Say what you want about Fulham, it’s a free country, nobody is going to bloody stop you and least of all me…
After the 4-5 defeat to the Cottagers in November, I described the Michael-Jackson-Statue-erectors-turned-puller-downers as being, in essence, Brentford with an attacking threat. This description is patently insufficient and four-and-a-bit months later, Fulham are Brentford with a shitload of attacking threat.
The Fans (Q: who looks after the cottage?)
A: Stepforrad the Stepford Wives or Cottagers, as they prefer to be known. These supporters were nothing if not the faint outline of humans applauding a clapping seal. Triumphantly quiet and deafeningly silent, their polite, robotic victory dance was inhuman. They made use of cardboard clackers instead of human hands and these coaxed the loudest response from the home-end: the recognisable and deafening wail of an Ocado-besotted teenager, asking their dad if the cardboard was recyclable. “No son,” the father cried, “I think they are a bit too plasticky for that.”
DEM 90 MINUTES
I wore my summer coat for the first time this winter. In an inside-pocket, I found a marginally out-of-date Curly-Wurly, which almost made the countdown to kick-off interesting, but it didn’t. The game began and, after a niggly opening, Billy Sharp could’ve made things interesting, but he didn’t – eight yards out his header was sent skywards.
The rest of the first half went like this: one quality Fulham player after another passed the ball for what seemed like a flipping age. If they couldn’t break-down DEM BLADES defence, then they went back to the halfway line and started again until they could.
Then they did, break us down, but they didn’t seem all that excited. Mitrovic stuck out a leg, quite successfully, the ball flew in. Cue polite applause.
The Blades were in the game in the same way that Chris Eubank Jnr was in the fight. Watching the son of a becaned, bespectacled, befuckingdickeyad, pseudo-elite, tosspot getting battered and totally embarrassing himself, was at least quite interesting. If only conceding a second to danger-man Mitrovic was as interesting – it wasn’t, I’ll move on – cue polite applause.
The half-time whistle went, DEM BLADES 2-0 down. Cue polite applause.
The second half began with some polite applause. And a substitution; Brooks on for Basham. A change in formation, but not in fortune.
DEM BLADES started with a wee bit more verve inasmuch as they probed and tested, and, essentially attempted to do to Fulham what Fulham had done to them in the first half. However, there was a problem; Fulham were far better at it.
As we attempted to break down the Fulham defence we lost the ball and the Cottagers made like Tiddly Winks players and countered successfully. The ball came down the left and eventually across the box where Tom Cairney thrashed in a third. Polite applause. No comeback on the cards; game over.
Except the game wasn’t over, there was half an hour left. Half an hour, as it turned out, to have a bit of a song and dance. Half an hour in which, contrasted with the Stepford Wives, we spent having the time of our lives.
Full-time. 3-0. Yet more polite applause from the home end. Off for a beer at ours
It doesn’t take a poly-math to work out how DEM BLADES were defeated by the guy-not-drinking-at-the-Christmas-do of the football league that is Fulham, but I’ll try my best. From a scientific perspective, Fulham were just really quite bloody marvellous. Examining the same game through behavioural economics lens, the negative externality of the lack of pace throughout Chris Wilder’s side is every fucker we come upagainst’s gain – we need pace and fast!
DEM BLADES, I’m sure, will fight for 6th place. That’s the only prize up for grabs, it would seem.
The hackles on the backs of the neck went up. Chad came on the pitch. The Twitterati went mental. Chad did nothing. The Twitterati tweeted ‘at least Chads got some game time.’ I think you’ve got too much time.
Man of the Match
In a week where a ginger, success-induced haircut has accompanied Bradley Wiggins as he defends his use of steroids as ‘not proper cheating pal’ on television; where the best picture Oscar was given to a film that, if it were a documentary, would be considered beastiality; where Coca-Cola has brought out an alcoholic beverage, where everywhere we look the world warps – look away, look to Coutts. Paul Coutts.