Fulham played yesterday against Everton at Goodison Park. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by how well Fulham played. They had 9 changes to the lineup. Roy Hodgson decided to rest many players. The players that played in their place deserve some praise. They battled and were in this game to the end. They deserved a better result than a last minute 2 - 1 defeat. Let's see if my "keys" have any clues into the loss. Below is the "analysis of my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Everton."
1. With Bobby Zamora out where will the goals come from? I was surprised where the goal came from. Erik Nelvand scored on a mistake by Baines and drilled a shot past Howard. I thought he was great yesterday. Also, I was thinking that maybe Clint Dempsey would have some opportunities. He did have a couple of great chances to score. Stefano Okaka has the chance of the game. Unfortunately, he did not score on his great attempt. Fulham created more chances than I perceived they would be able to. The problem was they couldn't convert on most of these chances.
Stefano Okaka needs to be a force at striker if he plays. Okaka did play the entire match. His performance was mixed. He did float a nice pass to Clint Dempsey that led to a great chance to score. However, he had an incredible chance to score and did not convert. It seemed he shot too early. The save by Howard turned out to be routine. He is a physical force out there, but was not consistent enough yesterday overall. He needs more time to play in my opinion.
3. Fulham need to control the midfield. All four midfielders were good yesterday for Everton. Tim Cahill made an impact in this match as usual. To my surprise Fulham's midfield battled the entire match. Digkacoi and Greening at times were effective. They had a hard match-up and they definitely came to play. Everton's midfield controlled the midfield , but Fulham never gave up and hung in there. They deserve some credit.
4. Mark Schwarzer needs to have another incredible match. Mark Schwarzer unfortunately was not his usual stellar self. The first goal he gave up it looked like he was slow to react. He also had a few other shaky moments. He was good yesterday, but just not incredible.
5. How many players will Roy Hodgson be resting tomorrow? Roy Hogdson rested many players yesterday. I actually agree with the decision. Thursday's game is much more important. However, the players that played did a great job. If Fulham had there full complimentary of players the result might have been different. In the end, I am fine with the effort from the team yesterday.
In concluding, I don't like to lose. I especially don't like to lose in the last minute. I think all of they "keys" had a role in the loss yesterday. This game for some reason doesn't bother me that much. The team gave everything they had yesterday. That is all I can ask as a fan of my club. Now, it is time to start looking forward to Thursday Night!