I cannot blame Fulham coach Scott Parker for his choice of starting eleven at home to West Brom.
It once again was the tactics he firmly believes in, that are the main reason the team are dropping unnecessary points at home.
With an extraordinary amount of possession in the first half, Parker may have been thinking of the Millwall game where the opposition totally collapsed, and the whites netted four times without conceding. However, that was a one-off match. Other Championship sides are not so easily brushed aside. This was more of a repeat of the Forest match where we were beaten 2-1 last time out at Craven Cottage, having so much of the ball.
It was just incredible that Fulham were not two or three goals ahead by half-time, and that the Baggies were still in the game. Cairney was unlucky with a shot that hit the bar, and the away goalie made two good saves. Apart from that, it was just more of the same. Passing left and right and backwards and back to Bettinelli in goal, just to start the same boring moves over and over again.
Why do Fulham not make use of their pace up front by speeding things up?
Mitrovic is one of the best with his back to the opposition goal and holding the ball up for our wingers to use their speed and skills.
Instead, every move is laboured, with the final outcome usually ending with a poor final pass, as defenders are back in their numbers.
Bilic the West Brom coach must have been delighted to go in at half time goalless. Parker must have been thinking that it was only time before the sheer dominance turned into goals.
The second half started much the same as the first, but it wasn’t long before Knockaert swung a perfect cross-cum-shot into the top corner of the visitors net to give Fulham the lead. This should have been the catalyst to see the Whites knock several more goals in.
It was Bilic who started to use his substitutes, and the game slowly began to turn. Fulham now started to look like they were chasing shadows. At this point, or even at half time, Parker should have used his subs more wisely. Giving a home debut to Onamah in place De-Reed was not a good call. Cairney was fading and should have been replaced by Johansen, and Kamara should have swapped with Cavaleiro.
Instead, Bilic made astute substitutions that turned the game. West Brom equalised after 80 minutes when Bettinelli flapped at a corner and palmed it directly to Ajayi to score, and in the 90th Darnell was inches away from getting the winner for the visitors.
How will these dropped points at home affect Fulham’s final position come to the end of season?
Can Parker change things up during a game, and make the team invincible by using the pace we have?
Where will we be by Xmas and will Parker still in charge?
I would love to see Scott Parker succeed at Fulham in his first managerial role, as he is a dedicated man.
The owners, the Khan family will be looking at him getting the side into the top six and a play-off position at very least.
Can Parker achieve this success in his first season, or will it be another managerial merry-go-round?
What do you think?
Are you happy with our style of play, especially at home?
Should we be doing better?
Let us know what you would like to see!
Previous article by Brian Gower