Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...  (Read 997 times)

Offline whitejc

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Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« on: February 06, 2021, 12:28:18 AM »
Match Preview: Fulham v West Ham

22nd December 1906 – Henry Campbell-Bannerman was the Liberal Prime Minister, the Education (Provision of Meals) Act was passed the day before to allow local education authorities to provide cheap or free school meals to the poorest children, and future Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev was born three days earlier. West Ham United, meanwhile, secured a 4-1 Southern League First Division victory over Fulham in front of 10,000 at Craven Cottage.

The Hammers went into the game without a win in seven matches, drawing six of them. Lionel Watson (pictured) scored a hat-trick in this 4-1 win in west London to bring that run to an end. Outside-left Fred Blackburn scored the Irons’ other goal. 25-year-old inside-left Watson, who had played First Division football with Blackburn prior to moving south to sign for West Ham, scored 27 goals in his 80 appearances for the Hammers between September 1905 and April 1908. A great practical joker, he returned to Lancashire to join Blackpool and continued to live in the seaside town after his retirement from football, later working as an auctioneer before his death in 1945.

Centre-forward Harry Stapley would be the Hammers’ top scorer for the season with 22 goals from 37 appearances. Syd King’s Hammers went on to finish the 1906/07 Southern League First Division season in fifth place, while Harry Bradshaw’s Fulham topped the division and were elected to the Football League. Newcastle won the First Division title and The Wednesday won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: George Kitchen, Bill Wildman, Syd Hammond, Tommy Allison, Frank Piercy, Len Jarvis, Dave Lindsay, Billy Grassam, Harry Stapley, Lionel Watson, Fred Blackburn.

Club Connections
Ryan Fredericks travels to his former club. Scott Parker played for both clubs and is currently manager at Craven Cottage. A decent number of players join the pair in representing West Ham United and Fulham over the years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Biggar, Jan Lastuvka, Tony Parks.

Defenders: Paul Kelly, Bobby Moore, Tony Gale, George Redwood, Kevin Lock, Jack Hebden, Rufus Brevett, John Paintsil, Paul Konchesky, Ian Pearce, Wayne Bridge, Jon Harley, Alan Stephenson, Andy Melville.

Midfielders: Luis Boa Morte, Dick Richards, George Carter, Papa Bouba Diop, Ray Houghton, Fergus Hunt.

Strikers: Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne, Brian Dear, Alf Harwood, Jack Fletcher, Roger Cross, Iain Dowie, Fred Harrison, Billy Brown, Archie Macaulay, Danny Shea, Bill Davidson, Kenny McKay, Leroy Rosenior, Bobby Zamora, Mladen Petric.

Today’s focus though is on a player who spent nearly five years with West Ham before joining Fulham. George Horler was born in Coleford, Somerset on 10th February 1895. He started his career with Frome Town before signing for Reading. Horler served as a sergeant in the Army Medical Corps during the First World War, returning to Reading after the conflict and enjoying several seasons with the Biscuitmen (as they were then known). It was from the Elm Park club that Horler joined the Hammers in 1922.

The 27-year-old Horler (pictured) made his Hammers debut in a 2-1 defeat to Bradford in the Second Division on 26th August 1922 at the Boleyn Ground. Horler played his part in West Ham’s run to the 1923 FA Cup Final, appearing in both second round matches as Brighton were defeated after a replay. The left-back also made five league appearances as the Hammers were promoted to the top flight for the first time in the club’s history in 1922/23. Generally a back-up to Jack Young, Horler’s full-back partnership with Jack Hebden in the old London Combination was reckoned to be the finest in the Reserve League and led to the pair being chosen to represent the competition – Hebden would go on to captain West Ham before also departing for Fulham.

Horler, who continued to reside in Berkshire during his time at West Ham United, progressed to the first team in 1926/27, making 23 appearances that season as the Irons finished sixth. He was also an accomplished singer and often formed a duet with pianist (and outside-right) Tommy Yews to entertain at social gatherings, both at home and on tour. Horler lost his place to Alfred Earl the following season though and made his final appearance for the club in a 5-3 defeat at Tottenham on 5th November 1927. After 52 appearances for West Ham United, without scoring, the 32-year-old Horler moved to Second Division Fulham for £600 the following month.

Horler made nine appearances for Fulham, without scoring. After six months at Craven Cottage, he moved on to Aldershot in the summer of 1928. George Horler passed away in March 1967 at the age of 72.

Referee
Saturday’s referee will be Cheshire-based Mike Dean; 2020/21 is Dean’s 21st as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Dean has refereed 26 of our league matches, officiating in ten wins for the Hammers, eight draws and eight defeats.

Dean refereed our final match at the Boleyn when we famously triumphed 3-2 over Manchester United. His decision to send off Sofiane Feghouli just 15 minutes into our 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils in January 2017 was later rescinded. Dean’s three Hammers appointments last season were the 5-0 opening day home defeat to Manchester City, our 0-0 draw at Aston Villa in September 2019 when he sent off Arthur Masuaku and our 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2019. He most recently refereed the Hammers in our 1-0 FA Cup third round win at Stockport last month.

The VAR Official is Lee Mason.

Possible line-ups
Fulham could be without Terence Kongolo and Tom Cairney, who are injury doubts. The Cottagers haven’t won in the league since the last day of November, drawing seven and losing four of their 11 games since.

West Ham United will be without Arthur Masuaku, while Darren Randolph remains a doubt.

Possible Fulham XI: Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo; Tete, Anguissa, Lemina, Robinson; Loftus-Cheek, Lookman; Mitrovic.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Fornals, Lingard, Benrahma; Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!



https://www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2021/02/05/match-preview-fulham-v-west-ham

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 12:30:23 AM »
David Moyes facing major West Ham selection dilemma for Fulham clash

David Moyes is facing a major West Ham United selection dilemma for Saturday’s clash with Fulham.

Fifth placed West Ham can reclaim fourth spot from Liverpool with a win at Craven Cottage.

That’s after the Hammers bounced back to the Liverpool defeat in style by comfortably beating Aston Villa 3-1 in midweek.

West Ham had looked tired and lacking incision against the Reds.

Tired Hammers revitalised by Lingard but Fredericks was key too

But they were rejuvenated by a change of personnel against Villa as Jesse Lingard starred on his West Ham debut.

Moyes’s side looked extremely dangerous at Villa Park and that was reflected by the 20 attempts they had at goal.

Another key component in the win was Ryan Fredericks.

The right-back was a surprise inclusion from the start as he replaced Jarrod Bowen.

And he teamed up with Vladimir Coufal to great effect to keep Jack Grealish quiet while also providing a huge threat with his pace going the other way.

Moyes faces huge selection dilemma over Bowen and Fredericks for Fulham

Bowen has been brilliant for West Ham since signing from Hull City a year ago.

But his performances have dipped slightly of late.

Now Moyes faces a huge dilemma for Fulham. Does he stick to the philosophy to never change a winning team?

Or does Bowen come back into the side given West Ham are facing a lesser side?

Looking at the opposition, the Cottagers’s biggest threat comes down West Ham’s right hand side in the shape of Ademola Lookman.

And the winger will be out to prove a point after his Panenka penalty miss cost Fulham a point in the reverse fixture.

Reinstate Bowen against a lesser side or stick with a winning team? A good headache for Hammers boss

Moyes has said it is up to players to perform when they come into the West Ham team in order to ‘keep the jersey’.

In fairness to Fredericks he did just that. The Flash – as he is nicknamed by some West Ham fans – will also be motivated against his old club.

What Moyes will do is anyone’s guess as he ponders his latest selection headache.

But it is a good problem for the Scot to have.

Bowen has looked jaded and it would not be a surprise to see him used as an impact substitute and the FA Cup game against Manchester United instead.



https://www.hammers.news/tactics/david-moyes-facing-major-west-ham-selection-dilemma-for-fulham-clash/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 12:31:32 AM »
Scott Parker: Fulham not done and dusted - but time could run out for us


Scott Parker fears time could run out for his Fulham side in their fight against relegation this season.

The Cottagers have been much improved since their disastrous start to the campaign but continue to find results hard to come by.

Parker - who after defeat to Leicester is bracing for the visit of in-form West Ham - has hailed the work of his players behind the scenes but says it may not all click in time, with the gap to safety having stretched to eight points.

Parker said: "They are working tirelessly to try and improve as players and individuals and as a team we’re trying to do that as well.

"At times it is fair to say we’ve fallen a little bit short but with that work ethic, desire and commitment I know that over time that will get better.

"That time may run out for us this year, that is a fact. As a team and a group of players we are heading in the right direction and we need to maintain that.

"There are 17 games left and there is no chance we are done and dusted."

Deadline day signing Josh Maja trained for the first time yesterday and is expected to be in the squad tomorrow.




https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/scott-parker-fulham-done-and-dusted-time-b918731.html


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 12:34:21 AM »
What would a gambling sponsorship ban mean for Fulham?
Louis Wishlade digs into how the disappearance of gambling firms in football could hit the Whites.

Every so often, the discussion around banning gambling sponsorship in football returns. This time, it follows a government gambling review, with the leaders of the nation considering a blanket ban on kit sponsorship by betting firms. So, what could the affect of this ban mean for Fulham?


Primarily, it would have a negative effect on clubs’ income, disproportionally affecting smaller clubs that lack the brand-pull and fanbase sizes to interest non-gambling sponsors into paying the high fees that they demand.

In fact, this ban would have the biggest financial impact on any sport since tobacco sponsorship was outlawed, something that meant many Formula One teams soon ceased to exist. Currently, eight of the 20 Premier League teams have gambling logos displayed on the front of their shirts, with this number rising to 17 of 24 Championship sides.

Fulham fallible
It’s estimated that this would see English football clubs lose a total £110 million in commercial revenue, with £70 million lost by Premier League teams alone. Fulham would seemingly be hit especially hard, with four of the club’s last five shirt sponsors being gambling companies. The logos of Marathon Bet, Grosvenor Casinos, Defabet and BetVictor all displayed on the front of the iconic white and black strip since the 2013/14 season.

Fulham’s 2019 accounts, covering the side’s last Premier League season in 2018/19, states that the club generated a total £17.7 million in commercial revenue. While this figure includes multiple sponsorship deals as well as other commercial revenue streams, such as merchandise, the average loss per Premier League club from this ban would be £8.75 million.

This is a significant amount for clubs at the bottom of the table, which strive to match the financial might of the big players – the biggest of which, Manchester United, generated £282.1 million in commercial revenue in 2019/20, according to the Deloitte Football Money League report 2021. It leaves an almost insurmountable amount of work in order to compete both on and off the pitch and prevent the rift in quality from widening even further.

Back to the future
So, what would this mean for Fulham? For most fans, it would simply mean a return to the glory days of football sponsorship, with brands such as Pizza Hut previously endorsing the club. I, for one, would like to see Teng Tools, a brand that is already a partner of the club, assume the position on the front of the shirt. They also have an interesting logo, which would surely be a nice change from the boring betting brands of late. They not only sponsor Fulham, but also sponsor multiple motor racing outfits.

Options closer to home
Another option would be to slap Flex-N-Gate on the front of the shirt. It’s an American company that supplies parts to the automotive industry and is owned by Shahid Khan. This could be a nice link to the owner – one that I wish had been implemented in the Al Fayed days with the Harrods logo on the shirt (although there was the green and gold ‘Harrods’ shirt that divided opinions).

Not only could this be a good link to show a personal relationship between the Khans and the club, but it could also be a way for Shahid to put some more money into the club. This is because investment via sponsorship revenue bypasses the FFP rules that prevent an owner from writing off more than £30 million of losses, via a cash for shares basis, per Premier League season (this falls to £8 million per Championship season).

But the club would have to be extremely careful if it was to go down this route. It would definitely raise regulatory eyebrows. You only have to look at Man City’s recent brush with authorities when the club was accused of inflating commercial agreements with its main sponsor Etihad.

If gambling firms were to be banished from football, what brands would you like to see on the iconic white shirt?



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2021-02-04-what-would-a-gambling-sponsorship-ban-mean-for-fulham/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2021, 12:34:47 AM »
West Ham eye best away run for 14 years

Team news

Fulham have reported no new injury concerns ahead of this London derby.

David Moyes has a fully fit West Ham United squad to choose from, while defender Arthur Masuaku could return next month following knee surgery.
Did you know?

Fulham are winless in their last 19 Premier League London derbies (D2 L17), the longest run in the competition's history. They have conceded in each of their last 28 PL derbies.

Fulham have won only two of their 21 PL matches this season. Before this season, 13 of the 15 previous PL sides to win two matches or fewer after 21 outings were relegated at the end of the season. But one of the sides to survive were Fulham in 2007/08.

West Ham are looking to win four consecutive PL away matches for the first time since September 2007 under Alan Curbishley.

West Ham’s Jesse Lingard has scored in each of his last two PL appearances, with those outings coming 192 days apart. He can now score in a third straight PL match for the first time.
Match officials

Referee: Mike Dean. Assistants: Darren Cann, Simon Long. Fourth official: Kevin Friend. VAR: Lee Mason. Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger.



https://www.premierleague.com/news/2007243

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2021, 12:35:39 AM »

Capital Punishment: Hammering More Nails Into The Cottager’s Coffin

There’s plenty to play for at either of the table as the top team in London visit the one at the bottom. Can West Ham put a further dent in Fulham’s survival chances?

I have to admit to being quite nervous about the Hammers reaction to defeat by Liverpool before they travelled to Villa Park on Wednesday night. After too many years of disappointment, my default setting, when it comes to supporting West Ham, is locked permanently at ‘fear the worst’. That they not only won, but did so with such aplomb, and with one of the most accomplished performances for some time, was mightily impressive. If courage, composure and determination is the new ‘West Ham way’, then it gets my vote!

If the previous Sunday was a reality check for the Hammers, then Wednesday was reality Czech for Villa. The two bargain signings from the Czech Republic has proved to be some of the most inspired transfer business in West Ham history.

Vladimir Coufal handed out a defensive masterclass by completely neutralising the threat of a dejected Jack Grealish. Ably assisted by the surprise inclusion of Ryan Fredericks the message was clear for all, stop Grealish and you stop Villa. Coufal has quickly become a West Ham cult hero. A tough, determined, and resolute master of the full back craft, full of running, skill and experience – and without the reckless tackles than has so often lead similar characters into troubled waters.

Tomas Soucek just gets better and better. Not only part of one of the best defensive midfield partnerships in the league, but also superb in the air at both ends and continuing to weigh in with priceless goals. The man never stops running. Even for the second West Ham goal – a rapid Hammer’s counter-attack – it was Soucek who turned up right on top of the keeper in case the ball was spilled from Jesse Lingard’s shot.  There should also have been a first West Ham penalty of the season when he was clearly (and obviously) tripped in the area by McGinn during the first half. Perhaps VAR had popped out to the toilet.

In truth, there were excellent performance right throughout the team even though, not surprisingly, it was Lingard who grabbed most of the plaudits and headlines with his two-goal debut performance – a first for the Hammers since Tricky Trev did the same against Everton in January 1998. The addition of Lingard brought a much better balance to the West Ham forward play and his level of understanding with those around him was impressive for such a new arrival. Now we wait to see whether that level of performance can be maintained.

The frenetic Premier League programme eases off after this week’s round of games as European competition starts up once again to fill the vacant midweek spots for the seven English clubs still involved. Does having longer breaks between matches offer any advantage to a team looking to sneak up on the rails? 

This weekend it is another London derby with a visit to struggling Fulham at Craven Cottage – our last away derby of the season. Many years ago, West Ham would publish the Unofficial London Championship in the matchday programme, based on the results of the derby matches. In the season to date, despite being top London club, the Hammers would only be midtable if such a competition existed, having already lost to Chelsea and Arsenal. Fulham have been defeated in all three of their home derby matches so far, and will be favourites to make it four in a row tomorrow. The Cottagers are currently on an eleven game winless run in the league and are also winless in their last nineteen top-flight London derbies – those are the kind of statistics that would worry a West Ham fan of old but things are different now ……….. aren’t they?

It does look grim for the three clubs at the bottom of the Premier League table as the teams above them start to pick up wins, appearing to leave Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham. Of the three, it would be good to see Fulham (and Scott Parker) pull off an unlikely escape – they are, probably, the best placed to do so given current points total and relatively modest negative goal difference. As long as any revival waits another week.

It should be more of the same from West Ham as far as team selection is concerned. Most of us were surprised to see Fredericks named in the starting lineup at Villa Park, but I expect him to make way for Jarrod Bowen tomorrow – unless David Moyes feels that Bowen needs a bit of a longer rest. Other than that, it should be business as usual.

The Fulham danger man will again be the industrious Lookman, although he is unlikely to be taking any more penalties. New signing Maja may make his debut for the hosts following his move from Bordeaux if Parker decides not to stick with the lumbering Mitrovic. Perhaps it’s just me, but I really don’t get what Loftus-Cheek offers. Amazing that he has ten England caps to his name.

Despite their long winless run, Fulham have drawn a good few matches – including games against Liverpool, Tottenham, and Southampton – and they have not been shipping a lot of goals of late. So we might expect the game to be a tight affair, and one where the Hammers must be alert to an early period of home pressure. West Ham are the form team, though, and should have more than enough quality to add another victory to their impressive 2021 tally. West Ham to win 2-0. COYI! 



https://westhamway.net/2021/02/05/capital-punishment-hammering-nails-into-the-cottagers-coffin/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2021, 12:37:23 AM »
Team News: Josh Maja in line for Fulham debut against West Ham

New signing Josh Maja is expected to be in Fulham's squad for the visit of West Ham.

The 22-year-old forward joined the Cottagers on loan from Bordeaux earlier this week and could make his debut against the Hammers, although he is most likely to come off the bench.

Fulham have no new injury concerns, although with the frequency of matches, some players will be assessed on Friday ahead of the game. Defender Terence Kongolo and midfielder Tom Cairney remain sidelined through injury.

West Ham are almost at full strength with Arthur Masuaku the only absentee.

Wing-back Masuaku is recovering from knee surgery but began jogging this week and is about a month away.

Jesse Lingard is poised to start again following his two-goal debut at Aston Villa in midweek.

Provisional Fulham squad: Areola, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Tete, Reed, Anguissa, Robinson, Loftus-Cheek, Mitrovic, Lookman, Rodak, Hector, Odoi, Ream, Decordova-Reid, Cavaleiro, Lemina, Bryan, Maja.

Provisional West Ham squad: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Lingard, Benrahma, Antonio, Randolph, Johnson, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Noble, Bowen, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Odubeko.

Betting Odds
At the time of writing the odds being offered for this match were - Fulham to win: 3.56 (64/25), Draw: 3.40 (12/5), West Ham United to win: 2.13 (113/100).



https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/team-news/team-news-josh-maja-in-line-for-fulham-debut-against-west-ham_433891.html?newsnow

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2021, 12:39:51 AM »
Where do we go from here?
After a disappointing week, we take a look at what lies ahead and what we need to do to survive.

Think back to the middle of last week. It was universally agreed that at least four points were needed out of the two games against Brighton and West Brom. Things didn’t pan out that way, and here we are three games later only two points better off. The real winners this week were Brighton. Seven points from nine, including wins against Spurs and Liverpool. A run of form we can only dream about. The Seagulls have lifted themselves ten points clear of the relegation zone with those results and our focus firmly moves to catching Burnley or Newcastle, or both.

Looking forward
So what lies ahead? Over the past four seasons, 36 points have been enough to keep sides in this league. Whether that rings true or not this season, only time will tell, but let’s set that as a target for now and see where that takes us. Currently, we sit on 14 points with 17 games remaining and we have some daunting tasks ahead of us. A Liverpool, Manchester City double-header at the start of March, an all-London triple-header with Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea at the end of April, and a trip to Old Trafford for our penultimate game of the season in May. But also in that mix are some games that we could target to win.

At the end of February, we have a big two games against Sheffield United at Craven Cottage and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park – two very winnable games and a real chance to get 6 points on the board. Albeit, The Blades have put a bit of a run together in recent games, they are still a very ordinary side that are very beatable. Crystal Palace, on the other hand, are great at winning meaningless games. Just when they start to put a bit of form together, their toothless side comes out just like we saw when they lost to Burnley and Newcastle one after another earlier in the season.

After the Liverpool, Man City double-header we take on Leeds, Aston Villa, and Wolves. These are three of the most inconsistent teams in the Premier League this season. Some weeks they look like world-beaters and you wonder why they’re not higher up the table, whilst the next week they are getting beaten 4-1 by Crystal Palace or 3-2 by Burnley or 3-2 by West Brom. While I don’t think there’s any “dead certs” when it comes to Fulham winning, six or seven points here is very achievable (if we can get our goal-scoring issues sorted).

It could all come down to this
Three of our last four matches come against Burnley, Southampton, and Newcastle. Hopefully, at this point, we’ll still be battling it out with the Clarets and the Magpies for survival. As we saw in the FA Cup, Burnley are a strong, physical team that are very hard to beat. And if they are beaten, it’s usually by the finest of margins. Having said that, they aren’t great at winning games either, and like ourselves recently, really struggle for goals.

 Southampton were top of the Premier League last year for a short period however, since then they have somewhat fallen off a cliff. They’ve only taken six points out of the last 27 available and who knows what way it’s going to go for them after their 9-0 drubbing by Man Utd. They could come back stronger than ever like they did in 2019 after the Leicester game, or they could easily keep falling further and further. If the former happens, it could be a nice opportunity for three points on May 12th.

Finally, we have Newcastle on the final day of the season, and it could all come down to this. Hopefully with a boisterous crowd at Craven Cottage. Newcastle are another team that are so hard to judge. Just when you think you have them figured out they pull out a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory at high-flying Everton and you think, this might be the catalyst they need. Fast forward three days and they’re getting beaten at home by Crystal Palace. If it came down to a winner takes all game in the Cottage, with a crowd, I think it’s our game to lose and we could hopefully pick up the final three points that we need.

Below is a prediction of results from the optimistic side of my brain, and exactly where I think points can be achieved between now and the end of the season.

Let us know what you think.
Opposition   Date   Venue   Score   Points
West Ham   6th Feb   Craven Cottage   0-0 – D   15
Everton   14th Feb   Goodison Pk   2-0 – L   15
Burnley   17th Feb   Turf Moor   0-0 – D   16
Sheffield Utd   20th Feb   Craven Cottage   1-0 – W   19
Crystal Palace   28th Feb   Selhurst Park   1-2 – W   22
Liverpool   6th Mar   Anfield   2-0 – L   22
Man City   13th Mar   Craven Cottage   0-3 – L   22
Leeds Utd   20th Mar   Craven Cottage   2-1 – W   25
Aston Villa   3rd Apr   Villa Park   1-1 – D    26
Wolves   10th Apr   Craven Cottage   1-0 – W   29
Arsenal   17th Apr   Emirates   1-0 – L   29
Spurs   24th Apr   Craven Cottage   0-0 – D   30
Chelsea   1st May   Stamford Bridge   2-1 – L   30
Burnley   8th May   Craven Cottage   1-1 – D   31
Southampton   12th May   St. Marys   1-2 – W   34
Man Utd   15th May    Old Trafford   3-0 – L   34
Newcastle   23rd May   Craven Cottage   1-0 – W   37



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2021-02-05-where-do-we-go-from-here/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2021, 12:40:47 AM »
Sessegnon eyes return

Steven Sessegnon is scheduled a return to action next week for the Under-23s when Charlton Athletic visit the Optima Stadium (February 9th, 2pm).

The on loan Fulham defender suffered a hamstring injury in the Sky Bet Championship match against Swansea City in October and required surgery.

“We are hoping to get him some minutes in the Under-23s game which will be a nice boost for him,” said Holden. “He is coming to the end of his rehabilitation and it’s now about getting that aerobic fitness into him and match sharpness.”

Meanwhile, Chris Martin has suffered a significant hamstring injury and will see a specialist next week.

Holden added: “We’ve set the scans away to a specialist for a look at how we proceed but he is going to be out for quite a while unfortunately.”

The 32-year-old arrived at Ashton Gate in the summer and has made 30 appearances across all competitions, scoring four goals.

Everyone at the club wishes Chris a speedy recovery.



https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/sessegnon-eyes-return/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2021, 12:43:10 AM »
Parker says Maja has already impressed in training

Josh Maja has already caught the eye on the Fulham training pitch.

The club’s deadline-day signing has been put through his paces over the last couple of days and is set to take a seat on the bench against West Ham on Saturday night.

Fulham know Maja is the last roll of the dice when it comes to scoring goals. The Whites have notched just 17 in 21 Premier League games.

The 22-year-old Londoner is on loan from Bordeaux, and would have been part of a pair had Josh King opted for Craven Cottage instead of Everton.

But Scott Parker is encouraged by what he has seen of the new arrival.

Boss Parker said: “He has the finishing touch. We only really have one striker, and that’s Aleks (Mitrovic), so in terms of competition and in terms of extra help, it’s important.

“The boy’s a good clean finisher. You can see that (in training). He can use both feet, and we need to score goals. Josh can help us with that.”



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/parker-says-maja-has-already-impressed-in-training

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2021, 12:44:26 AM »
New signing Josh Maja gives Fulham teeth in relegation battle

The Cottagers have struggled for goals in their survival bid, but should find some reprieve - and menace - in the former Sunderland striker

Wednesday night would have served as very instructive viewing for new Fulham signing Josh Maja.

On transfer deadline day, the former England youth international joined the London club on loan from Girondins de Bordeaux until the end of the season. With little turnaround time, it was always unlikely he would be chucked into the deep end right away.

However, he got a fairly quick chance to see his new side in action, and get a proper feel for the magnitude of the challenge ahead. In a tight game, visiting Leicester went ahead in the first half, and then comfortably held Fulham at arm’s length for the duration of the second to record a 2-0 victory at Craven Cottage.

At the moment, the Cottagers are third from bottom, eight points from safety and looking like their fate is already sealed.

Scott Parker’s side endured a miserable start to the campaign, failing to win any of their first six matches back in the top flight. Things briefly seemed to be looking up following a slew of creditable draws, most notably against Liverpool and Tottenham. However, since drawing against the North London side, Fulham have lost three of their subsequent five matches.

Grim reading, whichever way one slices it.

However, while that overview might suggest otherwise, those two miserable runs have been distinct in their particulars.

Whereas at the start of the season Fulham struggled to keep opponents out, in more recent weeks the challenge has been presenting a goal threat themselves. This is borne out by the fact six teams in the division have worse defensive records, but of that number only West Bromwich Albion are presently below Fulham on the table. So far, only two teams have scored fewer goals.

It is clear, then, where Fulham must improve.

While significant investment was made by the club during the summer transfer window in order to bring the defence up to scratch and add creativity to the midfield, the Cottagers have soldiered through with only Aleksandar Mitrovic and Aboubakar Kamara as their centre-forward options.

Mitrovic has started their last two league games, but his static style and lack of aptitude in pressing situations have frequently seen him left out of the starting line-up this season; Kamara has also failed to convince when handed opportunities, and departed the club in the just-concluded January window.

Instead, Parker has been forced to repurpose Ivan Cavaleiro – an inconsistent winger – as a centre-forward, with mixed-to-negative results.

The signing of Maja then can be seen as a move to address a glaring shortfall in a key area.

The former Sunderland man is a natural centre-forward, a superb finisher inside the box, and has the work rate against the ball that Mitrovic lacks.

“He falls into line with the sort of business we've done this year in terms of young talent with big potential,” Parker said of Maja following the acquisition. “I brought Josh to the football club because he's someone who I see with big potential, someone I see we can develop.”

It is also a deal that works for the player as well.

Since departing Sunderland in January 2019, Maja has struggled to truly assert himself in the west of France. There have been flashes of his undeniable ability, such as in his demolition of Nimes in December of the same year (a hat-trick and an assist in a 6-0 win).

However, for the most part, he has flattered to deceive, and has been criticized for spending too much time in deeper areas.

After a promising first full season that saw him score six times and assist twice in 21 league appearances (only six of those starts), the 22-year-old found the going rather more challenging this term, with only two goals in 17 appearances (11 starts).

Considering he left English shores under a cloud, betting on himself and opting against signing a new contract with his hometown club, his return – albeit temporary – will require him to prove himself afresh and showcase just how much his game has rounded out since leaving the Black Cats in the lurch.

He will find, in Fulham, a fecund environment.

The squad is young and the energy is good on the banks of the Thames, and with the likes of Ademola Lookman and Andre Frank Zambo-Anguissa, not only is there a sizeable African contingent at the club, there is also some premium service. The Expected Goals prognosis is also encouraging: so far this season, the Cottagers have, based on the quality of their chances, created more dangerous openings than seven other teams in the division.

It is a signing that ticks every box, or at least appears to. Whether it will be enough, by itself, to keep Fulham up remains to be seen. However, Maja at least gives them a fighting chance.



https://www.goal.com/en/news/new-signing-josh-maja-gives-fulham-teeth-in-relegation/rppp3k8yyrql1fmcf63ssgoul

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2021, 12:45:41 AM »

Cottage Talk Preview: Fulham vs. West Ham

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

This is our preview of Fulham vs. West Ham. To help us with this preview, we were joined by journalist and West Ham supporter Bob Ballard.


You can also listen to the show by following this link...
https://cottagersconfidential.sbnation.com/2021/2/5/22268945/cottage-talk-preview-fulham-vs-west-ham


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2021, 12:46:33 AM »
Scott Parker sees a "constant belief" within Fulham team

 Scott Parker insists he remains calm despite Fulham's current league position, and maintains the mood around the club is different to his own experiences of relegation as a player.

The 40-year-old earned the Football Writers' Association player of the year award for his performances in the 2010-11 season, despite West Ham finishing bottom of the Premier League having won just seven games all year.

Similarities can be drawn between his experiences with the Hammers and Fulham's current predicament, as they currently sit 18th in the table with just two wins to their name this season.

Despite securing impressive draws at Tottenham and against champions Liverpool, Fulham have struggled to find the net this season.

But Parker said the mood around the squad is completely different to the one he experienced at West Ham.

"I didn't have the feeling of what I feel here," the Fulham boss said.

"I didn't have the feeling that I feel every day on the training field, which is my main gauge.

"You guys (the media) will make their judgements on the results, like everyone will, and I understand that. But I see this group of players every day, I see the challenges we faced early on and where we needed to get to, and I see a constant belief.

"When you lose football matches and confidence is down in football squads, the first place you see it is on the training ground. That lack of energy, you'll often also find in-house bickering or problems inside the squad due to disappointment, people not happy with certain issues. The whole demeanour of players becomes very negative.

"I experienced that first hand as a player in a relegation team. I don't see that one bit here. That's been a main driver from me to not have that because I realised at the start of the season that this season was going to be a challenge for us."

The Cottagers have scored just 17 times in the top flight and have recorded fewer wins than Sheffield United, who remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.

Fulham host West Ham on Saturday, with David Moyes' men currently in fifth place, just two points behind Liverpool, but Parker is not feeling the pressure.

"I'm really, really calm. The current situation doesn't surprise me," the Fulham manager said.

"We're trying every day with the players, the players are trying as hard as they can. This was the position we're in and the predicament we're in.

"I've been at the football club now for two years. I see from last year to this year and the big jump that we've made in the division.

"I knew we would have to be comfortable in and around where we are at this present moment in time."



https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/news/scott-parker-sees-a-constant-belief-within-fulham-team_433992.html?newsnow

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2021, 09:43:29 AM »
The late Steve Gibson phone call which allowed Middlesbrough and Neil Warnock to secure Neeskens Kebano's transfer from Fulham
Neil Warnock has praised Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson and the club’s staff for completing the signing of Neeskens Kebano from Fulham at such short notice.

The 28-year-old was Warnock’s top transfer target in January and eventually sealed a loan move to the Riverside on deadline day.

A week earlier, Boro had been told Kebano wouldn’t be allowed to leave Craven Cottage, despite positive talks between the two clubs.

Then at 9:30pm on deadline day, one and a half hours before the window closed, Warnock received a phone call from Fulham director Alastair Mackintosh saying the deal was back on.

The Teessiders had already completed the signing of Yannick Bolasie and were about to announce the arrival of former Cardiff winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Warnock was quickly given the green light by Gibson to sign Kebano, before speaking with Fulham chairman Tony Khan in America to agree terms.

“I’m definitely happier with the squad now, We talked about it all the time with Steve,” said Warnock when asked about Boro’s deadline day business.

“I had to call Steve up on Monday night when the Neeskens thing came up at half nine because I’d already got Mendez and Yannick then. Straight away, Steve said, ‘Yes, go on then’.

“That’s the support that I’ve got. He knows that when you were looking behind and looking at the bench, no disrespect to the bench, but it hasn’t been a bench where you could put players on to win a game. Whereas I do now. I think you could change a game now at the drop of a hat.

When asked by the Mail if Kebano was one of the Premier League players Boro thought they’d missed out on earlier in the window, Warnock replied: “Yeah I was told the manager wouldn’t let him go so I was delighted.

“It was accidental really, Alaster from Fulham rang me from thin air and the owner was on the phone, we just switched on one of these Zoom things in America and I had five minutes with him.

“After that five minutes he agreed to my request and I was delighted.

“We managed to do it in the office with Karen and Laura, how they got it done in an hour and a half was unbelievable.

“That was just for one player, the amount of paperwork you have to do so all credit to them.”

Kebano has helped Fulham win promotion from the Championship on two separate occasions and will certainly help bolster Boro’s attacking options.

The attacker has played out wide and as a No 10 for the Cottagers and his versatility will be an asset.

“He can play both,” replied Warnock when asked if Kebano could play as a No 10 for Boro.

“He has done that for Fulham on numerous occasions so it gives us another string to our bow really.”

Boro can still sign players who are free agents now the transfer window has closed, yet Warnock says he’s happy with the squad he has.

“We’ve probably got one extra than what we thought we would have because of Neeskens coming in,” added the Boro boss.

“So there’s nobody we’re looking at.

“I think we’re very lucky and I think it’s been a great window for us, if I’m honest.”



https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/sport/football/middlesbrough-fc/late-steve-gibson-phone-call-which-allowed-middlesbrough-and-neil-warnock-secure-neeskens-kebanos-transfer-fulham-3126201

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2021, 09:45:13 AM »
Recall for Bowen, Lingard to keep spot - Predicted West Ham team to take on Fulham

Our West Ham reporter has selected the team he thinks David Moyes will pick for the Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Wednesday evening

West Ham will be looking to make it back to back away wins when they travel to Fulham on Saturday following their impressive 3-1 victory against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

The Hammers made it seven wins in their past eight games and will be looking to maintain their fine form against a Fulham side who have won just once in 2021.

The Whites have not won in the league since November 30, however, they have only lost three of their previous ten league matches.

Fulham's last match was a 2-0 home defeat to Leicester City, and with The Cottagers eight points from safety, a win against West Ham is a necessity to stay in touch with the teams above them.

West Ham are currently in fifth position, 24 points, and 13 places above 18th Fulham. The two sides met in early November with The Hammers winning 1-0 thanks to an injury-time winner from Tomas Soucek.

Fulham had a gilt-edged chance to equalise with the last kick of the game from the penalty spot, however, Ademola Lookman's 'panenka' was easily saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

After just one defeat in 2021 West Ham boss David Moyes is not expected to tinker too much with his starting team. With no new injury concerns, he has an almost fully fit squad to choose from.

 With that in mind here is the West Ham XI we at football.london expect to see in a 4-2-3-1: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Lingard, Benrahma; Antonio

There is one change from the side that defeated Villa and that is Jarrod Bowen to replace Ryan Fredericks on the right-hand side of midfield.

Bowen dropped out of the lineup at Villa Park in order for the more defensive-minded Fredericks to coming in and assist Vladimir Coufal with keeping Jack Grealish quiet. A ploy that worked excellently.


 Ademola Lookman missed a late penalty as Fulham lost out against West Ham. (Image: Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Fulham do not possess a player of Grealish's quality so there will be no need for The Hammers to set out quite so defensively.

Fabianski is a mainstay in goal and should once again line-up behind the settled back four of Coufal, Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell.

The regular midfield partnership of Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice is expected to remain unchanged.

In front of them sees the one change from Villa, with Bowen starting on the right, and Said Benrahma playing off the left.

Michail Antonio will start as the lone striker with Jesse Lingard as the no.10 behind him.

Antonio, Lingard, and Benrahma already showed great signing of building a wonderful understanding together and Moyes will be hoping to see that progress further at Craven Cottage.

Mark Noble was absent from the matchday squad on Wednesday night due to family reasons, and it remains to be seen whether the club captain will be involved later today.



https://www.football.london/west-ham-united-fc/news/west-ham-fulham-predicted-team-19778050


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2021, 09:46:24 AM »
Ryan Fredericks: Facing Fulham, respect for Scott Parker and West Ham's versatile squad

Ryan Fredericks always felt his former Fulham teammate and one-time West Ham United hero Scott Parker would go on to become a manager one day.

The pair shared a dressing room and pitch for two seasons between August 2015 and June 2017, when Parker hung up his boots at the end of a successful 20-year playing career that saw the midfielder win 18 England caps, a Footballer of the Year award and three Hammer of the Year trophies.

After coaching Tottenham Hotspur’s U18s, Parker returned to Craven Cottage in July 2018 to join Slaviša Jokanović’s coaching staff before succeeding Claudio Ranieri as manager two years ago this month.

Since then Parker has led Fulham to promotion to the Premier League and retained his focus during a challenging 2020/21 season. Fredericks, for one, has not been surprised by the way his old colleague has handled himself.

“I could definitely see Scott being a future manager when I was there, as he was already showing signs of it while he was still playing,” the Hammers’ No24 confirmed. “Maybe towards the end, he went onto the backroom staff even though he was more than capable of still playing.

“The type of player he was at West Ham and Fulham was immense and, even though he was at the backend of his career, he still showed what quality he had and how professional he was every day in training and whenever he was playing as well.

“I trained up a fair few times alongside Scott at Tottenham as a kid too. He probably won’t remember me from there, but I remember going up and seeing all the first team lads and trying to do my best.

“He’s always been the same, Scott, as a player as he is as a manager now – well spoken, very professional and very good at what he does.

“He’s a really good guy. Maybe his humour doesn’t come across as much as a manager, because he has to be more well spoken and proper, but he’s really funny when you get to know him.”

Hammersmith-born Fredericks, who went on to win promotion with the Cottagers in 2018 before joining West Ham that summer, enjoyed his own spell back in his native west London and, Saturday’s game aside, hopes Fulham can avoid an immediate relegation back to the Championship.

“I’ve got no bad words to say about the club, anyone at the club or the club itself as I had good times there from start to finish,” he confirmed.

“I left there on a really high not and look forward to going back there and seeing a few familiar faces.

“After spending a few years at Fulham and doing well for them, I always look out for them. I obviously don’t want them to do well this weekend but, other than that, I want them to do well.”

While he may harbour fond memories of Fulham, Fredericks’ current concern is helping the Hammers build on their own encouraging 2020/21 campaign.

The 28-year-old returned to the team in midweek and did a fine job helping Vladimír Coufal deal with Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish during the Irons’ 3-1 win in the Midlands – a game in which debutant Jesse Lingard capped an outstanding display with two goals.

Not only does he hope to retain his place for Saturday’s teatime kick-off, but he hopes to score another three points and a sixth win in 12 away games this term.

“We’ve got a really good squad with a bit of everything – we’ve got lads who work hard, lads who want to play good football and get on the ball but also sacrifice themselves for the team like Saïd [Benrahma], Jesse [Lingard] and Michail [Antonio] who worked their socks off,” he observed. “They’re not luxury players any more. We’ve got players who do both sides and it really helps us.

“Manchester United must have some good players if they can send Jesse out on loan! We all know what he can do and that was him to a tee. He gets round the pitch and is good on the ball and his goals will be a massive help to us to achieve our goals until the end of the season.

“Every player wants to come in and do well and when the team wins, they expect to stay in the team so if I’m called on, I’ll do my best!”



https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2021/february/06-february/ryan-fredericks-facing-fulham-respect-scott-parker-and-west

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2021, 10:25:05 AM »
Parker: No comparison between Fulham and West Ham’s relegated team

Scott Parker says the feeling at Fulham is different to his relegation with West Ham as a player.

The Whites head coach went down with Saturday’s opponents in 2011 and reckons he’s using the sobering experience to good effect at Craven Cottage.

“I didn’t have the feeling of what I feel here,” he said. “I didn’t have the feeling of what I feel every day on the training field, which is my main gauge.

“You guys (media) will make their judgements on the results like everyone will and I understand that.

“But I see this group of players every day. I see the challenges we faced early on and where we needed to get to and I see a constant belief.

“When you lose football matches, and confidence is down in football squads, the first place you see it is on the training ground.

“That’s lack of energy, you’ll often find in-house bickering or problems inside the squad due to disappointment, people not happy with certain issues.

“The whole demeanour of players becomes very negative. I experienced that first hand as a player in a relegation team. I don’t see that one bit here.”

Parker revealed there was a “brutal” pre-season discussion at Fulham in which he demanded players face up to the reality of constantly being in or around the relegation places.

“I realised at the start of the season that this season was going to be a challenge for us,” he said.

“It was clear – whether we liked that or not. That was the pure honesty of it from finishing fourth last year in the Championship.

“We’ve stepped up to the league with a young squad. We needed a fighting chance and we’ve certainly got that. That needs to be maintained.”



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/parker-no-comparison-between-fulham-and-west-hams-relegated-team

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2021, 11:28:14 AM »
New rule in force for Hammers clash at Fulham

The Premier League will start their trial the use of concussion substitutes from today, meaning the Hammers trip to Craven Cottage will be one of the first eligible games for the new rule. The new regulation means up to two permanent substitutions can be made in the event of head injuries, even if all three replacements have already been used. The first match of the trial is scheduled to be the 12:30 pm kick-off between Aston Villa and Arsenal.

It will run until the end of the 2020-21 season but can be extended into the 2021-22 campaign.

The Premier League will be the first league in men’s football to introduce concussion substitutes, having formally approved the trial during a shareholders’ meeting last month.

Fifa, football’s world governing body, will also trial substitutions for actual or suspected concussion at the Club World Cup in Qatar, which starts on 4 February, though teams will only be able to make one substitution per match.

The International Football Association Board, the body that makes and approves the laws of football, approved the trials of concussion substitutes at a meeting in December. There have been growing calls for their introduction amid concern over links between head injuries in football and dementia.



https://www.claretandhugh.info/new-rule-in-force-for-hammers-clash-at-fulham/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2021, 11:29:52 AM »
Predicted line-up: David Moyes to make one key change to West Ham side for Fulham clash after dropping hint

West Ham United take on Fulham in the late afternoon kick-off today.

Fifth placed West Ham can reclaim fourth spot from Liverpool with a win at Craven Cottage.

That’s after the Hammers bounced back to the Liverpool defeat in style by comfortably beating Aston Villa 3-1 in midweek.

West Ham had looked tired and lacking incision against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Lingard makes instant impact to rejuvenate West Ham
But they were rejuvenated by a change of personnel against Villa as Jesse Lingard starred on his West Ham bow.

Moyes’s side looked extremely dangerous at Villa Park and that was reflected by the 20 attempts they had at goal.

Another key component in the win was Ryan Fredericks.

The right-back was a surprise inclusion from the start as he replaced Jarrod Bowen.

And he teamed up with Vladimir Coufal to great effect to keep Jack Grealish quiet while also providing a huge threat with his pace going the other way.

Fredericks gives Moyes a selection dilemma over Bowen
Now the dilemma for Moyes heading into the Fulham clash will be whether Fredericks retains his place.

Bowen has looked jaded of late. So much will depend on whether the extra break has given the former Hull man some time to recover.

Moyes may also decide to use the double right-back tactic again given Fulham’s danger man Ademola Lookman plays down that side.

But the Scot appeared to suggest he may make one change for the game.

Speaking to the press ahead of the match, Moyes said he will need different players against different teams and challenges.

“I’ll look to see about my team selection,” Moyes told the press (whufc.com).

“I wouldn’t call it rotating, but we made a couple of changes. We’ve tried to make sure all our players are ready to play so we might look a little bit differently.

Moyes to make one key change after dropping big hint in pre-match press conference?
“Every game gives us its own level of difficulty, like Aston Villa in midweek, so we’ll look at this game and see what we do for this one.”

That could well be taken as a hint that Bowen will come back into the side from the start against Fulham.

If he does it will be hugely exciting to see such an attacking line-up with Said Benrahma, Lingard, Bowen and of course Tomas Soucek supporting Michail Antonio.

A tantalising prospect for West Ham fans. And a somewhat daunting one for Scott Parker and his struggling but much improved Fulham.

Other than that Moyes is likely to name an unchanged team barring any last minute training ground injuries or Covid withdawals.

Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Fulham:

Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Benrahma, Bowen, Lingard, Antonio.



https://www.hammers.news/match-preview/predicted-line-up-david-moyes-to-make-one-key-change-to-west-ham-side-for-fulham-clash-after-dropping-hint/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 06/02/21...
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2021, 11:31:31 AM »
Parker’s countdown and our attacking inertia
Mike Forrest asks some questions about our lack of attacking guile.

In his last three post-match conferences, Scotty Parker has taken to providing a countdown on the number of games left to play this season.

After a lucky draw against Brighton, Parker said, “with 19 games left of this season, I have full belief in my team.” After a disappointing draw against West Brom, he said, “there’s 18 games left in the season and there’s still a long way to go”.

Finally, after the abject defeat against Leicester, he confirmed the latest number of remaining matches. “There are 17 games left this season, we’ve seen what a couple of results in a short space of time can do.”

Speaking to the media as often as a football manager does, it’s probably quite tedious. It is no surprise, then, that managers fall back on certain stock phrases or words. This recent referring to the number of games left to play is a new addition to Parker’s lexicon, but a small bit baffling.

To my eye, it reads like Parker is trying to reassure the players that they still have time to turn the dire situation around. However, as each game goes by, and no victories forthcoming, it feels more of a countdown on the number of games we have as a Premier League team.

What has gone wrong?

Attacking Inertia
The horrible start to the season was a combination of tardy recruitment and Parker trying to implement his possession-based football. On top of this, we saw performances drop off from players including Michael Hector and Mitro, anticipated by neither club nor fanbase.

To stymie the flow of defeats, and integrate new signings, Parker switched to a five at the back system. This worked well and saw some spirited performances and numerous draws. However, we have not cracked the attacking coherency needed to win games. This was typified by our best chance against Leicester being a Tosin header from a corner.

We have relied heavily on individual moments from the likes of Lookman and Frank Anguissa to produce the goods. Too often our forward players have received the ball in isolation and been immediately swarmed by the opposition. They lack consistent support and overlapping runs, meaning we are easy to mark and stifle.

Parker has overcorrected on the defensive side of things, leaving a very stilted attack. But even our defensive posture has been weak in the last three games. For instance, Brighton had an expected goals of 2.37 (xG) against us, and we have conceded four goals in the last two games.

There are many problems, but time is running out, regardless of what Parker says, for himself and the team to find a fix.

Experience an issue?
Tactics aside, this team does not know “how” to win a Premier League game. In the dugout, Parker had managed 31 Premier League games in his coaching career. We have lost 18 (58%) of those games, scored only 25 goals and conceded 49 goals.

On the pitch, our record is no better. Not including this season, the 14 players who played a part against Leicester on Wednesday have played a total of 194 Premier League games between them, in which they played at least 45 minutes or more, losing 103 of them – more than half.

We have a manager who lacks experience in winning Premier League games combined with players who have not played in the Premier League or have lost regularly.

Some might argue that prior experience in the Premier League is not a requisite for winning games. After all, Sheffield United stormed up the league last season despite having a manager and players with little-to-no top-flight football experience.

However, they benefited from a settled squad and settled tactics. Parker has had to deal with wholesale changes, both tactically and with personnel. Even the seasoned Sam Allardyce is struggling to get his West Brom motoring.

Parker and the players have had their fill of Premier League defeats, hopefully, we can enjoy the taste of victory against West Ham. A few eyes will be focussed on our wildcard, Josh Maja, who can hopefully bring some spark to a dull attack.



https://www.fulhamish.co.uk/post/2021-02-06-parkers-countdown-attacking-inertia/