Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...  (Read 3068 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2020, 12:18:44 AM »
Ola Aina: Fulham sign former Chelsea defender on loan from Torino


Aina played 37 times for Torino last season

Fulham have signed former Chelsea midfielder Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino.

Full-back Aina, 23, came through Chelsea's youth system before joining Torino in July 2019, having previously played for the Italian side on loan.

He also had a loan spell in the Championship with Hull and despite playing for England's youth teams switched to play for Nigeria in 2017.

Fulham have the option to make the move permanent.

The deal follows Fulham signing Netherlands defender Kenny Tete from Lyon for an undisclosed fee on Thursday.

Fulham play their first match back in the Premier League against Arsenal on Saturday at Craven Cottage.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54124972

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2020, 12:19:43 AM »
Fulham sign Aina on loan


Nigeria international and Chelsea Academy product joins the Cottagers from Torino for the 2020/21 season

Fulham have announced the signing of Ola Aina on a season-long loan from Torino, with the option for a permanent transfer.

Aina returns to the Premier League, having made three appearances in the competition in Chelsea's title-winning 2016/17 campaign after progressing through the Academy of Fulham's west-London neighbours.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a Club like this," London-born Aina told the club's official website.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised."

The right-back, who can fill in across defence or further forward, joined Torino in 2018/19 on loan from Chelsea and played a key role as they finished seventh in Serie A.

The 23-year-old, who has been capped 14 times by Nigeria, signed for the Italian club permanently last summer and arrives at Craven Cottage after making 37 appearances across all competitions in 2019/20.

Fulham kick off the Premier League season at home to Arsenal on Saturday 12 September at 12:30 BST.



https://www.premierleague.com/news/1823278

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2020, 12:20:54 AM »
Fulham boss Parker faces key decisions ahead of Arsenal clash

Scott Parker’s first selection headache of the season is whether to include new signing Kenny Tete against Arsenal on Saturday.

The right-back completed his move on Thursday to Craven Cottage but has only had one training session to bed in.

The Fulham boss might err on the side of caution and hand the spot to Denis Odoi or Cyrus Christie instead.

Jean Michael Seri and André-Frank Anguissa are unlikely play any part.

Fulham are looking to offload both misfits after their poor showing in 2018-19’s relegation season.

Marek Rodak might well hang on to the keeper’s jersey despite the signing of Paris Saint-Germain’s Alphonse Areola.

Areola was put through his training paces after his loan deal was ratified on Thursday, and despite the Frenchman making more 100 appearances for PSG since his debut in 2013, Parker is expected to stick with Rodak for the time being.

Parker said: “We need Areola to push Marek. In fact, we need them to push each other”.



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/fulham-boss-parker-faces-key-decisions-ahead-of-arsenal-clash


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2020, 12:24:13 AM »
Fulham vs Arsenal: 3 Burning Questions Ahead Of The London Derby

The 2020-21 Premier League season is nearly upon us as Fulham will host Arsenal at the Craven Cottage on Saturday, in the opening fixture of the new campaign.

Maintaining their top-flight status will be the primary objective for Scott Parker, while Mikel Arteta’s side will definitely look to push for a top-four finish.

The two sides have contrasting objectives for the season, but will look to target a winning start on Saturday. With that, here are three burning questions ahead of the London derby.

Fulham vs Arsenal: 3 Burning Questions Ahead Of The Derby
#1 What does the future have in store for Mesut Ozil?

Mesut Ozil has been on the fringes ever since Arteta took control of the north London based outfit and his chances of forcing his way into the starting XI look slim at the moment. Ozil has been accused of being too lethargic to fit into Arteta’s tactics, which runs on high intensity.

Despite his indifferent attitude, Ozil still remains as one of the finest attacking midfielders of the game. His vision and ability of manoeuvre impeccable passes in the final third can break down even the meanest of defences, but under Arteta, quality alone is not enough.

Arsenal could do with a player of his calibre, but can he improve his tenacity on the pitch and become force his way into Arteta’s plans?

#2 Can Scott Parker’s side slog it out?
Fulham finished fourth in the Championship table, and beat Brentford in the promotion play-off final to return to the Premier League. Under Parker, their style was a far cry from the gung-ho approach of Slavisa Jokanovic, but it gave them the stability they needed.

The pragmatism will help them in the top-flight as they can mix good defending and efficient attacking to get the results that they couldn’t muster two years ago.

Arsenal like playing out from the back, and are good against teams who press, as it enables the Gunners to play through them to devastating effect after inviting the opposition press.

Will Fulham do the opposite and sit back, and ask the Gunners to break them down instead? That could work well for Parker’s side, who have good players in attack with compete with Arsenal physically, and on the break, using their pace and movement.

#3 Leno or Martinez?
Prior to the knee injury that he picked up against Brighton & Hove Albion in June, Bernd Leno was arguably the best player for Arsenal. The German shot-stopper pulled off astonishing saves on a regular basis and was consistent in goal.

However, during Leno’s brief spell on the treatment table, Emiliano Martinez burst onto the stage and shone in goal. He helped his side in winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield, so Arteta will face a serious dilemma about choosing whom to use in goal.

There have been reports of Martinez leaving. Although it might be good for the player, Arsenal would lose a talented and able ‘keeper.



https://madaboutepl.net/2020/09/fulham-vs-arsenal-3-burning-questions-london-derby/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2020, 12:25:32 AM »
Everyone at Fulham has a point to prove in the Premier League this time around, says Scott Parker

Scott Parker says everyone at Fulham has a point to prove in the Premier League following their last campaign in the top flight.

The Fulham boss was in caretaker charge for the final 10 games of their last Premier League season (2018-19), across which they won just seven games.

A large part of Parker's current squad were part of that torrid season, including captain Tom Cairney and last season's top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham kick-off their top-flight return at home to Arsenal on Saturday, and when asked whether those who couldn't make their mark last time had a point to prove this season, Parker’s response was unwavering.

“One million per cent. They have. Let’s get it right,” he answered.

"Last time we were in this position we didn’t do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I’m sure those players that during that season they would say the same. I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that.

"Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that. I’d like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure.”



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/scott-parker-fulham-have-point-to-prove-in-premier-league-season-a4545731.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2020, 12:28:29 AM »
Scott Parker on ‘Dry Your Eyes’ video: The Streets mash-up was ‘pretty good… all my emotions came out at Wembley’
The Fulham manager admits to being one of the two million-plus viewers of the viral video following their Championship play-off final win last month

Scott Parker is hoping no-one will tell him “dry your eyes, mate” after Fulham kick-off the Premier League season against Arsenal at Saturday lunchtime.

The Cottagers are back in the top-flight after a single season’s absence having got the better of near neighbours Brentford in the Championship play-off final a little over a month ago.

Parker’s emotions spilled over in front of the cameras after that Wembley win as he talked of the pressures of his job and the effect it had on his family.

It wasn’t long before his speech was cheekily repackaged for the internet with the music and chorus from ‘Dry Your Eyes’ – the 2004 hit by The Streets, aka rapper Mike Skinner, who talk-sang his way through that track in an accent similar to Parker’s.

More than two million clicks later – including one by the former England midfielder himself – Parker declared himself ready to put himself through it all again.

“I’m not on Twitter but it was sent to me, it was pretty good,” he said. “At the end of a long season, the emotions you saw at Wembley were a mixture of all sorts: relief, pride. That all came out.


“What made me so emotional last year, certainly at the end and during that lockdown period, is I saw a team that really developed not just as a football team but as human beings as well. There was something inside of me which was very, very proud of the group of men that I saw.”

Fulham may have signed goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who was part of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad, and Dutch left-back Kenny Tete in the past three days, but are still regarded as favourites for relegation.

The reason for that is their dismal showing in 2018-19 when they arrived as play-off winners, spent more than £100m on new players and won just seven league games, three of which were when they were already doomed.

Parker was one of three managers that season and admitted that he and his players, the majority of whom were part of that losing team, had much to put right.

“One million per cent,” he said. “Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

“You need to prove in the biggest league in the world against the best players in the world, with a lot of eyes looking at you thinking you won’t be good enough. You need to prove to them that you are. Certainly, that’s a challenge I can’t wait for.”



https://inews.co.uk/sport/football/scott-parker-dry-your-eyes-mate-video-twitter-the-streets-mike-skinner-fulham-643031?ITO=newsnow


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2020, 12:30:47 AM »
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic backed to bully Premier League defenders by Dimitar Berbatov

EXCLUSIVE: Former Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov has backed Aleksandar Mitrovic to continue to bully defenders as he prepares for his return to the Premier League against Arsenal on Saturday

 Dimitar Berbatov has backed Aleksandar Mitrovic to impress in the Premier League.

The former Manchester United striker has praised the 25-year-old forward for firing Fulham to promotion from the Championship - and backed him to be full of confidence ahead of the new campaign.

Berbatov, who scored 15 goals in his only full season for the club after leaving Old Trafford in 2012, has also praised the work done by his former team-mate at Craven Cottage, Scott Parker.

The 39-year-old has additionally revealed that he visited his former club before the pandemic forced the nation to a standstill - before urging them to be wary in the transfer market.


Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 49 goals in 100 appearances for Fulham in all competitions (Image: Getty)

Betfair Ambassador Berbatov told Daily Star Sport of Mitrovic: “There was a lot on his shoulders last season. It is a great achievement for him and it would have boosted his confidence."

The former Newcastle striker managed 26 Championship goals in 41 appearances as Fulham saw off the challenge of Brentford in the play-off final, having found the back of the net 11 times in the previous top-flight campaign.

 Ex- Tottenham star Berbatov went on to discuss the playing style of the Serbian international, who is known for his physicality inside the box.

He added: “I like Mitrovic because he doesn’t care who he is playing against, he is always bullying defenders.

“He is strong and powerful in the air and hopefully Fulham can utilise fast players around him so they can give him the ball in the penalty area so he can bully the defenders and score.”

Parker was initially appointed as caretaker manager at Craven Cottage following the dismissal of former Chelsea and Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri in February 2019, who had been brought in to replace 2018 play-off final winner Slavisa Jokanovic.

The former England midfielder failed to avoid the impending relegation, but led Fulham back into the top flight at the first time of asking via a tense Wembley final.

Berbatov said of his former colleague: “I think they have done the toughest thing of all in coming back to the Premier League from the Championship.

“That was a massive achievement, and now - don’t go back again. This is the first priority. Don’t go back again because that would be a huge disappointment.

“If they can do that, they can build, but so far Scott Parker has done unbelievably well. I was there before the virus to watch them train and I spoke with Scott for little while.

“I wished him luck then and I was so happy to see them come back to the Premier League. Now they need to strengthen their squad - but with the right players.

“The last time they bought so many players but none of them were particularly successful, they were leaking goals so easily. Fix that and they will be okay.”



https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-news-exclusive-aleksandar-mitrovic-22669934

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2020, 12:32:21 AM »
Scott Parker urges Fulham to learn from past mistakes in Premier League

 Scott Parker wants his Fulham players to prove themselves this season and learn from previous mistakes as they prepare to host Arsenal in their season opener on Saturday.

During their last campaign in the top flight following promotion via the play-offs in 2018, Fulham under-performed throughout the season, winning only seven matches before being relegated after amassing just 26 points.

A number of players from that season, in which Parker was named caretaker boss following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, have remained, including last season's Championship golden boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Parker says they have something to prove.

"One million per cent. They have," Parker said. "Last time we were in this position we didn't do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I'm sure those players that during that season they would say the same.

"I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that. Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

"I'd like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure."

In the Championship last season, Fulham finished fourth, with 23 wins from their 46 matches, however the manager insisted the club will need a different outlook as they prepare to come up against the top sides in England.

Parker said: "It's definitely a mentality shift, I think it is probably a little bit similar to last year when we went from losing a lot of football matches in a short space of time to being expected to win a lot, being top of the league, and expected to win it.

"It is not the same in that sense of that mentality shift as well. That is something I am very conscious of and something we need to manage, highlight and realise where we are and what is expected of us this year.

"Large parts in successful teams for me is a mindset, players understanding where they are and what is expected and what they need to do.

"That is the challenge we face this year and is different to last year, but a challenge this year that we need to prove we are good enough to be in this division, prove we can go up against the best players and teams and really give it a go.

"That is a mindset that is down to me to change and the players to understand."



https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/arsenal/news/scott-parker-urges-fulham-to-learn-from-past-mistakes-in-premier-league_413964.html

Offline Denzil Dexter

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2020, 12:57:58 AM »
Report: Fulham want Bournemouth striker and Aston Villa target Josh King

According to The Daily Telegraph, Fulham want Bournemouth striker Josh King this summer as manager Scott Parker continues to bolster his squad for life back in the Premier League.

The Norway international is expected to leave the Vitality Stadium in the coming weeks with only nine months left on his current deal, and the Cottagers are keen to offer him a chance to continue playing top-flight football.

Fulham aren’t the only ones interested in King, with Aston Villa also planning a move.

Manager Dean Smith wants another striker after landing Ollie Watkins, and his side have looked at a £16million deal but it could take more for Bournemouth to cash in.

Fulham have already brought in Antonee Robinson, Mario Lemina, Harrison Reed, Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete so far this summer, and Ola Aina is expected to join from Torino.

They could do with another striker, and King will be a fine addition.

King was linked with a return to Manchester United in January as boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed a cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, but Bournemouth knocked back their offer.

The 28-year-old has scored 48 Premier League for the Cherries since joining in 2015, hitting double digits in 2018-19 and 2016-17, and Fulham need such an experienced striker in their attack.



https://sportslens.com/report-fulham-want-bournemouth-striker-and-aston-villa-target-josh-king/312993/
I think agents use us to push Villa to pay big money. It's like Watkins all over again.

Sent from my SM-A908B using Tapatalk



Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2020, 08:39:40 AM »
Griffin's major role in Fulham success

The Fulham FC academy has been spoken of in glowing terms in recent years after producing some exceptional young talent like the Sessegnon brothers (Steven and Ryan) as well as 17-year old Harvey Elliott who was signed by Liverpool last year.

But not many people know that Rolestown native Jonathan Griffin has played a big part in the success of the academy in his role as Innovation and Projects Manager.

Jonathan isn't the first Griffin to enjoy success in his chosen sporting field as his dad Patrick is a well-known former horse trainer.

However, ironically, he has left his role at Fulham just as the club are preparing to make their big return to the Premier League at the first time of asking following their relegation in 2019. The Lilywhites host London rivals Arsenal at Craven Cottage in the lunchtime kick-off this coming Saturday.

Naturally enough, though, Jonathan will be following his old club from afar and believes Fulham are much better equipped this time around to survive the rough and tumble of the league widely regarded as the best in the world.

"As of recently I am an ex Fulham employee as my wife was offered a big opportunity in Abu Dhabi which means we will be moving over there,' he explained.

'But I look back on my time at the club with nothing but fondness and I would like to think myself, along with all the team at the Academy, have definitely moved things forward and helped the club progress over the last few years.

'I think the club recognise that they made a mistake the last time they got promoted as they bought too many big signings, which meant the team took too long to gel.

'This is the second promotion I've been involved in since joining the club in 2017, but this time around Scott [Parker, the current Fulham manager] has bought a couple of players to add to the squad while also bringing in a couple of guys who have progressed through the academy, and I think the club have been more grounded and smarter.

'It will be tough for Fulham, but I think that they can surprise a few people this season and I'll be following them on that journey.'

Jonathan's journey which led him to Fulham was a long and complicated one and began in 1992 as a 20-year-old when he started studying sports science at Brighton University.

Growing up he was a talented rugby player, and having played in three schools finals with Belvedere he joined up with London Irish in the mid 1990s.

After his rugby career ended he decided he wanted to work with elite athletes and with that in mind he attended Loughborough University to complete his Masters in Exercise Physiology. While there he began coaching the university rugby team and through that came an opportunity to coach at Stanford Rugby Club in California. He worked his way up to becoming Director of Rugby at Stanford before returning to England to do his PhD in Strength and Conditioning and Sports Science.

While at St Mary's University in Twickenham a meeting with Fulham Academy director Mike Cave led to a job with the then Championship club and according to Jonathan all was not well with the academy when he first joined.

'The Academy side of things had been in disarray really and the club were failing all their EPPP targets which is basically targets set by the FA in England for an Elite Player Performance Pathway.

'We went about changing the culture and best practice frameworks as well as coach-to-player ratios and the next season we passed all metrics with flying colours. As Head of Innovation I was responsible for working with players across eight categories - scouting, coaching, sports science and medicine, welfare, education, match analysis and psychology.

'One of the big things we introduced to the academy was a link-up with a company called Player Maker which is basically an innovative athlete performance tracking platform which presents unparalleled insights on technical, tactical, physical, load and gait analysis, for the players and coaching staff.

'We were collecting data on about 180 players between the ages of nine and 23, but the challenge we had was collecting that data in a meaningful way which could tell us things and help us with player development. That was an enormous project and we have got to the stage where we are utilising that information to help with injury management, player progression and performance enhancement amongst all our academy products.

'The area of sports science has really exploded over the last five or so years and you now have very highly qualified practitioners working at pretty much every high-level club.

'We have a budget of about €4 million in our academy, which sounds pretty good, but it is at least 10 times less than the big Premier League clubs which shows what clubs at Fulham's level are up against.

'Fulham are situated in London just five minutes down the road from Chelsea, with Arsenal not too far away either, so it's a bloodbath with regards to scouting young talent. We obviously have scouts who scour London looking for talent, but as an example of what we are up against you have the likes of Man City who employ seven scouts whose only job is to find players in London.

'With all that in mind I think we have done a really good job in the Academy. Our director Huw Jenkins is a brilliant leader and he was at Southampton when they created all that talent a few years ago, with the likes of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. We ourselves have produced some excellent young prospects such as Harvey Elliott and the Sessegnon brothers and there are many more coming down the line.

'I won't be at the club to see the fruit of our labours, but I really enjoyed my time there and I'm excited to see what is next for me on my journey. For the short term I will be getting back into my first love, which is rugby coaching, and I will be working with the Abu Dhabi Harlequins.

'It's been a great journey so far and I'm looking forward to the next chapter, whatever that may be.'



https://www.independent.ie/regionals/fingalindependent/sport/soccer/griffins-major-role-in-fulham-success-39509889.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2020, 08:40:14 AM »
Mitrovic will ‘bully’ Premier League defenders, says Berbatov

Former Fulham forward Dimitar Berbatov has said Aleksandar Mitrovic will ‘bully’ Premier League defenders and believes the Serbian striker to be crucial in helping the Whites survive in the top flight this year.

Berbatov, who scored 20 goals in 54 appearances during his two year spell at Craven Cottage, told the Daily Star of his admiration for Fulham’s current number nine. He feels that Mitrovic will take confidence not only from his previous exploits in the Premier League, but from the way he lead to line to claim the Championship’s golden boot last term as Fulham won promotion via the play-offs:

There was a lot on his shoulders last season. It is a great achievement for him and it would have boosted his confidence. I like Mitrovic because he doesn’t care who he is playing against, he is always bullying defenders. He is strong and powerful in the air and hopefully Fulham can utilise fast players around him so they can give him the ball in the penalty area so he can bully the defenders and score.

Berbatov lavished praise on his former Fulham team-mate Scott Parker for guiding the club back to the top flight at the very first attempt.

I think they have done the toughest thing of all in coming back to the Premier League from the Championship. That was a massive achievement, and now – don’t go back again. This is the first priority. Don’t go back again because that would be a huge disappointment.

If they can do that, they can build, but so far Scott Parker has done unbelievably well. I was there before the virus to watch them train and I spoke with Scott for little while. I wished him luck then and I was so happy to see them come back to the Premier League. Now they need to strengthen their squad – but with the right players. The last time they bought so many players but none of them were particularly successful, they were leaking goals so easily. Fix that and they will be okay.



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2020/09/mitrovic-will-bully-premier-league-defenders-says-berbatov/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2020, 08:41:16 AM »
Maitland-Niles and Tierney start, Martinez out - Arsenal predicted team vs Fulham

The Gunners will be hoping to get off to a positive start in the Premier League at Fulham

Heading into the first game of the Premier League season, Mikel Arteta seems to have one less dilemma to solve - the one which has haunted him all summer.

Following interest from Aston Villa and Brighton, as revealed by football.london on Friday [September 11], the 28-year-old is not expected to travel with the squad to Craven Cottage. As a result, Bernd Leno will take the starting spot to build on an impressive 2019/20 campaign.

Fresh injuries to David Luiz and Sokratis may cause speculation as to whether the side will continue with a back three, but seeing as it's the system that has been used most in pre-season, veering away from that may come further down the line.

As a result, William Saliba will slot in on the right side, Rob Holding will take the central role and Kieran Tierney will keep his place as the left-sided centre-back. Anticipation may be high for a Gabriel Magalhaes debut but Arteta is aware of the challenges both he and Saliba will face and in need of points early, he may opt for Tierney as the more trusted option.

"I think it’s going to take him some time to adapt to our way of playing but as well to get adapted to the language, the rhythm, the physicality of the country," Arteta said on Saliba and Gabriel.

"As well we have to bear in mind that he didn’t play much football last season with all the injuries he had. So, I think it will be a process that we have to be patient, picking the right games with the right environment and trying to grow because he has a really good potential.

"Everyone was saying that we had too many central defenders and it’s a funny case right now that it’s the position we are short at the moment with all the injuries. But I’m hopeful in the next few weeks that situation will resolve and we’ll be in a stronger position."

With Tierney at centre-back, Ainsley Maitland-Niles will return as the left wing-back. The 23-year-old excelled there in the FA Cup semi-final and final as well as in the Community Shield win over Liverpool in which he produced a man of the match display.



https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/fixtures-results/fulham-arsenal-predicted-lineups-martinez-18922234


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2020, 08:43:50 AM »
Fulham preview: Goalkeeping clarity, but some thinking to do at centre-half

Ok then, here we go again! A brand new season begins today as we take on Fulham at Craven Cottage. In terms of previewing this one, we’re going in half-blind, because we don’t have any form guide, or wider knowledge of fitness/readiness, so it’ll be very interesting to see what Mikel Arteta does with his team.

One thing we do know is that Bernd Leno will start in goal. At his press conference yesterday, Mikel Arteta played down suggestions that whoever got the nod today was going to be the de facto number one, saying that he would pick whoever was training best – just like in any other position. However, last night it emerged that Martinez would not be part of the squad for today’s game as interest in him from Aston Villa and also Brighton ramps up.

There was also an interesting quote from the manager as he admitted it’d be tough to keep them both happy:

They want to know their role and at the end of the day it is one position to fill in, and the other one has to support the No 1 and the one who is playing 100%. If you are not able to do that, you cannot be part of our top squad and you should not be here.

Like many of you, I’ve been hugely impressed with Emi, and I like him a lot as a goalkeeper. I feel like he has done everything possible to take his chance and to stake his claim for the number 1 spot, and his departure would be a tough one to take. I suppose it is worth remembering that when Leno got injured against Brighton there was genuine dismay because of how good he’d been. When the fear was he’d be out for a long time, the general consensus was that we would have to go out and buy a goalkeeper.

Emi’s performances allayed those fears, but if 6 months ago someone had come along with close to £20m for him, it’d have been seen akin to a lottery win. The unfortunate reality of our financial situation is that offers like this are hard to resist, and even more so if the player himself has made it clear he’d like to go and stake his claim as number one at a Premier League club. I certainly don’t blame him for striking while the iron is hot, his stock is as high as it has ever been, so the opportunity to play regularly as first choice and go from a £20,000 a week player at Arsenal to a £75,000 a week player somewhere else is hard to resist. The knock-on effect is that some of that transfer fee will have to be spent on a replacement – we need a number two because Matt Macey has been told he can leave. That’s an discussion for another day though.

The other big issue for today is the centre of our defence. With so many centre-halves on our books, it’s very Arsenal that we’re in a bit of a pickle about who we’re going to field today. David Luiz and Sokratis miss out due to injury, while we’re already without Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, and Calum Chambers as they recover from their longer-term problems. That leaves Arteta with Rob Holding, William Saliba, and Gabriel.

Together, they could well be a balanced back three with the two new boys either side of Holding in the central position. I just wonder if that might be too inexperienced for Arteta who might want to ease them in more gently, Saliba in particular. We know that Kieran Tierney has played in the back three, but his presence on the left hand side is where you’d envisage Gabriel playing, and while I don’t know for certain, I’d have doubts he’d be deployed centrally with Holding the other side. I wonder if, all things considered, we might see a back four today, with Holding and Gabriel flanked by Hector Bellerin and Tierney.

In midfield we have lots of options. Arteta can take his pick from Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny, Lucas Torreira, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil who have all been training this week. There may be some fitness issues, but as far as we know, there are no injuries to contend with. Ahead of them it’s basically the full complement too. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are are in the mix – only Gabriel Martinelli remains sidelined because of his knee injury. So, there are no shortage of options in midfield and attack. Update: I forgot Willian, we also have him!

We know that there are no easy games in the Premier League, but this is an interesting opening fixture. Away from home to a newly promoted side, it feels like the kind of game where we’d like to exert some influence and control, something we found a bit tough at times last season. Perhaps this might also be a factor in going with a back four if that’s what we do, adding the extra man to midfield to provide us with another option there – creative or otherwise – to try and dictate the game from this area of the pitch. Games against the so-called smaller sides were banana skins a bit too often last year, even under Arteta, so it’d be nice to set down a marker today with a performance, but first and foremost the right result.



https://arseblog.com/2020/09/fulham-preview-goalkeeping-clarity-but-some-thinking-to-do-at-centre-half/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2020, 08:45:16 AM »
Report: Benfica now seek £41.5m for Fulham and Leeds target Florentino Luis

According to A Bola, Benfica are seeking a £41.5 million fee for reported Fulham and Leeds United midfielder target Florentino Luis.

The Portugal U21 international has been heavily linked with an exit.

A report on Friday from Italian editorial Tuttomercatoweb claimed newly-promoted duo Leeds and Fulham were leading the race for his signature.

The same publication also claimed Monaco had submitted a bid for him.

But now A Bola say a fresh Fulham bid is on the horizon, with an initial loan fee for the season followed by an obligation to sign Luis for around £27 million next summer.

Benfica, however, are seeking a fee in the region of £41.5 million.

The Portuguese giants are seemingly welcoming a transfer battle for their holding midfielder, and with a bidding war set to continue they only stand to generate a higher sale.

Learning from last time:

Fulham were guilty of overspending in their last campaign in the Premier League.

After achieving promotion in 2018, the Whites spent over £100 million only to make an immediate return to the Championship. They can’t afford to make the same mistakes.

Former Benfica coach Joao Tralhao has compared the Luis with Brazil international Casemiro, telling Bernabeu Digital how Real Madrid should sign him.

“Florentino is a young player who has exceptional talent. From very early on, we realized that Florentino was on the road to becoming an elite player. I see Florentino as a logical option (for Real Madrid). He has a profile very similar to that of Casemiro and in Europe he is, without a doubt, one of the best in his position,” Tralhao explained.

Luis is a player with huge potential. But for such a figure, Fulham supporters may wonder if it’s worth the gamble on a player with zero Premier League experience.

Premier League top scorers 2019/20

    Jamie Vardy – Leicester

    23
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal

    22
    Danny Ings – Southampton

    22
    Raheem Sterling – Manchester City

    20
    Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

    19



https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2020/09/12/report-benfica-now-seek-41-5m-for-fulham-and-leeds-target-florentino-luis/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2020, 08:45:54 AM »
Fulham Preview: Can Arteta solve for a deep-block?

Well, here we are, the first game of the season. It’s pounced on us. I’ve barely had the time to miss football, yet here she is, back with a 3 game a week schedule for the next 3 months. I am VERY excited.

Fulham is a tricky game simply because we’re not really sure who is going to show up. Both teams could spring a surprise. Arsenal could turn up like they did against Villa. Fulham could roll over like they did that time we thought we had our Arsenal back.

We need a win. There’s no glory in a draw. Arsenal needs to start the season the same way they played the FA Cup final. Everyone needs to show up focused. This season we’re gunning for top 4. Arsenal can’t have another transition year. We have the talent to do it. Arteta picked up a bag of shite in December, he took us from 8th to 8th, but the half-season table showed that we finished 4 points off 3rd (in 5th). If we’re that close to 3rd in March, we have every chance of taking a Champions League spot.

There are 4 very important games coming up before the international break. Anything above 9 points will be classified as very good. Most would say the big game is the Liverpool one, but for me, it’s actually the Fulham, West Ham, and Sheff U games that pose the threat.

Arsenal’s challenge this season will be dealing with deep blocks. We lack creativity through the middle and we haven’t really addressed that this summer so far. There has to be a solution. Arteta needs to evolve how we play this season. It’s no good becoming the London version of Wolves. We need to rack up points against the little teams this season.

There are some potential solutions. The biggest bet we’ve made is that Willian will carry over his elite form from last season. He had a great record for balls into the box last season. We’ll need some of that trickery tomorrow. The big question is whether Arteta opts to play him out on the left, or whether he moves him into a modern #10 role.

We could also see Mesut Ozil back in contention. The German international is out of the cold and he’s making a fuss online that he wants to play. Say what you like about him, he’s a deep-block specialist and if willing, he’s more than capable of being a solve for us there. Question, as always, is how much does he care?

There are also some other potential solves that are little more far fetched. Saka ‘might’ get a shout as a #10 at some point this season. Could be a little early for that. Especially as he’s been so good from wide positions. We also have ESR who can play in those pockets. He had a great time at Huddersfield. Would Arteta take the chance? I’m not sure (not tomorrow as he’s injured). Especially not for the first game.

What we do know is this: Fulham under Scotty Parker are pragmatists.

They will set up with a sturdy team tomorrow and they’ll look to nick a goal on the counter. They clearly aren’t elite pragmatists (they finished 4th in the Championship and there’s been a serious debate about #ParkerOut among entertainment starved fans), but they’ll be an early test for us. They have some decent ball-playing defenders and they have a bully of a target man in Mitrovic. Those two factors combining have been the death of us over the years. Hopefully, there’s a strategy tomorrow to work around the obvious plan that’ll be rolled out.

So here we are, heading into our 13th year together (feeling so emosh). This should be fun. We have a solid setup. We have a brilliant young manager. We have a vibrant squad of young players eager to make it happen. We have a chance to make the top 4 if things fall for us. Let’s enjoy it, it’ll be a fun ride. Lots of ups and downs. But we’re heading in the right direction regardless. I’ve not been able to honestly say that in a very long time.

Enjoy the game and listen to the podcast. Whoever gave me a 1* review, I hope you have some mild internet disruption today. Yeah, I’m that serious about the slander.

Also, I fixed the link issue on the newsletter. It should not be working perfectly!

COME ON YOU GOONERS!



https://le-grove.co.uk/2020/09/12/fulham-preview-can-arteta-solve-for-a-deep-block/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #55 on: September 12, 2020, 08:48:15 AM »
Fulham XI vs Arsenal: Confirmed early team news, predicted lineup, latest injuries for Premier League today

Fulham make their Premier League return when they host Arsenal at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

Scott Parker has pledged to keep the core of the side which won promotion going into the new campaign, vowing the club will not make the same mistakes that caused them to go down two years ago.

Instead of overhauling the squad, Parker is looking to evolve it by strengthening areas for "one of the toughest leagues in the world."

Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete are the most recent arrivals, following Harrison Reed's move being made permanent along with deals for Mario Lemina and Antonee Robinson.

Parker faces a call in midfield against the Gunners as to who starts alongside captain Tom Cairney in the two ahead of Reed.

Josh Onomah starred at the end of the season but Parker may well turn to the experience of Lemina, who has plenty of games in the Premier League and Champions League under his belt, considering the opposition.


Predicted Fulham XI to face Arsenal (4-3-3): Areola; Tete, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Lemina, Cairney; Decordova-Reid, Knockaert, Mitrovic



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/fulham-xi-vs-arsenal-confirmed-early-team-news-predicted-lineup-latest-injuries-today-a4545571.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2020, 08:50:00 AM »
Arsenal's starting line-up for Fulham 'spotted' by fans from Mikel Arteta's notes in training

Eagle-eyed Arsenal supporters think they spotted a clue for the Fulham game from a picture posted by the official club account

Arsenal supporters have taken to social media after spotting what they believe to be a clue ahead of the Gunners' opening Premier League fixture.

Mikel Arteta's side make the short journey across London to Craven Cottage where they will be looking for three points against newly promoted Fulham.

The Gunners will be hoping to make a winning start to their campaign, with Arteta no doubt keen to build upon the momentum of winning the FA Cup at the end of last season, and then the Community Shield against Liverpool several weeks ago.

The north Londoners have been in pre-season mode for several weeks with warm-up games against MK Dons and Aston Villa to help regain match sharpness.

The Villa match at the Emirates ended in a 3-2 defeat, but saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang net a brace to carry on where he left off against Jurgen Klopp's side at Wembley.

Summer signings Willian and Dani Ceballos also made appearances, with Ceballos playing less than 24 hours after signing another season-long loan with the club. Nicolas Pepe was also in action, after missing the Community Shield clash entirely.

With the match against Fulham fast approaching, some Arsenal supporters took to social media to speculate on Arteta's line-up for the game at Craven Cottage - based on an image posted by the club Twitter account.

The picture was of Arteta during a training session, with the Spaniard holding a piece of paper.

Fans zoomed in on the paper, with many pointing out that it appeared to say "Pepe" and "Laca" in the front front three, with Nicolas Pepe on his natural right wing spot and Alexandre Lacazette through the middle.

Speaking on Friday ahead of Arsenal's trip to Fulham, Arteta backed his side to mount a consistent challenge for the top four this season.

"What I see from them is that they want more, that they are not satisfied and this is what we want to show tomorrow.

"That we want to go another step forward. What we done, it doesn't count for anything. It gives us confidence and belief in what we can do, that we can compete against any team, but this is a completely different competition.

"It's a long race and we have to be consistent. There is a big gap on what happened in the last few seasons when we were out of the Champions League spots, and this is our challenge for the season."



https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/news/arsenal-fulham-starting-line-up-18922632

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2020, 09:31:38 AM »
Fulham Chief Gives Condition For Signing Ola Aina On A Permanent Basis

Fulham have secured the signature of Super Eagles star Ola Aina on a season-long loan deal for Torino, including the option to make the transfer permanent.

Fulham Director of Football Operations, Tony Khan is pleased with the club's most recent transfer business, calling the Chelsea Academy product a talented player, and believes the versatile fullback can bring quality to the team.

Khan has revealed that Fulham would trigger the 12.5 million euros purchase option in Aina's deal if they manage to have a good season.

"I’m pleased to announce the arrival of Ola Aina to Fulham on loan from Torino," said Khan to Fulham's official website,

"Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League.

"In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the Club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential. Come on Fulham!"

London-born Aina has not featured in the Premier League since playing the last fifteen minutes of Chelsea's 4-3 win vs Fulham on May 15, 2017.

Igho Kingsley



https://www.allnigeriasoccer.com/read_news.php?nid=37357


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #58 on: September 12, 2020, 09:32:27 AM »
Fulham secure Ola Aina loan signing

Fulham have completed the season-long loan signing of former Chelsea full-back Ola Aina from Torino.

Scott Parker’s Whites have retained the option to turn the 23-year-old’s loan into a permanent switch at the end of the campaign.

Nigeria defender Aina’s arrival will further boost Fulham’s ranks ahead of their Premier League return.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be able to play for a club like this,” Aina told FFCtv.

“It feels amazing to be back closer to my family, back in the capital where I was born and raised.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here. I’m really good friends with Big Hec (Michael Hector) and Josh Onomah.

“I feel very comfortable on either foot, I can fill in wherever needs be.

“I’d say I’m pretty quick and I like to attack, but I also like to help the team and do the dirty work as much as I can.”

Southwark-born Aina joined Chelsea aged 11 and went on to make three league appearances between 2015 and 2019.

After impressing in Italy on loan, Torino took Aina on a permanent basis.

But now, after 62 Serie A appearances in two seasons, Aina is back on home soil.

Football operations director Tony Khan hailed Aina’s move, with Fulham opening their top-flight return by hosting Arsenal on Saturday.

“Ola is an exciting young player who can further strengthen our squad this season in the Premier League,” he said.

“In our loan agreement, we’ve secured an option for a permanent transfer for Ola to potentially remain at Fulham if this season proves to be a good fit for us, which is a great situation for the club given our belief in Ola’s talent and in his potential.”



https://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/fulham-secure-ola-aina-loan-signing-1599846953000

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 12/09/20...
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2020, 09:33:27 AM »
Scott Parker knows Fulham must adapt to new challenge and right previous wrongs

Scott Parker wants his Fulham players to prove themselves this season and learn from previous mistakes as they prepare to host Arsenal in their season opener on Saturday.

During their last campaign in the top flight following promotion via the play-offs in 2018, Fulham under-performed throughout the season, winning only seven matches before being relegated after amassing just 26 points.

A number of players from that season, in which Parker was named caretaker boss following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, have remained, including last season’s Championship golden boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Parker says they have something to prove.

“One million per cent. They have,” Parker said. “Last time we were in this position we didn’t do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I’m sure those players that during that season they would say the same.

“I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that. Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

“I’d like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure.”

In the Championship last season, Fulham finished fourth, with 23 wins from their 46 matches, however the manager insisted the club will need a different outlook as they prepare to come up against the top sides in England.

Parker said: “It’s definitely a mentality shift, I think it is probably a little bit similar to last year when we went from losing a lot of football matches in a short space of time to being expected to win a lot, being top of the league, and expected to win it.

“It is not the same in that sense of that mentality shift as well. That is something I am very conscious of and something we need to manage, highlight and realise where we are and what is expected of us this year.

“Large parts in successful teams for me is a mindset, players understanding where they are and what is expected and what they need to do.

“That is the challenge we face this year and is different to last year, but a challenge this year that we need to prove we are good enough to be in this division, prove we can go up against the best players and teams and really give it a go.

“That is a mindset that is down to me to change and the players to understand.”



https://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/scott-parker-knows-fulham-must-adapt-to-new-challenge-and-right-previous-wrongs-1599859850000