On Saturday Mornings I like to listen to the Premier League Preview on Sirius Radio channel 125. Ths show is usually on about 90 minutes prior to the first EPL match of the day. The hosts of the show are Charlie Stillitano and Giorgio Chinaglia. They also have a show called "The Football Show" which airs on Wednesday at 5PM EST. Both of these shows I would highly recommend for all fans of soccer.
Charlie Stillitano is a former General Manager of the New York/ New New Jersey Metro Stars of the MLS in the late 90's. Charlie is well known in the soccer community. Giorgio Chinaglia is a soccer legend. In the U.S. he is known for his time with the New York Cosmos. He also played in Italy and his national team.
The hosts of there shows interview guests, and they also take calls form their listening audience. On Saturday Morning, March 23rd I called into the show to ask a few questions on Fulham. The first question I asked" did they think that Roy Hogdson would use a similar lineup on Sunday that he used in the Europa League matchup?" I was expecting a pretty quick answer to this question. Instead, I got into a very interesting conversation with the 2 hosts.
To my surprise Mr. Stillitano mentioned that he was at Craven Cottage for the match against Juventus. Instead of answering my question he started to tell his experience at Craven Cottage. He mentioned that he met with Roy Hogdson after the match. Based on his meeting he mentioned that Roy seemed very confident in his squad right now. He didn't believe that there would be many changes to the squad for the game on Sunday against Manchester City. He also mentioned that Roy knew he had to be careful with a few players coming back from injury. Stillitano mentioned that Hogdson stated that Clint Dempsey was really pushing to get back into the lineup.
The next question I asked was regarding Fulham and the future of the club. I guess you could say I was still excited from the Juventus win. I asked a question that I pretty much already knew the answer to. The question was" is there anything that Fulham Football Club can do to be even better in the future?"
Mr. Stillitano and Mr. Chinaglia brought me back to reality. They both mentioned there were moves that they could make, but it would put the team in a huge amount of debt. Neither men thought they should put the club in financial jeopardy. They both agreed this will not happen with the current chairman. The other option that Fulham could do is expand Craven Cottage. Again, both hosts did not see that as viable option either. Chinaglia mentioned that there are already a couple dominant teams in London with large venues. He didn't believe there would be enough interest in London to justify a larger stadium for the club.
The final part of our converstation involved the state of the club. Both hosts mentioned that I should just be happy with what Fulham our currently doing. As Chinaglia mentioned 3 times, Fulham only have 38 points in the league and sit 10th. He was basically telling me they are a mid table club and there is nothing wrong with that. They were both just trying to give me a reality check.
Surprisingly, after I got off the phone I felt really good about Fulham. They are a very good club in a top league. Are they ever going to be able to compete for the EPL title? The answer to that is probably no. But, what I have learned is that it is good to be Fulham. I think Fulham have very good players, and a tremendous manager. It has been a fun season, and I can see many seasons just like this one to come. It just might not get better than this season. But you know what, I am fine with that.
Again, if you have Sirius radio I highly recommend listening to the Premier League Preview Show and the Football Show on Wednesday at 5PM EST. Both shows are great to listen to for fans of Fulham Football Club.