Date: 27th November 2008 at 11:34am
Written by:

Putney from Vital Fulham
answers my questions ahead of this weekends game.

1) So how is the season going, 9th seems a fair return on the first 13 games I’d have thought?

Our season has been a strange one so far. At home our record is on a par with Liverpool as the best in the Premier League but away from home it`s on a par with Stoke City as the worst in the Premier League. Whilst we can boast wins over both Arsenal and Tottenham at Craven Cottage, the most we can boast about away from home are two points with draws at Portsmouth and Liverpool. Ninth may look good but when you look at how many points cover the bottom of the table it`s a right old rat race brewing up!

2) Is safety the only aim that Fulham can expect or are the club looking to Europe realistically?

Safety is the main aim. We`ve spent heavily trying to change a squad that contained some right old rubbish that had been signed by Lawrie Sanchez. Roy Hodgson has been given a significant amount of cash to invest and we paid good money for the likes of Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora. To go down would be an absolute disaster. Staying up on the last day of the season with a draw at Portsmouth was supposed to be the end of such sagas. As for Europe, maybe not this season but there`s no reason why we shouldn`t be looking at a UEFA Cup place next season.

3) How is Al Fayed as a chairman, he can be a controversial figure but I’ve not seen that much about him footballing wise – apart from the silly decision to get rid of a good young manager in Chris Coleman!

Coleman was a strange case, forced to sell his best players and then shown the door when things were not going to plan even though he`d had little money to invest in new players. Al Fayed is a charming chap but sometimes, as during the latter stages of the Coleman era, I feel he lost a little interest in football. Nevertheless he`s to be praised for his cash investment and we`ll always be grateful for the part he played in returning us to our spiritual home after a few years as a squatter up the road at Loftus Road

4) Roy Hodgson, what difference has he made and do you think he’ll settle and stay a while at Fulham as he has seemed to move about an awful lot in his career?

Roy has been like a breath of fresh air and has changed the playing staff considerably since the dark days of the Sanchez era. The fans love him for his honesty and what he`s done for us. As long as we keep getting the results I see no reason why he shouldn`t remain wt us for a considerable time.

5) If you could pick one Villa player for your club, who would it be and why?

Just one! Okay, I`d go for Nigel Re-Coker. He`d inject some much needed strength into our midfield. If I have one criticism of Roy it`d be our somewhat lightweight midfield. Away from home we need some muscle, we need someone who can be a bit tasty in a challenge and Reo-Coker fits the bill.

6) Who should Villa be most afraid of on Saturday?

Bobby Zamora! He may not have scored many goals this season but his overall play has been superb. He stretches defences and opens up spaces for Andrew Johnson, Simon Davies, Dany Murhy and Jimmy Bullard to exploit.

7) What do you think – if anything – of Aston Villa and Martin O’Neill, would you like to see us break the top four stranglehold?

I`d love to see you get into the big-four scenario, it needs a good shake up, it`s becoming boring with the same old four teams contesting the Champions League and the Premier League title. Martin O`Neill seems like a sound guy and with a decent chairman in Randy Lerner, you have the foundations to move onto bigger and better things, perhaps even become the Villa of old!

8) And finally, lets have a score prediction, how will Fulham do at Villa Park?

I have this sneaking suspicion we`ll ride our luck and return to West London with a share of the spoils, 1-1 with Johnson scoring for us!

With thanks to Putney from www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk

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