Ben Jarman assesses Fulham’s defeat on the coast to Bournemouth.
Hello and welcome to another Canadian Edition of the Fulhamish player ratings. Spring has finally sprung in Vancouver, and the 7am wake-up was met with blue skies and a crisp breeze. It was time to settle down for the return to club football after the international break, and there was a huge chance to walk away from the Vitality with three points.
Fulham seem to have hit the 39 point mark and plateaued, winless in four and after the Old Trafford debacle, searching for something for the rest of the season. They would be without the talismanic Mitrovic and the newly-revitalised Willian, as Carlos Vinicius lead the line flanked by Bobby Decordova-Reid and Manor Solomon.
Ultimately, this game with defined by a moment of pure chaos as Dominic Solanke bundled the ball home, but the real moment of magic came from Marcus Tavernier whose exquisite strike will surely be a goal of the season contender. To the ratings then…
Solid as ever from the German, who earned a well-deserved recall for his national team this past break. It is still baffling that Fulham managed to secure his services for next to nothing. Distribution was good, and has a clear understanding with Diop and Ream. Excited to have Leno for years to come. Could have done better for the second goal. 6.5/10
Antonee RobinsonEmbed from Getty Images
A hit-n-miss game from Robinson, you might say. In the first half he caused problems and was a key influence in Fulham starting the game on top, the second half was almost a different game. His thunderbolt strike from the edge of the box came crashing off the bar, leaving Neto stranded. Often left Ream exposed in the channel and final ball lacked somewhat. His hesitation when clearing the ball was a direct contributor to the second goal. As they used to say in Sunday League: “if in doubt, get it out”. 6/10
Solid as ever from Tim in possession, but did not hit his usual heights after a solid international showing with the USMNT. Found himself one-on-one with Solanke, which allowed for Bournemouth to capitalise on the spoils and space. One criticism could be aimed at his passing, which wasn’t as progressive as usual. 6/10
Diop is a player that I like, in theory. However, there are still a few things that I am to be convinced by – namely, how untidy he can look in possession and his decision making. That being said, he dealt with the threat of Solanke in the first half, and did try to force the issue with longer passes into the channels and switching play. 6/10
Kung-Fu Kenny is having a wonderful year, and has been the image of consistency for the Whites. Yet again the flying Dutchman was crunching into tackles, linking up with Bobby and trying to force the issue with balls into the box. Kept his winger in check for the most part, too. 7/10
It is incredibly difficult to write this about Joao considering how incredible he has been this season, but today was not his best game. Although absolutely not helped by Andreas’ lack of defensive output today, Palhinha did seem a little off the pace and heavily targeted by Jefferson Lerma et al. It was a war out there, and one he couldn’t win single handedly today. 6/10
A tale of two halves from Reedy, absolute blinder in the first half and largely absent in the second. There wasn’t a blade of grass that wasn’t covered by Harrison in the first half, and his lung-bursting run into the box created the space and time to set up Andreas for his goal. Bournemouth made considerable changes in the second half, targeting Reed and Palhinha which drew both of them to the periphery of the game. 7/10
Andreas PereiraEmbed from Getty Images
I’m a self-confessed Andreas fan, he has been brilliant for us this season. There’s an element to his game though that is so frustrating – from the sublime to ridiculous all in one, at times. His composed strike today was his 3rd of the season, which feels hard to believe considering how important he has been for the charge up the table. Again today, was crucial in the first half but in-n-out during the second. Wonderful attempt for the overhead kick. 7/10
Hard to provide a rating for Manor today, he showed some spark but was largely kept under-wraps by his marker. Kudos, though, does have to go to him for his defensive capabilities – his awareness and tracking of the Bournemouth wing-back supported an off-colour Robinson. Great run in behind to tee-up Reed to assist Andreas. Once again, really tidy in tight places. 6.5/10
Bobby, like Kenny Tete, is super consistent. Like Ronseal, Bobby does exactly what it says on the tin; industry, effort and smooth technique but remains “in-betweeny” in terms of his quality. Is he a Premier League player, yes – but is he also going to be replaced this summer, probably yes. Once again provided great support for Kenny and focal point of the press. 6.5/10
Carlos ViniciusEmbed from Getty Images
I tweeted that Vincius was stinking out the place which might have been strong at the time. However, when you lead the line in the Premier League, you have to make things happen. The ball had to stick to Vinicius today to give Fulham a chance to progress up the pitch, and it never did. Vinicius was bullied by Jack Stephens and Marcos Senesi, and never looked like causing a threat. Link-up play was questionable alongside an absence of strength. The drop-off between him and Mitrovic is night and day (and then some). Looks like a nice guy to be around though. 5/10
Tom Cairney – We saw the physical version of Tom Cairney today. Never shirked tackles, held the ball well. Booked. 6.5/10
Dan James – Looked to get in behind and make space, tame shot at the end of the game. 5/10
Cedric, Lukic, Wilson – no rating.