Fulham failing to find solutions as their tough start continues

Fulham can’t buy a win right now.

The 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa – a rejuvenated Villa from the side that escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth – was very much deserved.

So, what did we learn from Whites latest setback?

Watkins could have been ideal

Fulham didn’t go all out for Ollie Watkins when he was potentially available in the summer.

The obvious question is: why?

Manager Scott Parker said he was an admirer of the former Brentford man, but he left for Aston Villa.

He’s exactly the sort of player Whites need right now: incisive; brave, and more than capable of successfully running at defences. Note the word, ‘successfully’.

Fulham run at defences, but those brick walls keep on rearing up.

Back three isn’t the answer

That didn’t quite go to plan, did it?

It was six and two threes whether the switch to an orthodox back four was on the cards before Kenny Tete had to go off with an injury.

A three at back meant space on the wings, and Villa exploited it twice down the Fulham right before anyone had a sweat on.

A bit of zip, please

…the sort Villa seemed to manage when they got in the final third. Ping! Ping! Ping! All one touch: all fast.

Chucking up hopeful crosses to one well shackled Aleksandar Mitrovic has the cutting edge of a sustainable wooden fork.

Have a look again at the 65th minute

That particular bit where Ivan Cavaleiro received the ball inside from the right – should have spun to his left and gone for goal, but instead faced right – and stuck the ball back whence it had come: the easy option.

Danger over for Villa.

Seconds later the ball was up the other end, and those wide-open spaces called the Fulham right saw Jack Grealish spurn a golden chance for 4-0.

As the ball swung across, Abou Kamara decided it was better to hold up his hand appealing for offside than bust a gut to get back in defence.

It summed up Fulham at the moment.

No cutting edge – and no defensive savvy

If it wasn’t for bad luck, Fulham would have no luck at all

Even when they stuck the ball in the net, Decodova-Reid’s effort was chalked off.

Mitrovic’s ‘foul’ in the box could have gone either way.

You win some, you lose three on the bounce and concede 10 while doing it.

But there were good bits…

One minute, Andre-Frank Anguissa was out to pasture – a certainty to leave before the transfer window closed. The next he was arguably the best player in Fulham white.

His control and attempt to bypass the Villa defence, often singlehandedly, was commendable.

Arguably, because Joe Bryan looked sharp and determined. Both offered a glimmer of hope.