Fulham felled by Frank in full flow

WHEN I arrived at Craven Cottage on Saturday I was already feeling a bit queasy thanks to a dodgy burger I’d had in the pub earlier in the day — my queasiness was mixed with outrage as said burger had cost five pounds!!!

When I discovered that John Terry wasn’t playing, I felt even sicker.

My already churning stomach turned into a washing machine spin cycle when I realised that our cover centre-back, The Cannibal, was also out and that José had decided to play the often lightweight Ferreira in central defence

Last year’s shock defeat has done wonders for the atmosphere in the West London derby. Fulham’s over-the-top celebrations in March rankled and any “friendly rivalry” has since disappeared. As an amusing aside, in midweek a number of individuals were ejected from Craven Cottage during Fulham’s Cup game with Wycombe for singing Chelsea songs with such vigour that the home support (all 5,000 of them) could not be heard. But let’s not mock the afflicted.

Frank Lampard’s two goals will have done him the world of good. He insists that his reported poor form is a media invention. He claims that he has been playing fine and it was simply the lack of goals that was drawing attention to him. Well I beg to differ but hope that this game will have the desired effect.

One thing is for certain, José at no time considered dropping him. His supreme confidence in Lampard must have been a reassurance for the player. It also tells us once again why Mourinho is such a special manager. Most, including myself would not have waited almost a year for Lampard to play himself out of bad form — although it’s not that much of a risk when the team just keeps on winning. Anyway, Frank is back where he likes to be . . . heading the table for goals from midfield in the Premiership.

I know I should be used to the hypocrisy in football — champions are always there to be shot down, but it still rankles. When Essien perpetrated that tackle last season, it was put on a constant loop on TV and was played every half hour, accompanied by every man and his dog spouting how many months ban and how many lashes he should receive. Equally, Ballack’s red card tackle had a whole three hour sports radio talk show dedicated to it — with the anchorman insisting that it warranted a six month ban. Yet Brown’s disgusting tackle on Cole barely gets a mention, even though the Fulham midfielder has got plenty of previous for this sort of thing. He didn’t even get booked. But as I said, I shouldn’t be surprised.

I continue to be very underwhelmed by Cole’s performances for us so far. Wayne Bridge must be fuming on the bench. Expect him to be gone in the January window.

Our performance against Fulham was not a classic one. In fact we struggled somewhat until the last half hour. Kalou coming on made a big difference — suddenly we had space and movement and we started to put some passes together and getting into goal scoring positions.

As you are reading this I will be in Bulgaria, more than likely enjoying a 40p pint. Levski have been given the “whipping boys” mantle for this group and duly assumed the position when they visited the Nou Camp, so hopefully we’ll be dishing out some punishment ourselves despite our injuries.

The Premiership table has a more familiar look about it now with us at the pinnacle, much to the disappointment of the masses. One could easily get a persecution complex when UEFA are set to discuss a spending cap specifically to stop Chelsea. No one seemed to care when it was just the elite European clubs, coincidentally all G14 members, who could afford all the great players.

When United were the only club in this country that could out-bid any other if it so wished, it was also never seen as a problem. If clubs actually started planning how to beat Chelsea on the pitch, rather than lobbying to get us fined, banned, capped etc off the pitch, maybe, just maybe they could give us some real competition.

Contact Trizia on Trizia_f@hotmail.com

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