Author Topic: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...  (Read 876 times)

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« on: November 19, 2020, 12:07:13 AM »
Handball rules make it almost impossible to defend, says Plymouth Argyle's Jerome Opoku

The Pilgrims had a controversial spot kick awarded against them in the 2-2 draw with Portsmouth

Jerome Opoku believes the current handball rules make it ‘almost impossible’ for defenders not to concede penalties.

The Plymouth Argyle loan signing gave his opinion after a controversially awarded spot kick against the Pilgrims in the Sky-televised 2-2 draw with Portsmouth at Home Park.

Opoku saw his team-mate Kell Watts penalised for a handball, which led to Portsmouth drawing level at 1-1 in the 63rd minute.

Portsmouth’s Jack Whatmough headed the ball towards Watts at close range and it hit the Argyle defender on his arms in front of his face.

Referee Charles Breakspear was well positioned and immediately pointed to the penalty spot.

Sky Sports match summariser Lee Hendrie described it as a ‘really harsh’ decision but studio guest Gary O’Neil, the former Portsmouth midfielder, called it ‘a stonewall penalty’.

Those totally differing views sum up the widespread confusion over what is and is not handball when it comes to penalty decisions.

Opoku said: “The ref saw what he saw. He gave a pen so we can’t really do too much, just get on with it. I didn’t think it was a pen to be honest.

He continued: “It’s very tricky. They have made it almost impossible really if your hands are directly behind your back, which is kind of an unnatural position to defend.

“I don’t even know how to explain it, but it’s the new rules.

“It’s very hard to defend with your hands behind your back, especially when the ball is in the air.

“You could be going up and you are just trying to land in the right position. It’s very hard.”

Portsmouth recovered from a 1-0 half-time deficit to lead 2-1 before Opoku came up with a 78th minute equaliser for Argyle.

It was the first goal of his senior career for the 22-year-old Fulham defender.

A deep free-kick from George Cooper was headed back from beyond the far post by Argyle substitute Dom Telford and 6ft 4in was there to touch the ball into the net.

Opoku said: “I was just in the right place at the right time to tap it in. It was the smallest player to the tallest player but a goal is a goal, so it was a good one.

“We were behind and we are trying to make this (Home Park) a fortress and not lose any games so it was good that we were able to bring one back and walk away with a draw.”

Opoku has made seven starts and two substitute appearances for Argyle since signing from Fulham in September.

He is currently making up an Argyle rearguard which also includes 21-year-olds Mike Cooper and Kell Watts, as well as Will Aimson, the senior one of the quartet at 26.

Opoku said: “It’s a good experience to be fair because we are all learning from each other, and learning from Will especially.

“I have come here and it has just been positive throughout. I don’t see any team that is better than us and think we are on the up.”

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 12:08:22 AM »
Fulham can bolster their squad by signing Kai Wagner in January

Tony Khan can give Scott Parker’s side a big boost by securing a deal for Philadelphia Union left-back Kai Wagner in January, although the Cottagers will have to see off competition from West Ham if they are to complete his signing.

It has been reported by the Daily Mail recently that the West London club, along with the Hammers, are weighing up whether to make an offer for the German defender in the upcoming January transfer window.

The 23-year-old, described as a ‘revelation’ in an article by The Athletic in 2019, has impressed with his performances in the MLS in recent seasons, with the defender contributing six assists in 32 appearances in 2019, earning a solid 6.8/10 rating (per WhoScored).

Across 2020 meanwhile, the former Schalke man has scored twice and assisted twice across just 20 appearances, whilst his average rating is much improved (per WhoScored).

Therefore, it is perhaps no surprise that Premier League sides are taking an interest in the youngster ahead of the winter transfer window, and with the report suggesting that he could be available for as little as £3.5 million, he could represent a bargain deal for Fulham.

Parker’s side already signed fellow left-back Antonee Robinson from Wigan Athletic in the summer transfer window and the American has impressed in his Premier League appearances thus far, averaging a solid 6.94 rating from his five appearances in the top-flight.

The Cottagers also have Joe Bryan available as a left-back, and the former Bristol City man has also done fairly well following Fulham’s promotion, having averaged a solid 6.62 rating from his five appearances in the Premier League.

However, squad depth can be hugely important for a Premier League side, especially one such as Fulham who are arguably in a relegation fight this season, and should either one of Robinson or Bryan suffer an injury, then having Wagner available to fill-in would be of great benefit to Parker.

The Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin was full of praise for the German earlier this year, as following a 1-0 win over New England, he lauded both of his full-backs, saying:

“I thought the play, in particular, of our outside backs defensively was excellent, whether it was making a tackle, a big block or a clearance. I think sometimes we just expect them to be solid every game. It’s a time where I can single them out and give them a little bit of praise.” (per Fox PHL)

Therefore, it seems as if it is only a matter of time until Wagner earns himself a move away from the MLS, and considering how cheap he is seemingly available for, Khan should hopefully be working hard to ensure that he moves to the West part of London, rather than joining David Moyes’ side.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 12:09:42 AM »
EFL changes substitutions rule to further pressure the Premier League to follow suit

Championship clubs will now be able to name as many as nine substitutes in their matchday squad, while League One and League Two sides can name up to seven

English Football League clubs will be allowed to make up to five substitutions per game for all remaining fixtures of the 2020/2021 season.

Championship clubs will also be able to name as many as nine subs in their matchday squad, while League One and League Two sides can name up to seven.

The decision was made by the EFL board following a meeting with clubs, and will be put into action from 12pm on Friday, November 20.

A statement from the EFL read: "Following consultation with Clubs, the EFL Board has agreed to increase the permitted number of substitutes to five in all Sky Bet EFL fixtures taking place from 12 noon on Friday 20 November for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

"Regulation 33.4 has been amended to permit:

"Championship Clubs to name up to nine substitutes in their matchday squad, with five permitted to take to the pitch in any fixture.

"League One and League Two Clubs to name up to seven substitutes in their matchday squad, again with five permitted to take to the pitch."

Premier League clubs are still only able to name five substitutes in their matchday squads, and make a maximum of three changes per game.

There is now pressure on England's top-flight to follow suit given the EFL's decision.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2020, 12:16:24 AM »
Everton: Noel Whelan claims Richarlison playing for Brazil is ‘massive’

Noel Whelan has claimed that Richarlison returning to action with Brazil is ‘massive’ for Everton ahead of their game versus Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday lunchtime.

Indeed, the 23 year-old has missed the last three matches for the Goodison Park faithful in the top flight as he picked up a straight red card in the Merseyside derby draw against Liverpool, and incidentally all three of those clashes that he missed, Carlo Ancelotti’s team have lost.

Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds United forward claimed that it is ‘massive’ for Richarlison to be gaining some match fitness playing for his country to make up for the games that he has missed, and also commented on what he can bring to the side in general:

“That’s a massive boost. Any player that’s been suspended, out for three games and missed three weeks of football needs those competitive games again to give them match fitness. That’s what he got with the national side.

“They’ve desperately missed him. They’ve got great players in the team but when you look at what Richarlison brings to that side and how much better they look when he’s in it, it’s no fluke.

“He brings a lot of aggression, a lot of speed, a lot of creativity, a lot of danger inside the area, he’s got an eye for a goal. Hence why they never sold him and built the team around him when Barcelona came calling.

“He’s a must in the side for Carlo Ancelotti and he will be very happy to have him back after recent results and score lines.”

Richarlison is ‘massive’ for Everton

Indeed, Richarlison is a ‘massive’ player for Everton, as he has scored four goals and made a further two assists in just seven appearances in all competitions in the 2020/21 term (Transfermarkt).

Aside from his eye for a goal and an assist, the striker also offers other qualities as well, given that he wins a very impressive 9.6 of his duels in England’s highest division a game this season and also averages 3.2 successful dribbles and 2.2. shots per match (Sofascore).

The Toffees will need to have Richarlison at the top of his game if they are to take all three points from Scott Parker’s team at Craven Cottage and thus start climbing up the league table again given their three recent poor form.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2020, 12:17:50 AM »
Fulham are perfect opponent for Gylfi Sigurdsson to ignite Everton season

Everton will face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday in the Premier League and Gylfi Sigurdsson will be relishing an opportunity to play

It's fair to say Gylfi Sigurdsson has struggled to catch the eye at Everton so far this season.

The Iceland international has registered just one assist in eight Premier League appearances and seems to struggle if played anywhere other than his favoured number 10 role.

That position doesn't exist under Carlo Ancelotti's current formation and numerous games seem to have passed him by.

However, that's not to say his ability has depleted to such a level that no place can be found for him in a Blues set-up.

Everton have lost their last three Premier League matches, as many as they had in their previous 14 under Ancelotti, and they will be looking to return to winning ways when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

It is their first top flight game following the international break and the Blues have won eight of their last 11 matches against the London side.

Coincidentally, it may be a perfect time for Sigurdsson to ignite his campaign.

The attacking midfielder scored for his country against Hungary in the European Qualifier Play-offs last week and will no doubt be relishing an opportunity to face the Cottagers as an opponent that he has found plenty of success against before.

Indeed, Sigurdsson has had a hand in five goals in his five Premier League appearances against Fulham (4 goals, 1 assist), with two of his five braces in the competition coming against Scott Parker's side in March 2012 with Swansea and in September 2018 with Everton.

It remains to be seen whether Ancelotti will hand Sigurdsson any game time, and the potential injury to Richarlison will be crucial to his selection, but should he be given an opportunity - history tells you he may take it.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2020, 12:18:43 AM »
‘I know there’s interest’: Coach reacts to West Ham and Fulham links with £3.5m star

Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin has admitted the reported interest in West Ham United and Fulham target Kai Wagner is “real”, speaking to MLS Soccer.

The team flying high at the top of the Eastern Conference may be victims of their own success.

Union have already lost one of American football’s most exciting young attackers, with Brenden Aaronson enrolling himself in the esteemed Salzburg finishing school, while Celtic’s interest in centre-half Mark McKenzie has also been a topic of discussion across the Atlantic.

And, according to the Daily Mail, West Ham and Fulham are planning January offers for £3.5 million-rated Wagner.

“Kai had interest last year as well. He’s that talented at a position, to be frank, that there’s not a lot of good ones in the world,” says Curtin, named MLS coach of the year on Tuesday.

“(Top-quality left-backs) are really hard to find. There’s a premium for them. When scouts see good ones they jump quickly at them so it’s not surprising to me to hear Kai has drawn a lot of interest in Europe.

“But his focus is here. It’s great to have interest. But he also wants to lift an MLS Cup here with the Philadelphia. Again, the praise is good. The rumours are real. I know there’s interest for sure.

“But at this time he’s still a Philadelphia Union player and a great left-back I love working with every day and is a big reason why we gave up the least amount of goals in MLS this season.”

Curtin may have a point about the lack of top-level left-backs in the game but, strangely enough, that’s one position where West Ham and Fulham are both well stocked.

Fulham signed USA international Antonee Robinson to provide competition for play-off final hero Joe Bryan in the summer while, at in-form West Ham, Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku are producing the best displays of their claret-and-blue careers.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2020, 12:20:26 AM »
Richarlison latest doubt for Everton

With full-back Seamus Coleman and midfielder Allan a doubt for this weekend’s Premier League match against Fulham, there is now another Everton player who could also miss the game.

That player is striker Richarlison who might become the latest injury concern for Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti ahead of the weekend.

The Brazil forward picked up a knock late in his country’s last international against Uruguay when he was tackled by fellow Premier League forward Edison Cavani.

Richarlison scored for his country in their 2-0 win then went off shortly after the tackle from Cavani and it is now far from certain he will be able to play against Fulham.

It is yet again potential bad news for the Blues manager as he starts to think about the team he will pick for the game against the Cottagers and comes after the injuries to Coleman and Allan both of whom appear to have aggravated previous problems.

Ancelotti must be tearing his hair out with all these players getting hurt and the never-ending selection headaches it is causing.

It seems that he can never pick his full-strength side at the moment and is constantly having to juggle to deal with all these problems.

Richarlison’s absence against Fulham would be a massive blow. The Brazilian has already missed the last three matches and his quality and influence was badly missed as Everton fell to consecutive defeats in those games.

And as probably every Evertonian by now knows, since he joined the club the Toffees haven’t won a match in which he has been absent from the team.

So if he was missing at the weekend it would make the Blues chances of securing three points in a game I think they must win, that much slimmer.

Predictably there has been much gloating from kopites about the possibility that Richarlison is hurt after his reckless challenge on Thiago in the derby last month, which rightly saw him sent off.

As usual they have their one-eyed take on everything conveniently forgetting the many examples of terrible tackles down the years from such ‘angelic’ players as Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard, helpfully supported by the scrupulously objective national media.

Well let’s not dwell on all that. From Everton’s point of view we can only hope that Richarlison is able to shake off this knock and be ready to return to the side on Sunday.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71739
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 19/11/20...
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2020, 08:33:04 AM »
Fulham's Aussie Francois knocking on Premier League door

Tyrese Francois in action for Fulham in the Carabao Cup Source: Getty Images

In an era when Australians have all but disappeared from the Premier League, Fulham youngster Tyrese Francois is hellbent on reversing the trend.

The 20-year-old midfielder - who grew up in Sydney’s far west idolising Tim Cahill - is a regular member of the Cottagers’ senior squad.

And he made an impressive 25-minute cameo off the bench in a 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Massimo Luongo’s Sheffield Wednesday in September.

With Brighton’s Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan crying out for company as the solitary Aussie left on a landscape once teaming with Antipodeans, Francois believes he’ll embrace the chance to swell the ranks - if it comes.

Described by Fulham boss Scott Parker as “having a very bright future”, the budding Olyroo is edging ever closer.

He’s been part of a number of Premier League squads this season, though yet to be called into action off the bench.

“I’ve been in and around the first team quite a bit and have travelled to a few games with them,” Francois said.

“I made that cup appearance (having scored a senior debut in the same competition last season against Southampton) and the gaffer Scott Parker has been very good with me.

“This is my seventh season here but it’s really only the last couple of years I’ve been pushing on towards the first team.

“You’re training with quality players every day and always learning - if I’m called upon, I definitely feel I’m ready to do my thing and show people what I’m capable of.

“Hopefully the next six months or so will be big for me.”

The newly-promoted west Londoners’ tempestuous return to the top flight makes it difficult for Parker to be too adventurous in his selections, with the Cottagers just a point clear of the relegation zone after eight games.

Former Fulham coach Rene Meulensteen, now assistant to Graham Arnold with Australia, has been tracking Francois, who is on the radar for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

He would have received a Socceroos call-up had proposed friendlies against USA and England this month not been scratched.

“He’s still very young and has a lot of promise,” Meulensteen said.

“But with the situation where Fulham are in the Premier League, you can’t expect him to get too much game time at this point.”

A January loan is possible for the Campbelltown-raised youngster who is also eligible for England through his mother.

“If I’m not playing as much as I’d hope perhaps in the new year everything might be reassessed and maybe a loan would be a good option just to get some men’s football in me,” he said.

“I need to be playing week-in, week-out if possible but right now it’s all about trying to work my way into that first team, and see what happens from there.

“Scott Parker was a very good player in his own right... he’s so passionate and really knows his football.

“For a young midfielder like me it’s great to be able to work under him and learn from him.

“At this point I think I’m always in contention and being here is a great opportunity for me.

“With Fulham being in the Premier League it’s opened up a lot more doors.

“The challenge is getting those minutes because the side is so strong and has so much depth.”

Francois can operate as either a number eight or 10 and was part of an Olyroos camp in Qatar late last year, missing out on the Olympic qualifiers through injury.

He is adamant Parker will keep the club in the top flight.

“Everybody knows how difficult it is to get promoted to this level and every team we play against is a huge battle,” he added.

“But I’m quite confident we will stay up.”

Fulham take on Everton in Premier League action on Sunday night (AEDT)