There comes a point in time where the football stops being enjoyable. When every match is accompanied by a sharp pang of disbelief when Fulham concede early. When you hope against hope for the referee to blow the final whistle half an hour early because the game’s already gone. When the post-match Twitter discourse is so toxic you can’t help but doom-scroll endlessly.
In typical fashion, it only took three weeks for Fulham to hit this low point. When the director of football took the unprecedented step of apologising to fans following the 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, it was just a tad too late. A feeling of dread had already enveloped the Cottagers fanbase.
The brutal loss was all too predictable. For months, I and others have beaten the drum consistently, warning that a failure to bring in central defensive reinforcements would doom us in the top flight. Tony Khan appears to understand this too. He offered up a variety of explanations for why we haven’t yet secured a centre back, spanning from Covid complications to an unspecified “issue.”
At the very least, Khan has publicly acknowledged he and the squad haven’t performed. That’s a start. But spare me the public mea culpas. We need action. Action that should’ve happened more than a month ago. Let’s buy some players and at least give Parker a fighting chance to stay in this division. Barring that, Fulham fans are in for an extended relegation party.
Any reasonable person can see that we would have a far easier time buying players if we had a director of football who wasn’t also an NFL executive and a wrestling start-up leader.
But in our less than ideal situation, we faced Premier League opposition on Monday evening with a three centre-half system featuring Tim Ream, Michael Hector, and Denis Odoi. Scott Parker thought that maybe playing three Championship centre-backs might help shore up our leaky defence. The gamble, always laughable, backfired.
Instead, the so-called ‘defenders’ again forgot basic fundamentals of defending. To make matters worse, the paper-thin midfield pairing of Tom Cairney and Frank Anguissa decided to not track runners into the box and ended up being outworked and overwhelmed by Villa.
The simple verdict is that the team is no good. As I’ve said all along, we have very few Premier League-quality players in our squad. It really is no surprise that we’ve played three, lost three, and conceded 10.
What is perhaps surprising is that the feeling of anger and depression has united the normally fractious Fulham Twitterverse. The first week, some deluded minds rationalised that we were always set to lose to a dangerous Arsenal side, so there was no need to panic.
The second week, some wishful thinkers claimed we were fine because Leeds would be a top-10 side and our second-half comeback boded well for the season.
This time around, at least there can be no sugar-coating the severity of our predicament. Fulham made a team that barely survived the drop last year look like world beaters. There can be no searching for positives after this.
“We need to work out whether we want to compete this year,” Parker said after the match “Otherwise it will be a tough year.”
Tough could be the understatement of the decade.
The defence was the Pits . Odoi had his worst match ever, Hector looked like a Division 2 player and Ream was too slow to catch a cold. MLM who is not great shape looked better than the others that is how bad it was.The new keeper did nothing. What has Rodak done to be excluded.The choice of the midfield 3 was wrong Cairney and D-Reed neither can defend. why did we send mawson out on loan he would have been back up. Relegated by christmas.I cannot see any decent defender wanting to join Fulham knowing they will only have one season playing in the premiership. I would love to be proved wrong but i am not hopeful
Neither the defenders or the defensive midfielders are premier league quality. Hopefully, we can get some assistance in central defense; however, if we have the same defensive midfield, it will not make significant difference.
Conceding 10 goals in 3 matches is not all on the central defense. However, I am hopeful that some quality in central defense will make us more competitive; yet, I am afraid we need more than a couple of defenders to stay up.
John has made a valid point. Quality defenders will be VERY wary of joining now after this start, there are too many problems and they would be thinking what difference can one person make? This should have solved before season start when you can entice them with a promising vision, now all they see is doom and gloom.
It was always gonna be hard with less time to prepair , so I was always worried . But we’re not even doing the basics right, lve tried to back them. But they look so poor we’re not getting beat by great play, we’re just being sloppy . We all know we need CB but midfield not helping or fighting today. The hole sides not good enough when we’re without the ball. They all dug in, in the play off final. If they were doing that and being beat by class l could forgive
We’re Doomed We’re Doomed !
I was seriously hoping that a fit Ream , a hard working Odoi and an ambitious Hector might just keep flood gates from breaking till we got strong reinforcements in CD . I was wrong . Now we seem to be in last stages of transfer window nothing in CD to recreate our long lost Fortress Fulham . As John W says hard to see any decent defender wanting to join Fulham knowing they are strong favorites for relegation .Surely best Parker can do now is seek to win the mid field ( we have decent players ) , focus on attack and bring back Rodak . But lets not blame the Gaffer its the Owner’s son thats messed up again. !
Waiting for a miracle – COYW !
A complete shambles. All three goals should have been avoided with a half decent defence.we know about Odo who was lucky not to have been sent off and Ream bu Hector was the worst of the lot I cannot blame Scotty as a man needs the tools to do the job. I concur what has Rodak done wrong not to be first choice. Also madness to let Mawson go out on loan. We keep playing Carv who is not producing. AK47 looks the best provider and back up to Mitro. The choice of midfield was puzzling . Back to the championship next season’.no one with any aspirations will want to join Fulham this season due to their horrific start as usual Tony Khan lack of understanding has cost us dearly.
What get’s me is that all of this is down to Tony Khan. His lack of football knowledge and sheer arrogance is staggering. A bit of looking in the mirror and acknowledging his own shortcomings wouldn’t go amiss. He apologises for the team’s performance then makes some pathetic excuses as to why he hasn’t done his job properly and we’re left in this sorry mess. Yes, the defending was of sub-Championship standard tonight but Tony Khan is completely to blame in my humble opinion. Why his father can’t see what the rest of us can is beyond me.
We missed out on CBs due to Covid. What is TK on about?? Wait a few days until they can come for their medical and sign them then. What is the bloke on about??? Idiot. Daddy needs to take your ‘toy’ of a football club off you. Let’s not blame Scott or the players. Scott needs the tools and the players arent up to it. Simple as that.
Yet Tony Khan still has loads of posters supporting him on TIFF and Friends of Fulham , Dave! Do a lot of Fulham fans want us to fail, as surely we will while Khan Senior lets his useless son play with his ‘toy’ !!