Quick five: Oct 27-29

Can’t really ignore Fulham, can we?

No goalkeeper wants to be constantly reminded of the possibility that this season could mark a new Premier League record for goals conceded by one club. For The Cottagers, three stoppers have already bore the brunt of Slavisa Jokanovic’s defensive dilemma – and we’re only ten games in.

No better place to start in our Quick Five headlines, then.

1 Fulham’s faux pas

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Considering he’d only signed a new deal a few days prior, it was odd for Jokanovic to drop Marcus Bettinelli. Bar perhaps taking too long to get down for Alexandre Lacazette’s second in the defeat to Arsenal, he hasn’t been culpable for any of the whopping 28 they’ve conceded so far and, more importantly, that isn’t where the problem lies at Fulham. Jokanovic has to find a way to sure up a leaky defence and using three goalkeepers in their first ten games is not the way to do that. As for Sergio Rico, he could have arguably spread better for Bournemouth’s second which went through his legs. On the whole, it was a tough day to make his league debut for the club.

2 Jenas slates Jonas

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On Saturday’s Match of the Day, when analysing Watford’s win over Huddersfield, Jermaine Jenas said he’d have been unhappy had his keeper conceded from Gerard Deulofeu’s 19th minute strike. A fair comment upon initial inspection, supported by the above image. Could Jonas Lossl had done better? Possibly. When facing a strike from close range, you generally anticipate it being angled low into the corner and therefore manoeuvre your body to that effect. Deulofeu’s effort started high and then dipped, so Lossl may have saved it had he remained remained more upright. However, he’d then have been susceptible had Deulofeu gone low or, if he’d narrowed the angle more, opened up the opportunity for Deulofeu to square it to a teammate faced with an empty net. It looks like a goalkeeping error, but I’m more inclined to credit the Watford winger for a fantastic finish.

3 Mat marches on

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Three clean sheets on the bounce is a very decent return from Mat Ryan, especially since he’s faced 17 shots across those three games. He’s one of only three Premier League goalkeepers to have played every game since the start of last season (Asmir Begovic and Jordan Pickford being the other two) and rarely makes a blatant error from what I’ve seen so far. Top-flight survival relies on a consistent stopper, and while I’d argue he’s strong in all areas without being spectacular in one, Ryan is now making big saves at big moments. For him and Brighton, that is a massive plus.

4 Imperfect penalty

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Jordan Pickford was a victim of Paul Pogba not executing a decent penalty at Old Trafford. If you’ve made your mind up to dive when facing a spot-kick, you dive full out (it’s infuriating if you don’t fully commit to the dive and miss the ball by an inch as it hits the corner). Pogba’s penalty was slightly more central and, not too dissimilar from his save the previous week from Luka Milivojevic, Pickford had to reach back across himself and therefore wasn’t able to effectively parry the ball into a safe area. Up to that point, including waiting the eternity for Pogba to finish his approach before committing to his dive, Pickford had done everything right. His reaction after the rebound showed how he felt it didn’t deserve to go in.

5 Forest Green fail

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Not the greatest of days for on loan Forest Green goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez. His error in the dying seconds against Exeter was reminiscent of Peter Enckelman’s howler all those years ago for Aston Villa, but I’ve absolutely no doubt he’ll bounce straight back. Reports coming out of Brighton suggest he’s set for a huge future, so this will simply be a case of learning from a mistake, dusting it under the carpet and going again. How he performs in his next game at Lincoln will determine his strength of character. The fact the mistake wasn’t costly also makes a difference – and would have guaranteed him a few friendly jibes in the changing room after the game.

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