Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...  (Read 3327 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2017, 07:51:51 AM »

Ojo joins Fulham on season-long loan
by Dan on August 16, 2017


Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo says he’s ‘really excited’ to have finally completed his season-long loan move to Fulham – and is targeting promotion to the Premier League with his new club.

The England under-20 international picked Craven Cottage as his destination ahead of a number of Fulham’s Championship rivals, including Derby County, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa, after a possible switch to newly-promoted Newcastle fell through. The 20 year-old, who helped his country win the World Cup in South Korea earlier this summer, told FulhamFCTV that the exciting brand of football encouraged by Slavisa Jokanovic played a big part in securing his signature:

    I’m really excited. Fulham’s a massive club and they are definitely not a team that should be in the Championship, so my main aim would be to come here and help get us back in the Premier League. I’ve watched Fulham play a lot of times and the style of play is amazing to see – and, obviously, it’s going to be amazing to be a part of it, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Ojo comes to Fulham on the back of a busy summer and the buzz of success for his country has inspired him to chase more regular first-team football.

    It was a crazy feeling. Obviously, to win a World Cup is special. To be a part of a really good group is a special thing as well and it is definitely going to go down in history as the first team to win it. I think there’s a lot more to come from the young talent in the England set-up.

    I was a bit disappointed not to start the semi-final, but obviously coming on and helping the team was a special feeling and that’s kind of the stuff I want to be doing here whenever I’m given the opportunity to impact on the games and try and help the team get the three points. I’ve had two loan spells in the Championship when I was couple of years younger, but I feel like I’m ready now to really kick on and show people what I can do. I’m grateful to this club for giving me the opportunity to get regular game time and I’m relishing the opportunity.

The pacey forward, who became England’s most expensive teenager when he moved from MK Dons to Liverpool at the age of 14, has is unconcerned by Fulham’s depth in wide areas and wants to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.

    Competition is part and parcel of football and at a club that’s doing well and striving for better things, there’s always going to be competition so I’m definitely ready for that. I’ll be looking to hopefully get my shirt and try and keep the shirt and help the team forward.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/08/ojo-joins-fulham-on-season-long-loan/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2017, 07:53:00 AM »

Fulham in talks with Bettinelli over new deal
by Dan on August 16, 2017


Fulham have offered goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli a new four-year contract, according to Sky Sports.

The Fulham academy graduate was expected to start the new season as the club’s first choice custodian but suffered an untimely hamstring injury against Wolfsburg a week before the start of the campaign. He had re-established himself as Slavisa Jokanovic’s first choice goalkeeper during the Championship run-in after David Button had been dropped following a series of mistakes.

Bettinelli, now 25, has previously been capped by England at under-21 level and has been at Craven Cottage since the age of 14. After successful loan spells with Dartford and Accrington Stanley, he made his Fulham debut in the 1-0 League Cup win at Brentford and made the senior goalkeeping spot his own when Kit Symons replaced Felix Magath. The Camberwell-born goalkeeper has now made 68 senior appearances for the Whites.

Bettinelli has been the subject of repeated interest from Chelsea, but already snubbed their advances when he signed a four-year deal back in 2014. More recently, both Bristol City and Nottingham Forest have seen approaches turned down this summer and Bettinelli is understood to be very keen to stay at Craven Cottage and further his development.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/08/fulham-in-talks-with-bettinelli-over-new-deal/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2017, 07:54:22 AM »

Aluko asks for new Fulham deal or a transfer
by Dan on August 16, 2017


Fulham’s Nigerian forward Sone Aluko has asked the club to either offer him an improved contract or allow him to leave, according to a Press Association report this morning.

Aluko, who captained Slavisa Jokanovic’s side for the second time at Leeds last night in the absence of regular skipper Tom Cairney, was outstanding in his first season at Craven Cottage as the Whites reached the Championship play-off semi-finals. He has reportedly become frustrated at the pace of contract negotiations with Fulham repeatedly turning down approaches from Reading for his services.

Aluko, who has found the net nine times in 53 appearances since signing on a free transfer from Hull City, is understood to want a pay increase commensurate with his elevated squad status. Fulham hold an option to extend his current deal by a year, but triggering this would currently leave his wages at the same level – and the club’s reported policy of not offering extended contracts to players aged 28 or above might have got in the way of successful negotiations.

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic is no doubt of Aluko’s importance to his side, having previously insisted it would be ‘a big mistake’ for the club to countenance the sale of such a crucial player.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/08/aluko-asks-for-new-fulham-deal-or-a-transfer/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2017, 07:58:02 AM »
 
The Stats Factory: Why You Shouldn’t Be Worried About Rui Fonte


The striker is undoubtedly the most important individual in football nowadays. While defences may win you championships, as the saying goes, it is the striker that ultimately provides goals, an objective that can’t exactly be valued in financial terms as it’s what wins you individual games.

Of course, there have been numerous important goals in history with various “values” behind them, none of which are more relevant recently as the so called “billion-pound goal” scored by Jesper Gronkjaer for Chelsea against Liverpool which supposedly led to Roman Abramovich’s takeover. Broadly speaking however, it is hard to place a monetary value on goals –and yet their importance cannot be understated, as everyone very well knows.

This leads me on to strikers. Strikers, as has been the case for a long time, are usually higher valued than their fellow counterparts in midfield, defence and in goal due to their goal-scoring prowess. You only have to look at Neymar’s recent transfer to Paris Saint Germain to see the extent to which some clubs are willing to pay for a striker – considerably more than their peers making up the rest of a team’s formation.

Is this the norm now, paying £200 million or more for football players? That’s tough to answer, and a question I should probably leave alone. Regardless, it does show one thing: the inflation of player values, specifically strikers. Fulham, in a sense, have already witnessed this inflation last summer with the Ross McCormack transfer saga.

£12 million for a striker who was turning (at the time) 30 in August was crazy, especially with rumoured attitude issues behind the scenes as well as the issue of making the entire team cater to his style of player, because McCormack couldn’t not function in any other system. However, solely because he scored a lot of goals in a bad Fulham team, these red flags were swept under the carpet by Aston Villa and Fulham accepted a cool £12million which allowed them to drastically overhaul the playing squad. In hindsight, the deal looks dreadful, but also it has become increasingly clear that the issues were totally foreseeable at the time.

However, McCormack is the classic example of a “proven striker” at this level of football. After all, his record at Championship level speaks for itself: he scored 58 non-penalty goals (NPG’s) in the three seasons preceding 16/17, an average of 19 per season. Broadly, and simply looking at goals, £12 million is a superb price for a 19 goal a season striker!

Common sense would then tell you that a younger striker who produces a similar NPG output is likely to cost far more than twelve million, especially in this inflated market. Chris Wood, a name which many people threw at me when I asked for examples of “proven” strikers, is the poster figure for all this, with Leeds rejecting bids of £20 million plus already.

That brings me onto Rui Fonte.

Fulham’s need for a striker is well known and has been since McCormack/Chris Martin left. However, so is finding the right striker for the system, someone that Slavisa Jokanovic is happy to play (Sorry Cauley Woodrow, Cyriac) and for a reasonable fee due to FFP. That’s three fairly big requirements that Fulham need to fill. Oh, and there’s the whole stats thing as well.

DISCLAIMER: The following paragraphs contain statistical analysis of football players. If this is an item that distresses you, I strongly suggest you close the tab and turn on Sky Sports News. I hear Harry Redknapp is having a press conference right now. (Sass is author’s own – Editor)

Stats Analysis


Examining Fonte at the very basic statistical level with a radar chart of last season shows a few items but mostly that he was excellent at shooting (i.e. when he shot, over 50% of the time, it would hit the target). He almost possessed a rate of scoring in one in every four shots! Now, this is liable to fall thanks to the laws of regression, standard deviation, etc.

However, if these are to occur, it is likely to happen because of how he will be having more shots: Braga only took 10.8 shots per game last year, considerably less than relegated Nacional, at 12.6. Fulham took, well, a lot more than 10.8 shots per game.

What does that mean? In basic terms, more chances for Fonte to score goals. If Fonte were to receive as many shots as, say, Tom Cairney last year, even at an average conversion percentage (say, 13%) Fonte would score about 15 goals for the season, which is a fair output given how our wingers in the current system, if the standards remain consistent, should contribute about 8 goals per player, although we know Sone Aluko will require about 150 attempts to achieve this.

Shot location is also hugely important for a striker. While I (sadly) don’t have access to shot maps of Fonte last year, we do have expected goals (xG), which places a numerical value for the chance of a goal that each shot has. Long shots from outside of the box are likely to have around a 3% chance of scoring, while penalties have around a 75% chance of scoring (although Fulham last year set out to disprove this). Adding up every shot (Data courtesy of Stratabet) that Fonte took produces an xG total of about 7.12 expected goals for the season (Note: I’m not taking into account Europa League data, just Liga NOS).

Normalising this to per 90 minutes produces a figure of 0.29xG/90, which is… ok. In fact, it’s oddly similar to another noted Fulham striker target, Diego Rolan (0.28). Dividing Fonte and Rolan’s xG totals by the amount of shots they took puts Fonte and Rolan at 0.145xg per shot and 0.115xg per shot respectively, showing that Fonte generally takes shots in better locations than our Uruguayan friend in Bordeaux.

Fonte’s over-performance of his expected goals total may have you worried more so now that he could fall back down to earth. You shouldn’t be that worried, however. Over-performance of expected goals indicates he was finishing chances at a good rate, rather than underperforming where he was missing chances in good areas. One example of this was one of Middlesborough’s recruits, Martin Braithwaite who has underperformed his expected goals totals… for the past four seasons. That’s an example of a red flag that Fulham most likely would’ve known about.

Thus, the statistical analysis is now concluded, and you can now relax.

Other Tidbits
Speaking to Braga fans about Fonte (who have no doubt seen a lot more of him than you and me), the general consensus was that he was by far and away their best player in what could’ve been a disastrous season for them. His work ethic is fantastic (2.36 tackles and interceptions per 90), he’s great in link-up play (we might get a smile from Slav out of this) and he can score goals. As a Fulham fan, that’s music to my ears.

That leads us onto pricing. We’ve already seen Middlesborough buying Britt Assombalonga for £15 million (Too high for an injury-prone striker), Cardiff rejecting £10 million plus for Kenneth Zohore (Nowhere near enough) and Leeds rejecting more than £20 million for Chris Wood (way too much money). These are, as stated before, “proven” strikers in this league.

If the entry level price for this season is at £15 million compared to £12 million last year, then Fulham are right to search elsewhere. After all, £15 million was practically as much as Fulham spent last year on reforming their entire squad last year. Fonte represents a player who has featured in a top five team in Portugal and has played in European competition. For £8 million, I personally think that’s a great price, especially in this overinflated market for strikers.

Concluding Remarks
Fulham have needed an out and out striker who actually wants to be at the club for a long time now. In Rui Fonte, I believe they have found a committed striker who is going to receive his fair share of chances to score goals. Is there going to be a period of adjustment to the vigour of the Championship? Probably. We don’t know. But there are positive signs about Fonte. After all, we know the club doesn’t employ the scattergun, disjointed approach to transfers which they did prior to 2016. Let’s get behind Fonte and the team for this season.



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2017-08-16-the-stats-factory-why-you-shouldnt-be-worried-about-rui-fonte/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2017, 08:01:27 AM »
 
Pompey 3 Fulham under-21s 3: Neil Allen’s match report

SUSPENDED Jamal Lowe struck twice to steer Pompey to an opening Checkatrade Trophy draw Fulham under-21s. The winger is currently serving a three-match ban following his dismissal during the League One curtain-raiser against Rochdale. However, in accordance to competition rules, Lowe was available to feature against the Cottagers last night. And he responded with two goals, while Kal Naismith grabbed the other, during an enthralling second half for the crowd of 1,520 as the match finished deadlocked at 3-3. Afterwards there was a penalty shoot-out to decide a bonus point and, using the ABBA format, Fulham won 4-2 on penalties. Jackett had made seven changes to the side which suffered defeat at Oxford United and there was a first-team debut for first-year scholar Joe Hancott. A left-footed defender from the Isle of Wight, he was making his bow at 16 years 161 days – establishing him the youngest first-team player in the club’s history. When the match got underway, the deadlock was broken on 21 minutes through Fulham’s midfielder Humphrys.

He popped up on the right-hand side of the penalty area and took a touch before driving a right-footed shot into the far corner past Bass. Pompey remained behind at the break, but should have levelled five minutes after the restart. May threaded through a pass to Naismith down the left and, with just the keeper to beat, the winger took too many touches and disappointingly fired straight at Norman. The Blues were, however, all square on 54 minutes following excellent work from Main.

The striker held up a pass played into him before, with back to goal, backheeling the ball through to Lowe, who made no mistake with an angled right-foot finish. Barely three minutes later and Pompey had the lead, Evans’ deep cross from the right slammed home first-time by Naismith at the far post. On 62 minutes it was Fulham’s turn to equalise after Alex Bass had carelessly brought down George Williams in the box as the ball was running out of play. The Welshman took the penalty himself and drove it down the middle to make it 2-2. Still the goals flowed and on 66 minutes it was 3-2 to Pompey when Evans’ shot was blocked by Fulham body and fell loose inside the box.

The alert Lowe was there to swivel and fire a brilliant first-time left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

It was an enthralling second half and next Bennett rattled the crossbar with a fierce curling right-foot shot from 22 yards and Normal well beaten. Yet eight minutes from time Elijah Adebayo squeezed home a far-post finish to make it 3-3, a scoreline which remained until the final whistle.

Pompey: Bass, Evans, Davies, Whatmough, Hancott, Baker (60 mins Bennett), May, Close (76 mins Talbot), Lowe, Main (68 mins Chaplin), Naismith. Subs Not Used: McGee, Burgess, Kabamba, Haunstrup.

Fulham Under-21s: Norman, Sessegnon, Davies, Kavanagh, Humphrys, O’Riley, Kait (79 mins Kwietniewski), Thorsteinsson, Williams, Adebayo, Opoku (76 mins Harris)

Subs Not Used: Ashby-Hammond, Nabay, Harris, Andrason, Elstone, Pearce.

Attendance; 1,520 (62 away)

Pens: Chaplin (goal), Williams (goal), Humphrys (goal), Naismith (saved), Bennett (goal), Thorsteinsson (goal), Kavanagh (goal), Evans (saved).



Read more at: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/football/pompey/pompey-3-fulham-under-21s-3-neil-allen-s-match-report-1-8106768

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (17/08/17)...
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2017, 08:03:08 AM »
 
Brian Mcbride: Salah yet to develop connection with Firmino

Former Fulham forward Brian Mcbride said that Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah is yet to blend well with forward Roberto Firmino.

Salah had a stunning start with Liverpool in the Premier League where he was on target in the team’s first game against Watford. He also played full 90 minutes in their first leg victory over Hoffenheim in the Champions League playoffs.

“I think Salah, he hasn’t understood that connection with Firmino just yet,” Mcbride said.

“However, as soon as that comes along, I think you are going to see a lot more trouble for other teams from the right side for Liverpool.”



http://www.kingfut.com/2017/08/17/mcbride-salah-yet-connection-firmino/
The 25-year-old winger joined Liverpool from Serie A side AS Roma in the ongoing transfer window for an initial fee of €42 million.