... watching the replay of Fulham v. Birmingham City, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to see the players we’ve acquired and fielded after the Newcastle match.
When I listened to the match on Saturday, I noted that Fulham dominated possession throughout – 67% of the first 45 minutes plus and 64% overall. Imagine my surprise then when I actually watched the match. By the first five minutes, City had established the pace of the match, gained control of it, and never really relinquished that control. With the exception of Cairney and McDonald, I thought each of our starters was outplayed by his opposite number. As a matter of fact, considering what I saw this afternoon [stateside afternoon], the most amazing thing is that we lost only 0-1.
Many of my fellow Fulham supporters will hate to hear this, but we really missed two players on Saturday – Scott Parker in the starting XI and Lasse Vigan Christensen off the bench. Parker’s absence...
The headline says it all, really. Fulham opened the Championship season against the odds-on favorite to bounce right back up into the Premier League. And, although the Toon huffed and puffed, they never looked like disrupting the flow of Fulham’s new-look football.
The starting lineup included: (a) four players I’d never seen before, (b) three players I’d seen play before – but not for Fulham, and (c) four players I knew fairly well – three of whom I was thrilled to see in the starting lineup.
There’s a couple of things I noticed right away that made me smile. First of all, Fulham are playing wide – for the first time in a long time. FFC were spreading the opponent’s defense, attacking down the wings, and defending confidently along the touch lines. Second of all, this Fulham have pace – pace to burn really. How fast? When Christensen came on, he looked the slowest...
Yesterday's match was the fourth I've been able to watch this season, and the first since our new gaffer took over.
Oh, what the hell, why bother … sigh … .
Okay, I've gotten that out of my system. Since Slavisa Jokanovic took over, the team has changed in several ways: (1) We're playing a higher line in order to keep the pressure on our opponents, (2) We're dominating each match in terms of possession, (3) We've not been as susceptible to giving up goals on corner kicks, (4) There seems to be a better spirit in the squad, AND (5) Our lineup changes – sometimes drastically – from match to match. Some things haven't changed, however: (1) we're still giving up late goals and losing points from them, (2) We're woefully inconsistent from half to half, (3) We're still being bitten by the injury bug.
So, to be fair, not everything that's wrong is Joka's fault. We dropped points in three consecutive matches as the result of once-in-a-lifetime goals – certainly there wasn't much he...