This isn’t a game I care to recap, so here’s a collection of quick thoughts.
- This was probably Michael Madl’s worse game in a Fulham shirt. Even if you ignore the penalty and the second yellow, he was caught out of position a few times and maybe could have been called for a penalty earlier.
- I think Slavisa was surprised by the way Birmingham came out. They’re usually a much slower paced bunker and counter team. This time however, they came out wanting to play the game at a super fast pace and Fulham were sucked into it. This required Slavisa to make an early sub to bring on Jozabed for Stefan Johansen. After Birmingham scored, the game settled down more to what I believe Jokanovic and myself thought it would be, but with only 10 men, it was always going to be hard for Fulham to come back.
- McDonald had an average game in the midfield, but actually played very well at center back. The way he proved he could play there gives Fulham some interesting late game options for the future.
- David Button needs to be better with the ball at his feet. Having a goal keeper who can do things with the ball that way is great, but he shouldn’t try to do things he can’t.
- I thought the ref was pretty poor. The Michael Madl penalty was questionable (the shove earlier was probably a more clear penalty). I felt giving him a yellow for the play was extra harsh. He later missed two clear fouls committed against Denis Odoi. One led to a Birmingham fast break, the other was a boot to the head that should have been a yellow.
- I felt Scott Malone played a very good game. When Ryan Fredericks went down, I was very worried about the fullback depth, but I’m really not anymore.
- What would the game have been like if Tom Cairney’s early chance hadn’t been saved?
Fulham had to be beaten at some point, and this isn’t the way I’d want it to happen, but there are 6 more games in the next 20 days, The real question is what Fulham do on Tuesday. How they recover will say more than this game ever could.