The home fixture, against Watford, was a game I hoped we’d get maximum points from, but it wasn’t to be.
Watford, who have had a fine start to the season, looked the far more impressive side in an opening forty-five minutes where Fulham were severely tested and could have gone into the break 3-0 down.
The fact that two half-time changes, made my Slavisa Jokanovic, changed matters around for the second half shouldn’t hide the fact that there is still much to be done, behind the scenes, before Fulham can make in-roads into turning this season into something far more than just one of survival.
After the game, I selected three items I feel need addressing;
The first is the defence. Last season, our free-flowing style of football probably masked the fact that we never had the most secure of defences. Now we’re in the top-flight, we’ve seen how much better strikers are and how clinical they can be. Despite bringing several defenders to the club, in the summer – Le Marchand, Chambers, Mawson, Fosu-Mensah and Fredericks, to name just five, Watford showed just how dodgy it is. Mawson never looked comfortable, Chambers was run ragged and Fosu-Mensah was lucky to stay on the pitch after a dreadful tackle on Troy Deeney. Hopefully, the return of Tim Ream, from injury, will prove to be the solution.
The second is Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Serbian was, once again, immense yesterday. His goal not only gave us a share of the spoils, but his all-round play dragged us back into the game. But for the crossbar, a late header could have seen Fulham take all three points. My fears are, what happens if the 23-year-old gets suspended or worse still injured? Just how would we cope?
The third is our style of play, although attractive on the eye as Jokanovic tries to produce free-flowing, eye-catching football, I fear that we lack the muscle to survive in some games. Watford, yesterday, showed how, when pressed, our game-plan can be quickly negated. Do we need a midfield power-house to provide some muscle, in the January transfer window?