Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15  (Read 2417 times)

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« on: July 12, 2015, 01:31:22 PM »
Dons will only sell Fulham target for ‘ridiculous’ offer



AFC Wimbledon have warned Fulham and a host of other clubs that they will only consider selling highly-rated defender Ryan Sweeney should they receive a ‘ridiculous offer’.

The 18 year-old defender has been tracked by the likes of Arsenal, Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham since breaking into the Dons first team towards the end of last season. Sweeney, whose rise through the Wimbledon academy has also earned him international recognition with the Republic of Ireland under-18 side, made his senior debut as a substitute at Dagenham and Redbridge in April and then turned in a man of the match performance when he started the goalless draw against Oxford the following week.

Sweeney underlined his credentials to play at a higher level with an impressive display in yesterday’s draw against Premier League side Watford, but Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley insists that the club do not have to sell their best young players.

I think if we want to hold onto him and think it’s right to then we will. If we get a ridiculous offer and we think it’s a good move for the player as well then that will be up to the board to decide what happens.

We’re in a position where we are producing our own and we have a great pathway and we’re coming on leaps and bounds and it’ll be a nice problem to have if it comes to an offer. When you get a young 17 year-old who makes his debut for a first team people start to ask who that is.

Ben Harrison had it, we had swarms of people asking us who this left back was when he played. Sweens (Sweeney) has had it when he played at centre back people were saying: ‘blimey, 17 year old centre backs don’t get into teams normally, he must be good.

It was the same with Will Nightingale and that’s what happens and then scouts come and watch and make decisions. He’s six foot four, he’s left sided and he’s a good player so he will attract attention.

http://hammyend.com/index.php/2015/07/dons-will-only-sell-fulham-target-for-ridiculous-offer/?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2015, 01:34:00 PM »
AFC Wimbledon warn Arsenal, Brighton and Fulham over hot prospect



AFC Wimbledon will only sell Ryan Sweeney if they get a 'ridiculous offer' that is based on their terms.

The defender has reportedly been attracting attention from Arsenal, Brighton and Fulham but manager Neal Ardley has insisted that if the Dons want to keep hold of the young star then they will.

Sweeney played 45 minutes in AFC Wimbledon’s 2-2 friendly draw against Watford and the 18-year-old academy graduate looked comfortable against Premier League opposition.

And Ardley believes that it will be a nice problem to have should clubs come in with a formal bid.

“If we get a ridiculous offer and we think it’s a good move for the player as well then that will be up to the board to decide what happens.

“We’re in a position where we are producing our own and we have a great pathway and we’re coming on leaps and bounds and it’ll be a nice problem to have if it comes to an offer.”

He added: “When you get a young 17 year-old who makes his debut for a first team people start to ask who that is.

“Ben Harrison had it, we had swarms of people asking us who this left back was when he played.

“Sweens (Sweeney) has had it when he played at centre back people were saying: ‘blimey, 17 year old centre backs don’t get into teams normally, he must be good.’

“It was the same with Will Nightingale and that’s what happens and then scouts come and watch and make decisions.

“He’s six foot four, he’s left sided and he’s a good player so he will attract attention.”

Ardley also confirmed that there had been no concrete offers for any of his players but clubs have been watching some of his squad.

“There’s been no offers for any of our players but there have been people and clubs enquiring and asking our staff saying ‘what’s he like?’

“There’s a lot of scouts out there and they take notice of good players.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/afc-wimbledon-warn-arsenal-brighton-9637876?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2015, 01:38:57 PM »
Friendly - Villa 1-3 Fulham
   
Aston Villa opened the pre season game portion of our build up to 2015-16 with a three one loss to Fulham out in Portugal earlier tonight.

It was a typically sedate friendly as we always see at this time of year but depending on your outlook you'll either be delighted to hear that Libor Kozak continued his recovery from a broken leg and complications by scoring his first goal in 19 months, as well as the run out that plenty of players got - including youngsters.

Or you'll be distraught to see us lose another pre season game after the last few years and be convinced that manager Tim Sherwood is no good and we're odds on for relegation again.

For a full match report please click here.

With Fabian Delph and his non move and more speculation that you can throw a stick at taking the headlines tonight, we took to the pitch for the pre season opener at the Estadio Da Nora and Sherwood used the match to play two different teams in each half.

Opening the game for us saw a team of.

First half:

Steer, Baker, Richards, Bacuna, Richardson, Mason, Cole, Gil, N'Zogbia, Robinson, Agbonlahor.

And we ended the game with the following side on show for us.

Second half:

Watkins, Donacien, Senderos, Clark, Cissokho, Tonev, Gardner, Calder, Cole, Sinclair, Kozak.

Fulham lined up as follows.

First-half:

Lonergan, Grimmer, Bodurov (c), Burn, Voser, Eisfeld, Donnelly (sub Tunnicliffe 34), Hyndman, Kačaniklić, Woodrow, Smith.

Second-half:

Lonergan (sub Bettinelli 60), Voser (sub Grimmer 73), Hutchinson, Burgess, Kavanagh, Kačaniklić (sub Eisfeld 73), Tunnicliffe, Pringle, Cole, McCormack, Taggart.

One surprise omission for us was Jack Grealish but apparently he was rested after picking up a slight hamstring train during training over the course of the week.

It's expected he will be back in contention for the second Portugal based friendly against Braga on Friday.

Going back to the game, at this stage it's always about fitness and blowing away the cobwebs and with debuts for Micah Richards and Niall Mason, adding to the positives of Kozak's return it was hard not to notice pretty decent showings from Cole and Gil.

Three one seems a little harsh but the truth is Fulham were just sharper than we were in front of the net, and we did have chances but just couldn't successfully convert them.

There's a long way to go yet so nobody should really be down about this result - especially as it was very much training ground pace for large parts.

The aim will obviously be though for our UK based friendlies in the comings weeks to not only show decent individual performances but that sharpness in front of goal we clearly need in the coming season ahead.

Then hopefully results will be worth shouting a bit more about.

Read more: http://www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=7519111#ixzz3fgEowg2z


Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2015, 01:41:36 PM »
Promising signs from Portugal



As the sun began to set in Alburfeira, a city in the Algarve region of Portugal where Fulham have spent the week training in the warm weather, the Whites took part in their first 90 minutes of the season in what was officially dubbed a ‘pre-season training match.’ Aston Villa were the opponents, starting with a strong team which saw club stalwart Gabby Agbonlahor, former Fulham alumni Kieran Richardson and new signing Micah Richards in their line-up. Opposition manager Tim Sherwood made it clear that Aston Villa would have two separate teams out in Portugal this afternoon highlighting the exhibition nature of the contest.

Fulham lined up in an old school 4-4-2 with an old fashioned playing style, similarly to Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, two clear wide players, a defensive focused central midfielder and a more offensive focused central midfielder. The first half developed into a 50/50 period with Fulham dominating a large part of the first 20 minutes or so, with Aston Villa growing into the half as it went on. Alex Kacaniklic, who took up the left midfield position in the first half, shone brightest of all the talent on show, running directly at his full back for what feels like the first time since 2013. It was Matt Smith that set the ball rolling for Fulham after a clipped ball in from Thomas Eisfeld eluded both Cauley Woodrow and Nathan Baker, only for Smith to latch onto it and dink over the onrushing Jed Steer in the Aston Villa goal. Emerson Hyndman ran play well for Fulham in the first half, providing more of a forward emphasis whilst Liam Donnelly held more of a solid substance in the centre of midfield before being taken off for Ryan Tunnicliffe after a nasty looking collision with Micah Richards’ forearm in full speed. The two full back positions were occupied by Jack Grimmer on the right and Kay Voser on the left, both supporting the attack comfortably in a more balanced system.

Fulham went into the break as 1-0 leaders in an entertaining first half. Both sides made plenty of changes at half time with Tim Sherwood changing his whole eleven and Kit Symons bringing on Sean Kavanagh, Shaun Hutchinson, Cameron Burgess, Ben Pringle, Larnell Cole, Ross McCormack and Adam Taggart for the second 45. Interesting, to me anyway, Ben Pringle took over Emerson Hyndman’s role in the middle of the park – perhaps out of necessity, with Larnell Cole down the left flank as Alex Kacaniklic shuffled over to the right hand side. Fulham took a while to get going in the second period and were punished for a signs of sluggishness as Joe Cole thread a pass through to the returning Libor Kozak to equal the game with a cool finish past new signing Andy Lonergan.

The Whites didn’t quite dominate possession as they perhaps would have liked in the second half, (though the pressing would have helped with the fitness), but it didn’t stop the endeavour as the ball fell to Ross McCormack around 25 yards out but rather than giving in to the temptation to shoot, he rolled the ball into Alex Kacaniklic who fired a ripping left footed strike from the edge of the box in off of the cross bar. The tides turned with the second as Fulham regained a sense of comfort within the game and controlled possession of the football with some patient play – and the Whites added their final goal after Adam Taggart fed Ryan Tunnicliffe in behind the Aston Villa defence, who in turn slid the ball back into Ross McCormack who rolled the ball into the corner of the goal with relative ease as Fulham ran out 3-1 winners.

What did we learn?

• The system is likely to change – we don’t know whether we will line up in a 442 for the next season, but there was no diamond in sight this afternoon. It’s certainly something to keep an eye out on as pre-season progresses and the likes of Tom Cairney and Lasse Vigen Christensen become involved, could we see Tom Cairney in the middle with possible signee Kevin McDonald and Lasse Vigen Christensen on the right hand side? Time will tell.

• Be prepared for lots of wide play! The two wide midfielders in the first half, Thomas Eisfeld and Alex Kacaniklic stayed wide and looked to get at their full backs – reminiscent of the on watching Luis Boa Morte in Alex’s case. If Alex can continue performing to this same standard, he will give Ben Pringle one hell of a fight for the left midfield position, where I’d prefer he stayed rather than on the right hand side. Whoever plays on the flanks will be asked to be threats on the flanks on this showing, rather coming inwards and floating around.

• There are still some defensive issues – individual error was a case at times in this match but we were fairly solid overall. As pre-season progresses, Kit Symons will find our best back four and the defence should grow into a more solid outfit. It was clear this evening that our full backs benefitted from the cover of their wide midfield protection.

• Andy Lonergan’s distribution, based on his hour of game play today, leaves a bit to be desired. Fulham were more than happy with keeping the ball on the floor and playing through the pitch, but the base of the team – the goalkeeper – was frequently slicing his passes, though the sun or surface could have been a factor.

For a first pre-season match, Fulham looked very strong showing finesse on the ball and looked a lot fitter than our counterparts this evening. You can say that results in pre-season mean very little, but winning breeds winning and we’ve won our first match against Premier League opposition who used a lot of Premier League experience faces. As I write, we’ve not heard from Kit Symons or any of the players that featured today, but I’m sure they’ll be pleased with a very comfortable start which will only produce confidence as we play each fixture and creep closer than the start of the Championship campaign.

Fulham - first-half team: Lonergan, Grimmer, Bodurov (c), Burn, Voser, Eisfeld, Donnelly (sub Tunnicliffe 34), Hyndman, Kacaniklic, Woodrow, Smith.

Fulham - second-half team: Lonergan (sub Bettinelli 60), Voser (sub Grimmer 73), Hutchinson, Burgess, Kavanagh, Kacaniklic (sub Eisfeld 73), Tunnicliffe, Pringle, Cole, McCormack, Taggart.

My man of the match: Alex Kacaniklic – A mature display saw Alex Kacaniklic act as a constant thorn into the Aston Villa display, giving Leandro Bacuna a very difficult first half – and his display earned a goal, of which he took with emphatic style. 24 years old in August, perhaps Alex Kacaniklic is coming of age, we shall wait and see, and I have my fingers crossed.

http://hammyend.com/index.php/2015/07/promising-signs-from-portugal/?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 01:47:20 PM »
Fulham beat Aston Villa in first pre-season friendly



Fulham began their pre-season programme with an impressive 3-1 victory over Premier League Aston Villa in Portugal this evening.

Kit Symons named an experimental side for his first summer friendly fixture and a number of players who might previously have been considered on the fringes of the first-team picture did more than enough to give the manager pause for thought. Fulham began brightly with Alex Kacaniklic and Thomas Eisfeld, who spent the second half of last season out on loan at Bochum, featuring prominently down the flanks. It was the former Arsenal midfielder who supplied the cross that led to Fulham’s opening goal, his cross causing consternation in the Villa box and Matt Smith improvised cleverly to lift an instinctive finish over Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer.

Kacaniklic, who was reintroduced to the first team picture by Symons having been sent out on on loan by previous manager Felix Magath, looked in the mood to impress, perhaps having been stirred by the prospect of serious competition for his place in the shape of new signing Ben Pringle. He had earlier miscued a shot wide having burst into the box down the left and then cut a dangerous ball back for Cauley Woodrow, only for the England under-21 international’s shot to be bravely blocked at source by Nathan Baker. Eisfield, who operated on the opposite flank, showed a desire to get forward and plenty of clever touches, with one swift break culminating in a deflected shot that was comfortably held by Steer.

As the first half wore on, Villa began to come back into the contest. Liam Donnelly, who had began impressively reprising the midfield role he had operated in towards the end of last season for the under-21 side, was forced off injured after feeling the effects of a fierce challenge by Villa’s new signing Micah Richards. It was the England international who came closest for Tim Sherwood’s side – directing a header wide from a corner. Carles Gil represented Villa’s most dangerous threat, roaming with intent from central midfield, but his threatening effort was a rising shot that flew just over Andy Lonergan’s goal.

Both managers made a host of changes at half-time. Symons introduced seven new players for the second period, whilst Villa restarted having made ten changes, and it was they who settled the quicker. Lonergan was soon at full stretch to tip a superb free-kick from Gary Gardner over the bar with real agility as the ball threatened to drop in the top corner. Villa’s quicker passing began to press the youthful Fulham side back and it was little surprise when the Premier League side equalised ten minutes into the second half, although there was a fair amount of controversy about the goal.

Former Chelsea mdifielder Joe Cole, offered a roaming role behind the striker, drifted in a dangerous position and played a sumptuous pass for Libor Kozak and the Czech forward guided the ball clinically past Lonergan. Fulham’s defence was rather statuesque but that was largely caused by centre back Shaun Hutchinson stooping to knees after picking up a head injury. The referee refused to stop play and Fulham’s animated protests were in vain.

Symons’ side, though, responded to conceding the goal in the best possible fashion. Larnell Cole, who spent much of last season on the sidelines through injury, often a glimpse of what Fulham have been missing with a clever pass to Kacaniklic, who bent a simply unstoppable strike around substitute goalkeeper Brad Wilkins, from the edge of the box that went in off the underside of the crossbar. It was a fabulous finish and the richly deserved goal marked an eye-catching performance from the left winger.

Villa continued to enjoy plenty of possession with Joe Cole’s artistry coming to the fore, but they struggled to finish a clear cut chance, as illustrated when Aleksandar Tonev’s dangerous cut-back found his team-mates on their heels as it flashed across the Fulham box. Instead, it was the Championship side who sealed the win with a goal that owed much to Adam Taggart’s persistence. The Australian striker, introduced as a half-time substitute, pinched the ball from a dallying Ciaran Clark and released Ryan Tunnicliffe, whose low ball was clinically converted by Ross McCormack for the clinching third goal.

ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Steer (Watkins 45); Baker (Donachie 45), Richards (Senderos 45), Bacuna (Clark 45), Richardson (Cissohko 45); Mason (Tonev 45), J. Cole, Gil (Garnder 45), N’Zogbia (Calder 45), Robinson (Sinclair 45); Agbonlahor (Kozak 45).

GOAL: Kozak (56).

FULHAM (4-4-2): Lonergan (Bettinelli 60), Grimmer (Kavanagh 45), Voser, Bodurov (Hutchinson 45), Burn (Burgess 45); Donnelly (Tunnicliffe 34), Hyndman (Pringle 45), Eisfeld (L. Cole), Kacaniklic; Smith (McCormack 45), Woodrow (Taggart 45).

GOAL: Smith (22), Kacaniklic (67), McCormack (87).

http://hammyend.com/index.php/2015/07/fulham-beat-aston-villa-in-first-pre-season-friendly/?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2015, 01:55:46 PM »
Fulham beat Aston Villa in Portugal



Matt Smith, Alex Kacaniklic and Ross McCormack scored as Fulham opened their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win against Aston Villa in Portugal.

Smith gave the Whites a first-half lead when he met Thomas Eisfeld’s right-wing cross.

Libor Kozak equalised early in the second half, set up by ex-Chelsea mam Joe Cole, but Kacaniklic restored Fulham’s lead with a blistering shot which went in off the bar.

And McCormack sealed the win with a tidy finish after being set up by Adam Taggart.

Andy Lonergan, making his Fulham debut, produced impressive saves either side of the interval.

http://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/fulham-beat-aston-villa-in-portugal?


Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff 12.07.15
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2015, 02:54:07 PM »
Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa



A stunning strike from Alexander Kačaniklić helped Fulham end their tour of Portugal on a high in a hard-fought pre-season victory over Aston Villa.

Kačaniklić’s 25-yard thunderbolt on 67 regained the Whites' lead, as Manager Kit Symons gave each of the available Fulham players at least 45 minutes to build their match fitness.

Matt Smith’s opportunist strike handed the Whites the initial advantage on 22 minutes, after Thomas Eisfeld’s cross caused confusion in the Villa defence and the forward’s outstretched leg flicked the ball past goalkeeper Jed Steer.

The scoreline stayed that way until after the interval, when Libor Kozak pounced from close range while Shaun Hutchinson was down holding his head. There was no stoppage from the referee, and the 56th-minute goal was allowed to stand.

But Kačaniklić stole the show at the Estadio da Nora in Albufeira, crashing the ball into the top corner of the Villa goal, before Ross McCormack wrapped up the result in the closing stages.

Despite a 6.30pm kick-off, temperatures were still at a sweltering 24 degrees Celsius, although a welcome breeze was taking the edge off the humidity as Fulham kicked-off.

Ex-Whites player Kieran Richardson lined-up for the opposition, with Liam Donnelly sitting alongside Emerson Hyndman in the Fulham midfield, and Cauley Woodrow supporting Smith up front.

Kačaniklić showed early signs of intent, winning a free-kick deep into Villa territory in the first minute, to which Hyndman saw his delivery well cleared.

New Whites goalkeeper Andy Lonergan was called into action on five minutes, showing good reactions to stop Callum Robinson’s 20-yard strike with his legs as Villa threatened.

Woodrow and Smith linked up well to create a crossing chance, which Steer dealt with well, before Kačaniklić fired wide after finding space and collecting Jack Grimmer’s diagonal pass.

The Whites built well on the momentum, as Woodrow crashed a shot back off defender Nathan Baker on 14 minutes from a good position and Eisfeld fired in an effort which deflected towards Steer.

The Premier League outfit had played some good football without really troubling the Whites, when Smith stole in to give Fulham the lead. The Birmingham-born striker took advantage of hesitation in the Villa defence and, after the ball eluded Woodrow at the near post, Smith reacted quickest to score.

Donnelly had been struggling with a head injury, receiving treatment a couple of times, before he was replaced by Ryan Tunnicliffe on 34 minutes, who slotted straight into central midfield.

Villa forced themselves into the ascendancy as the clock ticked towards half-time. Carles Gil, Ashley Westwood and Niall Mason all shot off target, with Kačaniklić again showing the Whites’ intent, breaking into acres of space on the left and hammering an effort the wrong side of Steer's upright.

There was a raft of changes for both sides at the break, with Villa manager Tim Sherwood introducing former Fulham defender Philippe Senderos among 11 half-time switches, and Symons making seven further changes.

Lonergan, Tunnicliffe, Kay Voser and Kačaniklić remained for the Whites, with a fresh forward line of Captain McCormack and Adam Taggart. Ben Pringle and Larnell Cole joined the Fulham midfield, there was a new centre-back pairing of Cameron Burgess and Hutchinson, and Sean Kavanagh came on at left-back.

Lonergan made an excellent one-handed save after 50 minutes with Garry Gardener’s 25-yard free-kick heading towards the top corner, as Villa started the half on top. They made the period of control count on 56 minutes, with a huge slice of misfortune falling Fulham’s way.

The ball hit Hutchinson in the side of the head, forcing the Whites centre-half to sink to his knees. There was no stoppage in play, with Hutchinson playing Kozak onside to net from Joe Cole’s pass.

Marcus Bettinelli replaced Lonergan on the hour, and Fulham went back ahead on 67 minutes with a thunderous drive from Kačaniklić. Twenty-five yards out, the Sweden international hit a spectacular strike in off the underside of the crossbar, beyond the hopeless dive of substitute goalkeeper Brad Watkins.

Grimmer and Eisfeld were re-introduced to the game on 73 minutes, replacing Voser and Kačaniklić, as the Whites began to manage the game with Villa offering little in response.

Taggart's persistence earned the Whites a chance for the final say, when the Australian striker robbed Ciaran Clark and fed Tunnicliffe, who in turn squared for McCormack is slide the ball into the far corner on 86 minutes.

Fulham (first half): Lonergan, Grimmer, Bodurov (c), Burn, Voser, Eisfeld, Donnelly (Tunnicliffe 34), Hyndman, Kačaniklić, Woodrow, Smith.

Fulham (second half): Lonergan (Bettinelli 60), Voser (Grimmer 73), Hutchinson, Burgess, Kavanagh, Kačaniklić (Eisfeld 73), Tunnicliffe, Pringle, Cole, McCormack, Taggart.

http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2015/july/11/fulham-3-1-aston-villa?