Fulham v. Leeds, Friday, March 19

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by HatterDon, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    NOW we have a must win match. We're more than capable of defeating Leeds. They are, after all, the only Premier League side I can think of that we've scored three goals against.

    Why is this a must win match? Well, after Friday we'll have played two more matches than either Brighton or Newcastle. A win will put us -- temporarily -- ahead of Newcastle and behind Brighton only on goal difference. But each of those sides, I must emphasize again -- will have two games in hand on us. Three points is mandatory at this point.

    Leeds is perfect for us. Their man-to-man marking is vulnerable to overlapping and zone flooding. This is the ONLY way they play. They get points by wearing out their opponents defensively. Counter punching is how to defeat them, and we've gotten quite good at it.

    We need to start a striker, and have a second striker on the pitch at the beginning of the half, if not earlier.

    If we play like we have most of the second half of the season, we'll win. BUT, if we score early and sit on a one-goal lead, we're playing into Leeds' strengths.

    We're capable of winning this match my two goals -- if we own the pitch from the gitgo. We're capable of winning 3-1; but we've been that capable against other sides and come up with nothing.

    Oh, we're on NBCSN. I can't figure out the time of kickoff because of the damn DST, but I'll be watching. COYW
     
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  2. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    According to NBC (and I assume they should know) this game will be on BOTH Peacock and NBCSN. The match will be at 4pm EDT, 3pm CDT, 2pm MDT, and 1pm PDT.

    Although I proclaimed Fulham was finished after drawing with West Brom and Brighton, their recent form turned things around enough that I no longer consider this match a must win - so I'm in rare disagreement with Don. Fulham probably needs four wins from the last nine to reach safety and they all seem winnable. In fact, I could argue that this may be the toughest remaining match for Fulham. Fulham's record at home is terrible and Leeds is the highest team in the league still to play at Craven Cottage. I like Fulham's chances away at Arsenal, Aston Villa, and even Manchester Untied better than this one.

    If recent form holds it is going to be incredibly tight down the stretch with Fulham, Newcastle, Southampton, and Brighton all within a few points of each other for the remainder of the season. To break free from that pack Fulham needs to score. Some way, some how, just put the ball in the net!
     
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  3. daddude7

    daddude7 Active Member

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    Tea leaves say that Ola Aina scores another one with his belly button, and Josh Maja gets one that actually stands. After we go up by two, we pull back and let Leeds back into it. Tea leaves say it's at least a half a six-pack kind of evening for me, and I have already purchased a nice oatmeal stout. This one may actually end at 2-1, and I don't even feel outlandish saying it.

    This one feels winnable. We should win it. The team seems mentally strong, but if we somehow lose, I'll be worried about how that might affect our mentality going into the real must-win games in April, especially after the individual mistakes against Man City. To me, this one is a must-at-least-draw-while-playing-well game. I'd prefer to win.
     
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  4. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Active Member

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    Leeds haven't been in the great goal scoring form that carried them up the table at the beginning of the season. They have scored 3 goals in their last 5, all against Southampton in a 3-0 win Feb 23rd. I feel very confident that Fulham can keep them out, just a matter of if we can score. I'd start Maja with Cav and Lookman flanking him and I'd think about even playing all 3 of Anguissa, Reed and Lemina to really control the midfield. If we score I think we win.

    2-0 Fulham

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  5. daddude7

    daddude7 Active Member

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    I like your 2-0 better than my 2-1. Good idea.
     
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  6. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    What? You can't change it up now. But since you did, I'm going with a 2-1 Fulham victory.
     
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  7. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Active Member

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    Inside 3 hours til kickoff and man I hate these later games. I like getting up and having a Fulham game in the morning as I'm getting to work. Instead the anxiety of what will happen gets to build. I'm nervous, such and pivotal game. Win and we get out of the relegation zone(briefly at least), lose and it could cause doubt to start seeping in before other massive games. Come on Fulham, you got this!

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  8. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Are you really Scott Parker in disguise?

     
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  9. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Active Member

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    Blind squirrel, nut, all that

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  10. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Excellent first half. I thought Anguissa stood out. Now we need to score again -- maybe three or four.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  11. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Active Member

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    What a shit game. Granted I was only able to see the second half. Looked like boys against men the whole second half and still, we had chances to level the score but couldn't get a clean hit. Still think we'll stay up but confidence is the lowest it's been in months, for me at least. That games got me in a shitty mood now

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  12. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

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    Well, that match could have go any number of ways but it went the way of Leeds the deserved winners. On the whole they played phenomenally, and Fulham played like crap because of how well Leeds pressed.

    With that in mind, I thought Scott got the setup/approach way, way wrong. He's outthought himself with 3 DMs (sorry Zambo is not a CAM stop playing him there) again. Sadly I dont think Robinson is EPL quality and it showed tonight. And the same way we couldn't play our way out the back against Burnley during a snow storm in the FA Cup, we couldn't play our way out the back against this maniacal Leeds side. I wonder if we would've been better served with a back-5 and just slugged out a result.

    Finally, Mitro should probably remain benched indefinitely. He was brought on tactically to switch things up, and I don't think we registered a single shot on target in the 2nd half in a game we couldn't afford to lose. That's not troubling, that's damning.

    Is that curtains? I have no idea. It's certainly blaring warning sign, though.
     
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  13. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    As you can see above, I was happy with the first half. The second? There was NO TIME during the second half where we dictated terms. Sadly, I agree about Robinson. He's not really the guy.

    What did not winning do to our hopes of staying up? There is NO result in tomorrow's match that doesn't hurt us. An opportunity thrown away.
     
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  14. daddude7

    daddude7 Active Member

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    I must disagree about the first half. I thought we were poor throughout, especially in our movement toward the ball and off the ball, and in our passing. How do we get back the intensity and precision we showed against Everton and apply it in every remaining game? If Parker can solve that quandary, we stay up. If not, not.

    It didn't kill us on its own, but taking Reed off was a mind-boggling move. We needed more of what Reed alone was showing, not less.

    Poor. Here's hoping that April brings spring and renewal to our Fulham. We need the two weeks off.
     
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  15. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Highlights if you need them:


    I agree with @daddude7 , I thought Fulham was crap for most of the match. How many times did they need to lose the ball to the Leeds' press before realizing they could not sit in possession? It was driving me crazy. Then in the box, once again Fulham's offensive players could not put away great chances. Meslier did make some great saves, but still it was frustrating. The second Leeds goal was a great summary of the night - a sloppy play from Lemina turned the ball over, a poor attempted tackle from Tosin let Raphinha through, and even Areola wasn't his normal self and let a stoppable ball get by.

    I didn't think this was a must win, but after some sloppy play against Man. City I was discouraged to see more of it tonight. The one bright spot was Andersen finally getting a score - I was happy for him.

    Finally, I thought Parker's player choices were bizarre. It was like he was trying to hold in reserve some better players for a mid-week match against a beatable team - except that they won't play again until April. Maja was a better choice than Mitrovic, Lemina should have come off rather than Reed, and Robinson should have come off rather than Aina. It just didn't make any sense to me.

    I still don't think this was a must-win, but they need to get their heads straight over the international break.
     
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  16. stlouisbrad

    stlouisbrad Active Member

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    You all said everything that needs to said. Poor team setup. Tons of bad passes. Just crap all around. I was really looking forward to this game.
     
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  17. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if our defense is in a slump, or we're the victim of two bad personnel matchups, but I was certainly hoping for better against Leeds this time. We're much better than we were in September at the first meeting, so this result is disappointing on a lot of levels. And it could have been much worse, given they had two first half goals wiped out on offside calls. They cut us open pretty easily, and they didn't need to be offside on either of them. I didn't think we were very good in either half, but especially so in the second. We had trouble playing out from the back again, which drives me nuts. They didn't press us as high as most teams do when employing that tactic, but we still seemed to stall when we got between our 18 and the big circle. I was somewhat afraid after the easy goals we surrendered to Citeh that we might have lost our defensive mojo just a bit. Now I'm wholeheartedly worried. I'm not quite ready to give up on Robinson just yet. He looked bad this outing, but at his age, he deserves the benefit of the doubt on this one. He seemed slower than earlier in the season. Don't know if he's had any knocks, but he's faster than he showed Friday, to me. As mentioned, we do have two weeks to sort things out before going to Villa. We've been better on the road this season, so let's hope we do.
     
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  18. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    In addition to pretty much everything that you all have said, I was particularly frustrated by Fulham's lack of movement. Mitro and Loftus-Cheek were both walking around like they had been running sprints for 120 minutes. There is no reason that Anguissa or Tosin should have to dribble around in circles taking on multiple Leeds players when there are 10 other Fulham players on the pitch.
     
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  19. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    re- Harrison Reed ... he was one mis-step away from his second yellow. I believe Scott took him off so that we wouldn't spend most of the second half with 10 men.

    I'm also a bit surprised about the reaction to Anguissa. I thought he [and Reed] were our best players out there.
     
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