Well who knows? Did we do well to see off a lively side, or struggle to beat an average one?
Without really working the RNK keeper, Fulham were in the ascendency early on. The returning Clint Dempsey looked quite sprightly, and was combining nicely with John Arne Riise on the left. Zamora and Johnson were buzzing around. It always felt as if perhaps something was about to happen.
When the breakthrough came, it was in a surprising way. A right wing corner from Damien Duff was headed home by Johnson at the near post. Strange, but another goal for the man of the moment. We fans may not quite know what to make of him, but all Johnson can do is play well and score goals, and that he’s certainly doing at the moment. It could very well be that with a full pre-season and a clean bill of health we’ll see the Andy Johnson we all want. Or he might be sold to West Ham. But the latter looks unlikely given current form.
The football was sometimes really good. One move towards the end of the half was almost Brazil 1970 in style and execution, except the final pass to the inside channel found Damien Duff not Jairzinho, and Duff had men on him so had to check back. Shame, could’ve been special. We also saw Brede Hangeland charge off on a moses run in which everything before him parted to facilitate his progress, but that didn’t come to anything either.
Second half was a bit hairy at times, as RNK went for it a bit more. Fulham scored again when Johnson (that man!) won a penalty and Danny Murphy did his thing and made it two. Then RNK really had a go, hitting the bar at one point, scorching a free-kick just wide, and not quite getting the right connection on a couple of good opportunities, allowing Schwarzer to save. Fulham will say that they were comfortable, but it didn’t really feel that way.
Not much to take away then. Hughes at right back is perhaps worthy of discussion – does Jol want to get his four best defenders on the field, even if it means splitting up a great partnership? Everything else seems fairly set, although we don’t yet know who’ll play with Murphy when everyone’s available.
On we go.