Seol Ki-Hyeon and Clint Dempsey are the only Cottagers to have scored away from home this season, and it’s perfectly possible that they’ll draw a blank at Goodison Park. Fulham have been distinctly second-rate away from home for some time now, with a dreadful record on their travels nearly costing them their Premier League status last term.
This season is no better, although they do have £10.5 million striker Andy Johnson back in the team, and the striker is in hot form after bagging a brace against Wigan on Wednesday. It’s clear that there is no love lost between AJ and former club Everton, although Roy Hodgson has advised him that following in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney and kissing the crest is a definite no-no. The Daily Mail reports that the Fulham manager doesn’t think the fans want to see this hollow demonstration of loyalty.
He said: ‘It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to tell players not to kiss the badge, or don’t do this or don’t do that. But perhaps it will behove us to do that. I’m a football coach and I talk to players about their roles to help the team win.
‘I’m not a great fan of badge kissing. We’re mercenaries in football, there’s no question of that. The days of badge kissing at Fulham died when the likes of Johnny Haynes and Jimmy Hill retired.
‘I’m surprised if fans want to see it. The supporters are not stupid. They know that players come and go and change clubs.
‘I would expect every player to have nothing but the club in his head while he is here and he doesn’t need to kiss the badge to show me that.’
Some common sense from Hodgson, although it’s clear that Johnson will get some stick from the Everton fans after criticising the manager for playing him out of position when he was with the Merseyside club. Do football supporters like to see their players demonstrate loyalty to the shirt, or do they think it’s a pointless exercise?