A culture of failure at Fulham could yet end in relegation

Posted by Phil Mison

SidwellPA PhotosSteve Sidwell misses from the penalty spot during Fulham's 3-1 defeat at Tottenham.

Felix Magath’s men remain in peril following Saturday's defeat to Tottenham, and when he sits down to analyse the difference between winning and losing here, it could well serve as a template for the last eight months of Fulham’s season of struggle.

The inadequate and mismanaged transfer budgets from the last two seasons alongside Martin Jol’s poor judgment, lax organisation and inflated ego created a culture of failure at the Cottage that may yet see them relegated from the Premier League. Continue Reading...

Throttle that cockerel

Posted by Phil Mison

Felix MagathGettyImagesFelix Magath has inspired Fulham, but points at White Hart Lane are rare.

Derby day again folks, as Fulham get Saturday's action underway with the early kick-off at White Hart Lane. Wins here for our boys are even rarer to come by than a fresh riff from U2, but as always we travel up to North London in the hope Spurs will have an off day.

Fulham are looking to give their fans something they've not had in two years of a remorselessly downwards spiral -- that is, a third win on the spin. But boss Felix Magath has remained quietly and consistently confident in his brief tenure that Fulham would beat the drop. Continue Reading...

Fulham building belief

Posted by Phil Mison

The season run in is going to require strong nerves in the stands and cool heads on the pitch. From the cloth-capped pioneers of Victorian times right through to the modern era, Fulham have spent far too many seasons in their long existence it seems just trying to play catch up. A common grumble heard throughout the decades from club supporters is how allegiance to the Whites of SW6 can take years off a man's life.

- Report: Fulham 1-0 Norwich City
- Report: Magath: Fulham lucky to beat Norwich

For reasons I cannot grasp, your average easy-going follower of football's friendliest club has somehow been cast from the Garden of Eden to wander eternally in the wilderness. Continue Reading...

Fulham U18s build on good news week

Posted by Phil Mison

Tom Dulat/Getty ImagesMoussa Dembele gave Fulham fans reason to cheer helping their U18 team to a win in the FA Youth Cup semis.

We commanded Fulham to make history last Saturday at Villa Park and lo and behold at the 13th time of asking since our elevation to the top flight our boys finally came home with all three points. Never was a win more desperately needed on that particular bogey ground for the Whites, scene of our 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final of 2002.

Felix Magath wrung victory at last for Fulham at a venue where Jean Tigana, Chris Coleman, Lawrie Sanchez, Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes and Martin Jol had all failed. Continue Reading...

Stay of execution in SW6

Posted by Phil Mison

Fulham celebrateGettyImagesHugo Rodallega and Lewis Holtby celebrate during Fulham's 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

In this turbulent season, the travelling Fulham supporters saluted three priceless points at Aston Villa last weekend -- a result that may yet save the club’s Premier League status. The odds on the Cottagers avoiding relegation are long but they remain the last side to achieve safety with just 24 points after 32 games (2008) and there’s no doubt Norwich are now feeling the heat after last weekend’s matches.

Chris Hughton has been sacked at a critical juncture and guess who they face next? Continue Reading...

Spirit of 2008 needed

Posted by Phil Mison

Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty ImagesDanny Murphy's goal at Fratton Park against Portsmouth helped Fulham escape relegation at the end of the 2007-08 season.

The Whites go to Aston Villa on Saturday with only a very tenuous grip now on the Premiership. My 30-odd years of football reporting tell me this Fulham side is down and out, but as a lifelong supporter we still have to pray for a miracle. It needs to happen at Villa Park this weekend, but it's been a graveyard for every single Fulham manager since the elevation to the top flight 13 seasons ago.

- Report: Bent: I was fit for Everton match

Fulham find themselves in the same position as in 2008, when then-manager Roy Hodgson brought the club back from the dead with four wins from the last six matches. Continue Reading...

Whites head for Premier League exit

Posted by Phil Mison

Ashkan Dejagah fires in a stunning equaliser for Fulham.AllsportDespite a stunning strike from Ashkan Dejagah on Sunday against Everton, Fulham are headed for the Championship.

Fulham's latest defeat, their 22nd of the season, leaves only a fanatical few still believing the current team has what it takes to beat relegation. The statistics are climbing to a frightening level, and set surely to get even worse before the final game of the season.

Ironically, that is likely to be a meaningless matchup against Crystal Palace. Consider this. Fulham, a side boasting Holland's World Cup keeper Maarten Stekelenburg and the Rock of Copenhagen, the giant Brede Hangeland at centre-back, have now conceded 73 goals so far this campaign after Everton added another three to the debit column on Sunday. Continue Reading...

Win or bust for Whites

Posted by Phil Mison

AllsportKostas Mitroglou has more important things to worry about than helping Fulham avoid the drop.

We might as well call for the priest on Sunday if Fulham fail to put away Everton in the day's early kick-off. With the advantage of 24 hours extra preparation for this televised encounter, results from Saturday mean the Whites know they can climb two places off the bottom by winning. That would certainly send a shiver through the teams above us, and with our run-in a scenario where Cardiff, Sunderland and WBA end the season as the relegated three becomes a genuine possibility.

Plus the fillip of a second successive home win would do wonders for team morale ahead of next Saturday's crunch visit to Aston Villa. Continue Reading...

Miserable show at City

Posted by Phil Mison

Fulham's Fernando Amorebieta is sent off against Man City.GettyImagesFulham's Fernando Amorebieta is sent off against Man City.

It's yet another confidence-shaking drubbing in this dreadful season for Fulham. Manchester City did not even need to be at their best to ruthlessly dispose of Felix Magath's men. Once again, when the Londoners are supposed to be straining every muscle and sinew to stay alive, the Whites served up another embarrassing performance for their followers. City won 5-0, and it could have been more. Fulham failed to register one shot on target.

For Game 5 of his tenure, Magath is still struggling to establish his best 11. Continue Reading...

Goal feast or City blues?

Posted by Phil Mison

Ashkan DejagahAllsportIt's unlikely that Ashkan Dejagah and Fulham will celebrate this weekend.

On paper, a visit to the Etihad Stadium for bottom side Fulham holds as much appeal right now as a dip in Hudson Bay. Nobody is giving the Whites a prayer -- not surprising when you consider that just two City players between them have notched more goals than the entire Fulham team in the season to date.

- Pellegrini: Fulham is City's biggest game

There's little point in flying in the face of logic just to be controversial. Continue Reading...

Dejagah da man!

Posted by Phil Mison

Fulham want to toy with the supporters' emotions for a while longer after this narrow but so important win. Newcastle United obligingly turned up with only half a team Saturday and duly rolled over to give the home fans their first taste of three points since New Year's Day. Crikey, but that West Ham result feels like an age ago.

- Report: Fulham 1-0 Newcastle
- Report: Magath: Win boosts Fulham's chances

That day you would have marked the Hammers down as the more likely relegation candidates. Continue Reading...

Last chance saloon

Posted by Phil Mison

Stu Forster/Getty ImagesFulham fans hope there will be several goal-scoring celebrations like Lewis Holtby's from last week when the Cottagers face Newcastle this weekend.

The Fulham players themselves say only a miracle can save the Whites from the drop. I would estimate 50 percent of the support is resigned to the inevitable, and manager Felix Magath himself is being less bullish in his statements.

- Report: Cardiff City 3-1 Fulham

Fulham are attempting to find a win at the 10th time of asking at home to Newcastle this week. Even three points will not be enough to lift the side off the bottom, and in a week's time they travel to Manchester City. Continue Reading...