Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...  (Read 739 times)

Offline whitejc

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Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« on: September 19, 2021, 06:48:10 PM »
Jack and Loz at the Cottage - Blog 188
Date:18th September 2021

Opposition: Reading

Score: 1-2

Fulham goal scorer: Rodrigo Muniz

Weather: Last days of summer

Atmosphere: Full-on but frustrated

MOTM (football): not applicable

MOTM (non-football): the only thing better that Muniz’s well-taken goal was his brief but exquisite celebration before he scooped the ball out of the back of the net and ran to place it on the centre spot. This will be the first of many goals, and many celebrations

Cafe: Starbucks

History tells us that consistency is the key to promotion. To finish in the top 6, never mind the top 2, you have to win a lot of games. History also tells us that when you’re the favourites for the title you have a target on your back - you’re the team everyone wants to beat and they will raise their game and hone their aim because beating you is worth more than just 3 points to them.

So this is what Fulham have to deal with now - the fact that every goalkeeper will have their best game against us, the fact that every defender will see it as a triumph if Mitro doesn’t score. Every team visiting Craven Cottage will run a bit harder, fight a bit longer, take more risks because they have nothing to lose. And every manager will spend more time than usual researching and analysing Fulham’s game in order to outwit Marco Silva.

On Saturday, Reading and their manager got their preparation and their execution exactly right. Fulham’s magnificent start to the season, and Marco’s honeymoon, are well and truly over.

Even after a long period of reflection (and wine, and coffee, and doughnuts) this match is a hard one to sum up. Unlike against Blackpool, we didn’t play badly. Unlike against Blackpool, Marco didn’t pick the wrong the team. But from the whistle, something wasn’t quite right. Passes were severely misplaced, the ball wasn’t just given away, it was offered to Reading players; we struggled to break down the defence. The team looked disjointed on Wednesday, on Saturday some of them looked like they’d never even met. And, in a way worryingly reminiscent of the last two seasons, we attacked too slowly and slammed the brakes on hard as we hit the final third.

Our previously impressive defence made Reading’s life much too easy for both their goals. Our previously terrifying attack was predictable in the build-up and erratic in the finish. We were creating shances but we weren’t putting them away.

Bobby Reid was particularly guilty of this but Mitro had a few near misses of his own and Harry Wilson certainly wasn’t Clinical Lead. What were all of them doing with the scrappy short passes on the edge of the box? Why did they keep getting in each other’s way?

Behind this less than formidable front line, a midfield which on paper looked reassuringly strong was either overrun or bypassed. The return of Antonee Robinson brought pace but indecision to the defence, and Gazzaniga had another curate’s egg of a game.

Marco tried to change things up with his substitutes and Muniz certainly met the brief, hounding the defence, combining well with Mitro and fitting right in with a few wild shots before he snatched his goal. Onomah injected some pace and quality but whilst we are big fans of Kebano, you have to wonder at the conversation in which Marco asked, “Can you play right back?” And Neeskens said, “Yes.”

We weren’t helped by another ref who had a strange view of the world or by the weapons grade time wasting of the Reading players, particularly their goalie. But we should be better than even having to mention these things.

True, we were missing players but if you have the best squad in the league this isn’t an excuse. Has a touch of complacency, even arrogance, crept its way into the team? If so, Marco needs to stamp it out and perhaps he needs to question his preparation for the match. But Fulham had 25 shots on Saturday afternoon and it wasn’t Marco who missed the other 24.

On the basis that the players are too professional for the result to be down to hangovers from Joe’s or Mitro’s birthday celebrations (although Joe was conspicuous by his absence…) we have to conclude it was more a hangover from the trip to, and decimation of, Birmingham on Wednesday. If Blackpool was a wake-up call, Reading - a loss at home - was a foghorn blast. Time to get back to winning ways.

Random musings:-

- it was fantastic to hear Rhys Porter speak concisely and eloquently about discrimination at half time. What an inspiring young man he is (and we’re really pleased he got Bobby’s shirt!)

- on a related subject, we wholeheartedly support the new initiative - Fulham for All. Football really should be for everyone.

- why do we always get the refs suffering from existential crises?

- on Wednesday we compared Seri with Stefjo. We’re now worried that Seri might be taking that comparison too far

- Marco must have been very warm in his (now thoroughly unlucky) black jumper

- there were some nice moments: Mitro applauding one of Muniz’s early efforts, Antonee clambering into the Riverside to get the ball back, Muniz bravely playing on despite hurting his foot, those exhilarating last 10 minutes when we did everything to Reading’s goal except put the ball in it

- tip: if the game is sold out, open all the turnstiles. We arrived just in time to watch the players taking the knee but some of our neighbours were stuck outside for 15 minutes

It would be easy to put this result down as a bad day in the office (or a bad day working from home) and certainly we’re not panicking about a narrow loss early in the season. But, to go back to where we started, without consistently winning 3 points per game it will be very easy to slide down into the playoffs.

Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again. Sort it out, please, Fulham.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2021, 08:00:05 AM »
Leeds United injury and suspension list in full with eight doubts ahead of Fulham trip

The selection issues are piling up for Marcelo Bielsa following Friday night's draw at Newcastle

Leeds United are facing something of an injury crisis ahead of their midweek Carabao Cup clash against Fulham this week.

Friday night's 1-1 draw at Newcastle United means the club are still searching for their first Premier League victory of the season, with a bruising second-half seeing a number of players either forced off or require treatment.

The talk pre-match was concerning Leeds' lack of options in the centre of defence, as injury and suspension bit, which lead to a Leeds bench with an average of just 19 years old at St James' Park.

Fulham await Craven Cottage on Tuesday night ahead of a tough Premier League test against West Ham at Elland Road on Saturday, when the home crowd will be increasing desperate to see their side claim a first three-point haul of the season.

Here is the latest on the injury and suspension front at Leeds United.
Diego Llorente

The Spanish defender poor injury luck continued when he limped out of the defeat to Liverpool, but the defedner himself was quick to take to social media and allay fears of a lengthy absence.

No timescale has been given on his return, with Bielsa merely confirming he was out of the Newcastle match in last week's press conference.
Robin Koch

The German international has been absent since the opening weekend defeat at Manchester United with a pelvic injury.

Again, a timescale for his return is unclear, with Bielsa grouping the defender with Llorente during last week's latest update.
Pascal Struijk

THe Dutch defender served the first of his three-match suspension on Friday night, after his appeal following the red card against Liverpool was dismissed.

Struijk will also be forced to sit out the trip to Fulham and Struday's visit of West Ham.
Luke Ayling

Luke Ayling covered in a centre-back role on Friday night, but he was forced off with a knock in the closing stages as Leeds' poor injury luck continued.

While the injury came too late in the match for Bielsa to give an update post-match, he did address his potential absence.

"We have four centre-backs and the option of Ayling is number five," he said. "If we have to resolve the absence of four of them, it's going to be complicated. "
Jack Harrison

The winger was absent from the teamsheet at St James' Park and quickly confirmed on social media that he had tested positive for Covid-19.

"So frustrated to be missing the game due to COVID but I’ll be supporting the boys from home and be back real soon." he wrote on Instagram.

"Thanks for all the well wishes, I’m feeling fine good luck lads!"
To listen to the new episode of our Blue White and Yellow podcast, click here.

Another player to be forced off early against the Mapgies was Raphinha. The Brazilian opened the scoring in the first half, but was unable to complete the 90 minutes, with Bielsa withdrawing the winger on 67 minutes.

Following the match, Bielsa confirmed the 24-year-old was suffering from a hip issue and compared the winger situation to the one he is facing at the back.

"The same in the position of the wingers where we count on James, Harrison, Raphinha and Summerville and to lose two of them will still make it very difficult to resolve.

"I always have confidence that in the end solutions will appear."
Patrick Bamford

Yet another who suffered a knock in the Friday night clash, Bamford went down with 11 minutes left holding his foot after a heavy challenge. He had to leave the pitch for treatment, but did return, albeit with a limp. There was no update from Bielsa post-match.
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Adam Forshaw

There is better news regarding Adam Forshaw, who has been out since he returned to the first-team fray against Crewe in the last round of the Carabao Cup.

"Forshaw is finishing the recovery of his injury," Bielsa said ahead of the Newcastle game. "For next week he will be available".

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2021, 08:01:58 AM »
Rodrigo Muniz addresses Fulham fans in social post following Reading defeat

Fulham forward Rodrigo Muniz has taken to his personal Instagram account following his impact from the bench in their 2-1 defeat at home to Reading on Saturday.

Marco Silva’s side were unable to build on their 4-1 win at Birmingham City in midweek as they fell to a surprise defeat at Craven Cottage against an improving Reading side.

The defeat was largely down to Fulham not being able to make the most of getting into to dangerous positions in the final third.

In total they had 25 efforts on goal during the 90 minutes, but only five of those were on target. That is compared with Reading who had eight efforts and four on target.

In the 55th  minute of the game with Fulham having just gone two goals behind thanks to Ovie Ejaria’s second goal of the contest, Silva elected to bring Muniz off the bench for just the second time since his arrival at Craven Cottage.

The forward was able to make a difference for Fulham in his cameo and he linked up well with Aleksander Mitrovic at times, especially as he opened his account in English football with a well taken effort from Mitrovic’s clever flick.

That did not prove to be enough to get Fulham anything from the game. However, it does give Silva something to think about moving forwards and will put Muniz firmly in his plans to potentially start games in the near future.

After netting his first goal for Fulham against Reading, Muniz took to his personal Instagram account to celebrate that moment with supporters. While he also insisted it needs to be the platform for him to move ahead and continue his form.

The Verdict

Muniz’s impact from the bench was one of the main positives for Fulham to take from their second Championship defeat of the campaign against Reading.

The 20-year-old was able to make two key passes as well as getting his first goal for the club in his 35 minutes on the field and that is not bad going for someone still adapting to life in English football.

Silva will need to find a way to get the best out of Muniz moving forwards and he will want to get him on the ball more than they were able to do at times against Reading in the last half an hour.

Mitrovic seems to be an ideal player for Muniz to link up with and make things happen in the final third and there is certainly the potential for them to form a very strong partnership over the course of the campaign.

Getting his first goal for the club will provide Muniz with a lot of confidence and belief now and it is vital that Silva manages him in the right way to help him maintain his confidence levels without burning him out too soon.

Silva showed a lot of faith in the forward and played a major role in him arriving at Fulham ahead of Middlesbrough in the summer, so you would expect Muniz to eventually establish himself as a crucial member of the squad.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2021, 08:03:51 AM »
Marco Silva delivers injury update on Fulham man following Reading clash

Fulham manager Marco Silva has revealed that striker Rodrigo Muniz picked up a knock during the closing stages of the club’s clash with Reading yesterday.

The Brazilian, who joined the Cottagers last month, marked his second appearance for the club with a goal as he was introduced as a substitute during the second-half of the fixture.

However, Muniz’s strike proved to be a consolation for Fulham as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Reading.

Despite having 65% possession in this fixture, the Cottagers were unable to prevent the Royals from sealing all three points on their travels as Ovie Ejaria bagged a brace.

As a result of this setback, Fulham were overtaken by AFC Bournemouth in the Championship standings as Scott Parker’s side secured a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City.

The Cottagers will be looking to bounce back in the second-tier next weekend when they head to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City.

Making reference to Muniz, Silva has admitted that the club will now be waiting to see just how bad the forward’s issue is.

Speaking in his post-match press conference (as cited by Fulham’s official website) about Muniz, the Fulham boss said: “He had a strong knock in the last 10 minutes, he couldn’t run, but we had to keep him on the pitch because we didn’t have any more changes.

He’s in pain now, but we have to wait and check.”

The Verdict

When you consider that Muniz was able to make a positive impact for Fulham during Saturday’s showdown with Reading, Silva will be hoping that the forward’s injury is not too serious.

As well as netting his first goal for the club in this particular fixture, the 20-year-old managed to provide two key passes for his team-mates as he recorded a WhoScored match rating of 7.27.

Muniz could potentially emerge as a key player for Fulham if he is able to deliver the goods on a consistent basis at this level during the current campaign.

Muniz may also force fellow forward Aleksandar Mitrovic to step up his performance levels which could have a profound impact on the club’s fortunes.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2021, 08:06:57 AM »
Preview: Fulham vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups

Leeds United will be looking to advance to the fourth round of the EFL Cup when they travel to Craven Cottage on Tuesday evening to take on Championship outfit Fulham.

The visitors are still waiting for their first win of the 2021-22 Premier League season, but Fulham are second in the Championship table, having picked up 16 points from their opening eight fixtures.

Match preview
Looking to secure an immediate return to the Premier League, Fulham have made an encouraging start to their Championship campaign, collecting 16 points from eight matches, which has left them second in the table, two points behind leaders Bournemouth on the same number of games.

Fulham will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Reading on Saturday, though, and they have only won one of their last three in the league despite occupying second spot in the division.

In terms of the EFL Cup, Marco Silva's side secured their position in the third round of the competition courtesy of a 2-0 success at Birmingham City on August 24, with Jay Stansfield and Antonee Robinson scoring the goals for what was a largely second-string side.

Fulham have never won the League Cup and in truth, it is not a priority competition for the club this term, with the Cottagers determined to secure an automatic return to the top flight of English football.

The London club have also lost each of their last three matches against Leeds in all competitions, including defeats in their two Premier League meetings during the 2020-21 campaign.

Leeds, meanwhile, booked their spot in this stage of the EFL Cup courtesy of a 3-0 home success over Crewe Alexandra, with Kalvin Phillips and Jack Harrison (two) on the scoresheet at Elland Road.

The Whites are still waiting for their first win of the 2021-22 Premier League season, though, having lost two and drawn three of their opening five matches, including a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Friday.

A total of three points has left Marcelo Bielsa's side in 17th position in the table, and they now have two huge home matches against West Ham United and Watford at Elland Road to come.

Like Fulham, Leeds will not view the EFL Cup as a priority, but they have previous experience when it comes to this competition, winning the 1967-68 trophy and also finishing as runners-up in 1995-96.

The Whites, as mentioned, have a strong recent record against Fulham - winning the last three encounters - but they lost back-to-back matches at Craven Cottage in the Championship in 2018 and 2019 and will certainly be aware of the size of the task facing them in the English capital.

Fulham EFL Cup form:


Fulham form (all competitions):

    W    W    W    L    W    L

Leeds United EFL Cup form:


Leeds United form (all competitions):

    L    D    W    D    L    D

Team News
Fulham will again be without the services of Fabio Carvalho, Terence Kongolo, Tom Cairney and Kenny Tete on Tuesday night through injury.

Head coach Silva will ring the changes from the side that started against Reading in the Championship, with Michael Hector, Alfie Mawson, Marek Rodak and Neeskens Kebano in line to start against Leeds.

Stansfield, as mentioned, was on the scoresheet in the last round of the competition against Birmingham, and the 18-year-old could be given another chance to lead the line, with Aleksandar Mitrovic on the bench.

As for Leeds, Robin Koch, Diego Llorente and Harrison will miss out through injury, while Luke Ayling and Raphinha are unlikely to be involved, having picked up problems against Newcastle.

Pascal Struijk will serve the second of his three-match suspension, but the Whites should be boosted by the return of Adam Forshaw, with the experienced midfielder set for a rare start.

Bielsa will make changes from the side that started against Newcastle, with 19-year-old Crysencio Summerville in line for a start, while Jamie Shackleton could feature at right-back.

Stuart Dallas could be pressed into action in the middle of the defence if Ayling cannot recover from his knock, while Phillips, Tyler Roberts and Daniel James are all in line for starts.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Odoi, Hector, Mawson; Knockaert, Pajaziti, Francois, Bryan; Reid, Stansfield, Kebano

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Shackleton, Dallas, Cooper, Firpo; Forshaw, Phillips; Summerville, Roberts, James; Rodrigo

We say: Fulham 1-2 Leeds United

Leeds are still waiting for their first league win of the season, but they were impressive in the previous round against Crewe, and we fancy the Whites to emerge victorious on Tuesday evening, with Bielsa expected to name a stronger lineup than Silva.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2021, 08:08:01 AM »
Silva backs Fulham youngster Stansfield

Jay Stansfield will get regular first-team football if he takes more chances like he did against Birmingham in the EFL Cup, says Marco Silva.

The Fulham boss has one eye on the next round against Leeds on Tuesday, and after Stansfield hit a stunning strike against Birmingham in August, chances are the 18-year-old will get a second opportunity, this time against a Premier League side.

“I really like Jay, not just as a footballer but as young boy whose work-rate is fantastic,” the manager explained.

“Every time he learns something from the training session, and he’s working with me every single day.

“One thing is very important: he can score easily; inside or around the box.

“The last few seasons he’s had some injury problems that stopped his development but he will get more chances.

“Jay got his chance against Birmingham and scored a fabulous goal with a good strike.

“I’m sure if he gets more chances, he will show his quality.”

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2021, 08:09:05 AM »
Fulham starlet Jay Stansfield picked out for high praise by Marco Silva

Fulham boss Marco Silva has moved to heap praise on young striker Jay Stansfield, saying he will continue to get first-team chances if he continues to prove his quality.

18-year-old attacker Jay Stansfield is one of Fulham’s top young talents.

The former Exeter City youngster has been prolific for the club’s U18s over the past few years, netting a thoroughly impressive 31 goals in 27 games.

Now, having made his way into the U23s and even into the first-team picture, Stansfield has attracted high praise from Fulham boss Marco Silva.

As quoted by West London Sport, Silva moved to reveal his admiration for Stansfield’s work-rate and his ability on the pitch.

The Portuguese manager went on to add that if he continues to take chances like he did against Birmingham City in the Carabao Cup, then he will continue to be given opportunities in the first-team.

“I really like Jay,” Silva said.

“Not just as a footballer but as a young boy whose work-rate is fantastic.

“Every time he learns something from the training session, and he’s working with me every single day.

“One thing is very important: he can score easily; inside or around the box.

“The last few seasons he’s had some injury problems that stopped his development but he will get more chances. Jay got his chance against Birmingham and scored a fabulous goal with a good strike. I’m sure if he gets more chances, he will show his quality.”

Having impressed in the 2-0 cup win over the Blues, it will be interesting to see if Stansfield is given another start in Tuesday’s clash with Leeds United.

A step up in opposition

Having taken his chance against Championship opposition, it will be interesting to see how Stansfield fares against Marcelo Bielsa’s side if given the chance.

Regardless of whether or not he’s played, the young striker is a top talent that Silva clearly has an admiration for, so it awaits to be seen if he can play a role in Fulham’s bid to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2021, 08:10:48 AM »
2 Leeds United tweaks Marcelo Bielsa should look to make v Fulham

Leeds United face a trip to Craven Cottage to play Fulham in the third round of the EFL Cup this week.

The Whites put their stuttering Premier League start behind them this week as the gear up for a potential cup run.

While Marcelo Bielsa has shown he’s not going to prioritise cup contests at Elland Road, he’ll be heading into this fixture eager to get a win.

Leeds face Fulham at Craven Cottage after seeing off Crewe Alexandra in the previous round, with that game presenting a great chance for key squad rotation.

This game will be no different despite better competition, you would expect.

Here, we take a look at two tweaks we expect Bielsa to make for the trip to London…

More defensive shuffling
Bielsa must be sick to death of the problems caused by injuries and suspensions in his back four.

The suspension for Pascal Struijk sees him still out, while Diego Llorente and Robin Koch are currently nursing minor injuries, meaning the centre-back position is down to the bare bones.

Liam Cooper is standing strong but his Friday night partner in Luke Ayling was taken off late on, making for more dilemmas this Tuesday.

There seems like no better time for Charlie Cresswell to come in for another cup appearance, and with a year under his belt since the last, he’s a different animal now.

Whether or not Cody Drameh would come in against his former club is also up for debate, and something Bielsa will surely be considering.

Gelhardt in
At the other end of the pitch, it’s surely also time for a certain Joe Gelhardt to make his long-awaited senior debut.

One of the main stars of the under-23s, he’s helped raise the standards of the side under Mark Jackson immensely.

His latest outing proved his talent, with two absolute screamers against Liverpool, one from halfway, one from 35 yards.

Joffy does have plenty in his way to make it into a Premier League lineup, but for the cup, we don’t really have much to lose heading into this game.

Give him the debut he’s deserved and see what he’s made of around senior players.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2021, 08:11:55 AM »
Joe Gelhardt could be involved in Leeds United clash v Fulham

Joe Gelhardt is likely to be involved for Leeds United when they play against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, according to Graham Smyth.

Writing via his personal Twitter account on Sunday, the Yorkshire Evening Post journalist reported that Gelhardt, 19, will “surely, surely be reporting to Craven Cottage” for the upcoming Carabao Cup clash.

Gelhardt scored twice for Leeds’ Under-23s on Sunday as they won 4-0 away at Liverpool. Both of the young forward’s goals were absolute screamers.

Watch this.

We can’t rave enough about Gelhardt’s two goals against Liverpool’s Under-23s in Premier League 2 this weekend.

The young striker’s first goal saw him beat the Liverpool goalkeeper from almost the halfway line.

For his second goal, the ex-Wigan striker cut inside from the right to get the ball on his left foot and again smashed it home from distance.

Which one of those goals is your favourite? We cannot decide they are both so good.

The YEP’s Smyth also dubbed the second goal as “ridiculous” while Gelhardt also assisted one of the other goals Mark Jackson’s side scored.

Pascal Struijk and Adam Forshaw were also involved in the action with the former scoring against them despite being sent off against their first team last weekend.

All in all, it was a great day for Leeds’ Under-23s and a great day for the club as a whole as we approach the Carabao Cup clash with Fulham.

Marcelo Bielsa has struggled to take Leeds far in any of the domestic cup competitions but there’s now a good chance for him to right some wrongs and take us on a run.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2021, 08:12:51 AM »
Games for Mid-week 15/09…
League Cup action under the lights at the Cottage against Leeds
This could be an interesting match.
In truth I don’t think that either manager will be taking the League Cup too seriously at this point however, a “cup run” is a “cup run” and will be good for some of the “fringe” players to get a run out.

Leeds will look to repeat a similar result as the league game last season, their first win in the Capital in donkeys, Fulham will want to test themselves against a Premiership team.

Kick-off is 19:45


come on over to the forum and join in the discussion…

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2021, 08:15:27 AM »
3 Leeds United fringe players that simply must play v Fulham on Tuesday

Leeds United face Fulham in the League Cup on Tuesday night and it’s another chance for Marcelo Bielsa to experiment with his squad.

The Whites ade it through past the second round of the Carabao Cup with their clash against Crewe Alexandra ending in a 3-0 win for the home side.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Leeds as they struggled to break down a resolute League One outfit, but their quality shone through in the end following Kalvin Phillips’ opener in the 79th minute.

Their reward for seeing off Crewe was an away tie with Championship promotion hopefuls Fulham.

A cup run has never been the priority at Elland Road under Marcelo Bielsa, even though his philosophy is to go out and win every game.

It presents a great chance for fringe players to come in and impress under the Argentine and give a better view of which players can step in and make an impact.

With the game at Craven Cottage looming, we take a look at three fringe players who should play on Tuesday…

Cody Drameh
The best place to start is the man who has been knocking on the door for a senior debut ever since he arrived at the club in 2020.

Incidentally, he signed for Leeds from the side we’re facing on Tuesday and has been nothing short of outstanding in the under-23s.

His presence demonstrates a player that is more than ready for the step up to senior football and what better time than at a familiar territory for him?

Drameh hasn’t managed to get his chance yet thanks to the superb form last season of Luke Ayling, while Stuart Dallas and Jamie Shackleton have deputised in his absence.

However, there’s no one more deserving of their chance than Drameh, and with Ayling’s downturn of form, it seems the perfect time to give him his debut.

Crysencio Summerville
Another coming from the under-23s is Crysencio Summerville, who has been at the club just over a year now and is also surely in line for a debut this season.

Leeds’ depth in wide areas has been handed a huge boost by the signing of Dan James and you’d expect him to be involved in this one too.

However, there is scope for James and Summerville to feature on both flanks, with Jack Harrison and Helder Costa starting against Crewe, highlighting that Bielsa would rather rotate than feel the need to play Raphinha.

Summerville started this season in the same fettle he finished the last, hitting the ground running in the PL2 with a well-taken goal away at Crystal Palace.

It’s not a hurry to get Summerville into the team, but playing in the cup against a side in the league below, when we’re not under pressure to go through, seems like the best chance for a fearless individual to thrive.

Charlie Cresswell
Capping off the list is another under-23s player, and it’s the skipper and centre-back, Charlie Cresswell.

Cresswell has been a stalwart at the back under Mark Jackson and rightly earned his first England under-21 call-up, albeit where he was an unused sub against Kosovo.

His rise into the first team has been put on hold somewhat by the fact that there are four senior players in front of him for just two positions.

Pascall Struijk’s emergence and three years’ edge on him makes him the better ‘youth’ choice at this moment in time, but there won’t be much time before Cresswell becomes an established senior member.

Why he’s surely going to be considered is that we simply do not have the options to keep playing our guaranteed Premier League starters at the back.

Struijk’s ban keeps him out, while Robin Koch and Diego Llorente have also been missing over the weekend.

Playing Liam Cooper seems like a huge risk, because if he gets injured, we’re down to literally nothing.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2021, 08:16:37 AM »
Leeds United receive timely injury boost as Fulham trip looms - LeedsAllOver

As Leeds United prepare for a trip to Fulham in the League Cup, Adam Forshaw has stepped up his lately recovery with an outing for the under-23s.

It’s a swift turnaround for Leeds following their away draw to Newcastle United on Friday, with a cup clash against Championship side Fulham around the corner.

Tuesday night will likely see Marcelo Bielsa call upon more fringe players as he rotates his injury-hit squad.

As attention continues to focus on the lack of defensive options Bielsa has, the ever-changing status of Adam Forshaw’s fitness is always a talking point.

Having featured in the second round of the League Cup against Crewe, he looked back up to speed with the intense play style, before he was dealt yet another minor setback.

With the Fulham game looming, Forshaw has once again utilised the under-23s to get some much needed match fitness, where he came off the bench for Mark Jackson’s side away to Liverpool:

The 29-year-old came on for the last half-hour where he set up Joe Gelhardt’s outstanding second goal:

It’ll be good to see him back in the fold after a solid 30 minutes under his belt.

I’d be expecting him to travel and potentially start against Fulham if he’s only player 30 minutes here, rather than starting.

I don’t have much hope for Forshaw staying here long term with his contract out, but he can do a lot for us while we have virtually no cover.

Fingers crossed he can actually stay fit for longer than a month this time around.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2021, 08:17:04 AM »
Silva sees bright future for ‘fantastic’ Stansfield

Marco Silva believes Jay Stansfield can make a serious impression on the Fulham first team squad if he continues his rate of improvement.

The teenage striker is in line to feature against Leeds in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night after scoring a stunning first senior goal at Birmingham City in the previous round. Stansfield has impressed Silva since the Portuguese head coach took over at Craven Cottage this summer and the Fulham boss told the media after yesterday’s defeat by Reading:

“I really like Jay, not just as a footballer but as young boy whose work-rate is fantastic. Every time he learns something from the training session, and he’s working with me every single day.

“One thing is very important: he can score easily; inside or around the box. The last few seasons he’s had some injury problems that stopped his development but he will get more chances.

“Jay got his chance against Birmingham and scored a fabulous goal with a good strike. I’m sure if he gets more chances, he will show his quality.”

Stansfield could get more opportunities as an understudy to Aleksandar Mitrovic at senior level depending on the severity of Rodrigo Muniz’s injury. The Brazilian gave Fulham a late lifeline with his first goal for the club against Reading but was limping after picking up an injury – and couldn’t be replaced because Silva had already made three substitutions.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2021, 08:19:10 AM »
Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic makes claim involving John Fleck and Fulham

Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic has told The Star that John Fleck is a player that he always used to fear when he was in charge of Fulham.

The Scottish international has really shone under the stewardship of the Serbian coach at Bramall Lane this term and has helped to contribute significantly to the club’s recent upturn in form after a slow start to the campaign.

Fleck has played a part in all seven of Sheffield United’s Sky Bet Championship games this season and is once again showing why he is such a key player for the Blades as they bid to get promoted back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Speaking about the impact that the midfielder has had since he took on the job in the Steel City, Jokanovic was quick to make the following admission about the 30-year-old:

“This now, this is the John Fleck I know when I used to play against him. I always considered him a really important player when he was with my opponents. He was one of my rivals back then, yes, but he was always a rival I was very impressed with.”

Fleck has been with the Blades since joining from Coventry City in 2016 and has since racked up an impressive 214 appearances in a red and white shirt.

The former Rangers man should be back in action for his side tomorrow night as the Blades play host to Southampton at Bramall Lane in the Carabao Cup.

The Verdict

Judging by the manager’s comments, it would be fair to assume that Jokanovic sees Fleck as one of the key performers as part of his side at present.

The 30-year-old midfielder is going from strength to strength as part of this new style of play and all round approach and will now be looking to really kick on after his side picked up some good recent victories.

If the team can now go on a good winning run, they will have every chance of pushing up the standings towards the top six places after what was a slow start to the campaign.

Fleck will be a key part ot their promotion hopes this term and many will be hoping that his good form continues.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2021, 08:20:30 AM »
Report: Nottingham Forest and Celtic wanted £35,000-a-week trickster

Nottingham Forest tried to sign Anthony Knockaert during the summer, according to Football League World. Furthermore, it is claimed that Celtic were keen, with QPR boss Mark Warburton also expressing an interest.

The versatile forward spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at the City Ground. He scored three goals and claimed two assists during 35 appearances for the Reds.

Knockaert is a trusted player of Chris Hughton’s. He spent time playing for the recently departed Forest boss. He fired 27 goals and 25 assists during 139 outings for Brighton, helping the club into the Premier League.

The Fulham man is way down the pecking order at Craven Cottage. He has played just 90 minutes all season, with his one outing coming in the Carabao Cup against Birmingham.

It’s Knockaert’s excessive wage that proved the stumbling block for the interested parties. Forest, Celtic and QPR were all thwarted with the £35,000-a-week wage demands.

At 29, Knockaert wouldn’t have been a long term solution. With Brennan Johnson and Alex Mighten also at the club, the Frenchman may have stifled their progress.

Were Forest right to decline the chance to sign Knockaert?
You have to say that looking at the bigger picture means they probably were. Johnson is already making a strong case to suggest that he’s a better option to the team in one of the wide positions.

Knockaert was perhaps a little bit unfortunate at Forest. With a more ruthless centre-forward leading the line, he may have earned himself a few more assists.

Another loan would maybe have been ideal, although Philip Zinckernagel is also on a temporary deal and has made a strong start.

Knockaert wouldn’t have been a signing to fit with Dane Murphy’s mantra for signing players on permanent deals. As a result, Forest may have dodged a bullet by not signing Knockaert.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2021, 08:21:26 AM »
Under-23 preview | Wolves vs Fulham

Wolves under-23s are in Premier League 2 action on Monday night as they host Division 2 leaders Fulham at Aggborough.

James Collins’ men have lost just once this season but having overcome Exeter City in the Premier League Cup last week, attention turns back to the league and a tough challenge against a Fulham side currently sat at the top of the standings.

Wolves are aiming to get back to winning ways in the league having come unstuck away at Burnley last time out in Division 2, where captain Luke Cundle notched an equaliser after his side had spurned several chances to take the lead before the Clarets opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

Fulham are riding high in the league, having won three of their opening four fixtures, with the only blip on their copy book coming in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the end of August, but the Cottagers bounced back by putting Southampton to the sword by three goals to nil.

Kicking off at 7pm, Wolves season ticket holders can watch Wolves under-23’s home matches for free by producing their season ticket smartcards at the turnstiles on arrival.

For non-season ticket holders, admission is priced at £4 for adults, £2 for concessions and it’s free for under-16s, although under-16s will need to process a ticket to be scanned at the turnstile by clicking here. Tickets should be purchased in advance of the match.


If assistance is needed in obtaining a ticket, please call 01562 823931 or email

Please do not attend the match if you or anyone else you are attending with has any Covid-19 symptoms, and although face coverings are not mandatory, supporters are asked to be mindful as some attendees may still be more comfortable wearing a face covering.

Supporters who are unable to attend the game at Aggborough can watch all the action live as the match is streamed online via, the Wolves App and the Wolves YouTube channel.

The live Wolves TV match stream, beginning at 7pm, can be found here, or click here to watch on YouTube, while supporters can also catch download the Wolves App now on iOS here and on Android here.


Monday, 7pm


Aggborough Stadium, Kidderminster



3-2 vs Exeter City (A) PLC

1-1 vs Burnley (A)

1-0 vs West Ham United (H) PLC


3-0 vs Southampton (H)

3-1 vs Southend United (A) PLC

1-1 vs Aston Villa (A)

*indicates first-team opposition

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2021, 08:27:10 AM »
Football agent Aidy Ward broke rules by targeting minors

A leading football agent who used to represent Raheem Sterling has broken Football Association rules by signing under-age players, according to evidence seen by BBC Panorama.

Aidy Ward also asked Mr Sterling to speak to a 15-year-old, as part of an attempt by Mr Ward to sign him.

Mr Ward, who owns Colossal Sports Management, said he could not comment.

The FA prohibits agents offering deals before 1 January in the year of a player's 16th birthday.

The BBC understands that Mr Ward is already under investigation by the FA in relation to this incident, but the association has yet to conclude its inquiry.

Evidence seen by Panorama reveals how Mr Ward, at a dinner with a 15-year-old boy and his mother at a restaurant in London, video-called his most famous client Raheem Sterling and asked him to speak to the boy.

Mr Sterling's lawyers told Panorama that as an England international he feels a responsibility to speak to aspiring players and has done so a couple of times at Mr Ward's request.

However, he does not speak to them about agents or financial issues, and he supports FA rules designed to protect young players.

Mr Sterling, who has a small shareholding in Colossal given to him by Ward, dropped him as an agent late last year.

Mr Ward said he could not comment out of respect for the FA investigation.

Panorama has seen a series of leaked emails and messages that appear to show how Mr Ward has been trying to build his business by signing young players to his agency.

The programme has spoken to the parents of seven under-age footballers, who all say that Colossal had approached them offering their services.

Panorama has also seen the minutes of a Colossal meeting, which took place at a south London restaurant in 2017.

The email includes a list of players the agency wanted to sign - six of whom were 14 or younger at the time.

Mr Ward did not respond to these points when asked by Panorama.

Panorama has also spoken to a Premier League scout, who said that agencies like Colossal can often use underhand tactics to sign players.

Wishing to remain anonymous, he said: "They target a single-mum family because it's easy. It all starts from a very, very young age."

One former youth player, Foday Nabay, now 23, told the programme he was approached by Mr Ward when he was just 12 years old.

Mr Nabay, who was born in Sierra Leone and moved to England with his mother when he was six, was at the time playing with England's under-16 squad, having become a star of Birmingham City's youth academy.

Mr Nabay said he was happy at Birmingham but Mr Ward suggested a move to Fulham, who were in the Premier League at the time.

Mr Ward says he has never been Mr Nabay's agent, but Panorama has obtained a series of confidential emails from 2013 that appear to contradict his claim.

In the emails, Fulham's academy director, Huw Jennings, Mr Ward and another agent he was working with discussed the terms of Mr Nabay's transfer, who was by then 14 years old.

The negotiations concluded with an offer from Fulham's academy director to pay the agents their full fee - which was £120,000 - if the deal went through.

When Mr Nabay found out there were agency fees involved, he told Fulham he would only sign if they were not paid.

FA rules state an agent cannot request or receive any payment in relation to a transfer of an academy player before the year of their 16th birthday. Agents are also not allowed to make any approaches to the player or their family before that date.

Fulham did not answer the BBC's detailed questions about Mr Nabay's transfer, but said that the club had neither paid, nor agreed to pay, Mr Ward or the other agent in relation to the player's registration with the club.

The FA says it thoroughly investigates all allegations of rule-breaking by agents, and that about 50 have been sanctioned over the last three years.

Mr Nabay signed with Fulham but was released by the club in March 2018, when he was 19.

He says he felt manipulated by Mr Ward for pushing him into a move he was never happy with.

"I was in my room 24/7, didn't want to leave, I didn't want to do anything. I was really not in a good place," he said.

Youth academies, which train talented players, can be big money-spinners.

Last summer, Premier League clubs earned at least £250m from selling their academy graduates.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire said the problem goes beyond just one agent or one academy.

"The commoditisation of young footballers means they are now being viewed by some clubs as potential profit centres." he said.

Watch BBC Panorama: Football's Broken Dreams on BBC One on Monday at 20:30 BST and on BBC iPlayer afterwards.

Offline filham

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff - 20/09/21...
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2021, 06:29:35 PM »
Having read all of the above I will be going to the Cottage confident of seeing Stansfield in the starting line up. it really is time he was given a full run out.