John Arne Riise says goodbye

I wanna thank the Players , the great medical staff, media department, coaches and most of all the true Fulham fans who supported me and the team. I really enjoyed these 3 years. I wanna thank Martin Jol for giving me the chance to play in The PL again, especially the chance to play with my brother. I know the true fans know I gave it all, and I do wish I had given you more to Cheer for. And yes, I did have really bad games and mistakes, and for that I’m sorry, but I gave it all, everytime .. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you for your support and time spent on your travels. Can’t wait to see you get straight back up

To the haters and so called fans and know all people : good luck, the team needs support , not people thinking they know everything. And if you knew what went on behind the scenes you might have kept your mouths shut! But hey, you guys do know everything! Your shit comments really don’t affect me, all I cared about was the club and the true fans who has supported FFC all their life and through generations..

Again, good luck for the future , this great club belongs in the PL, no doubt about it. Great young players coming through. Future looks bright ..

COYW, now and always !!!

Best regards

mummy’s boy

Link here.

What can you say to that, eh?

One of these days someone will actually say what went on behind the scenes.  Why they can’t now is beyond me.  What’s the worst that could happen?   All I know is that the team was legitimately the worst in the league this season by most reckonings, despite being full of players with a pretty big reputation, John here included.  A few have now hinted at something lurking in the shadows, but nobody’s said what, no journalist has printed an expose, and still we wonder how a team that wasn’t half bad not long ago got as bad as this so quickly.  (I know, we’ve all speculated and there seem to be lots of reasons, but if the players are party to one really big reason it’d be nice to know about it).

Back to Riise.  You can look at this a couple of ways.  Either he really did give his all and is physically past it, he gave his all but the deep stench of which nobody may speak was too much for him, or rather he was having a nice end of career chill at a small club where his name would buy him a bit of leeway.  Probably all of these to a degree.  As John says, we know alls in the stands can sit here with our laptops and speculate, but honestly, we’re talking about a player who has had a very, very successful career.  And by his own admission has not done well for us.

He says “Yes, I did have really bad games and mistakes” and that’s the problem.  Honestly, I don’t care that much about how hard he tried.  If he tries 78% and is flawless that’s not the end of the world.  But as a full-back you’re in a relatively nice position: it’s probably the easiest defensive role and perhaps the one role where “a safe pair of hands” (metaphorical) is really high on the job description.   This is generally what we want from our full-backs: consistency, reliability.  John admits he wasn’t consistent.  So what does he expect?

We sat by the penalty area on the left wing when Fulham attacked the Hammersmith End and the number of times Fulham worked the ball around, had lots of space down the left flank but then had to try something else because Riise wasn’t overlapping again was astonishing to me.  It sort of jarred me as having watched Konchesky for so long you sort of thought you knew where people were going to be, but here was Riise, notionally a progressive full-back, not attacking.   Now I accept that this may have been a tactical thing, but I suspect it wasn’t.  He didn’t look fit, he didn’t look good, and while that’s not a crime, we just wanted more, didn’t we?

I appreciate that nobody leaves seasons like this smelling of roses but in all the disappointments from Fulham post Europa John Arne Riise is right up there.  We had every right to expect a solid left-flank given his reputation and we didn’t get it.  He’s not why we went down but he did his bit (or rather didn’t).  I had nothing against him and was pretty excited when he arrived, but what can you say?  He just wasn’t all that.

True fans knew he gave his all?  Maybe.  But, well, maybe not.  We’re not stupid, John, and believe it or not, we want every Fulham player to do well.  When a team systematically fucks up, as this one did, some people will be disappointed by this.  Most people will round on who they see as scapegoats.  For some people this was Dimitar Berbatov.  For others Bryan Ruiz.  John Arne Riise was just one player that the majority of fans have been disappointed by.  There are many others.   So thanks for everything, you’ve had a great career, but let’s all move on.

8 thoughts on “John Arne Riise says goodbye

  1. Strong stuff – well put and very justified.

    A passing mention of the arrogance that suggests that we have no right to criticise.

    1. He has been quite active in the comments on facebook. It has been instructive that a lot of the positivity is from Liverpool supporters.

    2. He was the epitome of Fulham’s recent failings – a washed out mercenary whose best fighting days are well past him. Whilst Fulham have struggled at full back position probably since Finnan and Brevett without exaggeration Riise was the biggest liability of them all, an immobile lump who could neither defend or attack.

  2. “One of these days someone will actually say what went on behind the scenes. ”

    I’ve begun to think they wont, because there’s nothing to report.

    It’s been nearly 2 years (or was it more?) since Dempsey said “the truth will come out” or something similarly vapid. And yet here he was but 6 months ago smiling and running around and not doing anything of note.

    The fact that not a single, bonafide piece of evidence has emerged from behind the scenes since Sparky’s “ambition” statement (whom, coincidentally, is the only person I could see not being allowed to elaborate, as I’m sure the club had a confidentiality agreement in his contract) to what Dempsey said, to Ruiz (was it him last fall who said some not-so-nice-things to say about Jol?), to now Riise…

    I’ve begun to think it’s all a copout. It’s easy to point to a vast, er, conspiracy going on when, if we use Occam’s Razor, the players also know full well we fans, sitting in the stands with our laptops and speculations, know next to nothing about how the club actually operates. So just blame some nebulous “known unknown”. I mean, at one point we had 3 managers at the same time, and here we are 5 or so months later with zero insight into that mess. I can’t imagine the Orioles having 3 managers and the fans having next to no idea who/what/where/why/how Peter Angelos let that happen either before, during, or after.

    So how else to coverup what has clearly been management backing the wrong horses, not adequately sustaining the existing herd, and the players performing below their capacities?


    1. Or, if we use Hanlon’s razor to sum up what the heck happened to this team:

      “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

  3. It reads like a spoof. Would he really sign himself “mummy’s boy”? Perhaps this just shows that caricature’s of players can be quite accurate. ” I wanna thank Martin Jol for giving me the chance to play in The PL again, especially the chance to play with my brother”. For god’s sake. Did they ever even play in the same team, and is that why he joined Fulham?

  4. I was among those at Stoke, placed just to the left of the left-hand goalpost. Close-up view of JAR accompanying his winger along the goal-line, unmolested, until he nearly reached said post and assisted the first goal.

    Point is taken about failure to overlap as often as he should have (or to score — coming close early in his debut, then rarely again), but the main problem was that he turned into just as poor a defensive option at left-back as Briggs. While both are equally dispensable, you can bet that the financial saving of getting rid will be several times higher in JAR’s case.

    Sorry Johnny, if you say you always tried then fair enough, but in a sense that that makes it even worse. You had a decent spell around a quarter of the way through your time with us, but it didn’t last and didn’t recur.

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