Fulham talking points: Mitro struggling, zonal marking – and who should take penalties?

Fulham suffered heartbreak when they missed a 97th-minute penalty that denied them a deserved point against West Ham.

Ademola Lookman blew it spectacularly when he tried the cheeky chip from the spot that ended up being a pass back to keeper Lucasz Fabianski.

Just before that, Tomas Soucek capitalised on a rare mistake in the Whites defence to slide home the winner.

So, who should take Fulham penalties?

Aleksandr Mitrovic missed one against Sheffield United, and therefore Lookman stepped up to the pressure kick.

He gets an A-plus for shouldering the responsibility, but the kick? Woeful effort, Ade. Re-sit required.

Next up, how about Harrison Reed or Tom Cairney, even if it’s been a while for the captain?

Whoever won’t want to make it a hat-trick of misses so far this season.

Bobby Decordova-Reid’s impact

His boss was singing his praises this week, but the Fulham forward is one of those who has to make good on the few chances coming his way.

On the 70th minute that golden chance came after a wonderful nutmeg on a hapless Hammer, but BDR’s shot didn’t need more than a regulation save from Fabianski.

If you think I’m too hard on BDR, I wasn’t the one who substituted him a few minutes later

Antonee Robinson or Joe Bryan?

One has speed; the other’s pretty nifty from a free-kick.

If you’re a Fulham fan you’ll know who’s who.

For the newly arrived, Robinson looks a steal at a bit over £1m after he joined from hard-up Wigan.

He did a number on anyone trying to outrun him on the West Ham right, and as the coaches tell us, there’s no substitute for speed.

The rest you can coach or develop through experience – but you’ve either got raw pace or you haven’t.

As former Fulham boss Kit Symons said of Ryan Fredericks, now a Hammer, “he can catch pigeons”.

Even so, Bryan has developed into something of a dead-ball specialist.

But over 90 minutes?

You want your defenders to get up and down in the modern game – and you need them to do it quickly.

The case for zonal marking

Fulham defended most of the West Ham set-pieces marking space.

The idea that you’re not running around the box like a headless chicken picking up the man trying to make you look like a mug has the thumbs-up from Scott Parker.

But as devotees of shadow marking say: ‘space never scored a goal’.

Seb Haller nearly ripped up the Whites plan with a header that struck the first-half crossbar.

But otherwise the plan held Hammers at bay – just about.

Big-ups list – and one down

Alphonse Areola has grabbed his chance to make the keeper’s shirt his own with both hands – well, he would, wouldn’t he. He made a string of acrobatic saves to frustrate West Ham.

Cairney was back to his best, and nearly everyone else put in a shift.

But big Mitro? That’s the trouble with being a striker: you score and you’re a hero. You don’t, and the finger points.

There’s no hiding place for the keeper and a club’s main striker. It’s been seven games since Mitro found the net in a white shirt.