Welcome to our weekly Fulham lunchtime webchat as we look ahead to coming back to the Cottage on Saturday for the visit of Bolton.
It was a disappointing result up at Villa Park on Saturday, where John Terry and Albert Adomah's goals condemned the Whites to a 2-1 defeat, leading to questions about the strike force the side possess.
Two home games in the space of four days provides the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways at the Cottage as Bolton and Bristol City visit.
We're hosting our Tuesday lunchtime chat from 12pm, but you can get your questions in now using the form below and ask our Fulham reporter, Ryan O'Donovan, anything that is on your mind regarding Fulham - be it from the manager to the Riverside Stand.
Thanks for joining us
Thanks for joining us in what has turned out to be a bumper Q&A session!
There’s still loads to come from GWL this week, with our It’s All White podcast dropping later this afternoon, while we’ll be at the open training session on Thursday as well as Slavisa Jokanovic’s presser on Friday.
See you next week for another webchat!
Why do we keep conceding?
Michael asks: It’s hard to say that any of the defence are playing badly atm. Fredericks, Kalas, Ream and Sess are playing to a decent standard. Yet, we keep on conceding. Thoughts?
It’s a good point and I’d put it further to saying the back five have all been playing well.
Maybe it’s down to lapses of concentration, individual mistakes or both? There is certainly a problem with keeping clean sheets at the moment and it’s something that needs to be addressed.
Prediction for Saturday?
And finally, Jack asks: Prediction for Saturday?
I think it will be a 2-0 win for Fulham.
It won’t be easy, Bolton will look to frustrate the Whites but they should have the quality to see the game through.
I think Saturday presents a good springboard and the side can really push on from a victory and get six points from the two home games.
Final call for questions
Final call for questions on our lunchtime webchat!
Who would a new CB replace?
Steve asks: If Fulham sign someone new at the back do you think it would be more for cover or in place of Ream or Kalas?
It’s a good question, and at the moment I don’t have an answer for it.
I think what would happen is he’d replace whoever was playing the worst at the time, and there’s nothing to say he would replace either straight away.
It’d be a case of who he fits well with at the time, because at the moment both Ream and Kalas have been playing well.
How long until Cairney is back?
Graham has asked: How long until Tom Cairney is back to full fitness and why has this been such an ongoing issue?
There’s no time limit set for his return as it needs to be managed carefully.
It’s been an ongoing issue because no one is quite sure what the problem is, hence why it needs to be managed carefully so he can continue his form once he’s eventually back to full fitness.
Soares not an upgrade?
Colin says: Soares not really an upgrade from Malone why he has yet to play 2, he is only a loan 3, we loaned him while injured very poor from recruitment team
Yes he has yet to play, but he isn’t going the whole season without getting a game is he?
Yes, he’s only a loan, but I don’t see how that reflects on him being a Malone upgrade?
And finally, they took the risk loaning him while injured because of the quality he possess - waiting a couple of months to have a fully fit player that teams like Liverpool were after is a risk worth taking in my eyes.
Are the club disappointed?
A question from Twitter:
Yes and no - obviously everyone would have liked to picked up where they left off last year but there’s the need to be realistic too, four points off the Play-offs with the injuries the side have isn’t bad it what is a highly competitive league.
If they were down the bottom, then yes, they’d be disappointed but they aren’t and Fulham are still well in with a chance of Play-offs.
Any more questions?
We’ve discussed a lot this lunchtime, but there’s still time for some more questions, get in them now
Recruitment team should be sacked?
Baz has said: Not one of our Summer signings has become an automatic first team choice so Tony Khan and this Moneyball team should be sacked!
Hi Baz, thanks for joining us.
I appreciate your opinion, but I don’t agree at all.
Let’s look at it this way - last season Tony Khan and his team brought in several new players, pretty much all of which turned Fulham from relegation fodder to one of the best teams in the league.
Now, you mention not one signing has become a first team choice this year - after the side were branded the best team in the league last year, why would any of them need replacing?
What the recruitment team have tried to do is strengthen the depth in the side, yes they missed a striker and centre back, but they bought in eleven new players to strengthen the squad.
Soares is an upgrade on Malone, while you are never going to turn down £7million for Aluko.
Which players would come in and replace the likes of Johansen, McDonald, Ayite etc who played so well last season?
For me, the stats worked last season and they did pretty much the right thing, leave the side as it was and strengthen the squad.
U28 policy in regards to Madl?
Colin: Madl is an easy one as to why he is not in the team we apparently have an under 28 policy Madl is 29
There is an U28 policy for players coming into the squad - Shahid and Tony Khan will never tell Jokanovic who he can and can’t pick, that is solely down to the manager.
Richard says: Do you think Slav needs to, or will, try and change the tactics we use?
Our plan A is so heavily reliant on Cairney, and without a like for like (stylistically) replacement it has proven hugely ineffective. Our wingers haven’t reliably performed as well as the end of last season - except a few instances - so a switch to three at the back with Sessegnon and Fredericks as wing backs allowing them less responsibility defensively, maintaining a middle trio and keeping both Fonte and Kamara in central positions may work.
For a manager who was lauded as being flexible and proactive before he joined us, Slav has been rather stubborn so far this season.
Hi Richard, you make an interesting point.
Yes, the style is too reliant on Cairney at the moment and the wingers haven’t been effective like they were last season.
A switch to three at the back may work - but what other centre back do you play?
Djalo isn’t up to the standard yet and Madl isn’t even making the squad, so without the players to play that formation it won’t work.
Is Marcelo Djalo good enough?
Keithy has asked: Do you think Marcelo Djalo is good enough for Championship?
At the moment no, but he’s still young and it’s his first season so there’s a chance he could progress, but he’s a long way from being a starting Championship centre back for me at the moment.
Where should Fulham strengthen?
Stuart has asked: Where should Fulham strengthen in January
I think the obvious answers are up front and at the back.
I genuinely believe Fulham are a goal scorer and a strong centre back away from being in contention for automatic promotion - Slav wanted both signed in the summer and although they didn’t come, January isn’t too late.
Apart from that, I think the side is fine.
Keep getting your questions in
We’re racing through Tuesday lunch time but there’s still time to get a question in
Why doesn't Graham play?
Ben: with the highly rated reviews of Jordan Graham from Wolves fans, why do you think he doesn’t even get a sniff of game time?.. Does Slav hold a slight grudge due to him being Aluko’s replacement?
It’s a good question, I don’t think there’s a grudge from Jokanovic - he’s too professional for that.
There is clearly something though, as there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason as to why he’s not getting into the squad.
Why that is though, I’m not too sure to be honest.
Do we miss Matt Smith?
Hubert: Do we miss Matt Smith?
No, they don’t miss Smith, but they do miss a player like Chris Martin.
He didn’t score goals in abundance, but his style of play did drag defenders out of position, allowing players like Aluko and Ayite to get into the space created, setting up dangerous attacks.
I think that’s why Jokanovic used him so much, even after the whole situation with him in January.
Slav need six points or should go (??)
Lou has said: I think Slavisa needs 6 points from Bolton and Bristol City,otherwise Fulham needs to look for an other manager.They play nice football but are not ruthless enough i the defence and they miss a real goalgetter.Their way of playing is to predictacul .They have to show more fighting spirit.I still hope they are promoted.
Hi Lou, thanks for tuning in.
Firstly, I don’t agree that Slav needs six points or Fulham should look for another manager - getting rid of managers is now too commonly the ‘first resort’ and for me there is absolutely no need to get rid of Jokanovic.
Yes, Fulham should be looking for six points, but to say he needs to go if they don’t get them after the brilliant season they had last year and the fact they’re only four points off play-offs is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
There are problems in the side, yes, but the best way to sort them is with Jokanovic being given time on the training ground.
Will we see Soares soon?
James has asked: Do you think we’ll be seeing Soares soon?
I think so - Fulham have missed out in the left back department so far this season and I think Soares will be the player to fill it.
People say the side miss Malone but I don’t think that’s true - they miss a left back yes, but not necessarily Malone who had the season of his career last year and would probably have regressed to the mean this time.
Soares is highly rated and I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s starting.
Has the transfer policy worked?
Paul: Do you think Fulham’s stats based policy when it comes to transfers has worked?
I think it has worked - last season’s players were all bought using stats and those got Fulham to the Play-offs.
Again, it’s very early to still judge the players brought in, some will of course not work out but others will - Yohan Mollo looks to be a good signing from the early stages of what we’ve seen.
Lack of creativity?
Will says: I felt we haven’t been creative enough this season. Do you feel the squad have become too reliant on Tom Cairney and can’t cope in his absence?
Hi Will - I agree, the lack of creativity in the final third has been evident so far this season.
The squad may well be reliant on Cairney - we all know how good he is and Fulham will of course be a different side without him in it.
However, Johansen seems to have stepped up a bit, with the stats suggesting he’s one of the most creative players in the league with chances created.
They clearly do miss Cairney though, and I do think the creativity just isn’t there at the moment.
Steve has simply asked: Where’s Madl?
Good question - he’s still at the club and is training every day so it’s a bit of a mystery to everyone to be honest.
He’s not featuring for the U23s either, again it’s something to ask Jokanovic on Friday.
Should Fulham swap Slavisa for Slaven?
Lucy has asked: If Slaven Bilic leaves West Ham and our Slav gets the job there, do you think we should get their Slav in? Basically swap the Slavs and everyone is happy.
Firstly, I don’t think our Slavisa will be heading to West Ham any time soon.
Secondly, I wouldn’t him to - despite not having a great start to the season Fulham are still in a very good position and still play very good football - he’s certainly one of the best managers they’ve had for a while.
What he did last season can’t be understated - Fulham weren’t very good the season before and he turned them into a machine that were the best in the league.
What player do I like seeing play?
Aaron has asked: Which player gets you rising off your seat?
For me, it’s Ryan Sessegnon.
At 17-years-old it’s actually unbelievable what he can do on a football pitch, you completely forget his age when he plays.
Him scoring twice at Newcastle was one of those ‘you had to be there moments’ - to shush 30,000 odd Geordies at St James’ Park after scoring his second goal was something else.
Thoughts on Fredericks?
Sonny asks: What do you make of Fredericks?
I think Fredericks has developed into a very good right back - we saw how much Fulham missed him being in the side against Preston, Odoi had a decent game but he doesn’t offer the same going forward as Fredericks does.
For him, attack is the first form of defence and we saw that against Villa on Saturday - he attacked Adomah again and again and that meant Adomah wasn’t able to get the better of him.
For me, Fredericks, along with Button and McDonald, have been Fulham’s best players this year.
Thoughts on Fonte?
Adam asks: What’s your thoughts on Fonte so far? Isn’t good enough for me personally.
Hi Adam. I feel Fonte hasn’t been utilised properly yet - he isn’t an out and out striker and definitely isn’t a winger.
I feel Fonte would be better off in the number 10 role, just behind a striker with the freedom to express himself - he played there for Braga and excelled in the role.
For that to happen, though, Fulham need a striker that will move and allow him the space in the hole to cause damage.
Still no Bettinelli?
Frederick has asked: Why is there no Bettinelli?
I think there’s an easy answer for that - Button’s been too good to drop this season.
For me, he’s been one of the best performers and Jokanovic has no reason to drop him in place of Bettinelli, no matter how good he’s been in training.
I know there’s a whole thing about Bettinelli but for me the two are very similar and at the moment Button is in great form.
Mattias Kait and the first team?
Raul has asked: Hi Ryan! What do you think of Mattias Käit’s chances of making a first-team debut soon? When will he get a chance? I can tell you he’s been brilliant for the Estonian national team...
Hi Raul, yes I’ve had a look a at Kait in the Estonian side and he’s doing extremely well for his country at the moment.
I’m not sure about him and the first team - Fulham have an abundance of attacking players to the extent where not even Jordan Graham is making the matchday squad.
It’s something definitely to ask Jokanovic about the next time I see him though.
Should more youngsters be in the first team?
Cameron has asked: Do you think it’s time for some of our youngster to shine and maybe stronger the first team? If so who would you like to be called up.
Hi Cameron, thanks for joining us!
I’m not sure that the younger members should be called up at the moment - there’s no need to rush them just because of what Ryan Sessegnon achieved last season.
They need time to develop and pushing them into the first team at the moment may halt some of that development, for the most part they’re better off in the U23s where they can learn and develop physically.
Ryan Sessegnon was an exception last season and that kind of adaptation to a first team environment doesn’t happen very often, so for the most part I think they shouldn’t play until they are ready.
Let's get going
Looks like there may be a bit of a problem with the question form but we’ll go on nonetheless, starting now