Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...  (Read 1348 times)

Online WhiteJC

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Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« on: February 12, 2019, 07:14:22 AM »
 
Fulham fans want Ranieri sacked after Manchester United defeat

Fulham fell to another disappointing defeat on Saturday, as they were thumped 3-0 by Manchester United at Craven Cottage.

The result has left the club 19th in the Premier League table, seven points adrift of 17th-placed Newcastle United and eight behind 16th-placed Cardiff City.

Fulham have won just four times this season – beating Brighton and Hove Albion in January, Huddersfield in December, Southampton in November and Burnley in August.

Their season has been characterised by inconsistency, however. Their first win over Burnley was followed by a run of nine games without victory, including a thumping 5-1 loss to Arsenal, a 3-0 loss to Manchester City and a 4-2 beating by Cardiff City.

Hopes of a run of form were raised at the end of January, when the Cottagers fought back from 2-0 down to beat Brighton 4-2, but two successive losses, to Crystal Palace and United at an aggregate score of 5-0, have seen many consign the club to the drop.

And Fulham fans want manager Claudio Ranieri – appointed in November – sacked after another uninspiring performance.



https://www.footballfancast.com/premier-league/fulham/fulham-fans-want-ranieri-sacked-after-manchester-united-defeat

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 07:17:10 AM »
 
Premier League relegation battle: Supercomputer predicts the three teams who will go down

The Championship trap door is opening - and Huddersfield could be relegated by the end of March!

Look away now Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff City fans... the future looks bleak, according to the latest Premier League predictions.

A supercomputer has predicted how the final table will look come the final day of the season and doesn't make for pretty reading.

A Football Web Pages prophesy has had a go at calculating each team's potential results from their remaining fixtures - and there will be last day nerves.

If their forecast is anything to go by, Cardiff , Burnley and Southampton will fight to the death for the final survival spot on May 12.

Fulham , if the computer is on the money, will be relegated before the end of April.

But if Whites fans and supporters of the Bluebirds are down about that grizzly prediction, Huddersfield fans should read on through their fingers.

 They say the Terriers will collect just one more point this season - a tame 0-0 draw with Bournemouth in March.

That means they will become the second worst Premier League team in history behind Derby County, who collected just 11 points in season 2007-08.

If what they're saying is right, Southampton will avoid the drop into the Championship by being the only struggler to win on the final day.


Here's how the table is predicted to finish (Image: Football Web Pages)

 They're down to beat Huddersfield 1-0 at St Mary's - and survive because Cardiff are defeated 2-0 at Manchester United .

Sean Dyche's Burnley will be relieved to hear that result come through at Old Trafford.

 Because the stats guys at FootballWebPages have them going down 2-1 at home to Arsenal .

Newcastle will be safe only in the final few games as Fulham claw back some respectability by beating to Toon Army in possibly Rafa Benitez's last game in charge of the club.

 If the predictor is a good guide, Brighton will survive by an impressive 13 points.

Crystal Palace end in 14th - eight points ahead of the drop-zone.

The supercomputer, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be impressed by Manchester City ripping Chelsea to sheds on Sunday.

It says Liverpool will end the season with 101 points - seven points ahead of last season's champions.



https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/premier-league-relegation-battle-supercomputer-13982885

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 07:18:31 AM »
 
Apple Music Partnership

Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce a new partnership with Apple Music, who become the Club’s exclusive music streaming partner.

The global music streaming service will enable supporters, wherever they are in the world, to get even closer to their club, with playlists curated personally by the players and made available exclusively on Apple Music. As an introductory offer, supporters will be able to take advantage of Apple Music FREE for three months.

Fulham FC playlists will be available through the Club’s website and via the Official Fulham FC playlist on Apple Music.

To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Calum Chambers, Sergio Rico and André Schürrle shared some of their favourite pre-match songs and discussed how music is a powerful tool leading up to a big match.


To take advantage of the FREE three-month trial and download the inaugural Fulham FC Playlist, simply click here: playerslounge.fulhamfc.com

Fulham FC’s Chief Revenue Officer Caper Stylsvig said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Apple Music. Apple Music is a truly global brand and we are thrilled to add them to the Club’s family of partners.

“Music is an essential part of the matchday experience, for players and fans alike, and this partnership with Apple Music will enable ever closer connections between our First Team and passionate supporters.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2019/february/08/apple-music-partnership


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 07:27:21 AM »
 
Fulham go-karting sessions could lift spirits for Premier League survival mission, says Tom Cairney


Downbeat: Cairney accepts Fulham need to boost their morale ( REUTERS )

Tom Cairney believes a go-karting session could be just what Fulham’s struggling players need to boost their morale as they continue to fight against relegation.

Claudio Ranieri’s side remain seven points off safety after they were beaten 3-0 at home by Manchester United on Saturday. They have lost five of their last six Premier League games but now have 12 days to prepare for their next match, at West Ham.

And Fulham captain Cairney believes the squad would benefit from a team-bonding session away from the training ground to boost the players.

“There’s a belief but the feeling in the dressing room after games is low,” said Cairney. “It’s hard picking everyone up all the time, it is difficult. Only wins can change that. We need it sooner than later. We’ve got a little break now between games, so it starts at the training ground. Maybe we need a team meal or a team bonding session, go-karting or something like that to get away from football and change things up.

“There are no plans but I’m just chucking up ideas because I think sometimes you can get bogged down. There’s only so much running and tactics you can do, it’s about getting fresh minds and team morale. There’s not too much pressure: pressure is a privilege.”

Cairney started on the bench against United, only being brought on in the 77th minute, with Fulham already losing 3-0. Ranieri has preferred using the midfielder further forward rather than in a central role, but Cairney admits it has not been easy adapting to the Italian’s playing style.

“We try to play the way he wants: fight and play quicker than we used to, but we’re still not in a good position at the moment,” he said. “I always want to play every game. That’s what I worked so hard last season for, to play against Man United and teams like that, so I was desperate to get on. I came on for 15 minutes, it was okay but the damage was done by then.”

Ranieri was booed during the defeat, while chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” were clearly audible after the Italian replaced Andre Schurrle for Cyrus Christie with the score 2-0.

“When you’re playing, you don’t really hear much,” added Cairney. “It’s more when you’re on the bench, you hear what the fans are saying, but it doesn’t affect the players.”

Cairney, though, remains positive and hopes deadline-day signings Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit will help reinvigorate Fulham’s team spirit. “We need them to hit the ground running,” he said. “Fresh faces help at a time like this.”



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham/fulham-gokarting-sessions-could-lift-spirits-for-premier-league-survival-mission-says-tom-cairney-a4063381.html

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 07:28:13 AM »
 
Craven Cottage Tours

Looking for something to do this half term? Why not visit your favourite football club for a fully guided tour of Craven Cottage?

Tours are led by passionate and enthusiastic Fulham fans and we have several extra dates and times available here. Hear about Anne Boleyn hunting on the site, the original Craven Cottage, shout on Fulham from your favourite stand and walk in the footsteps of your favourite players. You even get the chance to visit the soon to be replaced Riverside Stand – it is nearly your last chance to see it!

Located on the bank of the River Thames, experience for yourself the exceptional beauty of one of England’s last remaining truly traditional football stadiums.

Feel closer to the action with the opportunity to explore the players’ dressing rooms, the George Cohen statue, the historic Johnny Haynes Stand, and the 1905 Cottage in the corner of this precious football ground.

Join our extravagant tour at Fulham Football Club. We are London’s Original!

Priced at just £15 for adults, £12 for juniors, or £35 for a family of four, you can book your Stadium Tour online, over the phone on 0203 841 9053, or in person at the Craven Cottage Reception.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2019/february/11/craven-cottage-tours

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 07:30:08 AM »
 
Ryan Sessegnon should use Wilfried Zaha’s failed transfer as reason not to sign for Manchester United

Sessegnon is set to be a wanted man should Fulham drop back into the Championship.

Following promotion last May, Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon was expected to take the Premier League by storm.

The 18-year-old scored 15 goals in 46 Championship appearances and top-flight stardom beckoned.

Things haven’t quite gone according to plan.

The man who gave him a first-team debut, Slavisa Jokanovic, was sacked; whilst the Cottagers are staring relegation square in the face.

Claudio Ranieri has been unable to revive the club’s flailing fortunes, with the Italian incapable of getting the best out of the teenager.

Sessegnon has been played in numerous different positions by Ranieri.

Just two goals have been scored this season and in recent weeks the England u-21 man has been benched.

With a return to the Championship looming, speculation is beginning to gather over his future.

Destination unknown
According to the Daily Express, Manchester United want to pay £50 million for Sessegnon with talks over a new deal at Fulham not progressing well.

Moving to one of the biggest clubs in world football looks good on the face of things, although the youngster would be wise to mull over his next move carefully.

He only has to look towards another Premier League winger to see that the grass isn’t always greener at Old Trafford.

In 2013 Wilfried Zaha made the switch from Crystal Palace to United.

A raw 20-year-old, the flying winger was seen as a future star.

Two appearances in two years later and Zaha was back at Selhurst Park.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Sessegnon would go down the very same road as the Palace man.

Likewise, there is no certainty that he will get regular football either.

News of United’s interest will undoubtedly alert other clubs towards a potential desire to leave Craven Cottage.

Given his talent, the man who can play at left-back or on the left-wing, won’t be short of suitors in the summer.

Zaha offers him the perfect glimpse of exactly why he shouldn’t join Manchester United.



https://tbrfootball.com/ryan-sessegnon-fulham-2/


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 07:35:16 AM »
 
The errors that have left Fulham with no identity and on the brink of Premier League relegation

The dreams from the play-off final have quickly developed into a nightmare for Fulham as the Championship beckons

In the sunshine of Wembley Stadium on May 26, 38,000 Fulham fans' dreams turned into reality as they were promoted to the Premier League thanks to Tom Cairney's solitary goal.

It was the quintessential season of two halves the Cottagers were 17th in December before powering on a 23-game unbeaten run missing out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season before beating Aston Villa at the national stadium to secure their spot in the top flight of football four years after relegation under Felix Magath.

For even the most pessimistic of fans, the new season would surely be nothing like their last one in the top flight, where the side hired three different managers, the last of which turned out to be one of the worst managers in their history.

Fulham had an exciting young head coach in Slavisa Jokanovic who played a thrilling style of football that had earned the side plaudits across the country, they had Cairney who was the metronome to the orchestra and they had Ryan Sessegnon, the boy wonder who had banged in 16 goals in just his second season in men's football and who had the added benefit of being one of their own.

Further excitement followed as Fulham spent over £100million on new players in the summer, 12 to be precise, signing the likes of Jean-Michael Seri, who had nearly signed for Barcelona a year previously, and Aleksandar Mitrovic who had been so vital the previous season.

The previous two seasons was just the beginning, it seemed, and Fulham were ready to take on the Premier League and turn heads doing it.

But just six months later, that dream has turned into a horrible nightmare and the season is baring more similarities to the last campaign in the top flight than Fulham fans would like.

Jokanovic is gone, sacked after 15 matches in all competitions that saw him win just three times and replaced by Claudio Ranieri.

Cairney is either warming the substitutes' bench or finding himself pushed out to the edges of the pitch in an unfamiliar right wing position.

And Sessegnon? He's started just two of the last nine games under Ranieri.

It's not the season that fans, or indeed the hierarchy at the club, envisioned when the first ball was kicked back in August against Crystal Palace.

So what has gone wrong in SW6?

Unfortunately, its been a catalogue of errors that has contributed to the demise of Fulham this season, from bad recruitment choices to poor hiring decisions with a bit of bad luck thrown in for good measure.

But to look at the issues we need to go back to when Tony Khan was appointed as Director of Football Operations.

Recruitment

Most fans' views is that the recruitment this year has a large part to play in the poor season Fulham are currently undergoing.

12 new players were signed in the summer for over £100million, but the vast majority of them have failed to have much of an impact, with the feeling being that the sheer volume brought into the club has upset the apple cart somewhat.

Meanwhile, three players were signed in January, but two were wingers and one a defensive midfielder and the recruitment in that month failed to deal with the side's problems, which have clearly been defensive.

But for me, assessing the summer begins much further back and to do so, we need to look at how Fulham's Championship side was constructed.

Too much reliance on the loan system

During the Jokanovic reign at Fulham, which lasted just two and a bit years, 40 different players were brought into the club.

Last season alone saw the club sign eight different loan players over the course of the season, with the side finishing the campaign with six loanees on their books.

That included Matt Targett, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Tomas Kalas, Lucas Piazon and Ollie Norwood, all of whom could be considered core members of the squad that saw the side promoted.

Once you lose those at the end of the season, Fulham were left with just 16 first team players - add to that the departure of Ryan Fredericks and you have just 15.

David Button moved on in the summer too while Rui Fonte was sent out on loan, and that leaves 13 players.

You're almost re-building from scratch every summer due to the number of loans in the group and it is by no means a way to build a side for continued success.

If you need something to contrast it with, Wolves signed 23 players in the 2017/18 season as they won the Championship, but put the emphasis on signing their loanees permanently while adding the minimum to an already-established side.

Fulham still have six loanees in their squad this season, which means six spaces to fill once again in the summer, regardless of what happens.

Too many signings in the summer

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Come the end of the 2018 summer transfer window, most people, myself included, said what a good job Tony Khan and Fulham had done over the course of the window.

They'd made a statement by signing Seri & Sergio Rico, who had won the Europa League twice with Sevilla, but months on we can see it wasn't as good as we thought.

Let's get some things out there though - no one can say that Shahid Khan and Tony didn't have the best interest of the club at heart.

Khan Snr backed the club massively and spent a lot of money while there was nothing to suggest at the time that these players were not good players.

However, the problem of building a side with too many loanees meant that there had to be a lot of new signings to make sure the squad was strong enough, meaning the number that came in was inevitable.

You might be able to get away with that in the Championship, but the Premier League is a different kettle of fish and a newly formed side will only have one thing happen to them, and that's exactly what Fulham are finding out right now.

Losing Matt Targett and Fredericks was a huge loss and both were never really replaced properly - in a summer where over £100m had been spent, spending the extra five on Targett would've made little to no difference while Timothy Fosu-Mensah was not an adequate replacement for Fredericks.

And that leads us to the defence, an area everyone knew Fulham were weak in but one that didn't get sorted in the summer.

Alfie Mawson is a Premier League player, but he was signed with a serious knee injury and wouldn't be ready until September.

Calum Chambers was signed but the team found his influence better in a holding midfield role than in a central defensive capacity.

Maxime Le Marchand was signed but it seemed to be an add-on to the Seri deal, while Joe Bryan was signed on deadline day as an alternative to Targett.

What you're left with is an unknown defence heading into a Premier League season, and that is a recipe for disaster.

I'm unsure as to how much scouting was really done on the summer recruits and it's the signing of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa that makes me think this.

Fulham played a 4-3-3 with a single defensive midfielder, any one could tell you that, but Anguissa was signed having never played as the holding midfielder by himself.

When running analytics or scouting, surely this would have come up? Wouldn't one of the first things you look at is whether a player can fit into the system your team deploys?

It was a series of errors during the summer and one that paved the foundations for the season Fulham are currently on.

A shambles of a pre-season

Fulham spent some time on a training camp in France during pre-season, here's who went on that trip.

Marcus Bettinelli, Cyrus Christie, Ryan Sessegnon, Denis Odoi, Ibrahima Cisse, Tim Ream. Moritz Jenz, Maxime Le Marchand, Neeskens Kebano, Stefan Johansen, Matt O'Riley, Jean-Michael Seri, Kevin McDonald, Tom Cairney, Luca de la Torre, Aboubakar Kamara, Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson, Rui Fonte, Mattias Kait, Steven Sessegnon, Marlon Fossey, Marcelo Djalo, Tyrese Francois and Marek Rodak.

Only three weeks later on the opening day, just ten of those players featured in the matchday squad for the defeat to Crystal Palace.

It was a shambles of a pre-season for Jokanovic and Fulham, who was forced to work with very little of a senior squad for the large part of the summer as Fulham's transfer business saw deals done extremely late in the window.

Fulham's defeat to Crystal Palace saw a back five of Fabri, Christie, Chambers, Le Marchand and Bryan, who had never played before together in their lives and had only met each other two days before.

Jokanovic came in for a lot of stick for not knowing his best XI, which was one of his faults this season, but he wasn't helped by the lack of a pre-season to discover what worked best with the core of a squad.

Instead of having a core that would then have a couple of more players added to by the start of the window, Fulham had a threadbare squad that would only become a full one a couple of days before the season started.

The old saying is 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' and it couldn't be more apt to describe the pre-season the side had.

The recruitment and the lack of pre-season both led, in my eyes, to the massive defensive issues the club have struggled with all season long.

Sacking Jokanovic and hiring Ranieri

The decision to sack Jokanovic in the middle of November was one that split fans - some felt the time was right to remove the head coach after a seven game winless run, while others felt sticking with him was the better option.

We'll never know if Jokanovic could've turned things around at Craven Cottage after Khan Snr sacked him, instead opting for Ranieri who he described as a 'risk-free' appointment.

As it's turned out just a few months later, the hiring was anything but 'risk-free'.

Ranieri's approach is the stark opposite of what Jokanovic had Fulham playing, going from a possession-based style to a defensive, counter-attacking brand.

Players were brought it to fit one style of play and they're now being shoehorned into a style they don't fit, while members of the side that were so important under Jokanovic have been pushed out altogether in favour of 'Premier League experience'.

Interestingly, Ranieri's stats suggest he has the team performing better than Jokanovic did during his spell.

He's averaging one goal a game compared to 0.9 under Jokanovic, 1.9 goals conceded compared to 2.6, while they've faced less shots (13.9 to 16.3) and allowed less shots on goal (5.7 to 6.3).

But yet the fans have turned and it's easy to see why.

There was an identity under Jokanovic, one that had been built up over the course of two and a half seasons and one that the fan bought into, but under Ranieri there isn't one.

The football has been dire and considering the team have been together for 26 Premier League games, there isn't actually much improvement when you look at those stats.

But the biggest thing under Ranieri is that the pathway from the Academy, Fulham's shining light, has been gated off.

He has no time for youth and that has been evident over his handling of Sessegnon, who after the loss to Manchester United Ranieri described as not being in his best fitness or form.

It is this treatment of a man who has embodied what Fulham has been about the past few years coupled with the dire football seen since his arrival that has meant Ranieri has already lost the fans.

He may have won the Premier League with Leicester City, but he's now showing why he got the sack the next season and why so many were surprised to see him get that job in the first place.

Khan Snr said when he appointed him: "Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option.

"So having someone of Claudio's calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential.

"Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham."

As it's turning out, he's none of these things.



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/errors-left-fulham-no-identity-15811352

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 07:38:09 AM »
 
Claudio Ranieri needs to play blooming Ryan Sessegnon often to survive relegation

Fulham’s misery continued through the weekend when they received another thrashing from Manchester United. A 3-0 loss at Craven Cottage not only dented their survival hopes even further but also lowered the team morale. Indeed, changes are necessary if Claudio Ranieri wishes to keep them up.

The tinkering Italian’s tried a lot of things with the Cottagers and its high time he gets them back to their basics. To do so, Ranieri needs to trust talented youngster Ryan Sessegnon. A major reason for their promotion, Sessegnon hasn’t really done that bad to fall out of favour.

Ranieri has preferred Joe Bryan ahead of him, when Sessegnon provides a better attacking threat, giving more options going forward. Now in need of throwing in the proverbial kitchen sink, the Italian needs to take risks and play a more encouraged attacking game.

Sessegnon provides different options on the left, with his pace and impressive ability to carve chances troubling teams. He’s already provided 5 assists, as well as scoring twice for Fulham this season, with his impressive crossing ability along with a knack of cutting into the box working in his team’s favour.

With Aleksandr Mitrovic isolated in the box after being fed nothing and Ryan Babel frustrated on his own, Sessegnon’s attacking vigour is required to turn things around.  He’s also very stable defensively and can work hard to keep things tidy at the back. Ranieri just needs to let the 18-year-old express himself to try and turn things around for the Cottagers.

If he doesn’t, Fulham are going down without a whimper.



https://www.footballtransfertavern.com/premier-league/fulham/claudio-ranieri-needs-to-play-blooming-ryan-sessegnon-often-to-survive-relegation/

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 07:39:49 AM »
 
Fulham may need to tinker again as Claudio Ranieri falls flat

Claudio Ranieri was described as a “risk-free” appointment by Fulham owner Shahid Khan in November, but three months on and the Cottagers are in danger of dropping back into the Championship before the clocks go forward.

Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United leaves Fulham seven points from safety with 12 games remaining — and there seems little chance of them pulling off a great escape.

Fans at Craven Cottage turned on Ranieri with chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” on another difficult afternoon for the Italian.

While he cannot take full responsibility for the position Fulham are in, the changes he has implemented since he replaced Slavisa Jokanovic have failed to inspire an improvement.

He has told the Fulham players to forget the passing football which got them into the top flight and replaced that possession-based style with a more compact and direct approach.

Ranieri has called for “pirates” and “soldiers who fight until the end”, but the Fulham squad does not look suited to his new way of playing.

Captain Tom Cairney has suggested they are better off passing their way out of trouble and it is hard to disagree. Fulham’s best display under Ranieri came in the second half against Brighton, when they played Jokanovic-style football and scored four goals to win 4-2.

But since then Ranieri has told the players to forget what they did last season. The players appear to be losing hope and there are also tactical concerns about Ranieri and his refusal to ditch his three-man defence.

There have been small signs of progress but Fulham still make too many mistakes and they have now conceded 58 goals this season.

Ranieri presented a detailed dossier on the squad during his job interview and impressed Khan with his knowledge of the players. But the shift in style has not worked.

Fulham had a clear identity under Jokanovic which has been lost and they have won just three times in 14 games since Ranieri took over.

It is hard to escape the feeling that Fulham’s problems started with their £100million-plus recruitment last summer. The team that got them promoted was dismantled too quickly and too many of their 12 new signings have failed to perform.

The main problem has been their defence. The issue needed to be sorted in January but they signed just one defender, Havard Nordtveit, and he is not fit for another few weeks. The whole situation feels like a mess.

Fulham fans were unhappy to see Ryan Sessegnon and Cairney again on the bench against United. At one point, TV cameras showed Cairney with his head in his hands in an image that summed up a desperate season.

Their next three home matches are against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. They face West Ham away next Friday before a potentially pivotal trip to Southampton.

Ranieri faced calls to be sacked as angry supporters made their feelings known at Craven Cottage on Saturday. The Italian’s assistant, Scott Parker, seems an obvious option to take over until the end of the season if a change is made.

Khan backed Ranieri in his programme notes, saying: “No one is happy being near the foot of the table and it is the last thing we expected. But no one is accepting our position to be our destiny. I believe in Claudio and the calibre of players in this squad.”

Jokanovic received similar support in the weeks before he was sacked. Ranieri needs to find a solution to the problems at Craven Cottage — and quickly.



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham/fulham-may-need-tinker-again-claudio-ranieri-falls-flat-a4063546.html


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 07:41:07 AM »
 
Scott Parker To Take Over At Fulham As Ranieri Loses The Fans, Has He Lost The Dressing Room Too?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Had Fulham’s loyal fans known what replacing Jokanovic with Ranieri was going to bring, would it have been better to stick with the former, and given him the chance to turn things around?

Jokanovic brought a style of football to the Cottage last season that was admired by many football fans and the media throughout the UK, and the rest of Europe it seems.

Constant media publications suggesting the top clubs at home and in Europe were watching a young rising star in Ryan Sessegnon pushing his potential value to over £50m. His efforts and skills were on show week in and week out in the Championship, more so when he was allowed to vacate his full back role and push further upfield. He excelled when attacking and was scoring and assisting the goal tally frequently.

Tom Cairney the captain, was another massive part of Fulham’s second half remarkable climb up the table, and the scorer of the only goal when defeating Aston Villa at Wembley in the Play-Off Final. His value rocketed and was reportedly being watched by several Premier League teams.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, last season’s brilliant purchase from Newcastle spearheaded the attack and was finding the back of the net regularly, and with his commitment to the Cottagers soon became the fan’s favourite.

Alongside these wonderful players were Marcus Bettinelli, a young goalkeeper deemed good enough to be selected for an England squad. Kevin McDonald, a trusted central midfielder who was a rock, just in front of the back line of defence who seemed to be a calming influence on the players around him. Stefan Johansen, a talented midfielder that combined so well with the captain Cairney, and was often involved in the team’s goal-scoring. Tim Ream, a centre half that was calm at the back and Fulham’s Player of the Year and Denis Odoi who played alongside Ream in a good partnership.

After gaining promotion Fulham tried to persuade Southampton to part with on-loan full-back Matt Targett, who was not playing regularly under then manager Mark Hughes. This was a fatal error not to offer enough to keep his much-needed services. Ryan Fredericks another player that Fulham just let go as they could not agree to his wage demands. Tomas Kalas is another central defender that had many excellent games for Fulham who was overlooked when his loan period expired. Finally Aboubakar Kamara, a big and strong, fiery striker that often made defenders shudder when he was running at them.

A very good team, in the Championship, which we all knew needed strengthening to maintain a place in the world’s toughest footballing division, the EPL. This was handled terribly. 12 players in, with an outlay of over £100m, mainly spent on untested Premier League stock, and more loanees, who are hardly ever up to a fight. Nice skills and good reports from their respective countries are not enough in today’s top league. With the money rolling in through TV rights, every club can now afford a share of these type of players, and there are plenty to choose from due to the ridiculously high wages they demand and get.

Had Fulham kept the two full-backs, purchased a back-up for these and another centre-half, together with a ball winning midfielder and a striker to feed Mitrovic, would they be in the position they are now. Jokanovic was unhappy with not having a say in the purchasing of new players. He was right to be annoyed. A manager is assessed by his results, how can he guarantee success when he has no say in the players at his disposal? I must admit, I was one of those who thought he must be replaced due to the constant changing of his defence, no two games sticking with the same side, and no chance for a team to familiarise themselves with each other. In hindsight though, he must have been wondering how does he get this set of players to adapt to life in this League?

Sergio Rico was soon given the number one spot in goal, although I would have stuck with Bettinelli, a young goalkeeper that could at least catch a ball. He lost his place under Jokanovic it seems due to the fact his passing out to a defender, a tactic the boss insisted on at all times, was not good enough. Denis Odoi is and never was a full-back. He is a neat and tidy player in a central defensive partnership. Joe Bryan was an outstanding defender at Bristol City but in the Championship. He has been left looking a bit overwhelmed in the Premier League, and his crossing leaves a lot to be desired. The same can be said for Cyrus Christie and Timothy Fosu-Mensah who are not ready for this tough division. Christie would be better utilised in midfield.

As for the new players, goalkeeper Fabri looked out of his depth in the first two games of the season and has not played since. Maxime Le Marchand is surprisingly being selected in the defence on a regular basis. Maybe he would look better playing in the Championship, but just not up to the demands of the EPL.

Anguissa, who was injured form the start and has not had a real chance to prove why Fulham paid £30m for him. Seri, another highly rated midfielder who is good on the ball, but does not fit into the Fulham team with his style of play, and does not work hard enough in his defensive duties. Schurrle and Vietto are both competent enough players, but not in a team that is struggling and fighting against relegation. Not enough defensive work by either when they play, but look good going forward. Ryan Babel looked the part in his first couple of games, but as the team take defeat after defeat, he looks as if he wishes he had not come to this club.

The two bright sparks for Fulham of recent times has been the achievement of Calum Chambers. Moved from a defensive position to a midfield one seems to suit him well. He has shown a lot of courage and passion, not usually found in a player on loan to a smaller club. Alfie Mawson, who arrived injured, took a while to show why he was so highly regarded at Swansea. He had just began to prove his worth in the heart of the Fulham defence before injuring his knee while tying up his boots, and has been missed since.

Kamara’s temper became evident when he snatched the ball off Mitrovic to take a penalty and missed, sending Ranieri frantic. He then allegedly had a fight at the training ground and was banned by the club. Was this just a player showing his fight for the cause and maybe rebelling against Ranieri? Fulham need more players with a fighting spirit which has clearly been lacking this season, but it must be done on the field of play, not at the training ground.

Ranieri lost the home fans patience with his team choice. He has stated that players had been unwell or unfit. There seemed to be neither of those things with Tom Cairney who was once again left out of the team against Manchester United. Ryan Sessegnon looked fit enough too but only given a few minutes at the end. The real cause of Fulham’s problems laid in the game Le Marchand played, being mainly to blame for all of United’s goals and almost a fourth. He should have gone at half-time with Odoi moved back to central defence and Christie at right back. Sessegnon and Cairney should also have been brought on at the start of the second half in place of Schurrle and Vietto.

It looks inevitable that Fulham will be relegated this season. Time should be up for Ranieri the Tinkerman, who has tinkered too much with our team leading to such poor results.

Scott Parker who has been an inspiration in the dressing room according to reports that captain Tom Cairney has stated should be given the role to the end of the season. Let’s see what difference that would make. It surely could not get any worse!



https://fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/scott-parker-to-take-over-at-fulham-as-ranieri-loses-the-fans-has-he-lost-the-dressing-room-too/

Online WhiteJC

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 07:43:00 AM »
 
Book of Condolence

The Club has opened an online book of condolence for anyone who would like to pay their respects to Zara Harrison, our colleague and friend, who sadly passed away last week.

Please leave your name and message in the form provided below. All messages will be passed on to Zara's family, and later published on fulhamfc.com.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2019/february/11/zara-harrison-book-of-condolence

Online WhiteJC

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 07:44:29 AM »
 
Tottenham should battle Manchester United for summer target Sessegnon

Ryan Sessegnon is struggling to get into Fulham’s team at the moment, which should encourage Tottenham to reprise their summer interest in the English flier.

Manchester United are readying a summer swoop for Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon, according to the Daily Express.

They report that United are ready to spend big on the English teenager, who is struggling to force his way into Claudio Ranieri’s Cottagers starting lineup at present.

The Reds got to see Sessegnon up close when he was introduced as a substitute in the final stages of Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage and are reportedly buoyed by the fact that his contract talks are not progressing smoothly.

The Daily Express also report that Tottenham were interested in Sessegnon last summer, tabling a £25m bid for the winger shortly after the Whites were promoted to the top flight – only to see it rebuffed.

But that was back when Slavisa Jokanovic was in charge, life was good for Sessegnon at Fulham as an integral part of an exciting, attacking team, all set for a season back in the big-time.

Now, Ranieri has failed to make Fulham harder to beat but has stifled their creativity and sidelined Sessegnon – making his doubts about signing a new long-term deal with a team who look set to return to the Championship understandable.

Tottenham could offer him more regular gametime than United – who are well-stocked out on the left with Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial already in place – and have developed English talents such as Dele Alli and Harry Kane in recent years.



https://tbrfootball.com/tottenham-should-battle-manchester-united-for-summer-target-sessegnon/


Online WhiteJC

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 07:46:02 AM »
 
Manchester United Lining Up A £50m Move For This English Winger: The Right Choice For The Red Devils?

According to a recent report by the Sunday Express, Manchester United are prepared to cough up £50m to secure the services of Fulham speedster Ryan Sessegnon in the summer. The same source has also revealed that the Cottagers talent is stalling on a new deal which could pave the way for a high-profile switch to Old Trafford at the end of this season.

Sessegnon has seen first-team opportunities hard to come by under Claudio Ranieri in recent weeks. Ever since the former Leicester City manager’s arrival at the King Power Stadium, the English winger has often been overlooked for other talents such as Joe Bryan, Luciano Vietto and Ryan Babel.

The 18-year-old wide man has featured in 26 matches for the London outfit this term, scoring two goals while creating 5 assists across all competitions. The England Under-21 international came through the youth ranks of Fulham before breaking into their first-back back in 2016.

At the age of 17, he was an integral part of Slaviša Jokanović’s promotion winning Fulham side last season, so it is no wonder that other top clubs are recognizing his incredible contributions.

The Cottagers teenager is incredibly pacey and can dribble with the ball quite efficiently down the left touchline. He possesses a blistering turn of speed which helps him get past his marker in the attacking end of the pitch.

The potential acquisition of Sessegnon will undoubtedly inject a lot of quality to the Red Devils’ squad. However, the jury is still out on whether he can be a regular starter at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjær has currently got a whole of talented wingers in his team such as Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard who are all vying for a starting berth in his first-team.

Hence, it seems like Sessegnon won’t be guaranteed regular game time at the Theatre of Dreams so it might not be a wise move for him to join the Red Devils next summer. However, for Man United, it is a no-brainer to recruit a player of Sessegnon’s potential as he will be a great asset for them in the long-run.



https://the4thofficial.net/2019/02/manchester-united-lining-up-a-50m-move-for-this-english-winger-the-right-choice-for-the-red-devils/

Online WhiteJC

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 07:48:08 AM »
 
U's Fall To Premier League Cup Defeat

Fulham show clinical edge in second half

Fulham ran out winners in Monday night's U23s game as they took the game away from the U's in the second half.

Trailing by one at the break, the U's had twenty minutes where they had the better of the territory and chances but, once the visitors got their second, they stretched their legs and ended up five goals to the good.

Fulham took the lead on 16 minutes as Santos Clase's effort clipped off the defending Bakary and looped over Ross and into the net.

The U's grew into the half, though and saw Agboola have an effort well blocked ten minutes before half time.

On the stroke of the interval, Charles forced a good stop out of Ashby-Hammond in the Fulham goal, giving the U's some encouragement for the second half.

They started the second period well, with Ager forcing a good save out of the keeper, before driving another effort just wide five minutes later.

But, despite that pressure, the visitors doubled their lead on 64 minutes.

They escaped on the counter and it was a calm finish by Drameh to make it 2-0.

With thirteen minutes to go, they made it three as Santos Clase held off the attentions of Bakary and slotted home.

The impressive O'Riley made it four with six minutes to go as the scoreline swung heavily in Fulham's favour and it became five two minutes later as Tait seized on a defensive error to complete the scoring.

Fulham go second in the group, whilst the U's await their first point with just one more game to go.



https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2019/february/us-fall-to-premier-league-cup-defeat/

Offline bobby01

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (12/02/19)...
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 04:44:29 PM »

The errors that have left Fulham with no identity and on the brink of Premier League relegation

The dreams from the play-off final have quickly developed into a nightmare for Fulham as the Championship beckons

In the sunshine of Wembley Stadium on May 26, 38,000 Fulham fans' dreams turned into reality as they were promoted to the Premier League thanks to Tom Cairney's solitary goal.

It was the quintessential season of two halves the Cottagers were 17th in December before powering on a 23-game unbeaten run missing out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season before beating Aston Villa at the national stadium to secure their spot in the top flight of football four years after relegation under Felix Magath.

For even the most pessimistic of fans, the new season would surely be nothing like their last one in the top flight, where the side hired three different managers, the last of which turned out to be one of the worst managers in their history.

Fulham had an exciting young head coach in Slavisa Jokanovic who played a thrilling style of football that had earned the side plaudits across the country, they had Cairney who was the metronome to the orchestra and they had Ryan Sessegnon, the boy wonder who had banged in 16 goals in just his second season in men's football and who had the added benefit of being one of their own.

Further excitement followed as Fulham spent over £100million on new players in the summer, 12 to be precise, signing the likes of Jean-Michael Seri, who had nearly signed for Barcelona a year previously, and Aleksandar Mitrovic who had been so vital the previous season.

The previous two seasons was just the beginning, it seemed, and Fulham were ready to take on the Premier League and turn heads doing it.

But just six months later, that dream has turned into a horrible nightmare and the season is baring more similarities to the last campaign in the top flight than Fulham fans would like.

Jokanovic is gone, sacked after 15 matches in all competitions that saw him win just three times and replaced by Claudio Ranieri.

Cairney is either warming the substitutes' bench or finding himself pushed out to the edges of the pitch in an unfamiliar right wing position.

And Sessegnon? He's started just two of the last nine games under Ranieri.

It's not the season that fans, or indeed the hierarchy at the club, envisioned when the first ball was kicked back in August against Crystal Palace.

So what has gone wrong in SW6?

Unfortunately, its been a catalogue of errors that has contributed to the demise of Fulham this season, from bad recruitment choices to poor hiring decisions with a bit of bad luck thrown in for good measure.

But to look at the issues we need to go back to when Tony Khan was appointed as Director of Football Operations.

Recruitment

Most fans' views is that the recruitment this year has a large part to play in the poor season Fulham are currently undergoing.

12 new players were signed in the summer for over £100million, but the vast majority of them have failed to have much of an impact, with the feeling being that the sheer volume brought into the club has upset the apple cart somewhat.

Meanwhile, three players were signed in January, but two were wingers and one a defensive midfielder and the recruitment in that month failed to deal with the side's problems, which have clearly been defensive.

But for me, assessing the summer begins much further back and to do so, we need to look at how Fulham's Championship side was constructed.

Too much reliance on the loan system

During the Jokanovic reign at Fulham, which lasted just two and a bit years, 40 different players were brought into the club.

Last season alone saw the club sign eight different loan players over the course of the season, with the side finishing the campaign with six loanees on their books.

That included Matt Targett, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Tomas Kalas, Lucas Piazon and Ollie Norwood, all of whom could be considered core members of the squad that saw the side promoted.

Once you lose those at the end of the season, Fulham were left with just 16 first team players - add to that the departure of Ryan Fredericks and you have just 15.

David Button moved on in the summer too while Rui Fonte was sent out on loan, and that leaves 13 players.

You're almost re-building from scratch every summer due to the number of loans in the group and it is by no means a way to build a side for continued success.

If you need something to contrast it with, Wolves signed 23 players in the 2017/18 season as they won the Championship, but put the emphasis on signing their loanees permanently while adding the minimum to an already-established side.

Fulham still have six loanees in their squad this season, which means six spaces to fill once again in the summer, regardless of what happens.

Too many signings in the summer

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Come the end of the 2018 summer transfer window, most people, myself included, said what a good job Tony Khan and Fulham had done over the course of the window.

They'd made a statement by signing Seri & Sergio Rico, who had won the Europa League twice with Sevilla, but months on we can see it wasn't as good as we thought.

Let's get some things out there though - no one can say that Shahid Khan and Tony didn't have the best interest of the club at heart.

Khan Snr backed the club massively and spent a lot of money while there was nothing to suggest at the time that these players were not good players.

However, the problem of building a side with too many loanees meant that there had to be a lot of new signings to make sure the squad was strong enough, meaning the number that came in was inevitable.

You might be able to get away with that in the Championship, but the Premier League is a different kettle of fish and a newly formed side will only have one thing happen to them, and that's exactly what Fulham are finding out right now.

Losing Matt Targett and Fredericks was a huge loss and both were never really replaced properly - in a summer where over £100m had been spent, spending the extra five on Targett would've made little to no difference while Timothy Fosu-Mensah was not an adequate replacement for Fredericks.

And that leads us to the defence, an area everyone knew Fulham were weak in but one that didn't get sorted in the summer.

Alfie Mawson is a Premier League player, but he was signed with a serious knee injury and wouldn't be ready until September.

Calum Chambers was signed but the team found his influence better in a holding midfield role than in a central defensive capacity.

Maxime Le Marchand was signed but it seemed to be an add-on to the Seri deal, while Joe Bryan was signed on deadline day as an alternative to Targett.

What you're left with is an unknown defence heading into a Premier League season, and that is a recipe for disaster.

I'm unsure as to how much scouting was really done on the summer recruits and it's the signing of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa that makes me think this.

Fulham played a 4-3-3 with a single defensive midfielder, any one could tell you that, but Anguissa was signed having never played as the holding midfielder by himself.

When running analytics or scouting, surely this would have come up? Wouldn't one of the first things you look at is whether a player can fit into the system your team deploys?

It was a series of errors during the summer and one that paved the foundations for the season Fulham are currently on.

A shambles of a pre-season

Fulham spent some time on a training camp in France during pre-season, here's who went on that trip.

Marcus Bettinelli, Cyrus Christie, Ryan Sessegnon, Denis Odoi, Ibrahima Cisse, Tim Ream. Moritz Jenz, Maxime Le Marchand, Neeskens Kebano, Stefan Johansen, Matt O'Riley, Jean-Michael Seri, Kevin McDonald, Tom Cairney, Luca de la Torre, Aboubakar Kamara, Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson, Rui Fonte, Mattias Kait, Steven Sessegnon, Marlon Fossey, Marcelo Djalo, Tyrese Francois and Marek Rodak.

Only three weeks later on the opening day, just ten of those players featured in the matchday squad for the defeat to Crystal Palace.

It was a shambles of a pre-season for Jokanovic and Fulham, who was forced to work with very little of a senior squad for the large part of the summer as Fulham's transfer business saw deals done extremely late in the window.

Fulham's defeat to Crystal Palace saw a back five of Fabri, Christie, Chambers, Le Marchand and Bryan, who had never played before together in their lives and had only met each other two days before.

Jokanovic came in for a lot of stick for not knowing his best XI, which was one of his faults this season, but he wasn't helped by the lack of a pre-season to discover what worked best with the core of a squad.

Instead of having a core that would then have a couple of more players added to by the start of the window, Fulham had a threadbare squad that would only become a full one a couple of days before the season started.

The old saying is 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' and it couldn't be more apt to describe the pre-season the side had.

The recruitment and the lack of pre-season both led, in my eyes, to the massive defensive issues the club have struggled with all season long.

Sacking Jokanovic and hiring Ranieri

The decision to sack Jokanovic in the middle of November was one that split fans - some felt the time was right to remove the head coach after a seven game winless run, while others felt sticking with him was the better option.

We'll never know if Jokanovic could've turned things around at Craven Cottage after Khan Snr sacked him, instead opting for Ranieri who he described as a 'risk-free' appointment.

As it's turned out just a few months later, the hiring was anything but 'risk-free'.

Ranieri's approach is the stark opposite of what Jokanovic had Fulham playing, going from a possession-based style to a defensive, counter-attacking brand.

Players were brought it to fit one style of play and they're now being shoehorned into a style they don't fit, while members of the side that were so important under Jokanovic have been pushed out altogether in favour of 'Premier League experience'.

Interestingly, Ranieri's stats suggest he has the team performing better than Jokanovic did during his spell.

He's averaging one goal a game compared to 0.9 under Jokanovic, 1.9 goals conceded compared to 2.6, while they've faced less shots (13.9 to 16.3) and allowed less shots on goal (5.7 to 6.3).

But yet the fans have turned and it's easy to see why.

There was an identity under Jokanovic, one that had been built up over the course of two and a half seasons and one that the fan bought into, but under Ranieri there isn't one.

The football has been dire and considering the team have been together for 26 Premier League games, there isn't actually much improvement when you look at those stats.

But the biggest thing under Ranieri is that the pathway from the Academy, Fulham's shining light, has been gated off.

He has no time for youth and that has been evident over his handling of Sessegnon, who after the loss to Manchester United Ranieri described as not being in his best fitness or form.

It is this treatment of a man who has embodied what Fulham has been about the past few years coupled with the dire football seen since his arrival that has meant Ranieri has already lost the fans.

He may have won the Premier League with Leicester City, but he's now showing why he got the sack the next season and why so many were surprised to see him get that job in the first place.

Khan Snr said when he appointed him: "Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option.

"So having someone of Claudio's calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential.

"Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham."

As it's turning out, he's none of these things.



https://www.football.london/fulham-fc/errors-left-fulham-no-identity-15811352




Really good article, I find it difficult to disagree with any of it.