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The Tanner Report : Everton 3 Fulham 0

We have yet to keep  a clean sheet and this is of concern. There are many explanations for this, the most obvious being we have never played the same back four twice. A consistent back four with two central defenders at its axis is the cornerstone of a successful team.

We had such with the Roger Brown/Tony Gale combo and Brede Hangeland/Aaron Hughes. For all their star forwards and midfielders Manchester United had Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce, Chelsea Carvalho and Jon Terry.

For Everton we played two of the stalwarts of the promotion side Dennis Odoi and Tim Ream at central defence.

Back came Joe Bryan at full back.

Schurrle and Vietto missed good chances, Ryan Sessegnon’s shot hit the bar.

Defenders have arrived with solid reputations like Richard Stearman, Sigurdsson and now Alfie Mawson, the last two being internationals, but do not seem to bring their form with them, maybe they find it uncomfortable to adapt to passing the ball out of defence as our coach insists.

We have had injuries too, notably to Tim Ream and Tim Fosu-Mensah sustained a dislocated shoulder on Saturday.

We need to close a game out and stop conceding late or else it will be a long and hard season.

I still think there are teams that will struggle more than us – Cardiff and Huddersfield spring to mind. Aside from Viettto who has yet to open his account Mitrovic, Schurrle and Sessegnon will all score. The Academy is proving a rich source of talent with bright new prospects emerging every season. We have a Chairman prepared to spend. We have good football values and are always worth watching.

For a club like Fulham the Caribou Cup offer us fans the possibility of another return to Wembley so I was disappointed that we drew Manchester City away in the next round of 16.

Like all Premier teams, City will not play their best team but their reserve team is way better than ours. I would have preferred Blackpool at home.

Cup football is devalued  these days as few Premier ties field their best teams and really respect the traditions of the FA Cup. I am old enough to remember when the Cup Final was the most important  event of the sporting calendar, one of the rare live games and a must-watch in May.

Alan Tanner
About Alan Tanner

After a distinguished military service in the Catering Corps, Alan Tanner did well in mufti with his chamois as a window cleaner. Sadly he had to retire after falling from the fifth floor of Danny Murphy's mock Tudor home. He spends his retirement watching and writing about his beloved Fulham whom he has supported for over 50 years. The Alan Tanner Report is sponsored by Tanner Crystal Clear Ltd, Window Cleaners to the Gentry. More Posts