I have to apologise for the recent lack of updates. We are currently having some rather major renovation work done on our house, which means time at the computer is pretty rare at the moment.
As you’ll have seen from here and elsewhere, our tour of Australia is well and truly underway. One defeat and a win so far, with the final game to come against Perth Glory this week. We’ll soon find out who our first opponents will be in the Europa League too. Exciting times and it’s probably appropriate to pinch yourself now, as well, considering where we’ve come from. My first game was during a relegation season and there then followed years of uncertainity as we wondered whether we’d have a home or even a football club to support. I never thought Fulham would ever clim this high.
Having written that, it seems rather churlish to complain about the slow pace of our squad building. We will need bigger numbers for the Europa League – the sheer potential increase in the number of games we will play should add to the instincts of the manager in bringing players in. We know that Roy’s drawn up quite a long list of targets and being halfway around the world at the moment can’t really help in enticing them to come to the Cottage.
We’ve brought in Stephen Kelly (because you can never have enough right backs) and are, as per usual, being linked with a whole host of players. It could come down to us and Sunderland in a straight fight for Peter Crouch, who seems to be on his way from Portsmouth after just a season at Fratton Park. For somebody built like your archetypal English target man, Crouch is very good with his feet and a fine finisher. £11m seems to be fairly modest compared with the types of sums that are being talked about this summer. Rich has a very interesting post about the big man’s career stats.
The one I’m really excited about is Marcus Berg, now that talks seem to have broken down between Hamburg and Groningen. There’s always the hope that his former strike partner, Erik Nevland, might be able to sell Fulham to the Swedish striker. Berg’s not proven at the highest level but he had an excellent Euro U21 championship and would be a real steal. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll make it in the Premier League either.
The major news from today is that West Brom have turned down what they described as a ‘derisory’ offer from Fulham for their captain, midfielder Jonathan Greening. The bid was believed to be £2.5m plus one of three players in exchange. One of the players was Hameur Bouazza, whom we paid £3.5m for back in 2007. Thanks again for that, Lawrie. If the Baggies do think our offer was so disgraceful, I do hope we don’t go back with more. He’s a good player but probably not worth bidding more than £3m for.
Bobby Zamora’s move to Hull hasn’t moved any closer, despite some encouraging words from our beloved Jimmy Bullard. Phil Brown’s been all over the media trying to make it happen and I’ll be delighted if the permatan man gets on the blower and makes a concrete bid.
The best news of the day has to be the revealation from a supposedly well-connected football journalist that there have been no firm bids for Brede Hangeland. Happy days.