Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...  (Read 1118 times)

Offline whitejc

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Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« on: February 19, 2020, 10:07:51 AM »
Top 5 French players to play for Fulham

Throughout the years, many Frenchmen have displayed superb performances in the white shirt (many of them were also really bad, but let’s leave that for another article). This article celebrates them, by presenting the five best Frenchmen to ever represent Fulham – a must read if you remember the early 2000’s fondly.

5. Alain Goma
Alain Goma was signed by Jean Tigana in 2001, when Fulham were cruising through the First Division. He was, at the time, the club’s record transfer fee; 4 million pounds – about an eighth of Zambo-Anguissa. A solid and tough centre-back, Goma became a very important player in Fulham’s first season back in the Premier League. He played more than 100 games for the club, but his first two seasons were by far his best, as his game time started to decline under Chris Coleman. Goma left the world of football after retirement, and now works in real-estate, but is still based in London, and, apparently still has a season ticket at Craven Cottage.

4. Sylvain Legwinski.
Legwiniski is another of Tigana’s signings, having played for him at Monaco previously. A cult hero, he scored some mythical goals, especially his strike against Newcastle. It was the type of strike where everyone thought “don’t shoot!” seconds before the ball hit the back of the net. Legwinski was a complete midfielder, good on the ball and ever industrious. He always tried to build a rapport with the crowd, which made him a fan favourite at the time. He was not your usual footballer – he likes the Pixies and electro, rock and jazz, for a start. He loved London and the club, and said that he would love to come back and coach at Craven Cottage – he embraced coaching after his career with Monaco’s youth teams.

3. Louis Saha
Petit Louis became great at Fulham. The French striker was welcomed with some scepticism in South West London, due to his disappointing spell with Newcastle, but it’s fair to say that it did not last long. He was a key part of the successful promotion season to the Premier League in 2001, scoring 27 goals in the second-tier of English Football. Saha, however, was much more than goals: he was an all-round beautiful left-footed player, a combination of strength and finesse, of pace and technique, someone who should have been a legend of French football if not for the injuries that plagued his career. Although he did not score as often in his first two-seasons in the Premier League, he showed his talent on several occasions, not least during the 3-2 loss at Old Trafford in 2002, where his two goals and performance that day allegedly convinced Sir Alex to sign him. This eventually happened in the middle of the 2003-2004 season, despite Fulham’s reluctance to sell a striker who had scored 15 times already that season. His departure saddened Fulham fans, but it turned out they had seen the very best of Louis Saha: despite the enduring love of Sir Alex, and some successful times at Man U, injuries prevented him from consistently reaching again the level he showed at the Cottage. He is remembered in France as a talented striker who did not have the career he deserved, playing at a time where the likes of Henry or Trezeguet made it hard for any strikers to find a spot in the national team.

2. Steed Malbranque
When “Malbranque” is mentioned to Fulham fans, the reaction is unanimous: “STEEEEEEEED”. In fact, he is much more famous in London than in his home country, where he is mostly known for his rather unique first name, and for being Tony Blair’s favourite player. Malbranque’s high energy game, technical qualities, in addition to a couple of goals scored each season, made him a huge fan favourite. He especially flourished under Tigana’s free-flowing, attacking football, but unlike some of his compatriots who struggled when Chris Coleman took charge, he remained a key player under the Welshman. After spells at Spurs and Sunderland, Malbranque came back to French Ligue 1, playing more than 100 games for his first club, Olympique Lyonnais, where he displayed the same professionalism that we had seen at the Cottage. He came close to playing for the French national team but never made it, in a decade where the side had many high-quality players, especially in midfield.

1. Jean Tigana
Number 1 is a manager. Yes, things ended acrimoniously for Tigana, who was fired in 2003 when the team was in danger of relegation. He also was sued by Al-Fayed for supposedly dodgy transfer fees (although charges were later dropped). Granted, some of his transfer choices ended-up being massive flops (looking at you, Steve Marlet), but Jean Tigana brought some of the best football Craven Cottage has ever seen, and some of the best footballers in Fulham fans’ memories – it is no coincidence that all the players mentioned in this piece date back to the early 2000’s. He absolutely walked the First Division, his team winning the league with 101 points, led by a front three made of Saha, Boa Morte and Hayles. Under Tigana, Fulham stayed up comfortably in their first season back in the Premier League, reached the FA Cup semi-finals, and got through to the UEFA Cup by winning the highly coveted Intertoto Cup. Jean Tigana had various manager spells after leaving South West London, but never reached the status he achieved at Craven Cottage again. He now lives retired from the world of football and refuses most press enquiries. He is number 1 on this list because most of the aforementioned players would probably not have played for Fulham had he not signed them. He brought the club back at the top level, and even in Europe, and his time is associated with the hope and the optimism surrounding the club in the early Al-Fayed years.

Many other players the early 2000s could have reasonably been thought of, like Martin Djetou, the man who played the most games for Fulham without ever playing at Craven Cottage during the Loftus Road era. it is harder to think of French players of more recent times who would compare to people mentioned in this list. Moussa Dembélé had a good season in the championship but barely represented the club in the top tier, and, much more importantly never became an icon like some of the players described here did. Most of the recent French players ranged from decent (Seko Fofana, Aboubakar Kamara) to complete flops (anyone remembers Yohan Mollo?). Where will Anthony Knockaert finish up on the list? Will we remember him as high energy winger who scored screamers which helped Fulham back to the Premier League? Or will he be a one season wonder, a passion merchant whose inconsistency made him largely forgettable? Only time will tell…

All in all, remembering great French players at Fulham is mostly about remembering the early 2000’s, an era that most FFC fans look back on fondly.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2020, 10:09:55 AM »
Leeds, Fulham, Bristol City - How does Preston North End's Championship run in compare?

With a top six finish well in reach, how do PNE's fixtures look in comparison to those in and around them?

The promotion race is hotting up in the Championship with Preston North End sitting in sixth place heading into their next game.

Alex Neil's team take on Hull at Deepdale on Saturday, looking to put the disappointment of last weekend's defeat to Millwall firmly behind them.

North End's manager stressed throughout January the importance of heading into February in a strong position, which PNE have done.

Before Saturday's 0-1 loss, the Lilywhites had taken seven points from their three games this month.

Mentality is another thing Neil has talked a lot about; Can North End continue to produce when the pressure builds? Can they manage to win games at the end of the season, when they know who is playing down the road?

That is the test that is going to be put to PNE's squad, who have been excellent so far this season and have given them a real shot of reaching at least the Play-Offs.

With that in mind, let's take a glance at how the last six fixtures of the season look for those hunting promotion.

Championship run-ins
West Brom (1st, 63pts)

Hull (H), Derby (H), Blackburn (A), Fulham (A), Huddersfield (A), QPR (H)
Leeds (2nd, 59pts)

Blackburn (A), Stoke (H), Swansea (A), Barnsley (H), Derby (A), Charlton (H)
Fulham (3rd, 56pts)

Birmingham (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Cardiff (H), West Brom (A), Sheffield Wednesday (H), Wigan (A)
Brentford (4th, 55pts)

Wigan (H), Charlton (H), Derby (A), Preston (H), Stoke (A), Barnsley (H)
Nottingham Forest (5th, 53pts)

Derby (A), Fulham (H), Preston (A), Swansea (H), Barnsley (A), Stoke (H),
Preston North End (6th, 53pts)

Huddersfield (A), Sheffield Wednesday (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Brentford (A), Birmingham (H), Bristol City (A)
Bristol City (7th, 53pts)

Cardiff (H), Hull (H), Middlesbrough (A), Stoke (H), Swansea (A), Preston (H)

There is then a mere three point gap to Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff, who are both on good run of form - Millwall are on 49 points and Swansea 48.

North End’s last remaining 13 matches are against teams with an average current league position of 11.1.

That’s the sixth highest average of any side in the Championship.

Only Derby County (8.1), Fulham (9.4), Sheffield Wednesday (10.5), Swansea City (10.6) and Bristol City (10.8) face opponents who are higher up the league.

Leeds United are at the other end of the scale and face opponents with an average league position of 15.5.

Reading are next with an average of 15.3 and are followed by Millwall (14.9), Luton (14.2) and Charlton (14.0).

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2020, 10:11:28 AM »
Derby County vs Fulham injury news - three defenders out, but midfielder could return

Fulham will be without three centre-backs against Derby County on Friday night, but Aleksandr Mitrovic is fit and firing

Derby County will take centre stage in the Championship on Friday night when they kick-off another exciting weekend against Fulham.

It’s a game that several clubs will be keeping a close eye on – not least fans of arch rivals Nottingham Forest.

Fulham currently find themselves in third place, three points behind Leeds United as the battle for a Premier League place continues.

As things stand, there are just six points between Leeds and Bristol City, who are on the cusp of the Play-Offs in seventh.

Derby, meanwhile, will be hoping to upset the west Londoners as they aim to spark a late push for the top six.

Here is the current state of play with injuries at Fulham ahead of Friday night’s clash at Pride Park (7.45pm kick-off).

Aleksandr Mitrovic

When the free-scoring Serb pulled up against Hull City last month, there were fears that he could be out for several weeks.

However, his ankle injury was not as bad as first feared – and he seems to be feeling no further effects from that short spell on the sidelines.

Indeed, Mitrovic has scored three in his last four games, hitting 29 in all competitions so far this season!

Terence Kongolo

A loan signing from Huddersfield Town during the January transfer window, Kongolo will play no further part this season.

Having featured just twice following his move from west Yorkshire, the Dutchman suffered a foot injury that will, ultimately, keep him out until the summer.

It came as a big blow to the Dutch centre-back – formerly of Feyenoord and Monaco who had been hoping to put force a permanent move.

Maxime Le Marchand

There is no doubt about it, the west Londoners have had more than their fair share of injuries at centre-back this season.

A regular at the start of the 2019/2020 campaign, Le Marchard was forced off during the narrow victory at Birmingham City in November and he hasn’t pulled on Fulham’s white shirt since.

It was initially hoped that the 30-year-old would return from his back injury early in the New Year, but that comeback has yet to materialise.

Alfie Mawson

Another centre-back. Another injury absentee.

Once injured while putting his boots on, Mawson sustained a knee injury during the 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough last month, which was incidentally another Friday night fixture.

He’s not yet expected to return to matchday contention.

Derby County old boy claims Rams blocked move to Champions League club

Harrison Reed

It’s been something of a stop-start season for Reed so far, with a recurring calf injury restricting him to 17 appearances in all competitions.

His last game came on January 1, but there could be light at the end of the tunnel as he bids to make a return to first-team contention.

Reed, who came through the Youth ranks at Southampton, has been a key figure for Scott Parker when he has been available. But will his return come this weekend?

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2020, 01:53:02 PM »
Get 25% Off 19/20 Home Shirts

Fulham fans are now able to take advantage of our latest Flash Sale, with 25% off all 19/20 Home shirts!

Make sure you're all set for the run in and take advantage of this limited time offer.

Fans can purchase their shirt online or from our Stadium Store*.

*Open 9am-5pm Friday and Saturday, and 11am-4pm on Sunday.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2020, 01:54:18 PM »
‘He was contradicting himself’ – Cyrus Christie takes aim at former Derby County manager

Former Derby County player Cyrus Christie has attacked his former club for not allowing him to make a move to a Champions League club.

Christie, who played 119 times for the Rams over a three year spell has made the claim of a blocked exit via Counter Attack Podcast, and as cited by Derby Telegraph.

The Republic of Ireland international arrived at Pride Park from Coventry City in 2014, before eventually leaving the East Midlands for a move to Middlesbrough in 2017.

The 27-year-old has since joined Fulham and will come up against his former employers on Friday evening when they meet Derby.

Reflected on his career with Derby, Christie revealed that former manager Paul Clement blocked a move in the 2015/2016 season that would have seen the defender play in the Champions League.

The full-back was frozen out to begin with by Clement, prompting him to look for a new club to join and he has now opened up on not being allowed to leave.

“He (Clement) just came in and wasn’t having me at all – out of nowhere,” said Christie.

“He said I was fifth choice – he put two centre backs ahead of me at right back. He was contradicting himself because he was like: ‘I think you’re our best right back, but I just want to play with them.

“I had somewhere lined up to go and he said: ‘No, you can’t go there, it’s abroad.’

“I said: ‘What is the issue with me going abroad, they play in the Champions League. You’ve got to let me go. It’s a good opportunity.'”

The Verdict

Friday’s meeting between high flying Fulham and a much improved Derby side will be entertaining to say the least and a good test for Phillip Cocu’s side.

Christie’s claims act as a real teaser before he faces his former club, but whether or not the 27-year-old features remains to be seen.

Having returned from injury early in December, Christie had forced his way in the Fulham starting eleven, but he has since made just one appearances in February.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2020, 12:13:12 AM »
Frustrating Derby County player news emerges ahead of Fulham clash

Derby County boss Phillip Cocu has confirmed that midfielder Duane Holmes has been ruled out for several weeks through injury.

Holmes has been in ever-improving form this season for the Rams and his injury picked up in their draw with Huddersfield on Saturday will hand Cocu a big loss.

The USA international was forced off the pitch after 29 minutes and it has since been confirmed that he will now miss several weeks with an ankle problem.

The ex-Scunthorpe man has netted three goals in his last eight games for Derby, making him an important part of the club’s impressive start to 2020.

Derby have vastly improved following an inconsistent start tot he season and now sit 13th in the Championship, nine points adrift of the final play-off place

Holmes’ absence will begin when Derby face high flying Fulham on Friday evening at Pride Park.

The Verdict

Losing Holmes is a massive blow for Cocu and Derby. The US international has been excellent of late and is one of the in-form Championship players.

His absence from Derby’s midfield will see a mix of attacking and defensive quality vanish, and it will be interesting to see who Cocu selects to replace Holmes.

Derby’s form in 2020 has been excellent, but Cocu will be hoping this news does not halt their recent run of good results.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2020, 12:17:08 AM »
‘Average Championship player’ – Some Fulham fans have been disappointed with this summer signing

Fulham completed the permanent signing of Bobby Reid from Cardiff last month.

The Jamaican joined Fulham on-loan at the start of the season, with a view to a permanent deal.

He started slowly and took a while to get his first goal, but he found form in the run-up to New Year, and Scott Parker and Fulham chose to make his stay permanent.

But with only one goal in his last nine, five in 28 Championship appearances all season, has Reid lived up to expectations at Fulham this season?

Everybody in the league knows about his quality. He claimed the Championship Golden Boot only two seasons ago with Bristol City, but his Premier League move with Cardiff didn’t work out.

We asked Fulham fans of the Facebook group ‘There’s Only One F in Fulham‘ whether they think that Reid has proved a good signing this season, or whether he’s been a disappointing one.

Here’s what they had to say:

Brian Tea: I think he’s often been played out of position hence the lower than expected goal tally.

Roger Burbridge: Hugely. He does not bring much to the team. Bristol City were happy to get rid of him and even Cardiff didn’t think he’s good enough.

Martin Budge: No, because he hasn’t played in a position that guarantees him goals.

Tom Marshall: A lot more to come from him, but not sure he’s been worth the money we paid.

TJ Carter: Would be a lot more effective if he played just off Mitrovic.

Matt Keen: He’s the only player who moves at more than a walk off the ball.

Paul Fraser: An average Championship player will be completely out of his depth if we were to go up.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 12:17:45 AM »
Swansea Tickets

Fulham return to Craven Cottage on Wednesday 26th February, looking to reignite their promotion charge against Swansea City, kick-off 7:45pm.

Scott Parker’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways and do the double over the Welsh outfit, after our 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium last November.

Tickets are on General Sale with supporters able to purchase up to six tickets per person for this fixture, and can be secured online, by phone on 0203 871 0810 (opt. 1) or in person from the Fulham Ticket Office.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 12:20:20 AM »
'No coincidence' - Fulham old boy explains why former club will be wary of Derby County

Derby County news | The Rams take on the Cottagers on Friday night in their next match in the Sky Bet Championship

One former Fulham player is wary of the threat Wayne Rooney will pose for Derby County in their Sky Bet Championship fixture this week.

The Rams take on the Cottagers at Pride Park Stadium on Friday night, with both clubs seeking all three points for their respective ambitions.

Derby will feel a place in the top six in within their reach, after the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town left them nine points adrift with 13 league matches left to play.

Fulham are striving to achieve automatic promotion to the Premier League, and are currently three points behind second-placed Leeds United.

Phillip Cocu’s side suffered a 3-0 defeat to Scott Parker’s men at Craven Cottage in November, and former Fulham midfielder Sean Davis reckons Friday’s night’s match will be a close game.

Davies also believes the impact of Rooney’s arrival has rejuvenated the Rams since the turn of the year.

 “One of the big stories this season has been Wayne Rooney joining Derby, and his presence in the dressing room will have given them a huge boost,” Davis told Fulham’s club website.

“He will have raised the standard of training from day one.

“The biggest thing for a player is having the respect of your teammates, and he will have gone in there and lifted everyone.

“People will see how he trains, what he does before and after, and it will just raise everyone’s game.

“Players will want to win his respect as well so they’ll be giving everything, and it’s no coincidence that Derby’s results have improved since his arrival.

“It’s Wayne Rooney at the end of the day, he was one of the best players in England for a good 12 or so years.

“He hasn’t gone there just for a holiday, you can’t cruise in the Championship, and he’ll want to do as well as he can.

“I played against him when he was at Everton and Manchester United, and also trained with him when we were both in the England squad.

“He was an exceptional talent from such a young age – you don’t become Man United’s all-time goal scorer by being average.

“He won everything there, so should be applauded as one of England’s greatest players.

“We certainly won’t be underestimating him on Friday, that’s for sure.”

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2020, 12:21:14 AM »
Cocu Reveals Mixed Injury News Ahead Of Fulham Clash

Phillip Cocu has revealed some mixed injury news for Derby County ahead of Friday’s home fixture against Fulham (7:45pm kick-off).

Andre Wisdom is set to be available for selection for the meeting with the Cottagers under the Pride Park Stadium floodlights, however Duane Holmes is set for a spell out of action.

Wisdom felt some tightness in his hamstring in the latter stages of last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town, while Holmes was forced off early on in the game against the Terriers with an injury to his lower leg.

Defender Wisdom has trained for the last few days, putting aside any fears of a spell in the treatment room, while Cocu says attacking midfielder Holmes will be out for ‘several weeks’.

Cocu told RamsTV on Wednesday afternoon: “Andre Wisdom is available, he trained after two days of rest and one day to adapt. He is fine.

“Duane Holmes will be out for several weeks. That is a setback for the team because he has been playing very well and his development was really positive so to lose a player with his qualities is a pity for the team.

“However, it opens the door for a new player who can get a chance.”

Wisdom has made 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season, after missing the early months of the campaign with a knee injury, while Holmes has appeared in 31 matches in total and scored three times.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2020, 12:22:38 AM »
‘You need to be focused’ – Loads of Fulham fans react angrily to club’s training-ground update

Fulham will be looking to bounce back from their humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Barnsley when they travel to face Derby County on Friday evening.

Scott Parker’s side suffered a serious setback in their automatic-promotion bid as they crashed to the loss against the Tykes, with former Fulham frontman Cauley Woodrow netting a brace and Jacob Brown also on target for the visitors.

The result means the Cottagers have now failed to keep the pace with second-placed Leeds following their 1-0 win over Bristol City, but Parker’s men can at least temporarily move back level with the Whites when they make the trip to Pride Park.

Fulham have now taken to Instagram to share an image of some of their players in training ahead of the clash with Phillip Cocu’s side, with the Cottagers accompanying the post with the caption “Fully focused”.

Plenty of Fulham supporters have now responded to this message by criticising the side for not being focused during their recent defeat, while others urged Parker’s men to display a better attitude when they face the Rams on Friday.

Here are some of the responses…

harry.matthewss: Why weren’t they on Saturday?

maxbryson92: Fully focused on adding nothing to the team, eh Cairney? #drophim

stanley_ffc: They better be fully focused for Friday

belindashackson: You need to be focused every match!!

taylor.ffc: Better be

arameeeeeee: Fully focused to disappoint fans?

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2020, 12:24:39 AM »
The good omen that will delight Derby County fans ahead of Fulham clash

Derby County news | The Rams take on the Cottagers on Friday night at Pride Park Stadium in their next match in the Sky Bet Championship

Chris Martin in action for Derby County against Middlesbrough (Image: Andy Clarke)

Derby County resume their Sky Bet Championship campaign this week, as they welcome Fulham to Pride Park Stadium.

The Rams take on the Cottagers on Friday night, as they look to bounce back from a disappointing set of results.

Phillip Cocu’s side were held to a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town in their last outing, after losing 3-2 to Bristol City three days previously.

Derby will feel a place in the top six in within their reach, after the stalemate with the Terriers left them nine points adrift with 13 league matches left to play.

Fulham are striving to achieve automatic promotion to the Premier League, and are currently three points behind second-placed Leeds United.

Ahead of the game, the EFL have confirmed that Darren Bond will be the referee for the contest at Pride Park.

Bond will be assisted by Mark Jones and Akil Howson, with Robert Jones working as the fourth official.

This is the second Derby match that Bond will have refereed this season, with the last being the Rams’ 2-0 win over Middlesbrough in November.

Bond was also in charge of Derby’s 1-1 draw away at Fulham in the 2017/18 season, where a Matej Vydra goal cancelled an early Oliver Norwood free kick at Craven Cottage.

The Rams’ record makes good reading when Bond is the referee, with Derby not losing any of their last nine matches that he has taken charge of.

In that time, Derby have won four and drawn five, with one of those wins being the 5-0 thrashing of Hull City in September 2017.

The last time Derby lost when Bond was the man in the middle was in February 2017, when the Rams lost 1-0 away at Blackburn Rovers.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 12:26:35 AM »
February Madness – Part Three

Have we recovered from Saturday yet? I’m not sure if I have. It was a performance that included everything bad about Fulham this season. For certain games and periods of games we have looked so good, but for the most part we have been pedestrian and devoid of ideas. Yes, we have managed to get the results that have us up in third place, but bar the Millwall home game back in August we haven’t really played out of second or third gear. I honestly believe that this squad has so much to offer, but we are playing with shackles on, and if we don’t release them soon we’ll find ourselves out of the top 6.

But let’s not get too down on ourselves. As I say, we are still in 3rd place and while the last couple of results have seen us miss a huge opportunity to move into second, we are still very much in this fight. Fulham are actually 6th in the form table when you look at the last six Championship matches. Remarkably, there is only one side from the top six above us in the form table, and that’s Preston North End. The last two results have sucked, but when we look at the bigger picture, things aren’t as bad as they could be.

While all of our games are considered as ‘must win’ at the minute, Derby on Friday night has become important for more than just the result. The team have to come and put in a performance that shows us that they are up for this. We haven’t played at Pride Park since we lost the first leg the play-offs in 2018, but earlier that season early goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Aleksander Mitrovic were enough for all three points. I was at that game, and the way we played in the first half, you’d have thought that we were going to win about 7nil. We were sublime, and Derby couldn’t contain us at all, but we let them into the second half, and nearly blew it at the end. We need the Fulham of the first half from that game in 2018 to show up for 90minutes on Friday. Derby have had a reasonably poor season, but they have been a bit better recently and Wayne Rooney has helped to boost the mood around Pride Park. They taken 10points from the last six games, which isn’t awful considering that they are down in 13th in the table.

For the promotion race, arguably West Brom and Brentford have the hardest games this weekend. Brentford host a Blackburn side who are at the top of the form table and who are closing in on a top 6 spot themselves, while West Brom face Bristol City away, who are in 7th. There’s no easy game in this league, but you’d expect Leeds, Forest and Preston all to get wins this weekend, so we need to put the pressure on by taking 3points on Friday night.

Football is a funny game. While the result on Saturday was terrible, it was the manner in which we performed that was the most disappointing. Barnsley didn’t come and nick a 1nil victory, they played us off the park. But the good thing about football is that there is always the next game to put things right. Roll on Friday night.


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2020, 12:28:09 AM »
2 players Fulham should sell if they get promoted

Fulham are pushing for promotion from the Championship as they look for an immediate return to the top flight following relegation.

The Cottagers were relegated last season after a one-year stay in the Premier League and manager Scott Parker has managed to assemble a squad that is capable of challenging for promotion back to the top tier.

Any club has to think about the makeup of their squad if they are looking for promotion at this stage of the season and Parker will be no different as he decides which players have a future at Craven Cottage if they were to find themselves in a new division come August.

Here are two players that Fulham should sell if they get promoted…

Maxime Le Marchand
The 30-year-old defender was a part of the Fulham squad that ended up getting relegated from the top flight last season.

He was used fairly regularly as he made 26 league appearances but failed to make any real impression upon the fans at Craven Cottage.

The centre-back has now struggled in the Championship as injuries have curtailed his season and limited his appearances to just eight in the league.

He hasn’t featured for the club since the start of November as he has been out nursing a long-term back injury but is still expected to feature again before the end of the season.

The Cottagers would be better off trying to move the defender on this summer and using the money elsewhere to bolster their squad.

The goalkeeper signed in the summer of 2018 but has failed to make his mark on the senior squad at Craven Cottage.

The 32-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by Parker last summer who chose to loan the experienced shot-stopper out to Mallorca.

Fabri has featured just four times across the season for the Spanish club as he has found himself being the regular bench-warmer in La Liga.

Fulham already have a wealth of options in the goalkeeper department with Marek Rodak, Marcus Bettinelli and January signing Jordan Archer all being capable of doing a consistent job in between the sticks when used.

The keeper’s contract doesn’t run out until the summer of 2021 and Fulham would be better off getting the fourth-choice keeper off their books this summer if they were to secure a return to the Premier League.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2020, 12:30:07 AM »
2 Fulham players that need to raise their game in the final months of the season

Fulham are keeping pace in the race for promotion.

Scott Parker’s side have occupied the 3rd-place spot in the Championship table for much of the season, proving to be the ‘best of the rest’ as Leeds United and West Brom continue to lead the pack.

Fulham did manage to close what was an 11-point gap to Leeds but last weekend suffered a 3-0 home defeat to bottom-club Barnsley, allowing Leeds to re-open the gap after beating Bristol City.

A lot was said about Parker and the players after the game. Not everyone has lived up to expectations this season, and here we take a look at two Fulham players who need to raise their game in the final months of the season:

Cyrus Christie
Christie on his day can be one of the Championship’s best right-wing backs. He boasts tremendous physical attributes and his attacking ability is highly-regarded, but this season he’s struggled to make a mark on the first-team, and has received criticism from fans throughout.

The 27-year-old has featured 16 times in the Championship this season, playing in less than half of Fulham’s games, and has since sat out the last three on the bench in favour of Denis Odoi, and last week Steven Sessegnon.

It’s like he’s carried the hangover of last season into this one – he had a terrible time in the Premier League, as did most of the Fulham players, but Christie seems to have lost his confidence more than most.

His time at the club could well come to an end in the summer if he fails to break back into the first-team. He’s had his chances to impress but has consistency been dropped in-turn, and fans would likely want to see a much younger Sessegnon playing and progressing instead.

Anthony Knockaert
Of all the impressive business that Fulham did in the summer, the loan-acquisition of Knockaert looked like the crowning of those signings. The Frenchman has proven himself at both Championship and Premier League level, and has won promotion from the second-tier with Leicester City and Brighton.

But in 30 appearances in all competitions this season he’s managed just four goals and four assists. He netted 15 in Brighton’s promotion winning 2016/17 campaign and Parker wanted to bring a bit of that to Craven Cottage, but the 28-year-old just seems to have lost his confidence and his touch a little.

Knockaert has impressed at times, but nowhere near consistently enough to warrant regular starting spot, and it’s likely that Fulham won’t want to make his stay permanent in the summer.

Both Bobby Reid and Ivan Cavaleiro have made their stays permanent, and Parker would’ve been looking at doing the same for Knockaert at the start of the season – a few good games and goals in the run-in to May though might see him stay after all.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2020, 12:31:43 AM »
Hector vs Jansson: Fulham ace has made his impact felt but he is still well short of his Brentford rival

There has been plenty to get excited about in West London this season as both Fulham and Brentford push for promotion to the Premier League.

Having been emphatically relegated from the top-flight last season, The Whites will be looking to regain their pride and secure an immediate return to the promised land.

For Brentford, however, this season looks like it could prove to be the culmination of their approach over the past four or five campaigns.

The Bees have shrewdly bought and sold stars in order to become more competitive in the second-tier and under Thomas Frank they now seem to be in a position of real strength.

Two players who have been impressive for their respective sides are centre-backs Michael Hector and Pontus Jansson.

Jansson made the controversial move from Leeds United to Griffin Park in the summer whilst Hector was only able to complete his transfer to Craven Cottage in January.

With the latter now racking up seven appearances under Scott Parker’s stewardship, we felt this was a good time to have a look at their records…

Hector’s impact at the Cottage has been undeniable.

The 27 year-old has arrived and immediately brought some badly needed leadership to the back-line, proving a colossus against any opponent.

But there is no question that Jansson has been the better of the two so far.

It is no coincidence that the Bees’ defence has been so much more secure since the Swede’s arrival in the summer transfer window. He has won 63% of his aerial duels which, in a physical league, is very impressive.

It is also more than 5% more than Hector’s success rate, despite having played 17 more games too.

His reading of the game has also been noticeably superior to his counterpart, making an average of 5.59 interceptions per game whilst the Fulham man manages fewer than five.

Both teams play a passing game, with their respective goalkeepers frequently going short to them from their goalkicks.

And, once again, it is Jansson who impresses most in that remit, boasting a pass success rate more than 10% higher than Hector’s and long pass rate which is better by 11%.

In fact there is just one area where Hector bests Jansson and that is when it comes to clearances, with the former Chelsea player apparently more likely to take a no-nonsense approach with his defending.

There is no doubt that Hector has been an excellent acquisition for the Whites and will prove crucial in the season run-in.

But Jansson has been doing it for the entire season and it will take a special patch of form for him to be overtaken by his Fulham counterpart.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 20/02/20...
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2020, 12:39:14 AM »
Owner’s Editorial: Why Fulham, Portland, Ireland and especially Prost Soccer honor Jimmy Conway

Fulham players pay tribute to Jimmy before their home game with Barnsley
Photo by Jed Leicester/Back Page Images/Shutterstock (courtesy of Fulham FC)

Many players are legends at their clubs. Some ascend to spending long enough at two clubs to be legends twice. Jimmy Conway, who died last week, was legend enough to be honored in two countries on different continents.

In his tribute on this site, former Prost Portland Editor Brennan Burns explains what elevated Conway among his playing counterparts when the NASL closed its doors:

    “…. what stands out in Conway’s achievements from his counterparts is the lasting impact his organizational skill brought to youth development, from the recreational to the most competitive levels across the state and surrounding region.

    “Conway’s establishment of coaching credentialing programs and the youth development setup via his leadership tenure at the Oregon Youth Soccer Association paved the way for the profound success the current Timbers enjoy, right down to the academy structure and feeder clubs that foster the advancement of youth players today.”

It’s not just in Portland that Conway’s contribution has affected those yet to be born at the time he graced the wing.

I was at Fulham on Saturday to watch the promotion chasing Cottagers face Barnsley. I didn’t select this match because of Jimmy’s death. I selected it because of Jimmy’s life.

My love of football began when I watched my first ever live game.

It was November 16, 1974 when Fulham hosted Sunderland in the days when the second division was still called  Division Two. These were the line ups that day:

Among the names football historians might recognise on the Fulham side are Bobby Moore who captained England to their only World Cup and Allan Mullery who won 35 England caps.

On the Sunderland side, Ian Porterfield went on to manage clubs like Aberdeen, Chelsea and Sheffield United.

Among the other heroes who so enthralled a ten year old kid was Fulham and Republic of Ireland winger Jimmy Conway. He left for Cascadia in 1978 where his impact as Burns explained in his article is still being felt today.

Nineteen years later, I made the same journey and I often wondered if the soccer passion that I found in the entirety of Cascadia would have existed without Jimmy Conway.

One man who knew Conway very well is former Timbers mascot Jim Serrill.

He pointed us to  the emotional tribute given by the Timbers Army before giving his own:

    “Through his work, he was able to identify individuals for higher level training and ultimately was responsible for licensing well over 1,000 soccer coaches, truly creating an army of soccer instructors in and around Oregon.

    “Forget teaching someone to fish: if you teach them to teach, you can benefit an entire community. This was perhaps Jimmy’s greatest gift to all of us.

    “If you grew up playing the game in the Portland area, odds are good that you were coached by someone trained by Jimmy, if not by Jimmy himself.”

Serill added this from his own, by his own admission, broken heart:

    “Every time I pass by a Soccer pitch filled with children, I will look to the Heavens and give Jimmy Conway a wink and a smile.”

That passion for the sport in Cascadia prompted me to start this site.

We started in Seattle while Seattle Sounders, then as now owned by Adrian Hanauer and coached by Brian Schmetzer, played in the USL.

The site quickly became Cascadia focused, even though the Sounders rose to Major League Soccer leaving Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps momentarily behind in the minor leagues.

As I began to make repeated visits to Portland, one name kept coming up in conversation – Jimmy Conway.

Despite declining health limiting his interactions with the younger public, his name was spoken of in hushed tones similar to the way West Ham fans still revere Bobby Moore and my fellow countryman Jimmy Gabriel is by Sounders fans.

People who’d never even seen them play spoke and still speak of these men with extraordinary reverence. You can see evidence of the respect for Jimmy at first hand in the video further down this article and the match report below.

When back in London, I never miss a chance to return to Craven Cottage, the stadium where my love affair began. I selected the Fulham v Barnsley game some weeks ago, well before news of Jimmy’s death broke.

I first became aware of his passing when I opened my email to see the official announcement from the Portland Timbers. My first thought was naive in the extreme; “I wonder if Fulham are aware of what’s happened in Oregon overnight and whether they’ll commemorate it.”

The doubt in my mind was brief.

As I checked the Fulham site for team news for my match preview, I saw a wonderful tribute to the Irishman. As well as statistical details of his playing career, one sentence stuck out from that article:

“Due to his decade-long spell in SW6, Jimmy was offered a testimonial, but turned it down as he felt that the Fulham supporters had given up enough of their money keeping him in a job over the years.”

If that was the mark of an incredible man, so was the fact that through 15 years of playing (443 games), he never once received a booking or a red card. That respect was replicated by the power of the minute’s applause given by young and old.

Did I want to join in?

Yes; but a stronger urge overtook and that was the urge to show people in Portland how loved their icon was over here.

As the applause ended and before posting it anywhere, I sent the video to Serrill who passed it on immediately to Conway’s wife, Noeleen.

In the hope it had brought her some comfort and cheer privately, we subsequently tweeted it out and as the Pacific Northwest woke up just after 7am, the video began to circulate there. Portland soccer fans woke up to see a packed Craven Cottage applaud their mutual hero.

A wreath for Jimmy Conway laid by David Daly (Fulham FC Non-Executive Director), and former players Les Strong and John Lacy
Photo by Jed Leicester/Back Pack Images/Shutterstock (10558444t)

The tributes from Fulham didn’t end there. Club Vice Chairman Tony Khan released a tweet announcing the tribute and offering condolences.

Jimmy’s passing came too late to make the Barnsley match programme but there is every chance more will appear in time for the home game with Swansea on February 26th.

Jimmy played his international football for the Republic of Ireland.

In a moving tribute on their website, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) honored the Dubliner who started his career with Drumcondra side Stella Maris before playing for Bohemians.

Stella Maris is a club best known for its youth system which may give readers some insight into Jimmy’s passion for coaching young players when he arrived in Oregon.

Johnny Giles, David O’Leary, and Eoin Hand are three of its more famous graduates all of whom went on to represent the Irish national team.

In the article, FAI Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn said:

    “I am very saddened to hear of Jimmy’s passing and extend our sympathies to his family and friends.

    “One of my earliest FA Cup memories is watching the 1975 final when West Ham beat Fulham 2-0 at Wembley and Jimmy was the only non-English player on the field.

    “I can remember being so proud to see an Irishman playing in the FA Cup final, it was an inspirational moment.”

Quinn emulated that in 1987 when he appeared at Wembley in the League Cup final for Arsenal.

He wasn’t though the only Irishman on the pitch. He was joined by Arsenal teammate and of course Stella Maris alumni, David O’Leary.

Portland Timbers fans pay tribute to Irishman Jimmy Conway on Sunday at their friendly with Vancouver
Photo: Diego Diaz/Prost Soccer

The consequences of Jimmy Conway’s contribution to the football will be felt forever. In Portland, young players will be coached by those who were coached by him. They in turn will teach more American youngsters the game.

In Ireland, he will continue to inspire men like Niall Quinn whose inspiration to advance football in their country has now guided him to a post-playing career in administration.

And for us? My love affair that started that day led to being a fan at countless games and ended with the creation of this site.

It is now sending young men and women to cover games from the press box not only in Cascadia, but across America and, since the birth of Prost International, in the UK too as well as Australia.

Without the men who kicked the ball up and down SW6 so excitingly that day 36 years ago, none of this would have happened.

That’s why on Saturday, I celebrated Jimmy Conway’s life as much as mourned his death.

Photo: Jed Leicester/BPI/Shutterstock