Monday, July 21, 2008

Fulham 3:1 Celtic--Preseason Friendly

Well, the Premiership is fast approaching, just one month away, and Fulham have started their preseason friendly schedule. Last week, there were two matches, on July 15 against Southend, a team from the Coca-Cola Champsionship (the next division down for those who aren't up on English Football divisions), which resulted in a 2-0 win. Over the weekend, Fulham hosted Scottish Premier League legends Celtic which produced a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage.

I haven't seen video of either of the games. However, what is pleasing to hear is that the new signings that Roy Hodgson has brought on are already producing. Against Southend, last season's Great Escape hero Danny Murphy netted a goal along with Erik Nevland.

In the Celtic match, the new signings made an impact. Hodgson put new signings Zoltan Gera and Andranik into the midfield with Jimmy Bullard and Simon Davies. Gera and Davies played on teh flanks, with Andranik in the holding midfield and Bullard free to attack, feeding Bobby Zamora and Nevland. Nevland netted in just the second minute. Zamora got his first goal for the Whites in the 30th minute. Leon Andreasen added the third.

Based solely on the Fulham write-ups, my concern right now is the back line. Once again, it appears to be a little loose, with both Southend and Celtic able to penetrate, but without video I can't really judge. With Australian internation Mark Schwarzer on national team duty, David Stockdale got both starts and from all indications, acquitted himself well. The worry is that a porous back line will lead to far too much work for Schwarzer and Stockdale.

Fulham are off to South Korea for a couple friendlies in Asia this week.

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