Fulham’s Premier League return is rapidly turning right into a catastrophe

It did not take lengthy for Twitter to swing into motion within the wake of Fulham‘s 3-Zero loss to Aston Villa.

There was one other viral mash-up through which the phrases of supervisor Scott Parker had been set to a tune by The Streets.

However extra considerably, there was a unprecedented intervention by Fulham co-owner Tony Khan on the membership’s efforts within the switch market.

So what is going on on at a membership whose return to the Premier League has began badly to say the least?

It was an evening to neglect for Fulham as they misplaced a 3rd straight recreation on their top-flight return

Manager Scott Parker looks dismayed on the sidelines at another shambolic defensive display

Supervisor Scott Parker appears dismayed on the sidelines at one other shambolic defensive show

What did Tony Khan should say?

Inside minutes of the ultimate whistle, Khan, the son of Fulham proprietor Shahid, tweeted an apology to followers for the dismal efficiency.

He then added that the membership had been attempting to strengthen a defence that has now conceded 10 objectives of their first three Premier League video games.

Khan stated two centre again targets had contracted Covid-19, a deal to herald one other on a free had fallen via and there was ‘one other concern’ with a fourth set of negotiations.

Khan then promised there can be signings within the ultimate week of the switch window in addition to ‘higher efforts from this squad.’

Fulham owner Tony Khan has issued an apology on Twitter after the club's latest heavy defeat

Fulham proprietor Tony Khan has issued an apology on Twitter after the membership’s newest heavy defeat

Khan took to Twitter to apologise and promise new signings within minutes of the defeat

Khan took to Twitter to apologise and promise new signings inside minutes of the defeat

He later posted a second message apologising once more and emphasising there can be enhancements.

Within the meantime, Khan responded to a few replies from Fulham followers to his unique tweet.

He shut down one suggestion that Fulham take new Chelsea signing Malang Sarr on mortgage, saying Premier League guidelines prohibited it.

Khan additionally hinted that talks over at the least one of many (unnamed) gamers affected by Covid weren’t essentially over.

No matter, time is quick ebbing away for Fulham to make the mandatory enhancements on the again.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney look dejected during a disappointing night for Fulham

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney look dejected throughout a disappointing evening for Fulham

How did Parker react to the feedback?

Properly, Khan’s intervention was actually surprising and will be interpreted as a transfer to rapidly quell a few of the fan criticism that adopted such a poor efficiency.

He clearly wished to point out efforts have and are being made to kind issues out on the again.

Parker actually will not flip down some new recruits in defence and it’s extremely clear that Fulham want them.

However he stopped wanting saying that Khan’s phrases had been useful.

Parker looks on ruefully as his Fulham team collapsed to a 3-0 loss to Aston Villa on Monday

Parker appears on ruefully as his Fulham staff collapsed to a 3-Zero loss to Aston Villa on Monday

Fulham summer time window arrivals 

Anthony Knockaert (Brighton, £10.5m)

Harrison Reed (Southampton, £5.85m)

Kenny Tete (Lyon, £2.9m)

Antonee Robinson (Wigan, £1.9m)

Ola Aina (Torino, mortgage)

Mario Lemina (Southampton, mortgage)

Alphonse Areola (PSG, mortgage) 

‘Tony’s the (co-)proprietor of the soccer membership, and he’s a director of soccer and clearly he feels it is his accountability and it’s by way of bringing gamers in, in order that’s clearly the place it’s,’ Parker stated.

‘Useful? Yeah, I am unsure. However that is as much as Tony, actually.’

Parker went additional in one other press convention on Tuesday, saying: ‘It is not one thing I agree with it, it isn’t one thing that’s useful. 

‘The one factor I am upset with is that he apologised for the efficiency. The opposite bits, it’s what it’s.’

There had been information earlier on Monday that Fulham’s transfer for Sassuolo’s Brazilian centre again Marlon had fallen via after a failed medical.

However when requested particularly about Marlon, Parker stated: ‘Truthfully, I would not know. I feel the individuals within the locations to be on the soccer membership make these choices.’

So it confirms Khan and his staff are nonetheless very a lot in command of recruitment technique with minimal enter from Parker.

With more and more disgruntled Fulham followers figuring out this already, it maybe explains Khan’s rush to apologise.

So Fulham have not signed any defensive gamers this summer time?

That is not strictly true as they’ve introduced in the correct again Kenny Tete from Lyon and left again Antonee Robinson from Wigan.

However as their stunning efficiency towards Villa confirmed, the obtrusive weak spot that must be urgently addressed is at centre again.

Denis Odoi allowed Jack Grealish to run between him and Michael Hector to open the scoring for Villa after simply 4 minutes.

Odoi did not cowl himself in glory for Villa’s second, both, as Conor Hourihane was allowed a close-range end.

John McGinn clipped a lovely pass onto the run of Jack Grealish for the opening goal

 John McGinn clipped a beautiful cross onto the run of Jack Grealish for the opening objective

The visitors doubled their advantage in the 15th minute with Conor Hourihane's tidy finish

The guests doubled their benefit within the 15th minute with Conor Hourihane’s tidy end

Conor Hourihane's free-kick from the left was poked into an open net by Tyrone Mings

Conor Hourihane’s free-kick from the left was poked into an open internet by Tyrone Mings

And their third, simply after half-time, was a dismal failure of the offside entice as Tyrone Mings ran via to poke house a free-kick.

That is hardly an remoted incident. Fulham misplaced 3-Zero to Arsenal on the opening day and shipped 4 at Leeds United final weekend.

We might solely be three video games in however Fulham are already backside of the desk and one bookmaker is already paying out on them to be relegated.

So there are echoes of their final Premier League season?

Completely. It was a defensive frailties primarily guilty for Fulham’s relegation in 2018-19. They conceded 81 objectives – essentially the most within the division.

Odoi and Tim Ream performed nearly all of video games then so little has modified.

You merely do not get away with the type of lapses in defensive focus that may go unpunished within the Championship.

Within the Monday Evening Soccer studio, Jamie Carragher didn’t hold back in his criticism of Khan and Fulham. 

There have been reminders of Fulham's last Premier League season in their first three games

There have been reminders of Fulham’s final Premier League season of their first three video games

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher slammed frail Fulham and club owner Tony Khan

Sky Sports activities pundit Jamie Carragher slammed frail Fulham and membership proprietor Tony Khan

‘It by no means works, it at all times results in tears,’ Carragher stated. 

‘He is a clown, getting concerned with that. Simply shut your mouth, get on with it, maintain your head down. 

‘I am extra sure of Fulham taking place than Liverpool successful the league. What we noticed there was truly unbelievable.’ 

In addition to setting himself up for criticism come the top of the window subsequent week, Khan’s tweets have solely alerted promoting golf equipment to Fulham’s desperation which means they’re extra more likely to cost a premium. 

What has Parker finished to attempt to remedy the issue?

Fulham’s supervisor did attempt a tactical tweak on Monday evening.

Of their opening two league video games of the season, Parker went with the 4-2-3-1 formation used in the direction of the top of their promotion-winning marketing campaign.

Towards Arsenal, Ream and Hector performed at centre again with Odoi on the correct aspect. Towards Leeds, Odoi partnered Hector within the center with new arrival Tete at proper again.

For the Villa recreation, Parker switched to a 3-4-Three system with Odoi, Hector and Ream on the again plus wing backs Joe Bryan on the left and Tete on the correct.

Michael Hector (right) gets a shove from Villa's Ezri Konsa in Monday night's match

Michael Hector (proper) will get a shove from Villa’s Ezri Konsa in Monday evening’s match

Sadly, the staff appeared baffled with Villa capable of kill the competition inside the primary 15 minutes and midfielders Tom Cairney and Frank Anguissa so consumed with defensive accountability they could not do something going ahead.

It was actually clear {that a} extra secure defensive basis is required earlier than Parker tries the set-up once more.

Is there any mitigation?

Sure, a lot. It was at all times going to be troublesome for Fulham given the tight 39-day turnaround between their play-off ultimate win over Brentford and their Premier League opener towards Arsenal.

After giving the gamers some down time, Parker solely had a few weeks on the coaching floor to get throughout his concepts for the difficult season forward. There was solely time for one pre-season match.

So it may take slightly little bit of time for them to readjust to life within the Premier League however given the defeats up to now, issues might rapidly turn into slightly demoralising as they did two years in the past.

There’s additionally the monetary impression of the Covid-19 pandemic that’s preserving crowds away from stadiums and wiping out matchday income.

Craven Cottage is not the largest stadium however the windfall that often comes from promotion to the Premier League will not be as large this season as up to now.

Fulham's play-off final win over Brentford was on August 4 - their first Premier League fixture was only 39 days later on September 12

Fulham’s play-off ultimate win over Brentford was on August 4 – their first Premier League fixture was solely 39 days afterward September 12

What are Fulham’s ambitions although?

That is an attention-grabbing one. The final time they received promotion, Khan spent large in an effort to compete.

Over £100million was paid out for the likes of Anguissa, Alfie Mawson, Jean Michael Seri and a everlasting deal for Aleksandar Mitrovic.

It was a catastrophe. Neither Slavisa Jokanovic nor Claudio Ranieri might match these sq. pegs into spherical holes. By the point Parker got here in as caretaker boss, relegation was a certainty.

Can Fulham flip it round? 

Premier League except said

Thursday Brentford (A)

Carabao Cup fourth spherical

Sunday Wolves (A)

October 17 Sheffield United (A)

October 24 Crystal Palace (H)

October 31 West Brom (H)

Fixture dates topic to alter

Having realized a lesson and with Covid squeezing the finances, Fulham have been extra cautious this time.

There’s been an outlay of solely £25m up to now with the everlasting signing of Anthony Knockaert from Brighton for £10.5m the largest spend.

That might effectively change if Fulham can get these defensive targets over the road this week however the expenditure can be nowhere close to 2018 ranges.

However the instance of Norwich final season suggests being prudent within the switch market does not make you aggressive within the Premier League.

Fulham, like Norwich and West Brom, appear destined to be a yo-yo membership. Too good for the Championship however not ok for the highest tier.

That appears ok for the house owners, although. One Fulham fan replied to Khan saying: ‘Our followers love this membership dearly but you appear pleased to allow us to turn into a yo-yo membership for monetary beneficial properties.’

To which Khan replied: ‘Whereas completely nothing I can say would make up for tonight’s efficiency, frankly we might’ve completely killed to be a yo-yo membership after I took it over after ending 20th within the Championship.’

Khan's reply about being happy to be a yo-yo club will have alarmed some Fulham fans

Khan’s reply about being pleased to be a yo-yo membership can have alarmed some Fulham followers

Whereas no one is denying Fulham’s progress because the low of that season, let’s additionally not neglect they turned a Premier League mainstay between 2001 and 2014, and reached a European ultimate 10 years in the past.

After a Carabao Cup go to to west London rivals Brentford on Thursday, Fulham do have a run of video games towards Wolves, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and West Brom that may – certainly should – yield some factors.

The speedy focus should be on the defence, nevertheless.

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