Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nodding Off: Fulham 1 - Liverpool 0

Correspondent Ed Preparing Game Notes on Monday's Contest
photo by russelljsmithvia PhotoRee

Andy Carroll got the nod alongside Luis Suarez on Monday, as Liverpool traveled to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.  Or maybe it's better to say Carroll caused a nod on Monday.  As in, I just about nodded off while watching him play. And King Kenny didn't look so happy with his charge, either. Carroll looks totally out of synch with his Liverpool teammates on offense -- they're trying to play a high tempo, quick movement game, and he's just not quick or good enough to keep up.

Meanwhile, Fulham's strike corps is not in a much better state: Bobby Zamora is a striker who generally personifies the attitude that if one touch in the box is good, three must be even better.

Fulham's attack looked labored at best, and stuck in the mud at worst. They had no movement or rhythm at all to their play until after Jay Spearing was red carded, and created very few real chances in the first 75+ minutes on Monday night playing in front of their home crowd. I'm not exactly sure what Martin Jol's new system is, but the Fulham players don't seem to be getting it. At all.

And it's not just on the pitch that Fulham has problems.  Such is the current state of chaos in the Cottagers' locker room that their players were recently given a gag order, told by management not to speak with the media. Lots of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, if you believe the reports....  It's such a strange situation at Craven Cottage: ever since Uncle Woy was wooed away to take the reins at Liverpool West  Brom, Fulham has been on a path straight downward. First, Mark Hughes walked away from the head coaching job FOR NO APPARENT REASON AT ALL, then Martin Jol came in, and has only won 3 games (including Monday night's contest). Fulham now find themselves in a relegation dogfight, and it could be a long year in West London. At least they'll always have their Michael Jackson statue....

Some additional thoughts on a few of the other players involved in Monday's action:

Bryan Ruiz: I've got a little secret to let you in on. In professional football, players generally have their last name on their team shirt, unless they've got a peppy nickname like "Chicharito," or "Nani," or an exotic name like "Xavi."  "Bryan" on the back of your shirt is just not gonna cut it....

The book is out on Luis Suarez. Marvelously talented when he wants to be, the Uruguayan has gotten a rap of late as a diver (not to mention a cheat). And not only have fans across the world noticed, but so too have some EPL referees, who seem to be adopting the following catch phrase when dealing with Suarez: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Full credit to referee Kevin Friend last night for not being sucked into Suarez' little web of lies, and telling him to stay on his feet.

Jordan Henderson looks like he hasn't quite grown into his legs yet. Not that I think the boy is still growing, he just looks awkward running around the pitch, knock kneed and legs akimbo, a bit like Bambi on ice.

And last but not least, the boy from Nagodoches, Texas may not be world class, but he's close, and he'a still by far the best we've got on this side of the Atlantic. Clint Dempsey's late winner gave Fulham all the points, and his sixth goal of the season was well deserved after all the hard work he put in on Monday. It also tied him for fourth in the EPL's leading scorer list this season.  Well done, Deuce.

This is farlieonfootie for December 6.

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