With nearly three months gone since last Xmas, every week Fulham seem to herald free gifts to their opponents. If it isn’t defenders losing the ball in dangerous areas, it’s the goalkeeper Rico that just cannot manage to catch the ball. In any scenario, a corner kick, a header or a weak shot, he fumbles the ball or flaps at it and ultimately often results in another goal conceded. He is a good shot stopper and often races out, off his line, to sweep the ball away when the defenders are nowhere to be seen.
He does not however, have any command of his six-yard area, which gives Fulham’s opponents lots of encouragement to put pressure on him and does nothing to make the defence trust him. If he really thinks another Premier League team would come in for him next season, he must be deluded. For those who were crying out for Bettinelli to be replaced, it is such a shame he is currently injured, as he can catch the ball at least. Fabri should be given a chance and prove why we brought him to the Cottage.
Once again in the first half, Fulham hardly produced anything in attack as they sat back and allowed Liverpool to completely dominate the proceedings. It never looked for one second that they were in desperate need for some points and a first win for new boss Scott Parker. Liverpool were strolling around rarely being tackled, and it was no shock when their first goal arrived. So much space was awarded to both their wing backs over and over. It was a blessing to hear the referee’s whistle end the half with the home side only one goal behind.
Although the second half started much the same as the first, it was poor final balls and sloppy finishing that prevented Liverpool from getting their second goal. In fact, it was Fulham that levelled the score when a mix-up in the Liverpool defence left Ryan Babel an easy tap in by the ex-red player. He didn’t celebrate the goal.
As Fulham fans know so well, the equaliser was not going to bring that much-needed point. The mad rush of blood to keeper Rico who failed to catch a simple shot from Salah led to him pushing Mane, who made the most of the shove by diving on the floor. The referee pointed to the spot and Milner calmly converted the penalty kick.
Another defeat but the goal margins of these defeats are getting smaller. If you consider Scott Parker’s three games in charge, two of those have been against Liverpool and Chelsea and both were lost 2-1. The worst of the three was away at Leicester losing 3-1 as the home team were not having a good run.
The best point from today’s game was the performance of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. At last, he looked more like a £30m player and was Fulham’s best player. Although Fulham cannot mark any opponents, they give them far too much time on the ball, to think that one poor error from the keeper cost them a point against leaders Liverpool. That on a normal day if they were not fighting for Premier League survival would have looked not too bad at all.
Maybe Scott Parker and his team should be given a chance to show what they can do for the Whites next season in the Championship. Bournemouth and Brighton have not fared too badly in the Premier League with their managers, so why should we by getting behind our new boss?
Previous article by Brian Gower