Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...  (Read 562 times)

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« on: March 05, 2021, 12:04:04 AM »

West Brom

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 12:07:08 AM »
Fulham 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Tosin Adarabioyo's own goal was the first time Fulham had conceded the opening goal in six Premier League games

Tottenham recorded consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since November as Jose Mourinho's side survived late Fulham pressure at Craven Cottage.

Not since beating Manchester City to move top of the table on 21 November had Spurs won back-to-back games, but a Tosin Adarabioyo own goal ensured the visitors backed up Sunday's impressive 4-0 victory over Burnley with a hard-fought three points.

Making a first league start since the opening day, Dele Alli played a key role in the visitors' 19th-minute opener as he fed the ball wide to Son Heung-min before meeting the South Korean's low cross - though Adarabioyo inadvertently got the decisive touch.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris produced a fine save to tip Joachim Andersen's header on to the crossbar and was again called upon to deny Adarabioyo from the resulting corner as Fulham pushed for an equaliser after half-time.

Fulham - who remain three points from safety - were ultimately left aggrieved by a controversial video assistant referee decision to disallow Josh Maja's deserved equaliser just after the hour, as Mario Lemina was penalised for handball in the build-up despite his arm being by his side.

Harry Kane was denied from a diving header by Alphonse Areola in the closing stages, but Mourinho's side held firm under intense pressure from the hosts to move to within four points of the top four.

Third win in a week for Spurs
Alli had not started in the Premier League since being removed at half-time against Everton almost six months ago, but the England international replaced Lucas Moura in an exciting Spurs front four behind Gareth Bale, Son and Kane.

Mourinho said it was "amazing" to have Alli back firing following his performance against Austrian side Wolfsberger in the Europa League last week, when he scored a superb overhead kick in a promising all-round performance.

The 24-year-old impressed with an energetic display during a first half which saw the Spurs attack gradually click into gear, then ignite as Kane missed a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead but headed Son's cross too close to Areola.

Bale, also given a start despite Mourinho suggesting the Welshman might not be ready four days after his standout performance against Burnley, was the catalyst for the opener, turning quickly in midfield to set Alli away.

Alli drove confidently at the retreating Fulham defence and continued his run into the box to meet Son's cross, though the playmaker's flick was heading wide before Adarabioyo's unfortunate touch.

It was a rather different tale in the second half, which saw Alli and Bale removed after 67 minutes and Moussa Sissoko introduced in response to Fulham's growing dominance. It was far from convincing in the end, but a third win in a week makes for happy reading for Mourinho.

Fulham unfortunate to finish empty-handed
Fulham earned a point with a second-half goal in January's reverse fixture, and Scott Parker will undoubtedly feel his side deserved at least as much from this encounter.

Despite their precarious position in the table, this was the first time in six Premier League games Fulham conceded the opening goal and they responded admirably in their push for parity.

They believed they had achieved just that when on-loan Bordeaux striker Maja finished coolly into the bottom corner, but VAR had other ideas.

Lemina was stood a couple of metres away, with his arms by his side, as Davinson Sanchez attempted to clear the ball. Instead, it struck Lemina and bounced kindly for Maja to finish before the hosts' celebrations were cut short.

The game epitomised Fulham's recent displays - they are defensively sound, conceding one goal in five games prior to this match, and comfortable in possession, but they remain profligate in attack. By full-time, they had managed 11 shots to Spurs' nine.

However, Parker's side now have every chance of avoiding relegation following their recent five-game unbeaten run - a remarkable turnaround considering they were 10 points adrift of 17th-placed Newcastle only 19 days ago.

Fulham are dealing in fine margins, and will need those key moments to go in their favour as a tough run continues against Liverpool and Manchester City in their next two games.

'That's the rule' - what they said
Fulham boss Scott Parker speaking to BBC Sport: "We fully deserved something out of it. The endeavour was there for all to see."

On the disallowed goal: "I'm not going to complain - that's the rule. If it hits your arm it gets disallowed. I don't know what he can physically do. Probably a bit of common sense needs to prevail in that rule but I'm not saying it's not the right decision because by the rule it is [correct]."

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho: "It was a tough game. They play very well, they don't score many but they don't concede many either.

"We had chances to kill it and we didn't and then the game becomes very similar to what we have had in other games. Hugo [Lloris] is the best French goalkeeper and made a couple of saves to show it."

Fulham's London derby woes - the stats

    Tottenham have won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since winning four in a row in November. They had lost five of their previous six league games before this.
    This was only Spurs' fourth 1-0 win in the Premier League where the only goal was an own goal, but the second to come under Jose Mourinho.
    Tottenham have won each of their past six away Premier League games against Fulham, stretching back to the 2010-11 season.
    Fulham are without a win in 22 Premier League London derbies and have failed to score in each of their past four.
    Fulham have failed to score in eight home Premier League games this season - the joint most of any side.

What's next?

Fulham travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday (14:00 GMT), before Tottenham host Crystal Palace later that day (19:15).

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2021, 12:08:24 AM »
Post-Spurs Press Conference

Scott Parker accepted that Fulham’s equaliser was correctly ruled out by the letter of the law, but that didn’t make it any easier to swallow.

The Whites battered Tottenham Hotspur in the second half and thought they’d hit a deserved equaliser through Josh Maja’s sweeping strike.

But VAR showed that the ball ricocheted off Mario Lemina’s arm en route to Maja, and the goal was subsequently ruled out despite the fact that Lemina’s arm was down by his side.

The law indicates that if the ball comes off an attacking player’s arm in the build-up to a goal, it must be disallowed, regardless of the accidental nature.

“I understand why the goal was not given tonight, that’s the rule,” Parker said. “I don’t agree with that rule, because looking at it, I don’t know what physically else he can do. If it doesn’t hit his arm, it hits his thigh.

“But I’m not complaining about that, the referee’s just acted to the law. Maybe just a little bit of common sense in those moments.

“We’ve got VAR, so you can always look back and really work out whether there’s a clear advantage been had in that moment, and I think tonight there wasn’t a clear advantage.

“We are trying to make the game so pure and so sterile, to control every single phase, every single moment to an absolute tee, and that’s where the problem lies for me.

“What do we want to see as fans, as spectators? Goals, excitement, and I’m sorry to say VAR is killing every bit of that. You’re losing the raw emotion of the game we absolutely love.”

The equaliser would have been the least Fulham deserved, after we penned our Champions League-chasing opponents into their own half for pretty much the entirety of the second period.

“We did more than enough to win this game, let alone get something out of it,” Parker said. “We were superb second half.

“For the pressure and relentlessness we showed, anyone who says we didn’t deserve something probably wasn’t watching the same game I was.

“First half I thought we started the game well and then didn’t really stamp our way on the game in terms of what I want from the team. I want us to play like a top, top side and I feel like we didn’t take the game enough to Spurs.

“Second half we did every bit of that to be fair, I thought we were fantastic second half in terms of the way we played, our endeavour, the way we moved the ball, the way we were really dynamic in those moments as we looked to try and get ourselves back in the game.

“We should have got something out of the game tonight. We’ve not done that, and that’s disappointing, but overall it was a first class performance from us.”

The media were effusive in their praise for Fulham’s performance in the post-match press conference, and when it was put to Parker that his team will survive if they continue to play like that, our Head Coach replied: “I honestly think that, and I honestly believe that.

“We’ve played against a fantastic team, a top football club. They’ve got arguably the best front three in the division.

“And tonight, if you were someone who didn’t understand or it was the first time you were watching, I think you wouldn’t know how the two teams are or where they’re placed.

“We’ve got constant belief here, constant belief that we’ll get results with performances like that, and we need to maintain that.”

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2021, 12:10:47 AM »
Man United fans fume over disallowed Fulham equaliser following Stamford Bridge controversy

he Manchester United contingent taking in the action between Fulham and Tottenham this evening have flooded to social media, to reveal their frustrations with the current handball rule.

Spurs get the job done… Just

One of Thursday’s three Premier League fixtures played out at Craven Cottage a short time ago.

The clash saw London rivalries restored, in a derby showdown between Fulham and Spurs.

The clash of course marked a crucial one at both ends of the Premier League table, with the hosts embroiled in a tightly contested relegation scrap, and Jose Mourinho’s visitors aiming to get their hunt for a top-4 berth back on track.

And, when all was said and done at Craven Cottage, it was Mourinho and co. who emerged victorious.

A solitary strike, netted inside the opening 20 minutes, eventually proved all that separated the sides upon the full-time whistle sounding at Craven Cottage.

The goal actually came courtesy of one of Fulham’s stars, after Dele Alli’s effort, which was headed just wide, was directed home by the unfortunate Tosin Adarabioyo:

Fulham, to their credit, pushed hard for an equaliser over the course of the 2nd-half, but just couldn’t manage to carve out the one real piece of quality required to get themselves back on level terms.

Reds fume

Whilst, in the end, the Cottagers came up short, however, it had appeared as though Scott Parker and co. had in fact bagged their crucial equaliser shortly after the hour-mark.

This came when a mixup at the back on the part of Spurs saw the ball drop to Josh Maja, who rifled a superb low finish home at Hugo Lloris’ near post.

As Fulham’s stars wheeled away in celebration, though, dreaded word of a VAR check was forthcoming.

In turn, following thorough inspection of the incident on the part of those at Stockley Park, it was eventually decided that the goal was to be ruled out, after the ball struck Mario Lemina’s arm seconds before Maja lashed home.

The infraction on Lemina’s part was, in truth, the very definition of accidental, but nevertheless, by the current rules of game, classed as ‘handball’ due to its direct role in leading to a goal.

This did not stop viewers of the clash, particularly those of a Manchester United persuasion making their frustrations known with the state of the current handball rule known.

This comes after the Red Devils were of course denied a spot-kick at Stamford Bridge over the weekend, after the ball struck the hand of Callum Hudson-Odoi in the Chelsea box:

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 12:11:43 AM »
Premier League must review the ludicrous handball law that could relegate Fulham

Scott Parker's side were denied a point by a decision that was correct by the letter of the law but not in the spirit of the game.

If Fulham are relegated from the Premier League this season by one point or less, they will look back at Thursday night’s 1-0 defeat against Tottenham and curse their luck – and the ludicrous state of the handball law.

Josh Maja thought he had equalised midway through the second half for Scott Parker’s side, who had spent the first period under pressure but came out and dominated the second 45.

The on-loan Bordeaux striker’s joy was short lived, though. VAR proved that in the build up to the goal, the ball had struck the hand of team-mate Mario Lemina.

Now, this was not a deliberate act of handball. Indeed, the ball was rifled at the midfielder from point-blank range by Davinson Sanchez.

It was not even a case whereby Lemina had his hand outside of the silhouette of his body. His arm was glued to his side and had it not been there – ironically in a position the laws would likely deem ‘unnatural’ – the clearance would likely have cannoned off his thigh in any case.

Unfortunately for Fulham, the law states that any handball that results in a goal, accidental or not, is cause for punishment.

Even more unfortunately for Parker’s luckless troops, VAR was on hand to study the minutiae of the incident. Had it not been employed, there is little chance than any of the on-field officials would have paid any heed to Spurs’ hopeful claims of foul play.

Perhaps the most ludicrous aspect of the whole incident, however, is that had the metaphorical boot been on the other foot – that Maja had attempted a shot that had struck Sanchez’s arm in a similar position – the laws would have instructed the referee to turn a blind eye to it.

So, this is a case of an infringement that is quite literally a foul in one area of the pitch but not in another.

It is a crazy state of affairs.

The Premier League sensibly acted to eradicate such punishment on defenders, albeit at a rather bizarre mid-season point, but their action did nothing to help offensive players. It was an oversight as ridiculous as the current law.

When this loophole is finally closed – as it must surely be – it will come too late for Fulham, for whom it could cost their Premier League football.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2021, 12:12:56 AM »
Tottenham survive Fulham threat as hosts denied by VAR handball call

Tottenham hung on to claim a 1-0 win over a Fulham side who may count themselves unlucky not to get anything out of the game.

Spurs took the lead in the first half, but made hard work of keeping hold of it. Fulham even had a goal disallowed by VAR, denying them a share of the spoils.

Jose Mourinho handed a first Premier League start since the opening day to Spurs midfielder Dele Alli. Gareth Bale was also among the starters, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min completing a star-studded front four.

The attacking quartet began to click, with Son setting up Bale for an early chance. However, the Wales forward was offside anyway.

Three of the front four combined to give Tottenham the lead a few minutes later. Bale sent Alli through, with the midfielder sending the ball to Son before getting it back and flicking it towards goal.

The ball deflected off Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo and went in as an own goal to make it 1-0 after 19 minutes.

Fulham had the last chance of the half, with Antonee Robinson creating danger from the left flank. He set up Josh Maja, who teed it up for Mario Lemina – but the midfielder could only shoot over.

Fulham pressure builds

The hosts asked more questions of Spurs after the break. Hugo Lloris was forced into a smart save to deny Tosin, for example.

Fulham then thought they had equalised in the 62nd minute. Davinson Sanchez’s clearance rebounded off Lemina and into the path of Maja, who produced a fine finish.

However, his first Craven Cottage goal was ruled out by VAR when it was found that the ball had struck Lemina’s arm.

It was a cruel blow for Fulham, who ended the game with more shots and possession than their visitors.

Spurs had their moments, with Alphonse Areola having to deny Kane in the final 10 minutes. But it was Fulham who looked more likely to get the next goal.

Ultimately, it never came, giving Tottenham a much-needed win. It marks the first time Mourinho’s side have won away in the Premier League in their last four attempts.

Fulham, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2021, 12:15:25 AM »
Blow for Fulham as Spurs win derby clash

 Fulham’s Premier League survival hopes have taken a huge dent after a controversial defeat at Craven Cottage.

Trailing to a first-half own goal by Tosin, Fulham laid siege to Tottenham’s goal in the second period and looked to have equalised through Josh Maja’s smart 68th-minute finish.

However, their joy was short-lived when, despite no protests from the Spurs players, VAR adjudged the ball hit Mario Lemina on the arm before falling to Maja and the goal was chalked off.

The Whites had plenty of chances to score, with Lemina and Joachim Andersen hitting the woodwork but their struggles in front of goal continued and they remain three points adrift of safety and have now played a game more than fourth-bottom Newcastle.

The goal came when Dele Alli’s close range effort went in after deflecting off the luckless Tosin.

Spurs should have made the game safe five minutes from time when Alphonse Areola kept out Harry Kane from close range.

Fulham’s next two matches are at Liverpool on Sunday and home to Manchester City next Saturday.

Fulham: Areola, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson (Bryan 70), Reed, Lemina, Lookman, Loftus-Cheek (Anguissa 66), Ivan Cavaleiro (Mitrovic 66), Maja.
Subs not used: Tete, Ream, Decordoca-Reid, Onomah, Kongolo, Ramirez.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2021, 12:17:34 AM »
'Hands by your side is handball as well now?!': Peter Crouch leads fans' fury at 'ridiculous' call to disallow Fulham equaliser against Tottenham after ball struck Mario Lemina's arm... as Twitter bemoans rule that is 'killing the game'

    Striker Josh Maja believed he had equalised for Fulham against Tottenham
    The Nigerian beat Hugo Lloris with a cool finish low into the net at the near post
    But VAR checked whether Mario Lemina had blocked a clearance with his arm
    And David Coote soon overturned his decision, much to the ire of Fulham fans

Peter Crouch led a series of tweets criticising VAR's decision to controversially rule out Fulham striker Josh Maja's equaliser in their 1-0 home defeat by Tottenham due to handball against Mario Lemina.

Nigeria international Maja thought he had levelled things up in the 62nd minute after squeezing a shot past Hugo Lloris, with Tosin Adarabioyo's first-half own goal having given Spurs the lead.

But Maja only received the ball after Tottenham centre-back Davinson Sanchez had tried to clear the ball, but that was blocked by midfielder Lemina.

Fans have fumed at the decision to disallow Fulham's equaliser due to handball by Mario Lemina

Josh Maja thought he had levelled things up at Craven Cottage in the second half

And following subsequent checks and consultation with VAR, referee David Coote overturned the goal after the ball from Sanchez's clearance was shown to have struck Lemina's arm - albeit from a short distance away - much to the surprise of former Spurs striker Crouch and fans similarly left aghast.

Crouch tweeted: 'Hands by your side is handball as well now ?! Ok,' followed by a grimacing emoji.

Another also tried to show some dry humour given the incident, adding: 'Can't believe Lemina has raised his arm like that,' followed by two angry face emojis.

Others were far more indignant, with one Twitter user stating: 'What on earth can Mario Lemina do there? The ball just come and hit his hand which was in it's natural position. This is getting ridiculous now!!!'

But the goal was checked to see if Lemina had handled from Davinson Sanchez's clearance

Another agreed that Lemina was helpless in the situation, adding: 'These rules are ridiculous, it’s not even borderline anymore. What is Lemina supposed to do there? Change the handball rules and stop killing the game.'

Another supporter meanwhile was left raging that VAR had not intervened for Spurs' goal, adding: 'The game is gone. The laws state that is giving an advantage for us in regard to the Lemina handball.

'But you're telling me Kane in an offside position isn't influencing Tosin for their goal. These rules and VAR can just get in the bin.'

Others were similarly frustrated at techonology's intervention, with one stating: 'VAR in the mud again. That Fulham handball decision was disgraceful,' while another added: 'That handball against Fulham is probably the worst call I've seen all season. Game's gone fr.'

The handball rule has already been changed this season, but one called for another review, stating: 'Handball rule needs to be changed if that’s lead to VAR overturning the Fulham goal.

'The Spurs player kicks the ball against the Fulham player from under five yards. So clearly there won’t be any realistic human reaction to move his arm.


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2021, 12:18:08 AM »
Fulham denied precious point by contentious handball call

Fulham missed the chance to move out of the relegation on a frustrating night at Craven Cottage as Tottenham recorded a third successive win after an unfortunate own goal from Tosin Adarabioyo. The tall defender, who has made such an impact since moving from Manchester City in October, turned Dele Alli’s flick into his own net to settle a tight London derby. Scott Parker’s side probably deserved a point on the strength of an improved second-half showing but saw Josh Maja’s equaliser chalked off by the video assistant referee for an innocuous-looking handball by Mario Lemina.

Alli made the most of his first league start since the opening day of the season, driving forward from his number ten position to turn Heung-Min Son’s terrific cross towards the far corner. The final touch came off the luckless Adarabioyo, but Alli’s instinct for getting into telling positions in the opposition penalty area – something Jose Mourinho’s side have lacked at times this season – was richly rewarded. Spurs looked threatening in the final third after Mourinho played Gareth Bale, Son, Alli and Kane in the same starting eleven with the England skipper spurning two glorious header chances to give the visitors the lead as well as falling to the turf theatrically in the hope of winning a penalty.

Fulham had began the sharper, with their incisive passing and link-up play between their midfielders almost catching Tottenham cold. Ruben Loftus-Cheek created the first opening with a powerful run through the heart of the Spurs midfield but, as all too often this season, his shot lacked conviction and Mario Lemina ballooned the rebound high into the Hammersmith End. Loftus-Cheek almost had another sight of goal when a beautiful reverse pass from the excellent Harrison Reed prised open the Tottenham defence, but a heavy first touch allowed Davinson Sanchez to snuff out the danger. Right on the stroke of half-time a rampaging run from Antonee Robinson fashioned a great opportunity for Lemina, who fired unforgivably over from eight yards.

The home side began the second period with a similar intensity. Joachim Andersen, who regularly switched the play with precise long passes, extended Hugo Lloris with a looping header and the French goalkeeper then fielded a headed effort from Adarabioyo at the ensuing corner. Loftus-Cheek sent a effort over the edge of the box after another excellent passing move that saw Robinson and Lookman, who were posing Tottenham serious problems down the left flank, link up impressively.

The game’s most controversial moment arrived when Maja, who had been hitherto well-marshalled by Toby Alderweireld at the heart of the Tottenham defence, punished a sloppy clearance by Sanchez with a powerful near-post finish that crept past Lloris. The goal was disallowed via the VAR for a handball by Lemina, although the ball bounced back off the on-loan Southampton midfielder’s wrist, when his arm was down by his side and hadn’t moved. It seemed exceptionally harsh – and no doubt that particular rule will be revised come the end of the season.

Fulham kept pushing for an equaliser, but even after introducing Aleksandar Mitrovic to join Maja in attack, couldn’t conjure another clear-cut chance. Spurs went close to sealing it the other end, with Alphonse Areola spreading himself well to deny Kane after Erik Lamela had played him in. The Argentine was excellent off the substitutes’ bench for Tottenham, having already produced a sublime sequence of skills tight to the byline to almost find Kane minutes earlier, and Fulham couldn’t quite reply in kind in stoppage time with Lookman’s cutback far too close to Lloris to allow either Mitrovic or Maja a run at it.

Parker’s charges will have to quickly put this disappointment behind them, with tough tests at Liverpool and against league leaders Manchester City on the horizon. There’s plenty to admire about the grit and character of this side, but Fulham remain deep in relegation trouble – and the breaks just aren’t going for them at the moment.

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Areola; Aina, Robinson (Bryan 75), Adarabioyo, Andersen; Lemina, Reed; Cavaleiro (Mitrovic 71), Lookman, Loftus-Cheek (Anguissa 64), Maja. Subs (not used): Fabri, Tete, Kongolo, Ream, Onomah, Decordova-Reid.

BOOKED: Lookman, Reed.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Doherty, Davies, Alderweireld, Sanchez; Hojbjerg, Ndombele (Lamela 75); Bale (Moura 67), Son, Alli (Sissoko 67); Kane. Subs (not used): Hart, Dier, Tangana, Regulion, Winks, Vinicius.


GOAL: Adarabioyo (o.g.) 19.

REFEREE: David Coote (Nottinghamshire).

VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE: Jarred Gillett (Australia).

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 12:21:21 AM »

Cottage Talk Full Time: Fulham Lose 1-0 To Spurs

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

This is our initial reaction show to Fulham’s 1-0 loss to Spurs. We shared our initial thoughts on the match, and gave our views on the controversial decision to take away a goal for Fulham in the second half.

This is was also a special show as twins Max and Rachel Cohen joined us together on this episode. They shared their views on the match, but later on, they gave their Fulham stories regarding how they and their family became Fulham supporters.

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

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 70950
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 05/03/21...
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2021, 12:32:04 AM »
Jack and Loz Not at the Cottage - Blog 170
Date: 4th March 2021

Opposition: Tottenham Hotspur

Score: 0-1

MOTM (football): Ola Aina was immense in both attack and defence.

MOTM (non-football): we have always been big fans of Kevin McDonald for his battling qualities as much as his footballing ones. He will need all of them now as he faces the challenge of a kidney transplant but we have no doubt he will come through better than ever and straight back into a coaching role at Fulham

Snacks: Loz - veggie burger; Jack - nachos

One of the worst things about lockdown is having to watch matches on television. It was bad enough on Thursday evening having to tune into Spurs TV to watch a match at the Cottage but things got rapidly worse when the program morphed into an episode Police Camera Action!

Things started quite well - Fulham looked determined, fast and full of energy. We gave the ball away too much but we were good at winning it back - Harrison Reed in particular. Knowing he was facing one of the best defences in the league, Jose Mourinho, who was looking particularly morose, had picked a terrifyingly strong attack. But nothing scares Joachim Andersen and Alphonse Areola and they frustrated attempts on goal whoever they came from and however bad their hairstyle was.

The first frustrating moment of the game was conceding such an annoying goal. Spurs’ build up play was good and they made enviable space for themselves as they forged forwards - but their shooting was poor and the goal (unkindly awarded to Tosin) came from a mistake, albeit a forced one.

At the other end, Lookman had a good early chance and Lemina an excellent late one but the Fulham goal drought continued. Maja was starved of service and although RLC was good at standing up to Spurs’ overly tough tackles he did little else.

If Fulham were in danger of being overrun in the first half, the opposite was the case in the second - we had most of the possession, most of the shots and none of the luck. Spurs struggled to cope with the combined efforts of Cav, Maja, Lookman, Aina and Robinson. Harrison Reed was up there too, linking the attacks together pass by pass and both Andersen and Tosin came close to scorning from headers.

And there was The Incident. There is no point in dwelling on it. The laws of football conflict with the law of nature which dictates that a man has arms and that the natural position of those arms is by his sides. If you are a Big Club that conflict may be resolved in your favour. If you are a small, special, fair minded club, VAR will add insult to injury and snatch a point away from you cruelly and unjustly.

In the aftermath, however, let’s not forget the power of Josh Maja’s strike, or the way his smile lit up the Cottage. We must remember that heads didn’t drop after this calumny and Fulham’s efforts to score an equaliser that the officials wouldn’t be able to rule out were redoubled.

It’s also worth mentioning that robbery wasn’t the only crime we had to deal with. In football, you expect a bit of casual assault in a tackle, a bit of light battery in a tussle for the ball, a few yards pilfered in a throw in or purloined for a free kick. You don’t expect fraud or swindling or sharp practice. You don’t expect professional footballers to throw themselves on the ground and roll around in badly feigned agony to try to steal a foul from their opposition. In particular, if you are a former England Captain, you must watch in disgust when your successor does all of these things and more in an attempt to influence the game. And what’s worse is that those attempts were allowed by the officials.

As this is a football blog and not Crime and Punishment, in either length or content, we will move on. The second half was another very good display of what this team can do. Once again, we looked as good, if not better, as a Top 6 team. And once again we didn’t get the result we deserved.

Random musings:-

* Spurs chose to shoot towards the Hammy End in the 2nd half. Didn't they notice that the ground was empty?

* one point in Jose’s favour - it was classy of him to wish KMac well in his pre match interview

* it was nice to see Frank with his hair down before arranging it in his trademark ponytail

* from the middle of the 1st half all of our players were sweating like it was a hot summer's day rather than a cold March night, such was their exertion

* Another complaint about VAR - Cav won a corner at 27 mins as shown by VAR but the ref awarded a goal kick as apparently VAR doesn't cover corners. But why not?!

* Areola made a couple of great saves including one near the end of full time

* Not only do Spurs have the worst hairstyles in the league but surely Hojbjerg is suing the tattooist who did that to his arm?

*It was nice to see Mitro but dare we suggest that Bobby might have been a better option....?

As appalling frustrating as that match was, we have to try to take the positives and move on. We are creating chances and restricting the opposition’s. We are composed, organised and full of running. We still have one of the best defences in the league. There are still 11 games left and we are in touch with 17th place. Scott must keep the players focused and fired up and we know he will.

And we must keep the faith. The performances are there. The results will come.