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Fulham’s slide toward relegation continues


A fluky, and some would say illegal, goal by West Ham midfielder Nolberto Solano in the 87th minute gave West Ham a 1-0 win against Fulham and pushed the Cottagers ever closer to the inevitability of relegation.

Fulham is now four points behind Birmingham and escape from the bottom three. With 11 matches remaining, things are looking bleak for the five Americans on the Fulham roster. On the bright side, Eddie Johnson made his first-team debut for Fulham, though it won’t be a performance anyone will want to remember.

What did you think of today’s loss? Painful? Unjust? Ugly? Share your thoughts below.


  1. @ RK

    If you think that Fulham is buying Americans purely to build an American fan base, you’re the one who is short-sighted. Not I.

    Who is your new team going to be? Reading? Everton?

  2. Yet another excruciating match for Fulham fans… And yet again.. why doesn’t Fulham throw Danny Murphy in the trash can… TIME AND TIME again he makes blundering errors and he simply does not possess the ball well… Every time he gets the ball now I cringe and scream at the TV.. he has absolutely no vision.

    Bullard… is playing where Dempsey should be… bullard should drop back to Danny murphy’s spot and play more like a Gerrard.

    Stalteri and Konchesky played well.. They need to play Gempsey and McBride up top with Koncheskyy and Stalteri overlapping and delivering crosses.. and Bullard and other midfileders crashing.. – that might work out well for Fulham..

  3. Regarding EJ..

    I thought about it being his 1st match too.

    But…guys…he is an “International” player. When he came into the his 1st International he scored a hat-trick on the road.

    Nerves and 1st match are an excuse for the boy. He is an international, Fulham paid some money for him, he needs to act like a professional.

    His attempt on goal was someone who “hoped” it would go into the net, not a “I am putting this in the goal” attempt.

    EJ has potential, but he needs to grow up a little. He chose to join an EPL team on a big transfer. He needs to get over the “nerves” and remind himself that he is a professional that knows how to score goals. He has done it for the National Team. It is time to do it for Fulham.

  4. To the EJ Haters. What game were you guys watching? Looking lost? He was well positioned for the shot he missed. It would have been a dream first touch if he had scored. many times he was open and his new teammates didn’t give him the ball. That happens. Also the Bullard late chance..if I remember correctly, EJ was wide open for a shot if Bullard had given up the ball. Lost? You guys need to drop your hatred of EJ and start looking at the game on the field.

  5. The highlight of the match for me was when Spector came on an the announcer said that it was starting to look like an MLS match. He had a certain distaste in the inflection of his voice.

    I wanted them to mentioned Eddie Johson was from the Kansas City “Wizards” instead of just Kansas City. There would have been a lot of folks around West London saying “What the F*** is a bloody Wizard”.

  6. thank you Tim Archer- I’m glad somebody finally said it! Bullard has a high work rate, and looks lively when he’s on the ball, which more often than not includes a long lateral move across the field, but at the end of his moves oftentimes he passes the ball into positions that aren’t any better than the one he finds he has dribbled himself into, but he is tired, gives the ball up either on a back pass or forward to a player in a nominal position who often loses the ball! I seriously wonder what percentage of Fulham’s moves ended with posession being lost either by Bullard himself, or by the player he passed it to. I bet it would be a strikingly high %. Yet the announcers sing his praises! Fulham would be much better off if they reigned in Bullard and gave Dempsey the freeedom Bullard currently has.

  7. I don’t think that’s fair to say that he looked lost at all because you saw him “standing”. For the limited time he moved well enough without the ball to put himself in a position to score a goal, did he not? that’s not what lost players do. he also didn’t make any any mistakes defensively, which is a huge responsibility for someone playing on the wing, which is a position he doesn’t play… Simply saying that he was standing doesn’t mean he was lost, tell me how his standing placed him out of position, b/c I didn’t see it… I’m not saying that he had a great game, i’m simply saying people are making it out to seem like he was terrible, which wasn’t the case. He had an average first appearance in the best league in the world, which I personally wasn’t expecting.

  8. jpc . . . . EJ looked lost. And youdont need touches to look lost. He just STANDS there and he will quickly learn that you CANT do that in EPL.

    The thing with EJ . . . every american soccer fan wanted him in EPL for years. Now its much later, and a much less motivated EJ (from years of MLS kids glove treatment) who has found himself in the premiership.

    I wnt him to do well. I am a Fulham fan. And a fan of American Soccer. So prove everyone wrong EJ!

  9. Why did EJ look lost? he didn’t give the ball up once, he only had about 6 touches, and he was playing midfield… OK, he missed a half-volley from a tough angle w/ his first ever premiership touch, he sucks… Why do soccer fans overreact more than any other sport in the world. In any major America sports league he would get good reviews for not having a complete nightmare, Calm Down

  10. Hodgson’s formation really didn’t make sense and I’d be hard pressed to blame Dempsey or EJ too much considering they were slotted in roles that do not maximize their talent. (Dempsey on the left side? EJ anywhere but up top?) That said, I agree that EJ looked so out of it that he may leave a poor impression with people who won’t give him a second chance… hopefully he’ll get a few more opportunities that include a start in a withdrawn striker position that gives him an opportunity to use his speed.

  11. I’m amazed that nobody is talking about Ferdinand’s handball that would’ve resulted in a PK for Fulham. That plus the Solano handball was too much. If you have two handballs go against you, as well as have the disparate amount of fouls and cards called against you like Fulham did, you’re bound to lose. Check the stats…a completely one-sided officiating performance.

  12. Aren’t you short-sighted, sublicon? Fulham is obviously trying to build an American supporters base, and relegation certainly hurts that. It takes lots of time for someone to become dedicated to a team, especially one that you might not be able to watch next year.

  13. People are so certain we’re getting relegated and it’s very far from certain. No one knows what is going to happen with us, or what is going to happen with the teams just above us . . it doesn’t look good, but its not certain yet.

    I don’t think EJ is deserving of the hype surrounding his move. I was far more excited about Dempsey than I was EJ, and it took Dempsey a long time to get used to the Premiership pace. I think it will take EJ much longer.

    Any fair-weather fans who are thinking of jumping off the boat if Fulham get relegated, don’t wait. Jump off the boat now and drown while you’re at it.

  14. Those who think EJs ego are the cause are really wrong.
    1. EJ suffers from lack of confidence
    2. He does not have an attacker brain. How many times was he STANDING around whilst Bullard was fighting for ball in front of goal. This is not the first time. Remember the Donovan break-away. Donovan had to WAVE EJ on. I for the life of me cannot understand why he doesn’t get it. This happens repeatedly. McBride needs to get up in his ear soon or this experiment will be an absolute BUST. At least EJ got is money.
    3. See #1, but he refuses to try to take people on during the run of play. Scared of making a mistake? He is a striker for goodness sakes.
    4. See #2. He does not see LANES and areas to make a run.

    Today was the worst case for him. He looked lost and the back passing has got to go. Hodg should tell him only forward son, only forward.

    He was such a promising lad, where did it all go wrong (it still has a chance)? Was it the toe injury? I remember in qualifying (before injury) EJ would HOLD ball and beat people. Was super impressive — it is still there, but need to find someway to invoke old self.

  15. You have to score to win, right? No one over there is going to engage in the type of excuse-making going on here when it comes to deciding if they want ‘the Ameircans’ on their team rosters or not. Bottom line: EJ needs to figure it out quick if he wants to stay in the Prem next year (with Fulham or not); Dempsey needs to show he has value playing from a variety of positions with whomever the manager decides to pair him with; and, Boca needs to not suck. Period.

  16. BTW, my thoughts on EJ. I really do believe that once he gets over himself a bit (the whole “I wear gucci and i’m a GAM” thing) via having his ego checked by the EPL, I think he will humble himself and start working hard for a first team spot. He’s still young enough to change things around.

    He’s obviously shown to have the right tools when he puts himself in the right mind. He can still shape his body and his mentality into a quality player. I think being in the EPL will be good for his overall career and play.

    If he doesn’t, he only has himself to blame. It will be another case of “wasted potential” that many would kill to have, and understands that potential plus work ethic is the key to success. Man if I had the opporunities that EJ has, I would be FIFA player of the year already. lol.

  17. The one thing that I took away from this match is that Jimmy Bullard makes some of the dumbest passes and moves forward that I have seen in a long time from a ‘play maker’. I would much rather see Dempsey occupying his role, and think that Dempsey’s vision would be better for Fulham.

    About the goal, hard luck for Niemi and Fulham, nothing he could do, if anything you need to get on Danny Murphy for letting Solano track into the box alone.

    EJ did not have a good showing, but you can tell that if he is out there with Deuce, instead of replacing him, that he could potentially be dangerous.

    Tough luck for Fulham, I hope they can at least challenge for a spot in the Prem next year.

  18. Do you think that once Fulham goes down (which they will, despite my bitterness, I believe they will) there will be a mass exodus of players??? Do you think the likes of McBride, Dempsey and Johnson will try to get out?

  19. Good for Eddie, bad for Fulham. Have fun in the CC Championship next year boys.

    BTW, does anyone know Keller’s status? Niami (sp?) can’t be that much better than Keller (and by the looks of it, he’s not)

  20. Does anyone know what the deal with Litmanen is? I figured we see him in the lineup, at least as a sub by now.

    I agree with you Jim, Eddie Johnson doesn’t have the soccer mind to get into dangerous positions as an outside winger and Fulham did deserve at least a point.

  21. It looked to me like Duece & Bullard were both fighting vs. complementing each others skills in mid-field.

    McBride never got served. The few times he got the ball and pushed it outside then did what he does by peeling into the area for a cross, the ball was not sent.

    Eddie Johnson, quite simply is not an outside halfbalk/winger. Play him out of position and watch him disappear. I don’t understand why he was not level with McBride (instead of Bullard occupying that space for much of the game) thereby allowing him to run off of McBrides headed distributions.

    All in all, Fulham deserved more from the match.

  22. Fulham is DONE. They are truly horrible. It only pains me to think that some may blame the American players when they have been no worse than any of the others.
    EJ…well, EJ was being EJ. The guy had one good run for the Nats and people lionized him. He’s shown over the whole of his career that he has the physical tools to succeed, but his mind simply isn’t cut out to be a top competitor. Can he shape himself into one at this point? Kinda doubting it.

  23. I watched the game and FFC sould feel hard-done. It was a frwak play- though one should argue that Niemmi needed to be quicker off his line and a bit braver. I have to wonder if Keller had been playing if he would have come up with the stop. His biggest strength has been his ability to control his area andhe is known to be brave as can be. I think the manager has to give Keller a run to see if he can stop the slide. Remember- he pitched a shutout against Chelski before the arm injury.

    As for Johnsonhe was invisible apart from his bad miss on the half-volley from 6 out. As always most of his touches went backwards and he looked lacking in confidence to run at people. I think he’s going to be a bust in the EPL. Of course, I’ve never really rated him to begin with. But apart from a few right place right time goals early in his USMNT career, I don’t think he’s as good as people think. I feel he’s got a lot of athleticism but no soccer brain and doesn’t ever seem to work hard. Maybe some day in day out traiing alognside a model pro like McBride will change that. I hope so for the future of the USMNT as well as all Americans trying to get a look in Europe’s top league. Because every bust hurts our reputation as a legitimate soccer country.

  24. What a crappy result for Fulham. There were periods where they dominated, but dont finish.

    I did learn something though.

    McBride is probably still our best US forward option.

    Dempsey doesnt have the touch McBride has, nor the urgency that Brian has to make an immediate shot on goal when necessary.

    EJ looked like he looks when he is having a bad game for the US – like he gave up. EJ will learn, very quickly mind you, that in the EPL, you dont get a second chance to make an impression, and you dont get a second chance to take advantage of a mistake. Less than impressive debut, but in perspective, its his first game.

    Very so so game for Hangeland too. But I do love the way Konchesky plays (he saved a goal against all by himself)

  25. The loss was entirely EJ’s fault. Every time he gets on the field, he needs to get a hat trick.

    Seriously, I don’t think he looked lost as much as he reverted to old habits. For some odd reason, his approach becomes extremely negative when he is uncomfortable. Probably nerves, but I hope he doesn’t make too many more back passes to the center line when he is five yards outside the box and in position to cross.

  26. If Fulham could create a goal, these late goals wouldn’t be so damaging. While not a fan I do pull for them, but it looked to me today that McBride is the only one with any offensive vision, while any other striker whoever it may be is forced to go back and work in the midfield more than create chances up front. You can’t win games that way.

  27. Sorry for the off topic again, I meant to say about that Eduardo has/had the potential to be an all time great, not the he current is.

  28. I watched most of the Fulham game. why was EJ playing back at left-mid? and why didn’t he go in for somebody else instead of Dempsey since they are familiar with each other?

    the problem with Fulham..they don’t play a possession game, not enough decent shots on goal. it takes Dempsey to be goal hungry to get any offense going.

  29. @Johnny

    I agree with John…you need to relax a bit. My comment was a general observation (one I think most who watched the game will agree with) never said the loss was EJ’s fault.

  30. I should be disappointed but I’m too angry about the Eduardo injury to focus on anything else. I’m not a Croatia or Arsenal fan, but as a fan of soccer in general it saddens me to think that the sport could be losing out on one of the all time greats.

  31. Hey Johnny, take a chill pill, noone has that high of expectations for EJ. Just saying, in his first appearance he didn’t look too hot. Obviously it was his first game, and he came on as a sub. I expect him to improve, it was simply a comment on the performance.

  32. Well EJ probably looked lost because of nerves–this was his first premiership appearance, and he didn’t play long enough to work through the nerves–and more importantly, Hodgson played him out of position at right winger. Hodgson really needs to give up on the lone striker formations.

  33. This was not an easy game to make a first ever apperance in the PREM! EJ didn’ take his first touch in the game well to score a goal. GET off his f**king back, this loss is not his fault. When did EJ become the new Tevez? Have some American fans set the bar to high? Right now if the season ended today 9 Americans would be rlegated! Fulham surely are hanging by a thread…

  34. I understand it was his 1st match, but EJ looked lost out there.

    Was a tough late goal as well…definitely a hand ball, but keep could have reacted quicker.

  35. I thought Fulham had some chances to take the game, Deuce really didn’t do much with a good chance. EJ looked unimpressive(but its his first appearance) he didn’t really take anyone on, and took one chance pretty poorly. I still think Fulham CAN stay up, but whether they will remains to be seen.


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