Aston Villa v Fulham – Opposition View

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With a huge game coming up this afternoon against Fulham, I have been on the Friends of Fulham forum to see Fulham fans’ opinions about what I still think is a big relegation clash.

How has the season gone for Fulham fans?

How many levels of woeful are there? We’ve seen it all – from inept tactics, monumental defensive capitulations to having no shots at all at St Mary’s and then the Sheffield United debacle, although they ultimately deserved it.

Al Fayed committed himself to Jol when Hughes marched out but it was clear he should have gone last summer. There is still a school of thought that believes the Jol/Berbatov love fest killed the team and that perhaps for both it was a season too many.

This season has had its bright spots… damned if I can think of one now though.

What were your first thoughts about Shahid Khan when he bought Fulham Football Club and do they differ now?

I thought he was good for the club. Premier League clubs need financial backing and he has that and he also dipped into the market in January (although early indications are he was horribly advised). It’s too early to say anything has changed with my opinion – I still think his intentions are right.

Shortly after taking the reigns, Magath laid the blame for the Cottagers’ problems squarely at the feet of his predecessor Meulensteen. Was he right to do so?

Whilst Meulensteen’s reign certainly didn’t help (see Hull away, Sunderland at home and Sheffield United over two legs), it would be unfair to blame him for all of Fulham’s problems. Our team didn’t get strengthened correctly in the summer and Jol really didn’t do a good job with what he had, all of which led to a really tough job for Rene Meulensteen. 

If Fulham do get relegated, do you think you will bounce straight back up?

We have the assets to – great youth, good owner and money – but I think it’ll take two seasons.

Is there any chance you will keep hold of Darren Bent?

God, no! We currently have Dembele (17) and Woodrow (19) ahead of him.

Which player should we fear most this afternoon and why?

There are two – Lewis Holtby and Ashkan Dejagah. Dejagah has hit a purple patch in terms of scoring and Lewis Holtby is the only player we have who can open a locked door with a football. 

What is your opinion of Aston Villa Football Club?

Good fans, good old fashioned club and really shouldn’t be this low in the table. Things haven’t been the same since O’Neill left.

Which Aston Villa player would you most like in your team at present?

Delph – by a long shot! He’s been fantastic in recent weeks and deserves an England call-up at some point.

9) What are your match predictions?

I’m hopeful that our 3,000 supporters – a sell out – should boost us to a 2-1 win. Your form at home isn’t great, mostly due to your style. You have every chance to score.

Extra time:

Cat or Dog?

Cat: I was bitten by a dog as a child and have never trusted them since.

Natalie Sawyer or Hayley McQueen? (Sky Sports News presenters)

One night? Hayley. For life? Natalie.

Thanks to the Friends of Fulham for their assistance.

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