Author Topic: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016  (Read 2047 times)

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« on: January 21, 2016, 09:46:43 AM »
Can Slavisa Jokanovic restore Fulham back to the top flight?


After the dismissal of Kit Symons, Fulham owner Shahid Khan took over a month in his decision to appoint a successor to the Welshman. After much deliberation, Mr Khan and the board of directors decided to appoint former Serbian international Slavisa Jokanovic as the new manager of the West London club, stating “Slavisa’s credentials and passion for the job rose to the top through every stage of this process.” On his appoint Jokanovic said “It is a great chance for me to work at a historical club.” After his first 3 games I think he knows has an immense job on his hands.


 
The former Watford manager led the club to Premiership promotion last season before leaving in the summer. He had quality in the shape of Troy Deeney, Ikechi Anya, Matej Vydra, Ben Watson, Heurelho Gomes and Odion Ighalo. A few of those players with Premier League and Championship experience. The trio of Deeney, Vydra and Ighalo in front of goal played a massive part in Watford’s season – managing 56 out of the 91 goals, including a 5-0 thrashing of Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Jokanovic has a team with a mixture of experience and youthfulness. Fulham’s recruitment process during the summer saw players with both top flight and Championship experience being brought in the club; Andy Lonergan Richard Stearman, Jazz Richards, Tim Ream, Jamie O’Hara, Ben Pringle and Tom Cairney. However, of this list, one would only pick Cairney as adding any significant quality to the team.

Looking at the squad the Serb has to work with, apart from Alex Kacaniklic (at times his performances are poor), Moussa Dembélé and Ross McCormack, there really isn’t much quality elsewhere. McCormack is the only player to have managed double figures in the league so far, Dembélé isn’t too far behind with nine, but the next top scorer is Cauley Woodrow, with 4 goals.

After the club were served with a transfer ban, Jokanovic hasn’t got the luxury of adding to his squad during the January window. If the scenario arises and we find ourselves without McCormack for a lengthy period then more players will need to chip in regularly with goals.

The former Chelsea midfielder has another job on his hand, this should his number one priority; trying to find a balance between attack and defence that results in points (three points!) being picked up on a regular basis. He has to find his perfect starting 11. A solid back 5 who get the opportunity to play week in/week out to forge an understanding that’ll help to stop goals being conceded.

The Cottagers are the second top scorers in the league with 43 goals only Hull City who have grabbed more (44). But we are also the joint-second in terms of most goals conceded with 47 goals. Charlton top this unfortunate table with 53 goals. Looking over our results there’s only been three occasions during the league that we haven’t found the net. Jokanovic will need to address this problem – so far he has seen five goals in three games let in since he’s appoint. The defence has been quite leaky this season but a silver lining would be that we’ve managed to reduce the number of thrashings received this term.

As previously mentioned, Ross McCormack will need more support in the goal scoring charts. Along with thousands of other fans, I pray that our young and talented Frenchman, Dembélé isn’t tempted by offers from other clubs but if he were to leave them then we’d hope Matt Smith, Woodrow, Cairney and Kacaniklic all add to their goals tally.

A massive problem that faces us will be the interests in our players. Moussa Dembélé has been linked with Spurs, United, Roma, Juventus, City, Arsenal, West Ham and Crystal Palace. Another young and talented player Emerson Hyndman is also attracting attention. Both players have their contracts expiring at the end of the season and it’s up to the new man to try convince them both that their futures lay in West London. Top scorer, McCormack has been subject to a bid from table toppers Middlesbrough. Losing your best player to a rival will hurt any team, especially a team that find themselves near the end of the table with only a couple of points separating them from the relegation zone.

I hope Slavisa is given time to bed his philosophy to the group of players. An optimistic fan would say hope for play-off place charge, exciting and fruitful winning streak and our best players still at the club. Unfortunately, I am more realistic. I hope our star players don’t leave, we manage to play good football, win some and lose some and at the end of the season we finish in a respectable position; so that during the summer we can really plan ahead and build a team that can take us back into the Premiership. “I believe in myself, the club and the people. I am ready for the challenge.” I believe in you too Slavisa, I BELIEVE.

http://tbrfootball.com/can-slavisa-jokanovic-restore-fulham-back-to-the-top-flight/?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 09:48:07 AM »
Fulham hierarchy are urged to resist Middlesbrough's move for Ross McCormack



ROSS McCORMACK’S team-mates have urged the Fulham hierarchy not to sell the Middlesbrough transfer target this month.

Boro’s initial approach for McCormack was rebuffed last week, but the Teessiders have made renewed contact with Fulham officials and are prepared to pay up to £8m to secure the Scotland international.

That is less than Fulham shelled out to sign McCormack from Leeds United in the summer of 2014, but with the London club currently the subject of a Football League transfer embargo, Boro’s recruitment team feel the need to raise funds should be factored into any negotiations.

At this stage, Fulham continue to insist that McCormack is not for sale, but that could change in the final two weeks of the transfer window if Boro are prepared to improve their offer.

McCormack’s 15 Championship goals make him the second-highest scorer in the division, even though Fulham are only four points clear of the relegation zone, and Cottagers defender Dan Burn admits that his departure to Middlesbrough would leave his current employers in a potentially precarious position.

“I think it’s massive for us to keep him,” said Burn, who began his career with Darlington. “The stuff Ross does for us is crucial. He scores lots of goals, which is really important and what gets noticed.

“But it is the stuff he does that you don’t see which is even more important. He links up play and pushes us forward. Even the work off the ball is crucial.

“I’m not surprised he is linked with other clubs, and I think it’s important that we keep hold of him.”

McCormack is one of three long-term attacking targets to have been scouted extensively by Boro in the last two years, with Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes and Crystal Palace’s Dwight Gayle also continuing to command considerable attention.

Boro have recruited Spanish forward Kike Sola during the current transfer window, and remain hopeful of landing Victor Lindelof even though the Swedish defender appeared for Benfica in yesterday’s Portuguese League Cup game with Oriental.


Lindelof was named in what was effectively a shadow Benfica side, but while he remains on the periphery of things at the Estadio da Luz, his continued presence in Lisbon confirms that Boro have encountered problems in their attempts to tie up a deal.

It had been envisaged that Lindelof’s transfer on a season-long loan would be completed at the start of the week, but the technicalities of the move remain unresolved.

Spanish side Real Valladolid have also been linked with Lindelof, and Boro head coach Aitor Karanka will be keen to resolve things as quickly as possible in order to beat off any potential competition.

Meanwhile, Boro’s trip to Leeds United has been confirmed for a new date of Monday, February 15 (7.45pm).

The rescheduling was the subject of fierce debate between Football League officials and Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino, who is furious at the number of times his club has been selected for live television coverage.

Cellino had threatened to prevent Sky crews from entering Elland Road, but yesterday’s confirmation of a new date ends the impasse.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/football/middlesbrough/14215409.Fulham_hierarchy_are_urged_to_resist_Middlesbrough_s_move_for_Ross_McCormack/?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 09:50:28 AM »
Hull At Home



Fulham are back at the Cottage for the first time in four matches when we welcome Hull City on Saturday afternoon (3pm).

After picking up a first point under Slaviša Jokanović last time out, the Whites will be looking to build on that result on their return to SW6, in what will be our final game of the month following the postponement of the Blackburn Rovers fixture.

Tickets are available to purchase on General Sale, priced from just £25 for adults and £15 for juniors.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmXcKax7irw


Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 09:53:47 AM »
Goal Of The Year

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUYydS7c7wY

The Football League have launched the search to find the Mitre Goal of the Year for 2015 and we want you to decide which strike should be put forward as Fulham’s nomination.

We’ve selected our 10 favourite goals from last year, with efforts from Nikolay Bodurov and Matt Smith from the 2014/15 season, and lovely finishes by Tom Cairney, Ross McCormack, Moussa Dembélé and Ryan Tunnicliffe from the current campaign.

Remind yourself of their great strikes with the video below and cast your vote using the button beneath. Voting will be open until midday on Wednesday 27th January, when the winning goal will be submitted to the Football League.

http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2016/january/20/goal-of-the-year?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 09:55:55 AM »
'Are Boro interested in Ross McCormack? Of course, but there's been no bid'



Are Boro interested in Ross McCormack? Of course.

He is the Championship’s top scorer. Why wouldn’t they be?

They have tried to sign him before. He “always scores against Boro.”

The manager likes him, the high-tech scouting system has his profile bookmarked and no doubt there have been physical eyes on him every so often as well.

Every club with cash in this division and most of the bottom half of the Premier League would say the same.

It would be negligent not to keep a close eye on the variables of his performances, his availability and his price-tag.

But have they made a bid for him? Club sources say no.

As the stories have gathered momentum and detail and a gravity of their own - I’m always staggered by the number of people privy to every cough and spit of unfolding talks - we have asked ‘senior sources’ several times and been told no.

No bid. No increased bid. No secret talks at the Tontine. Nothing.

And we have talked to the local reporters who cover Fulham and they have been told the same from Craven Cottage.

Fulham's Ross McCormack
 
They have heard all the stories too but say there is no indication from within the club that they have had a bid.

The only official word in West London has been the manager saying he doesn’t want to sell.

Of course, you may not believe that. Cynicism is common in football - and the wider world too - and not believing a single thing is possibly a healthier place to start from than accepting everything you read or hear without question.

Football is a shark infested industry that runs on spin and much of what is said in public is smoke and mirrors while the real horse trading goes on in the shadows.

Shrewd operators will use press conferences strategically to set out their negotiating position and agents leak stories in order to drum up business or put pressure on this club or that to make a move and that fuels the frenzy of tabloid transfer window tales that so often turn out to be wrong.

So a degree of scepticism is not a bad thing.

But generally in recent years Boro have played it straight on transfers and have developed a reputation as being ‘good’ to deal with.

Boro haven’t said much publicly at all but they have made it clear that they will only move in January if the right player is available at the right price.

Aitor Karanka and Steve Gibson
They don’t want to get into an auction or a wages arms race and - whatever they say publicly - will have one eye on next summer’s strengthening so anyone who comes in will either be on a short-term basis or need to be good enough to potentially step up a level.

And they don’t have an unlimited ‘warchest’ and every mooted move is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Only last week Aitor revealed he had to fight Steve Gibson for every penny. Which is a good thing.

So while they do need to beef up in some areas - the left of he midfield for instance - they are not likely to go on a spending frenzy or get drawn into a bidding war with rival clubs.

Of course, things can change very quickly in football.

Especially as the deadline looms.

A player like McCormack, or Jordan Rhodes, another on the watch list, may become available at “the right price” and then Boro will have a decision to make.

Stick or twist. But for now they are keeping their cards firmly to their chest.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/are-boro-interested-ross-mccormack-10762642?

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2016, 09:58:26 AM »
OLLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)

Fulham v Hull, Saturday 3pm

Hull will almost definitely win automatic promotion. Steve Bruce has got a fantastic group of players on his hands, who are all pulling in the same direction. They're bubbling just at the right time having won their last four games, including smashing Charlton 6-0 last weekend.



Robert Snodgrass celebrates after scoring Hull's winner against Brighton

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/32817/10137044/ollies-predictions-wins-for-burnley-qpr-and-hull?


Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 10:00:07 AM »
Case for the Defence



The Case for the Defence - just who should be playing at the back for Fulham

When signing Richard Stearman and Tim Ream, Kit Symons declared their partnership to be our next mainstay Hangaland and Hughes. However, four games into his new era, Jokanovic seems to have lost faith in their partnership and has reverted to Dan Burn and Shaun Hutchinson for the last two games.

It is impossible to say which pairing has been the most successful within the current group, given the amount of goals we have conceded whatever the combination. However, it is important for Jokanovic to come to a decision and stick to it.

Hutchinson and Stearman would be my preferred partnership. It combines the class of Stearman with the nastiness offered by Hutchinson. Whilst Burn is a capable understudy, his passing ability and comfort on the ball have been routinely exposed this season, despite a number of decent displays. Stearman's recent demotion to the bench has been a concern. His pedigree and classy performances place him as our best defender, although as with the entire squad, he is a little too "nice" at the moment and needs to inject some steel into his game.

Jokanovic is keen to enter the loan market to sign a striker, which indicates that the current crop of defenders will be unchanged. Amorebiea remains on loan at Middlesborough and is unlikely to play for Fulham again (unfortunately in my view).

Who do you think is our best pairing at the back?

Let's all agree that the less said about Bodorov, the better.

http://cottagersconfidential.sbnation.com/2016/1/20/10782570/Fulham-defense-who-plays

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Re: Thursday Fulham News: 21.01.2016
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2016, 10:01:37 AM »
More Transfer Rumors: Dembele on the verge of departure



Dembele is in contract talks with Wolfsburg and Monaco. Are they serious, or are they just leverage to get a move in England?

Sky Sports is reporting that Moussa Dembele's representatives are currently in talks with Wolfsburg and Monaco about a "pre-contract agreement".

Moussa's representatives have essentially confirmed this, by stating "We will not discuss Moussa's situation publicly out of respect for Fulham".

This tacitly confirms that there is a situation, the outcome of which is inevitably Dembele's departure.

Sky Sports is referring to a pre-contract agreement, which would indicate that he will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season. If this were to be the case, Fulham would not receive the sort of money that could be achieved if he were to leave during this window. However, as Fulham are currently under a transfer embargo, it will be important to squeeze as much value out of Moussa for the rest of the season.

Moussa is mid way through his first season making a positive contribution to the Fulham side; he has scored goals and been more of a handful than last season. That said, he is very much still a developing player, drifting in and out of games and not being as clinical as he was in the youth team. It will be a real shame to lose a player that Fulham have crafted into the player he now is becoming.

Jokanovic is keen to bring in a new striker on loan during the transfer window. Good strikers come and go and we are hopeful that whoever is brought in can make a positive contribution to the squad.

http://cottagersconfidential.sbnation.com/2016/1/20/10785302/breaking-transfer-news-dembele-on-the-verge-of-departure