I don’t know if you’ve heard…

… but Fulham stayed up.

Let me just repeat that: Fulham. Stayed. Up.

Perhaps not intrinsically the most rousing sentence in the English language, but considering the position a month ago, it’s one worth pausing a moment to reflect on.

In the run up to the game, Roy Hodgson was asked several times whether the Portsmouth game was the biggest game of his career.

At the time, I found myself a little annoyed by his answers, that frankly no. It wasn’t. He pointed to his UEFA Cup final with Inter, and other big games throughout his extraordinarily long and varied career. Now of course, with the drama behind us, I find myself marveling at the privilege we, as Fulham fans, have been granted to have this man as our manager. Throughout this long and generally gloomy season, there has only been one man who has never panicked, never fallen for the cocooning hype, never failed to see the big picture. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

A while ago, I installed an AddOn to my FireFox browser called FootieFox. It was created by the German football paper Kicker, and it sits at the bottom of my browser showing rotating football scores from pretty much every league in the world. When someone scores, a small window rises saying GOAL! It’s brought cheer to me on many a slow Tuesday morning to find that although the next game I care about may be days away, somewhere in Armenia two teams have donned their kits, fans have filed into a stadium, and Football (capital F) marches on. I suspect that this summer I may need it more than ever.

Thankfully, there should be plenty to keep me interested and this blog, at least occasionally, rolling on. There is the UEFA Cup final tomorrow, and I look forward to Rangers win on penalty kicks after 120 minutes of scoreless football (and there is nothing, repeat nothing, wrong with that). Next week there’s the Champions League final (more on that, including a deep dark secret of mine, to come). The US plays England, Spain and Argentina in friendlies before embarking on World Cup Qualifying, and the U23s look forward to a deep run in the Olympics. MLS, a league I am deeply ambivalent about, will roll on throughout the summer. Of course there’s Euro 2008, the Intertoto cup and transfer gossip.

So lastly, thank you Fulham for allowing me to enjoy this summer knowing that, whatever else happens in this constantly changing world, come fall Fulham will take their place in the Premier League, level on points with everybody else, with as good a chance at 10th place as anyone else. Seriously, thank you.


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