Fulham – Match Report vs Leeds 19/08/20

The two newly promoted championship teams faced off in the second game week of the premier league after both suffering losses in the opening weekend. Pablo Hernandez was injured in the warmup for Leeds so new signing Rodrygo started in a 4141 formation. Meanwhile, Fulham lined up in a 4231 formation, talisman Mitrovic started the game and so did Anguissa who brought in some much-needed physicality in the middle of the park for Fulham. Both teams traded long periods of possession, with Leeds looking the most dangerous going forward. Both defences were poor and looked leaky, it’s no surprise that each team has conceded 7 goals in their opening two games. Leeds took a commanding 4-1 lead in the second half however Fulham fought back and made it a grandstand finale with the game finishing 4-3 to Leeds.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for their level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

André Zambo Anguissa

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Cameroon
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 16/11/1995
  • Current Club: Fulham
  • Career: Stade Reims (Y), Marseille, Fulham, Villareal (L), Fulham
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Anguissa’s physical stature underpinned everything he did and the qualities he brought to the team. Standing at 6-foot-tall, Anguissa also had a big build and was very muscular, as well as this he was also very agile and quick on the ground for a tall player. Moreover, the defensive midfielder was more than comfortable on the ball. During long periods of possession, Anguissa played as the anchor on his own at the base of midfield and he played fairly simple but effective passes that were short but were often forward passes breaking the lines, completing 16/19 final third passes. Anguissa’s physicality was utilised well when he was on the ball, he used his arms and upper body strength to fend off opposition players which gave him an extra couple of seconds and yards to dribble or pick out a pass as he completed 11/13 take-ons. As well as his passing and dribbling abilities, Anguissa showed some nice pieces of skill, including a smart roulette to get out of a tight space and a couple of stepovers when outside the edge of the box; the only thing Anguissa lacked in his attacking game was his long range shooting ability and his long range passing ability, although he didn’t attempt many of either so it is hard to judge.

Defensively, Anguissa was equally as impressive. His strength was a huge asset in recovering possession and he managed a huge 14 ball recoveries during the game, his strength combined with his agility and long legs made it extremely difficult for the opposition to get past and it showed as he completed 4 out of 4 tackles in the game. Plus, Anguissa’s use of his arms enabled him to get some of his body in between the opposition player and the ball which he then used as a base to get more of his body in between the player and ball. Another impressive aspect of Anguissa’s game was his great reading of the play. He intercepted a dangerous cut back on the edge of the box due to his special awareness, reactions, and game reading ability. He also applied pressure to the opposition players before they received the ball – when an opposition player was in space and looked like the ball was about to be played into him, Anguissa applied heavy pressure and used his physicality to dispossess the player or force the Leeds player to play backwards.

Overall, Anguissa was the best player on the pitch today and was head and shoulders above his Fulham teammates. His overall game was summarised when he took a nice first time touch around Kalvin Phillips who tried to foul him via shirt pulling and shoulder charge however Anguissa out battled him and played a nice through ball to assist a goal. Anguissa also has great versatility, he can play in a midfield 2 as a double pivot or in a midfield 3 either playing as the sole defensive midfielder or playing in a more attacking role, it would be great to see him playing alongside Reed and Cairney in a midfield three.

Rating – A1

Kenny Tete

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 09/10/1995
  • Current Club: Fulham
  • Career: Ajax, Lyon, Fulham
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Tete had a solid first hour at right back as he like the physical element of the premier league, making his first appearance since joining from Lyon in the summer. Tete looked promising going forward, he made several forward runs where he wasn’t found despite Fulham’s conservative approach. Tete put in two decent crosses in the game – one on his right and one on his left. Both crosses weren’t whipped with great pace however they were both accurate and found the target man Mitrovic which was a clear tactic, Tete provided the assist for Mitrovic’s header on his right foot which was a more dangerous cross with more whip and pace.

Tete was sound defensively in the first half but got progressively worse as the game went on due to Fulham needing to commit more men forward to score some goals. Tete showed great slide tackling technique where he took the ball cleanly and all three slide tackles were completed safely and effectively where the Leeds attacker looked favourite to get to the ball first but Tete had good pace. Tete also had good defensive positioning, blocking off and intercepting passes when defending in and around his box. The dutchmen also headed away a dangerous cross however he had to be alert to the danger as there was a man coming in but Tete was aware to the danger and attacked the ball well. In the second half, Tete was positioned much higher up the pitch when out of possession and pressed into Leeds’ half of the pitch, unfortunately Leeds picked apart the tame press and led to a Leeds goal as the whole Fulham back line was drawn out of position. Tete also allowed the ball to be played over the top of him and in between him and the right centre-back which led to Leeds chances, however I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume there was a change in Fulham tactics at half time rather than the blame going entirely on Tete.

The right back was on course for a B1 rating in the first half, however his poor defensive positioning and awareness is a slight concern despite a change in game state. I think Tete will settle nicely into the Premier League as he showed plenty of physicality towards the end of the game, mainly committing fouls out of frustration and he picked up a yellow card in the 90th minute.

Rating – B2

Josh Onomah

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 27/04/1997
  • Current Club: Fulham
  • Career: Tottenham, Aston Villa (L), Sheffield Wednesday (L), Fulham
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

I was excited to watch Onomah after seeing glimpses of him for Tottenham, however he was extremely lethargic throughout the game which was the opposite of what I expected. He has a very similar build to Anguissa but not as physically strong, this was an asset to Onomah defensively as he was able to utilise his long legs to make a few standing tackles. However, his tackling approach cost him a couple of times when the opposition got their body in front of the ball and Onomah conceded a foul on the edge of the box.

The most disappointing aspect of Onomah’s game was his lack of movement going forward. The former Tottenham player was playing in the number 10 role but he rarely moved from this position; he often stood around waiting for the ball to come to him and his lack of movement made it hard for his teammates to play him the ball. When Onomah did move to receive the ball it was usually a slow jog which enabled the Leeds midfielders and defenders to keep tabs on him easily and track him, whereas a short burst into pockets of space would have been more effective. Onomah also displayed a lack of urgency on the ball which slowed Fulham’s attacks down and resulted in several Leeds players surrounding Onomah and winning the ball back.

Overall, Onomah showed okay technical ability on the ball – he could hold off the opposition with his body and had nice close control with quick feet. However, he was anonymous during too many periods of the game and his lack of movement heavily affected Fulham’s whole build-up and attacking play. He was taken off on 58 minutes and it is no coincidence that Fulham scored two goals without him on the pitch in the last half an hour.

Rating – C

Written by Andrew Hunter / @HunterAnalysis on twitter

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