Why Sidwell Must Start For Fulham

Jol has yet to stamp his mark on the side and Sidwell was missed, but a noticeably young, multiracial home crowd had plenty of reasons to be cheerful down in London.
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Jol has yet to stamp his mark on the side and Sidwell was missed, but a noticeably young, multiracial home crowd had plenty of reasons to be cheerful down in London.

Reading some of the nonsense on

Fulham

cyberspace after this one and you would have thought we had lost!  We're quite spoilt as supporters.  The fact is Fulham v

Aston Villa

IS a draw.

To neutrals we are probably viewed as archetypal mid table landfill  - we finished eighth, Villa ninth last season - and this was a classic opening day goalless draw.  Fulham's more competitive pre-season began to tell in the second half and we carved out the best chances overall - but the idea that any panic buttons would be pressed if we lost at Wolves next week is simply nonsense.

Not that there isn't room for debate.  Breaking up the metronomically efficient defence pairing of Hughes and Hangerland, switching the former to right back is questionable - especially when you consider Chris Baird's experience at full back and he was left on the bench.  Alongside him was Steve Sidwell. If he isn't a better midfield option than Dickson Etuhu I am indeed a banana.

Jol has yet to stamp his mark on the side, but his hands are obviously tied. Mark Hughes didn't leave because he didn't like the club or living in London, but because he wasn't granted the extra couple of million to bring in a new striker.

Occasionally, Etuhu's attributes; athleticism and aggression, combine to make him look like the ideal foil for Danny Murphy, but yesterday he was a liability, misplacing so many passes that you could almost hear Johnny Haynes turning in his grave.  Sidwell simply must start next weekend.  One also wonders whether Andy Johnson may have been the fall guy rather than Bobby Zamora when Jol mixed things up late on as AJ was seeing little daylight between the excellent Dunne and Collins.

Jol has yet to stamp his mark on the side, but his hands are obviously tied. Mark Hughes didn't leave Fulham because he didn't like the club or living in London, but because he wasn't granted the extra couple of million to bring in a new striker. This won't change under the admittedly more loveable Jol, who will again be forced to sign promising young players and they simply have to blossom or our chickens may come home to roost after Christmas, particularly if we enjoy a Europa League run.

There is a long way to go (Brian) and sitting amongst another sell-out and without sounding too w*nky - a noticeably young, multiracial home crowd - there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful down at London's oldest and finest, particularly if you've endured the days when weeds sprouted from the terraces and we looked forward to trips to Brentford. But it would still have been nice to drift into the sunshine celebrating three points rather than the hilarious result from the shabby end of the borough.

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