It Is no secret I want to Flip Fulham into the Manchester United of the southEast, said Mohamed Al Fayed at the early 2000s, Across the Period Jean Tiganas Cottagers swaggered to the Premier League.
The ambition of al Fayed was commendable but always somewhat unlikely. Nearly two decades on, however, Fulham are emulating a Manchester juggernaut back… only this moment, it is City.
Fulham lie fifth in the table 10 matches into the Championship season, though a win over Charlton on Saturday – live on Sky Sports Football – could put them top for at least a couple of hours. Results are OK, but nothing longer. Its the underlying numbers that show Fulham are trying to play with the Pep Guardiola way.
It starts with possession. Fulham averaged 69 per cent in their opening 10 games, including 84 per cent in a 4-0 hammering of Millwall. No staff at the top two branches of England has appreciated more of the chunk. Fulham take good care of the ball at a similar method to City – their 88 per cent accuracy that is passing is comfortably the second-highest in the top 2 leagues, and just significantly lesser than Citys.
Fulham have settled using two playmakers in midfield ahead of a screener facing the trunk into a 4-3-3 system, a system remarkably similar to Man Citys.
Fulham sit with 18 points – not quite City levels of dominance, since Tiganas side drifted into the title with 101 points in 37, but its their best start to a second-tier year. As well as their attacking output signal is currently looking advertising standard. They are joint-top scorers using Preston, while just Marcelo Bielsas Leeds have functioned goalkeepers and created opportunities from open play frequently.
It is an occasional absence of cutting edge, if Fulham have a problem going forward. The champions of guardiola are ruthless; Scott Parkers side can hold the ball for the interest of it. City play longer at the opposition half and moderate almost twice as many rolls at the opposition box, although Fulham and city average quantities of moves per game.
It might appear harsh to judge anyone by the standards of a group whove averaged 99 points a season in the Premier League since 2017 – but the two of Fulhams promotions this century have been achieved with a specific style, so why not learn from the ideal?