Chop’s Tuesday Tirade

I’ll be honest. I’m running out of words that begin with “M”. Luckily I’m also out off kilter due to the Sunday kickoff and therefore running late enough to push this to Tuesday and open up a whole new world of words. Possibly I should leave it there but if anyone can think of a better name for this, let’s loosely call it, weekly column, I’m all ears.

I followed the game this week via the new Fulham App which enabled me the joy of listening to Gentleman Jim’s wonderful commentary. Jim manages to find the perfect balance between calm, rational comment and total devotion to the Fulham cause. I’ve always enjoyed listening to him but now I can do so via my phone I think I’ll be making a habit of it.

The game itself seemed a mixed bag. Fulham poor in the first half, Southampton poor in the second and neither team really capitalising on their spells of domination. Both Saints goals looked avoidable and both came from set plays. Turns out we’ve conceded more goals from set plays (six) than any other Premier League team this season. Should we be worried? It’s probably too early to tell but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

I’m finally reading Jonathon Wilson’s excellent “Inverting The Pyramid” so I’m hoping my tatical awareness will be suitably improved in the coming weeks and I’ll be able to identify any defensive weakness. Hangeland & Hughes did not appear to be on top form but I wonder what other factors could cause this to happen. Perhaps the way we have Sidwell & Baird deployed, though I’d have thought they would have helped our cause rather than hinder it. Maybe our carelessness with possession (a side-effect of trying to be more positive in attack) contributed to increased pressure on the defence and more opportunities for error. Maybe we just had a bad day (I’m only on page 40).

I’m not convinced we’ve yet played a game with Jol’s preffered starting eleven. We have certainly been unlucky with injuries, though this may well be a result of the age of the squad (as Rich hinted at on Friday we’ve given some young talent a go but are possibly more reliant than ever on the over-30s in the side). I’m enjoying the football though and when we do get everyone fit I think we could see some truly exciting football.

6 thoughts on “Chop’s Tuesday Tirade

  1. I watched the game and to be honest I thought we were lucky to get a draw. We were all over the place in the first half and, but for luck and poor finishing from the Saints, we could have been 3 down. Our touches were off, everything seemed rushed and we gave the ball away at every opportunity. No one distinguished themselves in the first 45 minutes. We improved in the second half, well that didn’t take much doing. This coincided with Southampton having a bad spell and they started to make us look quite good.

    We are woeful in the midfield though and this is our number one priority right now. How we miss Dembele’s sure footed approach play and Dempsey’s incisive fearless running. Bryan does his best, but he rarely looks completely confident on the ball, despite some signs of promise. Our defence had a collective bad hair day. I hope it is just that and not a sign of a deeper malaise. Maybe Hangeland is already thinklng of his next assignment, but even Schwartzer was off-colour. Jol has been quite negative in the press, saying how much he rues losing his best players and I wonder how much impact this has on the remaining squad. He is a glass-half-empty guy at the moment and this is not good for morale. I believe a top 8 finish is not beyond our capability, even with our present team, and I can’t wait to see Berbatov back in action. His mere presence on the pitch seems to make everyone play just that little bit better.

    Overall though our record of 3-1-3 is solid mid-table form and I believe it will only get better.

    1. Dembele was a huge loss because of the control of possession he gave us. Losing Diarra for so long has not helped either. I’m interested to see if Karagounis can step up for a regular first team spot.

      I’m also optimistic that Bryan will have a good season for us, though he needs better support from the midfield than he got on Saturday to really do his stuff.

  2. On the edge of your seat via the FFC Gentleman Jim app? Old school stuff but how were you not tempted to feast on the Sky Super Sunday high def, dolby, 3D, etc, experience..? Bit like TMS vrs Sky alternative maybe..?

    I watched it in Turkey, which in itself is not remarkable except the locals were supporting Southampton courtesy of Giorgos.

    I’m sure Fulham has never featured much on their radar before, but now it does, and probably likewise across the water in Athens

    PS weekly waffle maybe..? ;-)

    1. Austerity measures I’m afraid. No Sky, no trips to the pub, just grabbing the chance to keep up with the boys the cheapest way I can.

      The analogy to TMS is a very good one. If you can’t see moving pictures I can’t think of a better way to follow the match than listening to the dulcit tones of Gentlemen Jim.

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