Author Topic: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...  (Read 672 times)

Offline whitejc

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Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« on: May 13, 2021, 12:01:09 AM »


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2021, 12:03:31 AM »
Southampton dealt fresh injury blow ahead of Fulham clash that could end player's 41-game streak

Southampton will take on Fulham on Saturday as they look to build on their Tuesday night win over Crystal Palace

Southampton defender Jan Bednarek is an early doubt for Saturday's clash with Fulham.

The Poland international has played 41 consecutive games for Saints, featuring in every match since July, but is not in danger of seeing that streak come to an end.

One of Ralph Hasenhuttl's most trusted players, Bednarek was replaced at half-time against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, shortly after picking up a yellow card.

It appeared at the break that, with the 25-year-old tasked with marshaling the dangerous Eberie Eze and Wilfried Zaha while on a caution, he had been pulled

But after the game, Hasenhuttl revealed that the defender had picked up a 'leg problem' forcing his manager into making a decision.

The injury is not thought to be serious and will be assessed over the coming days as Hasenhuttl plots his options for Tuesday.

"The yellow card, yes, but he has a problem with his leg. This is why we changed him," said his manager.

In his place entered Mohammed Salisu who once again impressed from the bench, demonstrating vast improvements while on the ball.

And an injury for Bednarek could well hand him that chance to step up and enjoy a run in the team to end the campaign.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2021, 12:04:40 AM »
Scott Parker at Spurs would be huge for Ryan Sessegnon

Tottenham Hotspur are no closer to finding out who their next manager will be but several interesting names have been linked to the vacancy.

Whoever is appointed in North London, they will have a huge task on their hands this summer as this current Spurs squad is in dire need of a rebuild, if not at the very least, a freshen up.

According to The Athletic, the next manager will have some extra talent on his hands as out-on-loan duo Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon are set to return from their respective clubs.

One name linked to the role is Fulham boss Scott Parker and given he’s worked with the latter, it could benefit the Lilywhites in the long run.

It is thought that Daniel Levy “thinks the world of” the 40-year-old, as per Football Insider, so if he does become their next boss, then Sessegnon’s career at Spurs could be in line for a massive boost.

The 20-year-old, who can play anywhere down the left flank, has only made 12 senior appearances for the club since Levy invested a whopping £25m into his signature back in the summer of 2019.

What is also in Sessegnon’s advantage is the fact that he has been playing for a Bundesliga outfit in Europe, whereas Skipp – as outstanding as he has been – has only featured in the Championship.

The young wide man has played 27 times in all competitions, where has delivered two goals and two assists. He has displayed his impressive defensive ability, managing two tackles per game in the Bundesliga, which is the second-most in Hoffenheim’s squad, as per WhoScored.

He could become genuine competition to Sergio Reguilon at left-back, and provide added cover to Heung-min Son further up the pitch.

Sessegnon has also thrown his weight behind Parker getting the job.

When asked about the potential of a reunion in North London, he told talkSPORT: “That would be very good! Everyone knows the relationship I have with Scott. He’s a top guy, top man and a top coach. He’s just an all-round great guy.”

There are plenty of reasons for and against hiring Parker. Fulham’s relegation will not put a glowing light on his credentials, though what is certain, he could be the best man to bring Sessegnon through as a future star at the club.

After all, he was once dubbed a “big, big talent” and a “fast wide player“. Parker would be game-changing for the England U21 starlet.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 12:05:22 AM »
Player ‘would like to leave’ Fulham, club ‘keen to acquire’ him – Teammate could follow

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic could be on his way back to Belgium this summer, with Genk considering a move for the Serbian.

That’s according to Voetbal 24, who say Mitrovic does not want to play in the Championship next season.

Fulham were relegated to the second tier this week, and that looks likely to spark a busy summer window in which several of their big-name stars will leave.

Mitrovic is among them, despite not having featured much under Scott Parker this season, and Voetbal 24 say he ‘would like to leave Fulham’ as a result.

While he has ‘fond memories’ of the Championship, he doesn’t want to play in it again, and that has opened the door for several clubs, including Genk.

They are keeping an eye on his situation and are ‘keen to acquire’ the forward if they can. It’s explained they are expecting Paul Onuachu to leave this summer and therefore are already looking for a replacement.

Mitrovic would fit the bill, and the 26-year-old is currently ‘at the top’ of Dimitri De Condé’s list of options.

It’s not the first time the Fulham man has been mentioned at the club, with them having considered a move in January when Onuachu was linked with Lyon.

The biggest sticking point is his current valuation of €18m. That would be too much for Genk to match, but several sources in England have stated Fulham may ask for a lower fee.

Mitrovic may not be the only one out of Craven Cottage either, with Denis Odoi also eyeing an exit, according to Voetbal 24.

They explain that after he ‘barely played’ for Fulham this season, the defender is keen to leave and forget a ‘very unpleasant season’ for him.

They state that ‘well-informed sources’ at the club confirm he will ‘soon leave’ and not finish his contract, which runs until 2022.

It’s not yet clear where he will end up, yet a return to Belgium seems to be in the offing, with AA Gent, Club Brugge and Antwerp all interested in him.

Gent tried to sign him last summer and could make a new attempt, with all three clubs seeing him as a ‘versatile force’ that can play in a three or four at the back.

He’s currently valued at €1m, and that is considered a ‘great opportunity’ for Belgian clubs, meaning he could join Mitrovic in heading to Belgium.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 12:09:06 AM »
Remembering Fulham’s incredible journey to the 2010 Europa League final

The top Premier League clubs often view the Europa League as the unwanted consolation prize for missing out on the Champions League – but in 2010 it was the holy grail for Fulham.

When Roy Hodgson replaced Lawrie Sanchez and became Fulham manager in December 2007, a European final was the last thing on his mind.

The Cottagers were in the Premier League relegation zone, two points away from safety, and they had only won two league games all season.

Many critics were surprised by Hodgson’s appointment and questioned whether or not he was the man to turn Fulham’s fortunes around. The veteran coach had enjoyed success across the continent, but he hadn’t worked in England since being sacked by Blackburn nine years earlier in 1998.

There was no immediate resurgence at Craven Cottage, but Hodgson eventually managed to steady the sinking ship, with survival confirmed on the final day of the 2007-08 season.

He then bolstered his squad with some astute signings, bringing in Mark Schwarzer, Zoltan Gera, Bobby Zamora and Brede Hangeland.

However, he couldn’t have predicted the sort of impact the new influx would make…

Journey into Europe
After their great escape in 2007-08, Fulham carried their momentum into the next season and achieved their highest ever Premier League finish of seventh, conceding just 34 goals in 39 games, securing qualification for the Europa League in the process.

Their first taste of European football under Hodgson came in Lithuania against FK Vetra in July. Fulham strolled to a 6-0 victory on aggregate before they dispatched Russian team FC Amkar Perm in the play-offs.

Some fans expected the group stage to be a bridge too far for the Cottagers, but after a draw against CSKA Sofia in their opening game, Fulham fought back with three wins and a draw in their final five group games to advance into the knockout stages.

Holders Shakhtar Donetsk stood in Fulham’s way, and the Ukrainians had a strong side that featured Fernandinho, Luiz Adriano, Douglas Costa and Willian.

Fulham’s success, meanwhile, was built around Hangeland’s heroic defending, Gera and Damien Duff’s creative guile and Zamora’s crucial goals.

After Gera’s early goal had given them the lead in the first leg, Adriano levelled the scores before a moment of brilliance from Zamora swung the tie in Fulham’s favour.

“Dickson Etuhu fed Gera, whose deft pass offered Zamora a chance,” read The Telegraph’s match report. “The striker looked up, struck the ball from 25 yards with venom, then watched as it curled into the top right-hand corner.”

In Ukraine, Hangeland’s goal and a back-to-the-walls display completed the job.

However, Fulham’s task was about to get even harder as they were drawn against Italian giants Juventus in the last 16. They’d had a fun ride, but their European adventure was surely coming to end now.

Sure enough, a spirited display against a classy Juventus outfit couldn’t prevent a 3-1 defeat In Italy. Hodgson’s side had been provided with a harsh reality check and had a mountain to climb going into the second leg.

David Trezeguet’s goal after two minutes at Craven Cottage looked to have put the quarter-finals out of reach for Fulham, but the underdogs had clearly not read the script.

Start of the comeback
Paul Konchesky’s lofted cross found Zamora in the penalty area. The old school English striker bullied Fabio Cannavaro before bringing the ball down and firing past Antonio Chimenti in the Juve goal.

Cannavaro’s night got even worse when the World Cup winner was controversially sent off in the 27th minute, and Fulham’s hopes of a comeback were well and truly alive.

Fulham continued to put Juventus under pressure as the atmosphere kicked up a notch at Craven Cottage. Just before half time, Simon Davies pulled the ball back for Gera and his close-range finish gave the hosts the lead on the night.

Minutes into the second half and Fulham were awarded a penalty after Diego’s handball. Gera stepped up with all the pressure on his shoulders and confidently smashed the ball past the goalkeeper to level the aggregate score.

Fulham were now on the brink of knocking Juventus out and creating one of the biggest upsets in the history of European football.

With eight minutes remaining and the game heading into extra time, Dempsey picked up the ball on the edge of the area as the Juventus defenders backed off. The American then dinked a delightful chip that sailed over the helpless Chimenti and sparked delirium from the home crowd.

His incredible strike sealed the famous victory and it was a fitting finale to the most extraordinary game while the celebrations carried on long into the night.

“We should just do a Rocky Marciano and retire now because it’s not going to get any better than this,” Hodgson said at full time.

“This must come close to the greatest night of the club’s history. On a personal note, I am not sure I can recall such a recovery. I am on top of the world.”

Hodgson had already written himself into Fulham folklore. And the quarter-finals now awaited.

Road to Hamburg
There was a growing sense of destiny surrounding Fulham’s Europa League campaign as the footballing gods seemed to be smiling on West London, but they still had other hurdles to overcome.

However, Hodgson’s side were unfazed, full of confidence and claimed a 2-1 win over German champions Wolfsburg in the first leg of their last-eight tie courtesy of goals from Zamora and Duff.

And within 20 seconds of the second leg, the talisman Zamora spun past the defender before stroking the ball into the corner to make it 3-1 on aggregate. It proved enough for Fulham to advance again.

Their next challenge was another considerable one as they faced a Hamburg side that were looking to reach a final being staged at their own ground.

A goalless first leg in Germany was a respectable effort, but the lack of an away goal looked to be a problem when Mladen Petrić’s stunning free-kick gave the Germans the lead at Craven Cottage.

The odds were stacked against them once more when Zamora was withdrawn with an injury, but yet again Fulham found an extra gear as quickfire goals from Davies and Gera turned things around to complete another memorable night on the banks of the Thames.

Fulham had booked their place in the final and their dream had now become a reality. They would be returning to Hamburg, but this time they’d be playing for the trophy.

“Hodgson has orchestrated the resurrection of this famous old club from the brink of relegation to the Championship into a European final,” read the BBC’s match report.

“The scale of the achievement is a tribute to the work of Hodgson and his players – and given the compelling performances they have produced in the Europa League, they will travel to the final with genuine ambitions of lifting the trophy.”

The final
After 18 games, Fulham had reached their first-ever European final and were up against an immensely talented Atletico Madrid side that included David De Gea and Sergio Aguero.

The discipline, belief and buccaneering spirit that had led them to the final was evident again and the Cottagers weren’t to be overwhelmed by the occasion.

Despite Diego Forlan’s early opener and Atletico’s domination, Fulham fought back bravely and found themselves level at half-time.

Then Gera’s lofted cross was deflected into the path of Davies, and the Welshman accepted the invitation by flashing a superb volley past De Gea.

The final looked to be going to penalties, but the Spanish side’s extra quality soon started to show. Deep into extra-time, Aguero’s cross picked out Forlan, whose shot was deflected past Schwarzer, restoring Atletico’s lead.

Fulham had bounced back from adversity all season and had become the master of comebacks, but this time it was out of their reach and they were unable to mount a response.

As the full-time whistle went and the Madrid players celebrated, Fulham’s heartbreak was confirmed and their Europa League campaign had reached a bitter conclusion.

However, while they may not have a trophy to show for it, those players have still gone down in the club’s history for creating an adventure Fulham fans will never forget.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 12:10:10 AM »
Fulham keen to keep Parker and Mitrovic – Sun

The Daily Mail say Fulham face a battle to hold onto Scott Parker following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

It comes amid speculation over the future of the Whites boss, who has been linked with the Tottenham manager’s job.

Bournemouth, who are involved in the Championship play-offs, are also said to be keen on Parker.

The Sun reports that Fulham want Parker and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to stay at Craven Cottage and do not want to make major changes as they seek a return to the top flight.

Meanwhile, Chelsea will offer Thomas Tuchel a new three-year contract at the end of the season, the Daily Mail reports.

Tuchel has had a dramatic impact since taking over as Blues boss in January on an 18-month deal.

The Mail say he will be given an improved deal, involving an increase on his current salary, which is reported to be £7m per year.

The newspaper also say Chelsea will look to tie N’Golo Kante to another contract in order to cement his long-term future at Stamford Bridge.

Kante has two years remaining on his current deal and has been linked with a number of clubs.

Chelsea are also tipped to take up an option to extend Thiago Silva’s contract by a year.

And Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has told the Daily Record his club will have to wait for a decision from QPR on Liam Kelly.

The goalkeeper has impressed on loan for Alexander’s side and Motherwell are keen to keep him.

But Rangers will need to assess their options, with Joe Lumley coming to the end of his contract and Seny Dieng potentially attracting interest from other clubs.

Dieng has been outstanding since leapfrogging both Lumley and Kelly to become QPR’s first-choice keeper.

“We have spoken to QPR but it is early stages,” Alexander explained.

“They want to assess their squad, so there is no conclusion. They know of our interest and Liam’s ambition to come back here and play.

“He has enjoyed his time here but he is their player and has two years on his deal. There are a few hurdles to overcome from all sides before we can get that done but fingers crossed.

“He has had a massive impact since he has come in and he is a top player we want to keep as he will make us better.”

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 12:10:53 AM »
Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic wants out after Championship return confirmed – Belgium moved talked

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic could return to Belgium this summer, with report claiming that he doesn’t not want to play in the Championship.

Fulham for a second time in three years have been relegated from the Premier League. Scott Parker’s side lost 2-0 at home to Burnley last night to confirm their demise, and now reports from Europe claim that Mitrovic could be on his way out.

Voetbal 24 claim that the Serbian striker ‘does not want to’ play in the Championship next season, and that a return to Belgium might be on the cards. It comes after a misfire season of three goals in 27 Premier League outings for the 26-year-old, who scored 26 goals in the Championship last season.

Parker’s side have garnered a lot of fans in the Premier League this season. They’ve played some attractive football and Parker is being linked with a move away following relegation, having been backed to head to Spurs.

He gave a great account of himself in the Championship last season too, overcoming the pressures of the Fulham job to ultimately deliver promotion.

But many expected his side to falter once more in the top flight and after 35 games of the season, Fulham simply haven’t been good enough.

They now sit 10 points behind Burnley and with three games of te season left. They’ll be joined in the Championship by West Brom and Sheffield United next season making for a hugely compeitive second-tier next time round.

As for Mitrovic, what’s happened to him this season is unclear. He’s obviously still a talent, but maybe a return to Europe is what’s best for him at his point of his career.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 12:13:09 AM »
Fulham unlikely to pay €12.5m for signing – Relegation to have impact on summer plans

Following the confirmation of Fulham’s relegation to the Championship, the rumour mill has been full of stories about the future of players who’ve been with the Cottagers this season.

We now see the Italian media speaking about the situation of Ola Aina, who’s spent a year in London on a loan spell, and should now head back to his parent club Torino.

Outlet Torino Granata writes that even though Fulham had a buying option over the fullback, it’s ‘unlikely’ they’d trigger the clause after relegation.

They recall that the Whites already paid €2.5m for the loan, and would now have to spend €12.5m to sign the player on a permanent deal.

Aina made 32 appearances for Fulham this season, being used as a left-back, central defender and right-back. That could have been enough to prove his importance to the club, but with a new budget for the Championship season ahead, it makes sense that the Whites will have second thoughts before making expensive signings in the summer.

Torino Granata claim the Serie A side could let Aina leave them once again this summer, but they shall wait for a final word from their manager before accepting any moves.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 12:15:22 AM »
Premier League's Joe Bryan opens up on anxiety, fear and football: He wants to help

Joe Bryan can't remember how he felt during the best moments of his career. He only recalls those two goals he scored against Brentford in the 2020 Championship playoff final, which earned Fulham promotion to the Premier League and a £170m windfall, through watching highlights. Nor can he remember the emotions of scoring a wondergoal against Manchester United for Bristol City in 2017.

But he can vividly recall the moments mid-match in which he was gripped by anxiety, and that feeling of wanting to run 100 miles away from being him in that moment. There are mornings where he wakes up "feeling like s---"; those minutes are vivid, too. "I still question whether I have a right to be playing where I am, whether I'm good enough to be where I am," he told ESPN. "I still question myself."

There was a match he played for Fulham against West Ham in 2019. He remembers Michail Antonio dominating him, and the resulting anxiety. It felt like a headache that wouldn't go away. "It was like being in a trance, a fog over your head."

Then came those moments just before bedtime, preventing you from sleeping. "You're internalising everything, and your brain is throwing up these scenarios that would never happen, and it's like a snowball," he says. "I realised it's important to come out of your own head. It's hard... it's really hard to do that at the start."

Two years after that West Ham game, he's sitting on the Craven Cottage steps talking about how he manages anxiety and football. And how he navigates those mornings where he wants to hide under the duvet, but also the importance of talking about mental health.

Joe Bryan wants to help.

The mental toil the 27-year-old defender describes will resonate with many, but talking is a way forward. How some days you just can't face the world. Whether you're a journalist, janitor, footballer or fisherman, anxiety can be debilitating, a cloud of inescapable self-doubt. Then there are those moments where you're unable to think logically about a situation; or the all-encompassing paranoia, which has this disabling fear. Then there is the peer vacuum of social media, where the odd negative tweet can throw you.

"At the top levels, the scrutiny is more intense than ever," said Michael Caulfield, one of the UK's leading sports psychologists. "All we see is if they have played badly. There is such little leeway to be any less than perfect."

Bryan had to be told he had anxiety -- "I was lucky that a physio... Natalie at Fulham, pulled me aside and said 'you're not the same person since you joined here' -- but he remembers feeling awful for a while.

Growing up, Bryan had one goal: he wanted to play in the Premier League. He started his career at Bristol City, the club he supported growing up, at 18, and dreamed of reaching the Premier League with the club. He'd never really lived away from his parents, either. He moved out of the family home at 21 years old, only to move 10 minutes down the road.

After consistent, impressive form in the Championship, Premier League clubs took notice. Aston Villa were interested, but it was Fulham who paid £6m for him in August 2018. He signed on Aug. 9, and two days later, he made his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace. He'd achieved his dream of playing in the English top flight, but instead of exhilaration came a feeling of emptiness.

"If you've spent such a long time working towards a goal, to achieve it and then reset, refocus and find another goal that means an equal amount to you is tough," Bryan says. "It probably took me a while to adjust to that way of life. It was tough at the time, and I think that's initially what sent me into a bit of a spiral."

That West Ham game came amid a bad run of results. Fulham were locked in a relegation battle ahead of a big match at the London Stadium. They lost 3-1, on Feb. 22, 2019. They'd go on to lose their next seven Premier League matches. When he posted on Instagram in August 2019 about his battles with mental health, he chose a photo from that West Ham match.

"I just think you can see the look in my eye... I was concentrating on the game, but I remember that game being very, very tough," Bryan says. "It was one of those games where you can't catch your breath, everything's on top of you, I had a headache, and it was a rare game in my career where I did not want to be there."

Said Caulfield: "The number one topic of conversation among athletes is this genuine fear of failure. But if you use it in the right way, it can fuel you and drive you as many do."

The exact moment Bryan started realising he was dealing with anxiety is a little hazy, but it was somewhere around that West Ham game. He thinks it was born from several factors. Fulham were bottom of the league, he'd struggled with injuries, and he was homesick.

"By the time I got back to fitness, we were struggling even more, and it was like a snowball effect -- you might know this feeling, and others might too, but it gets on top of you," he says. "The thing for me was... I didn't know what it was. I couldn't put my finger on why I was feeling this way, and it throws up more questions. So unless you're chatting to someone who knows what you're feeling like, it's hard. The club were brilliant with the way they handled it." After that, the club connected him with their psychologist.

Bryan's battle with mental health is not a unique case in football. Derby's Jordon Ibe posted on Instagram in January about his journey with depression, while Netherlands international Gregory van der Wiel opened up about anxiety and panic attacks last November. Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has also spoken about how he missed a game through a panic attack.

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) said in September that they'd seen a quadrupling in numbers from 2016 of their members accessing its counselling services, with the most common concerns centered around anxiety. The English FA's "Heads Up" campaign, which launched in 2019, sought to change the narrative around mental health, by emphasising mental health awareness was just as important as physical well-being.

As we sit talking on the 100-year-old seats in the Johnny Haynes Stand at Craven Cottage, Bryan remembers another moment where he had a panic attack, at a hairdressers'. The other people in there were speaking Spanish; he was convinced they were talking about him. His body went into panic mode. "It was like that feeling where you're walking into a supermarket and you're convinced everyone's looking at you because you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe, when you don't.

"Most of the time when you're thinking about other people's opinions and worried about what they're thinking, they're not looking at you thinking 'your T-shirt's too big for you,' they're thinking about what they'll have for dinner."

Social media was also a trigger. He realised he could lose hours in a day just flicking through Instagram or Twitter, and used to have this "sick curiosity" of seeking out reviews of his performances on social media.

"I used to look at it when I knew I hadn't played well, to see if I'd got away with it, to see if they'd noticed you were crap... I've stayed clear of doing that since I was 22." But those external perspectives used to have an adverse effect on him. "Other people's opinions of you used to be a bad one, but I don't really care now."

His mates take a screenshot of particularly brutal tweets directed at him; they'll make joke about it. Laugh, compartmentalise, move on -- focus on what's important in life.

It's more in everyday life where anxiety can kick in. "I've had training sessions where I've been running around, wondering if everyone's judging me because I'm not working hard enough, that sort of stuff -- or because I've had a bad touch, or a bad pass," Bryan says. "Those silly little things: if you make a bad pass in training and you're in a good frame of mind, you laugh it off.

"In games, it's different. I did have that West Ham game, and a couple of others, but usually there's so much adrenaline and more pressure on it. My brain blocks it out. I realised that in matches, I play better if I'm less tense. If I have a s--- touch, the reality is if I don't overthink it, the next one will be good. Like, if you're walking along with a coffee thinking 'don't spill it,' what are you going to do? Spill it. It's the same in football. If you're thinking don't lose the ball, you'll lose it. It's about being as free as possible."

He started to develop some coping and preventative mechanisms.

"People might notice I wear a piece of white tape on one wrist, it's a bit of a gimmicky thing, but it's about anchoring your mistakes into that and then at half-time you throw it away, it's a symbol of, me throwing away all my mistakes. Bosh! I'm clear of it, let's go in the second half."

This technique is becoming more widespread in football. "Many of them have their own personal routines that they've have developed over the years," Caulfield says. "I think there is a big difference between a routine and a superstition. A superstition is it worked last week, so you wear your lucky underpants this week. The difference in what Joe is talking about there is he knows and controls that process, week in and week out. That gives him a sense of control in a very uncontrollable world. He wants to have a better chance, rather than leaving it to chance, to play well."

Bryan also distanced himself from social media, and he started being more open with his teammates about how he was feeling. "I haven't really had therapy, but I just tell the guys, 'Lads, I feel rubbish today.' I realised you're allowed to go to work and have a rubbish day because you feel rubbish. I'm allowed to go training and be terrible because something happened, which wobbled me a little bit.

"There are people around me who are open to me being a bit of an idiot at times because of anxiety and depression, but equally I'm learning to be there for them. Calum Chambers, when he was at Fulham [on loan from Arsenal]... I used to drive to and from training with him, and he always used to take the p--- out of me. 'Why are you always so moody? What's wrong with you?' Humanising the whole situation really helped. Laughter is a cure, for sure."

This season has been tough for Bryan and Fulham. Their relegation was confirmed on Monday, after defeat to Burnley, and Bryan has had less match time than previous seasons with USMNT's Antonee Robinson or Ola Aina preferred down the left. "I always say to my dad that whatever challenge in life comes up now, I've dealt with most things in my career," Bryan says. "My challenge this season has been staying calm, not getting annoyed and just trying to do my work and use it as an opportunity to develop as a person."

It's a shift in mindset for Bryan. Having reached his own goal in life of playing in the Premier League, he had to reaffirm who he fundamentally was as an individual. "I'm aware that football doesn't define me as a person. I love it and I'll do everything I can on the pitch to succeed and to help the club, but I don't define myself by my ability as a football player. There's a whole lot more to my life than that. If you focus too much on what people think of you as a footballer, then it can be dangerous, that's something the last two years have really taught me."

These days, he still loves football and laughs at the memory of those two goals from the 2020 playoff final, though it's interspersed with one regret. "I've always wished I could see my family's reaction when I score, especially like the goals against Brentford, or that one against Manchester United. It's something that saddens me, that I'll never get to see them react to me scoring and making them proud."

His Instagram now is a mix of books, happy memories, photos of his family, his dog, Loki (who is at home with his parents in Bristol), and messages about mental health. After that Instagram post back in August 2019, he's had parents dropping him messages telling him speaking out has helped their children. That's why he speaks about it -- he hopes his openness will help others.

"I think the last 18 months with the pandemic have taught us -- apart from that we should wash our hands more -- that mental health is prevalent in society, and the more accepting we are of it, and the more we normalise it, the better," Bryan says.

"That's the message I tell people: it's completely normal! A lot of people won't realise they're struggling, and it doesn't have to be a big 'Oh my God! I'm anxious, or I'm depressed.' It can just be as simple as saying to a friend, 'all right mate, I don't feel good today and I didn't want to get out of bed -- why's that?' So, try something new -- it doesn't have to be a big life-altering event; it can just be a conversation.

"Talk to people and, if I can give people one piece of advice, it's even if you're not sure, just mention how you're feeling to someone, and the likelihood is that they've probably experienced the same or know someone who has. So, if this can help someone talk to someone about the same kind of feelings I had, then I hope I've helped."

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 12:16:47 AM »
Arsenal join Andre-Frank Anguissa chase?

 Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Anguissa has reportedly emerged as a potential transfer target for Arsenal.

While the 25-year-old has enjoyed his best season in a Cottagers shirt, the Cameroonian is expected to be sold after the club's relegation from the Premier League.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have emerged as a potential destination for a player who is valued in the region of £20m.

The report claims that Mikel Arteta is looking for a second defensive-minded midfielder who can play alongside Thomas Partey.

Aston Villa and Everton are also said to be monitoring the situation, aware that Fulham would realistically want to cash in on Anguissa over keeping him for their Championship return.

The player has two years remaining on his contract at Craven Cottage.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2021, 12:19:16 AM »
Tottenham transfer news: Spurs in prime position to land Fulham man

According to the Telegraph, Tottenham are in pole position to land Fulham defender Joachim Andersen.
What's the latest transfer news involving Joachim Andersen?

Andersen has been linked with a move to Tottenham, however they will have to fight off competition from their North London rivals arsenal who see the Denmark international as a replacement for David Luiz.

The 6 foot 4 defender is currently on loan to Fulham but at the end of the season he is set to return to his parent club Lyon. The French outfit are reportedly expected to sell the player for a fee in the region of £20m.

However, it's added that Spurs will need to sell before they can buy this summer.

What are Andersen's Premier League stats this season?

Andersen has emerged as one of Fulham's best players this season and having proved his defensive strengths, it is no surprise that some of the Premier League's top clubs are after him.

According to WhoScored, he has made the second most clearances per game (5) for Fulham in the Premier League this season, and has made 1.4 interceptions per 90 minutes.

In comparison to Spurs' most frequent centre-back pairing of Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld, Andersen is mightily impressive in the air with 3.2 aerials won in the Premier League, which beats the Tottenham pair with 3 and 2 respectively.

Who should Spurs sell in order to sign Andersen?

According to the Telegraph, Spurs will need to trim their squad before moving for players in the upcoming transfer window.

With this in mind, Juan Foyth is currently on loan at Villarreal and should be sold to raise funds for a deal with Lyon. Foyth has made 16 appearances in La Liga and has been a key part of the side's progression to the Europa League final. He could therefore generate much needed funds for Daniel Levy - Transfermarkt value him at £9m. 

Dele Alli had been linked with a move away whilst Jose Mourinho was at the helm, however his prospects of staying in north London may have changed for the better following the Portuguese's dismissal.

What other positions do Spurs need to strengthen?

As it stands both Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius are set to leave when their loan deals expire this summer. Despite the pair experiencing mixed fortunes to say the least at their time at Spurs this year, the club should be keen to bolster the squad's attacking options.

The reliance on Harry Kane and Heung Min Son has been apparent once again with the pair scoring almost double the amount of Premier League goals as the rest of the squad combined. The likes of Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela have struggled to produce adequate support and this could be an area in which Levy opts to improve this summer.

Based on a report from Sky Sports, Tottenham will look to sign Nicholas Gonzalez from Stuttgart this summer as a replacement for Bale. It's suggested that a fee in the region of £27m would be enough to land the Bundesliga forward this summer.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2021, 12:20:14 AM »
QPR must move for Stefan Johansen this summer

Queens Park Rangers’ loanee midfielder Stefan Johansen has opened up on his future ahead of the summer transfer window.

What’s the talk?

Speaking in a recent interview with the QPR website, the Fulham midfielder revealed just how much he has enjoyed his loan spell at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, before claiming that he is unsure what his future holds at present with just one year left remaining on his contract with Scott Parker’s side.

He said: “It’s been brilliant, from day one I have felt so welcome. It’s been such an easy group to come into, they are a great bunch of lads and I have really enjoyed my time here.

“Personally, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have one more year on my contract at Fulham, but, without doubt, I can say how much I enjoyed my time here.”

Having only linked up with Mark Warburton’s side in the January transfer window, the impact Johansen has had on the Hoops has been quite sensational.

Over the 30-year-old’s 21 Championship appearances for QPR, the £1.8 million-rated man scored four goals, provided two assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 0.8 interceptions, 1.1 tackles and 1.6 key passes per game, culminating in a highly impressive average SofaScore match rating of 7.00 – ranking him as the Rs’ sixth-best performer in the second tier this season.

The arrival of the £8,000-per-week Norway international also coincided with a remarkable upturn in form at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, with Warburton’s side winning 12, drawing two and losing seven of the 21 games in which Johansen featured for the club – results which left QPR sitting in fourth place in the league standings over this specific time frame.

As such, a deal to bring the midfielder – whom Ronny Deila dubbed an “outstanding” player – back to the club this summer should very much be a priority for Warburton, as it would seem as if Johansen could well play a major role in QPR’s potential push to secure a play-off place next season.

Indeed, many of the R’s faithful appear to be desperate for their side to make a permanent move for the 30-year-old this summer, with one claiming that Johansen should be the club’s “number one target” in the upcoming transfer window, while another seemed to speak on behalf of the fanbase by stating: “We want you to stay!”

QPR should listen to these fans and do all they can to keep Johansen at the club for next season.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2021, 12:21:24 AM »
Toothless Fulham head straight back down after season of missed opportunities

Scott Parker's Fulham showed flashes of coherence at times but lacked cutting edge in both boxes when it mattered

It ended still worse than it began for Fulham. Their third spell in the Premier League started with a home defeat and a run of six games that yielded a solitary point. It concluded with a Craven Cottage loss that meant their last seven matches had brought the same meagre haul. Their last three are irrelevant. Fulham are down.

In between the inauspicious start and the anticlimactic end, Fulham took 25 points from 22 games. They looked a good team. They were often described as a good team. They got results against many who meet the definition of good teams; wins away at Leicester, Everton and Liverpool and draws with Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham.

In the Fulham table, of their 25-game spell of respectable form, only five teams lost fewer games, only two conceded fewer goals and their points tally was just two behind Liverpool’s. Over a season, however, they are the second lowest scorers, with the joint fewest wins. Ultimately, they out-Brightoned Brighton, getting more compliments than wins. There was evidence of coaching prowess and inventive thinking, a defensive excellence that meant they conceded fewer goals than sides much further up the table. But too often they have failed at the fundamental duty of beating enough other teams.

Footballing orthodoxy states that the best way to stay up is to win home games. Fulham have a 100 percent win record against Craven Cottage against clubs who will be in next season’s Championship but a 0 percent success rate against those who will be in the Premier League. To put it another way, they have defeated West Brom and Sheffield United but no one else. They have scored nine goals at Craven Cottage this season; a final-day hat-trick by a Newcastle player would probably render him the joint top scorer at Fulham’s home this season.

Cliché has it that goals win games; so do goalscorers. Fulham have had more shots than Tottenham and scored 36 fewer goals. Their dismal six percent chance conversion rate explains their shortcomings. It lends itself to mentions of the frequently omitted Aleksandar Mitrovic, even if he only scored from five percent of his shots. Bobby Decordova-Reid top-scored while operating as a wing-back, winger and No. 10. Fulham had more flexibility and fluidity without Mitrovic; benching him gave them an extra player in most elements of the game and Scott Parker found ever newer ways of reorganising his band of midfielders and wingers. Opponents were confounded, but did not always concede. Manchester City mastered the art of getting goals from a revolving cast of technical and wide players; as Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had 69 shots between them and scored once, Fulham did not.

They felt insufficiently pragmatic, though that needs the caveat that pragmatism probably would not have kept them up either. Certainly their shambolic start made the subsequent revival admirable. Parker attracted a growing band of admirers for the way he seemed to turn a bunch of late loan signings into an impressive unit. Yet they ended up underlining the hoary old statements about winning being the hardest part and goalscorers being worth their weight in goal, relegated by a Burnley side with less ambitious ideals but a blueprint for securing enough victories. While Fulham rank second only to Brighton for draws, Sean Dyche’s team have twice as many wins as Parker’s; Chris Wood has as many goals as Fulham’s top three scorers have between them.

Autumn’s bizarre parade of penalty misses is a reason for relegation; so, too, that slow start as Championship stalwarts looked exposed. The fine middle to the season offered a mirage of safety being secured in striking fashion. But part of the problem, which was exacerbated by costly late concessions to Aston Villa, Wolves and Arsenal, was that Fulham did not strike often enough. Those last seven games produced just three goals: one from a defender, one from Mitrovic and one from the penalty spot. It amounted to a missed opportunity. After winning at Anfield, Fulham were level on points with Brighton. They got into a position to achieve their goals. They could not finish the job. It was the story of their season.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2021, 12:23:47 AM »
Aleksandar Mitrovic is admired by West Ham manager David Moyes

Fulham suffered relegation to the Championship after losing 2-0 against Burnley at home on Monday night.

According to reports from the Daily Mail, the Cottagers are braced for a battle to keep their manager Scott Parker.

Despite Fulham’s relegation, Parker is a man in demand due to his philosophy at Craven Cottage.

The report claims that a host of players could leave Fulham following their demotion to the Championship.

The Cottagers signed seven loanees, while some key players are being targeted by top Premier League clubs.

Joachim Andersen, the on-loan Lyon defender has been targeted by Tottenham Hotspur, while West Ham United boss David Moyes is an “admirer” of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

SL View

The 26-year-old has bagged four goals and three assists in all competitions this season.

Mitrovic is a vastly experienced Premier League player and could be a smart addition for the Hammers.

There is a general perception that Mitrovic is more influential playing in the Championship – having scored 12 goals (2017-18) and 26 (2019-20) for Fulham – and that he is not that effective in the Premier League.

However, it isn’t easy to judge him based on his performances for the Cottagers. He would probably be more effective with better players around him.

West Ham need to sign a striker in the summer. The Hammers sold Sebastien Haller in January, while Michail Antonio is injury-prone.

The 26-year-old has a contract at the club until 2024, and Fulham are expected to demand a high transfer fee for him if he decides to move on.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2021, 12:25:09 AM »
Aston Villa interested in signing Fulham’s Zambo Anguissa

Aston Villa have emerged as contenders to sign Fulham midfielder Zambo Anguissa this summer.

What’s the story?

Following the Cottagers’ relegation from the Premier League last weekend, it would be no surprise to see a few, if not many, of the club’s best players leave the London side over the course of the summer transfer window.

And, according to The Daily Mail, Dean Smith’s Villa side are monitoring developments over Anguissa ahead of a potential move, with Fulham braced for offers for many of their key men.

The report adds that the 25-year-old is likely to be one of those players sold following confirmation of Fulham’s relegation, while Villa are also set to face competition from the likes of Arsenal and Everton.

Upgrade on Douglas Luiz

A combative midfielder who has been one of the shining lights of Fulham’s season, Anguissa’s performances this campaign have been very impressive, and appears tailor-made to be a real upgrade on Douglas Luiz at Villa Park.

Joachim Andersen, his teammate at Fulham, has raved about about the £22.5m-rated powerhouse, saying: “He’s a top player. He’s a machine in the midfield. He’s winning so many balls and driving forward with it.”

And, Toni Conceicao, his coach for Cameroon, said: “He’s a quality player. In football, the collective is the most important, so you have to have players that work for the team. And although Anguissa is not a Messi or Ronaldo, he’s a player that has a lot of capacity to influence the match. He brings a lot of tactical culture and rigour to the team.

“He has got a really good passing ability, long and short, and is one of those players that makes the team tick without necessarily being the standout. As a coach and with all due respect to Fulham, which I know is a great club, Anguissa can reach an even higher level.”

And, when you compare the key stats between Anguissa and Luiz, it’s the former who comes out on top.

As per Whoscored, he is defensively far stronger than his Brazilian counterpart, averaging more tackles and interceptions per game in the Premier League, and also committing far fewer fouls too – something Villa fans will be relieved to know after Luiz’s mindless challenge to give away a penalty against Manchester United at the weekend.

And, as Andersen said, Anguissa is also adept at driving the ball forward, averaging a whopping 2.7 dribbles per game – far higher than Luiz, and actually only slightly below Jack Grealish with 2.8 in the entire Villa squad.

At 25, Anguissa seems like the dream Luiz upgrade and a player Villa must surely sign this summer.

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2021, 12:26:13 AM »
oe Opens Up

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Joe Bryan sat down with ESPN for a frank discussion about his experiences.

Fulham fans will remember an Instagram post from the popular left-back in August 2019, when he revealed that he had been struggling during the previous season. He posted it not for sympathy, but to let people know that speaking to someone can significantly help one’s mental state.

“Like with anything, this interview, podcasts that I’ve done, that post, I thought if it can help one person, one man, one woman...Football aside, I can be earning whatever, driving whatever, wearing whatever, but I still can’t get out of bed some days, I still question whether I’m good enough to be where I am, I still question myself. If that can help someone talk to someone about the same kind of problems, then I’ve done part of my duty as a person in a position of small influence.”

The post in question featured a photograph from Fulham’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham United six months earlier.

“I just think you can see the look in my eye,” Joe says. “I was concentrating on the game, but I remember that game being very, very tough. It was one of those games where you can't catch your breath, everything's on top of you, I had a headache, and it was a rare game in my career where I did not want to be there. It was like being in a trance, a fog over your head.”

Thankfully, a colleague noticed that Joe had not been himself recently, and took him to one side for a chat.

“I then got injured, we were bottom of the league, not playing well, everything just got on top of me and it was like a snowball effect,” he recalls. “I was lucky that a physio, Natalie at Fulham, pulled me and said, ‘Look, you’re a different person, I’ve noticed you’re less enthusiastic, you look like you’re carrying something. If you want to talk, let me know.’ At that point I opened up to her and said, ‘yeah, I don’t feel great, things are getting on top of me.’ I couldn’t put my finger on what the feeling was or why I was feeling this way, so it just throws up more questions.”

Joe is a huge advocate of talking about mental health, and hopes his experiences can help others who find themselves in similar situations.

“I think the last 18 months with the pandemic have taught us that mental health is prevalent in society, and the more accepting we are of it, and the more we normalise it, the better,” he explains. “That's the message I tell people: it’s completely normal! A lot of people won’t realise they’re struggling, and it doesn't have to be a big, ‘Oh my God, I’m anxious, I’m depressed.’ It can just be as simple as saying to a friend, ‘alright mate, I don’t feel good today and I didn't want to get out of bed.’

“So, try something new, it doesn’t have to be a big life-altering event, it can just be a conversation.

Joe Bryan

“Talk to people and, if I can give people one piece of advice, it’s even if you’re not sure, just mention how you’re feeling to someone, and the likelihood is that they’ve probably experienced the same or know someone who has. So, if this can help someone talk to someone about the same kind of feelings I had, then I hope I’ve helped.”

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2021, 12:29:26 AM »
If Slavisa Jokanovic does take charge of Sheffield United, prepare for the inevitable rumour to start swirling
If, and it remains ‘if’ Slavisa Jokanovic becomes Sheffield United’s next manager, one player will inevitably be linked with a move to Bramall Lane.

His name is Aleksandar Mitrovic; the former Chelsea midfielder’s fellow Serb, who despite firing Fulham into the Premier League less than 12 months ago is now being tipped to leave Craven Cottage if Scott Parker remains at the helm after they were also relegated back to the Championship. Even though owner Shahid Khan has different ideas.

For a whole host of reasons, money being the most obvious, Mitrovic is unlikely to move north later this year. United would have to finalise a deal with Jokanovic and his people before they could even start doing the maths.

But in the event they are able to broker one - crucially, both parties involved in the discussions are interested in progressing them beyond the preliminary stage - it would still be a major surprise if Mitrovic was not flagged by others as a potential summer signing. Particularly by those looking for an easy line ahead of the transfer window. One which, whilst not being forensically sourced, still seems plausible enough to generate interest and traction.

Clearly, Jokanovic and Mitrovic enjoy an excellent relationship. Even though Khan’s billions ultimately made the switch happen, the centre-forward made it clear Jokanovic’s presence at Craven Cottage was what persuaded him to turn his back on Anderlecht, where he was supposed to be heading on loan after falling out of favour at Newcastle, and accept a posting in the Championship instead.

Speaking at the time, soon after Mitrovic had single-handedly condemned his side to defeat in SW6, Chris Wilder questioned why a player with World Cup experience would choose to perform in the second tier. It was a backhanded compliment of sorts. And Mitrovic had already provided the answer.

“I went to Fulham because of the style and because of the coach,” Mitrovic said, explaining how Jokanovic had first got in touch via Snapchat. Later, when Fulham dispensed with the 52-year-old’s services soon after he had led them into the top-flight, Mitrovic admitted the decision was “very bad news” for him personally. “Everyone knows what he has done for my career,” he lamented. “So I feel it much heavier, yes.”

Despite being stuffed to the gills with strikers, many of whom are proven scorers in the second tier, United’s squad is still likely to benefit from an injection of power, pace and nous ahead of the new campaign.

Like Jokanovic himself, Mitrovic, who has struggled for gametime of late under Parker, appears perfectly suited to United’s approach and playing style.

However, estimated to earn more than £60,000 a week in the capital after commanding a £27m fee following his departure from St James’ Park, Mitrovic is likely to be beyond United’s reach should he be sacrificed during the overhaul Fulham are planning after they were demoted alongside United and West Bromwich Albion.

Despite apparently being on a much firmer financial footing than when Wilder took charge in May 2016 - one of his gifts, after parting company with them in March, was an enhanced parachute payment following last season’s ninth placed finish - the Covid-19 pandemic and loss of PL broadcasting revenues will have a big effect on United’s balance sheet. Much bigger, one suspects, than officials insisted after recently releasing their latest set of accounts. Particularly as, despite enjoying some support from their owner, United are essentially an organically grown institution. Their success under Wilder, until things began to go south in September, is responsible for the growth in spending power. Not a sugar daddy.

Despite briefing they plan to retain the core of their playing staff, whoever does take charge of United on a permanent basis will want to make personnel changes to suit their own tactics and strategies. Paul Heckingbottom, placed in interim charge in March, has been involved in helping plan United’s recovery programme following a wretched campaign which sees them travel to Everton this weekend hoping to avoid a 29th defeat in 36 outings. The former Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian chief, whose name also features on the shortlist of candidates identified as Wilder’s potential replacement, has argued widespread upheaval would be a mistake; acknowledging confidence inside the dressing room is at an all-time low but noting the positive chemistry its inhabitants enjoy.

However, although attack is one area of the pitch where United would be better served trimming rather than strengthening their options, making at least one ‘statement’ signing would help reinvigorate a fan base which has also been left dispirited by results of late.

United have played to the gallery in the past, and seldom performed well. But after spending two years at the highest level, they should be able to shop in a more attractive market now. If United do stick to their word and resist offers for their most exciting talents - something the right managerial appointment would help them do - the team still appears in need of freshening up.

“It’s been tough, as people would expect,” Heckingbottom said, before Saturday’s loss to Crystal Palace which saw United draw a blank for the 22nd time this season. “Goalscoring has obviously been a problem for us, that goes without saying. If you don’t take chances when you create them, especially when they are so hard to create in this division, then it is always going to be an issue.”

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Re: Thursday fulham Stuff - 13/05/21...
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2021, 12:30:19 AM »

Cottage Talk Post Match Show: Relegation Confirmed For Fulham

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

This episode centers around 3 polls that were on the Cottage Talk Twitter page, and they involved Tony Khan, Scott Parker, and Shahid Khan. We shared the results of the polls and gave our thoughts on each one of them.

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