Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 04/07/21...  (Read 891 times)

Offline whitejc

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Sunday Fulham Stuff - 04/07/21...
« on: July 04, 2021, 08:19:31 AM »
Fulham boss to make decision on Stefan Johansen’s future with QPR and Blackburn Rovers lurking

QPR and Blackburn Rovers face a wait in their respective pursuits to sign Stefan Johansen from Fulham.

New Fulham boss Marco Silva will run the rule over his newly inherited squad and will decide whether the Norway international is part of his plans for next season, as per a report by the Lancashire Telegraph.

Johansen, who is 30-years-old, has a year left on his contract at Craven Cottage but most signs point towards him leaving this summer.

Fulham may try and get a fee for him to avoid losing him for free in 12 months.

Johansen joined QPR on loan in the January transfer window and was a hit with Mark Warburton’s side during the second-half of the season.

The R’s would love to re-sign him this summer on a permanent basis but face competition from Championship rivals Blackburn.

Johansen joined Fulham in 2016 from Celtic and has since made 136 appearances for the Cottagers in all competitions, chipping in with 21 goals.

He has also had a loan spell away from the London club at West Bromwich Albion.

He has helped Fulham gain promotion to the Premier League twice before in the past so that experience could come in handy as they eye an immediate return to the Premier League next term.

However, the decision lies with Silva and if he lets him leave the London club then QPR and Blackburn Rovers are waiting in the wings.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 04/07/21...
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2021, 08:21:14 AM »
Marco Silva and Fulham could be amazing or awful

The Marco Silva appointment at Fulham has a very high ceiling of potential but also a crushingly low floor in terms of how wrong it can go.

When Marco Silva left his last managerial job in 2019, few would have expected the Portuguese to return to English football following his tempestuous rise and fall. But the Fulham hot seat could provide the perfect opportunity for his redemption.

Replacing the Bournemouth-headed Scott Parker at the Craven Cottage helm sees Silva take on his first second-tier job in a decade. The only other time he has managed below the top flight was in his debut coaching campaign with home country outfit Estoril. Emulating his time in Portugal would be most welcomed by the 43-year-old and his new employers.

So far, Silva’s combined career has something of a palindromic look: early playing stints rarely making it past the 30-appearance mark before playing over 100 times for Estoril, with whom he went almost immediately into management. That first coaching job was also the only time thus far he’s made it into triple figures for games managed at one club. His subsequent stints range from 18 and 24 league games with Hull City and Watford respectively to the 60 largely endured with and by Everton.

The Cottagers will be hopeful that Silva makes himself more at home in the black and white corner of West London – and the three-year contract offered to him most likely represents optimism rather than expectation – but should he fulfil even two-thirds of that deal, he will have gone a long way to righting the wrongs of his recent managerial career.

Of course, there are no guarantees that Fulham, or indeed the Championship, will offer the reserved figure a seat back at the top table of English football. In reverse, managers who succeed in the lower leagues are gradually given chances higher up the pyramid, suggesting that the top-flight jobs are harder and vice versa, the lower down you go, the easier it should be.

Nobody here is under that illusion. The challenges change as you go down the divisions, but they do not get easier. Silva’s top-flight pedigree across Europe proves how good he can be when undistracted by casting glances or working under a threaded relationship with owners. That does little to prove how he will compete in the Championship.

There are of course reasons why predecessor Parker was so keen to make a sideways step to Fulham’s likely promotion rivals, a fractious relationship with chairman and owner Shahid Khan chief amongst them, and Silva is unlikely to hang around for as long as Parker did should similar apparent meddling in team decisions and signings occur this time around.

It is difficult to imagine Silva committing to this role without promises to guard against Khan’s previous interruptions in the football side of operations, but Silva, too, must fulfil his side of the bargain. This is after all, his fourth managerial job in England, yet Fulham’s opening weekend clash will be just his 109th league match in the country.

Given his penchant for leaving clubs when the going gets tough or the green grass from afar looks so much more appealing, it is hard to see anyone of this quality offering Silva a fifth bite at the cherry should the Portuguese not live up to his side of the bargain.

And of course, the expectation will be that Fulham make another immediate return to the Premier League. Having compiled such a talented squad – albeit just a little too late and with a manager not of the requisite level – the cream of that team will likely rise back to the top away from Craven Cottage, but there should be enough dregs from that relegated side left over to mount a serious promotion challenge before adding in the summer additions to be made now the manager is in place.

A decade ago, Silva took an Estoril side seven years out of the Portuguese top flight back to the Primeira Liga at his first time of asking. The relative challenge facing Silva now is simple. Promotion from the Championship has not been the dilemma. Parker achieved it in 2019/20 and Silva has capabilities of which the new Bournemouth manager can only dream.

Fulham must also realise their potential of yesteryear. Months before Silva hung up his boots and donned the touchline in his trademark black suit and white shirt, Fulham were an established and exciting Premier League side competing in the Europa League final.

Silva comes with European experience, having defeated Arsenal in the Champions League during an overwhelmingly successful and record-breaking domestic spell with Greek titans Olympiakos, but it is in the modest and intense Championship climes where reputations counts for little when Silva’s career will be decided.

Fail at Fulham and his chances in England are all but done; a quite staggering turnaround from his first 12 months on these shores. From semi-xenophobic taunting to belittling those who bemoaned his lack of experience with a series of positive results which gave Hull City a far more fighting chance of staying up in the Premier League than looked likely at almost any other point in the 2016/17 season, Silva seemed destined for the top.

In many ways, he was the new Mauricio Pochettino. A more modest playing career than the Argentinian, granted, but decent jobs in Europe paved the way to an English club taking a positive chance and soon realising their new man was destined for greater things.

Perhaps equally as reserved and certainly dourer, scorn was poured on Silva after a great start at Watford following his resignation upon relegation on Humberside, when no sooner than embarking on an exciting new challenge at Vicarage Road, he gave the Hertfordshire club a taste of their own medicine. Admiring glances from Everton were reciprocated before eventually departing for Goodison Park, his stock high and expectations even higher.

A season and a half of largely underwhelming football and results led to a demise that was a long time in the making, and have taken the best part of 18 months from which to recover.

Unlike most in similar positions, Silva has sought neither a quick paycheck in a rich league overseas nor jumped back in at an inopportune moment. Now he is back almost from out of nowhere in unfamiliar territory in the Championship, and yet still a great Fulham fit from the outside looking in.

Fulham, meanwhile, know that yo-yo football is not sustainable in the long-term. Norwich City are the exception rather than the rule, knowing their own limitations and almost always coming back stronger having not overplayed their cards in the top flight and remaining sustainable and realistic on their returns to the EFL.

Once again the Cottagers are on parachute payments, a welcome income with the losses that Covid has brought, but they run out quickly without the right plan moving forward. Parker never looked anything more than a short-term stop gap: a once popular but quickly discerning figure on the touchline incapable of giving the Fulham faithful either the football or the results they craved.

Silva has proven himself capable of both in the past, but comes with his reputation tarnished by that underwhelming spell at Everton which once promised so much.

Capable of playing exhilarating football when it suits and upsetting the big boys, Fulham and Silva want the same things from each other. If both avoid silly mistakes of the past, it could be a match made in heaven. Conversely, if either party messes this up, it could prove impossible to come back once more. Only Fulham and Silva can decide which way this relationship now goes.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 04/07/21...
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2021, 08:22:37 AM »
Fulham interested in Harry Wilson

Fulham are interested in a deal to bring Harry Wilson to Craven Cottage this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Goal, who claimed that the Cottagers are among a number of clubs keeping a close eye on the situation of the Liverpool winger ahead of a potential move in the summer transfer window.

The report added that Jurgen Klopp is actively looking to sell the 24-year-old this summer, with the Reds believed to be demanding a fee in the region of €15m (£13m) in order to part with the Wales international.

Silva must move

With Wilson having impressed over a number of loan spells in the Championship in the past, the news that Marco Silva is plotting a move to make the winger his first signing for the club is no great surprise.

Indeed, during a spell at Hull City back in 2017/18, the £15.3m-rated man scored seven goals, registered three assists and created three big chances for his teammates over 14 Championship appearances. These returns saw the Welshman earn an average SofaScore match rating of 7.25, ranking him as the Tigers’ second-best performer in the league.

Wilson was sent to Derby County the following year, where he scored an impressive 15 goals, provided three assists and created six big chances for his teammates over a total of 40 Championship fixtures. These metrics saw the £41,000-per-week man earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.17, ranking him as the club’s best performer in the second tier of English football.

Most recently, the winger spent a season with Cardiff City, scoring seven goals, registering 11 assists and creating 11 big chances over 37 Championship appearances for Mick McCarthy’s side.

These returns saw the man Marcelo Bielsa dubbed an “exceptional” player earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.20, ranking him as the Bluebirds’ second-best performer in the division last term.

As such, the addition of Wilson to Fulham would appear to greatly boost the Cottagers’ chances of securing an immediate return to the Premier League next year, leading us to believe that Silva should do all he can to get a deal over the line for the free kick specialist this summer.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 04/07/21...
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2021, 08:24:28 AM »
Former Watford boss Silva replaces Scott Parker at Fulham

Fulham have confirmed the appointment of Marco Silva as their new head coach.

 Former Watford boss Silva, 43, has signed a three-year contract to replace Scott Parker, who left Craven Cottage on Monday to become Bournemouth manager.

Fulham said on their official website: “The club is delighted to announce the appointment of Marco Silva as our new head coach.

“Silva has agreed a three-year deal with Fulham, keeping him at Craven Cottage until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

“He will be assisted by club legend Luis Boa Morte, who made 250 appearances in a six-and-a-half year spell.”

 Fulham were relegated last season after one season back in the Premier League, while Silva has been out of work since being sacked by Everton in December 2019.

Silva told Fulham’s official website: “I’m really pleased and proud to be appointed head coach of such a historic football club.

“I want to thank the owner, Mr (Shahid) Khan, Tony Khan and the entire football structure of Fulham Football Club, for the trust shown in us.

“I’m excited to get started and my message for our fans ahead of this big challenge is we will all be working very hard together to be successful so they can feel proud at the end of the season.”

Fulham owner and chairman Shahid Khan said he had been “inspired” by Silva when meeting him last week in Portugal.

Khan told Fulham’s official website: “Marco’s body of work in football was evident, but listening to him break down in detail his experiences at each of his stops as a head coach was thoroughly impressive.

“Marco also came prepared, with a full understanding of the players we have and ideas on how we can move forward this season. I loved his energy and optimism, and I’m confident Marco Silva is the right choice to lead Fulham Football Club as our new head coach.”

Silva took on his first job in England with Hull in January 2017. The Tigers were bottom of the table when the Portuguese was appointed and he was unable to save them from relegation.

 He left Hull to take on the manager’s job at Watford the following summer, but was sacked halfway through the 2017/18 season, leaving the Hornets 10th in the Premier League.

Silva signed a three-year deal to become Everton boss in May 2018 and guided the Toffees to an eighth-placed finish in his one full season before being sacked in December 2019.