Once again we were unable to close a game out and conceded two lateish goals to deprive us of a deserved win. Charlton, who had not won in 7 matches, looked a poor side and after Tunnicliffe and McCormack had put us two up I thought a win inevitable. We are always vulnerable to crosses and one from a corner and a one from open play in the dying embers of the game did for us.
There was much to savour and praise. O’Hara who wrote in for a trial in the summer continued to impress with his long raking passes. Finally we have found someone if not to replace at least to emulate Danny Murphy with the ability to hit a deep pass like a quarter back. Richard Stearman at the heart of the defence is resolute with his blocks and tackles. Ross McCormack took his chance well. Tunniclffe worked hard and poached a goal. The only player I would single out for criticism was Lasse Christensen. It’s sad to say as the young Danish midfielder showed so much potential last season. He didn’t track back and on two occasions took the wrong option. Maybe he should only play centre midfield. Surprisingly then it was not him but Pringle who was subbed and the replacement Garbutt, a defender, seemed rather lost in midfield.
I sometimes wonder if footballers are over-programmed for a match and unable to improvise as the game unfurls and whether a clever player-manager on the field could detect and influence more than one on the side-lines. Yesterday the Charlton keeper Nick Pope had trouble with shots from distance. He scuffed one from O’Hara and then failed to gather a McCormack free kick, Tunnicliffe scoring from the rebound. Yet I did not see that much long shooting when Pope’s confidence and ability were impaired.
Meeting Kit at the dinner last Thursday when he mixed openly and freely to those present confirmed the impression of a truly likeable good man who is desperate to succeed. He has repaired much of the damage that Felix Magath wrought except we are still the wrong end of the table. Until he can improve the organisation, cohesion and concentration of the back 5 Fulham will remain there and his job will be on the line as we now enter sacking season.