MF’s Report: Fulham 0-0 Spurs (FA Cup Quarter Final)

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Craven Cottage - Header

Led by the outstanding Wilson Palacios, Spurs earned a deserved draw at Craven Cottage and so for the third round in a row will need to rely on success in a replay to progress in this year’s FA Cup. In theory a Premier League team needs to only play (and win) six games before they’re bouncing up and down on the Wembley pitch behind a large piece of cardboard advertising the year’s sponsors. We’ve already played six games and we’re not even in the semi-final yet.

Fulham have two midweek games against Juventus pencilled in during the next fortnight so we’re going to have to wait even longer than usual for the replay. That will hopefully give us time to get a few players back and fit, though it’s an opportunity for a few more to get themselves knacked as well which is more likely the way we’re going at the moment.

We played better in this game than we did in the nil-nil on Boxing Day but, as then, despite loads of good possession and getting the ball wide regularly we didn’t create enough chances, or more correctly, any chances. In the first half Kranjcar troubled Schwarzer with a shot from the edge of the area and Crouch made him go down to his left with a header but they were really the only times the keeper had to put down his Fosters. Very late on Bale flashed a low ball across the six yard box from the left and Kranjcar did the same from the right but in general Fulham kept us at range. We didn’t make the most of our corners and free kicks, they’re a big team but surely we should be able to clear the first defender more often than we did?

Hangeland was excellent for them keeping Crouch well under control particularly in the air, Pav was even quieter. Bale played in front of Assou-Ekotto and even though he was beginning most of his runs from a standing start (as opposed to accepting the ball on the run when he’s at full back) he still caused huge problems to the home team and very rarely wasted any possession. He hugged the touchline old school winger style and a buzz of expectation rose from the Spurs end each time he was given the ball. Assou-Ekotto (crossing aside) also played well. After years of the likes of Edinburgh, Tramezzani, Atouba, Taricco we get not one, but two decent left backs at the same time. What are the chances?

Bassong was left to deal with Zamora most of the time. This might’ve been a tactic of Fulham or just Bassong’s bad luck. Physically he was no match for the Fulham forward so he restricted himself to stopping Zamora from turning whilst the midfield and Assou-Ekotto did their best to pick up his lay-offs and knock downs. Not ideal, you’d rather Zamora was given problems actually winning the ball in the first place and if King is fit for the replay hopefully that’ll be the case. The defence did well in not giving away many free kicks and potentially allowing the height of Hangeland and Etuhu to cause problems. Corluka spent as much time forward as he did back but he had one of his days where he just can’t get the treacle off his boots. Harry must long for Walker, Naughton or Adam Smith to come through and provide some zip down that side, when Lennon’s unavailable at least.

There was admirable support from the away fans many of whom had obviously made good use of the pubs on the river in the Putney sunshine during the afternoon. It’s unlikely Fulham fans will come along in such numbers for the return game (God knows why not, it’s only a tube journey away after all) which is a shame for them because though the odds have shifted in our favour we’re still set for a tough match back at WHL.

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. good draw but a few things puzzled me one how come Zamora has turned into a nastier form of Boltons Kevin Davies. He has bulked up and every time a decision went against him or he messed something up he used the F word very strange he should lay of the weights?.Secondly Davies our ex player looks thin and ill looking Roy explains is average players form down to hard work on the training ground for is team weight loss and high Tempo .These words can be heard a lot lately from Stoke Pulis Coyle Bolton and there former manager Megson especially when they are on a good run of form. The two thing stands out with all these teams is the price payed for there players is very low and in most case they have failed to shine at there former clubs . Secondly no matter hoow old these players are the can run allday like Carr Alexander Murphy just to name a few so Roy and these other Managers should tell Harry there secret trainng because if Carr Zamora can play like they are doing we will be world champs. Now thtas of my chest we put in a good draw display but not a winning one Pav got injured and never recovered after and moved gingerly there after. I would have thought Harry would have given Townsend ten mins to gie us more attacking options and what has happened to Bostock he caan deliver a great corner Harry missed a great Chance to bring the next generation through and save us a lot of money and upset stars sitting on our bench well done for a good draw . COYS

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