I think it’s likely that I won’t make it to any more Fulham FC matches this year. Not because I don’t want to, but I just don’t have the money to go to any of the remaining fixtures. But I am not complaining as I’ve been able to go to quite a few games this year.
I set out early in the year to go to all the away matches which took place in London. This season there are 6 London teams in the Premiere League including Fulham, so it was the most London centric season in a few years. Up until this season I had yet to see Fulham win a Premiere League game in person. So I figured the odds would be on my side to see them win at least A game this season having to go to 6 games. Well, it was a long season……and I had lost all hope of seeing the boys get a win by the end.
First up way back on 1st September was West Ham United. Fulham fans were riding high going into the game as we had signed Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United the night before on the last day of the transfer window. Unfortunately, the joy didn’t last very long as we got smashed by West Ham 3-0 at Upton Park. Play was dismal on our part. Ah well. It was early in the season and it’s a long time to May….
A few weeks later after a trip to Spain I came back and went to Craven Cottage to see the Cottagers take on the reigning Premiere League champs Manchester City. We went into halftime looking quite alright at 1-1. I thought we had a chance. In the end, we gave up a late goal by Sergio Aguero (he’s good at doing that) and lost 2-1. I went to the game with my flatmate Stefan. We had a nice time. I’m glad he got to go to a Premiere League match before he passed away. And he got to see the Michael Jackson statue, which he always gave me shit about being both a MJ and Fulham fan. He didn’t want his picture taken next to it. I don’t understand why…..
We didn’t have another away game against a London team until November when we took on Arsenal at the Emirates. I had been to the Emirates last year for a match. It’s a cool modern stadium. Of course it doesn’t have the charm of some of the other stadiums I’ve been too, but it’s good to say I’ve been there. It just seems like it takes a lot to get the Gunner fans going. This year though was a great game, even though we didn’t win. We tied 3-3. We played a great game and Mark Schwarzer saved a penalty in the last second of play to earn us a point. I think everyone heading back to West London that night was happy to have scored 3 against Arsenal.
At the end of November Fulham went to visit our neighbors a mile and a half to the East, Chelsea FC. It was a Wednesday night match and contentious. Rafa Benitez had taken over as manager just a week earlier for Chelsea and this was his 2nd game as manager. Chelsea fans were not impressed. Well, the game was good, but ended goalless. I believe there were a few shots off crossbars from both teams. I have to say that I kind of liked Stamford Bridge. The stands feel like they are really hovering right over the pitch. It’s quite intimate. Much more so than any other stadium I’d been to. I had a tough night that night having found out that my flatmate Stefan had passed away earlier in the week. He would have loved to go to that game with me. Or at least talk trash about Rafa Benitez. He hated that guy and was quite hilarious with his hatred.
On December 15th I went to the stadium only 3 miles from Craven Cottage. This time Fulham was taking on Queens Park Rangers. I think all the Fulham fans went in that day to Loftus Road expecting a win. Or at the very least a draw. QPR had not won a game up until that point in the season. They were in dead last. Could we possibly get the win against one of our closests rivals? No of course not. We lost 2-1, giving QPR their first victory. They’ve only had one other victory this year and it was against Chelsea. Obviously, there’s something going on with the West London teams. I don’t know how else to explain it all. And they are still in dead last. “You’re only here for one season….here for one seaaaaaason….”
After that I bought a ticket to the Wigan game at Craven Cottage for January 12th. I thought OK, we’re at home. Wigan isn’t having a brilliant season. We had just beaten West Brom a week and a half earlier away. So I thought we could finally get that victory I’ve been waiting for. Ummmmm no. Another tie. 1-1. Great. At this point I’m seriously beginning to think that I will never see the Cottagers get a win. I am the curse.
So I bought my ticket to the final away London match of the season. I thought it’s just not going to happen this year. I’ll go another season with out seeing the boys win. At the least it’ll make sure I go to more games next year, trying to see a win. So last weekend I went to White Hart Lane to see Fulham take on Tottenham Hotspur. It was a bit bittersweet as Stefan and I had planned to go to this match at the beginning of the season. Tottenham was his favorite team and he would have loved to be at the match that’s for sure. Any ways, I went to the match with no expectations. Tottenham have played a lot of football lately, and had some not very good results, but you just never know what’s going to happen. The game went to half time 0-0. I would have been happy with that result. But just a few minutes into the 2nd half, Berbatov had an ok goal. Not pretty, but still a goal. It was a nerve wracking 40 or so minutes. But some how, we held on for the win. 1-0 at White Hart Lane. It was surreal. I couldn’t believe we actually won. What a result and definitely needed at this point in the season.
So yes, the streak is broken. I have finally seen Fulham win a Premiere League game. And one I really wanted to win at that. I went to two other matches this year. They were away games at Southampton and Reading. Here are the bonus pictures from those matches.
The Southampton game finished 2-2 and the Reading game was 3-3. I think I lost my voice at the Reading game. It was probably my favorite game of the year just because of the atmosphere. Both home and away fans were totally into it.
So my in person record this year was 1-5-3. Not bad, but not very good either. I hope next year to see a couple more wins from Fulham. It was an excellent experience to go to all the different stadiums in London and see the various atmospheres of each. All of them were very unique. Still, Craven Cottage is the best. As for the rest of the season, I see the Cottagers getting a couple more wins and finishing top 10 for sure. But I imagine I’ll be watching all the rest at home or in a pub. That’s alright with me. I’ve achieved my goal for the season.
I’d like to dedicate this post to Stefan. We spent a lot of time over the year and half we lived together talking and watching football. I think of him every time I watch a match. You’re missed, buddy. Żbik misses you too.
On that note, I’m out. Peace and love.