Attention now turns to our battle with Hammers at the Cottage on Saturday.
We don’t have too great a recent record against West Ham in the league. Indeed, you have to go back to our debut season in the top flight to find our last win against the lads from East London, when Sylvain Legwinski and Steed Malbranque scored the goals in a rare away win.
Since the start of the season, the Hammers are now under new management. Just how well Gianfranco Zola will go down with the Upton Park faithful given his illustrious history with their massive rivals Chelsea remains to be seen but if he delivers the kind of football that punctuated their dismantling of Newcastle last weekend few will remember that he had such a strong bond with the Blues for long.
We head into tomorrow’s match having been brought back down to earth with a bang after such a promising start. It will be interesting to see whether two narrow but frustrating defeats will alter Roy Hodgson’s outlook or team selection, but I fully expect the same eleven to line up against the Hammers as took the field for the visit to Blackburn, even if I might be tempted to drop the underperforming Zolta Gera.
That would pit Bobby Zamora up against his former teammates and the club of his youth. Hopefully, that would motivate our new signing to replicate the form he’s shown since his summer move across the capital. Some might have raised eyebrows at the high transfer fee, but so far with his whole-hearted performances Bobby has more than justfied the money we paid for him. And that terrific strike against Bolton shows he certainly knows how to find the back of the net. He’s still bitter about being let go as well, which should work in our favour.
It would be nice to notch up another home win, particularly after the past week or so, but the smart money has to be on a draw. West Ham look refreshed under Zola and, to tell you the truth, they weren’t all that shabby under Curbishley either. Before he resigned, the Hammers had made their best start to a Premier League season. Forme, this is a massive game. It could decide whether we really our going to have a great season or fall away to mid-table mediocrity or even worse.
Don’t let us down boys.
MY FULHAM XI (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Pantsil, Konchesky, Hangeland, Hughes; Davies, Dempsey, Bullard, Murphy; Johnson, Zamora. Subs: Stockdale, Stoor, Baird, Andreasen, Gera, Seol, Nevland.