The View from South Texas -- Ipswich Town FC v. Fulham FC

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by HatterDon, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Suffolk Shakedown Cruise

    No fewer than eight Fulham players made their first-team debut today at Portman Road as Fulham played their first match in the second tier of English football for 13years. With so many new players playing in a new league with a fairly new manager, it was to be expected that there would be some rough spots in Fulham's first competitive match.
    And there were.With Burgess and Parker appearingto be responsible for supporting the defense, and David and Hyndman setting up as the attacking portion of the midfield, it was clear that only one pairing was working as planned. David looked especially lively early on, playing with confidence and no little style. Hyndman looked competent and made good use of space to keep himself open. Having said that, it was the connection with Parker/Burgess and the new CB pairing of Budurov and Hutchinson that never quite clicked over the 90 minutes.
    Although he was to be faulted for neither of Ipswich's goals, Young Keeper Joronen looked well out of his league. He made a very classy save early on, but he was woefully hesitant in his area and demonstrated the worst distribution I have seen from a Fulham keeper in a very long time. A lot of this is, of course, inexperience. It was his first-team Fulham debut, and his first match at this high level period. Inexperience can be overcome and confidence will make him more in charge of his area, but his most glaring inadequacy may take many years to correct: He is completely one-footed. With modern goalkeeprs acting as sweepers, he's outmatched. Several times his kicks went directly into touch because he was in no position to use his left foot, and he has neither capability within or confidence in his right. This is troublesome.
    As a matter of fact, the times when I was most concerned during the match was when the ball was at the feet of Joronen, Hutchinson, or Budurov.
    McCormack started today and was the first player subbed off. The television guy [and how nice to have only ONE voice in the box again] seemed to think that it was due to his ineffectiveness. I disagree. I think it was due to his lack of pre-season pitch time. I generally liked what I saw from him. As for his strike partner, I'm willing to bet that Moussa Dembele has never had a less effective 90 minutes on a pitch in his life. He couldn't keep possesion, couldn't turn, couldn't find a teammate, and – most problematical for the near future – couldn't bring either his strength or quickness to bear on Ipswich's defense.
    The match turned around when young Mr. Roberts came on. The ENTIRE TEAM went into attack mode and the Tractor Boys found themselves on their back heels for the rest of the match. Some will be shouting “ROBERTS MUST START NEXT WEEKEND,” but again I disagree. He's 17, and I think we'll be seeing him in the role we saw him in today for a few more months. Of the new boys, the one who impressed me most was Stafylidis. Fulham might actually have a left back that can attack and defend. Also handy was his RB partner Hoogland, although not so much on the defensive end.
    So, Fulham opened the season with a defeat, and it took 75 minutes to get hold of the match. It's early days, though. Here's what I'm hoping that Felix noted today.
    1. Fulham have to take control of the match. By my count, the very first corner – and the first set piece of the match came in the 77th minute. This will not do.
    2. Fulham have to realize that the Championship is the Land of the Giants. Hoofing the ball upfield from defense to moderately tall strikers is not going to work. Fulham have an advantage in ball skills, quickness, and fitness. The quick on-the-ground movement we saw after the Roberts substitution should be our prime mode.
    HatterDon's Man of the Match? Well, I was ready to give it to David after the first half, but there was that substitution. So, instead, it goes to Patrick Roberts, and may it be the first of many.
  2. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Mar 4, 2014
    Thanks for the analysis HatterDon. By the way, did you see Fulham's third picture in their Ipswich gallery? Looks like you had your own supporters at the match.[​IMG]
  3. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    Don, you'll have to add me to the Roberts must start next weekend list. The entire team came alive once he stepped on that field, they looked listless otherwise. I understand the argument against, but I think you have to roll the dice and see if he's up for it. I don't think there's anything to lose by starting him a few games and seeing if he can hold his own. If he can't then just move him back to being a sub. I don't think his ego would be bruised by such a move.
  4. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Alamo City, Texas
    I agree with Heather. I think it comes down to how you view the formation though. Don's VFST suggests he saw it as a 4-2-2-2 with Burgess and Parker in more holding roles and Hyndman and David in attacking ones. If so, then you'd have to choose who to drop between Hyndman and David to accommodate Roberts. Under that scenario, I'd probably agree with Don. Use him as an impact sub until one of Hyndman or David gives you an excuse to drop them.

    However, we're told Magath prefers a 4-4-2 diamond and we're told that's what he deployed in preseason. I say told because I only saw a few highlights from preseason and not enough to say what we played. If you look at it like that, then yeah, I'd start Roberts on the left, David at CAM, Hyndman on the right and either Parker or Burgess (or preferably a player to be purchased) at CDM. It looked like we played both formations today to me. More of a diamond once Hutchinson went off, less of one prior to that.
  5. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    A City by a Bay
    Thank you for the write up as always and DCH and Ag's comments shed some additional light on the match for me. I didn't get a chance to listen or watch but that should change for the next match.

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