31 August 2014

Another Fine Mess - My Thoughts On The Transfer Of Kostas Mitroglou

13 months ago, Fulham were in a fine position. One of the best sides in England (should have been top 10 in 2012-13 had it not been for poor form towards the end of the season) and with Darren Bent and Adel Taarabt (among others) coming in, what could possibly go wrong? Europa League? Champions League? Maybe even the title?

As it turns out, quite a lot. A new owner who, unlike Mohammed Al Fayed, doesn't turn up to our matches. Rumours are abound he wants to sell Craven Cottage and go somewhere else. But it takes him far too long to sack Martin Jol. He was second in the sack race pre-season, was Jol, and for him to be sacked in December was ridiculous. But it was still the right move. René Meulensteen comes in and things pick up, including results. However, after a difficult spell of games, the mess starts. Following a 2-2 draw against Manchester United, René Meulensteen was sacked as Fulham manager after a narrow 3-2 loss to Liverpool, which is covered elsewhere on this blog. Twitter goes into meltdown. What a dreadful decision, for not one Fulham fan was calling for René to go after that Liverpool game. Gary Lineker went into meltdown too.

René Meulensteen spent £12,000,000 on Kostas Mitroglou, and by the time he was match fit Magath was in charge. Rodallega was preferred to him against West Bromwich Albion and he came on as a sub. He also featured in Magath's abject show at Stoke City and started against Cardiff and was promising. But he hasn't played since the Stoke match, and has just been sent back on loan to Olympiakos. Why? He could easily work with Ross McCormack this season, but why has Magath preferred, throughout both seasons, Cauley Woodrow? Mitroglou is only 27, which is by no means old, and he would certainly do very well in the Championship. Another fine mess. Only Fulham could loan out a £12m player without a home debut. No, sorry, only Magath's Fulham could loan out a £12m without a home debut. Who's going to replace him? As I type this, Matt Smith of Leeds United. Another fine mess. But with the calibres of Mitroglou, Ruiz, Kacaniklic, Tunnicliffe, and Stekelenburg, how have they only played 30 minutes between them this season?

Another fine mess in Magath. His woeful team selections. His abject formations. He didn't know his best side, and he had 12 games last season. He doesn't know his best side this season, and he's had six competitive fixtures plus seven friendlies.

Also, here's Magath's appalling team selection in full, compared to something more sensible:

This was René Meulensteen's starting XI against Liverpool, Meulensteen's last game:

Front (from left to right): Lewis Holtby, Steve Sidwell (c), Dan Burn, Johnny Heitinga, Maarten Stekelenburg.

Back (from left to right): Darren Bent, Kieran Richardson, William Kvist, John Arne Riise, Sascha Riether, Ryan Tunnicliffe.

This was Felix Magath's starting XI against Crystal Palace, Magath's last game that season:

Front (from left to right): Alexander Kacaniklic, Steve Sidwell, Brede Hangeland (c), Johnny Heitinga, David Stockdale.

Back (from left to right): Hugo Rodallega, Kieran Richardson, Scott Parker, Fernando Amorebieta, Elsad Zverotic, Cauley Woodrow.

Anyway, if you're interested in the full #MagathOut range, you can find it here:


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