2020-2021 post mortem

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by HatterDon, May 29, 2021.

  1. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    I suppose it was fate that reinforced our yoyotude relegation, but there were mitigating circumstances -- and I believe it was these circumstances that doomed us from the beginning. Here's some highlights ... lowlights that contributed to our demise.
    1. Not finishing second ... Because of the reduced off-season [thanks to operation re-start] we missed several weeks of scouting/signing. By the time we actually won promotion, I'd say about 75% of the players who could have helped us were off the market. Had we not required the playoffs, those two-three weeks of active recruitment could have gleaned us the 2-3 midfielders/strikers we needed. Remember, this was a once in a lifetime weirdness that only really damaged Fulham. Finishing second and avoiding the playoff cone of uncertainty and we're competitive in the market. No COVID and the resulting short off-season, and we're competitive in the market.
    2. Olivier Giroud ... Lampard didn't know what to do with him. He wanted to use his kids and Giroud was getting a match or two. The January activity was approaching. The Scum didn't want him. We NEEDED him, he wanted to stay in London and get a chance to play ... and then Frank started him in a "who gives a shit" cup tie to rest his strikers, and the Frenchman scored 3 or 4 goals and played himself right into Chelsea's plans. I didn't see any rumors linking us to Giroud, but ... . The Big Frog would have fit right in, caused our opponents to change their strategy against us, and could have turned our midseason ghost revival into a real one.
    3. Two players we could have used every match during the season weren't available. Tom Cairney isn't a Premier League midfielder, but he's solid and he's a leader. Having him during the second half of the season could have made the difference there. Who's the other player? Mitro. Yes, he wasn't productive when he was in there, but he was always a threat to our opponents. With Mitro up front along with Lookman, and the midfield being bossed by Harrison Reed, Anguissa, and Cairney from match to match ... I think we pick up at least 10 more points, and I also think that Mitro finishes in double figures.
    4. Scott Parker!!! What the Fuck!!!!!! I don't understand why our gaffer's preferred starting lineup consisted of three wingers and zero strikers. Our slow playing from the back combined with no discernable scoring threat up front to trouble opposing central defenders made us easy to defend. And here's the irony, Scott's style allowed us to take points off of most of the big clubs, while our toothless attack made it easier for our relegation rivals to take points off us. I remember tuning into a match in the second half and remarking to HatterMom that we were playing like we were two goals up, rather than chasing a two-goal deficit.
    I don't know what all this means for next season. I think we're a threat for promotion given a decent transfer period, but if we're losing Anguissa and Andersen, we'd better get moving.
    timmyg, RidgeRider, nevzter and 2 others like this.
  2. daddude7

    daddude7 Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    We didn't have a striker who could consistently score in the Prem. I love Mitro, but he was out of shape and never played himself into any sharpness. There were lots of problems, but it was poor finishing that caused our relegation. We were dead last in the league with 6.5% of chances converted. Even Sheffield United were better at 6.8%. Everton were the best at 15.5%. They took fewer shots than we did, and scored almost twice as many goals. Man City were at 13.4%, but they took more shots than anyone else. We had absolutely no teeth. The difference in those conversion rates shows a chasm in quality. We had no Prem-level attackers. If somehow we had gotten someone like Giroud, a real finisher, he could have kept us up by himself. But baby Khan gave us Josh Maja on deadline day. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/f...onversion-rate-10th-WORST-Premier-League.html)
  3. RidgeRider

    RidgeRider Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Hatter, I think points 1 & 4 were the biggest contributors. Every football pundit on the planet predicted our demise in the Prem well before the season started and for the reasons you state, and while Parker had them playing some good football in the middle of the season, not having a finisher, point 2, was a handicap that was too burdensome to overcome given how Parker picked the team. Too bad Mitro seemed disinterested this season.

    I had read someplace that Tony Khan was stifled by FFP to get a proper finisher but I don't know how much that was true or how much it as an excuse. If that was the case, then it still comes down to TK's naive preparation of two seasons ago, which was also a shorter window for us to prepare.

    I also agree a healthy Tom Cairney would have made a difference even though his effectiveness in the Prem is clearly not the same as it was in the Championship. He seems quite fragile the last few seasons.
  4. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    @RidgeRider; Hope all is well RR! always great to read your views.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
    HatterDon likes this.
  5. RidgeRider

    RidgeRider Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Thanks, Joe. Been a long time. Everything is good here and hope the same for you, sir.
    HatterDon and SoCalJoe like this.
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