Ones to Watch: Fulham

by Ashley Houghton

Key men for the Cottagers under the microscope.

Dimitar Berbatov
Arguably, the most technically gifted player in the Barclays Premier League, and one Sunderland will have
to keep an eye on.

Berbatov has 84 goals in his 200 Premier League games and in November 2010 became the first non-Englishman to score five goals in a Premier League game when Manchester United beat Blackburn Rovers 7-1.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Berbatov for a reported £30 miliion from Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 and the Bulgarian went on to become the 50th United player to score 50 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils.

First-team opportunities were limited towards the end of Berbatov’s time at Old Trafford, prompting Fulham to bid for his services.

He made the move to Craven Cottage in the summer of 2012 and has since gone on to make 22 league appearances for the Cottagers – last weekend’s goal against Stoke City showing the quality he brings to Martin Jol’s side.

Brede Hangeland
6’6 Norwegian, Brede Hangeland is a fans’ favourite at Craven Cottage having spent five years in London.

Despite interest from some of Europe’s elite, Hangeland has stayed with the Cottagers and has made 233 appearances in all competitions for Martin Jol’s side.

Hangeland signed for Fulham from FC Copenhagen back in 2008 and he has become one of the first names on the team-sheet at Fulham.

He is also the Norway national team captain and has represented his country on 82 occasions.

Hangeland did receive his only red card in a Fulham shirt in Sunderland’s 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage back in November.

Mark Schwarzer
Australian international Mark Schwarzer is one of the most highly respected goalkeepers in Premier League history.

Not only is Schwarzer tenth in the Premier League all-time appearance list, but, he is also the most capped Australian in the Socceroos’ history with 104 caps.

And, Schwarzer is no stranger to the North-east having played the majority of his 657 appearances in English football on Teesside with Middlesbrough.

He moved to Fulham in 2008 after his Middlesbrough contract had expired and has since gone on to make just under 200 appearances for the South London club.

He was part of the Fulham side that were runners-up in the 2009-10 UEFA Europa League, having also been a runner-up in the UEFA Cup with Middlesbrough in 2006.