Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...  (Read 1055 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2020, 12:56:17 PM »
Is this the hardest year ever for promoted Premier League clubs? Fulham and West Brom deserve our sympathy

Fulham and West Brom had to improve Championships squads during the shortest, most uncertain transfer window in history

It is the pay-per-view derby. Fulham and West Bromwich Albion may have coveted the Premier League millions when they were Championship clubs last season. Now their supporters find themselves being fleeced by the top flight’s greed. Or, perhaps more accurately, not watching their teams play in Monday’s graveyard slot. Albion’s stalemate with Burnley reportedly attracted under 1,000 paying customers. Their trip to Fulham has the potential to prove a record-breaker of sorts.

Fulham and West Brom both have more pay-per-view games than points, even if Monday’s meeting offers one the chance to change that. What it might not alter is perceptions: both seem universally tipped for a swift return to the Football League.

That is not entirely their fault. There is a sense that this was the hardest year to be promoted. Leeds can camouflage and confuse that, looking an indictment of their peers as they blaze a trail with bold football. But Fulham and West Brom remain winless. They look illustrations of a growing gap between the top two divisions. That has been compounded by circumstances; the compressed close season gave them less time to prepare for a different division. But for Covid-19, Albion would have had more than three months between their last Championship game and their first Premier League match. Instead they got 53 days. That was still 14 more than Fulham had. It is little wonder they scarcely looked ready.

Then there is the financial factor. Relegation favourites and clubs with recent experience of demotion had more reason to be prudent than most. Fulham were understandably scarred by 2018’s £100 million spending spree. Their expenditure now is closer to £30 million, including loan fees, but even that is deceptive: Anthony Knockaert’s transfer from Brighton was seemingly triggered as part of his loan, but he has since been borrowed by Nottingham Forest. Yet with a smaller budget, Fulham ended up scrabbling around on deadline day for anyone available. It is scarcely an example of squad building at its finest and it contributed to a confused look.

They have paid bigger wages than Albion, whose expenditure in fees is greater but it is notable for three elements: buying Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana merely preserved some of last season’s squad and, in the Brazilian’s case, came from an option in his temporary deal; getting Cedric Kipre for a cut-price £1 million was the sort of deal where Albion cannot lose financially even if the defender does not step up to the Premier League; and Karlan Grant’s £14 million fee can be spread over the six years of his contract. His arrival also gives West Brom a proven Championship scorer should they need one next season. Slaven Bilic’s evident unhappiness about the decision to sell Ahmed Hegazi to Al Ittihad, removing a big earner from the books, underlined a fiscal caution which could cost Albion on the pitch but is nevertheless understandable.

It is easy to dismiss them, to suggest they are the two worst squads in the Premier League and to wonder if a lack of ambition has denied them a proper opportunity. And yet Albion have behaved responsibly while, even if Fulham’s approach still feels rather more scattergun, the parameters of what is possible were altered by a unique context. Their loanees, in Ademola Lookman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, may represent among their best chances of survival but the lasting legacy of Fulham and West Brom’s business may be that they now have better Championship squads than they did when promoted. In a different world, that might be grounds for criticism. Perhaps it is not now.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2020, 12:57:04 PM »
Moyes may make a couple of changes for Fulham

West Ham have a clean bill of health after the exertions of Liverpool and will go into the match against Fulham full of confidence they are ready to start climbing the table.

Aaron Cresswell was the only player over whom there appeared to be any doubt at all looking at one point  as though he may have suffered a groin problem during the match at Anfield.

But we have learned that the left back is fine and will be in training this week ready for the London Stadium clash against Scott Parker’s outfit.

And it seems likely that Issa Diop – agitating for a return – will have to wait again with Fabian Balbuena currently showing very good form.

It maybe that Moyes will decide this is the ideal game to  give Said Benrahma his debut – or at least a lot longer on the pitch – than he received against Liverpool.

Seb Haller may be handed another chance in the central striking role although Moyes is bound to consider starting Andriy Yarmolenko who showed far more energy than the Frenchman when he arrived as a sub at the weekend.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2020, 12:58:18 PM »
Mark Noble, Michail Antonio - latest West Ham injury news ahead of Fulham

The Hammers suffered nop new fresh injury concerns after their loss at champions Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday

West Ham appear to have come through their 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday evening unscathed as focus now switches to Fulham this weekend at London Stadium.

The Hammers took the lead in the 11th minute at Anfield as Pablo Fornals swept home to fire the visitors into a surprise lead, only to be pegged back by a Mo Salah penalty and substitute Diogo Jota’s 85th minute winner on Merseyside.

It ended West Ham’s unbeaten four-game stretch as they have emerged from their brutal run of fixtures to start the season with eight points and sit 14th ahead of the game against former midfielder Scott Parker’s side this weekend.

Fulham have yet to win this season and have picked up just a single point so far in the campaign as West Ham will take on a side in the bottom half of the standings for just the second time so far this campaign.

David Moyes’ side lost Mark Noble to injury in training last week as he was not named in the squad for the loss at Anfield though that injury is not expected to sideline him for too long and he could be in contention for a return on Saturday.

Michail Antonio watched on from the stands at Liverpool as his teammate splugged away only to be denied late on. He is expected to miss this weekend’s game against Fulham but there is cautious optimism the striker won’t be out for as long as initially thought.

Aaron Cresswell also appeared to suffer a groin problem at Anfield that needed treatment though he completed the rest of the game and understands he will be available for selection this weekend.

Apart from that, the injury situation isn’t too bad in east London. There will have been knocks and niggles from the defeat on Saturday but Moyes should have most of his players available for the home game in Stratford this weekend.

In light of Antonio’s injury, Moyes was asked about the number of soft-tissue injuries players are suffering this season which has risen rapidly after such a quick turnaround between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 campaigns and also, the amount of matches being played early in this campaign.

“It is as if nobody is willing to give anything up at all in the programme and because of that the players are the ones who are struggling with it,” Moyes said.

“Nobody would give up the Carabao Cup for example. We couldn’t change the Champions League, we couldn’t change the Europa League, we are not going to change the Premier League. Nobody is willing to give anything up.

“The only people who will really, well not suffer be because the players are well paid for the job they do, but if you talk about injuries the players will get injured more often.

“Maybe more reason why the squads this season will be up and down is because of how compact the whole season is.”

Here is the latest injury news from the Hammers heading into this weekend’s clash with Fulham.
Michail Antonio

Type of injury: Hamstring

Date of injury: October 24

Potential return date: November 22

Comments: “We've already got him on the bike and he's moving, which for the type of injury we're really pleased with. He had another scan and an ultrasound as well. He's in a good place.”

 Mark Noble

Type of injury: Knock

Date of injury: N/A

Potential return date: November 7

Comments: Noble picked up the injury in training and understands he was not risked for the defeat at Anfield

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2020, 01:01:01 PM »
West Brom Predicted XI: Fulham (A)

West Brom will travel to Craven Cottage this evening looking to pick up a first win of the Premier League season.

Slaven Bilic’s side have struggled since returning to England’s top flight but they face a Fulham side who are in a similar boat, having also found the going tough since promotion from the Championship this summer.

Sam Field, Hal Robson-Kanu and Dara O’Shea are all unavailable as they continue to recover from injury, whilst Ahmed Hegazi is no longer at the club having moved to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad last week.

With three draws, the Baggies sit 17th in the Premier League table but despite such poor form, Bilic could name the same starting XI which faced Brighton last Monday.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2020, 01:02:23 PM »
O-Zone: Bitter end

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Marcus from Jacksonville

I don't know enough about either league to have an informed opinion on this, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. I heard someone on the radio talking about the difference in the way Shad Khan treats the Jaguars and his Premier League team, Fulham. Khan has been much quicker to change leadership at Fulham than he has with the Jags, with the former having eight different managers in his seven years as owner. In the Premier League there is a system of promotion and relegation. If your record is bad, you get relegated to the Champions League, and the money you make in the Champions League is far less. In the NFL, the TV money is divided evenly among all the teams, so whether your record is 0-16 or 16-0, you're going to make at least that much money. Certainly, you can make more money as a winning team, but that $250 million is guaranteed no matter what. The theory is that Shad Khan is much quicker to change leadership at Fulham because their losing affects him more on the bottom line, while the Jags losing doesn't have such a significant impact. Is there any merit to this theory, or are the two things so different that they can't be compared?

There's no merit to the theory, though it is a convenient "take" for those who fervently want to believe that Khan cares more about money than winning. Those who believe this conveniently – or lazily – ignore the money and effort Khan has spent trying to improve what by any measure was an out-of-date NFL stadium when he purchased the Jaguars in 2012, and they also ignore the reality that Khan has spent in a big way on free agents. In short, Khan has done pretty much what an NFL owner can do: he has spent whenever and wherever possible with the idea of giving the team the best chance to win. Khan has been more measured in his moves at general manager and head coach with the Jaguars than he has with Fulham because he believes – rightly so – that the NFL is a league about continuity and long-term building. Snap-judgement, quick-trigger changes in leadership and coaching lead to a lack of direction and rarely produce desired results; such moves typically hurt in the long run. I don't know as much about the Premier League as I do the NFL, but my understanding is coaches are changed more in that sport than in the NFL because a coaching change can have a more pronounced and tangible effect. Here's something to remember: Khan wants to win with Fulham and he wants to win in the NFL. Both are competitive leagues. He hasn't achieved his desired results. But that doesn't mean the desire to win isn't real.

Renee from Jacksonville

John, so it comes out that Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has stress fractures and a strained ligament of his thumb ON HIS THROWING HAND. Gardner was missing throws that he made with relative ease at the beginning of the season the last several games. If I could see it, the NFL world was seeing it. What is it with the NFL letting players play when obviously they are hurt and are going to give a subpar performance? Someone has to first think of the player and that leads to having the team doing better. Sigh … go Jags.

There's little – if anything – a team can do to know a player has a hurt hand if the player doesn't mention it. There's also little risk involved to the player from playing through such an injury, so I don't know that the team was negligent in not "thinking" of the player in this instance.

Rob from Orange Park, FL

Is there really something wrong with Minshew's hand? If so, is it his throwing hand? If so, when did it happen? Some of his throws in the last game reminded me of former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' ball flight, so could that be the result of an injury?

Yes, though the extent is uncertain. Yes. A few weeks ago. Yes, the throws in the last game could have been the result of an injury.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

If the Jaguars cleaned house after last season and the new general manager and head coach made the exact same moves with the exact same results, how different would this year feel?

For many observers? Very. Rightly or wrongly, that would change a lot of the perception around this season.

Sam from Orlando, FL

You seem to infer quite a bit that Tom Coughlin being Executive Vice President got us to this point. But he also got us competitive for the first time since 2007-2008. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell was abysmal before him and after him. At the very least, with Tom Coughlin, we had an identity and an agenda. You don't get to pick a quarterback in the top five, watch him fail, cut him and keep your job anywhere else except in Jacksonville. Coughlin had to go because of all the NFLPA stuff. No doubt. But Dave Caldwell absolutely had to go, too. They aren't making bumpers for cars. They are running a football team and failing.

Tom Coughlin was the executive vice president of football operations and therefore the final decision-maker on football decisions from 2017-2019. Caldwell was the general manager from 2013-2016 and is now again the general manager. A lot happened during all time periods that led to not only the 2017 season but to the Jaguars being in the situation they currently find themselves. I'm not inferring anything by this. How you interpret it is up to you.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

This summer I asked sarcastically "#freeJakeLuton? I now ask again but very seriously, with a 1-6 team and rumors of a hurt thumb, is it time to #freeJakeLuton?

Paul from Duval

Anyone associated with Jaguars – myself included – that doesn't identify this as a waste of time is deluded and has no appreciation of anything in life, literature, art, hope, love, loss, hate. Except for Shad Khan who gets free money to build the Landing. God, I hate this team.

It's sports, Paul. It's not life and death. But there are a lot of people who read this column every day and a lot of people who follow the team on a daily basis because they enjoy it. Hate what you want. Love what you want. But don't insult the readers of this column by making a blanket statement that by doing so – or by being interested in this team – they are wasting their time or somehow aren't as smart as the Mighty Paul from Duval.

Neil from Jacksonville

John, you mentioned soft zone recently. Is this a type of zone where there is a cushion given? Can you educate us on how soft zone differs from regular zone coverage? Thanks as always.

It's basically two-deep zone designed to take away long throws over the top and force quarterbacks to throw between safeties and cornerbacks – and over dropping linebackers.

David from the Island

If Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence doesn't want to get picked first in 2021, he could just play college ball another year and then get picked first in 2022. Waiting a year and missing out on millions of dollars doesn't make a lot of sense. Unless of course he has Yann's agent.


Roger from Houston, TX

Trevor Lawrence might be a bust. He's no Peyton Manning.

Any quarterback might be a bust until he gets into the NFL and proves otherwise. And sure … Lawrence might not be as good as Manning. But remember: Manning was the NFL Most Valuable Player five times and one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Maybe a guy can help turn a franchise around and not be a bust and not be quite as good as that.

John from Cape May Courthouse, NJ

I'm with you that's it's players not plays. If I were head coach and my quarterback was Tom Brady, I'd be picking out my bust for Canton. But how much responsibility, if any, do you put on coaches developing players? Or is it more a matter of either the player has got what it takes, or just doesn't?

Players certainly can be developed to some degree, but I would lean far more toward the player either having it or not than coaches having the ability to make so-so players great.

Sprinkle from Jacksonville

Hey, O. This is a tough time. Just wanted to thank you and all the great Jaguars fans who are still fanning. There's a lot of hope for America's underdog team in the near future, and this city will continue to support our guys to the bitter, bitter end. Looking forward to seeing this young team's fight for the remainder of this season. One more thing ... ahem ... DUUUUUUUUUVAAAAAAAAAAAL!!!!!!


Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2020, 01:03:51 PM »
It’s already crunch time for Fulham and Scott Parker

Matches considered a “must-win” rarely come around as early as seven games into the season.

But as the desperation for a first Premier League win sets in for Scott Parker and his Fulham side, there is no doubt tonight’s meeting with fellow strugglers West Brom is potentially monumental.

Should Fulham fail to get anything at Craven Cottage, only two teams in Premier League history will have made worse starts to a season. One of those sides did survive, but that will be of little comfort to Parker, with next week’s game at a much-improved West Ham followed by a nightmare run against Everton, Leicester, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Ahead of tonight’s game, Parker said: “Every game is going to be massive for us this year, but you’re right in saying this one’s got a little bit extra.

“We are only six games in, but at the same time it’s a big, big game for us.”

The two sides last met in July as Championship rivals, when a 0-0 draw represented a decent result for Fulham against a side on the cusp of promotion.

It also marked a fourth successive clean sheet, but that Parker’s men have not kept one in a league game since speaks volumes. Fulham’s leaky backline is not the manager’s only concern: star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has so far scored in just one League match this season but has shouldered much of the blame for their bad start. No team in the top flight had conceded more goals coming into this weekend’s fixtures.

Immediately after last season’s Play-Off Final, Parker vowed the club would learn the lessons following their disastrous season in 2018-19, when an expensive and ultimately failed recruitment drive led to relegation. But after conceding 10 goals in their first three games back in the top flight, similar flaws have been laid bare.

Director of football Tony Khan’s tweets following a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa in September were unhelpful and riled Parker, but they at least showed the club’s hierarchy were aware of the pressing need for reinforcements.

The result was a similar influx of late signings like two years ago. Six defenders arrived before the window shut, as well as goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, but this time on the cheap.

“There have been 10 or 11 new players coming into the building,” Parker said. “A lot of young players. We’ve brought players here with massive potential but who don’t have a lot of Premier League experience. These players are going to need to come with a mindset that they need to improve.

“This league’s a fast league, things are happening much quicker, at a quicker pace than they have had for large parts of these players’ careers.”

It is hard not to feel a degree of sympathy for Parker over his defensive woes. Kenny Tete made an encouraging start after signing from Lyon, then got injured. Joachim Andersen, who has played in the Champions League, arrived and was also sidelined, while Terence Kongolo, a player with Premier league experience, is yet to feature this season as he works towards full fitness.

There is still hope for Fulham. They are far from being the division’s only strugglers. Finishing above three of them is all that matters. “This year, our league is our mini-league,” Parker added. “We’re two points off being top of our mini-league. They are the facts. Fourth from bottom for us is going to be a huge success. That’s our aim.”

Tonight’s early-season six-pointer would be a good place to start.

Offline General

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2020, 02:30:46 PM »
Scott Parker remains realistic about Fulham’s ambitions this season

Scott Parker insisted he wants Fulham to win “more than anyone” as they prepare for a crucial Premier League game against West Brom on Monday.

The Cottagers have just one point from their opening six matches and sit in 19th place ahead of their important game against the Baggies, who are also without a win this term.

Fulham finished fourth in the Sky Bet Championship last season before reaching the top flight via the play-offs but have endured a disappointing start on their Premier League return.

Parker said he was being realistic with his aims for the club this season and explained that he had set out the picture to the players and the squad before the start of the season.

He said: “I want to win more than anyone, I want us to be successful more than anyone, I want to be seventh to 10th in the league this year, but reality tells us that’s going to be very, very difficult and not where we will be finishing.

“I know where we’re going to be punching this year, and we’re going to be punching in and around the bottom four, bottom five, bottom six, but at the same time I want my team to understand that.

“To understand the battles and what we need to do to be successful and realise the peaks and troughs along the way and stay positive, keep staying motivated and understand this is what we need to do and this is where we need to get to and with that I do actually feel that’s the best way for us to come out with points and be successful this year.

“There’s still a great hope, of course there is. I’m not saying that we can’t end up with some good results and end up in 15th or 12th – sure we can but we end up there with a mindset and an understanding of where we are and the dips don’t break us.”

I really wish parker would be more positive in his press conferences. He's meant to be leading the team and making them think they'll be OK and can fight for the right to stay in the league.. not tell them that they're essentially going to be close to relegated or relegated from the off. That does absolutely nothing for confidence levels at all and sets the bar for motivation ridiculously low. We've got good players, a new squad who are gelling and have started to put in good performances. What we need to do is start taking more legitimate and on target shots. Our last two games we had loads of possession but took for ages to properly test the goalie. If we had done it more regularly and earlier the game could very well have been a draw. We got exposed defensively and I put that down to our tactics as we got hit on the break both times pretty much which is such a simple thing to try and not let happen against palace of all teams. Defensively, especially with andersen and kongolo coming back in actually think we could be quite solid. Now we need to shoot and shoot on target (not down keepers throat), and when crossing don't just do it for statistics sake, if there's a better pass, play the pass.. if you're going to cross make sure it's got quality on it. These things Scott really should be getting right after over a year of being our manager.

the really worrying thing General is that he could be talking things up as far as he's concerned  and that he really believes that its far worse than he's making out?

Ultimately as a leader of a people-centric and athlete performance point of view he's being very naive - you need to take the lead in the way the conversations are had about the team, give them the outlet for positivity and hope they need as some players are more than competent of playing and succeeding at this level, in fact you could argue almost all of, if not all of our new signings, plus a few extras like Mitro (for example). If he excudes negativity in his position and a player isn't that strong minded or needs something to base their levels of optimism on, having a head coach/manager who's downplaying chances, isn't exactly inspiring.... If being a manager hasn't got an awful lot to do with man management then I must be very out of touch, as I'm of the understanding it's a huge part of the game.

I understand Parker has brought in psychologists to work with the players on their performances levels, but can't help but think that's distracting from the main point of the fact that managers are normally expected to take the lead and have their own psychological views and insights into leadership and man management.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 02:32:45 PM by General »

Offline WindyCity

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2020, 03:07:14 PM »
I really wish parker would be more positive in his press conferences. He's meant to be leading the team and making them think they'll be OK and can fight for the right to stay in the league.. not tell them that they're essentially going to be close to relegated or relegated from the off. That does absolutely nothing for confidence levels at all and sets the bar for motivation ridiculously low.

Totally agree!!!!  We've seen some of SP's Debbie Downer comments already, earlier in the season.  Just does not inspire or provide confidence to the players and everyone associated with the squad.  Sure, everyone knows and can see that FFC will have a difficult time this season in the prem.  But why is the head coach always talking so negatively?  That's really NOT what I want in my head coach.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 02/11/20...
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2020, 04:43:10 PM »