With Manchester United taking on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday, who better to ask for their thoughts and feelings on the forthcoming season than the author of Fulham Mad.
Stretford End Arising: Have you recovered from the Europa League final defeat? Even though I’m a Man United fan, I was gutted for you.
Fulham Mad: An amazing season!
It was a great achievement to even get there and yes, it was disappointing not to win, but I think we just ran out of steam and luck in the final.
SEA: What are your season expectations?
FM: As ever, to avoid relegation from the Premier League. That’s always the goal for the club our size. Anything else is a bonus.
SEA: How have Fulham fared in pre-season?
FM: Most of the pre-season was just taken up by when Roy Hodgson would leave really. The games themselves were just a sideshow to all that even though we performed quite well, especially in beating Werder Bremen so convincingly.
SEA: What are your thoughts regarding the appointment of Mark Hughes? Are you sad to see the departure of Roy Hodgson to Liverpool?
FM: Hodgson was never going to turn down a club with the stature and size of Liverpool. He did a wonderful job at Craven Cottage but, in doing so, caught the attention of the bigger clubs and his departure was always inevitable after that.
SEA: Who are Fulham’s key players?
FM: Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy remain the heartbeat of the team and will be key to any success this season.
SEA: Fulham have been quiet in the transfer market, is this a concern? Are you expecting further transfer activity as we reach deadline day?
FM: It’s hard getting players to come down to the Cottage. Hughes will have plenty of contacts however and hopefully a couple more might be signed before the deadline. And Hughes’ capture of Moussa Dembele from AZ Alkmaar suggests he hopes things to evolve up front.
SEA: Following the sale of Harrods, are you expecting Mohamed Al-Fayed to pump additional money into Fulham?
FM: I don’t think he’ll plough too much of it into the club. He’s always been a bit canny when it comes to that.
SEA: I was shocked when the signing of Chris Smalling was announced. He apparently struggled during the second half of last season? What are your thoughts regarding him?
FM: Great ability and will be a long term asset at Old Trafford although he would have got more opportunities at Fulham.
SEA: Recently United’s record has been poor at Craven Cottage. Why do you think we have struggled? Will history repeat itself on Sunday?
FM: Not a typical Premiership ground and a lot of big clubs still get a culture shock when they visit Craven Cottage. Hopefully Fulham’s recent form against Man Utd will continue although their luck is bound to change eventually.
If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Forum