Fulham gave it a spirited second-half go against Everton, but still came up short to lose 3-2.
The unpalatable truth is Whites are a soft touch at the back.
The good news is they play with plenty of heart. But it clearly isn’t enough and there are some tough issues for boss Scott Parker to address.
What exactly does Ivan Cavaleiro bring?
You’ll have to take my word I wrote that before his woeful penalty.
What is it with Fulham and those 12 yards?
Yew, even David Beckham and John Terry have kicked the turf rather than the ball at these vital moments, but it’s not very professional is it?
Make sure you’re standing foot doesn’t give way is a given, no?
Even before that, Cavaleiro was a passenger.
In fact, before his shot on the hour straight at Jordan Pickford, I couldn’t remember a productive moment from the Portuguese – not one.
Those early goals are a killer
A colleague mentioned to Scott Parker on Friday that his side have conceded a pile of goals early in each half.
The boss reckoned he would need to check the statistics.
If he wasn’t aware that just fewer than 50% of goals against have been in the first few minutes of each half: here, Scott, is the list of opposition scorers and timings:
Calvert-Lewin (1), Grealish (4), Mings (48), Helder Costa (5), Bamford (50), Lacazette (8), Dos Santos Magalhães (49), Riedewald (8).
Parker can say what he wants, but the early setback has become a mental thing, and how do you deal with that in training?
Fulham’s defence has gone backwards
The hope that replacing Michael Hector and Tim Ream with Tosin Adarabioyo and Joachim Andersen would strengthen centre of defence has gone awry.
Adarabioyo started the rot with a risky cross-field ball and then got his feet muddled for the first Everton goal, after 42 seconds.
Neither defenders were within a postcode of Abdoulaye Doucoure for the third.
As for the Fulham right, it’s like the Ponderosa at times.
Those wide open spaces are just waiting to be plundered, and Everton did their homework.
Ola Aina is caught between a rock and a hard place
Aina was clearly told to push forward. But defensively he looks vulnerable.
In the first half, Andersen was looking for an option, found none to his right, gave away a needless corner and shot Aina a murderous look.
That position is up for grabs when Kenny Tete is fit again.
Joe Bryan or Antonee Robinson at left-back?
No such debate now.
The latter has been an undoubted hit both in his own final third and in the opposition’s.
He has that one thing you can’t coach: speed.
In the Premier League, if you have pace and technique, you’re halfway there.
At £1.3m from Wigan, the United States international is a steal.