Fulham boss Scott Parker openly admitted after his team suffered yet another home defeat by Reading when he said, as reported by The BBC
“If you want to be successful in this division, there’s something you need that you can’t measure, and it comes from within. At times this year, I don’t think we’ve had that, and ultimately we need to change that”.
This response followed another lethargic display from a squad that most managers would feel envious about not having in the Championship. Five strikers were out on the field in the second half, yet Fulham could only score once from a nice piece of individual skill from substitute Cavaleiro after 61 minutes and being 2-0 down.
Match after match, Fulham’s defence gives their opponents easy goals, such as both scored by Reading today. Before the away side’s first attack on 14 minutes, Fulham were in total control but lacked the killer instinct in front of goal. They should have netted three times before Reading took the lead, but apart from an excellent triple save from their goalkeeper, the home side really never looked capable of scoring.
It only took three minutes of the restart when Charlie Adam put the game beyond the Cottagers with a simple tap in following another statuesque piece of defending by Christie and Ream. Fulham hardly deserved their goal from Cavaleiro, as it looked like the New Year’s celebrations took its toll on the whole team.
They made Reading look a much better side than they are, as the visitors’ confidence grew throughout the second period, probably wondering how their opponents were a bit of a pushover.
Scott Parker’s after-match comments about his team has to be guided back to himself. It is the manager’s job to ensure his players are giving 100% each and every game. Fulham lacked any cohesion today. Nobody out on the field taking any responsibility. Defenders, midfielders and strikers all out of touch, playing as if there is nothing to play for. Slow build- ups, constant side to side and backward passing once again.
Fulham definitely have the squad of players good enough to be in the mix with Leeds and West Brom. The team just lack the leadership, commitment and tactical knowledge from their manager. Many may argue that Parker (in his first full season as a boss), has actually done well so far, getting his team into a top-six position. I, however, believe any experienced manager, given this squad of players could have achieved just as much, but there are many that would have had this team currently leading the pack.
Should the Khan family allow Scott Parker to continue for the rest of the season? This at best would see Fulham in the play-offs, but maybe not. Or is it time for him to stand down as manager, and become assistant to a more experienced and proven boss? We could still catch the top two if we acted quickly.
The question is: