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The Tanner Report

There is life in the old embers after an eventful victory versus Newcastle yesterday. In his programme notes Felix Magath spoke of “positivity”. I am not sure if such a word – though often used – actually exists,  but I get his drift. He is big on the attitude of the team, which he denigrated as complacent for  not appreciating their position, but in the same breath observing that a win would rebuild confidence. If you read the programme and what emanates  from the club, you might feel they are more interested in selling their products than appreciating that for us Old Fulham (and possibly New) we may never see Fulham again in the top flight. I recall in the bad, sad old days a message on the programme cover when we were facing relegation of “let’s pull together ” exhortation. .

Still there was much to be positive about after the game, not least the securing of 3 points. Young Cauley Woodrow gained in confidence and got the ball in the net. David Stockdale in goal gave a far more reassuring and confident performance than Stekelenburg. Johnny Heitinga, driving  from the  back, was the man of the match. Irony of ironies, Heitinga’s drive hit the underside of the bar and landed on the line. This time there was no linesman with whiskers called Bakramov to give the goal. We have goal-line technology, which showed by a millimetre that that ball had  not crossed the line. Magath would have been 13 for the 1966 World Cup Final and Fulham were again in the top flight.  This time Woodrow forced the ball in after it struck the bar, but the goal was disallowed. When Chris Coleman took over for the last 5 games after the sacking of Tigana in 2002, he used a young forward Elvis Hammond who did not score but was mobile and diligent. Woodrow is much the same: he showed his tactical rawness by being caught offside too often but he ran hard,  his link-up play was effective and he deserved a goal. It was a brave decision  to choose  him ahead of the possibly fit Mitroglou, who was  bought unfit for £11m in one of the many bizarre decisions that put us where we are, and Darren Bent who falls squarely into the complacent category.

Dejegah scored the winner. Palpably unfit, he came on, scored, and came off again. Talking of fitness, the boys looked knackered after 60 minutes. I hear there is hill running on the Friday before the game in the new regime. One hour of play tends to be the period when we lose our grip of the game, so we were all fearful to see Richardson, one of the fitter ones, hands on knees gasping for breath as an indication the team was shot. Magath made 3 substitutions, some reserve of energy was dredged up, and we won. I still think survival is beyond us. However after Manchester City next week, we either play our peers or clubs with little to compete for, so if we can recover our fortress Cottage status then its the 3 away games at Aston Villa, Spurs and Stoke that are going to be crucial as we need at least 4 points from those.

 

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

2 Comments on The Tanner Report

  1. Motspur Parker // March 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm //

    Trusty Rusty, how many points do you think we’ll need to survive? Still believe

  2. sundays_are_for_fiorentina // March 17, 2014 at 10:22 am //

    Alan, I’m pleased you have some positivity from the lads to work with this week. But does every column need to start with a moan about whether the new owner and his designees have sufficient appreciation for the Club’s history? Is the litmus test really whether Mr Khan has ever been to Staines Town for a pre-season friendly or to Tranmere Rovers for a fourth division slop-fest? We all know that the virtuous MAF under-invested in the squad in recent years and that the Club’s foundation of senior players had eroded. Even if transacted under difficult circumstances, Mr Khan did a lot of business in the August and January windows, and he has brought in a manager whose credentials would only be exceeded by Mr. Hodgson himself. Maybe we stay up, maybe we don’t. If not, maybe we come back soon, maybe we don’t. But at this stage I have a hard time questioning the commitment and effort from the Chairman. Let’s give Mr. Khan a break unless and until there’s evidence that the steps he has taken are taking the Club backwards. COYW

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