So, a new year and a new resolve to spend more time doing important things has meant I've not been posting so regularly. Therefore, much like Fulham, I'm now playing catch up. I'd like to boast that I've got lots more accomplished because of my new direction ... but that doesn't seem to be the case. I spent the best part of the weekend tending the sick in the Chop household. Mrs C spent most of the weekend in bed and little chop junior was a bit out of sorts as well. All this meant I was not able to get along to the Cup game which I had hoped was going to be an opportunity for LCJr's first ever game. With no MOTD2 this week either I didn't even manage the briefest glimpse of the game.
I may be in a minority (possibly of one) but I actually think the replay won't do us any harm. I think we need some games to apply the principles Roy Hodgson is trying to implement, and a cup replay away from the "must win" attitude of the Premier League could be a useful opportunity. Premier League teams have an easy life to some extent, and we certainly play far fewer games now than we did when we were climbing the leagues. I was pleased that we fielded a first team, maybe an indication that Roy saw it as a good opportunity for the players as well, but our poor performance (see reports at CCN, White Lines, 3pm Cottagers) certainly highlights how bad a state we are currently in. This must in part be due to a massive lack of confidence and I feel we desperately need 2 or 3 new players on board in this transfer window to help raise the spirit of the squad.
It's going to be tough down at the Memorial Stadium and Bristol Rovers will quite rightly fancy their chances. We need our players to show what they're made of and really compete. I think it's important we stay in this competition as long as we can. I'll also be reinvesting the £8.40 I won on the previous draw to ensure we don't slip up this time round. Winning games will lead to greater self-belief and, rather than being a distraction from survival in the Prem, I think it could be an aid. Failing to beat Bristol Rovers would leave us without a game on the 26th/27th January and I think the last thing we need right now is a week off.
Both Jimmy Bullard and Lee Cook played in the reserves 2-0 win over Arsenal at Underhill. I believe that's Jimmy's third game in three weeks and there is talk that he could be getting close to a place on the bench. The suggestion from the physio team is that Lee Cook just needs to build up his fitness, so we may find that new signings or not we will have two new players available from February.
There's been quite a bit written about Roy Hodgson, (not least on the Offal) yet each piece I read makes me feel more confident in his ability to really achieve something at Fulham. There's an excellent article HERE from Paul Doyle of the Guardian which is one of the best I've read and, more then any other, makes me think we've got the right man. It's been linked to by a number of other Fulham sites already but I feel it's worth doing so again if only for my Dad to read.
Finally I've picked up on a number of new (or at least previously undiscovered) Fulham blogs. Championship At Best has actually been around for a while but is now "fully operational". It's an offshoot of ColinBaker.org and is a really smart site offering much more than the normal blog. There's some good stats pages and a very clever blog aggregator that picks up all the new posts from the various Fulham blogs as they are published. I get the impression it will add more features and content as time goes on. It was from this site that I also noticed Jason's Cottage which publishes the Fulham specific entries from Jason Gatties (HEC reader and comment poster) more rugby-centric Try Gol website. Finally I stumbled across 3pm Cottagers which follows the 2007/8 season at Craven Cottage from the perspective of season ticket holders who aren't necessarily Fulham fans. It looks like offering an interesting alternative view on the events in SW6 this season.
I think that's probably quite enough, back to doing important things again ...