This Fulham tactical recreation has been written by @JamesMi25181471 and he has included the tactic to be downloaded
A tactical analysis of Fulham 22/23 season
How have Fulham lined up this season?
Well due to their lack of premier league quality squad depth Fulham have had little rotation and tactical flexibility due to the same 11 starting most games. 12 players in the squad have played over 1100 minutes with team ream starting in every premier league match this season. After being promoted from the championship Marco Silva has altered Fulham’s style of play, improving their solidity and making them a lot harder to beat whilst sticking to his tactical fundamentals. During this season Fulham have again set up in a 4231 system
however in possession it can become a slightly asymmetric 433. The wide midfielders stay arrow to support Mitrovic with the wing backs bombing forward aiming to create chances for him within the penalty box where he is most lethal.
This is Fulham’s most consistent starting 11 over the course of the season with Marco Silva favouring Bobby Reid on the right wing and Issa Diop at Centre-back partnering Tim Ream. A recent change to the eleven we’ve been seeing is manor Solomon starting over Willian on the left now that he’s returning from injury. He has also tried out Willian on the right hand side however he seems a lot less effective due to his trademark move of cutting in off the left hand side and going for goal. It is also a system that highly relies on the the 1v1 ability of the full backs defensively and the industriousness of the holding 2 midfielders and work rate of each individual. It also heavily relies on the set piece ability of Andreas Pereira and the aerial ability of the side which for Fulham fans is a new sight as before Marcos time at the club the only corner goal I can remember is denis odoi’s header against derby!
It is also impossible to talk about this Fulham side without talking about their underlying numbers. Their expected goals scored for the season is 33.7 and they have scored 38 meaning an overperformance of 4.3 whilst their expected goals against is 44.9 whilst they have only conceded 37, meaning they are overperforming in defence by almost 8 goals! Once again, a strange feeling for any Fulham fan but this has to be largely accredited to Bernd Leno in goal. As a result their total goal difference is 12 above what it should be expected. How sustainable these overperformances are we will have to wait and see…
In possession Fulham vary, against weaker sides they tend to be slightly more direct and this is also apparent when playing away. They tend to have a shorter passing range and standard tempo with a lot of play being a ball played through the centre to their target forward with him laying it off and then the ball is spread out wide to the full back’s with the aim of hitting the box with a cross.
In transition they do tend to play out of the defence with the keeper often going short to the centre backs. There is also an aggressive mentality off the ball, looking to win the ball back explaining why I put counter-press. This usually occurs from the front with almost a
442 formation occurring at opposition goal-kicks with pereira pressing high up with Mitrovic onto the opposition centre-halves hence the prevent GK short distribution instruction being on all 3 tactics.
Lastly out of possession Fulham played with a standard line of defence and a high line of engagement, sometimes being a standard line of engagement. Often against teams who like to play balls in behind or have fast attackers the defence will drop off more to cover for the centre-backs lack of pace, this also aided by Tim Reams incredible ability to read the game at left centre-half. Also the instruction to get stuck in is rather obvious, I mean have you ever watched Fulham play this season? If not just look at their tremendous yellow card count or watch the highlights of them at old Trafford in the FA Cup.
The Tactic in Game…
Bernd leno will play as a sweeper keeper on support or against higher pressing teams as a sweeper keeper on defend as he will take less risks.
Right back- (FB-AT) Kenny tete will aim to play as a Full-Back on Attack, this role will look to maximise his crossing ability and 1v1 defensive attributes which this season have been impeccable, only being dribbled past twice this season. He is often bombing down the right hand side and looking to cross early. The player instruction for him is optional and it is for him to stay wider.
Right Centre-Back- (CD-DE) Issa Diop is precisely the type of centre back Fulham have been missing, a big tall strong presence who reads the game well and isn’t scared of putting a foot in. however his passing ability is slightly limited even though he can carry the ball very well due to his stature. He has no player instructions.
Left Centre-Back –(BPD-DE) the quote from pep Guardiola about Tim Ream is all you really need to know about him ‘if you were 10 years younger you’d be playing for me’, well no Pep he wouldn’t because 10 years ago he was playing championship football for Bolton. Honestly, I have no idea what Marco Silva has done to this man but he has turned him from water to wine. 2 years ago if youd of told me Fulham would be 9th in the prem with Tim Ream starting every game I would’ve assumed the only plausible explanation would be that Messi came out as a die hard cottager and signed for us. This season the American has been near-perfect as the rock at the back and has really showed his leadership skills. He plays as a ball playing defender due to his technical prowess and often the ball is distributed to him from the goal kick. No player instructions are used for this role.
Left Back- (WB-SU) there is a reason that antonee robinson was linked with a £30 million pound transfer to man city in January and that’s because he is excellent. His physical prowess, speed and ability 1v1 are very impressive although he does sure have his weaknesses and these are highlighted in football manager. His 3 key mental statistics in composure, decisions and anticipation are all sub-par for a premier league full-back and his technicals too are not out of this world and fairly so. However, his energy and pace are both key to the way Fulham play. The player instructions set on him are to cross more often and optionally stay wider.
Defensive Midfield- DMC/DMCL, (DM-SU) the main man himself. I’m still sat here wondering what on earth were premier league scouts doing over the summer allowing a player of his quality to join Fulham and for £18 million!! There is no shock in the rumours of him to join Liverpool for £60 million as I reckon he could play better than fabinho in that role with a blindfold. He’s easily the best ball winner in the premier league this season. His physical prowess matched with his height make him a force to be reckon with in the middle but hes so much more than just a destroyer in there, he can switch the play and if you saw his goal against leeds in the FA cup then you know too that he has more than a worldie in him. This guy is the key to Marco’s Team as shown by the results when hes not playing. His player instructions are to close down more often and to tackle harder and an added hold position in both tactic 2 and 3 when hes paying as the DMC.
DMCR- (VOL-SU/AT) I was unsure as to whether I put Harrison reed as a box to box, or a ball winning midfielder on support or as a Segundo volante on support and that’s because honestly whatever you ask this little ginger Iniesta to do, he’ll do it. Easily one of the most underrated players in the premier league and he will run his socks off! I chose a Segundo volante as it allows him to sit deeper and cover the space left by the attacking full-back whilst also allowing him to make runs forward which we have seen in his improvement in attacking areas this season although he may be slightly technically limited. The only player instruction for him is to close down more often.
Right winger- AMR- (IW-SU) now this position was a hard one for Fulham as they don’t really have a left footed right sided player this season so a winger on support or attack would make more sense but in order to facilitate the full-back overlapping the right winger has to invert. Again, Bobby-Reid probably lacks the technical ability for the prem but his work rate, off the ball movement and defensive ability make him a viable option for Marco Silva’s system in a defensive team looking to press from the front. There are no player instructions for this role but switching him to a winger on attack when trailing is advised. Also adding a player instruction of sit narrower when as a IW-SU can be helpful to create more space for the full-back.
CAM- (AP-AT) Fulham’s main creator, Andreas covers almost every blade of grass in the opposition half, his defensive work rate is again a major reason why he suits this system so well, he has a tendency to drift over to the wide left hence his AMCL positioning in both tactics 2 and 3. He is Fulham’s main creator and he is a goal threat too, not to mention his set piece ability being a real reason why Fulham have scored so many goals this season. A player instruction of roam from position will work for this role, especially in tactics 2 and 3. Tactic 3 with him on support can be useful against teams who are playing a lower block with Reed as volante on attack making the surging runs and Andreas dropping in to pick up the ball.
AML- (IW-AT) This role at Fulham is probably the one most up for grabs, with Willian’s experience, Solomon’s goal threat and Kebano’s trickery it’s definitely an exciting position for Fulham. All 3 of these players love to cut inside and either create chances for Mitrovic, surge into the penalty box using 1-2’s or go for goal themselves and they are all highly technical players with good acceleration and agility. This role also allows for the overlap of
Robinson and creates more space for him. If noticing that he isn’t receiving the ball enough then make him a wing back on attack and this role an inverted winger on support, aiming to provide the players around him more. A player instruction of take more risks is highly suitable due to the players high flair.
ST- (TF-AT) Alexander Mitrovic is Fulham’s main goal threat in every match he plays in. Marco silva has turned this man into a goalscoring machine. He broke the goalscoring record for the championship with ease and has completed halted all the critics saying he isn’t good enough for the premier league with 11 goals in 23 matches, 3 more than £75 million striker Darwin Nunez. He also more than just a goal scorer for this Fulham side though as his hold up and link up play are vital for the way they build their attacks. All you have to do is look at Mitrovic’s stats and watch 10 minutes of him to know he is a target forward. The player instruction of shoot more often is also applied.
This team and system have helped Fulham easily surpass the pundits expectations of a relegation battle and have really shown the premier league why they dominated the championship last year. However, I do believe that because of Fulham’s poor squad depth and lack of flexibility that they could suffer from second season syndrome, so to help with this I’m going to briefly list a few targets and problem areas Fulham could look to delve into during the summer market.
Right back cover- Kenny Tete lacks competition even with the loan signing of Cedric Soares, I think Fulham should aim to sign him on a free if possible. Another option for me which is my personal favourite is max Aarons if Norwich were not to be promoted as he would provide perfect cover and competition for Tete. A final right back who Fulham have been linked with is SC Heerenveen’s Milan van Ewijk who is a pacy attacking outlet for the Dutch side with a current average rating of 7.27 in the league.
Centre back- I sadly believe Tosin is going to leave in the summer due to the lack of firs team football and also see Tim Reams current form unsustainable due to his age so centre back is a key area for Fulham. In terms of left-sided centre halves I personally would go for the Hungarian Attila Szalai of Fenerbahçe who is a tall strong and composed ball playing defender who has represented his nation 31 times. Another option is the Serbian Strahinja Pavlovic playing for RB Salzburg in the Austrian league which would fit the Serbian contingency Fulham are building with Sasa Lukic and Mitrovic. However, he is a lot younger and less experienced than the Hungarian. As for a right-footed centre back Nino from Fluminense is a player I’d like to see move to Europe, a 25-year-old leader and ball playing centre back playing for Fluminense.
Left back cover- if Tierney goes to Newcastle which is looking highly likely then Matthew Targett is a player id be looking at with beady eyes, a former cottager Targett doesn’t quite have Robinsons pace but makes up for it with his technical ability and mental development. Another option I would like at is Granadas Carlos Neva, a solid player who suits the Spanish speaking contingency under this Marco Silva side.
CDM cover- Andre from Fluminense, abackup to Joao Palinha is rather obviously lacking from the fulham squad as can be highlighted in their records with and without him, the 21
year-old Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Fulham and Nottingham Forest and I think his well roundedness and physical ability would be a good coup for this Fulham side. Another suggestion would be 27 year-old Uruguayan destroyer Mauro Arambarri who is an astute ball winner in the middle of the park.
Right wing- Liel Abada is an Israeli right winger playing for celtic lighting up the Scottish premiership, recently in the media the Israeli head coach touted Abada to have a rise to top division football like Solomon and even suggested the potential of them at the same club. Whilst I do believe he is still a bit raw his talent is noticeable with his lightning pace and dribbling ability his potential is high. Another option would be ismaila sarr, a player who has previously worked with Marco Silva at Watford. If they were not to get promoted it would be likely that Sarr would look for a move away back to the top fight and potentially at a discounted price with only 2.5 years on his deal remaining.
Tactic download LINK