Kasey Keller – Guardian Small Talk

Fine, fun interview. Click here to read. Excerpt below.

Which was your favourite out of England, Spain and Germany? Think carefully about this one.

You know, I’ve had such good times everywhere I’ve played – from Millwall being my first club and the new experiences I had there, to Leicester City, where people expected us to be relegated by Christmas but instead we finished in the top-half of the Premier League in all of my three seasons there, as well as getting to to two cup finals. Then I got to go to Spain and be the first American to play in La Liga. With Rayo Vallecano we got promoted and I believe after 16 games we were one point ahead of Barcelona in first place. The next year we lost in the quarterfinals of the Uefa Cup. Then it was Spurs, where I played every minute of every game, league and cup, for over a couple of years, then Gladbach before the World Cup, then Fulham and one of the greatest relegation escapes in Premier League history. And after all that I got to come home to Seattle to 40,000 fans a game in America. It’s been a pretty cool ride!

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Greatest night in their history?

Fulham.
Roy Hodgson.
Football.

It’s moments like these, events like these that reconfirm my faith in the beautiful game.

Also, please do note, folks, that the game Hodgson’s Fulham play is the real English-style football. Tough, organized, industrious, but not cynical. Please do note, that Tony Pulis’ Stoke does not represent British football, Stoke does not represent football at all. The British football that I admire, the British football that I grew up admiring, is precisely the football Hodgson’s Fulham play.
It’s not the most skillful, but it, more often than not is indeed great to watch for a football connoisseur. Organized, disciplined, quick-passing, passionate, tough, hard-working, holding-its-shape football…. this is the football I was taught to play by the Irish and Goanese missionary-teachers at my old school. This is the football I understand the most. I might prefer the La Liga and its profusion of skills, but real British football is equally admirable.

And well, Fulham’s been having ‘greatest nights in their history’ for a while now. What are the chances of one more?

Fulham 4 – 1 Juventus

Classic underdog story. (Click here)

Fulham should be very proud.

Fulham has been my second team for the last few seasons, and I like the old-worldness about them. A proper football club.

Passion without bitterness. A nice, controlled passing game, but enough aggression and tough-tackling to please the defender / defensive midfielder that I have always been. The ability, but rarely the intent to play long-ball, sensible long-term buying and selling. From the photos, probably the most quaint, charming, beautiful stadium in the Premiership.

Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora, Brede Hangeland, Mark Schwarzer, Clint Dempsey (what a wonder-goal!), Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes. Honest professionals all. Remember, not honest cloggers; all of them have a substantial amount of skill and savvy to go with the graft.

And who would not like Uncle Woy? Dignified, upright, double-chinned Englishman; a lot of knowledge and very little malice; a complete absence of narrow-mindedness; and an open world-view.

Fulham should be very proud.