Written by Brian Gower
On a day when Fulham had a real opportunity to score goals against the weakened defence
Manchester United fielded, where were they? After a promising opening few minutes and a golden chance for Vietto to put the home side ahead which was squandered, Fulham once again showed their ineptitude to rise to the challenge.
Any neutral fan watching must have wondered if Fulham had a single player worthy of a Premier League start by the lack of interest shown, and courage to make anything happen for this home side. The fans could sense that all was going downhill when Le Marchand, having an awful game, tried to dribble out of defence and gave the ball away for the move that Pogba neatly finished by beating Rico on his inside post. The same player once again made another defensive error to gift Martial United’s second, and that was it for Fulham. Their heads were down again and looked like a beaten side before the half-time whistle.
The second half began with no changes for Fulham. After 53 minutes Christie replaced Schurrle which sent the home fans into a rage shouting to Ranieri,
“You don’t know what you’re doing”.
The fans expected Cairney to come on with Ryan Sessegnon. It was only 11 minutes later when the ill-fated Le Marchland pulled down Mata in the area and Pogba easily placed his penalty kick to put United 3 up.
It took 72 minutes for Fulham to produce their first decent cross when Christie centred for Mitrovic to test De Gea for the first time with a stretching header. 77 minutes had passed before Ranieri brought on Cairney to replace Babel followed by Sessegnon’s entrance on 81 minutes for Bryan. Too little too late.
United were close to their 4th when it was that man again, Le Marchland who completely messed up a clearance and gave the ball to Sanchez who luckily for Fulham could not put away.
It has been clear throughout this season that Fulham had wasted over £100m on 12 players that were brought in by Tony Khan. He would have done better to invest that money by paying what was necessary to keep Fredericks, Targett and Kalas at the Cottage, and let the manager Jokanovic select the two or three experienced EPL players of his choice.
Rico in goal had a couple of simple chances to catch the ball with no United player close to him, but as always decided it would be best to punch it away rather than catch it. When Bettinelli is fit he should be reinstated as number one goalkeeper.
Is it time Fulham looked forward to next season in the Championship?
Do we want Ranieri or is it change again?
Whichever manager it is, he MUST be allowed to choose his own players and offload those that are surplus to our requirements. We still have the bulk of last season’s squad that were successful. Bring them back and start again, building strength one player at a time, starting with the defence as ours this season has been abysmal, to say the least.
Roll on next season, I have forgotten what happiness felt like watching the Whites.
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