The International break means there’s little Fulham news to talk about. England did what they needed to do and qualified for Euro 2012 but the press had a field day over Rooney’s sending off. How perfect for the British media that the man most in the spotlight should rise to the bait and give them something to write about. With hindsight I should have put a bit of money on it.
The interruption to league football must make it difficult for all league clubs to maintain momentum but it’s probably still the best solution to fitting the fixtures in. It’s frustrating though that we get hit by two pauses so early in the season. Meanwhile, the Rugby World Cup is in full swing down in New Zealand. Wayne Rooney might feel at home there, at least he’d have someone to share the burden of press admonishment. English clubs in the Aviva Premier League have, however, continued to play. Did it used to be like this in Football too? I know we didn’t always have the long break in league football, but back then Fulham internationals were few and far between.
We’ve actually only got eight first teamers away so the club might not be completely devoid of life. Zamora & Stockdale didn’t feature in the England game and with no mid-week match will be on their way home already. Damien Duff played 75 minutes in the 2-0 win over Andorra, whilst Stephen Kelly remained on the bench. They have their final qualifier in Dublin on Tuesday night. Chris Baird played 90 minutes in Northern Ireland’s disappointing loss versus Estonia. Philippe Senderos picked up an injury in training so failed to play for the Swiss, Moussa Dembele saw 90 minutes in a 4-1 win for Belgium and only John Arne Riise will line-up for Norway against Cyprus as Brede Hangeland is suspended.
Despite this, I read that Martin Jol had returned to Holland for a brief break. I have visions of Motspur Park being like school when the headmaster isn’t in and no-one has worked out exactly who’s in charge. Lots of running in the corridors, kids playing practical jokes and the occasional fight.
If you’re struggling to fill the gap left by a lack of Fulham then perhaps you might enjoy this
interview with Joey Barton on the BBC (apologies to overseas readers). You might not like him very much but I think he’s a decent footballer and has a more interesting view of the game than many of his English peers.