The Tuckster’s take on a very dour draw with Fulham…
After a revival of sorts in two draws against Spurs and QPR, this match against Fulham provided a chance to win a home game, the first since Wigan last December.
The buzz around the ground when I got there was that Grant Holt was out with a back injury. Chris Hughton later confirmed that Holt had woken up with his back in spasm and wasn’t close to making it.
Hughton also said he would’ve started with Holt & Becchio – with Pilkington injured as well this seemed a likely option.
However, it wasn’t to be and Becchio started as the lone striker in the familar 4-2-3-1 formation.
The new man found it generally tough going and the chance he had within ten minutes was as good as it got.
Good work by Bennett and Garrido saw Becchio’s first time shot go straight at Schwarzer for a comfortable save.
And that was about it, really. Both sides were out of form and neither seemed to want to take a chance that they might lose the game.
Fulham in particular were quite negative and although Berbatov always found space and made good passes , he didn’t do anything that threatened. The City back four were rarely troubled and Bunn didn’t have a save to make until Sidwell’s 20 yard drive in the 46th(!) minute.
Around the same time the PA announcer tried for the second time that afternoon to tell those in the crowd that like to stand that they should sit down.
As soon as he started speaking he was booed and jeered which resulted in him cutting off before the message was finished with an audible sigh to probably the biggest cheer of the afternoon.
Bennett and Snodgrass ran their hearts out and tried to make something happen but to no avail.
Senderos and Hangeland didn’t give Becchio a look in but he looks as though he’s watched Holt in training and learned how to win a free kick!
On a serious note I was bored to distraction by a very poor game from two nervous, out of form teams.
We missed Holt’s energy and as Hughton pointed out afterwards, we lacked any sort of quality in the final third.
Trying to look at it positively, we didn’t lose and we have another point but Fulham were a team we should’ve beaten, in my opinion. But as I say, I try to be positive and a point is a point.
Unfortunately, wins for Southampton and Villa have done us a little damage in our lead over the bottom teams.
It should be pointed out as well that Fulham have a very experienced Premier League team and were stubborn in making it tough for us.
Another positive though was the late introduction of Kei Kamara which brought a huge cheer from the crowd.
He was full of running and looked lively but lack of time as well as his transatlantic journey meant he struggled to make too much impact, but he looked promising.
We now have a two week gap to rest and get back on the training field, as well as getting Holt back to fitness.
With the visit of Everton on the horizon, we shall have to be an awful lot better than we were here to get anything out of the toffee men.