Lack of desire evident at Cottage

Friday 19th April 2013 17:44

Kerim Frei: Flop of the season

Kerim Frei: Flop of the season

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Fulham FanZoner Henry Walmsley vents his anger at the 'lack of desire' against Chelsea and reveals one of his disappointments of the season.

Disappointing is the word I would use to describe Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.

The scoreline did not however reflect the game in my opinion. We didn't deserve to win, but the game certainly wasn't as one sided as the score suggested.

The reason I was disappointed was the lack of desire a lot of our players seemed to have. The only players who played particularly well were the Greek warrior Giorgios Karagounis, the ever reliable Sascha Riether and Eyong Enoh who is perhaps trying his best to secure himself a permanent contract in West London - and he's certainly going the right way about it.

Martin Jol's team selection was interesting.

We switched from our normal 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2, with Bryan Ruiz moving out to the right wing, and Mladen Petric playing up front. I think most were pleased to see Petric given the chance, but he definitely had a night to forget. His biggest contribution to the match was clearing a shot off the line...Chelsea's line that is.

Ruiz has been tried in a few positions this season, mainly in behind Dimitar Berbatov where he has been very good but also centre-midfield against Blackpool and on the wing occasionally, like on Tuesday.

His performance this week was reminiscent of his woeful debut against Blackburn where he was subbed off at half-time and I hope that Jol now realises that he shouldn't be moved out wide.

Someone who should have started out wide was Kerim Frei. This time last year he started against Chelsea and picked up the man-of-the-match award, giving a world-class right back Branislav Ivanovic the hardest game of his life. What has happened since then?

This season we've seen very little of the talented Turk and that for me is one of the biggest disappointments of the season. A combination of injuries and a loan spell in Cardiff have seen him only make five appearances for the Whites this season.

Alex Kacaniklic has had a fairly similar season. Like Frei he burst into the first team at the back end of last season and looked like he would be a regular in the team this season. He started this season pretty well, although Jol exclaimed his doubts over his performances away from home. He was slowly nudged out of first team duties and found himself on loan at Championship side Burnley.

Injuries to Damien Duff and Ashkan Dejagah have seen him recalled to Fulham and go straight into the squad for the Arsenal game. With the threat of relegation all but gone, I hope Jol gives him and Frei more game time between now and the end of the season as he did last year. They have undoubtedly got the quality to play in the Premier League and just need experience.

The biggest criticism of Kacaniklic is his decision making and delivery. Well, I personally am happy for him to make a few mistakes in the remainder of this season so he can go into next season a better player.

This week we play Arsenal - a team we've fared relatively well against over the last few years before we make the trip to Everton - where we haven't done well at atll.

We're definitely capable of picking up at least a point against Arsenal tomorrow despite their good form but Jol will need to select the right team. In terms of attack, I'd like to see Steve Sidwell and Karagounis in centre-mid, Frei and Kacaniklic on the wings and Ruiz in behind Berbatov. I think that line up could cause Arsenal's back line real problems and who knows, we may be able to grab a win, 1-1 is my prediction.



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