It was supposed to be straight forward. English Championship League contenders Fulham FC were supposed to steamroll bottom side Stoke City. However an unlikely 2-0 defeat to the Potters has left Fulham fans fuming and Coach Scott Parker wondering just what happened this past Saturday, October 19th.
A lot of criticism has trailed Fulham after this past weekend’s defeat. A section of the fans were critical of the tactics Coach Parker deployed on the day. The away team were set up in a 3-4-3 formation with Ivan Caveleiro and Anthony Knockaert playing as wingbacks either of a three-man defence. This attacking move on the part of the Fulham manager was criticized because many felt this played into the hands of the opposition and underestimated how dangerous they could be on the day.
Unfortunately for the Cottagers, this apprehension came to pass in the 16th minute when the home side took the lead through Tyrese Campbell. Fulham responded with relentless attacks of their own. Spurring a host of guilt edge chances with Strikers Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bobby Dercodova-Reid most responsible.
Despite dominating with over 75% possession, the West Londoners couldn’t make their advantage count as they conceded again in the 80th minute after giving away a penalty. The spot-kick had been awarded when Fulham Goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli brought down opposing forward Scott Hogan. Stoke striker Lee Gregory converted the resulting penalty to hand the home team an unlikely win. This was the home side’s second win on the bounce lifting them off the foot of the table to 23rd place.
This was Fulham’s third defeat of the season and leaves them down in 10th place 6 points adrift of league leaders West Bromwich Albion FC. The bitter pill of this loss has cast doubts on Coach Parker’s managerial ability with calls from some quarters for him to be replaced with ex-Manager Slavisa Jokanovic and former Premier League Manager Chris Houghton.
Coach Parker will be feeling the pressure in the next game when his side faces Luton Town FC in a Wednesday midweek fixture. Only a home victory will be enough to starve off his doubters and keep his job safe. At least for now!
Fulham are priced at 1.48 to get the must-win victory over Luton town, while Luton are available at 6.56.