Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...  (Read 638 times)

Offline whitejc

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Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« on: December 19, 2020, 09:07:27 PM »

Sheff Utd
Man Utd
West Brom
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 10:18:12 PM by whitejc »

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2020, 08:48:44 AM »
‘Criminal’ VAR leaving game in a mess, says Fulham boss Scott Parker

    Fulham manager Parker lashes at football’s video assistant referee and accuses Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson of diving to win a penalty

Fulham manager Scott Parker has lashed out at football’s video assistant referee (VAR) and accused Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson of diving to win a penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League
draw at St James’ Park.

Fulham took the lead after defender Tosin Adarabioyo’s header struck the post and the ball ricocheted off Matt Ritchie’s face into the net. But Newcastle were awarded a 64th-minute penalty when Wilson was fouled by Joachim Andersen.

Replays showed that initial contact was outside the penalty area, but referee Graham Scott stuck to his original decision after consulting the pitchside monitor. He sent Anderson off, and Wilson converted the spot kick.

“From what I have just seen, the contact was made outside of the box and then goes into the box and dives,” Parker told Sky Sports on Saturday.

“I don’t know whether [the referee] is looking at the same angles I am. I just don’t understand. The game has changed drastically and not for the better. It’s a bit of a mess.

“We’ve got every gimmick, every slo-mo and yet we’re still not coming up with the right decision. Sitting here, with everything in place and the way the game’s going, and still not coming to the right decisions, it’s criminal for me.”

Fulham, who are 17th in the table with 10 points from 14 games, next face Southampton on Saturday.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2020, 08:49:40 AM »
Pundit suggests that Scott Parker has all of the credentials to be England manager

The studious manner in which Scott Parker is guiding his Fulham team away from the Premier League basement hints at better things for the manager in the future, with respect to the west Londoners.

Earlier in the season, when Fulham were floundering, Parker could’ve easily retreated into his shell and waited for the inevitable call from the board to relieve him of his duties.

However, the battling qualities he showed as a player are very much evident in his managerial style.

Although Fulham are far from out of the woods yet, one loss in the last five hints at the improvement being made.

Former team-mate, Jamie O’Hara, is in no doubt that Parker is well on the way to being a future England manager.

“I was at Fulham and played with Scott Parker; this guy was the ultimate professional and ultimate football player,” he said on talkSPORT, cited by talkSPORT.

“When you trained with him, he was the captain and we’d sit in the changing room and the manager would come in, but as soon as Scott Parker said anything the changing room went silent and just listened what he had to say.

“He just had this aura around him and had that respect because he was the ultimate professional and had this great career as well.

“He’d played for big clubs and captained England; when you listened to what he had to say he just spoke and everything he said was on point.

“I think he’s a future England manager, I really do. I’ve sat in dressing rooms with him and I do think he’s got it in him.”

A respected and admired figure both as a player and manager, Parker not only has the likeability factor, but also the steel behind the smile.

As and when Gareth Southgate packs his bags, or has them packed for him, the powers that be could do worse than hiring Scott Parker.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2020, 08:50:13 AM »

There is only one place to start after last night’s events. The awarding of a generous penalty, which risks incentivising the sort of simulation that has gradually infested the once beautiful game, and a sending off immediately transformed a fixture that Fulham were comfortably in control of. You might be able to construct a case for Callum Wilson going to ground under Joachim Andersen’s initial challenge but any forward worth their salt will look to gain as a big an advantage as possible and – unless you are Fulham – there’s nothing more likely to bring a goal than a penalty kick.

It was astonishing to hear Andy Hinchcliffe, an uncompromising defender who had little time for wingers who made the most of challenges in his playing days, decide that it was a clear penalty well before the video assistant referee’s checks were completed. I was ready to head to Bernard Castle to test my clearly failing eyesight until both Jermaine Jenas and Alan Shearer were unequivocal in seeing the matter differently to Sky’s pundits on Match of the Day. If a system supposed to reduce refereeing blunders cannot rectify a mistake of such magnitude, then there is no point having it. When it results in not just a contentious spot-kick but a red card, you must conclude it isn’t going to be your day.

Fulham’s first taste of VAR has been pretty bittersweet. Whilst Danny Welbeck’s handball was punished retrospectively on Wednesday night, Scott Parker’s side have been on the end of more than a few questionable decisions. Aleskandar Mitrovic’s challenge at Bramall Lane would not have resulted in a spot-kick prior to the introduction of technology and I’ve still not seen a reasonable explanation for why Sebastian Haller standing two yards offside at the London Stadium didn’t rule out Tomas Soucek’s goal for West Ham. Fabinho’s challenge on Ivan Cavaleiro at Liverpool contained far greater contact with the forward than either Andersen’s on Raheem Stirling or Wilson and yet only a corner was given. If these things really do even themselves out over the course of a season, then Fulham are due an awful lot of good fortune before May.

There also needs to be some discussion of why it is that the referees are shown worse camera angles on the pitchside monitors than television viewers watching from their armchairs. You would think that there would also be a case for allowing people to hear the dialogue between the referee and the official employed to ratify or recommend a reversal of their decisions, but given that the Stockley Park protocols are more closely guarded than matters of national security, I suspect such a suggestion would be met with the shortest of shrift.

Having once been a referee myself, I am loathe to castigate an official but the performance of Graham Scott and his assistants posed plenty of questions. Both Antonee Robinson and Mario Lemina could consider themselves unfortunate to be cautioned and, even allowing for the confusion generated by the interpretation of the reworked handball law, Scott’s mimicry of Mario Lemina’s disbelief at his decision after Ciaran Clark’s handling in the penalty area in the final minute of normal time was extraordinary.

Scott Parker spoke impressively in the immediate aftermath of events with a candour and measured tone that many more experienced managers frequently fail to match. He has the right to feel aggrieved about a turn of events that robbed Fulham of a commanding position but, being the perfectionist he is, will also question the sequence of efforts that led up to that pivotal penalty. Ola Aina’s squandering of possession in such an advanced position was criminal and Andersen’s own decision making in the fretful seconds prior to Wilson’s theatrics left plenty to be desired. Parker’s side are far from clinical in the final third, but the temperament and desire that ensured Fulham would not be beaten even after being reduced to ten men would have given him plenty of pleasure.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2020, 08:53:02 AM »
Ralph Hasenhuttl has big decision to make at Fulham with quiet Southampton star begging to play

The Southampton boss says Diallo is the future of his club

Ibrahima Diallo is expected to make his full Southampton debut on Boxing Day, replacing midfielder Oriol Romeu in midfield.

Romeu will miss the game through suspension after earning himself a well-timed week off over Christmas thanks to his fifth yellow card of the season, picked up against Manchester City.

The Spaniard has been remarkable this season for Hasenhuttl's side and in fine form once again as he lined up against his former boss, Pep Guardiola.

Hasenhuttl has stressed that Diallo is ready to step into the side, something that has prevented the Austrian from facing a big selection headache.

"Ibrahima Diallo is ready," Hasenhuttl reiterated after Saturday's Manchester City defeat.

"He is hot and wanting to play now. He is also a fantastic player and he can really help us."

Speaking to HampshireLive on Friday, Hasenhuttl said of Diallo: "He is definitely a player who can give us this immediately.

"I am really sorry that I can't give him more chance to play but the two guys in front of him have feen fantastic.

"He is the future of this club. He is, like [Mohammed] Salisu and Che Adams, he is a long-term goal.

"When you see all the signings we have made in the past, they all needed time to step in. It was the same with Kyle [Walker-Peters] with Moussa [Djenepo] and with Che Adams and it was with Sadio [Mane].

"In the end, we know what we have with them. The potential is there to help us and this is the most important thing for me."

But while one headache has been resolved, Hasenhuttl must now resolve another big selection problem as he looks to find the perfect plug for the void that could be left by the injured Danny Ings.

Southampton remain hopeful that Ings, substituted with a hamstring injury just before the break on Saturday, will bounce back in time to face Fulham but Hasenhttl will already be planning for the worst-case scenario.

During Ings' November injury spell, Theo Walcott filled in alongside Adams and scored his first goal back at the club, against Wolves.

But against Manchester City, Hasenhuttl opted for the youthful Nathan Tella and Dan N'Lundulu to lead the line.

Tella struggled the get into the game as perhaps failed to raise his game to the level required, something even the most experienced of professionals could be forgiven of.

N'Lundulu was more involved but also failed to make a lasting impact during his nine-minute cameo.

But both were well praised by their manager at full time, even if Hasenhuttl admitted that Tella could have done more.

He said: "I think he could have played better, I think. He worked a lot today but it is a different thing playing in Premier League one and Premier League 2.

"He is a good lad, one of our better academy lads that we want to push. It is good to learn for him in such games, it gives him a massive impact in his development."

Hasenhuttl will provide an update on Danny Ings' injury latest ahead of Saturday's game.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2020, 08:55:02 AM »
Verdict: Fulham much improved and Lemina brilliant – but still some disappointment

Fulham secured a third point in a week with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle.

After dominating the first half, the key moment in the second 45 was a red card for Joachim Andersen and a penalty that saw the hosts level.

The Whites will be somewhat disappointed, and this is why.

Red card but not a penalty
Yes, Joachim Andersen pulled back Callum Wilson bearing down on goal, but not in the box.

The Dane was smart enough to let go before he crossed that white line, and it was 50-50 whether there was a touch on Wilson’s heel.

But the camera angle on VAR was too distant to show where the tug or the heel contact occurred.

Wrong decision on the spot-kick, and that’s 2-1 against Fulham in the last three when it comes to the technology.

And while here, the yellow card late in the game for Antonee Robinson was shocking.

All he did was get in front of Miguel Almirón, who held the front of his face as if he’d been right hooked by Anthony Joshua.

Poor from the official and poor from the Newcastle player.

Tom Cairney – the verdict
With Cairney you get a player who puts his foot on the ball to buy you time.

On the other hand, even when you’re a tad match-rusty you’ve got to take half-chances when they appear.

Twice in the first half, captain Tom missed his moment.

The first when he needed a millisecond too many, and the second a terrible slice over the bar.

When he was tactically substituted to make way for Michael Hector, Cairney had done OK, but nothing earth shattering.

There again, he probably would have had another 27 minutes to prove otherwise.

Quiet night for Mitro on his Newcastle return
If you play Aleksandar Mitrovic without Ivan Cavaleiro, injured in the warm-up, you’ve got to feed him crosses he can attack along with balls to feet in and around the box.

If not, and it was mostly not in the first 45, you’re looking at the Portuguese and his undoubted pace sadly sat on the bench.

Mitro shook his head when the ball wasn’t played to him first time in the last knockings of the first half.

But he had another 35 yards to goal, and the Serb’s not the most likely to win a foot race.

It’s the bloke’s body language that bothers fans.

He lets you know when he’s unhappy with his team-mates or himself, and then some.

Possession is nine parts of the law
You keep the ball long enough, like 67% in the first half, chances are you will score sooner or later.

Fulham did just that in the first 45 and Matt Ritchie duly obliged with an own goal.

In fact, the Newcastle man’s slip just before let in Robinson to win a corner that led to Fulham’s lead.

Well done Bobby Decordova-Reid and Mario Lemina
BDR wasn’t meant to play because he was nursing a dodgy quad muscle, but the enforced shuffle before kick-off meant he had to put in a shift. He did well in the circumstances.

Lemina was everywhere.

The midfielder got through an almighty shift in the centre of midfield and in the end was the glue that creviced another result from an improving Fulham.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2020, 08:57:26 AM »
Scott Parker's Aleksandar Mitrovic hint as he's faced with Joachim Andersen conundrum

The talking points from Fulham's draw with Newcastle United

Aleksandar Mitrovic finally returned to the Fulham starting XI for the first time since defeat to West Ham. After a difficult run of games the Cottagers managed to dominate possession and try a different mode of the same system.

It didn't quite work out for the Serbian striker, who for large parts struggled to get involved. Despite having the fewest touches of outfield players in the starting line up, he still generated chances directly or through fouls. It seemed like the forward needed more time to bed in however.

Scott Parker has over the last month always insisted, outside of the Liverpool match, that Mitrovic's absence was tactical rather than injury related.

However, during his post-match press conference following the draw with Newcastle, Parker seemed to suggest there may have been a little more to it.

He said: "I thought he did very well. He's been out of the side for a little while now and I thought he lead the line very well and gives us that platform at times. I thought he did very well in that sense first half. Game goes away from us second half.

"Overall pleased with him. Small steps for Aleks. I think he would be the first to say this season with the qualification of the EUROs and the penalty miss and what came with that - confidence was not at its highest. Slowly building blocks and the character of the man, we'll get back to it."

Hopefully, Mitrovic can get back to his best soon.

Who fills he gap for Joachim Andersen?

Joachim Andersen's suspension is going to be a blow for the Cottagers.

The Denmark international has impressed since his loan from Lyon began and he has had a crucial role in Parker's system in recent weeks.

The 24-year-old has been the central cog in between Ola Aina and Tosin Adarabioyo and now someone else needs to take the mantel. Not just in a positional sense, but in the leadership he has brought too.

Parker noted going into the match against Newcastle: "It’s been a lot of work on the training field. As a team and obviously as a defending unit. Joachim is one of them, a top defender who has done very, very well and is a top-class player. He’s helped no end and will do moving forwards."

Has a replacement also been getting the reps in? Denis Odoi, Tim Ream and Michael Hector were all on the bench with the latter being called upon to fill the hole.

That did lead to a formation change and reverting to a back four so could three centre backs be off the cards for the clash against Southampton or was it simply due to less men on the field?

It would still appear too early for Terence Kongolo or Kenny Tete to be involved as they work their way to fitness but perhaps they could offer alternatives either directly or via Tete filling the right back slot with Aina moving into a partnership with Adarabioyo.

Hector slotting in seems the most likely option at this stage and he has big shoes to fill.

Alphonse Areola's leadership

One man whose leadership will become even more vital is Alphonse Areola. In a desolate St James' park, the goalkeeper appeared to be by far the most vocal person on the pitch.

As Newcastle won a free kick in a good position early in the second half and Jonjo Shelvey and co got into place, the French stopper made sure his teammates stayed focus.

As yellow shirts stood around, the glovesman was back and forth off his line until he was listened to. It was almost as impressive as his shot-stopping abilitiy. The shouts of 'away' are a firm soundtrack of a Fulham match but the goalkeeper offers much more than that and it hasn't been lost on Parker.

He is a crucial part of forming the defensive unit and that will be only more important in Andersen's absence.

Parker said: "It’s very important, he’s come in and brought a lot of experience in his stature as a keeper and again as a human being and in that keeper, he has a big presence about him. He’s been vital. He steps in the building along with the back four, along with a new unit, now you’re starting to see elements of the work that’s being done and them understanding the division well. He’ll play a big part for us this year."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2020, 09:00:00 AM »
CM: Milan’s interest in Fulham and Lille midfield duo reignited amid current injury crisis   

AC Milan have reignited their interest in two midfielders they were heavily linked with during the summer, according to a report.

Pioli in the summer requested four midfielders of starter quality and Rade Krunic is the fourth choice at the moment, but the Bosnian does not seem to be a viable option there.

According to, Maldini and Massara do not want to be caught unprepared because the last few games have highlighted that – in addition to the declared goal of a new central defender – other departments need reinforcing too.

Fulham midfielder André Zambo Anguissa is one of the names that the management are keeping an eye on, but Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumaré is also on the wish list.

Lille are in trouble having entered a deep economic crisis, while Soumare’s contract is expiring in 2022 and he has not found much space this season under head coach Christophe Galtier.

The report adds that the French press are convinced that Soumare will be the one sacrificed luxury in January to make money, but the feeling is that Lille are aiming to sell him to the Premier League to make the most money.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2020, 09:03:25 AM »
BBC Sport comments about Newcastle 1 Fulham 1 – Sadly all too true

Really interesting reading through these BBC Sport comments following Newcastle’s draw with Fulham.

The scoreline yet again very deceptive.

Steve Bruce carrying massive luck as the visitors were so dominant and could / should have been two or three up in the first hour.

If they had scored more than one then the penalty and red card would very likely have made minimal difference to the final result, a consolation rather than earning an undeserved point.

The BBC Sport readers comments, mainly from neutrals, although the odd Fulham and Newcastle fans also contributing, tell you all you need to know about Steve Bruce, Mike Ashley and Newcastle United, the very first comment perfectly summing up where we are with the current NUFC Head Coach…

‘Fulham fan – Going down to 10 men I thought it was going to be a nail biting last 20 minutes.

I have never felt more relaxed.

Why on earth are Newcastle not going full throttle for the win against a 10 man Fulham side?!

Literally staggered.’

‘Quite embarrassing to watch the Newcastle players constantly throwing themselves to the ground.

I suppose other teams do this, but still doesn’t make it acceptable.’

‘Bruce might claim Newcastle are safe in midtable but that was an awful performance against a team in the bottom 3 playing with 10 men.’

‘Toon very lucky with pen today but blatant one got turned down against leeds, only thing saving Bruce right now is no crowds at the ground.’

‘Whatever will Alan Shearer say tonight on MOTD to stick up for rubbish Newcastle? And surely he will agree with the rest of the nation that Wilson dived.’

‘He said they were rubbish and that it was a dive.’

‘Callum Wilson diving YET AGAIN. He was always doing that for Bournemouth. Seems to be a specialist in it. Expect many more from him.’

‘Toon getting worse, Bruce must be on borrowed time, but all the ex footballers commentators still think hes doing an excellent job, 100 million hes spent. Awful.’

‘Who would actually come to Newcastle while Ashley is the owner?

Could they persuade an Ancelotti type appointment?

Dream on.’

‘Wilson cheated with a dive and got a red for Anderson then celebrated. Very ugly.’

’40 million for Joelinton, wow just wow.’

‘Just saw the penalty on MotD. All I can say is I’m amazed the ref didn’t book the Newcastle player for diving.’

‘Fulham are improving . I had them down as relegated before the start of season. Credit to SP and the squad. Newcastle are a team I’d love to see back challenging the top 4 just to listen to their fans, the loudest I’ve heard in this country – some atmosphere there.’

‘Steve Bruce is a fraud of a manager…20 years and he has won nothing !

At Newcastle United he is perfect as he just does what his master Mike Ashley tells him to do and that is “make sure you don’t get relegated” that is the only target.

The press seem to love him and I don’t know why.

Steve Bruce is a Man utd fan always has been always will be.’

‘The pundits will tell us (Newcastle) we should be happy watching that rubbish week in week out, all Bruce’s mates in the media. Disgraceful football all season, miserable to watch and we deserve to be relegated, an embarrassment to the premier league.’

‘Newcastle players are an embarrassment, diving and plain old falling when the slightest of touches , tonight they were the worst team I have seen this season for this outright cheating.

More over, the referee was shocking, falling for the theatricals, Bruce is ignorant of his team of cheats.’

‘Not the first dodgy penalty the barcodes have been given. Gomes penalty was a disgrace. How was he supposed to know a barcode was lurking when Gomes went to kick the ball? Unfortunately, osmosis is not yet a human trait! Can’t wait to smash these at Goodison next year.

They won’t get away with parking the bus with this team!’

‘Not a fan of any of the 2 teams but Fulham were robbed. Never a penalty he did not touch him in the manner he went down. How var or the ref did not see this is beyond me. Var should be a set of fans all with a button and when they have seen the replay push yes or no then the majority wins not 1 person who might be biased.’

‘Back in 1996, if Kevin Keegan had had Steve Bruce’s luck, not only would my beloved Newcastle United have won the league that year but would have gone on to have ruled the world of football for the next 24 years.’

‘Forget the pen, this performance just isn’t acceptable from newcastles point of view.

Their fans want passion, drive, commitment none of these were on show tonight. Let’s be honest Bruce has never shown these basic elements as a manager of nufc.

He is getting away with it as no fans are allowed in the ground. If he was a true nufc he would walk away now as he’s out of his depth.

Not good enough!’

‘Tough result on Fulham and they deserved more than the draw. shame on Callum Wilson for feigning and getting an opponent sent off. Shame on the referee for allowing Wilson to go unpunished.’

‘Almiron should get a three match ban for trying to get Robinson sent off in the second half.

Going down holding his face when he received an arm across the chest is pure cheating.

Forunately only a yellow for Robinson. If pundits called the cheats out and divers got banned this would stop. Sympathy for refs who are getting conned.

Wilson is the real villain here. A contact sport still??’

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Fulham 1 – Saturday 19 December 8pm



Wilson (Pen) 64


Ritchie OG 42, Andersen Sent Off 62

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Fulham 51% (66%) Newcastle 49% (34%)

Total shots were Fulham 11 (8) Newcastle 12 (6)

Shots on target were Fulham 4 (2) Newcastle 5 (2)

Corners were Fulham 9 (5) Newcastle 2 (2)

Referee: Graham Scott

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin, Fernandez (Hayden 45), Clark, Dummett (Fraser 79), Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton (Gayle 75), Wilson

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Carroll, Krafth, Lewis, Hendrick, Murphy

Crowd: 00,000

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2020, 09:04:36 AM »
Rock-solid Adarabioyo can offer succour and fortitude to Fulham and Nigeria alike

The Manchester City academy product has helped shore things up at the back for the Cottagers, and could be the future for the Super Eagles as well

There is a simple, if slightly reductive, measure of the impact Tosin Adarabioyo has had since moving to Craven Cottage.

When Fulham secured a place in the Premier League by downing Brentford in the Promotion Play-off Final at Wembley in August, they were immediately installed as favourites (along with fellow promoted side West Bromwich Albion) to return whence they came. Right away, they set about justifying that prognosis, losing their opening four games in the top flight and conceding an eye-watering 11 goals while at it.

On the 5th of October, a day after their defeat to Wolves, Manchester City academy graduate Adarabioyo joined the club for a modest fee of £2 million. Thirteen days later, following that month’s international break, the England youth international made his debut for the Cottagers, starring in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United that earned Scott Parker’s side their first point in the division.

Since then, Fulham have amassed nine more, and while they remain in the relegation places, there is a clear demarcation: zero points in four before Tosin (BT), 10 points in 10 after Tosin (AT).

A more sophisticated measure comes in the form of Expected Goals conceded per game, which had dropped from 1.575 (BT) to 1.56 (AT) ahead of this weekend's draw against Newcastle United.

This is borne out by the eye test as well: Fulham appear a world removed from the chaos and defensive indecision that characterized the previous partnership of Tim Ream and Michael Hector, and this despite completely overhauling the back line.

On the evidence of recent performances, the partnership of Adarabioyo and Joachim Andersen is getting even stronger.

Against reigning Premier League champions Liverpool, Fulham were resolute, giving little away and carrying a significant threat themselves. Only a penalty for an unfortunate Aboubakar Kamara handball denied them all three points at Craven Cottage, and the 23-year-old was particularly defiant inside his own penalty area for the London side, completing a game-high 11 clearances and looking dominant in the air.

This will no doubt have come as a major encouragement for Parker. While Adarabioyo's education at Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City has imbued him with oodles of composure in possession, it is in the more fundamental aspects of defending that the Fulham boss suggested he needed to improve only a fortnight ago.

Parker told the Press Association, “I think you can definitely see (it) the way he is, he’s a ball-playing centre-half, plays through the lines, nice with the ball and confident with the ball so there’s definitely that element that you can tell he’s been schooled in a certain way and it’s probably the other side that we need to keep working on.

“The defending, the bread and butter of his game – and Tosin does that as well. He’s done extremely well, he’s got loads and loads of facets to his game, he can keep growing and become a top Premier League centre-half.”

Parker will have viewed his most recent performances with satisfaction then, as will Nigerian football fans everywhere.

Despite representing England at youth level, Adarabioyo remains eligible for Nigeria through his parentage. He has an admirer in Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, who reportedly has set his sights on the 6ft 5in centre-back with a view to incorporating him into the national team set-up.

Beyond simply swelling the available allotment of options, it is easy to see why, from a stylistic standpoint, Adarabioyo would be so attractive to Nigeria selectors.

For the most part, Rohr’s centre-back options tend to be physical, aggressive man-markers: William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem and, to a lesser extent, Semi Ajayi all fall into this broad categorization. The exception to the rule is Rangers’ Leon Balogun, whose composure and expansive style is sadly tempered by a propensity for injury, as well as the fact he is into his 33rd year.

With a view to maintaining the brawn-plus-brain dynamic going forward, a player of similar gifts is eminently valuable as a direct replacement for both Balogun’s quality in possession and his leadership qualities. Adarabioyo, a player who has captained England at different youth levels already, fits the bill excellently.

The Three Lions are, of course, spoilt for choice at this time with respect to central defenders, and this could very well open the door for a switch of nationality, especially with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on the horizon.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2020, 09:05:27 AM »

Cottage Talk Post Match Show: Fulham’s 1-1 Draw Against Newcastle United

Take a listen to a podcast that focuses on Fulham Football Club.

This is our post match show and during this episode, we talked about all of the key moments of the match which included the red card and the penalty. We also discussed how well Fulham played after they went down to ten men.

You can also listen to the show by followings this link...

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 21/12/20...
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2020, 09:08:17 AM »
Fast-improving Fulham look good for Premier League survival under Scott Parker, but progress still looks beyond Steve Bruce and Newcastle

    Steve Bruce has spoken about making Newcastle better, but he has yet to do so
    As it stands, Newcastle tend to sit deep and rely on their keeper to make saves
    They would benefit from the dynamic midfield that Fulham currently possess
    Fulham could have won on Saturday if it wasn't for Joachim Andersen's red card
    The game finished 1-1, seeing Newcastle sit in 12th position on 18 points

Here was one team who talk about progress. And another who have made it.

Steve Bruce has long since spoken of making Newcastle better. But he is yet to do so. They are trapped on a joyless cycle of having enough to stay clear of danger - well, they have Callum Wilson - but have no idea how to improve on that.

Fulham, meanwhile, are the most improved side in the Premier League over the course of the past two months. That is the opinion of their manager, Scott Parker. And he would be right.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has spoken about making Newcastle better... but he is yet to do so

Under Scott Parker, Fulham are fast improving in their bid for Premier League survival

Since the start of November they have taken nine points. Before that? One.

'We have shown a real awareness about us,' said Parker. 'We are learning quickly, understanding what it is all about, putting into practice what we're doing on the training field.'

That is the criticism of Bruce and Newcastle. What are they working towards? If the plan is to give the ball to their opponents, sit deep, rely on their goalkeeper to make save after save and Wilson to nick something at the other end, then yes, they are executing the plan to perfection.

But Bruce knows they should be more than that. Achieving such progress has, in 16 months, been beyond them.

Newcastle have been criticised for sitting deep and relying on their keeper to make saves

Newcastle would benefit from the dynamic midfield that Fulham currently possess

Perhaps they should take a closer look at Fulham. They played with two dynamic central midfielders in Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Mario Lemina. They passed and moved. Newcastle's midfield, by comparison, gave the ball away and stood still.

There is little doubt Fulham would have won this game had it not been for Joachim Andersen's red card and concession of a penalty just after the hour, from which Wilson scored his eighth of the season to claim a draw. Note, that without his goals, Newcastle would be one point above the bottom three.

Fans are reluctant to praise Bruce for much, but him persuading Mike Ashley to spend £20million on a 28-year-old is a piece of business that will save the club many multiples of that sum. With Wilson fit, they will survive.

Fulham could have beaten Newcastle if it wasn't for Joachim Andersen's red card (above)

And so will Fulham on this evidence. One defeat in five - at Manchester City - is proof enough of Parker's impact.

He has talked of needing a 'clear identity' and at St James' Park you saw that - high energy, feed the widemen quickly, overload the flanks. But they keep the ball, too.

What they need is a goalscorer to ensure the above does not go to waste. Aleksandar Mitrovic should be that man, but he has not scored since September and looked miles off his best here.

And that was the difference. Newcastle had Wilson. For now, he continues to mask the absence of any progress.