Well done to Fulham who last night beat the mighty Juventus 4-1 in front off a packed crowd at Craven Cottage to progress to the final eight of the UEFA Europa League (formally know as the UEFA Cup).
It was the kind of night that real football fans dream about, Fulham were huge underdogs, trailing 1-3 after the first leg, then went 0-1 in the first few minutes of the match, making them 1-4 down on aggregate with Juventus having an away goal. This meant that in order to make the match go to extra time, Fulham need to score 3 goals.
That they did manage this, and even score a forth in order to win outright, is testament to the team's management and desire to win. For too long this competition has been derided as second best, as teh place for teams not good enough for the Champions League, and not given any creadit at all. English teams have been sending out reserve teams even as late as the last eight or last sixteen of the competition, as Bolton did under Gary Megson a few years ago. This is Bolton who had only ever qualified for Europe once before, it's not like they are likely to be winning the Champions League any time in the next 200 years. Martin O'Neal famously bought dinner for the fans that had travelled to Moscow to watch Villa lose pathetically last year after fielding an under-par team. The pundits love banging on about how this competition is a waste of time, particularly the proper twats such as Marcotti or Green. Alan Green never even seems to commentate on it, it is so far beneath him, the big fat cunt.
The thing is, supporting as I do a mid-sized club, the UEFA Europa League is the only European football I'm likely to see. I'm lucky enough to have followed my team in Europe (the UEFA Cup in the nineties), and let me tell you it's fantastic! Most fans would absolutley love to see their team in this competion, maybe not glory hunting fans of the big four, but lets face it they can just about fuck off, they don't really count as real fans.
So I say well done Roy Hodgson, well done Fulham, well done for giving it your all. I hope you win it, and can parade that might cup around West London, preferably with Chelsea winning nothing :).