Fulham's Style Of Play Should Start Paying Off With Victories - Opinion

LONDON ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Clint Dempsey of Fulham celebrates with team mate Eddie Johnson after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Fulham at Boleyn Ground on October 2 2010 in London England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

It is easy to look at all the draws and think something is wrong with Fulham. However, I actually feel the exact opposite right now. I think Fulham are on the verge of breaking out, and stringing together several wins. The main reason I feel this way is definitely the "style of play" Fulham have been showing since Mark Hughes has taken over. 

Under Hughes I have noticed a club that is much more offensive minded than the teams coached by Roy Hodgson. The first proof of this style difference has been the play of Dickson Etuhu. He is much more involved in the offensive play with Fulham this season. Under Roy Hodgson he was mostly used as a defensive central midfielder.

The second proof of this style has been the play of Simon Davies. He has been much more involved this season with trying to create scoring chances.

The third evidence of a more offensive approach this season has to be Fulham's play on the road. Under Roy Hodgson, Fulham seemed to play more for a draw than go for a win away from Craven Cottage. There is no question that under Hughes, Fulham are going for the win when they have played on the road this season.

For example, in Saturday's game on the road against West Ham, Fulham continually pushed forward to get the win at Upton Park. The Cottagers were not sitting back with a lead. They were up 1-0 going into the second half. Fulham came out and immediately created a scoring chance with Clint Dempsey.

Unfortunately, Brede Hangeland made a mistake which eventually led to the West Ham goal. There was plenty of time left in the second half with the scored tied at 1-1. Would Fulham play for the draw? The answer to that question was absolutely not.

Fulham would push forward and create several scoring chances. Clint Dempsey had a one on one chance with Robert Green. Dickson Etuhu also had a header on net that was nicely saved by Robert Green. In stoppage time Diomansy Kamara had a great opportunity to score. His shot just went over the bar.

The reason for pointing out these scoring chances is to demonstrate the different approach to an away game under Hughes for Fulham. The Cottagers wanted all three points from this game. 

Hughes is putting his club in position to win every week. If you play for a draw on the road, you are probably going to drop points. You are not giving yourself a chance to win. 

The current Fulham side have the mentality to push forward and create scoring chances. The more scoring opportunities you create, the better odds you have of actually scoring. Do they leave themselves open to counter-attacks?  I would say Fulham have left themselves vulnerable, but the Cottagers defense is so strong that I think this approach is worth the risk.

Another reason to be optimistic about possible future victories has to be the return of two strikers coming back soon. Moussa Dembele could be back in action shortly after the international break. Andy Johnson is working himself back into shape, and could be in the Fulham lineup in the upcoming weeks.

With Fulham adding weapons to their offensive style of play I have to believe the victories should be coming soon. As Fulham get healthy, and keep playing this style, the Cottagers could be on their way to a successful season. 

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