Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Monday May 25 2009
So the dream has been realised, plucky Fulham will be in with some of the best of the rest, in European terms, in the Europa League next season.
By finishing seventh, the highest ever finish in our illustrious history; Roy Hodgson has ensured that the team of 2008/2009 will forever hold a place in our hearts.
Off course the day could have been better, we could have avoided defeat but didn`t you always, deep down, know that after a great season there was a chance it`d end in disappointing fashion?
Thankfully, two hundred miles up the road, our North London neighbours, Spurs, were comprehensively beaten by Liverpool so the result at Craven Cottage became immaterial.
As has often been the case this season, Roy chose to go with a starting eleven that had served him well previously. Former Everton old-boy, Andrew Johnson, was out through injury as was another in Simon Davies.
The visitors though, did parade our old-boy, Louis Saha, in their starting eleven.
The game, if we`re to be honest, was controlled by Everton. David Moyes has moulded his side into an efficient unit denying the opposition pace and the only real surprise was that it took them until the last minute of the first half to score.
Their opening goal came after Hangeland had put Pantsil in trouble with a short ball. Pantsil, surrounded by blue shirts, was robbed by the impressive Pienaar and when his ball split our defence Osman was lurking to force it home.
The second half saw much of the same. Pantsil wasted a chance to score a historic first goal for Fulham and when Osman scored a second, from twenty yards, it was game set and match to Everton.
We could reflect on chances Fulham couldn`t capitalise on when Howard deprived Zamora and Murphy chipped over the bar, but let`s look at the bigger picture.
It a league based on thirty-eight games and the table shows us finishing in seventh, an all time best - so what f we got beaten on the last day of the season it was immaterial in the end wasn`t it.
All hail Roy Hodgson!
Date:Monday May 25 2009
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