Season Recap and Post Mortem

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by jumpkutz, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    So....now that we're almost to the end of our first season in the second tier in 14 years, I thought I'd throw open the floodgates of opinion. What was the best win/performance by the club this season? What was the low point? Who's your MVP? Best goal? Best save? Best pass? Worst howler? Make up a category if you wish. For me, Marcus Bettinelli is the MVP simply because he had to be. Our defense was so woeful, he had to pretty much stand on his head every time out. What really impressed me was his uncanny ability to save penalties. I don't know what the final count was, but I'll bet he finished pretty high in that category. I don't know how misses are counted, but I'm certain the saves contributed to more than a few opponent misses.
    Don't know if it was the best goal, but my favorite was the winning at the death header by Ruiz against Reading. Overhit cross by McCormack that Cauley managed to head back into the slot from the far post a little behind Bryan, who made a beautiful adjustment to knock home a winner. Best win was the FA Cup tie victory in the snow on penalties after an injury time handball and penalty by Ross at Molineux against Wolverhampton. Most disappointing player? Name any defender. Player we missed the most due to injury? Lasse Vigen Christensen. There are others, but it's late and I'm too tired to continue. So, To Be Continued....
     
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  2. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    Will have to revisit this, but the low point had to be the 8th game of the league season where afterwards we sat with 1 point and it was obvious that it was going to be a grind just to survive. Honestly couldn't imagine before the campaign that we wouldn't compete for the top 6. Best win off the top of my head was a 3-0 thrashing of Charlton.
     
    #2
  3. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    MVP: Ruiz - I'd give an honorable mention to Bettinelli, but I can honestly say that if we didn't have Ruiz we'd have been relegated. I don't think I could say that about any other player.

    MDP (most disappointing player): Kačaniklić - He was one of those guys that I couldn't understand why he had been sent out on loan. I thought he'd bring some help to the mid-field, especially considering what looked like Ruiz's impending exit. Unfortunately he didn't have much of a positive impact. I still really like him, but he just didn't help us turn things around in that dark period in February and March.

    Low Point: It is a toss up between the 3-0 loss a Reading and the 5-1 loss to Bournemouth. The loss to Reading followed Magath's first win and first point in the Championship. Any hope those had generated were dashed by that loss. I feared then the dreaded double-drop. The loss to Bournemouth was just an example of how far we are from a Premiere League quality team. We were so bad. This may have been the only game I stopped listening to before the finish, so I'd have to give the loss to Bournemouth the edge.

    High Point: 4-0 win vs Sheffield Wednesday. So much to love in that one. Bettinelli's save while lying on his back, McCormack' beautiful free-kick to score the first goal, Christensen's charge up the length of the field to score, McCormack giving the closing PK to Woodrow. At the end of the day we were mid-table. We could look at where we had come from and legitimately consider a run for a play-off spot

    Best Goal: While I loved Christensen's against Sheffield, no doubt in my mind that it is Ruiz's goal against Reading that Jump picked.

    Worst Goal: Troy Deeney's score from a corner just 9 minutes into the 1-0 loss to Watford. I choose this one as representative of all of the crummy corners we gave up.
     
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  4. ChicagoCottager

    ChicagoCottager Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Location:
    Chicago
    I like your categories Micah.

    MVP - Has to be McCormack for me. I know we paid a lot for him, but I genuinely feel like we would have gone down if it weren't for his 17 goals and 9 assists. When's the last time we had a player but up that kind of production!? I also feel like his passion and work ethic have been a great model for our younger players.

    Honorable mention to Parker for his leadership and LVC for the spark he brought to the team. Hopefully we can get a whole season out of him next year, because I think he's out long term Ruiz replacement.

    MDP - This is a tough category. You could name just about any of our signings under the Magath regime, but I'll stick to players that played significant minutes this season. I think Stafylidis was the most disappointing, because it seemed like a real coup to bring him to the club. He seemed to have a good reputation in Germany, and he showed flashes of real dynamism early on. As the season went on, it became clear that for all his potential, he was a real liability at the back. I think that's part of the reason we tried playing him in midfield, but he couldn't keep the ball well enough to play there. I think it will be a shame if we don't keep him, because I think he could be a very good player in the future, but he was certainly disappointing this season.

    High Point - 4 - 0 over Bolton to start October. This result really made me think we had turned a corner and could still compete for promotion. Kit had just taken over and this was our third win in a row. Unfortunately it turned out to just be a honeymoon period.

    Low Point - Definitely the 5 - 1 loss at home to Bournemouth. At that point I thought we might be heading down. We were in the midst of an awful run and just looked terrible in the game. That loss really showed how far we had fallen.

    Best Goal - No one goal really stands out to me from the season, but maybe someone will remind me of one in this thread. I did however really enjoy McCormack's free kick goals. It's been so long since we had a player that was a real threat from set pieces (maybe Jimmy Bullard?).
     
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  5. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I'll agree with MM on the save of the year by Betts whilst on his back against Wednesday. A fine effort all the way around for the lads. But the win at Molineux was special...a victory snatched from the jaws of defeat in a most unlikely fashion and setting. Nothing like winning a shoot out that you had no business being in in the first place...IN A BLIZZARD.
     
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  6. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Here's mine with a few added in:

    MVP: Ross without a doubt. Worth every (overvalued) penny

    MDP: All the players brought in over the summer but have since played like 30mins total this season. The likes of Taggart, Voser, Eisfeld, Chihi, Fotheringham, Fazlic, Casasola, Kiraly have no more than a handful of appearances between them. That's basically an entire team that produced almost nothing.

    MUP (Most Underrated Player): Got to go with Hugo. There was a clear difference in our side when he was performing or not; but the likes of Ross got the headlines, Ruiz got the ire, and LVC got the pity (from the injury). He'll be missed more than we think.'

    MPP (Most Promising Player): LVC

    High Point: Not sure there was A high point but some high points: was early but that 2-1 come from behind win over Brum as Kit's second match in charge was something special (we had won like 1 game since April at that point); that wackadoodle 2-0 win at Huddersfield where Betts saved two penalties and we shut them out despite being outshot like 30-3; the 4-0 win over Bolton and 3-0 win over Charlton renewed hope.

    Low Point: 5-1 loss at Derby and then 5-3 loss at Forest weeks later. Was made totally clear then Magath was a mistake and a disaster (yes, even after we were relegated), and that the season was to be all about survival. (The 5-1 loss to Bournemouth stunk, but think that it was more a display how damn good they were than how bad we were.)

    Best Goal: Ross' absurd final goal last Saturday only because it capped off a truly absurd game and absurd season. We'll be talking about that game for a long time.
     
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  7. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    This is hard for me. I'll jump in, but a lot of this has no conviction supporting it.

    MVP: Bryan Ruiz. Along with LVC, his addition to the squad turned everything around. Bryan finally got a chance to be the QB and he made things happen every time he was out there. This included the game agains 'boro last Saturday. Now don't get me wrong. Our BEST player was Ross, without a doubt, but Ruiz was massive in our turnaround. Perhaps timmyg [the wizard of odds] could compare our PPG when he was on the pitch as opposed to when he didn't feature.

    MDP: There's so many, but for me it was the almost overnight destruction of Buderov. I thought he was the goods for us; I was wrong.

    High Point: I can't remember the opponent, but it was when we came from a goal down on the road three times in the same match to draw 3-3.. It was something we were never capable of doing our last season in the Prem when we seemed to wait to concede and, when we did, just curl up and die. For me, this was a hint of what the new Fulham under Kit might become. I still haven't given up on this dream. Let's see what he can do with a better, and most experienced squad than he had this year.

    Low Point(s): The Red cards -- always early enough in the match to guarantee that we were going to get an ass kicking, always the best evidence that Kit wasn't quite ready for the job he was given.

    Best Goal: Ross's 3rd and our 4th against 'boro. Here's a guy who makes a goal on his own and still tries to talk Tunnicliffe into taking it instead. NBA legend Hersey Hawkins once said that hitting a clutch free throw on the road was like slapping 10,000 people in the face. That's what Ross did to the 'boro fans. I loved it.
     
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  8. SteveFakeBlood

    SteveFakeBlood Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Broward County , FL (from DuPage County, IL)
    Long time no see, all. To be honest, I almost feel unqualified to answer this question- I watched a lot more of the two minute highlights than I did full matches.

    It's tough to go from being able to watch or DVR every game to only being able to see them on TV once every 6 weeks or so (my computer is dodgy on streaming video and I can never manage to watch a full game on my phone). Still from the 5 or 6 games I managed to watch in full, highlights I've watched and reading recaps here's what I've got...

    MVP: Ross. He's kind of between a rock and hard place because he really had to be our best player to justify his contract and not be a disappointment. The most admirable trait about him wasn't necessarily all the goals he scored, but his consistency. He was healthy all year and never went through goal droughts that lasted more than a few games. Hugo was on fire for a while, but the league caught up to him; LVC was our best player when healthy, but obviously missed a lot of the season; Ruiz was our most talented player and had some amazing games, but a lot of backroom politics kept him off the pitch and he had the usual points where he seemed invisible. Bettinelli is the runner up because while he had some bumps in the road, he steadied the keeper position in front of an ever-changing back four.

    MDP: Half the team. But in all seriousness, it is a tough category and I can't really pick just one. I expected more from Kaca, Hugo basically disappeared after a brilliant start under Kit (he looked like one of the best players in the whole division for about a month), Ruiz had the talent and experience to be one of the the best players in the Championship, Dan Burn didn't take a step forward, etc. I'll give a pass to Woodrow and Dembele because they were afterthoughts, but I was hoping one of them could push their way into the First team.

    High points: Our first 10 league matches under Kit. After such an awful start, in Kit's first 10 league games we won 5 game, drew 3 and only lost 2. It looked like we'd finish in the top half or maybe, miracle of miracles, make it to the magical 6th place where anything could happen. Although they didn't end up mattering much- our 2-0 win over Derby (I believe they were top of the league at the time) was arguably our most impressive performance of the year and the 4-3 win over Boro was possibly the ugliest three points we've ever earned, but it was also one of the bravest. To lose a two goal lead when you're up a man and still manage to get a winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time (even if it was mostly a product of Boro's awful positioning) takes a lot of character. The fact that it was the last home game was nice icing on the cake.

    Low points: One point from 8 matches under Magath is the obvious choice, but I would also say getting bounced out of the League Cup emphatically by fellow Championship competition. After beating Brentford and gutting it out against Doncaster, I was really hoping we could at least make it to the Quarters of the League Cup so we could have something to say about this year. Also, the awful 5-0 loss at Watford, filled with penalties, disciplinary issues and general ugliness. Although we won our next two league games, it was the first match under Kit where we looked overmatched and outclassed, which was sadly a sign of things to come.

    Goal of the year: This was tough, because to me there wasn't a signature goal like Kasami's against Palace last year (maybe one of the Top 5 goals I've ever seen a Fulham player score in my almost 11 years watching the team- although to be fair, some of those seasons I only watched 3 or 4 matches). Still, the closest was probably LVC's against Huddersfield.I had to go back and watch it again, but he had a nice run, nutmegged a defender while juking another and finished by jumping over the keeper while chipping it. Outstanding individual effort.

    Unfortunately, my hopes of at least top half went unanswered. Let's hope for the health and continued development of some of the younger players next year and at least a playoff spot.

    COYW.

    ~ Steve
     
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  9. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    I checked out the season trend line on the BBC. I created the high quality image below to describe my emotions as we went through the season.
    season_retro.png
     
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  10. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
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    That was at Rotherham in October, with big Dan heading in the equalizer at the end.
     
    #10
  11. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    #11
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  12. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Sep 24, 2011
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    I just voted for Betts. As I mentioned at the top, he was much better than the defenders in front of him out of sheer necessity, and he saved or caused to miss more penalties than he had a right to. If it hadn't been for him, none of the exploits of McCormack, Ruiz, LVC or Parker would have mattered.
     
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  13. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    No idea, otherwise, but I LOVE that!
     
    #13
  14. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
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    I just became the only non-Costa Rican to vote for Bryan.
     
    #14
  15. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Oh but you are wrong! (Unless you know something about my parentage that I don't - it is odd how I don't look like either of my parents.) I voted for Ruiz multiple times. Pura vida!
     
    #15
  16. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Don't know where this really belongs, so I'll put it here. There's been a Lasse Vigen Chistensen sighting at White Hart Lane today at our U-21 match there. He started, then subbed for at halftime. Good that he's at least back on the pitch.
     
    #16
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  17. ChicagoCottager

    ChicagoCottager Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Location:
    Chicago
    That's good to hear. He was certainly the surprise player of the season for me. I'd only seen him in Football Manager before this season and certainly didn't expect him to be our best player at times.

    I really hope we can make Betts, Hyndman, LVC, and Roberts pillars of the squad moving forward. From what I've seen, those 4 are players that we can a build around and push for promotion.
     
    #17
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  18. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    #18
  19. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    #19
  20. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    #20
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
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