Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...  (Read 1177 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2021, 09:21:47 AM »
Aleksandar Mitrovic: Fulham striker misses Everton victory after testing positive for coronavirus

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic set to miss next two Premier League games after testing positive for coronavirus; club confirmed the Serbia international's positive test prior to their victory against Everton at Goodison Park

Fulham have confirmed striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Serbia international was not part of Scott Parker's squad which won 2-0 against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday night.

Fulham confirmed the reason for Mitrovic's absence was due to a positive coronavirus test, in a tweet prior to kick-off.

It is now expected that Mitrovic will be unavailable for Fulham's next two Premier League fixtures - the first against Burnley on Wednesday, followed by a home clash against bottom club Sheffield United on Saturday.

Mitrovic was one of a number of high-profile players who broke coronavirus guidelines over the festive period after he was pictured with Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic on New Year's Eve.

Parker branded this behaviour at the time as "unacceptable" after he too was forced to self-isolate earlier in the season after a member of his household tested positive for the virus.

Fulham now enter a vital period of the season in their aim to avoid relegation and remain in the Premier League.

Victory over Everton at Goodison Park saw Parker's side close the gap between themselves and 17th-place Newcastle to seven points, prior to Newcastle's trip to Stamford Bridge where they will face Chelsea on Monday Night Football.

A win for Fulham at Turf Moor on Wednesday against relegation rivals Burnley, would see them move to within five points of Sean Dyche's men.



https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11681/12218590/aleksandar-mitrovic-fulham-striker-misses-everton-victory-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2021, 09:23:13 AM »
‘This is a night I have been dreaming about’ – Fulham’s Maja delighted with Everton display

 The 22-year-old Nigeria international has reacted to his performance for the Cottagers at Goodison Park

Josh Maja has expressed his delight after scoring twice in his first Premier League start for Fulham against Everton on Sunday night.

The 22-year-old delivered a five-star performance for the Cottagers in the encounter to help them secure a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park.

Maja joined Fulham from French club Bordeaux during the January transfer window on loan until the end of the season and has quickly settled in the team.

The forward’s effort helped the Craven Cottage outfit end their eight-game winless run, having last won a match in January.

Maja revealed he had been looking forward to a time when he would open his goalscoring account for Scott Parker’s men before achieving the feat at Goodison Park.

"It is a big one, we came into the game wanting to win it and not had the results we wanted. We are very happy with the win,” Maja told BT Sport.

"We took our chances when it came and put in another good performance again, we want to continue like this. For the whole 90 minutes, the guys worked hard and stuck to the gameplan.

"This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time, especially last night and I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality.

"Wins give the fans and players confidence and we want to take it into the next game."

Fulham manager Parker has also praised Maja, describing his performance for his side against Everton as ‘fantastic’.

“Fantastic tonight in terms of scoring two goals. The first move was brilliant and he is there to tap in and the second is a striker’s instinct to knock one in from the rebound off the post,” Parker said in a press conference.

“It has been well-documented that we have missed some big chances; the fine margins are we have not been clinical enough and tonight we were. A big boost for the team, nothing short of what they deserved.”

Maja will hope to continue his impressive showings when the Cottager takes on Burnley in their next Premier League game on February 17.

The forward has one cap for the Nigeria national team and will be expected to continue his fine club performances to boost his chances of getting regular call-ups to the Super Eagles.



https://www.goal.com/en/news/this-is-a-night-i-have-been-dreaming-about-fulhams-maja/1b2iu41lgq9q919yp0jz0w649b

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2021, 09:24:14 AM »
Fulham in sight of safety after victory over Everton



Fulham boss Scott Parker was brimming with confidence the Cottagers had it in them to avoid relegation from the Premier League after a Josh Maja brace gave them a lifeline 2-0 win at Everton on Sunday.

Nigerian striker Maja tucked in a pair of clinical goals to revive 18th-placed Fulham's hopes of avoiding the drop as they moved within seven points of safety, ending a run of 12 league games without a win.

Asked if Fulham could pull off a great escape, Parker said: "Hopefully. That is how we go about our work, we have been drawing too many games and we need to be winning them. We now go into two massive games (against Burnley away and Sheffield United at home) and onto the rest of the season.

"I have got full belief in this team, I honestly have. People judge performances on wins and losses, I have a different view because I see it every day and have to be more rational looking at my team. It gives me constant belief.

"I know what we need to do and the players do too. We can't control what is around us, we just need to go out and win football matches. If we do that I know it will be OK."

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti conceded his side were outplayed and fortunate not to lose by a bigger margin as Fulham missed a string of chances in the first half.

"The game was not good, we had problems everywhere, they put a lot of pressure on our defenders and we were not able to build up properly," the Italian told BT Sport.

"We were affected on the physical aspect because they played with a lot of intensity and we were not able to manage this.

"We don't have to lose confidence, we have to improve on our mistakes from tonight, be better physically on Wednesday (Reuters)



https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1575719-20210215.htm?spTabChangeable=0


Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2021, 09:25:53 AM »
Maja deal looks masterstroke after brace reignites Fulham’s survival bid

Everton 0 Fulham 2

Scott Parker lost out to Everton for Joshua King on deadline day but landing Josh Maja instead could prove a masterstroke in the battle for survival.

The Fulham manager turned to Maja when it became clear King was heading to Merseyside and his loan signing from Bordeaux was much more than a consolation prize on his full Premier League debut, scoring twice in a victory that moved Parker’s team within seven points of safety.

King was emblazoned on the matchday programme cover to remind Fulham of the player that slipped through their grasp but the damage had been done by the time he came off the bench and had a goal chalked off for offside.

“It’s well documented that we have missed some big chances,” Parker said. “The fine margins are that we have not been clinical enough but in this game we were and it is nothing short of what we deserve.

“I always had the feeling that it had to change for us. Josh was in the right place for the first goal and showed a striker’s instinct for the second goal.”

After sharing 15 goals in their previous two games, it was a sobering night for Carlo Ancelotti following the dramatic results against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

While Everton have games in hand, their run of four league games at Goodison without a victory is a concern for their European ambitions.

They were coping without Dominic Calvert-Lewin for just the second time this season and their England striker cannot return quick enough.

No one could upstage Maja, who was given his first start after coming off the bench against West Ham United last week.

The Nigeria forward looked dangerous from the early stages and a missed volley when Robin Olsen’s punch fell into his path was his only mistake all evening.

That chance was the start of a complete performance from Fulham, in a display belying their place in the relegation zone.

Attacks centred around Bobby Decordova-Reid, who brought others into play with his lay-offs.

He struck the post himself when his speculative back flick from Ademola Lookman’s corner dipped over Olsen and struck the post.

Lookman, returning to Goodison, went just wide when Decordova-Reid smuggled another flick his way.

Everton had Gylfi Sigurdsson leading their attack as a ‘false nine’ in Calvert-Lewin’s absence but clear chances were not coming his way.

In the first meaningful attack from the hosts Seamus Coleman raced forward and struck the foot of a post with a drive.

James Rodriguez had started the move by winning a tackle but the Colombia playmaker had little to aim for ahead of him when he got on the ball.

Maja opened the scoring three minutes into the second half following a slick move that cut through the right side of Everton’s defence. Ola Aina carried the ball forward and after exchanging passes with Lookman produced the perfect cross for Maja, who only needed to tap in.

Parker did not celebrate, urging his euphoric players to calm down. But they were jubilant again when Maja doubled the lead. He had an open goal after Reed’s shot from the edge of the area was tipped onto the post and rebounded straight to him.

“This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time, especially last night and I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality,” Maja said.

It was Fulham’s first win since November and they are relying on others getting dragged towards the bottom three, but this was a performance to instil some hope after 12 matches without a win.



https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/maja-deal-looks-masterstroke-after-brace-reignites-fulhams-survival-bid-40092098.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2021, 09:26:45 AM »
How Newcastle could end up in a relegation position by March

Newcastle United going winless in nine straight Premier League matches saw the club’s focus turn from battling for a mid-table finish to simply surviving. After a victory today for 18th-place Fulham and the schedules coming up for both clubs in the next three matches, the walls are closing in on the Magpies.

On 12/15/20, the day before the winless run started, Newcastle United sat 13th on the table with 17 points from 11 matches. On that same date, Fulham occupied 18th with eight points from 12 matches. A week later, Newcastle settled for a draw vs. 10-man Fulham.

Fast forward to today, Fulham still sit in 18th, but they have only one loss in their last five matches. They are up to 18 points from their 23 matches. The Magpies on the other hand have dropped down to 17th and have only 25 points from the same amount of matches.

With the safety net down to seven points, Newcastle find themselves in a tough spot. Over the next three matches, they face Chelsea today, then Manchester United, followed by Wolves. Unfortunately for the Magpies, Fulham face much easier competition to close out February with matches against Burnley, Sheffield United, and Crystal Palace.

The saving grace for Newcastle’s survival hopes has been that the three bottom clubs are so bad that they couldn’t find their way out. While Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion seem to have punched their tickets to the Championship in 19th and 20th, that 18th spot is definitely in play. But, with crucial injuries stacking up for Newcastle and improved form for Fulham, three wins by Fulham and three losses by NUFC would have a spot in the bottom three set for Steve Bruce’s side before the calendar turns to Match.



https://newcastletoons.com/2021/02/15/newcastle-end-relegation-position-march/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2021, 09:27:34 AM »
Just Dire

It was all so bloody predictable; so bloody Everton. A struggling team; no Premier League wins in forever and none at Goodison Park in their hsitory; looking to be on its way back out of the Premier League barring a miracle; a new signing awaiting his first goal. Then there was Everton: A place in the top five, level on points with Liverpool and six points off second place with a further two games in hand on the teams above them within reach of a side that was on the crest of a wave following Wednesday’s climactic 5-4 FA Cup win over Tottenham in extra-time. And then they turn in that kind of performance, arguably the worst of the 2020-21 season so far.

The sense was that, perhaps, Carlo Ancelotti’s gradual shift in the mentality of this squad had finally reached a tipping point in midweek where the psychological block of “Everton, that” might finally be consigned to history. But, no — collectively, this group of players remains depressingly weak and prone to shooting itself in the foot any time it gets within touching distance of achievement. Champions League? For now, you’re definitely having a laugh.

Ancelotti put the performance down to fatigue but given that only four of his players played all 210 minutes of this and the game against Tottenham, it’s an assessment that doesn’t wash. Almost everything about this horrendous performance was wrong — the team selection from the manager, his choice of at least two of the substitutions and the timing of them, the lack of tempo, desire and application from the players, all the way down to the limp attempt to mount any kind of effective late attempt to even salvage a point.

Ancelotti has made some grave miscalculations this season and the hope was that he had learned from them. No doubt the midweek cup exploits had lulled him into a false sense of optimism but there can be few occasions where selecting Gylfi Sigurdsson, André Gomes and James Rodriguez in the same team makes sense any more, particularly when you don’t have an out-and-out centre-forward at your disposal and one of those players played a gruelling two-hour cup tie just four days earlier.

Worse, it was painfully obvious before half an hour of this match had elapsed that the system the manager had gone for wasn’t working. It demanded urgent change, probably in the form of a bold, early substitution, because the writing was on the wall from the opposition’s performance. The visitors could have been two or three goals up by that point but Ancelotti stalled and even allowed the match to drift 10 minutes into the second half before acting. By then, Everton were 1-0 down and, without an attempt on target up to that point, looking nowhere near scoring apart from Seamus Coleman’s low drive that bounced off the outside of the post 10 minutes before half-time.

To give Scott Parker and his players their due, Fulham were very good and they basically played Everton off the park while diligently closing off passing lanes and making life difficult when they didn't have the ball. This wasn’t merely the Blues making them look good by how terribly they played — the visitors were quicker, sharper, more adventurous and inventive than their hosts — but, by the same token, the almost complete lack of urgency and pressure from the Toffees until it was far too late meant that the Cottagers were hardly tested.

Two meek shots on target in 90 minutes against a team that hadn’t won in 12 games spoke for itself — this was an Everton performance mystifyingly but infuriatingly bereft of any passion, ideas or penetrative football. As would have been expected, James had some of the Toffees’ best moments in terms of distribution yet he struggled throughout to make any impact and, frankly, didn’t look like he fancied the battle at all by the time he hobbled off with 68 minutes gone and the Blues 2-0 down.

The Colombian has looked like an ill-suited luxury in all of Everton’s dismal home defeats to Leeds, West Ham, Newcastle and now Fulham, unable to dictate any of the games in the manner you would expect from someone of his ability. It’s a worrying dilemma — how do you shoe-horn someone who doesn’t adapt easily to a pressing game into a team built on that defend-from-the-front strategy? — but this evening, his ineffectiveness wasn’t that surprising. Playing in a midfield devoid of any pace and an overall system lacking width, he had precious few options, no overlapping runners and he generally cut a frustrated figure as Fulham’s hungrier players buzzed around him.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence with a recurrence of his hamstring problem was always going to pose a problem but recent acquisition Josh King was ready to make his full debut and Richarlison had rattled in two excellent goals against Spurs to apparently signal that he was getting back on form. Instead, Ancelotti left King on the bench, kept the Brazilian out wide and deployed Sigurdsson as an awkward “false nine” role. The Icelandic international would finish the match as a deep-lying midfielder after Tom Davies had been harshly withdrawn, another perplexing move from Ancelotti to go with the fact that Gomes, who was pretty terrible, completed the 90 minutes.

Then there was central defence where a policy of rotation has probably been prudent during a part of the season where matches are coming along every three of four days but it has come at the cost of continuity in a very important part of the field. Today, Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey, two young defenders, were paired together for the first time between Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne.

It robbed the defence of its best distributor of the ball in Michael Keane (until he came on as a second-half substitute and Holgate was shifted to right back) and it’s tallest asset in Yerry Mina and that proved problematic because Holgate had a pretty dreadful game in his favoured central role and Everton posed no threat from attacking corners.

In the end, though Holgate was poor overall, it was a porous and over-run midfield that, at times, sat bafflingly deep and invited the kind of inroads that led to Fulham’s opener that was the bigger problem than who was at centre-half but the selection was illustrative of a complacency on Ancelotti’s part and, perhaps, an underestimation of his opponents.

Everton’s problems started early when Robin Olsen, starting again as Jordan Pickford continues to recover from a rib complaint, punched ineffectively at a free-kick but Josh Maja hooked the loose ball over from close range in the eighth minute when he might have done better.

A minute later, Bobby Decordova-Reid flicked a corner across goal and onto the post before Harrison Reed fired narrowly wide and Ademola Lookman came within inches of marking his return to Merseyside with a goal but somehow bobbled his effort the wrong side of the post.

Everton briefly threatened as the interval approached when James played Gomes in but the Portuguese's shot was well off target before Coleman went on his driving run and clipped the woodwork.

The second half was just three minutes old when the visitors got the goal they had been promising, capitalising on a complete lack of tactical shift from Everton. With the Blues' midfield dropping off, Ola Aina advanced unopposed towards the penalty area, played a one-two with Lookman and then centred for Maja to easily convert in front of goal.

Ancelotti’s response was to hook Davies, the only player apart from Abdoulaye Doucouré able to carry the ball out defence and go forwards rather than constantly looking backwards, and replace him with King and take Coleman off for Keane, a move that at least provided some forward motion out of defence.

The changes didn’t have the desired effect, though. Everton were still far too narrow, with angled balls aimed towards Digne and Richarlison fruitless when the recipient didn’t have another blue shirt within 25 yards of him. It meant that play was repetitively cycled backwards to the centre-backs and this monotony even continued into stoppage time when desperation should have led to an intense barrage of Fulham’s defence but, instead, the ball kept going horizontally in front of the West Londoners’ penalty area.

Instead, it was Fulham who almost doubled their lead within three minutes of Ancelotti’s first substitutions when Digne was dispossessed, the away side countered and Lookman smashed Ruben Loftus-Cheek's pass over the bar.

The second goal did arrive in the 65th minute, though. Reed was given space to line up a shot from distance that Olsen could only palm softly onto the post and Maja was on hand to turn the ball into the empty net.

Bernard came on for James with 22 minutes left – realistically, it should have been the more direct and pacier Alex Iwobi – and Sigurdsson finally put the ball on target with a bouncing shot from 20 yards while Keane had a tame header easily caught in the 89th minute but, on the whole, it was dreadfully poor fare from Everton.

So, once more reality sets in and in the absence of something truly remarkable happening in the next six days against Manchester City and Liverpool, Everton can forget about the Champions League and, perhaps, the Europa League as well… unless they can negotiate their way past City in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals and win the pot at Wembley in May.

Because demoralising let-downs in eminently winnable matches like this are going to keep happening, at least, it seems, until Ancelotti and Marcel Brands are able to add some more quality to this squad. However, the same notion that a manager of Ancelotti’s quality should be able to coax more consistency, better decision-making and train his players to play through the press with the ease with which teams seem able to do to his, keeps nagging away.

Top four may never have been truly realistic but if you can’t dream and on some level believe that it’s possible, particularly in a season that keeps opening the road up for the club to fast-track their three-year plan, then what’s the point? Everton under Carlo Ancelotti will, no doubt, continue to improve but for the short-term at least, the dream of something extraordinary coming out of this season is pretty much over for now. Unforgivable results like this have seen to that.



https://www.toffeeweb.com/season/20-21/comment/reports/40471.html


Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2021, 09:29:08 AM »
Maja delighted with dream full debut

A beaming Josh Maja was delighted with his ‘dream’ full debut for Fulham after his double secured the Whites’ first ever league win at Goodison Park.

The new Fulham front man, deputising for Aleksandar Mitrovic who has tested positive for coronavirus, grabbed a pair of second half goals as Scott Parker’s side utterly dominated a badly below-par Everton to revitalise their survival prospects. Maja, who moved to Craven Cottage on loan from Bordeaux on transfer deadline day, scored twice from close range as the Londoners moved to within seven points of safety with a fine win.

The former Sunderland striker, who had spent time with Fulham’s academy as a teenager, told BT Sport after the final whistle:

“It is a big one. We came into the game wanting to win it. We have not had the results we wanted – and our performances deserved better. We are very happy with the win.

“We took our chances when it came and put in another good performance again. We want to continue like this. For the whole ninety minutes, the guys worked hard and stuck to the gameplan.

“This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time – especially last night. I had a feeling it was coming and I’m pleased it became a reality. Wins give the fans and players confidence and we want to take it into the next game.”

Fulham boss Scott Parker was fulsome in his praise of the Nigerian international in his own post-match press conference.

“He was fantastic tonight in terms of scoring two goals. The first move was brilliant and he is there to tap in and the second is a striker’s instinct to knock one in from the rebound off the post. It was been well document that we are missed some big chances. The fine margins are that we have not been clinical enough and tonight we were. A big boost for the team – nothing short of what they deserved.”



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2021/02/maja-delighted-with-dream-full-debut/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2021, 09:29:47 AM »
'Everyone Knows He Can Score Goals' - Fulham Star Lookman On Maja, Historic Win Vs Everton

Ademola Lookman has reflected on Fulham's 2-0 win against Everton in the Premier League on Sunday night.

The Cottagers secured a historic win over the Toffees, their first at Goodison Park in the Premier League, thanks to Josh Maja's predatory instincts in front of goal.

Lookman was heavily involved in both goals scored by Maja, the RB Leipzig loanee bagged a secondary assist for the first goal and for the second he passed to Harrison Reed, who unleashed a shot from range that struck the post and Maja was in the right place to tap the ball home.

"It was a well-deserved three points. We dominated large parts of the game and created lots of chances," Lookman was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

"I'm happy for Josh Maja as well. Everyone knows he can score goals. We need to score goals.

"I've said before if we stick together and put the ball in the back of the net, we'll win games. We showed that today.

"We kept believing. At half-time we said we'll do the exact same thing in the second half and we scored twice.

"Our defence kept it strong towards the end of the game and we saw it out.

"It gives the team a boost of confidence and we'll take that into the next game."

Fulham, who are seven points from safety, return to action on Wednesday, February 17 when they face Burnley in a rescheduled game.

Igho Kingsley



https://www.allnigeriasoccer.com/read_news.php?nid=38963

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2021, 09:30:14 AM »
Commanding victory gives Fulham a shot in the arm

There was a point over the weekend where even the most optimistic Fulham fan must have been starting to concede that the Whites were as good as relegated in February. Fulham’s survival hopes already depended on Scott Parker’s side knitting together the sort of winning run that comes more naturally to Champions’ League contenders but when Burnley run riot at Selhurst Park the gap between eighteenth place and safety felt like a chasm.

But Parker’s belief in his squad has never wavered. A novice manager, the Fulham boss has had to rebuild this side four times. Once, when the Whites were relegated well before the end of their last season in the Premier League and he had only been in the job for a few weeks. That required a dramatic shift in the mentality at Motspur Park – something Parker has referenced regularly throughout his tenure at Craven Cottage. There were the necessary alterations that came as a result of winning the play-off final that were made all the more dramatic by the pandemic and a shortened close season. More remodelling was required when Fulham’s defence was proven to be woefully short in the opening weeks of the season, including a switch in system to successfully accommodate new acquisitions and, most recently, the arrival of new attackers was designed to give the Whites more firepower in attack.

Then there was also a switch in Fulham’s approach. Such is the desperate nature of their position at the wrong end of the table that staying in games after becoming hard to beat – a hallmark of Parker’s time in charge – simply isn’t good enough. Wins are what will dig the Whites out of the mire and that demands a greater sense of adventure. What was most impressive about last night’s remarkable performance at Goodison Park was that it was achieved without anything remotely kamikaze but a majestic mastering of the fundamentals. Fulham have always been pretty in possession with alluring link-up play and they probed patiently in front of Everton for almost the entirety of the first half. It looked like the same old story, until Josh Maja added a bit of ruthlessness in the six-yard box.

This was probably Fulham’s most complete performance under Parker. They might have pulverised Millwall at a lower level, but the dominance of an Everton side with genuine aspirations of finishing above Liverpool was so complete as to be spellbinding. Assured with the ball at feet, confident in a gameplan that had clearly been meticulously planned, the tone for such a commanding display was set in central midfield where the magnificent Harrison Reed roamed imperiously, pirouetting in a manner reminiscent of his manager, and Mario Lemina worked to reduce both the space and ball allowed to Everton’s coterie of creative players. Such was their control in midfield that Fulham’s defenders barely had to cause to worry – it was their opponents who were making last-ditch blocks and hurried clearances.

Parker’s selections were spot on. Ola Aina offered energy and drive from left back, as well as most crucially, a telling final ball when he drove beyond the excellent Ademola Lookman, eager to prove a point on his return to Goodison Park, to get to the byline. The low cross has been strangely removed from Fulham’s football for much of the season but the delivery supplied for Maja’s opener was both simplistic and superb – the sort of service old-fashioned number nine’s thrive upon. Bobby Decordova-Reid buzzed around the fringes of the Everton penalty area with real intent, popping up all over the field with clever touches and passes as he has all year, whilst there were more encouraging signs from Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There might have been a temptation to revert to the tried and tested ploy of playing Ivan Cavaleiro up front, which has worked to a degree against the stronger sides, but Parker’s faith in Maja was rewarded. It may be tempting to consider what might have happened had a striker with his skillset been available for the crunch matches at West Brom and Brighton last month – but it is already clear that he’s added plenty to Fulham’s previously toothless attack. There’s pace and power to worry defenders but also an intelligence about his movement that suggests he may flourish in the top flight.

Consider the way he snaffled both goals. They looked like simple finishes 4but they were made both by artful anticipation and clever runs. He darted away from Mason Holgate to find space behind a clutch of Everton defenders to slide home Aina’s low ball in and break the deadlock at a time when plenty of Fulham fans were wondering if the goal the performance merited would ever come. Maja’s desire was evident in the way the vital second came upon. He did brilliantly to hold up a hopeful ball forward and bring it under his spell before spreading the play smartly out wide. When Reed rifled in a shot from distance, Maja was on the move. The contrast between the striker and a static Everton backline when the ball bounced back off the post was instructive – and it left him with the easiest of finishes.

You could tell from the broad smiles in the post-match interviews that this victory will have done wonders for Fulham’s confidence. They will travel to Turf Moor, another place of pain for the Whites for far too long, will renewed belief for another high stakes encounter on Wednesday. It will be a very different contest – Sean Dyche’s side won’t allow their opponents anything like the freedom to pop the ball around that Fulham enjoyed against Everton – but there can be no doubting that this side are up for the fight. Another great escape doesn’t seem quite as fanciful now.



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2021/02/commanding-victory-gives-fulham-a-shot-in-the-arm/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2021, 09:30:57 AM »
Nigeria’s Maja scores brace on Fulham debut

Josh Maja said he saw a dream become reality as he marked his full debut with a brace to help Fulham boost their Premier League survival hopes with a deserved win at Everton.

The visitors were by far the better side in the first half but were left frustrated as they missed several opportunities to score, with Bobby Decordova-Reid hitting the post and Harrison Reed driving over.

But their dominance was rewarded early in the second half when Nigerian striker Maja – a deadline day signing on loan from Bordeaux – slid in to turn home Ola Aina’s cross from close range.

Maja, 22, then capped a superb debut with a second, tapping in after Reed’s shot had hit the woodwork.

The former Sunderland striker said: “This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time. I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality.

“We took our chances when it came and put in another good performance again, we want to continue like this.”

Everton were poor throughout and although Seamus Coleman clipped the outside of the post in the first half, they rarely looked like scoring.

Joshua King did have the ball in the back of the net late on but it was ruled out for offside.

There is still plenty of work to do for Fulham to escape the drop, with this victory cutting the deficit to safety to seven points, but it will significantly boost their hopes they they can fight their way out of trouble.

Defeat for Everton, meanwhile, means they remain seventh on 37 points.

Fulham striker Josh Maja is just the second Nigerian player to score a brace on his first Premier League start, following Efan Ekoku for Norwich City back in May 1993 (v Middlesbrough).

Also, Ola Aina assisted Maja’s first goal. The previous Premier League goal scored and assisted by players representing Nigeria was on 17 April 2010 when Yakubu scored for Everton from a Victor Anichebe pass in a 3-2 win over Blackburn.

Maja and Aina were born in London but play for Nigeria. BBC



https://thenationonlineng.net/nigerias-maja-scores-brace-on-fulham-debut/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2021, 09:35:43 AM »
Jack and Loz Not at the Cottage - Blog 166
Date: 14th February 2021

Opposition: Everton

Score: 0-2

Fulham goal scorer: Josh Maja 2

MOTM (goal scoring): Josh Maja. Unbelievable

MOTM (almost goal scoring): Harrison Reed. Unplayable

Dinner: Loz - salmon stir fry and Cav(aleiro) Sav; Jack - paella and Sauvignon Blanc

It is appropriate to fall back in love on Valentine’s Day. Our affections for Fulham weren’t exactly waning; it was more that we were trying to protect ourselves from heartbreak. But recent games have felt like a broken record - Fulham play well but lose or draw - but then we went to Goodson Park and broke a record.

Before Sunday, our winless run at Everton was the longest ever losing away streak against a single club in England. To go to such a barren hunting ground, to play a resurgent Everton team, desperately needing 3 points sounded like a recipe for disappointment, another blog about what might have been, another episode in our long goodbye to the Premier League.

But Scott Parker, undermined and under pressure, doesn’t know when he’s beaten. Yes, it was a good time to play Everton - missing their star man and tired from their cup exploits - but they are top 6 club with an excellent manager and world class players. And Fulham made them look clueless.

This was an achingly good team performance, almost flawless from everyone. And it wasn’t just the skills, or the pace, or the link up play, or the possession, or the interceptions, or the energy, or the chances created, or the shots taken, or the calmness of the defence, or the cleverness of the midfield, or the trickery of the attack. It was the teamwork, the commitment, the confidence, the spirit, the sheer self-belief of a team which refuses to give up.

It felt like it might have been another unsuccessful transfer window. With Josh King choosing Everton after a day-long battle for his signature, Fulham were left with a second choice Josh - returning academy graduate and new loanee Josh Maja. We were suitably impressed with his cameo against West Ham and interested to see what he could do leading the line from the start. The truth was quickly revealed - this is no second class Josh; this is our missing link - fast and strong and with a finishing ability we haven’t seen for a while. He knows where the goal is and he’s in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net. In the War of the Joshes, Fulham have won.

And in this sublime team performance, one man still managed to stand out. Harrison Reed was involved in literally every move of the match. If there is a world record for interceptions he beat it. If finding space on a football pitch was an Olympic event he would win it. When we occasionally lost the ball (to a top 6 side with one of the best managers in the country) a few seconds later Harrison Reed would pop up somewhere on the pitch having won it back. He attacked, he defended, he shot, he did bicycle kicks, he ran the game from start to finish.

The bronze medal in a very tight MOTM competition goes to the tireless Ola Aina who looked like he’d been playing left back all season and with Josh Maja all his life. His cross for the first goal was brilliant and he and Maja almost repeated the trick a few minutes later. On the other wing, Kenny Tete was almost as good, containing the lively Dinge and firing balls into the box pretty much simultaneously.

Bobby Reid was superb, especially in the first half when he was acting as playmaker, Lookman was as lively as ever and whilst Ruby was no weak link he was more powerful than accurate. Because Harrison Reed was so prominent it fell to Lemina to do the unglamorous sweeping up but he was very effective. In combination with Andersen and Tosin, Mario made sure Everton were reduced to shooting from outside the box and even then, not very often.

The first half was ridiculously one sided - Everton were pegged right back, dazed and confused by the movement of the forwards and hardly able to get out of their own half. Once again, we were toying with a first class side but once again, we were our own worst enemies in front of goal.

Maybe Josh Maja had an extra orange segment at half time, maybe Scott Parker said something which particularly resonated but the second half performance was even better than the first and by midway through the half Everton were just trying to save their goal difference.

But winning is hard when you’re not used to it. 2-0 up and 20 minutes to play felt unsettling and dangerous. Could we see the game out? Once Josh had been taken off our goal threat diminished and although Frank was a steadying presence the team still looked nervy as the clock ran down.

In the end though, we didn’t need to worry. Joa and co had it covered and we have come away with a clean sheet as well as a win and the broken record. This was a victory for perseverance - and that made it all the more richly deserved.

After months of being the nearly men, Fulham finally look like the whole package. This is the starting 11 we want to see for the rest of the season (give or take Frank). Scott has stuck with his tactics and we have stuck with him. Now he needs to stick with a line up that works.

Random musings:-

- the black socks looked good

- disappointingly, Carlo Ancelotti didn’t drink a cup of tea during the game

- the ref had a good match

- we didn’t mention Areola in the match report because he had hardly anything to do

- what was on Scott’s billet doux to Bobby, delivered by Go Between Frank?

- did anyone else notice the pot plant on the side of the pitch?

Even though 7 loan players started the match this was no Mercenary FC - this was a team playing for their manager and, in some cases, for a permanent place at the Club. This is a team to be proud of.

This was only the first game in a big week and the other two certainly won’t be easy. There is a glimmer of hope but we shouldn’t get carried away. But watching the goal celebrations and listening to the post match interviews one thing is clear - the players think they can survive, so we need to start thinking it too.

Fulham are a hard team to love, but by God they’re worth it.



https://werdsmith.com/p/Nf9UZxuAx4nuH

Offline OldBrownShoe

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2021, 09:57:12 AM »
Which players do we have on loan, with option to buy, no option...? Which players did we permanently sign this season? 049:gif


Offline General

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2021, 02:41:01 PM »
Which players do we have on loan, with option to buy, no option...? Which players did we permanently sign this season? 049:gif

Bought permanently - Reed, Tete, Tosin, Robinson, Kongolo

Loan with no option - Andersen, Lookman, RLC, Maja?

Loan with option - Aina, Areola (apparently), Lemina

I think that's it?

Offline OldBrownShoe

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2021, 03:00:34 PM »
 :54: Many thanks General.

Offline Dodgin

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2021, 05:19:00 PM »
I read that Maja was available tor 9 Million


Offline Fulham1959

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 15/02/21...
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2021, 07:35:51 PM »
Jack and Loz Not at the Cottage - Blog 166
Date: 14th February 2021

Opposition: Everton

Score: 0-2

Fulham goal scorer: Josh Maja 2

MOTM (goal scoring): Josh Maja. Unbelievable

MOTM (almost goal scoring): Harrison Reed. Unplayable

Dinner: Loz - salmon stir fry and Cav(aleiro) Sav; Jack - paella and Sauvignon Blanc

It is appropriate to fall back in love on Valentine’s Day. Our affections for Fulham weren’t exactly waning; it was more that we were trying to protect ourselves from heartbreak. But recent games have felt like a broken record - Fulham play well but lose or draw - but then we went to Goodson Park and broke a record.

Before Sunday, our winless run at Everton was the longest ever losing away streak against a single club in England. To go to such a barren hunting ground, to play a resurgent Everton team, desperately needing 3 points sounded like a recipe for disappointment, another blog about what might have been, another episode in our long goodbye to the Premier League.

But Scott Parker, undermined and under pressure, doesn’t know when he’s beaten. Yes, it was a good time to play Everton - missing their star man and tired from their cup exploits - but they are top 6 club with an excellent manager and world class players. And Fulham made them look clueless.

This was an achingly good team performance, almost flawless from everyone. And it wasn’t just the skills, or the pace, or the link up play, or the possession, or the interceptions, or the energy, or the chances created, or the shots taken, or the calmness of the defence, or the cleverness of the midfield, or the trickery of the attack. It was the teamwork, the commitment, the confidence, the spirit, the sheer self-belief of a team which refuses to give up.

It felt like it might have been another unsuccessful transfer window. With Josh King choosing Everton after a day-long battle for his signature, Fulham were left with a second choice Josh - returning academy graduate and new loanee Josh Maja. We were suitably impressed with his cameo against West Ham and interested to see what he could do leading the line from the start. The truth was quickly revealed - this is no second class Josh; this is our missing link - fast and strong and with a finishing ability we haven’t seen for a while. He knows where the goal is and he’s in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net. In the War of the Joshes, Fulham have won.

And in this sublime team performance, one man still managed to stand out. Harrison Reed was involved in literally every move of the match. If there is a world record for interceptions he beat it. If finding space on a football pitch was an Olympic event he would win it. When we occasionally lost the ball (to a top 6 side with one of the best managers in the country) a few seconds later Harrison Reed would pop up somewhere on the pitch having won it back. He attacked, he defended, he shot, he did bicycle kicks, he ran the game from start to finish.

The bronze medal in a very tight MOTM competition goes to the tireless Ola Aina who looked like he’d been playing left back all season and with Josh Maja all his life. His cross for the first goal was brilliant and he and Maja almost repeated the trick a few minutes later. On the other wing, Kenny Tete was almost as good, containing the lively Dinge and firing balls into the box pretty much simultaneously.

Bobby Reid was superb, especially in the first half when he was acting as playmaker, Lookman was as lively as ever and whilst Ruby was no weak link he was more powerful than accurate. Because Harrison Reed was so prominent it fell to Lemina to do the unglamorous sweeping up but he was very effective. In combination with Andersen and Tosin, Mario made sure Everton were reduced to shooting from outside the box and even then, not very often.

The first half was ridiculously one sided - Everton were pegged right back, dazed and confused by the movement of the forwards and hardly able to get out of their own half. Once again, we were toying with a first class side but once again, we were our own worst enemies in front of goal.

Maybe Josh Maja had an extra orange segment at half time, maybe Scott Parker said something which particularly resonated but the second half performance was even better than the first and by midway through the half Everton were just trying to save their goal difference.

But winning is hard when you’re not used to it. 2-0 up and 20 minutes to play felt unsettling and dangerous. Could we see the game out? Once Josh had been taken off our goal threat diminished and although Frank was a steadying presence the team still looked nervy as the clock ran down.

In the end though, we didn’t need to worry. Joa and co had it covered and we have come away with a clean sheet as well as a win and the broken record. This was a victory for perseverance - and that made it all the more richly deserved.

After months of being the nearly men, Fulham finally look like the whole package. This is the starting 11 we want to see for the rest of the season (give or take Frank). Scott has stuck with his tactics and we have stuck with him. Now he needs to stick with a line up that works.

Random musings:-

- the black socks looked good

- disappointingly, Carlo Ancelotti didn’t drink a cup of tea during the game

- the ref had a good match

- we didn’t mention Areola in the match report because he had hardly anything to do

- what was on Scott’s billet doux to Bobby, delivered by Go Between Frank?

- did anyone else notice the pot plant on the side of the pitch?

Even though 7 loan players started the match this was no Mercenary FC - this was a team playing for their manager and, in some cases, for a permanent place at the Club. This is a team to be proud of.

This was only the first game in a big week and the other two certainly won’t be easy. There is a glimmer of hope but we shouldn’t get carried away. But watching the goal celebrations and listening to the post match interviews one thing is clear - the players think they can survive, so we need to start thinking it too.

Fulham are a hard team to love, but by God they’re worth it.



https://werdsmith.com/p/Nf9UZxuAx4nuH

What a brilliant report !