Timmy made this point yesterday but it bears repeating.
Look at the two chalkboards below: they illustrate conclusively the contrast in styles we witnessed at the KC Stadium yesterday.
Hull: determined, direct and aggressive. Fulham: deliberate with shorter, probing passing. We played a staggering 174 more pass than Hull yesterday, but didn’t have anything significant to show for it. Sometimes in the heat of a relegation battle less is more. Sometimes, we’re just too passive for my liking away from home. Of course, it doesn’t help when a struggling side is given a helping hand in front of goal (or in this case in Jozy Altidore’s back).
I was excited to see Bjorn Helge Riise in the side yesterday as he can be a real asset when running at defenders and whipping in a good ball. Sadly, that never really happened. He wasted most of the opportunities he had to swing a decent cross over as this diagram shows:
Roy seem frustrated afterwards by the second string’s inability to take the opportunity to impress. You have to mention in Kagsisho Dikgacoi’s defence that he’s just back from injury, with a couple of reserve games under his belt, but we seemed so much sharper in possession once Jonathan Greening replaced the South African. Say what you like about the on-loan West Brom midfielder but he rarely wastes a pass:
Hodgson’s forward selection puzzled me. Dempsey’s far more suited to playing the withdrawn striker role, but he ploughed a lone furrow with Okaka and Nevland both left on the bench. It wasn’t Clint’s best performance – and he wasn’t helped by a distinct lack of service. It was Zoltan Gera who came close to grabbing Fulham a goal, but once again we lacked a killer touch on the road:
It would be unfair to blame Hodgson for our inability to impress away from the Cottage as this malaise has afflicted the club ever since we returned to the top flight. But it’s difficult to see where we’ll pick up a second away win of our league campaign this season:
We’ve never won at Anfield, not beaten Everton at Goodison Park since the 1974/75 FA Cup run and have never come away from Arsenal with the points. On the bright side, if it were to happen, Hodgson’s boys would be history makers.