Who cares what a bunch of disinterested hacks have to say when you can get the skinny direct from those to whom it matters most? Well, good news: Football Burp‘s very own Jonny Forumer, lurker extraordinaire, is here to collate choice message board analysis so you can get the lowdown from the people who really know what they’re on about! Here’s what Fulham and Newcastle United fans had to say in response to Martin Jol’s side’s emphatic 5-2 win over Alan Pardew’s Magpies at Craven Cottage on Saturday…
From Cottage Corner…
“1 Hughes should be restored to the centre of defence in place of Senderos. Having Senderos as his partner is clearly affecting Hangeland’s own game because no longer can he have the same degree of confidence in his partner. Yesterday Senderos was clearly not on the same wavelength as his keeper either and, in previous matches, has been lucky to escape giving away penalties.
2 A nominal 442 system obviously suits our current personnel more than any other (I say nominally, as at times it was more like a 433 with Dempsey as the third striker). As brilliant as Tigana had been at improving players and making average players into good ones once we got to the top flight he tried to impose a system of play on a team whose members simply were not good enough to implement it at that level, with disastrous results. We have to play to our strengths as they are at the time and not use systems that anticipate the arrival of players who can play them but who may never actually arrive!
3 AJ needs to feature far more than he has to date and we need to retain his services (but not at all costs). Yesterday showed that his ability to run the channels and pull defenders out of position is invaluable and induces panic in opposition defences. Put simply it gives them something to think about – a feature of our game that was clearly absent during the first 45 minutes when Newcastle had, more or less, the freedom of the cottage! Almost as soon as AJ entered the fray he nearly got one of their now hapless defenders sent off! It may well be that the preferred tactic is to bring him on when the oppositions defenders are tiring, but he should feature.
4 Zamora has to have a strike partner otherwise he just becomes too isolated and we have seen that AJ is the ideal partner. In the two games in which we have inflicted their heaviest defeats on opponents, QPR and Newcastle at home, they have worked in tandem. Neither AJ or Zamora will ever be prolific goal scorers but hopefully by now everyone can see what they contribute to the team as a whole. They allow others to fulfil that role as we are currently seeing with Dempsey who, as the first half yesterday proved, would be nearly as prolific without their sometimes brilliant and often discounted forward play
5 Baird is more than just a useful squad player: he brings a degree of basic grounded solidity to midfield alongside Murphy. Okay, so do Sidwell and Etuhu but we all know the latter’s drawbacks! I wouldn’t play Baird at right-back – a position we need to fill in Grygera’s long-term absence. Kelly is just about okay and Baird’s lack of pace means that he gets found out by speedy tricky wingers.
6 But possibly the most pressing problem is finding Murphy’s replacement. IMO none of the current squad can fulfil his role and the younger players Jol has brought in; e.g. Gekov and Kasami, are too young for such a hefty responsibility. And before anyone says it, Dembele is simply not that type of player.
7 The two Dems, should all be recognized for what they bring to the side and tied down to longer contracts so that if we are offered silly money we can buy adequate replacements.
8 We must go for the jugular right from the off. Newcastle played a highline that pressed us and kept us in our own half for much of the first half. It was only when AJ came on that we managed to exploit that highline and to get behind their defence.” – mind parasite
“At half time EVERY Fulham fan i walked past was moaning about the way we were playing and saying we need to spend blah blah blah. To be fair, i felt the same. we were awful in the first 45. 1-0 down to a weakened Newcastle team was not what i had in mind.
Then… the boys completely turn the game around and put on the best 2nd half performance in the country and give EVERY Fulham fan in that ground something to smile and be happy about but yet again…
THE CLOCK HITS 85 MINUTES AND IDIOTS START PILING OUT OF THE GROUND.
If you was one of them then you need to know your a proper bellend. The boys turn it around, play their socks off and make you proud to be a Fulham fan yet you cant wait until full time to clap the team and give them the applause they deserve?
Its a f****** joke. if you was one of them them hang your head in shame, at half time you thought it was going to be another Fulham nightmare, the boys turned that around, worked hard and you piss off before the end? SHOCKING.” – Lee Maher
“Yet another great performance yesterday, but yet again another disappointing atmosphere.
I know thread will receive criticism from some of those that don’t care for singing and just go to watch the game but i’m hoping that they will this one time agree with me and side with those that want to make the atmosphere at the cottage ELECTRIC every time we play.
I think its time the club stepped in and helped the fans find a solution to the problem of having those who want to sing being spread across the ground and find a way of getting us all together in one area of the ground. For some reason, We do find ourselves week in and week out surrounded by tourists in some sections of the ground, of course this is ok, they come and spend alot of money and this is what the club needs but they don’t want to get involved in the atmosphere so it suffers as a result. i find alot of the time everytime i start a song i get a few around me that join in then the rest just turn around and look at us to see what it is we are singing. its like we are doing something wrong.
With more and more of the bigger clubs near on filling our ‘Neutral’ end as well as their entire allocation we are finding ourselves getting outsung week in week out and i for one find it embarassing. Yes i know that away teams are usually more vocal as its the more ‘hardcore’ fans that make the away trips but i think its time we pulled away from this ‘Little Club, S*** fans, Tourists day out’ tag that we seem to have gotten ourselves and start making ourselves heard.
Watching Match of the Day last night was slightly embarrasing, Everytime we scored i see a FEW fans jump and the rest gave a little ripple and sat down before the camera had left the shot. i know that you would never get the singers at the front nd these seats will always be tourist territory but at least if we could be heard all throught out the game we wouldnt seem like a bunch of idiots who seem unbothered by a 5th goal going in against a team that have been flying in the premiership this season. you may not see us but you would hear us.
There must be an easy solution, Maybe when selling season tickets etc get an agreed area in Hammersmith or something that is highlighted for the those that want to get involved etc.. it sounds pathetic i know but the fact i’m having to even write this is pathetic. we should be vocal without this sort of thing but the last few hme games have been seriously pathetic atmosphere wise and they both come at games where we have oblitorated the visitors on the pitch.
I really cant think of a simple solution, all of mine seem a bit far fetched but its not my job, your in the buisness so surely you will have an idea on this.
Id like a section of the home end to look like blocks P1 & P2 look like most games with 2 whole blocks going at it for 90 minutes..
Like i say, i’m expecting criticism but all i’m trying to achieve is a better atmosphere at home games and pull us away from this ‘s*** club, s*** fans’ tag… i know loads of us already sing but we are spread all over the ground so our little pockets of support aren’t being heard. we need to sort this and start making a name for ourselves.
Im not the best with wording things or explaining by writing so it may seem a bit repetative or boring but im sure you will get the message im trying to get across.” – Lee Maher
From Friends of Fulham…
“I’ve been a big admirer of Sidwell on these pages but he’s starting to wane in my opinion. His tackle in the first half, albeit from halfway up the Hammersmith End and on a liquid lunch, looked borderline red to me. For me, Baird has made that position his and I shall be furious if he doesn’t start against Everton, but more importantly against West Brom.
I am also starting to get a bit concerned about Kelly but I feel Baird would be wasted playing right back – I reckon a right back ought to be pretty near the top of Jol’s shopping list this month.
But it’s the 4-4-2 that won us the game and for me the most important thing is we stick to that system. Dembele will be available for Everton (if he’s actually injured; you never know in January do you?) but Duff did nothing wrong yesterday and, lucky though we may have been with the penalty, I’d have backed him to score from there yesterday, and in fact wish he had (because the media have clearly decided it wasn’t a pen).” – BalDrick
“So this was a very weird match to watch. We never looked like having a decent shot in the first half, and scored FIVE in the second. All it took was for a strike partnership of Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson to turn things around.
The first half epitomized everything that’s wrong with Fulham’s football under Martin Jol. At home, needing a win to remain comfortably above the scrum in the lower half, Fulham came out tentative and with pretty much no link between the back four and the midfield. What few balls that made it past halfway were generally met by the cast iron chest and concrete boots of Bobby Zamora. How bad was it? Well, under Jol I’ve been keeping track of how long it takes for Fulham to take their first shot of the match. Not our first shot on goal, mind, just our first shot period. For the record, Damian Duff fired into Krul’s gloves at 24:32 of the first half. By contrast, Newcastle’s first effort was at 00:52. Did we press on after Duff’s effort? We did not. As a matter of fact, the first appearance of a Fulham player AND the ball in Newcastle’s penalty area was when Duff earned the early second half penalty. I know we looked horrible against Manchester United at the Cottage, but this was certainly the most toothless beginning to a home match I’ve seen in a very, very long time. To be fair, Senderos had a couple of dangerous looking headers in the first 45, but that was in OUR penalty area.
The key event of the match was the dead leg suffered by the unlucky Steve Sidwell. He hadn’t contributed much – as a matter of fact, he was almost as profligate as Zamora in surrendering possession – but his absence brought on Andrew Johnson, and that man made the difference on the day. Yes, I know, I have been told over and over that Bobby Zamora can’t play effectively when partnered with Our Late President [who I have recently learned wears a “magic hat”]. The thing is that, under Jol, we have never really looked a constant threat when Johnson is not playing. He won ball after ball, stretched the defense, and contributed significantly to the first four goals. [I missed our 5th and Dempsey’s 3rd thanks to the robots in the control room of Fox Soccer Plus who put canned programming on between minute 86 and minute 93]. Mind you, the two Dempsey goals I DID see had me singing “He scores with his right, he scores with his chest, that boy Clint Dempsey is clearly the best.” But it was Johnson that was everywhere and, because of him, Dempsey, Murphy, and Zamora were much more menacing and effective as Fulham took over the match and scored and scored and scored and scored [and evidently scored again, although I’ll have to wait for visual confirmation for that].
The international commentary pair seized on the fact that Jol put Ruiz into Sidwell’s position as Jol’s major tactical blunder. And, to me, it seemed more sensible to bring on Chris Baird than it did to bring on AJ at 0-0. Had he done so, and had Baird played immediately the way he played in the second half, there would probably have been no appearance by Andrew Johnson, and we could have been completely toothless for the entire day. Who knows?
My good friend Aggie Matt berates me whenever a Fulham player scores two goals and I give this award to somebody else, but – hattrick and all – HatterDon’s Man of the Match is Our Late President Andrew Johnson.
Oh, and by my accounting, Fulham have played two home matches with a 4-4-2 featuring Zamora and Johnson up front this season. The result? Six points and ELEVEN goals. Something to think about?
On to the FA Cup and COYW!” – HatterDon
“Guys, Jol got lucky.
Getting over run in the first half he puts Ruiz into the centre of midfield. Where is the joined up thinking in that? The goal came from Ruiz losing the ball. If he is the tactical genius you think he is then it would have worked. It didn’t. Full Stop
Bringing Baird on may have been his decision (he might have been bawled at by Murphy) we don’t know but having Baird on allowed AJ t ocause havoc. He couldn’t do that in the first half.
Also Ruiz is not a midfielder. Would Ferguson play Hernandez in midfield?” – sunburywhite
What did you think of the match, Fulham fans? Have your say in the comments section below…
“Neither Williamson nor Colo stayed home as they should have after Johnson came on. Neither were aware of the danger he posed and apparently our manager & coaches didn’t impress this on them. Where were our defenders at the end of the first half when Santon was left alone to defend Johnson?
AP’s continued misuse of the squad is worrying. I don’t know what he expects from Shola & Best together other than a duplication of a not-very-nuanced style. Both will consistently start a play with their backs to goal and try to take balls down and either turn with it or knock it down for others. HBA is not a natural winger as he doesn’t track back much and when he does he’s not real good at it. What his goals show me is that he indeed needs to have a free role-especially in a game like yesterday’s. After Johnson came on, Fulham soaked up our posession and let us play in front of them. When they got possession, they broke quickly with long passes with Johnson as the ultimate outlet. For our part, we had trouble breaking them down and creating chances despite our possession-Guthrie’s goal was a 25-yarder, the kind of goal you can score against the run of play.
At half, Shola should have come off for Raylor, who shoud have gone on the right side of midfield. HBA should have been tucked in behind the forward with clear instruction: if they want to let us have possession, get it to HBA on the ground and let him run at them. This forces their defenders to come out and make decisions. As it is, our offensive tactics played right into their hands.
Worrying. But then again, no tactics will work when most of your squad is ambling around the pitch at 50% effort…” – tunyc
“For me our biggest problem was willo he was out of position for all of their goals and we we leaving massive gaps when simpson was coming into he centre to fill the gap left by willo! Colo was often left trying to cover 2 strikers while willo trotted back! For me the club should be looking to buy a central defender who is going to fight taylor to partner colo and have willo as our 4th defender. Surprised to see raylor dropped he should have played and HBA up front with best!” – mentalman
“Maybe it’s time to give some of the youngsters a shot while we wait out the african cup not much can be done in defence santon needs time to adapt (remember colo’s first year!) ameobi doesn’t deserve a place from his last two games and is getting on now so not likely to improve and best is always hit an miss he’s either really good or really bad” – tom09
“I do feel Pardew has to take at least some of the blame for this one, the high line had landed us in a couple of nearly situation in the 1st half as well as catching them offside a few times (which it’s meant to do) but once the Santon incident with Johnson happened Pardew should have changed tact we could have easily been down to 10 men there simply because Fulham caught us with the high line once.
We started the second half slowly and rather than passing it around we’d seemed to resorted to trying the long ball which lost us possession constantly, they got a wrongful pen decision but then the high line killed us. Just as we praise Pards for matches like the Man Utd one he deserves some blame for this, as KSA and others have pointed out this isn’t the first time he’s employed this tactic against pacy strikers and paid a price, Chelsea and West Brom being the glaring examples. We can put this down to a freak result because if we’d had Ba and Tiote I don’t think we’d of lost this but Pards needs to figure out how to defend the straight runs from quick strikers on the counter. Williamson on the half way line, oh dear.” – Christmas Tree
“Now that I’ve slept on it. There are some positives. The first half we looked good, great at times. Jonas looks good behind a lone striker. His workrate really helps the midfield to win possession. Ben Arfa played well, worked hard and the goal was brilliance, seems he’ll score alot of goals for us. Guthrie was great in the first half and his goal was a pearler as well. Best worked hard, he’s not a winger but I’m impressed that he’s prepared to work so hard for the team without the ball.
Second half I’d rather not talk about. “ – toonotl
“Demba-Demba on for the current “striking partnership”, and we would have finished it the first half. I really like the system with Jonas running all over the place in front of Guthrie and Cabaye. The high line was a mistake though, besides us playing like shit and losing all the 50/50s in the 2nd half. As i had taped it im ashamed to say I started fast-forwarding after 3-1. That fucking Duffs face when they score makes me rage. Nice goal from Ben Arfa though, nice to see him deliver again. Still optimistic for the season, we should pick up ALOT of points when our africans are back. Need to pay off some african referees I think, Mason might fancy a side-job.” – nortoon
What did you think of the match, Newcastle fans? Have your say in the comments section below…