Fulham fans in Firdos Square, Baghdad
Another day, another debutant. A warm welcome please for Max Grieve.
1. They’re not Chelsea. They’re not Arsenal, either. I’m pretty sure Fulham aren’t either of the two Manchester clubs, and I’m damn sure that they’re not Liverpool. Also, Fulham aren’t QPR. Or Stoke. The best thing about Fulham is that they’re not awful. Hitler and people who didn’t like Hitler didn’t see eye to eye on much, but they both liked Fulham – read more on how Hitler loved pints, Tower Bridge and, more than likely, Fulham Football Club here.
2. They’ve got the main TV camera angle sorted. It’s not too high or too low, and it’s bang on centre. The camera swivels, too, which makes it easy to follow the game. There’s nothing worse than watching a football match and not being able to see the football match.
3. They’re predictable in the long run. Fulham have been playing in the Premier League since 2001, and haven’t tempted relegation since 2008 – that's literally a lifetime, if you were born in 2008. Football fans like predictability. Change is scary, and could fuck you over if you’re not careful. Fulham will always finish tenth. Even if they don’t finish tenth, they’ll always figuratively finish tenth.
4. Dimitar Berbatov.
5. Martin Jol and his head. You could see that thing from space. You could see that thing even if you were blind, except that you couldn't because you'd be blind. His features are too small for his head, and it all looks too heavy. Every day that Martin Jol's head doesn't cave in on itself and suck the universe into the death zone is a victory for humanity, and football fans.
6. Someday, they’ll topple the Michael Jackson statue like they did with that one of Saddam Hussein in 2003, and everything will be all right for a bit.
7. Their fans aren't racist, which in a sport played by racists, enjoyed by racists and altogether awash with some sort of racial discrimination or abuse is impressive. Impressive until you consider the truth that not being racist isn't really that impressive, in the same way that not being a dick about a player who's had a heart attack on the field isn't that impressive. Fulham fans are generally decent members of society, and don't go looking for recognition for it. Fulham might not have any fans.
8. Their best player isn't racist, and neither is their captain. Brede Hangeland is Norwegian, and the people of Norway never have anything to say about anyone.
9. Did you know that the Kappa logo is actually a man and a woman sitting back-to-back, and not two women? Fulham taught me that.
10. Giorgios Karagounis.
11. They've got a neutral end, which appeals to everyone and no one. Neutrality is a pretty divisive concept, and Fulham deserve credit for entering a third party into the greatest competition in the Premier League – that is, the struggle between racists and non-racists. Defenders of racism, attackers of racism, and people who don't give a shit either way – what will we see next?
12. Dimitar Berbatov.