On Sunday, Wolves were comprehensively outplayed by a superb Fulham side, who probably gave the best performance I’ve seen live this season, and possibly the best performance I’ve seen since Wolves were promoted. Their central midfield of Danny Murphy, Moussa Dembélé and Clint Dempsey ran the game, with the lively Damien Duff and Andy Johnson ably supporting the hat trick hero, Pavel Pogrebnyak. I will have a look at just how dominant their midfield was:
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These stats aren’t quite as explicitly in Fulham’s favour as I was expecting, although Dembélé’s 99 touches of the ball is of no surprise – I thought he ran the game, and was absolutely excellent.
What it does show is how marginalised from the game Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly were, touching the ball just 69 times between them in the 150 minutes they were both on the pitch. Considering the narrowness of Fulham’s formation (Duff held a wide right position, but the only real attacking threat down the left came from the potentially exposed John Arne Riise), it has to be a disappointment that we weren’t able to use the talent down the wings. Riise in particular had no real protection in front of him, and thus it seems a waste that Kightly was only able to get on the ball 28 times.
The stats of Jamie O’Hara and Nenad Milijaš are perhaps encouraging – neither shied away from the ball, and while not everything O’Hara attempted came off, he was at least trying to make something happen. It is also noticeable that Milijaš’ stats are quite similar to those of Danny Murphy’s – it has long frustrated me when Milijaš is played as an attacking midfielder, when he should be utilised in a role that will bring out his talents.