Blues went down at home to Fulham, with Andy Munro watching.
If ever there was a bogey team then F ulham are just that, with a semi-final defeat and relegation scraps some of the many lowlights in Blues fixtures against the Cottagers.
This time, in my view, we were ‘out footballed’ on the day and much of this was because we were pressed out of our comfort zone by a team who play purist football of the sort, in fairness, we are still in the earlier stages of producing.
However, the difference is that they have the sort of pace in their team that we have been lacking and were able to break quickly whilst our build up was rather laboured at times simply because our starting line-up lacked penetration in the final third.
Fans may claim (to some but not complete justification) that it was all Lee Camp’s fault for dropping the ball under pressure, while Pep can complain there was a foul on Roberts. Yet apart from a very bright first half hour by the Blues, Fulham bossed the game until we made some belated subs.
It didn’t help that Roberts was at his clumsy worst and the midfield didn’t function with its usual smoothness, Bellingham and Villablanca definitely not them selves. Meanwhile, the Juke worked tirelessly but fruitlessly up front with little support other than the occasional spark from Mrabti.
It’s just a shame that the subs weren’t made earlier with the elusive Montero and the pacy Bela lighting up the scene, waking the crowd out of their depression. This also started to give the Juke the service on which he thrives and only the woodwork prevented him getting a just-about deserved equaliser.
It will be interesting to see what happens in terms of team selection in our next two games away from home. Let’s hope that Pep goes for pace on the break and causes the opposition the discomfort and uncertainty that Fulham never had to experience until the last twenty minutes.