First, a lot of praise for Brede Hangeland, which I agree with, but there were a couple of issues:
Here, Elmander gets far too much time in the area. True, he initially has his back to goal, and you’re supposed to drop off a bit when this happens, but this far into the box you have to be tighter. A fine stop from David Stockdale saved the day.
Next a mistake from Gera led to exactly the sort of situation we avoided with Roy’s safety first holding midfielders: Elmander on the charge, Etuhu and Murphy aren’t shielding so it’s all on Hangeland, and he’s bypassed too easily. This is what you lose by allowing midfielders to get upfield. Again Stockdale saved the day.
Early days, but half a change to the team approach against Bolton:
The two Fulham games are on the left. Last season we played a lot more down the flanks; this year more through the middle. If it persists this is quite a nice trend, but will perhaps require a bit more oomph in central midfield. Under Roy we didn’t get too much attacking oomph from here away from home, so this is positive. This change of emphasis (“be bold, attack down the middle”) may conceivably explain why Davies and Duff seemed so quiet, and why Dempsey seemed to be so effervescent when he came on.