Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff - 29/10/21...  (Read 1074 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 29/10/21...
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2021, 12:37:22 AM »
Opinion: Why Fulham need to take steps to offload 29-year-old in January

Then-recently relegated side Fulham enjoyed a productive summer at Craven Cottage despite their switch in manager, managing to bring in five recruits to complement an already strong squad.

All five, with the exception of Rodrigo Muniz who arrived from Brazilian outfit Flamengo, were already accustomed to English football and were all tasked with bringing different aspects to the team.

Harry Wilson, who recorded an exceptional 19 goal contributions for Championship rivals Cardiff City last term, joined in a £12m deal in what was the most expensive second-tier deal in the summer.

Showing consistency out on loan at the likes of Derby County, AFC Bournemouth and the Bluebirds despite not being able to make a full breakthrough and former side Liverpool, the Welsh international has been tipped to shine as one of the brightest and most gifted individuals in the Championship and has already recorded an impressive three goals and five assists in the league so far this season.

Paulo Gazzaniga arrived on the same day as the Welshman, joining on a free transfer on the expiration of his contract at Tottenham Hotspur and automatically being labelled and one of the best goalkeepers in the division.

Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah (permanent) and Domingos Quina (loan) arrived later on in the window as the Cottagers’ third and fourth recruits from the Premier League, delivering a real statement of intent to the rest of the league.

Fair play to Marco Silva’s men, they also managed to retain most of their key players despite their relegation, even though some of their loanees from last term including Joachim Andersen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned to their parent clubs on the expiration of their temporary spells in west London.

One key man in Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa did depart late on in the window, albeit temporarily, but the Cameroonian reportedly requested to leave the club amid his wish to remain in a top European league and there was little choice but to let him go.

Not only was the midfielder’s loan exit conducted in an orderly manner, but they also brought in a replacement in Chalobah to retain their unofficial crown of having one of the best midfields in the league.

So overall, you could definitely say the summer was a success for Silva’s side, even with some doubting whether they should have paid so much money to lure 24-year-old Wilson to the English capital considering the financial impacts of Covid-19.

There is one qualm some Fulham supporters will have with one bit of business they failed to conclude – and that’s the failure to offload outcast winger Anthony Knockaert.

The £15m signing has failed to make any real impact in the English capital since joining permanently in 2019, failing to make any of Silva’s matchday squads in the Championship so far this term despite playing in the EFL Cup – and considering he signed for an eight-figure fee – he will no doubt be on a handsome salary.

After spending £12m on Wilson, having Knockaert on the wage books is the last thing they need as an outcast at the club and for the financial health of the club and mental wellbeing of the player, it’s time for both parties to sever their ties and move on.

And with 18 months left on his contract by the time January comes around, this is probably the Cottagers’ last chance to generate a considerable amount of revenue for his sale.

His value has obviously gone down with his lack of playing time, but at 29 in what is arguably supposed to be the peak of his career, interested teams could potentially take him off the second-tier side’s hands if Fulham set their price tag low enough.

How much they should demand for him will be debated – but most people would probably agree that he needs to move on for the sake of all parties – because he still has the potential to thrive in the Championship or elsewhere.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 29/10/21...
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2021, 12:38:58 AM »
‘Should be some clash of styles’ – Sky Sports pundit offers prediction for Fulham’s crunch clash with West Brom

Two of the top teams in the Championship this season meet in London this Saturday lunchtime as Fulham welcome West Bromwich Albion to Craven Cottage.

Both outfits were relegated from the Premier League last season and after 14 matches of the current campaign just one point and one place separates them in the table.

After going unbeaten for the first 10 matches of the league season, inconsistency has crept up on the Baggies, who lost for the first time against Stoke City and a second one came at the hands of Swansea City last week.

Fulham have also had a stuttering run though which came mainly in September, losing to both Blackpool and Reading but their most humiliating moment came at the start of October when they were drubbed 4-1 by Coventry City.

The Cottagers have re-emerged from the October international break as a better team though and have recorded three wins on the bounce – and Sky Sports presenter David Prutton is expecting that run to continue when Valerien Ismael brings his side to the capital at the weekend.

“This should be some clash of styles at Craven Cottage,” Prutton said on his Sky Sports predictions podcast.

“As things stand, it looks like these two could be fighting for one promotion spot along with Bournemouth! But we know how quickly these things can change in the Championship.

“There has been some criticism of Valerien Ismael’s style in recent weeks at West Brom, and that will come into sharper focus against a silky Fulham attack.

“They need to find a way of disrupting Fulham’s flow. I think there will be goals, but I’m backing the home side to edge it. 3-2.”

The Verdict

Fulham seem to have plugged their defensive issues now – goalscoring has never been an issue but the four goals conceded at Coventry were a real worry.

However back-to-back clean sheets will breed confidence and also having Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring 15 goals in 14 appearances helps matters as well.

He’s a man that West Brom are going to have to track carefully all afternoon but defensively there hasn’t been many issues for much of the season for the Baggies – it’s finding a clinical goalscorer that has been the issue.

Ismael is still searching for that man but in this particular match I can see Fulham being a bit too much for them and can see a 2-1 win for the Cottagers which would send them above their opponents at full-time.