With what was a shortened month for fixtures thanks to yet another international break, Fulham had two home games with a road trip to Wales sandwiched in the middle…
The first game of October was against high-flying Arsenal. The Gunners arrived at the Cottage having won 5 consecutive premier league games and looked like they could cause Fulham damage straight from the off. Within half an hour they had the lead, Lacazette putting the gunners in front. Just before half-time, my player of the month winner, Schürrle, pulled Fulham level with a clever dink over the keeper after Vietto set him through on goal. Going into the break at 1-1 against a top 4 team seemed like a great result, Fulham had been far from their best and we were still in it.
Sadly after half-time, the cracks began to appear in our defence and it didn’t take Arsenal long to punish us. Poor positioning from Bettinelli was punished by Lacazette and from there Arsenal piled on the pressure, creating chance after chance and putting them away with frightening efficiency. A 91st-minute goal from Aubameyang to seal his brace and Arsenal’s fifth put an end to a disappointing day on the banks of the river Thames.
After the international break, Fulham’s first chance at retribution came in the form of a trip to last seasons automatic promotion rival, Cardiff City. Many Fulham supporters were hopeful of a big result to kick-start the season, very few expected to come away empty-handed. Unfortunately, that was how the day panned out. Despite taking the lead and being at a 2-2 stalemate at half-time, Fulham’s weak defence was torn apart again, this time by a team who had only scored four goals all season prior to our visit. Personal errors were punished and Cardiff ran out deserved winners at 4-2.
The third and final game of the month was a home match to Bournemouth. Another team who, like Arsenal, were in fine form prior to visiting the cottage. Despite this, many fans thought a positive result was within reach and were looking for a big reaction to the previous games poor showing. What the home fans were treated to was another defensive shambles, with Bournemouth showing Fulham how to defend, allowing us just one shot on target.
A fourth consecutive league loss has left Fulham in disarray. The fan base is split on whether Slavisa Jokanovic is the correct man to lead us in the premier league. This isn’t an easy time to be a Fulham fan and things could so easily get worse before they get better, but we’ve been in worse positions. Remember the feeling of dread when we were close to becoming a league one team just a few years ago? The feeling of watching us slip down the league table as we couldn’t find a manager to lead us from trouble and had to wait two months to appoint Jokanovic? The feeling last season when we gave Sunderland their first home win in 364 days and left ourselves in 12th place?
Change will come, we just need to be patient.
27/10/18 – Fulham 0-3 Bournemouth
20/10/18 – Cardiff City 4-2 Fulham
07/10/18 – Fulham 1-5 Arsenal
Player of the Month
André Schürrle: one of the only players who hasn’t been completely off the pace this month. Chipped in with two great goals in the three games and always had a bit of flair about his game. Sessegnon was also in contention for the award but debatably has only looked better as others have looked worse.
Top Fulham Player Stats (Premier League)
|M. Le Marchand||239|
|M. Le Marchand||188|
|M. Le Marchand||139|
|M. Le Marchand||2|
Most Shots On Target
|M. Le Marchand||7|
Most Aerial battles won
|M. Le Marchand||6|
|M. Le Marchand||4|
FPL Highest Scorer (% of FPL Selections)
|A. Schürrle||15 (6%)|
|R. Sessegnon||12 (2.9%)|
|A. Mitrović||8 (25.5%)|
|J. Seri||8 (3.2%)|
|L. Vietto||5 (0.8%)|
Rating for the month – 1/10
No beating around the bush here, this has been a dreadful month. Any repeats of these sorts of performances consecutively and it’s going to be a very long season for us.
01/11/18 – Manchester City 3-0 Fulham (7.45pm, EFL Cup)
05/11/18 – Huddersfield Town 1-1 Fulham (8pm)
11/11/18 – Liverpool 4-1 Fulham (12pm)
24/11/18 – Fulham 1-1 Southampton (3pm)
Both the Huddersfield and the Southampton game scream out ‘whichever team is the least poor will win’. Those two games are games we must win if we are looking to remain in the premier league, and at the moment, I really can’t see us having the strong defensive performance required to win in them.
The Liverpool and Manchester City games, on the other hand, will show us the difference in class between the top 4 and the rest. I think we’ll be lucky to get even 1 goal against Liverpool and if we defend half as badly as we did in the month of October then Liverpool could be looking much higher than a 4 goal haul.
Stats were sourced using whoscored.com.