Fulham are without a win in three Championship games ahead of the weekend trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
Scott Parker’s side started the season as favourites for promotion due to their hugely talented squad and you can understand why. With the likes of Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Aleksandar Mitrovic operating in the final third, they are the envy of many in the league.
Yet, after seven games, the Cottagers are sitting in 11th and have won just two of their league fixtures in this campaign. Clearly, that’s not good enough.
And, the 1-1 draw against West Brom last time out perfectly encapsulated their mixed start to the season.
Firstly, there are undoubted positives. They dominated possession against a good Albion team and there was a nice balance to the team in the way they moved around and the attacking trio looked dangerous – as you would expect.
However, for all their good play, the only goal they scored against the Baggies came courtesy of a cross by Knockaert that deceived keeper Sam Johnstone.
That was the first issues with Parker’s side, they just weren’t clinical enough despite the talent they have.
Even though 11 goals in seven games is a respectable return, four of those came against Millwall and they only have three in their last three.
Opponents are facing Fulham with the same game plan, to sit deep, contain and break at speed and it’s becoming a slight issue in the way they struggle to break them down.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the team should be able to blow most away, the quality in the final third, backed up by the classy Tom Cairney in midfield, is arguably the best we have seen at this level on paper for some time.
Another more alarming problem is that they just aren’t keeping enough clean sheets.
The Londoners are regularly controlling possession but they are lacking game management right now and are making silly mistakes. On Saturday, it was conceding from a ball into the box and there is a real soft aspect to this team.
There needs to be more fight to keep the ball out and there needs to be more control and intelligence in how they try and see games out.
Of course, the manager needs to take responsibility for that and his substitutions will be questioned as he can often appear to be reactive as opposed to proactive when it comes to changing the dynamics of a game.
Ultimately, Fulham have a squad that should be more than good enough to finish in the top two but they are showing worrying traits right now that need to be addressed quickly before they give themselves too much to do.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.