Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...  (Read 537 times)

Offline WhiteJC

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Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:42:02 PM »
 
Results
Wednesday
Burnley
1 - 3 Liverpool
Everton
1 - 1 Newcastle
Fulham
1 - 1 Leicester
Wolves
2 - 1 Chelsea
Man Utd
2 - 2 Arsenal
Spurs
3 - 1 Southampton
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 10:12:45 PM by WhiteJC »

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 08:09:06 AM »
 
Fulham 1-1 Leicester City


James Maddison scored his fifth goal of the season as Leicester fought back for a draw

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri was denied victory over former club Leicester as James Maddison scored for the second successive match to secure a point for the Foxes.

Until Maddison swept in the equaliser from Shinji Okazaki's cross from the right, the hosts had looked on course to climb off the bottom of the Premier League and out of the relegation zone thanks to Aboubakar Kamara's goal.

The French forward, who had not scored in a league match since 2 January, chased on to Aleksandar Mitrovic's flick, exploiting a mistake from Caglar Soyuncu, to drive a shot through Kasper Schmeichel's legs.

But the visitors, who had started brightly and passed up more than enough chances to win, deserved their point.

It left the Cottagers to equal an unwanted club record of 19 top-flight matches in a row without a clean sheet, dating back to 1950, and only Barnsley, in 1997-98, have conceded more goals at this stage of a Premier League season.

The result leaves Fulham bottom of the table, while Leicester remain ninth.

Different proposition for Ranieri

When Ranieri masterminded Leicester's stunning Premier League title-winning campaign two years ago, he did so at odds of 5,000-1.

His latest job - leading Fulham to safety - is certainly a more modest challenge, but it is an altogether different proposition at the wrong end of the table.

Ranieri arrested a sequence of seven consecutive defeats with victory over Southampton, but he is yet to plug the top-flight's leakiest defence.

Fulham have not won consecutive home matches in the Premier League since April 2013 - and with trips to Manchester United, Newcastle and Arsenal in the next month, they may regard this as an opportunity missed.

Despite posing an attacking threat with 25 shots on goal, only seven of those were on target, and they looked decidedly shaky at the back.

Goalkeeper Sergio Rico made several excellent stops, particularly to deny Kelechi Iheanacho in the opening two minutes, while Wes Morgan and Maddison both failed to hit the target from close range when unmarked.

Maddison strikes new tone

Leicester's team contained five players involved in Ranieri's last fixture in charge - a 2-1 Champions League defeat in Seville in February 2017 - but there is a different feel to them under Claude Puel.

Without the pace of Jamie Vardy, missing with a groin injury, the lightning counter-attacking style employed by Ranieri gave way to a more possession-orientated approach.

And during a first period in which they controlled the flow and tempo of the game, the Foxes could have put the result beyond doubt.

Maddison was at the heart of their best work - providing tempo to their passing - and it was his threaded pass that set Iheanacho away early on.

Once Okazaki and Demarai Gray had been introduced, the 22-year-old had the freedom to press further forward and his surge into the penalty area delivered the reward of an equalising goal, his fifth of an impressive debut season in the Premier League.

Had he not snatched at a late chance from eight yards - the only one of his three efforts not to hit the target - the Foxes may have won the first of three consecutive matches against London clubs.

Man of the match - James Maddison (Leicester City)

'Sooner or later we will win' - what they said

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "I think a draw was right. It was just that they had two great chances at the beginning and they had another two after they scored.

"In our best moment we conceded a goal and we then had the last chance to win the game. A draw is OK. We have to fight and sooner or later we will win. Everybody is working hard to do their best and in the second half we had the match in our hands. But that's football."

On Fulham's defensive problems: "I have to solve it working every day, more and more and more."

On his reception from fans: "The experience was fantastic from the beginning when the fans together shouted my name. But after I was so concentrated."

Leicester manager Claude Puel speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "I think it was a normal draw. Any team could have won or lost this game. We had good chances, particularly in the first half.

"We played a good team, who did well against Chelsea and Southampton. We were up and down in the game and we needed to manage it more.

"I would like to congratulate my players for coming back, which is a good thing for our mentality. We believed in ourselves and that's a good sign for the future."

On Kelechi Iheanacho: "After his first chance he lacked a little confidence to move and create other situations. I'm happy about our mentality to fight and try to win but today we had a lot of difficulties."

On Jamie Vardy being back for the weekend: "I don't know, we will see. We will adapt in the few days before the game."

Fulham's joint worst start - the stats

    Fulham's tally of nine points after 15 league games is their joint-worst total at this stage of a season in the Football League (assuming three points for a win), level with the nine they had in the third tier in 1993-94, a season in which they were relegated.
    Leicester have gone six league games without defeat (W2 D4) for the first time since May 2016 (12 games), when they won the Premier League under Ranieri.
    Leicester have not lost any of their past five away Premier League games against newly promoted opponents (W3 D2), their best ever undefeated run away at such opposition in the competition.
    Kamara is the first French player to score a Premier League goal for Fulham (excluding own goals) since Philippe Christanval against West Ham in January 2007.
    Mitrovic has been directly involved in 60% of Fulham's 15 league goals this season (seven goals, two assists), the highest ratio for any player for a particular club in the Premier League.

What's next?

Fulham travel to Manchester United in their next Premier League game on Saturday (15:00 GMT) while Leicester host Tottenham on the same day (19:45 GMT).



https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46367297

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 08:11:35 AM »
 
Manager Reaction

Claudio Ranieri believes that a draw was a fair result, as his former and current team played out a 1-1 stalemate at Craven Cottage.

Both Fulham and Leicester City carved out numerous openings that could have easily yielded more than two goals, and for that reason our Manager is satisfied with the result.

“I think the draw is right,” he said. “It’s right because they created one great chance at the beginning and Sergio Rico made a fantastic save, and they had another chance.

“In the second half we started much better, we had chances to score. Suddenly, they made a good combination and drew the match.


“After this, they had another three great chances. I think we shot at goal 25 times. One point is much better than nothing.

“In the second half we played much better because the players did what I asked and created Leicester some difficulties, but in the end it was a draw.

“Well done to both teams.”

A golden opening fell the way of Denis Odoi in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but he was unable to control his shot in the area as a high ball dropped into his path.

“Yeah, we had a final chance,” Ranieri said. “If he shot better, or if he passed the ball to Mitrović in the middle, that’s it.

“Maybe it’s not the right moment, but we continue to progress and I’m very happy with our performance.

“Of course, we made some mistakes, but even the big teams make mistakes. At this moment, when we make a mistake, the opponent score a goal.

“Sooner or later, we’ll win. I’m sure of it.”

The fixture pit Ranieri against the Foxes for the first time since he led them to the 2016 Premier League title.

Understandably it was a poignant occasion for him, but the Italian insisted that his focus switched solely to the game as soon as the first whistle was blown.

“Look, it was a very emotional match for me,” he admitted. “Both Fulham and Leicester fans sang my name in the beginning and end of the match.

“The emotion was just at the beginning. When the game started, I just concentrated on my team – it’s normal.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2018/december/05/manager-reaction


Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 08:16:17 AM »
 
Fulham player ratings as Aboubakar Kamara nets in 1-1 draw with Leicester City

Here's how we rated the side after the 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage this evening

Fulham drew 1-1 with Leicester City with Aboubakar Kamara and James Maddison bagging a goal each in the game.

The game took a while to get its first real chance and it came through Calum Chambers, who has made a habit of getting into scoring positions in recent weeks.

His sliced effort looked like it was going to nestle in the inside netting of Kasper Schmeichel's goal, but the Dane was equal to the strike and he pulled off a wonderful save to deny the Arsenal loanee.

There were chances for both sides but it was Fulham who took the lead - he was played in by Aleksandar Mitrovic's flick and his speed took him past Caglar Soyuncu initially before a poor touch gave the defender a route back in, but Kamara turned his man and fired low and hard past Schmeichel to score his first Premier League goal.

Fulham looked comfortable for the vast majority of the second half but chances were limited - Tom Cairney came on as a half time sub and had a good chance to make it two, but he curled his 20 yard effort just past the post.

But a clean sheet wasn't to be once more as Leicester broke forward with Shinji Okazaki who squared for James Maddison to poke home from 12 yards out.

Here's how we rated the side:

Sergio Rico - 7

Put in another strong performance with a number of good saves in the first half to keep his side in it. Was fairly quiet in the second half but commanded his area well.

Maxime Le Marchand - 6

Decent performance at left back from the Frenchman who did well in the aerial battles during the evening. Limped off with an injury in the 77th minute.

Denis Odoi - 6

A decent performance from Odoi who looked comfortable alongside Mawson and wasn't afraid to bring the ball out of defence.

Alfie Mawson - 6

Another good performance from Mawson who looked strong in the air and comfortable with the ball at his feet.

Cyrus Christie - 7

A good showing in the first half, Christie got forward well and caused Leicester some problems while looking defensively strong. Continued that in the second half, putting in a really good performance.

Calum Chambers - 7

Chambers had yet another good performance, with his reading of the game in the first half a particular highlight. Continued that in the second half and looked strong.

Jean-Michael Seri - 7

Seri had his best game for a long while and looked far more comfortable on the ball and in possession. Champagne moment in the first half when his outside of the boot pass split the Leicester defence in two.


(Image: Steven Paston/PA Wire)

Ryan Sessegnon - 7

Struggled to get into the game somewhat in the first half out on the left. Got involved more in the game in the second half and started to prove himself a real handful for the Leicester defence making some nice runs.

Aboubakar Kamara - 6

Managed to scored the opener but his decision making was questionable while his tendency to go down is becoming a bad habit. He got into some good positions but it was that poor decision making that let him down.


(Image: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Luciano Vietto - 3

Had a dreadful first half and looked lost out on the pitch. No surprises that he was hauled off at half time by Ranieri.

Aleksandar Mitrovic - 7

Battled well with Morgan and produced the flick on for Kamara's goal. Demonstrated some nice hold up play in a battling performance.

Substitutes

Tom Cairney - 6

Didn't do too much with the ball in good areas when he came on and looked like he struggled to get up with the tempo of the game.

Joe Bryan - 5

Slotted in at left back as he made his return from injury and did okay in a short cameo for the side

Tim Ream - 5

Didn't have much time to impact proceedings after coming on.



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/fulham-player-ratings-aboubakar-kamara-15511686

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 08:18:45 AM »
 
James Maddison salvages visitors Leicester a point to deny Claudio Ranieri's Fulham

Fulham 1-1 Leicester City: The hosts took the lead thanks to Aboubakar Kamara before Ranieri's old side responded through Maddison's second-half strike

Claudio Ranieri was denied a sweet victory over the club he so memorably led to the title as James Maddison snatched a point for Leicester.

Ranieri, looking for a second win in three matches since taking over at Fulham, looked on course for three valuable points and the chance to climb away from the foot of the table when Aboubakar Kamara fired them ahead.

But Fulham, the only team in the English league without a clean sheet to their name this season, conceded with a quarter of an hour remaining with some familiar sloppy defending.

Ranieri was in the opposition dugout against Leicester for the first time since famously steering the 5,000-1 shots to the Premier League crown in 2016.

Claudio Ranieri was denied a sweet victory over the club he so memorably led to the title as James Maddison snatched a point for Leicester.

Ranieri, looking for a second win in three matches since taking over at Fulham, looked on course for three valuable points and the chance to climb away from the foot of the table when Aboubakar Kamara fired them ahead.

But Fulham, the only team in the English league without a clean sheet to their name this season, conceded with a quarter of an hour remaining with some familiar sloppy defending.

Ranieri was in the opposition dugout against Leicester for the first time since famously steering the 5,000-1 shots to the Premier League crown in 2016.


Aboubakar Kamara put his side ahead minutes before the break

One familiar face, Jamie Vardy, who provided the firepower behind that remarkable campaign, was missing from the Leicester line-up through injury.

Vardy’s replacement in the starting line-up was Kelechi Iheanacho, who had the first chance of the match following a mistake in midfield by Jean Michael Seri.

Maddison pounced on the loose ball and played Iheanacho through on goal but the striker hit Sergio Rico’s torso as he tried to lift the ball over the keeper.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, handed the captaincy by Ranieri, tested Kasper Schmeichel when he got a touch on a low effort from Maxime Le Marchand.

City keeper Schmeichel then had to dive at full stretch to tip a fierce drive from Calum Chambers around his post.

Leicester could have had a penalty when Ben Chilwell’s cross brushed the hand of Cyrus Christie but referee David Coote thought otherwise.

The visitors threatened again when another Chilwell centre was headed wide by Wes Morgan.

But Fulham kept the pressure on and Chambers’ shot was deflected over the crossbar before Mitrovic nodded just off target.

As the first half drew to a close Rico did well to keep out another Morgan header at the far post, while Luciano Vietto looked certain to fire Fulham ahead after a weaving run into the area only for Chilwell to make a goal-saving block.

It was Fulham who made the breakthough three minutes before half-time, Kamara latching on to a Mitrovic flick and charging to the byline before turning past the sliding Caglar Soyuncu and firing across Schmeichel into the net.

Ranieri made a change at half-time, bringing on the dependable Tom Cairney for the distinctly more loose-cannon style of Vietto.

The move almost paid dividends when Cairney took aim from the edge of the penalty area and curled his shot inches wide.

Alfie Mawson also went close with a header as Fulham attempted to make their ascendancy count.

Yet Leicester boss Claude Puel had a trick or two up his sleeve too, and two minutes after he sent on Shinji Okazaki the Japan forward created the equaliser.

Okazaki played a one-two with fellow substitute Demari Gray before finding Maddison all alone in the penalty area to rifle his side level.

Mitrovic and Denis Odoi missed presentable chances in stoppage time as Leicester held out to make it six matches unbeaten – their longest run without a defeat since you-know-who did you-know-what.



https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/fulham-leicester-claudio-ranieri-result-report-highlights-kamara-maddison-goal-a8669476.html

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 08:24:32 AM »
 
James Maddison rescues a point for below par Leicester City at Fulham

The Foxes looked to be heading for defeat in the Premier League clash

James Maddison salvaged a point for Claude Puel’s patched-up Leicester City side to stretch their unbeaten run to six games as they came from behind at Caludio Ranieri’s Fulham.

City, who hadn’t won at Craven Cottage since 1983, looked to be heading to another defeat on the banks of the Thames when Aboubakar Kamara put the host in front before half time and City were struggling to find a way back into the game until substitute Shinji Okazaki teed up Maddison within a minute of coming on the pitch.

Puel had been playing his cards close to his chest in the pre-match press conference, admitting he had a number of players struggling with injury but refusing to say who.

He did reveal Jamie Vardy had aggravated his groin injury again and sure enough Kelechi Iheanacho replaced him, but Puel made three other changes.


 Fulham's Luciano Vietto (left) and Leicester City's Danny Simpson battle for the ball (Image: PA)

Ricardo Pereira and Demarai Gray dropped to the bench as Danny Simpson, making his first Premier League appearance of the season, and Fousseni Diabate made rare starts, while Caglar Soyuncu came in for the injured Jonny Evans at the heart of the defence.

Puel was down to the bare-bones on defenders and there was a spot on the bench for under-23s defender Josh Knight.

The build-up to the game had been dominated by the reunion of City’s Premier League title players and their former manager Claudio Ranieri, who had recently returned to the Premier League in a bid to inspire Fulham to survival.

City had never won in four attempts in the Premier League at Fulham, but they were on a five game unbeaten run, their longest stretch without a defeat since that title-winning season under Ranieri.

They had only conceded one goal in their last four league games and they were up against a Fulham side that had the worst defensive record in the division and sat bottom of the table.

It may have been built as Ranieri v his former champions, but there were only five of the starting line-up who were involved in his squad in 2015-16 and it is a very different City under Claude Puel.

The question City fans now ask themselves is has the team evolved from the one Ranieri left behind?

In some ways they have in the number of young players now in favour under Puel. Ben Chilwell has emerged as an England regular, while Maddison has made the number ten role his own and he teed up Iheanacho for a great chance in the opening minutes, but having brushed off Denis Odoi, the City striker couldn’t beat Sergio Rico in the Fulham goal.

At the other end it was one of Ranieri’s key men who was impressing as Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a wonderful save to deny Calum Chambers.

The City fans, some of whom still need convincing about Puel, sang Ranieri’s name as one after just six minutes, and while it was generally a tight and even contest, the hosts were shading it on shots on goal, with Schmeichel certainly the busier of the two keepers.

Wilfred Ndidi and Chilwell also produced timely blocks.


 Fulham's Aboubakar Kamara scores his side's first goal (Image: PA)

At the other end it was another old campaigner in City skipper Wes Morgan who almost broke the deadlock when he rose to head a cross from Marc Albrighton, another survivor from the Ranieri days, but despite making strong contact he couldn’t beat Rico.

City had been reasonably steady defensively but they contributed to their own downfall for the opening goal.

A long ball up field was flicked on by Mitrovic and Kamara was able to race through City’s lapsed rearguard to get onto the ball. Soyuncu did superbly initially to shepherd Kamara away from goal but then crazily dived in to try to block a shot that didn’t come and while he was prone on the ground Kamara was able to steady himself and pick his spot between Schmeichel’s legs.

City have made a habit of being much stronger in the second half but while they dominated possession after the break they didn’t possess the guile or the penetration to threaten the Fulham defence.

Iheanacho wasn’t offering himself as a target, while there was very little play in midfield as City repeatedly passed square or backwards when they found no way through.

Fulham were almost an echo of Ranieri’s City as they sat deep, soaked up the pressure and looked to catch City out when they were over committed in attack.

City were getting nowhere as the game slipped away from them and Puel responded with a double substitution, bringing on Okazaki and Vicente Iborra.

It worked a treat as it was Okazaki who combined superbly with fellow substitute Gray before picking out Maddison and he finished the move superbly.

The travelling fans who had been singing Ranieri’s name early on where now chanting the little Japan international's name.

Iborra also nearly got in on the act with a header which went wide but City weren’t out of the woods either and Schmeichel saved well from Tom Cairney.

In added time Rico had to save smartly to deny both Gray and Maddison as City very nearly stole an unlikely victory, while Mitrovic also went close and Odoi missed a sitter in a barnstorming finale.



https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/james-maddison-rescues-point-below-2296799


Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 08:26:48 AM »
 
Leicester steal point at Fulham as away fans sing Claudio Ranieri's name


 Claudio Ranieri called his former Leicester players "my boys" ahead of the tie Credit: Getty Images

Claudio Ranieri had predicted this reunion with Leicester City would be “emotional”, but in the end the overriding feeling was surely one of frustration. Coming up against his former side for the first time since he was sacked as their manager in February last year, Ranieri’s Fulham impressed for long spells before their old frailties resurfaced and three points turned into one.

The hunt for a first clean sheet of the season goes on for Fulham, who had looked uncharacteristically solid until they allowed James Maddison to wander into their penalty area and stroke home a leveller for Leicester with just 16 minutes remaining. It was a goal that showed Ranieri how much work still needs to be done on the training ground, although there was certainly more steel than the home fans had come to expect before Slavisa Jokanovic had been shown the door.

Fulham had deserved their lead, given to them by Aboubakar Kamara, and they would have left Craven Cottage feeling like they had done more than enough to score a decisive second. They had their more wobbly moments, too, but it was a point that still felt like progress and there were plenty of reasons for encouragement for Ranieri, who had been serenaded by both sets of fans as early as the sixth minute. “It was a very emotional match this evening for me, with both the Leicester fans and Fulham fans singing my name,” he said.

The Fulham manager had described the death of Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as the end of the “fairytale,” but the response of the supporters was early proof - as if it were needed - that those memories will linger long in Leicester minds.

The Italian had said before the game that his title-winning Leicester players were still his “boys”, and there were five members of that famous squad who started against their former boss here. Two more, Shinji Okazaki and Demarai Gray, came off the bench to create Maddison’s equaliser.

“I think the draw is right,” said Ranieri, whose side remain at the foot of the table. “A draw is OK. One point is better than nothing. I am very happy with our performance. We made some mistakes, but even the big teams make mistakes. At this moment, when we make mistakes, the big opponents score goals. But soon we will win a game.”

Maddison’s goal extended Leicester’s unbeaten run in the Premier League to six games. They had to ride their luck at the end, when Denis Odoi missed the most glorious of openings in stoppage time, but they will also rue their own failure to convert clear goalscoring opportunities.

“We had a lot of difficulties in the match today,” said Claude Puel, the Leicester manager. “We could have won or lost this game, so a draw is a fair result.”

It was an open, entertaining affair from the second minute, when Maddison slid a fine pass through to Kelechi Iheanacho. With only Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico to beat, Iheanacho went for a dinked finish and watched in anguish as the ball cannoned back off Rico’s shoulder. Leicester also had chances through Marc Albrighton, prodding over from a left-wing cross, and Wes Morgan, who twice went close with powerful headers.

It was surely too open for Ranieri’s liking but this was a game in which Fulham were more than holding their own. They had their own set of chances, too, with Luciano Vietto and Calum Chambers both going close before Kamara’s speed created the opener. Aleksandar Mitrovic, captaining the side, had flicked the ball through to Kamara, who sent Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu sliding into the stands before blasting his close-range shot beneath Kasper Schmeichel. On the touchline, Ranieri stood motionless, his arms folded across his chest.

As Leicester toiled after the break, Fulham grew in confidence and Tom Cairney whistled a shot past the post as they looked certain to double the lead. But then Leicester struck back as Okazaki cut the ball back across goal for the unmarked Maddison, who finished firmly.

Fulham responded well. Cairney struck a fierce shot at Schmeichel and Mitrovic fired wide before Odoi missed the best chance of all, stabbing over from only six yards out as the game entered stoppage time.



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2018/12/05/leicester-steal-point-fulham-away-fans-sing-claudio-ranieris/

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 08:28:28 AM »
 
West Ham United To Battle Crystal Palace & Fulham For £15m Rated Forward: Right Choice For The Hammers?

According to a recent report by the Mirror, West Ham United are interested in securing the services of Emiliano Sala from Nantes. The Daily Mirror claims that the Hammers are set to battle it out with Fulham and Crystal Palace in pursuit of the Ligue 1 attacker, who is valued in the region of £15m by the French club.

The 28-year-old is currently the third-best goal-getter in the French first division with 11 goals to his name in 14 league matches. He has put in some majestic displays for the Ligue 1 outfit during this campaign which has not gone unnoticed by the Hammers chiefs.

Sala grew up playing football for FC Girondins Bordeaux before having loan spells with US Orleans, FC Niort and SM Cain. The Argentine forward finally made a permanent switch to Nantes in the summer of 2015. Since then, Sala has gone on to become one of the most prolific forwards in the Ligue 1.

The Cululu las Colonias born talent had featured in a total of 127 matches for Nantes, scoring 47 goals while providing 12 assists.

What Does Sala Offer On The Pitch?

Sala is an old-school centre-forward who uses his physicality quite effectively to get the better of his marker. He utilises his strength well to hold the ball up top. The striker is also a dominant figure in the air at both ends of the pitch.

The Argentine frontman is an experienced finisher inside the opposition penalty area, but he needs to improve his passing game if he wants to prove his worth in the Premier League.

Will He Be The Right Choice For The Hammers?

The potential acquisition of Sala will undoubtedly bolster Pellegrini’s attacking options at the London Stadium. With Marko Arnautovic currently out injured, the likes of Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez, Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio might take up the responsibility of leading the line up top. However, Sala’s arrival would be an upgrade over any of them as he has been a consistent goal-scorer for Nantes this season.

Sala could turn out to be a shrewd signing for Pellegrini as the former Manchester City manager looks to bring some success to East London in the coming years. The Argentine striker might be a massive gamble as he has no experience of playing football outside of France, but he might be a risk worth taking for the Hammers.



https://the4thofficial.net/2018/12/west-ham-united-to-battle-crystal-palace-fulham-for-15m-rated-forward-right-choice-for-the-hammers/

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 08:31:16 AM »

Fulham 1, Leicester City 1
It could have been worse and better at the same time


Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

In the end, Fulham will be happy with their performance and to be able to claim something in their quest to move up the Premier League table. However, Claudio Ranieri was hoping to put his former side to the sword after scoring just before halftime. Instead, Leicester pulled off an equalizer that saw them claim a draw in a very end-to-end match.

When starting at the lineup today, many would have feared the worst when Tom Cairney was relegated to the bench with Luciano Vietto taking his place. Along with that, Aboubakar Kamara was the man out wide and we all know for all his endeavor, he could be a walking red card waiting to happen.

However, the Frenchman was brilliant in picking out a line between the two center backs and allowing Aleksander Mitrovic to read his movement. From there, Kamara received a wonderful throughball but he was sent wide by a trailing Caglar Soyuncu. Fortunately, Kamara’s attempt at goal went through the legs of Kasper Schmeichel and sent Craven Cottage into a frenzy.

Before hand, Leicester were putting some grade A chances, but Sergio Rico was up to the task. Fulham weren’t silent with their attack either, but their attempts at goal like the quality necessary to rid of themselves of another shutout. As the halftime whitsle blew, 11 shots came from Fulham (six of them going on target) while Leicester had seven. It was a brilliant game of football and thank goodness that wasn’t the end of it just yet.

On came Fulham’s captain to start the second half in hopes to kill the game off. And boy did Fulham and Cairney had plenty of chances. Ryan Sessegnon had a beautiful one-touch pass that sent Cairney towards a quality opportunity only for it to be blown. By the time the hour mark had passed, you wondered whether Leicester even existed. Sadly, Claude Puel wasn’t going to let his side die that easily as he brought on Demarai Gray and Shinji Okazaka off the bench.

From there, Leicester found their footing again as they worked some lovely interplay down the left hand side between the two substitutes. Before you knew it, Okazaki found a wide open James Maddison inside the penalty area and delivered a simple ball for him to one-touch it past Rico and tie the game.

The rest was history, but not without Fulham trying to push on for the final goal. After multiple corner attempts, Denis Odoi had the last chance to win the game only for his header to go agonizingly wide. On the whole, it ended up being a fair result. Leicester’s attack had more bite, but Fulham were probably the better team based off the shot totals alone. But as has been the case all season, Claudio Ranieri’s team have to have much better quality with their shots (5.8 expected goals per shot) in order to win Premier League fixtures on a regular basis.

Still, Ranieri should be happy once again for how his team handled an energetic Leicester team and should feel quite confident with how the rest of their month will go. Fortunately, Manchester United had to encounter an exhausting 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Here’s hoping we catch the Devils napping at Old Trafford on Saturday.



https://cottagersconfidential.sbnation.com/2018/12/5/18127991/fulham-1-leicester-city-1


Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 08:37:30 AM »
 
Claudio Ranieri transcript: Every word on draw with Leicester, naming the same defence & more

Fulham drew 1-1 with Leicester thanks to with Aboubakar Kamara grabbing the goal

 Disappointed you didn't get three points?

"Look, it was a very emotional match for me this evening when both the fans, Leicester and Fulham fans, are signing my name at the beginning and end of the match.

"The match - I think the draw is right.

"It's right because they created many great chances at the beginning and Sergio Rico made some fantastic saves and they have another chance.

"In the second half we start much better, we score the goal and have another two chances to score but suddenly they made a fantastic combination to draw the match.

"After this, they had another three great chances to score but at the end we can win the match and I think we shoot at goal 25 times.

"I think the draw is okay, one point is much better than nothing."

Can you expand on emotions of managing a team against Leicester?

"The emotion is just at the beginning, when the ball moves I was so concentrated on my team, this is normal."

Think Denis Odoi might have won it at the end?

"Yes, we had the final the chance. If we shoot better or pass the ball to Mitrovic in the middle.


(Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

"That's it, maybe it isn't the right moment but we continue to progress. I am very happy with our performance.

"Of course, we make some mistakes but all the teams, even the big teams make mistakes.

"In this moment , when we make mistakes the opponent scores the goals. Sooner or later we will win, I am sure."

Leicester equaliser almost classic Ranieri football

"Puel cover better the defensive line and tried to go every time and counter attack with the long ball.

"At the beginning they tried to find Ben Chilwell on the flank but we covered very well.

"The second half we played much better because the players played what I asked and Leicester was in difficulties and we scored.

"But at the end, it was a draw and well done to both teams."

Close to first clean sheet

"Yes! We improve every match, but we have to work hard again until we don't concede the clean sheet, but also after, all the season we must work."

Named same defence for three games - unit starting to learn to play together?

"I think the more times they play together, the movement will be together.

"I want to see one man, at the moment they are four men but I want to see only one man and slowly, slowly they understand my vision."


(Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Organisation better - becoming your team?

"Slowly, slowly, you are the man who has to look at the difference.

"I know we have to work more, more for the diagonal time but for them it's the first time they work in this way and for this reason I am happy because a lot of work they understood.

"It was a little think but important."

Speak to any former Leicester players?

"I saw some players and say hello, I was so concentrated in my job."



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/claudio-ranieri-transcript-every-word-15512845

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 08:39:26 AM »
 
Ranieri sees signs of recovery despite Fulham staying bottom

Claudio Ranieri believes Fulham are already showing signs of the greater organisation he wants even though they dropped two precious points against Leicester City.

The Whites kept a good shape after taking the lead against the Foxes, but had to settle for a draw after James Maddison cancelled out a first-half strike from Aboubakar Kamara.

“Slowly, slowly. I know we have to work more – but I am happy,” said the Fulham boss, who was particularly pleased with the defence, even though a clean sheet remains elusive.

“More times they play together, the movements are more together. We played much better in the second half because the players did what I asked of them.

“We improve every match. We have to work hard again now, because we don’t secure a clean sheet yet. We continue to progress. I’m very happy with our performance. We made some mistakes, but even the big teams make mistakes.

“At this moment, when we make mistakes, the big opponents score goals. But soon we will win a game.”

Ranieri admitted it had been emotional leading Fulham against the club he guided to an improbable league title a few years ago.

“It was a very emotional match this evening for me, with both the Leicester and Fulham fans singing my name,” he said.

“But the emotion was just at the beginning. When the game started, I was concentrating on my team.”

The result meant Fulham remain bottom of the Premier League.



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/ranieri-sees-signs-of-recovery-despite-fulham-staying-bottom

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 08:41:17 AM »
 
Fulham vs Leicester: Familiar flaws
Fulham 1 Leicester 1, Craven Cottage.

Everything has its place, football included. At Craven Cottage on Wednesday, Claudio Ranieri dedicated almost the entire first half of his programme notes to the memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the fallen Leicester City owner. Ranieri and Srivaddhanaprabha will forever be intertwined with the miracle of those hazy days in 2015 and so, with the crash which took his former employer’s life just six week in the past, Ranieri’s reappearance in front of the travelling Leicester supporters was always going to lend this night with a sharp perspective.

It’s hardly the point, but Leicester have remained unbeaten since that terrible night. Two wins and two draws in the four Premier League games since has the makings of a solid season, whereas Fulham brought only the most tenuous form to this game. Ranieri’s has started well since replacing Slavisa Jokanovic, winning a ding-dong with Southampton ten days ago and plotting a sturdy performance in defeat at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.

So, a side playing a daze, struggling through a terrible dream, against one who are so early into a new managerial era, that they’re not definitively anything at all yet. It was a strange sort of contest in principle, so too in actuality: a 1-1 draw withour any defining characteristics, and a game of football which didn’t really provoke anything beyond the mildest response. For now, the point was fine for both.

Ranieri has moved quickly to cure the biggest ailment he inherited. Three games into his Fulham tenure, he has started the same back-four on each occasion. The continuity has bred an improvement of sorts, even if it still takes little to expose Fulham’s deeper fragility. Leicester would fall behind before the first-half was done, victims of a patient and violent finish from Aboubakar Kamara, but not before they’d made repeated incursions down the Fulham left. They might also have had the lead themselves, when Marc Albrighton’s flighted free-kick found an unmarked Wes Morgan at the backpost, but his header was rebuffed by a plunging save from Sergio Rico.

Work to do, then. Also, while they took an advantage into the dressing-room, that lead didn’t necessarily come with control. Leicester had enjoyed most of the ball and while their hosts did profit on the counter-attack and create the better chances, Ranieri’s midfield was often outnumbered. These are early days for the unlikely Jean Michael Seri/Calum Chambers combination, but it might already be on borrowed time – and it wasn’t a surprise to see two become three when the teams re-emerged, with Luciano Vietto replaced and Tom Cairney dropped into the deeper role.

Chambers is an interesting player. A tweener, really. He’s not a reliable enough centre-half to be worth a back-four place, but not adequately mobile or finessed to be a convincing midfield option either. Seri is a dynamic player, as rounded a footballer as Fulham could have hoped to sign in the summer, but Chambers is a place-holder, almost a tacit admission of the side’s defensive problems. More troublingly, that deference comes at the expense of a true specialist, a player more comfortable at receiving passes from his defenders and pushing the side up the field. The logic with Chambers is fine, the reality doesn’t make nearly as much sense.

Leicester, it should be said, came to Craven Cottage without Jamie Vardy. His pace isn’t what it once was and his body is beginning to creak, but he remains the dominant personality of his side’s forward line. With him absent, Claude Puel’s players clearly lack their most natural outlet and, talented as Kelechi Iheanacho may be in other ways, he’s so dramatically different – in his runs, his traits, and his tendency to come back for the ball rather than run onto it – that it creates a fracture at the top of the formation. In 90 minutes, he had just 20 touches of the ball. Even though his side had just 46% of the ball, Fulham’s Mitrovic managed 58.

Ultimately, a point was salvaged by James Maddison. His step up from the Championship has been one of the season’s joys. That beautiful goal against Watford at the weekend helped erase the memory of his callous dive at Brighton seven days before, and here he was again, loitering on the penalty spot to side-foot in a cross from substitute Shinji Okazaki. It was the symbol of the game for both sides: Fulham, because there was always a goal to be mined from the gaps in their box, and Leicester, because while one had seemed likely, it was never going to come from a forward.

A further word on Maddison, though, who really is a pleasure to watch. He remains at the embryonic stage of his Premier League career and who knows what kind of fatigue might be lurking ahead, but it’s rare to see someone adapt as quickly as he has. His technique has belonged at this level for a while, but that’s true of many players. Maddison is different because he processes the game so quickly, because – even now, just four months in – he passes the ball with authority, knowing exactly where all the pieces around him are and how to make best use of them. It’s rare. His abilities aren’t, but his swagger is. It makes him mesmerising.

Fulham will be disappointed. Before the lead was surrendered – given up, handed over – Cairney had bent a shot just wide of Schmeichel’s far post and, with the last meaningful kick of the game, Denis Odoi hacked hopelessly over the bar. Schmeichel also made one splendid, fully-extended save in the first-half and on the balance of chances Fulham really should have won. But those skewed ratios are really symptomatic of their state: they need too many chances to score, but far too few to concede. The Premier League table had them bottom on Wednesday evening and that illustrates the extent of their trauma and explains why, even with the Ranieri’s comforting arm now draped around their shoulders, these players will take a while to perform with any sort of conviction. They’re better than they were, but their scars remain plainly visible.



https://www.tifofootball.com/features/fulham-vs-leicester-familiar-flaws/


Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 08:42:46 AM »

Cottage Talk Full Time: Fulham vs. Leicester City
Take a listen to a podcast that focuses on Fulham Football Club.


In this episode, we shared our ”initial reactions” to Fulham’s 1-1 draw against Leicester City at Craven Cottage. Co-hosts Max Cohen and Yannis Tjanetis shared their thoughts on this match through their eyes.


You can also listen to the show by following this link...
https://cottagersconfidential.sbnation.com/2018/12/5/18128183/cottage-talk-full-time-fulham-vs-leicester-city

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 08:48:56 AM »
 
'The emotion is just at the beginning': Claudio Ranieri fights off Leicester affection as Fulham draw with his former club at Craven Cottage

    Claudio Ranieri fought against the emotion as Fulham drew with Leicester 
    The Italian won the Premier League title with the Foxes before being sacked
    Ranieri was given a warm reception by the visiting support at Craven Cottage

Claudio Ranieri fought against the emotion he felt as his new Fulham team drew 1-1 with Leicester, where he memorably won the Premier League.

The Italian had been on course for an encouraging victory over his former team when Aboubakar Kamara gave Fulham a deserved first half lead, but amid further chances for both, Leicester's James Maddison scored a classy equalising goal in the 74th minute.

It is approaching two years since Ranieri had been sacked by Leicester, where he is regardless fondly remembered for overseeing the club's and his greatest personal success.
 

Claudio Ranieri fought against the emotion he felt as his Fulham team drew 1-1 with Leicester

Until Maddison's curling finish Fulham had been on course to climb out of the bottom three. They instead sit 20th, but ahead of Saturday's visit to Manchester United will take encouragement from another evening in which they demonstrated that under Ranieri they have improved.

'It was a very emotional match this evening for me with both the Leicester fans and Fulham fans singing my name,' the 67-year-old said.

'But the emotion is just at the beginning. When the game started, I was concentrating on my team. I said hello to some players. I was so concentrated on my job.

'The draw is right. They created one great chance at the beginning and Sergio Rico made a fantastic save. In the second half we started much better and had other chances, but they suddenly made a fantastic combination and scored.


The Italian had been on course for victory when Aboubakar Kamara gave Fulham the lead

'Then both teams had chances. A draw is okay. One point is better than nothing. We had the final chance (through Denis Odoi in stoppage time). If he shot better, or passed the ball to Aleksandar Mitrovic in the middle, but we continue to progress.

'I'm very happy with our performance. We made some mistakes, but even the big teams make mistakes. At this moment, when we make mistakes, the big opponents score goals. But soon we will win a game.'

It was Claude Puel's substitutes, Shinji Okazaki and Demarai Gray, who impressively combined to create Maddison's equalising goal.

The Leicester manager said: 'It was a good goal. It's a good thing, a good thing, but all the team were in difficulty and it was important to come back into the game.

'We didn't put on the pitch enough quality, but we found all the time a fighting spirit and a desire to come back into the game. It's a fantastic feeling because we know we had difficulties

'Maddison plays high up the pitch and gets some opportunities to score and create chances. It's not the first time our substitutes have come on and influenced the match.

'Of course Fulham can stay up. They have a good squad and now they have confidence.

'If they stay with this good mentality and this desire, it's difficult to find a solution against them. Our second half we were poor in play, but because they defended very well after their goal.'



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6466263/Claudio-Ranieri-fights-Leicester-affection-Fulham-draw.html

Offline WhiteJC

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (06/12/18)...
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 08:50:10 AM »
 
Why the mercurial Aboubakar Kamara justified his selection in the Fulham starting lineup

Aboubakar Kamara is undoubtedly the most unpredictable player in the Fulham squad — one moment he can strike a shot miles over from forty yards out, and the next he can be bulldozing three players and scoring a remarkable goal.

On Wednesday night in Fulham’s 1-1 draw against Leicester City, the mercurial winger exhibited the latter, justifying his selection in the starting lineup with a superb individual strike.

The midweek match marked the Frenchman’s first league start since the Whites’ 3-0 loss to Bournemouth in October, and many were surprised to see Kamara feature ahead of the fit-again Andre Schurrle.

But Kamara silenced the doubters shortly before halftime when he latched onto the end of an exquisite Aleksandar Mitrovic back-heel. Making a darting run inside from his right wing position, Kamara flew past Leicester centre-half Caglar Soyuncu and then left the defender for dead with a well-executed cutback.

With Soyuncu sliding into the advertising hoardings, Kamara had time to settle and fire a low shot between the legs of Kasper Schmeichel.

The goal came at a crucial time for the Cottagers, putting the home side ahead right before the break — the first time Fulham had scored first in a match since their October loss to Cardiff.

Kamara was also lively throughout the rest of the match, rampaging down the wing and terrorising opposition fullbacks with his acceleration and direct play.

Claudio Ranieri has shown a willingness to more prominently utilise Fulham’s wingers, and with Aboubakar Kamara’s impressive midweek display, the Frenchman could be in store for a consistent run in the starting XI.



https://tbrfootball.com/why-the-mercurial-aboubakar-kamara-justified-his-selection-in-the-fulham-starting-lineup/