Tag Archives: Parker

My view of the Cardiff game

by dannyboi-ffc

I always thought Smith was the donkey but at least even he has a purpose. We become very one dimensional with the long ball but as a sub he’s a weapon to be used in times of desperation with 10mins to go. Woodrow on the other hand with 10 minutes to go would influence absolutely nothing.

He’s slow, weak, makes dreadful runs if at all, isn’t an outlet, never scores simple goals because he’s not intelligent enough to be in the right place to score them. I used to think he was hard done by when it was always Dembele and Ross because Woodrow seems to do well when given a chance. But he’s had two starts now and I saw them both, Leyton Orient and today. He was easily the weak link and the reason we were forced to play everything in front of Cardiff as there was no penetration. No ability to hold onto the ball with his back to goal and lay it off for the midfield runners. Come to think of it there’s only one word to describe Woodrow’s performance today, non-existent (or is that two words lol)

Apologies to those who rate him and to the young man himself. Its certainly not for the want of trying but imo he shows no potential that his game can improve or change. I think physically he is what he is and its just not enough. We lost 40 goals this season and whilst I expect everyone to chip in with goals I expect my centre forward to give more of an overall contribution to our attacks.

This is just born out of pure frustration that the club have taken so long to sign a striker. I was the first to say Ross needs to go and well done to the club for receiving a good fee. If truth be told I wasn’t even that bothered about Dembele either other than the fact we allowed his situation to cost us a potential big transfer fee. But I expected a top quality striker who was more suited to Joka’s style to come in by now. Imo we have dropped 4 points in less than a week simply because our strikers aren’t good enough. You cant expect to win by one goal every week.

Woodrow isn’t the only culprit tonight, Cairney was very quiet although I can certainly forgive him of that. But this is life in the limelight TC, you are the new McCormack and he needs to learn how to cope with teams focusing on stopping him from playing. But what today proved is that when Cairney is quiet and when we get just one injury to Ayite we are literally down to the bare bones and depending on some magic from Aluko. We need more attacking options, a winger and 2 strikers.

I like Sessengon and congrats on becoming Fulham’s youngest ever goalscorer and possibly our youngest ever player at the Cottage? Only Briggs betters it but that was away to Boro. He looks very good going forward but there was a spell in the second half where I thought he looked out of his depth and lost the ball several times. But he has a bright future and belongs with the first team squad.

I can now see why Cardiff fans celebrated the Malone swap. Although definitely better than Richards and defensively pretty decent but going forward I thought he was shocking. Still think we really missed out on Husband even though he’s injured at the minute. But I think in games like Newcastle where its more about defending then he’s a good squad player. But games like today where teams know we are better than them and sit back waiting for us to break them down, he’s doesn’t add much.

It’s a shame Parker is so old as a couple of years younger and McDonald/ Parker would be the best partnership in this division. They ran the game and were both outstanding. But we need another Parker to share the burden as Tunnicliffe isn’t of the same standard and we are weaker without Parker who cant play every game.

Overall I’m disappointed to have dropped 2 points because I believed we deserved the win and were so capable of running away with it. Cardiff bar 2 wonder goals, and even then the second I question the keeper but haven’t seen a replay, Cardiff did sweet FA and showed no intention of wanting to score until they had to. And we were naive to allow them back into the game. But that disappointment is fuelled by what’s been an amazing start to the season and when the players have defied all of our expectations and raised the bar I think its harsh to be too hard on them at this stage of the season when they rescued a point. I see a massive positive contrast in our mentality. Last season that equaliser makes us crumble and go onto lose 3-1. But there was only one team in it once they were winning and that was us. It showed the kind of hunger, fight and character needed from a team that wants promotion. And I loved the fact we didn’t celebrate the goal, we picked the ball up and ran back to the kickoff as we could smell blood. Thats clearly come from the manager and I’m so optimistic with him at the helm.

I said it before a few weeks back and i’ll say it again. There’s something about Jokanovic that not even the great Hodgson or Tigana had. Something about his presence on the touchline and his attitude. That’s not to say he will achieve what they did or even close to it but if the club can sort out the transfer/ kline issues and make Joka happy, then I believe he has something about him to become our greatest ever manager. Or I should say the best in my lifetime as I’m not in a position to judge past greats before my time.

We are still joint second, goal difference means nothing at the stage and we should beat Blackburn. I know the old cliche’s of this is Fulham so you cant treat anything as guaranteed but something about this team and what could be with a few quality additions that gives me the confidence to believe we will win.

Onwards and upwards


The View From South Texas – Ipswich Town FC v. Fulham FC

Suffolk Shakedown Cruise

No fewer than eight Fulham players made their first-team debut today at Portman Road as Fulham played their first match in the second tier of English football for 13years. With so many new players playing in a new league with a fairly new manager, it was to be expected that there would be some rough spots in Fulham’s first competitive match.

And there were.

With Burgess and Parker appearing to be responsible for supporting the defense, and David and Hyndman setting up as the attacking portion of the midfield, it was clear that only one pairing was working as planned. David looked especially lively early on, playing with confidence and no little style. Hyndman looked competent and made good use of space to keep himself open. Having said that, it was the connection with Parker/Burgess and the new CB pairing of Budurov and Hutchinson that never quite clicked over the 90 minutes.

Although he was to be faulted for neither of Ipswich’s goals, Young Keeper Joronen looked well out of his league. He made a very classy save early on, but he was woefully hesitant in his area and demonstrated the worst distribution I have seen from a Fulham keeper in a very long time. A lot of this is, of course, inexperience. It was his first-team Fulham debut, and his first match at this high level period. Inexperience can be overcome and confidence will make him more in charge of his area, but his most glaring inadequacy may take many years to correct: He is completely one-footed. With modern goalkeeprs acting as sweepers, he’s outmatched. Several times his kicks went directly into touch because he was in no position to use his left foot, and he has neither capability within or confidence in his right. This is troublesome.

As a matter of fact, the times when I was most concerned during the match was when the ball was at the feet of Joronen, Hutchinson, or Budurov.

McCormack started today and was the first player subbed off. The television guy [and how nice to have only ONE voice in the box again] seemed to think that it was due to his ineffectiveness. I disagree. I think it was due to his lack of pre-season pitch time. I generally liked what I saw from him. As for his strike partner, I’m willing to bet that Moussa Dembele has never had a less effective 90 minutes on a pitch in his life. He couldn’t keep possesion, couldn’t turn, couldn’t find a teammate, and – most problematical for the near future – couldn’t bring either his strength or quickness to bear on Ipswich’s defense.

The match turned around when young Mr. Roberts came on. The ENTIRE TEAM went into attack mode and the Tractor Boys found themselves on their back heels for the rest of the match. Some will be shouting “ROBERTS MUST START NEXT WEEKEND,” but again I disagree. He’s 17, and I think we’ll be seeing him in the role we saw him in today for a few more months.

Of the new boys, the one who impressed me most was Stafylidis. Fulham might actually have a left back that can attack and defend. Also handy was his RB partner Hoogland, although not so much on the defensive end.

So, Fulham opened the season with a defeat, and it took 75 minutes to get hold of the match. It’s early days, though. Here’s what I’m hoping that Felix noted today.
1. Fulham have to take control of the match. By my count, the very first corner – and the first set piece of the match came in the 77th minute. This will not do.
2. Fulham have to realize that the Championship is the Land of the Giants. Hoofing the ball upfield from defense to moderately tall strikers is not going to work. Fulham have an advantage in ball skills, quickness, and fitness. The quick on-the-ground movement we saw after the Roberts substitution should be our prime mode.

HatterDon’s Man of the Match? Well, I was ready to give it to David after the first half, but there was that substitution. So, instead, it goes to Patrick Roberts, and may it be the first of many.


The View From South Texas — Southampton v. Fulham FC

Fulham Fall by the Book

The way to beat Martin Jol’s Fulham is to recognize that it is an old, slow team, to recognize that its primary mode of play is to bunch the action into the middle of the pitch, and to have the discipline, talent, and determination to make Fulham uncomfortable for 90 minutes. Southampton did all of that today and came away the victors in a 2-0 match in which they really should really have scored five or six goals. 

Southampton is not the same team that was in the third tier a few seasons ago. Imagine a young, speedy squad – most of them home grown – managed by Roy Hodgson. That’s what Southampton are. They base everything on defensive steadiness, midfield organization, and opportunistic strikers. They play like a unit and they have a single aim. Today it was to pressure Fulham all over the pitch, to never allow them to get into a groove, and to grind them down. They did this and they did this well. How well? The last count I heard on shots taken was Southampton 16 Fulham 1.

How did Fulham react? Well, on the day there were only two Fulham players who gained notice for positive reasons, Ruiz and Amorebieta. Each of them could win a ball, find a teammate, and generally help move the team forward. Senderos and Riether were poor on defense, and neither Riether nor Richardson could get upfield to support an attack. As a result, Bent ran and ran and got nothing for it, while Berbatov recovered nicely from his 90 minutes of positive play against Palace, and was back to his pouting, strolling, gesticulating best. Parker, Sidwell, and Kasami were swarmed when they got the ball and all had nightmares. Stekelenberg wasn’t at fault for either goal, and his distribution improved in that he actually got a few balls to Fulham players who immediately lost possession, rather than just punting directly to a player in red.

The goals were predictable and dead easy. Absolutely nobody marked Ricky Lambert at the far post after a corner and that was that. As someone remarked in the FulhamUSA.com chatroom, Berbatov was concentrating on a rather threatening blade of grass in our penalty area at the time. Jay Rodriguez got their second in an equally easy manner, when Riether left him unmarked in favor of marking … well, I couldn’t see anyone there. Lee Dixon, doing color for the NBC sports broadcast, blamed Senderos who was about 15 feet away. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of agreement from Fulham supporters about that.

If the first half was a demonstration of how a manager can prepare his side to capitalize on the weaknesses and counter the strengths of his opponents, the beginning of the second half showed once again, how SOME managers have no clue how to make halftime adjustments to get their team back in the game. The only substitution was for an injury and there was no discernable change in Fulham tactics.

Make no mistake, Southampton are a very good side. They not only benefit from the milk of their youth system – I say “the milk” because the cream is playing at Arsenal and Real Madrid at the moment – but they also signed some players from the lower levels that supporters of other teams routinely dismissed as “not Premiership quality.” When the Saints were under-performing last season, they went out and got a boss who firmed up the defense, put some spine and discipline in the midfield, and got all the players to play as a unit. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Fulham could benefit from that sort of move … AGAIN.

The thing is, that Southampton aren’t the only club out there who know how to play against Fulham. If everyone goes out with the same philosophy throughout the season, Fulham will be lucky to get 15 more points. That is, until something changes.

HatterDon’s Man of the Match – Nobody

Now please tell me we aren’t going to purposely tank the League Cup on Wednesday.

Pessimism in the Fulham camp

I’ll start this entry by saying that I have never been a ‘glass half-full’ football supporter, but since the start of this season, I find myself finding a bright side more than most. Sometimes, more recently, I have felt as if I am the only one not calling for a new manager, or “Jol-outing”. I think that, although it has been a slow start, we haven’t been appalling. Every new team takes time to adjust. We need to remember that.

Jol has signed Stekelenburg, Amorebieta, Boateng, Taraabt, Bent, Parker and Zverotic this summer. They will take time to gel with the rest of the team. We will be playing with a new formation to accommodate Bent. We can’t realistically expect everything to work the second it’s tried. We know Ruiz isn’t a winger, the only position he is even half decent in is behind a striker. However, that position is no longer available. This means one of two things: either he has to find a new place to play or he goes. To be honest, the latter looks the more likely and favourable to me. Ruiz is more of a playmaker, but does that mean Jol should suddenly drop Sidwell?

There is a lot to do, and I personally don’t think the answer is for Shahid Khan to come in and make knee-jerk decisions based on a few games. We need to give the team time to work together. We have played 4 competitive games. Our best game was Arsenal. The only home game we’ve played. We’ve had poor performances and lucky wins against Sunderland and Burton Albion. Then, simply, a poor performance and deserving loss against Newcastle. This all seems very familiar to me; we are poor away from home. No manager has been able to change that. With a little time for our new signings to adjust, I think this team will work and get us a strong, stable, top-half place.