Fulham 1-3 Everton – 10 Point Tactical Analysis

  1. The Blues started the game in a 4-2-3-1 system with Drenthe and Fellaini the key support to Velios – Osman and Rodwell took it in turns to assist down the left flank interchanging for long spells. Fulham opened up in more of a 4-4-2 with Zamora/Johnson up top
  2. Our 3 attacking midfielders were playing quite narrow with Baines providing the real width – often the left sided marauder was  playing ahead of the midfielders as an auxiliary left winger. The Blues at times were holding a back 3 of Distin, Jagielka and Hibbert who tucked inside with Neville in front keeping an eye on Dempsey– see average position chart (below) This was due to Fulham predominantly attacking down the middle of the pitch.
  3. 3.Both sides defended quite deep – Everton to nullify the pace of Johnson and Zamora by reducing the space in behind. Fulham play deep/mostly counter attack and were encouraging us to attack them –  this contributed to there only being just 1 offside in the entire game and thus a lot of room in the middle of the park
  4. The Blues could get away with this approach as Fulham play very narrow and attack through the centre. Their wingers are often inverted and their fullbacks don’t provide great support – it thus gets very tight in the middle of the park – notice in the below chalkboard all our tackles are from the centre with limited Fulham pressure down the flanks
  5. The display of Drenthe was one of a true match-winner. In the preview we optimistically predicted he might start right wing and his inclusion was rewarded instantly. Good pressure from Fellaini followed by some slick passing enabled Drenthe to take possession of the ball and strike a truly superb goal. Drenthe posted a sublime 95% pass completion and was heavily involved in all Everton’s enterprising play.  He also had 2 shots on target, 2 successful dribbles and created 2 chances for teammates.
  6. Fulham changed things around just after the hour mark, Ruiz replacing Murphy and Jol switched to 4-1-4-1, with Andy Johnson shifted wide right and Ruiz and Moussa Dembélé in behind Zamora.
  7. Rodwell was one of our top perfomers  – as well as the goal and assist, he posted 90% pass compeltion – bettered only be Drenthe.
  8. A key facet to our play is set pieces. Arteta and Pienaar were masters at winning freekicks in or around the opponent’s 18 yard line.  Drenthe has this ability in his locker too. He was the most fouled player on the pitch – upended 8 times – and the chalkboard (left) shows many of them were in dangerous areas (circled in orange) which Baines could exploit.
  9.  Fulham pinned us back for lengthy spells and will feel hard done by a 1-3 reverse. The game ulitmately turned on a moment of madness from current Fulham striker Zamora missing an absolute sitter – closely followed by a moment of inspiration from ex Fulham forward Louis Saha at the other end.
  10. The Blues have one of the fittest sides in the divison – last season we scored the highest amount of our goals (27 % ) in the last 15 minutes – this season the Blues have recorded a staggering 60% of their goals in the last fifteen minutes of games. This win was crucial given recent results and the Chelsea/Man Utd double header this week. 

2 thoughts on “Fulham 1-3 Everton – 10 Point Tactical Analysis

  1. Insightful and interesting as always. I’ve started to look forward to your reviews and previews. Hats off for the Drenthe on the right shout. Maybe Moyes is a fan too?

  2. has anybody noticed how many ‘long range’ goals we have conceded due to Hibbert being too central and not being able to get out to close down the opponent’s left wing player in time before he gets the shot (or lob) off!? DM needs to sort this as if I have noticed it then for sure PL managers have also!!

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