Every week I like to write about subjects that are on my mind regarding Fulham Football Club. This was a history making week for Fulham. Fulham started the week with a 2 - 1 loss at Everton. Even thought the club lost I thought they played very well. The big news of the week was the victory on Thursday in the Semifinals of the Europa League. Fulham defeated Hamburg 2 - 1 at Craven Cottage. They will now be playing in a Final of a Major European competition. I certainly have several things on my mind regarding Fulham. Below are my "10 Things I Think About Fulham Football Club This Week May 1st."
I think Fulham played very well against Everton. Roy Hodgson made 9 changes to his lineup to start the match. The players in this game played hard and deserved a better result for their effort. Kagisho Dikgacoi I thought did a nice job in midfield. As always Erik Nevland did a solid job as a striker. He even scored a goal. I think we will be seeing more of players like Dikgacoi, Riise, Nevland, Elm and Okaka in the last remaining league games.
I think the assistant referee might have made a mistake at the end of the Everton Match. In stoppage time it looked like the ball went out of bonds off of Louis Saha of Everton. The Assistant indicated that it went off of a Fulham player. When I saw the replay it sure looked like it went off of Saha. After the Everton throw in it led to a penalty being called on Chris Baird for a foul on Cahill. Mikel Arteta then took the penalty kick and scored. Everton would win the match 2 - 1 shortly afterwards.
I think it is time for Stefano Okaka to take his game to the next level. I think Okaka has some real talent. He is probably going to be given the chance to show his skill the next few matches. With Zamora out ,Okaka really has an opportunity to show his stuff. I want to see if he can be consistent from game to game. I will be following his progress.
I think the Fulham Reserves had a great season. They did lose their final game of the season. However, that loss should not take away from a fine year. The Reserves ended third in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South. I like following the Reserves. I do think it is important that young players get a chance to see some action. This Reserves League gives these players that opportunity. Players like Marcello Trotta and Danny Housen could someday become First Team players.
I think the Hamburg victory is the biggest win in Fulham's history. It has been an incredible ride in the Europa League. This team keeps surprising me. I never thought they would be playing in this final when the competition began in July. In my opinion, getting to a Final in a major European competition makes this victory the biggest in Fulham's history.
I think Zoltan Gera is the unsung hero of this season. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. It isn't just about the goal he made Thursday Night. He has been playing at a high level all season. He has been huge in big games. How about the Juventus match at Craven Cottage? He scored 2 key goals to help Fulham move forward in the Europa League. I was concerned when Andy Johnson got injured and was out for the season. I guess I had nothing to worry about. Zoltan Gera took his place and played extremely well. In my opinion, Fulham do not get to the Finals of the Europa League without Zoltan Gera's great play.
I think Fulham will be dealing with the Brede Hangeland transfer rumors again this summer. Fulham went through these rumors last summer. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they are starting up again. In my opinion I think the player wants to stay. I hope we still see him playing next season with Fulham.
I think The West Ham match is going to be tough. I wouldn't blame Fulham to come out sluggish to begin the game against West Ham. I also think Roy is going to rest several players. Even though the game is at Craven Cottage this match will be a struggle to win.
I think Fulham will again be an underdog in the Finals of the Europa League. I was watching Burnley play Birmingham this morning. After the match, two ESPN commentators were doing predictions on the Champions League Finals and the Europa League Finals. On the Europa League, Robbie Mustoe predicted Fulham to win. Tommy Smyth predicted a victory for Atletico Madrid. I have a feeling as we get closer to the Match more "so called experts"are going to pick Atletico Madrid. That will be fine with me. Fulham have been great as the underdogs. Why should anything change now?
I think the only other job Roy Hodgson would take is the England. When I was on on World Football Daily yesterday, I was asked if I thought Roy would be tempted by the Liverpool job. I don't think he would leave Fulham for Liverpool. This is just my opinion. I think he is really happy at Fulham. I do think the one job that would tempt him is the England job.
It has been an incredible week for Fulham. I am sure I will have plenty on my mind next week.