With the club now back in the top tier of English football, (and to help us all get through the boring international break), it seemed appropriate to create a list of the best players to turn out for the club in the Premier League era.
Yes, I am aware that football existed before 1992, but as someone born in the 21st century, I would merely be using the internet as the basis for my decisions anytime before this. Instead, I have gone for players I recall becoming club legends in the White of Fulham. I’m sure there will be different views to those of my choices, so let me know your thoughts on who’d make your cut.
10) Mark Schwarzer- The Australian goalkeeper could not be left out of my list, as he was an ever present in his five years at the club, making over 150 appearances. His first season saw him win Player of the Year, his arrival transforming the club from just avoiding relegation to a spot in Europe, where he was then crucial in that historic run to the Europa League final in 2010.
9) Sean Davies- One of my more left field decisions, I felt Davies could not be left out due to all he did for the club. Making his debut at just 17, he is the only Fulham player to represent the Cottagers in all four divisions of English football, and was player of the season in the 2002/03 campaign.
8) Damien Duff- The 100 cap Irish wonder was fantastic in his spell at Craven Cottage during his 19 year career. Also part of that historic Europa League run, he became a firm fan favourite after terrorising and scoring against Man United in a 3-0 win during his first few months at the club.
7) Brian McBride- Something of a cult hero, McBride was adored by all despite a quite average scoring record for a striker (33 goals in 140 games). His best season would be 2006/7, being the clubs top scorer with 12 goals and bagging the Player of the Season award to boot. He was that well loved, a stadium bar McBride was named in his honour after his departure in 2009.
6) Mousa Dembele- The only player in the list still playing Premier League football, Dembele was a success from the minute he arrived from Holland in 2010. A powerful midfielder, he often set the tempo for the team with excellent vision, strength and dribbling ability. Martin Jol described him as “the best player on the ball I have ever seen” and since his transfer to Spurs his game has only improved, best shown by his important role in Belgium’s run to the World Cup semi final this summer.
5) Luis Saha- Arguably the most technically gifted player in this line up, Luis arrived in London in 2000, firing in 32 goals in his debut season to promote the club to the top flight. More than 30 over the next two seasons led to interest from Man United, with the rumour being that his double against the Red Devils convinced Alex Ferguson to sign him. Unfortunately injuries prevented his career from really taking off, but he was essential in helping the club to the top of English football.
4) Brede Hangeland- Probably my favourite ever Fulham player, the 6 foot 6 Norwegian was an absolute rock at the heart of the defence during his 6 year tenure at the club. A goal threat at any set piece, he also pocketed many a world class striker. His ever present role in the Europa League run was invaluable to the clubs deep run into the competition.
3) Van Der Sar –It was impossible to leave off the list one of the greatest and most decorated goalkeepers of all time. At the club for four years after his shock move from Juventus, he produced wonder save after wonder save to win many a point for the Whites whenever in need. It was only a matter of time before he moved on, and was eventually bought by Sir Alex in 2005 where he went on to win every club competition possible.
2) Danny Murphy- Captain Fantastic. He led the club to that European final I may have mentioned more than once already, and was ever-present from the minute he signed for the club. He scored so many crucial goals, none more so than the winner against Birmingham in 2008 to keep the club in the league. His knowledge of the game was fantastic, with this now on regular show on Match Of the Day, where he has become a frequent pundit.
1) Clint Dempsey- The third American to join the squad in 2006, Dempsey’s influence on the team cannot be underestimated. He played a key role in firstly preventing relegation, and then scored most likely the best goal in the clubs history, a chipped winner against the mighty Juventus. The next two seasons would be his most influential, scoring 13 and then 17 goals in the league respectively, leading him to finishing fourth in the Footballer of the Year list. He is the clubs leading goal scorer in the Premier League with 50 goals, and will forever remain a Fulham legend.