Talking Tactics

How Reed has become an all-round Fulham star

By Adrian Clarke 27 Oct 2022

Adrian Clarke says 27-year-old is one of the Premier League's most in-form midfielders

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Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 14.

Harrison Reed (FUL)

Reed is one of the most in-form central midfielders in the Premier League.

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The 27-year-old was superb in Fulham's 3-2 win at Leeds United last weekend, following on from a fantastic all-round performance, in which he scored for Fulham, during a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa.

Reed has been impressive since the start of the campaign, brimming with energy and poise in a box-to-box role.

On the ball, he expresses himself with confidence, while out of possession he recovers it with plenty of enthusiasm.

Reed’s well-balanced partnership with summer signing Joao Palhinha is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why Marco Silva’s side have secured 18 points from their first 12 matches.

Their midfield duel with another strong pairing, Everton duo Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye, will be great to watch at Craven Cottage.

All-round contributions

Reed has always been a busy midfielder, known for being neat and tidy inside the middle third.

Silva has seen more than that in the ex-Southampton player, with Reed developing a fresh sense of adventure in his game.

Encouraging Reed to support the forwards and to get into the opposition box more frequently, the head coach has made the midfielder a very difficult player for opponents to track.

In the win at Elland Road, Reed popped up unmarked at the far post, only to see his shot brilliantly cleared off the line.

Later, he skipped past two defenders before cutting the ball back for Willian to score.

A clear sign of Reed’s development can be seen in the table below, which shows he has been Fulham’s most creative star in open play.

Fulham chances created from open play
  Total chances
Harrison Reed 13
Neeskens Kebano 9
Aleksandar Mitrovic 9
Bobby De Cordova-Reid 8
Andreas Pereira 8

Five of his 13 key passes have laid on opportunities for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Everton’s central midfielders must track his forward runs and deny him space to pick a pass inside the final third.

Reed also scored with a pair of well-struck shots in victories against Nottingham Forest, when he scored the winner in a 3-2 triumph, and Aston Villa.

Reed's goal v Aston Villa

Reed’s value to this Fulham side stretches way beyond his creative ability.

His tenacity helps him to recover possession, before giving it to the forwards ahead of him.

He and Palhinha both have rounded skillsets that balance naturally off one another and this has helped their partnership to flourish.

Top possession won in middle third
Fulham player Poss. won
Harrison Reed 36
Tim Ream 33
Andreas Pereira 31
Bobby De Cordova-Reid 31
Joao Palhinha 30

If Palhinha makes a burst, Reed will sit, and vice versa.

Statistically, it is Reed who wins the ball back in the middle third most often.

During his last top-flight stint with Fulham in 2020/21, Reed failed to make a big impact despite enjoying 26 starts under Scott Parker.

Two years down the line, he is much improved and one of Fulham’s best players.

Also in this series

Part 1: Leicester trio can inspire Man City upset
Part 2: How stubborn Forest defence can frustrate Arsenal
Part 4: Pacy Kehrer the perfect partner for Zouma

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