Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Marcelo Bielsa has heaped praise upon Fulham, highlighting how the Whites have improved this season.
Bielsa is one of the greatest minds in world football, so it’s always intriguing to hear what he makes of any team, and Fulham are clearly a team he admires, with Scott Parker receiving plenty of praise from him.
“The idea of the manager is reflected in Fulham’s play. In the first round it was difficult for them to impose their style. In the second round of fixtures, they’ve started to do this a lot better,” Bielsa said.
“I remember the style when we faced them in the Championship. And it’s the same style but they’ve managed to impose it in a lot of games in the Premier League. Apart from that they are a team that plays on an even keel in the majority of their games. In the games against teams in the top-six they play to impose themselves and not just defend, not to avoid being beaten.”
Bielsa is absolutely right.
If there’s one thing Fulham have done in the second half of the season, it’s find their style.
There was a funny spell halfway through the season where Parker opted for a 5-at-the-back system, and while that proved hard to break down, Fulham weren’t an attacking threat with that style being implemented.
Since the change to four at the back, the Whites have been able to brilliantly combine defensive solidity with a possession-based system, and at times it’s worked a treat.
Unfortunately for Fulham, the way Bielsa spoke about their style hints that he’s been doing his homework, and if he’s devised a way to counter their style, it could be tough for the London club to get a result on Friday.