2017-18 Season Opener vs. Norwich

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    The new season is upon us! Fulham kicks things off Saturday at home vs. Norwich. The Canaries finished just two spots behind us in 8th place, but a healthy gap of 10 points separated us. We drew with them 2-2 at home and then beat them 3-1 in one of my favorite matches of the year when we Chris Martin was sent off at the end of the first half with the score 1-0. With just 10 men we ended up getting two more goals, a PK from Cairney, and Ayite juking the goalie to walk the ball in.

    Norwich will have fewer player choices than they would like for the match. Two of Norwich's starters from our last match, Klose and Pritchard, will be unavailable for this one due to injury. Naismith is suspended after a red card in the last match of the season. Hoolahan, another starter from last year, is likely to play a portion of the match after returning from injury. James Husband who played for Fulham a few seasons ago joined Norwich over the break and might make an appearance.

    With the exception of Martin and Malone, Fulham has available all of the starters from our last meeting with Norwich. This makes the start of this season rather boring with so few new faces!

    It seemed like we had a lot of positive energy after signing Sessegnon and Cairney, but a slow trickle of new signings combined with lackluster performances in pre-season matches leave me unsure of how the team will fare this season. If we pick up where we left off from last season then this is a match we win confidently. If we don't win, then clearly we aren't picking up where we left off.

    I'll be most interested to see who gets the start as keeper and how the team plays with Kamara. I feel that Bettinelli earned the starting role by closing out the regular season undefeated, but I can't tell which way Jokanovic is headed. Kamara is a big question mark and has the potential to add a new dimension to Fulham's capabilities that we lacked last year.

    Let's keep things going like it is still April 2017. COYW!!!
     
    #1
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  2. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    I much rather be someone's bogey team than vice versa. We have been Norwich's bogey team for years, so looking for a good start of the campaign. COYW!!!!
     
    #2
  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  4. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    As for Norwich, they have a new manager, a lot of new players, but some our same old saddle burs: Cameron Jerome, Wes Hoolahan, Steven Naismith and Alex Pritchard, along with our old buddy James Husband. Don't know much about Daniel Farke, but he's in for an education in this league. Which is still THIS league, which means unpredictability. We should be favored, but don't believe it. I'll just remind you we beat Newcastle in this scenario last season with Matt Smith scoring the only goal. Couple that with the first match that counts, coming off a sound beating by Wolfsburg and, well, let's hope the good Fulham shows up. Still positive based on keeping Cairney, Sess, Kalas and Piazon...and Joka. Let's do this! COYW2017-18!
     
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  5. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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  6. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    After many seasons of being on the "Likely to be Relegated" list I'm happy to see us on a different list. Although thinking about Fulham with high expectations feels weird. Makes me woozy.
     
    #6
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  7. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    The starting XI:
    Button
    Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Sessegnon
    Norwood, Johansen,
    Cairney, Ayite, Kebano
    Aluko

    Subs: Rodak, Odoi, Edun, Madl, Piazon, Kamara, Cisse

    Interesting that there is no McDonald to be seen. Also a bit surprising that Djalo isn't anywhere on the roster either. Rodak is the PL2 goalie for Fulham since Bettinelli is out. Edun also plays for the PL 2 team.
     
    #7
  8. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

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    Fulham have been the better team for the first half but the most dangerous player was probably Wilschut for Norwich .
     
    #8
  9. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Saw that draw coming from a mile away. About what you'd expect from an opening day match. Credit to Norwich, they're a good side, but we've got some issues to straighten out, especially defensively. Gave them WAY too much space, especially in the final third.
    For all his gifts, Sessegnon is not a good defender. We may need to move him up and give Odoi a shot back there. I'll go ahead and say it...we needed Kevin Mac out there and we missed Malone. Button, Aluko, Kebano and Fredericks were good, Cairney and Johansen weren't big enough factors for me.
    All in all, I'll take the point and look for some adjustments and improvement from the lads at Reading. No telling who'll feature against Wycombe Tuesday. But "WE'RE OFF!"
     
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  10. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    I can never remember this happening before in the 3-subs era, but each of our substitutions weakened us on the pitch. Swapping out those three players had the effect of 20-35 punches to our midsection.
    Overall? It's going to be a good season and we're going to be fun to watch.
     
    #10
  11. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    I agree. That's part of the reason I was bummed to see Malone go because I knew it would mean Sessegnon would be playing back on the defensive line rather than up on the wing. We seemed to do our best with that arrangement.

    Kamara had Cairney sitting at the spot ready to take a shot, but instead of passing he fiddled with the ball and shot it into the side net. I hope he learns to share.

    I complain too much. There were lots of good things today too. We just need to shake off the cobwebs, get the right people in the right places, and communicate better.
     
    #11
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  12. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

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    Boy howdy it was wonderful to watch this match on my Roku without having to plug in a laptop, running some random browser because BeIN still uses Microsoft Silverlight.

    All told draw was a fair result. Frustrating yet another 85+ minute concession, but this has been going back to the Sanchez days. There's some hex on us.
     
    #12
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  13. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

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    The reason for late-match capitulation, for which I cannot explain, but I can cast blame: Stevie Nicks.
     
    #13
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  14. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    With the new rules in place due to EFL's iFollow I wasn't sure if we'd get free highlights from other teams, but Norwich has posted video of Saturday's match:


    After reviewing the video of the Norwich goal from the perspective of the Hammersmith end it does look like Odoi may have kept Oliveira onside. He's certainly further back than the rest of the line.
     
    #14
  15. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    The thing is, when Mark Hughes was our guy, our late match stats were the exact opposite. So, no ... not all the way back to Sanchez.
     
    #15
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