West Ham v Fulham

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by AggieMatt, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. SteveFakeBlood

    SteveFakeBlood Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Broward County , FL (from DuPage County, IL)
    I had an awful week at work (three 10+ hour days) and didn't get home tonight until 1:30, my initial thought is that 7:45 is too comically early to be up when I don't have to work. Nevertheless, I'm going to take a shot at getting up in 3 hours because A) I get to chat with you guys and B) it ensures that I will have control of the television before my girlfriend wakes up (I'm DVRing it anyway, but just so I can see it before Saturday night). I have a three day weekend, so many naps can and will be had. The possible wrench in the plan is attempting to wake up without waking her up early on her day off... maybe I'll see you in a few hours, if not hopefully I'll get back into chat some time later this month.

    ~ Steve
     
    #21
  2. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Fulham's starting XI:

    Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Sidwell, Diarra, Richardson, Rodallega, Petric.

    subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Briggs, Baird, Kasami, Kacaniklic, Berbatov.
     
    #22
  3. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Well, it's not looking too good for Fulham without the two Dems. If you're looking to share your thoughts with the rest of us, we're in the chat room commiserating.
     
    #23
  4. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Ugly, but at least there were quite a number of us in the chat room to talk each other through this mess of game. I'm hoping we can find something productive from the midfield in future matches soon. Only positive was the fact that Berbatov looked good, especially for as long as he hasn't been playing in matches. I'm hoping we're not entering into a regulation battle come Jan., when we can get reinforcements.
     
    #24
  5. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    Listless, clueless, and like a donut...GIANT hole in the middle. Jol has got his hands full putting this together. :cry:

    Thank goodness the chat was alive and kicking (as usual) unlike the squad.
     
    #25
  6. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Alamo City, Texas
    The less said the better about this one. Seems to be a trend on the road. Hopefully we can continue to play strong at the Cottage or a relegation battle is likely, at least for the rest of 2012.

    The lack of creativity was glaring before Berbatov came on and even then, was still short of what we'll need. Not enough defensive pressure from us. Piss poor planning for Carroll or piss poor execution. The short notice is irrelevant, the strategy adjustment isn't that complicated and should have been set prematch.

    Don, if you read this...might as well just take the week off.

    Good chatroom though.
     
    #26
  7. VegasJustin

    VegasJustin New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    The lack of creativity is going to be a problem. Hopefully Frei can put his talent together as a player like him is desperately needed in the middle of the park. Same goes for Ruiz.
     
    #27
  8. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
  9. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Sorry to have missed the chatroom. I woke up about 30 minutes late and never really got to "real time" until about 75 or 80 minutes. I'm waiting for your evisceration of my View.
     
    #29
  10. SteveFakeBlood

    SteveFakeBlood Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Broward County , FL (from DuPage County, IL)
    The best part of this match was commiserating with a chatroom full of people (including a few newer faces)- and I think around the hour mark, the whole conversation shifted to college football.

    As usual, I think most of Don's points were spot on. The back line looked dishearteningly dreadful. Riether was OK- but there was no reason he should've had to make runs forward so often and I think it effected his defense- the Thames barrier looked like kids on their debut rather than two quality center backs that have been playing together for almost 5 years, Hangeland looked especially confused. The Big Aussie made a few nice saves, but his distribution was pretty bad and actually made it more difficult for us to keep possession at points. I think Don was too harsh on Sidwell- although I agree he wasn't good, he gave away the ball cheaply several times, but he did have a nice run or two and one OK effort on target. Diarra was good and is a good holding midfielder but doesn't have Captain Danny's creativity. Berbatov had a few missteps, but was our best player on the pitch- he actually brought out some creativity and had great instant chemistry with Rodallega which turned the latter's so-so first half performance into a good second half. Duff was OK, but didn't have much to work with- Petric was sadly invisible. I still think Richardson will turn out alright, but beyond that promising early long range shot, there was nothing good to say about his performance. When Ruiz comes back, we'll regain some of the creativity that was missing before the 70th minute or so.

    Jol's going to have to do something with the midfield, we have a ton of wingers- but beyond Diarra we don't really have a Premier League quality starting Central Midfielder (in fact, I think the only players we really have who have played much of the position are Sidwell, Baird and Kasami)- which means Jol's going to have to mold some of our many wingers into holding midfield types.

    Anyway, I probably should've saved my brain and keyboard some stress and just said "It was awful." The good news is that it's going to get better- I think with the transfer window over, the coaching staff can assess and more firmly define the talents of the players we have and how they can be used and the side can build greater chemistry together. Our next six matches are West Brom (H), Wigan (A), Man City (H), Southampton (A), Villa (H) and Reading (A). There's no reason we shouldn't be able to get 10 points from those matches- we won't get a result from City and we'll blow one of the road matches- but there's no reason we can't take three from West Brom and Villa at home and win one of the three away matches against mediocre competition and draw another. Winning merely one of your first five away matches to start the year isn't a lot to ask. Granted, all those matches are as easy to lose or draw as they are to win- this is the Premier League, after all- but while we're struggling, I can't imagine a better stretch to pick up points.

    ~ Steve
     
    #30
  11. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Location:
    A City by a Bay
    Good thoughts all around - Ruiz can play the creative role in the middle and Diarra is more than enough shield the back four - well, at least the previous back four (not the group that showed up today).

    COYW
     
    #31
  12. sfm

    sfm Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Location:
    Highland Park, IL
    The centre does not hold.

    An everlasting river flows between opposites. Sir Roy Hodgson’s Fulham was all central with inverted wingers pressing play inward. Maarten Jol’s Fulham is all wing play and no centre. This may be a mistake, but insofar as he is a thinking man, perhaps it is no accident. Our fulcrum removed not once but twice since my last Fulham match attended in May, our once vaunted and ineluctable shape was not even a shadow of its former form. Instead, our play sought to start from the backs, and the burden to switch from defence to attack proved overwhelming. If for no other reason, the possession our central mids used to hold, shifted to the backs, and showed their vulnerabilities. This was a match that cried out of Danny Murphy.

    Things fall apart.

    I have a lot of time for West Ham United as a community based small business. I often arrive early at grounds and first experience them in this way as they awaken for trade. When one arrives at Upton Park particularly, there is a bustle and not a frisson. Down the grimy steps of the Hammersmith and City line, crossing the road past the Halal butcher and there lies Queens Road Market, a smaller but more diminutive Albert Square market stall. “There’s only 12 Billy Mitchells!” we Fulham sang to the East stand and they mostly laughed along with us at our stereotyping of their confederacy of geezers. One such, who did slightly resemble a character from Minder sold rolls loo rolls just outside the Boleyn Ground post match labeled “Arsenal toilet paper” and his enterprise “Ministryoftoiletroll.co.uk” (and at £5/roll or 5for £20, he seemed to actually have some trade). Along Queens Road, the scent of diesel from the East London Bus terminal mixes with Chicken Balti pies and a very faint scent of something like mosquito repellent drapes the many market stalls and shapes and sizes of people and things coloured light blue and dark red. From the many initiatives of West Ham United FC and the Bobby Moore Foundation in and around Newham and Barking, it seems a fair trade exchange to me. From the Sir Trevor Brooking end when one sees the low slope of the Lea Valley’s hills in the horizon from the east corner of the Bobby Moore stand, beyond which, industrial Greater London fades into Essex and then, the sea. When this business does leave this place, a small bit of the Modern England I love will die.

    I have less time for West Ham United as a football product but I respect it. As it does not purport to be anything than the direct, traditional #9 focused play it is. The first goal was quintessentially Allerdycian: James Collins with a 20 yard cross to Andy Carroll, who as we reaffirmed to each other not infrequently, looks like a horse, who beat Captain Hangeland in the air before knocking the ball to Ricardo Vaz Te. Vaz Te controls then squares across to Kevin Nolan and 1-0 in 58 seconds. Time and again, our backs looked under-matched physically between Vaz Te, Diame and Demel when he pushed up when compared to Reither, Rise and Hughes. It was not merely in contrast to our laconic Bulgarian that West Ham appeared technically suspect, for most any side would seem so, but in the absolute, they are technically poor. Their clearances poor, runsmis-timed and and challenges consistently clumsy but as such evidence grew, the match’s outcome was irrefutable.

    Surely some revelation is at hand.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man, is why the performance from Fulham’s poorest player today, Steve Sidwell, was especially poignant. Today was his time to show us why he was once briefly in the England squad and against a technically maladroit opponent, but his pace, positioning and nous was wanting. He played often behind Diarra, who despite the omnishambles, scarcely a foot wrong, even on the 44th minute goal when Hughes should have had the second man, Matt Taylor. Until today, I did not realize how similar Sidwell is to how Dickson Etuhu played a series of short balls, mainly back to Diarra, who should be the more defensive partner. Tomorrow’s papers will rate him four out of ten and though it pains me to say this of the Wandsworth white, rightly so. As the afternoon progressed, grey turned into light but when the whistle sounded, Rise, then Hangeland and Sidwell came and applauded me and my fellow 2,000 travellers. His face was wreathed in disappointment, and though he was culpable, my heart still sank for him. He walked across the pitch, akimbo, head cast down and shoulders up, arching out the 7 on his back. He knows he was not good enough today and football is a business. Patjim Kasami is too young, but I expect he and Kerim Frei will get enhanced consideration for the position.

    Otherwise, I believe Fulham will change their play to a more conscientious long ball approach the maximize opportunities for what is now a delectable set of attacking options. I saw Alastair Macintosh ten feet away this morning as he entered reception at the ground and I stood in a queue. Has he now, I wonder, a must buy or loan remit for January unless either Kasami or Frei prove adequate and knowing a player of Danny Murphy’s qualities is so unique as to be singularly irreplaceable? How well one or the young man adapts, or the team itself to the absence of a strong centre mid will determine whether Maarten Jol’s Oranje revolution doth build Jerusalem in London’s green and pleasant land or instead whether we are rough beasts, slouching to the Bethlehem of January’s transfer window in the league table’s lowest quintile.
     
    #32
  13. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Alamo City, Texas
    Oh, don't be a martyr. You know I agree with you far more often than not. Besides, nothing there to eviscerate really. It was a crap performance and you summed it up in the title. And you didn't name Jol as MotM, so we're good.

    My only contrary opinions are that while Sidwell was poor, he was better than Richardson. Jol said post match Richardson wasn't fit or up to it, so why start him over Kaca? Especially when you can bring him on as a sub since you know Kaca already played Tuesday and probably wouldn't be up for the full 90 anyway. I also think the midfield failed to provide adequate cover for the back 4, but that in no way absolves the back of their performance.

    sfm, brother, you never fail to deliver. Bravo! :greetings-clapyellow:
     
    #33
  14. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Location:
    A City by a Bay
    Thank you for this - it was a great read.
     
    #34
  15. CarolinaTim

    CarolinaTim New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    The Triangle
    Brilliant writing!! :handgestures-thumbupleft:
     
    #35
  16. RDG

    RDG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Keep it coming, sfm!

    How come:
    - our usually steady center defenders looked lost?
    - Diarra looks like we shoulda kept Etuhu?
    - Sidwell was the one rushing the keeper, rather than one of the two forwards?
    - Berbatov looked too creative? (don't get me wrong, I thought it was great, but just that no one else understood what he was doing)
    - Duff looks like he is playing like the Duff of old?
    - Richardson looked more lost than Hangeland?
     
    #36
  17. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    thanks for the brilliant writeup. Lots of local color that's hard to get from this side of the water. Keep them coming!
     
    #37
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