With Wigan Athletic and Fulham meeting at Craven Cottage on Easter Sunday in a Premier League clash there was a meeting of the Vitals with Vital Latics and Vital Fulham catching up with each other over coffee and Hobnobs at Vital Towers, as always worbo from the Latics was there and was joined by Vital Fulham editor Andy Joyce, lets see how the chat went:
worbo – Hi Andy, I hope all is well, you lot haven`t had a bad season so far and a great result on Thursday against Wolfsburg, I bet you must be buzzing?
Andy – Well we were until Wolfsburg got that 89th minute goal, it sort of puts a whole new complexion on the game. But Fulham have surprised more than just me in the Europa League this season so don`t discount another performance to pull a semi-final place out of the hat over in Germany.
worbo – I see that Roy Hodgson has got himself into the news with West Ham complaining to the Premier League about Fulhams team selection at Hull, back at you Hammers is what I say, is he likely to do the same on Sunday and leave a few out? Please say yes.
Andy – Now, normally, with the threat of a complaint hanging over us we`d comply and send out our strongest eleven but (Sir) Roy, quite rightly, is being very bullish about this and is sticking to his guns more or less telling West Ham to sod off. Against Wigan I reckon, with the Wolfsburg game coming up next week, he may rest a few, but like he`s already said, those that come in are no mugs!
worbo – At Wigan we`ve got Roberto Martinez, I believe he is building something special at the Latics but needs to be given time to achieve his ambitions for the club, some fans though are a little impatient or just don`t like what he is doing and there have been some signs of discontent amongst a small section of supporters, how’s Hodgson`s status grown with the Fulham fans and do you think he will be at Craven Cottage for a few years yet?
Andy – (Sir) Roy is a legend. You have to remember that when he came we were staring through the relegation trap door, he`s not only kept us in the Premier League but last year we finished 7th, which is our highest ever position. This year, in what was supposed to be a hindrance, the Europa League; we`ve made the last eight and beat some very good opposition. Our only fear is that the FA will recognise Roy`s talents and see him as an option for when Fabio Capello inevitably gets shafted, like they all do eventually. Apart from that, I reckon Roy will stay in West London.
worbo – This season we have witnessed the emergence of Charles N`Zogbia as a fantastic talent, he has been electrifying at times and opposing clubs have struggled to cope with him this season also Hugo Rodallega has made his mark on the Premier League and he`s scored some really important goals for us but I suppose you have probably heard of both and are aware of their threat.
Now we have another emerging young player who has just broken through into the first team that you might not have heard of James McCarthy, he is just 19 but don`t let his youth fool you, he plays with a maturity that belittles his age, he`s full of energy and a super talent, observers have likened him to a young Steven Gerrard and they`re not far wrong.
Who in the Fulham side has been good for you this season and which unsung hero should we look out for?
Andy – Naturally Bobby Zamora has exceeded all expectations. Last season he struggled to score but he`s already notched 18 this season and there`s talk of a possible 2010 World Cup place, whether that happens remains to be seen. Elsewhere, Zoltan Gera seems to have finally settled in and is producing the goods as is Damien Duff.
worbo – For us staying up this year with all the changes at the club would be a great season, to be honest I think we will easily achieve this, next season though I expect us to push on and challenge for the top half, maybe even flirt with the Euro places and have a good cup run. What would you consider to be a successful season for Fulham?
Andy – I think it has already been a successful season, having beaten Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus in European competition we`re living in dream land. If we could win the Europa League, now that would be the cherry on top of the cake!
worbo – After seeing what`s happened at Portsmouth do you worry in case Fulham end up in financial trouble?
Andy – No! We`ve an excellent owner in Mr Fayed and he`s very keen to ensure the club is run on an even keel. Our salaries are at the lower end of the scale and financial common sense seems to be the order of the day.
worbo – I have a feeling that Arsenal may just sneak the title this season, they seem to have the easier run in of the top three at the moment, 4th spot is a little difficult to call but City could snatch it, so I`ll go for Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea, City
The bottom is a little easier and I think it will be an as you are scenario with the current bottom three all going down, Pompey, Burnley and Hull
How do you see the top four finishing up Andy and who do you see getting relegated?
Andy – Until Cesc Fabregas picked up his injury I`d have joined you in selecting Arsenal but now he`s out for the season I can`t see past United and a record fourth title. As for the fourth place, Spurs will nick it.
Relegation, I`ll go for Portsmouth (although that saddens me), Burnley and West Ham!
worbo – Right then lets get down to some predictions, I hope you have one eye on next Thursday and rest a few, I am going for a repeat of the score line at the DW Stadium earlier this season 1-1, how do you see it Andy?
Andy – Our form at Craven Cottage is good and even if we do field a weakened team I reckon we`ll just shade it! 2-1 to Fulham!
worbo – Thanks for the chat Andy, its good to talk, good luck in Germany next week and we`ll see you again next season, hopefully
You can catch the return interview over on Vital Fulham
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