For all their hard work and calmness on the ball, Fulham need to learn quickly from their defensive mistakes. Scott Parker’s side conceded three times against Everton, and a failure to have any sort of defensive solidity will see them return to the Championship.
Defensive Mistakes Will Cost Fulham Their Place in the Premier League
Failure to Learn From Past Mistakes and a Lack of Leadership
When Fulham were promoted to the Premier League in 2018, their opening game saw them start with an entirely new defence. Their play-off final winning side was cast aside almost instantly, and it eventually cost them.
Despite being under a new regime, Fulham and Scott Parker have failed to learn from their mistakes. The defence that saw them promoted and start to the season was quickly disbanded in place of their summer arrivals. The Premier League, where the opposition will pick you apart from almost nothing, is not the place to create new partnerships.
Scott Parker’s side is lacking in leadership. As a result of no leadership, they have suffered. While you could argue that neither Michael Hector or Tim Ream are necessarily top-flight quality, neither of the two centre-backs have been given a chance this season.
Arguably, and this stems from the traditional expectations of the Championship, Fulham need toughness and grit in defensive. They are standing off and are failing to apply pressure in defensive positions. Apart from Manchester City, Scott Parker’s side have pressed their opponents the least in the Premier League. While the football may look appealing, it does not always work at the bottom of the table.
Change Needs to Happen Quickly
Change is needed for Fulham and it is needed sooner rather than later.
Against Everton, the Cottagers were exposed in all areas. Two of Everton’s three goals came from Lucas Digne receiving too much space on the left-hand side of the box as Ola Aina was caught of position and unaware of his man.
Both Aina and his opposite full-back Antonee Robinson were caught out of position far too often. That, for a side who are now up against in their fight against relegation, needs to change. Home truths need to be realised at Craven Cottage – they need to learn that they don’t have the quality it takes to play their style in the Premier League.
The coming months will be a test of Scott Parker’s managerial skills. His persistence of operating with the same style week in week out can be admired, but failure to adapt and change could lead to him relegating his side.
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