Following a second-half performance against Brighton four days ago that gave Fulham fans a whisper of some hope, it was back to the old tactics used by Jokanovic earlier in the season.
The whites supporters were expecting a repeat of the forward-thinking style of play that brought four goals in 45 minutes on Tuesday. What they got was Tim Ream back in defence, and no place for Vietto who caused so many problems to the Brighton defenders, and assistance in getting the ball quickly up to Mitrovic.
From the start, it looked like Fulham were playing the same style as they did against Palace on the very first day of the season. Possession football, with sideways and backwards passing all within their own half of the pitch. No pushing forward, no tempo and quite obviously, no idea.
It wasn’t the fact that Palace were causing Fulham’s defence many problems, it was the poor tactics that were creating Fulham’s own downfall. An awful jump to defend a cross by Palace resulted in Christie using his outstretched arm giving the home side a clear-cut penalty. It wasn’t a great penalty, and Rico should have been able to push it around the post instead of into the net.
Hope must have been with the many travelling Fulham fans that they could somehow replicate the second half display from Tuesday. It was soon evident, even when Vietto replaced Ream again, this was not going to happen. There was no urgency, no sense that Fulham were going to push forward and go for the three points. It was the same old Fulham, every player looking for someone else to
create an opportunity.
Palace hit their second and it was game over. It took Fulham almost 90 minutes before they won their first corner of the match.
A very poor performance again, and the players who were on the verge of signing on Friday, must be so pleased that their deals didn’t go through. A new defence was needed and never arrived.
Bettinelli must be brought back as number one keeper, as Rico couldn’t catch a cold. If Fulham were to stand any chance of escaping relegation, a point at least was vital today. Instead, they left Selhurst Park, with nothing.
If only Fulham had managed to bring back Roy Hodgson after his England stint, Fulham may have been where Palace are today. A team that are strong enough to compete and stay in the EPL. That’s all we Fulham fans want.
Contribution by Brian Gower
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