A visit to Craven Cottage. Reflections on Fulham Football Club and Brentford
The West London Derby between Fulham and Brentford is always a feisty affair . Two local tesm, one very much on the way up and the other on the way down and currently without a manager. There is no need to go over the events of the game. An entertaining 2-2 draw where both the score and the result were a fair reflection of events on the field.
A visit to Craven Cottage though is always a pleasant affair. A few verbals but no fighting among fans and Fulham fans generally, though deluded about their place in the football hierarchy are not such a bad lot.
There is no reason other than insanity to drive to Fulham as parking places are delusional and do not exist in reality, so arrival by train and then walking along the river gives an interesting perspective to the ground. The ground is set essentially at the end of a park and within curiously 300 yards of Fulham Palace. Which raises the first question. Why not the name Fulham Palace? Crystal Palace versus Fulham Palace has a nice ring to it. The Palace is actually quite a beautiful building.
Because of the local derby and a failure often in reality by the police and the club to establish a need for stewarding and policing it is a fair comment to say that things were overdone. This game did not not need police horses, who provided free manure for all fans walking back through the park after the game, and conveniently if one has no time to pick it up one can merely collect it on ones shoes. A fair question was raised as to why if fines are given to dog owners for failing to pick up their mess, why does not the same criterion apply to horses and in this case the police and their horses? The stewards were pleasant enough but this is the first time to my recollection that I have ever been asked to open my coat on entry to a football ground. Overkill might be the simplest way to describe things,and seemingly an ineffective overkill too as pyrotechnics were let off in the Brentford end on at least two occasions. For me this is stupidity and potentially dangerous but mostly unnecessary.
In the ground the views are good and the food a major improvement on years gone. I did vow many years ago never to eat Fulham burgers again however despite their extortionate price they were relatively harmless. The sausages however could have benefitted from cooking and there was no way raw sausage was going anywhere near my digestion.
The whole football experience though was a good one and one that any neutral might have enjoyed. Fulham football club is really though not a cheap place but harmless enough and can be enjoyed. And as an additional benefit the Fulham Burger never killed me nor injured me in any way.