Richard Heathcote

The only thing that has been lingering over Craven Cottage longer than the lack of a home win is the atrocity that was the Michael Jackson statue. After what has admittedly been a rather bumpy start to the season I am delighted to say that within the space of 24 hours this week we have effectively relieved ourselves of both burdens.

It is rare that a League cup victory would inspire such a jovial mood but given that fortress cottage seems to have turned in to more of an open house of late we perhaps had every right to celebrate. Yes Everton did field a weakened team but as the old saying goes you can only beat what's put in front of you.

What was said at half time that inspired the turnaround remains a mystery although I would suspect that Jol may have had a few choice words to say to his players (Picture Mike Bassett at half time against Mexico). The reaction following the draw at home to West Brom clearly hurt him and perhaps prompted a more frank approach to the half time team talk on Tuesday. I have always been a believer that we are most vulnerable in the first ten minutes of the second half but the way in which we acquitted ourselves this week was a breath of fresh air. There is no doubt that the pressure has been building but it seems that the players who cited him as the main reason behind joining the club in the first place finally seem willing to show some fight for their Manager.


Of course a League Cup victory is nothing to write home about but it feels like it may be the turning point our season needs. The honeymoon period of a new owner, new players bedding in and the novelty of a new kit is well and truly over and now is the time to get down to business.

The removal of the Michael Jackson statue as much as anything is a symbol of out with the old and in with the new as well as being a sign that the opinions of the supporters are being taken on board by the new regime. There is no doubt that the legacy of Al Fayed runs much deeper than just a Madame Tussauds cast off but Khan is finally starting to stamp his authority on the club.

The mood around the ground come Saturday when Cardiff visit will hopefully be one of optimism and that we may once again make Craven Cottage a hard place to come to. Had we not recovered in mid-week then the atmosphere could have really turned nasty although now it feels there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel.


Let’s get behind Martin and the team on Saturday because as much as anything else it is we the fans who help make the Cottage the fortress it was and hopefully soon will be again.


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