Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 16/10/20...  (Read 866 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 16/10/20...
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2020, 11:48:08 PM »
Fulham confirm permanent signing of Terence Kongolo on four-year deal from Huddersfield as Scott Parker bolsters struggling defence with Holland international

    Terence Kongolo has signed a four-year deal with Fulham from Huddersfield
    Netherlands international signed on loan last season but was injured early on
    Scott Parker has added the defender after a disastrous start to their season

Fulham have confirmed the return of Terence Kongolo on a permanent deal from Championship side Huddersfield.

The 26-year-old arrives at Craven Cottage for an undisclosed fee on deadline day and has signed a four-year deal with the south-west London club.

The Netherlands international joined the Whites on loan last season but broke a bone in his foot meaning he made just one start for the club.

Fulham have confirmed the signing of Terence Kongolo from Huddersfield on four-year deal

The defender's arrival continues manager Scott Parker's efforts to bolster the squad after a disastrous start to life back in the Premier League with four straight defeats.

After the deal was confirmed, Kongolo said: 'I'm really happy. It's been a while, been waiting the whole day, but the end result is I can play for Fulham! I'm proud to be here, and I will give everything for this Club.'

Kongolo is Fulham's arrival in this transfer window in a spree that includes Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ademola Lookman and Tosin Adarabioyo.

Scott Parker has added his 10th summer arrival as he looks to bolster his struggling defence

Co-owner Tony Khan added: 'I'm thrilled to announce the return of Terence Kongolo to Fulham FC on a permanent transfer from Huddersfield Town!

'It's great to bring back Terence, a gifted defender with Premier League experience whom we know from experience will come in and fight for our Club.

'Terence had joined us on loan in January, but unfortunately for everyone he was injured in a match not long after his arrival and he wasn't able to finish the season with us.

'Thankfully he's now made great progress towards his return, and we're excited to have Terence back on the pitch soon! Come on Fulham!'

Kongolo was set to join Sheffield United earlier this summer but failed a Blades medical

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 16/10/20...
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2020, 11:49:58 PM »
In Profile: Terence Kongolo
It was a brief cameo first time around, but Fulham have secured the services of Terence Kongolo on a permanent deal. Ben Jarman gives us the lowdown on our new defender.

Terence may have had a loan spell in SW6 blighted by injury, but, this permanent signing could genuinely be exciting for us if Kongolo stays fit. He’s tall, versatile and still young – all the key ingredients for a successful defensive signing.

His one appearance in a Fulham shirt did see Fulham concede four goals, away at Manchester City in January, but bizarrely Kongolo came out of that match with real credit. His last ditch tackle in the second half against Gabriel a particular highlight.

The Future’s Oranje
Many of you may remember the Dutch overcoming the odds at the 2014 World Cup to a third place finish in Brazil. Well, in that squad was a little known 20 year-old who went by the name of Terence Kongolo. A relative unknown, but trusted enough by Louis Van Gaal to be one of a new legion of centre-halves at that tournament. Out with the old of Mathijsen and Heitinga and in with De Vrij, Vlaar, Kongolo and Martins Indi.

Now, let’s not get carried away here. Kongolo did only make a fleeting appearance against Chilé, but his form for Feyenoord was hugely impressive for someone of his young age. Feyenoord enjoyed a period of immense success during the early 90s winning three titles, but that honour eluded them until 2016, when, with Kongolo at the heart of their defence, they secured the title for the first time in more than 20 years.

They went on to secure another a KNVB Cup and two supporters shield victories with Terence in their ranks, and it wasn’t long before a move was on the cards. But before we get to that, let’s talk a little bit about what Kongolo brings to the table. Under Van Bronkhorst, Feyenoord played slick, fast-flowing football that played through the thirds and relied on incisive passing. But, unlike the Ajax team you see today, or the Dutch national team, Feyenoord were tighter at the back and registered 17 clean sheets with Kongolo playing centre-half. The influence of the former full-back Van Bronkhorst was there for all to see. And this is where Kongolo stood out, replacing mercurial Joris Mathijsen at the back and becoming and imposing leader.

His presence was felt across the back line as Feyenoord marched towards a historic title. But whilst many plaudits landed at the feet of star striker Nikolai Jorgensen, Kongolo had massively impressed. A storming centre-half whose height allows him to win aerial battles over opposition strikers with crisp passing that allows counters to start from source. Kongolo was part of a new wave of Dutch centre-halves, no longer were they slow and intelligent; he is raw, quick and no-nonsense.

Monaco calling
Finally, a move away from the famous De Kuip followed, as Kongolo went to the riches of AS Monaco and their iconic Stade Louis II stadium. In what felt like an excellent move at the time, and given Monaco’s track record for cultivating young players in to world class talent for huge profit (see also: Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappé & Ben Mendy), it was hoped that Kongolo would skyrocket in much the same way. However, he never really settled in the French principality and saw his development stunted by the excellence of Kamil Glik, Jemerson and the veteran Andrea Raggi. Kongolo’s ball playing style did not seem to sit with the identity of Leandro Jardim’s outfit and as such, was moved on. Perhaps the wonderkid tag bestowed to him may weighed too heavily on his head.

The bright lights and chilling winds of the John Smith’s stadium beckoned, and following a very impressive six-month loan an £18m move followed. That loan spell announced the arrival of Kongolo on to the Premier League stage, and he demonstrated the tools that excited scouts across Europe once again. The dogged determination, the physicality in the air and, as you will see in SW6, the ability to also play at left-back. Although looking rangy, being 6″2, Terence possesses a great turn of foot and plays a head-up style of football that Fulham fans crave. Of late, the Terriers and Kongolo have struggled. Their Premier League campaign was over, realistically, by the middle of March and talisman David Wagner was replaced by ex-Borussia Dortmund reserve coach Jan Seibert. Kongolo’s form dipped with the departure of his former manager and his start to Championship life has been a difficult one, with Huddersfield having a slow start and further managerial change.

New lease of life
However, a new lease of life in the capital will be a fresh start for a player that, genuinely is an exciting prospect. At 26, Kongolo has room for growth and has demonstrated the qualities needed to become an excellent centre-half. If Fulham are ever to revert to a formation that includes 3 centre-halves as we’ve saw work very unsuccessfully against Aston Villa, then this transfer could make it work. Terence’s pace can cover any mistakes and his passing could spur the midfield in to action moving the ball quickly. This also frees up Joe Bryan to have an advanced attacking influence on the game.

His loan move may have only been a very short term success, but if Kongolo can stay fit then hopefully we can see a longer run of positive displays during his time at Craven Cottage.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 16/10/20...
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2020, 09:20:40 AM »

When discussing Sheffield United’s position in the table, Scott Parker emphasised that we are still in the embryonic stages of the season.

A fantastic campaign saw Chris Wilder’s charges finish ninth in the Premier League last season, but they currently sit alongside Fulham in the relegation zone.

“When you’re in the Premier League and you’re against teams of that quality, teams like Sheffield United, along with a bunch of 10 or 12 teams in this division, can lose football matches,” Parker explained.

“The fine margins of this league, sometimes you can be on the end of a bad result. I think what Chris has done at Sheffield United is nothing short of incredible.

“A team and a side which did remarkably well last year, and I have no doubt they’ll go and pick up some results and do well again this year.

“They have an unbelievable work ethic, they have a real understanding of how they play in terms of their structure.”

And when it was put to Parker that it could be an opportunity for his side to take advantage of the opposition’s form, he replied: “Maybe, but I’m sure Chris will say the same about his guys.

“Chris has been a manager a lot longer than me, but we’ve both been around football long enough and understand that you can lose football matches.

“Four games in is still early days, so I’m sure there’s a levelness about Sheffield United. But they’ve also not won a game this year, so will be eager to get onto that, like we are.

“Like I constantly say, we know where we are. Of course we’re all desperate and we’re all working tirelessly – players, staff, everyone at the football club – to try and get the results.”

He continued: “It’s a big game for us, and it’s exactly the same for Sheffield United. It’s a big game for both teams, but what game isn’t? Every game is going to be big for us this year.

“Of course there may be an extra bit on it because both teams haven’t got any points on the board as of yet.

“Every game is going to be big for us this year, and this weekend’s going to be no different. As always, we’ll prepare and go into the game to try and win it.

“It’s a tough game ahead, yes, for sure, but one which we’re looking forward to.”

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 16/10/20...
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2020, 09:28:25 AM »
Everything you need to know about Sheffield United versus Fulham
Tomorrow’s match between Sheffield United and Fulham at Bramall Lane is of critical importance to both club’s seasons, as they go in search of their first points of the new Premier League season.

Chris Wilder’s team enter the fixture in 19th place, and on the back of defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Leeds and Arsenal. The visitors have also lost their meetings with exactly the same opponents, although they make the journey north at the foot of the table on goal difference.

James Shield, The Star’s Sheffield United writer, identifies some of the key figures set to take part in this fixture and analyses the traits which could influence the final outcome.

The Possible Teams: Sheffield United - Ramsdale, Basham, Ampadu, Robinson, Stevens, Baldock, Berge, Osborn, Lundstram, Brewster, McBurnie. Fulham - Areola, Ream, Robinson, Le Marchand, Aina, Loftus-Cheek, Cavaleiro, Cairney, Reed, Lookman, Mitrovic.

The Referee: Andre Marriner will take charge of the game, while Martin Atkinson is the VAR official. Aged 49 and from the West Midlands, Marriner was on duty at Bramall Lane twice last season, overseeing United’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United and the win over Chelsea after ‘Project Restart’. He cautioned four players during those fixtures, including George Baldock and John Lundstram, broadly in line with his average of 2.6 yellow cards per game. He has issued seven in four outings so far this term and has sent-off only two players since February 2019.

The Goals Column: United have scored once in four PL outings, after David McGoldrick broke their duck towards the end of the visit to Arsenal. Fulham have netted three, however all of those came during their loss to Leeds at Elland Road. At the other end of the pitch, United have conceded six and have not kept a clean sheet in all competitions since that win over Chelsea in July. Fulham have recorded two, but only against Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup. They have conceded 11 and 14 in all competitions.

The Form Guide: Both United and Fulham have lost all four of their games so far this season, with United also being knocked out of the EFL Cup on penalties by Burnley. Fulham have won twice, but both of those wins came in the same tournament, United last tasted success in July, while Scott Parker’s side, who were promoted from the Championship last term, have won seven times since then. Their last victory on the road, other than in the play-off final at Wembley, came at Cardiff City three months ago.

The Dangermen: United will be hoping Rhian Brewster, their new record signing, enjoys the same success Alexsander Mitrovic has enjoyed at Craven Cottage since moving to west London, initially on loan, in January 2018. The Serbia international, who cost £22m when he later completed a permanent transfer from Newcastle, has scored 39 times in only 80 league starts and has netted four times in all competitions this season. Brewster, previously of Liverpool, claimed 11 in 22 during a spell on loan with Swansea City last season.

The History Lesson: United have lost their last three meetings with Fulham, with their last win over the visitors coming at Craven Cottage in an FA Cup replay six years ago - Marc McNulty, now of Reading and on loan at Dundee United, scored the only goal of that contest. However, United have won 30 of the previous 67 clashes between these two clubs, compared to Fulham’s return of 22. Fifteen of those games have finished all square, with the last league draw coming in 2001.

The Managers: Both Chris Wilder and Scott Parker played for the clubs they now manage, with the latter taking charge, initially on a caretaker basis, in February last year following Claudio Ranier’s departure. Although he was unable to save Fulham from relegation, Parker led them back to the top-flight last season, following a win over Brentford in the Championship showpiece. Wilder has twice delivered promotion since being appointed in May 2016, when United were about the embark upon their sixth straight season in League One.

The Debutants: Brewster should make his first appearance in a United jersey after completing his £23.5m move from Liverpool earlier this month. He had been scheduled to face Arsenal, but the transfer was not completed in time. Ruben Loftus Cheek, capped 10 times by England, joined Fulham on loan before the PL deadline. Like Brewster, he did not feature when the Londoners were beaten by Wolves on the same day, but the Chelsea midfielder could start tomorrow.

The Opposition Lowdown: Founded in 1879, Fulham are London’s oldest professional football club still competing. Seventeen years later, they played their first match at Craven Cottage, with Minerva, a now defunct club from Ladywell, near Lewisham, providing the opposition. Fulham used to play in red and white, but adopted their all white kit in 1903. Owner Shahid Khan acquired Fulham from his predecessor Mohamed Fayed for between £150m and £200m. Born in Pakistan, Khan moved to the United States to study and made his fortune by buying a company which makes bumpers for cars. He also owns NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, and is believed to be worth in the region of £12bn.Khan is the richest person in the world of Pakistani origin.

The Coverage: The match, which kicks-off at midday is being broadcast on BT Sports’ Pay Per View platform. Up to the minute details, analysis and post-match reaction is available via The Star’s website and social media platforms.