Roy Hodgson and Thomas Frank were both unmoved by the efforts of their fringe players, while Davinson Sanchez summed up a disappointing Spurs evening.
Six Premier League players took their Carabao chance but this lot absolutely cocked it.
Diego Moreira (Chelsea)
Who? Well, that is a very good question. He is a 19-year-old winger who arrived in the summer on a free transfer and, after making the bench for Friday night’s win over Luton, he started v AFC Wimbledon in a very youthful line-up. The Evening Standard description of his 45 minutes is damning: ‘Arguably had no positive actions, struggled early on and appeared to lose his head. Taken off at half-time.’ Ouch. A loan surely beckons in January if not before.
Youssef Chermiti (Everton)
Has played only 22 senior games and it showed v Doncaster. See below:
Oh my lord please tell me we’ve kept the receipt for Youssef Chermiti. Looks like he’s never seen a football before
— Harry Reynolds (@harryreynolds96) August 30, 2023
Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest)
You have to feel for the Welshman. Forest have a plethora of full-backs and wing-backs on either side and Williams could end up being the odd man out. Serge Aurier is undoubtedly the first choice on the right, and Gonzalo Montiel has now been signed as competition on that side, so Williams has been pushed into a fight with Ola Aina and probably Nuno Tavares on the left that he looks unlikely to win.
That’s where he started in the defeat to Burnley and he was given something of a torrid time on that side as Burnley enjoyed most of the possession and created most of the chances. It would be a surprise were he to be anywhere other than the bench (at best) this weekend.
Ionut Radu (Bournemouth)
Given little chance with a delightful Matt Grimes penalty after the equally hapless Chris Mepham decided that handball was the only viable way of keeping out Liam Cullen’s powerful effort. Was arguably just as blameless with Jamie Paterson’s second-half strike, which came through a crowd of bodies and took at least one deflection. But Radu committed the cardinal sin of the foreign goalkeeper by not coming for crosses, and staying stationed on his line hardly imbued teammates with confidence. Neto will not be fearing for his place.
Jairo Riedewald (Crystal Palace)
“I think my wife could have made those substitutions,” said Roy Hodgson of the decision to replace Jesurun Rak-Sayki, Jairo Riedewald and
Naouirou Ahamada after around an hour against Plymouth. Crystal Palace were losing 2-0 to the Championship side; within six minutes of Jordan Ayew, Eberechi Eze and Jeffrey Schlupp’s introduction they led 3-2, with the substitutes assisting one goal each.
Roy Hodgson “didn’t enjoy the first half very much” and sought to “thank the senior players, the ones who have been playing in the first team,” pointedly noting that “they replaced some of the ones who haven’t played for a while and they enabled us to create those goal chances.”
That does not reflect particularly well on Ahamada, for whom this was a first Palace start since joining in January. But as he enters his sixth season at Selhurst Park, Riedewald is no closer to offering a return on the £8m Frank de Boer(!) spent to sign him.
Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham)
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg did little to excite Manchester United supporters with a performance that only underlined how important Yves Bissouma is to the Ange Postecoglou revolution. But the continuing trials and tribulations of Davinson Sanchez helped sum up a miserable, bubble-popping evening for Tottenham.
A slack early pass set the tone, intercepted by Antonee Robinson who proceeded to ghost past Sanchez and set up a chance for Rodrigo Muniz. Tom Cairney twisted him inside and out soon after to create Fulham’s goal, while the hosts really ought to have capitalised more often on some of the Colombian’s atrocious positioning throughout.
Taking the only unsuccessful penalty in the shootout was a little too on the narrative nose, mind.
Sanchez having a bit of a shocker here. He's been done a few times and has just clattered Cairney.
— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) August 29, 2023
Rodrigo Muniz (Fulham)
That headed chance created by Robinson was one of five shots Muniz had in his 82 otherwise fruitless minutes at Craven Cottage. The Brazilian is the perfect Aleksandar Mitrovic replacement in a way: no player on either side won more aerial duels (six). But by every other possible metric he would be a pretty sub-optimal successor. Which is presumably why Fulham want to sign at least one more forward this summer.
Frank Onyeka (Brentford)
Not a disastrous performance by any means, yet one that is unlikely to have changed the mind of Thomas Frank.
“I had to bring on three more experienced guys,” the manager said after overcoming Newport on penalties. “It’s always a balance. You want to play some of the ones who don’t play so much. With all due respect, that should be enough to win the game. But we just made it right in the end.”
Onyeka was among those afforded a rare opportunity, the Nigerian’s first start of the season and 24th since joining in summer 2021. No shots, key passes, dribbles or interceptions against League Two opposition will have done nothing to budge Brentford’s settled midfield three.