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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:36:05 AM

Title: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:36:05 AM
 
 Sergio Rico wants to return to Premier League next season
Rico set to play for Fulham in Sky Live clash at West Ham on Friday night

Goalkeeper Sergio Rico says he has enjoyed his time at Fulham and would like to play in the Premier League again next season.

Rico, who signed for the London club on a season-long loan from Sevilla last summer, has made 17 appearances so far this season for the Cottagers, keeping three clean sheets.

The Spain international has been at Sevilla since his youth career, winning the Europa League twice, but a return to England - and hopefully the Premier League - is something he is seriously considering.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the 25-year-old said: "I have to come back to Seville but I would like to come here [England] next season because I am very happy here.

"I like the Premier League and I enjoy it a lot here in London, I am so happy. I don't know the future now but I would like to come here again."

Fulham currently sit 19th in the Premier League table and are set to face West Ham on Friday evening at the London Stadium, live on Sky Sports.



https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11681/11643396/sergio-rico-wants-to-return-to-premier-league-next-season
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:37:18 AM
 
Next at Home: Chelsea
(https://ffcw001.azureedge.net/-/media/03596-fulham_chelsea-mbm_website-news-story-inside-image_622x278px_awk.jpg?w=622&h=278)

Secure your seats for next week’s West London derby as Fulham face Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday 3rd March, kick-off 2:05pm.

Season Ticket Holders, Members and supporters with a Booking History can all purchase up to two tickets each, priced from £30 adults & £20 juniors.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone on 0203 871 0810 (opt. 1) or in person from the Fulham Ticket Office.

Matchday Hospitality
Why not enjoy the SW6 derby in style, with Matchday Hospitality at the historic Fulham Palace, just a short walk from Craven Cottage, available from £199 (+VAT) per person.

Home to the Bishop of London since 704, enjoy a drinks reception on arrival, as well as a delicious two-course meal alongside inclusive beers, wines and soft drinks, before making the short trip to the Cottage to watch the action unfold.

Book your place today online, by calling our hospitality team on 020 8336 7555 or by emailing hospitality@fulhamfc.com. 



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2019/february/21/next-at-home-chelsea
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:39:52 AM
 
Manuel Pellegrini could try exciting playmaker experiment with Samir Nasri and Manuel Lanzini against Fulham

West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini could try an exciting experiment against Fulham on Friday night.

The Hammers take on the cottagers at the London Stadium in the opening game of the weekend as the Premier League resumes.

West Ham have not won for five games but have earned respectable draws in their last two games against Crystal Palace and Liverpool.

Hammers could go three points off seventh

That leaves the East Londoners in 10th place knowing they could move up to ninth and just three points off seventh with a victory.

Manuel Pellegrini has been nursing a league-worst injury list.

But things look to be improving ahead of the visit of the lowly Cottagers.

West Ham will be boosted by the return of key players from long-term injury for the game.

Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Fabian Balbuena look set to come back into the squad.

Pellegrini’s playmaker problems

The Chilean tactician has long bemoaned the glut of injuries affecting his playmakers.

Lanzini has missed the entire season so far while Andriy Yarmolenko was injured for the season. Jack Wilshere has missed most of the campaign and could be out for the remainder too.

It is exciting times for Pellegrini and Hammers fans having Lanzini and Nasri back.

Neither can manage a full 90 minutes of Premier League action just yet.

Exciting experiment on the cards?

So Pellegrini could experiment by giving each playmaker 45 minutes or as near as damn it.

Having been involved recently before a calf injury, Nasri will likely start the game.

Pellegrini can then introduce Lanzini for the second half, whether that is at half-time or on the hour.

That will be a daunting prospect for the Premier League’s worst ever defence.

And it seems a sound plan for the rest of the season so as not to over burden Lanzini and bring him back slowly but surely to his best.

Nasri will also get the game time to continue to prove he has what it takes to earn an expected one-year contract for next term.



https://www.hammers.news/club-news/manuel-pellegrini-could-try-exciting-playmaker-experiment-with-samir-nasri-and-manuel-lanzini-against-fulham/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:44:00 AM
 
In-Focus: Reading U23s

Fulham Under-23s’ PL Cup Group campaign will come to a close on Friday as Reading make the short journey to Motspur Park.

(https://ffcw001.azureedge.net/-/media/18_19_academy_pics/reading_preview_u23s_(1).JPG?w=350&h=250)

Reading go into the game on the back of two league defeats against lowly Sunderland and Newcastle as they slip to third in the table.

The Young Whites will be hoping to bounce back and qualify for the last 16 of the tournament after losing narrowly 2-1 to Southampton last week.

The Current Picture:

Group G is finely poised with the top two teams from each group advancing. Reading have already qualified as Fulham battle it out with Birmingham Under-23s for the final qualification spot.

We sit on nine points ahead of the visit of The Royals and should we draw, barring an emphatic eight goal win by Birmingham against Colchester Under-23s, we will advance. Alternatively, the Birmingham result is meaningless should we pick up all three points.

Last Time Out:

Upon travelling to Reading twice in a week in league and cup, Nicolas Santos-Clase’s goal couldn’t salvage a point from the Cup game. Adrian Popa and Conor Lawless struck within two minutes of each other to make Santos-Clase’s clever finish merely a consolation.

(https://ffcw001.azureedge.net/-/media/18_19_academy_pics/pembs_reading_preview.jpg?w=350&h=250)

View From the Gaffer:

Mark Pembridge is viewing the game as a good chance to focus his side’s attention away from the league, with the possibility of a Cup run in sight.

“Progressing in the Cup will keep the season alive, this is something different to go for and it will be good to see how the boys react.” He told fulhamfc.com.

“We started well against Southampton but we couldn’t get to grips with their system. They scored a good goal and a lucky goal. Once we got the ball into those wide areas we got more joy, but we were chasing the game. We did get the goal but it was ten minutes too late. We could have had a chance to grab an equaliser if that was the case.”

“We’ve played Reading a couple of times this season. We were unlucky last time out. We deserved something last time but it’s obviously a game we need to get something from to go through.

“Their results won’t differ from what they do or how hard they work. This will be difficult, but one we are looking forward to. There aren’t many games this season where we are saying ‘we were well beaten’ – maybe only twice this season. Friday’s game being one, and Newcastle away being the other."

The Boss also gave an update on a couple of injuries sustained in the last couple of weeks, and those on the fringes – including Cameron Thompson and Tayo Edun.

“Tommo got injured against Colchester and it was a bad hamstring pull, he will be out for a while. When you lose players on loan that will score 20 over the season then it hinders you somewhat. There was no coincidence when the boys came back off loan we got some positive results.

“Tayo hasn’t played for a while. He played more time than we would have wanted at Colchester. He has a thigh strain at the moment so it’s about managing him back in.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2019/february/21/u23s-preview
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:45:30 AM
 
Hammers line-up looks set for Fulham

Manuel Pellegrini is never an easy boss to read when it comes to team selection but with playmakers on the way back we are likely to see a Hammers team more in his image than previously this season.

However, tomorrow night we will probably see the team that started the Palace game – with the exception of Arnautovic for Chicharito – lining up against Fulham.

Both Lanzini and Nasri are set for the bench with insiders telling CandH this morning that Lanzini has been in seriously competitive form on the training ground.

One of our senior sources told us by telephone:”He genuinely looks like the Lanzini we know. There’s been no holding back and is probably ready to give 20 minutes should the game demand it.

“Not a single chance will be taken and the scans are showing perfect healing – it’s exciting times for him and the fans after he suffered such a devastating injury. ”

Nasri is also ready to get involved again but is also likely to be on the bench as a possible replacement for Noble with Lanzini coming on for Snodgrass should he be required.

Fabian Balbuena is close to a return but Ogbonna looks set to partner Issa Diop from the start against Fulham.”

Likely starting x1: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass Anderson, Antonio, Arnautovic



https://www.claretandhugh.info/hammers-line-up-looks-set-for-fulham/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:49:44 AM
 
Chambers feels midfield experience at Fulham can help him at Arsenal

Calum Chambers has been playing in midfield for Fulham but hopes that experience can help him improve as a central defender.

(https://tbrfootball.com/static/uploads/2019/02/GettyImages-1092782108.jpg)
(BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Calum Chambers is a centre-half by trade but has spent his loan spell at relegation-battlers Fulham as a holding midfielder.

And while playing out of position in a struggling side may not have been the season Chambers envisaged when he moved across to West London, he feels it will help his longer term development.

He told Sky Sports: “”When I do drop back to centre-half it is only going to help me on the ball. I now know what a midfielder would want from me as a centre-half, when you want the ball and when you might not want the ball.

“I can take all of these things back with me when I do move back to centre-half. It is going to be beneficial as these are all things I will add to my game.”

It has become clear from Unai Emery’s initial period at Arsenal that he is still in need of defensive improvements.

Laurent Koscielny has battled back manfully but age is taking its toll and the injury to Rob Holding was a hammer blow. But just as Holding was developing so well under Emery, Chambers will hope to do the same next season.

And Arsenal are in need of a dependable, ball-playing centre-half of the right age and Chambers can be that man, perhaps with Holding alongside him.



https://tbrfootball.com/chambers-feels-midfield-experience-at-fulham-can-help-him-at-arsenal/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:53:29 AM
 
Before The Whistle: West Ham vs Fulham preview

After a weekend break from Football, the Whites are back in Premier League action on Friday. A short trip East to Stratford awaits for a matchup against the mid-table Hammers, and George Singer is here as ever to give you the lowdown!

Before we get to the game, I have a bit of a rant to make.

With 12 games to go, and at least 7 points to make up on our rivals, things are looking desperate right now at the Cottage. The side is devout of confidence, rifts of discontent are forming in the ranks, and our natural creativity is being stifled by a stubborn negative manager. Something clearly needs to change, and fast, if we want to stop this spiral taking us back down to the Championship – however I fear it’s already too late.

If I were in the Khan’s shoes, I would have utilized this 2 week break to make this change. I struggle to see any value in continuing Claudio’s employment; he’s going to take us down to the Championship, and neither party would expect him to stay in the second tier of English football. As I mentioned on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, I would love us to find a young, compliant manager who wants to play football the right way. If Ranieri is just a stopgap until we find the right man, then fine. But, the faster we get someone in, the more time they will have to learn the squad and make informed decisions in the next transfer window.

This break, however, is now over, and the Italian is still in charge – and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere. Therefore, to me it feels like damage limitation becomes the priority. Irregardless of the league we’re in, our facilities and location will always make us an attractive location for players to come to. Within the squad right now, we have exciting talent who could realistically stay and excel for at least one year in the second tier. However, they are currently rotting on the bench, and losing their passion for the club. TC, Sess, and Anguissa surely need to start getting more minutes. If we invest time in them now, they’re more likely to stay. If we keep benching them, they’ll push to move in the summer.

Right, rant over. On to the game.

Our opponents
West Ham’s current side reminds me of how we set up under Martin Jol in 2012. In those days, Murphy would hold the fort in the 6 role, with an attacking midfield setup of Duff, Diarra, Ruiz and Dempsey feeding the Pog. West Ham have managed to employ a similar system, with now-English Declan Rice playing the mature lynch-pin role in central midfield. Combine this plethora of attacking talent, with a strong set piece plan, and you have an opponent with serious attacking threat.

Unsurprisingly, considering his considerable pedigree, Pellegrini has managed to blend these attacking players into a defensive system able to keep key opposition men out of the game. Whilst no side averages less pressing actions per 90 minutes than West Ham, Pellegrini positions his men to passively cut out passing lanes to starve opposition playmakers and force them away from West Ham’s goal. Their impressive draw against Liverpool was a perfect example of this – where they impressively kept Liverpool’s attacking players relatively quiet for 90 minutes.

Between the sticks sits Lucasz Fabianski – potentially the most underrated player in the Premier League. According to advanced metrics, he’s conceded over 6 goals fewer than the average Premier League keeper would, from the shots he has faced.

There’s no doubt that this is going to be a difficult game for us. We’re yet to win away from the Cottage, and there’s little to suggest that this record will be broken on Friday. Therefore, I can only predict a West Ham win, giving them the double over us this season.

Facts and stats

One to watch

Felipe Anderson – Since signing from Lazio in the Summer, the Brazilian has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. Sometimes tricky wingers from South America can struggle to acclimatize, however with 9 goals and 3 assists so far this season the left winger has thrived under Pellegrini’s leadership.

Fulham vs West Ham head to head

Earlier in the season, Fulham fell to a disappointing 2-0 loss at the Cottage to the Hammers. In previous Premier League matchups, the Whites have tended to struggle, with West Ham winning 12 of the 21 Premier League clashes. 4 have been draws.

West Ham’s recent form

West Ham are in relatively poor form, and are without a win in their last 5 games. This includes losses against Bournemouth, Wolves, and most embarrassingly an FA cup exit against AFC Wimbledon.



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2019-02-21-before-the-whistle-west-ham-vs-fulham-preview/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 07:57:45 AM
 
Fulham challenged to spark great escape with win at West Ham

Claudio Ranieri has urged Fulham to take control of their destiny and start a great escape by beating West Ham.

Fulham are eight points from safety in the Premier League with 12 games remaining and they travel to the London Stadium tomorrow facing a tough battle to avoid relegation.

Ranieri said: “It is important for us to show our strength. The destiny is there. I want to see my players make their destiny with their own arms.

“We have to stay together and stay united to give something good to each other. I am confident with my players. It is a big challenge. But I won this challenge twice, once with Cagliari and once with Parma. I hope this will be the third challenge I win.”

Ranieri has said Ryan Sessegnon could return to the Fulham side against West Ham after starting the last four matches on the bench.

Ranieri said: “He had a fantastic season last season in the Championship, started very well and then it is normal for an 18-year-old with the mentality, the stress, everything. Now I saw him getting better and he has the chance to play. We need some young players who have a new mentality to change our way.”

New signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit could be involved against West Ham but are unlikely to start. Alfie Mawson has started running as he steps up his rehabilitation from a knee injury.

Ranieri said: “Mawson is starting to run and the others are all OK.



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham/fulham-challenged-to-spark-great-escape-with-win-at-west-ham-a4073096.html
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:01:57 AM
 
 Claudio Ranieri backs Ryan Sessegnon to inspire Fulham turnaround
Fulham travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm on Friday Night Football

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri believes a rejuvenated Ryan Sessegnon could play a crucial role in the club's battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The 18-year-old played a starring role as Fulham were promoted from the Sky Bet Championship last season, but has fallen out of the starting line-up since Ranieri replaced Slavisa Jokanovic in November.

Fulham are facing an uphill task to avoid relegation as they sit eight points behind 17th-placed Cardiff with 12 games remaining and are set to return to action away to West Ham on Friday night, live on Sky Sports.

"It's normal, 18 years old, it's normal," Ranieri said.

"He had a fantastic last season in the Championship. He started very well and it's normal at 18 years old, to change the mentality, the stress, everything. Now I see him getting better and he has the chance to play.

"We need some young players who have a new mentality to change the way."

Having started Ranieri's first four games in charge, Sessegnon suffered a groin strain that caused him to miss two matches - including a 2-0 defeat to West Ham at Craven Cottage - and has only started one of eight Premier League fixtures since.

Fulham have picked up just seven points during that stretch, leaving them 19th and in danger of being cut adrift from the relegation battle, with an abysmal defensive record playing a major part in their downfall.

The 58 league goals they have conceded amount to 10 more than bottom side Huddersfield, who have the next worst record, while only three teams in Premier League history have let in more goals at this stage of the season.

"To help the defensive line, it must be all the team. It's a team who have to defend together and attack together," Ranieri said.

"A lot of times, if you see the first match against West Ham, we played very well but they scored two goals on the counter-attack.

"It was amazing because we shot at goal so many times, but that is the sport, that is football."



https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11681/11643767/claudio-ranieri-backs-ryan-sessegnon-to-inspire-fulham-turnaround
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:03:48 AM
 
Paul Merson makes grim Fulham prediction ahead of crucial clash with West Ham

Sky Sports pundit delivers his assessment on Fulham ahead of their London derby with West Ham

Fulham's clash with West Ham is a "must-win" game, according to Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson.

The Whites travel to face the Hammers in a crunch clash at the London Stadium tomorrow night (Friday), with Claudio Ranieri's side currently eight points from safety with 12 games to go in the Premier League season.

And with home games to come against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in the next few weeks, Merson says this is a pivotal time for Ranieri's men in their battle to avoid relegation, with the trip to West Ham followed by a midweek clash with fellow strugglers Southampton at St Mary's next Wednesday.

However, the former Arsenal and Aston Villa forward has delivered a damning assessment of Fulham's chances of being successful in the battle to avoid the drop.

"Fulham are in the must-win saloon but they are letting in goals for fun, and I don't see anything except a victory for West Ham," Merson said in his weekly predictions feature for the Sky Sports website.

"It's hard for Fulham to go somewhere and keep clean sheets and they also aren't the highest scoring team, so I don't see them getting anything here.

"I can't see Fulham surviving; defensively, they are not going to keep enough clean sheets. They are behind the eight-ball and the more they have to chase games, the more vulnerable they are going to be. I don't give them a chance."

Merson is predicting a 3-1 win for West Ham.



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/merson-prediction-west-ham-fulham-15865188
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:10:51 AM
 
West Ham United v Fulham
FRI 22 Feb 2019   Premier League
Venue: London Stadium


(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/C245/production/_105733794_lanzini.jpg)
Manuel Lanzini missed the 2018 World Cup after injuring his knee in training with Argentina

TEAM NEWS

Manuel Lanzini may make his first West Ham appearance since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in June, and Samir Nasri is also back in contention.

Jack Wilshere remains sidelined but Marko Arnautovic, who came off the bench in the last game, could return to the starting line-up.

January signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit are in contention to make their debuts for Fulham.

Both players were short of fitness when they joined the club two weeks ago.

Loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah is once again available, having missed out against parent club Manchester United, so the injured Alfie Mawson is Fulham's only expected absentee.

MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

Jonathan Pearce: The Marko Arnautovic 'China syndrome' has derailed West Ham's progress. They haven't won in their last five league and cup games. He needs to refocus and would do well to emulate Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Week in, week out he has given everything for a struggling side. If Fulham go down - which seems probable - and Newcastle don't want the Serb striker back, the Hammers should go for him. Irons fans love battlers and distrust big egos.

They'd also love to see Manuel Lanzini back in the side. It would be a major boost for their flagging campaign.

I'll be saddened if Fulham go. But with just two away points and the worst defence in all of Europe's top divisions they need a miracle.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini: "I think Manuel Lanzini for every manager would be a player that makes a difference.

"Seeing Manuel working during the last two weeks, for me I am confident that he will return in a very good shape because he is not afraid."

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri: "We have to fight, every match is important in the fight for survival. It is difficult because they have very good players.

"They [West Ham] are safe and for us it is important to show our strength and I want to see my players make their destiny."

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

    West Ham won 2-0 away to Fulham in December and are hoping to complete a league double against the Cottagers for the time since the 2008-09 season.
    Fulham won their first Premier League game away to West Ham in 2001 but they are winless in nine subsequent league visits (D4, L5).

West Ham United

    West Ham have claimed just one victory in their last seven Premier League games (D3, L3), having won five of their previous six.
    They have won nine league games already this season, one short of their final total last term.
    The Hammers have kept four Premier League clean sheets this season - only Fulham, with two, have a worse record.
    Felipe Anderson has failed to score in his last seven Premier League games, having netted seven times in nine appearances before that.
    Michail Antonio could make his 100th Premier League appearance, while Javier Hernandez is one short of 50 goals in the division.

Fulham

    The only club to have avoided relegation after taking 17 points or fewer from their first 26 Premier League games is West Brom in 2004-05.
    Claudio Ranieri's side have lost five of their previous six games.
    Fulham have taken just two points from their last 15 away games in the Premier League (D2, L13), and are the only top-flight side without an away win this season.
    They have conceded a league-high 58 goals this season, 10 more than any other side.
    The Whites have lost their last eight London derbies, a new record in the top flight, and have taken one point from the last 36 available in such matches.
    This will be Fulham's first Premier League game played on a Friday since Boxing Day 2008, when they drew 0-0 at Tottenham.
    Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 40% of his team's Premier League goals this term - the highest figure for any player in the division.
    Mitrovic scored in Fulham's first two away league games this season but has failed to net in their subsequent 11 matches on the road. the road.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47248479
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:13:25 AM
 
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri provides Alfie Mawson injury update

The defender has been out since injuring his knee against Huddersfield

Claudio Ranieri has said that Alfie Mawson has started running again following his latest knee injury.

The former Swansea defender suffered the injury in the Cottagers' win over Huddersfield Town at the end of 2018 when changing his boots at half time and required surgery to fix the problem.

The 25-year-old had started pool work earlier in February but now appears to have made some progress, while Ranieri noted otherwise Fulham have a clean bill of health.

Speaking ahead of his side's match with West Ham, the Italian said: "No news, all players in good condition. Just Mawson is starting to run and the others are ok.

"Only Mawson is out, he is getting better. He is starting his rehabilitation."

Mawson's absence has perhaps accentuated the Whites' defensive struggles with the club having conceded more goals than anyone else in the Premier League with 58.

Ranieri has taken heart from his side's last match against the Hammers however, and hopes to improve where they faulted in their 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture.

He said: "I think to help the defensive line, it’s the team who defend together and attack together.

"A lot of times, if you see the first match against West Ham, we played very well but they scored two goals on the counter-attack.

"It was amazing because we shot against the goal so many times, that’s football and for us it’s important."

Despite being winless in their last three matches the Hammers lie tenth on 33 points, 16 ahead of Fulham.

The ex-Leiceister City coach, who will come up against another Premier League title winner in Manuel Pellegrini and knows what a challenge Friday night's opponents will bring.

Ranieri said: "It’s difficult because they have very good players. They are very calm, and they are safe. For us it’s important to show our strength.

"The destiny is there and my players to make their destiny.

"They [West Ham] started with the difficulties because when changing the manager it’s normal, and at the beginning they were playing all the big teams.

"When the matches were normal, they started to play well and win the matches, and we have to be very concentrated throughout the match."



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/fulham-boss-claudio-ranieri-provides-15866038
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:14:32 AM
 
Claudio Ranieri takes heart from spirit in Fulham camp

The west Londoners are eight points from safety with 12 games left.

Claudio Ranieri insists his relegation-threatened Fulham players feel “alive” because their fate could be settled in the coming weeks.

The Cottagers face West Ham on Friday, where victory would give their survival hopes a boost ahead of important matches against fellow strugglers Southampton and local rivals Chelsea.

Ranieri believes Fulham are ready to give their unlikely bid for survival one final push, after almost two weeks out of action. They sit eight points from safety in 19th place and have only 12 league games left to play.

The Italian said: “Every time in the training session there is a very good atmosphere. They have given me a lot of confidence, because you see the players are alive. They want to do something more every match.

“I am confident with the support of our fans, we can (achieve) very good things.

“It’s difficult because West Ham have very good players. They are very calm, and they are safe. For us it’s important to show our strength.

“The destiny is there and my players (need) to make their destiny. We know it’s a difficult moment for us but we must be positive.

“These three matches, West Ham, Southampton and Chelsea in very few days. We can say something more after these three.”

The Italian has achieved survival when all has appeared lost in the past, notably at Parma in 2007, and that experience fuels his belief that Fulham can turn their season around.

His work at Parma prompted Juventus to appoint him at the end of that season, and the 67-year-old said: “It is a big challenge but twice I won this big challenge. Once with Cagliari and once with Parma. I hope this can be the third.

“The situations; we were at the bottom in February, (but) at the end we were safe. I hope also at Fulham I can do the same.

“Always I am confident, always I am positive. West Ham spent more than us because they are safe more or less and we are in a bad zone. (But) I am confident with my players because a lot are without experience for the Premier League and it is not an easy challenge for them.”

Alfie Mawson is the only injury absentee for Fulham, and the competition for places means new signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit are again unlikely to start.



http://sport.bt.com/news/claudio-ranieri-takes-heart-from-spirit-in-fulham-camp-S11364338216893
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:16:34 AM
 
Lawro's Carabao Cup and Premier League predictions

Manchester United could do neighbours Manchester City a huge favour when they host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Liverpool need at least a point to go back to the top of the Premier League on a day when City are playing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final - but will they get it at Old Trafford against their bitter rivals?

BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson said: "A draw would be a good result for Liverpool, especially because of the way the mood has changed at United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"The atmosphere is different to the way it was under Jose Mourinho anyway, and you just know they are are going to ramp it up for this game."

West Ham v Fulham (19:45 GMT)

Manuel Lanzini could make his first appearance of the season for West Ham after a long injury lay-off and another creative player, Samir Nasri, has a chance of being fit too.

Fulham had a couple of good early chances in their last game, against Manchester United on 9 February, but ended up well beaten.

West Ham are inconsistent but, even if they have a bad day, it is hard to make much of a case for a Fulham side who are yet to win on the road in the league this season, and have the worst away record in the Premier League.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0



https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47320291
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:19:37 AM
 
'They have given me a lot of confidence': Claudio Ranieri taking heart from spirit in Fulham camp as they continue to fight for survival

    Claudio Ranieri insists his relegation-threatened Fulham players feel 'alive'
    The Cottagers hope to give survival hopes a boost against West Ham on Friday
    The London club currently sit eight points adrift of safety in the Premier League
    Ranieri believes they're ready to give their unlikely bid for survival one final push

Claudio Ranieri insists his relegation-threatened Fulham players feel 'alive' because their fate could be settled in the coming weeks.

The Cottagers face West Ham on Friday, where victory would give their survival hopes a boost ahead of important matches against fellow strugglers Southampton and local rivals Chelsea.

Ranieri believes Fulham are ready to give their unlikely bid for survival one final push, after almost two weeks out of action. They sit eight points from safety in 19th place and have only 12 league games left to play.

(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/02/21/15/10102736-0-image-a-15_1550764471599.jpg)
Claudio Ranieri believes Fulham are ready to give their unlikely bid for survival one final push

The Italian said: 'Every time in the training session there is a very good atmosphere. They have given me a lot of confidence, because you see the players are alive. They want to do something more every match.

'I am confident with the support of our fans, we can (achieve) very good things.

'It's difficult because West Ham have very good players. They are very calm, and they are safe. For us it's important to show our strength.

'The destiny is there and my players (need) to make their destiny. We know it's a difficult moment for us but we must be positive.

'These three matches, West Ham, Southampton and Chelsea in very few days. We can say something more after these three.'

The Italian has achieved survival when all has appeared lost in the past, notably at Parma in 2007, and that experience fuels his belief that Fulham can turn their season around.

(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/02/21/15/10102786-0-image-a-16_1550764476124.jpg)
Ranieri insists that his Fulham players feel 'alive' because their fate could be settled soon

His work at Parma prompted Juventus to appoint him at the end of that season, and the 67-year-old said: 'It is a big challenge but twice I won this big challenge. Once with Cagliari and once with Parma. I hope this can be the third.

'The situations; we were at the bottom in February, (but) at the end we were safe. I hope also at Fulham I can do the same.

'Always I am confident, always I am positive. West Ham spent more than us because they are safe more or less and we are in a bad zone. (But) I am confident with my players because a lot are without experience for the Premier League and it is not an easy challenge for them.'

Alfie Mawson is the only injury absentee for Fulham, and the competition for places means new signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit are again unlikely to start.



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-6730175/They-given-lot-confidence-Claudio-Ranieri-taking-heart-spirit-Fulham-camp.html
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:22:10 AM
 
Claudio Ranieri’s comments will finally give confidence to Fulham talisman Ryan Sessegnon

(https://tbrfootball.com/static/uploads/2019/02/GettyImages-1090994228.jpg)

Ever since Fulham’s loss to Burnley in January, Ryan Sessegnon has been dropped to the bench for the following Premier League matches.

As the Whites have slipped further and further out of touch of safety during that spell, many have criticized the absence of Fulham’s talisman in the starting lineup.

Luckily for Fulham, Claudio Ranieri’s recent comments will instill much-needed confidence in the 18-year-old ahead of the vital match against West Ham United tomorrow.

In comments reported by Sky Sports, Ranieri said Sessegnon could provide the spark needed to revitalise Fulham’s survival charge.

“Now I see him getting better and he has the chance to play,” Ranieri said. “We need some young players who have a new mentality to change the way.”

The reversal of Ranieri’s previous stance towards Sessegnon is excellent news for the Whites, as benching one of Fulham’s brightest stars and fan favourites has harmed both the team and the manager’s popularity.

Although Sessegnon has struggled at times to adapt to the top flight, there is no doubting his tremendous abilities, and he possesses the spark to win a match with his ingenuity.

Fulham fans will be delighted at the prospect of Ranieri trusting Ryan Sessegnon and potentially starting the phenom from the off against West Ham on Friday.



https://tbrfootball.com/claudio-ranieris-comments-will-finally-give-confidence-to-fulham-talisman-ryan-sessegnon/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:23:14 AM
 
Liverpool reject Lazar Markovic has perfect chance to save his career at Fulham

When Lazar Markovic signed for Fulham on deadline day this January, Liverpool supporters breathed a sigh of relief and rejoiced that the winger was finally off their books.

The Anfield reject has the perfect chance to save his floundering career at Fulham, where he will link up with countryman and friend Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack.

Markovic joined Liverpool in 2014, yet failed to cement himself on Merseyside and experienced countless unproductive loan spells from 2015 onwards.

A permanent switch finally presented itself last month, and although it feels as if the winger has been around forever, Markovic is still just 24 years of age.

In Fulham’s announcement of the transfer, the club prominently featured the fact that Mitrovic praised and recommended signing Markovic.

The statement drew ridicule at the time, but a symbiotic relationship between the new acquisition and Fulham’s best player is an enticing prospect for the Whites.

With Fulham needing a miracle to stay in the Premier League, the insertion of Lazar Markovic’s pace and ingenuity out wide could inject an attacking drive into Claudio Ranieri’s beleaguered side.

And with Markovic moving on from his Liverpool nightmare, Craven Cottage might provide the change of setting that the 24-year-old needs to save his career.



https://tbrfootball.com/liverpool-reject-lazar-markovic-has-perfect-chance-to-save-his-career-at-fulham/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:24:13 AM
 
Former Hammer could make Fulham debut

Former Hammer Havard Nordtveit could make his debut for Fulham tomorrow against his former team.

Nordtveit signed for the Hammers in July 2016 on a free transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach signing a five year contract.

He made his official debut for the Hammers on 28 July in a 2–1 defeat to NK Domžale in the first leg of a Europa League qualifying match, playing the full 90 minutes.

A year later he completed a summer transfer to German Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for a fee reported to be £7.2m.

Nordtveit played 21 games in all competitions for the Hammers but the move never really worked out for the Norway international.

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic said at the time: “I would like to thank Havard for his commitment and hard work last season. He is an excellent professional and we wish him all the very best at Hoffenheim.”

Fulham signed Nordtveit on loan for the remainder of the season paying a £900,000 loan fee and picking up his wages.



https://www.claretandhugh.info/former-hammer-could-make-fulham-debut/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:25:56 AM
 
Hammers confident of Fulham double

West Ham supporters are confident of a Fulham double with 83% of Claret and Hugh readers expecting a West Ham win on Friday night. Just over 5% expect Fulham to win while the remaining 12% predict a draw.

West Ham won 2-0 away to Fulham in December and are hoping to complete a league double against the Cottagers for the time since the 2008-09 season.

Fulham won their first Premier League game away to West Ham in 2001 but they are winless in nine subsequent league visits (D4, L5).

West Ham have claimed just one victory in their last seven Premier League games (D3, L3), having won five of their previous six.

The Hammers have won nine league games already this season, one short of their final total last term.

The only club to have avoided relegation after taking 17 points or fewer from their first 26 Premier League games is West Brom in 2004-05.

Claudio Ranieri’s side have lost five of their previous six games. Fulham have taken just two points from their last 15 away games in the Premier League (D2, L13), and are the only top-flight side without an away win this season. Fulham have conceded a league-high 58 goals this season, 10 more than any other side. The Whites have lost their last eight London derbies, a new record in the top flight, and have taken one point from the last 36 available in such matches.



https://www.claretandhugh.info/hammers-confident-of-fulham-double/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:28:01 AM
 
The two reasons Claudio Ranieri believes he can pull off Fulham survival miracle

The Italian has experience in relegation battles

February, 19th place and just 15 points.

Claudio Ranieri's situation at Parma wasn't too dissimilar from his current predicament with Fulham. In that 2006/07 season Ranieri won 17 points from ten matches to keep his team in Serie A.

Despite winning the Premier League with Leicester and been known for managing the likes of Chelsea, Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma - the Italian has also earned his stripes in relegation battles.

The Cottagers are eight points from safety already this term, with 12 matches remaining, so it could take an effort even greater than the above to ensure survival.

Ranieri believes a miracle is required for Fulham but that it is one he can achieve, having saved Parma and also Cagliari even earlier in his career.

He said: "In Cagliari when I won the third division and then the second division, we arrived in Serie A. At the same point of the league, we were bottom.

"In Parma, I arrived more or less in this period - February 16th. The team was at the bottom and in the end we were safe.

"I remember we were so close together. We fought to try to make a miracle because nobody believed that Parma could be safe.

"It’s the same with Fulham in this moment with people saying ‘OK, Fulham is down’. But I am confident. Until the end, I will be confident. Always.

"My experience says if you try to do this, this and this, you have more opportunity. I believe in life if you fight, you can lose. But If you don’t fight, you have already lost."

The 67-year-old had earlier praised the quality of Fulham's training and the atmosphere and he believes this is where he has generated success in the past.

Ranieri said: “The key is to train very well, to stay together in the bad moments. This team is the same, they work very well, they stay together. There is a very good atmosphere.

"If we continue in this way, we have to change. I believe this. As a manager I have experience. If your players train every time with very good intensity and very good mentality.

"It’s important for me because I have to motivate them. But who motivates the motivator? The players and the fans. Together, we try to do the best."

Regardless of the Cottagers' plight, the Fulham boss is steadfast in his belief they can still survive, but is it his hardest challenge? Perhaps right now, but Ranieri does not believe that feeling will necessarily last and will use his experience from Serie A for inspiration.

He said: "When I arrived, nobody believed I could save Parma. It was also the same in Cagliari and the same here.

"Now I can say, ‘Yes, it’s more difficult’ because I am living this moment. But also when I arrived there (it was the same).

"I think it is important to be confident with your players if you see your players are confident and believe."



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/claudio-ranieri-relegation-fulham-parma-15868200
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:30:54 AM
 
Roy Hodgson: The Premier League's oldest manager - by those who know him best

According to former England defender Gary Neville, Roy Hodgson deserves to be recognised as "one of the great English coaches".

But for the first 31 years of his career, the Crystal Palace manager had barely registered on the radar in his home country.

His one job in England had been at Bristol City - an unremarkable four-month spell in 1982 which ended with him sacked before the club's relegation to the fourth tier.

Fifteen years later, he would pitch up at Blackburn Rovers, and - after another ill-fated stint despite an encouraging first season - would then return to a globetrotting existence.

It was not until his time at Fulham, when he led them from the brink of relegation to the 2010 Europa League final, that he really cemented himself as a regular presence on the British managerial scene. This despite working in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy (where he was twice in charge of Inter Milan), Denmark, the United Arab Emirates and Finland in the intervening years.

He has since gone on to manage Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Palace and, of course, England. There have been dizzying highs and painful lows.

On Saturday, Hodgson will overtake Sir Bobby Robson as the oldest man to manage a Premier League game - he will be 71 years and 198 days old when Palace visit Leicester.

Before that game, we speak to some of those closest to him during his time in England - and the man himself - to find out how someone who reads Chekhov and likes opera has sustained himself at the top level for so long.

'After England, we'd meet for breakfast every Friday'
Hodgson's England tenure ended with an infamous Euro 2016 last-16 exit to minnows Iceland. He memorably said "I don't know what I am doing here" when ordered to appear at a media briefing the next day, having resigned following the defeat. The ignominious nature of those events led many to suspect Hodgson was finished in football - either because he would not want to return or because he would be tainted by the end of his Three Lions reign.

Ray Lewington, who worked as Hodgson's assistant with Fulham, England and now Crystal Palace: When you are England manager, you get battered, absolutely battered.

I always remember we went to the Houses of Parliament to meet some MPs prior to going to the World Cup in 2014 and seeing all these famous faces - household names. They all stopped and turned. Probably after the prime minister, Roy was the most famous face in England. It stops everything.

After England, we used to meet for breakfast on a Friday for a year or so, not far from my house. It was me, Roy and Andy Scoulding, who was one of the analysts.

Some of it was to talk about football but really it was just talking about life. It was a couple of hours between 10 and midday. It became a regular thing.

I was all for not doing anything again, I must admit. But after we were doing this for four or five months, he started just throwing in the occasional: 'Do you know what Ray? I quite fancy going in again.' I am saying to him: 'I am not sure, Roy.' He said: 'I don't know, I might start looking around.' It was gradual.

Former Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth: I am not surprised he has rebuilt his career after the way it ended with England but I do give him massive credit. The easy thing would have been to disappear off into retirement.

Roy came back into the Premier League and took over Crystal Palace in a really difficult moment when they looked almost certain to go down, kept them up quite comfortably and is doing a good job this season.

It doesn't surprise me because of his enthusiasm for the game. He lives for football. I remember driving him to watch a game in the Netherlands and being in the car with him for hours and hours on end. He is so passionate about the game. The best I can say is I really hope I am like that when I am his age.

'He was ahead of his time - others have copied his methods'
Hodgson's first shot at Premier League management came with Blackburn Rovers in 1997, taking over the team that had won the top-flight title two years earlier. He was a relative unknown in England at the time, even admitting that season that he "knew very little" about some of his players, including striker Chris Sutton, who had joined the club in 1994 for a British record £5m. Under Hodgson, Blackburn finished sixth and qualified for the Uefa Cup, but he was dismissed in November 1998, having earlier that year turned down the chance to discuss becoming Germany manager.

Former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton: When he arrived at Blackburn, there were not many foreign managers in the Premier League - Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Ruud Gullit at Chelsea were the only two. It was dominated by British and Irish managers, but Roy was different from them because he had made his name abroad.

He had worked up a brilliant reputation. It was big enough for us Blackburn players because he had just been at Inter Milan. But it is on the training ground where you win the players over and earn their respect. Roy did that straight away.

It was like nothing I had seen until then. He had everything down to a tee in relation to where the ball was and where the defence should be as he moved the ball across the backline. And this was just his first session.

Also, he was the first manager I had played who implemented double sessions. As you can imagine, among the players there was quite a mixed reaction but, because we started well, and won four of our first five league games, everyone bought into it.

It was the first time in my career where we did structured 11 v 11 games in training. Every team does it now, but Roy was ahead of his time.

'He performed a football miracle'
After Hodgson was sacked by Blackburn in 1998, it was nine years before he returned to England. He took charge of a Fulham team seemingly destined for relegation. On 26 April 2008, they trailed 2-0 at Manchester City at half-time, and results elsewhere meant the club would be relegated that day unless they won. Remarkably, the Cottagers fought back to beat City 3-2, survived on the final day and, two years later, were taking Atletico Madrid to extra time in the Europa League final.

Lewington: That was as close to a football miracle as you can get. I was there prior to Roy coming to Fulham. We were down. It doesn't matter what the facts and figures say. We were hopeless. When they sacked Lawrie Sanchez and Roy came in, none of us had any expectation of staying up. We didn't think the team was good enough.

Roy lost his first three league games, so we were going deeper into it. But over the next period, just purely by how he coaches, we improved. Basically you are doing the same session every day. The players weren't happy with it at first but he said: 'When we can actually go out and beat teams, I will change the schedule. Until then, we are going to get organised.'

We did it day in, day out. I had never seen it before and I thought it wasn't going to work. But, gradually, you saw us improve. We got within touching distance of escaping and then the Manchester City game was a fluke. It was like a fairytale.

Then, with very little help during the summer - we spent £8m-£10m, nothing ridiculous - the team finished seventh. We had some really good players but none that would be headline makers. They gave their all in training and they were moulded into a team. It was the fact that at any given moment a player would know where his options were because it was so mechanical. The following year, we got to the Europa League final.

'Being a diplomat may have been his downfall at Liverpool'
After his success at Fulham, Hodgson was finally offered the chance to take charge of one of England's biggest clubs when he was appointed Liverpool manager in July 2010. He was sacked the following January - his spell regarded by Liverpool fans as a dismal failure. Unfortunately for Hodgson, he walked into Anfield at a particularly difficult time. His predecessor, Rafael Benitez, had become a club legend by winning the Champions League, while another, Kenny Dalglish, wanted the job but was overlooked in favour of Hodgson. Off-field uncertainty meant there was little money to spend and, with the Reds 12th in the table, he was sacked.

Lewington: It was the wrong time to go to Liverpool when everything was on a downer; the money side wasn't great. People on the outside will see that probably as one of the bad things that happened for him. But people within the game, we always know the circumstances. You hear the whispers.

Sutton: If there was a question mark, it was the way he handled big players. If I am going to be totally, totally honest, I think Roy's strongest suit is his coaching. I say that with the greatest respect, but I don't think he really likes confrontation at all.

Roy always wanted to be the diplomat, and that may have been his weakness with England, and Liverpool as well.

'Honest' with players but he 'has a hairdryer'
When Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho in December, there were accusations his methods were outdated and he struggled to communicate with the younger generation of players. Hodgson's Crystal Palace team includes Aaron Wan-Bissaka who, at 21, is 50 years Hodgson's junior. But relationships with his players - young and old - have always been a strong point.

Gary Neville, who worked alongside Lewington as Hodgson's assistant with England between 2012 and 2016: The reason he can still communicate with players when you talk about the age difference is because it is football. He has a passion about football.

The players trust him. They know he is not going to do them over. They know he is going to try to improve them, that he is going to work on team shape and cohesion.

We talk about getting a message and a philosophy into players. He does that day in, day out. He is adaptable. He understands the modern game has changed and the staff structure has changed.

Also, people like him. That helps a lot in football. They trust him.

Lewington: He is not really strict and he doesn't let issues linger. He doesn't scream and shout, he just says: 'This is what we are doing and if anyone doesn't do it, we will get someone else.'

If they are not doing the things they are told to do, they are not for us. You can still play badly as long as you are trying to do the right thing - but if you want to do it your way, go somewhere else.

He does it very nicely. He is honest and just says: 'If you don't want to be here and don't want to play that way, I will let the chairman know and away you go.'

If he has a squad and there are a couple of players over, they are not banished to the reserves or the youth team. He stays with them unless they have really upset him.

Sutton: When I played under him at Blackburn, he could lose it on occasion.

He never snapped with me, but he did with loads of people. He had a hairdryer and used to absolutely let rip at times, albeit he was articulate in the way he got his points across and explained things if people weren't carrying out his instructions. And what he always had to fall back on is he could say 'we have worked on it in the week', because we had.

I didn't mind if he lost the plot. I always put that down to his desire, passion and will to win. All he was bothered about was winning matches and his belief was he could do that on the training ground - organise and develop teams.

Ashworth: Roy is a brilliant man-manager. He is really good at managing the players in difficult situations. Players have got a great deal of time and respect for him. He is also very good at managing upwards. He is one of the best people I ever worked with in football.

Lewington: When we were on the Fulham trip to the Europa League final, after a lot of the away games you would come straight back afterwards. It meant you got back to England about 3am, then you had to get home.

We used to set up training the following day for the lads who hadn't played or had been on the substitutes' bench. That was always at midday. Normally running that session would be my job, or it could be given to the reserve-team manager. Roy did not miss one.

He could easily have fobbed it off on to someone else. Players see that.

'I will know when the day comes to retire'
As he surpasses Robson to become the oldest manager to take charge of a Premier League game, questions inevitably arise about how long he will continue. Hodgson maintains his fitness by training on an exercise bike and cross-trainer in a small gym at his Richmond home, preferring the quieter surrounds to the music-filled Beckenham base used by the first-team squad.

Hodgson: I have always promised myself and my wife that when I don't enjoy it any more or I can't handle the stress and the pressure that comes with having such a high-profile and top job - or my energy levels starts to fail me or my enthusiasm starts to be dented - I won't prolong my career longer than I feel I should.

The enjoyment, feeling capable, and having the energy and enthusiasm are very important factors in the decision to carry on and, hopefully, the decision to prolong the carrying on.

Sutton: What is remarkable is his appetite at an age where most people think the intensity and pressure of top-level football is too much for them. To still have that fire in his belly and still be on the training ground is just incredible.

Neville: Roy is one of the great English coaches of the past 30, 40, 50 years. What he has done is absolutely unbelievable. His work on the pitch has stood the test of time and continues to stand the test of time.

People point to certain poor results but over 40 years, how many English coaches have had the success of Roy Hodgson? Two or three - Terry Venables, Bobby Robson. Very few have had a career like Roy's. He is one of the great English coaches.

Additional reporting by Chris Bevan




https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47291607
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:32:57 AM
 
Fulham could pay a hefty price for £100 million outlay on new players for Premier League campaign

The London club spent big on new players after promotion from the Championship. But a case of quantity over quality has backfired spectacularly

“We said it would take time for the guys to gel and when they do we expect really great things to happen.” Fulham’s vice-chairman Tony Khan was speaking in August after they had beaten Burnley 4-2. Perhaps, being generous, it is still taking time for their raft of newcomers to gel. Certainly, their current plight – eight points from safety, with a mere three wins since then, having conceded 10 more goals than anyone else – is scarcely a definition of great things.

Fulham are outstanding, in one respect; should they go down, theirs will rank as the Premier League’s most expensive relegation. They spent £100 million (Dh479m) last summer. Friday’s derby with West Ham United is a meeting of two clubs who did. Yet while the Hammers have been erratic, veering from beating Manchester United to losing to AFC Wimbledon, they have had some return on their investment.

Fulham’s has been all the worse because Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 10 goals – a total only topped by players at top-six clubs – and Andre Schurrle a further six. Wolves do not have a duo with a combined tally of 16 goals and they are seventh. Wolves seemed the pertinent comparison in the summer; like Fulham, they had played their way out of the Championship, coming up in style, with ambition and with funds.

One has spent wisely, built on solid foundations and made the smoothest of progress. The other is Fulham. And while it can be simplistic to boil clubs’ fortunes down to their recruitment, it feels apt in their case. Besides Mitrovic, a low-risk addition after a successful loan, and the borrowed Schurrle, theirs has been disastrous.

Jean Michael Seri has the pedigree of a man coveted by Barcelona in 2017, but has not produced the performances. Then there is a still costlier midfielder, the club record signing Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. The increasingly infamous agent Willie McKay boasted in letters to clubs that he helped facilitate the deal which should be a reason to avoid the Scot’s advice. Fulham have taken one point from the seven games the £30 million buy has started.

A defensive midfielder ranks among the reasons why Fulham’s defence is wretched. They are on course to concede 88 goals. They signed two goalkeepers and five defenders last summer. It feels a case of quantity, not quality. The best of them, arguably, has been Calum Chambers, pressed into service in Anguissa’s supposed role in midfield. Perhaps Fulham had a better defence last season; certainly they seem weaker in the full-back positions, where they lost the on-loan Matt Targett and Ryan Fredericks, who could face his former club for West Ham.

They have left a trail of anarchy behind them. Cyrus Christie, Dennis Odoi and summer signing Maxime le Marchand seem in a private contest to produce the season’s most inept performance. Claudio Ranieri briefly brought the promise of defensive improvement but Fulham have conceded at least twice in every game in 2019, including against League Two Oldham Athletic and when Burnley seemed to have no shots on target.

Ranieri was booed by supporters and told “you don’t know what you are doing” when he brought on Christie against Manchester United. A manager who has often been an amiable figure has quickly become unpopular with a section of the Fulham crowd, partly because he has benched Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon, the two most influential figures in their promotion campaign.

Meanwhile, Khan told a fan to “go to hell” when he became embroiled in a Twitter row last month. The Championship is a more likely destination after a season that promised much but is looking decidedly tortuous.



https://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/fulham-could-pay-a-hefty-price-for-100-million-outlay-on-new-players-for-premier-league-campaign-1.828781
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:33:55 AM
 
Ajax want Fosu-Mensah as De Ligt replacement

According to De Telegraaf, Ajax have made contact with Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah over a return to Amsterdam.

Matthijs de Ligt is set to depart Ajax this summer and the club are already preparing for life without their captain. De Telegraaf is reporting that contact has been made with Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s agent.

The versatile defender is currently on loan at Fulham, but has struggled for playing time in London and when he returns to Manchester United in the summer he is unlikely to be part of their plans.

Ajax hope to bring the 21-year-old, who spent eight years in the Ajax academy, back to Amsterdam. A potential transfer fee is not known.

De Telegraaf also add that the Dutch international turned down the chance to leave Fulham to join Lazio on loan in January.



http://www.football-oranje.com/ajax-want-fosu-mensah-as-de-ligt-replacement/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:35:08 AM
 
West Ham supporters will be delighted to hear Havard Nordtveit billed as Fulham’s defensive saviour

(https://tbrfootball.com/static/uploads/2019/02/GettyImages-671562692.jpg)

On deadline day last month, Fulham signed Havard Nordtveit on a loan deal from Hoffenheim.

When the Whites travel to face West Ham United tonight, Hammers fans will be delighted to hear that Nordtveit is being billed as Fulham’s defensive saviour.

The Norwegian international spent one season in east London, and during the 2016/17 campaign, failed to impress when utilised in the centre of defence. By the end of his ill-fated tenure at West Ham, supporters concluded his best position was central defensive midfield.

But after just 16 Premier League appearances in one campaign, Nordtveit was offloaded to Hoffenheim, with his time with the Hammers going down as an underwhelming endeavour.

Yet Fulham have put a tremendous amount of faith in Nordtveit, and as billed on the club’s official announcement of the signing, expect the 28-year-old to fill in as either a centre-back or defensive midfielder.

But with Calum Chambers impressing in the centre of midfield, it appears most likely Nordtveit will be used as a centre-back tonight at the London Stadium.

West Ham fans know all too well that Havard Nordtveit has large deficiencies when played at the back, and the Hammers support will relish the opportunity for their attack to try to expose the Norwegian in defence.



https://tbrfootball.com/west-ham-supporters-will-be-delighted-to-hear-havard-nordtveit-billed-as-fulhams-defensive-saviour/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:38:25 AM
 
Match Preview: West Ham v Fulham

Blast from the past

2nd September 1946 – Clement Attlee was Prime Minister, The Ink Spots were number one with ‘Bless You’, Bee Gee Barry Gibb had been born the day before and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was born three days later as West Ham United secured a 3-2 Second Division victory over Fulham in front of 28,012 at Upton Park.

This was the Irons’ first home game of the 1946/47 season – the Hammers had been defeated 3-1 at Plymouth on the campaign’s opening day. This win came courtesy of two goals for 31-year-old inside-left Archie Macaulay (pictured) and a further strike from 34-year-old centre-forward Sam Small. Macaulay, a volatile, red-haired Scot, was transferred to the then more glamorous First Division Brentford two months later for a fee of £7,500, having scored 59 goals in 184 appearances for the Hammers since joining from Glasgow Rangers in August 1937 for £6,000. He went on to play for Arsenal and Fulham, and managed Norwich, West Brom and Brighton before later working as a traffic warden in Chelsea. Archie Macaulay died aged 77 on 10th June 1993.

Frank Neary would be the Hammers’ top scorer for the season with 15 goals from just 14 appearances. Charlie Paynter’s Hammers went on to finish the 1946/47 Second Division season in 12th place, while Jack Peart’s Fulham ended up 15th. Manchester City topped the Second Division, Liverpool won the First Division title and Charlton won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Harry Medhurst, Charlie Bicknell, Ron Cater, Norman Corbett, Dick Walker, Reg Attwell, Terry Woodgate, Almer Hall, Sam Small, Archie Macaulay, Jackie Wood.

Club Connections

Ryan Fredericks welcomes his former club. Scott Parker played for both clubs and is currently assistant manager at Craven Cottage, while recent Fulham loan signing Havard Nordtveit returns to London Stadium. A decent number of players join the trio in representing West Ham United and Fulham over the years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Biggar, Jan Lastuvka, Tony Parks.

Defenders: Paul Kelly, Bobby Moore, George Horler, George Redwood, Kevin Lock, Jack Hebden, Rufus Brevett, John Paintsil, Paul Konchesky, Ian Pearce, Wayne Bridge, Jon Harley, Alan Stephenson, Andy Melville.

Midfielders: Luis Boa Morte, Dick Richards, George Carter, Papa Bouba Diop, Ray Houghton, Fergus Hunt.

Strikers: Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne, Brian Dear, Alf Harwood, Jack Fletcher, Roger Cross, Iain Dowie, Fred Harrison, Billy Brown, Archie Macaulay, Danny Shea, Kenny McKay, Leroy Rosenior, Bobby Zamora, Mladen Petric, Bill Davidson.

This week’s focus though is on a player who started his career with Fulham before spending a decade playing for West Ham. Tony Gale was born in Westminster on 19th November 1959 and progressed through the youth ranks at Fulham, having caught the eye with London and Middlesex Schools. Cleaning Rodney Marsh’s boots as an apprentice, he made his first team debut at the age of 16 in a 2-1 defeat at Leyton Orient in the Anglo-Scottish Cup on 11th August 1976. Just a year later, Gale replaced the great Bobby Moore in the Fulham first team, making his league debut in a 1-1 draw against Charlton at Craven Cottage on 20th August 1977. Nearly a third of Gale’s career goals were scored in his first season in league football, as he notched eight in 38 Second Division appearances – he started the season in defence, conceding only one goal in his first six matches, but was moved into midfield by manager Bobby Campbell. Playing alongside George Best, Gale scored six goals in eight games while playing further forward, before returning to defence.

Campbell appointed Gale as captain at the age of 18 but the Cottagers would be relegated to the Third Division at the end of the 1979/80 season. Now under the management of Malcolm Macdonald, they were promoted back to the second tier two years later. Gale, and Fulham, missed out on a second successive promotion in 1982/83 by a single point and, after a mid-table finish the following season, Gale opted for a move away from Craven Cottage to ensure top-flight football. He had scored 19 goals in 277 league appearances for the club.

The 24-year-old Gale moved to John Lyall’s West Ham United in July 1984 for what would transpire to be a bargain £200,000 fee, which was decided by tribunal. He made his Hammers debut on the opening day of the 1984/85 season in a goalless draw with Ipswich at Upton Park. Gale, a stylish and accomplished centre-half, made 40 appearances in his first season in east London as the Irons finished 16th. 1985/86, however, would go down as the finest league season in West Ham United’s history – establishing a formidable central defensive partnership with skipper Alvin Martin, Gale made 52 appearances as the Irons recorded their highest ever finish of third. No player made more appearances than the classy Gale in that historic season, with Phil Parkes and Mark Ward also making 52 starts (Tony Cottee also made 52 appearances, although one was as a substitute).

The Hammers would drop dramatically in the league in 1986/87, finishing 15th in the First Division. Gale scored three goals in 41 matches, with his first ever strike for the club coming from a free-kick in a 1-0 win over Coventry on 23rd August 1986, the opening day of the campaign. Having waited two years for his first Hammers goal, his second arrived less than a month later, heading home a Kevin Keen corner past future Hammer Les Sealey in a 2-0 home win over Luton on 20th September 1986. Gale’s third and final goal of the campaign came from another free-kick, this time in a 4-0 FA Cup fourth round win over Sheffield United on 9th February 1987. Gale would make 20 appearances in 1987/88, without scoring, as the Hammers dropped again to 16th.

Disaster struck in 1988/89 as the Irons were relegated from the top flight and John Lyall was sacked. Gale scored once in 44 matches – it was arguably his most famous goal in claret and blue, a by-now trademark flighted free-kick to seal a 4-1 League Cup fourth round win over Liverpool on 30th November 1988 at Upton Park. Life under Lou Macari was short-lived, with Gale’s former team-mate Billy Bonds taking over the top job in February 1990. Gale scored his only goal from his 45 appearances in 1989/90 a month after Bonds assumed the reigns, in a 2-2 home draw with Port Vale on 31st March 1990. The Hammers would win promotion under Bonds in 1990/91, with ‘Reggie’ – as Gale was nicknamed, after Reggie Kray, for his acerbic wit – making 33 appearances and scoring one goal, yet another free-kick in a 1-0 home win over Bristol City on 20th March 1991.

Less than a month later, on 14th April 1991, Gale became the first-ever footballer in the English game to be shown a straight red card for denying an attacker a goalscoring opportunity with a professional foul. Keith Hackett controversially issued the centre-half with his only career dismissal barely 25 minutes into an FA Cup Semi-Final against Nottingham Forest at Villa Park after bringing down Gary Crosby. The Second Division Hammers, who were level with their top-flight opponents at the time of the red card, lost the match 4-0 and missed the chance to meet Tottenham in the Final at Wembley. Hackett never officiated at Upton Park again after that fateful day.

Gale played 34 matches in 1991/92 but the Hammers would suffer relegation again, ending up bottom of the First Division. He played the full 90 minutes of a 1-0 win over Manchester United though, a result which dealt a massive blow to the Red Devils’ title dreams. 1992/93 was a generally happier campaign all round, with Gale making 24 appearances as the Hammers secured promotion to the Premier League – all but three of these appearances came in the second half of the season though, with Gale having to initially fight for a place in the side and ultimately playing a key role in the run-in, assuming a more dominant role in the air alongside his shorter partner, Steve Potts. ‘Reggie’ scored his final Hammers goal that season, the winner in a 2-1 triumph at Leicester on 30th January 1993 – it was also the only goal he scored for the club away from Upton Park.

Gale made 35 appearances in 1993/94 as the Hammers finished 13th on their return to the top flight. He played his final game for the club in a 3-3 draw against Southampton on 7th May 1994, the final day of the 1993/94 season and the last match played in front of a terraced North Bank and Chicken Run – it was Gale’s 300th league appearance for the Irons. He was rewarded for ten years of sterling service with a testimonial against a Republic of Ireland XI the day after his final competitive game. Tony Gale made 368 appearances for West Ham United in all competitions, scoring seven goals. All of these goals can be seen in my video below, alongside footage of his only red card for the club in that semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Gale would move to Blackburn on a free transfer in 1994 at the age of 34, with whom he would win the Premier League title (with a little help from his former club on the last day of the 1994/95 season as the Hammers held challengers Manchester United to a draw at the Boleyn Ground). He ended his career with a season at Crystal Palace, retiring from professional football in the summer of 1996, although he did play non-league football for Maidenhead for a further two seasons. Now 59, Gale now works as a co-commentator and hosts events involving former players. He is also the chairman of semi-professional club Walton Casuals.

Referee

Tonight’s referee will be Lee Mason from Greater Manchester. His most recent game involving the Hammers was our 2-0 home defeat to Watford in December. Mason’s four games officiating the Hammers last season also all ended in defeat. He took charge of our 4-1 defeat at Arsenal last April; prior to that, he refereed our 3-0 home defeat to Burnley in March, while the other two matches were both 3-2 defeats: at Southampton in August 2017 when he failed to send off Dusan Tadic but did give Marko Arnautovic a red card, before awarding the Saints a match-winning penalty in added time; and against Newcastle at home in December 2017 when he awarded the Hammers a penalty only for Andre Ayew’s effort to be saved. Mason refereed the Hammers once in 2016/17 – the 1-0 home win over Hull when he awarded the Hammers a match-winning penalty.

Mason refereed three Premier League matches involving the Hammers in 2014/15 – the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, the 1-0 home win over Sunderland and the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford when he sent off Wayne Rooney, denied the Hammers a penalty when Morgan Amalfitano’s cross struck Radamel Falcao’s arm and disallowed Kevin Nolan’s last-minute strike for a marginal offside. Mason was also the man in the middle for our 1-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City in January 2015. He also officiated in four of our games in 2013/14, sending off two of our players (Mark Noble against Everton and James Tomkins at Cardiff) and disallowing a perfectly good Stewart Downing equaliser at Crystal Palace. He also sent off Mark Noble at Birmingham in December 2009.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United will be without Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez and Andriy Yarmolenko for the rest of the season. Samir Nasri and Manuel Lanzini could make returns to the squad, but Fabian Balbuena and Jack Wilshere are still out. The Hammers have claimed just one victory in their last seven Premier League games, drawing three and losing three, having won five of their previous six.

Fulham are without the injured Marcus Bettinelli and Alfie Mawson but Havard Nordtveit, returning to London Stadium, and Lazar Markovic could make their debuts for the Cottagers. Loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah is once again available, having missed out against parent club Manchester United. Fulham won their first Premier League game away to West Ham in 2001 but are winless in nine subsequent league visits, drawing four and losing five. This will be Fulham’s first Premier League game played on a Friday since Boxing Day 2008, when they drew 0-0 at Tottenham.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Antonio, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Chicharito, Arnautovic.

Possible Fulham XI: Rico; Fosu-Mensah, Odoi, Ream, Le Marchand, Bryan; Cairney, Chambers, Seri, Schurrle; Mitrovic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!



https://www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2019/02/22/match-preview-west-ham-v-fulham
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 08:40:53 AM
 
TT Battle: Marko Arnautovic vs Aleksandr Mitrovic

West Ham United will host Fulham at the London Stadium on Friday night as both sides return to Premier League action after a near-two-week break.

Manuel Pellegrini will want to see his side put the work they put in on their Marbella training camp to good use as they look to continue in their efforts to climb the table, whilst Claudio Ranieri will want to see his team put up a fight as they try and turn their fortunes around at the bottom of the table.

Both clubs have star strikers that could lead the line on Friday night, with Marko Arnautovic and Aleksandr Mitrovic, who had both coincidently been linked with moves away from their respective clubs in the January transfer window.

However, who would be more important in this particular battle between the two attackers?

Marko Arnautovic
Arnautovic has once again been in fine form for Pellegrini’s side this season, despite having had to deal with injuries throughout the campaign.

Ever since arriving at the London Stadium from Stoke City, the 29-year-old has shown that he is vital to West Ham and has earned himself a reputation as a favourite amongst the fans.

The Austrian has fired seven goals in his 18 Premier League appearances so far, which had led to interest from China in securing his services, per BBC Sport, as he continues to relish playing as a striker – although he committed his future to the east London outfit with a new contract.

He has carried on from last season’s exploits, where he netted 11 goals in his 31 appearances and looks to be in a good position to better that record.
TT Grade: B+

Aleksandr Mitrovic

Mitrovic may have struggled in the Premier League with Newcastle United, however, it is a completely different story at Fulham.

The Serbia international appears to have found his feet with the Craven Cottage outfit and has recently been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, who allegedly failed to sign him on Deadline Day in the January transfer window, per TEAMtalk.

The 26-year-old was outstanding for The Cottagers in the Championship last season and has continued that fine form this year in a challenging campaign for the west Londoners.

Mitrovic has 10 goals in his 26 Premier League appearances and is Fulham’s best chance of trying to remain in the top-flight at the end of the campaign.
TT Grade: B

The Verdict:

Both strikers are incredibly important to their respective sides, with it being easy to see how much of an influence they have on their squads.

However, when considering what the two players can bring to the table, Arnautovic has to be considered the winner of this battle.

The Austrian has shown that he can adapt to different positions over the past couple of years and has been able to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, although Mitrovic has certainly improved as time has gone by.



https://www.footballtransfertavern.com/features/transfer-battles/tt-battle-marko-arnautovic-vs-aleksandr-mitrovic/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: Nero on February 22, 2019, 10:22:06 AM
'He performed a football miracle'
After Hodgson was sacked by Blackburn in 1998, it was nine years before he returned to England. He took charge of a Fulham team seemingly destined for relegation. On 26 April 2008, they trailed 2-0 at Manchester City at half-time, and results elsewhere meant the club would be relegated that day unless they won. Remarkably, the Cottagers fought back to beat City 3-2, survived on the final day and, two years later, were taking Atletico Madrid to extra time in the Europa League final.

Lewington: That was as close to a football miracle as you can get. I was there prior to Roy coming to Fulham. We were down. It doesn't matter what the facts and figures say. We were hopeless. When they sacked Lawrie Sanchez and Roy came in, none of us had any expectation of staying up. We didn't think the team was good enough.

Roy lost his first three league games, so we were going deeper into it. But over the next period, just purely by how he coaches, we improved. Basically you are doing the same session every day. The players weren't happy with it at first but he said: 'When we can actually go out and beat teams, I will change the schedule. Until then, we are going to get organised.'

We did it day in, day out. I had never seen it before and I thought it wasn't going to work. But, gradually, you saw us improve. We got within touching distance of escaping and then the Manchester City game was a fluke. It was like a fairytale.

Then, with very little help during the summer - we spent £8m-£10m, nothing ridiculous - the team finished seventh. We had some really good players but none that would be headline makers. They gave their all in training and they were moulded into a team. It was the fact that at any given moment a player would know where his options were because it was so mechanical. The following year, we got to the Europa League final.

What we are missing now is in bold, a manger who realises where your weaknesses are does something about it, your doing this until you get it right and  improve, its up to you until then it not worth moving to the next stage
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:40:48 AM
 
West Ham entertain Fulham in yet another match with a “non-standard kick-off time”

Who will come out on top in the derby between the “Former Managers of Premier League Champions”?

(https://westhamwaynet.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/whuful1.jpg?w=768)

When ten-man Fulham held off Aston Villa to win the Championship Play-Off final barely nine months ago thanks to a first half goal from their captain Tom Cairney, I suspect that they did not believe that they would be in this predicament now. Promotion was gained in what many believe is the most exciting way, and there were high hopes that they could consolidate a position in the Premier League. The owner spent a not inconsiderable amount in the transfer market, and like Wolves, it was felt that they had given themselves a good shot at steering clear of the relegation places. They were certainly more fancied than Cardiff to retain their top flight status.

However after an horrific start the owner lost his nerve after a dozen games, sacked Jokanovic, and brought in Claudio Ranieri, hopefully to recreate the magic of his achievements at Leicester. It hasn’t improved much since then, and now Fulham, with an horrendous goal difference (-33), are effectively 9 points adrift of safety with just a dozen games to go. To achieve an average of a point a game by the end of the campaign, they would need to collect 21 points in their final 12 games, a tall order when you consider they have amassed just 17 points to date from 26 games.

Those 17 points have been won from just four wins and five draws, with their only victories coming over fellow strugglers in the bottom eight who are involved in the relegation dogfight, namely Burnley, Southampton, Huddersfield and Brighton. All of those wins have come at Craven Cottage, highlighting that their form away from home has been particularly miserable, with just two points gained from draws at Newcastle and Brighton. As a seasoned West Ham fan that is a worrying statistic.

As the season begins to approach its climax we sit in the top half in tenth place, in the pack of six clubs chasing seventh place, or perhaps being champions of the unofficial Premier League Division Two. Wolves and Watford lead that particular competition at the moment, but they can be caught by any of the four teams immediately below them, (Everton, ourselves, Bournemouth and Leicester) with a good run to the end of the season.

Certainly our six remaining home games against Fulham, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Everton, Leicester and Southampton are eminently winnable games, although I suspect (but hope otherwise) that we will pick up far fewer points on our travels, where, apart from Cardiff, the other five games are against teams in the top eight, with only Arsenal and Wolves from that octet having to wait until next season to meet us again.

It seems that our awful injury list is diminishing, and more players are available for this game. We have quite an array of (fit) attacking talent at our disposal, and I wonder how the manager will piece together four offensive players from this list: (a hopefully interested) Arnautavic, Chicarito, Carroll, Anderson, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Nasri, Antonio, Perez, Diangana, and Silva. This assumes that Fabianski, Zabaleta (or Fredericks), Cresswell, Diop, Ogbonna (or Balbuena), Noble and Rice will form the remainder of the team.

In order to provide a mixture of width and guile, and based upon recent form, I fully expect Antonio, Nasri, and Anderson to line up behind Arnautavic or Chicarito. I expect Lanzini to be eased back gently, and would see him playing a part from the bench. Who fills the other places waiting to come on later in the game is anyone’s guess but (apparently) Perez is out of favour, and Diangana, Silva, and possibly even Carroll may not make the 18. In addition to one of the right backs, and one of the centre backs, plus Adrian and Obiang, then Lanzini, Snodgrass and one of Arnautavic or Chicarito will probably make up the squad, unless there are any further questions re fitness.

Perhaps Carroll will be in the 18 to provide another attacking option in place of one of the more defensive minded options. Masuaku is another I haven’t mentioned, and his versatility could get him a squad place, although he would not be my choice. It may be a shame for Diangana and Silva to miss out, but their turn will come next season I’m sure. They have been in and around the squad in recent times and will benefit from the experience gained, and will get further opportunities once injuries start to kick in again!

Looking at the odds offered by leading bookmakers, they seem to believe that Fulham have a better chance in this game than form (ours at home, and theirs away) would suggest. We are only slightly odds on to win the game (around 5/6) and Fulham are quoted at around 11/4. Now if this wasn’t West Ham we were talking about then I would say there was easy money to made here. Will we see a performance like against Wimbledon or one that was so unlucky not to beat Liverpool? In view of the competition for places (and putting Fulham’s poor away form aside – it’s amazing how teams with records like this bring poor runs to an end against us!), I fully expect us to take them apart under the lights, and further condemn them in their (vain) battle to remain a Premier League team. It’s about time we had a five or six goal romp, and 6-0 is quoted at 125/1. The bookies aren’t particularly generous are they? When did we last win a game 6-0? Even Fulham are quoted at a paltry 150/1 to beat us 6-0! Now that wouldn’t be worth a bet at 150,000/1!



https://westhamway.net/2019/02/22/west-ham-entertain-fulham-in-yet-another-match-with-a-non-standard-kick-off-time/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:43:04 AM
 
TT Battle: Andre Schurrle vs Felipe Anderson

(https://cdn.footballtransfertavern.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/FAvsAS.png)

Every single Premier League side barring Tottenham Hotspur will have a pretty good idea of who their signing of the season has been this campaign. For West Ham, Lukas Fabianski and Felipe Anderson are certainly up there whilst at Craven Cottage, Andre Schurrle and Aleksandar Mitrovic have been the star buys.

The two sides will be meeting at The London Stadium and ahead of the game, we’re previewing Schurrle and Anderson to see who’s more likely to swing the game in favour of their side. West Ham’s Brazilian has been an incredible addition to this West Ham side, whilst Schurrle has shown glimpses of the talent that saw him win the World Cup with Germany in 2014 and this will be an intriguing matchup.

ANDRE SCHURRLE
The German winger is one of the only reasons why Fulham aren’t dead and buried alongside Huddersfield this season. The Cottagers sit eight points from safety and whilst most would say they have no chance, if they can tighten up their leaky defence and keep playing through Schurrle going forward then they’ll have a real chance of enjoying consecutive Premier League campaigns.

In 22 Premier League outings the Fulham man has bagged six times, including an absolute stunner against Burnley which won the Premier League goal of the month award for January. However, despite that incredible goal the Cottagers went on to shoot themselves in the foot, scoring two own-goals as they fell to a 2-1 defeat. It’s fair to say that the 28-year-old has been a success so far, and it’s hard to pin the club’s bad form on the German.

TT GRADE: B

FELIPE ANDERSON

As far as star signings from abroad go when you see a side like West Ham fork out a massive a fee of £41 million for a young Brazilian from Lazio, the danger is that they’ll flop. More than a few players have made the jump from Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 to play in England and have crumbled under the pressure given the tempo of the Premier League, yet Felipe Anderson has thrived.

In an exciting West Ham side the 25-year-old has put doubts surrounding consistency from his Lazio days behind him and stepped up under Manuel Pellegrini. More than a few travelling fans have left the London Stadium dazzled by his brilliance and in 26 league games his tally of eight goals and three assists is mightily impressive given he’s deployed out on the left of the Irons’ attack.

TT GRADE: A+

TT VERDICT:


With Felipe Anderson and Schurrle going head to head in what promises to be an entertaining London derby, both sets of fans will be pinning their hopes on the two stars. Given the way Fulham defend though, Anderson could be set to have a field day whilst Schurrle will be left feeding off scraps in a game that the bookies will be surely backing West Ham to take all three points from.



https://www.footballtransfertavern.com/premier-league/tt-battle-andre-schurrle-vs-felipe-anderson-2/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:45:49 AM
 
Rico’s comments underline weaknesses in Fulham’s summer transfer strategy

Sergio Rico wants to come back to England next season but has hinted that he doesn’t want it to be with Fulham if they get relegated.

(https://tbrfootball.com/static/uploads/2019/02/GettyImages-1091070028.jpg)
(John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Fulham loanee Sergio Rico wants to return to the Premier League next season, according to Sky Sports.

The goalkeeper has settled well in England and has expressed a desire to return next season – but only to the top flight.

He said: “I have to come back to Seville but I would like to come here [England] next season because I am very happy here. I like the Premier League and I enjoy it a lot here in London, I am so happy. I don’t know the future now but I would like to come here again.”

That could be seen as a thinly veiled warning to the Cottagers that he will not consider coming back to the club if they are relegated to the Championship.

And he is not the first Whites player to have been quoted making such an insinuation. Earlier this month, another loanee Andre Schurrle was quoted by Kicker as saying he would cut short his two-year loan if Fulham went down.

Schurrle (via BBC) did later deny that was what he meant but his and Rico’s comments underline the issues with Fulham’s recruitment policy of relying on loanees who have no connection to the club.

The plus side is they will have the wages off the bill but it forces them to reshape their squad every year – just as they had to this season.

And in the case of Rico, there’s a chance they’ve just handed him Premier League experience that a domestic rival will get the benefit of next season.



https://tbrfootball.com/ricos-comments-underline-weaknesses-in-fulhams-summer-transfer-strategy/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:47:55 AM
 
Agent of Manchester United player in initial talks over summer exit from the club

Timothy Fosu-Mensah hasn’t yet made the breakthrough that many expected would be quickly on the way when he started to get games for Manchester United.

A loan this season at Fulham hasn’t been a runaway success and the Dutchman doesn’t seem obviously ready for the first team at his parent club.

However, it’s easy to forget the footballer is just 21 years of age, and he only hit that milestone in January. There’s plenty of time to develop, and it would appear his old club Ajax have been pleased with what they’ve seen at Fulham, or rather know there’s more to come.

Friday’s edition of De Telegraaf has Fosu-Mensah on the front page of their sport section, and it’s explained Ajax are considering him as a replacement for Matthijs de Ligt.

De Ligt is expected to leave in the summer, with several big clubs interested in the 19 year old.

It’s explained that initial discussions have already been held between Fosu-Mensah’s agent and Marc Overmars, who works as sporting director at Ajax. There’s been no official approach to Manchester United yet.

De Telegraaf don’t mention this but it can’t be long before the story sees De Ligt linked with a move to Old Trafford, with Fosu-Mensah being sent back to the Netherlands as part of the deal.

It’s not thought Fulham have a buying option.



http://sportwitness.co.uk/agent-manchester-united-player-initial-talks-summer-exit-club/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:48:52 AM
 
Fulham ‘seriously’ considering Ranieri’s future, manager identified as main candidate

In November 2018, Fulham were sitting at the bottom of the table and sacked their manager Slaviša Jokanović to replace him with Claudio Ranieri.

Under the guidance of the former Leicester City coach, the Cottagers have won three and drawn three of the last 14 matches in the league, which sees them still sit in the relegation zone.

The Craven Cottage outfit are 19th in the league table with 17 points after 26 games, trailing 17th placed Cardiff City by eight points.

According to Spanish newspaper AS, Ranieri has failed to produce the desired impact, which is why Fulham’s board are ‘seriously’ considering to part ways with him.

Should Fulham show the Italian manager the exit door, the report claims Víctor Sanchez del Amo is main candidate to replace Ranieri at the club.

Victor is currently without a club since leaving Real Betis in 2017 and has previously managed Olympiacos and Deportivo La Coruña.

With 12 games left in the season and eight points difference to the club sitting in the 17th spot, it will be an uphill task for Ranieri or any other manager to help Fulham stay in the top flight club competition in England.



http://sportwitness.co.uk/fulham-seriously-considering-ranieris-future-manager-already-identified-main-candidate/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:51:23 AM
 
 U18s: Norwich Preview

Fulham Under-18s are back in action after almost a month without a competitive game as they travel to Norwich City. The weather meant our fixture against West Ham was postponed until 9th March.

The Young Whites make the trip to East Anglia to face a Norwich team who are routed to the foot of the table with only two wins to their name this season. A win could move the Under-18s to within four points of Aston Villa in fourth.

We tasted defeat in our last game as Southampton ran out 3-1 winners, albeit with a swerving Harvey Elliott free kick shedding some light on the result.

Last Time Out:

The Canaries made Colin Omogbehin’s side sweat back in September at Motspur Park as they took the lead inside two minutes. A battling performance, including two Harvey Elliott penalties, and Fabio Carvalho’s strike saw us claim a first win of the season.

(https://ffcw001.azureedge.net/-/media/18_19_academy_pics/norwich_a_u18s_preview.jpg)

View From the Gaffer:

Omogbehin has been using the lengthy time away from competitive action to assess his squad and keep active by arranging friendlies. The Under-18s boss caught up with fulhamfc.com.

“We’ve managed to get some friendlies in between the long break.” He started. “We’ve played the likes of Bournemouth, Chelsea and Republic of Ireland, so we’ve kept ourselves busy. Also, the lads have been training hard to be prepared.”

“We never want to go into a game unprepared with rusty players. We felt it was important to get a high level of opposition in which we play on a Saturday and thankfully those clubs helped us do that.

“We used as many players involved in this programme as possible to see who might be coming in. This was an opportunity to help match fitness and stake a claim to be in the starting 11 away to Norwich.

“We try and get a win against every single opposition, Norwich will be no different, regardless of their place in the league. We’ve shown great character on a number of occasions having been behind.

“We then have to find something to stay in games. There have been times we have been misfortunate, if we convert more chances we could have double the number of wins.

“The aim between now and the end of the season is to play well with and without the ball and I’m sure if we do that we will get the wins on the board.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2019/february/22/u18s-preview-norwich
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:53:28 AM
 
West Ham team news: Pellegrini spoilt for choice with attacking options for Fulham clash

West Ham United play host to fellow capital outfit Fulham at the London Stadium on Friday evening, and their boss Manuel Pellegrini will have a plethora of attacking options to choose from for the contest.

The Hammers have been without a number of forward minded players throughout the course of the season, with a horrendous run of injuries depriving them of some huge stars for long periods of time.

As a result of that, West Ham have understandably struggled for consistency, so Pellegrini will be delighted that he will have the option of calling on a number of important players on Friday night.

The one man who Hammers fans will be eager to see back in the claret and blue shirt is Manuel Lanzini. The Argentina international has been out for the entire campaign so far, having suffered a nasty knee injury in preparation for the World Cup last summer.

Samir Nasri is another who has been out of Pellegrini’s plans in recent times and he is set to be available for the Chilean on Friday evening too, much to the delight of the West Ham boss.

“Yes, of course [it is good news], because in that position, all four playmakers who we have in our squad were injured – Wilshere, Nasri, Yarmolenko and Lanzini – so it’s difficult for a team when you have so many players in the same position. So, the return of both of them will be a good injection for the squad.” the Hammers official website quotes him as saying.

“Manu is coming back from a long injury so we are going to decide the best way for him to return to the team, starting from the beginning or coming on after some minutes.

“He is a player who gives you different things, he is very technical player, he is a fast player. If you review the last part of the last season at West Ham, Marko Arnautovic had a good performance but most of the goals also involved Manu Lanzini making good assists and good plays.”

With Felipe Anderson, Chicharito, Michail Antonio, Lucas Perez, Robert Snodgrass, Grady Diangana, Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic also available, Pellegrini finally has the selection headache he may have been craving for much of the campaign.



https://ninetyminutesonline.com/west-ham-team-news-pellegrini-spoilt-for-choice-with-attacking-options-for-fulham-clash/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:54:57 AM
 
Away Day Guide - West Ham United

On Friday 22nd February Fulham travel to the London Stadium for the first time.  Here is the FST away day guide to West Ham United

TICKETING INFORMATION

Fulham have sold their full allocation of just under 3,000 tickets for the trip to the London Stadium. This means there will be no tickets available on the day.

GETTING TO THE LONDON STADIUM

BY CAR


Driving to the London Stadium is discouraged as the stadium itself has been designated as a public transport destination and there is virtually no parking available to visitors nearby.

Exit the M25 at Junction 27 and take the M11 towards London. At the end of the M11, stay in the left hand lane and follow the signs for the North Circular A406 (S) (A12, A13). At the bottom of the flyover where the roads merge, move into the left-hand lane for the A12. At the roundabout take the fourth exit onto the A12 towards Central London and Stratford. Stay on the A12 for around four miles until the Velodrome building becomes visible on your left. Exit here onto the A106 signposted Stratford and Westfield. At the bottom of the slip road at the traffic lights, take the left hand filter lane, towards Stratford and Westfield. Continue along this road and you will reach the stadium on the right and the Westfield Centre on the left. Just before the Westfield Shopping Centre you will reach a set of traffic lights, where you turn left for the Westfield Car Park, A,B & C, which are clearly signposted from this point.

The best parking option will be in the Westfield Shopping Centre, priced at £6.70 for the evening. There is a 25% discount available if drivers sign up for the Westfield Smart Parking scheme.

BY TRAIN

The three closest train stations to the London Stadium are Stratford, Stratford International and Hackney Wick, which are all around 10 to 15 minutes walk from the stadium itself.

Stratford station (Jubilee, Central Lines and DLR) is located next to Westfield and has overground connections to London Liverpool Street and Clapham Junction. Supporters are advised that after the match, fans heading back to Stratford station are diverted on a route that avoids the shopping centre and there the queues are managed to regulate the flow of supporters into the station. There are also likely to be lengthy queues on the platforms as well.

Stratford International Railway station is on the other side of Westfield to Stratford and is served by local services from London St Pancras, which is about seven minutes away. It is also located on the Docklands Light Railway.

Hackney Wick is on the west side of the stadium when to compared to the two Stratford stations and Westfield. It is served by trains from Clapham Junction, Richmond and Stratford. It also stops at Highbury and Islington, which is also situated on the Victoria Tube line. Supporters are being discouraged from using Hackney Wick on matchdays due to its small size, but it is open on matchdays and you are advised to arrive in good time. After the game, services from this station are likely to be packed with fans who have already got on at Stratford.

BY COACH

The club's official coaches will leave Motspur Park and Craven Cottage at 4.45pm

AWAY PUBS

There are very few pubs that will welcome away supporters in the vicinity of the London Stadium, so Fulham supporters may prefer to drink in central London before heading to the ground tomorrow night. The Hamilton Hall Wetherspoon's outlet at Liverpool Street station has been a popular meeting point for fans travelling to West Ham since they moved to the London Stadium.

The Goose on the Broadway, now known as the Sportsman (78-78-102 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 1NG) is probably the closest thing to a traditional away pub near to the ground. It does welcome home and away fans as well as families. It has been rebranded as a sports bar with large big screen televisions and a pool table, that also serves food and real ale.

Alternatively, there are several eateries that also serve alcohol in the nearby Westfield Stratford shopping centre complex. One of the best options is The Cow on Westfield Avenue, but supporters could also try the bar inside the Asper's Casino or drink in the Holiday Inn, which are also situated inside the Westfield Stratford shopping centre itself. Supporters are advised that away fans wearing colours have not been admitted to some of these venues in the past.

There are also a couple of options closer to some of the local train stations. Opposite Stratford International is Tap East (7 International Square, London, E20 1EE), a specialist beer bar and microbrewery that has sixteen draft ales on tap and another 100 bottled beers. Close to Hackney Wick station, there are two bars attached to local breweries. The Crate (Unit 7 Queen's Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN) offers excellent craft beers as well as excellent pizza. Next door, is the Howling Hops (Unit 9A Queen's Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN), which offers ten draught beers as well as a food menu.

Alcohol is available inside the London Stadium itself, including Amstel (£4.80 a pint), Fosters, Strongbow and Bulmers (£4.60 a bottle), Smirnoff Ice (£4.80) or small bottles of wine (£5.10).



http://fulhamsupporterstrust.com/news/2019/2/22/away-day-guide-west-ham-united.html
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 10:56:38 AM
 
AC Milan take Chief Revenue Officer from Fulham and Head of Business Strategy from Arsenal

AC Milan have announced they’ve appointed two new men to Ivan Gazidis’ management team.

Gazidis, formerly of Arsenal, is working to improve and modernise the Italian club’s off pitch activities and these appointments are in line with that.

Casper Stylsvig has been appointed Chief Revenue Officer. He’s held the same position at Fulham, having moved to the club in May 2016.

Before Fulham, Stylsvig had previously worked at Manchester United and Barcelona, tasked with securing sponsorship opportunities for the clubs.

When announcing he’d joined them, Fulham made it clear he’d be responsible for ‘all off-field revenue streams’.

Milan’s official statement explains Stylsvig will be responsible for driving sales and increasing revenue.

James Murray had been Head of Business Strategy at the Gunners.

Arsenal started advertising for this position in November 2018, but didn’t make it clear Murray was set for a quick exit.

At Milan he’s expected to ‘develop and drive all strategic objectives of the club as it moves into a new era’.

Ivan Gazidis is quoted as saying: “On behalf of the Board and the entire AC Milan community, I welcome James and Casper to the club.  They both are outstanding leaders with high-level skills and deep knowledge of football environment. Together with our existing team, they will help drive the club forward, with the excellence and passion that this great club deserves.”



http://sportwitness.co.uk/ac-milan-take-cfo-fulham-head-business-strategy-arsenal/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:43:36 PM
 
Lawrenson makes West Ham v Fulham prediction

BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson believes the return to fitness of West Ham United playmakers Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri could be key against Fulham on Friday.

The Cottagers are in deep trouble in the Premier League this season, and Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be looking to worsen their misery at the London Stadium. Lawrenson believe they will do just that with a 2-0 win.

“Manuel Lanzini could make his first appearance of the season for West Ham after a long injury lay-off and another creative player, Samir Nasri, has a chance of being fit too,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website.

“Fulham had a couple of good early chances in their last game, against Manchester United on 9 February, but ended up well beaten. West Ham are inconsistent but, even if they have a bad day, it is hard to make much of a case for a Fulham side who are yet to win on the road in the league this season, and have the worst away record in the Premier League.”

OPINION
West Ham will undoubtedly go into this game as heavy favourites, but this could be a potential banana skin for Pellegrini’s side. Fulham are excellent going forward, they just simply cannot defend. However, the Hammers haven’t defended very well since the turn of the year either and so they could struggle at times in this game. Offensively, though, West Ham should have more than enough to overcome the Cottagers, especially if one or more of Lanzini and Nasri are fit enough to start the game. A fully fit and focused Marko Arnautovic would also be a big help as well. As Lawrenson says, Fulham’s record away from home this campaign is absolutely woeful and that in and of itself makes it difficult to predict that they’ll come out on top here. Having arrested their slump with a couple of draws recently, Pellegrini will be expecting his players to come out on top on Friday.



https://thisisfutbol.com/2019/02/blogs/lawrenson-makes-west-ham-v-fulham-prediction/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:45:48 PM
 
Stop The Greed

By having the worst defence in Europe’s top leagues, it’s been a pretty horrific season for us Fulham fans to witness. Heavy defeats, cruel defeats, we’ve seen them all. However, for me it all pales into insignificance compared to the alienating ticket strategy that Fulham Football Club have adopted, and I for one am sick of it. This is a long read, because it’s an emotive subject and there’s plenty to say on the issue.

For the few of you reading who are unaware, tickets for Premier League matches at Craven Cottage have been astronomical. A seat behind the goal at the Hammersmith End will have set you back either £45 or £55 for every game bar one (an early season game against Burnley, where tickets were a very reasonable £25).

As you’ll see from the table made by our own Farrell Monk, that makes the cheapest Fulham behind-the-goal ticket more expensive than the most expensive equivalent ticket at 10 of the other 19 Premier League sides. For a newly promoted side, that is supposedly a “family club”, it’s a very extreme pricing policy, that is unsurprisingly causing an angry reaction from supporters.

For me, this is all about lowest common denominator. I’ve seen many articles in other publications get too caught up in picking up the most expensive tickets in the ground, probably because it generates better headlines. Personally, I couldn’t care less if Fulham want to charge £1000 per match for the privilege of sitting on the half-way line and sipping champagne pre-match with Barry Hayles whilst munching on a vol-au-vent. However, the barrier to entry is staggeringly high this season, and it’s such a short-term approach.

Building a Fan-Base
Remember the summer of 2004 when Fulham had just moved back to a revamped Craven Cottage after two years of exile at Loftus Road? Chrissy Coleman was in charge, Mohammed Al Fayed was in his scarf-swinging pomp and Andy Cole was enjoying the swansong of his career. Our opening two games that season, back at our sacred home, drew gates of roughly 17,500. Compare that to the regular 20,000+ gates that we drew whilst one division lower in the Championship.

It was clear that despite an incredible rise up the leagues, Fulham’s attendances had not kept up with the on-field acceleration. FFC were suffering after years of lower-league obscurity, and needed a radical boost to fill those seats and create a new generation of fans. The result was to keep ticket prices low, and create the much-ridiculed neutral section.

The results took time, but all these initiatives made Fulham a natural choice for ‘stumblers’. People came to see good football at an affordable price, but in many cases, they became invested – I’m sure there are many who discovered Fulham this way reading this article right now. Many of these fans are now in their late-teens and twenties, have their own disposable income and as you can see from our rejuvenated away support, willing and to follow the team all over the country.

This is what upsets me most about our ticket policy – we are not thinking long-term. Our support base may be larger than it was, but it’s far from saturated. Why would any prospective untapped fan come to watch Fulham when they can see Spurs at Wembley this season for £30? I can’t imagine there are many families willing to part with hundreds of pounds just because they’re looking for a bit of Saturday entertainment.

However, the people that are willing to pay this money? Tourists and touts. If you’re over in London from abroad, and it’s your dream to see a Premier League match, £55 to see Fulham versus Manchester United is a no-brainer. It might be lucrative in the here and now for Fulham, but will they turn into long-term fans willing to buy a season ticket in a few years time? Unlikely.

Slow Sales
Whilst tourists may purchase tickets to games such as Manchester United and Liverpool, this hasn’t stretched quite so well into other matches this season. As Farrell pointed out, average attendances are actually down from the last time we were in the Premier League.

The Brighton match in January, where Hammersmith End tickets were priced at £45, drew a gate of 22,008 – our lowest Premier League home gate since February 2010. Of course, the team’s poor form plays a small part, but for me this is a clear indication of fans voting with their feet. The upcoming SW6 derby against Chelsea at Craven Cottage is still far from sold-out, something that has been unheard of ever since I’ve been a fan.

Do the people making these decisions not realise that a ground full of Fulham supporters is beneficial to the team? Who can forget the famous atmospheres during the European nights, or the play-off semi-final against Derby, when the team rode the euphoria in the stadium to achieve that famous result and book a place at Wembley. A limited away support, and reasonably price tickets all contributed to that factor.

I remember being very frustrated in April last season when the club priced Brentford tickets from £35 for adults. The team were 20 games unbeaten, and charging towards automatic promotion – but only 20,000 came through the gates for the match. As I’m sure you’ll remember, Neil Maupay scored in the 93rd minute to deny Fulham two valuable points. Might have that been avoided if there was a packed-out Craven Cottage at top voice? We’ll never know, but when winning and losing is so marginal, it isn’t a ludicrous suggestion. Had it not been for the lottery of the play-offs, those dropped points could have cost the club hundreds of millions.

This is why the recent Liverpool ticket sale process has been so widely criticised. By allowing memberships to be sold until just before the on-sale date it played straight into the hands of touts and Liverpool fans desperate to see their team during this tightly-fought title race. Vocal away fans in home ends frustrate supporters and often lead to violent altercations; whilst silent ones dilute the atmosphere that a home fanbase is supposed to create. It’s another clear-cut case that shows, at the moment, Fulham are only concerned with making a quick-buck, and not generating an atmosphere, or building a fan-base. Those with memberships should be given a level of priority, but the club has to do far more to ensure those with memberships are legitimate Fulham fans.

Out-Priced
I don’t want to just make it look like all I care about is long-term fan building though. It’s also about current Fulham fans, who can’t commit to a season ticket for a multitude of reasons, who are completely priced this season. They’re loyal, committed fans – were there throughout our four years in the Championship – but not many people just have £50 spare-change ready to spend every fortnight. We have several people who are involved with Fulhamish in this camp. They love the club, so much so that they contribute to a fan site, but none of them have this kind of money at their disposal.

Nobody is asking for free football (although recent research showed over half of Premier League clubs would still turn a profit if they did let fans in for free). It’s entertainment, and it’s a business, I get that. However, we can’t just go and support a different club, as the FSF brilliantly pointed out on Twitter earlier this week: “football clubs aren’t normal businesses, they’re community institutions and are monopoly suppliers. You can’t choose your team like you choose a broadband provider.”

Like most things in life, there’s a compromise to be reached. I fully support the Twenty’s Plenty campaign, but I realise that trying to convince football clubs to drop Premier League ticket prices to £20 is unlikely to happen. Meet in the middle at £30 perhaps? It’s not a small amount of money, but it’s also manageable for many. Does making a £15/£20 reduction really make that big a difference when each team will make over £100 million from TV money alone?

It’s important to note, that this is everyone’s fight. Certain season ticket holders (like myself) have benefited from good-value season tickets that were sold prior to our promotion last season, and therefore it might be easy to dismiss these issues as somebody else’s problem. However, you will have all seen the season ticket prices once promotion was achieved, where prices rocketed up by an extortionate amount. It’s hard to guess what the club’s pricing strategy for next season will be given our perilous Premier League state and the upcoming Riverside development, but a show of strength now is unlikely to be a bad thing.

The Next Step
So, I hear you ask, what can we do about this? Well, fortunately we have a tool at our disposal, our voices. Fulham has never traditionally been the most vocal of support groups, but this is a time where we need to make ourselves heard. Otherwise the Khans, Mark Lamping and anyone else involved in these marketing decisions will continue with their strategies blissfully unaware of the feeling amongst fans.

In my view, a visual protest with banners is most effective. It makes it likely to be picked up by TV and newspapers, which in turn makes the possibility of this dissatisfaction be noticed by those who matter. We have created a GoFundMe page in order to help raise funds for a banner that fully conveys our message. Any spare funds you have that can help us get this made as soon as possible would be really appreciated.

Relegation is a painful pill for us to swallow this season, and there have been many mistakes on the pitch and in the transfer market. I don’t know about you, but I can live with those – it’s part and parcel of supporting a football team. Sometimes your team win, sometimes your team lose. What I find less forgivable, is a strategy that jeopardises this club’s future and alienates loyal supporters who were here long before the profiteers arrived, and will be here long after they leave. Let’s stand up and defend this proud club from those that seek to exploit it.



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2019-02-22-stop-the-greed/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:47:04 PM
 
Hammers Bid Farewell To Fulham In Frightful Friday Night Affair

Will it be back from the warm weather break with a bang or will the usual slow start against unfancied opposition disappoint once more?

I may have mentioned this before but my very first visit to Upton Park was to watch a game against Fulham.  It was in March 1961 and in the immediate aftermath of Ted Fenton being mysteriously sent home on sick leave – just before his eventual sacking and replacement by Ron Greenwood.  A disappointing 2-1 defeat set the tone nicely for the ensuing sixty years or so.

A dark secret from back then was that I inexplicably believed that Bubbles included the line ‘Fortune’s always hiding, lilacs everywhere’.  Perhaps not the most amusing of misheard lyrics but it was refreshing to hear that the current multi-lingual squad had managed a better grasp of the words – as they serenaded Manuel Lanzini’s at his 26th   birthday bash during the annual ‘knocked out the cup early’ warm weather holiday in Marbella.  With a perception that the team usually returns from such breaks with a lethargic holiday hangover all eyes will be on what is served up for us tonight.

Of all the spectator unfriendly, moved for the TV schedules, kick-off times, it is the Friday night one that I dislike the most.  Friday night is for unwinding at the end of the working week with a meal and a drink – it is not meant for football and has the added disadvantage of leaving the rest of the weekend free to be roped into other duties such as shopping or garden related activities.  The weekend doesn’t start here but ends before it has even started!

The season has a serious danger of fizzling out to nothing unless an inspired run for seventh place can be somehow pulled out of the hat.  A straw poll of fellow supporters suggests a 10th to 12th finish is closer to expectations – which, for me, would represent a failure (by the club as a whole) based on where it sits in the money league.

Tonight’s opponents would, no doubt, bite your arm off at the prospect of mid-table obscurity but, regardless of the outcome tonight, it is difficult to see them lasting long enough to have a shot at second season syndrome.  Maybe attempting such a major squad renovation in the summer was a flawed strategy and perhaps they were too quick to jettison the manager who had earned them promotion.  Bringing in Ranieri was an odd choice given that he is hardly the type of inspiring character needed in a relegation dogfight.  He will dine out on his ‘serendipitous’ title winning season at Leicester forever but will most likely soon have a matching relegation honour to balance it out.

Reports have it that several of the Hammer’s long term injured (Lanzini, Fabian Balbuena and Samir Nasri) could be in the frame to play a part in today’s game.  It is unlikely that any will be making a start but may well feature from the bench.  If there are any changes to the eleven that started at Selhurst Park then it would be Pablo Zabaleta returning in place of Ryan Fredericks and Marko Arnautovic replacing Javier Hernandez.

Although I can understand why supporters might be a little miffed following Arnautovic’s antics during the transfer window, he is the only player in the squad capable of playing effectively as a lone striker.  Manuel Pellegrini may, of course, opt to play with two strikers but that would leave the team woefully short in midfield numbers and energy – even against a side with Fulham’s limitations.  The reservation with Arnautovic, though, is that, based on the evidence of the footage from Spain, he looked to be carrying a little extra weight than ideal.

The Friday night referee is Lee Mason from Lancashire who was last seen at the London Stadium in December for the defeat against Watford.

The usual pundits are unanimous in their prediction of a West Ham win; with Merson going for 3-1 against Lawro’s 2-0.  The Hammer’s consistent inconsistency over the years might have prepared us for any eventuality and many a team looking to end a miserable run of away results has frequently found West Ham to be charitable hosts.  However, even if the visitors press and harry in midfield to upset the Hammer’s rhythm their defence is so shocking that it would seem impossible not to score.    One of the most memorable West Ham victories over Fulham that I have seen was a 7-2 win in February 1968 – a game that featured a rare compendium of goals from Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking and Martin Peters (plus one from Brian Dear).  It would be most agreeable to witness something similar this evening to make up for a spoiled weekend.



https://westhamway.net/2019/02/22/hammers-bid-farewell-to-fulham-in-frightful-friday-night-affair/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:50:00 PM
 
No away wins this season: Three ominous Fulham stats that West Ham must avoid breaking

West Ham host Fulham tonight in a Friday evening Premier League clash between the two London sides.

Fulham travel across from West London in deep relegation trouble. With 17 points from 26 games, the Cottagers are already eight points adrift in the relegation zone.

In the corresponding meeting at Craven Cottage, West Ham won 2-0. Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio scored the goals on that day.

But ahead of tonight’s fixture, we look at three statistics (sourced by BBC Sport) which show just how bad Fulham have been.

West Ham need to avoid reversing these three stats in tonight’s match.

Leaky defence
Fulham have the leakiest defence in the Premier League by some distance. With 58 goals against this season, they have shipped 10 more than any other Premier League side.

The Hammers will be hoping to inflict further pain upon Fulham’s goal difference by finding the net tonight.

Abysmal away form
Fulham are the only team in the Premier League who have not yet picked up a win on the road this season. In fact, Claudio Ranieri’s men have only picked up two points away from home this season, with 11 losses.

West Ham will be hoping to avoid becoming Fulham’s first away scalp of the season.

London derby woes
Fulham have had little luck against their London rivals this season, including their 2-0 loss at home to West Ham. With eight London derby losses in a row, Fulham have set a new record in the Premier League.



https://www.hammers.news/premier-league/no-away-wins-this-season-three-ominous-fulham-stats-that-west-ham-must-avoid-breaking/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:51:47 PM
 
'I love this club' - Claudio Ranieri wants to stay at Fulham even if the club is relegated

The Italian is starting to come under pressure from the fanbase

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has said he would be happy to stay at Craven Cottage even if the club is relegated at the end of the season.

The Italian joined the Whites in November on a 'multi-year' deal in the hope of inspiring Premier League survival and despite improving his side's form, Fulham remain 19th and eight points from safety.

The former Leicester City manager has won 12 points from 14 matches and pressure is mounting from fans who booed substitutions and chanted 'you don't know what you're doing' in the defeat to Manchester United.

Shahid Khan described Ranieri as a 'risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League' when he succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic but the Roman has outlined his credentials to compete in the second tier too.

He said: "Look this question was a long time ago and I said if the chairman is happy, I am happy to stay. I used to work also in the Championship. I won the Championship in Italy, in France. I am ready to fight with the club, I love this club because it is a very, very good club.

"I am here if the owner wants me, I am ready."

That is not to say Ranieri has written off the season, the 67-year-old remains confident that his squad can pull off an escape that is beginning to look impossible.

The Tinkerman reflected on his two previous 'miracles' at Cagliari and Parma but also believes what he is seeing from his team on the training field is indicative that their fortunes will change.

Ranieri said: “The key is to train very well, to stay together in the bad moments. This team is the same, they work very well, they stay together. There is a very good atmosphere.

"If we continue in this way, we have to change. I believe this. As a manager I have experience. If your players train every time with very good intensity and very good mentality.

"It’s important for me because I have to motivate them. But who motivates the motivator? The players and the fans. Together, we try to do the best."



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/fulham-claudio-ranieri-west-ham-15870420
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:52:48 PM
 
Fulham team news: duo could be set to make their debuts during West Ham game

Relegation threatened Fulham take on West Ham in the Premier League on Friday night. Claudio Ranieri’s side enter the game on the back of poor form as they have lost five out of their last six games in all competitions.

While Fulham are struggling, this game could offer them an opportunity to claim points. The Hammers have also been struggling for form since key-man Marko Arnautovic was linked with a move to China and have not won during their past five League and Cup games.

The last time that the two sides met in the League came in December and West Ham were 2-0 winners away from home. Should Manuel Pellegrini’s side win on Friday, they would have completed a League double over their opponents for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

Fulham’s January signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit are in contention to make their debuts for the club, according to BBC.

The former joined the Cottagers on a permanent deal from Liverpool while the latter has joined the club on loan from German outfit Hoffenheim. Both players were struggling for fitness when they arrived at the club two weeks ago, hence they are only set to make their debuts at this point in time.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah will be available after having had to miss the game against his parent club Manchester United. As things stand, Alfie Mawson is the only player who is ruled out for Fulham.

Meanwhile, West Ham could be set to welcome back Manuel Lanzini. The midfielder has not played a minute of football this season after having suffered a serious injury last summer while training with the Argentina side ahead of the 2018 World Cup.



https://ninetyminutesonline.com/fulham-team-news-duo-could-be-set-to-make-their-debuts-during-west-ham-game/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:56:52 PM
 
'I was blanking calls from home. I'd rather watch Jeremy Kyle than talk to people'

(https://cdn-04.independent.ie/incoming/article37842751.ece/cde9d/AUTOCROP/w620/1638472.jpg)

 SHAMROCK ROVERS defender Sean Kavanagh has opened up on the misery of his final days at Fulham.

The Dubliner returned home to the League of Ireland this time last year, agreeing a settlement with the Craven Cottage club for the remainder of his contract.

He had broken through to the Fulham side aged 20 in 2014 and made 21 league appearances for the club.

But the left back was frozen out after a number of changes in management and fruitless loan spells with Mansfield and Hartlepool.

In an open interview on the new LOI Weekly, Kavanagh admitted that his mental health suffered towards the end of his time with the Londoners as he found himself training away from the rest of the first team and then spending his afternoons on his own at home.

"I was nearly at breaking point," said Kavanagh, "I was training with the U21s who weren't even 21. They were probably 18, 19 and I'm 23. I was going home by myself with nothing to do and I just thought I need to get away from this. It's bad for your mental health. I just decided to come home.

"I'm sort of a weird one. When I'm actually feeling bad, I don't talk to anyone. It shouldn't be that way. I was blanking people. I would have phonecalls every ten minutes from my ma or my girlfriend or whatever and I was at home.

"I'd rather watch Jeremy Kyle than talk to them on the phone. My boy (his son Freddy who was back in Dublin) was the only one that I wanted to talk to."

Kavanagh admitted that he didn't tell anyone at Fulham that he was struggling with his situation.

"You put up a front when you go in," he continued. "You're in a changing room with, what, 20 lads?

"You can't go in and be down. Can you tell 20 lads, I don't feel great mentally here? I don't know. You probably have to put up a front and say I feel great, I look great, I'm playing great but at the end of the day I wasn't. Like I said, I wasn't even training with the first team.

"As soon as I got home and trained with Rovers and started playing, it's probably the most enjoyable time I've had in football. I found a big part of that was being around my family. I was able to go over to my grandad and have a cup of tea with him. It's the little things like that which I didn't do for five or six years."



https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/i-was-blanking-calls-from-home-id-rather-watch-jeremy-kyle-than-talk-to-people-37842747.html
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 12:58:48 PM
 
Report: Fulham could replace Claudio Ranieri with Victor Sanchez

Ranieri appears to be in danger of the sack at Fulham, with the Premier League strugglers allegedly considering former Deportivo and Real Betis boss Sanchez.

Claudio Ranieri could lose his job at Fulham after just 15 games in charge of the Premier League strugglers, according to AS.

The veteran Italian was appointed in November to replace Slavisa Jokanovic in the hope that he could pull off another footballing miracle, having famously guided Leicester City to the title in 2016.

But Ranieri has lost nine of his 15 games so far, winning just three of those, with The Cottagers now eight points adrift of safety and looking doomed.

As a result, AS reports that the former Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan boss could pay with his job as Fulham consider making one last roll of the dice with their Premier League survival on the line.

It is understood that Ranieri could be replaced by Victor Sanchez del Amo, who is the number one candidate as it stands.

At 42, Sanchez is 25 years younger than his potential predecessor and his short-lived managerial career has hardly been a roaring success so far.

The former Real Madrid midfielder won just ten games out of 50 at Deportivo la Coruna and lasted a grand total of two months at Olympiakos. Sanchez has not been seen in football since an ill-fated spell at Real Betis, which came to an end in May 2017.



https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2019/02/22/do-report-fulham-could-replace-claudio-ranieri-with-victor-sanch/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 03:23:27 PM
 
Tonight It’s Time To Get Mission Premier League Survival Started

Tonight, Fulham make the short trek from West to East London to take on West Ham United.

In our current precarious position, whereby we’re staring relegation full in the face unless we can, somehow, dramatically find a turnaround in form, we just have to get some kind of result at the London Stadium.

Every game that passes without three points being gained is another nail in our relegation coffin.

But, the statistics don’t augur well for the improbable to happen.

Entering the game Fulham remain the only side in the top-flight who have not won a Premier League game, away from home, this season. The 15 games played have yielded 13 losses and 2 draws, just 2 points accumulated from a possible 45.

Also, Fulham have lost 5 of their 6 previous away games, hardly the sort of form to fill you with confidence.

Ahead of the game, our boss, Claudio Ranieri, has issued a rallying cry, with the Italian, as reported by the BBC, having remarked about the game tonight:

    “We have to fight, every match is important in the fight for survival. It is difficult because they have very good players.

    “West Ham are safe and for us it is important to show our strength and I want to see my players make their destiny.”


COYW’s, give us that first away win to give us hope and cheer for the future!



https://fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/tonight-its-time-to-get-mission-premier-league-survival-started/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 03:24:30 PM
 
Fulham and Southampton have scouted young centre-back ‘several times’

Premier League clubs never sleep when it comes to trying to find the next best thing in world football, and France tends to be a good place to start.

According to Foot Mercato in France, Fulham and Southampton have taken an interest in Saint-Etienne’s Jordan Halaimia, a young centre-back slowly making a name for himself with their U19s.

The 18-year-old, who stands at around 6’2”, is currently on a youth contract with the Ligue 1 side and tied there until 2020.

The French website state both the Cottagers and the Saints have scouted Halaimia ‘several times’ already, but convincing him to move to Craven Cottage or St Mary’s might prove difficult.

They go on to explain that, for the time being, the centre-back has no desire to leave his club as he ‘waits for a sign’ regarding them offering him his first professional contract.

It seems it’s a ‘look but don’t touch’ situation for both Fulham and Southampton for the time being, who are joined by Braga and Sampdoria in their scouting endeavours.



http://sportwitness.co.uk/fulham-southampton-scouted-young-centre-back-several-times/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 03:26:26 PM
 
West Ham v Fulham: In-Form Hammers Host Goal-Shy Cottagers

The Premier League’s first fixture this weekend sees a resurgent West Ham host relegation-threatened Fulham in another intriguing London Derby.

Both sides entered the current campaign off the back of huge summer investments and expectations, yet only the Hammers can claim to be satisfied with their actions since. Whilst the Irons sit in the relative comfort of 10th place, Fulham sits in the relegation zone.

Despite the eye-watering sums paid for the likes of Alfie Mawson and Jean-Michael Seri, the Cottagers haven’t received an adequate return from their players. A dreadful run of form sees them lie in 19th, having sacked the previous coach Slavisa Jokanovic and replaced him with former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri. In what should still be an intriguing match-up, both clubs will go hammer and tongs for the 3 points; West Ham to aid their European push, and Fulham to escape the perils of relegation.

As always, there are many intriguing subplots to keep an eye out for. Watch out for the Hammers’ Ryan Fredericks, who was integral to Fulham’s promotion, as he plays his former club. Even more tantalising is the potential debut of Fulham’s January signing Havard Nordtveit – who spent an unhappy year at the London Stadium 2 seasons ago.

The last meeting between these sides ended in a comfortable 2-0 win for West Ham. Whilst the hosts will be looking to do the double, Fulham will be hoping for any points from a tough London Derby.



https://thetopflight.com/2019/02/22/west-ham-v-fulham-in-form-hammers-host-goal-shy-cottagers-epl/
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 03:28:42 PM

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri will not resign if relegated to Championship

(https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2019/02/22/14/ranieri090219a.jpg?w968)
Sticking around: Claudio Ranieri ( PA )

Claudio Ranieri hopes to stay at Fulham even if they are relegated to the Championship.

The Italian signed a “multi-year contract” in November and today said he would be up for the challenge of leading Fulham back into the top flight, if owner Shahid Khan stuck with him.

Fulham are eight points from safety with 12 games remaining and face West Ham at the London Stadium tonight looking for their first away win of the season to spark their survival bid. Ranieri faces a difficult challenge but the 67-year-old has said he is committed to the club if they go down.

He said: “If the chairman is happy, I am happy to stay. I am used to working in the second division, I won the second division in France. I am ready to fight with the club. I love this club because it is a very good club. I am here, if the owner wants me then I am ready.”

Ranieri has failed to inspire an improvement at Fulham and he is coming under some pressure after their 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United two weeks ago.

He was given a public show of support by Khan before that game but the result, in front of a global television audience, will not have gone down well.

Fulham supporters turned on Ranieri with chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” and booed him off.

He has called for everyone at Fulham to stick together and has urged his players to take control of their destiny by beating West Ham.

He said: “It is important for us to show our strength. The destiny is there. I want to see my players make their destiny with their hearts.

“We have to stay together to give something good to each other. It is a big challenge but I am confident in my players.”

New signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit could be involved for Fulham tonight but they are unlikely to start.



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham/fulham-manager-claudio-ranieri-will-not-resign-if-relegated-to-championship-a4074161.html
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (22/02/19)...
Post by: whitejc on February 22, 2019, 03:30:20 PM
 
‘I hope I’m not proved wrong’ – These West Ham fans have been discussing tonight’s Fulham clash

West Ham United versus Fulham is nearly here, and many fans have been sharing their thoughts on the game via the KUMB forum ahead of kick-off.

The Hammers have the chance to do the double over our West London rivals after taking a 2-0 win in their backyard in December, but the Cottagers will arrive at the London Stadium seeking revenge and three crucial points.

Claudio Ranieri’s side have only been able to clinch all three points once in their past six league games, and fell victim to Oldham in the FA Cup in the same run, meaning their hopes of survival could hinge on getting something on Friday night.

With little chance of moving towards the European places, and relegation a distant concern, the match from our perspective carries slightly less importance concerning the league than it will for Fulham, meaning bragging rights will be the most important outcome.

Although, while some are brimming with confidence, not every supporter is sharing their belief that we can deal a drubbing at the London Stadium and leave the Craven Cottage outfit eight points from safety having played a game more come full time…

“Scrappy 1-0’s are for relegation battles. We’re comfortably mid table, so the rest of the season is about entertainment rather than 1-0s imo” – Briggsy (Feb 21, 1:09pm)

"If players are back fit as suggested we would have an embarrassment of attacking riches to choose from on the bench.” – Crouchend_Hammer (Feb 21, 2:17pm)

“3-0 would be absolutely brilliant. I really hope Arnie can score. If he doesn’t, at least we still have Antonio. Fulham look poised to go down so I’ll go with Antonio, Felipe, and a Noble penalty.” – Charles_Tevez (Feb 21, 2:21pm)

“We won’t turn up, and end up losing 0-1 or rescuing a late 1-1 draw, at best.” – S-H (Feb 21, 2:26pm)

“I hope I’m not proved wrong but I can’t see us losing this game, and almost as confident that we’ll win if that is the target of the opposition manager.” – AaronHammer (Feb 21, 2:47pm)

“It’s now or never for Fulham, West Ham don’t have much to play for despite what the gaffer and players are telling the cameras. I can’t see an easy win like some are saying. Hopefully a win though” – Norse (Feb 21, 8:44pm)

“I’m dangerously confident for this, 4-1 to us. I even keep having visions of a Felipe hat-trick” – Macca1973 (Feb 22, 9:16am)

“The one consistent thing about West Ham has always been their inconsistency. Tonight, after a two week break, I envisage a slow start to find their rhythm again but if they haven’t beaten Fulham by the final whistle then it will be truly depressing.” – JohnnyB (Feb 22, 9:36am)



https://westham.vitalfootball.co.uk/i-hope-im-not-proved-wrong-these-west-ham-fans-have-been-discussing-tonights-fulham-clash/