Last night was a first-class Fulham performance. The Whites could have below par or taken Burnley for granted but they showed character to get through some sticky early moments before establishing an unassailable advantage.
Chris Baird continues to have a magnificent season. At the moment, you expect him to come out with a Superman cape on – because he seems to be able to do anything. Strong in the challenge, aware of what’s around him and his positioning and good in the air, Baird’s been exemplary in central defence and outstanding in midfield. He looked terrific at right back last night and seems so controlled on the ball, gone is the stagefright of that horrible Sanchez season.
Nicky Shorey looks like a really promising attacking outlet on the other flank too. Both of the full backs provided goals last night and that was one of the interesting things about just how Fulham have progressed under Roy Hodgson. Chris Coleman’s last game was a lamentable defeat by Manchester City and the distribution from the full back positions was woeful that day:
Now, I’m not blaming Rosenior or Volz for that. Both were decent players who had regressed badly under Coleman’s coaching and the tactics he employed left defenders too often without an out ball.
Contrast this with Baird and Shorey on Tuesday night:
That’s a striking difference.