Fulham’s lack of goals will prove their downfall at the end of the season unless they gain a clinical edge – Scott Parker’s team have the fourth worst tally in the Premier League, but are ranked NINTH for chances created despite their strikers’ woes
- Fulham remain stuck in the relegation zone and are struggling to score goals
- Scott Parker’s men have netted 20 this term – the fourth worst tally in the league
- The numbers suggest a different story, however, with Fulham creating chances
- If they fail to take more of them, the stark lack of goals will prove their downfall
If Fulham suffer relegation then we won’t have to search too hard for the reasons why.
In short: goals. Or rather – a lack of them.
Their 20 strikes so far represents the fourth worst tally in the Premier League – behind Sheffield United, West Brom – who occupy the other two relegation slots – and Burnley.
If Fulham are to suffer relegation, it will be their stark lack of goals that proves their downfall
The damning statistic is inescapable and will prove the Cottagers’ downfall if they are consigned to an instant return to the Championship.
Yet, dig a little deeper, and the numbers suggest a rather different story.
Their lack of goals is there in black and white, of course. The numbers don’t lie.
Fulham’s 20 strikes netted so far this season is the fourth-worst tally in the Premier League
But there has been a misconception that Fulham’s problems in front of goal are a byproduct of a pragmatic approach employed by head coach Scott Parker.
Possession is king for the Cottagers head coach; it forms the basis of his strategic principles.
But assertions that his possession-based approach isn’t conducive to scoring goals certainly aren’t backed up by the numbers.
Fulham are ranked ninth for chances created so far this season; producing an average of 9.0 chances per match – above the league average of 8.6.
The club rank ninth for chances created this term, with an average of 9.0 carved out per game
They are ranked 12th and 13th, respectively, for shots and excepted goals – and are 12th for ‘big chances’ created.
Their performance so far this season in terms of creating goalscoring chances indicates they should be significantly higher up the table.
Indeed the projected expected points table based on expected goals created and conceded in each game would leave Fulham comfortable in 14th place with a tally of 28 points.
That, of course, is neither here nor there for Parker – who knows those statistics will count for nothing at the end season.
Boss Scott Parker knows the promising statistics will count for nothing at the end of the season
But opportunities, clear cut ones at that, are being created by Fulham. Taking those chances, however, is proving the problem.
Fulham went into the season with the belief that Aleksandar Mitrovic would provide sufficient firepower to stay up.
There was enough evidence to suggest the faith was warranted.
He scored 24 goals in all competitions for Fulham last season and his 11 in Fulham’s previous Premier League campaign provided hope the Serbian could carry the club’s goal threat.
There was plenty of faith placed in Aleksandar Mitrovic – who has scored just twice this season
But Mitrovic has scored just two Premier League goals this season – both in the defeat to Leeds in September.
The fact Bobby Decordova-Reid is their top goalscorer with five tells its own story.
Josh Maja’s arrival on loan from Bordeaux has raised hope of enough improvement in the goal tally for Fulham to make up the current six point gap to 17th placed Newcastle.
If the Nigerian can continue his promising start then perhaps Fulham have a chance.
Josh Maja joined on loan from Bordeaux and will be expected to help Fulham score more goals
Regardless of how this season finishes, Parker has already enhanced his reputation as one of the brightest young managers in England.
Of course, that will be no consolation to the Fulham boss if the worst does happen.
But if they are relegated, it wasn’t like they didn’t have the chances to stay up.
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