Friends of Fulham

General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:14:40 AM

Title: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:14:40 AM
Parker issues verdict on Fulham man’s performance following midweek win


Fulham manager Scott Parker has praised Aleksander Mitrovic after his hat-trick helped his side to a 3-2 win over Luton Town in the Championship last night, but stated that it’s the players around him who make him so prolific.

It was a welcome win for Fulham after their weekend defeat at Stoke, and another reminder of Mitrovic’s quality.

The Serb scored either side of half-time to give Fulham the lead before the hour mark, but Luton’s Dan Potts pegged one back when the clock struck 60.

Mitrovic restored his side’s two-goal lead soon after, and scored his first-ever hat-trick in English football to take his Championship tally to 11 for the season.

Kazenga LuaLua scored a late consolation for Luton but it was too late to stage a comeback, and Fulham finished as 3-2 victors.

The win takes Fulham to 7th in the table, level on points with Preston in 6th.

Speaking about his talisman after the game, Parker said:

“I think we all realise the quality Mitro has, certainly in this division, he scores goals.

“I think Mitro would be the first to say it’s the supporting act around him as well, and I thought the players around him, how we build this team and the positional way we play, ultimately Mitro is at the end of it to finish it off. 

“Of course nine times out of ten if we get the ball in the right areas or the right place then the ball goes in the back of the net.

“I think he would be the first to say the players around him are a massive supporting act as well for him to achieve that.”

Mitrovic, 25, has now scored nine goals in his last six appearances for Fulham.

He scored 12 for Fulham at this level in their promotion winning campaign in 2018, before signing permanently for the club that summer.

Although his side were relegated last season, Mitrovic still recorded 11 goals in the Premier League for Fulham and has already hit that mark in the Championship this season.

The verdict

Parker simply had to win the game last night.

After the Stoke defeat, some questions were raised over his managerial ability and although it wasn’t the most convincing win last night, Fulham still took maximum points to keep themselves within touching distance of the play-offs.

Mitrovic is a quality asset to have at this level and he could be the man who fires Fulham back into the top-flight, giving Parker what’d be an unprecedented promotion in his first full-season as a football manager.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:15:20 AM
Club chief targeting Fulham man – Player keen on transfer

According to Turkish website Fotospor, Besiktas are interested in signing Fulham goalkeeper Fabri.

After winning the elections on Sunday, new Besiktas president Ahmet Nur Cebi has set his sights on strengthening the squad, and Fotospor claim his transfer committee are keen to sign a new goalkeeper to provide competition to Loris Karius,

The German is expected to leave the Super Lig club once his loan move from Liverpool ends.

Their former goalkeeper Fabri has emerged as a target for the Black Eagles and Fotospor report they will open talks with Fulham with regards to signing him in the near future.

After joining Fulham from Besiktas for €6m at the start of last season, Fabri has struggled to adapt to life in England and he was loaned out to La Liga side Mallorca during the last window.

However, he has yet to make an appearance for his new club and Fotospor report he’s also keen to return to Besiktas where he won a league title in the 2016/2017 season.

Fabri’s contract with Fulham will expire at the end of June 2021.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:16:25 AM
‘Pure class’, ‘So much passion’ – Plenty of Fulham fans react to incredible individual display

Fulham overcame a hard fought Luton side on Wednesday night, as they came out 3-2 victors at Craven Cottage.

There was one man who won the game nearly single-handedly, and that was striker Aleksander Mitrovic who was able to bag a hat-trick for the Cottagers as they moved up to seventh in the Championship, just one place away from the play-offs.

Mitrovic is now sitting pretty at the top of the scoring charts with 11 goals this campaign, a really impressive total considering there have been just 13 games played of the season.

He is a physical presence as well as a brilliant goal scorer and that makes him one of the best talents in the division, and also one of the hardest to defend against.

His fine form gives Fulham hope that they may be able to make an immediate return to the Premier League, especially if others around him can start finding their shooting boots as well.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:18:14 AM
Possibility of £25m deal for unwanted Fulham player – ‘More than interesting’ for club

Of Fulham’s many disappointing signings in the summer of 2018, André Zambo Anguissa wasn’t the worst and many fans expected him to do well elsewhere this season.

The midfielder had arrived from Marseille in a £22m deal with rave reviews and plenty hoping he would add steel to the Cottagers midfielder.

He was loaned out to Villarreal this summer, where he’s managed to get his career back on track after stagnating at Fulham.

He’s featured eight times for them in La Liga so far, with six of those seeing him play the full 90 minutes and earn rave reviews for those performances.

That’s according to Super Deporte, who cover his resurgence and say he has been ‘indisputable’ for Villarreal manager Javier Calleja.

So much so that it’s now felt that the £25m purchase option included in his loan deal would be ‘more than interesting’ for the Spanish club as he’s only 23-years-old and has ‘a lot of football to show.’

There’s no mention of when Villarreal would look to activate the clause, although it would presumably be next summer.

Regardless, the fact they’re looking at the deal in a good light will come as good news for Fulham, who would be delighted to get their money back, but also a little ponderous about what might have been.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:18:44 AM
Scott Parker expects to see a 'more clinical' Fulham in months ahead

Scott Parker admits he is still looking for his side to become a little more clinical, but reckons they are going to get stronger as winter advances.

The Fulham boss was delighted that his team bounced back from Saturday’s miserable defeat at lowly Stoke to beat Luton Town 3-2 at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

But the margin of victory was a bit too close for comfort, considering the number of chances the Whites carved out in addition to the three Aleksandar Mitrovic put away.

“It probably could have been a bigger win,” Parker said. “Certainly first half, I felt we played some really good staff and cut them open at times and probably the downfall was that we weren’t clinical enough in the right areas. That was probably the only disappointing thing.

“We spoke prior to the game about a fast start. Our first 15 minutes is key for us. Can we really wake up, liven up our fans, get them behind us and get ourselves in the ascendancy? And after the [early] goal we had some glorious chances really and if there is any criticism is that we probably weren’t clinical enough.

“I sit here some weeks and we think ‘how have we drawn that game?’ or ‘how have we not gone on and won more convincingly? “But I sense as the season goes on and the more we get to grips with it, I can only see us becoming stronger and becoming more clinical.”

Parker added: “The key thing for me is that we see the result out. [The match at] Sheffield Wednesday comes to mind – where we really dominate the game, should be home and dry and they get a late equaliser. What pleased me the most tonight was that we see the game out.”

Parker has had plenty of opportunities to praise the goalscoring talents of Mitrovic and the Serb once again delivered a performance which invited more eulogies. But Fulham's head coach was keen to share out the plaudits.

“I think we all realise the quality Mitro has,” he said. “Certainly in this division. He scores goals. But I think he’d be the first to say it’s about the supporting act around him as well.

“It's how we play, build this team and the positional play that ultimately has Mitro at the end of it to finish it off. Nine times out of ten we know that if we get the ball in the right areas, that the ball goes in to back of the net.”
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:21:00 AM
Tony Khan reacts to Mitrovic’s performance for Fulham last night

Fulham’s Vice Chairman Tony Khan took to Instagram after yesterday’s 3-2 win over Luton Town in the Championship, and was full of praise for the team and the star man on the night, Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Mitrovic bagged his first hat-trick in English Football at Craven Cottage last night, taking his tally to 11 for the season.

It was a game that Scott Parker’s side needed to win after the weekend defeat to Stoke City, and it takes them to 7th in the table – level on points with Preston in 6th.

After the game, Khan, who’s the Vice Chair and Director of Football at the club, posted this message on his Instagram:

Khan assumed the role of Director of Football in 2017 and oversaw the club’s promotion to the Premier League under Slavisa Jokanovic in 2018.

Upon promotion he made Mitrovic a permanent figure at Craven Cottage, but it wouldn’t prevent Fulham from crashing straight back down to Championship in the summer.

His third against Luton last night was his ninth in his last six Championship games, and it means he’s scored three more than any other player in the league this season – Brentford’s Ollie Watkins is the next highest-scorer with eight.

At Championship level, Fulham fans will tell you that there’s not better striker that the Serb, and fans of other clubs would probably say the same.

Khan made a good acquisition in Mitrovic, and he’ll be the decisive player as Fulham look to make a swift a return to the top-flight under Parker this season.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:22:13 AM
Kevin McDonald issues his take on Fulham hero’s latest exploits

Fulham continued their largely positive start the Championship season last night as a hattrick from striker Aleksandar Mitrovic condemned Luton Town to a 3-2 defeat at Craven Cottage.

It was a performance from Mitrovic which helped to continue the Serbian international’s outstanding early season form, with the big forward now sitting atop of the Championship top scorers list with 11 goals in his first 13 games this term.

The marksman’s efforts were quick to be recognised by both Fulham fans and players alike, with experienced Whites midfielder Kevin McDonald taking to Instagram to praise his teammate’s hefty contribution to the cause:

The former Sheffield United man has found opportunities hard to come by this season, making just three appearances for Scott Parker’s side this term, which has been largely due to the consistent form displayed by their current midfield three of Harrison Reed, Tom Cairney and Stefan Johansen.

The Verdict

It is honestly quite refreshing to see a squad player still providing encouragement and support to his teammates despite being out of contention at this present moment, underlining the importance of McDonald’s presence within what is largely young Fulham squad.

Whether the experienced midfield lynchpin will still be at the club come the end of the season remains to be seen, with the 30-year-old now seemingly coming towards the final few years of his career after spending what has been four largely successful seasons at Craven Cottage after joining the club in 2016 from Wolves.

As for Mitrovic, Parker will no doubt be looking to see more of the same from his key player, with the big Serb’s goal scoring exploits likely to decide whether Fulham will be in the promotion race come the end of this season or not.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:23:26 AM
Talking Points: Luton Town

The new Brian McBride and Fulham's bouncebackability are two of the issues addressed in our Luton Talking Points.

1. Best start since 2000/01

With 22 points from our opening 13 matches, Fulham are currently enjoying our best start to a season since Jean Tigana’s side took the second tier by storm. There is a long way to go, but with the Championship as tight as it is – we’re currently two points off second and four from top spot – 2019/20 promises to be a fascinating campaign.

2. Mitro’s first hat-trick

Considering his prowess in front of goal, it’s hard to fathom Wednesday night was Aleksandar Mitrović’s first ever hat-trick at club level. He hit a treble for Serbia against Bolivia, but a brace was the most he’d managed in a domestic fixture – a feat he has achieved many times. The Luton match was also the first time a Fulham player had taken home the match ball since Ryan Sessegnon in the remarkable 5-4 win at Sheffield United in November 2017.

3. Rodák’s debut

Marek Rodák knows the Championship well having played 45 times in it for Rotherham United last season, so a league debut for Fulham wouldn’t have fazed him one bit. Of course he would have preferred to keep a clean sheet, but the win was the most important thing.


4. Another response

Scott Parker has always preached the importance of bouncing back from bumps in the road, and his side came through for him again versus the Hatters. Following each of our three defeats this season the team has shown a fine response, and it will have pleased Parker greatly to watch his boys bounce back from the Stoke City match in the best possible way.

5. Mitro channelling McBride

Aleksandar Mitrović channelled his inner Brian McBride for his third goal, putting any concern for his own safety to one side as he headed home whilst receiving a kick to the face. McBride went down in Fulham folklore in part thanks to his commitment – emphasised by the titanium plates surgically implanted in his face – and that’s certainly a trait not lost on Mitro.

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:27:02 AM
One fan's 10-word shout at Craven Cottage that sums up Fulham's Championship campaign so far

Fulham have had a mixed start to life back in the Championship so far this season

Scott Parker (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

'Stop playing out from the back, get the ball forward' - those were the words uttered by a young Fulham supporter during the second half of their 3-2 victory over Luton Town at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

And that's Fulham's season summed up in just ten words.

Scott Parker's men climbed up to seventh in the Championship standings and moved just two points off second with last night's win, but all is not rosy in west London. Far from it in fact.

Fulham have become renowned for this possession-based attacking style of football in recent years, and when it works - like their demolition of Millwall in August when they enjoyed more than 84 per cent of the football and completed 934 success passes in the 4-0 win - then it's wonderful to watch.

They're great on the eye and you struggle to find many reasons as to why the Cottagers won't be making an instant return to the top-flight this season.

But what about when it doesn't, something that has occurred far too often this season, it comes under scrutiny. And rightly so.

While the Whites' league position is far from poor, their set of results this campaign speak volumes. Fulham's six Championship victories have come against sides that currently find themselves in the bottom-nine. On the flip side, they haven't scored more than once in any game against top-ten team.

Flat-track bullies some would say.

And this is part of the reason Fulham came tumbling down from the Premier League last term. They'll comfortably outscore the so called 'worst teams' as they proved against the likes of Burnley, Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion last term, but they have come unstuck against teams that are harder to break down like Stoke City, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday this time around.

It's something Parker's men could even get away with doing throughout the majority of this season and still secure promotion, but if this continues and Fulham do end up making an immediate return to the top-flight, they're once again more likely to get exposed at the top level.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's performance against the Hatters and his general lack of involvement in games this season is another area where the west Londoners are going terribly wrong, which also relates back to their tedious way they tend to pass it around the back. He doesn't want to be watching his centre-backs knock the ball around the back. Tim Ream and Alfie Mawson don't need to make 100+ passes per game for Fulham to win football matches.

The Serbian's treble against Luton moved him three clear at the top of goalscoring charts in the Championship and took his tally for the campaign to 11 goals. Despite the goals, Mitrovic cut a frustrated figure for the majority of the game - the lack of service is worrying as a whole.

Only two other players managed fewer touches than his 36 on Wednesday night - that includes visiting goalkeeper James Shea. And granted, it's difficult to begrudge his performance after bagging a hat-trick, but this won't be the case very week, nor will Fulham's ability to open up Luton with such ease.

Parker has possibly the best front-four in the division at his disposal, but they're creating minimal chances for Mitrovic. Three were carved out against Luton and the division's leading scorer gobbled up each and every one of them up with aplomb. The first a thunderous finish, the second a tap-in and the third a well-directed header. Three opportunities, three goals. If you give him chances he will score you goals.

 Aleksandar Mitrovic (Image: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

But the frustrating thing from a Fulham perspective is, they're more than capable of getting it right. Take Mitrovic's second as an example. It's typically patient build-up on the right-hand side and then suddenly, Anthony Knockaert and Bobby Decordova-Reid combine well, inject some much-needed pace into the attack and the latter squares for Mitrovic to tap home. It's almost too easy at times.

The ingredients are there for Parker. It's about getting the right balance between not moving away from their strengths, but finding a formula that successfully churns out positive results.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:28:07 AM
3 things we learned about Fulham after their 3-2 victory over Luton

Fulham bounced back from their disappointing weekend defeat to Stoke by securing a much-needed 3-2 victory over Luton at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a hat-trick with strikes either side of half-time for Scott Parker’s side, while Daniel Potts and Kazenga LuaLua were on target for the Hatters as they failed to build on their 3-0 win against Bristol City.

The result means Fulham are now knocking on the door of the play-offs again with the West London side sitting seventh in the Championship ahead of their trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Parker’s men have now won six of their 13 matches in the second tier since their relegation last term, but it was not completely plain sailing for them on Wednesday night.

Here are three things we learned about Fulham during the match…

Mitrovic could singlehandedly fire Fulham to promotion

Mitrovic has already proved his credentials as a top Championship striker, but his clinical performance against the Hatters was clear evidence of his importance to Parker’s side.

Keeping Mitrovic at the Cottage over the summer was without doubt Fulham’s best piece of summer business, and his hat-trick proved that he can singlehandedly dictate the outcome of a game.

The 25-year-old has now netted 11 goals in 13 matches this season, with his presence becoming increasingly vital to Fulham. It remains to be seen what would happen if he was absent from the side, but Fulham fans will not want to think about that for now.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:28:58 AM
2018 signing provides thoughts after Fulham seal hard fought victory

After Aleksandar Mitrovic’s hat-trick sealed victory for Fulham last night against Luton, it is perhaps understandable that many inside Craven Cottage blew a huge sigh of relief after seeing the Whites bounce back from their surprise defeat to Stoke City last night.

The big Serb’s hattrick took his goal scoring tally to 11 for the season for Scott Parker’s side after what has been a rocky couple of weeks for the Cottagers, who have now slipped down to seventh place after a mixed bag of results in the last few games.

One player who was certainly delighted with the victory last night was left full-back Joe Bryan, who took to Instagram to comment on his side’s performance by simply stating the following:

It was a good performance for the 2018 summer arrival from Bristol City, with the full back laying on a superb assist for Mitrovic’s third of the evening.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:30:49 AM
The striker that is critical to Fulham’s season: Comment

Fulham let their fans in for a nervy finish last night against Luton Town at Craven Cottage, but Scott Parker’s side eventually managed to see out a 3-2 victory.

Luton gave themselves hope of an unlikely comeback after Kazenga LuaLua’s injury time strike, but it was not to be for Graeme Jones’s men, as Fulham climb up to 7th in the Championship.

Having lost just once in their last five in the league, The Cottagers are showing that they are a good side.

A key reason for that is the form of their talismanic striker, Alekandar Mitrovic.

The Serbian No.9 was in devastating form in front of goal last night in a Man of the Match performance, netting a first club-level hat-trick which takes his league tally for the season to 11.

That takes the 25-year-old three clear of his nearest rival, Brentford’s Ollie Watkins, who has 8 goals.

The three goals displayed how much of a complete striker he is for Scott Parker’s side. The first was a stunning strike into the top left corner from the edge of the penalty area, followed by a routine tap in and a header from close range.

Six of his strikes were from inside the 6-yard box, with the remaining five coming from within the penalty area. This highlights just how much of a poacher and instinctive finisher Mitrovic is.

He has also displayed fantastic form for his nation, finding the net six times in his last four International games.

What these statistics tell us is that Mitrovic is a vital player for Fulham, and his goals will be critical in their push for promotion back to the Premier League.

The key reason behind his success has been his consistency.

Mitrovic has been in good form for the West London side for the past season and a half. The Serbian netted 11 goals in the Premier League last term, as Fulham suffered relegation.

Before his move to Craven Cottage was made permanent in the Summer of 2018 for a fee of £22 million, Mitrovic was on loan at the club from February to May 2018, finishing with 12 goals in 17 Championship appearances, as Fulham were promoted via the play-offs.

Combining with players around him in the current team such as Ivan Cavaleiro and Bobby Reid has helped his cause, and Fulham boss Parker will be hoping that Mitrovic’s excellent form can continue so his side can carry on climbing the table.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:33:13 AM
18 passes: This Fulham hotshot’s statistics v Luton broken down after another solid performance

Scott Parker’s Fulham made a quick recovery from their weekend defeat to Stoke City last night as the Cottagers ran out 3-2 winners in an entertaining game against a buoyed up Luton Town, who headed into the clash at Craven Cottage off the back of beating Bristol City 3-0.

It was a satisfying performance from Parker’s team which highlighted their prowess in front of goal this season, as Aleksandar Mitrovic’s three goal haul took the Whites season total to 23 goals scored, putting them amongst the most prolific sides in front of goal in the Championship this term.

The result will have come as a welcome boost for Parker, with the Whites having only won one of their last three league games, thus seeing them slip out of the promotion spots as a result.

The performance against Luton last night once again underlined the importance of Mitrovic to Fulham’s promotion chances this season, with the Serbian international taking his season tally to 11 goals in 13 second division games this season.

Here, we take an in-depth look at another superb display of goalscoring from the Serb in our latest FLW Spotlight piece….


Where better to start than the goals scored by the 25-year-old, it was another stunning performance from Mitrovic who has once again shown that he is too good for this level, with his first goal of the night coming in the 16th minute following a neat lay off from Ivan Cavaleiro which Mitrovic struck home from around 15-yards out.

The big Serb then doubled his tally in the 53rd minute with a simple finish from Bobby Reid’s cut back, before the former Newcastle United forward ensured that he left Craven Cottage with the match ball, completing his hat trick with a well timed header from a superb delivery into the box from left-back Joe Bryan.

Mitrovic’s feat was made all the more impressive by the fact that he only registered seven shots throughout the 90 minutes against Luton, underlining his clinicality in front of goal.

The towering front man also helped to contribute in parts to Fulham’s possession play last night, with Mitrovic totting up 18 passes, giving him a respectable pass success rate of 72.2%, in a game where service to the ex-Anderlecht man was largely limited due to Luton defending with two low blocks when out of possession.

The striker was also up to his usual tricks in the air, with the Serb winning two aerial duels during the 90 minutes, which is largely unusual, given that Fulham play a largely possession based game which involves a lot of interplay through the use of short passses
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:34:13 AM
Aleksandar Mitrovic reacts following superb hat-trick during Fulham’s clash with Luton

Aleksandar Mitrovic was in a clinical mood on Wednesday evening as he netted a hat-trick to secure Fulham a 3-2 victory over Luton at Craven Cottage.

The Serbia international gave Fulham the lead in the first half before scoring on a further two occasions in the second period, while Daniel Potts and Kazenga LuaLua were on target for the visitors.

Mitrovic’s three goals meant the Cottagers bounced back in style after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Stoke on the weekend, while they had also been held to a 2-2 draw against Charlton at home before the international break.

Fulham’s leading striker has now scored 11 goals in his 13 appearances for the club since signing a new contract in West London over the summer, and it is already clear he will be a vital player if his side are to push for promotion this term.

The 25-year-old took to Instagram following his impressive goalscoring display against Graeme Jones’ side, as he praised his side’s overall performance before already setting his sights on the match against Middlesbrough on the weekend.

The Verdict

Mitrovic’s three goals against the Hatters reaffirmed the widely accepted belief that Fulham produced their best transfer business of the summer by keeping him at Craven Cottage this term.

Scott Parker’s side have not performed as well as they would have liked since relegation from the top-flight, but Mitrovic’s excellent goalscoring form has ensured they are still pushing for a play-off spot after 13 matches.

It is essential that the Cottagers keep the Serbian fit as his absence could be detrimental to their promotion hopes this term, with his leadership combined with a natural ability in front of goal proving so important to his side.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:36:00 AM
After bold selection call, will Parker now keep Fulham man in the side? Comment

Fulham’s 3-2 victory over Luton Town in the Championship last night saw goalkeeper Marek Rodak make his first-team debut, and his first league appearance since April.

Scott Parker’s side moved up to 7th win the win at home to Luton last night, putting the weekend defeat at Stoke behind them.

A first hat-trick in English Football for Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Fulham the win, but it wasn’t made all that easy by Graeme Jones’ Luton.

Dan Potts pegged a goal back at 2-0, and Kazenga LuaLua added a late consolation goal for the Hatters.

One of the talking point from last night’s game was the inclusion of Marek Rodak.

The 22-year-old keeper is a product of the club’s youth academy and made his first-team debut for Fulham last night.

He’d spent last season on loan with Rotherham United playing all but one of their Championship games last season – he’s also had loan spells with Accrington Stanley and Welling in the past too.

The Slovakian came in for Marcus Bettinelli.

Bettinelli was Fulham’s number one for much of their promotion season in 2017/18, but featured only seven times in the Premier League last season, with Sergio Rico being the preferred stopper.

Fulham have kept only three clean sheets this season, and Parker will be desperate for that number to increase if his side’s to have a realistic shot at promotion.

It’s a bold call for any manager to change their goalkeeper mid-way through a season, and it’ll have angered Bettinelli who’s played over 100 games in goal for Fulham.

Rodak presents a new opportunity for Fulham, in establishing a young goalkeeper in the first-team – he was a favourite at Rotherham last season, and Fulham fans hold him in high regard for the future.

Now that Parker’s made this call, does he have to stick with it?

He won’t want to get into the process of chopping and changing his keepers every game, so expect Rodak to have a good run in the squad to see how he settles.

Fulham have had such an inconsistent season. Fans know how capable they are and many believe that they have the best starting XI in the whole league.

With that said, 7th after 13 games is not good enough. A good run in the Championship will shoot any team up the league, and Fulham could find themselves in the automatic places if a few results go their way.

Rodak showed glimpses of what he’s capable of last night, and could well develop into a key figure at Craven Cottage before the end of the season.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:37:02 AM
‘Our king’ – These Fulham fans lap up Mitrovic’s latest update after hat-trick

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic took to Instagram to share his delight at his side’s 3-2 over Luton Town in the Championship last night.

Scott Parker would’ve been a very happy manager after his Fulham side rectified their weekend disappointment at Stoke with a win over Luton at the Cottage last night.

Mitrovic scored three goals in the match to take his tally to 11 – he’s now scored three more than any other player in the Championship (Ollie Watkins is the league’s second highest-scorer with eight so far this season).

The win took his side to 7th in the table, level on points with Preston in 6th and only two points from the automatic promotion places.

Fulham’s season so far has been relatively mixed. Their past two games are a prime example of their inconsistency – falling short to relegation-threatened Stoke before putting three past a hardy Luton Town.

Defensive issues are still present for Parker, but he can rest easy knowing that he has a proven goal-scorer in Mitrovic leading the line for them.

He’s a valuable striker at this level – some think he’s the best there is in the second-tier.

If Fulham want a hasty return to the top-flight, they’ll need Mitrovic to continue his scoring form for another 33 games, and hope that he doesn’t pick up an injury in that time too.

Fulham fans were quick to jump on Mitrovic’s Instagram post, and here’s what some of them had to say:

kellie_houlton: Absolute beast of a man

aco7303: Mitrooo is on fire

georgeconroy02: Our king

george.rossiter8: We don’t deserve you, absolute king

xplorer: Mitro’s on fire, your defence is terrified!

cypriot01: What a true warrior you are

joekent05: What an absolute legend
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:38:38 AM
How Middlesbrough almost signed ex-Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic before Fulham switch
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate is well aware of the threat which Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic will pose this weekend and remembers when Boro tried to sign the frontman from Newcastle.

The Serb almost joined the Teessiders in January 2018, shortly after the arrival of Tony Pulis, but instead made the switch to Championship rivals Fulham on loan.

At the time, Mitrovic, now 25, said he was convinced to choose the Cottagers after a Snapchat exchange with then-Fulham manager and fellow countryman Slavisa Jokanovic.

Since then, the Serb has made his move to London permanent and is in red-hot form ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Riverside, following a hat-trick in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Luton.

“He’s a Premier League striker playing in the Championship,” said Woodgate when asked about Mitrovic and Scott Parker’s Fulham side. “Most of their players are Premier League players playing in the Championship. He’s a really good player.

“He nearly signed for us in Tony Pulis’ first January transfer window, we were close to signing him so he’s always been a target of ours.

“Something went on and we didn’t sign him, if we did who knows.

“He’s a really good player, really good talent, good age, Scott has got him playing well.”

Mitrovic isn’t the only one Boro will have to be wary of on Saturday, though, and Woodgate also identified wingers Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro as potential threats.

“I’ve watched a lot of their games this season, I know Scott personally, he’s got them playing well,” added Woodgate.

“They’ll be up probably in the top two by the end of the season. They play football, they are relentless with the ball. They’ve got some really top players.”

But, despite Boro’s recent struggles, Woodgate still believes his side can get something from the game.

“How have we done against the top teams this season?, we’ve played well against most of them,” added Woodgate.

“Every game is difficult in the Championship, who’d have thought Hull would have beat Forest, who’d have thought Stoke would have beat Fulham. You’ve got to turn up.”
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 25/10/19...
Post by: whitejc on October 25, 2019, 08:40:58 AM
Five Thoughts: Fulham – Luton Town

Three points in the bag, but that was frantic, nail biting stuff. Luton Town travelled south, kind of, and gave Scott Parker’s lads a fright and it’s not even Halloween yet. Straining to save the ghoulish cliches for a later date, our visitors were armed with a spirit (not the poltergeist kind), an ambition and a dozen rancid eggs for lobbing.

No free range projectiles were physically tossed, but I was close to spitting feathers in the turbulence of added time. It was by no means comfortable. Peering back upon the game now, though, the victory was never actually in doubt, we just like to subject ourselves to pain and torture on a weekly basis.

Graeme Jones and his Hatters were resolute and our resolve was examined. A man in the Johnny Haynes stand also brought a delectable Victoria sponge with him. Next up, a riveting trip to Middlesbrough, and we all know how much we could really do with some Ollie Norwood-inspired penalty spot heroics up there, alongside your battenberg slice.

Marek Makes Mark
For a first league start in Fulham’s luminous goalkeeper strip, I’d say Marek Rodak gave a pretty good account of himself. The 22-year-old, stepping in at Marcus Bettinelli’s expense, still saw two Luton opportunities trundle past him in the second half, but in complete fairness, there really wasn’t a lot he could have done. They say a strong ‘keeper instils confidence in the back four, but a brittle defence certainly doesn’t amplify a stopper’s elemental qualities. That’s our problem.

Maybe Betts does get an unholy amount of stick and criticism, although after his aberrant showing against Stoke City, that’s exactly what a supposed No.1 should expect. Rodak, in many ways, was an invigorating breath of fresh air. No messing around with mindless passing to teammates that are being squeezed like an old toothpaste tube, launch it up the park when in danger. Forget the nonsense. Having said that, building from the back is a requirement, and when he did have the ball at his feet with options to identify, the Slovakian exhibited an observant patience.

Marshalling his penalty area and conducting Fulham’s structure, Rodak distributed effectively, utilising Aleksandar Mitrovic as a viable outlet. A blemished domestic debut for the Whites and I couldn’t care less. There’s undoubtedly more to come from the Rodak, a young stopper that was raved about during his stints at Rotherham United. Known for his sporadic taste for scoring, perhaps it would be a little desirous to demand a trademark header in the dying embers at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, but another start and a clean sheet would suffice nicely.

Reed’s Relentless Relief
Inexhaustible, tenacious, Harrison Reed patrolled the midfield as a lone ranger with a provocative motive. Throughout the encounter, before Kevin McDonald replaced him in the 85th minute, the Saints loanee detected, protected and distinguished. To get the very best out of Reed, honestly, do not partner him. He does the same job any conceivable double pivot could do as a singular anchorman.

Reed stitched up the midfield, slipped into congestion to prise possession from the likes of Martin Cranie and surged with the ball to relieve pressure. Monitoring rhythm, the vigilant 24-year-old kept proceedings ticking with essential passes across the breadth of the park, managing possession in a timely, logical manner. Bleep tests suck, big time, but Reed evidently relishes the prospect on relentless running at a dizzying pace. His engine is limitless.

He’s also a Swiss army knife, equipped with multiple functions. Joining offensive phases, prolonging patterns of play, rifling into 50/50 challenges, Reed emulated a certain Calum Chambers, the regista supremo himself. He’s come to SW6 with the same die-hard enthusiasm Matty Targett oozed during his temporary spell in the capital and he’s a bona fide credit to the Saints’ exalted production line. A validated Man of the Match tick in your favour, young sir.

Shape Saves Strategy
All hail the tried, tested and trusted 4-3-3 formation. Thrown to the fire as requested, the lopsided 3-4-1-2 system that plagued the Whites at the Bet365 Stadium now has a reserved seat in hell next to Lucifer’s poisoned chalice. Cohesion in every department returned with wingers, central midfielders and defenders operating in blissful harmony. Well, for the most part, anyway.

Bobby Reid, deployed in his familiar capacity as chief instigator, supported both Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro by threading incisive balls into their pathways, luring them to the byline. With Tom Cairney and Reed sweeping up behind the wily Jamaica international, the Whites gutted the visitors like a festive holiday squash. Cav’ in particular, hared into advantageous positions, twisting Pelly Ruddock and James Bree into pretzels. The Portuguese attacker gyrated to his own infectious beat and plated Mitro’ his opener in the 16th minute. Cav’ was a shadow at Stoke, but under the lights at the Cottage, he was a firm figure of prominence.

There was balance, poise, intensity and a genuine purpose in our system, a clockwork chemistry that makes us an insufferable unit to contain. In the latter stages, the Whites’ pulse subsided somewhat and cracks started to form but our usual suspects, in a conventional ensemble, enabled vibrant sequences to materialise. We all like to experiment, choco milk on Coco Pops is banging, but if something isn’t broken, don’t attempt to fix it.

Supreme Serb Shines
His first hat-trick in English football. 11 goals in 13 Championship outings for the Whites to date. For club and country, Mitro’ has slammed home 17 strikes this term. Staggering. The division’s top scorer and resident powerhouse, the lethal Serb illuminated SW6 with a performance of unrivalled authority. They have spud guns for firepower, we have a nuclear bomb. In Layman’s Terms, he’s just too good for this damn league.

Putting in an absurd shift, as ever, the 25-year-old was a one man army in the final third, holding Sonny Pearson and Matty Pearson at bay whilst screening and killing balls that sailed into his indomitable frame. Venturing into regions he had no right to accommodate, the restless marksman collected possession from our playmakers, knowing that he had the voltage to spark offensive crusades. Plugging away when tasked with enacting his defensive duties at set pieces, Mitro’ also channelled his inner enforcer to shepherd the ball to safety, almost mockingly.

Fuelled by a potent mix of kerosene and live animals, Mitro’s confidence was clearly soaring. Luton’s rearguard could only gasp as he laced his first into the roof of the net. Our guests laid slain as he hammered his second and his third, a daring, unflinching diving header, illustrated his sovereignty as the king of the Championship castle. Not even a burrowing boot to the chops could stop him from rightfully collecting the match ball at the final whistle, and now I’m fully convinced that the new Terminator film is loosely based on his legend.

Can’t Continue Conceding
Testament to their undying ethic, Luton grafted right until the bitter seconds and had Fulham skating on thin ice after the interval, but even before the break, the visitors asked alarming questions. I’ll try not to harp on too much, but we have to cut basic, primitive mistakes out of our game. The long and short is simple: we are conceding far too much and we haven’t taken stock of last season’s rotten defensive debacle.

Fulham may have claimed the spoils, just, but Luton carried a threat whilst they advanced and they could have done serious, detrimental damage. Call it a manufacturing fault, a defect, Fulham’s fragility is directly caused by their inclination to press as a unit. No kidding, obviously we’re likely to be slightly more penetrable on the counter however Luton’s goals, rounded off by Dan Potts and Kazenga Lua Lua, highlighted just how susceptible we really are.

The Whites have a self-destruct button, a deficiency that haunts after 85 minutes or so. It lingers like a stale stench or that strange acidic bile that scolds the back of your throat when you’ve had one too many sausage rolls. But do we sit on precarious leads and crumble like we did against West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday? Or do we throw caution to the wind to widen the margin, like our demolition of Reading? Either way, we’re bound to leave the door ajar for our opponents.