Carlos Tevez has returned to Boca Juniors after earning over £32 million whilst playing for Shanghai Shenua. His time in China is the latest in the long list of controversies surrounding Tevez.
With the departure of Jozabed for a reported £4.5 million this week it made me think back to how many strange signings Fulham have made over the years. A number of players who were signed only to make a handful of appearances only to never be heard from again. Fulham seem to have had so many of these in recent history so I thought it would be interesting to look into them and see why it all went wrong.
Starting off with maybe the weirdest of the bunch. Adil Chihi signed for Fulham on a free the season after they were relegated and it all seemed promising. Over 120 appearances for Koln in his 9 years at the club with a lot of these appearances coming in the Bundesliga. Chihi seemed to be a good replacement for the departing Ashkan Dejagah but it was not to be. He played only 1 game for Fulham and seemingly went missing for the rest of the season to be released at the end of the year. The Moroccan international has not fared much better at the clubs he has joined since Fulham playing for three different teams making a combined 14 appearances.
How many Fulham fans forgot we ever had this guy? Considered a great prospect during his time at PSV and Sporting respectively Labyad grew to have a serious attitude problem. Making his Eredivisie debut at the age of 16 and scoring two goals in six appearances in his debut season Labyad seemed to be set for big things. A move to Sporting didn’t work out. Similar to fellow countryman Adel Taarabt in that he seemed to have a serious talent but an ego to match that didn’t fare him well on the football pitch. Now playing for FC Utrecht back in the Eredivisie. He made two appearances during his six months at Craven Cottage and most Fulham fans will probably forget all about him.
What would this article be without the man who inspired it? seven bit part appearances in half a season at Craven Cottage Jozabed didn’t settle in England as he struggled to learn the language and couldn’t cope with the physicality of the Championship. Making a loan move to Celta Vigo in January that has now been made permanent. Clearly, a talented midfielder as he flourished in La Liga with both Rayo Vallecano and now with Celta. His only memorable moment for Fulham was hitting the crossbar with a free kick against QPR.
The only reason I can think that Fulham signed Larnell Cole is because while buying Ryan Tunnicliffe from Manchester United they said “You can have this lad as well if you want.” and we said, “Yeah why not.” Somehow conning his way into staying at the club for 3 years making only one appearance against former club Manchester United in the famed 2-2 draw where they put in 81 crosses. To be fair to Larnell Cole in his 10 minutes in a Fulham shirt he was one of the fastest players I have ever seen at Craven Cottage.
I think I join the majority of Fulham fans in saying that Mark Fotheringham is the worst player I have ever seen play for us. The quintessential Felix Magath signing every fan was baffled when we announced a player who had been poor for both Ross County and Notts County. Just read the replies to the twitter announcement of the signing and you will know how baffling this signing was. While we were looking to bounce back from relegation at the first time of asking we signed a player who was League 2 quality. Not the first Magath signing to appear here and definitely not the last.
Not a terrible player by any means. A Finnish international Mattila made 6 league appearances for Fulham. Making his debut in a man of the match performance against Stoke City in the League Cup Fulham fans thought they had a great player on their hands. He was then benched or left out of the squad for the rest of the season for the likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe and Lasse Vigen Christensen. He had his contract terminated by mutual consent at the end of his first season.
More famous for his tracksuit bottoms than anything else Gabor Kiraly was another Magath signing brought in to replace Maarten Stekelenburg and David Stockdale. He was 38 when he signed for Fulham and he only made four league appearances for the club. It is fair to say he was quite bad in those appearances. He came back into the public eye at Euro 2016 being the starting keeper for Hungary and doing some insane tricks. Kiraly is still playing at the age of 41.
Kay Voser and Elsad Zverotic
May as well lump these two in together. Two fullbacks who came in from Switzerland and both were as unimpressive as each other. Voser made 10 league appearances for Fulham being generally quite awful. Zverotic made 16 appearances and wasn’t very good either. Neither of these players will be remembered at Craven Cottage but Zverotic was a very frustrating signing as he came in on deadline day when fans were expecting fireworks but ended up with Zverotic.
Taggart came to Fulham with a lot of hype after being the A-league top scorer and young player of the year. Fulham fans thought they had a great signing for the Championship as his goalscoring record in Australia was excellent and he had played in the World Cup that summer. Taggart never made a first team appearance for Fulham and was shipped out to Dundee United on loan and was then sold back to Perth Glory.
Thomas Eisfeld was one of Fulhams first signings after relegation and it filled fans with hope that promotion at the first time of asking was possible. Touted as a wonderkid at Arsenal when he ran the game against West Brom on his debut in the League Cup. Fulham signed Eisfeld on a two-year deal aged 21. He never delivered on his apparent potential in England making just seven league appearances for Fulham before departing for VFL Bochum where he is still not a standout player. A man who upon signing him Arsene Wenger said he had “the attitude and technical ability to be a valuable addition to our squad.”
Not so strange in the fact that he was just a youngster signed who never came to anything. However, Fulham almost got into a lot of trouble for signing Plumain as Lens claimed that he had signed for The Whites while still under contract with them. Fortunately, nothing ever came of this and Plumain never played a game for Fulham. Strange nonetheless.
It seemed like we were linked with Derek Boateng for about 3 years so it was very relieving when we finally got the deal over the line for the Ghanaian international. He seemed to be a great replacement for Dickson Etuhu who had left a year prior. Being a good combination of strength and tackling ability he looked set to make the holding midfield spot his own. Unfortunately for Derek Martin Jol preferred the duo of Steve Sidwell and Scott Parker so he only ever played 5 games for Fulham in all competitions picking up a stunning 3 yellow cards in that time.
What could have been? Mitroglou came to Fulham on deadline day for a record fee and every Fulham fan thought that he was the man to fire Fulham to safety. And during any other time period under any other manager, he may well have been. Making only 3 league appearances at Fulham before going back to Olympiakos on loan and then joining Benfica. During his time at both of those clubs, he has scored prolifically so who knows what he could have done if he had more game time in the Premier League.
The only reasons any Fulham fan would remember this name is because of his terrible debut where he gave away a penalty and because of all the Algerian fans on every Fulham fan forum. The Algerian fans were adamant that Halliche was the new Maldini clamouring for him to play every week. He was poor and only made one league appearance for the club.
An absolute legend of the game in his prime. Winning the Champions League with Ajax and being Finlands most capped player and highest goalscorer. Litmanen joined Fulham late in his career aged 37 and never played a game. This was due to him returning to Finland after heart concerns. After leaving Fulham he played for three more years until retiring at the age of 40.
Who do you think Fulhams strangest ever signing is? Comment below or discuss at http://www.friendsoffulham.com/index.php?board=1.0
52 Years of hurt by the time the 2018 World Cup comes round. England fans have been depressed for generations now and for good reason. We have not won a knockout game at a tournament for 11 years, we lost to Iceland a year ago this week and our golden generation has just gone by without winning a carrot. But as with everything else, us Englishmen can make an excuse as to why this is happening. When you really look into it, it could be argued that we should have won almost every World Cup and a few European Championships since 1966 here are the reasons why.
England went into the 1970 with arguably a better side than the one that won the competition 4 years prior. In the same tournament that Gordon Banks produced the “save of the century.” he was stricken with food poisoning just days before our Quarter Final with Germany. His replacement was Peter “The Cat” Bonetti. It’s fair to say that Bonetti had the worst game of his career with England throwing away a 2-0 lead against Germany to lose 3-2 due to some very soft goals. With Gordon Banks between the sticks, this would never have happened and England would have won the World Cup for the 2nd time.
1974 & 1978 Did not qualify
Can’t really judge us on a tournament we didn’t play in. Fair enough West Germany and Argentina can keep these trophies
1982: Stupid Format
The 1982 World Cup contained 2 group stages, one group of 4, where the top 2 teams progressed much like modern World Cups, this was then followed by a 2nd group stage containing 3 teams where the top team progresses. England topped their first group with 3 wins and 6 points. Bizarrely a win was only worth 2 points at this tournament. Then in the second group, England were put with hosts Spain and eventual runners-up Germany. In both our group games we drew 0-0 and were out. England were eliminated from the 1982 World Cup conceding only 1 goal and not losing a single game. Obviously, if we were using a proper format in 1982 we would have won the World Cup. We never even lost a game to get eliminated.
1986: You know the story
This World Cup takes the cake. If there was ever a time to complain as an England fan it is in 1986. Diego Maradona punched the ball into the net and the referee allowed it to stand. He then went on to score one of the best goals ever for Argentinas winner. Nevertheless, he should have been sent off prior to the winner giving England a spot in the Semi-Finals against Belgium which we would have won with ease. Leading to a final against West Germany which could have been another England win giving us another World Cup triumph. With Gary Lineker in the form of his life picking up the Golden Boot award I find it hard to believe that there was a team on the planet that could have beaten us fairly.
1990: The first of many
The England national team is just terrible at penalties and this great tradition started in 1990. Getting beat by West Germany in our first ever penalty shootout and being eliminated from Italia 90 in the semi-finals is just bad luck. On another day we would have gone through to the final and walked past Argentina as they got 2 men sent off that day.
Euro 1992: Denmark didn’t even qualify!
Denmark won Euro 92 beating Germany 2-0 in the final. But the thing is they didn’t even qualify for the tournament, to begin with. They were invited because Yugoslavia broke up before the tournament began so they had to bring in a team to make up the numbers. Denmark were subsequently drawn into England’s group and drew 0-0 with us costing us the points that would have allowed us to qualify from the group. If you swap Denmark for Yugoslavia we qualify from the group in place of them and go on to win the tournament in similar fashion
1994 Didn’t qualify
Once again fair enough. Brazil can keep this one
Euro 96: Gazza’s miss and penalties again
On any other day, Paul Gascoigne puts us 2-1 up against Germany and we go into the Semi-Finals of the European Championships at Wembley and bring football home. But it wasn’t to be. Gazza mistimed the run and his leg was an inch too short to poke the ball home. Instead, we had to suffer through another penalty shootout loss which is again just bad luck.
1998: Two farces and the same story
Three things can be argued as to why England should have beaten Argentina in the 1998 World Cup 2nd round. David Beckhams sending off for “kicking out” at Diego Simeone was ridiculous and we would’ve won the game with Becks on the pitch. Sol Campbell scored a completely legitimate winner late in the game that would’ve seen England win. And once again England were knocked out just due to bad luck because of penalties. If any of these decisions go in the other direction we may very well have won that World Cup.
World Cup 2002: Jump David!
In hindsight the only thing that stopped England winning the 2002 World Cup is David Seamans inability to jump. Our first World Cup with our golden generation was ruined when Ronaldinho scored one of the most audacious free kicks I have ever seen. But this goal is easily avoided if David Seaman was to just jump and tip it over the bar. It isn’t a hard shot to stop at all and it is a mistake that lives long in the memories of England fans
Euro 2004 and 2006: More of the same
To be eliminated in the Quarter finals twice on penalties in 2 years is bad enough but the fact that these two tournaments mirror the 1998 second round so much is uncanny. Firstly in 2004 Sol Campbell scored what would have been the winner again. Only for it to be disallowed again. In 2006 Wayne Rooney was sent off in similar fashion to David Beckham 8 years prior. With Cristiano Ronaldo playing the villain this time helping get Rooney sent off with his infamous wink.
World Cup 2010: It crossed the line.
This one still infuriates me to this very day. While I am writing this we are exactly 7 years on from this. I still am not over it. They say goals change games and never would this have been more prominent than if Lampard’s goal was given this day. Upson’s goal was exactly what England needed and only a minute later England had gotten another. Or so it seemed. The goal wasn’t given despite it being clearly over the line. For Germany to throw away a two goal lead in two minutes would have demoralised the Germans and going into half time it would have been a completely different game. Because the goal wasn’t given Englands heads dropped and they went on to lose 4-1 but I am certain that if the referee had made the right call that day England would have won that game and maybe even the whole tournament.
Euro 2012: Penalties again
We should really practice penalties, shouldn’t we?
World Cup 2014 & Euro 2016: No excuses
These are the first two tournaments in my lifetime that I can look back on and say “We didn’t go further because we were bad.” losing to Iceland is the most embarrassed I have ever been and finishing bottom of the group in Brazil isn’t far behind.