This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Fulham manager Scott Parker will be hoping his side can make it three unbeaten when they host Hull City at the weekend, as the Cottagers look to close the gap on leaders West Brom who they trail by four points.
Ahead of the weekend one selection question Parker needs to answer, is whether to bring back on-loan midfielder Harry Arter to the starting XI, having missed the Cottagers last two outings.
So does Arter deserve a recall to the starting XI?
“I think he should start.
“I have regularly maintained throughout this season that the Whites are a better, more balanced side with the defensive midfielder in their starting XI so I think he should start.
“A 4-3-3 with himself, Cairney and Johansen in the middle seems to offer the best balance and allow their dynamic front three a host of opportunities whilst also providing protection to the back four.
“This is a match that Fulham have to be winning if they are going to challenge for promotion, so it will be interesting to see what Parker opts to do.”
“Scott Parker certainly has a decision to make in terms of his midfield selection ahead of their clash with Hull City on Saturday, and Arter should definitely be in his thoughts for a starting place, given Fulham have somewhat struggled with a lack of defensive steel in their midfield in recent weeks.
“Fulham had conceded six goals in three matches before they managed to hold Middlesbrough to a goalless draw last time out, despite being down to ten men for most of the game, and although that suggests that Parker’s side might have found a decent midfield balance in that game, it is worth considering that Boro struggle for goals.
“Arter would be able to come back in and provide the ability to break up play in midfield, which could be vital against Hull considering the Tigers have looked strong on the counter attack in recent weeks, and so the midfielder could be able to come in and provide more cover to the defence on the transition.
“The midfielder though is in need of finding his best form if he is going to keep himself in Fulham’s side for the rest of the campaign, given Parker has lots of other options available for him to select in midfield, but Arter would be able to add some need extra solidity on Saturday if he starts.”
Should Harry Arter come back in for Fulham against Hull City?
“Yes, I think Parker should bring the midfielder back in.
“The 29-year-old seems to add more control to the midfield and his experience is useful in the centre of the park.
“Hull have had an up and down season but we’ve seen them pick up results against some promotion contenders, so Fulham will have to be careful.
“Adding Arter should allow them to have a better grip on the game and reduce the service that Grosicki, Bowen etc. receive.”