Picture the scene. People lazing on the banks of the river, boats gliding up and down on their way to God knows where. Bottles of beer being sunk as the late summer sun brought some warmth to SW6. The calling for Riga Mustapha to come off the bench so that he could show what nought pence will get you these days.
Yes, September 2008 seems a very long time ago and, as Mrs X and I start packing in readiness to finally get the hell out of London, I recall the last time that I visited Craven Cottage. We lost. We were awful and a day later I posted a picture of youknowwhi on Facebook with the words ‘For God’s Sake Go Now’ scrawled over it. He didn’t.
I did meet Nicholas Gleaves though.
‘We want to progress further in the FA Cup and earn a place in the quarter-final, as will Fulham, who have home advantage and have been in terrific form. Mark has done a terrific job so far with Fulham – he has and always will be a top manager. Earlier in the season he had some bad injuries but everything has clicked into place and they are now showing what a good side they are.’ Yeah, and even then they are still only four points of relegation, St Coyle.
‘We want to progress in the cup. We will always be of the view that good cup runs help your league form. We’re on a good run, and if we can keep that confidence high that will help our performance levels. If we do that by winning another home game then that’s going to help us. I watched Bolton on Wednesday and they were worthy winners. That wasn’t with their full-strength side. We may benefit from that but it just depends what team Owen Coyle picks.’ Mark Hughes, adding a disclaimer right at the end. Canny.
Fulham Team News:
Bobby ‘Not A Patch On A Certain Bolton Captain’ Zamora and Philippe Senderos have both been out so long, they’ll both have to be reminded where the ground is when they do get back to full fitness. Clint Dempsey and Simon Davies have declared themselves fit after picking up minor knocks in their last fixture against Chelsea.
Eidur, playing for his second side this season, may get a game.
Player to watch: Danny Murphy
He may not be the most skillful of players but what he lacks in talent, he makes up for in heart. The Fulham captain has had a long career, as evidenced by his hair line, but gives his all, and is quite handy from the penalty spot, as Spurs found to their cost in the last round.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
With both Zat Knight and Sam Ricketts now both long term injuries, the defence will need a reshuffle. David Wheater has performed admirably since replacing Knight and the probability will be that Paul Robinson will continue on the right, where he was switched to by St Owen on Wednesday, with Marcos Alonso on the left.
There is now a week until the away game at Newcastle, so you would expect the manager to play something like his full strength, although with Danny Sturridge being cup tied, this may mean either returning Elmander to the front line, putting Big Ivan up with the captain or starting Elmander on the right and bringing Lee on later in the game.
I dunno? What do you think?
Player to watch: Mark Davies
A well deserved man of the match performance on Wednesday, on top of his new contract, must make the smaller Davies a very happy and confident man. If he can wrestle control of the midfield from Fulham, as he did against Wigan, this will allow us to play the way that we know we can, rather than the long ball that proved to be less effective on Wednesday.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton and Fulham have met twice in the FA Cup. In January 1953, at the beginning of our run to the final, Doug Holden, Willie Moir and Sir Nat scored in a 3-1 win at Burnden Park. In 2005,a solitary SuperKevinDavies goal secured a victory at T’Reebok in a fifth round tie.
Omens all round then.
Bolton’s leading scorer in all competitions is Freddie Hill, back in the sixties.
The overall record reads 31-25 to T’Trotters from 79 games. At Fulham it is 17-11 from 39 games.
Bolton’s last victory at Craven Cottage was the 2-1 League Cup win in 2007, goals coming from Danny Guthrie and Stelios.
After getting young Michael Oliver on Wednesday, tomorrow we get young Stuart Attwell, he of the phantom goal that will never be forgotten.
He’s taken charge of two Bolton game’s this season. The opening game goalless draw against tomorrow’s host, where he booked Muamba, and the 4-1 defeat at The Emirates a month later, where he booked Steinsson and SuperKevinDavies, controversially sent off Gary Cahill and, equally controversially, didn’t send of Paul Robinson.
It was 2-0 last weekend. No reason why it shouldn’t be 2-0 this weekend.
To Tyne & Wear to laugh at our former captain next weekend.