Fulham need a playmaker more than they need a finisher this month


Scott Parker, Manager of Fulham.
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Fulham picked up a great result on Wednesday evening, drawing 1-1 away at Tottenham to once again close the gap to Brighton.

Everyone associated with the team has every right to be over the moon with the result against Spurs, a hard-fought draw against a top side on short notice has to be commended.

However, and we can’t believe we’re about to say this. Fulham should have won the game.

Yes, Spurs had their chances, and two incredible saves from Alphonse Areola kept them at bay, but in the second-half, the Whites had the majority of the ball and the better of the chances.

Two occasions really stand out, one was Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s one on one and another was Fulham’s breakaway that almost saw Ademola Lookman put through on goal.

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Now, in usual circumstances, you’d back Lookman and Loftus-Cheek to put those chances away, but the final ball let them down.

Indeed, Aboubakar Kamara simply refused to get his head up to find his open teammate when Lookman was running through, while the winger himself played a pass that was much too heavy for RLC when he should really have put it on a plate for him.

The reality is that Fulham don’t have a finishing problem, they have a creating problem.

If you discount three missed penalties, Fulham are only underperforming their xG by 1.13 this term, and while underperforming in that metric is never ideal, a difference of 1.13 shows that Fulham have pretty much been taking their chances at the rate you would expect them to.

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The problem is that when these chances are created, they’re not of a high quality, and that’s because Fulham don’t have that player who can find a killer pass.

Now, nobody can knock Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa or Harrison Reed in the midfield, they were again unbelievable against Tottenham, but as good as they are at winning and retaining possession, the players around them don’t quite have that cutting edge.

Fulham’s attackers aren’t the worst finishers in the world, Bobby Decordova-Reid has rarely faltered in front of goal this season, Ruben Loftus-Cheek took his chance against Everton earlier this season brilliantly as did Ademola Lookman against Leicester, but the problem is that they’re not carving out these chances often enough.

Fulham don’t need someone who can put the ball in the net, they’ve got plenty of players capable of doing that, they need someone who can find the right pass at the right time to turn the screw on a defence.

Scott Parker’s side largely look good going forward these days, but there is still this one vital component missing.

Tony Khan should be on the lookout for an attacker this month, but they should be able to create just as well as they can finish.

Photo by Craig Mercer – CameraSport via Getty Images
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