Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...  (Read 650 times)

Offline whitejc

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Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« on: May 24, 2021, 08:41:01 AM »

Sutton Utd*
West Brom
Man City 
Sheff Utd
West Ham
Man Utd

*promoted to the EFL

Offline blingo

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2021, 08:42:45 AM »
You've said it all without saying anything JC. :Haynes The Maestro: :Haynes The Maestro:

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 08:44:56 AM »
Fulham 0-2 Newcastle United

Joe Willock became the youngest player to score in seven consecutive Premier League games and is only the second Newcastle player after Alan Shearer to achieve the feat

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says he hopes some of his team's critics "will eat humble pie and give them some credit" after victory against relegated Fulham saw the Magpies end the season in 12th place.

On-loan Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock scored for the seventh successive game, equalling Alan Shearer's club record, as Newcastle matched their best points tally in the Premier League since promotion in 2017.

"We'll never say it's an achievement to finish 12th for a club of our stature," said Bruce, "but I'm delighted with the way we have ended the season.

"When we really needed the results, the players and staff have worked tirelessly to turn it round."

Willock's opener was a fine one, marauding from his own half before capitalising on a fortunate rebound to lash the ball into the bottom corner.

Fulham huffed and puffed in front of their 2,000 fans but rarely troubled Martin Dubravka in the visiting goal, their afternoon summed up by Ivan Cavaleiro ballooning over with the goal at his mercy.

This 12th blank at home ensures Scott Parker's side take the record of fewest home goals scored in a Premier League season (nine) from Manchester City (2006-07) and Huddersfield (2018-19).

For Newcastle, Fabian Schar's composed late penalty sealed a fifth win in eight games.

Willock on the shopping list
A heavy defeat at Brighton on 20 March left Newcastle in 17th place, just two points above Fulham and with pundits ringing this final-day match as a potential relegation decider.

But the incredible goalscoring form of Willock means they end the season 17 points clear of the bottom three.

Signing Willock permanently from Arsenal must be the priority this summer, with club legend Alan Shearer this week calling for Newcastle to "break the bank" to complete that deal.

All is not well though at St James' Park with owner Mike Ashley still hugely unpopular with many fans and takeover talk quieter of late.

The jury is also still out on Bruce, who has overseen two similar campaigns, flirting with relegation before a spring recovery to stabilise in mid-table.

They were comfortable here against a Fulham side who offered little but they will need further reinforcements - and to keep key players such as Allan Saint-Maximin and top scorer Callum Wilson fit - if a top-10 push is to be considered realistic next season.

Summer of uncertainty for Fulham
For the fourth year in a row, Fulham enter the summer contemplating life in a different division.

Parker has at times brought an appearance of solidity to Fulham, at least in comparison to their last failed attempt at staying in the Premier League, but it has still ended with the same result.

And with seven loanees returning to their parent clubs, the playing staff looks set for churn once again this summer.

After the game, Parker admitted: "It's a big summer for us. There are big decisions to be made and we need to make sure we make the right ones."

Doubts also persist over his future, given he has been linked with the vacancy at Tottenham, and there have been reports of friction with the Fulham hierarchy.

Whether or not Parker stays, the core of their promotion side remains intact and will be bolstered by the parachute payments that come with a drop to the second tier.

There is also plenty of talent blooming in the Fulham academy - their under-18s side just clinched successive Premier League South titles.

But there is no hiding from those appalling goalscoring statistics - no shots on target in this one either - and a miserable run of two points in nine games to finish the season may cause a lasting hangover.

What they said
Bruce on the possibility of keeping Joe Willock: "I couldn't be more pleased for him. He's done so well. We'll try our utmost to keep him but we must respect that he's Arsenal's player."

Fulham boss Parker: "It was a snapshot of our season. We made a real improvement over a short space of time but we've fallen short in the fine margins and the quality of this division."

The stats - toothless Fulham and clinical Newcastle

    Fulham are the first side in Premier League history to fail to hit double figures for home goals in a single season, with the Whites netting just nine in their 19 games in 2020-21.
    Newcastle have won five of their past eight Premier League games (D1 L2), after enjoying just two wins in the 19 before that (D6 L11).
    Fulham have lost six home league games in a row for only the second time in their history, since losing seven in a row between November 1961 and February 1962.
    Since April, Newcastle have scored 18 goals in the Premier League, with only Liverpool (20), Tottenham and Manchester City (19 each) managing more.
    Joe Willock is only the second Newcastle player to score in seven consecutive Premier League appearances, after Alan Shearer in 1996, with this just the 13th occasion overall a player has achieved this in the history of the competition.
    Since his Premier League debut for Newcastle on 6 February, Joe Willock has scored eight goals in the competition, a total only Harry Kane, Kelechi Iheanacho (11 each) and Gareth Bale (10) could better.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2021, 08:45:39 AM »
Parker's Post-Newcastle press conference

Scott Parker was reflective in his final press conference of our campaign, summing up the game as “the story of our season.”

“That game was our season in a snapshot,” said our Head Coach. “Certainly, in the second half I thought we played the game in their half for the majority, but we missed some big chances – (Ivan) Cavaleiro’s chance that goes over is a massive chance.

“Then they enter our box three or four times, we give away a penalty and the game is done.

“I didn’t like us first half. I thought we lacked intensity, I thought we lacked a stimulus really, the game was flat - I thought both teams were.

“I thought that in second half we were well improved and we did very well, we just didn’t manage to be on the right side of things.”

At the conclusion of one of the most congested seasons in recent times, Parker said it is now time to take stock and start to rebuild for a new chapter of our future.

“We all need to take a breath,” he stated. “I think it’s probably wise to take a little bit of a breather, clear our minds and then come back with a plan of what we need to do and how we can be successful next year.

“It’s a tough league that we are in next year. Seven or eight players leave this team now, seven or eight come back into it from loan spells.

“It’s a new team again, a new stimulus and we need to work out what is the best way to go.”

A big positive was the return of 2,000 fans to the Cottage to see out our season, and Parker showed the importance of their support is not lost on him one bit, citing his appreciation.

“The fans have been brilliant with me and the team for the time I’ve been here,” said the gaffer. “I’m forever grateful for the support they have given us.

“I realise how important they are, and I certainly realise how important it is for the manager to have the support of the fans.

“The motivation this season was for the fans, the football club, the players, and for all of us to try and stay in this league and that will never fade away, that will be exactly the same again next year.

“I’m sad that the fans have not been able to experience Premier League football this year; the quality on show, the players and the teams that have been here at the Cottage.

“Our next challenge is to come back next year, support the team and try and get back into this league where we all want to be.” conference/

Offline Andy S

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 08:47:16 AM »
Today I’m ashamed of the manager all the coaching staff and most of the players. Together you relegated this club and did not even want to stay for anther season in a lower league.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 08:48:21 AM »
Fulham suffer one final indignity as a season to forget ends tamely

Fulham (0) 0

Newcastle United (1) 2 Willock 23, Schar 88 pen
Fulham bowed out of the Premier League much as they had lived it – with a whimper.

There was to be no late consolation for Scott Parker and his men. No raging against the dying of the light as they bade a tame farewell to the top flight.

They could not even get to double figures from their 19 home games, drawing another blank after another feeble display in the final third of the pitch.

Almost inevitably it was Arsenal loanee Jo Willock who inflicted some of the pain – grabbing his seventh goal in as many games for the Magpies after a dazzling break from half way.

A late penalty from sub Fabian Schar was the final little indignity.

Fans returned to create an ambience of sorts – though it was more genteel and clapper-banner inspired than euphoric, which is hardly surprising given the deflating circumstances.

The match had an unmistakable last-up-on-Match-of-the-Day vibe to it by the end. 

This was the fixture which was meant to define the season – the culmination of a great escape in front of returning fans and blasts of warm May sunshine.

A few weeks ago, in his programme notes, much-loved Fulham scribe Gentleman Jim said that he really hoped it would not come down to the Whites needing to win this final game to stay up.

Chance would be a fine thing. A desperate run of two draws and seven defeats in nine games decided their fate a few games ago. Not even the weather would oblige.

All that hope and ambition of a few months ago following the play-off victory over Brentford at Wembley has vanished in the Thames mist – a sense of disappointment compounded by the realisation that the west London neighbours they defeated appear about to take their place at the top table.

Early on, things were upbeat. A nice early touch from Ademola Lookman to warm the cockles, as he brought down a long pass, and cut inside before clipping a low shot inches wide – and there were familiar refrains of ‘Reeeeam’ when the American defender broke up a Newcastle attack.

Lookman led a breakaway and fed Ivan Cavaleiro on the edge of the area for a curled effort that ended the wrong side of the post. Fabio Carvalho, enjoying a first start on home soil, had a shot blocked.

But then came that all-too familiar feeling as the Magpies took the lead. Willock was allowed to travel from distance without being tackled - a forceful run which eventually ran into traffic on the edge of the area. But although halted by Ream, the ball sat up nicely for the striker to sweep past Marek Rodak. 

There was some response, with Cavaleiro clipping the top of the bar, but the Portuguese really should have done better just past the hour when the alert Carvalho intercepted a stray back-pass and put a chance on a plate for his team-mate. The effort was skied over. 

Carvalho, always willing and a ray of hope for the future, sent another effort just wide. Josh Maja came on and blazed into the Hammersmith End. 

There was to be no happy ending. No tiny uplifting moment. Instead, a foul by Kenny Tete on Matt Ritchie allowed Schar to coolly roll in from the spot to close this rather inglorious chapter in the Fulham story.

Whites (3-4-2-1): Rodak – Tete, Tosin, Ream – Reid, Anguissa (Loftus-Cheek h/t), Onomah, Bryan Francois 76) – Carvalho, Lookman (Maja 64), Cavaleiro. Subs not used: Areola, Hector, Lemina, Aina, Jasper

Magpies (5-3-2): Dubravka – Murphy, Krafth (Schar 73), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie – S Longstaff, Shelvey, Willock, Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65), Almiron (Hendrick 80). Subs not used: Gillespie, Clark, M Longstaff, Carroll, Lewis, Manquillo

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 08:49:26 AM »
Fulham end season with defeat against Newcastle

Relegated Fulham ended their Premier League campaign with another defeat.

An easing of Covid-19 restrictions meant 2,000 Whites fans were able to see the game at Craven Cottage.

But it was another disappointing display by the Whites, whose season was summed up by Ivan Cavaleiro missing a golden chance to equalise when he blasted over the bar.

Joe Willock put Newcastle ahead by scoring for the seventh game in a row.

He ran with the ball from near the halfway line and then took advantage of a ricochet by firing into the net.

Newcastle sealed their win with a late penalty by Fabian Schär after Kenny Tete had fouled Matt Ritchie.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 08:49:58 AM »
Fulham fall to final day defeat

There wasn’t much final day cheer at Craven Cottage. Only a few weeks ago, Fulham fans would have been contemplating the prospect of a fraught last day showdown against relegation rivals Newcastle United – but Scott Parker’s side crumbled well before a nervy climax became a possibility. The home faithful had to console themselves with a return to Fulham’s historic old home for the first time since before Christmas, but an insipid display only emphasised just how far Fulham have fallen short of staying afloat in the top flight this term.

Parker and the Fulham hierarchy have plenty of questions to ponder in the close season as the club prepares to try and return to English football’s top table at the first time of asking yet again. Chief among them well be whether Parker, whose tactical naivety proved costly in the final weeks of a chastening campaign, will be in charge of another Championship tilt come August. There will be question marks about the composition of Fulham’s squad, especially after the head coach admitted that all of the current loanees will return to their parent clubs in the coming week, whilst the need for significant summer recruitment will focus attention on director of football Tony Khan.

On the field, Fulham have been far too easy to play through in the key moments. This was encapsulated by Newcastle’s opening goal, scored predictably by the in-form Joe Willock, who grabbed his seventh goal in seven Premier League games to match a record held by legendary striker Alan Shearer. The on-loan Arsenal midfielder, whose scoring exploits lifted the Magpies to safety with surprising comfort, carried the ball the best part of seventy yards unchallenged. Only Tim Ream offered the slightest hint of a challenge – from which the ball sat up kindly for Willock to rifle home – but the tracking back of Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa was shambolic.

If that generous defending summed up Fulham’s failings, there was yet more manifestation of their chronic failure to finish in front of goal. The lack of a regular goalscorer has made Parker’s decision to ignore Aleksandar Mitrovic baffling and suggests that the Serbian striker will be looking for pastures new in a matter of weeks. For much of the campaign, Ivan Cavaleiro has operated as a makeshift number nine but if the Portuguese winger had added pace and pressing up front, his finishing fell short of the mark far too often. He spurned Fulham’s best chances here – bending a couple of efforts over the crossbar from presentable positions – and then unforgivably failing to find the target from close range after a brilliant lay-off from Fabio Carvalho.

The talented teenager continued his impressive cameos of recent weeks and looked the most likely source of a Fulham equaliser. Carvalho looked most at home when operating just behind the striker – and provided an injection of both pace and sharpness in the final third. Predictably, the home side dominated the second period but struggled to carve out clear cut chances. There was a league debut for tidy Australian midfielder Tyrese Francois as a late substitute, but the Whites were largely restricted to hopeful potshots from range. Kenny Tete’s speculative effort bounced around in the penalty area but Carvalho couldn’t profit when it dropped towards him – and, in keeping with Fulham’s frustrating season, Newcastle profited from a smash and grab in the dying embers of the contest to double their lead.

It came from the penalty spot, after Tete was penalised for felling Matt Ritchie in the box. The award felt soft but Fabian Schar by effortlessly beating Marek Rodak from twelve yards. That goal lifted Newcastle above Wolves and into twelve on goal difference and a smattering of boos from the home crowd on the final whistle offered a stark reminder of Fulham’s own underwhelming finish. On this evidence, an immediate return to the Premier League next May appears a tall order.

FULHAM (3-4-2-1): Rodak; Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream; Decordova-Reid, Bryan (Francois 76), Anguissa (Loftus-Cheek 45), Onomah; Carvalho, Lookman (Maja 64); Cavaleiro. Subs (not used): Areola, Hector, Aina, Lemina, Jasper.


NEWCASTLE UNITED (5-3-2): Dubravka; J. Murphy, Ritchie, Krafth (Schar 73), Fernandez, Dummett; S. Longstaff, Shelvey, Willock; Almiron (Hendrick 80), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65). Subs (not used): Gillespie, Clark, Lewis, Manquillo, M. Longstaff, Carroll.

GOALS: Willock (23), Schar (pen 88).

REFEREE: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire).

VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE: Robert Jones (Cheshire).


Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 08:55:31 AM »
Nothing to lose

Mark Hudson
Caretaker Manager, Huddersfield Town, 2019

There was not one thing about that week that made me think this isn’t for me.

Not one.

It wasn’t the best circumstances, in all honesty; taking over a team that was bottom of the Premier League with two wins from 22 games, and the small matter of a game against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City coming up on the Sunday.

This was January 2019. Huddersfield had just sacked David Wagner, and the board asked me to take the team for the upcoming match as caretaker manager.

I had no hesitation at all in saying yes.

It was a really weird situation, though. I’d loved playing for and working with David and his assistant Christoph Bühler and, just like so many members of the squad, I was sad to see them go.

It was an emotional group. We had a bond with David and Christoph. So, the hardest part of the week was the first meeting with the players.

David had just said his goodbyes, and then suddenly the spotlight was on me.

I told the players we all knew results hadn’t been good enough, but they still had a job to do. I told them they were still part of this club and they still got paid to do something that they should love. We had to focus on the game at the weekend.

I had to try and bring some smiles to their faces, because there will have been some players who were wondering if they were to blame for David’s departure.

    “The main piece of advice I was given was to go and enjoy it. And I did”

But then there were others who saw an opportunity; players who hadn’t been playing who thought they might now have a chance.

I brought some new ideas, a bit of freshness to training. That, along with a bit more motivation in some of the players, meant the week – once that first meeting was out of the way – was a complete joy.

“You’ve got nothing to lose,” I was told time and again ahead of the game.

City were fighting for the title with Liverpool. This was one of the best teams in Premier League history. They won the league that season with 98 points.

So, we were playing a team that was winning most weeks, and we were live on television. The main piece of advice I was given was to go and enjoy it.

And I did.

The game was as difficult as you’d expect, and we lost 3-0 (above).

I loved every single part of that week, though. From doing the media to trying to pick up a team that was hurting, it was all amazing.

Having my own team and putting together a game plan that was then put into practice – and you could see elements of it out there on the pitch against one of the best teams in the world – was so rewarding.

    “As I walked down the wembley stairs, medal around my neck, I knew my playing days were done”

Yes, there were tough parts. Standing up in front of that squad – which had a few internationals of its own – was nerve-wracking, and not showing any nerves was a challenge in itself.

But that was it for me. I’d caught the management bug.

I wouldn’t say I always knew I’d wanted to go into coaching. When I was in my 20s, I always thought my playing career would end and I’d leave the game. I thought I’d just play golf after I retired! But by the time I stopped playing, I was excited about my move into coaching.

My final game in the squad as a player was the Championship playoff final for Huddersfield against Reading at the end of the 2016/17 season. We won on penalties to get promoted to the Premier League (below).

It was such an emotional day. The playoffs make the season so long – it’s something I got a lot of experience of during the course of my career – and can be really draining. To win them and get promoted is an amazing feeling.

As I walked down the stairs at Wembley, medal still around my neck, I saw my family and my agent.

“Well, that’s me done,” I said.

They looked at me in surprise and told me to just go and enjoy the day.

But I knew then that, with the team going into the Premier League, at 35 years of age, there’d be players more deserving of a place in the team than me.

I knew my playing days were done.

    “We had some great times and some great games. We went to Bayern Munich – and won”

David and Christoph (below) had been a huge influence on me in terms of the coach I became. They taught us to play the game in a completely different way to what I’d seen before.

They also opened my eyes to a completely different style of management, coaching and analysis – particularly how it can all be blended together to create something special on the pitch.

Once the dust had settled after the playoff final, I had a really open conversation with David. We decided that I would do pre-season with the players and down-train, which was important for me. I’d been doing it my whole life.

After that, I quickly moved on to learning the ropes. I shadowed David and Christoph; I followed things in the media department to see how that worked; I saw how the sport science department went about their business every day; and I spent loads of time in with the data-analysis team. That was something David and Christoph were very, very big on, and it was a big part of our success at Huddersfield.

It was important for me to understand how they coded things, how they worked out trends in the opposition and how they presented their findings for others to understand it all easily. I learned a lot.

Then came another open conversation with David – I really valued how open he was with me, and that’s definitely something I’ve taken into my coaching. This time it was about how I would be involved.

He offered me the Under-19s or the Under-23s. He told me he thought the U19s were a better group of players, but I decided to go with the U23s, purely because it was closer to the first team.

David left me to it. There was no micromanagement. He trusted me to get the team playing the same way as the first team.

    “I think there’s something in the locations that are most conducive to building a special team bond”

We had some great times and some great games. We went to Bayern Munich – their training ground is amazing – and won. We went all over Europe and did well. And plenty of players made the step up to the first team under me.

It was great exposure for me, and a great way to transition into coaching.

I loved being part of a group again, and building together towards a common goal. Being part of an ambitious group, striving and battling together; that is something I enjoyed and felt the benefit of throughout my career.

Malky Mackay was brilliant at building that kind of bond. What he created in the dressing room at Cardiff was unbelievable.

There was an honesty in it. We led the dressing room pretty much ourselves, because he allowed us to do that. He trusted us.

We created a bond on and off the pitch, and that included our partners and families, too. When you move to Cardiff, you fully commit. You don’t move nearby and travel to and from. I think there’s something in the locations that are most conducive to building a special team bond.

Malky did a great job of facilitating that, though. He was only with us for two years, but he really got us fighting for each other. He took that Cardiff team to the next level.

In the two years before he got there, we made the playoffs twice in a row, but fell short. In Malky’s first season in 2011/12, he took us to the League Cup final – where we lost to Liverpool on penalties – and we got into the playoffs again. Then, the year after, we won the Championship and – finally – got promoted to the Premier League (below).

    “When I was younger, I used to imitate DUNCAN Ferguson. All of a sudden, here I was playing against him”

There were no egos in that team; there was such a togetherness. We’d get off the team coach at the same time – everyone would wait until every single person was ready before anyone got off. Everyone wore exactly the same, so there was nothing special about any individual. We were all buying into that message of the collective.

We’d been together a few years by that point, so we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and worked so hard as a team that it mattered less if any individual wasn’t quite at it in any particular game.

We made our home ground a horrible place for visiting teams to come to. We had a grit and determination about us. The fans got right behind us and we had some really tough players.

We could win games by dominating and we could win games by grinding out a result. We got on a roll and the wins kept on coming. The Championship season feels really tough through November, December, January, but if you’re still up there after that, it starts to go much quicker. We ended up winning the league by a distance.

That was the second of three times I won promotion to the Premier League. The first had been much earlier in my career.

I’d spent some time on loan from Fulham at Oldham with Iain Dowie, then when he moved to Crystal Palace he got me in on loan again. This was back when I was still only 20, 21. I played a fair bit and we got into the playoffs.

But then my loan deal ended before the final. Chris Coleman wanted me back at Fulham, who were already in the Premier League, but Palace wanted me on a permanent deal. Iain had taken me to Oldham and to Palace and now wanted to sign me permanently, so I had a good feeling about taking that risk.

I signed just before the playoff final, so I went down to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and watched Palace beat West Ham to get promoted.

I didn’t play as much as I liked the following season, but I did get to test myself against some amazing strikers: Didier Drogba and Adrian Mutu for Chelsea; Nicolas Anelka for Manchester City; Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson for Everton.

    “He dropped in some other names of players he had made captain, including David Beckham for England”

When I was younger, I used to play with my collar up to imitate Ferguson. All of a sudden, here I was playing against him.

He came on late on in the game. All that was going through my mind was: “You’ve got to win the first header.”

It was one of those moments that you can’t really believe is happening when you’re in it, when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. I was lucky enough to have a fair few of those in my career.

I was a captain throughout my career. I never felt the armband was a burden – it was really special to put it on and be a leader on and off the pitch.

Peter Taylor was the first one to make me captain. He replaced Iain Dowie as Palace manager in 2006, and on his first day he sat me down.

“I tried to sign you when I was at Hull,” he told me, which I obviously saw as a good sign.

“I see you as a leader,” he carried on. “The way you carry yourself, on and off the pitch.” Then he made me captain, and also dropped in some other names who he had done the same with, including giving David Beckham the England captaincy for the first time. That was huge for a young player like me to be told that.

I never found it daunting being a captain, even when I was younger. I never told anyone what to do – I wasn’t authoritarian – and being a leader came quite naturally to me.

    “I love the feeling of being in something together; of being ready to do anything for your teammates”

I played my best football at Cardiff. For a centre-back, it’s all about partnerships – anyone who says otherwise is lying!

I had a great relationship with Ben Turner. He was a big guy, a big character and an absolute rock at the back, so he made it easier for me.

Relationships and team spirit are so important to a team’s success. The togetherness we had at Cardiff helped us get over the line after the disappointment of falling short in the playoffs three years in a row. It was the same with Huddersfield when we got promoted to the Premier League.

I love that feeling, of being in something together; of being ready to do anything for your teammates.

Coaching every day and being part of a unit gives you that. You have your smaller coaching group, and then you have the bigger group with the players. It’s a special feeling to build bonds in a squad and see them developing.

It’s so rewarding to put a plan together with your staff and then put it into practice with the players.

I absolutely love it.

That week in charge at Huddersfield was a confirming week for me.

Now, there’s no doubt about it: I’ve caught the management bug.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 08:57:16 AM »
Fulham boss Scott Parker bemoans his side's failure to make 2nd half dominance pay against Newcastle

Fulham were arguably the better side against Newcastle United in the second half but did create any chances

Scott Parker believes his side's defeat to Newcastle United was a 'snapshot' of Fulham's season as they failed to mark their exit from the Premier League with a win.

Goals from Joe Willock - his 7th in 7 games - and Fabian Schar secured the points for the Magpies but Parker believes his side improved in the second half but failed to take advantage.

Speaking after the game, the Fulham boss said: "That game was our season in a snapshot.

"Certainly, in the second half I thought we played the game in their half for the majority, but we missed some big chances – (Ivan) Cavaleiro’s chance that goes over is a massive chance.

“Then they enter our box three or four times, we give away a penalty and the game is done.

“I didn’t like us, first half. I thought we lacked intensity, I thought we lacked a stimulus really, the game was flat - I thought both teams were.

“I thought that in the second half we were well improved and we did very well, we just didn’t manage to be on the right side of things.”

Fulham did indeed improve in the second 45 - having 79% of possession, and attempting 19 crosses but failed to punish Newcastle who stepped off the gas having gone one-up through Willock.

Their dominance - and failure to make it pay is perhaps no more shown in the fact that they made 235 accurate passes out of 266 attempted - while Newcastle completed just 76 out 104.

Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka was not called into action, at the end of the day only one thing mattered - that was the scoreline, and the Magpies' two-nil win sees them finish 12th for the season.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 08:58:19 AM »
Fulham already have the makings of a strong Championship side

Fulham’s parting shot in the Premier League proved to be another sad Sunday.

They exited the top flight for the second time in two years after the strangest of seasons, with 2,000 fans there to see the final rites.

In December, a first and only other set of supporters saw a creditable draw with Liverpool. This small gathering saw nothing vaguely similar in the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle.

A month ago, this game was touted as a relegation decider.

That boat sailed so long ago it’s had time to dock, refit, and hoist anchor for a return.

Even so, Fulham probably don’t have much to do for another profitable voyage in the second tier.

That starting XI was a clear statement of intent.

So long, loan players, bar Ademola Lookman, who did play.

That has to be a decent Championship side bearing in mind it was also missing Tom Cairney, Terence Kongolo, Antonee Robinson, Harrison Reed and Aleksandar Mitrovic – as it stands.

There are serious doubts over whether Andre-Frank Anguissa and Mitrovic will be there next season, despite Scott Parker’s protestations.

Tosin has also caught the eye.

The head coach’s first job will be to keep those he’s got.

One who won’t be around is Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The Chelsea loan player came on as a half-time substitute for Anguissa, and in his 32nd and final appearance for Fulham, he was as average as the first – that was back in October at Sheffield United. He’s been a big disappointment.

Here’s another:

Ivan Cavaleiro cost Fulham £15m from Wolves in early 2020. The sellers must have run to the nearest bank drying the cheque as they went.

His 56th-minute miss with a wafted shot over the bar was criminal.

To force an unlikely save would have been one thing, but to scoop it over by a margin from seven yards had the normally unflappable Parker with head in hand. Maybe he remembered Cav has a contract until 2024.

As a marker of Fulham’s season, they had eight shots in the first half – with none on target. Newcastle had three on target, one an opportunistic goal from Joe Willock, and two fewer attempts.

On the plus side, Tyrese Francois made his Premier League debut in the second half to come alongside former Under-23 pal Fabio Carvalho.

If nothing else, two from the academy in the top tier was a minor consolation.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2021, 09:00:02 AM »
xclusive: Spurs legend names possible Mourinho successor

Graham Roberts has told This Is Futbol that Tottenham Hotspur will be attracted to the prospect of appointing Scott Parker as their new manager.

Spurs sacked Jose Mourinho earlier this season and have appointed Ryan Mason as his replacement on an interim basis.

It means that the club are on the lookout for a replacement for the Portuguese, and a number of managers have been linked.

Football Insider has reported that Spurs are set to interview Parker over the vacancy, with the ex-midfielder having spent two years at the club as a player between 2011 and 2013.

He has also worked with the youth setup in north London, coaching their U18s for a time before his move to the Cottagers.

Ex-Spurs legend believes Parker would be seen as an attractive option despite Fulham’s relegation to the Championship, and has even made the claim that the club play better football than Brighton & Hove Albion, who are managed by Graham Potter, another who has been linked with the Tottenham job.

He told TIF: “I think everybody’s attractive at the moment, what about Parker at Fulham? He knows the club inside out, he’s coached the youngsters there, his coaches who are with him now all came from Tottenham.

“I think he’s played better football than Brighton, they just had a bad start and they can’t catch up.”

Nevertheless, Roberts is wary of the challenges that will be faced by the next manager, given the club’s underperformance in recent seasons.

He added: “There’s lots of them but whoever comes in, I think we’ve got two options. You’ve got to come in, you’ve got these players, and there’s better managers around who haven’t got the best out of them, so that’s one problem you’ve got, and the next problem is, there’s no money.

“Until you sell somebody, you can get anyone in who you want.”

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2021, 09:01:20 AM »
The Story of the Craven Cabbage of Craven Cottage: Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 Match Report

What’s the definition of craven?

The Oxford Dictionary states that it means; contemptibly lacking in courage; cowardly.

I think anybody watching the game on Sunday, or following the Premier League this season, would agree that Craven Cottage has been an apt name.

Fulham have only won two games there all year. Both of those victories against the other two useless teams that will be joining them in the Championship next season.

This game was mooted to be a potential relegation head-to-head showdown. Not long ago there was much speculation that the relegation issue could be decided on the final day of the season between our two sides.

Instead, we found form and pieced together a vital run of wins and draws and went into the game fourteen points clear of our opponents.

So the focus shifted. Now, as it approached 3pm, there was only one thing I was interested in. How many of those players that limped off just four days previously were going to be in the starting line-up? Would we see some of the squad given a chance? Would some younger players get an opportunity? The answers were ‘all of them bar Joelinton’, ‘no’, ‘no’.

I thought early on that Dubravka wasn’t 100%. He didn’t seem able to clear the ball out of our half and almost got caught out when coming out of his box to collect a back pass. However, as the game went on, he appeared comfortable enough. Whether that was due to injections before the game or not, it is impossible to tell.

ASM and Willock both seemed to be okay as well. ASM wasn’t at his most dynamic but still had a decent game and didn’t start limping until the hour mark.

There were few moments of note in the first twenty minutes. ASM made a run left of centre of the 18-yard box. The centre back showed him onto his weaker foot but that suited him, and he brushed past the defender and aimed a shot at the far corner which the keeper tipped wide.

Lookman jiggled past Krafth but his near post-strike was weak and Dubravka had it covered.

Just over 20 minutes in, Murphy had to battle for the ball after giving it away just outside our 18-yard box. After a tussle he did manage to gain possession and knocked the ball to the 2021 hero of Tyneside. Willock picked up the ball halfway inside his own half and galloped forward. No Fulham player put in a proper challenge until he reached their box. Willock tried to reverse the ball to Longstaff but the interception from Ream bounced back to his right foot and he struck it through the legs of Tosin and into the bottom corner.

It was his seventh consecutive scoring performance, equalling the NUFC record set by Alan Shearer. With this being the last game of the season, I think there’s little chance of him breaking that record.

ASM was gifted possession and broke away against two rapidly backpedalling defenders. Almiron was busting a gut to offer an overlap but the Frenchman took on the shot and it went tamely wide. Cavaleiro clipped the top of our bar from just inside our box.

And that was it for the first half.

Any changes for the second half? Would we see Matty get a run out? Willock isn’t even our player, Shelvey has played an abundance of football and has ‘earned’ a break, Almiron will have a busy summer having to travel with Paraguay. He’s got a minimum of six games in three and a half weeks starting in just over a week’s time. Could we bring Matty in, for one of them, and let him have a runout? Obviously not.

The second half saw Fulham take control of a tepid game.

Joe Willock almost gifted Fulham an equaliser, playing a delightful through ball to Carvalho who squared it to Cavaleiro who couldn’t have scooped it much higher over the bar had he been wearing flippers.

Fulham played some nice football, especially down the left-hand side, but they lacked conviction. They lacked that bravery at the end.

Dwight Gayle came on just after the hour for ASM. He had a fantastic chance, heading over unchallenged from point blank rage.

Schar replaced Krafth, who’d gone down injured, and Hendrick came on for Almiron.

There was little action to speak of in the latter stages of the game. Newcastle just soaked up the pressure and a couple of times formed a nine / ten-man picket line to stop Fulham stabbing chances home from close range.

Ritchie went down in the box late on to earn a penalty. What happened to his penalty taking privileges? He was a regular taker before Wilson joined but in the last couple of weeks, he’s seen Joelinton, Willock and now Schar all take them ahead of him.

Schar was cool as you like to slot the ball home and that was that.

Craven is a word that could be comfortably used to describe our Head Coach. He has been called a coward by one of his own players this season. The succession of excuses and blame shifts he has trotted out to disguise his own incompetence have been embarrassing. Today we got the win, we finished in twelfth place but, in my mind, he was cowardly again.

Today was a nothing match. A chance to give some others a bit of game time. The millions that finishing a few places higher in the table bring are irrelevant as it won’t make any difference to our transfer budget.

Matty Longstaff hasn’t had any pitch time since January and has only featured five times all season in the Premier League. After being hoodwinked into signing a new contract he must be cursing his situation. Andy Carroll, a cheap marketing ploy of a signing has been hardly seen all year. I’m not saying he should have played more but he should never have been given a new contract if he wasn’t going to be utilised. With this likely to be his last game, what would have been the harm in letting him have a run (jog?) out. Dwight Gayle is a player we surely want to sell this summer. Could he have got a start to try and boost his transfer value?

Giving Lewis a run out for half an hour or so would have been good for his confidence. He’s not had a great season and I’m fully behind playing Ritchie over him, but we spent a decent fee on the left back, so we need to find a way to get something out of him. He’ll be bereft of confidence having featured so little in the last three months. The six minutes he got against Man City is the only first team football he’s played since February.

It wouldn’t have hurt to have an academy player or two on the bench. If Anderson had been fit, would he have got a chance? I highly doubt it.

Whilst his opposite number was putting his faith in 18-year-old Fabio Carvalho for the third game running as well as giving a 20-year-old Tyrese Francois his Premier League debut, Bruce didn’t take the opportunity to give any young players a chance.

We won the game, we beat last season’s points tally and Bruce can finally claim he’s matched the mighty Rafa (two years and £100 million net spend later) but we were poor. We’ve won five of the last eight games and this has meant that we have survived comfortably on paper. However, apart from the Leicester game, we’ve been mediocre for the majority of the last two months.

The return of key players and the magic of Willock has helped us massively but there have been large dollops of Brucey luck again. Let us not forget the horrendous run that came before our win against Burnley either. Two wins in twenty one games is inexcusable. He may have matched Rafa but despite having £80 million spent on attacking talent since Rafa left we only scored four more goals than his team did in 18/19. It’s still an improvement you say? Well, we also conceded fourteen more despite not losing any of the defenders that Rafa had (besides the loaning out of Lejeune and the Yedlin give away) and spent more in this area too.

We have regressed and Bruce proved once again he was more interested in his demented quest to prove his worth than rest overworked players and let younger/squad players have an opportunity.

The season has ended comfortably but imagine starting the next one with Ashley and Bruce still in position?

Imagine a team without Willock and maybe ASM, a few budget replacements brought in?

Imagine if Norwich, Watford and whoever else comes up have something more about them than the three that have dropped down?

Imagine if Bruce’s luck runs out!

Stats from BBC Sport:

Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 23 May 4pm



Willock 23, Schar pen 88


Possession was Fulham 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were Fulham 14 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Fulham 0 Newcastle 4

Corners were Fulham 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth (Schar 73), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Hendrick 80), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65)

Unused Subs:

Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Jamal Lewis, Andy Carroll

Crowd: 2,000

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 24/05/21...
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2021, 09:01:53 AM »
Jack and Loz Not at the Cottage (Although we Could Have Been) - Blog 181

Date: 23rd May 2021
Opposition: Newcastle
Score: 0-2
MOTM: the match going fans who paid £40 each to watch a dull, dismal, dire match
Snacks: Loz - tomato sauce crisps; Jack - choc chip shortbread

This was meant to be the zenith of the season - the final match, the relegation decider in front of the fans, two great and noble clubs fighting to the death. Except it wasn’t. Because Fulham were down and out already.

It might still have been an entertaining end to the season - a team playing for pride and the fans, players going all out for one last win, one last goal. Except that didn’t happen either.

What did happen is that Scott player picked a lottery of a line-up and it didn’t work out on any level. To be fair to Scott, he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. It was good to see Rodak, Onomah and Bryan. It was great that Fabio got 90 minutes. Tete playing the full game too is hopefully a sign that he will be with us next season. But this odd mix of Championship stalwarts, young guns and loanees just weren’t up to the task.

Serbia’s all time top goal scorer was conspicuous by his absence again.

It wasn’t just Scott who repeated old mistakes. The players were lifeless, slow and hesitant. Attacks started well, but the attackers put the brakes on 25 yards out and passed back to Ream. Shooting was even worse than usual (particularly from Cav) and what was the point of trying to cross the ball into the box (something Joe did well) when there was no target man? He’s locked in a cupboard somewhere, remember?

The defence could have done a lot better for the first Newcastle goal although we were cheated by VAR yet again for the second - Tete didn’t touch the player and the check was over much too quickly. Not that it matters.

In terms of spirit, relegation has knocked the stuffing out of everyone except Fabio and the players must be as glad as we are the season is over. As for the fans, we’re all feeling as flat as a damp clapper.

A word on the subs: we would rather have seen Jasper than Maja and while it was good to see Francois we wouldn’t have taken Joe off. As for RLC, it was just another opportunity for him to prove he has no ability, skill, speed, awareness, pride, respect, drive or determination.

This match was a microcosm of our season. We weren’t strong enough at the back and while the build up play was good the overall attack was poor and we couldn’t break down a decent defence. It’s impossible to fault the work ethic of most players (Cav being a good example) but they are lacking in skill both collectively and individually at this level.

Ultimately, we lost this match and we have been relegated for one principal reason: we didn’t score enough goals.

Random Musings

- while it may have felt like an expensive friendly if you were there, it was great to have fans back at the Cottage.....
-......epitomised by that shout of “Reeeeeeaaaaammmmmm!!!!!!!”
- we felt again that fans would have made the difference in a lot of matches this season
- respect to the die-hands and truly devoted who were at the Cottage and it’s a shame the team couldn’t raise their game for you
- Frank and Bobby both had gloves on in May
- what was going on with Scott’s special one beard?
- it was a nice of Maja to give his shirt to the fan with the “it’s my birthday” sign
- Scott couldn't lift his head as he went round with the players to applaud the fans at the end. That says it all....

So that was a painful match to end a painful season. There were moments of hope. And hours of despair. And, lately, whole games of grim acceptance and just wanting it to be over.

And now it is over but it doesn’t feel any better. We are down, sinking fast and rudderless. The now traditional Fulham Summer Rebuild will have a desperate edge this time around. We cannot go on like this. This isn’t sustainability, it’s the road to ruin.

We all love Fulham and we’ve followed the Club faithfully through this sad and difficult year, but it’s been the fans who have kept each other going - Fulham itself has done little to lighten our dark days or divert us from the trials of the pandemic.

August will be here before we know it, and a return to the Cottage, and better football and matches we can win. But a lot needs to change between now and then. A lot will, but not necessarily for the better.