Fulham v. Sunderland [FA Cup] 2023

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by HatterDon, Jan 19, 2023.

  1. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    We're hosting Sunderland at the Cottage January 28. They're 10th in the Championship. In past years, Fulham sites -- including this one -- would be full of comments like "it's a distraction," "we have a busy schedule," and, THE LEAGUE IS EVERYTHING; WE SHOULDN'T GET DISTRACTED.

    I know where this comes from. We're used to fighting to stay in the Premier League -- when we're not fighting to get back in the Prem. But here's the thing: We have a fine squad, playing good football, and winning is contageous. So, what brought all this on, Hatter?

    I'm glad you asked. In the past I have done the "league is everything" mantra, but things are different this season. We have a solid club capable of giving every side in the league a good whuppin'. But what really got me thinking that we should do everything we can to have a good FA Cup run, was some comments from Luton Town's recent cup victory [yes, I still pay attention to them and Mah Boy Cauley scored]. It seems that the payoff to the club for their 3rd round victory was in excess on 100,000 lbs. I'm assuming we'll get something like that should we defeat Sunderland.

    Not convinced? How about if we send a super competitive side out there and win, we'll have 6 figures in our coffers JUST IN TIME FOR WINTER SALES!!!

    So, let's get a solid squad out there. Lets roll over them. Think this is silly? Well, check out the lineups for Tottenham and Man City in their rccent Cup matches.
     
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  2. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    I have to wonder what kind of lineup we'll see from Sunderland. Fulham has no excuse (with the exception of Mitrovic) to not put out a strong lineup. Meanwhile Sunderland has to consider a number of injuries (including their captain who is now out for the season), some new signings, and a very tight race for playoff spots. They just picked up Gelhardt on loan, but since he already played for Leeds in the FA Cup he can't play for Sunderland.

    In the Championship right now, Burnley and Sheffield United are running away with the automatic promotion spots, while the playoff spots are tightly contested. Every team from 3rd place Watford to 12th place Swansea are within five points of each other and any of them could be in or out of the playoff spots with the results of a single weekend. Sunderland sits in the middle of that mess in 9th place

    If I was Sunderland I'd be looking at this match as a chance to run out some new guys and give injured players a break since they'll need everything they've got to compete for the playoff spots. I'd like to see a strong Fulham squad take advantage of the situation, bag a few early goals, and see things out to a drama-free win.
     
    #2
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  3. stlouisbrad

    stlouisbrad Well-Known Member

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    Anything less that a W is unacceptable. I don't care how the sausage gets made. Just get it done.
     
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  4. Chicago_Cottager

    Chicago_Cottager New Member

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    I agree with both of you. No reason for Marco to put out anything other than a strong side. I think Mitro should get a rest, especially with potentially re-injuring his foot/ankle a little bit against Spurs. I saw that Marco said Mitro would be ready for this match but it just isn't worth it. This is a great opportunity to get Vinicius a full 90 minutes. I'd also love to see Solomon start. Even if he can't go the full 90, it would be useful to start getting him back up to full match fitness as we get toward the business end of the season.
     
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  5. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Haven’t paid any attention to Sunderland since Jozy couldn’t kick the ball into the Grand Canyon while playing for them. It has to be killing the supporters to see arch rival Newcastle flying high. Feeling optimistic which usually means a Fulhamish result, but feeling good about winning and advancing.
     
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  6. Chicago_Cottager

    Chicago_Cottager New Member

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    If you haven't wached the "Sunderland 'Til I Die" series on Netflix you definitely should. Those years in the wilderness must have been torture for Sunderland fans but it made for great watching as a neutral.
     
    #6
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  7. stlouisbrad

    stlouisbrad Well-Known Member

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    This has been dreadful so far. Other then Periera and maybe Tete, everyone has been bad or invisible. I'm simmering with rage right now. Should probably go take my blood pressure medicine.
     
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  8. daddude7

    daddude7 Well-Known Member

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    Diop was the MOTM for me last week, today he was … well, bad. What’s with him and cup competitions.

    Never been a fan of replays in the FA cup. Especially for clubs with small squads, like ours, replays might just be a worse outcome than losses.

    Sunderland impressed me. They played with heart and skill, and might have won on another day. Tip of a hat to a worthy adversary. I hated to see Ross Stewart go off injured — their playoff bid is going to take a hit. (I detest Newcastle, today’s Newcastle, not Shearer’s Newcastle, hence my warm feelings for Sunderland.)

    I thought after Chelsea at home that we had a decent option in Vinicius. He didn’t seem interested in playing today. If not this window, then in the summer we’ll be looking for a striker who is proud to play here. A half-lame Mitro gave more today in 30 minutes than Vinicius did in 60. In the summer’s preseason and friendlies, why not give the two academy boys, McFarlane and Ablade, a shot? We have the best academy in London — we need to make better use of it.

    Very encouraged by what I saw from Solomon. With more time on the field and in training I won’t be surprised if he becomes Fulham’s most important attacking player. And I haven’t forgotten Mitro. Solomon has this smoothness on the ball you can’t teach. I hope we can sort his contract this summer and keep him.

    Onward.
     
    #8
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
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  9. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    I think we could all clearly see which side wanted it more.

    Kurzawa needs to be reminded that he’s a defender. Nearly every Sunderland attack went right past him.
     
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  10. Chicago_Cottager

    Chicago_Cottager New Member

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    I agree about Solomon. Thought he was great from the start. I don't thinnk I agree with you about Vinicius though. I think we're all so spoiled with Mitro - his positioning, his hold up play, his ability to find open runners around him. Vinicius obviously isn't there yet and doesn't have the same sense of the game that Mitro does, but I'm not going to fully write him off yet. Vinicius hasn't developed that instinct that Mitro has of when to drop deeper, when to just camp in the box, when to head a bit out wide. That'll come with more game time (especially in the system).

    So having to head up to Sunderland at some point in the next month for a mid-week match isn't ideal, but it does give Marco another chance to give some of these guys some really valuable minutes.
     
    #10
  11. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Pretty thin highlights for what was a pretty entertaining match, but here they are:


    I wanted a no drama win but instead got lots of drama and a draw. This match made it clear how close Fulham is to being a Championship-level team. Kurzawa can't cross or defend as well as Robinson. Rodak is good, but not quite as good as Leno who I think would have saved Clarke's shot. Wilson just isn't the same player as last year and is a clear step down from Willian. And of course, Vinicius can't compare to Mitrovic.

    As for Diop, I have to wonder if Ream and/or Leno give him more direction. He's played terribly without them, but has been pretty solid with them. The team also missed Ream's ability to make key passes playing up from the back. Diop and Tosin just seemed unsure of what to do many times.

    On the plus side, Solomon did look great. I really wanted him to score the late winner, but Sunderland's keeper kept him from getting a fairy-tale finish. Solomon's got so much up-side if he can stay healthy and if Fulham can keep him on the squad. Also, how great was it to see classic Tom Cairney?! We hadn't see him slot home a goal like that in quite a while.
     
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  12. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Ya'll have pretty much nailed it, but I do have a couple of things to add.

    Our missing link and what would have been the key to a win was Antonee Robinson -- from the start. His marauding runs force Fulham's opponents to be defensive, and there was nobody out there who could have kept up with him. Start him on the replay, and Sunderland are toast by the half.

    Other thing? The video quality was stunning -- much better than what we get from England's links to USA streaming.
     
    #12
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  13. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what all these complaints are about. That was a very enjoyable game! Sunderland are well coached, young, and promising side (when's the last time any of those adjectives were used for them?!). Albeit still a decent lineup, the cohesion we've come to know so well this season was lost with the 6 changes.

    That said I am perplexed about what the positional assignments were in the first half. Wilson, a winger, was everywhere doing everything, especially in the middle of the park, because we basically had no #8. Cairney and Pereira were both occupying the same space in the #10, meaning Vini had zero service on the ground to work with because the ball was only ever going forward out wide. Solomon was the wide outlet on the left; Tete, a RB, was the outlet on the right.

    When the 2nd half subs (ie the usual starters) came on, there was more impetus and direction for us going forward (except when we kept trying to dribble through their entire lineup up the middle), but Sunderland also responded in kind after sorta losing their way when Stewart got hurt. It was really one of those matches that go haywire, meaning its best to ignore the rankings and wonder how it didnt end 5-5.

    On to the replay...
     
    #13
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
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  14. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    If I told you before the competition started that Fulham had to win an away match at the Stadium of Light and then host Leeds for a place in the quarterfinals, would you take it? Me too.
     
    #14
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  15. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    The replay will be on February 7th.
     
    #15
  16. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    It’s still a bit difficult for me to get excited about any in season tournament that doesn’t warrant starting your best side.
     
    #16
  17. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    #17
  18. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Ugh…espn+ for Wed. Looking at fixtures, this is manageable. Away to Sunderland (hopefully we beat them in 90) then home to Forest on Sat. before a week off, then a short trip to Brighton.

    I’d prefer Mitro to start, then be subbed off around the 60th, but think Marco will do opposite and sub him in around the 60th if he’s needed. I’m guessing will see the new boy from Torino as well.
     
    #18
  19. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    Marco Silva will not be in the coach's box as Fulham takes on Sunderland since he picked up his fourth yellow of the season at Chelsea and must now serve a one game suspension. My guess is the team will likely be managed by Luis Boa Morte in the interim, but maybe it could be Stewart Gray too?
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/64546989
     
    #19
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