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Fulham F.C.

Year 1999/2000   (Phespirit cheered Fulham F.C. from the terraces of the Hammersmith End)

Saturday 14 August 1999


Match Ticket

Fate throws us a repeat fixture exactly one year to the day since we gave this lot a Friday night thrashing, 3 - 0. In 1998 we enjoyed one of those special nights when everything turns to magic; in 1999 we get a dour nil-nil on a rainy afternoon.

The most positive aspect is the hard-working, effective performance of summer-signing Lee Clark.

On-loan Stan Collymore has a quiet game - just the one punch-up - but Phespirit has been a confirmed Collymore fan since his old first division glory days with Southend and Forest. Give him a contract!

Saturday 18 September 1999


A shocking development: 'The Old Suffolk Punch', regular pre-match drinking haunt for Phespirit & co., has become a Q.P.R. pub .....
and didn't they want us to know it .....

Phespirit's complacent view of Rs' fans - "well, they're harmless, aren't they?" - is corrected by two punch-ups during the match and a spot of orchestrated gang violence in the streets as the crowds dispersed
(although the latter may well have been Cheslea scum.)

Still, the Whites run out easy winners and remain one of only two unbeaten teams in Division One. Lee Clark is the star man again. That is, if the exceptional performance of Q.P.R.'s Steiner is not counted - never before has a man come to the Cottage and worked so hard on getting himself sent off with snide play and backchat to the referee. No surpirse whatsoever that he didn't make half-time.

Tuesday 19 October 1999


The season's last unbeaten record in any division is finally ended.
Story of the game:

Saturday 18 March 2000


Phespirit returns to the Cottage after five months away, to witness a disturbingly familiar pattern of play. As with October's home defeat by Wolves, Fulham absolutely run riot for the first twenty minutes but this time are rewarded with a superb Barry Hayles goal.

Then the foot comes off the pedal, Blackburn are allowed to run at us and duly they equalise courtesy of some atrocious "goalkeeping" by Taylor. Same again in the second half: Riedle restores the Whites' lead with a fine header on 75 minutes, then Taylor fluffs a cross to allow Rovers to equalise again.

Manager Bracewell must share the blame with Taylor for:
(a) not encouraging his players to keep pressing when in front,
(b) not having his substitutes warm up until too late in the match.

It doesn't get much better for Fulham after this. Inevitably Bracewell is removed as manager (and as he never signed a manager's contract he gets no compensation). Karl-Heinz Reidle takes over as caretaker and brings in Roy Evans as assistant but the results do not improve. Before the season is out Mohamed al Fayed signs up French hard man Jean Tigana to take the helm for 2000/2001.
The merry-go-round continues .....