Opposition view: Fulham

By Ric Turner, Thu 19 December 2013 10:12


Opposition view: FulhamNiclas from HammyEnd.com gives us the lowdown on Saturday's opposition

What are your expectations for this season?

Now?! To battle successfully to stay up! If you had asked me before the season I would have said to fight for a Europa League spot. Funny how quickly things can change.

Are you happy with the manager?

Now?! Very much so! René has transformed the shape of the team and the desire to play 'the Fulham way' in matter of weeks. We still only have one win in three games since he took over, but boy what improvements that have been made. If asked the same question a few weeks back the answer would have been NO! The sacking of Jol was long overdue and thankfully the interim solution might well be what's becoming the long-term solution.

Who are your key players?

Not sure... It used to be very easy to name 4-5 names of players always being the first ones on the team sheet. Based on this season I'd say Stecklenburg and Parker, they were solid even before the departure of Jol. Berbatov has had a small revival under the new management, but still show his lazy git and slacker attitude way too often for my liking. The one to watch outside of this trio is definitely our Iranian Dejagah.

Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?

Not really, with the oldest squad in the Premiership I was expecting some younger talent being brought in but it turned out mainly the opposite. Stekelenburg was of course a big signing for us, but apart from that I was mainly disappointed with our summer window.

Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?

Hard to say as I have no clue how much attention you pay to little ol' Fulham. The youngsters in the first team to keep an eye on are for sure Kacaniklic and Kasami. Although young, both are regulars for their respective countries (Sweden and Switzerland). Outside of the first team we have plenty talent in the under-21 squad that is currently top of the league. Sadly, we haven yet to see them break in to the first team.

Your Achilles heel?

The back four! We used to be a 'hard to beat' team as we had a solid back four for years. These days we are quite the opposite and concede a lot on set pieces.

If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?

Gah, that's like telling your kids to write to Santa and budget is no object. That aside I wouldn't mind Agüero in black and white. More realistically, why not John Guidetti?

What is your perception of City as a club?

Out of the two Manchester clubs I have always like City better for a number of reasons, but as many others I had more of a 'soft spot' for you before you got rich and were still at Maine Road. You are obviously turning into the same kind of club as your local rivals been for some time, but there is still time to find a more pleasing identity ;)

Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?

Stekelenburg
Reither-Senderos-Hughes-Riise
Dejagah-Parker-Sidwell-Kacaniklic
Karagounis
Berbatov

Prediction: 1-3 (Think we'll score, but as usual concede more)

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