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Fulham - A Midfield Conundrum

Fulham - A Midfield Conundrum

With the recent arrival of Duff, Greening and Dikagoi - all midfielders - the question of what our first choice midfield will be is an interesting one. Will Roy Hodgson continue with our midfield from last season and rely on consistency or will he experiment and make some changes?

There is no-one in our midfield that stands out as "the one to drop". Our midfield was one of our greatest strengths last season as was our consistency in selection and one could argue that any changes to the starting eleven could interrupt this consistency and be for the worse.

Having said that, Duff and Greening are two quality players with plenty of premier league experience and although Dikagoi has probably been brought in for depth, surely one of Duff and Greening will be brought into the preferred starting eleven.

Etuhu is probably the most likely to lose his place in the team as he only got into the team due to Bullard`s departure last January and although he has played very well, he looks the most likely to go. This could result in a straight swap with Jonathan Greening in the centre of midfield which would certainly make our central midfield an experienced one with Murphy and Greening together - a prospect that makes my mouth water.

Duff however is slightly more complicated. A left-footed wide player is something that we have been missing, although we have been able to play Dempsey on the left to provide an attacking threat while Davies provides width on the right. In fact, it seems very unlikely that Dempsey or Davies will lose their place in the starting eleven as they have been exceptional for us over the last year or so. At the moment however, Davies is injured and so this could be an opportunity for Hodgson to try out some different combinations in midfield. Also, Duff could play behind the front meaning that a striker might lose his place and we would play a 4-4-1-1 formation. Either way, I think Roy will have to experiment because there is no obvious solution to our "spoilt for choice" midfield conundrum.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday August 20 2009
Time: 4:33PM


I'd disagree and say Etuhu is probably the least likely to be dropped as he plays a crucial role and has aspects that none of the others have whilst Dikgacoi won't be ready to play in the PL from the start. Greening is a shrewd signing on loan though but I just don't see him starting too often in Roy's Best XI.
20/08/2009 17:23:00
I agree with Alex I'm afraid. Etuhu is a rock in the centre, and Murphy will only be dropped when lacking fitness. Greening may just end up being bit-part, or forced onto the wing. I would hope, though, that Duff gets a place. Perhaps Dempsey on the right and Duff on the left. Not sure how it will work, but I want to see him play!
20/08/2009 18:50:00
i hope that everyone is right about what to expect from duff... i see him more as a resource for europe, and not someone who would break into the starting eleven in the PL... i'd rather have a mid-twenties player who scores the odd goal than have a 30 year old injury prone player in my starting eleven... we'll definitely see what happens... i don't think any of them will slot into the starting eleven..
20/08/2009 19:37:00
Duff is a good player. No doubt. Also, I don't think injuries will be as bigger deal, at least for this year anyway. You can always slate me if I'm wrong! :)
20/08/2009 20:58:00
I saw Duff play last night - he is a certain starter. He looked a class above when he came on. A bit like Bullard - was adding 'spark'. So Duff will play left (especially after seeing Dempsey kick for goal with the outside of his right boot, when a left foot blast would have goaled easily.) Dempsey on the right - 100% better than this time last year. Murphy in the middle - swapping with Greening. Etuhu holding - swapping with Baird and Riise. Davies swapping middle and right. As long as we make Europa group stage we will be fine as we will be playing a couple of games a week for a fair chunk of the season and will give everyone game time. If we go down 2-0 next week we have too many players
21/08/2009 10:03:00
so true lamby about having too many players if we get bounced out of europa next week...
21/08/2009 14:26:00
dempsey and even duff can at a push play up front dano the master 1st name on the list after swartzer if fit if roy pay 4 mill pluss for a player chances are they will be first 11 what a good posistion to be in yes KB duff is class
truth sayer ffc
21/08/2009 20:45:00
Midfield four - Dempsey - Murphy - Etuhu - Duff!
Al Billy
21/08/2009 20:52:00
not abad pick al billy dont forget a long run in the two cups is not out of the question with all these players
truth sayer ffc
22/08/2009 17:25:00
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