One of the things that’s surprised me this year is David Stockdale’s distribution. Earlier in his Fulham career he seemed to be clearly better than Mark Schwarzer in this area. Now? Not so sure.
Which looks unfortunate: 31 possession concessions there (and I accept that we may have won a bit of second ball there, but on past form, probably not much, and not enough to justify just giving the ball back like that). Contrast with his opposite number:
But worse, look at Stockdale in the second half, when we really needed to get our feet back into the game:
Ouch. Almost exactly what the situation didn’t demand.
I’m not digging out Stockdale – he’s been fantastic since he came back into the side, but in looking at how and why we surrendered initiative, this really jumped out. There are other questions and we’ll have a look at those in the next few days, but I wanted to throw this up for discussion. If we’d simple kept the ball with our defenders on those 24 occasions it would surely have been a lot harder for Norwich to keep storming back at us.