Tag Archives: Fulham

The Battle for Premiership Survival!

The fight for Premiership survival has entered the business end of the season, and each game is slowly becoming increasingly more crucial for the teams fighting to avoid the drop.

With just 7 games to go, it looks beyond possible for both Huddersfield and Fulham to escape relegation.

Huddersfield have a mere 14 points and Fulham just 3 more than that. It looks impossible for them to catch up with Burnley who currently sit 17th with 30 points on the board.

Even if Huddersfield and Fulham were to win all of their remaining games, they would still only sit on 35 and 38 points respectively, which even then leaves both teams looking at relegation.

A Burnley win this weekend would bring the Lancashire-based side up to 33 points, virtually dooming the bottom two clubs, Huddersfield and Fulham, to the drop.

Cardiff still have a fighting chance of staying up, but their inconsistency this season means they find themselves in the relegation zone, but the current form table paints a hopeful story for the Welsh team.  Cardiff sit 12th based on recent form, having had 3 wins in their last 6 games.

Talking of 12th, looking at the present standings in the Premiership, that position is occupied by Bournemouth on 38 points, just 2 points away from the safety margin of 40 points.

When you look at the current form, then it makes dodgy reading for the Cherries, because with 1 win in the last 6, they currently sit 3rd bottom, suggesting that although they appear safe, there is still work to do.

In terms of consistency, Burnley find themselves in the same position in the current form guide as they do actual position, but you would back the clarets to find form at the right time, as seems to happen with them most years under Dyche.

Either way, it appears most clubs are entering the infamous ‘squeaky bum time’ of the season, and if you were a betting man, then you would probably get good odds on betting against the current bottom 3 being the ones to make the drop.

Dilly Ding Dilly Gone

What now for Fulham? Claudio Ranieri has become the second managerial dismissal of the season at Craven Cottage after only three months in charge, following the departure of his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic in November. The Italian did seem to give the players a lift however the game against fellow strugglers Southampton yesterday seemed to be a make or break for his job. Had they won, they would have been four points off the Saints who sit 17th, one place above the drop zone. Therefore the term ‘six pointer’ really did prove costly for Ranieri as his side were defeated 2-0 at St Mary’s, meaning the former Premier League champion leaves a side now sitting ten points from safety with only ten games remaining. 

Fulham’s Fatality

Out of ten games remaining for Fulham, Craven Cottage is still yet to welcome title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City as well as hosting a London derby this weekend against Chelsea, a team they haven’t beaten since 2006. Given the way they have performed this season, it would be somewhat special if they were to come out with anything from these fixtures, meaning they realistically have seven games from which they must get as many points from as they can. To make matters worse, only three of these seven games are at home and maximum points from these matches would not save them even now – but Fulham have not won away from home all season.

Parker’s chance?

Scott Parker does seem to be favoured by Chairman Shahid Khan for the near future. Included in a statement regarding Ranieri’s dismissal, Khan said “If Scott can answer that challenge, and our players respond to the opportunity, perhaps victories will follow in the months ahead”. 

Given the position Fulham are in and the matches they have left Parker does seem like a sensible choice. Despite only having managerial experience with Tottenham Hotspur’s U18’s, the former midfielder has worked Fulham’s as first team coach all season meaning he knows the players better than anyone. Therefore his relationship with the players may just be the thing that the Fulham faithful can believe will give his players some momentum to at least go down fighting. 

Save Our Season

Bringing in a new manager at this stage is potentially more risky than sticking with Parker, given the limited time they would have to influence the players with their own strategy and style of play. 

Sam Allardyce is probably the most successful SOS manager, having transformed his past teams, guiding the likes of West Ham, Sunderland and Everton to safety. However, ‘Big Sam’ is unlikely to take a job where Fulham are so deep in trouble with so little time to save them.  In reality any permanent manager is going to have to be up for rebuilding this side in the Championship. 

Carlos Carvalhal is another name that has been suggested, either this season or in the summer given his history in both leagues. Although brief, Carvalhal almost saved Swansea having taken charge with the Swans bottom of the league on Boxing Day 2017. This suggests he could have an impact now but given Shahid Khan’s words about Parker’s role, it does seem the ex England international is going to be given the opportunity for the time being. Carvalhal does have experience in the championship with Sheffield Wednesday and so it could be a good chance for him in in the summer, if Parker does not rejuvenate the atmosphere around the club in the next few months.

Great Escape or Condemned to relegation?

The Ranieri revival came to no avail and Fulham chairman Shahid Khan seems to be backing Scott Parker rather than rushing into a permanent replacement. Does this suggest Khan believes the caretaker boss can guide them to an incredible escape? Conversely maybe he has accepted his sides fate, now focusing on the future with the aim to return to the top flight immediately next season with a permanent appointment in the summer… One thing is for sure, they are going to need more than a Danny Murphy winner like in 2008 to keep them up.

Is this former ‘Cottager’ set for a return?

Fulham currently sit in the top half of the Championship table after a recent run of 3 victories and 1 draw in their last 4 games. This patch of good form sees the club just 4 points behind Leeds United who occupy the final play-off spot, and manager Slavisa Jokanovic will be hoping that the club can make the top six for a second season running.

Despite the club scoring 39 goals so far this campaign, its there fullback Ryan Sessegnon who leads the clubs goal scoring chart on 7 goals, and shows that the club needs to add to their strike force this month.

With that in mind, Fulham should look to re-sign Derby County striker Chris Martin who had a spell with the London outfit just last season.

Chris Martin – The Scottish international had a terrific spell in front of goal at Craven Cottage last season, finding the back of the net on 11 occasions showing that he certainly fits into the system Jokanovic plays.

Despite making 24 appearances for the ‘Rams’ this season the majority of those have come from the bench and he has struggled for form as he has only scored once so far. Having had so few starting appearances at Pride Park this season Martin may opt for a move away from the club this month in search of regular first team apperances and after a good spell on loan last season with Fulham it could be the perfect fit for both the club and the player.

Fulham fans would you like to see Chris Martin back at Craven Cottage? Let us know in the comments section…

Should Spurs target this wonderkid this month?

Tottenham Hotspur have been known over the past few seasons to purchase and nurture young talent, with the likes of Dele Alli, Ben Davies and Kieron Trippier all becoming important parts of the first team squad.

The London outfit has been competing at the top end of the Premier League for a fair few seasons now as well as playing in the Champions League where the youthful talent has excelled on the big stage, after being given the opportunity by manager Mauricio Pocchetino.

The club currently sits in 5th place in the Premier League and will be looking to break into the top four before the season’s end, to ensure Champions League football again next season for when they move into their new stadium.

With the January transfer window is open, Pochettino may enter the market to improve his squad to help ensure they are in the top four come May. There have been a lot of rumours recently surrounding full-back Danny Rose, who is linked with a move to Manchester United and if this move does happen it will the club with Ben Davies as the only left full-back, so they will need to add to their squad.

With that in mind, the club should look to target Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon.

Ryan Sessegnon – The full-back who can also play left midfield, has been an integral part of Fulham’s team and this season leads the clubs scoring charts with 7 goals and also has 4 assists to his name.

At the age of only 17, the youngster has represented England at U-16, U-17 and U19 level and is a regular starter in the Fulham side. Tottenham would have to dig deep to sign the youngster, but the lure of Premier League football could be too big an opportunity to turn down.

Tottenham fans would you like to see Ryan Sessegnon join your club? Let us know in the comments section below…

Why have Sheffield Wednesday turned their fortunes’ around?

Carlos had a dream is a chant sang week in week out by Sheffield Wednesday fans all over the country but the 2017-18 season started somewhat of a nightmare for the Owls picking up 7 points in August.

It is a well known fact the side from Hillsborough have forked out massive amounts of money on new players over the past year and a half bringing in the likes of Steven Fletcher and Sam Winnall who they have since loaned to Derby County.

After an opening day defeat away at Preston the Owls then failed to win against QPR, Sunderland at home and away at Burton Albion.

There was a time that looked like Carvahal’s reign as manager was coming to an abrupt end after failing in the playoffs in the previous two seasons against Huddersfield Town losing on penalties where Jordan Rhodes refused to take one and in the final against Hull City in 2015-16 1-0.

With many Wednesdayites happy with the improvement in recent seasons failure when it matters the most has become a frustration for them and also not giving U23 star George Hirst a crack in the team after his sensational goal scoring run in the Premier Development 2 league winning side last season.

What has turned the fortunes around then?

With a win away at Fulham in late August thanks to a goal from Fletcher this is where fortunes changed and bringing the Scotsman back into the starting line-up has helped to as he netted in Saturdays convincing 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Tuesday night also saw the Owls gain a crucial victory over Brentford that was influenced by the impressive Barry Bannan who has stepped up his game dramatically of late and he has dictated games.

Saturday is another big test as the Owls go to Cardiff before going into the Steel city derby a week on Sunday .