Football

Former England coach explains importance of Josh Maja’s signing at Fulham

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho refused to offer a definite comment on the VAR decision that saw Josh Maja’s goal disallowed in Thursday night’s Premier League clash at the Craven Cottage.

Former Three Lions of England head coach Glenn Hoddle has explained the importance of Josh Maja and other new arrivals at Fulham.

Maja joined Fulham on loan from French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux and has scored two goals in seven Premier League appearances.

And Hoddle admits he’s been won over by Fulham manager Scott Parker’s work in the transfer market, with his additions all making a positive impact on their survival tilt.

“I think his (Parker) recruitment in January was good. (Josh) Maja coming in has given him another little option,” the England coach to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France said on his podcast, ‘The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show’.

“I think (Joachim) Andersen has been outstanding. If he was playing for one of the big clubs… I think major clubs will be all over him, in Europe and the Premier League.”

Hoddle also said of Parker’s eye for a player: “There’ll be a delegation, but in the end it gets down to the manager and the owner about who is recruited. It’s not just about how you set up the team, it’s also about the players you bring in.

“You have to have an eye for a player and who will suit how you want to play. That’s the art of management.”

On Parker’s tactics through the season, Hoddle appreciates the flexibility he’s shown as the campaign has drawn on.
“It’s been a great job by Scotty Parker.

“Y’know, it suits them, they played with a back three or a back five initially. Then they played against Liverpool at home and they were outstanding, especially in the first-half. They got a draw, but could’ve won.

“Then he went to a back four. He wanted to get another body more forward. It’s worked for him – and at a vital time in the season. So there’s been a change in shape on occasions.

“Then at Liverpool (on Sunday), he went back to a back five and they defended so well. Tactically it was perfect. The distances between the defensive players was spot on.”

Hoddle also identified why Fulham are the most likely of the teams in the bottom three to beat the drop.

“What they have, which other teams down there down there don’t, is they have a break on them. They can get themselves up the pitch.

“To go up there (at Liverpool) and win is probably one of the best results of the season.

“It was magnificent and now you can see they can’t wait to play the next game.”

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