I’ve just been catching up on reading some of the other Fulham blogs and came across this post from Timmy, highlighting that we took a few more shots from distance against Sunderland last Sunday.
It’s an interesting point and one that I hadn’t noticed at the game. Shooting from distance seems to have been something we’ve been reluctant to do under Hodgson, preferring to pass our way into decent positions. But when the boys have had a crack from long range, good things have happened. There was that memorable goal from Konchesky at West Ham (which I think he’ll struggle to replicate), while Dickson Etuhu hit a screamer up at Eastlands last year. Dempsey scored a long-ranger against Amkar Perm and Damien Duff’s brilliant goal against Everton was from well outside the box. It might be worth having a pop from a way out a bit more often, though we’d do well to be a bit more accurate than against Sunderland.
Timmy also raises a good point about formations. The fact that we’ve been shifting to a 4-4-1-1 late in games recently has probably been caused by two reasons: a) the lack of available strikers that Roy trusts and b) the fact that we’ve been protecting leads. I thought Zoltan Gera had one of his best games for Fulham against CSKA Sofia and it was no coincidence that it came in his natural position, in the hole just behind the striker. But unless Hodgson is a little more flexible with his starting formations then Zoltan’s not going to get too much of a chance there this season.
Timmy’s right that being so conservative won’t help us win points over the Christmas period. It might be billed as a bit of a battle at Burnley on Saturday but Owen Coyle’s side play very nice football. We’ll have to earn the right to play – but it would disappoint me if we reverted to the one up front that so clearly didn’t work at Birmingham.