TFN Editor Hugo Greenhalgh reflects on Darren Bent’s recent tribulations after scoring on his Brighton debut…
In Greek tragedy, the term hubris refers to ‘excessive pride or self-confidence’ leading to nemesis, a moment of divine retribution. While the gods don’t appear to be shining on either Brighton or Fulham much this season, as soon as Darren Bent cupped his ear to the travelling support as he opened the scoring, it seemed inevitable it would come back to haunt him. This was the fifth time Bent has scored on his debut, having also done so for Charlton, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham, but it was not enough to seal the points which Sami Hyppia’s side so badly need. Bent’s celebration seemed to galvanise Fulham and they came back to win 2-1.
Since losing the talismanic Leonardo Ulloa to Leicester, Brighton have struggled to find the net this season. Indeed, their top scorer is defender Lewis Dunk. Bent’s arrival on a one-month loan was one of great excitement, a proven goalscorer with a point to prove after being left out in the cold by Villa manager Paul Lambert. This was his first goal since February and Bent’s mind will surely be on the January window and the possibility of sealing a move back to the Premier League, although he will of course be hoping to take Brighton out of the relegation zone in the process. Continue reading →
Piers Barber profiles the man charged with keeping Fulham up – Felix Magath…
“The English are already trembling” read the headline in the German newspaper Bild, just hours after it became clear that Felix Magath, a three times Bundesliga-winning coach also known as the toughest of disciplinarians, had been appointed as the new manager of Fulham.
Dimitar Berbatov will be overjoyed that he got out of the club when he did. For the languorous Bulgarian striker – now lounging next to the bluest sea in some sunny neighbourhood of Monaco, occasionally having a kickabout with Falcao – Magath is the pure embodiment of his worst nightmare. Continue reading →
Episode 5 of The False Nine podcast, No Country For Jol Men, is alive and well, and available to download now from Soundcloud.
A bit of squad rotation sees James and Hugo drop to the bench for this one as Greg returns as host with Simon and Francis. This week’s special guest is Ali Jamieson, Spurs fan and manager of London indie label Heavy Disco.
Just as the title suggests, this time the panel chat about Martin Jol’s sacking by Fulham, Andre Villas-Boas’ progress at White Hart Lane, this season’s surprise packages and how the draw for the World Cup 2014 could play out.
This week’s Editor’s Column from James Dutton looks at the state of play in the Premier League, Dulwich Hamlet in the Ryman Isthmian League and the top five smoking footballers…
Seven games into the Premier League season and with the second international break upon us, the table is beginning to take shape.
At this stage of the 2012-13 season Chelsea sat above the two Manchester clubs at the summit, with Everton, Spurs, West Brom and Arsenal clinging on to their coat tails.
At the bottom sat Queens Park Rangers, whilst Norwich, Reading, Southampton, Aston Villa, Wigan and Liverpool perched precariously above them; all with less points than games played.
This year only Crystal Palace and Sunderland have less points than games played; Norwich have seven off seven and yet occupy the remaining slot in the relegation places – a year ago they’d have sat in 13th.
Greg Johnson thinks Scott Parker could be the Robert De Niro to Berbatov’s Al Pacino this season as Fulham ramp up the entertainment factor in the absence of trophies or a top half finish…
It’s a shame that Mohammed Al-Fayed no longer reigns over West London. The tenuous, cliched connection between Fulham Football Club and Harrods, brought about by the Egyptian businessman’s former ownership of both has never felt more tantalisingly apt.
Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz, Adel Taarabt, Alexander Kacaniklic, Darren Bent: as fine a collection of esoteric luxuries and tacky rich man’s playthings as you could find across the multiple stories of the Knightsbridge department store. These are the gold encrusted Kashmir underpants, sub-prime bothering super truffles and absurd monster trucks for the under fours of the football world.
As you’d expect of such an impractical array of goods, it’s difficult to know where the bog standard essentials will come from; the daily (artisan) bread if you will. There appears to be little in the way of industry or work rate in amongst the Fulham ranks. In fact, ever since the sale of Mousa Dembele to Spurs last summer, Martin Jol’s team have felt rather gutted of their most vital keystone component. Continue reading →
Despite his limitations, TFN’s David Wild reckons Darren Bent is well deserving of a second chance…
“There are not many young English players who have the pedigree and finishing class that Darren has shown over a number of years in the Premier League. In the League, only Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba have scored more goals in the last five years than his 81 goals.” – Gerard Houllier,
The story of Darren Bent is one that mirrors the changes in the fabric of the English game. Gerard Houlliers description of him here came in 2011 when Bent was 27, at the peak of his powers.
Such a goal scoring record, in line with the main front men at the two clubs competing for the Premier League title, should surely have made the striker a commodity hungered after by all of the top clubs in England, if not Europe. Instead at the time he was being transferred from Sunderland in 6th to Aston Villa in 17th in the Premier League Continue reading →
In part two of his dissection of this season’s Premier League woes, James Dutton looks at the bottom half of the final table…
If the top-of-the-table is defined by a mixture of disappointment and regret, then the bottom-half can be viewed simply in terms of unequivocal misery.
All teams below 10th finished with under 44 points, which is an extraordinarily low figure. It doesn’t signify a feisty, competitive mini-league, but rather a large pool of potential relegation fodder.