Whilst Spurs fans are thinking of déjà vu and lasagne, their Fulham equivalents are preparing for the summer. Ahead of this weekend’s season defining afternoon, I interrupted a Cottager in the process of digging out his flip flops and barbecue tongs and asked him a few questions about what life’s been like in their first season under BMJ.
Who are you and why on earth do you support Fulham?
My great grandfather captained Fulham in the late 1800s so it has been a bit of a family tradition ever since.
After a slow start Fulham have picked up well, I’m guessing you’re pleased with your season over all?
From 15th place in January to 8th in May, and with our best ever Premiership points haul already, it has been a remarkable end to the season for us.
However, getting dumped out of Europe when group qualification was in our hands after such an early start was a real disappointment (even if our league form improved as a result).
For a club like Fulham 8th is pretty much top of our league and we are playing some great football, so in summary – very pleased.
And how about Big Martin Jol, he was popular at Spurs as I’m sure you know?
I can see why – Fulham was a tricky appointment considering that many thought that such an early start with Europa & the oldest squad in the league might cause us a few problems later in the season.
Given the task of of overhauling the squad age-wise whilst maintaining success on the pitch, Jol has not only brought in some exciting young talent, but also built on the foundations created by Hodgson & Hughes to create a solid attractive style of football which has made him an instant hit with the Fulham faithful
What happened with Bobby Zamora? He seemed to have found a niche at the Cottage but was then surprisingly moved on in January?
The wrong side of thirty and with couple of surprise late England caps under his belt, I think Bobby and his agent recognised a window of opportunity to secure one last big contract.
In a way it worked out well for all parties as we have improved significantly as team since his departure, he gets a big fat contract to take him to 34, and QPR are within sight of safety.
Clint Dempsey’s had a good campaign and Fulham must be expecting enquiries. Do you think he’d stay if an offer came in?
Clint has been a great servant for the club so at 29 and in the form of his life, no-one can blame him for being ambitious.
Unless someone offers CL or silly money I would hope he would stay as he is clearly thriving within the set up we have here.
Any other Cottagers we should be keeping an eye on?
It is no great secret that Dembele is coveted by clubs further up the table and this season has been another step up for him in terms of quality. With a year left on his contract it is hard to see him staying if the right offer comes in.
It’s a big game for Spurs of course. Any chance of your lads lying down and letting us win, after all it means nothing to you?
I don’t think we will lie down as there is pride at stake and it would not be fair on our supporters. That said, you have a lot more to play for and our away form is still pretty woeful so it is very much in your hands.
Be careful not to underestimate us though as we are finishing the season on a bit of a run of form and Jol will be up for this one.
After the Lasgnagate game of 2006 it’s ironic that Jol now stands between Spurs and a (albeit Bavarian dependant) CL place? Does Jol talk about his time at White Hart Lane much?
Compared to Mark Hughes whose endless prickly refences to City suggested both unfinished buiness (and maybe counselling required), the big, affable dutchman seems a lot less burdened by his past experiences.
I think Jol is proud of his management record and that includes what he acheived at Spurs, even if it ended on a slightly sour note.
Have you seen much of us this season and any observations if you have?
I was surprised that you sacrificed Europa for the league as you seemed well suited to a run in European competition but it has clearly now paid dividends in terms of potential CL qualification.
Many fans would ask though – although you have a surplus of talent in the squad , are you good enough to complete in the CL and maintain top four league form without a step change in investment levels..?
For example, Adebayor has been a key player for you this season but are you prepared spend big to keep him out of the clutches of PSG or some cash rich Russion club..?
For the neutral Spurs in the CL will be great to watch and if you can kick on without the monopoly money approach then all the better.
And finally a few quick ones –
Hugh Grant or Jude Law?
Tommy Trinder or Peter Cook?
Lily Allen or Adele?
And finally a prediction for Sunday please.
Given the circumtances I think you wil edge (2-1)
Thanks very much Matt, enjoy your summer!
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