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Sunday Fulham Stuff - 12/07/20...

Started by WhiteJC, July 11, 2020, 12:57:27 PM

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West Brom
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Fulham: Club receive blow in their hopes of signing Alfie Doughty

Fulham have been dealt a blow in their hopes of landing Charlton Athletic's Alfie Doughty.

The Cottagers considered a move for the 20-year-old midfielder back in January but the Addicks were unwilling to sell the player. According to London News Online, the player's contract at The Valley has been extended by another 12 months after the club decided to activate a clause in his existing contract.

Doughty was sent out on loan to Bromley in September but when Lee Bowyer's side were hit by an injury crisis they decided to recall the player in November and since then, he has made 25 appearances in the Championship.


"Job done" Scott Parker reacts to Fulham's "key" win over Cardiff City

Speaking to Sky Sports, Fulham boss Scott Parker has praised his side for a job well done after they secured three points with a 2-0 win over Cardiff City on Friday night.

Fulham mathematically secured a place in the play-offs and kept alive their hopes of automatic promotion on Friday night thanks to a 2-0 win over play-off hunting Cardiff City.

The returning Aleksandar Mitrovic won Fulham a penalty shortly after the half-hour mark and he proceeded to pick himself up and fire home the Cottagers' first of the game.

Josh Onomah doubled Fulham's lead with 66 minutes on the clock. The former Spurs youngster found the bottom corner after an impressive Fulham move.

The win sees Fulham climb to third, sitting one point ahead of Brentford who have a game in hand. Scott Parker's side are four points away from 2nd placed West Brom, keeping their faint hopes of automatic promotion alive.

As for Cardiff, the defeat dents their hopes of a top-six spot. The Bluebirds remain in 6th but only by one point, with rivals Swansea City leading the chasing pack who all have a game in hand.

After the match, Parker spoke to Sky Sports to reflect on a job well done by his side. He said:

"Three points is key at this moment in the season and a third clean sheet on the bounce. When you play against a team like Cardiff you're going to get put under extreme pressure. At times the ball gets put in the right areas and it becomes a bit of an onslaught.

"You have to defend your box very well and I thought we defended set plays and we limited them to a lot of long balls and second balls, which we dealt with very well. I would have like to have been better on the ball, but the message again was a clean sheet and job done."

Fulham fans, with the Cardiff victory making it four wins in a row, do you think you can sneak into the top two before the end of the season? Let us know what you think in the poll at the bottom of the page.


We'll keep going in bid to snatch automatic promotion, insists Fulham boss Parker

Scott Parker says his players are determined to keep the pressure up on the top two, just in case they can sneak into the top two before the curtain falls on the regular Championship season.

Friday night's 2-0 win over Cardiff City at Craven Cottage confirmed that Fulham will be in the play-offs at the very least, but there is still an outside chance of automatic promotion. 

There is currently a four-point gap to West Brom, who have a game in hand, but the two sides face a crunch encounter at the Hawthorns on Tuesday night, which may yet offer a lifeline to the Whites – as well as to neighbours Brentford, who are also very much in the mix.

"We need to keep pushing," said the Fulham boss. "I'm delighted we've got to the play-offs. Cardiff were eight points better than us in the Premier League only a year ago and to get to the play-offs like we have and to perform like we have this year, I feel we've done very, very well.

"We've got a big game now on Tuesday against a team above us – we go there hoping to get a result and keep that pressure going. We'll work out where we are in the next two or three games and go from there."

Speaking of the latest win – which made it three clean sheets and four wins in a row, Parker added: "First and foremost, pleased with the result and the win. I think we had to stand up to a challenge that was always going to be there from a strong, physical Cardiff team.

Saying that, there was an element of real quality that shone through at times. We probably would like to have had at times more control but it's sometimes very difficult when you play a team like Cardiff who constantly put the ball in those [dangerous] areas but 2-0 is probably a fair result.

"I'm Pleased with my team's resilience."

It was almost inevitable that one of the two goalscorers should be Aleksandar Mitrovic, back after a three-game ban for elbowing an opponent at Leeds. Fulham won all three games without him, but Parker says everyone was very pleased to welcome him back.

"It's a big boost," he said. "He's integral. He's vital for us and what we do. He made a big mistake three games ago and had to take his medicine. The team had to step up and go without him and we did that to a man. But we're pleased to have him back, of course we are. 

"It's a squad game and everybody's going to be needed in the current climate because of how thick and fast the games come."


England's 1966 World Cup heroes then and now as Jack Charlton sadly passes away

The World Cup winning defender was part of Sir Alf Ramsey's history-making England side that became world champions at Wembley

Jack Charlton, a member of the most successful England team in history, has died aged 85.

The World Cup winner lined up in central defence alongside captain Bobby Moore and behind his brother Bobby Charlton when England won on football's biggest stage for the first and only time.

He also made a record 773 appearances for Leeds during his 21-year playing career and managed the Republic of Ireland at their first major finals at Euro 88 and then the Italia 90 World Cup.

But his greatest triumph was at Wembley when England lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy after beating West Germany 4-2 in extra time in the final.

Sir Alf Ramsey's side went on to finish third in the 1968 European Championships and reach the quarter-finals of the 1970 World Cup.

Here Mirror Football looks back at the players who made history with Jack Charlton.

(Image: MDM)

JACK CHARLTON - 1935-2020

Made 629 appearances for Leeds and collected 35 England caps, before turning attention to a successful managerial career.

After stints with Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle, Charlton stepped up to lead the Republic of Ireland. Charlton led the Irish to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup, his side falling 2-0 to Holland.

Appointed an OBE in 1974 and awarded honorary Irish citizenship in 1996, being made a freeman of the city of Dublin in 1994. Passed away at home in his native north east to a flood of tributes.

Jack Charlton collected 35 England caps (Image: Getty)

GORDON BANKS - 1937-2019

Went on to win 73 England caps and make 628 club appearances in a 15-year career. Still famed for his stunning save from Pele's header in England's 1970 World Cup clash with Brazil.

Helped Stoke to the 1972 League Cup though lost the sight in one eye in a car crash in October later that same year, that ultimately ended his professional career.

Enjoyed a brief managerial stint with Telford United.

Died in February 2019, with former England striker Gary Lineker hailing Banks as "an absolute hero of mine".

Gordon Banks is considered England's greatest ever goalkeeper (Image: Getty)

GEORGE COHEN - 1939-present

Fulham defender Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club. Cohen struggled with bowel cancer for 14 years in the 1980s.

He later opted to sell his World Cup winner's medal, though Fulham purchased the item to display it at Craven Cottage. Nephew Ben Cohen helped England win the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

He was awarded the MBE in 2000 and in 2016 Fulham unveiled a statue of Cohen at Craven Cottage to celebrate their former player.

George Cohen was awarded the MBE in 2000

BOBBY MOORE - 1941-1993

Widely accepted as England's greatest centre-half and one of the best anywhere of all time, the World Cup-winning captain died from bowel and liver cancer in February 1993, aged 51.

Won 108 caps for England, representing West Ham with distinction, before enjoying spells at Fulham and in America.

Moore's widow Stephanie founded the Bobby Moore Fund in 1993 to raise money for research into bowel cancer and raise public awareness of the disease.

Bobby Moore - captain, leader, legend (Image: Getty)

RAY WILSON - 1934-2018

England's left-back kept the lowest profile of the 1966 winners.

Wilson built a successful undertaker's business in Huddersfield after his football career, but retired from his second career in 1997. Passed away last May, aged 83.

Ray Wilson went on to build a successful undertakers business in Huddersfield

NOBBY STILES - 1942-present

Midfielder Stiles ended up with 28 England caps but went on to rack up 392 appearances for Manchester United before a move to Middlesbrough in 1971.

A career in coaching followed, with two stints at Preston, before a short-lived tenure at West Brom.

Stiles worked as a youth team coach at Manchester United between 1989 and 1993, helping oversee the development of the renowned class of '92 that included the likes of David Beckham and the Neville brothers.

Nobby Stiles, England's talented midfielder, helped guide Man United's Class of '92 (Image: Getty)

ALAN BALL - 1945-2007

Ball died of a heart attack in April 2007, aged 61.

The combative midfielder excelled in stints with Blackpool, Everton and Arsenal, while also winning 72 England caps.

After more than 800 club appearances Ball then moved into management, twice taking charge at Portsmouth along with stints at Southampton and Manchester City.

Alan Ball sadly passed away at the age of 61 in 2007

SIR BOBBY CHARLTON - 1937-present

Jack's younger brother Bobby continues to sit on Manchester United's board of directors, remaining a fixture at Old Trafford matches. The 81-year-old Ashington native racked up 106 England caps between 1958 and 1970, before short managerial stints with Preston and Wigan.

Bobby Charlton racked up 106 caps for his country (Image: Getty)

MARTIN PETERS - 1943-2019

Moved into the insurance business after retiring from football in 1983, following 67 England caps and lengthy stints with West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich.

Sat on Tottenham's board of directors in the late 1990s and continues to attend Spurs matches even though he has since stepped down from his formal role.

Was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016 and sadly passed away in December last year.

Martin Peters scored in the 1966 World Cup final (Image: Getty)

SIR GEOFF HURST - 1941-present

Still the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, Hurst made more than 400 appearances for West Ham and won 49 England caps.

Short-lived managerial stints with Telford United, Chelsea and even a foray into club management in Kuwait punctuated work in the insurance trade after his playing career. Lives in Cheltenham.

Geoff Hurst is the only man to have ever scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final (Image: Getty)

ROGER HUNT - 1938-present

Liverpool stalwart Hunt made more than 400 appearances for the Anfield club, along with winning 34 caps for England.

Held Liverpool's club scoring record until overhauled by Ian Rush.

Joined his family's haulage business after retiring from football.


Top row left to right: trainer Harold Shepherdson, Nobby Stiles, Roger Hunt, Gordon Banks, Jack Charlton, George Cohen, Ray Wilson, Manager Alf Ramsey, and bottom row, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Alan Ball and Bobby Charlton (Image: Getty)

The former Southampton and Tottenham full-back continued at the England helm until 1974, after the 1966 triumph. Ramsey lost his national job after England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

Stints at Birmingham and Panathinaikos followed, before he spent his retirement in Ipswich.

Ramsey died in April 1999 aged 79, less than a year after suffering a stroke, and after battling Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.


'Won me over', 'What a turnaround' – Plenty of Fulham fans warming to 23-y/o after Cardiff display

Josh Onomah scored his third goal of the season for Fulham last night, as they overcame top-six rivals Cardiff City in the Championship.

Joining at the start of the season, Onomah was one of the least popular signings made by the club. He had a contested first-half of the season but Fulham boss Scott Parker has stuck with him, and fans are beginning to see why.

Since the restart he's been one of Fulham's best players. He's slowly cemented his spot in the starting line-up, and capped another fine performance with a well-taken goal last night.

Now as Fulham move to up to 3rd on the back of a four game winning streak, Onomah is coming into the spotlight as one of the driving forces behind Fulham's recent form.


Parker tells Fulham to 'keep pushing' for automatic promotion

Manager Scott Parker praised his Fulham players after they defeated Cardiff City to guarantee a Championship top-six place – and urged them to target automatic promotion.

The Whites were worthy 2-0 winners in the closed-doors Craven Cottage clash, courtesy of a penalty by Aleksandar Mitrovic – returning from a three-match suspension – and a second half strike by Josh Onomah.

It was the fourth successive win for the Whites.

"First and foremost, I was pleased with the result and the win," said Parker.

"We had to stand up to a challenge, which was always going to be there from a strong, physical Cardiff team.

"I thought 2-0 was a fair result and we've had some big chances. Overall, I'm pleased with the resilience we showed.

"The top two is there and we need to keep pushing. I'm delighted that we got to the play-offs."

Fulham retain an outside chance of a top-two finish with three games left, ahead of a crunch game at second-placed West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

And although four points separate the teams – with the Whites having played a game more – Parker insisted his men must keep their focus.

"To get to the play-offs, we've done well," he admitted.

"We've got a big game on Tuesday. Four points is the gap and they do have that game in hand on us.

"We'll go there looking for a result to keep the pressure going. We can assess from there how we're looking. We'll keep pushing and keep going until the end."


Tek Like Onomah – The Resurgence Of Josh

There was a time when the inclusion of Josh Onomah on the team-sheet bought figurative groans to Twitter, and anguish to Craven Cottage. But, eleven months on from his arrival the midfielders inclusion on the team-sheet is met with unanimous approval from all areas.

Being a supposed "makeweight" in the deal for Fulham golden-boy Ryan Sessegnon certainly counted against Josh at the beginning of his career in SW6. The perception was that Onomah was a textbook Daniel Levy "sweetener" in the deal for Sessegnon, in order to push it over the line. And, that Josh only joined the Whites because he was a player that Parker knew. Whilst that certainly helped his cause it definitely did not do his ability any justice.

Yes, the start of his career in a white shirt was slow. He looked lethargic, nonathletic and, frankly, half-asleep throughout the course of his early appearances. Lets not forget, though, that Onomah arrived off the back of an injury-riddled season with Sheffield Wednesday and a patchy pre-season with Tottenham – it makes sense that it took a while for the rust the be shaken off.

The potential was always there for this move to work out for Fulham, and now many months down the line Onomah has become an integral part of the midfield. Looking back to the start of his journey as a footballer there are nods to the player that Fulham now have on their books even through the early stages: U20 World Cup Winner, U17 European Champion, links to Hoffenheim and Borussia Mönchengladbach as recently as this summer and of course the plaudits from Mauricio Pochettino. In hindsight, Onomah wasn't a "makeweight" he was a talent that had lost his way through injury and a series of ill-suited loans.

November and December saw Fulham's form uptick, taking five wins and a draw from nine outings, and it was at this point that Onomah began to cement his place in the team averaging 83 minutes across this stretch. From November until lock-down in March, Onomah played less than 80 minutes on one occasion, and scored the winning goal against Leeds in a hard-fought win. The signs were there that the ex-Tottenham man was to be an integral part of Scott Parker's side.

The real revelation though, has come in the four game winning streak after the resumption of the Championship. Although recording outings of 20 and 30 minutes against QPR and Birmingham respectively, a goal and an assist were registered. More importantly, though, the main upside to his inclusion was increased speed of passing through the middle and attacking third and, finally, creating a focal point for Fulham that wasn't Aleksandar Mitrovic.

It had become strikingly obvious that Fulham needed some attacking impetus, as their possession based game had become stale, turgid and one-dimensional. Onomah's presence bought a sharpness of mind, faster distribution of the ball and an advanced attacking threat. His inclusion as a result of Tom Cairney's absence has transformed the pressing game of Fulham. Bringing the team further up the pitch, winning possession back in dangerous areas whilst also cleaning up in deeper positions, something that Cairney struggles to do. It is also worth noting that Fulham's ball retention in advanced areas has grown too, as Onomah offers a physical presence and focal point in the number 10 role, whereas Cairney almost exclusively finds himself in a no-mans-land between the 6-8, leaving a huge gap in the middle of the pitch.

It's this presence that has bought more balance to the midfield, that ability to carry the ball through thirds and increase the transition speed. Onomah's role effectively knits together two thirds of the pitch, bringing in wingers that were isolated, and including full-backs that can overload wide areas. His excellent touch and finish against Cardiff gave us a glimpse of the attacking instinct he was lauded for at Spurs and Aston Villa. Whilst perhaps not the most eye-catching midfielder, and nothing like the silky-smooth technicians like Cairney, Onomah's worth is equally as heavy in this system.

Whilst it has been an uphill battle for Josh through large parts of his Fulham career, it's delighting to finally see his potential being fulfilled in the heart of the midfield. His gritty, fast-paced style how given Fulham a balance, a new dimension and more, importantly, a growing army of fans. Long may it continue.


Scott Parker sets ambitious Fulham target after Friday night victory

Fulham manager Scott Parker has stated that the top two is still up for grabs after his side's 2-0 victory over Cardiff City on Friday night.

The Whites were comfortable winners, and it means that Parker and his squad have secured a place in the play-offs.

However, there is still an opportunity for the Cottagers to make it into the top two, although a lot will depend on next week's fixture with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies are the side currently occupying second spot in the division, although West London rivals Brentford are also in the mix for an automatic promotion place.

Parker has expressed his delight in securing a play-off place, whilst also setting his side the target of reaching the second place.

Speaking to West London Sport, Parker said: "The top two is there and we need to keep pushing. I'm delighted that we got to the play-offs."

The Verdict

It was a very good performance from the Whites on Friday night, and you wonder why they can't start performing on a more consistent basis after a great result.

They have to back it up with another performance at West Brom and it could well give them an opportunity of getting into the top two before the season is up, if the Baggies defeat Parker's side then it will be another play-off campaign for Fulham.

It's good to see Parker setting his side an ambitious target on not resting on the fact that his team has already secured a play-off place.


Why we need to sign Harrison Reed

One of the stand out performers since the restart for Fulham has been Harrison Reed. The midfielder has been plagued by injuries this season, but the stats show us that we seem to be a better side with him in it so being able to allow him to get fit during lockdown has made a huge difference to our promotion bid.

The first word that comes to mind when I think of his style of play is 'busy'. He seems to get everywhere on the pitch, and buzzes around the opposition, winning the ball back and more often than not making a positive pass straight away. It can be frustrating when players win the ball but then lose immediately by holding on to it too long or by putting in a loose pass, but you rarely get that with Reed. His calm nature on the ball is what makes him so effective.

Reed has been involved in the league 23 times this season and of those games we have won 12 times, drawn 6 and lost 5. While those aren't mind blowing stats, if we look slightly closer we can see how important he is in the heart of midfield. I'll take the example of two of our loses this season. When we played Reading on New Years Day, Reed came off the pitch because of an injury after 19 minutes. We were already 1-0 down at that stage, but a bad start got even worse when he came off the pitch and we went on to lose 2-1. More recently we have our defeat in our first game back of the restart against Brentford. Reed had to come off after 80minutes when the score was still 0-0, but we went on to lose 2-0. There have been 20 matches without him. 10 of those have been victories, 4 have been draws and 6 have been losses. It's simple really. We pick up more points, whether through draws or victories, with Reed in the side.

Whether we go up or not, we should be trying to make Reed's move to Fulham a permanent one. It might be that the player himself is waiting to see what league we are playing in before he makes his decision. He deserves a shot in the Premier League but he hasn't been given it at parent club Southampton, so a move away from them may be on the horizon regardless. We obviously give ourselves a better chance of signing him permanently if we go up, and if we do, we must avoid what happened with Ollie Norwood. Not signing him from Brighton when we went up last time was one of the many nails in our coffin that season. Hopefully Southampton will prove to be easier to work with than they were when it involved Matt Targett though.

For now our attention turns to West Brom on Tuesday night. If Cairney is back from injury I'll be hoping to see a midfield three of him, Reed and Josh Onomah. That's the midfield that is our most balanced and therefore giving the team the best possible chance of taking something from the game. With the play-offs confirmed and the automatics looking more and more unlikely given the form of other teams, all that matters right now is building up momentum.



Slaven Bilic suffers an anomaly - but Fulham should be concerned by West Brom

Joseph Chapman was at Ewood Park - here are the talking points on a frustrating afternoon for West Brom

West Brom dropped two precious points as their recent winning run came to an end at Blackburn Rovers.

The Baggies will now need three more points in a crunch match with Fulham at The Hawthorns on Tuesday to ensure that they don't let Brentford in, after they posted another victory at Derby in the lunch-time kick off.

Filip Krovinovic opened the scoring here, and indeed the visitors should have put the game to bed into the second half, before Joe Rothwell was afforded the freedom of the penalty are to level things up.

Joseph Chapman was at Ewood Park - here are the talking points on a frustrating afternoon.

Familiar tale

For all of the qualities that Albion have showcased this season, this isn't the first time that they've been culpable of not finishing off their opponents when in the ascendancy and, as a result, being made to pay.

It happened at Barnsley in December, and at Charlton. It cost them two points at Swansea before lock-down, too.

Here, Albion were the better side for the first hour, and really ought to have been out of sight well before they handed Rovers an opportunity to respond; you'd have banked on Charlie Austin converting at least one of his openings.

Then there was the attempt from Jake Livermore when well placed. How Krovinovic didn't double his own tally, meanwhile, remains a mystery when he instead crashed a seemingly straightfoward effort onto the post.

There was almost a sense of inevitability at that stage.


There have been too many occasions this season where Bilic has changed things up mid-match to work in Albion's favour to count; he did it at Luton, at Middlesbrough, at Blues and at Preston, to name but a few matches.

That's involved not only a change in personnel, but also - if deemed necessary - a switch in system, too.

Bilic's ability to read a game and address it when things aren't going Albion's way has paid dividends this term, but here the changes didn't have the desired effect.

Bar Grady Diangana, who provided another outlet down the left hand side and ought to have tucked away one of his chances, the substitutes had very little impact as Albion searched - in vain - for a late winner.

Callum Robinson, Rekeem Harper and Hal Robson-Kanu were the other introductions, but it coincided with Albion losing their way in the final third.

Coming quickly

Albion will barely have time to dwell on this episode before the next pivotal fixture arrives on their doorstep this coming week.

They could hardly have chosen a more talented side to pit their wits against, too; by no means must Scott Parker's Fulham be discounted from the automatic promotion race after four successive wins which has given them plenty to fight for at The Hawthorns.

Albion will need to be at it in the same vein in which they approached the home games - and victories - over Hull and Derby - from the word go. The Tigers and the Rams were both immediately on the back foot because of Albion's 'up and at 'em' attitude - it must be the same against the Cottagers.

Shooting boots

Albion ought to be encouraged to perform to the level they did here - all they must add to the pattern of play is applying the finishing touch.

There needn't have been any questions asked about their display here if any one of the umpteen openings they'd created for themselves had beaten Christian Walton, but moving forwards you'd rather this was the case then them having a single shot on target and clinging on for dear life.

The game naturally became stretched in the closing stages, such is Albion's desperation for points, and indeed they might've lost the game on another day - they can't afford to be caught out defensively against Fulham, who boast the top scorer in the division.

The final thing to say is that this remains in Albion's hands, without the added pressure of Brentford playing first this time. Albion know exactly what they must do - and that will coincide with ending Fulham's automatic promotion hopes.