Fulham were in cruise control last night in disposing of Sheffield United in one of the finest performances of football we have witnessed since the Jean Tigana era.
In the second half – and allow this long suffering fan his moment of exaggeration – it might have been Barcelona or Manchester City as Fulham completed 20-man passing moves with Sheffield Uinited – no mean opposition, they are just outside the top six – chasing shadows.
The team has matured from last season, even the beginning of this season, particularly our defence superbly marshalled by Tim Ream and the final line of resistance keeper Marcus Bettinelli capable of pulling out match-winning saves as he did to turn Robert Fleck’s drive past the post.
The real difference has been Alex Mitrovic who took his tally up to 5 with two well-taken goals. The way Fulham are set up, we use our pace on the flanks to reach the bye line but this season lacked a striker to convert the crosses. Mitrovic has become that man.
The only player who disappointed me was winger Sheri Ojo whose final ball was too often inadequate.
He is on loan from Liverpool and one theory is that they have insisted he plays. Our coach Slavisia Jokatovic does not seem the type to be dictated to.
Kebano, who has never let us down in the absence of Floyd Ayite, is surely the better selection. Tom Cairney is right back in form. In the second half he dropped deep and gave a masterclass in passing accuracy, lord and master of all he surveyed.
It’s interesting what a coach notices and appreciates and the mere spectator does not. He commented after the game that at one point coach SJ was shouting as the Fulham wingers Ryan Sessegnon and Sheri Ojo who were so wide that they were blocking the runs of full backs Matt Targett and Ryan Fredericks, and a tactical adjustment was made. I did not not notice this at all nor presumably did the two fans behind me who talked throughout the whole game.
Sadly with Cardiff still doggedly winning in the second automatic berth and Aston Villa victorious too Fulham did not move from fourth. Still Villa and Cardiff have 10 more games to play, they have to play Derby, Wolves and Aston Villa and – as for us – we must continue to hope for onwards and upwards.