Fulham changed out all 11 players, as they traveled across London to take on Leyton Orient in the EFL Cup. When the lineup was posted, it was very exciting.
First, it was apparent that Slavisa wanted to focus on the two away fixtures (Preston and Leeds) coming up Saturday and Tuesday. Instead of throwing out a lineup of true backups, he went with a lot of kids. Four teenagers were in the lineup.
There was literally no downside to this lineup. If they lost, you could say, “They’re just kids.” If they win, you give a huge boost of confidence to your promising youth.
It’s hard to take a lot from just listening to the game. My early impressions:
- Ryan Sessegnon is great going forward, but still needs to work on his defense.
- It was criminal that Dennis Adeniran was given a yellow card for celebrating too excessively. He’s a teenager and it was his first professional goal, the referee needs to have that context in mind.
- Cauley Woodrow just scores. I’m never exactly sure how, and he always surprises me. I didn’t realize he had a shot like his 30 yard howitzer in him. I’m excited to see him get more first team minutes. If there is a criticism of him, he may have just started to try too hard to pick up his hat trick.
- Sean Kavanagh has been much maligned in his time, but he put in a serviceable shift at right back. If he can fill in at three or four positions, he’s worth keeping on the squad.
- Scott Parker, LVC, and Dennis Adeniran dominated the midfield for the first 70 minutes. It may be against a league two side, but that was nice to see.
- Set pieces are still a problem, but for a group that has never played together before, that could be expected.
- Jesse Joronen is still quite young, and expecting him to marshal a defense might be a little too much.
- Fulham gave up too many corners and actually seemed to let off the gas a bit once they went up 3-0.
- Letting Leyton Orient get two goals back is something that shouldn’t happen. I would hope in the future the team spends more time kicking the ball around and killing of the game. Hopefully Slavisa can use this as a teaching moment.
What were your thoughts?