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.