Tag Archives: Woodrow

The View from South Texas — FFC v. Birmingham City [a bit late]

Mama Told Me Not to Bother …

… watching the replay of Fulham v. Birmingham City, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to see the players we’ve acquired and fielded after the Newcastle match.

When I listened to the match on Saturday, I noted that Fulham dominated possession throughout – 67% of the first 45 minutes plus and 64% overall. Imagine my surprise then when I actually watched the match. By the first five minutes, City had established the pace of the match, gained control of it, and never really relinquished that control. With the exception of Cairney and McDonald, I thought each of our starters was outplayed by his opposite number. As a matter of fact, considering what I saw this afternoon [stateside afternoon], the most amazing thing is that we lost only 0-1.

Many of my fellow Fulham supporters will hate to hear this, but we really missed two players on Saturday – Scott Parker in the starting XI and Lasse Vigan Christensen off the bench. Parker’s absence allowed Brum to take control of the midfield, and without LVC we had no late pace to inject.

A plus side, for me, was Kebano who replaced Smith [our sacrificial lamb], taken off at half-time to help shore up the defense. Kebano looks fast, sharp, and nippy. He might have made a difference, but City has strength and assertiveness to accompany their discipline and skill.

Who disappointed for me? Well, Smith, for one. He is excellent as set pieces in the box, but really at nothing else, and I only remember him winning one header during his 45 minutes in any case. He clogs up the middle, doesn’t create space for his fellow attackers, and makes it easy for opposing defenders to cover him by basically not running. He continues to be a handy L1-level striker. I really hope I see Martin and Woodrow leading the attack against Burton Albion.

The major disappointment, of course, was Kalas. He was easily manhandled and provided the hospital ball that caused Madl to get his red card as the first half was dying. And then there was Button. After watching the match, I can’t understand how so many supporters thought he was our best player on the day. He was woefully slow in distribution, and his footwork [if you can call it that] almost cost us a couple of goals. Yes, he saved a penalty, but I thought he was substandard overall.

The bright side? We were playing a better side, had no control over the match, and still only lost by a single goal – a goal resulting from a penalty I think was unfairly assessed. If we turn this around on Tuesday, I won’t be all that concerned. I’ll feel better if Parker, Woodrow, and LVC are in the match day squad.

My MotM – Tom Cairney, the class of his class

Quality over quantity

by danniboi-ffc

How wonderful is it to have so many options? Yet the squad is smaller than last season. Now we have more than one player for every position bar strikers which I am very confident the club will rectify before the deadline.

If I had to pick players that I’d be happy to see go before the window slams shut they would be Stearman/Ream, Tunnicliffe, Kavanagh, Grimmer and Woodrow.

I want 2 strikers in and with Smith as a third option I don’t really see a need for Woodrow. I’d loan him out with a recall option for emergencies. Same with Tunnicliffe as I believe he is the weak link squad player that is in Adeniran’s way. Just like O hara and Matilla were last year for Hyndman.

We could make 4 changes when everyone is fit and still be strong. The club may have broken even with money in and out but that doesn’t bother me. I am very impressed with this window. Compared to last season where I was very critical on deadline day and criticised this has been a breathe of fresh air. We have actually identified a system and built/signed players with the attributes and versatility to suit it. Compare the likes of Aluko and Ayite to the likes of Pringle or Odoi comfortable with both feet and both flanks in contrast to Garbutt or Jazz  who didn’t look comfortable wearing football boots let alone 2 positions.

No over the hill O’hara either, instead all our players are either in their prime or at a very good age all in the mid 20s.

We also have more strength in depth than most championship squads now bar strikers. This will surely give us an advantage as the season moves on and injuries/suspensions take their toll. We also thanks to our academy have the likes of Sess, Ade, Edun and De la torre who combined would cost others millions to have 4 players in the squad even just as back ups. Another advantage as with ffp most clubs won’t be able to both assemble a strong eleven and have a big squad. There’s always give and take with their budgets but we now have an opportunity to get in 2 top strikers and be one of the favourites. Something I never imagined saying a few months ago.

Fulham are defying maths. A 20 man squad should not be bigger than a 26 man squad of last year but it is.

Really buzzing about today, COYW!!!!!!

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


orient game- the good and bad

by Danniboi

First of all anyone who saw the score and were gutted to miss out, trust me it was certainly not a 5 goal thriller. But it was enjoyable none the less to see 4 young men make their professional debuts and do us proud. And what better way to start but talking about them.

Sess and Adeniran are a class above Edun and De la Torre. Physically strong and big enough to compete now IMO, everyone hypes up Sess and rightly so, he does the simple things with ease and plays like a fullback with years of experience. But for me Adeniran was just as special last night. He protected the defence so well and over powered the orient midfield and they were not small either. In fact Parker and Ade were so in control that it only became noticeable when Ade went off with a knock and Tunni came on. We started to become bullied and it was no coincidence both goals conceded came after Ade went off and were both towering headers.

Edun was tidy but drifted in and out of the game. He linked up well with Sess on the left but not sure he affected the game enough to be considered for the first team. De la torre IMO was not good enough. Physically much weaker than the other 3 and with no end product. For his debut and at his age I’m certainly not writing him off as he showed glimpses of magic dribbling with the ball Robertsesque but the game passed him by and he fizzled out. Joka was right to sub him.

Onto the senior players, whilst the youngsters showed promise the senior players proved why they didn’t start on Friday. Stearman and Ream were OK when it was easy but once Ade went off and orient lumped it into the box we looked physically weak and unorganised. You just can’t underestimate how much better madl and Kalas are. And this was league two opposition who being bluntly honest, were woeful.

Considering Kavanagh was right back he had his best game for us but even then he is nowhere near the standard required. Physically he is like a 10 year old and it showed when he was flattened when jumping for their second headed goal.

Jorenen not good enough yet, needs a loan. He had very little to do and I haven’t seen replays yet but I thought he should have come for both crosses that they scored from and the first he came half way and ended up in no mans land. Then he tried to catch or punch a third cross and ended up missing it completely resulting in Kav clearing off the line. He has potential but is certainly the number 3.

LVC huffed And puffed but with little end product. Although in his defence at times it seemed where he was our only chance of breaking through and tried a little too much. Again good impact sub but not better than those who started.

Woodrow and this will shock many but IMO he was very poor. He scored 2 world class goals so it seems strange to knock him but his touch was shocking when his back was to goal. Picture Zamora take it down on his chest and bringing runners into play. Instead the ball bounced off of Woodrow and although a good squad player he is not the answer so many think he’s worthy of the chance to be. We need two strikers because we are very short on quality.

Parker was the only one who showed his experience and qualities. I’d be tempted to start him over Tunnicliffe who isn’t good enough. IMO Adeniran looked more disciplined, quicker and better. Going back to Ade and his goal. Shame on the ref and shame on the FA for such a stupid rule for celebrating a goal. This lad is 18 making his pro debut and scored. He didn’t jump into the crowd or take his shirt off. His Dad was in the front row and he hugged him resulting in many fans and half the team jumping into a group hug. Parker like the good captain he is was straight in the refs ear to explain and get Ade off the hook but the ref booked him which was pathetic. But then even more impressively despite being eagar Ade showed fantastic maturity and discipline to avoid risking a second yellow, in fact I dont even remember him giving away a foul. There was one incident where Ade shoulder barged their big centre forward and he went flying, the same guy who bullied Stearman and Ream a couple of times.

I will finish on the manager. He never sat down once, he stands on the edge of his technical area and his presence was very commanding. He is certainly the boss but at the same time the players looked like they were having fun. IMO he could well go onto be our greatest manager. I don’t remember a manager standing with such a profound and commanding presence as Joka. And ultimately I can’t see Craig Kline or Rigg winning if Joka wants his way.

Others may not agree but there was little coverage of the match from what Ive heard so thought I’d give a little analysis. Onwards and upwards