Easier to Predict than Rain in English Springtime--The View From South Texas

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by HatterDon, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    St. James Park on Saturday was host to two teams who prefer to wear black and white, two teams who have restless supporters and managers under the microscope, and two teams for whom “entertainment” is a word they know but have trouble associating with football. For 45 minutes those two teams – Newcastle United and Fulham FC – produced a first half of football that was dire enough to send this observer to get some eye drops to wash away the memory of it. Neither team showed any inclination to take over the game, and neither showed the skill or teamwork to accomplish it even if they had the inclination. Fulham did have a good 10 minutes or so there about halfway through the first 45, but the only real shot on goal was one from The Barcodes from great distance.

    In the second half, one team came out with a different attitude and different tactics, and basically took control of the match with a scintillating display of attacking football. The team that DIDN’T was Fulham. And so Fulham lost 1-0. And I know there will be some who will say that it took a wonder goal to beat us, and they’ll be right. But it took some laughable finishing by Newcastle and a series of top quality saves from David Stockdale to keep us from losing by 5 or 6 – something that would have been more accurate a measure of the disparity between the two teams in the second half than the single goal on the score sheet.

    So, basically, Pardew beat Jol because Pardew changed things up and Jol didn’t. Oh, you want details? Anaylsis? Okay, try this:

    For some reason the only two players we’ve seen consistently aggressive in the opponent’s end of the pitch this season didn’t start today. Taarabt was on the bench and Kasami was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the player who secured all three of our points this season is going out on loan or will be sold. Instead of either of these players, Jol started Bent up front with … with … ? Well, Berbatov was on the pitch, but instead of playing up front with Bent to bumfuzzle defenses, he retreated into his own half sharing space with Parker and Ruiz. Evidently, Martin Jol is the only football manager who doesn’t know that Bent needs a running partner. He does not create on his own. He does not hold up the ball and distribute. He’s a goal scorer who must play off the last defender’s shoulder and needs SOMEBODY FOR GOD’S SAKE to play in attack with him. So we started Bent and Berbatov, and neither were effective because Berbatov plays wherever Berbatov wants to play and, today, that was nowhere near Bent.

    At half time, I thought that bringing Taarabt in for Berbatov might solve our attacking problems, but then I realized that Martin Jol Sexy Football doesn’t include attacking. Instead, when Taarabt finally made his entrance it was FOR Bent. Insane. By that time, Newcastle’s players had finally discovered that they could attack in numbers without serious worry of a reply by us. The only time Krul’s hair was ruffled in the entire 90 minutes was when Ruiz set up Taarabt for a screamer that Krul handled fairly easily.

    How did we do individually? Well, the defense did well until the onslaught. Kacaniklic was okay. I thought Ruiz did well for large stretches [of course, I don’t expect Ruiz to be perfect constantly, so your mileage may vary]. I thought Parker was perhaps the best outfield player on the pitch for most of the game, and Stockdale? Well, more about him later.

    So, we’re three matches in and three points in the bag. We’ve had one incredibly lucky win on the road, one ass whuppin’ at home, and have shown not the slightest bit of interest in trying to win an imminently winnable match on the road again. Throughout, we’ve shown little interest in attacking, have been slow, sideways, and predictable, have put all our eggs in the basket of a lazy player who’d rather berate his teammates than try to be one himself. In other words, we’re seeing more MJSF. How long can we continue to see a squad full of talented players go out and play this uninspiring and easily defended brand of SLOOOOOOOOOOOW football? I don’t know.

    Who’s up next? I'm afraid to look. I watched the Man City v. Hull City match this morning, and I’ve now seen everyone this season except for Swansea, Norwich, and Palace. I have yet to see a team that doesn’t play better football than us, and that includes Cardiff and Hull. Monday is the end of the transfer period, and we’ve still got a few holes, but basically what is guaranteed to help our club the most is for the board to take to heart the following words – JOL OUT!

    HatterDon’s Man of the Match – David Stockdale turned in the most complete performance from a Fulham goalkeeper I’ve seen since Mark Schwarzer’s first season with us. He was quick, agile, decisive, commanding, and distributed well with foot and arm. He made several stunning saves and had no chance to stop Newcastle’s goal. Honorable mention goes to Scott Parker who, with the right game plan and the players in the squad right now, could be the quarterback we need to finish 7th or 8th. With the leadership we have now, he’s even good enough to keep us in the Prem.

    Link to article
  2. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    Re: Easier to Predict than Rain in English Springtime--The V

    Thanks for the summary Don. Katie had a practice game this morning and I didn't have any cell service to watch. Sounds like more of the same old same old.
  3. SCFulhamFan

    SCFulhamFan Active Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    Re: Easier to Predict than Rain in English Springtime--The V

    I think the commentators summed up the quality of play accurately by saying "At least the sun is out ". :shock:
  4. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    Re: Easier to Predict than Rain in English Springtime--The V

    The best thing about fulhamusa.com (besides the stellar administration skills of The Senator) are the post match observations of Mr. Hymel. Regardless of the outcome or the current state of the team, he makes you feel like you were there. And that alone, my friends, is worth the price of admission. Well done again, sir. Just hope we can survive another campaign and stay in the Prem. Because, despite the gift three points at the Stadium of Light, this is NOT a good start to the season. Turning out poor road performances for winnable games at beatable opponents does not bode well for the long season ahead. Think we'll make up the difference at the Etihad? Anfield? The Emirates? Old Trafford? White Hart Lane? Hell, even Goodison? Not likely. Still, we're only three games in. But there's not a lot to be encouraged about at this juncture. Back to the drawing board....again.
  5. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    A City by a Bay
    Re: Easier to Predict than Rain in English Springtime--The V

    Great write up, thank you as always. And, I watched the second half of Palace v. Sunderland (right after the pres announced to the press he wants to start another war via 'special report'). Palace passed the $hit out of the ball in the 50+ minutes I viewed and put 3 past Sunderland. How many did Fulham score? Selhurst Park was going crazy (as was Ian Holloway after Palace's third). Contrasting the Fulham / Palace matches, it appears that Palace play with no fear - move forward and run, pass, with old Dickacoi (Sp.) pulling the strings for them from time to time. Fulham play with such tentativeness these days... I want to pull my hair out - and it's already falling out (no help from the Whites, that's for sure, to keep it embedded). MJSF is failing.
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