City travel to their most post-apocalyptic, desolate wasteland of some absolute horror shows down the years. Richard Jeffery spoke to lifelong Fulham fan Matt Doherty about it.
RJ: Norwich travel to Craven Cottage to play our bogiest of bogey teams on Tuesday, I believe you were present when we last won there, Matt. What was it like, did you go home on a tram, were rations still in place?
MD: Ah yes, I remember it well. I would have pored over every detail of the match report afterwards, if only the printing press had been invented at that time. Seriously, it's a long time ago, I was only 18, anything seemed possible. All those naive hopes and dreams have fallen by the wayside, along with those of Norwich City
RJ: It was New Year’s Day, 1986. THIRTY YEARS AGO. So we both beat Yorkshire teams this weekend, a nice high scoring away win for you at Barnsley with ex Norwich star and scourge of the Waveney Valley, Chris Martin, getting on the scoresheet. How's he been doing, and how's your season been in general, up to expectations?
MD: The jury is very definitely still out on Chris Martin (and indeed all members of Coldplay). He seems to be a willing, hard-worker, but his spell at Fulham has coincided with our dismal run of form, in which scoring chances have been as rare as... well, defeats by Norwich.
Our season started really well, unbeaten during a busy August, but a winless September has been awful. Incidentally, winning at Barnsley hadn't previously happened since I was THREE.
RJ: That was almost before records began! What do the Fulham faithful think of Jokanovic as a manager? He was one of the four managers in one season who led Watford to promotion, can he do the same for you?
MD: When SJ was hired, many thought promotion would automatically ensue. They may well have revised that view now. I saw his Watford side put 5 past Fulham at CC, and we're nowhere near as good as they were. Parachute money has run out now, promotion looks like a distant pipe-dream.
RJ: So the glory days of Mohammed Al Fayed & the Michael Jackson statue are past. Who should we be concerned about in the Fulham side, and who in the Norwich side has you worried?
MD: That Bloody Statue™ was hated by us all, but from the very day it was quietly removed, we've struggled. From regular 8th/9th/10th in the Premier League, to almost League One in no time. Bring back MJ!
Inconsistency is a big problem for us, also, we're much more effective away from home. We may have a chance against Norwich because they'll actually come out to try to beat us. Brazilian Lucas Piazón could be a man to watch. Generally, if Tom Cairney & the evergreen Scott Parker play well, Fulham play well.
As an Ireland follower, I'm a big fan of Brady and Hoolahan, whose creativity, together with the power of Tettey could do us some damage. May the best team in white win.
RJ: Ah, Scotty Parker, Norwich legend. We made him. I fear that Chris Martin will pop up with a goal according to the law of former players, but on the flip side we're on a run of one consecutive win against you and you haven't beaten us in over 2 years. So we'll end on a prediction. What do you think the score will be?
MD: Haha "One in a row...!" I have considered "the law" re Chris Martin. Inevitably, he'll notch a deflected last minute winner as we beat you 3-2. (25/1 at Paddy Power. You saw it here first)
RJ: I take solace in your own manager's words "We are a team unbeaten away, but our problem is at home. We come under pressure and we are not as comfortable without the ball as we are away from Craven Cottage." So, I think our 30 years of Craven Cottage hurt will end, 0-1 (Martin o.g. 90 +3).