Fulham succumbed to their biggest defeat of the season at the weekend, losing 3-0 at home to Hull City in the Championship.
A first-ever senior goal for Josh Bowler have Hull a first-half lead, with goals from Jarrod Bowen and Tom Eaves in the second giving Grant McCann’s side a fine away win on Saturday.
The defeat at Craven Cottage means Fulham have won just one of their last five games in the Championship, and they’re slowly creeping out of top-six contention – two points separate Fulham in 8th to Bristol City in 6th.
Scott Parker has come under scrutiny at times this season but never so severe as the weekend just gone, and fans are now seeing his management inexperience costing their team.
There’s plenty to ponder for Parker this week and here we take a look at three things we’ve learned about Fulham after the Hull defeat:
Woefully slow at the back
Alfie Mawson was ran ragged by Bowen on Saturday. He played the sweeper role against Hull with Tim Ream attacking the ball, but too often the American couldn’t clear his lines and left Mawson tracking back towards his own goal.
The pair are notoriously slow at the back, and it allowed Hull to have a field day in South West London – Bowen scored his 9th league goal of the season after beating Mawson with the ball.
It was a familiar sight on Saturday, Bowen blazing past Mawson towards the Fulham goal, and it brings to light another problem-area for Parker.
Exposed on the counter
With the way that Fulham play, possession-based football in the opponents half of the field, it leaves them glaringly open to the counter-attack.
Hull are arguably the best in the league at soaking up opponents pressure before punishing them on the counter, and that showed against a high-lined Fulham who tried and failed to implement their philosophy at the weekend.
Fulham played right into Hull’s hands. Parker’s persistence with possession football is commendable to a point, but under what circumstances will be try something anew with Fulham?
Parker too persistent with possession-game?
That being said, for more parts of the game than the scoreline suggested, Fulham played some really nice football.
It could’ve been a high-scoring game for Fulham who through Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ivan Cavaleiro and co. created and wasted a host of goal-scoring opportunities on Saturday.
No doubt is cast over whether Fulham try and play nice football, but it does over Parker’s reading of certain games, and stubbornness to adapt his team to each fixture subjectively.
He might well need to move on from certain ways at Fulham and reshape his team, or at least have a Plan B in place.