A recap of this game is hard. It was boring and not much happened until it did. This was one of the worst performances Fulham have had this year. The less said about it the better. I do have some thoughts however.
- I was excited to see the return of Michael Madl and Ryan Sessegnon. Scott Malone has played well, but Sessegnon has as well and the upside he has dwarfs what Malone could be.
- That first half was pretty dire. Fulham had the ball but didn’t really do anything with it. Aston Villa tried to attack quickly as soon as they got it, but didn’t really create much danger when they did.
- The second half was more of the same. Fulham had possession, kicked the ball around, and didn’t create much. Aston Villa created more chances, but none were particularly good.
- Trying to play out of the back can be a good strategy, but you have to be better at doing it than Fulham have been. Madl, Sigurdsson, and Button all struggled with this at times; and it led directly to the Aston Villa goal. Button especially does not seem comfortable with the ball at his feet.
- You can’t score if you don’t shoot. Fulham had a lot of the ball, but never seemed to know what to do to actually create a shot. Fulham only managed two shots in the first 90 minutes and just three overall. You won’t win many games that way.
- It wouldn’t shock me to see Marcus Bettinelli in goal sooner rather than later. Button commands his box well, and stops shots well enough, but his problems with distribution and playing the ball with his feet are cascading throughout the entire defense.
- We weren’t going to go unbeaten away from home all year, and we’d over performed away from the Cottage to this point. Regression to the mean was always likely.
- Gentleman Jim thought we deserved a point, but I disagree. Villa wasn’t great, but at least they shot the ball.
- Fulham have a week to regroup and hopefully get Floyd Ayite and Tomas Kallas reintegrated.