Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fulham 2:1 Bolton

Fulham dominated the match and survived a final minute heart attack to take three points against Bolton at Craven Cottage. Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera eached netted a goal while Andy Johnson got his debut for the Whites, pairing with Zamora up top.

Fulham are playing a quality brand of football, with possession and control the call of the day. The midfiled of Jimmy Bullard, fresh off a session with the English National Team (although he did not get a run out) and Danny Murphy leading the way in teh middle with Gera on the left and Simon Davies on the right. Hodgson is getting comfortable with the big central defenders of Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes. Paul Konchesky and John Pantsil at the outside backs.

There was a little scare in the early minutes of the second half when Bolton's Kevin Nolan had a hard tackle on Jimmy Bullard and the concerns of Bullard knee clearly implicated. Nolan got the yellow card and Bullard got up to the cheers of the crowd.

Although Fulham only netted two goals, but they created lots of chances and could have as many as four clear goals and maybe a fifth.

I must say that this year Fulham are looking more like a team that deserves to have stayed in the top flight. They are playing stylish football and more importantly, when the chips were down they didn't fold. I think had this game occurred this fixture last year, Fulham would have crumbled in the final minutes and surrendered the draw. I also think that had the opposition had been a top five or six team, it might very well have resulted in teh draw. So that Fulham didn't blow it should give them a little more confidence to believe that they don't need to pull a Fulham and give up the points in the final minutes. So Hodgson is building the confidence.

So what is teh stauts, Fulham, after three games is on six points and sitting at 6th in teh League with a game in hand.

I know, everyone will tell you that you can't make any conclusions until about 8-10 games into the league, but Hodgson has built a team with depth and they are playing well. And given the relegation escape, I will rejoice in the position right now.

Clint Dempsey dressed but did not play. I have to wonder how much this has to hurt the American. He seems to be gaining some confidence from his national team play (two goals in two games). But I have to wonder whether he is going to see any more significant playing time anytime soon and if he doesn't what that will do to his confidence. With few American field players in the Premier League, I wonder how Dempsey himself feels.

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