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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:10:59 PM

Title: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:10:59 PM
Aston Villa face Premier League competition for EFL-bound ace

AFC Bournemouth striker Josh King has a series of Premier League admirers, with Fulham reportedly entering the race to sign him alongside Aston Villa.

King is still on the books at Bournemouth on the back of their relegation into the Championship, but it appears that his departure will eventually materialise given the intensifying interest.

According to Pete O’Rourke on Twitter, Aston Villa now have competition in the race to sign King in the form of newly-promoted side, Fulham.

Scott Parker is looking to bolster his attacking options ahead of Fulham’s second crack at the Premier League in three seasons, with a need to ease the pressure that sits on the shoulders of Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Mitrovic struck 26 goals for Fulham last season in the Championship, but King has been proving himself in the Premier League with Bournemouth for a number of seasons.

The 28-year-old’s best Premier League campaign was 2016/17 when he scored 16 goals and registered two assists in 36 games, whilst last year there were six goals and four assists for the Cherries, despite their relegation into the Championship.

A former Man United youngster, King had spells with the likes of Preston, Hull and Blackburn before settling in Bournemouth.

The Verdict 

King is a top forward and, in truth, he’s too good to be in the Championship. Bournemouth will realise that, but his exit has to be the best deal for the club.

The 28-year-old would be a sound addition for Villa on the back of Ollie Watkins’ arrival, whilst he’s the type of striker that would really complement Mitrovic at Fulham.

This pair should be hot on the heels of the Norwegian, but others in the Premier League will be too.

King will be hot property as the transfer window reaches its final month.



https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/aston-villa-face-premier-league-competition-for-efl-bound-ace/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:11:58 PM
Report: Fulham want Bournemouth striker and Aston Villa target Josh King

According to The Daily Telegraph, Fulham want Bournemouth striker Josh King this summer as manager Scott Parker continues to bolster his squad for life back in the Premier League.

The Norway international is expected to leave the Vitality Stadium in the coming weeks with only nine months left on his current deal, and the Cottagers are keen to offer him a chance to continue playing top-flight football.

Fulham aren’t the only ones interested in King, with Aston Villa also planning a move.

Manager Dean Smith wants another striker after landing Ollie Watkins, and his side have looked at a £16million deal but it could take more for Bournemouth to cash in.

Fulham have already brought in Antonee Robinson, Mario Lemina, Harrison Reed, Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete so far this summer, and Ola Aina is expected to join from Torino.

They could do with another striker, and King will be a fine addition.

King was linked with a return to Manchester United in January as boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed a cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, but Bournemouth knocked back their offer.

The 28-year-old has scored 48 Premier League for the Cherries since joining in 2015, hitting double digits in 2018-19 and 2016-17, and Fulham need such an experienced striker in their attack.



https://sportslens.com/report-fulham-want-bournemouth-striker-and-aston-villa-target-josh-king/312993/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:13:08 PM
Arsenal fans think Mikel Arteta has dropped a big hint on his starting line-up for Fulham

Arsenal take on Fulham in the first game of the 2020/21 Premier League season and some supporters think they have worked out Mikel Arteta will set out his team

Arsenal kick-start their Premier League season with the short trip across London to face Fulham on Saturday.

The Gunners will be hoping to make a winning start to their campaign, with Mikel Arteta looking to build upon the momentum of winning the FA Cup at the end of last season, and then the Community Shield against Liverpool several weeks ago.

Arteta's side have been in pre-season mode for several weeks with warm-up games against MK Dons and Aston Villa to help the Gunners regain match sharpness.

The Villa match at the Emirates ended in a 3-2 defeat, but saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang net a brace to carry on where he left off against Jurgen Klopp's side at Wembley.

 Summer signings  Willian  and  Dani Ceballos  also made appearances, with Ceballos playing less than 24 hours after signing another season-long loan with the club. Nicolas Pepe was also in action, after missing the Community Shield clash entirely.

With the match against Fulham fast approaching, some Arsenal supporters took to social media to speculate on Arteta's line-up for the game at Craven Cottage - based on the clips of the Villa friendly.

Fans posted a video of Aubameyang's first goal on Reddit, but it was Arsenal's formation during the game which caught the attention of many.

They believe Arteta is ready to switch to a 4-2-3-1, with Aubameyang playing off the left as he has done in recent months, with Willian occupying the number 10 role and Pepe on the right.

One supporter wrote: "From some serious examination, it looks to me like that is a front 4 of Auba, Laca, Pepe with Willian central.

"Would have to mean 4 at the back is on the cards, and might explain why everything was kept under wraps."

Another posted: "So excited with a front 4 of Auba, Laca, Pepe and Willian as 10.

"KNEW it would happen and can't wait to see it in action."

A third wrote: "Having Willian as a CAM [central attacking midfielder] will be big.

"I think he created the second most chances in the league, this will mean we can score a lot more goals and beat some of the weaker 11 at the back teams."



https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/news/arsenal-fulham-line-up-willian-18915801
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:14:52 PM
Report: Inter Milan interested in signing Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri

Fulham could lose midfielder, Jean Michael Seri, as Inter Milan prepare to make an offer to bring the Ivory Coast international to Italy.

That is, according to Sky Sports, who claim that Inter are eyeing Seri as a potential second-choice to number one target N’golo Kante.

The Cottagers are willing to sell Seri this summer as the midfielder has dropped down the pecking order Scott Parker. In addition, Parker has also brought in new signings such as Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina.

Seri cost Fulham big money a few seasons ago and has, since then, failed to make his mark on the team. He does, however, have 30 caps for his country and at 29, should be itching to get one last big move in his career.

Inter manager Antonio Conte is looking to strengthen this summer and clearly fancies Seri as the man to bolster his midfield.

Fulham need to sell and Seri make sense, he should fetch a decent fee – TBR View

The Cottagers can’t just keep bringing players in and then not sell anyone to help fund it so it makes sense to see the likes of Seri being linked with moves away from the club.

For one reason or another, it’s just not worked out for Seri, so a move away would be the best option for the player and club.

Parker clearly doesn’t fancy him and the signings of Reed and Lemina show that. If Inter do make their move, then Seri would be silly to turn down such an opportunity.



https://tbrfootball.com/report-inter-milan-interested-in-signing-fulham-midfielder-jean-michael-seri/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:16:59 PM
Fulham signing Alphonse Areola does not mark the end for Marek Rodak, insists Scott Parker

(https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2020/09/11/10/rodak110920a.jpg?w968)
Demoted? Marek Rodak ( Getty Images )

Scott Parker insists the signing of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola does not mark the end for Marek Rodak at Fulham.

Rodak was thrown into Parker’s side in October last season and did not look back as

he kept 15 clean sheets and established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the division.

The arrival of Areola from Paris Saint-Germain, however, raises a question mark over his future but Parker insists the No1 spot is up for grabs.

“Areola coming brings competition which is needed in one of the best leagues in the world,” said Parker. “What’s vital for us to be successful this year is competition.

“They’ll push each other. We’ve got two very good keepers and that’s exactly what I need.”

Fulham last night confirmed their fifth signing ahead of the new season by bringing in Kenny Tete joining from Lyon and they will not stop there, with Ola Aina set to join on loan from Torino.



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-news-areola-rodak-parker-transfer-a4545206.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:20:18 PM
In Profile: Alphonse Areola

Cam Ramsey looks at our newest recruit between the sticks.

I’ll try my hardest to refrain from using cheap puns centred squarely around breasts and nipples, but in the wake of Alphonse Areola’s arrival from Paris Saint-Germain on a season-long loan, we are clasped in very safe hands indeed.

Recognised as PSG’s third-choice stopper behind Keylor Navas and Marcin Bulka, the need for Areola to depart the Parc des Princes, albeit temporarily, couldn’t have been greater. The 27-year-old’s esteemed career, so far, has harboured reward, acclaim and now he’s at a tantalising crossroads, facing an opportunity to flex his credentials with London’s Originals in the Premier League.

His beginnings
Nurtured in the Parisian’s youth ranks, Areola progressed through the age groups rapidly and in 2010, the senior set-up under Antoine Kombouare’s command awaited him. RC Lens were the first club to come knocking for his youthful services in 2013 then, a year later, SC Bastia took custody of the fledgling stopper. In 40 appearances for I Turchini, Areola – 21-years-old at the time – recorded 13 clean sheets, a return that promised competence as well as improvement.

Areola’s physical presence within his 18-yard box, alongside his deceptive agility, caught they eyes of Villarreal CF in the summer of 2016 and in the coming campaign at the Yellow Submarine, he only conceded 32 goals in 37 outings, tallying 17 shut outs in the process. That was a defining season for the Frenchman, a campaign that truly highlighted his game-saving qualities as Villarreal finished fifth in La Liga.

A Spanish sojourn
Returning to France, Areola remained part of PSG’s plans until Real Madrid drafted him into their squad for the 2019/20 season and, whilst an interim stint with Los Blancos is a ridiculously attractive prospect, he only took to the turf nine times. Passed to and from Europe’s elite, Areola was in need of an impromptu revival so for the coming season, low and behold, he now resides by the river with a resurgent club that mirrors his immediate ambitions.

International success
On the international stage, Areola is a trusted member of Didier Dechamps’ France fold and though he’s Hugo Lloris’ understudy, he’s still a revered component withing Les Bleus‘ 2018 World Cup-winning contingent. Yes, he may not have played during France’s successful trip to Russia and he may only have three caps, but Fulham have a stopper with a medal that tops every attainable accolade in the professional game.

What this means, essentially, is Areola’s an accomplished specialist with planet-toppling prestige. With Madrid, he claimed the Spanish title, as well as the Spanish Super Cup. With PSG, unsurprisingly, of course, he’s won three Ligue 1 shields and two French Cup trophies, not to mention the four French Super Cups, but what the heck. He’s a player that’s familiar with accomplishment, he’s tried and tested at the pinnacle of club football but, refreshingly, he evidently possesses a humble, modest ethic, a perfect match for Fulham’s honest ideology.

Jostling for position
Why would he openly swap Champions League contention for Premier League obscurity? Simple, Areola wants to give his all for Scott Parker’s camp and contribute wherever possible but make no mistake, he will aim for supremacy between the sticks. This is excellent for Marek Rodak’s development, by the way, and it’s an ideal platform for Areola to showcase his capabilities to the wider masses, too.

Our gifted Slovakian is still my first-choice, although Areola will push him to obtain a higher level. Our newcomer will introduce a standard that will test his teammate’s capabilities and if Rodak isn’t sharp on the training field, if he isn’t equipped to equal his colleague’s work-rate, Areola will prove to be a tremendous mentor and motivator for the 23-year-old.

Being in the presence of a ‘keeper that’s worked with the very best himself, that’s got to excite Rodak greatly. If Rodak is as strong mentally as he is between the sticks, he’ll relish the opportunity to potentially upstage Areola, he’ll overcome obstacles and if he’s fishing for pointers, there’s really not many better to learn from.

A prestigious recruit
Sure, Areola isn’t Gianluigi Buffon, he is not Iker Casillas or Manuel Neuer, but he’s a stopper that’s rubbed shoulders with men of the same venerated calibre and he’s had to wait patiently for his chances to guard the target for some of the continent’s most respected superpowers. That experience, knowing you have to bring your best, 100% of the time, will serve the Whites very well indeed.

If countless media reports are to be believed, we beat Chelsea and Arsenal to his signature, Parker pull relinquishes Frank Lampard’s magnetic energy and what’s more glorious is the realisation that the best ‘keepers in SW6 represent the super shaggin’ Whites. Kepa Arrizabalaga, with his poppadom wrists, and Willy Caballero cower in Rodak and Areola’s domineering shadows and if that’s a reason to be smug, despite the Blues ridiculously scary offensive departments, I’ll take it.

Assured, vocal, resistant, 6ft 5, broad shouldered, Areola will raise the bar in the coming months and, though he’ll inevitably pick the ball out of his own net on multiple occasions, he’ll thwart the cream of English footballing royalty with qualified reflexes and an appreciation of angles and margins when it matters most. I said we didn’t need another ‘keeper, but this one’s welcome. As Marcus Bettinelli dines on Parmos in Middlesbrough, we gorge ourselves on the finest French Fancy the loan market had to offer.



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2020-09-11-in-profile-alphonse-areola/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:21:24 PM
Preview: Fulham vs Arsenal

Newly-promoted Fulham host Arsenal in the first match of the 2020/21 Premier League season on Saturday lunchtime.
Fulham team news

Fulham boss Scott Parker has no injury concerns ahead of his side’s top-flight comeback.

He needs to decide whether France international goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, signed on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, should got the nod over 23-year-old Slovakian Marek Rodak, who was first-choice in the Championship last season.

Mario Lemina, signed on loan from Southampton, is also in contention to make his debut.

The Gabon international midfielder, aged 27, has 46 Premier League appearances to his name for the Saints, but spent last season on loan at Galatasaray.
Arsenal team news

Arsenal could hand a debut to £22m centre-back Gabriel Magalhães, with fellow Brazilian defender David Luiz ruled out for six weeks due to the neck injury he sustained in the Community Shield win over Liverpool.

Another young defender, William Saliba, is also in contention for his debut.

Veteran winger Willian, signed on a free transfer from Chelsea, could make his first appearance for the Gunners.

Long-term injury absentees Pablo Mari (ankle) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) remained sidelined.



https://www.offthepost.info/2020/09/11/preview-fulham-vs-arsenal/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+offthepost%2FTLAa+%28Off+The+Post%29
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:24:33 PM
Mr Khan's Programme Notes

(https://images-v2.fulhamfc.com/fit-in/1600x1600/6d4dbf50-98f6-11ea-a88c-a7f63463818c.jpg)

An exclusive look at Shahid Khan's notes which will appear in Saturday's matchday programme.

It is my distinct privilege to welcome you back for another season of football at Craven Cottage, and especially so with Fulham once again competing in the English Premier League.  We all wish our return were under normal circumstances, and perhaps that day will come yet in the months ahead.  For now, however, we will all watch today’s match vs. Arsenal from elsewhere.  And while we may be separate and distant, we will be one, as we always are at Fulham Football Club.

That’s the great thing about sports, and particularly football.  There’s nothing like being at a match, but fans are still very much able to have a presence and make an impact without literally being in attendance.  Despite the appropriate restrictions that kept all of us at home once we restarted in June, there is no doubt our squad was moved by our supporters as we marched toward a play-off position and ultimately the victory at Wembley Stadium vs. Brentford to earn promotion.  The organic power and passion of our supporters found a higher gear with each week that passed, whether it was by word of mouth, social media or what we heard from you by phone or email.  And all of it was amplified worldwide by your club’s excellent Fulforce From Home campaign that continues today and throughout the season ahead, stronger than ever.

And so it will be very much the same to start the 2020-2021 season in the Premier League.  It’s been months since I’ve been back in London, and I know you’d also prefer to spend today’s opener at Craven Cottage, one of the game’s premier destinations for players and supporters of all teams.  But until that occasion, wherever we may be today and beyond, let’s continue to gather virtually – and stand together – in backing Fulham Football Club to success in the greatest football league in the world.

It’s an honour to return to Premier League action with a London derby against Arsenal and I congratulate the club for its FA Cup and Community Shield victories, both impressively earned and coming practically back to back in just the past several weeks.  That means Arsenal is arriving at Craven Cottage in midseason form – even though the season is just beginning!  We clearly drew a formidable opponent for a globally televised lunchtime match that will raise the curtain on what will be a fast-paced Premier League schedule for 2020-2021.

But, I also would like to think Arsenal paused when they saw they’d open away at Fulham, for we also enter the 2020-2021 season with momentum, confidence and maybe a bit of magic following our charge to immediate promotion after only one year away from the Premier League.

We will field a squad today that has already been enhanced since we last saw it at Wembley Stadium just more than five weeks ago, thanks to the permanent addition of Harrison Reed, our signings of Antonee Robinson and Kenny Tete, and the loan arrivals of Mario Lemina and Alphonse Areola.  I am thrilled to welcome all five men to the Fulham Football Club family, and in particular recognise Harrison for winning us over during his successful loan spell last season and inspiring us to make his stay here in the SW6 a permanent one, just as occurred earlier in the year with fellow loanees Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Bobby De Cordova-Reid – all permanent additions to your squad.

As I noted last month, our plan is to complement, and not disrupt, the side that fought for and gained promotion to the Premier League.  The transfer window remains open for several more weeks and, as I submit these notes, I assure you that we will continue to consider options through the end of the month that may fit into that philosophy.  But no matter how our squad looks as we enter October, we will be in excellent position due to what I think is our most important transaction of the offseason – a new three-year contract for your Head Coach, Scott Parker.

I said last week upon the announcement of Scott’s new deal that our belief in Scott has roots dating back to 2013, when we brought him to Fulham as a player just prior to the start of my first season as your Chairman.  At the time, I was admittedly learning a bit about our squad.  But, I was familiar with Scott Parker and was confident he would provide value during training, as a mentor to younger players and certainly from his midfield position on match days.  I was extremely happy that we were able to land him.

As it turned out, Scott made his Fulham debut during the second weekend of the Premier League season in what was our home opener and my first match at the Cottage as Chairman.  It was a lunchtime game against Arsenal, so here we are again – though we would prefer a different outcome this afternoon.  But that day and throughout the rest of his tenure playing for Fulham, Scott provided everything we envisioned.  Just as important, his respect and love for your club was clear.

All of that and more makes it easy to cheer for Scott Parker, and why we trusted him as our Caretaker Head Coach at the end of 2018-2019 as well as with the duty of returning us to the Premier League last season – which, he did.  Scott has given us stability and direction, and that adds up to promise and hope for the Premier League campaign in front of us and beyond.  Please welcome me in congratulating Scott and his family for a three-year contract as our Head Coach that is fully deserved!

I’d also like to thank the following players who have moved on from Fulham, whether loaned out for this campaign, or indeed returned to the teams that loaned them to us last season: Jordan Archer, Luca De La Torre, Matt O’Riley, Terence Kongolo, Steven Sessegnon, Alfie Mawson, Marcus Bettinelli, and especially Harry Arter, who had a number of big moments and goals that were crucial to our promotion.  All were contributors to what we achieved, and their efforts are appreciated.

On behalf of everyone at Fulham, we do hope to see you in person at Craven Cottage at some point soon.  In consultation with the Premier League and government officials, your club is working on plans for a phased return of fans to attend home matches in limited numbers, hopefully by our home fixtures in late October.  This is a complex process that we want to make as accommodating and fair to all Fulham supporters, but the only way it will happen at Craven Cottage – or anywhere – is if we continue to respect social distancing and all health and safety measures in every aspect of our lives.  Please, continue to do your part, and encourage others to do the same.

And, while circumstances surrounding COVID-19 have unquestionably challenged all of us, we do continue to forge ahead on the construction of the Riverside Stand.  Piling works have been completed and the new walkway along the River Thames, between the Putney and Hammersmith stands, is finished but will not open for some time as construction continues.  If you’re in the neighbourhood, you will see that steel works are now underway.  And inside the grounds, we now have a temporary gantry structure to make Craven Cottage compliant with Premier League media requirements, all accomplished in the short time since our promotion was made official.  Credit goes to everyone involved with our operations and facilities personnel, many of whom have essentially relocated from Motspur Park to Craven Cottage in recent weeks to be ready for today’s early kick-off.  Thank you!

Finally, two pieces of club business.  First, I hope you have had the opportunity to check out the new Fulham club website that debuted last week.  If you’re like me, the term “redesigned website” sends off alarms, but you won’t find that the case once you’ve visited the new fulhamfc.com.  This is more outstanding work from our communications and marketing team, which also produces our superb matchday programme that routinely wins industry awards for content, design and more.  Nice work, everyone!

And second, I ask you to join me in welcoming our new main sponsor, BetVictor, which will feature across our First Team and Women’s Team shirts and throughout our various club platforms for the next two seasons.  BetVictor is an online sports and casino gaming company that has thrived for decades in one of the most competitive industries anywhere on the planet.  We’re grateful for its support as Fulham and BetVictor each embark on a Premier League campaign that will connect us with upwards of three billion people globally.  I happen to love the look of the BetVictor logo on our new kits revealed earlier this week, and hope you feel the same.

To our staff, coaches, players, sponsors and supporters, thank you for keeping Fulham in your hearts throughout what has been a turbulent year for all of us.  I wish you all the best of health and happiness as we return to top-flight football this afternoon.  And, I pledge to you that Fulham Football Club will do everything possible in the season ahead to inspire, uplift and unite us all – wherever we may be.

Come on, Fulham!



https://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2020/september/Mr-Khan-s-Programme-Notes/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:25:16 PM
Team news: David Luiz, Sokratis and Smith Rowe

Here is the latest team news update from our medical team ahead of Saturday’s match at Fulham.
 
There were no issues from players returning from international matches.

David Luiz
Neck spasm. Currently being assessed and undergoing treatment with good response. Will miss Saturday’s match at Fulham.
 
Emile Smith Rowe
Sustained an injury to his right shoulder in training. Protective sling will be removed by the end of next week and aiming to integrate back into training soon afterwards.
 
Sokratis
Right calf. Sustained mild strain to right calf in training. Will miss Saturday’s match at Fulham. Aiming to integrate back into full training within the next week.

Calum Chambers
Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on December 29.

Pablo Mari
Left ankle. Sustained significant sprain to ankle ligaments during Manchester City (a) on June 17.

Gabriel Martinelli
Left knee. Sustained injury during training on June 21.

Shkodran Mustafi
Right hamstring sustained during FA Cup semi-final on July 18.

As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.



https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-david-luiz-sokratis-and-smith-rowe
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:27:08 PM
Will the damage caused by football behind closed doors ever truly be repaired?

The cost of a bleak winter amid the coronavirus outbreak isn't just economic – and it's not clear that every club will make it out of the other side

The biggest crowd in the 2019/20 English season watched Phil Foden win man of the match and Sergio Aguero score. Perhaps their counterparts for the 2020/21 campaign saw Tom Knowles score his second goal for Cambridge and Lewis Simper make his senior debut.

There were 862 at the Abbey Stadium on Tuesday to see Cambridge beat Fulham Under-21s in the EFL Trophy. Plans to use Saturday’s match against Carlisle as a pilot event to get fans back had to be abandoned on Thursday. So the midweek gate stands alone, even if it falls far short of the 82,145 who were at March’s Carabao Cup final, or the palindromic 73,737 - the most at a club ground - who witnessed Manchester United’s draw with Liverpool. Or even the 2,500 Brighton accommodated for a friendly a few weeks ago.

Cambridge, used to topping university league tables, may instead find themselves with the largest crowd for a men’s competitive game, by a process of default. They may remain the only club to play in front of their public this season. The governmental predictions of six months of semi-lockdown, or worse, set the scene for England’s longest, bleakest winter. Certainly, it looks like being English football’s worst. Clubs seem set to be denied the oxygen of support and the resources to keep going.

It feels a miracle that only Wigan Atletic have gone into administration so far – and even then, due to ridiculously atrocious ownership, rather than playing the last nine games of their campaign in empty stadia – but how, realistically, do League One and League Two clubs, no matter how well run they are, continue when they are staring into the abyss of a future without any matchday revenue?

If the Premier League has far greater alternative income, courtesy of broadcast and commercial funds, it is nevertheless hugely worrying that an entire season behind closed doors will cost the division £547 million, according to its chief executive Richard Masters. Arsenal, who announced 55 redundancies, could merely be the trendsetters.

Many find their best-laid plans rendered irrelevant by a combination of coronavirus and the U-turns, mixed messaging and panicking of the hideously incompetent British government. The idea that some crowds could come back on 1 October now seems another broken promise. Even before then, Daniel Levy was reportedly looking at ways to get Tottenham’s supposedly lucrative executive boxes at least semi-full and Manchester United apparently trying to get 12,000 fans to attend their game against Crystal Palace but every club, at every level, will have been examining ideas of how to accommodate at least some supporters.

It is not merely about rewarding loyalty. They have a financial duty to do so. Instead, the season tickets that were sold, predicated on the assumption grounds could be semi-full for at least some games, may have to be refunded in full.

There are plenty of easy gags about it being easy to observe social distancing at various clubs, whose homes are rarely packed, but there is a valid argument that it could be feasible and safer than many other aspects of life. Now rules about gatherings of over six people being illegal suggest empty stadia will reflect an ever emptier existence.

And, at some point, there needs to be a discussion if the damage of a lost winter can ever be repaired, if the price is too great or if there is an alternative way. There is an economic cost of destroying businesses and industries and a societal cost of destroying institutions, which football clubs are, and which is getting overlooked.

If the opening week of a league season should be a time of optimism, now it is one of pessimism.



https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/will-the-damage-caused-by-football-behind-closed-doors-ever-truly-be-repaired
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:28:54 PM
Arsenal to be without seven first-team stars for Premier League opener against Fulham
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta still has a strong squad to choose from.

David Luiz will miss Arsenal's opening game of the season against Fulham on Saturday after failing to recover from a neck spasm.

Luiz has become a trusted defender for manager Mikel Arteta despite several high profile errors last season.

The Brazilian was expected to start the season at centre-back to allow new arrivals William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes time to adjust to the Premier League.

But Saliba and Gabriel could be pressed into action this weekend at Craven Cottage in the absence of Luiz.

Arteta is also without four other defenders with Sokratis, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari and Shkodran Mustafi all nursing injuries.

Youngster Emile Smith Rowe, who was expected to play a role this season in the first team, injured his shoulder in training this week.

But Arsenal have confirmed he could return to training next week when he has a protective sling removed.

Gabriel Martinelli remains a long-term absentee after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure to repair a lesion in the cartilage of his left knee.

The Brazilian is aiming to return to full training by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have announced Arteta's job title at the club has been changed from head coach to first-team manager.

In recognition of the all-emcompassing work done by Arteta since his arrival in December, the Spaniard has been rewarded by Arsenal with the alteration.

Chief executive Vinai Venkatesham told Arsenal.com: "Mikel's been here since the end of December and the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal's history - and we've been around for 134 years. Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward.

"He has lifted the spirits and lifted the energy here at London Colney and with Arsenal fans all across the world. He is doing an absolutely phenomenal job.

"The other thing that's clear is that right from the day he walked through the door, he was doing much more than being our head coach. So we're going to be changing his job title going forward. He'll move from head coach to be the first-team manager. That's recognition of what he's been doing from the day he walked in the door, but also where we see his capabilities.

"He is doing a great job of coaching the first team and that's his primary responsibility, but there is so much more that he can bring and that's why we're making this change, in recognition of his capabilities and also the job that he's doing already.



https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1334312/Arsenal-team-news-David-Luiz-Premier-League-Fulham-Arteta
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:29:55 PM
Parker confident Fulham can ‘prove people wrong’ ahead of Arsenal clash

Scott Parker believes it’s one thing to be a good player – like himself and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta – it’s quite another to be a good manager.

Former Fulham boss Jean Tigana used to lie awake at nights wondering how to coach his squad.

The French international star said it gave him headaches – and he was a European Championship winner.

Parker endorses the view.

He will glance at the man adjacent to him in the Craven Cottage technical area tomorrow, more than aware they followed a similar career path to a top job.

But then so have other top players who then failed to cut it when it came to the manager’s job.

Parker insists it’s one thing being able to perform at the top level – it’s quite another to pass it on to players.

“Mikel has brought on Arsenal in a short space of time,” Parker said.

“I think they can be a big force, and we as players had many battles when I was at West Ham and Tottenham.

“But this job is full-on. You need to step into it fully committed, and that’s a big part of being successful.

“When you’ve played in the big arenas, and know it for what it is as a player, all of a sudden you step out of it and have to teach others. It’s very different.

“You can step on a pitch and demonstrate, and I can understand what I need in my head, but there’s an art to teaching others your ideas.”

A win for Fulham, and the club are up and running.

A defeat, and hopefully nothing like the 5-1 mauling at the Cottage in October 2018, is not a signal for doom and gloom, Parker insists.

“We’re going to have some struggles,” he said.

“But I firmly believe we can challenge and prove people wrong.

“We’re going to prepare to hurt them (Arsenal), and we understand how we can limit them.

“The first game gives you a platform, but you have to makes sure the downs, and there will be downs, don’t affect you.

“When you get a jab on the nose, you come back punching”.



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/parker-confident-fulham-can-prove-people-wrong-ahead-of-arsenal-clash
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:31:54 PM
Scott Parker outlines why Fulham will avoid the same mistakes in Premier League return

Manager says players must embrace challenge of being relegation favourites on eve of opener against Arsenal

(https://i2-prod.football.london/incoming/article18716776.ece/ALTERNATES/s810/0_GettyImages-1263938745.jpg)
Joe Bryan celebrates after giving Fulham the lead in the play-off final against Brentford (Image: Getty Images)

This time Fulham believe, as they must, that it will be different. Survival is the realistic limit of their ambitions and already the odds appear stacked against them.

They have had less time to prepare as a result of the play-offs, the squad requires strengthening in certain areas and the club are committed to not repeating the mistakes of two years ago when they spent more than £100million on square pegs unable to fit in round holes.

On the plus side Scott Parker, who became manager when their fate two seasons ago was pretty much already sealed, is far more experienced and the players who won promotion last season are well drilled in his style.

The key for Parker in the battle for Premier League survival will be ensuring the lows, when they inevitably arrive, do not fester. Which is why he was dipping into boxing parlance to drive home that point yesterday.

"The ups and downs will be there, you just need to make sure the downs don't hit you and knock you out," he said. "You need to make sure they are jabs on the nose and you get your guard back up again and start punching. That's what you need to realise when you're a team like us."

In the Championship there was an expectation that Fulham would win every game. Altering the mindset when the opposite is true in the top flight is another challenge but for those who were relegated in 2018/19 there is also a determination to prove a point.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Championship's joint-top scorer, found the net 11 times during that campaign but only in two games after Christmas. Asked if Fulham's destiny would be in the Serbia striker's hands, Parker was emphatic.

“Not really, no. We understand the quality we have in Mitro but the way that we survive the way that we're going to do well is going to be with a group of men that understand what's in front of them and what sticks together.

“Of course individual talent comes into that with any team. Mitro's a big part of that and no doubt he's going to be a big part of that this season. But it would be really unfair of me [to single him out]. I see as a group and as a collective everyone's going to have a say this year in terms of how successful we are.”

Sheffield United, who finished ninth last season, will act as inspiration but Parker is not pinning too much on the result from tomorrow’s game against Arsenal at Craven Cottage.

“They are the teams that we need to look at,” Parker added. “They had a fantastic year last year and Chris [Wilder] will be the first to say what he demands from his players and to sometimes get the results is what I'm talking about really.”

As for Parker’s own development, the experience of promotion means that he will be more confident in his approach. Just do not expect him to change his overall philosophy.

“Experience is vital, isn't it? I'm now 18 months into the job and with that comes a vast amount of experience, whether that is lockdown, promotion, big games and the pressures of understanding that you've got to win games at certain moments, for sure that would have put me in a better position now. That is fair to say.

"My ideas from when I first started out with this team, how I see good teams and how I see what great teams have to develop them have not changed. They will always be there, they are ingrained in the back of my mind because I have some clear ideas on what is needed and how to develop that.”

Yet evolution is required. Failure to adapt will make them sitting ducks, fodder for the big hitters and the Championship will come calling again.

“It's a challenge we have to embrace,” he added. “It's a challenge we have to take on and I'm sure that we are in a good place to do that. I think mentally we're in that place, we all understand what we face and we're looking forward to that to be honest with you.”



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/scott-parker-outlines-fulham-avoid-18916242
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:33:27 PM
Leeds United: Phil Hay says there was talk of interest in Fulham’s Joe Bryan

The Athletic’s Leeds United correspondent, Phil Hay, discussed several topics regarding the club ahead of the new Premier League season, including Leeds’ previous interest in Fulham left-back Joe Bryan.

Since moving to Fulham from Bristol City in what was a £6.03 million deal back in 2018, Bryan has gone on to make 78 appearances for the club, chipping in with four goals and providing nine assists along the way.



https://thisisfutbol.com/2020/09/transfers/leeds-united-phil-hay-says-there-was-talk-of-interest-in-fulhams-joe-bryan/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:34:35 PM
Incomplete Arsenal Squad Mustn't Show its Weak Underbelly Against Fulham

A drastically reduced pre-season, on the surface, was the dream scenario; less time agonisingly waiting for the Premier League to return, twiddling our thumbs on Saturday afternoons and playing our 15th game of cards in a row. None of that.

No desperately trying to think of something worthwhile to do instead of parking our backsides on the sofa and having countless different pieces of technology on the go so we can get all the football we can feasibly indulge in at once.

Great, right?

Sure is, although that side of things foolishly overlooks the more intricate elements of running a football club, such as fitness, recovery time and rather crucially, managing a squad.

Mikel Arteta, no longer 'head coach' after his official title shifted to 'first-team manager', made it abundantly clear last season that his squad must undergo significant surgery this summer window if Arsenal are to stand any chance of returning to the Premier League top four. Words of encouragement, no doubt, but yet to come to fruition.

The window won't slam shut until 5 October, leaving plenty of time left to go, but as of yet, it's been a fairly quiet period for the Emirates Stadium doorman. Dani Ceballos has returned on loan, Willian joined as a free agent, Gabriel Magalhaes has come in for £27m, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares have made their loans permanent and William Saliba is back from his loan, but otherwise, it's all quiet on the northern front.

No player has left the club for a fee - Henrikh Mkhitaryan had his contract mutually terminated - and the host of names touted to be coming into the fold to offer a timely squad boost have not come to fruition. Not ideal. Especially with no money left in the reserve tank.

With Fulham on the horizon as the early kick-off on Saturday, there is no time to cry over spilled milk. The squad available, a depleted, injury-ravaged and wholly incomplete side, must instead focus on the task at hand: claiming three points.

Despite there being some changes in personnel, the issues within the side that have repeatedly bubbled to the surface during Arteta's reign have not been entirely banished. As seen with the three most recent matches at Wembley, Arsenal have a newfound grit and solidity about them, but Arteta's main fault in his CV remains.

Altering the style to diminish attacking flow with a more structured and rigid shape, Arsenal scored fewer goals last season in the Premier League than they had done in the past 24 years. Still, they lost far too many points from winning positions under Arteta. After defeat to Tottenham back in July, the Gunners had dropped 15 points from matches where they had led, the most of any side since Arteta took over.

Performances, and results, have improved since, but with an incomplete squad to contend with at Craven Cottage, they mustn't allow that weak underbelly to return. Mohamed Elneny looks likely to start in midfield, as does Rob Holding in defence - two players who looked destined to leave this summer only for a lack of suitors and injuries respectively to put the brakes on such departures.

The pair put in a good showing in the Community Shield, but neither are infallible.

Whatever the odds may be, they will favour the visitors in west London. Fulham have come up via the play-offs, not invested heavily and themselves boast a rookie manager in the job. They are quite unanimously, favourites for the drop.

With a knee-trembling set of fixtures coming up for Arsenal, the emphasis on winning at Craven Cottage couldn't be more clear. After the Cottagers it's West Ham, then an utterly terrifying run of Liverpool, Sheffield United, Manchester City, Leicester and Manchester United, with another dose of the Foxes thrown in for Carabao Cup fun.

Start as you mean to continue runs true here; six points in London derbies could come about without any investment, while equally by the time those fixtures come and go, there will have been two weeks to fill the glaring holes in the squad before that daunting trip to Liverpool.

It has to be gutsy, determined and above all, solid. Signs of weakness have been weened out over the past few months, but that doesn't mean they've been put to bed entirely. Failure against everyone's favourite for the drop will be a tell-tale sign of that.



https://www.90min.com/posts/incomplete-arsenal-squad-mustn-t-show-its-weak-underbelly-against-fulham
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:36:46 PM
2020/21 Premier League Puts Extra Pressure On Leeds United, Fulham And West Brom

Newly promoted sides to the Premier League are often the favorites to go straight back down. This year, Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham also have several other factors to contend with, making the challenge of staying in the top flight even more difficult.

39 Days Of Summer
The Premier League 2020/21 season kicks off at Craven Cottage on Saturday as Fulham take on Arsenal. But that match comes only 39 days since Fulham secured their return to the top flight with their play-off victory against Brentford.

The extremely short summer break affects all Premier League teams, but it hurts some teams more than others. Promoted teams often need to strengthen their sides a bit during the summer transfer window to bring them up to Premier League standard, and the side that goes up through the play-offs has less time to prepare than everybody else.

In 2019, Aston Villa had 77 days to prepare for the Premier League after getting promoted through the play-offs on the back of some blistering end-of-season form. Aston Villa needed, and bought, a whole new squad due to aging players and the loss of loan stars who helped them earn promotion. Those 77 days weren’t long enough for their new squad to gel and as a result, Villa started slow last season, picking up just four points from their opening six games.

Settled Squads
Fulham’s previous spell in the Premier League in 2018/19 was preceded by a similar, though far more misjudged, spending spree to Villa’s. This season though, Scott Parker’s squad is in more of a need of a revamp than it was in 2018. But apart from making Anthony Knockaert and Harrison Reed’s loans permanent, their biggest signing so far has been Wigan Athletic’s highly-rated left back Antonee Robinson.

West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United have had equally quiet transfer windows, although they have both added a bit of quality to their sides. West Brom managed to keep hold of Grady Diangana, who spent last season on loan at the Hawthorns from West Ham United. The reported unrest in the Hammers’ dressing room over Diangana’s sale shows how highly thought of he was in east London.

Leeds United have pulled off a bit of a coup in their signing of Spanish international striker Rodrigo. They also signed German international Robin Koch, although he has to fill the void left by Ben White, who was the best defender in the Championship last season.

The uncertainty of not knowing what league they will be in means that it’s harder for the three promoted clubs to get a head start on transfers, especially when the relative cost of playing in empty stadiums and risk of financial ruin due to COVID-19 is so much higher in the Championship.

This, combined with the short pre-season, means they will all start the Premier League season with squads that look very similar to the ones that won them promotion. Some more signings might be on the way soon, but not by the start of the season.

Great Ground, No Fans
Elland Road, one of England’s great stadiums, will once again see Premier League action on September 19th, but after a sixteen-year wait, that game could feel like a bit of an anticlimax. That’s not just because Leeds are playing fellow newcomers Fulham that day, but because the 38,000-seat stadium will be empty. The games after the restart last season suggest that empty stadiums favor the stronger sides, erasing much of the home advantage for the rest of the league.

It’s been speculated that newly-promoted clubs often start the season well, boosted by their fans cheering them on against stronger opponents. If that were true, then the lack of fans could hurt newly promoted clubs even more.

Over the past five seasons, newly promoted clubs have earned 0.79 extra points in their first six games compared to their six-game average for that season, meaning that on average, a newly promoted team is roughly two league positions higher after six games than where they will finish at the end of the season.

That small boost could be down to many factors, from fatigue and injuries as the season progresses, to just coincidence. Either way, no team over the last five seasons has survived solely due to their good start over the first six games.

Non-Stop Schedule
Another factor that will make a huge difference this season is the cramped Premier League schedule. The newly promoted sides don’t have European fixtures to worry about, but nevertheless, they will still be playing at least two more midweek games than normal, and there will be no winter break. Rearranged fixtures due to bad weather or the coronavirus could put even more stress on the fixture list in the latter half of the season.

Leeds United put the ‘Bielsa Burnout’ narrative to bed last season, but Marcelo Bielsa doesn’t rotate his sides as regularly as other managers. Apart from Brentford, Leeds used the fewest rotational players in the Championship top ten last season, with only six Leeds players getting between 500 and 2000 minutes of action as Marcelo Bielsa kept his faith in his regulars.

This could cause fatigue issues in the five or more double game-weeks that Leeds will have to play. But they had plenty of midweek games in the 46-game Championship season last year and still won the league, although their patch of poor form did coincide with the busy winter period.

Many pundits are expecting Leeds United to finish mid-table, but such factors like fatigue and empty stadiums could have a big impact on their final league position. For Fulham and West Brom, these factors will make it even harder for them to prove the pundits wrong.



https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveprice/2020/09/11/202021-premier-league-puts-extra-pressure-on-leeds-united-fulham-and-west-brom/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:37:41 PM
Parker determined to keep ‘vital’ Bryan at Fulham

Scott Parker is confident Joe Bryan will sign a new Fulham contract.

The left-back struck an audacious goal against Brentford in the Championship play-off final barely a month ago, and then added a second to cement the Whites’ promotion.

Bryan, 26, has attracted interest from Leicester, who identified him as a possible replacement for Ben Chilwell, who has joined Chelsea.

And Fulham have brought in Antonee Robinson – another left-back who garnered rave reviews last season.

But Parker is adamant Bryan is going nowhere.

He said: “Joe Bryan has been a massive part of what we’ve done and there’s no way I want him to leave the football club.

“Of course, we’ve brought in Antonee Robinson to give him a push for that position, but Joe Bryan is vital to the club.”



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/football-parker-determined-to-keep-vital-fulham-star
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:39:41 PM
In Profile: Kenny Tete

Drew Heatley takes a closer look at the latest signing to come through the doors at Motspur Park.

Full-backs in the modern game are bloody important. And after the signing of Antonee Robinson to push my saviour and yours, Joe Bryan, on the left, I’m delighted that we’ve bolstered our options on the right with the signing of Kenny Tete – for a startlingly low price of €3.2m (£2.96m).

The headline facts are these: Kenny is a 24-year-old Dutch international right-back who (like recent recruit Alphonse Areola) has traded in Champions League football for a Premier League survival scrap with Fulham. The player arrives from Lyon on a four-year deal. But what can we expect?

Elite education
Tete started his career in Amsterdam. He started at acclaimed amateur club AVV Zeeburgia, noted for supplying a number of Dutch international stars throughout the years, former Fulham defender, Timothy Fosu-Mensah. So Ajax was the logical next step.

Having developed in the youth ranks and Ajax’s second-string side, Jong Ajax, Tete made it to the first team squad in 2014, aged 19. He made his real breakthrough in 2014/15, making a name for himself with his tenacious and physical style. His penchant for a well-timed sliding challenge benefited the Dutch giants on many occasions, made him a firm fan favourite, and attracted interest from Bayern Munich in 2016.

Though he never picked up an Eredivisie, Tete was part of the promising crop of youngsters that reached Ajax’s first European final in more than 20 years, as they fell to Manchester United in the Europa League Final in 2017.  Tete played 11 times in Ajax’s ultimately fruitless run, but in the league he struggled to break into the side, with recent Brighton recruit Joël Veltman restricting Kenny to just five Eredivisie appearances.

France calling
That summer, Tete moved to Lyon in a deal worth €3m (£2.77m). It was at Les Gones that Kenny really found his feet. He helped Lyon to two consecutive third place finishes in his first two seasons. And though they finished a disappointing seventh last season, Lyon reached the Champions League final, losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich in Lisbon. Tete made cameo appearances as Lyon knocked out Juventus and Manchester City, and got 20 minutes under his belt as Lyon fell at the final hurdle.

Dutch strong style
Tete isn’t known for his pace, though he’s got a driving commitment that makes up for any lack of natural speed. His real strength is his defensive fervour. Not shy to put a leg in, he’s known for his full-blooded style. But he’s not reckless; it’s the timing of his tackles that make Kenny stand out. He chips in with an assist here and there – four being his best tally during his first season for Lyon – but it’s his solid defensive foundations on which he’s built his success. We might not be driving forward too many times this season, so a player with a passion for actually defending is a plus.

Right-hand-side rotation
Tete’s no stranger to competition, and has endured – nay, thrived on – rotation at both his previous clubs. It bodes well for a condensed Premier League season where he may well need to switch with Cyrus Christie and even Denis Odoi.

This isn’t a mercenary coming in to collect some coin. This is a young player with a point to prove. The cheap price tag no doubt reflects the fact that Tete’s been unable to hold down a starting berth consistently at Ajax or Lyon. But it’s easy to forget that he’s only 24. With two-dozen international caps for a resurgent young Dutch side and appearances in a Europa and Champions League final, he’s well on his way – and we’re set to reap the benefits of his next chapter as he aims to prove he can be the main man on the right-hand-side of our defence.



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2020-09-11-in-profile-kenny-tete/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:40:19 PM
Fulham set to improve bid for midfielder – Third offer for 21-year-old

Fulham are improving their offer for Benfica midfielder Florentino Luís, according to reports from Portugal today.

Newspaper A Bola says the Whites are presenting their third bid for the 21-year-old, as they ‘don’t give up’ on the signing.

It’s claimed that Fulham currently want to pay €2m for a loan deal, then include a buying option of €30m, but that may be still not enough to convince Benfica.

A Bola writes that the Eagles are trying to set the buying clause at €45m. And they’re very comfortable doing that, since his release clause is €120m.

This report is a little strange because two days ago, newspaper O Jogo claimed that Benfica turned down Fulham’s second bid for Florentino. And that offer included this same buying option of €30m.

So either A Bola or O Jogo are wrong, which is understandable, since each of them apparently have difference sources.

What looks clear is that Benfica are being pretty tough in negotiations for the midfielder, and the Premier League side will have a hard time to get him.



http://sportwitness.co.uk/fulham-set-improve-bid-midfielder-third-offer-21-year-old/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:41:23 PM
Inter Not Interested In Signing Fulham Midfielder Jean Michael Seri Italian Media Claims

Inter have no interest in signing Jean Michael Seri according to a report in today’s print edition of Italian daily newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

A report from British broadcaster Sky Sports yesterday suggested that Inter were considering a move for Seri due to not having the funds to sign N’Golo Kante from Chelsea but this report claims that Inter have clarified that such a hypothesis does not exist.

Either the Nerazzurri club will bring in Kante, as per the request of manager Antonio Conte, or they will not bring in another midfielder.

Kante is reportedly Conte’s number one transfer target for the midfield with it understood that Conte believes that Kante’s arrival would allow Inter to take another leap in quality.

Last season the French national team midfielder made 28 appearances across all competitions and in his time on the park, which totalled just over 2300 minutes, the 29-year-old scored three goals.



https://sempreinter.com/2020/09/11/inter-not-interested-in-signing-fulham-midfielder-jean-michael-seri/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:43:39 PM
Arsenal Matchday Preview

Fulham v Arsenal | Craven Cottage | Saturday 12th September 2020 | 12.30pm | #FULARS

The opposition

    It may be the start of the season but Arsenal can already consider themselves to be in good form, having picked up two trophies in August. They started the month with an impressive performance to come from behind to defeat Chelsea in the FA Cup Final, before seeing off Premier League champions Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield a couple of weeks ago.
    The free signing of Willian from London rivals Chelsea was the Gunners’ first big bit of business over the summer, and they’ve since bolstered their defence with the arrival of Lille’s highly rated Brazilian centre-back Gabriel. Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has also had his loan spell extended for a second season.
    Some technical news coming out of the Emirates ahead of Saturday was a change in job title for Mikel Arteta. Originally appointed as Head Coach, he now occupies the role of First Team Manager.

Fulham team news

Scott Parker has confirmed that he has an injury-free squad, but will need to assess players’ fitness ahead of Saturday.

Arsenal team news

A neck injury has ruled David Luiz out of contention, while Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith-Rowe, Calum Chambers, Sokratis and Shkodran Mutafi also miss out. One big decision for Arteta will be in goal, where he can either stick with Emiliano Martinez or recall Bernd Leno.

Coverage

#FULARS is the first match of the 2020/21 Premier League season, and fans can watch it live on BT Sport. Live commentary from Gentleman Jim and Jamie Reid will also be available to fans who have a seasonal or monthly FFCtv subscription. (Please note that you must be logged into your OneFulham account to access this). Fans can listen via fulhamfc.com on mobile or laptop/desktop, while iPhone users can access via the FFCtv App.

Pre-match quotes
"Mikel’s done a fantastic job in a short space of time with his team, so I think this year’s a big year for Arsenal. The quality in their ranks is vast, and you’ve seen that in the last few months, and when they won the FA Cup as well."
Scott Parker

"The team is a good reflection of the coach. He's a very thorough person with a very committed team with a very clear way of playing. He's done a fantastic job at Fulham, the way they managed to get promoted last season was really good."
Mikel Arteta



https://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2020/september/Arsenal-Matchday-Preview/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:44:14 PM
Fulham’s Jean Michael Seri’s Agent: “There’s Been Contact With Inter, We’re Working On It”

Jean Michael Seri’s agent Likane Dominique Seri has confirmed that contact has been made with Inter with regard to a potential move to the Nerazzurri club.

A report emerged yesterday in the British media that Inter were considering a move to sign the Ivorian midfielder due to being unable to currently afford a move to sign Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, who is widely reported to be their top target for the midfield.

“There was first contact with Inter, we are working on it,” he explained in an interview with Italian news outlet FCInter1908.it.

He then went on to reveal that his client would be very keen on getting a move to the Nerazzurri with the presence of Inter manager Antonio Conte a big reason behind this.

“He is very interested because he loves Italian football. Inter is the first choice for him. He is in love with the Nerazzurri, Antonio Conte and his style.

“Jean Michael would be happy to work with Conte because he thinks he is a top manager from whom he can learn a lot.”

Seri was then asked about the speculation regarding Kante, to which he responded: “For sure Kante is an excellent footballer but apart from the Chelsea midfielder, the best deal Inter can now do in that role is for Jean Michael Seri. He is a very intelligent player.”

In conclusion he was asked what kind of price Inter could pay to sign Seri, if there are any other clubs interested in signing him and whether a possible return to Galatasary could happen.

“Fulham are not against his departure because Jean-Michael would not want to stay for another season. The English club do not want to loan him out and only wants to sell him outright.

“The price is about €18 million but we know how the Coronavirus has affected the valuations of players. The price could also go down and if Inter’s will is to bet on him the agreement is found.

“A return to Galatasaray? If there were the possibility, he wouldn’t say no. Other clubs? I prefer not to express myself. I’m just saying that as long as the contracts are not signed, anything can happen.”



https://sempreinter.com/2020/09/11/inter-linked-jean-michael-seris-agent-theres-been-contact-inter-is-the-first-choice-for-him/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:46:00 PM
Walking for the Arsenal to Craven Cottage to raise awareness for Men’s Mental Health

(https://i1.wp.com/www.gunnerstown.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Eg1tuFbWAAAbENF.jpg?w=481&ssl=1)

Tomorrow morning, bright and early I will be joining the above walk from The Emirates to Craven Cottage. Nine miles to help the brilliant ‘Walk and Talk MMH’ team help raise awareness of the too often ignored issues with men’s mental health. As my chosen charity ‘Future Men’ highlighted to us the advice to men, particularly young men is too often just ‘Man Up’.  This is singularly unhelpful advice at best and dangerously detrimental at worst.

Whatever your reasons for suffering with your mental health, in my case after the loss of my son, the worst thing to do is clam up and not share that you are unwell. Talking helps and not just with professionals, but with people who know you and care about you, or even in the case of this brilliant initiative, folk with whom you share the common bond of football and a team.

Be great to see a few Gooner mates in the morning and the reward, over and above heightening awareness of a key societal issue is a pint and to watch the match with friends in a sensible socially distanced environment before the rule prevent it on Monday.

See you there.

Dave

 

Below I have invited the founder of Walk and Talk MMH, Lee Adams, to talk about the project and his inspiration…

P

 

Walk and Talk MMH believe football is key to opening up the conversation regarding men’s mental health, raise awareness and prevent male suicide, which is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. 14 men take their own lives in the UK every single day. The group are determined these shocking statistics must change. They hold events across the UK, bringing opposition fans together, walking from one stadium to another on match days.

Their fundraising and events that help so many were impacted with lockdown and games played behind closed doors, but they are back! This will be the sixth season for Walk and Talk MMH, and the first premier league game of the season is the perfect opportunity to bring football fans together for such an important cause. The first game also sees the return of Fulham FC to the premier league, facing Arsenal on Saturday 12th September at 12.30pm.

A group of Arsenal and Fulham fans will meet for the walk and talk event at 7.45am at The Armoury, at The Emirates Stadium on Saturday morning. The group will set off at 8.00am for the 9 mile walk across London to Craven Cottage ahead of the game between the two clubs. There will be a rest stop at the halfway point and will end at The Chancellor’s Pub in Hammersmith where fans can watch the game together.

Everyone is welcome to join for a mile, 2 miles or the whole distance.  Lockdown has been a chance to reset and unwind for some, and a challenging, worrying and lonely time for many others. Never has there been a more important time to get out and talk about your own mental health. The walk between the stadiums will give the opportunity to chat about anything weighing on your mind, or just talk football. The group provide peer to peer support for each other, based on personal experiences, and create an open and friendly environment for fans, no matter what your club colours are.

Lee Adams, Founder of Walk and Talk MMH, and Fulham fan, said:

“I went through a difficult period some time ago. I felt alone, isolated, with nowhere to turn, and was close to taking my own life. Five years ago, I started walking to Fulham FC away games, to raise awareness that 1 in 4 of us may suffer at some point in our lives, and I soon understood I wasn’t alone. I became motivated to turn my experiences into a positive to help and support others who felt the same as I had. People started to join me, and now this has become a huge movement of fans coming together from many teams, to let other men know that it’s okay to talk.”

The first walk and talk with Arsenal took place on New Year’s Day, 2019, from Fulham. The game that day ended in a 4-1 win for Arsenal, and both teams will be eager to start the season with a win on Saturday. Walks have also been held to/from Crystal Palace. The group have covered over 9,000 miles to date and have seen that something as simple as companionship can save lives. The group believes that football has the power to help men who find themselves in a position of loneliness and isolation.

We hope to see some new faces on Saturday. So, don’t hesitate, join us! Get in touch with the team at info.walkandtalkmmh@gmail.com or see their website for further information. You can donate to the team fundraising page and follow their progress on Twitter. – @WalkAndTalkMMH



https://www.gunnerstown.com/arsenal/2020/09/11/walking-for-the-arsenal-to-craven-cottage-to-raise-awareness-for-mens-mental-health/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:48:01 PM

Fulham vs Arsenal preview, team news, kick-off, channel
Watch match highlights shortly after full-time on Sky Sports' digital platforms and YouTube channel

Team news and stats ahead of Fulham vs Arsenal on the opening weekend of the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm).

Fulham manager Scott Parker has no fresh injury concerns as his side kick off their Premier League return by hosting Arsenal on Saturday.

However, new loan signing Alphonse Areola could have to wait to make his club debut having only joined from Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday. Kenny Tete became the club's latest addition on Thursday, but is unlikely to be included in Parker's matchday squad immediately.

Arsenal will be without a number of central defensive options for the short trip to west London. David Luiz (neck) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (calf) have joined Calum Chambers (knee), Pablo Mari (ankle) and Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) in the treatment room.

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes could make their debuts in defence, while fellow new signing Willian is in line to make his bow - although Emile Smith Rowe (shoulder) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) are also out.

How to follow

Follow Fulham vs Arsenal in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.



https://www.skysports.com/football/fulham-vs-arsenal/preview/428839
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 03:49:07 PM
Fulham and Aston Villa target moves for Josh King

Fulham have joined Aston Villa in the race to sign Bournemouth striker Josh King, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

Dean Smith is believed to have maintained his interest in the Norweigan, despite securing the arrival of Ollie Watkins from Brentford this week.

However, Smith now faces competition for the striker’s signature as newly-promoted Fulham manager Scott Parker has also joined the race for the Bournemouth man.

The 28-year-old certainly looks to be on his way out of the Vitality Stadium.

Having been a part of the squad which was relegated from the Premier League, King now only has nine months reaming on his contract and the Cherries are hoping to cash in.

Despite being willing to let him go, it is likely Bournemouth would still demand a reasonable fee for one of their most valuable assets.

Having been widely linked with a return to Manchester United in January after they made an approach for him, King possesses plenty of quality, making him a desirable prospect for both Fulham and Villa.

The pacey frontman who has 48 caps for his country has also amassed 48 Premier League goals, including 16 in 2016/17, his best tally to date.

Having already landed Watkins, Villa boss Smith is looking to put the final pieces of his squad together, and King certainly seems to be part of that puzzle.



https://readastonvilla.com/2020/09/11/fulham-and-aston-villa-target-moves-for-josh-king/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 04:09:17 PM
Squad numbers

The Club is now in a position to confirm our First Team squad numbers for the 2020/21 season.

Marcus Bettinelli’s loan departure to Middlesbrough has freed up the number 1 shirt for Alphonse Areola – the same number he wore for Real Madrid last season.

The 2 shirt has been up for grabs ever since Ryan Fredericks’ departure two years ago, so it made sense for our new right-back Kenny Tete to adopt the traditional number for his position.

In terms of our other arrivals, Mario Lemina has taken 18 after it was vacated by another central midfielder in Harry Arter, while left-back Antonee Robinson has taken 33 as 3, 13 and 23 were already taken.

Harrison Reed will continue wearing the 21 shirt which he so impressed in last season.

Notable changes to squad numbers come on the flanks. Floyd Ayité’s move at the beginning of last season freed up the 11 jersey which Anthony Knockaert has gratefully adopted.

Ivan Cavaleiro was keen for his squad number to feature a 7 when he arrived last year, but without wanting to upset the apple cart, he took 19. Rui Fonte left soon after, though, and Cavaleiro has now snapped up his 17 shirt.

Squad numbers in full:

1. Alphonse Areola

2. Kenny Tete

3. Michael Hector

4. Denis Odoi

6. Kevin McDonald

7. Neeskens Kebano

8. Stefan Johansen

9. Aleksandar Mitrović

10. Tom Cairney

11. Anthony Knockaert

12. Marek Rodák

13. Tim Ream

14. Bobby De Cordova-Reid

17. Ivan Cavaleiro

18. Mario Lemina

20. Maxime Le Marchand

21. Harrison Reed

22. Cyrus Christie

23. Joe Bryan

24. Jean Michael Seri

25. Josh Onomah

29. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa

31. Fabri

33. Antonee Robinson

35. Tyrese Francois

40. George Wickens

47. Aboubakar Kamara

48. Fabio Carvalho

58. Sylvester Jasper



https://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2020/september/Squad-numbers/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 04:11:04 PM
Fulham May Miss Deadline For Super Eagles Star Aina To Make Debut Against

English Premier League newcomers Fulham may miss the registration deadline for Super Eagles defender Ola Aina to make his competitive debut against Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, allnigeriasoccer.com reports.

As it is the norm, the deadline for incoming signings to be available for selection is 12 pm a day before the start of the season.

The Cottagers have not confirmed the loan signing of the Nigeria international as at the time of filing this report and this suggests the paperwork has not been completed.

And if that is the case, Aina would be in the stands for tomorrow's meeting between the two London rivals.

The Italian Football Federation has to issue an International Transfer Certificate to the English Football Association before the Nigerian can be registered by Fulham to feature in the Premier League.

It will be recalled that Aina's childhood pal, Alex Iwobi was ineligible to be fielded by Everton against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the 2019-2020 campaign because the winger's transfer to the Toffees from Arsenal did not go through until after the deadline.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel



https://www.allnigeriasoccer.com/read_news.php?nid=37351
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 11:48:00 PM
The three dangermen who can help Arsenal beat Fulham on the opening day

Arsenal will be looking to get their Premier League season off to the perfect start with a win over newly-promoted Fulham, but who could be the dangermen for Mikel Arteta's side? Dan Mountney picks three players who could make the difference at Craven Cottage.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal's captain looks set to sign a new deal and end speculation over his future, and he will be key if the Gunners are to start the season with a win.

Aubameyang hit 29 goals in all competitions last season and he will want to find the net at Craven Cottage on Saturday as he looks to better his tally from 2019/20.

The Gabon international will continue to operate off the left-hand side, but Mikel Arteta will be keen to see Aubameyang get into central areas where he is most dangerous.

Willian
Signed on a free from Chelsea this summer, the experienced Brazilian adds a different attacking option to Arteta's squad.

Willian will be keen to impress on his debut but faces competition for a starting place from the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson.

The 32-year-old should help the Gunners create chances at Craven Cottage and go some way to rectifying the lack of creative spark they suffered from last season.

Alexandre Lacazette
The Frenchman faces serious competition from Eddie Nketiah to lead the line for Arsenal this season, and he will want to impress on the opening day to stake his claim.

Lacazette scored twice at Craven Cottage two seasons ago and a similar display could guide the Gunners to an opening day win.

The striker will be keen to put a poor 2019/20 season behind him and make the perfect start to the new campaign against Fulham.



https://www.onlinegooner.com/articles/view/5385
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 11:49:19 PM
Fulham v Arsenal: match preview

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/1cae2463ce483b791e32fbc2b1ec791ad7af0f7a/0_0_696_955/master/696.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=ef7d8bc425b66450bbf1a9479f871304)

Two of the better Premier League midfielders from the past 15 years do battle from the dugout, with Scott Parker and Mikel Arteta both hoping new additions settle quickly. Parker signed France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and the Netherlands right-back Kenny Tete this week and faces a decision on how soon to pitch them in for Fulham. Arteta, usually overstocked with centre-backs, finds himself down to three. William Saliba should make his debut, but Gabriel Magalhães has only recently begun to train with his Arsenal teammates. Further forward, Willian is available to add much-needed experience. Nick Ames

Saturday 12.30pm BT Sport 1

Venue Craven Cottage

Last season n/a

Referee Chris Kavanagh

Odds H 5-1 A 10-17 D 7-2
FULHAM

Subs from Rodak, Fabri, Tete, Christie, Robinson, Le Marchand, McDonald, Kebano, Johansen, Lemina, Anguissa, Cavaleiro, Seri, Kamara

Doubtful None

Injured None

Suspended None

Discipline Y78 R5 (last season)

Top scorer Mitrovic 26 (last season)
ARSENAL

Subs from Leno, Macey, Gabriel, Soares, Kolasinac, Torreira, Elneny, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Özil, Willian, Nketiah

Doubtful None

Injured Papastathopoulos (thigh), Smith Rowe (shoulder, both 19 Sep), David Luiz (neck), Marí (ankle), Mustafi (thigh, all Oct), Chambers (knee, Dec), Martinelli (knee, Jan)

Suspended None

Discipline Y85 R5 (last season)

Top scorer Aubameyang 22 (last season)



https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/sep/11/fulham-v-arsenal-match-preview
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 11:55:26 PM

My Inspiration
Sir Bobby

Robbie Elliott
Player, Newcastle, 1991-1997; 2001-2006

My contract was expiring at Bolton.
Talks over extending it were delayed because we were in the Division One playoffs, but after the final my agent told me one of the teams that had been watching me was Newcastle. He knew that if he had told me before the playoffs, my head would have been spinning.

I then had a phone call with Sir Bobby Robson, drove up to meet the chairman Freddy Shepherd, and within 10 minutes had agreed my return to St James’ Park.

For me, there was nothing better than hearing from Sir Bobby that he’d like to take me back to the club I considered home. The call was nothing too serious or tactical. It was just Sir Bobby being Sir Bobby – getting to know you.

It was a done deal as soon as I picked up the phone. I certainly hadn’t expected to play for a guy who had managed the likes of Barcelona and England.

I was very nervous, but he put me at ease straight away – the way he spoke to you was so relaxing. You felt like you already knew him, which is a crazy thing to say when you don’t and it’s your first conversation.

It was a skill that he could make people feel like that – even over a phone call, which is a lot harder than face-to-face. “I’m excited to get you in for next season” – he built me up in that conversation, not that I needed it when he was the one calling.

The first time I met him was the first day of pre-season. For him it was just another day, but there was a great atmosphere. We’d signed a couple of players and there was this feeling that things were turning for Newcastle.

    “He would wear his heart on his sleeve – the hurt, or the pride – and it made you want to go out and perform for him”

When he’s in the room, there’s an aura about him. Not the kind you saw with David Ginola, who everyone turned to look at when he walked in; there was just something about Sir Bobby’s personality that put everyone at ease.

That dressing room had in it people as young as Jermaine Jenas, senior players like Alan Shearer, and different nationalities. I’ve been in a lot of them, and there’s not many where the players all respect and like the manager – particularly those who aren’t playing – but everyone liked him.

I went through a season not playing at Newcastle, but I still totally respected him because he treated me like a human. He’d speak to me, give me an answer if I asked a question, and be honest.

Other managers can’t get enough of you when you’re in the team, but if you’re not playing or you’re injured, it feels like you don’t exist. But that was never the case with Sir Bobby.

‘Enthusiasm’ is the word that really strikes home. He was always in his tracksuit on the training field, joining in, and very hands-on.

He always brought energy, and always wanted energy and the highest standards in everything, but he could also be funny. It didn’t involve him telling jokes; it was a subtle humour. You just found him funny.

    “Even behind the scenes, Sir Bobby was pulling the strings”

His football knowledge was immense and, despite the age difference, he could connect with 18 and 34-year-olds on any level. That is hard to do.

You’d all see him in front of the camera, when he’d wear his heart on his sleeve – the hurt at a defeat, and the pride at good performances – and you’d want to go out and perform for him.

I remember speaking to a member of his staff once they had both retired. At the time they were at Newcastle together, he hadn’t understood all of Sir Bobby’s methods, but after they both left Bobby actually explained them to him. Of course, it made complete sense.

Sir Bobby had wanted to separate himself from his staff, because he wanted that respect there, too – even behind the scenes, he was pulling all of the strings.

The crazy thing is, after I’d retired and read his book, I learned what he was going through at Newcastle with his cancer – at the time, you would not have known for one minute. There was never any complaining, and nothing slowing him down.

The mentality and strength to go through what he did and continue to be at the top of his game was just incredible. He went through it on numerous occasions, and he fought it off. That was him – always looking forwards and positive, never backwards.

    “When we got back into the Champions League, the town had that buzz again. If you’re from that area, you can feel it”

We always used to practise throw-ins, because it was one of his biggest bugbears – how hard players used to work to win the ball back and then just throw it back to the opposition. We’d be top or second in the Premier League, and practising throw-ins – that was his level of detail.

My first season back, Craig Bellamy had also come in. With him and Kieron Dyer, we had a lot of pace going forwards; together with the old heads of Gary Speed and Shearer, and with Nobby Solano (below) at the top of his game, we had a hell of a season. Once you get momentum at somewhere like Newcastle, that ball starts rolling and it becomes a great ride – it was a really good season back in the northeast.

To try and get Newcastle back to anywhere near the level we were reaching with Kevin Keegan was incredible – we got back into the Champions League, and the town just had that buzz about it again. If you’re from that area, you can feel it – to be part of that again was something really special.

Olivier Bernard had also come in, and Sir Bobby really liked him. That French connection with Laurent Robert went a long way, and he started to play ahead of me.

Don’t get me wrong – I was pissed off, every day. But Sir Bobby would do small things like have a chat in the corridor, which is one of the things I’ve even taken into my life beyond football. Treating people with a smile and a thank you, and asking how they are, goes a long way.

    “He deserved so much more than his departure from Newcastle. When he left, his illness really kicked in”

That’s partly what makes the timing of his departure from Newcastle, four matches into the 2004/05 season, so bizarre. It sounds bad but, as hard as it was, you could see the writing on the wall.

But there’s ways to do it, and Sir Bobby deserved so much more. I wish it was dealt with differently, maybe at the end of the season, properly, and with a plan in place.

They say that you should keep the mind active, doing what you’re doing, and have a passion. When he left the club, it became apparent that that was when the illness really kicked in.

I was fortunate enough to meet him again a couple of weeks before the Sir Bobby Robson Trophy match, when he made his last public appearance, in a wheelchair at St James’ Park, in July 2009. He obviously looked very poorly.

Someone in my family went through the same, and they set themselves a target of seeing their grandchild born – once they did, they went peacefully. With Sir Bobby, I think it was that game – he wanted to see the game through, see the players again, and experience going out at St James’ Park one final time.

    “A couple didn’t speak a word of English but they recognised Sir Bobby. He’s still loved”

It was that, and the fact I’ve had a lot of cancer in my family, that made me want to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. I’d never had the chance to pay him back for taking me back to Newcastle, and for giving me and my family that opportunity.

Me and Phil Gray, a friend and triathlete, cycled 3,500 miles in 21 days. We started in Porto, went to Lisbon, then across Europe to Barcelona and Eindhoven before returning to the UK and taking in Fulham, Wembley, Ipswich and Newcastle – all his former teams.

We started it in October, so you start in the dark and finish in the dark, and it turned out we did the equivalent of sea-level to Mount Everest five times, in altitude. You can’t tell on maps how bad the roads are, so we came across huge obstacles, and we slept in a camper van. It was brutal.

I’m so happy I did it, but it’s not something I’d ever repeat, not least because there were some long days there. It sounds corny, but I thought of my father, my father-in-law, Sir Bobby – the people you’re raising money for to try and make a difference. So there was never a day when I thought I needed to stop.

The way people spoke from the heart along the way, too. We were maybe three hours from Barcelona one day, and we were flagged over by an ageing couple who didn’t speak a word of English but wanted to donate because they saw Sir Bobby’s picture on the van.



Then, at the end, we held a celebration ball where ex-players came to meet me. The support the whole way through was just fantastic.

There’s not many managers who leave clubs and are still loved – and I mean loved – like he is. In every city we went to, it really was mind-blowing.

But that’s the power of Sir Bobby.
(https://www.coachesvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/this-is-my-voice-signature.png)

Robbie Elliott
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 11:58:17 PM
Up next: Arsenal (h)

Along comes another Premier League season. In these very strange times, one thing that feels familiar now are those nerves mixed with heady anticipation. Fulham are back in the top flight – after another memorable Wembley success – and everyone is desperate to ensure that it isn’t as forgettable or fleeting as our last brief visit. To that end, Scott Parker has called on the club to be prudent in the transfer market and seems to want to shape his side around the core of the squad that won promotion from the Championship to build togetherness and continuity.

The aims are laudable and, at least on paper, Fulham should stand a better chance of survival than they did when adopting Slavisa Jokanovic’s far more adventurous approach. Jokanovic’s football is more to my own taste and is lovely to watch, but the shortcomings at the highest level saw his Fulham side hammering the nails into their own coffin. There are still plenty of nagging doubts. The pundits have written us off already – that isn’t as much of a problem as it should help foster something of an ‘us against the world mentality’ – but the prospect of starting the season without central defensive reinforcements fills me with dread.

We’ve been over this regularly in recent weeks as we waited in vain for a credible link to a centre back. Michael Hector was fantastic following his introduction to the first team in January, but aged 27, he has yet to play a Premier League game. The step up is still considerable – and it remains to be seen whether he will be as assured in the top flight as he was when he slotted into Parker’s back four. His likely partner, Tim Ream, has been a wonderful servant to Fulham but he was exposed at the highest level, like most of his team-mates, two years ago. It seems illogical to have made moves in the transfer market without addressing this pivotal position – but we can only hope that Tony Khan and company are concluding a deal for a commanding centre back as I write.

Parker has plenty of puzzlers to ponder as he considers his team selection. Does Alphonese Areola go straight in between the sticks having signed earlier this week? Such a decision would be exceptionally harsh on Marek Rodak, who did so much to get Fulham back to the Premier League and has been so impressive since claiming the first-team shirt off Marcus Bettinelli. But Areola has not come on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, with his hefty wages, to sit on the sidelines. The composition of the defence, notwithstanding the central defensive dilemma discussed above, is also up for further debate. Kenny Tete, who looks at steal even at £3m, should start at right back. But is it Wembley hero Joe Bryan, whose defensive frailties were regularly exploited by Championship sides, or Antonee Robinson, the raw yet rapid American international at left back?

You can see that Parker’s strategy for survival is based around a powerful and disciplined midfield that makes Fulham hard to play through. Harrison Reed offered the back four proper protection last year and he will likely anchor the midfield. Has Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa been reintegrated into the Fulham squad successfully enough already to have another crack at the Premier League after his barnstorming season in Spain? Does Mario Lemina, something of an enigma at Southampton, come straight into the side? How to solve the conundrum of fitting both Josh Onomah, arguably Fulham’s most improved performer in the second half of last season, and Tom Cairney, the club captain who has yet to prove himself at the highest level, into the same side?

There are options in the front three as well, if you believe that Parker’s preferred system will remain unchanged. Both Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro had rather underwhelming first campaigns at Craven Cottage, but Fulham saw enough in each of them to want to make those deals permanent. Neeskens Kebano’s cameos were worth their weight in gold at the end of the last campaign, but he is probably likely to be an impact substitute at this level. And what of Aboubkar Kamara? Probably the most changed figure at Fulham since Parker oversaw his rehabilitation into the side, you’d think that the Frenchman’s mix of pace and unpredictability would add something different to an attack that has been a little predictable in the past. Getting Aleksandar Mitrovic, one of the few Fulham players with genuine Premier League pedigree, more service and support will be vital. He scored eleven goals in a horrendous team two seasons ago – imagine what he could do were the Whites more competitive?

There couldn’t have been many sides who would provide a sterner examination of Parker’s blueprint for survival than Arsenal. The Gunners might be a side in transition, but Mikel Arteta is doing a good job of making them both more streetwise and successful. There are question marks about their own defence, especially with injuries robbing Arteta of a number of experienced options this weekend, but Arsenal look formidable going forward. They’ve improved since our last meetings – and that’s a frightening prospect when you consider the second half annihilation at the Cottage remains seared on my brain.

Fulham might be able to exploit early vulnerability if, as expected, Arteta goes with a back three and hands an Arsenal debut to the talented wonderkid William Saliba, who spent last season on loan with Saint-Étienne. They may be a start for Rob Holding, with Calum Chambers – one of the few players to come out of Fulham’s dreadful 2018-2019 campaign with any credit – only just returning to training. If Arsenal are uncertain at one end of the pitch, the prospect of Aubameyang, Willian and Eddie Nketiah, who warmed up with a hat-trick for England’s under-21s in the week, wreaking havoc in the final third isn’t doing much for my own pre-match nerves.

MY FULHAM XI (4-3-3): Rodak; Tete, Bryan, Hector, Ream; Reed, Anguissa, Cairney; Kamara, Knockaert, Mitrovic. Subs: Areola, Odoi, Robinson, Lemina, Onomah, Cavaleiro, Kebano, Decordova-Reid.



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2020/09/up-next-arsenal-h/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 11, 2020, 11:59:44 PM
Aina joins Fulham on loan

Fulham have tonight confirmed the signing of Nigerian international full back Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino.

The 23 year-old defender, who came through Chelsea’s youth academy before moving to Italy, has been a longstanding Fulham target and the newly-promoted side have an agreed a loan deal with an option to make the switch permanent next summer. Aina told FulhamFCTV:

I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this. It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised. There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah. I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.

Aina, who can also play at left back, in central defence or in either wide midfield position, was part of Chelsea’s all-conquering under 18 and under 23 sides and made six first-team appearances as the Blues won the 2016/2017 league title. He spent a season on loan with Hull City, before moving to Torino, also initially on loan. He made 30 league appearances as Torino qualified for the Europa League and the Italian side opted to sign him permanently. Aina made 37 league appearances last term as Torino battled successfully against the drop.

Having represented England at youth level, Aina was offered the opportunity to play for Nigeria, the birthplace of his parents, and has now made fourteen senior international appearances. He missed on the 2018 World Cup squad narrowly, but was part of the Nigeria side that finished third at Africa Cup of Nations last year.

Fulham’s vice chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan said:

I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino. Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League. In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential.



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2020/09/aina-joins-fulham-on-loan/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:01:24 AM
Ola Aina Joins On Loan

(https://images-v2.fulhamfc.com/fit-in/1600x1600/632b4130-f433-11ea-9534-5bd32de39cb9.jpg)

The Club is delighted to confirm the signing of Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino.

Fulham also holds an option to make the deal to sign the 23-year-old permanent.

After finalising his move, Aina told FFCtv: “I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a Club like this.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah.

“I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.”

Tony Khan added: “I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino. Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League.

“In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the Club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential. Come on Fulham!”

Born in London but now a full Nigeria international, Aina has primarily operated at right-back throughout his career, but his versatility means he can also fill in capably across the defence or further forward.

Aina joined Chelsea at a young age and successfully rose through the age groups, winning two FA Youth Cups – including the 2014 Final against Fulham – and two UEFA Youth League titles.

(https://images-v2.fulhamfc.com/fit-in/1400x1400/4be4e430-f434-11ea-9534-5bd32de39cb9.jpg)

2016/17 was his breakthrough season as he made six appearances for the first team, including three outings in the Premier League en route to the Blues winning the title.

Aina furthered his development in the Championship the following season, playing in 44 of Hull City’s 46 matches.

Another loan spell followed in 2018/19, this time in Italy with Torino. Aina made 30 Serie A appearances in what was a fine season for Il Toro, whose seventh place finish secured a Europa League qualifying spot.

Torino held an option to make the transfer permanent, and Aina’s form convinced them to do just that last summer.

He was a regular again last season, playing 37 times in all competitions.

A Southwark boy, Aina represented England up to Under-21 level, but switched his allegiance to Nigeria – his parents’ nation – in 2017.

He has now won 14 caps for the Super Eagles, and was part of the team that finished third at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.



https://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2020/september/Ola-Aina-Joins-On-Loan/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:02:32 AM
Fulham complete loan signing of Ola Aina from Torino

(https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2020/09/11/18/olaaina1109.jpg?w968)
New arrival: Ola Aina ( Getty Images )

Fulham have completed the loan signing of Ola Aina from the Torino for the 2020-21 season.

The Cottagers will have an option to buy the wing-back at the end of the campaign.

Aina rose through the ranks at Chelsea before moving to Italy, and the 23-year-old is delighted to back in London.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this," Aina told Fulham's in-house TV channel.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah.

“I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.”



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-transfer-ola-aina-loan-a4545831.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:05:52 AM
Fulham complete signing of ex-Chelsea defender Aina

Fulham have completed a deal to bring former Chelsea defender Ola Aina back to west London from Torino.

The Whites have signed Aina on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent move.

Aina, 23, signed for the Italian club from Chelsea on a permanent deal last year after impressing during a season on loan.

A product of Chelsea’s academy, London-born Nigeria international Aina made six first-team appearances for the Blues – four of them as a substitute. He also had a season on loan at Hull City.

Aina told FFCtv: “I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.”



https://www.westlondonsport.com/chelsea/fulham-ola-aina-deal-confirmed-0920
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:06:57 AM
Done Deal : Fulham Announce Signing Of Chelsea Product Ola Aina

Through their official website, English Premier League new boys Fulham have announced the signing of former Chelsea defender Ola Aina.

The Nigeria international will be spending the whole of the 2020-2021 season on loan at the Cottagers, including the option to make the transfer permanent.

London-born Aina joined Torino on an initial loan deal in the summer of 2018, before he was acquired on a permanent basis the following season.

In his first words as a Fulham player, Aina stated : "I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a Club like this.

"It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

"There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah.

"I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can."

Aina, who was a key member of the Super Eagles squad that won bronze at last year's Africa Cup of Nations, has been assigned the number 34 jersey by Fulham for the 2020-2021 season.

Igho Kingsley



https://www.allnigeriasoccer.com/read_news.php?nid=37354
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:09:16 AM
 Ola Aina: Fulham confirm loan signing of Torino full-back
Aina: "It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised"

Fulham have confirmed the signing of Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino.

Sky Sport News reported earlier this week a deal was close, while Fulham have the option to make Aina's loan at Craven Cottage permanent for around £11m.

Former England youth international Aina is a graduate of Chelsea's academy and spent over a decade at the club.

He spent the 2017-18 campaign away on loan at Hull before making a season-long loan move to Italian club Torino the following year.

The Serie A side took up the option to make Aina's move from Chelsea permanent in June 2019. The 23-year-old made 37 appearances for Torino last season.

"I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this," Aina told Fulham's website. "It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

"There's a great bunch of lads here. I'm really good friends with Big Hec (Michael Hector) and Josh Onomah.

"I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I'd say I'm pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can."

Fulham director of football Tony Khan added: "I'm pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino. Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League.

"In our loan agreement, we've secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the club given our belief in Ola's talent and in his potential. Come on Fulham!"

Fulham kick off their Premier League return against Arsenal on Saturday following promotion via the Sky Bet Championship play-offs last term.



https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11681/12069345/ola-aina-fulham-confirm-loan-signing-of-torino-full-back
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:11:37 AM
Fulham secure another transfer coup by signing former Chelsea youngster

Fulham have completed the signing of former Chelsea wing-back Ola Aina on a loan deal from Torino.

There will be the option for a permanent transfer at the end of the season, in the region of £11m.

It marks a return to London for Aina, who was born in the English capital but represents Nigeria at international level.

The full-back came through Chelsea’s academy before a series of loan spells away from Stamford Bridge culminated with a permanent exit last summer.

Aina managed 37 appearances in his second season at Torino, where he had spent the previous campaign on loan from Chelsea.

Now, though, he has returned to London, reinforcing the ranks of newly promoted Fulham.

The Cottagers have also completed deals to sign PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and Lyon full-back Kenny Tete in recent days.
Aina ‘privileged’ to join Fulham

Aina has revealed his excitement at being able to move back to his hometown.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this,” he told FFCTV.
“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah.

“I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.”



https://www.teamtalk.com/news/fulham-sign-former-chelsea-youngster-ola-aina
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:14:14 AM
Ola Aina moves to Fulham, official: the figures of the deal

Torino announced the loan deal of Ola Aina to Fulham on their official site, he will move to the Premier League after two seasons in Serie A. The ex-Chelsea player returns after a season in Serie A where he totaled 37 appearances and three assists.

Aina's transfer to Fulham is a loan with option to buy: €2.5m initially and €12.5m if Fulham decides to redeem his rights. A 10% stake in a future sale was also inserted into the deal.



https://gianlucadimarzio.com/en/ola-aina-moves-to-fulham-official-the-figures-of-the-deal
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:16:25 AM
‘Quality’ Lemina backed to put bad spell at Southampton behind him

Mario Lemina was a record £18m signing for Southampton in 2017.

An acquisition at the time described as a “significant statement” when the Saints persuaded him to join from Juventus.

Fast forward to May last year, and he had made just 49 appearances for the St Mary’s club over two campaigns.

A natural defensive midfielder, Lemina had all the gifts to shine in England’s top flight.

But if he’d have been an unqualified success with Southampton, they would not have farmed the 27-year-old on loan to Galatasaray last season.

Fulham have handed the Gabon international a second bite of the cherry on a season-long loan deal.

Scott Parker has a player in his squad who has a good blend of technique and strength, and at 6ft, uses his height and frame to shield and keep possession of the ball, before laying it off to team-mates.

But the Fulham manager laid bare the one thing missing from Lemina’s armoury at Southampton: consistency.

“When he first went in at Southampton he was fantastic; an unbelievable player,” Parker said.

“But I think Mario would be the first to say he lost his way a little bit.

“I understand what we have in Mario; a quality player who can have a real impact on what we do this year.

“Saying that, he understands what’s needed to reach the pinnacle of your ability is to be consistent, and a lot of ingredients need to fall into place for that to happen.

“He needs to understand how he fits into the environment, and if he does, we have some player on our hands”.

Lemina teams up with fellow former Southampton midfielder Harrison Reed, who made his transfer permanent after a stellar role in Fulham’s successful return to the Premier League while on loan last season.



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/quality-lemina-backed-to-put-bad-spell-at-southampton-behind-him
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:18:44 AM
Ola Aina: Fulham sign former Chelsea defender on loan from Torino

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/976/cpsprodpb/F7C9/production/_114333436_gettyimages-1223645594.jpg)
Aina played 37 times for Torino last season

Fulham have signed former Chelsea midfielder Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino.

Full-back Aina, 23, came through Chelsea's youth system before joining Torino in July 2019, having previously played for the Italian side on loan.

He also had a loan spell in the Championship with Hull and despite playing for England's youth teams switched to play for Nigeria in 2017.

Fulham have the option to make the move permanent.

The deal follows Fulham signing Netherlands defender Kenny Tete from Lyon for an undisclosed fee on Thursday.

Fulham play their first match back in the Premier League against Arsenal on Saturday at Craven Cottage.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54124972
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:19:43 AM
Fulham sign Aina on loan

(https://resources.premierleague.com/photos/2020/09/11/2a6139f8-8f2c-4b96-b250-267c7a11a06b/ola-aina-joins-fulham-1.png?width=930&height=620)

Nigeria international and Chelsea Academy product joins the Cottagers from Torino for the 2020/21 season

Fulham have announced the signing of Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino, with the option for a permanent transfer.

Aina returns to the Premier League, having made three appearances in the competition in Chelsea's title-winning 2016/17 campaign after progressing through the Academy of Fulham's west-London neighbours.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a Club like this," London-born Aina told the club's official website.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised."

The right-back, who can fill in across defence or further forward, joined Torino in 2018/19 on loan from Chelsea and played a key role as they finished seventh in Serie A.

The 23-year-old, who has been capped 14 times by Nigeria, signed for the Italian club permanently last summer and arrives at Craven Cottage after making 37 appearances across all competitions in 2019/20.

Fulham kick off the Premier League season at home to Arsenal on Saturday 12 September at 12:30 BST.



https://www.premierleague.com/news/1823278
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:20:54 AM
Fulham boss Parker faces key decisions ahead of Arsenal clash

Scott Parker’s first selection headache of the season is whether to include new signing Kenny Tete against Arsenal on Saturday.

The right-back completed his move on Thursday to Craven Cottage but has only had one training session to bed in.

The Fulham boss might err on the side of caution and hand the spot to Denis Odoi or Cyrus Christie instead.

Jean Michael Seri and André-Frank Anguissa are unlikely play any part.

Fulham are looking to offload both misfits after their poor showing in 2018-19’s relegation season.

Marek Rodak might well hang on to the keeper’s jersey despite the signing of Paris Saint-Germain’s Alphonse Areola.

Areola was put through his training paces after his loan deal was ratified on Thursday, and despite the Frenchman making more 100 appearances for PSG since his debut in 2013, Parker is expected to stick with Rodak for the time being.

Parker said: “We need Areola to push Marek. In fact, we need them to push each other”.



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/fulham-boss-parker-faces-key-decisions-ahead-of-arsenal-clash
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:24:13 AM
Fulham vs Arsenal: 3 Burning Questions Ahead Of The London Derby

The 2020-21 Premier League season is nearly upon us as Fulham will host Arsenal at the Craven Cottage on Saturday, in the opening fixture of the new campaign.

Maintaining their top-flight status will be the primary objective for Scott Parker, while Mikel Arteta’s side will definitely look to push for a top-four finish.

The two sides have contrasting objectives for the season, but will look to target a winning start on Saturday. With that, here are three burning questions ahead of the London derby.

Fulham vs Arsenal: 3 Burning Questions Ahead Of The Derby
#1 What does the future have in store for Mesut Ozil?

Mesut Ozil has been on the fringes ever since Arteta took control of the north London based outfit and his chances of forcing his way into the starting XI look slim at the moment. Ozil has been accused of being too lethargic to fit into Arteta’s tactics, which runs on high intensity.

Despite his indifferent attitude, Ozil still remains as one of the finest attacking midfielders of the game. His vision and ability of manoeuvre impeccable passes in the final third can break down even the meanest of defences, but under Arteta, quality alone is not enough.

Arsenal could do with a player of his calibre, but can he improve his tenacity on the pitch and become force his way into Arteta’s plans?

#2 Can Scott Parker’s side slog it out?
Fulham finished fourth in the Championship table, and beat Brentford in the promotion play-off final to return to the Premier League. Under Parker, their style was a far cry from the gung-ho approach of Slavisa Jokanovic, but it gave them the stability they needed.

The pragmatism will help them in the top-flight as they can mix good defending and efficient attacking to get the results that they couldn’t muster two years ago.

Arsenal like playing out from the back, and are good against teams who press, as it enables the Gunners to play through them to devastating effect after inviting the opposition press.

Will Fulham do the opposite and sit back, and ask the Gunners to break them down instead? That could work well for Parker’s side, who have good players in attack with compete with Arsenal physically, and on the break, using their pace and movement.

#3 Leno or Martinez?
Prior to the knee injury that he picked up against Brighton & Hove Albion in June, Bernd Leno was arguably the best player for Arsenal. The German shot-stopper pulled off astonishing saves on a regular basis and was consistent in goal.

However, during Leno’s brief spell on the treatment table, Emiliano Martinez burst onto the stage and shone in goal. He helped his side in winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield, so Arteta will face a serious dilemma about choosing whom to use in goal.

There have been reports of Martinez leaving. Although it might be good for the player, Arsenal would lose a talented and able ‘keeper.



https://madaboutepl.net/2020/09/fulham-vs-arsenal-3-burning-questions-london-derby/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:25:32 AM
Everyone at Fulham has a point to prove in the Premier League this time around, says Scott Parker

Scott Parker says everyone at Fulham has a point to prove in the Premier League following their last campaign in the top flight.

The Fulham boss was in caretaker charge for the final 10 games of their last Premier League season (2018-19), across which they won just seven games.

A large part of Parker's current squad were part of that torrid season, including captain Tom Cairney and last season's top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham kick-off their top-flight return at home to Arsenal on Saturday, and when asked whether those who couldn't make their mark last time had a point to prove this season, Parker’s response was unwavering.

“One million per cent. They have. Let’s get it right,” he answered.

"Last time we were in this position we didn’t do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I’m sure those players that during that season they would say the same. I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that.

"Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that. I’d like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure.”



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/scott-parker-fulham-have-point-to-prove-in-premier-league-season-a4545731.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:28:29 AM
Scott Parker on ‘Dry Your Eyes’ video: The Streets mash-up was ‘pretty good… all my emotions came out at Wembley’
The Fulham manager admits to being one of the two million-plus viewers of the viral video following their Championship play-off final win last month

Scott Parker is hoping no-one will tell him “dry your eyes, mate” after Fulham kick-off the Premier League season against Arsenal at Saturday lunchtime.

The Cottagers are back in the top-flight after a single season’s absence having got the better of near neighbours Brentford in the Championship play-off final a little over a month ago.

Parker’s emotions spilled over in front of the cameras after that Wembley win as he talked of the pressures of his job and the effect it had on his family.

It wasn’t long before his speech was cheekily repackaged for the internet with the music and chorus from ‘Dry Your Eyes’ – the 2004 hit by The Streets, aka rapper Mike Skinner, who talk-sang his way through that track in an accent similar to Parker’s.

More than two million clicks later – including one by the former England midfielder himself – Parker declared himself ready to put himself through it all again.

“I’m not on Twitter but it was sent to me, it was pretty good,” he said. “At the end of a long season, the emotions you saw at Wembley were a mixture of all sorts: relief, pride. That all came out.


“What made me so emotional last year, certainly at the end and during that lockdown period, is I saw a team that really developed not just as a football team but as human beings as well. There was something inside of me which was very, very proud of the group of men that I saw.”

Fulham may have signed goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who was part of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad, and Dutch left-back Kenny Tete in the past three days, but are still regarded as favourites for relegation.

The reason for that is their dismal showing in 2018-19 when they arrived as play-off winners, spent more than £100m on new players and won just seven league games, three of which were when they were already doomed.

Parker was one of three managers that season and admitted that he and his players, the majority of whom were part of that losing team, had much to put right.

“One million per cent,” he said. “Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

“You need to prove in the biggest league in the world against the best players in the world, with a lot of eyes looking at you thinking you won’t be good enough. You need to prove to them that you are. Certainly, that’s a challenge I can’t wait for.”



https://inews.co.uk/sport/football/scott-parker-dry-your-eyes-mate-video-twitter-the-streets-mike-skinner-fulham-643031?ITO=newsnow
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:30:47 AM
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic backed to bully Premier League defenders by Dimitar Berbatov

EXCLUSIVE: Former Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov has backed Aleksandar Mitrovic to continue to bully defenders as he prepares for his return to the Premier League against Arsenal on Saturday

 Dimitar Berbatov has backed Aleksandar Mitrovic to impress in the Premier League.

The former Manchester United striker has praised the 25-year-old forward for firing Fulham to promotion from the Championship - and backed him to be full of confidence ahead of the new campaign.

Berbatov, who scored 15 goals in his only full season for the club after leaving Old Trafford in 2012, has also praised the work done by his former team-mate at Craven Cottage, Scott Parker.

The 39-year-old has additionally revealed that he visited his former club before the pandemic forced the nation to a standstill - before urging them to be wary in the transfer market.

(https://i2-prod.dailystar.co.uk/incoming/article22669938.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_GettyImages-1256866952.jpg)
Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 49 goals in 100 appearances for Fulham in all competitions (Image: Getty)

Betfair Ambassador Berbatov told Daily Star Sport of Mitrovic: “There was a lot on his shoulders last season. It is a great achievement for him and it would have boosted his confidence."

The former Newcastle striker managed 26 Championship goals in 41 appearances as Fulham saw off the challenge of Brentford in the play-off final, having found the back of the net 11 times in the previous top-flight campaign.

 Ex- Tottenham star Berbatov went on to discuss the playing style of the Serbian international, who is known for his physicality inside the box.

He added: “I like Mitrovic because he doesn’t care who he is playing against, he is always bullying defenders.

“He is strong and powerful in the air and hopefully Fulham can utilise fast players around him so they can give him the ball in the penalty area so he can bully the defenders and score.”

Parker was initially appointed as caretaker manager at Craven Cottage following the dismissal of former Chelsea and Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri in February 2019, who had been brought in to replace 2018 play-off final winner Slavisa Jokanovic.

The former England midfielder failed to avoid the impending relegation, but led Fulham back into the top flight at the first time of asking via a tense Wembley final.

Berbatov said of his former colleague: “I think they have done the toughest thing of all in coming back to the Premier League from the Championship.

“That was a massive achievement, and now - don’t go back again. This is the first priority. Don’t go back again because that would be a huge disappointment.

“If they can do that, they can build, but so far Scott Parker has done unbelievably well. I was there before the virus to watch them train and I spoke with Scott for little while.

“I wished him luck then and I was so happy to see them come back to the Premier League. Now they need to strengthen their squad - but with the right players.

“The last time they bought so many players but none of them were particularly successful, they were leaking goals so easily. Fix that and they will be okay.”



https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-news-exclusive-aleksandar-mitrovic-22669934
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 12:32:21 AM
Scott Parker urges Fulham to learn from past mistakes in Premier League

 Scott Parker wants his Fulham players to prove themselves this season and learn from previous mistakes as they prepare to host Arsenal in their season opener on Saturday.

During their last campaign in the top flight following promotion via the play-offs in 2018, Fulham under-performed throughout the season, winning only seven matches before being relegated after amassing just 26 points.

A number of players from that season, in which Parker was named caretaker boss following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, have remained, including last season's Championship golden boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Parker says they have something to prove.

"One million per cent. They have," Parker said. "Last time we were in this position we didn't do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I'm sure those players that during that season they would say the same.

"I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that. Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

"I'd like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure."

In the Championship last season, Fulham finished fourth, with 23 wins from their 46 matches, however the manager insisted the club will need a different outlook as they prepare to come up against the top sides in England.

Parker said: "It's definitely a mentality shift, I think it is probably a little bit similar to last year when we went from losing a lot of football matches in a short space of time to being expected to win a lot, being top of the league, and expected to win it.

"It is not the same in that sense of that mentality shift as well. That is something I am very conscious of and something we need to manage, highlight and realise where we are and what is expected of us this year.

"Large parts in successful teams for me is a mindset, players understanding where they are and what is expected and what they need to do.

"That is the challenge we face this year and is different to last year, but a challenge this year that we need to prove we are good enough to be in this division, prove we can go up against the best players and teams and really give it a go.

"That is a mindset that is down to me to change and the players to understand."



https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/arsenal/news/scott-parker-urges-fulham-to-learn-from-past-mistakes-in-premier-league_413964.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: Denzil Dexter on September 12, 2020, 12:57:58 AM
Report: Fulham want Bournemouth striker and Aston Villa target Josh King

According to The Daily Telegraph, Fulham want Bournemouth striker Josh King this summer as manager Scott Parker continues to bolster his squad for life back in the Premier League.

The Norway international is expected to leave the Vitality Stadium in the coming weeks with only nine months left on his current deal, and the Cottagers are keen to offer him a chance to continue playing top-flight football.

Fulham aren’t the only ones interested in King, with Aston Villa also planning a move.

Manager Dean Smith wants another striker after landing Ollie Watkins, and his side have looked at a £16million deal but it could take more for Bournemouth to cash in.

Fulham have already brought in Antonee Robinson, Mario Lemina, Harrison Reed, Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete so far this summer, and Ola Aina is expected to join from Torino.

They could do with another striker, and King will be a fine addition.

King was linked with a return to Manchester United in January as boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed a cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, but Bournemouth knocked back their offer.

The 28-year-old has scored 48 Premier League for the Cherries since joining in 2015, hitting double digits in 2018-19 and 2016-17, and Fulham need such an experienced striker in their attack.



https://sportslens.com/report-fulham-want-bournemouth-striker-and-aston-villa-target-josh-king/312993/
I think agents use us to push Villa to pay big money. It's like Watkins all over again.

Sent from my SM-A908B using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:39:40 AM
Griffin's major role in Fulham success

The Fulham FC academy has been spoken of in glowing terms in recent years after producing some exceptional young talent like the Sessegnon brothers (Steven and Ryan) as well as 17-year old Harvey Elliott who was signed by Liverpool last year.

But not many people know that Rolestown native Jonathan Griffin has played a big part in the success of the academy in his role as Innovation and Projects Manager.

Jonathan isn't the first Griffin to enjoy success in his chosen sporting field as his dad Patrick is a well-known former horse trainer.

However, ironically, he has left his role at Fulham just as the club are preparing to make their big return to the Premier League at the first time of asking following their relegation in 2019. The Lilywhites host London rivals Arsenal at Craven Cottage in the lunchtime kick-off this coming Saturday.

Naturally enough, though, Jonathan will be following his old club from afar and believes Fulham are much better equipped this time around to survive the rough and tumble of the league widely regarded as the best in the world.

"As of recently I am an ex Fulham employee as my wife was offered a big opportunity in Abu Dhabi which means we will be moving over there,' he explained.

'But I look back on my time at the club with nothing but fondness and I would like to think myself, along with all the team at the Academy, have definitely moved things forward and helped the club progress over the last few years.

'I think the club recognise that they made a mistake the last time they got promoted as they bought too many big signings, which meant the team took too long to gel.

'This is the second promotion I've been involved in since joining the club in 2017, but this time around Scott [Parker, the current Fulham manager] has bought a couple of players to add to the squad while also bringing in a couple of guys who have progressed through the academy, and I think the club have been more grounded and smarter.

'It will be tough for Fulham, but I think that they can surprise a few people this season and I'll be following them on that journey.'

Jonathan's journey which led him to Fulham was a long and complicated one and began in 1992 as a 20-year-old when he started studying sports science at Brighton University.

Growing up he was a talented rugby player, and having played in three schools finals with Belvedere he joined up with London Irish in the mid 1990s.

After his rugby career ended he decided he wanted to work with elite athletes and with that in mind he attended Loughborough University to complete his Masters in Exercise Physiology. While there he began coaching the university rugby team and through that came an opportunity to coach at Stanford Rugby Club in California. He worked his way up to becoming Director of Rugby at Stanford before returning to England to do his PhD in Strength and Conditioning and Sports Science.

While at St Mary's University in Twickenham a meeting with Fulham Academy director Mike Cave led to a job with the then Championship club and according to Jonathan all was not well with the academy when he first joined.

'The Academy side of things had been in disarray really and the club were failing all their EPPP targets which is basically targets set by the FA in England for an Elite Player Performance Pathway.

'We went about changing the culture and best practice frameworks as well as coach-to-player ratios and the next season we passed all metrics with flying colours. As Head of Innovation I was responsible for working with players across eight categories - scouting, coaching, sports science and medicine, welfare, education, match analysis and psychology.

'One of the big things we introduced to the academy was a link-up with a company called Player Maker which is basically an innovative athlete performance tracking platform which presents unparalleled insights on technical, tactical, physical, load and gait analysis, for the players and coaching staff.

'We were collecting data on about 180 players between the ages of nine and 23, but the challenge we had was collecting that data in a meaningful way which could tell us things and help us with player development. That was an enormous project and we have got to the stage where we are utilising that information to help with injury management, player progression and performance enhancement amongst all our academy products.

'The area of sports science has really exploded over the last five or so years and you now have very highly qualified practitioners working at pretty much every high-level club.

'We have a budget of about €4 million in our academy, which sounds pretty good, but it is at least 10 times less than the big Premier League clubs which shows what clubs at Fulham's level are up against.

'Fulham are situated in London just five minutes down the road from Chelsea, with Arsenal not too far away either, so it's a bloodbath with regards to scouting young talent. We obviously have scouts who scour London looking for talent, but as an example of what we are up against you have the likes of Man City who employ seven scouts whose only job is to find players in London.

'With all that in mind I think we have done a really good job in the Academy. Our director Huw Jenkins is a brilliant leader and he was at Southampton when they created all that talent a few years ago, with the likes of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. We ourselves have produced some excellent young prospects such as Harvey Elliott and the Sessegnon brothers and there are many more coming down the line.

'I won't be at the club to see the fruit of our labours, but I really enjoyed my time there and I'm excited to see what is next for me on my journey. For the short term I will be getting back into my first love, which is rugby coaching, and I will be working with the Abu Dhabi Harlequins.

'It's been a great journey so far and I'm looking forward to the next chapter, whatever that may be.'



https://www.independent.ie/regionals/fingalindependent/sport/soccer/griffins-major-role-in-fulham-success-39509889.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:40:14 AM
Mitrovic will ‘bully’ Premier League defenders, says Berbatov

Former Fulham forward Dimitar Berbatov has said Aleksandar Mitrovic will ‘bully’ Premier League defenders and believes the Serbian striker to be crucial in helping the Whites survive in the top flight this year.

Berbatov, who scored 20 goals in 54 appearances during his two year spell at Craven Cottage, told the Daily Star of his admiration for Fulham’s current number nine. He feels that Mitrovic will take confidence not only from his previous exploits in the Premier League, but from the way he lead to line to claim the Championship’s golden boot last term as Fulham won promotion via the play-offs:

There was a lot on his shoulders last season. It is a great achievement for him and it would have boosted his confidence. I like Mitrovic because he doesn’t care who he is playing against, he is always bullying defenders. He is strong and powerful in the air and hopefully Fulham can utilise fast players around him so they can give him the ball in the penalty area so he can bully the defenders and score.

Berbatov lavished praise on his former Fulham team-mate Scott Parker for guiding the club back to the top flight at the very first attempt.

I think they have done the toughest thing of all in coming back to the Premier League from the Championship. That was a massive achievement, and now – don’t go back again. This is the first priority. Don’t go back again because that would be a huge disappointment.

If they can do that, they can build, but so far Scott Parker has done unbelievably well. I was there before the virus to watch them train and I spoke with Scott for little while. I wished him luck then and I was so happy to see them come back to the Premier League. Now they need to strengthen their squad – but with the right players. The last time they bought so many players but none of them were particularly successful, they were leaking goals so easily. Fix that and they will be okay.



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2020/09/mitrovic-will-bully-premier-league-defenders-says-berbatov/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:41:16 AM
Maitland-Niles and Tierney start, Martinez out - Arsenal predicted team vs Fulham

The Gunners will be hoping to get off to a positive start in the Premier League at Fulham

Heading into the first game of the Premier League season, Mikel Arteta seems to have one less dilemma to solve - the one which has haunted him all summer.

Following interest from Aston Villa and Brighton, as revealed by football.london on Friday [September 11], the 28-year-old is not expected to travel with the squad to Craven Cottage. As a result, Bernd Leno will take the starting spot to build on an impressive 2019/20 campaign.

Fresh injuries to David Luiz and Sokratis may cause speculation as to whether the side will continue with a back three, but seeing as it's the system that has been used most in pre-season, veering away from that may come further down the line.

As a result, William Saliba will slot in on the right side, Rob Holding will take the central role and Kieran Tierney will keep his place as the left-sided centre-back. Anticipation may be high for a Gabriel Magalhaes debut but Arteta is aware of the challenges both he and Saliba will face and in need of points early, he may opt for Tierney as the more trusted option.

"I think it’s going to take him some time to adapt to our way of playing but as well to get adapted to the language, the rhythm, the physicality of the country," Arteta said on Saliba and Gabriel.

"As well we have to bear in mind that he didn’t play much football last season with all the injuries he had. So, I think it will be a process that we have to be patient, picking the right games with the right environment and trying to grow because he has a really good potential.

"Everyone was saying that we had too many central defenders and it’s a funny case right now that it’s the position we are short at the moment with all the injuries. But I’m hopeful in the next few weeks that situation will resolve and we’ll be in a stronger position."

With Tierney at centre-back, Ainsley Maitland-Niles will return as the left wing-back. The 23-year-old excelled there in the FA Cup semi-final and final as well as in the Community Shield win over Liverpool in which he produced a man of the match display.



https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/fixtures-results/fulham-arsenal-predicted-lineups-martinez-18922234
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:43:50 AM
Fulham preview: Goalkeeping clarity, but some thinking to do at centre-half

Ok then, here we go again! A brand new season begins today as we take on Fulham at Craven Cottage. In terms of previewing this one, we’re going in half-blind, because we don’t have any form guide, or wider knowledge of fitness/readiness, so it’ll be very interesting to see what Mikel Arteta does with his team.

One thing we do know is that Bernd Leno will start in goal. At his press conference yesterday, Mikel Arteta played down suggestions that whoever got the nod today was going to be the de facto number one, saying that he would pick whoever was training best – just like in any other position. However, last night it emerged that Martinez would not be part of the squad for today’s game as interest in him from Aston Villa and also Brighton ramps up.

There was also an interesting quote from the manager as he admitted it’d be tough to keep them both happy:

They want to know their role and at the end of the day it is one position to fill in, and the other one has to support the No 1 and the one who is playing 100%. If you are not able to do that, you cannot be part of our top squad and you should not be here.

Like many of you, I’ve been hugely impressed with Emi, and I like him a lot as a goalkeeper. I feel like he has done everything possible to take his chance and to stake his claim for the number 1 spot, and his departure would be a tough one to take. I suppose it is worth remembering that when Leno got injured against Brighton there was genuine dismay because of how good he’d been. When the fear was he’d be out for a long time, the general consensus was that we would have to go out and buy a goalkeeper.

Emi’s performances allayed those fears, but if 6 months ago someone had come along with close to £20m for him, it’d have been seen akin to a lottery win. The unfortunate reality of our financial situation is that offers like this are hard to resist, and even more so if the player himself has made it clear he’d like to go and stake his claim as number one at a Premier League club. I certainly don’t blame him for striking while the iron is hot, his stock is as high as it has ever been, so the opportunity to play regularly as first choice and go from a £20,000 a week player at Arsenal to a £75,000 a week player somewhere else is hard to resist. The knock-on effect is that some of that transfer fee will have to be spent on a replacement – we need a number two because Matt Macey has been told he can leave. That’s an discussion for another day though.

The other big issue for today is the centre of our defence. With so many centre-halves on our books, it’s very Arsenal that we’re in a bit of a pickle about who we’re going to field today. David Luiz and Sokratis miss out due to injury, while we’re already without Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, and Calum Chambers as they recover from their longer-term problems. That leaves Arteta with Rob Holding, William Saliba, and Gabriel.

Together, they could well be a balanced back three with the two new boys either side of Holding in the central position. I just wonder if that might be too inexperienced for Arteta who might want to ease them in more gently, Saliba in particular. We know that Kieran Tierney has played in the back three, but his presence on the left hand side is where you’d envisage Gabriel playing, and while I don’t know for certain, I’d have doubts he’d be deployed centrally with Holding the other side. I wonder if, all things considered, we might see a back four today, with Holding and Gabriel flanked by Hector Bellerin and Tierney.

In midfield we have lots of options. Arteta can take his pick from Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny, Lucas Torreira, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil who have all been training this week. There may be some fitness issues, but as far as we know, there are no injuries to contend with. Ahead of them it’s basically the full complement too. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are are in the mix – only Gabriel Martinelli remains sidelined because of his knee injury. So, there are no shortage of options in midfield and attack. Update: I forgot Willian, we also have him!

We know that there are no easy games in the Premier League, but this is an interesting opening fixture. Away from home to a newly promoted side, it feels like the kind of game where we’d like to exert some influence and control, something we found a bit tough at times last season. Perhaps this might also be a factor in going with a back four if that’s what we do, adding the extra man to midfield to provide us with another option there – creative or otherwise – to try and dictate the game from this area of the pitch. Games against the so-called smaller sides were banana skins a bit too often last year, even under Arteta, so it’d be nice to set down a marker today with a performance, but first and foremost the right result.



https://arseblog.com/2020/09/fulham-preview-goalkeeping-clarity-but-some-thinking-to-do-at-centre-half/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:45:16 AM
Report: Benfica now seek £41.5m for Fulham and Leeds target Florentino Luis

According to A Bola, Benfica are seeking a £41.5 million fee for reported Fulham and Leeds United midfielder target Florentino Luis.

The Portugal U21 international has been heavily linked with an exit.

A report on Friday from Italian editorial Tuttomercatoweb claimed newly-promoted duo Leeds and Fulham were leading the race for his signature.

The same publication also claimed Monaco had submitted a bid for him.

But now A Bola say a fresh Fulham bid is on the horizon, with an initial loan fee for the season followed by an obligation to sign Luis for around £27 million next summer.

Benfica, however, are seeking a fee in the region of £41.5 million.

The Portuguese giants are seemingly welcoming a transfer battle for their holding midfielder, and with a bidding war set to continue they only stand to generate a higher sale.

Learning from last time:

Fulham were guilty of overspending in their last campaign in the Premier League.

After achieving promotion in 2018, the Whites spent over £100 million only to make an immediate return to the Championship. They can’t afford to make the same mistakes.

Former Benfica coach Joao Tralhao has compared the Luis with Brazil international Casemiro, telling Bernabeu Digital how Real Madrid should sign him.

“Florentino is a young player who has exceptional talent. From very early on, we realized that Florentino was on the road to becoming an elite player. I see Florentino as a logical option (for Real Madrid). He has a profile very similar to that of Casemiro and in Europe he is, without a doubt, one of the best in his position,” Tralhao explained.

Luis is a player with huge potential. But for such a figure, Fulham supporters may wonder if it’s worth the gamble on a player with zero Premier League experience.

Premier League top scorers 2019/20

    Jamie Vardy – Leicester

    23
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal

    22
    Danny Ings – Southampton

    22
    Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

    20
    Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

    19



https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2020/09/12/report-benfica-now-seek-41-5m-for-fulham-and-leeds-target-florentino-luis/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:45:54 AM
Fulham Preview: Can Arteta solve for a deep-block?

Well, here we are, the first game of the season. It’s pounced on us. I’ve barely had the time to miss football, yet here she is, back with a 3 game a week schedule for the next 3 months. I am VERY excited.

Fulham is a tricky game simply because we’re not really sure who is going to show up. Both teams could spring a surprise. Arsenal could turn up like they did against Villa. Fulham could roll over like they did that time we thought we had our Arsenal back.

We need a win. There’s no glory in a draw. Arsenal needs to start the season the same way they played the FA Cup final. Everyone needs to show up focused. This season we’re gunning for top 4. Arsenal can’t have another transition year. We have the talent to do it. Arteta picked up a bag of shite in December, he took us from 8th to 8th, but the half-season table showed that we finished 4 points off 3rd (in 5th). If we’re that close to 3rd in March, we have every chance of taking a Champions League spot.

There are 4 very important games coming up before the international break. Anything above 9 points will be classified as very good. Most would say the big game is the Liverpool one, but for me, it’s actually the Fulham, West Ham, and Sheff U games that pose the threat.

Arsenal’s challenge this season will be dealing with deep blocks. We lack creativity through the middle and we haven’t really addressed that this summer so far. There has to be a solution. Arteta needs to evolve how we play this season. It’s no good becoming the London version of Wolves. We need to rack up points against the little teams this season.

There are some potential solutions. The biggest bet we’ve made is that Willian will carry over his elite form from last season. He had a great record for balls into the box last season. We’ll need some of that trickery tomorrow. The big question is whether Arteta opts to play him out on the left, or whether he moves him into a modern #10 role.

We could also see Mesut Ozil back in contention. The German international is out of the cold and he’s making a fuss online that he wants to play. Say what you like about him, he’s a deep-block specialist and if willing, he’s more than capable of being a solve for us there. Question, as always, is how much does he care?

There are also some other potential solves that are little more far fetched. Saka ‘might’ get a shout as a #10 at some point this season. Could be a little early for that. Especially as he’s been so good from wide positions. We also have ESR who can play in those pockets. He had a great time at Huddersfield. Would Arteta take the chance? I’m not sure (not tomorrow as he’s injured). Especially not for the first game.

What we do know is this: Fulham under Scotty Parker are pragmatists.

They will set up with a sturdy team tomorrow and they’ll look to nick a goal on the counter. They clearly aren’t elite pragmatists (they finished 4th in the Championship and there’s been a serious debate about #ParkerOut among entertainment starved fans), but they’ll be an early test for us. They have some decent ball-playing defenders and they have a bully of a target man in Mitrovic. Those two factors combining have been the death of us over the years. Hopefully, there’s a strategy tomorrow to work around the obvious plan that’ll be rolled out.

So here we are, heading into our 13th year together (feeling so emosh). This should be fun. We have a solid setup. We have a brilliant young manager. We have a vibrant squad of young players eager to make it happen. We have a chance to make the top 4 if things fall for us. Let’s enjoy it, it’ll be a fun ride. Lots of ups and downs. But we’re heading in the right direction regardless. I’ve not been able to honestly say that in a very long time.

Enjoy the game and listen to the podcast. Whoever gave me a 1* review, I hope you have some mild internet disruption today. Yeah, I’m that serious about the slander.

Also, I fixed the link issue on the newsletter. It should not be working perfectly!

COME ON YOU GOONERS!



https://le-grove.co.uk/2020/09/12/fulham-preview-can-arteta-solve-for-a-deep-block/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:48:15 AM
Fulham XI vs Arsenal: Confirmed early team news, predicted lineup, latest injuries for Premier League today

Fulham make their Premier League return when they host Arsenal at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

Scott Parker has pledged to keep the core of the side which won promotion going into the new campaign, vowing the club will not make the same mistakes that caused them to go down two years ago.

Instead of overhauling the squad, Parker is looking to evolve it by strengthening areas for "one of the toughest leagues in the world."

Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete are the most recent arrivals, following Harrison Reed's move being made permanent along with deals for Mario Lemina and Antonee Robinson.

Parker faces a call in midfield against the Gunners as to who starts alongside captain Tom Cairney in the two ahead of Reed.

Josh Onomah starred at the end of the season but Parker may well turn to the experience of Lemina, who has plenty of games in the Premier League and Champions League under his belt, considering the opposition.

(https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2020/09/11/14/fulhamarsenal110920a.png?w530)
Predicted Fulham XI to face Arsenal (4-3-3): Areola; Tete, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Lemina, Cairney; Decordova-Reid, Knockaert, Mitrovic



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-xi-vs-arsenal-confirmed-early-team-news-predicted-lineup-latest-injuries-today-a4545571.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 08:50:00 AM
Arsenal's starting line-up for Fulham 'spotted' by fans from Mikel Arteta's notes in training

Eagle-eyed Arsenal supporters think they spotted a clue for the Fulham game from a picture posted by the official club account

Arsenal supporters have taken to social media after spotting what they believe to be a clue ahead of the Gunners' opening Premier League fixture.

Mikel Arteta's side make the short journey across London to Craven Cottage where they will be looking for three points against newly promoted Fulham.

The Gunners will be hoping to make a winning start to their campaign, with Arteta no doubt keen to build upon the momentum of winning the FA Cup at the end of last season, and then the Community Shield against Liverpool several weeks ago.

The north Londoners have been in pre-season mode for several weeks with warm-up games against MK Dons and Aston Villa to help regain match sharpness.

The Villa match at the Emirates ended in a 3-2 defeat, but saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang net a brace to carry on where he left off against Jurgen Klopp's side at Wembley.

Summer signings Willian and Dani Ceballos also made appearances, with Ceballos playing less than 24 hours after signing another season-long loan with the club. Nicolas Pepe was also in action, after missing the Community Shield clash entirely.

With the match against Fulham fast approaching, some Arsenal supporters took to social media to speculate on Arteta's line-up for the game at Craven Cottage - based on an image posted by the club Twitter account.

The picture was of Arteta during a training session, with the Spaniard holding a piece of paper.

Fans zoomed in on the paper, with many pointing out that it appeared to say "Pepe" and "Laca" in the front front three, with Nicolas Pepe on his natural right wing spot and Alexandre Lacazette through the middle.

Speaking on Friday ahead of Arsenal's trip to Fulham, Arteta backed his side to mount a consistent challenge for the top four this season.

"What I see from them is that they want more, that they are not satisfied and this is what we want to show tomorrow.

"That we want to go another step forward. What we done, it doesn't count for anything. It gives us confidence and belief in what we can do, that we can compete against any team, but this is a completely different competition.

"It's a long race and we have to be consistent. There is a big gap on what happened in the last few seasons when we were out of the Champions League spots, and this is our challenge for the season."



https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/news/arsenal-fulham-starting-line-up-18922632
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 09:31:38 AM
Fulham Chief Gives Condition For Signing Ola Aina On A Permanent Basis

Fulham have secured the signature of Super Eagles star Ola Aina on a season-long loan deal for Torino, including the option to make the transfer permanent.

Fulham Director of Football Operations, Tony Khan is pleased with the club's most recent transfer business, calling the Chelsea Academy product a talented player, and believes the versatile fullback can bring quality to the team.

Khan has revealed that Fulham would trigger the 12.5 million euros purchase option in Aina's deal if they manage to have a good season.

"I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino," said Khan to Fulham's official website,

"Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League.

"In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the Club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential. Come on Fulham!"

London-born Aina has not featured in the Premier League since playing the last fifteen minutes of Chelsea's 4-3 win vs Fulham on May 15, 2017.

Igho Kingsley



https://www.allnigeriasoccer.com/read_news.php?nid=37357
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 09:32:27 AM
Fulham secure Ola Aina loan signing

Fulham have completed the season-long loan signing of former Chelsea full-back Ola Aina from Torino.

Scott Parker’s Whites have retained the option to turn the 23-year-old’s loan into a permanent switch at the end of the campaign.

Nigeria defender Aina’s arrival will further boost Fulham’s ranks ahead of their Premier League return.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this,” Aina told FFCtv.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec (Michael Hector) and Josh Onomah.

“I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be.

“I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.”

Southwark-born Aina joined Chelsea aged 11 and went on to make three league appearances between 2015 and 2019.

After impressing in Italy on loan, Torino took Aina on a permanent basis.

But now, after 62 Serie A appearances in two seasons, Aina is back on home soil.

Football operations director Tony Khan hailed Aina’s move, with Fulham opening their top-flight return by hosting Arsenal on Saturday.

“Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League,” he said.

“In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential.”



https://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/fulham-secure-ola-aina-loan-signing-1599846953000
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 09:33:27 AM
Scott Parker knows Fulham must adapt to new challenge and right previous wrongs

Scott Parker wants his Fulham players to prove themselves this season and learn from previous mistakes as they prepare to host Arsenal in their season opener on Saturday.

During their last campaign in the top flight following promotion via the play-offs in 2018, Fulham under-performed throughout the season, winning only seven matches before being relegated after amassing just 26 points.

A number of players from that season, in which Parker was named caretaker boss following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, have remained, including last season’s Championship golden boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Parker says they have something to prove.

“One million per cent. They have,” Parker said. “Last time we were in this position we didn’t do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I’m sure those players that during that season they would say the same.

“I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that. Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

“I’d like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure.”

In the Championship last season, Fulham finished fourth, with 23 wins from their 46 matches, however the manager insisted the club will need a different outlook as they prepare to come up against the top sides in England.

Parker said: “It’s definitely a mentality shift, I think it is probably a little bit similar to last year when we went from losing a lot of football matches in a short space of time to being expected to win a lot, being top of the league, and expected to win it.

“It is not the same in that sense of that mentality shift as well. That is something I am very conscious of and something we need to manage, highlight and realise where we are and what is expected of us this year.

“Large parts in successful teams for me is a mindset, players understanding where they are and what is expected and what they need to do.

“That is the challenge we face this year and is different to last year, but a challenge this year that we need to prove we are good enough to be in this division, prove we can go up against the best players and teams and really give it a go.

“That is a mindset that is down to me to change and the players to understand.”



https://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/scott-parker-knows-fulham-must-adapt-to-new-challenge-and-right-previous-wrongs-1599859850000
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 09:34:32 AM
Nigeria: Ola Aina Joins Fulham On a Season Loan

Fulham yesterday confirmed the signing of Nigerian international full back Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino.

The 23 year-old defender, who came through Chelsea's youth academy before moving to Italy, has been a longstanding Fulham target and the newly-promoted side have an agreed a loan deal with an option to make the switch permanent next summer. Aina told FulhamFCTV:

I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this. It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

There's a great bunch of lads here. I'm really good friends with Big Hec and Josh Onomah.

I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be. I'd say I'm pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.

Aina, who can also play at left back, in central defence or in either wide midfield position, was part of Chelsea's all-conquering under 18 and under 23 sides and made six first-team appearances as the Blues won the 2016/2017 league title. He spent a season on loan with Hull City, before moving to Torino, also initially on loan. He made 30 league appearances as Torino qualified for the Europa League and the Italian side opted to sign him permanently. Aina made 37 league appearances last term as Torino battled successfully against the drop.

Having represented England at youth level, Aina was offered the opportunity to play for Nigeria, the birthplace of his parents, and has now made fourteen senior international appearances. He missed on the 2018 World Cup squad narrowly, but was part of the Nigeria side that finished third at Africa Cup of Nations last year.

Fulham's vice chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan said:

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino. Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League. In our loan agreement, we've secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the club given our belief in Ola's talent and in his potential.



https://allafrica.com/stories/202009120186.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 09:35:32 AM
Key Fulham duo ‘a million percent’ have point to prove in Premier League, says Parker

Key Fulham players Alexander Mitrovic and Tom Cairney were down and out last time they were in the Premier League.

The Whites were relegated with five games to go having won just seven times, while lugging the millstone of a minus 47 goal difference back to the Championship.

In contrast to last season’s scoring spree in the second tier, Mitrovic scored just 11 times in 37 Premier League appearances, and midfielder Cairney, a mere one, in 24 starts.

Fulham fans complained the switch in divisions particularly affected captain Cairney, who looked nothing like the Championship play-off winner from the season before.

Their manager now hopes his captain and last season’s Championship golden boot winner will feed off the bitter disappointment from the last top-flight campaign.

“Do I think they can feed off the fact they have something to prove? A million percent,” said Parker.

“Last time we were in this position it was a tough year and we got relegated; they would be sitting in that position and thinking just that.

“Every single one of us has something to prove. They know that.

“You need to set a bar, and it says something about you. Whether you’ve been in that position before or whether you’re new to the club, you have to see that.”

Several Fulham survivors from the 2018-19 debacle are likely to feature against Arsenal.

When they were demolished 5-1 at home by the Gunners in October 2018 – the last time the two met at the Cottage – it was Fulham’s joint-lowest points haul after the first eight Premier League games in a season.

But Parker expects his troops to shoulder that experience and man up for the tough task.

“You need to prove yourself; lots of eyes looking at you saying you’re not good enough. You need to prove you are,” he added.



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/key-fulham-a-million-percent-have-point-to-prove-in-premier-league-says-parker
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 09:36:06 AM
Arsenal must silence potential Mitrovic/Knockheart partnership today

Iiiiiiiiiiit’s MATCHDAY!

Yep, I’m excited, despite all of my cynicism about the Project Restart, despite the fact we still don’t quite have the balance right in midfield (as Mikel alluded to in his press conference yesterday), as well as the fact that we have a mountain of injuries already. I’m still so excited to see Arsenal rock up at Craven Cottage today to pit their wits against newly promoted Fulham.

Of course there will be heartache, it might even start today, but the great thing about the start of the season is that everybody starts on zero points and every possible eventuality remains ahead of you for the forthcoming season. And then when you get Arsenal dropping videos like the ‘It’s a family thing’ one that was released for the new third kit, it only whips up more excitement in my mind, so I’m at fever pitch as I type out these words to you this morning. Butterflies in the stomach and everything.

We just don’t know what we’re going to get as well. We’ve seen Arsenal step it up against the big boys and Arteta having a plan for taking on the best teams in the league, but what about those expected to be lower down the league? That’s where we really struggled last season and amassed countless draws in which we just couldn’t finish teams off, or couldn’t hold a lead, against teams where we really should have. I’m thinking Brighton away, Watford away, Crystal Palace at home and away. It was so frustrating and that is the challenge that Arteta has to turn this Arsenal team from the mid table mediocrity of last season in eighth, to genuine challengers for the top four.

I think he has the capability to do it. It is whether he can squeeze any more juice from some of these very flawed players.

He hasn’t exactly been dealt the easiest of cards to start the season with though, has he? I mean for today’s game Fulham have zero injuries, whereas we have seven, which is the highest in the league of any team. It does feel like we’ve spent the best part of ten year’s in the Premier League Injury table top three. It would be nice if Mikel Arteta could at least have one period of time in which he has a full deck of playing cards to play with. What also happens with Arsenal is they are usually all in one position and so it seems for today too. We have Mustafi, Mari, Luiz, Chambers and Sokratis all out injured. That’s FIVE first team players in one position all out. It’s crazy. Mikel has admitted that we are imbalanced as a squad in certain positions but with the injuries we get it does feel like we should be able to stockpile about eight players for every position!

What I think it means for today is interesting though, because we’ve been playing three at the back since the end of last season and I think the players have got into the swing of that formation, but who is deployed there will be fascinating. I think certainly Holding will start, then I think Tierney’s position deputing at left-centre half will also happen. But on that right hand side it will have to be one of the new guys. Saliba or Gabriel though? If I had to guess I’d say Saliba as he’s been training with the team longer and Gabriel is a left-footed centre half, which we know Mikel likes to deploy on that left side of the three. If that happens though, who plays on the left?

The options are Saka, Maitland-Niles or Kolasinac. Personally I would play Saka as I think it will give us a bit more in terms of trickery in the final third, but Maitland-Niles has shown an engine and physicality that we know Mikel likes. Saka’s final ball distribution is also far superior. But perhaps Mikel is trying to convince Ainsley he’ll have a big role to play this season?

On the right I think it’ll be Bellerin and I just hope he has the opportunity to continue the good form we saw from the big games at Wembley.

In goal it’ll be Leno as Martinez is left out and whilst I think that’s a real shame that he’s on his way, I have no problems with Leno, unless he brain farts today and then everyone will be super panicky about letting the Argentine go.

In midfield I think Xhaka and Ceballos has to be pretty much nailed on, but where we have a dearth of options in defence, the same can certainly not be said in attack, as Arteta has a wealth of players to choose from. If we play three at the back then we’re looking at three in the pointy end of the pitch and in those positions Arteta has to choose from Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nelson, Willian, Pepe, as well as Nketiah. I suspect we’ll see a familiar look to the team. I’m not sure if Willian makes the starting XI but he’s the only one I’d have a question mark over. Personally I’d love to see him on the left, Aubameyang through the centre and Pepe on the right, but I think it’ll start with Auba on the left, Laca through the middle and Pepe on the right, like the Cup Final. That ‘feels’ to me like what Arteta will do in the first game, but there will be plenty of options on the bench for him.

Certainly if Guendouzi and Ozil are both now available for selection. In addition to those two, there’s a Willock who is a year older, Torreira, Kolasinac and Cedric who haven’t really been mentioned by me so far. So we have an experienced bench. The question is who Arteta even picks for that and I do wonder if there might be a surprise in store. Maybe if Ozil has been training like a ‘beast’ then he might get to the bench? You never know.

As for Fulham, who knows what we’ll get. They’ll have the confidence of a team full of spunk having just been promoted and no doubt ex-Tottenham man Scott ‘Scotty’ Parker will be trying his best Churchillian impression. I just hope he goes full Gilet Sherwood today because we could do without an inspired performance from them given our run in for the start of this season. We need maximum points from today and West Ham next weekend because it starts to get a bit scary after that.

In the Championship Fulham were a possession-based side with the ball firmly on the deck. Against lesser teams not in the Premier League if you’ve got better quality then that works and got them up. But against Premier League teams that won’t cut it I don’t think. You wouldn’t expect Fulham to have much of the ball today so how does their counter attacking options stack up? We know they have Mitrovic and he’s the guy where most of their goals come from, but he’s not rapid and if we can isolate him then it may be beneficial for us. They have signed KNockheart who has a bit of pace and trickery about him and will look to new signing Lemina to sit in front of the back four for protection today I reckon. I think they’ll rely on an instant connection between Knockheart and Mitrovic. I just hope that doesn’t get started in earnest today.

Fingers crossed guys – only a few hours to go!



https://www.suburbangooners.com/2020/09/12/fulham-v-arsenal-match-preview-sept-2020/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 10:24:32 AM

Arsenal at Fulham: the 38-match quest begins

The Gunners need to take more points off the bottom teams. Fulham is a bottom team. Arsenal should take 3 points.

Arsenal visit Fulham to open the 2020-21 Premier League campaign today, and it’s important the Gunners lay down a marker. I’ll be banging this drum all season — Arsenal’s finish will be determined more by how they fare against weaker opponents than against the top of the league.

The Gunners dropped too many points (6) against the bottom 3 last season. Fulham are expected to be in the bottom 3 this year. Arsenal need to feast today. They also dropped too many points from winning positions last year. Arsenal need to get out to an early lead tomorrow and hold onto it.

I think it’s going to be important for Arsenal to score early this season. Yes, it’s a good thing for any team to score early, but I think it’s especially important for the Gunners. They struggled against teams that sat back, played a low block, and looked to counter/exploit mistakes. It’s tougher to do that when you’re chasing a match. Arsenal need to put the teams that want to bunker-in behind the 8-ball.

Since I wrote the preview yesterday, Arsenal released some good news on the injury front. It doesn’t affect today’s game, but it’s good news going forward. Both Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi are expected back in October. That’s a big improvement for Chambers and a small (but still good) one for Mustafi. Pablo Mari is expected in full training some time this month. David Luiz’s status is unknown — he could miss up to 6 weeks with his neck injury. Gabriel Martinelli is expected in full training by the end of the calendar year.

Fulham have all players available for selection today.

Lineups will be posted when released. Check out Nathan’s predicted 11 and see how many he got correct!

WHAT: Arsenal at Fulham
WHERE: Craven Cottage
WHEN: Saturday, September 12th 4:30 AM PT | 7:30 AM ET | 12:30 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN and Universo (SP). Stream available from fuboTV ($)

Because it is being televised, the match will NOT be live on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service. All televised matches will be available for replay at 9 PM the evening of the match.



https://theshortfuse.sbnation.com/2020/9/12/21433450/fulham-arsenal-game-time-tv-channels-match-thread-how-to-watch-premier-league-online-streaming
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 10:30:09 AM
It's a survival of the fittest for the Premier League's newboys... there's no place like home for Leeds United, Fulham have something to prove after bouncing back under Scott Parker while West Brom are aiming for a rock-solid defence

    Only 55 per cent of the teams that are promoted to the Premier League survive
    Newcomers Fulham, West Brom and Leeds are hoping to make a quick impact
    Sportsmail has taken a look at how they will fare in the top-flight this campaign

When it comes to English football, the Premier League is the place to be. Whether it be the increased quality, the larger crowds, the financial reward or the prestige of the league, every club longs for a place in the top-flight.

But of those who are lucky enough to make it into the top division, just over half survive their first season in the Premier League. More often than not, teams do the hard work to achieve promotion but struggle to find their form on the big stage.

This year, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United will try their luck, but do they have what it takes to last the Premier League's survival of the fittest?

Sportsmail take a look at how the newly promoted teams will fare in the top-flight this season.

Fulham

Fulham are back in the big time after securing promotion the Premier League following their play-off final win over Brentford last season.

The club claimed a 2-1 win in extra time following a goalless draw over 90 minutes against the Beeds at Wembley.

Fulham are no strangers to the Premier League, having most recently featured in the 2018-2019 campaign. But the Cottagers lasted just one season in the top-flight after winning the Championship play-offs under Slavisa Jokanovic.
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050804-8722101-image-a-4_1599821118499.jpg)
Slavisa Jokanovic previously helped Fulham reach the Premier League before being sacked

The Serbian was sacked in November with the club later crashing out of the league after only mustering 26 points, with the squad failing to gel after some heavy investment saw 13 players arrive at Craven Cottage.

Their disappointing Premier League run saw opposing teams put a total of 81 goals past them, causing the Cottagers to lose 26 of their 38 games.

Looking towards the future, Fulham will be desperate to avoid the same fate as they return to the top-flight for the 2020-2021 season under Scott Parker.

Fulham may have the Championships joint-top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic and a range of promising midfield options, but the squad have struggled to achieve the free-flowing attacking style that was expected of them last season.   
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050686-8722101-image-a-1_1599820995170.jpg)
Attacking responsibility will fall to Aleksandar Mitrovic for the upcoming 2020-2021 season

They achieved their success by placing emphasis on possession over penetration. The Cottagers made more passes than any other Championship side last season, but struggled to find the back of the net, with more than six teams bypassing them in their goalscoring tally.

While Parker did a remarkable job in getting them out of the Championship, their troubles in front of goal stemmed from their inability to counter, having created the least counter-attack chances in the division – an issue they must address before beginning their Premier League campaign.

With Fulham potentially struggling to score in the Premier League, responsibility will fall to Mitrovic.
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050730-8722101-image-m-3_1599821065841.jpg)
The step up in quality may prove difficult for their team captain and midfielder Tom Cairney

Mitrovic played an instrumental role in Fulham's attack last season, contributing to 49.1 per cent of their goals when he was on the pitch.  He had a similar involvement during the club's stint in the Premier League in 2018-2019, contributing for 46 per cent of goals.

Fulham’s attacking flare may also be hindered by Scott Parker’s trademark slow tempo. Players such as Anthony Knockaert – who has experience of the top-flight football with Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester City – has struggled to make a mark under given the teams tactics.

In addition, team captain and midfielder Tom Cairney may be problematic for the Cottagers as the crucial Championship player struggles to create chances in Premier League.

Cairney flopped in the Premier League last time around, scoring just one goal and registering one assist.
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050870-8722101-image-a-5_1599821163370.jpg)
Fulham will struggle to survive in the Premier League while playing at Scott Parker's tempo

West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion have returned to the Premier League after two years, having finished second in the Championship behind Leeds United.

At the helm is manager Slaven Bilic, who masterminded a second placed finish with West Brom during his first season in charge at the Hawthorns. 

Under his tutelage, West Brom had the third-best defensive record in the Championship last season, having conceded 45 goals in 46 matches.

The Baggies kept 14 clean sheets over the course of the season, just eight short of the champions Leeds. 

(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050892-8722101-image-a-6_1599821194676.jpg)
Manager Slaven Bilic and West Bromwich Albion will feature in the Premier League this season
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050914-8722101-image-a-7_1599821259917.jpg)
Defensive responsibilities in the Premier League will most likely fall to Kyle Bartley (right)


That being said, West Brom have at times looked loose at the back with their first clean sheet not coming until February of this year and having only achieved five of their 14 clean sheets at home. 

A leaky defense is something West Brom have struggled with before, having conceded 62 goals in the 2018-2019 season. Given the step up in quality at the Premier League, West Brom will need to start quickly or risk being punished.   

Defensive responsibilities in the Premier League will most likely fall to Kyle Bartley – who recorded the most clearances, blocks, interceptions in the team last season.

Bartley also completed the highest number of successful passes in the team – with a 83 per cent accuracy rate.

Right-back Darnell Furlong , meanwhile, could be the secret to their goal-scoring success, having registered 126 crosses from open play last season. That is just one fewer than winger Matt Phillips managed despite starting eight less games.
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050928-8722101-image-a-8_1599821301528.jpg)
Right-back Darnell Furlong could be the secret to their goal-scoring success this season

Leeds United 

Leeds have always been defensively sound as the Whites earned a place in the top-flight by utilising some exciting full-back options and prioritising possession. 

The swashbuckling style of Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa has seen them win the Championship while keeping 22 clean sheets - a total that beat their closest competitor by five.

In addition, the team conceded just 35 goals in 2019-20, the lowest total in the league, averaging at 0.8 per game.

It is proven that Leeds perform their best at Elland Road, keeping 59.1 per cent of their clean sheets there. This could either play into their favour as they host Premier League clubs, or could see them crumble under the pressure of playing away.

(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33050986-8722101-image-a-9_1599821331209.jpg)
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is yet to choose is first choice keeper for the season
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33051012-8722101-image-m-12_1599821390064.jpg)
Kiko Casilla was the first choice last season, but was banned for eight matches for racial abuse


As it stands, Marcelo Bielsa's first choice keeper for the 2020-2021 season is undecided.

Kiko Casilla was the first choice between the sticks at the start of last season, but he missed the end of their campaign due to an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racial abuse. 

Illan Meslier stepped in to perform for Leeds, starting all 10 of their final games and kept five clean sheets while doing so.

Defensively, Leeds are known for sitting deep and focusing on their counter-attacking principles, but this may be somewhat more difficult in the Premiership.

The Whites scored a total of 77 goals last season which was the second-highest in the Championship. However, if you were compare that tally to the score of those who have previously been promoted to the Premiership, Leeds’ predicted number of goals in the top-flight next season equates to a lesser total than Sheffield United and Bournemouth recorded last term.
 
(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/11/11/33051030-8722101-image-a-11_1599821384815.jpg)
Illan Meslier stepped in, starting all 10 of their final games and kept five clean sheets



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8722101/How-Premier-League-newboys-Fulham-West-Bromwich-Albion-Leeds-United-fare-season.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 10:31:03 AM
Match Day 1: Fulham vs Arsenal…Let the EPL season begin!

And the wait is over! Premi.er League football is back and I am sure we are all very excited.

First and foremost, I hope that the season goes without any issues and the Covid-19 situation will be under control and that stadiums will soon be full again. Football stadium without fans are not the same and even visioning the games from our cozy sofas is not the same without hearing and seeing the fans singing their Club’s glory or booing players…

How nice is it that we start our season with a London derby? It is also nice to have another London team in the EPL and personally, I never disliked Fulham. They have made some shrewed business from the French league getting Areola (he is a very good GK) and Tete (he is a good back up full back) and most importantly, they have a very clever coach in Scott Parker.

I feel like there are a lot of similarities between Parker and Arteta. Both very good midfielders with good defensive contributions and great understanding of the game. Parker has re-energized Fulham like Arteta did with Arsenal and both are young coaches leading historic London clubs although our club of course has a much richer and better history 😛

When it comes to the confrontations, it seems that Fulham is the best club at losing London derbies so let this streak continue today and then they can win against Tottenham and Chelsea. I think we have not lost to Fulham in a long time and also not lost to a newly promoted team on MD1 in a very long time. It seems past confrontation’s statistics give us an edge but…

Fulham is going to come out fighting and with passion to prove to EPL clubs that they belong to this league so I am expecting a tough battle at Craven Cottage and our defensive injuries are not going to help:

    Chambers, Mari, Mustafi, Sokratis and Luiz are out;
    ESR and Martinelli too

Apparently, Willian has been training well and he may just get a start today along with Saliba and Gabriel who would slot in for injured players so here is the potential line-up:

Leno – Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney – Bellerin, El Neny, Xhaka, Saka – Willian, Laca, Auba

COYG! Make us proud today! Let us win MD1 and start the season on a positive note



https://arsenalarsenal.net/2020/09/12/match-day-1-fulham-vs-arsenal-let-the-epl-season-begin/
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:02:49 AM
Fulham vs Arsenal prediction: How will Premier League fixture play out today?

The Gunners travel to Craven Cottage fresh from winning the Community Shield against Liverpool

Arsenal travel to Fulham in the lunchtime kick-off as the Premier League returns.

The Gunners are in fine form after beating Chelsea and Liverpool to win both the FA Cup and Community Shield.

Mikel Arteta will be targeting a place in this season’s top four as he begins his first full season in charge at the Emirates.

While Scott Parker will be looking solely at survival after guiding the Cottagers back to the top flight through the play-offs.

Here’s everything you need to know, including our prediction for the match at Craven Cottage.

What time is kick-off?

The match kicks off at Craven Cottage in London at 12:30pm.

What TV channel is it on?

The game will be broadcast on BT Sport 1.

Subscribers can also stream the match online via the BT Sport app.

What’s the team news?
Mikel Arteta will be without David Luiz (neck), Emile Smith Rowe (shoulder), Sokratis (calf), Pablo Mari (ankle), Gabriel Martinelli (knee), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) and Calum Chambers (knee). Gabriel has not started a game since March. But there will be full debuts for Willian and William Saliba. Emi Martinez will be out here as he nears a move away.
Kenny Tete signed on Thursday, so this one should come too soon for him at right-back. Loanee Alphonse Areola is pushing for a start.

Predicted line-ups
Fulham XI:  Areola, Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Reed, Cairney, Knockaert, Onomah, Reid, Mitrovic
Arsenal XI: Leno, Saliba, Holding, Tierney, Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Willian, Aubameyang, Saka

Odds

Fulham 5/1

Draw 10/3

Arsenal 8/15

Prediction

Mikel Arteta’s side are flying right now and the harmony in the group is just perfect as the Gunners look to build on last season and climb back into the top four. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be a handful for the Cottagers on their Premier League return and while there is understandable optimism that lessons will be learned from their last time in the top flight, the Gunners will have too much here and pull away in a 2-0 victory.



https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/fulham-vs-arsenal-prediction-premier-league-2020-form-odds-today-latest-b421524.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:27:07 AM
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:27:59 AM
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:29:13 AM
Fulham XI vs Arsenal: Confirmed team news, starting lineup, latest injuries for Premier League today

Fulham make their Premier League return when they host Arsenal at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

Scott Parker has pledged to keep the core of the side which won promotion going into the new campaign, vowing the club will not make the same mistakes that caused them to go down two years ago.

Instead of overhauling the squad, Parker is looking to evolve it by strengthening areas for "one of the toughest leagues in the world."

Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete are the most recent arrivals, following Harrison Reed's move being made permanent along with deals for Mario Lemina and Antonee Robinson.

Parker faces a call in midfield against the Gunners as to who starts alongside captain Tom Cairney in the two ahead of Reed.

Josh Onomah starred at the end of the season but Parker may well turn to the experience of Lemina, who has plenty of games in the Premier League and Champions League under his belt, considering the opposition.

(https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2020/09/11/14/fulhamarsenal110920a.png?w530)
Predicted Fulham XI to face Arsenal (4-3-3): Areola; Tete, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Lemina, Cairney; Decordova-Reid, Knockaert, Mitrovic



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-xi-vs-arsenal-confirmed-team-news-starting-lineup-latest-injuries-today-a4545571.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:30:24 AM
Arsenal XI vs Fulham: Confirmed team news, starting lineup, latest injuries for Premier League today

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has somewhat of a headache at the back going into the first Premier League game of the season.

The Gunners visit newly promoted London rivals Fulham today in the season curtain-raiser but will be without David Luiz after the Brazilian suffered a neck spasm.

Fellow defenders Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis will all also be absent - however William Saliba could step in for his Premier League debut.

Speaking ahead of the opener, Arteta said: "We have a few issues around the squad, that is something normal we have to adapt. It is not ideal to start the season with key players out. We have enough, really good players and tomorrow we will have a plan to win our first game."

Summer signing Willian is also in contention to start after his exit from Chelsea, and Arteta has been impressed by what he has seen from the winger, and his compatriot Gabriel Magalhaes, in training.

The Arsenal boss said: "They have trained really well, adapted quickly. It is a big challenge, both players are in different phases of their careers."

(https://static.standard.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2020/09/11/13/arsenalfulham110920-0.png?w530)
Predicted Arsenal XI to face Fulham (3-4-3): Leno; Holding, Saliba, Tierney; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles; Willian, Aubameyang, Nketiah



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-xi-vs-fulham-confirmed-team-news-starting-lineup-latest-injuries-today-a4545551.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:32:36 AM
Bristol City fans left confused over Joe Bryan trolling claim ahead of Premier League return

The left-back fired Fulham back to the Premier League

Bristol City fans have been left confused following Joe Bryan's claim about his early years in the first-team at Ashton Gate.

The former Robins left-back is preparing for his return to the Premier League after scoring twice for Fulham in their victorious Championship play-off final last month.

Bryan left City to join Fulham in 2018 and received nothing but well-wishes from fans who understood his desire to play in the Premier League.

Indeed, it appeared that Bryan appreciated City fans too, as he refunded anyone who had got his name printed on the back of their shirts for the 2018/19 season.

So it came as some surprise when Bryan made a claim about some City fans' treatment of him on social media in an interview with the Times.

Bryan was talking about when his father performed heart surgery on Gary Johnson in March 2017 and said that some City fans said it meant he got preferential treatment at the club and a spot in the first-team.

After being asked about his starring role in the Cottagers' play-off final, Bryan responded self-deprecatingly.

He said: "Hopefully, people will begin to see I’m quite good at football, perhaps."

The article went on to explain how City fans allegedly trolled Bryan after news of Johnson's operation and then-Robins boss Lee Johnson's gratitude towards Bryan's father was made public.

Bryan said: "It was a bit of a strange time. My dad didn’t tell me until afterwards.

"There was the whole aspect of patient/doctor confidentiality but it came out, not through Dad, and Bristol City got a load of complaints saying it shouldn't have come out in the press.

"But it was a nice story so I just got on with it.

"I had a few tweets saying: ‘Now I know why you play so many games. Because you’re rubbish. Your dad saved your manager’s dad’s life. You must have gone and said, ‘Play me because my dad saved his life’.

"I can confirm I did not do that."

Yet Bryan had already made 150 appearances for the Robins by the time of Johnson's operation and many City fans were confused over the 26-year-old's claims.

It was not helped by the Times' headline, which read: 'Fans said I was only picked because my dad saved the boss's dad's life.'

The interview prompted plenty of reaction and questions from Robins supporters on social media.

"Never heard anyone say that about you being picked," one commented. "Remember you are one of our own."

Another sent Bryan a message saying he should have ignored any critics he faced.

They said: "Never heard anyone say that Joe, disappointed you feel that way.

"Every fan I know was solidly behind you."

Yet others argued that fans are looking back on Bryan's reception at the Robins with rose-tinted spectacles.

One supporter said: "Just a quick look on forums or Facebook groups show that unfortunately he regularly got grief."

Another added: "The abuse would have been directed to him personally so of course you wouldn't see it."



https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/bristol-city-fans-left-confused-4509714
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
Post by: whitejc on September 12, 2020, 11:34:22 AM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EhtNZVdX0AAHdnx?format=png&name=large)