Fulham vs Wolverhampton

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by jumpkutz, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Richard Stearman has made 16 appearances for Wolves this season, Andy Lonergan 8, so it's unlikely we'll see them in their return to the Cottage. This will be another toughie, because this team is capable, despite their current position of 18th. They won at Griffin Park last time out with two late goals (stop me if you've heard this before), the winner coming in stoppage time. They're 2-1-2 in their last five, which, in this league, doesn't mean squat. I'd like to see us get a lead and HOLD IT against these guys at home. Gotta put the bitter taste of the disappointment against Blackburn in the rear view and play well and WIN at home.
     
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  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    We need to kick ass. with Reading playing Wednesday, we're gonna be in the top six if we take all three. When that happens, I don't think we'll ever be out of it again.
     
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  3. Coach K

    Coach K Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Hey Y'all,

    Im stoked, we're in good/great form, only second to Huddersfield over the last 10 matches. (http://www.soccerstats.com/latest.asp?league=england2) I think we'll bounce back against Wolves and then we can patiently wait for Reading to fall out of the top 6. In my opinion, they just don't have the statistical indicators to be a top 6 team in this league. There are 10 teams that have scored more goals than them and 13! teams that have conceded fewer goals. With that said, they are doing what is necessary, winning at home, winning close matches, drawing matches away.

    I really hope they drop points to Wednesday and continue their slide down the table. So long as we win at the weekend, we should have two chances to catch the playoff teams with our last match of the season.

    Last note, I've been quietly following Fulham here in Nola, happily paying for GJ and watching as many matches as I can when they are posted a few days later. I also had the great privilege to see Fulham trounce Hull City at the Cottage last month and got a great tour at the club the day before.
    All in all, its really rekindled my love for the club and reminded me why I was drawn to it in the first place. With that said, I've been really turned off trying to engage with Fulham supporters online, there seems to be so much negativity and it makes it hard to share, commiserate or even celebrate with that "community." I am grateful for Fulham USA, a lot of smart and dedicated Fulham fans on here, but for goodness sake, We are Fulham, not Arsenal....keep up the good work and Come on you Whites!

    Peace and Soccer,
    Coach K
     
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  4. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Location:
    A City by a Bay
    Well said, Coach K.
     
    #4
  5. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Couldn't agree more, K. I've tried to make a conscious effort limit my negative tendencies when I write here, but sometimes, it slips through. But I think we can all agree, we're in significantly better shape than when we were playing the coaching carousel game. And it would be naive to think that Joka alone is responsible for our reversal in fortune. We seem to have the right people in the right places around him, otherwise it doesn't matter who's calling the shots on the touchline or the practice fields. But, conversely, he's responsible for a great deal of the improvement. He's changed the club's on field mindset from one of apathy and defeat to resilience and enthusiasm. No wonder the results have followed. Long may it continue.
     
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  6. Coach K

    Coach K Active Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Just to be clear, most of the garbage I see is on various Facebook groups or wherever, not FulhamUSA, but it really does beg the question, why do people follow a sports team, they only love to hate?

    Especially when there are sooooo many other perfectly legitimate things to hate out there (just kidding)
     
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  7. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    I have forgotten this more than once but Stearman is on loan so they couldn't start him if they wanted to.

    Agreed! Fulham is certainly not worthy of our ire and I'm generally excited for the team. I continue to focus all my hatred on Belgium
     
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  8. dtowndough

    dtowndough Active Member

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    Sep 24, 2011
    This has to be the most excitement surrounding the team since they've dropped. I hope tomorrow is the day that it becomes ours to lose!
     
    #8
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  9. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

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    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Newburgh, IN
  10. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    We'll that was ugly. Likely the only Fulham football I'll ever see in person was one of the most frustrating games I've witnessed. Atmosphere there was great until the last 10 min. I'll have more to say later when I don't have to type on a phone.
     
    #10
  11. LaxAttack

    LaxAttack Well-Known Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
  12. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    Sorry Micah, I'm sure the rest of the trip has been amazing. Happy for the international break, need to rest and regroup.
     
    #12
  13. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Here's my assessment of what I witnessed vs. Wolverhampton. I don't have the same technical knowledge of football that many of you have, but I'll do my best.

    My wife and I both agreed, unfortunately, that watching Fulham on Saturday was a lot like watching the club team my son used to play on. That team had a lot of skilled players, but no dedicated striker. Both teams could control play, but didn't seem to know how to threaten the other team's goal. There was SO much side to side passing. Mid-way through the second half the Fulham fans were begging loudly for the team to push forward. Now I know that Fulham doesn't always play this way, but they did on Saturday. In the first half Sessegnon was making a number of runs down the left side but was often ignored. When players on the wing did get the ball it was usually delivered behind them rather than on the run, killing any momentum. I would watch Kebano, Aluko, and later Cyriac, make cutting runs into the box only to see the midfielder holding the ball pass back or to the side. The team seemed to play with the mentality that the worst thing that could happen would be to lose possession. The attitude seemed to be "Don't take a chance trying to thread a ball to a forward! Instead pass the ball back to an open man. Safety first!" In the second half when it was clear we needed to score quickly, Fulham frustratingly wouldn't take advantage of counter-attack situations. Instead we'd stop our charge, set up in our positions, and then pass side-to-side.

    Contrast this to Wolverhampton. When they got the ball it was attack as quick as possible down the wings, cut into the middle, and see what happens.

    When Fulham's fullbacks push up on the offensive, Kalas and Ream swing out to the right and left wings respectively and then McDonald and Johansen end up in more of a center back position. Unfortunately, McDonald seemed very uncomfortable with the ball and he made a number of bad passes. Ream, while generally good with handling the ball, seemed fearful of passing forward and would often send a pass back, sometimes to Button who would regularly be put under pressure and then just lump it forward. Without more assertive play from this foursome things just bogged down.

    Wolverhampton seemed to recognize that A) Sessegnon and Fredericks are weak links defensively and B) Fulham sometimes gets confused with Ream and Kalas moving back to the CB position from their temporary FB position. Many times Wolverhampton would send a long pass to just outside the left or right side of the box. Fulham would have to make a series of choices at this point: Were Sessegnon and Fredericks in position to get the ball or would it be Ream or Kalas? Should Button come out and get the ball? There often seemed to be confusion and a few times Wolverhampton was able to take advantage.

    I was sitting in the Riverside stand in line with the top of the 18 yard box on the Hammersmith end. I had a perfect chance to watch one of these deep passes lead to the first goal. Fredericks came in and appeared to use his body to block out the Wolverhampton player. Fredericks looked back at the player with a certain cockiness that immediately filled me with a sense of impending doom. Sure enough, Fredericks in that moment had lost awareness of the ball rather than focusing his attention on it and getting a touch. Wolverhampton pounced and drove into the box for the first score.

    Sessegnon got chewed up defensively in the second half. The kid is great for generating offensive, but defensively he can be a liability. His corners also stunk.

    There were also a number of times when Fulham players didn't go to the ball (another aspect that was reminiscent of my son's old club team). Fulham players would wait for the ball to come to them and a Wolverhampton player would zip in and get it. Even Tom Cairney was guilty of this. As was Scott Malone right after he came off the bench and should have been filled with vim and vigor.

    Usually when Fulham got a free kick we'd take it quick and short. I have no idea what the purpose of this was. We never caught Wolverhampton off balance and it often led to just passing the ball back and ending any sort of threat. It was emblematic of the whole day - Fulham seemed to have no plan for what to do with the ball and if there was a plan it wasn't being communicated to all of the players.

    Okay, enough complaining. Here are some positives.

    Although Ream suffered from the same lack of offensive creativity as the rest of the team, he did take more initiative than anyone else to play good defensive football. He was winning headers, shepherding away deep passes, and controlling the ball well. Despite some negativity surrounding the OG and the missked PK, when Ream made a couple of good plays the stands rang out with a deep "REEAAMMMM" from the fans - I can't say I heard anything similar for anyone else that day. A fan behind me openly shared his disliking of Ream after he got off to a rocky start but later gave him credit for some good play.

    The fans stayed into it until around the 80th minute. At that point, with Fulham continuing to play sideways too much, it was difficult to keep things going. But overall, I give the fans credit for trying to coax the team into generating more offense.

    The 11/12 year old Fulham academy members did a PK competition at half time. Some of their shots were top quality and better than any PK we've seen from the first team. In 8 years our PK issues should be resolved.

    Fans leaving the grounds were frustrated, but they know we aren't out of the playoffs yet! COYW!!

    (And I had a lovely time in England and was thrilled to be at Craven Cottage despite the loss.)
    fulham.JPG

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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  14. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    I think your analysis is brilliant MM! Thanks.

    Much of what you said reminds me -- unhappily -- of Jol's alleged tactics. Let's hope this was an aberration.
     
    #14
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