Scott Parker was furious by the award of a contentious penalty and a red card for Joachim Andersen that arguably cost Fulham a win at Newcastle this evening.
The Fulham head coach disagreed with the decision of referee Graham Scott and the video assistant referee Andy Madley and fears for the future of the sport given the way that the technology is now being used. Speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle, Parker said:
I’ve had a look at it. This isn’t me trying to defend it, but the contact is initially outside the box, he then goes into the box and dives. The game is changing drastically and it isn’t changing for the better. Two years ago, I get it at real speed. What’s puzzling is that we have VAR, I’m not sure if he’s seen a different angle to me.
I’m disappointed we didn’t take three points. I thought the team was fantastic though. Second half, the penalty decision has decided the game.
All very well and, having viewed the incident several times, Parker is probably correct.
But this was 3 points there for the taking against a very poor Newcastle team. Yet it was like deja vu with our first half performance reminiscent of our away performances of last season with a slow, over methodical build up that allowed Newcastle to retreat and clog the midfield. Yet, we still created chances, with Decordova Reid the main culprit in front of goal, and managed to take a fortunate lead.
But, second half, we were content to sit back and allow Newcastle to come back into the game. Again, so reminiscent of last season.
With Mitrovic back upfront and Cairney restored to midfield, hopefully, we have finally laid to rest any debate about the system that best suits us. Mitrovic had an awful game, contributed nothing and, when we most needed his hold up play, when we were down to 10 men, he was nowhere to be seen. Even worse, in the last ten minutes, probably due to his frustrating form, his negative body language was, once again, apparent for all to see.
Cairney struggled in midfield which further reduced the tempo of our build up play.
Gone was the incisive, fast attacking build up that saw off Leicester City and dominated Liverpool for 35 minutes.
Maybe these two just haven’t understood the change in philosophy, maybe the old way is just too entrenched, maybe they are incapable of change.
Whatever, it’s pretty obvious that Mitrovic’s days are numbered at Craven Cottage.
Cairney has the skill to reset and his form earlier in the season says that he deserves a second chance.
We need to dive into the transfer market and secure a mobile, speedy finisher. It needs to be a priority.
The referee’s decision means that Andersen will miss 3 games. I hope and trust that Scott Parker will uphold his belief in what really happened and choose to dispute the straight red card because Hector looked less than secure as his replacement.
On a positive note, Lemina and Anguissa were excellent in midfield and Toisin was dominant in central defence.
A point is a point! But what a missed opportunity.
Callum Wilson, diving aside, is exactly the sort of forward we should have bought in the window. And he scores penalties!