We are in a bit of a mess aren’t we? A squad filled with incredibly talented individuals, on huge wages, but with the apparent inability to take chances or to defend. We’ve had the chances to propel ourselves into the top 2 this season, but we have missed the mark time and time again. Since lockdown, we have suffered defeats to two of our fellow promotion rivals and in both games we had the chances to win but after those were squandered, our age old defensive problems came back to haunt us and BANG….game over.
It would be very easy to point blame at Scott Parker, but in truth I think our problems run much deeper than that. Yes, Parker seems to have survived thanks to some of the talent in his squad rather than any tactical masterclass, but let’s not forget that he is a rookie and still has a chance, even if it’s a slim one, to clinch promotion through the play-offs. We have to be honest though, would he have gotten the job at any other club in the Championship given his inexperience? I’m just not so sure.
Some have said that even with his lack of experience he should have done better with this squad, but I have to disagree with that. Just because a rookie craftsman is given the best tools available, doesn’t mean that he is going to produce the same level of work as someone with more experience. They say that a bad workman blames his tools, well it works the other way around as well. You don’t create a good workman just by providing him with the best tools. It takes a lot more than that. That’s not to say that he won’t be a great manager in the future. I think he can be given how astute he is and how much study he puts into the game. He gives a great deal of thought to detail, but at the minute he is focusing on the wrong details. I fear that this job with the target of automatic promotion has came far too early for him.
You also can’t really account for the sheer amount of individual errors that occur within this squad. We are very good at handing opportunities to our opposition on a plate. The past two matches were incredibly frustrating to watch, especially considering the mistakes made are ones that have been made all season. What I would say is that Parker surely should have made tough decisions earlier about the culprits of those mistakes. Any player can make an error but if it is a common occurrence like it has unfortunately been with the likes of Joe Bryan and Harry Artur, then they need to be taken out of the firing line for a bit. It might be a big call to do that, but that’s what Parker needs to do. That’s his job as a manager.
I believe that the problem lies more with those further up the pecking order. I don’t doubt at all that Shahid Khan has done a lot of great things for this football club. He has put plenty of money into the squad and let’s not forget about the new stand that will make a huge difference to both the club and the surrounding area. But I don’t think any other club in England would have someone as inexperienced as Tony Khan as their Director of Football. This isn’t a new concern, fans have voiced the opinion that we need someone more experienced than Tony to do such a crucial role around the club for a long time. Tony is clearly a very intelligent guy, but he is only in his mid-thirties and is involved in three different jobs. I don’t believe that he can fully focus 100% on each and unfortunately it seems as though the only company that has flourished is All Elite Wrestling. He might disagree, but that would indicate to me that more time is put into that than is put into either the Jaguars or Fulham. If he could solely focus on one, then I reckon he’d have more success. For Fulham, we need a Director of Football who is ONLY a Director of Football.
For now we just have to find it within ourselves to keep supporting the boys, even if it has to be from afar during the pandemic. While the automatic promotion dream looks dead and buried, we can still get promoted. To be honest, I don’t think we are ready for the Premier League next year, but I do fear the financial problems that may come with staying in the Championship next season. Hopefully a victory against QPR tomorrow evening can inject some optimism back into the club.