Scott Parker’s Fulham lost 3-0 at home to Hull City in the Championship at the weekend, their biggest defeat of the season so far putting the spotlight on the Englishman.
The manner of Saturday’s defeat to Hull City was defining factor behind Fulham fans’ angst. They hosted a side who’ve sprung few surprises in the league this year but after 90-minutes, Hull looked like the ones who should be chasing promotion to the Premier League this season.
Parker’s Fulham played right into the hands of the visitors and paid for it with all three points on the day. His tenure at Craven Cottage has come under the spotlight once again, but never before has been the spotlight been so bright.
In the latest FLW Six-Pointer we ask – How much time should Scott Parker be given at Fulham?
What’s a realistic goal for Fulham this season?
The club were keen on an immediate return to the Premier League but after only a few games of the season, fans quickly realised how far away that goal is.
Realistically, there are at least two teams in the Championship better than Fulham, so automatic promotion is probably off the cards. There’s a host of teams capable of finishing in a play-off spot come May though, and Fulham are one – reaching the play-offs should be Parker’s aim for this season.
Does Parker fit into Fulham’s long-term plans?
The long-term aim for any team below the Premier League is, or should be, to be a top-flight team.
Fulham showed last season that getting there is only half the battle, and that the real challenge lies in staying at the top.
Parker has to rebuild Fulham as not only a promotion-winning team but a Premier League one too, and given his experiences in the league, the board may seem him as an ideal candidate in their long-term outlooks.
Just how bad was the defeat on Saturday?
A defeat is a defeat no matter how you might sugar-coat it. But Fulham on Saturday were undone by three well-taken goals from Hull, and could’ve had plenty of their own on another day.
Certainly, a day to forget for Fulham, but it’s not one to dwell over too much – they played some good football in truth and would’ve left hugely frustrated at the score-line.
Have Fulham showed signs of progression this season?
Parker’s philosophy of possession football, dominance in the opposition’s half of the field, has earned him his critics this season.
As in the weekend defeat, Parker has probably been too persistent with this brand of football but the fact is – they’ve played some really good stuff this season despite not getting all the points they want, and still remain within a win of the top-six.
There are definitely a few positives for Fulham fans to take from this season.
Have fans been unfair on Parker?
Slightly, but you can understand their anger.
It’s easy to forget that this is Parker’s first full-season in football management, let alone his first at the club.
It’s learning curve for both Parker and Fulham and a few slip-ups are to be expected – with the players at his disposal though, and some good use of the transfer market in the summer, many believe Fulham should be higher up the table after this many games.
So, how much time should Parker be given at Fulham?
The ultimate question, and the answer is really down to the individuals making the decisions at Fulham.
One side would say that Parker should be given a couple of seasons at least – the club desperately needed rebuilding after relegation, and the effects of Parker’s work at the club won’t be truly evident for another year or so.
The other would say that Parker’s job hangs on the thread of each game. With so many Premier League players in their side, results desperately need to be better and Fulham should be a side challenging for the title this season – it’s a question of rebuild or results.