The international break hits Fulham particularly hard. Eight players are going to be gone for international duty. For a club struggling to find a best eleven and a consistent strategy, having those players gone is not ideal. All of the following players are away for the break: Elsad Zverotic (Montenegro), Alex Kacaniklic (Sweden), Brede Hangeland (Norway), Philippe Senderos (Switzerland), Giorgos Karagounis (Greece), Aaron Hughes (Northern Ireland), Fernando Amorebieta (Venezuela), Bryan Ruiz (Costa Rica).
Staying with international football, and tangentially related to Fulham, 20 out of 24 players on the Venezuela national team came down with explosive diarrhea. No news on whether Amorebieta is one of those affected, but the odds are not in his favor.
Speaking of international players, the amount of English players in the Premier League has fallen to 32%. Even though this comes at a time when Fulham has more English players than I can remember; I know that there will be a lot of soul searching as to why this is, and how the Premier League clubs need to work harder. However, I think it all comes down to English Players being overvalued. Lower league clubs are holding out for ridiculous fees for homegrown players. Examples are James McCarthy being sold for £13M, Wigan putting a £15M pricetag on Callum McManaman, and Jordan Rhodes being valued at £10M+ by Blackburn. If you're a premier league club, why would you pay those fees when you can shop overseas for discounts? Look at these fees: Etienne Capoue (£8.6M), Emanuele Giaccherini (£6.5M), Christian Eriksen (£11M), and Nacer Chadli (£7M). Wouldn't you prefer all of those players versus the over priced guys from the championship?
Back to Fulham for a bit, as the club announced its squad numbers for the current season. No real surprises except that Kerim Frei is still listed, even though reports coming out of Turkey claim the transfer deal is all but done:
Latest - Beşiktaş have agreed terms with Fulham over Kerim Frei/ expected to sign tomorrow or Friday— Turkish-Football.com (@Turkish_Futbol) September 4, 2013
No one seems to know when the Turkish Transfer window closes. I thought it was already closed so this deal couldn't be done, but I've been wrong before. At this point, I don't think there's a sale. There might be a loan agreement, but we should know soon.
Fulham also announced their final 25 man roster for the upcoming season. The one interesting note is that there are only 24 names on it, meaning that they can still sign a free agent. Do they have a player in mind? Chances are good that they're betting on Mahamadou Diarra. He just played 60 minutes at Motospur Park, and might be close to returning.
Mourinho coming to Fulham? I did a double take when I read that headline. Turns out Fulham just signed his son to their academy. This almost seems like a weird troll on Chelsea. He completed a trial at the club, so he must have some talent; but the whole thing just seems weird. Why not play at Chelsea? Is this some sort of acknowledgement that the Fulham youth setup is better than Chelsea? Is it because the elder Mourinho knows his time at Stamford Bridge might be short? Who knows, but it's an interesting story nonetheless.
You may have heard the trouble the BT cameras caused during the first match at Craven Cottage. As usual, the Fulham Supporters Trust is on top of the situation. They continue to do good work, and if you are able, I think you should join.
I'm a big fan of the Men in Blazers. If you aren't familiar, with them they have a weekly podcast about the Premier League (but also touching on US and International Football), plus a show on satellite radio. On this week's podcast, their guest was Georgie Thompson. As usual on their show, they give their guest a chance to make an argument as to why you should support their club. Since Georgie is a Fulham fan, she argued for the club. It's worth a listen if you get a chance.
Finally I leave you with this. The Arsenal result may not have been the best, but this footage from NBCSN is quite fun. I've never been to the Cottage, but this is getting me really excited for my planned trip in the Spring: