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The Tanner Report

One of my earliest Fulham memories was a fourth round cup tie against Sheffield United in February 1967, almost 46 years ago to the day. The first half was so bad that BBC did not show it on Match of the Day. It ended 1-1 with the Blades winning the replay. In yesterday’s match, the televised highlight could have started on the 120th minute with the Sheffield United winner.

As I was nursing a bad throat, my missus suggested I stay out of the cold and watch the game on ITV 4. Years ago nothing would have prevented me from attending a match, but the mood is so depressed that on this rare occasion I followed Barbara’s advice. Everyone seems shrouded under a slough of despair at Fulham, except possibly Rene Meulensteen who still contrives to say something cheerful. His cred is running out and rumours abound that Alan Curbishley will replace him.

Until extra time, when there were some long shots from Kasami and Tankavic, the Sheffield goal was rarely troubled. It was a performance that was inept and dull. He chose a team of mixed experience and youth but the end result, in every sense, was another depressing home defeat against a team that simply had more desire to win.

There was a picture on television of new signing Mitraglou peering through the driving rain blanket over his kness. He must be wondering what he has walked into.

Is there any hope? I looked up the date of the 1967 cup tie, with some sadness, in Dennis Turner’s Fulham Facts and Figures. I saw the record of the previous  season (1965-66). Again in early February Fulham were bottom, with the equivalent of 20 points. We went onto win 9 games, including victories over Liverpool, West Brom and Villa, all of whom we will play this season. Sadly there is no Dennis to celebrate this extraordinary Great Escape and I doubt if more than 2% of our present fans  are aware of this.

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

3 Comments on The Tanner Report

  1. rockbottom // February 5, 2014 at 11:11 am //

    Alan, you’re too pessimistic. Most teams don’t have a care about the FA Cup. And our Fulham clearly can’t given our League predicament. We set out our stall to make sure we didn’t advance under any circumstance. And we executed brilliantly against that objective, creating zero bona fide scoring chances out of our purported 67% possession. The poor performance on the night belonged to Sheffield United. They were actually trying to advance to the 5th round and an enticing derby v. Forest. Incredibly, it took the Blades an appalling 119 minutes to break down our hapless defending. If we’re as successful in setting out our stall in the League as we were last evening, all will be well with the world. COYW!

    • The National Rust // February 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm //

      I cannot agree. This was a spineless, clueless performance. The 3 managers would have done just as well as against Norwich playing 4 kids and keeping them quarantined from the depressing malaise engulfing our club.

  2. Motspur Parker // February 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm //

    Which fancy dress shoppe sold a Clint Dempsey mask to Eddie Johnson?

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