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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on October 20, 2019, 06:22:23 PM

Title: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 20, 2019, 06:22:23 PM

Preston NE
Sheff Wed
West Brom
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 07:55:27 AM
THE VIV BUSBY INTERVIEW – PART ONE: From Luton to a Cottage with Bobby Moore


It’s considered ‘good PR’ these days to bury bad news with a slightly more palatable alternative that helps to soften the initial upset felt.

A well-trodden path that is referred to as spin-doctoring, a speciality that, amongst others, a certain Alistair Campbell has been seen to excel at.

It’s not unique to politics of course. It’s been as much a tactic as 4-4-2 and the hard press in football for decades.

John Bond knew enough about how to handle a bad story back in 1976  to know that the best way to fight a fire was to start one of your own, ensuring, in the process, that your fire turns out to be bigger and to burn more fiercely than anyone else’s.

Which means everyone will be talking about your conflagration rather than the other one.

A wise move. Because even if Bond had been able to assemble a team of spin doctors that included the Dalai Lama, JFK and Lord Nelson, there was never going to be any positive way of extracting positives out of  Ted MacDougall’s imminent departure and no amount of spin that could be conjured up to do justice to it.

Yes, it was really that bad. If you’d like a modern-day comparison, then consider this.

Teemu Pukki has just scored his hat-trick against Newcastle. Everyone is talking about him. He’s the man that is pushing Norwich onto the back pages of newspapers that aren’t owned by Archant.

He’s a bit special. And he’s ours.

So imagine the collective seethe if, 48 hours or so after he’d very publicly dismantled the Newcastle defence, the Canaries went and sold Pukki to Nottingham Forest.

For around £600,000.

Ted was the Teemu of the day. He’d rattled in the goals for Bournemouth in the old Third Division, but big-money moves to big clubs in the form of Manchester United and West Ham hadn’t worked out for him.

Yet it all came good for him at Norwich under Bond. 134 first-team appearances and 62 goals. including, gloriously, two hat-tricks in consecutive home league games against Aston Villa (5-3) and Everton (4-2).

Yet, for all that, Ted found himself pining for Hampshire. So, when Southampton waved a cheque for £40,000 in the direction of the Carrow Road boardroom, it was a case of “… so long, and thanks for all the goals”.

And Ted was gone.

Bond knew that the only way to cut short the collective yellow and green caterwauling that chased Ted all the way down to his new home at The Dell was to get his replacement in straight away.

As in, on the same day. Who knows, they may even have passed one another on the A11?

The man given the singularly unenviable task of replacing Ted in the hearts and minds of Norwich supporters was 26-year-old Viv Busby, who joined the Canaries from Fulham for just £40,000 – the same amount that Norwich had received from Southampton for MacDougall.

Now, bear in mind that Ted was so popular amongst the Norwich support that, short of signing Allan Clarke or Malcolm McDonald, Bond was on the proverbial hiding to nothing with regard to who he brought in. Because the immediate reaction of the Norwich support would have been “… well he hin’t as gud as Ted, is he?”

And maybe that’s what some of them did say. But at least it meant that everyone ended up talking about the new boy rather than lamenting about the one that had just departed.

It probably wouldn’t have helped matters if they’d known that Viv had hardly been aching to get away from Fulham. Far from it. Because he was very happy where he was, as he explained to me when we met up for a long and wonderfully revealing chat for MyFootballWriter.

“I’d signed for Luton as a professional when I was 20. It was the best day of my life when I put pen to paper on that form. I’d been around loads of clubs, having trials and getting rejected, time and time again. I wasn’t big enough, strong enough, fast enough. Or good enough, according to some. I’d been working in an office and was beginning to think that football wasn’t going to be for me.

“So, of course, when I signed as a pro, I had a little bit of a celebration. It was a big moment for me after all, the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort. I was just beginning to enjoy myself when my dad took me to one side and said, ‘You think you’ve f*cking made it don’t you?’

“I was shocked to hear him say that.

“No Dad, of course not. But this is a special day for me, so I just wanted a little celebration”.

“But Dad was unrepentant.

“Now you’ve signed, the real hard work begins. You’ve now got to be at it every hour of every day. Every week, every month, every year. Never stop working hard. Because the moment you do, you’ll be back in that flipping office pushing paper around again before you know it.

“I never forgot that. I made sure that, whatever ever I did in the game, training, playing, whatever, I always put the maximum of effort in. Never hid. Worked hard. Gave it everything”.

Viv’s mentor at Luton was manager Alec Stock who rated Viv enough to take him to Fulham with him so, after 16 league goals in 77 league games for the Hatters, Viv headed off to the bright lights of London and Craven Cottage in time for the start of the 1973/74 season.

“I couldn’t afford to live in London mind you. So I stayed put in Bedford. It ended up being quite a commute from there to London and back every day. But Alec was a generous man (!) who made sure I was given £8 a week towards my travelling expenses.”

Moving to Fulham was a step up for Viv in no end of ways, not least the calibre of player he now found himself playing alongside.

“John Lacy, John Cutbush, Alan Mullery, Jimmy Conway……”

A long pause follows before Viv speaks again.

“…and Bobby Moore, of course”.

Viv’s respect and admiration for Moore is unbridled. I tell him how, not long after Moore had been appointed manager of non-league Oxford City, Norwich had reportedly asked him about succeeding John Bond as the club’s new manager but had seen their offer turned down as Moore didn’t want to leave his new club so soon after joining them.

“Well, that’s Mooro (Moore). He did things properly.

“I couldn’t believe I was playing alongside him. It had only been a few years earlier that I’d been watching him lifting the World Cup. Now I was playing in the same side as him. What a player he was. He couldn’t run, he couldn’t tackle, he didn’t really move much at all. But he could play. He’d be talking to me throughout a game; this is a defender knowing what sort of runs a forward should be making. But of course he knows, as he’s had to deal with them throughout his career.

“He was always talking”.

“ ‘Make your run when the defender does such and such. Take him back then make your move across there. I’ll be knocking the ball up to you and it’ll land on your chest’. He’d say what was going to happen and it did. Then he’d say what he was going to do with the ball and he’d do that as well. Mooro would then look over to me and say, ‘…that’s your game Viv, that’s your game’. He’d take the ball out of defence, calm as you like before clipping a pass right to the feet of Les Strong, ‘…deal with that, Strongy’, he’d say and I’d be looking on and thinking, ‘Jesus, how does he do that?

 “It was fate we ended up playing West Ham in the 1975 FA Cup Final. Because I don’t know how the bloody hell we got there otherwise. Carlisle absolutely battered us in the quarter-final and how we got past Birmingham in the semi-final, well, I still don’t know today. But there you go. It was fate for Bob to play his old club in the final that year, that’s all I can say.”

It’s a somewhat trite question to ask but I do so anyway. What’s it like, I ask Viv, to play in an FA Cup Final?

“Mooro told us that, above all, we had to enjoy ourselves on the day. To forget the occasion, forget our nerves and to ignore the crowd. To focus on playing your game and winning the match. It was, don’t forget, a huge occasion back then, more so than it is today. We threw ourselves into it, team lunches, meeting Michael Parkinson, all the TV and radio interest for a couple of weeks or so beforehand.

“There’s 100,000 people in that great old stadium. You’re playing there with Bobby Moore. It’s a second home to him. I’m sure he enjoyed the day and yes, we lost 2-0, but I still enjoyed it, it’s something I’ll never forget”.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 07:56:51 AM
On the Whistle: Aston Villa U23s 1-0 Fulham U23s

Game details

Match: Aston Villa U23s v Fulham U23s
Date: Monday 21st October 2019
Venue: Villa Park
Scoring summary

Vassilev (83)

Kalinic, Walker, Chester (Revan, 71), Hause, Rowe, Brunt, Clarke, Birch, Tait (Odutayo, 59), Archer, Kodjia (Vassilev, 80). Unused subs: Sinisalo, Sea.

Story in brief

Aston Villa U23s rose to sixth in Premier League 2 after our late 1-0 win over Fulham.

Indiana Vassilev was the hero as the super sub headed home on 83 minutes – moments after coming on.

He rose highest to meet a super cross from young midfielder, Jack Clarke.

It had looked like being a point apiece in a game of very few chances but Vassilev popped up at the death to earn all three points.

The game also featured four first teamers as they built up their fitness levels – Jonathan Kodjia, Kortney Hause, James Chester and Lovre Kalinic.

Mark Delaney

I am happy with the boys because of the result. They put a good shift in.

After the game, though, we spoke of the quality that we didn’t show. We only saw glimpses of it which was the disappointing thing.

We worked hard all week on aspects of our game and there were opportunities to play through the pitch but it broke down too many times in the first half.

We were better in the second half and showed more of a threat.

Overall, if it had ended as a draw I don’t either club could have argued but I thought in the second half we showed that little more threat and managed to get that late goal.

Jonathan Kodjia obviously had his first game in a while so there was a bit of tiredness towards the end and Indiana Vassilev was introduced.

He gave us a different dimension and made a really good move for the goal.

The goalkeeper didn’t know whether to come or stay. It was a good finish.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 07:58:34 AM
Fulham v Luton Town
WED 23 Oct 2019   Championship
Venue: Craven Cottage

Stefan Johansen started in both of Norway's recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Spain and Romania

Fulham look set to welcome back Stefan Johansen to their midfield for Luton Town's visit to Craven Cottage.

Johansen missed the defeat by Stoke on Saturday and Fulham have an otherwise fully fit squad from which to choose.

Luton Town goalkeeper James Shea is poised to continue ahead of Simon Sluga after impressing against Bristol City.

Hatters defender Martin Cranie is also back to fitness after a knee ligament injury, with no other confirmed absentees for the trip to London.

Match facts

    Fulham and Luton haven't met in any competition since December 1999, a 3-0 win for Fulham in an FA Cup third round replay.
    Luton's last away league visit to Fulham was in October 1998, winning 3-1 with goals from Phil Gray, Stuart Douglas and Steve Davis.
    Fulham have won just one of their past five home games in all competitions (W1 D2 L2), having won four of their five prior to this run (W4 D0 L1).
    Since drawing 0-0 away at Plymouth in March, none of Luton's last 12 away games in all competitions have ended as draws (W6 L6).
    Since making his debut for Fulham in February 2018, Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 37% of the Cottagers' league goals (31/84).
    James Collins has scored 49 league goals for Luton, though is without a goal in his past three appearances for the Hatters.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:00:12 AM
Luton Town Tickets

There’s still time to join us tomorrow evening and watch Scott Parker’s side in action under the lights at Craven Cottage when Fulham host Luton Town (kick-off 7:45pm).

Fans are encouraged to buy in advance of matchday, with tickets remaining on General Sale until 5pm on Tuesday 22nd October before then being made available to supporters with a Booking History only. 

Priced from £15 for juniors and £25 for adults, supporters can purchase up to four tickets per person.

Tickets can be purchased online now, by phone on 0203 871 0810 (opt. 1) or in person from the Fulham Ticket Office.
Prices increase on matchday. Booking fees, Terms & Conditions apply.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:03:12 AM
Gordon Davies recalls snubbing Leeds transfer for Fulham - after 10-0 Liverpool defeat
Fulham legend Gordon Davies has discussed why he rejected talks with Leeds to rejoin Fulham in 1986, despite their 10-0 defeat at Liverpool - EXCLUSIVE.

Fulham hero Gordon Davies decided to return to west London with the Whites after short stints with both Chelsea and Manchester City.

The ex-Wales international has now revealed that he had been contacted by Leeds as he prepared to leave Manchester, but opted to snub talks despite their “fantastic” following.

Davies told Express Sport: “Clubs had been watching my situation at City and there were two interested in talking to me, one of them being Leeds and the other Fulham.

“I tried to distance myself and assess what the situation was at Leeds, who were in the old second division then, and see if they had a squad that would have suited me.

“Their fans are such a fantastic following, so I had to consider that.”

Despite his willing to talk to the club about a possible deal, the forward had already spoke with then Fulham boss Ray Lewington, but their next result almost derailed his plans.

He continued: “I had also spoken to Ray Lewington at Fulham, and I said that I would meet him to chat but their next game almost changed my opinion entirely.

“I met him while they were away in Liverpool but I turned down his offer of going to the game to avoid the fans seeing me which might have distracted the players.

Gordon Davies EXCLUSIVE: Fulham's record scorer opted to rejoin the club over Leeds (Image: GETTY)

Gordan Davies rejoined Fulham after a season at both Chelsea and Manchester City (Image: GETTY)

“Of course as it would turn out, that was the infamous 10-0 defeat at Anfield!

“But after all, I thought I could help, I met Ray again and we chatted for an hour or two and we basically agreed a contract and I signed for Fulham again.”

Liverpool demolished Fulham at Anfield in their League Cup second round first leg as Steve McMahon hit four goals in a 35 minute spell in a nightmare result for player-manager Lewington.

Despite that, Davies went on to add 45 league goals to his Fulham goal tally, going on to cement his status as record goalscorer with a total of 178 goals in 450 appearances.

Gordan Davies scored 178 goals in 450 appearances for Fulham over two spells (Image: GETTY)

The Reds went on to win the second-leg 3-2 at Craven Cottage to seal a final aggregate score of 13-2, before losing to Arsenal in the final.

Davies, who also made 16 appearances for Wales during his career, revealed that Tottenham and Liverpool were interested in signing him before his first spell at Fulham in 1978.

He said: “Of course you look back and think about what might have been, but it could have gone totally wrong for me.

“You never know how things may have worked out, but looking back on the career that I had, especially that I had at Fulham, I wouldn't change a thing.”
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:05:09 AM
 Fulham vs Luton preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football Red Button
Watch live on Sky Sports Football Red Button and the Sky Sports app from 7.40pm on Wednesday; Kick-off is at 7.45pm

Fulham face Luton in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday. Coverage gets under way live on Sky Sports Football Red Button at 7.40pm; Kick-off 7.45pm.

Team news

Fulham boss Scott Parker has no injury concerns. A 2-0 defeat away to struggling Stoke at the weekend means Parker's side have won just two of their last eight league outings.

The Cottagers, among the pre-season promotion favourites, sit 10th as a result but Parker should have a full complement of players to select from. Stefan Johansen sat out the defeat at the Bet365 Stadium but is set to return.

Luton may be without the services of Izzy Brown for the short trip to west London. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder is a doubt after being forced off late on in Saturday's 3-0 win over Bristol City with a leg injury.

Brown hit the post and laid on a goal for Harry Cornick before being replaced by Callum McManaman - who is likely to replace the 22-year-old if he is not fit. There was better news on the injury front for fellow loanee James Bree as the Aston Villa defender expected to have recovered from a groin complaint that saw him taken off at half-time at the weekend.

Recent form

In spite of Fulham's shock 2-0 loss at Stoke at the weekend, Scott Parker's men are ticking along nicely, with that being their first league defeat since August 24. Before the international break, they drew 2-2 with Charlton, a result that came after a 2-0 win over Wigan and a thumping 4-1 win away at Reading.

Luton are, perhaps, defying expectations given this is their first season back in the Championship since the 2006/07 season. They beat Bristol City 3-0 on Saturday, after starting October with a 1-1 draw at home to Millwall and a 2-0 loss against Derby at Pride Park.

Talking point: Parker must get more out of Fulham

It is almost a year since Fulham disposed of Slavisa Jokanovic, and with every passing month it has looked like a worse and worse decision. The Serbian boss would certainly be getting more out of this incredibly talented squad, which is significantly stronger - even without Ryan Sessegnon - than the one with which he won promotion.

Fulham are actually two points better off than they were at this stage in their promotion-winning campaign of 2017/18, but automatic promotion must be the aim with this side and with the money spent. At the moment they look nowhere near.

Opta stats

Fulham and Luton haven't met in any competition since December 1999, a 3-0 win for Fulham in an FA Cup third round replay.

Luton's last away league visit to Fulham was in October 1998, winning 3-1 with goals from Phil Gray, Stuart Douglas and Steve Davis.

Fulham have won just one of their last five home games in all competitions (W1 D2 L2), having won four of their five prior to this run (W4 D0 L1).

Since drawing 0-0 away at Plymouth in March, none of Luton's last 12 away games in all competitions have ended as draws (W6 L6).

Since making his debut for Fulham in February 2018, Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 37% of the Cottagers' league goals (31/84).

James Collins has scored 49 league goals for Luton, though is without a goal in his last three appearances for the Hatters.

Prutton's prediction

Fulham dominated possession against Stoke on Saturday but they had fewer shots and shots on target. At this point you have to wonder if Scott Parker is getting the most out of an extremely talented squad.

Luton got a good win at the weekend and look to be doing enough right now to survive in this division, which would be massive for them after so long away from this level. Home win for me.

David Prutton predicts: 2-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:07:48 AM
‘It was always going to be a risk’ – Fulham man under pressure? Six-Pointer

Fulham manager Scott Parker is starting to come under the spotlight after a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City at the weekend, and his side 10th-place in the Championship

Nathan Jones’ turnaround at Stoke is only two games old but it seems to have done him and his side a world of good.

The Potters eased to a 2-0 home win against Parker’s Fulham at the weekend, who himself is starting to come under some scrutiny from fans.

Although it was there first defeat since August, Fulham fans feel their team have been under-performing this season.

Since the defeats to Nottingham Forest at the end of August, Parker’s Fulham side have won twice, drawing four and losing the one to Stoke.

It’s left the Cottagers in 10th-place of the Championship table, two points off of the play-off places and six off leaders West Brom.

A couple of wins will throw Fulham right back into contention, and he has the chance to get back to winning ways at home to Luton Town tomorrow.

In the latest FLW Six-Pointer, we discuss whether Parker’s position at Fulham is under pressure.

What’s been Fulham’s main downfall this season?

Inconsistency. Often the footfall of any football team with a bit of potential.

Parker’s side have dropped points from winning positions against the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom showing that they can mix with the league’s big teams, but can’t seem to put a game to bed.

Are the expectations at Fulham too high?

Maybe, but they should be high.

Fulham still have most of their Premier League squad and recruited well in the summer too, and their league position doesn’t reflect the talent they have.

The ideal this season would be automatic promotion for Fulham, but then again that would be for any team.

How much time should Scott Parker be given?

Parker is a likeable character and a hero around those parts.

But football is a results business and right now, Parker isn’t delivering that – should this current form continue, expect to see Parker under pressure within the next few games.

Was Parker a good appointment in the first place?

Only time will tell with these things.

The appointment was always going to be a risk with it being Parker’s first, and it was made tougher given the circumstances at the club.

He was the third manager of Fulham’s relegation campaign last term, and perhaps the board were too keen to settle on someone before finding the ideal man.

Who could potentially replace Parker at Fulham?

There’s a handful of out-of-work managers in England, but none that would turn Fulham’s nose.

They’d have to look for an in-work manager, ideally one from the Championship – the likes of Preston’s Alex Neil or Bristol City’s Lee Johnson could suffice.

Would Fulham fans be sad to see Parker go?

It depends really.

If results continue to worsen and Fulham become a mid-table outfit in the Championship, Parker will surely be shown the door.

But on the other hand, the Fulham board may take an alternative approach and give Parker the time and resources to rebuild the team, and put them in a position not only to be promoted, but to also stay in the Premier League too.

He is though and will remain, a likeable character and ex-pro at Fulham.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:08:32 AM
Thoughts on Marcus Bettinelli

Yesterday’s result was for me the most disappointing of the season. That might seem a strange thing to say given that West Brom are, on paper, the best team that we have played against this season and will undoubtably be fighting for promotion come May. But with how the game went, I can only come away frustrated and disappointed. We were in complete control of the game against a very strong side, but have handed the Baggies a draw away from home on a plate. We have to learn from this, and quick if we want to stay within touching distance of the teams at the top.

The big talking point coming away from yesterday’s game, is whether or not we need a change between the sticks. Marcus Bettinelli hasn’t helped his cause so far this season. He has always been a decent shot stopper, but isn’t great in other areas. His distribution has constantly been called into question, and he is now making mistakes far too often, costing the team points. But before we start calling for his head, we need to look at things close up, and then look at things in from a wider perspective.

Close up-

Well it doesn’t look great, does it? A good corner into the right area, but why is he flapping at that? And why is he trying to claim a foul when Austin did what every front man in world football will do at corners? He just wasn’t strong enough, and his reaction has only made it worse. He has now come out and accepted the blame, and fair play to him for that, but really the mistakes need to be cut out.

However, while Betts made the error, there are a couple of other factors involved in this particular occasion. Firstly, why on earth do we not have a man in between Austin and Betts? For me, that’s a huge error in judgement from our defensive coaches if it was supposed to be like that. Of course West Brom are going to put Austin in there trying to put the keeper off, so why was Ream, or anyone not there to give him some sort of cover? Also, Mawson can’t come away from that scot free. He was supposed to be on Semi Ajayi, but he has let him run off him so easily. For a big lad, he sometimes doesn’t use his strength. So, while Betts has made the biggest error of all in this situation, he certainly wasn’t helped by his defence.

Wider perspective –

A lot of people won’t like this, but I think there are a vocal section of fans who don’t help the situation. At Barnsley away I was a couple of rows from the front and Betts was having abuse hurled at him from the word go. His distribution from the start was at it’s usual level, but a number of fans were on his back in a pretty abusive way straight away. This isn’t helping. Now, I know we have all paid hard earned cash to follow the team up and down the country so therefore have the right to express opinions, but for me there is a huge difference between that and just hurling abuse non-stop. If you honestly think that will encourage our players to up their game then you are mistaken. All it does is make the burden heavier and heavier, until someone will turn around and shout back, which is what I hear may have happened yesterday, although I can’t confirm that this. Another example is Cyrus Christie. When he came on against Nottingham Forest a few weeks ago we had some numpties booing him straight away. The guy looked terrified every time he got near the ball, and unfortunately as a fan base WE have to take some of the blame for that. It’s embarrassing.

I have no idea who we will start in goal against Sheffield Wednesday, but I do think that Rodak must be in with a chance. If Rodak does get the nod, then it should spur Betts on to up his game. Competition in that area of the pitch is important. But for us as fans, maybe it’s time to have a think about how we respond to whoever is on the pitch.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:09:39 AM
Matchday Preview

Fulham v Luton Town - Craven Cottage - Wednesday 23rd October 2019 - 7.45pm

The opposition

A difficult start to their first Championship campaign in 12 years saw Luton Town take just one point from their opening four fixtures, but they have turned their fortunes around since. Back-to-back wins over Yorkshire sides Barnsley and Huddersfield Town got things up and running, and they’ve since taken seven points from meetings with Blackburn Rovers, Millwall and Bristol City.
Fulham doubts

Harry Arter
Luton doubts

Izzy Brown, Danny Hylton, Glen Rea, Jake Peck, Alan Sheehan


Tickets are available to Season Ticket Holders, Members, and supporters with a booking history.

There's a 50/50 chance of rain during the game, with temperatures around 12 degrees.

FFCtv coverage

All subscribers can watch a live stream of the match on FFCtv. Live commentary will also be available.
Dafabet match odds

Fulham: 1/2

Draw: 7/2

Luton: 11/2

To take advantage of Dafabet's various price boosts for this fixture, follow this link.

Odds correct at the time of writing. 18+ only.
He said

“There’s no way I’m sitting here and underestimating Fulham. Absolutely no chance. They are a top team. I expect them to get promoted. This is one of the most difficult games of the season, going to Craven Cottage. I’ve been there with Everton and Wigan so I know from experience. I’ve been there as a player. It’s a long time ago now and they are a very different club to what they were then, but I’ve played there when Kevin Keegan was manager and I was at Wigan, Chris Coleman was centre half. I’ve got good memories of Fulham, really, but it’s a really difficult place to go. I’ve got total respect for the football club, I’ve got total resect for the manager. The staff and the players are Premier League quality and we need to be ready.” – Luton manager Graeme Jones

Fulham: DWWDL

Luton: LWDLW
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 08:11:08 AM
THE VIV BUSBY INTERVIEW – PART TWO: The route from Craven Cottage to the Carra

In part two of the trilogy, Ed picks it up with Viv still enjoying life at Fulham…

Life was good for Viv down by the Thames. The culture of the club and the high calibre of teammates he was now playing alongside certainly brought his game on.

“I grew up fast at Fulham. Became a lot more confident in myself and my game, a little bit arrogant even. That’s what I tried to take on the pitch with me. I was strong, I had a bit of pace about me and I could score goals”.

Viv played and scored in one of Fulham’s pre-season matches prior to the 1976/77 season. It was in the old Anglo Scottish Cup tournament at Craven Cottage, a 1-1 draw against the Canaries.

I went around Duncan Forbes and Roger Hansbury to score that one. Believe me, not many people got around Duncan, bless him.”

Viv thought nothing more of it but, a little over a month after that game he was summoned to Alec Stock’s office.

“I wondered what I’d done wrong! Alec didn’t mess about, he said that Bondy (John Bond) had been on to him and that Norwich were interested in signing me as they needed a striker to replace Ted MacDougall.

“I wasn’t interested in moving and said so. I was happy at Fulham and didn’t feel as if I wanted to go anywhere else. But Alec wouldn’t listen, he went on to say that things were starting to happen at Fulham, new people were getting involved at the club and he thought that meant he probably wouldn’t be there himself for very much longer.

“He summed it all up by saying, ‘personally speaking Viv, I think you should go’.

“What could I do? I went up to Norwich to have a chat with Bondy and he sold the club to me. No problem. He was quite a character, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. But I could tell he wanted me at Norwich and that he was a manager who looked out for his players. So after not wanting to leave Fulham, it became an easy decision to do so in the end.

“I moved into a place near Long Stratton. There was a stud farm near us in the village which was really peaceful. We loved the country life we had up there, it was perfect as far as we were concerned, for bringing up our daughter. And I loved the coaching sessions that Bondy put on. He wasn’t, maybe, quite so good on the actual man-management at times but I think that is because he just wanted us to do well as footballers, he perhaps didn’t see that other side of us sometimes.

“Having said that, he did look after us. We’d all gather in the players’ lounge after a home game and he’d buy us all a pint. He’d also pay for our tickets so we could go along to the PFA Dinner at the end of that season as well as ensuring we stayed in a nice hotel.

“But it didn’t pay to disagree with him on things, you never got anywhere if you had a different opinion to Bondy about something. I learnt a lot from him which I ended up taking into coaching and management myself. I remember, even at the time, I decided I’d be remembering and applying all the good things that I learnt from him whilst ignoring the things that we didn’t agree on.”

Viv’s Norwich career started well. He made his Canaries debut in a 0-0 draw against Derby County at Carrow Road on September 18th 1976. A 1-1 draw at Tottenham (for whom a teenage Glenn Hoddle scored) followed before, on October 2nd, Viv scored his first Norwich goal in a 3-2 home win over Newcastle United. Three days later he did so again in another 3-2 win, this time at QPR.

His best performance of that season came in the New Year’s Day game at home to Leicester City when he became a member of that special breed of players who have scored a top-flight hat-trick for the Canaries. Norwich won 3-2 with one report of the game describing Busby as ‘rampant’.

Things were going well.

“I made a lot of mates at Norwich. Ryano (John Ryan) of course, who now lives near me out in Spain. We’d been together at Luton. Jimmy Neighbour, Graham Paddon and Roger Gibbons as well. My best buddy at the time though was probably Kevin Keelan. Now he was a lunatic. I’d watch him in training, he did NOT like to be beaten, even during a training session. He’d make sure you knew that as well, he’d come up to me and say, ‘… you’ll never get it past me today’. He couldn’t half punch a ball! I roomed with Keelo on away trips and absolutely loved him to bits, still do.

“Bondy’s coaching was a different class. It was all about passing, his mantra was ‘pass, pass, pass’. Keep moving, don’t stand still. As much as I had enjoyed my time at Fulham, I’d never had coaching of this standard and learnt so much about how to play the game but not just as a forward but as an overall player with a much more rounded outlook about the game. But how could you not improve as a player when you had so much quality around you. Duncan Forbes, he could play the game you know. Colin Sullivan, another good player. Then, of course, there was Martin Peters”.

Another reverential silence follows. I break it by pointing out to Viv how fortunate he was to have enjoyed the company of both Bobby Moore and Martin Peters at two of his club sides.

“Yes. Martin was wonderful to play with. His attitude was ‘let’s go out and play’. And he did”.

I asked Viv if he remembered fellow MFW contributor and all-round journo and broadcaster Mick Dennis accompanying the players on the coach to Norwich’s away games?

“I remember Mick. He was alright. Not like at Sunderland. We’d have six or seven, maybe more local journalists covering everything that the club did. They were an evil bunch”

Back to all things yellow and green on the pitch and that 1976/77 season, the only full campaign Viv had with Norwich. I mention that he ended it with 11 goals from 17 appearances, scoring stats that would unquestionably have been better had his season not been interrupted with a series of niggling injuries.

“11 from 17? That’s not too bad really, probably the best spell in my career.”

Norwich finished the 1976/77 season in 16th place. A little disappointing, perhaps, but there were grounds for optimism at the start of the following campaign which commenced with a 3-1 win at West Ham, the Canaries’ first away win in the league for nearly eighteen months.

Viv started the game playing in attack with Kevin Reeves and, despite a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City on September 3rd, a late Roger Gibbins goal against Bristol City a week later meant that Norwich were sat in ninth place and looking more than capable of holding their own in the top flight for another year.

That game against the Robins turned out, however, to be Viv’s last for Norwich with his sudden demise from the first team in the wake of that match as much a surprise to him as it was the club’s support, especially as the Canaries start to that season, if not spectacular, had certainly been a promising one.

“We went down to West Ham on the first day of the season, played well, won convincingly. First away win in the league for ages. So all the boys were sat on the coach afterwards in a good mood. Except that someone has got one of the local papers that has a big preview of the game in it. It includes a few words from Bondy that didn’t exactly speak of him having much confidence in us.

“ ’We’ll need our fairy godmother to get a result here’ was what he said. What a gee-up for the lads. It’s a good job we saw it after the game. But even though we’d won and played well, he’d still given us a bollocking in the dressing room afterwards. I was sat there ready to have a go back at him, but the lads were all looking over at me and saying, ‘…shut up Viv, keep quiet…don’t say anything’. Most of them were more used to him and his ways than I was, and I guess they just wanted to get home. But it wasn’t right what he was saying. Give the team a bo11ocking if they haven’t played well yes, I’ve done it myself. But after a 3-1 away win on the first day of the season? Come on!”

The bo11ockings didn’t end there.

“Second game of the season, 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough. We’re in control but they nick a point in the last few minutes. Come off, dressing room, another bo11ocking. I’m even more wound up this time but, again, the lads are saying to me, ‘… leave it Viv’ – so I do.

“A few days later we’re playing QPR at home. We’re bossing the game but, in the second half, they come back into it and the game ends 1-1. Back to the dressing room, everyone is quiet as if they know what’s coming next.

“Well. I’ve never heard a tirade of abuse like it in all the years I’ve been in the game. Bondy absolutely lays into everyone. He’s going around the team, one by one. When he gets to me, it’s full-on abuse for two minutes. He then moves on to Jimmy Neighbour and does the same to him. Before coming back to me. Then it’s off to someone else before, again, he comes back to me and lets me have more of the same. I’ve had enough by now and none of the lads are going to prevent me from having a go back”.

Viv duly ‘had a word’…

“Excuse me gaffer but that’s four points from our first three games. You’d have been delighted with that at the start of the season”.

“And with that, I take my shirt off and throw it at him.

“Bondy storms off to the physio’s room. I get my boots off and start to change. But he’s soon out again and comes right over to me, puts his finger on my nose and says, ‘… that’s a two-week fine for you for back chatting to the manager’

“ ‘F*ck off. You can stick your fine up your @rse. You’re useless’ ”.

Bond’s reaction was to leave Viv out of the squad altogether for the Canaries’ next match, a League Cup tie against Burnley which saw Greg Downs, then only 18, take Viv’s place in the team. He missed a good chance to score and Norwich lost 3-1.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 01:01:50 PM
Jones: Fulham trip is one of the most difficult games of the season

Luton boss Graeme Jones is preparing his side for ‘one of the most difficult’ games of the season’ when they head to Fulham this evening.

The Cottagers were relegated from the Premier League last term, but won three of their opening four games to make a bright start to life in their new surroundings.

Although their recent form has been patchy, notching just two wins in their past eight, taking one point from a possible six with a draw against Charlton and defeat to Stoke on Saturday, Jones doesn’t expect Fulham’s stay in the Championship to be a lengthy one.

He said: “There’s no way I’m sitting here underestimating Fulham, absolutely no chance.

“They are a top team, I expect them to get promoted and this is one of the most difficult games of the season going to Craven Cottage.

“I’ve been there with Everton, I’ve been there with Wigan, I’ve been there as a player, me and Brabs (Gary Brabin) played there, I know what Craven Cottage is.

“I’ve got total respect for the football club, I’ve got total respect for the manager, the staff, and the players are Premier League quality, and we need to be ready.”

Although Fulham lost Ryan Sessegnon to Spurs for £25m in the summer, they have kept a number of players who were in the top flight with them, including £22m striker Aleksander Mitrovic.

Boss Scott Parker has strengthened further with Anthony Knockeart, Harry Arter and Ivan Cavaleiro all dropping down on loan from Premier League sides.

Jones continued: “I don’t know what Fulham have spent, I don’t know what salaries they pay, I know it’s slightly more than ours, but they’ve got internationals, everywhere.

“They’re an ex-Premier League club, so we’re the underdogs.

“He’s (Mitrovic) the one probably with the most pedigree, an international, scored Premier League goals, a lot of Premier League goals, and he’s a handful.

“(Tom) Cairney the same, the two Reeds (Harrison Reed and Bobby Reid), you can go on and on, (Alfie) Mawson at the back.

“They’ve got some really good players, but so have we and we’re going there looking forward to the challenge and we’ll see what happens.”

Jones himself has good recollections of his times visiting Craven Cottage though, saying: “We won there for Doncaster, beat them 2-0, a long time ago now.

“It’s a very different club from what they are now.

“I played there when Kevin Keegan was manager, when I was at Wigan, Chris Coleman was centre half, I met Michael Jackson there, I’ve got a photograph to prove it.

“So I’ve got some good memories of Fulham, but it’s a really difficult place to go.”

Although Town go into the game as underdogs, Jones doesn’t think that means for a second they can afford to relax.

He added: “I never think the pressure’s off, every game, every day we need to be at it.

“That underdog tag if I was going into detail, it would be dictated by budget, be dictated by newcomers to the league, haven’t played at this level for a while, not an established Championship club, that would be the reason for that.

“But you can use it to your advantage as well, so we’ll see.”
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 01:03:12 PM

Craven Cottage - 7:45pm - Pay on the night - Live on iFollow Hatters

The Hatters face Scott Parker’s Fulham under the lights at Craven Cottage this evening aiming to win their second game in a row - and a third in five Sky Bet Championship matches.

After an impressive 3-0 home win against Bristol City on Saturday, Town travel to south-west London full of confidence after ending the Robins' ten league game unbeaten run.

With four Championship wins, the Hatters currently occupy 17th position (dropping a place following Millwall's 2-2 draw with Cardiff last night) and are seven places and five points adrift of their counterparts this evening.

Fulham suffered their third loss of the season with defeat at Stoke on Saturday, but remain just two points away from the play-off places.

International supporters will be able to stream and follow the game at Craven Cottage live on iFollow Hatters. Subscribers can also tune into Simon Pitts’ full match commentary as well.


On Fulham’s chances this season: “There is no way I’m sitting here underestimating Fulham, absolutely no chance. They are a top team, I expect them to get promoted. This is one of the most difficult games of the season going to Craven Cottage.

“I’ve been there with Everton, been there with Wigan and I know from experience as a player, me and Brabs (Gary Brabin) played there together at Craven Cottage years ago, I’ve got total respect for the football club and I’ve got total respect for the manager. The staff and their players are Premier League quality and we need to be ready.”

On Aleksandar Mitrovic and other Fulham threats: “He’s probably the one with the most pedigree. An international, scored Premier League goals, a lot of Premier League goals, and he’s a handful. Cairney the same, the two Reids - you could go on and on. They’ve got some really good players, but so have we. We will go there looking forward to the challenge and we will see what happens."

On manager Scott Parker: “He played with a good friend we share – Stuart Balmer – who was at Charlton a long time and I played with him at Wigan and a few other clubs. Stu always speaks really, really well about Scott. You can see his principles in his teams, how he wants to play. With the ball he wants possession and I’ve got great respect for that. To see somebody want to get on the front foot, score goals and win games, especially a British coach, is refreshing."


Relegated from the Premier League last season after beating Aston Villa in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium the campaign prior, Fulham have been FA Cup and Europa League finalists, as well as Football League Division One, Two and Three Champions a total of four times.

Kick-off is 7:45pm at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 23rd October.

The referee for tonight's game is John Brooks – who has taken charge of ten games this season, dishing out 36 yellow cards in the process.

Tickets for this match are sold out.

This match will be the first meeting in almost 20 years between the two teams but the 58th in total.

Luton have won 22 of those, whilst Fulham have the superior record with 28 wins. The two sides have shared seven draws since their first game against each other in 1908.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 01:03:58 PM
Half-Term Offers

Take advantage of some exclusive junior half-term retail offers!

For one week only, get 20% off all junior training wear, with everything from winter jackets to training tops now available at reduced prices.

In addition, why not complete your matchday look with free printing available on all junior home and away shirts purchased this week!

Both offers are available in store and online until 11.59pm on Sunday 27th October.

• Free shirt printing only available on shirts purchased between Monday 21st October – Sunday 27th October. Sleeve badges excluded.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 01:05:35 PM
2 Fulham weaknesses Luton can exploit this evening

Luton Town head into tonight’s game against Fulham off the back of a greatly impressive 3-0 home win over high flying Bristol City last weekend, with the Hatters having secured the three points thanks to goals from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Harry Cornick and an Ashley Williams own goal.

That result will have come as a much needed boost for Hatters boss Graeme Jones, with the Bedfordshire based outfit having picked up just two wins in their last five league games, as they look to establish a foothold in the second division this term, following promotion from League One last season.

They face a Fulham side this evening who will no doubt be keen to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 away defeat to lowly Stoke City at the weekend, with the result being the west London based team’s first defeat in their last five Championship outings.

Here, we take a look at TWO Fulham weaknesses that Luton can exploit in tonight’s game at Craven Cottage…

Exploit set pieces

The Hatters should look to exploit attacking set pieces, with Fulham having shown several weaknesses when defending these situations this season, meaning that the Bedfordshire based club could reap the rewards if their deliveries into the penalty area are on point.

They should aim to deliver their corners and indirect free kicks in and around the six yard box, as this will allow them to both take advantage of their superior height and cause uncertainty for Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli, who isn’t the best at commanding his penalty area.

Play through balls

One other Fulham weakness that Luton can look to exploit tonight is their high back line, with Parker’s side tending to operate with a very high line when in possession, meaning that there tends to be a large amount of space left free in behind the back four.

Luton should look to play through balls at every opportunity, as this will allow their forward players to exploit the space which is left by Fulham’s defence when they are caught too far up the pitch, meaning that Luton should in theory be gifted several opportunites to counter attack against the Cottagers.

Jones should ask the likes of Harry Cornick and James Collins to make runs into the channels, as this will both exploit the space and help to give Luton an outlet when in possession of the ball.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 01:06:55 PM
Step By Step Guide To FFCtv

Fulham supporters based in the UK and overseas can watch live coverage of this evening’s EFL Championship game against Luton Town on FFCtv, kick-off 7.45pm (BST).

The live video streaming service for this fixture is available to Fulham fans everywhere – with the FFCtv production providing enhanced camera coverage and live commentary from Gentleman Jim & Jamie Reid.

Match Passes for fans in the UK are priced at £10, whilst FFC fans overseas can purchase a pass for £5, or via the £120 seasonal subscription.

As always, audio commentary of the match is also available via a monthly or annual subscription.

The live broadcast for Fulham v Luton Town will begin from 7.30pm.

For fans wishing to watch or listen to this evening’s fixture, please be sure to follow the below steps:

Using a desktop computer:

• Log-in to your FFCtv account by visiting and clicking LOGIN, located in the top right hand corner.

• If you have yet to purchase a Match Pass or subscription, choose your package and follow the steps to buy.

• Once purchased, to then view the game on desktop simply click on the FFCTV LIVE tab on which will bring up the live video feed (from 7.30pm) for the Luton Town fixture.

• To listen to audio commentary only, click on the adjacent AUDIO COMMENTARY tab.

Fans are reminded that if viewing the website on a mobile or tablet browser (i.e. Safari on an iPhone or Chrome on an Android device) the live stream will not show. To watch on mobile or tablet, you must watch via the FFCtv App.

For mobile and tablet:

• Purchase a package by visiting on a mobile or desktop browser.

• Open the official FFCtv App and log-in via the ACCOUNT tab located in the bottom right of the screen.

       o Fans yet to download the FFCtv App can do so via the Apple App & Google Play stores.

• Log in to your account.

• Once logged in, you should see LISTEN LIVE and WATCH LIVE buttons accessible via the TV, LIVE and MATCHES icons at the bottom of the screen.

Fans are reminded that the previous Fulham FC app will not show live video coverage or provide live audio commentary. To access live content please download the new FFCtv App.

For any specific questions relating to playback on your desktop or mobile/tablet device please contact

Anyone who experiences difficulties subscribing to FFCtv should email Fans are advised to test their login prior to kick-off.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 01:08:19 PM
2 Luton weaknesses Fulham can exploit this evening

Fulham head into their Championship clash against Luton Town tonight seeking redemption from last weekend’s disappointing away defeat to Stoke City, with Scott Parker’s side going down 2-0 to the Potters at the bet365 Stadium.

Goals from Lee Gregory and Tyrese Campbell compounded the Cottagers to just their third defeat of the season, with Parker’s charges having also lost to both Barnsley and Nottingham Forest respectively, in what has been a mixed start to the campaign for the club since relegation from the Premier League.

Parker’s side take on a Luton Town side who come into tonight’s game at Craven Cottage in high spirits after recording a resounding 3-0 victory over high-flying Bristol City last weekend, in what was one of the most unexpected results in the

With Luton currently sitting in 17th place, we have picked out TWO weaknesses that Fulham can look to exploit in tonight’s game…

Take long shots

One way that Fulham can exploit Luton’s weaknesses this evening is to take on a large amount of shots from distance, with the Hatters having been guilty on several occasions this season of failing to close down players who line up shots on the edge of the box.

Parker should instruct the likes of Tom Cairney, Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro to shoot from distance at every opportunity, as this will both provide them with chances to score directly and also open up the chance for rebounds to fall to the likes of Mitrovic in the penalty area.

Counter attack

One other Luton weakness that Fulham should look to exploit, is their lack of ability to defend counter-attacks, with the Hatters having shown a great tendency to concede from these types of situations this season on numerous occasions so far.

Parker should look to instruct both Knockaert and Cavaleiro to stay high and wide up field, as this will provide a base for the Whites to counter attack quickly and effectively, once the midfield three of Harry Arter, Harrison Reed and Tom Cairney have regained possession.

The pace that the Cottagers possess on the counter attack should leave the Luton defence in disarray if they are caught too far up field.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 02:11:59 PM
2 changes Parker should make for Fulham against Luton tonight

Fulham take on Luton Town this Wednesday night, looking to bounce back from the 2-0 defeat to Stoke City on the weekend.

It’s set to be an intriguing game with Luton coming into the fixture full of confidence having romped to a 3-0 victory over Bristol City on Saturday.

Fulham have high hopes for the season, and their supporters won’t be over the moon with the start they’ve made to the campaign, but know that there is a long way to go.

With that being said, here are TWO changes that the Cottagers should think about making tonight…

Josh Onomah

In this new 3-5-2 formation that Scott Parker is trying to play for his Fulham side, he has to have more legs in the midfield. Onomah is yet to have a run in the side, and we’ve seen with his previous loan spells that he can be a very good Championship player.

Harrison Reed failed to impress yet again, and Onomah can also add drive to their midfield when things become a little bit scrappy like they did on the weekend. Fulham at times look lackadaisical  and have to start showing that energy that they had against sides such as Reading and Wigan a couple of weeks ago.

Neeskens Kebano

The forward deserves a start purely based on the form of both Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert. Neither have been on it in recent weeks, and every player goes through dips in their form throughout the season, but a good manager will let them have a breather and use a player who will be chomping at the bit.

He has Championship experience and again adds a bit more out and out pace into the side which can also help get the fans of their feet and add some more energy to the performance. It’s a big game in the context of the season, and Fulham will want to win to push back into the top ten.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 03:54:44 PM
2 moments that have defined Fulham’s season so far

Fulham suffered a shock 2-0 loss away to relegation candidates Stoke on Saturday but will be looking to secure an important win as they host Luton Town at Craven Cottage this evening.

Scott Parker will be disappointed with his side’s performance at the Britannia Stadium at the weekend as his Fulham team dominated possession in typical fashion, with 78% of the ball, but were unable to create any clear cut chances.

The loss has seen Fulham drop down the table to 10th and they are now three points off of sixth-placed Nottingham Forest but a win over the Hatters this evening could see them return to the playoffs in 5th position.

Fulham’s form this season has been consistent and they have managed to pick up some important wins, including the 4-0 away win against Millwall and the 4-1 win away to Reading.

Here are two moments that have defined Fulham’s season so far.

One loss in 10

Before the disappointing trip to Stoke last weekend, Parker’s Fulham had only lost one game in their last ten fixtures, picking up 19 points in the process and leaving them firmly in the playoff places before the international break.

During this run, Parker’s possession-based, attacking philosophy looked to be at it’s best as his side scored an impressive 20 goals.

However, Fulham would have been even better off had they been more clinical in the fixtures against West Brom and Charlton in particular as they drew both of these games but dominated for large periods and had excellent chances to gain all three points.

Parker will certainly be looking to go on a similar run in the coming weeks in order to keep within touching distance of the promotion places in the Championship

2-0 loss to Stoke

There have been a number of matches this season where Fulham have played their possession brand of football with little reward to show.

This was the case again against Stoke and Parker will certainly be looking to address his teams ability to create chances in tight games as this could prove to be the difference between wins and losses, as the game against Stoke showed.

Stoke were clearly happy to allow Fulham to have the ball in Saturday’s match, as most teams have this season and the Potters were successful when chances came their way.

Tyrese Campbell’s opener for Stoke ironically came from route one play a long ball was played up to Lee Gregory, who won the flick on for Campbell to race through and score – the anti- Parker approach.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 03:56:32 PM

The lowdown on tonight's opponents at Craven Cottage

 As the Hatters travel to face Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship this evening, here’s all you need to know about our opponents.

After relegation back into the Championship this season, the Cottagers are hoping to go straight back up under manager Scott Parker.

They’re currently on course to achieving that very feat, with just three losses from their first 12 league games this season.

Sitting three points adrift from the play-off places after last night's matches, the league’s fourth highest goalscorers will aim to get back to winning ways having lost 2-0 against Stoke on Saturday.

THE MANAGER – Scott Parker

Scott Parker took the hotseat at Fulham after the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri in January 2019. At the time, his role was caretaker manager but he impressed sufficiently to be named permanent head coach prior to the final game of last season.

So far this campaign, have been particularly dangerous in-front of goal as they search for an immediate return to the Premier League.

Parker was well known to Fulham fans before taking the manager job, as he spent four years from 2013 playing for the Cottagers. His playing days also saw him play for Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Tottenham.


Fulham are currently the fourth highest goalscorers in the Championship and they have an abundance of attacking flair and creativity within their ranks.

Their midfield general, influencer and captain Tom Cairney (pictured below) is without doubt one to watch, as he looks to pull the strings and score the goals once again.

With five goals and three assists this season, the 28-year-old has been the leading force in every good the Cottagers have done.

Usually, his passes find the feat or head of Alexsandar Mitrovic – who is the Championship’s joint-top goalscorer so far with eight goals.

The Serbian international amassed 11 goals in 37 Premier League matches last season and is near-on that feat after just 11 matches so far this season.

Winger Ivan Cavaleiro is yet another dangerman the Hatters need to be aware of, as he too has hit the grounding running in the Championship this season.

He has four goals and three assists to his name since moving to Craven Cottage on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Champions of the Football League Division One in 2001, Fulham also won Division Two twice in 1949 and 1999, and Division 3 once back in 1932.

More recently, the Cottagers reached the UEFA Europa League final in 2010 but narrowly lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

In the 2017/18 Championship season, Fulham beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley in the play-off final to gain promotion into the Premier League (pictured below).


One of few proper old-fashioned football grounds left in the country, Craven Cottage has been the place Fulham call home ever since 1896.

The 25,000 capacity ground has this season undergone redevelopment to its Riverside Stand, but once held a crowd of over double that capacity in 1938, for a Division Two match against Millwall.


• This match will be the first meeting between the two sides in almost 20 years as Fulham ran out 3-0 winners in an FA Cup third round replay in December 1999.
• Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is the league’s joint top goalscorer with eight goals, whilst Luton’s top scorer is James Collins with five.
• Midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe spent three years at Fulham before moving to Millwall in 2017. This is the second time this season he has faced a former club.
• Malcolm Macdonald signed for the Hatters from Fulham in 1969, going on to score 58 times in 101 games.
• In their last five matches, Luton and Fulham have both claimed two wins.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 03:57:32 PM
Fulham boss sends message to squad after disappointing defeat

Scott Parker will no doubt have been dismayed to see his Fulham side lose 2-0 away at lowly Stoke City last weekend, with the defeat coming after a run of four Championship games unbeaten for the Cottagers, compounding them to just their third defeat this season.

Luckily for the Whites, they have a chance to redeem themselves quickly, with the west Londoners taking on another struggling Championship side in the shape of Luton Town tonight at Craven Cottage.

With the Whites still recovering from their surprise defeat to the Potters last time out, it is perhaps unsurprising that Parker has urged his players to put things right tonight against the Hatters, with the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder telling

“We need to reboot and quickly look onto what’s next, because they keep coming thick and fast.”

This could be a tougher game for Parker’s side than first thought, particularly with the Hatters having recorded an impressive 3-0 home win over Championship high-flyers Bristol City last time out.

The Verdict

From my perspective, I can certainly see this being a tough game for the Whites, particularly with Luton playing an expansive attacking style that is likely to test the Fulham backline considerably, which could perhaps their weaknesses when out of possession.

Parker will definitely not be taking this game lightly, with the ex-West Ham man clearly expressing his desire for the team to get back on track as they seek to get a firm grip on one of the promotion places this season, as they seek to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

With Fulham possessing probably the best front three in the Championship, I do fear for Luton if messrs Mitrovic, Knockaert and Cavaleiro find their shooting boots at Craven Cottage tonight.

Especially because the Hatters defence has already shipped 20 goals in their first 12 league outings this term, something Graeme Jones will no doubt be looking to improve if they are to stand a chance of staying in the second division this term.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 04:36:33 PM
Preston Match Televised

Fulham's trip to Preston North End in December has been selected for live coverage on Sky Sports.

The date and time remains unaffected, and so the Deepdale clash will kick-off at 7.45pm on Tuesday 10th December.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 23/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 23, 2019, 05:32:07 PM
Fulham told to solve Aleksandar Mitrovic goal 'problem' in promotion attempt - EXCLUSIVE
Fulham legend Gordon Davies reckons that Scott Parker can fire the club to promotion - if they can figure out how to create more chances for Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham hero Gordon Davies knows that Aleksandar Mitrovic is crucial to success (Image: GETTY)

Fulham take on Luton at Craven Cottage on Wednesday as they look to get back into the Championship top six, and Gordon Davies knows what his former club need to do if they want to climb up the table over the next few months.

The ex-Wales international hit 178 goals in 450 appearances over two spells with the Whites, and he knows that Serbia international Aleksandar Mitrovic is the key to Fulham’s promotion hopes.

The 64-year-old, who now works for the club in hospitality, has backed Scott Parker to turn Fulham’s possession football into consistent victories - if they focus on getting the ball to their star striker inside the box more often.

Davies told Express Sport: “I know some of the recent results may have got a little bit of stick with regards to the style of play not always getting good results, and it can be argued that Fulham give others too much time to get organised defensively by playing the way that we play.

“However, we have fast players in the team with Anthony Knockaert, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Ivan Cavaleiro, we have the quality to get at teams, and we have the players to break out quickly from the back.

“It seems like possession football has overtaken the way that we can play and the way perhaps some supporters want us to perform.

“Many have said that we have some of the best attacking players in the division, but we’re only giving Mitrovic one or two chances a game.

“The way we play is good if we want to score the perfect goal, but if you look at Manchester City and Barcelona who have the best possession based football in the world, they always inject more pace when they get into the final third.”

Scott Parker's Fulham have dropped down to 10th in the Championship table (Image: GETTY)