Hangeland for captain?

The Daily Mail is reporting today that Roy is set to appoint our giant Norwegian as the skipper for next season and that’s a decision I would wholeheartedly support. It always seems sensible to have the captain stationed at the back as they are in a far better position to see how the game is shaping up, identify where we are being over-run and spot weaknesses we can exploit.

Hangeland was also Roy’s captain at Viking when he was barely out of nappies so one would presume he has the communication skills to do the job. And anyway, apart from Brede, who else could do it? Aaron Hughes deputised for Brian last year so may also be a contender. The only fear is affecting a decent player’s game in a negative way, as seemed to happen when Cookie gave Boa the armband a couple of years ago.

However, Hangeland must be warned that the captain’s armband at Fulham appears to be cursed. Back when Brian ripped his knee apart last August we put together a list of the problems suffered by previous skippers. You can read it here. Fingers crossed nothing happens to him as I am convinced that he will be a vital part of next season’s team.

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John Terry – what a farce!

If you haven’t read the papers yet today then I suggest you don’t eat anything until you do as they will make you want to vomit. The ridiculous, sycophantic tosh that is being written about John Terry’s ‘heroic performance’ in last night’s friendly against the USA plunges new depths.

Take the Daily Mail for example. Under the headline: “Redemption!”, it tells in breathless fashion how the Chelsea captain “eased the pain” of last week’s Champions League defeat and quotes Terry himself as saying: “I’m a big man, I like the big games and it was great to score.”

Now, I’ve got a heart. I even felt a bit sorry for him last Wednesday when he fluffed his penalty but this farcical, media-inspired, Diana-esque outpouring of grief just makes us football fans look pathetic. I can see why those who don’t follow the game look upon us with a mixture of pity and loathing.

For goodness sakes let’s get a grip. Last time I checked Terry hadn’t just been diagnosed with an incurable disease and I’m fairly sure that neither of his legs have been blown off. All that happened was he missed a penatly. BIG deal.

More Fulham players to leave?

Roy’s axe has certainly been swinging this week with the departure of 10 members of our over-inflated squad, including notable names such as Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra and Tony Warner, who have all played prominent roles in the past couple of years. We at FtF would like to thank them all and wish them the very best of luck wherever their careers take them next.

We currently have 26 players on the roster: four goalkeepers, nine defenders, nine midfielders and four attackers. So who is going to leave next? I think we can be fairly certain that more depatures are on the cards but I guess it will be down to how long there is to go on the contracts of certain players – and whether anyone else is interested in signing them.

Of the full list below, I imagine the following could find their positions in doubt: Antti Niemi, Ricardo Batista, Dejan Stefanovich, Chris Baird, Seol Ki-Hyeon, Alexey Smertin, Lee Cook (if he actually exists). But hey, what do I know? Volzy may also find himself surplus to requirements but, personally, I’d prefer him to stay as he is so versatile.

Goalkeepers
Kasey Keller, Ricardo Batista, Antti Niemi, Mark Schwarzer

Defenders
Moritz Volz, Dejan Stefanovic, Paul Konchesky, Aaron Hughes, Elliot Omozusi, Brede Hangeland, Toni Kallio, Chris Baird, Adrian Leijer

Midfielders
Seol Ki-Hyeon, Alexey Smertin, Lee Cook, Danny Murphy, Leon Andreasen, Simon Davies, Jimmy Bullard, Clint Dempsey, Hameur Bouazza

Attackers
David Healy, Joe Kamara, Eddie Johnson, Erik Nevland

Brian McBride – a rare breed

We all knew it was coming but Brian McBride’s announcement that he was leaving Fulham still brought a lump to my throat. Although it was increasingly obvious at the back end of the season that old father time was beginning to catch up with our American superstar, he still proved himself to be more than capable of banging in the goals when it really mattered – particularly the crucial strikes against Everton, Reading and Birmingham.

However, there was far more to King Brian than just his goal scoring prowess. He was clearly a leader of men who commanded respect in the dressing room. An increasingly rare phenomenon in the modern game, he was also an educated, articulate, quiet, humble man who always treated with complete respect the autograph-hunting fans that approached him outside the stadiums.

FtF was fortunate to meet him after the Portsmouth game and he was as gracious as you would expect. A lovely guy and a Fulham legend. Good luck Brian and thanks for all the memories. You will be missed, that is for sure.

Tony Warner released

Sad news on the main site about Tony Warner being released. Okay I know he probably wasn’t Premier League standard but I can remember him making some corking saves in the past. Perhaps his most impressive performance for us was when he came on as a sub for Mark Crossley in the home game against Liverpool a few years ago. Anyhow, good luck Tony.

Why am I supporting the USA???

Okay, cards on the table time. I’m a proud Englishman (if there is such a thing!) but have divided loyalties ahead of tonight’s international friendly as we now have a real bond with our American cousins. I remember having the same bizarre feeling when England were playing Portugal a few years back when Gary Neville (I believe) upended Boa and I found myself hurling abuse at the television! Am I alone?

Is it bye bye Joe

After hitting a staggeringly impressive six goals all season (five league, one cup) Joe Kamara has revealed he’s considering his options after being head hunted by rival clubs. Disappointing stuff to hear this, particularly given the fact that he’s admitted under-performing for us. Can’t imagine for a second that any top 10 clubs would give him a second glance so imagine he’s raising the prospect of leaving to help bolster the terms of his contract.