Fulham at Wolverhampton Wanderers

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Fulham travels to Molineux to face Wolverhampton. The match will be on NBCSN starting at 9am EDT Sunday morning.

    On paper, this looks like a promising matchup for Fulham. After winning their first match against fellow 0-3 club Sheffield United, Wolverhampton have suffered three straight defeats scoring just once. Like Fulham, Wolverhampton has given up a lot of goals (7 compared to Fulham's 10) and not scored a lot (3 for both). You could say that either side could take points in this one.

    Yet, after a horrible start to the season, I find myself instead wondering if Fulham losing 0-7 is a probable outcome. Fulham's defense has been incapable of stopping anyone in the Premier League and with Wolverhampton off to a slow start, I worry that they are going to open up Fulham and take every opportunity to restore their confidence.

    Fulham has a poor record against Woverhampton. They haven't won at Molineux since 1985 (3 draws, 9 losses) and have only won once in the last 10 league meetings. The only time I saw Fulham in-person was when they lost to the Wolves in the spring of 2017. Wolverhampton was a mediocre team at the time, but they romped over Fulham that day and then went on to earn automatic promotion the next year. For me the Wolves are a sad reminder of what is possible and what Fulham has yet to achieve the past few seasons.

    Reed, Lemina, and Tete are all likely to be out. Lookman could make an appearance after coming on as a sub mid-week.
     
    #1
  2. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Right now, nobody on this staff and roster is PL quality. Mitro might be, but without service, it doesn’t matter.
     
    #2
  3. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Since I can't watch this one on NBCSN I was planning to wait for the replay on Peacock this afternoon, but I just saw that the starting lineup has Le Marchand starting at CB instead of Hector! Waiting for the replay got even less appealing than before. Here's the rest of the lineup (guessing at the configuration since both Robinson and Aina are in, I'm a little confused - hopefully the Fulham defense isn't confused too):

    Areola
    Robinson, Aina, Ream, Le Marchand, Bryan
    Anguissa, Cairney,
    DeCordova-Reid, Mitrovic, Cavaliero

    Subs: Rodak, Odoi, Hector, Johansen, Kebano, Lookman, Kamara
     
    #3
  4. daddude7

    daddude7 Member

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    Nov 13, 2013
    Much better. Still, no points. Simply not enough quality up front illustrated by Kamara hitting his point-blank shot at the keeper. Hopeful signs, though. Lookman and Robinson showed they should start. Aina looked good on the right, too. Le Marchand... Well, he only passed to opposition in his own half once and nothing came of it, so not bad.

    Can we find someone to step in for Cairney in the U23s? I hope Lemina and Reed come back quickly. We need them.
     
    #4
  5. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    Better gameplan, structure and defending. If Kamara doesn’t bottle that gifted chance, that’s a point. Lookman definitely needs to start, looks like a good catalyst. Aina was at fault on the Wolves goal but otherwise ok. Areola was good, that double save was big. If Fulham had a Danny Murphy in Cairney’s spot and an upgrade at cb, I’d like their chances of surviving playing like they did today. Nicking a goal is a lot easier than trying to keep pace with 3-4 when you’re undermanned.

    Also, I haven’t noticed it before but does Kamara usually look like he’s wearing a diaper, or was that just today?
     
    #5
  6. stlouisbrad

    stlouisbrad Active Member

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    I wasn’t pleased when I saw the starting 11. I couldn’t believe Aina got a start. He was much improved from what I saw previously, but still left much to be desired. The two bright spots today were Robinson and Lookman. Other that that, this performance was better but still not good.
     
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  7. daddude7

    daddude7 Member

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    Nov 13, 2013
    Probably a fair statement. I hope we can continue to improve with the same personnel because it doesn’t look like any reinforcements are coming.
     
    #7
  8. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Saw the highlights, haven’t watched the replay yet. The score would suggest we were competitive.
    Were we?
    How many more matches does the brain trust give Scott and his staff?
    How about that HT score at Villa? Shocking!
     
    #8
  9. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Yeah! Now at least we can say Aston Villa didn't whip Fulham as badly as they did to Liverpool.

    After watching the replay I felt for the first time this season that Fulham could actually win a game. That is still a long way from staying up, but getting wins will be the first step. I agree with just about everything that has been said already except that I was a little more down on Aina's performance - hopefully Tete can get healthy over the break. Robinson looked good with the ball going forward and generally did well on defense too, just would like to see some better crosses.

    Lookman was fantastic coming off the bench and I hope he replaces Cavaleiro in the starting lineup. He brought speed and creativity - two things that Fulham desperately needed more of.

    And now a few words about Maxime LeMarchand. He was not terrible. In fact, he made some excellent long passes that put Fulham into advantageous positions. @daddude7 was right that he only turned it over in his own half once - a big improvement for him.

    One thing that helped LeMarchand out is that Fulham did not force themselves to play up from the back. If the pressure was on they just kicked it long. Areola also did a good job with throwing the ball to accurately get Fulham up-field. Wolverhampton may have not been pressing as hard as other teams, but I hope Fulham continues to be more cautious playing from the back.

    Sadly, despite those positives, Fulham still doesn't have any points. Hopefully with a little time to build some chemistry over the international break, and maybe a new CB, Fulham can look a little better matched for the Premier League.
     
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  10. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    I forgot to post the highlights. Here's some short highlights from Fulham with GJ calling the shots:


    And the extended highlights:


    Part of the highlights reminded me of another positive I saw in this was the leadership from Anguissa. Maybe he was doing this in other matches and I just missed it, but against Wolves I saw him directing the coverage a lot and generally doing a good job of that.
     
    #10
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  11. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Hopeful match, I thought. Two observations that I didn't see above:

    1 Everybody in the back line, except for Aina, was left footed and, against all logic, did well.

    2 This was only the second match this season I watched. I've seen a lot of criticism of Cairney playing deep and not being creative. On Sunday, I realized why. Tom is our new McDonald. He's playing holding midfield and yesterday, he did a good job of it.

    Lookman looks the goods if he can keep his temper in check. Cavaleiro needs to sit for a LONG time. If Kebano is fit for 90 minutes, he needs to start. He'll provide the attacking counterpoint to Mitro that will make us more of a scoring threat. Robinson was fun to watch, but he and Bryan play the same position -- only one of them should start.

    I thought Parker was VERY late in subbing. Another 15-20 minutes of Lookman and Kebano and we might have won the thing.

    Finally, it's interesting that the Premier League's most porous defense yielded 5 and 6 fewer goals than PL Royalty.

    Here's hoping the international break will give the squad a chance to know each other better.
     
    #11
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  12. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Don, your observation is spot on. I noticed it a few matches ago and thought "that's odd." Cairney seemed to be much deeper than I've ever seen him for us. That's because, as you so observedly pointed out, he IS sitting deeper. It was not my imagination. I'm not sure that's the best use of his talents, but that's where we're at right now. I'm still not sure he's PL quality, but I guess we'll find out for sure this season. Two cracks at it, two relegations would suggest no. I haven't watched us as much as I would like so far this season (although, let's be honest, it's been painful to watch), but I thought he didn't play particularly well the season after we were promoted last time. Seemed to go for the fouls he usually got in the Championship that weren't given in the big boy league and got dispossessed a lot. He may not be physical enough for the top tier but, again, I guess we'll see. But he's far from the biggest problem we're having at the moment.
     
    #12
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