Fulham WBA reaction

Ruiz hits the bar, the underside of the bar.  If that’s a centimeter lower it’s a 2-0 win, a well deserved 2-0 win.

Or what about Berbatov’s second disallowed goal. Nothing in it.  That would’ve give us a 2-0 win too.

There’s nothing Martin Jol can do about these incidents.

Fulham did more than enough to win the game and generally, through bad luck, failed to do so.

It is a non-negotiable point that in football you don’t always get what you deserve in any single match.   Fulham deserved to win this.

Against Sunderland Fulham won undeservedly. Against Arsenal Fulham lost deservedly. Against Newcastle the defeat was fair.  So in four games, from which a return of three total points might reasonably have been expected, we have four.  We’ve not been playing well in these four games but today we did.  There is no real doubt in my mind about this.  We didn’t steamroller WBA but we played pretty well and ordinarily would have scored more than a single goal.  That we didn’t was not Jol’s fault and was mainly bad luck.

So by booing here, by getting angry here, what are you saying? That Fulham are not good enough under Jol?  Because the evidence suggests that this isn’t the case: Fulham are getting perfectly normal points returns under Jol.  Yes, it’s frustrating that the team seems to blow hot and cold, that sometimes there appears to be a lack of tactical tightness, but the crucial point is this: no Fulham team in recent years has looked good losing.  Fulham at the moment have a trickish start to the year and have looked like they’ve had a trickyish start to the year.  Today was an easier game but even then you don’t always win easier games.  We know this.  We’re grown ups, we’ve seen football: Fulham often don’t win games we think they should.  NOTHING NEW HERE.

Martin Jol’s a good manager.  Football managers tend to be very good, in which case they get their teams to overachieve, good, in which case their teams generally do what they should, or less good, in which case teams struggle.  The very good managers are exceedingly rare and we may currently have one.  If not, we’re still comfortably in the middle ground.   Get rid of Jol and almost any replacement would do about the same or worse than Jol.  That’s almost non-negotiable.  So what are we saying?  That we want to change anyway, that we want a new manager to come in and spend a fortune changing players because that’s what new managers do?  Or, here’s an idea, do we SHOW SOME ******* PATIENCE?

19 thoughts on “Fulham WBA reaction

  1. Colin

    Thanks for that Rich. I wish you had never stopped writing and that I had never discovered the friends of fulham board. I’d be a lot better off.

    Reply
  2. liam casey

    thanks for that,2 youngsters kasami and kakaniklic had solid games .They are both starting to look like they have made the step up

    Reply
  3. ct

    Thanks for this. The world seems to be losing their mind over this match; it was a frustrating, unlucky draw, but I thought we played fairly well, certainly better than in recent performances.
    Three disallowed goals, a strike off the crossbar, and a million little mistakes: Kaca gets the ball from Parker and doesn’t see Parker continuing the run. Berbatov lays it off to Kaca, who crosses into an acre of space on the right, but mysteriously nobody on the right made any kind of run. And so on.
    Kasami is looking increasingly useful as an outlet to break out of our defensive bunker when we get hemmed in.

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  4. ticotex4411

    Rich – you are the voice of reason again.

    The reality is that the game should have been 2-0 or 3-0 long before we got in trouble. Ruiz SHOULD have scored that goal instead of hitting the bar – it is what is expected of a player his class at that close of a range, there should be no excuses there. Looks like FFC will be without him for a long spell, the injury looked very serious.

    Berba missed two great chances in addition to the offside situations. One was the great through ball from Ruiz that he shot to the keeper, the other one the chip from Ruiz that he volleyed (that was a harder chance to score but it was close).

    The only contradiction from Jol’s comments today was the he said he noticed the team getting tired, but he did not utilize all his subs, and he should have done it earlier. Many internationals had a grueling schedule this week, including Ruiz, Kaca, Kasami, etc.

    Best game FFC has played this season regardless of the score, something to build on with the required PATIENCE.

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  5. Jeff

    All of the people booing and many of the Fulham bloggers these days are complaining, almost it seems to try to get the new owner to spend money. We are Fulham! Let’s get behind our owner, manager and players! We can win with the squad we have! Let’s be true supporters and support! We are hardly into the season but somehow some bloggers/”supporters” are calling Jol a failure. We haven’t looked great, but we are on track to finish like we have for the last decade in the premiership. I’m tired of the doom and gloom.

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  6. Alan Smith

    Not sure why some fans think we will steam roller team like WBA? One of our strengths at The Cottage is fan base and staying together. Difficult game at Bridge next week but need big support for Cardiff game and Everton in Cup..

    Reply
  7. Tony Gilroy

    I’m also in agreement.

    We could and should have won and replay the game 10 more times with that performance and we’d win 9.

    Fortunately it doesn’t much matter what we think. Jol will be judged by his employer on results over the next few months.

    I can see us improving greatly with Kasami and Kakaniklic being seriously good prospects.

    On Ruiz there were message board posters who thought him our best player and others the worst. I’m in the latter camp. For all his ability he slows things down seemingly wondering what to do when he receives the ball. Wherever Jol plays him he doesn’t seem to quite fit. Now we’ll see whether we’re better with or without him.

    Generally speaking I’m becoming more optimistic,

    Reply
  8. TheManOnTheBus

    I thought Ruiz made a few little mistakes (giving the ball away, slowing things down unnecessarily) but so did others (Parker lost the ball a few times when he shouldn’t have done but had an overall excellent game). Ruiz more than made up for his slips by a couple of superb through balls eg for Berba’s two chances. Hit the x-bar to try and test the goal-line technology I suppose.

    Welcome back Rich – you are missed. It is so, so, so depressing on FoF.

    Reply
  9. Mr. Ploppy

    I feel the need to throw my two cents worth in here. I don’t think it’s necessarily the points total that people are upset about and it’s certainly not why people at the ground (including myself) we’re booing. For me it was the way the team played. There is little to be happy about at the moment.  The team looks lost with little cohesion, no cutting edge and a “can’t be arsed attitude” in some players (typically berbatov). I agree that the performance today was better that the previous games this season, but those performances were so woeful I wouldn’t want to hang my hat on alone as a reason for optimism. 

    The fact is we should be beating teams like west brom at home and I don’t consider that an “unrealistic expectation”. May be we were unlucky to not win yesterday but we were definitely lucky to win in sunderland, so realistically we could be on one point. 

    Other thoughts: 
    As a few others have noted, the team so often stalled moving forward. We had a number of great opportunities to break but ended up passing backwards instead. Part of the reason I think was that Berba was unavailable for the forward pass. I spent a lot of time watching him during the game and noticed that many times he was either strolling along looking at the ground or already offside when the person with the ball (often ruiz or kaka, who both had great games if you ask me) was looking for him. Berba played way better this game than last but he is still an incredibly frustrating footballer to watch sometimes. I know he can be brilliant but I feel his bad attitude can weaken the entire team. I’d also like to see ruiz in the middle rather than on the wing. I personally think we will miss him. 

    Reply
  10. Mike

    I am so pleased to have you back Rich. I really do see you as a voice of sanity, and the author of some of the best football journalism around at times. However…

    I have to disagree on this one. Look at it any way you like and it is pretty dismal. Results? It’s no wonder people are getting discouraged. 1 point in 6 games at home is dire by any standards. Performances? Over the last 12 months we have had the same faults way too often: a lack of pace, players appearing unmotivated, not seeming to quite know what they should be doing, or what anyone else should be doing, late goals conceded, confusion over team selection and what the best team is.

    The frenetic disagreements about whether individuals are rubbish, or the saviour of the team, which you find on so many of the message boards seem to me to be a symptom of this. We have a quality squad with players ranging from good to brilliant. The inconsistency in performances are worrying though, and I am sure that is why the virulent criticisms of individuals are there. Good players are inconsistent because they are not clear about their role, and are playing out of position. Ruiz is a case in point. He is a fantastic player with great skill and vision, and we are lucky to have him. Yet on so many occasions he is responsible for delaying the play and ruining potentially dangerous breaks. On a number of occasions yesterday he received the ball in midfield, facing his own goal, with space behind. He surely has the skill to turn and drive or pass forwards, yet he passed mediocre, or on occasions downright bad, balls back to the defender, slowing everything and putting the defence under pressure. Once teams realise we are not going to attack with pace, they can press us higher and higher with no fear of being caught on the break; hence the late goals. It is the manager’s responsibility to set up the team so that everyone has a role which exploits their strengths, and which is entirely clear to them.

    Yesterday was better – albeit against a very poor team. Yet I personally began to get frustrated after half time that we were tactically not set up to exploit the superior players we have. The equaliser just seems more and more inevitable. With 6 minutes left we were hoofing balls out of defence. That’s a tactic for when you are leading against a top 4 team with a minute left! Once we conceded we seemed to be playing for a draw.

    The booing and the extreme reactions are very depressing, but I do believe the team is being poorly managed with inadequate coaching and tactical awareness. Perhaps what we need is a top coach to support Jol. He used to have Chris Hughton, and we used to have Ray Lewington.

    In any case I am definitely not enjoying matches these days, and haven’t for a while.

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    1. Michael

      Completely agree with these points Mike, except for the point that we are lucky to have Ruiz as I think he is awful for us and can’t remember him having a good game. He gets caught in position all the time, plays awful passes, ruins momentum in counter attacks and doesn’t score enough goals. All the season ticket holders around agree and can’t believe Jol continues to play him when we have a player like Taarabt who has been our most creative and exciting player. I know he isn’t great defensively but neither is Ruiz.

      Reply
      1. timmyg

        If by “most creative and exciting” you mean “never passes; takes low percentage pot shots”, then yes, Taarabt fits that description.

        If/when Ruiz leaves, we’re going to miss him more than people think

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  11. Josh

    I thought we looked much more threatening going forward than in previous matches, and really should have had at least two goals since one of Berbatov’s was wrongly ruled offside. I completely agree with Rich that there needs to be a little bit of patience and sanity. Four points from these four fixtures isn’t great but it’s hardly the end of the world.

    That being said, Jol’s comment about “it’s the same with women” was incomprehensible and offensive.

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  12. Dave

    Mike is spot on with his comments and I totally agree with Josh about Jol’s ridiculous comment concerning women. I often find it difficult to understand exactly what point Jol is trying to make but this latest one is complete gibberish (as well as offensive).

    Anyway, Jol seems to be missing the point about the boo boys. At the moment they are a small vocal minority but they certainly reflect the way I (and I suspect a lot of other people) feel about the way we are playing at the moment but my unrest stems from our recent home record rather than our position in the league. Our survival in the Premiership over the last 12 years has been largely due to “fortress Craven Cottage” with our away record being something of a standing joke. One point in the last six home games is just not what we are used to and something needs to be done about it.

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  13. Josh

    The last six home games include Chelsea, Liverpool, and two against Arsenal, not to mention spanning the offseason. It’s a cherry-picked and misleading sample. Not to mention how misleading it is for people to say “we could only manage a draw against last-place West Brom” as if their performance over three games at the start of this season is more instructive than their eighth-place finish last year.

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  14. Jenny Stroud

    So agree with your comments Mike…….and this is the first I’ve heard about Jol’s crass comment about women. I dislike him even more now. He is arrogant and divisive. I’m afraid Rich, this is the first time I have disagreed with your views so strongly. Mr Jol is not a good manager……he’s a con-man, and the sooner we are rid of him the better. As I said on an earlier post, I am not attending any more games until he is gone. I think you’ll begin to see lots of empty seats in the next few home games if he is still there.

    Reply

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