Welcome to Our Opponents It's a big welcome to former Championship chums, Fulham. Famous these days as nouveau riche. Serbo-Yankee River Rats boasting football's least imaginative club crest. Fulham used to be viewed as a sort of non-threatening, bumbling, ramshackle third division outfit. Perpetual losers in life. Never won anything. Next to the river, so slightly romantic, but at the same time, hopeless and melancholy. Picking up on this reputation, many 70s sitcoms (Minder, Citizen Smith etc) cast the sad sack, put upon sidekick as a Fulham supporter and opened episodes with him draped miserably in his black and white scarf after another defeat whilst the main characters merrily took the mick. All that changed when they were bought up by on the cheap by potty-mouthed, sex-pest, shop boss, Mohammed 'Al' Fayed, for less than we paid for Nordin Amrabat. After promising to make them “the Manchester United of the south”, it soon became apparent that the club had been bought for two reasons, the first as a vehicle for shameless, no-stunt-too-low, self-promotion. The second dreadful reason became clear as Fayed eagerly evicted the team, with great sensitivity, to their big rivals, QPR, and flogged off the luxury apartment building rights to their ground. Mmmmmmm.......tasteful.. “If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell” - Fayed Thwarted in his efforts to flog them off, Fayed eventually sold out to some US billionaire businessman called Shad Khan who made his money from making car bumpers. Possible apparently. Khan's one of those club collectors, as they have over in the USA. He also owns some American football team and now wants to buy Wembley. He knows very little about (proper) football and has made some bizarre appointments whilst attempting to by success. Most especially of all, the marvellously nutty Felix Magath, a man nicknamed 'Saddam' by his players. After a defeat, he'd make the players stand stock still for 40 minutes on the pitch (“you didn't want to run yesterday so now you vill not run today”) He'd apparently call players into his office and then just stare at them for two or three minutes whilst sipping tea and without saying a word. When Hangeland was injured, the club doctor said he wasn't fit to play, but Felix over-ruled him and sent someone out to the local supermarket for a block of cheese. He soaked the cheese in alcohol and strapped it to the injured thigh for a few hours, then made him play. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/29319599 Eventually he lucked out and appointed unsmiling, avaricious former Hornet Jokanovic for some huge amount of money. More was lashed out on a selection of championship huff-puffers and eventually they (just about) managed to get themselves promoted to the big time again last season via the playoffs. Jokanovic - Committed Players Schurrle A. – A goalshy germanic Jurado with questionable attitude. Absolutely no danger whatsoever. Barely worth even marking. Andre 'shinnit' Schurrle has already flopped once in the Premiership, getting a rapid heave-ho from Chelsea after managing a grand total of 3 (three!) assists, from no less than 65 appearances. Perhaps that statistic would be halfway acceptable if rather than laying them off, he was banging them in himself. But no. That neither. He was averaging a paltry goal every five games – utter scheisse. So a cut-price one way ticket back home to Germany, with his tail between his legs. An abject failure. Fortunate to be handed a chance to redeem himself by Dortmund, he quickly became the butt of fan's jokes. Inspired by his Doyley-esque eye for goal and all round ineptitude, they invented a whole new range of songs of abuse for him, including such hits as “When you sit in row Z and the ball hits your head, that's Shurrle” and the wonderful oompah-style “we’ll drink, drink, drink until Schurrle scores...”. There must have been plenty of ruined livers with the wide-of-the-mark Westphalian managing a measly 8 goals in 51 appearances. Grizzling that he was being forced out of Dortmund by fans who were jealous (!) of him, the misfiring moaner touted himself out to desperate no-hope relegation certainties West Brom and Swansea last January, but even they weren't about to scrape that particular barrel. But with commendable persistence, after receiving further straight rejections from Palace and Everton ('come and get me, I'm cheap and I played for Chelsea once') Shotshy Schurrle at last found a mug punter in foolhardly Fulham, although even they weren't daft enough to buy him and have only agreed to take him on loan. Mitrovic, A - Alexander 'Radovan' Mitrovic is another who previously flopped in the Premiership, having been “let go” by rancid yo-yo club, Newcastle and brought to the cottage by his countryman, Jokanovic, for no less than £27 million. Radovan is a straightforward wannabe enforcer bully boy – all flexing his muscles for the camera, sly elbows and stamps whilst trying to bundle the ball over the line. The Andy Carrol of the Balkans. Disgracefully, the Serbian strongman has been sentenced to no fewer than eight suspensions for red card offences so far in his career, with another four suspensions for accumulation of yellows. His last ban for violent conduct was applied retrospectively after a nasty elbow on Lanzini of West Ham was missed by the referee, but caught by the cameras. Mitrovic - bully Zambo Anguissa, A F – Crazy name, crazy fee. Fulham paid £30 million for this unknown midfielder in the last window. Can't tell you much about him as he barely has even a Wikipedia page. However, in a clear indicationof his brilliant potential, he's so far turned out 106 times for Fulham and Marseille for a grand return of zero goals. None. Nada. Zip. Zambo-Anguissa - Unknown Fans Used to be thought of as slightly odd, non-conformist, semi-beatniks but thoroughly and completely gentrified decades ago. Research has shown that Fulham fans are the most well-heeled in the Premiership. All hailing from multi-million pound Hammersmith town houses, the support base has been shown to consist mainly of estate agents, advertising 'creatives', buy to let landlords and 'men of leisure'. Noted for their endless capacity to carp, whine and complain, they'll turn on their team the moment the first opposition goal flies in. More tea vicar? Fulham fans contemplate today's movements on the stock exchange Prediction Joka very unheppy. Very, very unheppy with Mitrovic's early red card and the three goals leaked by dodgy Italian butter-fingered keeper Bettynelly without reply.