Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...  (Read 907 times)

Offline whitejc

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Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« on: June 30, 2020, 09:14:57 AM »
Bielsa teaches Parker a footballing lesson as Pablo delivers second half masterclass

Leeds United 3 (Bamford 10, Alioski 56, Harrison 71)
Fulham FC 0

Scott Parker, bedecked in a blue blazer, looked like a nervous schoolboy as he squirmed during his post-match interview on Saturday afternoon. It was quite fitting really since he had just been taught a footballing lesson by Marcelo Bielsa. The day had started better for Parker and his Fulham side and they came out with an intensity and aggression which had Leeds on the back foot. A cool finish from Patrick Bamford after an incisive run and cutback from Helder Costa had given Leeds a one nil lead after ten minutes, the first goal in front of the newly christened Norman Hunter stand, but it was very much against the run of play and Fulham dominated the remainder of the first half.

Leeds are used to having the lion’s share of the possession but they looked edgy and harried as they failed to keep hold of the ball and get a grip on the midfield. Anthony Knockaert and Joe Bryan in particular threatened the Leeds goal but Illan Meslier was up to the challenge. If there was one area Leeds were dominant over their London opponents it was in their own six yard box. Liam Cooper and Ben White stood strong and defiant with the latter keeping Aleksandar Mitrović firmly in his pocket for the majority of the game. If the Serbian’s second minute off the ball elbow to the head of the young centre back was supposed to unsettle him it seemed only to do the opposite.

It was a nervy, anxious first half for Leeds fans, so much so that half of the cardboard crowdies in the East Stand couldn’t bear to watch. Something needed to change in the second half if Leeds were to hold onto their lead and Marcelo Bielsa took decisive action. Substituting the provider and scorer of the only goal in the game might not have been the obvious choice but it was Bamford and Costa who would depart for Pablo Hernandez and Gianni Alioski. Bamford hadn’t played badly having scored one and created another good chance for Costa, but with Leeds having little of the ball he was starved of opportunities.

The impact of the changes was immediate, Hernandez was a calming influence in midfield who stamped his authority on the game and dictated play like the magician that he is. Kalvin Phillips marked Tom Cairney out of the contest and the chances that Fulham had in the first half dried up. Mateusz Klich was suddenly freer to get forward and Alioski, Harrison and Roberts stretched Fulham’s back line, carving them open in the way we are used to this Leeds side doing to teams week after week.

It was Roberts and Harrison who combined early on to give Fulham an early warning in the second half, Harrisons shot would have nestled in the bottom corner of the net had it not been for a deflection off an outstretched boot. Harrison was involved again just before the hour mark as he latched onto a perfectly weighted pass from Klich. Harrisons cross from the right hand side evaded not only Roberts but the four Fulham defenders as well falling to a composed Alioski who slotted home to double Leeds United’s lead and put nerves at ease. The crowdies in the Revie Stand the grateful recipients of Macedonians kissed of celebration.

Footballers who make the game look as easy as Pablo Hernandez are rare, he is (as some might say) different gravy! That fifth sense to know where everyone on the pitch is, to know what run his teammates are making and the ability to play the pass that unlocks everything make him one of the best I have seen to don the white shirt of Leeds United. Just after seventy minutes Luke Ayling played the ball out to Pablo, receiving it halfway inside his own half, he had already taken a look over his shoulder and seen Jack Harrisons run, he knew exactly where the winger was going to be, even before Harrison himself realised himself.

The Fulham twitter account described it as a ‘long ball’, the Sky Sports commentary team called it the ‘pass of the season’, I call it perfection. The ball beat four defenders but Harrison still had a lot to do, the speed to break down the wing, the strength to hold off the defender and the tenacity to slot the ball home between the keepers leg for the third goal. His momentum carried him into the North stand, looking slightly perplexed surrounded by inanimate cardboard cut-outs, in more normal times he would have been mobbed by a hundred Koppites, but these are not normal times.

With the job done Hernandez was substituted for Jamie Shackleton after forty six minutes of pure perfection, surely to be wrapped up in cotton wool by Rob Price and his team. After a first half where Leeds struggled to get a foot in the game Marcelo Bielsa taught Scott Parker a footballing lesson and Pablo Hernandez delivered a masterclass in the second half at Elland Road on Saturday. Things would get worse for Parker too as Neeskens Kebano was sent off after a second bookable offence in injury time. He will surely be joined on the suspensions list by Mitrović once the FA have had a chance to look at his assault on Ben White.

It was important for Leeds to get a good early result in this run in of nine games, I had hoped it would have been against Cardiff but a three-nil victory against promotion rivals Fulham will do nicely and it gives confidence going into Tuesday’s game against Luton. Fulham on the other hand find themselves losing ground to Brentford and Forest with an in-form Cardiff hot on their heels.

Leeds Line-up
Meslier, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Costa (Alioski 45), Klich (Douglas 80), Roberts, Harrison (Poveda 83), Bamford (Hernández 45 (Shackleton 90))

Unused Subs: Berardi, Miazek, Struijk, Shackleton, Stevens

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 09:16:01 AM »
Scott Parker responds when asked if Fulham can still catch West Brom after defeat

Fulham boss Scott Parker has insisted that his side will find it tough to catch West Brom in the Championship automatic promotion spots this season.

The Cottagers fell seven-points behind the Baggies after they lost to fellow rivals Leeds United 3-0 on Saturday at Elland Road.

Brentford leapfrogged Fulham over the weekend after taking all three points from the Albion at Griffin Park.

Parker believes that he can’t categorically rule it out, but it would be a massive ask for his side to finish in the top two this season.

“I think that is going to be a big ask,” he said, via Birmingham Live.

“I wouldn’t write it off. We are in a world where the unexpected and surprises can happen. We have seen in a short period results in the last couple of games, surprises can come about.”

Fulham’s task could be about to come even harder in the coming weeks, with Aleksander Mitrovic clearly elbowing Ben White against Leeds on Saturday.

Leeds Live have reported on Sunday that the FA have opened their investigation into the Serbian, who could face a three-match ban for the controversial incident.

So, Fulham could miss their main man for three matches in the business end of the season. If it goes from bad to worst, the Londoners could be further back than just seven points when the two meet at the Hawthorns next month.

It is vitally important that West Brom concentrate on themselves at this moment though, with Albion desperately needing to put an end to their four-match slump on Wednesday.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 09:17:46 AM »
Secure your Match Pass!

Fulham supporters worldwide can watch live coverage of QPR v Fulham from Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on FFCtv.

Kicking off at the earlier time of 6:30pm on Tuesday 30th June, Match Passes are available to purchase now - priced at £5 for fans overseas and £10 for supporters in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. To purchase a match pass, visit using a desktop/ laptop (PC or Mac).

With enhanced four-camera coverage and commentary from Gentleman Jim on FFCtv, the live broadcast begins from 6pm and will be available to watch online at or via the FFCtv App.

Season Ticket Holders who opted for free FFCtv live match access as part of their 19/20 Season Ticket rebate will be able to watch this game. Simply log in to your account to view. Fans are reminded that they do not have to re-enter their voucher code to watch each match and that this process only needs to be done once.

For fans wishing to watch or listen to this fixture, please be sure to follow the below steps:

Using a desktop computer:
• Log-in to your FFCtv account by visiting and clicking LOGIN, located in the top right hand corner.

• If you have yet to purchase a Match Pass or subscription, choose your package and follow the steps to buy.

• Once purchased, to then view the game on desktop simply click on the FFCTV LIVE tab on which will bring up the live video feed (live from 6pm).

• To listen to audio commentary only, click on the adjacent AUDIO COMMENTARY tab.

Fans are reminded that if viewing the website on a mobile or tablet browser (i.e. Safari on an iPhone or Chrome on an Android device) the live stream will not show. To watch on mobile or tablet, you must watch via the FFCtv App, available on iOS and Android - please ensure you have the latest version installed.

For mobile and tablet:
• Purchase a package by visiting on a mobile or desktop browser.

• Open the official FFCtv App and log-in via the ACCOUNT tab located in the bottom right of the screen.

• Fans yet to download the FFCtv App can do so via the Apple App & Google Play stores.

• Log in to your account.

• Once logged in, you should see LISTEN LIVE and WATCH LIVE buttons accessible via the LIVE and MATCHES icons at the bottom of the screen. WATCH LIVE will become active 30 minutes prior to kick-off and LISTEN LIVE 15 minutes before the match.

Fans are reminded that the previous Fulham FC app will not show live video coverage or provide live audio commentary. To access live content please download the new FFCtv App.

FFCtv FAQs can be found here.

For any specific questions relating to playback on your desktop or mobile/tablet device please contact

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 09:20:57 AM »
FOF’cast with Owen Smith

Hello everyone, on this episode of FOF’cast, we are joined by Fulham fan and Friends of Fulham member Owen Smith (os5889 mkII) as we discuss the following topics:

Thoughts about football with no crowds

The Brentford & Leeds games

Lessons Learn’t

Thoughts on the Team selection v Leeds

Thoughts on the first half v Leeds

Half time v Leeds

Second half v Leeds

Bielsa v Parker

Outlook for the rest of the season

Make sure you check out the Friends of Fulham Forum for all the latest FFC gossip

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 09:21:46 AM »
The Fulham Conundrum

We are in a bit of a mess aren’t we? A squad filled with incredibly talented individuals, on huge wages, but with the apparent inability to take chances or to defend. We’ve had the chances to propel ourselves into the top 2 this season, but we have missed the mark time and time again. Since lockdown, we have suffered defeats to two of our fellow promotion rivals and in both games we had the chances to win but after those were squandered, our age old defensive problems came back to haunt us and BANG….game over.

It would be very easy to point blame at Scott Parker, but in truth I think our problems run much deeper than that. Yes, Parker seems to have survived thanks to some of the talent in his squad rather than any tactical masterclass, but let’s not forget that he is a rookie and still has a chance, even if it’s a slim one, to clinch promotion through the play-offs. We have to be honest though, would he have gotten the job at any other club in the Championship given his inexperience? I’m just not so sure.

Some have said that even with his lack of experience he should have done better with this squad, but I have to disagree with that. Just because a rookie craftsman is given the best tools available, doesn’t mean that he is going to produce the same level of work as someone with more experience. They say that a bad workman blames his tools, well it works the other way around as well. You don’t create a good workman just by providing him with the best tools. It takes a lot more than that. That’s not to say that he won’t be a great manager in the future. I think he can be given how astute he is and how much study he puts into the game. He gives a great deal of thought to detail, but at the minute he is focusing on the wrong details. I fear that this job with the target of automatic promotion has came far too early for him.

You also can’t really account for the sheer amount of individual errors that occur within this squad. We are very good at handing opportunities to our opposition on a plate. The past two matches were incredibly frustrating to watch, especially considering the mistakes made are ones that have been made all season. What I would say is that Parker surely should have made tough decisions earlier about the culprits of those mistakes. Any player can make an error but if it is a common occurrence like it has unfortunately been with the likes of Joe Bryan and Harry Artur, then they need to be taken out of the firing line for a bit. It might be a big call to do that, but that’s what Parker needs to do. That’s his job as a manager.

I believe that the problem lies more with those further up the pecking order. I don’t doubt at all that Shahid Khan has done a lot of great things for this football club. He has put plenty of money into the squad and let’s not forget about the new stand that will make a huge difference to both the club and the surrounding area. But I don’t think any other club in England would have someone as inexperienced as Tony Khan as their Director of Football. This isn’t a new concern, fans have voiced the opinion that we need someone more experienced than Tony to do such a crucial role around the club for a long time. Tony is clearly a very intelligent guy, but he is only in his mid-thirties and is involved in three different jobs. I don’t believe that he can fully focus 100% on each and unfortunately it seems as though the only company that has flourished is All Elite Wrestling. He might disagree, but that would indicate to me that more time is put into that than is put into either the Jaguars or Fulham. If he could solely focus on one, then I reckon he’d have more success. For Fulham, we need a Director of Football who is ONLY a Director of Football.

For now we just have to find it within ourselves to keep supporting the boys, even if it has to be from afar during the pandemic. While the automatic promotion dream looks dead and buried, we can still get promoted. To be honest, I don’t think we are ready for the Premier League next year, but I do fear the financial problems that may come with staying in the Championship next season. Hopefully a victory against QPR tomorrow evening can inject some optimism back into the club.


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 09:22:40 AM »
Community Kitchen

Fulham Football Club and the Fulham FC Foundation are delighted to have teamed up with events catering company Dinner Ladies to support the opening of a community kitchen at the London Rowing Club on the Putney Embankment, a short distance from Craven Cottage. 

Dinner Ladies will be running a community kitchen and, with the help of local volunteers, will be cooking nutritious meals from the generous supply of produce donated via the Dons Local Action Group, that will be delivered by City Harvest to vulnerable people in the community to support them during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

The Club and Foundation are supporting by raising awareness, introducing local partners to support with the logistics, and develop operational plans with the London Rowing Club.

In order to reach a goal of cooking 500 meals per week, Dinner Ladies is seeking kitchen volunteers at the London Rowing Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as donations to support the running of the community kitchen.

Dinner Ladies would normally be operating out of the London Rowing Club, cooking and running 20 events a week. During Covid-19, with all upcoming events being cancelled, they have looked at ways they can help their local community in relation to food and consumption by putting together a few initiatives to make it easier for people staying at home but still wanting to eat healthily.

They have developed new cocooning menus and packages, where anyone within London can order dishes delivered to their door from their weekly changing menu. The food focuses on getting fresh and locally grown produce into nourishing food that can be repurposed into more than one meal.

Another initiative is putting together weekly food supply boxes with a range of ingredients including protein, fresh fruit & vegetables and carbohydrates, alongside ideas for recipes and how people can make the whole box last a week. Free, no contact delivery to the local community is being offered to help families get the food they need whilst staying safe and staying at home.

In order to support those that need it the most, a fundraising Just Giving page has been set up which allows those that buy meals to donate towards ingredients that they use to cook meals for key workers and the vulnerable. Each of their private deliveries gets the option to ‘feed a friend’ and donate £5 towards the scheme. To encourage a chain of caregiving, the Dinner Ladies are donating to the fund on your behalf if you buy one of their care packages for a friend.

So far, meals have been delivered to NHS staff starting long night shifts at Kings College & St Thomas’ hospitals, as well as St George’s mental hospitals in Barnes and Twickenham, Royal Marsden hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, North Middlesex trusts, Epsom & St Helier community teams, Hammersmith & Fulham Mental health and Camden & Islington mental health teams.

Additionally, 260 homeless people isolating in hotels, still on the streets and in temporary accommodation have been fed so far.

Fulham FC Foundation CEO, Mike McSweeney, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with another local community sports organisation and Dinner Ladies in supporting people in our community. Fulham Football Club and the Fulham FC Foundation continue to engage with many people, with additional needs during these difficult times. This initiative is a great example of a multi-partner collaboration assisting those most in need.”

To donate to Community Kitchen please visit:

To make a donation, however small, to support the work of the Fulham FC Foundation, please visit:


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 09:25:33 AM »
5 ways Fulham can improve in their final seven games

If we fine-tune in a number of key areas, the Premier League beckons. That’s according to Dara Curran, who outlines our areas of improvement.

We’re on the final straight now. Despite sitting fifth in the league we’ve lacked consistency this season. We had a near-100 day break and our first two games against Brentford and Leeds ending in defeat have all but resigned us to battling it out in the playoffs for a chance at promotion.

I’ve identified a few areas where I think we could improve. These areas, some of which are interlinked, could see us step out of second gear and not rely on individual moments of brilliance to win games.

Shore up defensively
A fairly obvious one to most us. While we rank joint fifth for goals conceded this season (43), at times we’ve been all over the shop at the back.
Rodak has saved our bacon on numerous occasions, especially against Derby and Swansea away, where he pulled off a string of superb saves. Based on the quality of chances Rodak has faced he’s prevented more than five goals. Only Reading’s Rafael Cabral and Forrest’s Brice Samba have stopped more.

We can’t rely on Rodak every week though. We’ve switched off at the back and given away cheap goals far too often this season. It leaves you tearing your hair out, especially when we work so hard in games that one lapse in concentration can ruin all that effort.

Against Luton and Bristol City, players haven’t been alert to second balls bobbling about in the box like a pinball. They’ve failed to pick up the runs of opposition players in the box against Leeds, Brentford, Bristol City and QPR to name just a few. Simple balls over the top have exposed us far too often like against Barnsley.

Often it seems like our defenders are afraid to make a challenge, like in that shambles of a third goal against Hull. I’d much prefer a tactical foul to stop an attack then a to concede a needless shot on goal.

Fulham rank bottom for defensive duels per 90 (53.64). Initially I thought this was down to us having an average of 60.9% possession per game, but then I looked at other teams that a similar amount of possession. Leeds, who have an average of 62.3% possession, rank second for defensive duels (72.44).

One thing I found rather surprising was the tackle success rate of our centre-backs. Out of 84 central defenders who have played more than 1,000 league minutes, Mawson (63.08%) and Hector (64.18%) ranked 74th and 69th respectively for defensive duels won. Tim Ream ranked 35th winning 69.59% of his defensive duels. Improvement is needed in this department
especially with the tough opposition we face in our next seven games.

Put out a more balanced team
We look a bit unbalanced going forward to me. We still don’t have a replacement for Ryan Fredericks at right back with Steven Sessegnon, Odoi and Christie all playing at right back at various stages of the season. Just two assists have come from right back in comparison to the left back where Joe Bryan is our highest assister (7).

35% of our attacks come down the left compared to 30% down the right. The attacking threat coming predominantly down the left flank from Cavaleiro and Joe Bryan can make our attack a bit predictable. I’d like to see us mix it up a bit and get the ball down the right more often.

Whoever plays on the left of our front three often cuts inside to allow Joe Bryan get forward but that leaves so much space in behind and often Bryan is the only player on the left for us.

We’ve seen far too many goals conceded this season because our left back has been caught out of position up the pitch. This has been a problem all season and was again evident against Brentford and Leeds.

Counter Attack More
You can literally count on one hand the number of goals Fulham have scored from counter-attacks (4). I know a lot of teams will sit back against us, defend deep and make us try to play the ball around the edge of their box.

There are definitely times when we’ve been under pressure defensively and when we regain possession, we slow down the play rather than try to catch the opposition out on the counter.
There’s plenty of pace in this side with the likes of Ivan Cavaleiro, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Abou Kamara to name just a few and I’d like to see us utilise that pace more often.

Stop passing for the sake of passing
We’ve been hugely frustrating to watch at times this season. We make more lateral passes than any team in the Championship, with an average of 198.8 per 90. It gets quite boring watching Ream pass to Mawson, then back to Ream.
The pace at which we play is a problem. Sometimes when it looks like an attack is on, we suddenly pass the ball back or to the side rather than trying to attack our opponent. It’s not about having possession, but what we do with that possession that’s important.

Six Fulham players appear in the top ten average passers per 90. KMac, Reed and Johansen are 11-13th

We win the ball back quicker than all other teams, bar Leeds and Barnsley, but we take far too long to create a chance on goal. It feels like were stuck in second gear and I’d love to see the players unshackled from this safe style of passing and really try to pick apart the opposition.

We make on average a little more than 40 passes before we get a shot in on goal. For a team of our attacking ability we should be able to create chances quicker than this. I’m hoping Parker gets the boys moving the ball quicker and moving it forward rather than side to side.

We’ve only come back from a losing position to win a game once this season, against QPR at Craven Cottage back in November. We really struggle to break down the opposition when they go a goal up and sit back. Most teams seem happy to sit back and watch us pass the ball about.
We need to work the ball better if were to beat the teams we have remaining.

Attempt more through balls
There’s been a distinct lack of through balls this season in comparison to previous seasons under Jokanovic. Chances from through balls tend to be superior in quality because they break the defensive line. Often there’s just the keeper to beat meaning less pressure on the shooter and fewer players between him and the goal to get a block on the shot.

We’ve made just 177 through balls this season, ranking us 18 th among teams in the Championship. That’s 4.3 through balls per 90, below the league average of 5.49. I’d like to see us draw more teams out, stretch defences and beat them with through balls rather than the monotonous back and -forth between the center-backs, which have bored us to death at times.

Tom Cairney currently leads the way for through balls among the squad, and I see our midfield maestro being the key to unlocking the tight defences in our remaining games. When he’s at his best orchestrating our attacks, he is able to see space in behind and thread that defence- splitting pass.

I feel we have one of, if not the best, squad in the Championship, so I really hope we show it now. It’s a tough run in but I’m optimistic and excited we can make the adjustments needed to take us back to the Premier League.


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 09:26:56 AM »
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic banned for three games after Leeds elbow

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Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will miss the next three matches after being hit with retrospective action by the Football Association for his elbow on Leeds defender Ben White in Saturday's match at Elland Road.

The news is a fresh blow to Fulham's hopes of automatic promotion, with Scott Parker's side set to be without the Championship's joint-top scorer for the upcoming matches against QPR, Birmingham City and play-off rivals Nottingham Forest.

Mitrovic lead with his elbow off-the-ball in a clash with White in the opening two minutes of Leeds' 3-0 win, which moved Marcelo Bielsa's side back to the top of the Championship and left Fulham with back-to-back defeats since the restart.

Referee Tony Harrington did not see the incident but Mitrovic subsequently admitted violent conduct following an investigation by the FA.

An FA statement read: "Fulham FC’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has been suspended for three matches following the EFL Championship fixture between Leeds United FC and Fulham FC on Saturday 27 June 2020.

"The striker admitted his behaviour in or around the third minute of the match was in breach of FA Rule E1(a) and constituted violent conduct, in an incident which was not seen by match officials but was caught on video."

Fulham will also be without Neeskens Kebano for Tuesday's trip to Loftus Road after the winger was sent off for two bookable offences in Yorkshire.

Defeat to Leeds left Parker's side seven points below second-placed West Brom as the Cottagers eye an immediate return to the Premier League.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 09:27:39 AM »
Three Game Ban For Mitro

Aleksandar Mitrović has been suspended for three matches following the Sky Bet Championship meeting between Leeds United and Fulham on Saturday 27th June.

Due to an incident that constituted violent conduct, Mitrović will now sit out our fixtures with Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City, and Nottingham Forest.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 09:30:04 AM »
Aleksandar Mitrovic: Fulham striker banned for three games for elbowing Leeds' Ben White

Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 23 of Fulham's 52 league goals in the Championship this season

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been suspended for three games for elbowing Ben White in Saturday's 3-0 Championship loss against Leeds United.

Mitrovic, 25, caught the defender with his elbow three minutes into the match at Elland Road.

The incident was not seen by referee Tony Harrington at the time.

But the Serbia striker has been punished retrospectively after accepting a charge of violent conduct by the Football Association.

Mitrovic is the joint-top scorer in the Championship this season with 23 goals.

Fulham have lost both of their matches since the Championship's resumption on 20 June, leaving Scott Parker's side fifth in the table and seven points below the automatic promotion places.

Mitrovic will miss Tuesday's west London derby at Queens Park Rangers, as well as Fulham's home game with Birmingham City and their trip to fellow promotion contenders Nottingham Forest.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2020, 09:30:36 AM »
Mitrovic banned for three matches

Aleksandar Mitrovic will serve a three-match suspension after being banned for violent conduct following his elbow on Leeds’ Ben White during Saturday’s defeat by Leeds United.

The incident was missed by the match officials, but the FA deemed it serious enough to take retrospective action. That means Mitrovic, who is Fulham’s top scorer with 23 goals in 36 appearances, will now miss Fulham’s derby with QPR tomorrow night and the following fixtures against Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest.

Fulham boss Scott Parker now weighs a conundrum over who to field up front as he seeks a first win after lockdown. In the continuing absence of Aboubakar Kamara, who scored twice against QPR earlier this season when Mitrovic was suspended, the favourite would be Bobby Decordova-Reid, but Parker could opt for teenage striker Jay Stansfield, who he has promoted to the first team previously this term.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2020, 09:32:04 AM »
 Aleksandar Mitrovic banned for three Fulham games following incident against Leeds
Mitrovic will miss Fulham's Championship fixtures against QPR, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been given a three-game suspension following an incident against Leeds on Saturday.

Mitrovic appeared to strike Leeds defender Ben White with his elbow during the opening stages of Fulham's 3-0 defeat at Elland Road.

The incident was not seen by referee Tony Harrington and so it has been looked at retrospectively.

The Serbia international has admitted to the charges, and his three-match ban will take immediate effect.

Mitrovic will now miss Fulham's Championship fixtures against QPR, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest.

Fulham have failed to score a goal and have lost both of their games since the Championship restart to promotion rivals Brentford and Leeds.

Scott Parker's side are fifth - just behind Forest on goal difference - but with a number of teams making a late push for the play-off positions, the Fulham boss will be aware that they will need to improve their form if they are to secure promotion back to the Premier League.

Mitrovic is currently the Championship's joint top-scorer alongside Brentford's Ollie Watkins with 23 goals so far this season.

The 25-year-old will undoubtedly be a huge miss for Fulham as they are now forced to look towards others to find the back of the net.

Captain Tom Cairney is the club's second-highest scorer with eight goals from midfield.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2020, 09:34:58 AM »
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic handed three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct for elbowing Leeds defender Ben White

    Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been handed a three-match ban
    The striker flew in with an elbow on the hosts' Ben White in the second minutes
    Fulham were lucky not to finish their 3-0 defeat to Leeds with nine men
    Neeskens Kebano was dismissed in injury time as the hosts regained top spot

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been banned for three matches after being found guilty of violent conduct in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Leeds.

Mitrovic caught Leeds defender Ben White with an elbow only three minutes into the match, but the Serbia international avoided immediate punishment as the incident was missed by match officials.

But retrospective action was almost inevitable with cameras having a clearer view, and a ban duly followed on Monday afternoon after Mitrovic admitted a charge of violent conduct.

Alexander Mitrovic was lucky to escape a red card after just two minutes on Saturday

The striker elbowed Leeds' Ben White off the ball during Fulham's 3-0 loss at Elland Road

'Aleksandar Mitrovic has been suspended for three matches following the Sky Bet Championship meeting between Leeds United and Fulham on Saturday 27th June,' a Fulham statement said.

'Due to an incident that constituted violent conduct, Mitrovic will now sit out our fixtures with Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest.'

Mitrovic is comfortably Fulham's top-scorer this season with 23 goals in 36 Championship appearances.

Scott Parker's side sit fifth in the table, seven points clear of seventh-placed Preston in the battle for play-off places.

The striker stayed on the pitch but couldn't stop a rampant Leeds as they stormed to victory

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2020, 09:35:44 AM »
Club ready to open talks to sign Fulham player

According to VOLE commentator Ugur Karakullukcu, Galatasaray are looking to sign Fulham’s Jean Michael Seri on a permanent basis.

The Turkish side loaned Seri at the start of the season from the Championship side, and his redemption clause is currently set at €18m.

Seri made a slow start to his Galatasaray career but the 28 year old has managed to turn things around and is now a key player in Fatih Terim’s side.

Karakullukcu says Gala boss Terim is a big fan of the Ivorian midfielder, and would like to sign him on a permanent basis.

Galatasaray will reportedly start negotiations with Fulham at the end of the season. However, given their finances it’s unlikely they will pay €18m for the player, and will look for Fulham to reduce the fee.

That should be possible, given Fulham will surely be looking to move on, and it doesn’t seem like there’s other clubs willing to go near that amount.

Seri has made 32 appearances for Galatasaray in all competitions, scoring one goal. His contract at Craven Cottage will expire at the end of June 2022.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2020, 09:36:38 AM »
Mitrovic to miss crunch Fulham Championship clash after ban confirmed

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been banned for three matches after being found guilty of violent conduct in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Leeds.

Mitrovic caught Leeds defender Ben White with an elbow only three minutes into the match, the Serbia international avoiding immediate punishment as the incident was missed by match officials.

But retrospective action was almost inevitable with cameras having a clearer view, and a ban duly followed on Monday afternoon after Mitrovic admitted a charge of violent conduct.

“Aleksandar Mitrovic has been suspended for three matches following the Sky Bet Championship meeting between Leeds United and Fulham on Saturday 27th June,” a Fulham statement said.

“Due to an incident that constituted violent conduct, Mitrovic will now sit out our fixtures with Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest.”

Mitrovic is comfortably Fulham’s top-scorer this season with 23 goals in 36 Championship appearances.

Scott Parker’s side sit fifth in the table, seven points clear of seventh-placed Preston in the battle for play-off places.

However, they are level on points with Forest, with the pair meeting at the City Ground on July 7.

Mitrovic will return for further crucial matches, against Cardiff and West Brom next month.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2020, 09:38:55 AM »
Fulham faltering at worst possible time - Interview

Fulham were hoping to chase down the top two in the summer fixtures but have returned to action with two defeats without scoring, and have lost star striker Aleksander Mitrovic to a three game ban. We spoke to our old mate Konk, and Dan Smith from the Fulham Focus website.

How would you assess Fulham's season so far?

Konk: Underwhelming. Might sound a bit spoilt as we're fifth at the moment, but we've not been great to watch most of the time. We tend to play a very pedestrian game with inverted wingers, which doesn't seem to get the best out of the available players. It's all very one-paced and predictable - a big contrast to us at our best under Jokanovic, when Fredericks, Sessegnon and Targett provided so many opportunities after breaking at pace down the flanks, with Cairney and Johansen racing through the centre to support attacks. We scored 85 and 79 goals in the Championship under Jokanovic - at the moment we have 52 with seven games to go. We're still in with a shout of promotion, but I don't think many of us fancy our chances in the play-offs.

FF: Meh... It’s been a very strange season as a Fulham fan. It may come across arrogant or very demanding to be sat fifth and still feel very disappointed. We have plodded along, playing the most dire football. A complete contrast to the swagger we had under Jokanovic two years ago.

Tactically Parker’s inept, he doesn’t play to any of our key players strengths and quite frankly he is the most boring appointment we could have made. On paper, I would say that our squad looks better than it is, we have loads of big names who’ve been there and done it but they don’t fit into the same system. So as a unit they aren’t cohesive. It’s a group of individuals as opposed to a good team.

Never the less, I blame Scott Parker’s incompetence and feel that the only difference between us and the top three is that they have much better, more experienced managers. I still wouldn’t rule us out for promotion via the playoffs but even if we do go up, the fact a playoff final will be behind closed doors, it will be the most underwhelming promotion imaginable and I’d still want Parker to be replaced.

Fulham league results so far…
Barnsley 1-0 Fulham Thomas 13
Fulham 2-0 Blackburn Cairney 31, Mitrovic 82
Huddersfield 1-2 Fulham Grant 57 – Mitrovic 51, Cavaleiro 82
Fulham 4-0 Millwall Cavaleiro 15, 63, Knockaert 32, Mitrovic 61
Fulham 1-2 Forest Mitrovic 81 – Grabban 4, 31
Cardiff 1-1 Fulham Murphy 42 – Mitrovic 45
Fulham 1-1 West Brom Knockaert 49 – Ajayi 80
Sheff Wed 1-1 Fulham Nuhui 90 – Cairney 42
Fulham 2-0 Wigan Bryan 47, Cairney 83
Reading 1-4 Fulham Meite 89 – Cairney 13, 67, Mitrovic 26, 29
Fulham 2-2 Charlton Cavaleiro 55, Mitrovic 63 – Gallagher 41, Bonne 57
Stoke 2-0 Fulham Campbell 16, Gregory 80
Fulham 3-2 Luton Mitrovic 16, 53, 67 – Potts 60, Lua Lua 90
Middlesbrough 0-0 Fulham
Fulham 0-3 Hull Bowler 9, Bowen 57, Eaves 83
Birmingham 0-1 Fulham Mitrovic 52
Fulham 2-1 QPR Kamara 27, 64 – Hugill 3
Fulham 3-0 Derby Reid 7, Mitrovic 40, Cairney 89
Swansea 1-2 Fulham Byers 65 - Mitrovic 22, 43
Fulham 1-2 Bristol City Kamara 86 – Brownhill 26, Diedhiou 76
Preston 2-1 Fulham Maguire 23, Nugent 52 – Mitrovic 81
Brentford 1-0 Fulham Mbeumo 22
Fulham 2-1 Leeds Mitrovic pen 7, Onomah 69 – Bamford 54
Luton 3-3 Fulham Lua Lua 5, Collins 28, Cornick 84 – Reid 9, 90, Mitrovic 77
Fulham 1-0 Stoke Reid 26
Fulham 1-2 Reading Cavaleiro 61 – Swift 14, Adam 48
Hull 0-1 Fulham Cavaleiro 29
Fulham 1-0 Middlesbrough Knockaert 6
Charlton 0-0 Fulham
Fulham 3-2 Huddersfield Reid 10, Cairney 15, Mitrovic 31 – Rowe 35, Mounie 39
Blackburn 0-1 Fulham Mitrovic 64
Millwall 1-1 Fulham Bodvarsson 7 – Mitrovic 3
Fulham 0-3 Barnsley Woodrow pen 24, 79, Brown 51
Derby 1-1 Fulham Rooney pen 55 – Mitrovic 71
Fulham 1-0 Swansea Mitrovic 90
Fulham 2-0 Preston Nugent og 55, Kamara 90
Bristol City 1-1 Fulham Wells 70 – Cairney 84
Fulham 0-2 Brentford Benrahma 88, Marcondes 90
Leeds 3-0 Fulham Bamford 10, Alioski 56, Harrison 71

Given the big names that stuck around after relegation, is promotion the minimum expectation for Parker? How's he done and will he keep the job if he fails?

Konk: We're fourth, so he's not been a disaster, but we appear to be less than the sum of our parts. On paper, we have one of the best squads in the division - certainly offensively - but we're just flat. A few players have regressed, none look to have improved and whilst most fans were prepared to give Parker a chance, there aren't many indications that he's learning as he goes. The Khans have been prepared to sack managers in the past, so I guess it depends how we get on in the play-offs - assuming we finish top six. If we have a mare in the play-offs then I would expect him to go. Win promotion and I think they'll obviously stick with him, but I really don't like to think about how we'd get on in the Premier League.

FF: I feel like I answered this above. How’s he done? Enough. It’s one of those irritating scenarios where the writing is on the wall, but he we always seem to just do enough for him to appear like he’s doing well. But in my opinion, the reality is that with the likes of Mitro up top, we have players that can win games despite his management and keep us ticking over. Apparently we were the in-form team going into the break, which I found staggering. It just shows you how poo the division is, that we were doing the best from December to March. Which in a way adds to why I resent him as our manager. It’s not his fault that he was appointed but I feel this is the best possible opportunity we will ever get to go back up and with FFP it could be a long road back if we fail. So we’ve gambled on someone who had no experience and didn’t deserve the job when the likes of Chris Hughton were available. People moan that Hughton would bring boring football, well, nothing can be more boring that what we’ve seen this season.

Michael Hector a big boost in January, was enough done in that window? I know the recruitment has been dodgy for a while...

Konk: Defensively, Hector has been a big improvement at the back, but I think most Fulham fans would say we needed a specialist right back at the very least in January. Our owners are happy to spend money, but everything is done at the last minute and key requirements often go unaddressed. We sign everyone two minutes before the summer deadline and wonder why we always get off to a slow start. We don't seem to learn.

FF: The shame with this signing was that he’s been our player since deadline day in August but because we missed the cut off point by about five minutes, the signing wasn’t allowed to be completed until January. His impact since he was eligible to play has completely changed our season. He is the best centre back we’ve had since the days of Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes. If we’d had him from the start, I think it would have changed everything and we’d be sitting in the top two. Ironically the issue was keeping clean sheets, now Hector has rectified that (before lockdown anyway), the issue now is a lack of goals. It’s either Mitro or nothing which must be music to your ears since he’s suspended. I think the next most likely to score for us is the keeper from a goal kick. It was a really poor decision to not sign a backup striker. I have no idea who will play up front tomorrow but if it’s not a youth striker, it’ll be an unorthodox temporary striker playing out of position. So that’s the most glaringly obvious mistake recruitment have made, especially in January.

Summer Ins: >>> Josh Onomah, 22, CM, Spurs, Part Exchange >>> Harry Arter, 29, CM, Bournemouth, Loan >>> Bobby Reid, 26, AM, Cardiff, Loan >>> Anthony Knockaert, 27, RW, Brighton, Loan >>> Ivan Cavaleiro, 25, CF, Wolves, Loan >>> Harrison Reed, 25, CM, Southampton, Loan

Summer Outs: >>> Ryan Sessegnon, 19, LB/LM, Spurs, £24.3m plus Josh Onomah >>> Jean Michael Seri, 27, CM, Galatasaray, Loan >>> Ryan Babel, 32, RW, Galatasaray, Free >>> Rui Fonte, 29, CF, Braga, Free >>> Marcelo Djalo, 25, CB, CD Lugo (Spain), Free >>> Lazar Markovic, 25, RW, Released >>> Berti Schotterl, 24 GK, Lok Leipzig, Free >>> Andre Anguissa, 23, CM, Villarreal, Loan >>> Fabri, 31, GK, Mallorca, Loan

Winter Ins: >>> Michael Hector, 27, CB, Chelsea, £5.31m >>> Ivan Cavaleiro, 25, CF, Wolves, £10.62m >>> Jordan Archer, 27, GK, Oxford, Free >>> Bobby Reid, 26, AM, Cardiff, £8.1m

Winter Outs: >>> Tayo Edun, 22, CM, Lincoln, Undisclosed

What have you made of the two lockdown games so far? Any other indications as to the state Fulham are coming back in?

Konk: I thought we were worth a point. We had lots of possession but generally passed the ball about slowly without creating many chances. Reid should have scored when he hit the bar, but otherwise Mitrovic was usually isolated up front. We had plenty of possession without doing much with it, which is pretty much how we've looked whenever I've seen us this season. Harrison Reed was probably our best player in his first game for about six months - Brentford found life easier once he'd gone off. Good to have him back from injury as he provides our defence with some much needed cover. Fitness wise, we've looked a bit sluggish in both games, but then we often looked that way before the shutdown. We had plenty of possession in the first 45 minutes against Leeds, but we're not a team that work keepers and Mitrovic aside, we're nowhere near clinical enough when we create openings or have a spell of pressure.

FF: We look lethargic, lacking in confidence, afraid to lose as opposed to trying to win. But up until half time in both games against Brentford and Leeds, we were the better team. It was deja vu to be honest. In both games, the opposing manager made tactical changes/ subs, it changed the game and Parker had no answer to it. Both teams also looked fitter than us, we tired towards the last 20 minutes in both matches.

Quite a difficult run in, particularly your away fixtures, do you think you'll make automatic and if not how much do you fancy Fulham in the play offs?

Konk: No chance of an automatic spot. Play-offs for us at best and I just don't see us going up. Most of the sides around the play-offs are pretty ordinary and I would fancy Brentford over anyone. They have a good record against us and have a bit of pace and precision up front. They're a well-run club who don't have the owner's son moonlighting as DOF whilst also running a wrestling company/show full-time in America.

FF: I don’t think the away factor is relevant anymore because they are all behind closed doors. So that’s helped our chances because those away games are tough going. The fact that we still have WBA to play gives me the tiniest glimmer of hope that second place is still just about possible. I can’t accept that Brentford are going to go up despite their impressive start to this mini season. I just refuse to believe they can do it. We also have to play Forest but if we are talking about chasing second, I don’t worry about them and I don’t think WBA are going to pull away like Leeds will. So I’d say we have to beat both yourselves and Birmingham on Saturday to keep this alive but if we do, you never know. It was never realistic to catch Leeds, they are the best team but I don’t think WBA are any better than us or Brentford.

On the other hand, if we don’t win either of our next two it could go the other way and we drop out of the top six altogether which would be a big failure. Ultimately, as long as we make the top six I don’t think it matters about the position for the playoffs. There’s little home advantage for third/fourth so that in itself has bought Parker more time to get this right. It’s similar to the WBA/ Darren Moore situation last season. They were fourth and sacked him with a few games to play once they knew automatics was out of the question. Maybe it baffled neutral fans but now that we are experiencing it with Parker, I can see why they did it.

Fulham’s remaining league games…
June 30 QPR A
July 4 Birmingham H
July 7 Forest A
July 11 Cardiff H
July 14 West Brom A
July 18 Sheff Wed H
July 22 Wigan A

Player of the season candidates?

Konk: Probably Mitrovic: hard-working and as good as guaranteed 20+ goals at this level. Rodak and Reed have also been consistently good.

FF: Michael Hector for me, we’d be nowhere near the top 6 if he didn’t arrive in January. Mitro has 23 goals so he’s an obvious choice for most people. The keeper (Marek Rodak) has done well considering he’s quite young and managed to establish himself as our number one. He’s been worth a few points with crucial contributions this season. Nobody else has either played enough games or been good enough to get a mention.

Weak links in the side?

Konk: Hector aside, the defence isn't great. Joe Bryan is good with the ball, but can often be caught out of position or not tracking a run, Ream is increasingly wobbly, and Odoi isn't the answer at RB. Cairney isn't a weak link, but hasn't had a great season by his high standards, and I haven't warmed to Arter. Having seen what Knockaert was capable of when Brighton went up, and seen the same of Cavaleiro at Wolves, both have been a big disappointment. The system doesn't help them, but a lot more was expected in terms of goals, assists and excitement - Knockaert seems to nearly always choose the wrong option. Bobby Reid - not entirely sure what role he's playing a lot of the time and his finishing has been poor.

FF: Most of the goals we concede come down the left hand side. Joe Bryan is a decent left back going forward but he’s useless as a defender. Ream is the left sided CB and he is a big drop off in quality from Michael Hector alongside him. So the left half of our back four is very average defensively. After that, it’s the lack of goals. Other than Mitro and Abou Kamara (who are both unavailable tomorrow) nobody else in the team seems capable of scoring. We also don’t have any leaders or characters in the team. If we go a goal down, the whole teams’ heads drop. For a squad with so much experience of this division, their mentality has been very weak collectively. People blame Tom Cairney who isn’t a good captain but I don’t see any leaders in the team and that includes the management.

What are the consequences financial and otherwise if you don't make it?

Konk: Difficult to see Mitrovic staying, but we ought to get some big money for him. Can't see anyone else being too in demand and we have big wages, so could be a struggle on the FFP front. Last season of parachute payments, so things will be very tight. The Riverside development is well underway, our owner is worth a few billion, so no immediate worries in terms of ownership finances, but we really, really need to start operating like a serious football club, and get a DOF who knows the game rather than having the owner's son filling the role in a part-time capacity.

FF: Thanks to Mitrović’ goal return this season, he is still a very sought after striker and a Premier League team will take a punt on him. We will still be paying the price for the poor recruitment and money wasted from the £100 million we spent in the Premier League last season. So it’s likely that we will have to sell Mitrović in order to: cover next year’s chunk of that £100 million when it comes off the books; and make funds available to rebuild the squad because he’s the only asset we have.

The scary part is that it might work out cheaper to keep Parker in charge because he will be less demanding over a budget than a bigger name manager would. Realistically, we have one last chance next season by selling Mitrović and getting it right with the players we bring in. If we fail to invest the Mitro money wisely, I think we will become another Derby County and be trying to fight our way out of this division for the next decade.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2020, 09:40:12 AM »
Who can come in for Mitrovic?

There’s little doubt that Aleksandar Mitrovic is irreplaceable. Both in terms of his goals and hold up play, the Serbian striker is invaluable to way that both his club and country play, which makes his moment of madness early on at Elland Road all the more galling. We’ve all heard of ‘leaving one on’ the opposition centre back, but that sort of uncontrolled aggression seemed to have been something that Mitrovic had left behind him in the north east, whatever Steve McClaren might think.

This afternoon’s confirmation that Mitrovic will be missing for Fulham’s next three matches was something of a foregone conclusion. Parker would have seen his talisman as one of the senior players who could lead by example and prevent Fulham’s season from completely subsiding after those two damaging defeats by Brentford and Leeds. The Fulham manager now has a tricky choice to make in the absence of Mitrovic and Aboubakar Kamara, who will also miss the trip to Loftus Road tomorrow night. Just who can lead the line and carry a serious goal threat that Fulham have lacked lately even with Mitrovic in the team?

Jay Stansfield
Stansfield might seem like an emotive choice to lead the line at Loftus Road, but the teenager has had a dream start to life at Craven Cottage. He’s scored an incredible 22 goals in 14 Under 18 Premier League games and grabbed a goal on his under-23 debut for good measure as well. The teenager has already stepped up to senior level effectively, having produced an eye-catching cameo in the FA Cup as a late substitute against Aston Villa. Fulham’s prospects might even have been better served by him having more than a couple of minutes on the pitch as the Whites chased a late goal at the Valley and, while he hasn’t seen senior action since January, Stansfield has been training with the first team squad. He’s highly rated at Motspur Park, has an eye for a pass as well as the goal, and could surprise QPR. He certainly wouldn’t be be overawed by the opportunity.

Bobby Decordova-Reid
On paper, Bobby Decordova-Reid looks like the most likely candidate to play up front on Tuesday evening. He might be more used to playing behind Mitrovic or more recently out on the wing for Fulham this season, but he’s no stranger to the leading role. He played up front successfully in his final season for Bristol City, scoring eighteen league goals, and also in the Premier League for Cardiff. Decordova-Reid has chipped in with five goals after a slow start at Craven Cottage, but there are nagging doubts about his finishing after he missed huge chances against both Lots of doubts have arisen about his finishing, squandering huge chances against both Brentford and Leeds. Could be as clinical as Mitrovic? There’s also another factor to consider. Parker would need to change Fulham’s style of play to accommodate Decordova-Reid as a forward. As more of a false nine or a deep-lying forward, he would more comfortable making runs in behind the back four – which might prove profitable given the range of passing in Fulham’s midfield.

Other options: Ivan Cavaleiro or Anthony Knockaert
A more fluid front three could see either Knockaert or Cavaleiro, who have largely disappointed on the wings this season, start through the middle with the proviso that the forward line would be much more interchangeable than previously.

With a combined nine goals between them, neither Cavaleiro or Knockaert have hit the heights of their previous seasons in the Championship, and they will need to weigh in with big displays now that Fulham’s participation in the play-offs appears under threat. It goes without saying that Fulham will struggle without Mitrovic, but there is no room for error after those two defeats by Brentford and Leeds. Maximum points against QPR and Birmingham are a must – and securing them without Mitrovic will send a message to the rest of the division that Fulham are far from a one-man team. Parker will want a reaction from his side tomorrow night and where better to put things right than in a local derby.

My preferred team line up v QPR; Rodak, Christie, Hector, Ream, Odoi, Reed, Cairney, Onomah, Knockaert, Decordova-Reid, Cavaleiro

@ffcSeb’s score prediction; QPR 0-1 Fulham FC

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2020, 09:41:57 AM »
Third time's a charm? Preview

QPR and Fulham have both returned to action with two defeats from two games and are yet to score a goal between them ahead of tonight's West London derby at Loftus Road.

Warbs Warburton defends his team the same way his team defends its goal – on the attack. In advance of this evening’s game with Fulham he branded accusations his mid-table squad lacked motivation for the remaining games, that their effort levels had been found wanting in the two summer fixtures so far, and that their fitness left something to be desired when compared to Barnsley and Charlton “derogatory” and “ignorant”.

Unfortunately for him, the performances rather spoke for themselves – Bright Osayi-Samuel v Charlton at home, and Bright Osayi-Samuel v Charlton away the most stark of several microcosms. It’s only results and more positive showings on the field that will silence critics and there’s an excellent chance to do that at Loftus Road tonight in the Hammersmith Broadway derby against Fulham.

Rangers have a dire recent record against their well-heeled neighbours, with one win in eight and just two in 15 since the fixture became a semi-regular thing again in 1999/00. Scott Parker’s side are fifth in the table but they have also struggled since the restart with two poor defeats to nil and come into this one not only without top scorer and talisman Aleksander Mitrovic, serving a three match ban for attacking Ben White’s head at Leeds at the weekend, but also Boobycar Kamara who replaced Mitrovic for the first meeting this season and was promptly treated to a pair of goals by QPR’s ever-shaky defence.

For whatever reason, and we won’t pick at the effort and commitment scab again for now for risk of riling the manager further, the summer football as so far played very differently to normal football and some teams have adapted far better than others. Charlton, Derby, Wigan and Brentford have all won two from two so far, with six clean sheets among those eight games. Tonight is a clash of two teams who have coped worst of just about anybody in the second tier – four games played, four defeats, no goals scored, pitifully few shots on target. Only Huddersfield have also lost both summer games so far.

Some of the differences have been predictable. Home advantage, for example, if not completely evaporated, certainly doesn’t appear to be what it was with crowds. Six away wins and four draws from 12 Championship games in weekend one, another four away wins and two draws in weekend two – from 24 games played, only a third have been won by the home team. Not entirely surprising, perhaps.

Likewise, form not miraculously carrying over three months in lockdown, unless you’re Hull City. Millwall, Huddersfield, Preston and Leeds among the clubs failing to win games they probably would have expected to had they been played on their original dates in the first week, Middlesbrough Luton, Wigan and particularly Sheff Wed all picking up results that would have looked odd in March in week two. There was no bigger example of this, sadly, than our good selves performing as we did and losing to Barnsley and Charlton having been in such promising touch before the shutdown.

Pace and tempo has almost completely gone out of the game. I very much enjoyed both League Two play-off semi-finals, I was pretty impressed with Barnsley at ours, Patrick Bamford’s latest sabotage job on Leeds at Cardiff (I’m starting to think he hates them as much as everybody else) made me chuckle, and Brighton v Arsenal grew into something pretty entertaining. But, by and large, the games have played out at barely the pace and standard of pre-season friendly fixtures and have been mostly completely unwatchable.

What did anybody expect? Surely exactly this. You can’t lock professional athletes away for three months, then bring them back into competitive action inside three weeks and think it’s all going to look shiny and wonderful. I’m interested to see whether that improves over the next few weeks as match fitness comes back, or whether it’s more than simply legs. Do the lack of crowds take away the intensity to this extent? I’ve been struck by just how lethargic and passive Leicester City have been in home games against Brighton and then Chelsea in the FA Cup – would that have been so with their usually vociferous home crowd behind them?

I also believe a couple of the rule changes are affecting things. The water break, which we can surely bin unless the temperature exceeds a certain point, and the five substitutions each, when allied with the understandable lack of match fitness and sharpness, is taking a flamethrower to the quality and tempo of second halves. While the subs can still only be made in three batches, both managers being able to change half their teams over the course of 45 minutes, plus a water break, is slowing the game down to a snail’s pace, ruining the spectacle, and wrecking momentum any team is able to build up. It makes the first goal ever more important.

In the 24 Championship games played so far only one team – Blackburn against Bristol City – has come from behind to win. Half of the games have been won to nil. Even coming back for a draw after going behind is tough – there have been only four examples. In the 25 Premier League games played so far, 15 of them have been won to nil. Only three times has a team been able to come from behind to get a draw and there have been just two examples of teams conceding first and then winning – Brighton v Arsenal, Chelsea at Villa, both 2-1. By way of comparison, in the 24 Championship games immediately prior to lockdown seven teams were able to come back from a deficit and either draw or win the game.

QPR have conceded poor goals, early in both their games so far. In this new, stodgy, summer version of our sport that would be a great place to start turning things around.


Team News: Luckless youngster Charlie Owens has been ruled out for a further six months with new surgery required on the knee injury that has already kept him out of all but the first couple of games of this season. Fellow youth team graduates Osman Kakay and Joe Gubbins were back on the bench at Charlton after missing the Barnsley game with knocks. Jack Clarke is yet to play a single second of summer football for QPR, despite extending his loan from Spurs to cover these final nine matches.

Fulham have big issues up front where Aleksander Mitrovic’s attempts to decapitate Leeds’ Ben White has brought him a three game ban at the same time his natural replacement, Bobbycar Kamara, is also out injured. Expect some combination of Bobby Reid and Ivan Cavaleiro up front.

Elsewhere: I’m not sure it’s actually been explained yet why behind closed doors football has ushered in a new wave of weird and wonderful kick off times. Without fans, it seems we’ll just start whenever we please and there are games today at 17.00, 18.00, 18.30 and 19.45. Sky Sports Leeds originally had our game down for television coverage back in March but changed their minds when the lockdown was lifted, shifting instead to a clash between play-off chasers Millwall and Swanselona – sadly for them, neither have chased the play-offs particularly hard since the resumption. But they’re stuck with it now and that’s your early kick off.

Justice League leaders Spartak Hounslow will look to turn the heat up on the top two still further with a third successive win this evening, and you’d have to fancy them at Reading given that they’ll almost certainly be the best team the Royals have faced all season. The Champions of Europe should hold them at bay with a home win against Lutown. Cardiff have also come back in decent touch and are making the most of Preston and Bristol City’s faltering to stage a late run into the play-off spots. They’re at home to Charlton tonight which you’d fancy as a home win, even allowing for the Addicks pair of 1-0 successes so far.

The success of Charlton and Wigan Warriors in the early games, coupled with some surprising wins for Barnsley and Lutown, has clubs that probably thought they’d done enough to crawl out of trouble suddenly getting a bit worried again. Poke are one of those, one point outside the drop zone and now below Paul Cook’s men in the table ahead of their meeting tonight. Huddersfield another, quietly slipping back into the bottom three ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Birmingham. Barnsley are at home to the Mad Chicken Farmers tonight.

Two of the form teams chasing the play offs meet two of those that seemed to hold all the cards but have slipped up badly of late. Wayne Rooney’s 24 Hour Brothel and Burger have won four straight in the league to climb to eighth ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to Preston Knob End who have fallen out of the top six with four defeats and a draw from the last five. Bristol City are going even worse, five defeats and two draws in seven as they embark on another of those long result streaks that have punctuated Lee Johnson’s time in charge. They play Nottingham Florist who have solidified their promotion ambitions with four points in the last week.

Sheffield Owls v West Brom makes up the Wednesday fixtures with the Baggies starting to look disturbingly like Harry Redknapp’s QPR side, with all the ability and strike power in the world somehow only creating a stodgy, uninspiring recipe. They’re the ones in Brentford’s crosshairs.

Hull v Middlesbrough on Thursday will probably attract a crowd about as big as the one that would have turned up before the virus hit.

Referee: Gavin Ward for this one. QPR had a long and controversial history with him in his early days but, actually, he’s been pretty decent in our games in more recent times. Famous last words. Details.


QPR: Rangers were second in the form table, unbeaten in six with three of them wins, prior to lockdown but have now returned to action with a pair of 1-0 defeats to lower ranked sides with only three shots on target managed across the 180 minutes. The R’s set an unwanted club record of 11 home league defeats in the Championship last season and while their record of 8-5-7 at Loftus Road this year is an improvement it isn’t anything to write home about. Only Huddersfield (eight), Reading, Stoke (both nine) and Hull (11) have lost more home matches this season in this division. The 37 goals scored by Mark Warburton’s team on its own patch this season is the joint best record in the division along with Brentford, but the 34 conceded is the joint worst with Hull.

Fulham: The Cottagers have also returned to action with two defeats without scoring, losing 2-0 and 3-0 to fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford and Leeds respectively. Either side of the break that leaves them nursing just two wins from eight games at the worst point in the season, just as the promotion race is really starting to sort itself out. They’ve won just one of their last seven away from home in all comps with an overall road record of 6-8-5 for the season. Fulham have scored 52 goals this season but 27 of those have come from either Mitrovic or Kamara who are both out tonight. Mitrovic’s haul of 23 has won his team an extra 23 points, the most of any player in the top four divisions. He has scored in 12 of their 18 wins in the league.

Prediction: This year’s Prediction League is sponsored by The Art of Football. Get involved by lodging your prediction here or sample the merch from our sponsor’s QPR collection here. Our grumpy reigning champion WokingR tells us…

“Well, it’s all over now isn’t it and whatever the score on Tuesday, we won’t be contributing to it. 0-3 to Fulham.”

Woking’s Prediction: QPR 0-3 Fulham. No scorer.

LFW’s Prediction: QPR 1-1 Fulham. Scorer – Jordan Hugill.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2020, 09:43:44 AM »
Club seeking fresh transfer agreement with Fulham

Galatasaray are keen to sign Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri on a permanent basis, according to VOLE commentator Ugur Karakullukcu.

Seri signed for the Cottagers from Nice for a club-record fee of £25m last summer, in what was seen as a massive coup and a significant statement of intent made by the London club.

The likes of Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund were said to be interested in signing the midfielder, but Fulham were the club to win the race for his signature in the end.

But after suffering relegation to the Championship in what was their first year back in the Premier League, Seri has since spent this season on loan in Turkey for Galatasaray.

Seri has made 32 appearances for Gala in 2019/20, scoring once and producing a series of impressive performances for the Turkish side, with the club now looking to do a permanent deal for him.

As per VOLE commentator Urgur Karakullukcu, Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim is a big fan of the Ivorian midfielder, with the club reportedly ready to start negotiations with Fulham at the end of the season.

With another two years left on his deal at Craven Cottage, it is likely that Fulham will receive a significant fee for Seri, but that isn’t likely to be anywhere near the £25m they paid due to financial issues.

The Verdict

Fulham will be looking to get a number of high-profile players off the books this summer as they continue to rebuild following their relegation from the Premier League.

Seri and the likes of André-Frank Zambo Anguissa are likely to be on their way out, and their departures could be massive for Scott Parker.

Getting them off the wage bill and selling them for major fees could be beneficial for the club as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of 2020/21.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 30/06/20...
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2020, 09:44:42 AM »
Mitrovic accepts three game ban

Mitrovic receives three game ban foe elbow on White

Fulham Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been banned for three games for elbowing Leeds defender Ben White. The Serbian International is joint top scorer of the Championship, alongside Ollie Watkins with 23 goals. Mitrovic accepted a charge of violent conduct by the Football Association after the callous act was witnessed by millions on Sky at the weekend. A Spokesman for the FA was quoted as said...

    Fulham FC’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has been suspended for three matches following the EFL Championship fixture between Leeds United FC and Fulham FC on Saturday 27 June 2020. The striker admitted his behaviour in or around the third minute of the match was in breach of FA Rule E1(a) and constituted violent conduct, in an incident which was not seen by match officials but was caught on video.

Does this spell the end for Fulham's promotion race?