Written by: Brian Gower
IT’S NOT LOSING TO A DIVISION 2 TEAM, IT’S THAT FULHAM ONLY HAD 2 SHOTS AT GOAL IN 90 MINS.
Fulham’s defence has been the laughing stock of the EPL this season with the worst goal against figures throughout Europe’s top divisions. With a strong team (on paper), selected by Claudio Ranieri, fans would have been expecting a clean sheet and a few goals to our credit.
Not taking away anything from Oldham Athletic, the 3,000 or so travelling fans were superb throughout the match. Loudly over-singing the home crowd, and thoroughly deserving the victory, their team were well organised and allowed Fulham just two shots on target. One being a goal from Fulham’s best player Denis Odoi and the other an awful penalty kick from Mitrovic.
Even the introduction of fan’s favourite Ryan Sessegnon backfired quickly, as he wrestled an Oldham player to the floor following a corner kick, which was converted simply from the resulting penalty.
Before this, Kebano had a perfect chance to put Fulham two goals up when he squandered a one on one with Oldham’s fine young goalkeeper, and put his shot wide of the far post.
Another game, two goals conceded, this time against a team from Division 2, and at home. This is just not acceptable for a team in the EPL. Even worse was just managing two attempts on target during the whole match.
Fulham fans were left frustrated at the efforts and commitment shown by the players and booed them and Ranieri at the end. The honeymoon period for the Italian manager is well and truly over. Only if he can get some quality players in, and keep the team safe from what looks like certain relegation, should he be seen as a hero and keep his job for another season.
If Fulham do get relegated, the debate will go on whether Fulham sacked Jokanovic too early.
My original opinion was that he had to go due to no plan B, and dismissing any suggestions that the player’s at his disposal were not good enough to continue with his possession style tactics.
On the other hand, we have now gone in complete reverse, with defence at the heart of Ranieri’s main objectives, and hitting our opponents on the break.
My question is the same, do we have the players capable of delivering either of the two managers objectives?
I believe the answer is no to both. The players brought in are not good enough to play either style. We need experienced EPL players. Cahill would be a good start. My concern is that the powers that be, do not make the same mistake once again by bringing in unproven Premier League stock. As we have seen so far this season, a good player in Spain or Italy etc, does not mean they will automatically make the change to this tougher league of ours, with the strength, fitness and total commitment needed week in and out. Only time will tell.