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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:45:04 AM

Title: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:45:04 AM
Fulham complete double transfer deal as Wilson and Gazzaniga deals tied up

Fulham have signed Harry Wilson from Liverpool and Paulo Gazzaniga on a free transfer.

Wilson has signed a five-year deal. The 24-year-old spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan at Cardiff City, where he scored seven goals in 37 appearances for the Welsh club.

Speaking to FFC TV, Wilson said: “I’m delighted to sign for Fulham. From my first chat with the gaffer on the phone, I loved what he was saying and felt that he understood me as a player, and that played a massive role in me coming here.

“The ambition of the club to get back into the Premier League appealed to me as that’s where we all want to be. I’m hoping I can come here, have a good season and help get the club back into the Premier League.”

Gazzaniga arrives at Craven Cottage after his contract at Tottenham expired. He has signed a two-year deal with the Whites.

Speaking to FFC TV, Gazzaniga said: “Fulham is a great club. I love the challenge and I think this is an excellent opportunity for me.

“When they spoke of the project here at Fulham the decision was easy. The Championship is a very strong league and I am looking forward to getting started.”

Fulham co-owner and director of football Tony Khan added: “I’m delighted to welcome Harry Wilson and Paulo Gazzaniga to Fulham football club this evening.

“Harry’s been a very productive player in his young career and his arrival greatly strengthens our attack, as Harry has gained valuable experience in the Championship.

“He helped lead Derby to the play-off final at Wembley in 2019, and he’s an important goalscoring threat who also has provided good service to his team-mates and is highly regarded for his contributions on set-pieces.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Paulo to Fulham as well, we believe he’ll be a valuable addition to our squad. He’s had many clubs pursuing him since his contract expired, and I’m glad that he chose to come to Fulham.

“All of us at the club are working hard to ensure we give ourselves and the beloved Fulham supporters our best possible chance to succeed this season, and I’m sure that both Harry and Paulo will help us in our pursuit of another promotion.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:46:38 AM
Details of Harry Wilson transfer as Liverpool ensure contract clause is inserted in deal

The 24-year-old winger has completed a £12m move to Fulham after failing to break into the Liverpool first-team

 Harry Wilson's departure from Liverpool has been confirmed after the 24-year-old winger signed for Fulham for a fee of £12m on Saturday.

The Welshman came through the academy with the Reds but never quite did enough to break into the first-team, and was sent out on a total of five loan spells, including most recently at Cardiff for the 2020-21 campaign where he managed seven goals and 12 assists in the Championship.

Fulham clearly feel that he is a signing which could help them once again bounce back from the disappointment of relegation from the Premier League to earn promotion at the first time of asking, and Wilson has penned a four-year deal until 2025 with the option of a fifth.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are clearly wary that Wilson could yet go on to become a successful player, and according to Goal they have cannily inserted a 15 per cent sell-on clause in the deal.

Speaking to FFCtv after the move was confirmed, Wilson said: "I'm delighted to sign for Fulham. From my first chat with the gaffer on the phone, I loved what he was saying and felt that he understood me as a player, and that played a massive role in me coming here.

"The ambition of the club to get back into the Premier League appealed to me as that's where we all want to be. I'm hoping I can come here, have a good season and help get the club back into the Premier League."

In a farewell message on Liverpool's website, meanwhile, a statement read: "Harry Wilson has today completed a transfer to Fulham, bidding farewell to Liverpool after almost 16 years with the club.

"Everyone at Liverpool FC thanks Harry for his contributions to the club and wishes him the best of luck in his future career."

Liverpool have now seen Wilson, Marko Grujic and Gini Wijnaldum depart this summer, and they are clearly planning for a big rebuild.

As of yet the only new arrival is centre-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, but it would be no surprise at all to see further new faces at Anfield in the very near future.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:48:07 AM
Paulo Gazzaniga issues five-word message to Fulham supporters as transfer confirmed

Paulo Gazzaniga has taken to his personal Twitter account to issue a message to supporters outlining his delight at making the move following the confirmation of his switch from Tottenham Hotspur.

The keeper’s arrival, alongside Harry Wilson, at Craven Cottage was confirmed by the club’s official website on Saturday and it was revealed that he has signed a two-year deal with Fulham.

That comes with the 29-year-old having left Tottenham Hotspur at the end of his deal with them earlier on in the summer.

The 29-year-old comes into the squad to replace Alphonse Areola after his loan spell at Craven Cottage came to an end.

Gazzaniga only managed to make 37 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham during his four-season stay with the club. The keeper spent time on loan at La Liga side Elche last term and made eight appearances for them.

Following Gazzaniga’s arrival at Fulham, he took to his personal Twitter account to issue a five-word message to supporters indicating his excitement at joining the club and that he can not wait to get started ahead of the new Championship campaign.

The Verdict

The signing of Gazzaniga appears to be a smart one from Fulham and the 29-year-old will provide plenty of competition and quality in the goalkeeping department.

The keeper managed to display some fine form in front of goal during his brief appearances for Tottenham in the Premier League and also with Southampton in his spell at St Mary’s.

The 29-year-old will be wanting to get more game time with Fulham than he was able to get with Tottenham. He has the quality to be a regular starter in the Championship and Macro Silva clearly feels that he is the right addition to make to his goalkeeping department this summer.

This message should endear himself to Fulham’s supporters and it will be interesting to see if Gazzaniga can come into the squad and have a major impact for them.

He might be able to pull off some excellent saves that help to win them some vital extra points in their promotion push and if he can do that he will have proven to be the right addition to the squad.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:50:18 AM
Harry Wilson makes admission after completing Fulham transfer

New Fulham signing Harry Wilson has admitted that he is delighted to have to joined the club from Liverpool this summer, during a recent interview that he gave to the club’s official website.

The 24-year-old Welshman arrived at Craven Cottage for a reported fee of £12 million and will be looking to make another lasting impact at Sky Bet Championship level after spending the last couple of seasons out on loan from Anfield.

A winger by trade who can also play in the number 10 position, Wilson has signed a contract with the Whites until the summer of 2026 and will be looking to make a good impression under the guidance of Marco Silva.

Speaking recently after completing the move to West London, Wilson had this to say:

"Delighted. I think from my first chat with the gaffer on the phone a couple of weeks ago, I loved what he was saying.

“He’d watched me and studied me as a player, so that played a massive role in me coming here and I think the ambition of the club to get back into the Premier League is something that we can all get behind.

“So yeah, I’ve come here to have a good season and I want to get the club back into the Premier League.”

Wilson spent last season on loan at Cardiff City and racked up an impressive seven goals and 11 assists for the Bluebirds across all competitions.

The Wales international leaves Liverpool after making just two first team appearances.

The Verdict

The signing of Wilson will certainly make a lot of people sit up and take notice in the Championship, because the reported fee that was paid by the Whites is eye opening to say the least.

It’s a big investment for Fulham to make at this level and it shows just how strong they can be in the current transfer window when so many other sides are affected by the pandemic.

A lot of pressure will be put on his shoulders to perform as a result of this and I think it will be intriguing to see how he gets on in Silva’s system.

I think this could be the signing of the summer in the second tier if Wilson can repeat the type of form that he showed at both Derby County and Cardiff in the past.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:50:51 AM
Wilson ‘delighted’ to complete Fulham deal

New signing Harry Wilson has told of his delight after completing a permanent move to Fulham from Liverpool yesterday.

The Welsh winger ended a sixteen-year spell at Anfield by signing an initial four-year contract at Craven Cottage this weekend after the Whites moved quickly to sign the 24 year-old for an up front fee believed to be in the region of £10m. In his first interview since sealing the transfer, Wilson shared with FFCTV his happiness at making the move to London:

“I’m delighted. From my first chat with the gaffer on the phone, I loved what he was saying and felt like he’d watched me, that he understood me as a player, and that played a massive role in me coming here. The ambition of the club to get back into the Premier League appealed to me as that’s where we all want to be. I’m hoping I can come here, have a good season and help get the club back into the Premier League.”

Wilson admitted the attraction of solidifying his future after a series of loan moves in recent years was key in his thinking as he weighed up his future following Euro 2020.

“I’ve had a few loans now. I feel like I’ve done well everywhere I’ve been but to have a permanent home – which I know I’m know I’m going to be at for a few years, at least – it’s great. For my personal life, I can get settled and I’m hoping I will enjoy my time here.”

The winger revealed that new Fulham head coach Marco Silva was a key factor in convincing him to choose Craven Cottage as his destination.

“I think it was a couple of weeks ago [that he first heard of Fulham’s interest]. I had just started my summer break and my agent told me about the interest. It was something that definitely interested me straight away. Like I said, when the new manager here called me up and explained the way he wanted to play, I felt that would suit my game. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get straight into training, get a few games under my belt and attack the season well.”

“I loved what he was saying on the phone. If you look at the teams he’s managed before, they’ve always played attractive football. That’s something we’ll look to play this season and I’m hoping I can add goals and assists to that. I’m an attacking player. I like to get on the ball, make things happen. I pride myself on my numbers – my goals and my assists – and hopefully I can bring a lot of them throughout the season.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:51:46 AM
Arsenal complete signing of Fulham youngster Mika Biereth

Arsenal have completed the signing of highly-rated Fulham center-forward Mika Biereth, according to The Athletic.

Biereth made his debut for the Fulham U18 squad in 2018. He signed a two-year scholarship contract with the club in 2019 and was promoted to the U18 team in the same year. Since then he has racked up 41 appearances for them, scoring 26 goals in the process.

The 18-year-old finished the 20/21 campaign as the U18s Premier League South top scorer, with a remarkable goal-scoring record of 21 goals in 21 appearances. His impressive performances also earned him four appearances for the Fulham U23 side.

As per The Athletic, Biereth has joined the Emirates club after turning down the offer of a professional contract at Craven Cottage. While it is believed the youngster will not join the first-team squad straight away, he could certainly get promoted if he can replicate the goal-scoring record he showcased at Fulham.

The teenager will join an academy that has produced regular first-team starters and perhaps that could be the reason why he snubbed a contract offer from the Cottagers.

The Gunners have already secured the signatures of two other youngsters, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares. The hierarchy will look to provide Mikel Arteta with players who can improve the current squad and push for the coveted Champion League spot next season.

Arsenal Fever View:

The rise of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are perfect examples that the Hale End academy is a pathway to Arsenal’s senior squad. Both of them have come through the academy ranks to secure the iconic No.7 and No.10 shirts.

Biereth predominantly plays as a striker but can also a deployed as a winger with equal effect. He is a physically strong and powerful player with impressive technical abilities. He has the ability to control the ball in tight spaces and helps the team progress during an attack.

Apart from precise finishing in front of the goal, the 18-year-old drops deep to create chances for his teammates. This was evident last season as provided 13 assists. He is an exciting prospect to have at the club and one to keep an eye on for the future.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:52:51 AM
Silva salutes Fulham’s progress

Marco Silva praised Fulham’s ‘mentality, desire and work rate’ after watching the Whites match Premier League Southampton in their latest pre-season friendly.

The Championship side claimed a creditable draw thanks to Neeskens Kebano’s late spot-kick after falling behind to Shane Long’s close-range finish shortly before half time. Silva has been pleased with the work of his squad during pre-season and, whilst pleased with the showing against top flight opposition, preferred to focus on the performance of his own players during a post-match interview with FFCTV:

“It was one more game for us. We are working in the same way that we did for the other matches. The boys have shown mentality, desire, work rate – everything was there – and we are starting to see some things that have been working on in the games. It is a matter of process. We have to keep improving, there are many things to improve. Our players are working really hard.

The most important thing for us is what we can do with our players – respecting our opponents, of course – but, to be honest, our focus is on our players, what we are able to do and the things we must improve. It is part of football to analyse the opponents, but we answered their questions this afternoon and for a big part of the match we were able to compete with them in the way I want to compete. In general, again we did well.”

Silva is content with Fulham’s progress two weeks after taking over from Scott Parker at Motspur Park – but is targeting further improvements ahead of the final pre-season fixture against Charlton Athletic next weekend.

“We finished the second week today. With some games, we are seeing more and more of the things we are preparing day by day. Of course, next Monday I want to see more and more. We will prepare well for the final pre-season match against Charlton. There are doing all the things that I am asking of them and they are doing well.”

The Portuguese head coach is already looking forward to the prospect of taking charge of his new side at Craven Cottage.

“It is the most important thing about football – when we talk about fans. The last few months was a tough time for everybody, when you feel that you can back to the stadium is good. It will be my first match at Craven Cottage, a special moment, and to be play with fans will be fantastic for us. Because football without them is nothing – we will be stronger with them behind us.”

He also praised the quality of Fulham’s first two signings – goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga and winger Harry Wilson – whilst stressing the need to bring in more players before the end of the transfer window.

“When we add some players, we do our homework to sign them. It is always in our mind to improve our squad. We have quality, some positions we have to improve. I like competition, I want us to be stronger so the players have to fight for each position. We are talking about two players – Gazzaniga and Harry – who have real quality, they want to come to Fulham Football Club and this is really important for me, they want to be here, they want to join this project and they are two very good first signings for us and we must work to sign more players until the end of the month.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:54:31 AM
Fulham: Cottagers complete deal for Harry Wilson

Fulham have recently announced that they have completed a deal to sign midfielder Harry Wilson on a five-year deal from Liverpool.

What’s the story?

Wilson had been with Liverpool since 2005, but was restricted to just two first-team appearances for the Reds over the years.

Loan spells with the likes of Derby County, AFC Bournemouth and Cardiff City have seen Wilson impress at senior level, but that evidently wasn’t enough to see him have an opportunity to impress with Liverpool ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League season.

The 24-year-old has opted to sign for Fulham on a permanent basis, for a fee believed to be in the region of £12million, according to a recent report from The Athletic.

The Cottagers will be targeting promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking this season, and Wilson will be hoping he can play his part in their promotion bid this term.

A real statement of intent
The Welshman first made a name for himself in the 2018/19 season, when he scored 18 goals, and was on hand to provide six assists in total for Derby County, although that campaign ended in frustration, as Frank Lampard’s side were beaten by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Wilson briefly returned to Liverpool in the summer of 2019, before heading out on loan once again, but this time he opted to sign for AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League.

He certainly didn’t look out of place with them either, as he scored seven goals, and provided two assists in his time with the Cherries, as they finished 18th in the top-flight standings, as they were relegated into the second-tier.

So, there might have been an element of surprise when the £15k-per-week star decided to drop back into the Championship in the 2019/20 season, this time with Cardiff City.

Fulham already have some strong options in attacking areas, with the likes of Ivan Cavaleiro, Tom Cairney and Josh Maja showing glimpses of their quality last term, although their efforts weren’t quite enough to see them avoid relegation back into the Championship, whilst under the management of Scott Parker.

Wilson has shown a consistently high level of performance in the loan spells he’s had in the last three seasons, with his Whoscored rating of 6.96 in the 2020/21 season whilst with Cardiff City showing evidence of that. With seven goals and 12 assists to his name in that campaign for Mick McCarthy’s side as well, it was another memorable season for the winger.

It’s somewhat of a coup for a Championship club to strike an agreement so sign a player of Wilson’s quality, with the Welshman showing that he can cut it in the Premier League, having impressed with AFC Bournemouth not so long ago, in a loan spell at the Vitality Stadium.

Relegation from the Premier League can always be a tough transition for clubs, but Fulham are evidently keen to use their financial muscle this summer, and signing a player of Wilson’s quality is a real statement of intent by the Cottagers, as they look to return to the top-flight in the near future.

In a previous interview with Football Insider, former Leeds and Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson felt as though Wilson would have been a good signing for Brentford, who were previously interested in a deal to land his signature, whilst also labelling the midfielder as ‘an amazing player’.

“Wilson is an amazing player though and I would be surprised if only Brentford were looking to sign him at that price.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:55:57 AM
Liverpool Star’s Anfield Exit Claimed To Be Initial Loan, Not Permanent Transfer

Harry Wilson’s move from Liverpool to Fulham is an initial loan and not a permanent transfer, according to journalist Tom Barclay.

The Wales winger has joined Fulham, with the switch being reported as a permanent transfer on a transfer fee tipped to be worth £12m to Liverpool.

However, it has been claimed that Wilson has joined Fulham on an initial loan move.

The deal contains certain criteria which, if met, will turn it into an obligation to buy for a fee of around £9m, with add-ons to potentially take it to £12m.

It is unclear what the criteria are, but they could be simple to achieve as Wilson’s exit from Anfield has been announced as being permanent by Liverpool.

Fulham are also, it has been suggested, only starting to pay for Wilson in 2022 to comply with EFL financial fair play rules.

Wilson spent last season on loan in the Championship at Cardiff City and will again be playing in the division with Fulham.

Benfica wanted to sign Wilson earlier this summer, but the Portuguese giants were unwilling to offer more than £6.5m.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:57:13 AM
Is Harry Wilson’s Fulham move an initial loan?

There are suggestions via well-connected football correspondents on Twitter today that Harry Wilson’s move from Liverpool is an initial loan that will turn permanent further down the line. The Sun’s Tom Barclay, who covered the Whites extensively in the Premier League last year, claims that the transfer is a loan with an obligation to buy at around £9m.

The Athletic’s Fulham correspondent Peter Rutzler has also tweeted that the deal begins as a loan, with a £9m obligation to turn permanent when certain criteria are met. There has been no official confirmation from the club, who referenced the deal being permanent in a video interview with Wilson published this morning.

Liverpool-based reporters, including the Athletic’s James Pearce, yesterday referenced the fact that payments for the transfer have been delayed until 2022 to help Fulham get around the EFL’s stricter financial fair play rules. It remains to be seen what the truth is – even if Barclay and Rutzler are both confident that the deal should eventually turn into a permanent one.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:58:17 AM
Gazzaniga relishing Fulham ‘challenge’

New Fulham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga is relishing the ‘challenge’ of helping the club win promotion from the Championship.

The Argentine international signed a two-year contract at Craven Cottage yesterday, after being released by Tottenham Hotspur last month. The 29 year-old is expected to compete with Marek Rodak for the number one jersey.

Gazzaniga told Fulham FC TV he was excited about a new start.

“I think it is a very interesting club. I like it, I think it is a great club. I love the challenge – and I think this a great challenge for me. The Championship is a very strong league. I always followed the Championship and I like it. It is very interesting for me because it is a lovely challenge.”

The goalkeeper revealed that he had spoken to his former Southampton team-mate Harrison Reed ahead of agreeing his switch to Fulham.

“I spoke to Harry Reed. We played together at Southampton. I text him as soon as I knew I was going to sign him, so I spoke with him a little bit. It was a plus. If you know someone at a new place where you are going, it is always nice.

“My ambition is to train hard, give my best and through this try to help team mates. My objective is to keep growing. At the end, bringing everyone together would be a fantastic experience.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 08:58:46 AM
The battle to be Fulham’s number one

When the news broke that Paulo Gazzaniga was having a medical ahead of joining Fulham this weekend, a lot of fans’ first thoughts will have centred around Marek Rodak. The Slovakian international, who had an outstanding breakthrough season at Craven Cottage as the Whites were promoted from the Championship under Scott Parker, watched most of our doomed Premier League campaign from the bench after Alphonse Areola arrived on loan and the acquisition of another goalkeeper places his hold on the number one jersey under question again.

Rodak’s displays in the Championship shouldn’t have come as a surprise given his string of consistent performances with Rotherham on loan – and he definitely deserves another chance to establish himself in the Fulham goal. Rodak was arguably the division’s most consistent custodian in 2019/2020 – with only Nottingham Forest’s Brice Samba posting statistics to match. Gazzaniga has a fine pedigree as a back-up goalkeeper, having amassed significant top flight experience at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, but would he have signed on the dotted line just to be a number two?

Rodak’s resilience has been tested before. He had a nightmare start to his Fulham career, being sent off at Middlesbrough after being elevated to the first team following some error-strewn performances from Marcus Bettinelli, but bounced back strongly – never looking like relinquishing the shirt. He secured some vital wins in the promotion season, with a succession of fine saves grabbing a win in a tight contest at Swansea, and he bailed Fulham out at Pride Park with some excellent stop against a dominant Derby County. Rodak’s rise was rightly rewarded with international honours and it is intriguing to think about how he might progress under the tutelage of new goalkeeping coach Hugo Oliveira, who played a key part in the emergence of Jan Oblak.

Although frustrated at his lack of first-team football last year, Rodak admitted that he picked up a few useful tips from French World Cup winner Areola. It would be good to see another of Fulham’s academy prospects progress with Rodak’s rise from the FA Youth Cup final side in 2014 to one of the Championship’s strongest performers a source of considerable pride for Huw Jennings and the rest of the Motspur Park coaching staff. He may well learn more from Gazzaniga in training, but he’ll desperately want to be Marco Silva’s first choice.

The theory will be that an experienced Gazzaniga can help push Rodak to new heights. The big shot stopper should be well known to English audiences from his stints with Southampton and Spurs, but he actually shot to prominence during an eye-catching spell with Gillingham after a recommendation from Gary Penrice, who had recognised his potential when watching Valencia’s youth team. Gazzaniga didn’t stay at the Priestfield for long with some superb League Two displays – including a miraculous clean sheet against Oxford that is memorably recounted in Michael Calvin’s The Nowhere Men – seeing compatriot Mauricio Pochettino take him to Southampton in a move that the goalkeeper described as ‘a dream’.

He spent four years at St. Mary’s – largely used as back up to the likes of Kelvin Davis, Artur Boruc and Fraser Forster – but performed well on his rare Premier League outings and was reunited with Pochettino when the Argentine made the move to Tottenham after a successful loan spell with Rayo Vallecano, where he had made 32 appearances. Gazzaniga found it nigh on impossible to dislodge Hugo Floris but when the French captain sustained a serious injury, he seized his opportunity. Having starred against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions’ League a year earlier, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Gazzaniga commanded his goal impressively in both domestic and continental competition and plenty of Spurs fans felt he was unlucky to lose his place when Lloris returned from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Gazzaniga, who got a taste of first team football whilst helping Elche successfully battle against relegation from La Liga in the second half of last season, has already spoken about relishing the challenge with Fulham. That could be taken two ways – he will be up for trying to oust Rodak from the side as well as helping the Cottagers secure an immediate return to the top flight. As a tall, commanding and confident shot stopper, who is good on crosses, he certainly has the credentials to be a success in the Championship – and there is an element of doubt about whether Silva has brought him in to replace Fabri or with a view to installing him as the new number one. Whatever the manager’s intentions, it is clear that Fulham have two quality goalkeepers ahead of the start of the new Championship campaign and that can’t be sniffed at.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:00:30 AM

Cottage Talk Special Episode: The Jack & Loz Interview

Take a listen to a podcast that focuses on Fulham Football Club.

This was a special interview with Fulham supporters Jacqui Button and Lorraine Hughes who have a great blog about the club. They also just wrote a book called Crossing The Line.

We discussed their journey as Fulham supporters, along with talking about their new book. We finished with their thoughts on the upcoming season which included a talk about the newest Fulham signings.

You can also listen to the show by following this link...
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:01:49 AM
A Letter From Stefan Johansen


Following his departure from the Club, Stefan Johansen has written the below letter to the Fulham fans…

I couldn’t leave without saying thank you to you, the supporters.

Fulham has meant a lot to both me and my family. It’s been five years of ups and downs, but it’s the ups that I will always remember, especially the Play-Off Final against Villa, which was one of the best atmospheres and experiences I’ve ever felt at a game.

The Club means a lot to me, and the fans will always be in my heart. Fulham has always been, and still is, a family club. And I really felt that when I first arrived. I felt welcome immediately. The support was great. There have been some tough times but there have been good times as well, and those are the ones that you will always remember.

What the supporters have given me is incredible. From day one I have always felt welcome, and that’s something that will always be in my heart. I really appreciated that support that you’ve given me over the last five years.

I’m looking forward to returning to Craven Cottage for our match in October. Fulham was five years of my career, and my life, and it was also my family’s life for five years. Five great years, the longest I have ever spent at a club. To come back to the Cottage will be a special, special thing for me, because you meant a lot to me and my family.

It was fantastic working with the boys every day, too. We were more than just teammates. It’s one thing to work together, but what was special about the group of players we had when I came in was that we had a real friendship as well. On the pitch things worked well, but off the pitch we were real mates, too. We wanted to fight for each other. A lot of us have moved on now, but that’s how football is. We will still keep in touch. We’ve created memories that will stay with us until we’re old. It’s been fantastic in that sense. Being part of that team gave me something that I will never forget.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on Fulham’s results. Thank you again for your support these last five years.

Take care, and see you soon.

Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:03:58 AM
Fulham set to sign Swansea midfielder Matt Grimes with captain's impending departure a key factor behind manager Steve Cooper's decision to leave

    Swansea midfielder and captain Matt Grimes is set to secure a move to Fulham
    Grimes was the subject of interest from Southampton and Newcastle United
    The 26-year-old's impending departure played a part in Steve Cooper leaving

Swansea City captain Matt Grimes is closing on a move to Fulham.

The pending sale of the 26-year-old midfielder was thought to be one of the contributing factors to Steve Cooper deciding to leave Swansea last week.

Grimes is one of the most consistent performers in the Championship and has attracted attention from Premier League clubs such as Southampton and Newcastle United.
Fulham are set to complete the signing of Swansea midfielder and captain Matt Grimes

He is due to undergo a medical next week.

Fulham are continuing to build a capable squad for new boss Marco Silva having signed Harry Wilson from Liverpool in a £12m deal at the weekend and former Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.

Swansea are looking for a new manager to succeed Cooper after leading candidate John Eustace opted to stay at QPR.

Eustace had an interview with Swansea last week and provisionally agreed to join but had second thoughts over the weekend.

So far in this transfer window Swansea have brought in Liam Walsh, Kyle Joseph and Joel Piroe.

The club's pre-season preparations have been affected by positive coronavirus cases, with the friendly against Bristol Rovers having been cancelled.

Swansea get their Championship campaign underway on August 7 when they face Blackburn away.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:05:27 AM
Farewell, Stefan Johansen: Fulham’s unstinting heartbeat

It is fair to say that Stefan Johansen’s Fulham career didn’t get off to auspicious start. The Norwegian midfielder was hauled off just 32 minutes into a disastrous debut against Birmingham City, full of misplaced passes, nerves and mistimed tackles. He looked horribly out of place in the unforgiving heat of the Championship. It serves as a timely reminder about the perils of rushing to judgement. Johansen’s departure for Queens Park Rangers this weekend hits particularly hard for two reasons: first, the nagging sense that he was shabbily treated after his part in two Fulham promotions and, secondly, for his pivotal role at the heart of arguably the most stylish Fulham side in two decades.

Looking back at it now, snaring Johansen from Celtic for a smidgeon over £2m was the sort of steal master criminals would still be dining out on. It is impossible to understate his importance in the side that Slavisa Jokanovic built. He quickly shook off that shambolic debut to become an automatic selection in central midfield, dovetailing deliciously with the defensively-minded Kevin McDonald and Fulham’s creative hub Tom Cairney. Supporters may fondly recall that Johansen was more than happy to break up opposition attacks with scant regard for the rules, but he was a midfield craftsman in his own right too.

For every cynical challenge like that the one that floored Cameron Jerome in the play-off semi-final, there was a majestic strike like the one that settled the west London derby at Loftus Road. The Norwegian had the happy knack of delivering decisive goals to put Fulham’s promotion push back on track – opening the scoring with a beautiful volley at Burton, when the Brewers looked like nullifying our dominance on a bitterly cold night, and cracking open a similarly miserly Norwich rearguard in another crucial clash. He weighed in with eleven goals in his first season at Craven Cottage as the Whites felt the pain of the play-offs at Reading, but Jokanovic was putting together the building blocks of something even bigger.

A further eleven goals followed in the next campaign – impressive considering Ollie Norwood’s emergence as a credible understudy in the Fulham midfield – including several strikes that settled a stuttering start to the season, where Jokanovic’s side struggled to impose their will on emboldened opponents. There were more iconic moments, such as his gesticulating to James Maddison as the gifted midfielder became frustrated at being completely outplayed at Carrow Road, his winner against Nottingham Forest, a brilliant fourth goal on Boxing Day at Cardiff and, of course, the critical chest control that set up Ryan Sessegnon for that vital opener against Derby in the play-offs. Not to mention the way he found Sessegnon at Wembley in the build up to Cairney’s memorable finish.

Johansen’s influence wasn’t confined to cultured assists or massive goals, however. By far his biggest asset was his boundless energy. His ceaseless running was a key part of the way Fulham’s possession football matched up to the more agricultural methods of some Championship opposition and his willingness to mix it up in pursuit of victory made him a cult hero. Johansen’s footballing ability – he was never found lacking in the Champions’ League at Celtic – couldn’t legitimately be questioned and that midfield trio produced some of the most spellbinding football seen at Craven Cottage since Jean Tigana stalked the touchline. There’s no finer compliment than that.

There’s something else that stood out about Johansen. He was a model professional, whose pursuit of excellence was limitless. He once told the Norwegian press on international duty that he felt the only way he could belong in such exalted company at international level was to prove it in training every day. You could almost see him take that attitude onto the field as well.

He’s been considered a role model in his homeland for many years – as evidenced by his elevation to the national team captaincy – and struck a serious blow for social justice in signing up to an equal pay agreement with the Norwegian women’s skipper Maren Mjelde in Trafalgar Square in December 2017. I saw his considerate side in his dealings with a number of disabled supporters and had personal experience of it, when he walked over to engage in conversation when I was waiting for someone else at Motspur Park. When I asked why he’d approached me (he surely hadn’t committed my drunken acclaim at Preston train station to memory), he said he didn’t want me to feel left out. Such is the mark of man. He fully merits mention alongside his compatriots Brede Hangeland and Erik Nevland in Fulham folklore.

It was totally understandable that Johansen grew tired of being jettisoned after playing a pivotal role in lifting Fulham out of the Championship. He might not have been up to the mark required to pull Fulham away from the Premier League relegation zone – his fighting qualities wouldn’t harmed our position – but he deserved better than being discarded from Scott Parker’s squad without discussion. He’s demonstrated that he is still a force to be reckoned with at Championship level and he deserves the chance to continue QPR’s resurgence under Mark Warburton. We’ll never forget his contributions in the famous white shirt. Takk for alt, Stefan.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:06:36 AM
Fulham’s transfer spree set to continue as medical scheduled for influential player from promotion rivals

Matt Grimes is set to undergo a medical with Fulham in the coming days ahead of his move from Swansea City.

The midfielder has been a man in-demand this summer, with the likes of Newcastle and Southampton credited with an interest in the player, along with the Cottagers.

However, it’s the Championship side who are going to win the race for Grimes, with the Daily Mail revealing that after successful talks between the clubs, the 26-year-old will travel to the capital to complete his transfer this week.

Interestingly, they also state that losing Grimes, who was captain for the Swans last season, was a key factor in Steve Cooper’s decision to leave the Welsh club.

Providing the deal is finalised, it will continue what has been a busy period for Marco Silva as he looks to make his mark on the club after his appointment at Craven Cottage earlier this month.

Paulo Gazzaniga and Harry Wilson joined Fulham over the weekend, whilst Stefan Johansen departed as the transfer activity builds.

The verdict

This would be an excellent addition for Silva’s team because Grimes proved last season in particular that he is a top player, and leader, at this level.

With Johansen leaving, there was a space that needed to be filled in midfield and there can’t have been many better, realistic options out there for Fulham to bring in.

So, this update should really excite the fans and they will be hoping it goes through without any problems in the coming days.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:07:15 AM
Grimes to Fulham – Swans dealing on the cheap again

If you thought the sale of Joe Rodon to Spurs last summer was a cheap bit of business then reports yesterday evening of Matt Grimes being about to head to Fulham for a medical ahead of a £4m move makes the Rodon sale almost astronomical.

Reports surfaced yesterday evening that Grimes was on his way to Fulham and is expected to complete a move this week and it has been reported that the Swans decision to cash in on their captain was one of the reasons for Steve Cooper’s departure last week.

Whether it was though or not is almost irrelevant when you consider that £4m is a snip for a midfielder even if he is in the last year of his contract and another example of the club being run without a level of thought for our sustainability on the pitch.   Clubs at this level cashing in on they prize assets is relatively normal practice and itself not necessarily an issue when monies are reinvested to the benefit of the overall strength of the squad.

But to cash in on their captain and key midfielder for such a cheap fee says much about the ambition that lies around the club at the moment.   We are all for financial sustainability but selling at this price will not strengthen the squad and significantly reduce chances of promotion.

You then factor in that we sell him to a Championship rival and you have what feels like a statement of no ambition ahead of the new season and you come back to what are now very worrying times at the Liberty under the stewardship of largely absent owners (although they make most of the football decisions, none of them very good ones!)

This is, until confirmed, of course only press speculation but it does seem that Fulham have won the race for Grimes and at a fee that is fraction of the figures quoted at the start of the season.   The Swans deal on the cheap again and this appears to be the summer where it comes back to haunt us.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:09:18 AM
Matt Grimes: Fulham eye move for Swansea City captain

Matt Grimes has played 157 games for Swansea since joining from Exeter in 2015

Fulham are interested in signing Swansea City captain Matt Grimes.

The midfielder, 26, is likely to leave the Liberty Stadium this summer as he has only a year to run on his contract.

Swansea have been expecting to lose Grimes since defeat to Brentford in May's Championship play-off final as they can only afford to offer him a new deal on reduced terms.

Grimes has been one of Swansea's star performers since they were relegated from the Premier League in 2018.

Swansea are understood to value the former Exeter City youngster at around £5m, although they may have to settle for a lower fee than that.

Fulham, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, have just sold midfielder Stefan Johansen to Queens Park Rangers for an undisclosed fee, while they have signed Wales international Harry Wilson and former Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.

Connor Roberts and Jake Bidwell are two other Swansea players who will be out of contract in 2022 and who could attract interest from elsewhere, although Roberts' groin injury may reduce the chances of him moving on during the summer transfer window.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:10:21 AM
Report: Newcastle miss out on 26-year-old target to second-tier side; Southampton also wanted him

Newcastle United and Southampton are set to miss out on Swansea City midfielder Matt Grimes to Championship side Fulham.

According to the Daily Mail, the 26-year-old midfielder will undergo a medical at the west London club this week. The Swans made it to the play-off final last season, but lost 2-0 to Brentford at Wembley Stadium.

As per the report, the departure of Steve Cooper as manager of Swansea has played a big role in Grimes’ impending move to Fulham.

Whilst Newcastle and Southampton were keen on the midfielder, neither side officially made a move for the former Exeter maestro.

Both sides were interested in midfielder Grimes

Indeed, Newcastle and Southampton are both keen to add midfield enforcements this summer.

Steve Bruce’s side are working on bringing Joe Willock back to St. James Park. Moreover, the south coast club are keen to retain James Ward-Prowse, who is reportedly a target for Aston Villa.

Both teams were unimpressive last season in the Premier League and are keen to improve their fortunes for the 2020/21 campaign. And Grimes would have been a welcome addition to either team this summer.

The Swansea star asserted himself as one of the most reliable midfielders in the Championship. And at 26, Grimes is entering the prime years of his career. Yet the Devon-born general will now remain in the second-tier of English football with Fulham.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 26/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 26, 2021, 09:10:50 AM
Decordova-Reid returns in Jamaica defeat

Bobby Decordova-Reid returned from his Covid-enforced lay-off but couldn’t inspire Jamaica to victory as they were beaten 1-0 by the United States in this morning’s Gold Cup quarter-final.

Decordova-Reid, who had missed the Reggae Boyz’s 2-1 victory against Guadeloupe last Friday and the 1-0 defeat against Costa Rica on Tuesday night, completed a period of isolation and returned two negative tests in order to feature from the start in Arlington but couldn’t repeat his heroics from the tournament’s opening game – when he scored a stunning goal to beat Suriname.

Jamaica battled bravely but were beaten by a late header from Matthew Hoppe. Fulham defender Michael Hector, used in a holding midfield role throughout these championships, was an used substitute. The Americans will face Qatar in Thursday’s semi-final whilst the Fulham pair will head back to London to join the tail end of Marco Silva’s pre-season preparations.