Having seen his Fulham side get off to a fantastic start to the 2021/22 Championship campaign, picking up 13 points over their opening five fixtures of the season, Marco Silva must have been expecting more of the same heading into the Cottagers’ fixture against Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.
Indeed, Neil Critchley’s newly-promoted side were yet to taste victory in the second tier of English football – with Blackpool having picked up just two points over their opening five league games – something that few had expected the Seasiders to change against Silva’s west London table-toppers.
However, despite boasting just 30% possession of the ball, managing one shot on target and completing 360 fewer passes than Fulham over the course of the 90 minutes, Josh Bowler’s early second-half strike was enough for the Tangerines to take all three points at Bloomfield Road – sealing their first win, and Fulham’s first defeat, of the current campaign.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of Silva’s players put in below-par performances in the fixture, with Domingos Quina, Bobby Reid and Neeskens Kebano all having games to forget, however, it will undoubtedly be Josh Onomah who is the player most disappointed with his display on Saturday.
Indeed, prior to his substitution in the 67th minute, the £5.4m-rated man proved ineffective in central midfield, losing 80% of his duels, being dribbled past by an opponent on two occasions and ceding possession of the ball 14 times.
The 24-year-old also made no interceptions, no tackles, no clearances and blocked no shots in his time on the pitch, as well as failing with his one attempted long ball and taking one shot at goal, which was off target.
These returns saw the £30k-per-week former England U21 international earn a highly disappointing SofaScore match rating of 5.9, with no player from either side who featured in the clash receiving a worse score than the Fulham midfielder.
As such, following the deadline day signing of Nathaniel Chalobah, Onomah did very little in the Blackpool game to convince Silva that he is worthy of keeping his place in the 44-year-old’s starting XI for the trip to Birmingham City on Wednesday evening – a game in which the Portuguese manager will undoubtedly be hoping his side can get back to winning ways.