Scott Parker mentioned in the lead up to the SW6 Derby that he wanted to see Fulham play with a bit more pace in attack, that came with the return of Ryan Sessegnon to the starting line up and quicker attempt to the final third, whether that came with longer balls or general speed of play from back to front – we saw longer balls utilised more frequently than usual but Tom Cairney was excellent in finding space and collecting the ball between Jorginho and the Chelsea back line before sliding some lovely passes in behind for the aforementioned Sessegnon typically.
Though individual mistakes were still visible, Fulham’s general performance was full of fight and had a period where they absolutely had Chelsea on the ropes. Scott Parker has already gained the support of Tom Cairney who has called for the permanent appointment of the former Fulham captain, and whilst we must be wary to avoid the Kit Symons experiment, this feels different. I think Scott showed some tactical intelligence on his first game as Cairney exploited the space behind the Chelsea midfield and he flipped Ryan Sessegnon to the right who saw some joy against Italy international Emerson. If not for some Man of the Match winning calibre saves from Kepa Arrizabalaga then Scotty Parker could well have salvaged at least a point from his managerial debut.
Back to something different about this ‘players coach’ appointment surrounding a ‘we’ve got our Fulham back narrative.’ Scott Parker throughout his playing career always seemed to command a certain level of respect and that saw him named captain, a leader who lead by example, Parker has always had the potential to have an authority over a team. Having set about his coaching ‘badges’ (my least favourite term in football, badges don’t exist) whilst at Tottenham Hotspur, this moment is years in the making. The return of Stuart Gray brings an aura of legitimacy also as an experienced and excellent coach in his own right which will help Scott through the early days of his management career whether it lasts 9 more games at Fulham or not.
Scott Parker’s Fulham made a nice start on Sunday and according to the former England international, have set a standard for the remainder of the season “I shouldn’t expect anything less, the challenge for me now is that needs to stay and how is this going to happen, making sure that it’s a given every single week.” He understands the core principles that this football club should never reject ‘passing football and a family football club.’
Every coach has to start somewhere and for Scott Parker (and Fulham), familiarity and a mutual understanding philosophically is a solid ground to build upon.
Very pleased to see that level of commitment at last, if we had shown that all season we would not be in our current predicament.
I would also hope that all those calling for this one and that one ‘out’ reflect back to the end of July when we all thought we had knocked it off and we were going to take the prem by storm, great team Slav, Mitro TC Sess etc board spending 100 million, I didn’t hear anybody at all predict what has happened, OK in retrospect we now know differently, but sometimes things don’t pan out as you hope.
If as is likely we exit stage left, let’s not do it in acrimony and destroying what we do have, hard as it is, take it on the chin and get behind the club and get stuck into the champ teams and wipe the floor with them again, I have followed the boys for over 55 years now and thought I had seen it all !! How wrong I was.
We have the new riverside being built we will still have the Khan family backing and we still have the club. Think back just over twenty years ago, what would we have given for that ???????
Just what we needed…
Sunday felt so much better, but I don’t think ‘prideful’ is the intended meaning? I googled it to check.
Couldn’t agree more. For me, Scott is a coach who understands the club and its supporters; whether or not he gets the permanent job, he deserves the opportunity to let him reinvent the Fulham wheel. He would be helped if Tony Khan was given some minor administrative post well away from player recruitment, training or anything else directly affecting our existence as a football club. How about corporate hospitality manager…? To be fair, if Tony could be trusted with anything important, his dad would have him working in the business that generates the revenue.
We shouldn’t rush to install Parker or reject him. Let’s see how it goes and how well he does against non top 6 teams.
It was good to see the team play with hope not fear.
I thought we were unlucky with a few decisions.
The return of Stuart Gray is welcome, the question is though who let him go in the summer?