So Allardyce's program notes list the strikers he tried to buy, but trying isn't good enough. They wouldn't join because they knew they wouldn't get a game if Carroll was fit and available. Mind you, that was always going to be one hell of an IF!
Today, Allardyce has returned to plan A. Maiga up front, Nolan behind, Jarvis and Downing out wide and Diame and Noble providing the midfield engine - and that might work if Jarvis could cross and Maiga could score. But Jarvis wastes opportunity after opportunity to put the ball into dangerous areas, and Maiga shows all the goal scoring potential of 'Arry's mum. And I use that simile advisedly because Bent, who famously missed a chance that Redknapp's mum would have buried, is in the Fulham team - and my money is on him or Taarabt to score second half.
And that's a real worry, because Fulham have goal scorers in the team - Bent, Taarabt, Duff, Sidwell - and we haven't. So in a game that has 1-0 written all over it, you have to mark Fulham as favourites to run out the winners.
McCartney is on a yellow and is a good bet to get red as he tires. I would take him off. Tomkins is lucky to be on the pitch as it is, because the challenge which secured yellow had red written all over it for me. Late, dangerous, at pace - it was an ankle breaker and he is a lucky boy to still be on the pitch.
We have had chances, but chances are no good without people able to take them, and Maiga summed it all up horribly when he shouldered Noble's free kick onto the post from two yards out.
Fingers crossed things get better second half, but it doesn't look promising!