Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What happens when injured players start returning for Fulham?

The injuries started to pile up at the beginning of the New Year for Fulham. I think the team has been able to survive these injuries. The big question is what happens to the lineup when these injured players return? Don't get me wrong having these players back will be a huge help. I am just curious what Roy Hogdson will do.

1. Paul Konchesky could be the closest Fulham player to return from injury. As I mentioned prior having these players back is wonderful. In Konchesky's place Nicky Shorey has done a great job at defender. Do you just put Konchesky back in at his position when he is ready? Maybe, you have Konchesky only play the Europa League matches and have Shorey continue to play the League games and the F A Cup games. Again, this is a good problem to have when Paul returns. Shouldn't an injured player just get his job back when he comes back from injury? I am curious to see how Roy handles this.

2. Clint Dempsey it has been reported might have already started light training back with the team late last week. Clint had a knee injury and you have to be careful how quickly he comes back. I have to say Simon Davies has done a great job in midfield. I forgot how much I enjoyed watching him play when he is back to normal. Again I am assuming Dempsey will be back in the lineup when he is ready. But, do you ease him into play or does he just go back into the starting lineup?

3. John Pantsil seems the farthest away from injury. He might not be ready to return this season. Let's go with the assumption he is good to go say at the very end of the season. I would put him in as soon as possible. John Pantsil has showed me this year his value. I still think, him getting hurt in the Chelsea game changed the complexion of that match. He has been very strong on defense and has been able to push the ball up front. I do think Chris Baird though has done a nice job. He deserves more credit than he gets.

Before I end this post I have a different question I have been thinking about. What is going on with Chris Smalling? There have been opportunities for him to play and we haven't seen him lately. I believe he cannot play in the Europa League. I understand that but why isn't he playing in the league games? This is just something I have been thinking about.

To close it should be interesting to see how Roy Hogdson handles the return of injured players. It certainly can't hurt to have more healthy options.


  1. "What is going on with Chris Smalling": Hughes and Hangeland are back and they are our best defensive pairing. He is eligible for Europa League competition, but Smalling is nowhere near the standard of our experienced and developed first choice centre-backs. In the games he has played this season he has been responsible for a number of conceded goals, and is particularly vulnerable to being dominated in the air (goals conceded vs. Villa and Basel instantly spring to mind). We haven't lost since Hodgson went back to a Hughes-Hangeland defensive pairing, so why are you surprised he is not featuring?

  2. Dougie,

    Hughes and Hangeland you are right have been great.I see your point on the pairing. Why mess with something that is working at a high level right now.

    I thought he might sub in a little. So it sounds like to me you are not upset about him going to Manchester United.

    At first I was, but as time goes by it could end up helping both sides.

  3. I'm in the same camp re: Smalling. Never happy to have talent poached, but we certainly received better than market rate for him, and there is no guarantee his potential will be realised (more often than not players fall short). I vividly recall us talking Zat Knight up 8 or 9 years ago, and I see a lesson in that.