Gas invasion of West London

by on 05/01/08 at 2:28 pm


7000 plus Gasheads invade West London on Sunday as Rovers travel to Fulham for the FA Cup Third Round. Black Arab advises publicans to stock up on cider and M Fayed to block his ears.

7000! Really? There are two ways to look at this.

First the postive. Look at the latent support a ne'er do well club like Bristol Rovers has. Marvel at the potential and at the huge almost uncontested catchment area. Start sidling up to potential investors and showing them the plans for the stadium and the numbers taken to places like Derby, Wembley, Cardiff and now Fulham.

On the other hand, you could say this is a reflection of the big day out mentality of Bristolians, living in almost geographical isolation from the rest of the country every event becomes a big day trip hence 40,000 travel to Wembley, yet 6000 struggle to watch their team on a day to day basis.

Err, anyway, it's a football match.

Rovers should only have one change, with Disley replacing the suspended Jocky Campbell. That's a shame for Campbell, who always seems to raise his game and impress in big matches, showing  rare class. On the other hand I'm happy for Chris Lines who is getting a bit of a run in the first team and obviously enjoying it. I want to see Lines do well, he has a sweet right foot, is big enough and now seems to be better equipped for the hustle and bustle of English football. Up front Lambo will have a new partner in a rejuvinated and confident Andy Williams. Now we can see why we bought him. He's big, quick, has good control and knows where goal is (I presume he had lost his map earlier in the season). At the back Hinton should partner Elliott leaving Coles on the bench. These two  looked better as a partnership than Elliott and Coles, so in the absence of Byron Anthony that's the best deal.

Fulham, wee, umm, best check the BBC web site, back in a minute. Fulham, err appear to have a team full of players I can not pronounce and have never hear of. The most recognisible name is David Healy, who scores for fun for his country and should on paper be far too good for us. Rick Johansen made the comment that Lawrie Sanchez was building a Championship winning team a year too early for Fulham. As a result Sanchez got the sack to be replaced by former Shithead and member of the European manager underclass Roy Hodgson. Hodgson,  who has an impressive CV if you think winning the Swedish League and qualifying with Switzerland and Finland is impressive, didn't impress much when manager at Blackburn and has already made noises about the FA Cup not being very important.

Yeah, some of the reports in the papers have stated that Fulham consider Sunday's match an irrelevance compared with Premiership survival. Well at 4PM on Sunday I don't think the Fulham fans will feel that way if they have been outnumbered, outsung and outplayed by the travelling Gas. I would have thought picking up a multi milllion pound parachute payment was some consolation compared with being humiliated by a lower league team.But, this is the world we are stepping in to for day, the world of prawn volovantes, beer at £4 a pint and sitting in a black plastic bucket while some overpaid primadonna fails to raise his game against lusty opposition.

Will we win? Well, if Fulham don't take us seriously, we raise our game and we get a decent ref for a change (not another I'm the star Premiershit homer), we could. On paper even Fulhams collection of anagrams and 23 points in scrabble players should hopelessly outclass us. Then again for most of us it's just a nother big day out, so lets enjoy it anyway.

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