Cyrus Christie arrived at Motspur Park late on Wednesday night to seal a move to Fulham just six months after joining fellow Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough. Despite his short stint at The Riverside, Cyrus made a strong impression with Boro fans. We spoke to the boys at the esteemed Boro Podcast for their thoughts on Fulham’s new full-back.
What’s the general fan perspective on Cyrus Christie? Are you disappointed to see him go?
Although Christie had been relegated to second choice behind 6ft Shotton, the majority of Boro fans are really disappointed to see Christie leave. He was one of the stand out performers early in the season. It was a late exit for him and we’re not too sure what to expect from his replacement Martin Cranie. Definitely a loss for us.
Why do you think he fell out of favour since Tony Pulis’ arrival?
Cyrus Christie definitely falls under the bracket of “Modern Full Back” and offers as much going forward as he does defending. For Pulis I don’t think that was enough. His first team replacement Ryan Shotton has been fantastic since he came in and offers a threat with his mortar-style throw-ins. I feel like Christie, like others including Braithwaite & Fletcher,are victims of a style change from the manager.
We know about Christie’s ability going forward, but what is his defensive ability like?
He is excellent going forward and can put in a mean cross, but his defending shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s able to stand up to most wingers in the league (although Ryan Sessegnon had him on toast at the Cottage). He was much more competent defending than many thought when he arrived.
What’s your thoughts on selling a first team player to a play-off rival?
The decision to sell him in the first place is a bit of a shock, never mind to a direct league rival. He might not be the clinching factor for sending you up but I guess the profit we have made on him seemed too good to turn down.
How would you rate your own transfer window? Do you think you have enough to properly challenge for the top 6?
Although the transfer window closed last night I am still reeling from some of the decisions made. Loaning out Martin Braithwaite to Bordeaux when we’re struggling for goals seems crazy. He showed flashes of brilliance in the first half of the season.
Our incomings offer some hope. Bringing in Besic and highly rated youngster Jack Harrison should plug some gaps in the side. But there’s no doubt our squad looks much thinner/less bloated than before.
Slavisa Jokanovic is famous for refusing to play players without the right attitude, and isn’t afraid to leave players out of the squad if they don’t put the hard yards in in training – what’s Christie’s temperament like?
We only signed Christie in the summer but his attitude has been first class. Always can be seen to be pulling his weight on a match day. I don’t envisaged Slav and Cyrus butting heads anytime soon. Honest pro is bandered around a lot but he’s just that.
A lot of Fulham fans want to know if Christie could play as a centre-half, or potentially as the right-centre-back in a 3-5-2 system. Do you think it’s possible that his physicality might mean he could do a job in either of those two positions that aren’t necessarily as natural to him?
We flirted with the idea of back three during Monk’s early days. He was more utilised as a wing back in that position with Adam Clayton dropping in as an auxiliary centre half – needless to say that didn’t last long. If you did opt to have him in a RCB of a back three he’d be wasted as that. Not to say he couldn’t struggle through it but you wouldn’t be making the most of him. The same applies at centre half.
The other week at Lotus Road we saw him deployed (as a sub) as a right midfielder/winger and that position seemed to suit him, especially with his crossing ability.