Super Fab, Will 4-4-2 continue and more- Five Talking Points from Fulham v West Ham

West Ham claimed their fourth straight Premier League win as they beat bottom of the table Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage. The victory was secured thanks to first half goals from Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio, with Fulham awful in defence and lacklustre going forward despite having more of the ball in the second half.

Let’s take a look at our talking points from this game!

Superb Fabianski

Lukasz Fabianski has been one of West Ham’s best signings of the summer. Against Cardiff, his save of Joe Ralls’ penalty was integral to their second half comeback, and against Fulham he denied Aboubakar Kamara early in the game. If Kamara had scored, it would’ve been 1-0 to Fulham, and given the chances they had in the first half, the game might well have finished in their favour.

West Ham’s rise up the table owes a lot to the Polish international’s solidity in goal.

Ranieri’s tactics and team selection

Given the trouble Denis Odoi had against Manchester United, few would’ve expected him to start at right back against an in-form Felipe Anderson. Instead Ranieri went with the same backline that had struggled against United, and Fulham’s defending for both their goals, was to put it mildly, awful. He did bring on Cyrus Christie at half time and pushed Odoi to CB- perhaps that would’ve been a better starting combination.

Fulham offered very little in terms of creativity going forward, and West Ham weren’t really troubled despite the Cottagers having plenty of the ball.

Unless they purchase heavily in January, the Cottagers look set for an immediate return to the Championship. Their next few games shape up as must-wins for Ranieri if he’s to convince any potential January signings that it’s not a lost cause at Craven Cottage.

Felipe Anderson doing his defensive duties too!

He’s been in a stunning form on the attack front over the last few weeks, but Felipe Anderson did a fair bit of defensive work in this game. Helped Arthur Masuaku settle as well. Fulham didn’t really attack the left back despite his shaky form in recent times.

This was probably a game past West Ham teams would’ve lost

West Ham weren’t at their best, but still emerged comfortable winners. Took their chances clinically. Didn’t get out of second gear in the whole game, but Fulham honestly speaking, never looked like scoring after the interval when they should’ve had their tails up after trailing 2-0.

Is 4-4-2 likely to continue?

It’s perhaps worth noting that 4-4-2 as a formation has only really been tried against the “lesser” teams (with all due respect to them). Will Pellegrini persist with it against the big teams? Perhaps not in our opinion, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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