With three wins on the bounce, the last being an emphatic mauling of Millwall 4-0, Scott Parker seemed convinced that the possession style of play was to be Fulham’s route to success this season.
I am not on his side for that way of thinking. Forest came to the Cottage last Saturday and suffered similar statistics when it came to possession of the ball, however, they were not frightened to attack the home side as they were well aware of Fulham’s defensive frailties.
Although the four-goal demolition of Millwall looked good on paper, and the amount of possession backed up that scoreline, in reality, at times it was quite boring to watch. Of course, I am delighted we won, and by a nice margin, but if we had attacked much quicker at times, we could have
netted double figures.
I knew that Forest would not be as poor coming forward as Millwall were. Fulham got beaten at home, and by a side that had yet to prove any quality looking at their early results this season.
Possession style football I believe should be left to the best teams in the world such as Man City and Barcelona, who have the players with the needed skill levels that can pass their way into scoring goals.
Parker may argue that if a team is chasing shadows and cannot get the ball, they are wasting energy and tire quickly. This is often not the case when teams play Fulham. We tend to pass the ball sideways and backwards far too often, even when building up an attack and our strikers are waiting for the ball to be delivered up to them. It often results in a pass back to Bettinelli, who has been instructed to pass the ball out at almost every occasion, and ultimately cost us the three points when young Sessegnon was robbed of the ball against Forest.
Parker must allow his players to change things up constantly during the game. We have probably the best striker in the Championship in Mitrovic who is a master of winning and holding the ball up allowing quick attacks from our two amazingly fast fellow strikers in Cavaleiro and Knockaert. We also have Cairney and Johansen ready to speed up our attacking style, but spend too much time knocking short sideways and backward passes to our defenders. Harry Arter is a very hard-working midfielder, who could benefit from quicker attacking motions.
If we are to be successful this season, our play needs to change, and we need to show the rest of this league just how good we are as a goal-scoring side. I could see our three strikers rattling up twenty to thirty goals apiece this year. If we let in a few during the campaign, so what, we are capable of out-scoring any team in the Championship.
How exciting a season this could be!
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