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Lack of Defensive Cover

What can we learn from Norwich?

Ryan Sessegnon v Norwich 08-05-17

Fulham struggled to keep Norwich from pushing forward on the left wing and left many wondering if Ryan Sessegnon is able to build upon his success from last year. Dan at made excellent points about Sessegnon’s play working hard to make up for the lack of coverage left by Neeskens Kebano.

Ryan Sessegnon heat map v Norwich
Neeskens Kebano heat map v Norwich

As can be seen, Sessegnon spent most of his time at midfield playing the high line in addition to getting forward to bolster Fulham’s attack. Norwich exploited this three times in the first half and needed help from Tim Ream and Oliver Norwood to protect the left side and their heat maps, combined, display the amount of time spent protecting the goal.

Tim Ream and Oliver Norwood heat map v Norwich

Even though Kebano was not providing the defensive coverage necessary to allow Sessegnon to move forward, he lead Fulham with 8 tackles.

Neeskens Kebano tackles v Norwich

After 63 minutes, Fulham were up a goal and Jokanovic replaced Norwood with Ibrahima Cisse to shore up the defense and take 3 points from another promotion favorite. However, it did not come to fruition as Nelson Oliveira netted a goal from open play in the 88th minute.

Tuesday, Fulham travels to Adams Park to face Wycombe in the EFL Cup. Jokanovic will move players around and rest others for Saturday’s match against Reading. It will be interesting to see who is in the starting 11 on Tuesday and what players are selected to bolster the defensive left side.

Saturday’s draw with Norwich is another reminder Fulham needs to add more depth to the squad and hope more players come into the club before the end of the summer transfer window.