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PL: Fulham h 2009/08/30 Reactions & Ratings


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Out of interest how did Hangeland play? Did he impress?

Nothing special, won some headers and was mostly ok but a couple of biggish mistakes in getting out muscled by Gabby when the ball wobbled to Sidwell for a good chance and then being too slow when he tried to play Carew offside but it was saved by a linesman mistake.

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solid. Early goal was key.

Friedel 7

Beye 7- I did notice him creeping inside too often sometimes, as if he was naturally a centre half.

Shorey 7 - no defensive test, so he looked competent, tidy passing.

Clark 8 - good debut, great game for him to play really, got some touches, and confidence without being overly worked.

Cuellar 7- decent enough.

Milner 7- ran around well enough, but did lack a bit of spark I thought.

Petrov 6.5

Reo Coker 7

Young - 8 a welcome return to form, some good running, and was a threat, ball into boxes was more dangerous, even if some crosses were wasted.

Agbonlahor 8. MoM for the goal. Very well taken, and he'd been harrying and pressing all game. Well done Gab, more of the same please now.

MoN 8 - no complaints. Right side, got the job done.

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Solid performances all round and Job Done.

Fulham were very poor and offered very little. That said they weren't allowed to get their foot on the ball due to the midfield trio being first to the ball. Pleased for Gabby, deserved the goal, took it very well and will do his confidence the world of good.

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Good, solid and professional.

3 wins in a week, 6 points out of 9 (which is probably about the best most fans would have xpected at this stage). Clark didn't look out of place at all, same goes for his appearances in pre-season. Looks a good prospect.

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4-5-1, against Fulham, at home! Looks like MON has took some tips from of here!

Midfield dominated play yet again and Fulham had nowhere to go with Shorey and Beye being solid. Defense played very well and I can now see why Zat was sold, he is no better than Clark in fact Clark should have scored with his free header.

Gabby played very well IMO, ran for lost causes and really played the channels well, unlucky not to get the first goal but he pressured the defender into a mistake for it so thats good enough, his goal was typical Gabby, power and pace and thats what big central defenders hate.

Well played Villa, impressive, 6 points from 3 games against difficult opposition.

Who's next? :lol: UTV

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We play 4-5-1 at home, and guess what it works! I really hope we ditch 4-4-2 now as with Petrov in midfield as it's no existent. Petrov, Sidwell and NRC however as a three is perfect Then there's players like Delph and Gardner who can also do a very good job.

Obviously it was a boring game, but tactically we were spot on, so well played MON. We pressed all over the pitch leaving them no time on the ball and whenever plays like Shorey started off attacks there was always someone there to cover if we lost it. As for Shorey I thought he was brilliant on the ball, even if he wasn't tested defensivley. Beye on the other side looked shaky, but he's still settling in, he's just a bit too composed at times. Thought Clark and Cuellar weren't tested much, but Clark added the composure the back four we desperatley need, even if he was a bit too simple at times mainly due to nerves. Good debut but I don't think he's ready for the Premiership yet.

My man of the match though was either Gabby or NRC, the latter kept us so organised, and would always drop back when someone was in trouble looking for the pass. I was surprised to see him go off, he wasn't really happy, if anyone I thought it'd be Sidwell who wasn't as lively. Now to Gabby, 4-4-2 he lacks the intelligence to read his partners flick ons etc, however on his own he's brilliant. He never stops running, holds the ball up well, and generally seems to threaten more and is more aware of the midfield behind him. Well played to Gabby, hopefully the goal will bring him the confidence he needed, and get the boo boys off his back.


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Pleased with that, nice to have a 2-0 win at home, didn't happen much last season.

Friedel 6- Not much to do really, different from the other night.

Beye 6- Pretty decent defensively and covered well once or twice when it was needed. Will be a decent buy for us in the squad I think.7

Shorey 7- Thought he was very good today in his passing and defensively. If he can keep it up Warnock will struggle to get into the side.

Cuellar 8- This is a completely different player from what I saw last season, it's the beard I reckon. Seriously, three good performances in a week from him and he is growing on me a lot. Keep it up and we could have a real player on our hands.

Clark 7- Slotted in well, looked as if he'd been playing for years. Quite good in the air and on the ground. Hopefully he can continue to shine.

Young 8- He has had a good week as well. A lot better than recent performances and our main attacking threat. Linked up well with Shorey and also did well when he roamed around.

Milner 6- Hard working, came more into it second half after not getting the ball much in the first.

Petrov 7- Good performance. Some good tackles, passes and interceptions starting off attacks.

Sidwell 7- I thought he was very good, harried the Fulham players and got forward well.

Reo-Coker 7- See a combined of Sidwell and Petrov, should be in the team every week.

Agbonlahor 7- Took his goal very well, worked hard.

Carew 6- Not much for the big man to do when he came on.

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While I do personally prefer 4-5-1, I wouldn't get carried away like it's our saviour. At home, we struggled with 4-5-1 last season. Yeah, we won today and we played well, but were fortunate with an early own goal which let us play like an away side.

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Thoroughly enjoyed that. Even though we didn't create too many clear cut chances we were in complete control of the game from start to finish, and I can't remember the last time that happened. Solid performance allround from everyone.

And already 4 points up on last season's results. :cheers:

Delighted that MON decided to go for youth in Clark instead of shifting Beye to CB and put Nigel or Warnock on right back. And what a debut by Clark!

Delighted that NRC was put in the middle of the park again and to see another good performance from him.

Delighted to see Gabby playing with enthusiasm again and scoring an excellent goal.


Friedel - 6 - A poor choice when passing to Beye under pressure, other than that not much to do.

Beye - 7 - Another good game by my favourite French-Senegalese.

Cuellar - 8 MOTM - Very solid. Good clearances both aerially and when breaking in front of players. Nice to see him 'talking' Clark through his debut and complimenting his young partner on his good involvements. Excellent partner for Clark today.

Clark - 8 - Not often you see a 19 year-old centre back being so calm and professional in most choices on his debut. Gets an extra point for that.

Shorey - 7 - Obviously feeling Warnock breathing down his neck. Good game.

Milner - 7 - Works tirelessly, good on the ball, good off the ball. EDIT: 7, not 8.

Petrov - 7 - Reads the game so well and intercepts lots of passes, calm on the ball.

Reo-Coker - 8 - Full of energy, good passing, even a couple of great ones. Need him in the middle there, MON :!:

Sidwell - 7 - Did his job, energetic. Thrives in a 3-man midfield.

Young - 7 - Looks to have found his feet again in terms of crosses/corners/free kicks this season after a season of overhitting them.

Agbonlahor - 8 - Strong and fast. Looks the part again. Worked hard all game like he used to when he first broke through the scene. And his 'bigger belly' this season obviously comes from working out in the gym throughout the summer. Showed why it was the correct decision by MON to start him. Great goal.

Carew - 7 - A beast. Never an offside and should have been allowed to make it 3.

What a great way to finish a weekend. :cheers:

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4-5-1 Good

Davies taken out of the firing line Good

Sidwell and NRC in midfield Good

tactical substitution when winning Good

Comfortable three points from a tricky game Good

Still clearly some things to work on, but overall its nice to be talking about positives again, has been a long time

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What was good to see today was that our bench looked liked it could change a game if needed. We had two internaional strikers, a very exciting talent and news signing wtih Warnock. We also had our regular back up team. It gave us options that we have struggled to offer going into some of the games this season especially against Wigan.

With a couple more signing before Tuesday we could have a solid squad for the rest of the season. We just need to keep players fit and we should have enough for the three competitions.

Great to Carew back playing; he is immense when he plays. Well done the boys and great to see another youngster emerging.

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While I do personally prefer 4-5-1, I wouldn't get carried away like it's our saviour. At home, we struggled with 4-5-1 last season. Yeah, we won today and we played well, but were fortunate with an early own goal which let us play like an away side.

Saying we didn't win too many is a fair comment but we also rarely lost which, If you can't win, make sure you don't lose ;)

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Friedel - 6. didn't have much to do v a toothless Fulham, one error placing Beye under pressure but was quick to apologise.

Beye - 7. Good again.

Cuellar - 8. Quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Calm at the back, helped Clark through his debut, did very well. And loves his full on tackles.

Clark - 8. A conservative approach in defence, always a sensible move. Did little wrong, kept it simple, and came through the match well. Big future ahead of him.

Shorey - 8. Attacked well, linked up well, was available for a pass often, not overly tested at the back but tireless none the less. More what I thought we were getting last year to be honest.

Milner - 7. Another non stop game, was never going to really shine in this match thanks to our crossing game being a bit useless v Hangeland, but you can't fault him for his desire non the less.

Petrov - 7. Some nice passes, kept things ticking over and pulled the strings at the right moments, as per usual.

Reo-Coker - 7. Does what NRC always does. Tackle after tackle, energy and bite to the midfield, and some bloody nice passes too. I do wonder if his problematic passing is more down to a lack of composure than lack of skill, more time on the ball and he was spraying the odd ball about.

Sidwell - 7. Adds a little more forward thinking to the side as well as some more energy.

Young - 8. Better from Ash. Wanted to make things happen, a little less play acting, and his delivery was a bit better. More please.

Agbonlahor - 8. He leads the line well as a lone forward. Rather than just a big man, he gives defenders something more to think about with his pace. He'll chase the ball all day long and he's so vital to our play. Made his new strength tell more than once as well. And what a goal, well taken and showed a bit of speedy thinking to spot the chance.

Carew - 6. Not a whole lot to do. Easily onside for his chance and should have had chance to put us 3 ahead. Provided the comedy moment of the match as Pantsil bounced off him, followed by him apolgising to the Fulham man and giving him a pat on the head. Looking forward to him being completely up to speed.

Not much to complain about today. Fulham were toothless and very cautious. We played some lovely stuff at times, particularly first half in which I remember 2 quick interchanges through the midfield that caught the eye. Only real downer is that we were very reliant on crosses straight to the middle of the box that Hangeland was having no problems with. We needed to mix it up more, try different crosses or keep it on the deck, shoot from distance more, to negate Hangelands presence as much as possible. As it was, an encouraging display, and I'm now sure that O'Neill is looking more and more to adapt our play, we've seen much more possession football this season than the glimpses we've seen in previous seasons. Not the sternest of tests of course but hey, it worked.

Comfortable game, 3 points, a new prospect given his first taste of top flight football and taking it with relish, a clean sheet, Gabby off the mark and some nice football. Onwards and upwards.

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Overall, i'm so pleased that the formation worked. Thought MON hadn't learnt after midweek, and that he might switch Coker back to RB and Petrov would be hopeless again. He didn't, and thankfully we came away with a very easy victory in what was a dire game.

Friedel- nothing to do 6.0

Beye- solid but unspectacular going forward 6.5

Cuellar- Looks a class act now he has a midfield in front of him 7.5

Clark- solid on debut, promising 7.0

Shorey- ditto Beye 6.5

Sidwell- worked hard, but did little 6.5

Reo Coker- Best of the midfield 3. Passing much improved, energetic. Yet still he was the one replaced...7.0

Petrov- Looked a decent footballer in the first half, which he is. Although if this is the only system in which he can operate and he is going to play 90mins every game then he could hold us back. Kept things ticking but passed backwards at any opportunity. 6.5

Young- Again had a hand in one of the goals. OK throughout. 6.5

Milner- The effort always shines through if not always the end product.7.0

Agbonlahor- Strangely he becomes a different player in this system. Lively and an excellent strike.7.5*

Carew-Did he come on? He's hard to miss. 6.0

Boring as hell, but thoroughly effective, so no complaints. However against a Fulham side ripe for the slaughter, perhaps a little more support for Gabby from the middle 3 wouldn't have gone amiss, as there was more than enough to cover defensively today. Lack of substitutions was again strange. Delph who was lively v vienna may have brightened up a tiring, dull game. Solid if nothing else and a pleasing 3 points at home.

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