Diame to turn and score. Steve Sidwell equalised with a powerful header from a corner, but we did not really expose the weakness of West Ham’s central defence where 2 fullbacks were playing.The turning point came when Kevin Nolan was red carded for kicking Amorebieta. We totally dominated possession with 30 shots but the winning goal  proved elusive till Berbatov, who had a quiet game, struck home Scott Parker’s diverted shot.

Critical as I am of Adel Taarabt, he produced another telling shift. He has yet to score and is selfish on the ball but he works hard, creates problems and is becoming more consistent.

Aside from winning 3 points and getting out of the relegation zone, I was heartened that Head Coach Rene Moulensteen came over to the Hammersmith End after the final whistle. Apart from the removal of the Jackson statue, apparently after fans complained, though I have yet to meet one who did, the new regime has not been sufficiently sensitive to the fans of the club. We loved Mo, not just because he revived our club, fought our corner but would lay on free coaches and refused to increase the season prices. He told Shahid  Khan to keep in with the fans but we have not seen too much evidence of this and none of the new appointments, Curbishley or Wilkins, have any playing connection with the club. So when Rene punched his arms in the air, he shared our joy and I can see him as our most popular manager, sorry head coach, since the blessed Roy.

I can see another win against Sunderland, but no joy in the Emirates against high flying Arsenal. Next up is Norwich away in the FA Cup. Here I foresee defeat and I  would not be that bothered. Staying up and nurturing our resources is the priority now.

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About Alan Tanner

After a distinguished military service in the Catering Corps, Alan Tanner did well in mufti with his chamois as a window cleaner. Sadly he had to retire after falling from the fifth floor of Danny Murphy's mock Tudor home. He spends his retirement watching and writing about his beloved Fulham whom he has supported for over 50 years. The Alan Tanner Report is sponsored by Tanner Crystal Clear Ltd, Window Cleaners to the Gentry. More Posts