The Tony Gale Column

Tuesday 11 September 2012 13:17

My last column came on the same day we travelled to Sheffield Wednesday in the Second Round of the Capital One Cup.

I was confident we could go there and get a win. An ex-Fulham teammate of mine, Robert Wilson, went to the game and he said we had hardly had a shot, which is obviously disappointing as we were playing a team a league below.

After the game, we heard the news that Mousa Dembélé was going. I felt almost guilty about that one as I’ve been bigging him up ever since we bought him. The Club will feel it’s good business; we signed him for £5m and sold him for £15m but it’s a shame there was a clause in his contract as he was worth more in my eyes.

I actually think he’s sold himself short by going to Tottenham Hotspur, I think he’s better than that. For me, he’s in the Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona class, I really feel he’s that good.

To rub it in, I was working for Sky at Tottenham’s game with Norwich City and it wasn’t nice seeing Mousa in a Spurs shirt. When he came on in the second half, he was Tottenham’s best player.

Then of course Clint Dempsey went as well. That one was more predictable given the problems we’ve had with Clint over the summer but Mousa has to be commended for the way he conducted his transfer. I’m sure Fulham fans will wish Mousa all the best as he’ll probably go down as one of the best midfielders the Club has had.

I’m sure it wasn’t for the want of trying that we didn’t do more in the transfer market, but in Dimitar Berbatov, we’ve signed a quality player, there’s no doubt about it.

I’ve seen him play a lot down the years for both Spurs and Manchester United and if we can get the ball to him in the right positions, we’ll see that quality come through. Martin Jol has worked with him in the past and he’s a player I feel the Fulham fans will love.

As for Kieran Richardson, I feel he’ll have a point to prove after not really being in the limelight since moving away from Old Trafford. He’s got big boots to fill in Mousa but he’s versatile and I think his best position is probably in a midfield three.

It was a poor performance all round at West Ham United. I felt we got bullied a little bit and the signing of Andy Carroll really lifted the Hammers. None of the goals were outstanding, they were all the result of Carroll causing a bit of mayhem amongst our defence.

So we move onto West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and a win is vital. The Baggies are a good side, though, and they’ll be on a high. I watched their first game against Liverpool and when Zoltan Gera scored just before half-time, they’d probably been second best. But after that they played some good football. With Steve Clarke there and my old West Ham teammate Kevin Keen alongside him, they’ll do well this season. People had predicted them to struggle but their start has been excellent.

Shane Long is a good player in the lone striking role and Romelu Lukaku is another strong striker. I’m sure if Gera plays he’ll get a great welcome from the Fulham fans because he was a real favourite at the Cottage.