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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Fulham

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Grey and cool in Norwich today and as we strolled up Pottergate the talk was of bogey teams and whether such a thing even exists. Some say no, but I beg to differ as we have often gone decades against certain teams before things change. I recall us having a particular problem with Wolves, once upon a time but against Fulham we have been poor for thirty years.Kicking off towards the Barclay, City were soon buzzing round the visitors penalty area. Oliviera blasted over from too narrow an angle then City won a corner that came to nothing and eventually in the 4th minute Fulham came forward with an attack down the right. There seemed no immediate danger but somehow the home defence contrived to allow Ayite to wriggle through and cut back for Johansen to strike a sweet, low shot into the corner.Not a great start but City began to put some decent possession together in middle field to make us feel that a comeback might be on. Howson poked just wide and then Oliviera almost got on the end of a through ball only for a Fulham foot to sneak the ball away for another corner. Once again the delivery was weak and Fulham almost doubled their lead when a cross from the left beat everybody and Martin had to put it behind.From quite early on the visitors were taking lots of time off the clock with delays over throws and kicks and the crowd were soon getting rightly annoyed. The frustration boiled over at times as niggly fouls from both teams broke up any pattern in the play so it wasn''t much of a spectacle for the purist. Most of City''s attacks foundered upon Fulhams uncompromising defence and time and again good possession was thrown away with a poor final ball or an unwise choice. Both Wes and Alex Pritchard looked shadows of their former selves based on last weeks performance.There was finally a decent delivery from a corner a couple of minutes from the break but just as Klose''s firm header looked goal bound, Bettinelli flew to his right to palm it clear. There was a scramble as City tried to follow up but a looping header landed on the roof of the net. Klose then had to limp off injured as City faced the added time with ten men only for things to completely turn one hundred and eighty degrees as Martin felled Djiks with an elbow and saw a straight red.So with an extra man for 45 minutes I was sorely tempted to exclaim that the bogey might be ending only for disater to strike a minute into the second period. Bennett had come on for the injured close at halftime and inexplicably bundled into the back of a Fulham striker just as a long free kick was sailing harmlessly out of play. Dear oh deary me, we don''t half make it hard for ourselves. Cairney expertly dispatched the penalty and City faced a long road against a team who continued to milk every incident for as long as they could get away with. When Howson poked a clear chance a foot wide I began to sense that it wasn''t our day.City''s play now became very disjointed with Wes unable to buy a pass and everybody else continuing to fritter away possession at every opportunity. The crowd voiced their anger but with Wes replaced by Jerome, play continued to be littered with fouls, yellow cards and time wasting. It was indeed woeful stuff. Prtchard eventually managed to test Bettinelli but there were few signs of a breakthrough. The Murphy''s were swapped and just as we began to lose hope Pinto galloped down the right causing mayhem before Pritchards delightful cross was steered home by Jeromes head.A fifteen minute siege then ensued with corner after corner but the Fulham defence held firm and although Bettinelli was finally booked for blatant time wasting he was barely troubled with anything on target. Fulham might have added to their tally with a smart break and with a couple of minutes left they did, as Ayite dance past defenders as static as traffic cones for the third and killer goal.It was City''s season in minature, looked good at times but dithered to often and couldn''t stop a pig in a passage when on the back foot. Talk about Jeckyl and Hyde, this was from the sublime to the ridiculous in seven days. Somebody has a job on their hands, if they were horses a shotgun might be the kindest answer.MOM?????  Tetty was decent, Djiks and Pinto tried, but as for the rest it was a load of old cack.

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Fair report Ricardo and most depressing all round. Impossible to pick a MOTM out of that team today but there have been very few games where we have dominated the midfield and possession and today was another example. I think we have probably overrated plenty of players on paper this year when the reality is very different. Thought Fulham''s no 10 was very impressive today as was the bald headed guy for Huddersfield both home and away. Sense we will need to change things up next year in all areas but Tettey is perhaps past his best and I think hopefully Louis Thompson might fill his boots next year but perhaps with more drive and energy, as he showed from his brief run in the team.

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Thanks for the report.

Nothing else to add but remember Neil''s excuses after the defeat away at Rotherham? How he and the team hid behind playing away from home with 10 men. Didn''t seem to hurt Fulham today. Infact after going down to 10 they scored 2 to our 1 and still, even a man down moved the ball around much faster and more incisively than our experienced, well paid, expensive team absolutely overloaded to an unnecessary degree with technical, attacking players.

What on earth is the point in persisting with this set up if we don''t even ever dominate possession or create a lot of clear cut chances. You could forgive the naivety of our approach if it at least gave us good attacking football, but it doesn''t and makes us look like a League 1 team while defending.

Ugh, only 6 more games thank christ

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[quote user="Horse Renoir"] Ugh, only 6 more games thank christ[/quote]

Thankfully, only four.[Y]

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Good report Ricardo. I thought Tettey was very good today, but too many others on the beach. Jacob looked v short of confidence, Nelson starved of decent possession.. CJ looked v lively when he came on, but Wes and Pritchard muscled out of it. Balls too slow and little fluidity. Defence? Absolute shambles. Again.

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Ricardo.

Chris Goreham kept telling us that Fulham looked as open as us at the back and that we did get into very useful positions but the delivery was poor.

Obviously, it wouldn''t matter if we had three up front if the delivery was poor. But it did sound as if our sustained moments came when we had two up front.

Could he have put CJ on at the start of the 2nd half?

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Spot on Ricardo , 3 players who didn''t embarrass themselves, Tettey, Djikes and Pinto . Likely that only one of those at best will be with us after the summer .

Shameful display , thank goodness only two more at home ! Any stoutvsole who travels to see us lose between now and the end of the season should get a medal 😳

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[quote user="keelansgrandad"]Ricardo.

Chris Goreham kept telling us that Fulham looked as open as us at the back and that we did get into very useful positions but the delivery was poor.

Obviously, it wouldn''t matter if we had three up front if the delivery was poor. But it did sound as if our sustained moments came when we had two up front.

Could he have put CJ on at the start of the 2nd half?[/quote]Chris Goreham must have been watching a different game. We rarely troubled the Fulham defence despite having good possession up to the 18 yard line. Any cross or pass into the box invariably found a Fulham head or foot. You could say it was poor passing on our part but that would be to detract from good defensive work by the visitors.

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Good movement from our lads early on but chewing gum soon appeared on the boots and we looked bereft of ideas.

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There was a fair element of poor delivery. Corners not beating first man, (at least 3) Murphy not getting crosses in ( and those that did, a lot were not beating the nearest defender, which isn''t always credit to the defender), but as Ricardo says, got in decent territory, but poor passing killed those attacks off. Best cross of our game, produced a goal.

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I thought Fulham defended well and were well disciplined. But we made that easier for them because most of our attacking players just don''t get into the box. Often it''s only Jerome in there. They all seem to want to get the ball 20 yards from goal rather than attack the box to get on the end of anything. An exception to this is Naismith it''s just a shame he''s not more clinical. 

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