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In Toon – Fulham

8 years ago
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Who Manages Them:
Like the Mayor of Halloween Town in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Maarten Jol has two faces. He seems such a loveable Dutch roly-poly some of the time, like the time he called Gabby Yorath “darling” in a MOTD interview.

Yet he seems like a hungry bear with a sore foot sometimes too, prowling the touchline and famously calling a linesmen who failed to spot a Spurs ‘goal’ at Old Trafford a c…, a word we can‘t use.

Because Fulham have done ok this season, he’s been Happy Maartin, looking so relaxed it often seems as if he does his post-match interviews dressed only with a towel round his waist on his way to the sauna. It has not been all plain sailing for Jol though, his % win record at Fulham is the worst of his managerial career and today we’ll be hoping it gets a bit worse.

He nearly became our manager if the stories are true. In 2007 Freddie Shepherd tried to employ Jol as Manager after sacking Glenn Roeder, the two meeting in a Hotel to discuss potential employment as Jol felt undervalued at Spurs. It just showed how far the balding porker had fallen. 10 years before Shepherd had been around Europe and the people he met in hotels were normally escort girls, by 2007 he was reduced to meeting up with Dutch versions of himself.

Who Have We Seen Before: 
Aaron Hughes, loyal Toon servant and defender making over 200 appearances in 8 years after his Nou Camp debut, aged just 18. He was inexplicably sold by Graeme Souness for a poxy million notes to Aston Villa. We’ve never replaced him, we’ve often missed him and since the day he was sold he would have made 99% of our match day squads, including today.

We have also seen Damien Duff, disloyal Toon villain. Duff was paid a huge amount of money for doing absolutely sod all and has Michael Owen to thank for the fact that he doesn’t get more grief off us. He struggled to lumber up the left wing for three seasons after a £5 million transfer from Chelsea which we thought was great business at the time, but in reality was just money frittered away on another overpaid, under-achiever who only managed 5 goals in his time here, six if you include the own goal that sent us down.

Two major injuries restricted his appearances for us, a lack of application restricted his contribution and in many ways his departure summed up his time at the TOON. After our relegation in 2009 he said he wanted to stay, he scored in our opening Championship game at WBA and generally had one of his best games in black and white, then he left a couple of days later saying he’d always wanted to go back to London. He’s stayed at Fulham ever since and they can shove him right up their Craven Cottage.

A Special mention For: 
Michael Jackson. Why would a club have a statue of someone outside their ground who had absolutely nothing to do with them, especially a statue that looks more like Adam Ant? Because he was a friend of bug-eyed loon Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed, the Egyptian billionaire peanut butter that makes Paulo Di Canio seem rational and reserved.

Mo told everyone bored enough to listen that anyone who didn’t like the statue could “go to hell,” presumably in order to spend more time with Jackson himself. It’s difficult to see any other clubs lining up similar stunts, football generally doesn’t publicise links with drug dependents or those repeatedly accused of child related ‘incidents’ but there’s no chance of Jackson getting a statue outside SJP. We don’t like people who wear gloves.

Are We Going To Win?  

Almost 4 years ago we went into a ‘must win’ game against Fulham and not only didn’t win it, but didn’t ever look like doing so. Support the lads today and let’s get a bit of revenge on Jol for knocking us back, Duff for dropping us in it and Jackson for everything he recorded after 1980.

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