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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:17:13 PM

Title: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:17:13 PM
Fulham 0 - 0 Tottenham

This London derby got off to a lively start with both sets of fans helping to create a raucous atmosphere at the Cottage. The visitors’ primary target in attack was clearly the head of Peter Crouch, who was looking to occupy the dangerous positions in front of Fulham’s back line – looking for the flick-ons.

But whilst neither keeper was called into action in the opening 15 minutes, it was Tottenham who were establishing the territorial advantage with lots of early possession in the Fulham half. Fortunately for the Whites, much of Spurs’ possession was limited to long range efforts, such as the free-kick from distance from Niko Kranjcar, which drifted harmlessly wide on 17 minutes.

With stakes high, both sidles were careful of not committing too much forward as the first-half continued with neither Mark Schwarzer or Heurelho Gomes making any stops of note.

A powerful strike from Kranjcar on 28 minutes forced a strong parry from Schwarzer as Spurs managed to connect a rare few passages of play together. A header from Crouch on 30 minutes had Schwarzer troubled but the Fulham keeper was alert enough to push the England striker’s effort wide.

A powerful piece of running from Bobby Zamora on 39 minutes had the Spurs defence on the back foot, with Gomes eventually having to clear the danger with his head for a throw-in.

The second-half got under way with the Whites attacking the Hammersmith End. Roy Hodgson’s men wasted little time in attacking when a cross from Simon Davies was headed back into the path of Zoltan Gera by Bobby Zamora. The Hungarian international forced a splendid save from Gomes with his header.

Dickson Etuhu saw his 49th minute header gratefully held by Gomes after the Whites pressed forward.

Spurs were looking to Gareth Bale for their spark of creativity, and he nearly provided an opportunity for the visitors on 53 minutes when he caused the Fulham defence a headache with a determined run down the left flank.

A spell of pressure for Tottenham ensued which culminated in Michael Dawson firing a powerful volley wide on 57 minutes. The action swung to the other end just a minute later when an inviting volley fell to Damien Duff’s right foot, unfortunately the winger could only swing his effort wide of goal.

With a number of fifty-fifty challenges increasing in the second-half, this encounter started to pick up. Gomes pulled off a fine save on 63 minutes to deny Damien Duff’s effort from the edge of the area.

The action swung from end to end; the Whites used a slightly more direct approach whilst Spurs’ attacked looked to utilise the space afforded to them by Bale and Assou-Ekotto down Fulham’s left wing.

With the time running down the attacks from both sides, which had previously been somewhat limited, were starting to loosen up with more players being forced forward.

David Elm came on for Simon Davies on 72 minutes as Roy Hodgson looked to refresh his attacking line-up. The switch saw Gera move too wide left with Elm taking his place up front.

The Whites managed to wrestle the upper hand from Spurs late on in the second-half when Bobby Zamora was just unable to stretch and get his toe on the end of a dangerous pass into the area.

Harry Redknapp’s introduction of Jermain Defoe with nine minutes remaining was a clear attempt to end the tie on the day.  But it did little to swing the play in favour of his side as both teams continued to battle out a tense affair. Bobby Zamora was almost set free down the right wing on 84 minutes but his right-footed shot from the angle flew wide of the post.

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:18:34 PM

Schwarzer's Spurs Reaction

Saturday 6th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Barclays Player of the Month for February, Mark Schwarzer, thought a draw was a fair result in Saturday’s goalless FA Cup Quarter-Final with Tottenham Hotspur, although he admitted a tinge of regret that Fulham didn’t capitalise on their home advantage.

“I think it was fair,” he assessed. “It was a little bit disappointing because we had a few decent chances, but they had some half chances too.

“It’s a little disappointing when you’re playing at home because you think you have that bit of an upper hand, but they’re a very, very good side and I think overall it was a fair enough result.”

The Aussie stopper had to be on his toes to deny a driven first-half effort from Niko Kranjcar and a header from Peter Crouch amongst a few other chances, but on the whole had a reasonably quiet afternoon in a match that never quite ignited into an FA Cup classic.

“I think the action came in spits and spurts,” he reflected. “There were periods of the game when it was open and exciting, but overall I think it was one of those games where they were happy enough to be able to draw and take us back to White Hart Lane for a replay.

“Our plan was very much the same as it is every week. To play football, with quick movement, passing the ball well and trying to keep our shape - and we did that well today. Obviously we tried to nick a goal – and we had our opportunities - but it just didn’t work out for us.”

The result means that Fulham will now have to travel to North London for a replay, adding yet another fixture to an already jam-packed list. By the time the game comes around it will be the team’s 50th of the season, but you won’t find Schwarzer complaining.

“This is what you play football for, these exciting games,” he said. “Today we played Tottenham in the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup, next we play Juve twice, with Manchester United in between, there’s Manchester City after that and then Tottenham again!

“It doesn’t get much better than this, so we’ll just enjoy it.”

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:21:50 PM
Spurs Photo Special

Saturday 6th March 2010
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:24:52 PM,19528,11675_6007470,00.html

Redknapp wary of upset

Spurs boss also pleased with performance of Gomes

Last updated: 6th March 2010   

Harry Redknapp acknowledges Tottenham are favourites to win their FA Cup replay against Fulham and qualify for the semi-finals, but he remains wary of an upset.

Spurs drew 0-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday evening in a relatively drab stalemate and the teams will now meet again at White Hart Lane on 24th March.

Redknapp recognises his side are now in the box-seat to eliminate their London rivals, however, he is conscious of the threat of Roy Hodgson's side after they recently eliminated Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 32 of the Europa League.

"We kept possession well, though we didn't create enough chances," said the Tottenham boss.

"Of course we'll be the happier side. Before we came here we would have taken the draw. This is a difficult place to come.

"Fulham are a difficult team to beat, they just knocked holders Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Europa League. That tells you all you need to know about them.

"They're well managed and coached and are not easy to play against. A replay gives us a good chance at home and we're still bang in there.

"At home we've got a big chance, but I bet Shakhtar thought they were favourites for the second leg of that Europa League tie.

"It didn't work out that way, though. Fulham's win was one of the results of the season."

Redknapp also hailed Gomes after the Tottenham goalkeeper, who had a nightmare at Craven Cottage two years ago, prevented Fulham from snatching victory.

"Gomes looks different to the goalkeeper who came here in 2008 when I first arrived," he said.

"He had a terrible time here then but he's a different lad now, full of confidence, who looks what he is - a top keeper.

"He had a bad day here in 2008 but it didn't affect him today."
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:26:49 PM,19764,11065_3252858,00.html

Cottagers and Spurs to meet again

Replay required after a drab stalemate by The Thames

Last updated: 6th March 2010   

Fulham and Tottenham could not be separated in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and will require a replay after an uninspiring 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.

The tie appeared the most appealing of the sixth round, but it failed to live up to expectations as the contest ended in a stalemate repeat of the Premier League meeting on the banks of The Thames on Boxing Day.

A non-event of a first half was followed by only a marginal improvement, with Zoltan Gera wasting the best chance shortly after the break when his weak header was saved by Heurelho Gomes.

Tottenham, who were frustrated by Fulham's rigid defence, had a decent claim for a penalty when Brede Hangeland's arm prevented Peter Crouch from meeting a cross, but referee Mark Clattenburg was not interested.

For Gomes it was a return to the ground where in November 2008 he made the worst in a string of blunders that almost saw him sold by manager Harry Redknapp.

At the other end, Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar and Crouch, but was hardly involved again.

For all their possession and a passing game that was easy on the eye, Spurs rarely troubled Fulham's goal and wilted as an attacking force.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson could be disappointed his side, who continue to punch above their weight in two cup competitions as their Europa League campaign keeps going, did not finish off their capital rivals.


Hodgson and Schwarzer were presented with their manager and Player of the Month awards for February shortly before kick-off.

Spurs pressed hard in midfield to give their opponents little time on the ball, but despite some slick passing, they failed to trouble Fulham's goal.

Anticipation gripped home fans as Zamora broke free down the left before expertly cutting back inside where he fired a shot straight into the arms of Gomes.

It was not until the 28th minute that either goalkeeper was extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Kranjcar.

The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to turn a fine goalbound header by Crouch away from the target.

Damien Duff pulled the trigger from long range at the other end as Fulham's chances continued to be severely limited.

Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one well-worked move, but Michael Dawson intervened to snuff out the danger.

The second half was not even a minute old when Gera drew a superb save from Gomes.


Simon Davies initiated the move with a marauding run down the right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora directed the ball to Gera whose header was well stopped by Gomes.

The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out Hangeland's header from a Davies corner.

The match was coming alive after a dull first half, partly thanks to the noisy Spurs fans.

Duff found the side netting after being set up by Davies and was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent work by Zamora.

Kranjcar fizzed a lethal cross through the penalty area as Spurs launched a counter-attack.

Space was opening up for both sides in an increasingly frantic last 10 minutes that saw Zamora fail to connect with a fine chance.

Vedran Corluka almost turned an attempted clearance into his own net. He did not know where the ball was going and Spurs breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.

Team Statistics
Tottenham Hotspur

0 Goals

0 1st Half Goals

4 Shots on Target

4 Shots off Target

2 Blocked Shots

2 Corners

10 Fouls

1 Offsides

1 Yellow Cards

0 Red Cards

78.4 Passing Success

27 Tackles

74.1 Tackles Success

52.9 Possession

43.7 Territorial Advantage

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:28:09 PM,19768,11065_3252858,00.html

Fulham Player ratings

Player Our Rating Your Rating Rate player

 Mark Schwarzer  0 7.0  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Brede Hangeland  0 7.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Aaron Hughes  0 6.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Nicky Shorey  0 6.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Chris Baird  0 6.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Jonathan Greening  0 5.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Dickson Etuhu  0 6.2  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Simon Davies  0 5.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Bobby Zamora  0 7.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Damien Duff  0 7.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Zoltan Gera  0 7.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:30:12 PM,19528,11681_6007490,00.html

Hodgson - Spurs have advantage

Cottagers boss frustrated that side could not snatch a winner

Last updated: 6th March 2010   

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson knows that Tottenham are now in pole position to reach the FA Cup semi-finals following their 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.

The London rivals played out a quarter-final stalemate on Saturday evening and will now meet again at White Hart Lane in a couple of weeks.

Hodgson believes the draw was a fair result, but is frustrated his side could not snatch a win and that Spurs now have the upper hand.

"I'm only the more disappointed because it was a home game and the advantage now passes over to Tottenham because they will be at home for the replay," he said.

"We're pretty evenly matched and I'm disappointed we couldn't get the goal that would have put us through.


"We were close at the end, but, on the basis of the play, 0-0 was a fair result, although it was anything other than a dull cup tie because of the quality and commitment on show.

"The atmosphere was magnificent. I'm pleased we didn't lose as that would have been a bitter disappointment."

Hodgson was unhappy with the state of the pitch at Craven Cottage and revealed it will be re-laid over the summer.

"The chairman is keen to invest in a new pitch. We badly need it because this one has been going a while," he said.

"By this stage of winter it gets bare and uneven and that doesn't help ball control. We need a proper pitch, there will be no temporary solution."
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:33:50 PM

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur - as it happened

You'll never get these 90 minutes back, but here's a 19-minute interview with the great JP Donleavy, Roy Hodgson's favourite author, to make up for it.

FA Cup Quarter-Final

Fulham 0 
Tottenham Hotspur 0 

Scott Murray, Saturday 6 March 2010 16.36 GMT Article history
JP Donleavy, upon being photographed at his stately pile in Mullingar

It was World Book Day on Thursday, and so both Fulham and Tottenham wheeled out the big names in the hope of encouraging youngsters to read. Tottenham striker Peter Crouch spoke of his love for Roald Dahl, the famous children's author, spinner of family-friendly tales such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox. With the same cause in mind, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson cited the work of JP Donleavy, author of classic booze-and-carouse romp The special one Man, whose hero Sebastian Dangerfield's baby goes hungry when Daddy spends all the money on malt whisky, and etiquette satire The Unexpurgated Code, which contains detailed advice on how to act "Upon being stung on the end of your p**** by a bee on a golf course". Read up, kids! You have got to love Roy Hodgson.

For the record, here's what to do upon being stung on the end of your etc.: Donleavy suggests betting heavily on yourself, as your opponent will be laughing too hard to play properly.

Anyway, after a week of sterling work on behalf of the publishing industry, it's back to the day job. This is the second FA Cup quarter-final, and one with good omens for both teams, sort of: Fulham have only lost one of their last nine home games against Spurs, though that was a 4-0 FA Cup tonking in 2007.

The first page turns at: The traditional 5.20pm. Thank you, my ITV!

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Greening, Etuhu, Davies, Gera, Zamora.
Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling, Elm.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Palacios, Kranjcar, Bale, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko.
Subs: Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Defoe, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Manager of the month: Hodgson picks up his award from Barclays, or Barclaycard, or whatever. In the past, he'd have been given a massive multi-litre bottle of Bells whisky for this, allowing him, theoretically at the very least, to romp like his hero Dangerfield through the streets of Soho in a refreshed manner while wearing a kangeroo costume. Not now, though, not now. We've all taken a wrong turning somewhere, people.

Anyway, a proper old-school FA Cup atmosphere at Craven Cottage, what with both managers treating the competition with respect, and the fans not treating it with a tiresomely snobbish attitude, and all that. And we're off! Fulham playing in their traditional white and black, the Lilywhites playing in dark blue, which may or may not be traditional, I don't know enough about the history of Tottenham's second strips to say either way. Anyway, Gera slips down the right in some space... but faffs around and can't get a cross in. An open game with a stupid number of goals, please, everyone.

2 min: Spurs can't get their foot on the ball yet, a problem in this sport for reasons I needn't go into.

4 min: There's always an awful song and dance made about how good Crouch is on the ground for a big man, but Spurs are lumping high balls towards his head here. They fling three forward in quick succession, the third nearly paying dividend as Hughes momentarily loses the flight of the looping pass, allowing Crouch to nod it down for himself and race towards the area. Hughes recovers well, though, toe-poking the ball away from Crouch before he can take a pelt.

7 min: Spurs win a corner. Pavlyuchenko gets his head to the set piece from the right, but he can't put any London-style BOSH into the effort and the ball sails into Schwarzer's hands. "According to Clive Tyldesley, Harry Redknapp is one of the most loved managers in the game," reports Lee James. "Presumably that's one of the bedtime stories Clive's mother tells him before tucking him under his limited edition 'That Night In Barcelona' duvet." Nothing wrong with a bit of fiction for the innocent little ones, Lee. Unless it gets a bit too scary for them. The story of the Portsmouth wage bill, for example.

10 min: Spurs have started strongly enough, enjoying the majority of possession. Modric, Palacios and Kranjcar stroke it around 30 yards out, but Fulham hold their shape and eventually Modric sloppily lets the ball zip out of play and into the stand on the right.

12 min: Fulham can't hold onto the ball at all. Greening in particular has been guilty of conceding possession under no pressure whatsoever. Spurs will be perfectly happy with this.

15 min: Thirty-five yards out, Zamora flicks a majestic header down the inside-right channel past Dawson for Gera, on the edge of the area. Bassong holds Gera up, the Fulham man considering a preposterous first-time dipping volley towards the top-left-hand corner, then thinking better of it, then wishing he'd given it a go on account of Dawson hoving back into view and buggering off with the ball.

18 min: Spurs ping it around again, hither and yon, 35 yards out. They're getting nowhere, Kranjcar eventually whacking the ball out of play, but Pavlyuchenko is upended by Greening in the centre. That's a free kick, 30-odd yards out. Fulham don't put up much of a wall - the thing's a three-man shambles - but it doesn't make much difference, Kranjcar dragging a pathetic low shot well wide left and out of play.

19 min: Finally something from Fulham up front as Zamora bustles down the inside-left channel, reaches the box, checks inside and hits a medium-paced number goalwards. Gomes is all over it.

21 min: Zamora dances around in the centre of the park, his back to goal, dragging the ball here and there and making Bassong look very daft indeed. He does a great job of pulling the Spurs back line out of shape, but then goes for a ridiculously difficult killer pass: Gera's not there, having expected a sensible ball and made a move towards The Sensible Place.

24 min: Hangeland hoofs a long ball forward. Gomes comes out to the edge of his area to claim, confident to roam because Fulham haven't committed anyone up front at all. This is pretty poor stuff now, though let's remember this afternoon's Portsmouth-Birmingham match was even worse than this in the first half, and that ended up reasonably interesting if not exactly a classic. Look, I'm trying here.

25 min: Davies slides in on Bale. It's late. It should be a free kick in the centre, 30 yards out. It could be a card for the Fulham midfielder too. It's neither, though, much to the displeasure of the Tottenham fans.

27 min: Greening bombs down the left and, right in the corner, digs out a very decent cross indeed. The ball zips through the Spurs area, but Gera, ten yards out just to the left of goal, can't control it and the danger, such as it ever was, is gone.

28 min: A goalkeeper finally has to do something, and what a meal he makes of it. Crouch, on the edge of the D, his back to goal, shifts the ball right to Kranjcar, who shuffles the ball between his feet and sends a stinger towards the top-right corner. It's not right in the corner, though, and should be easy to deal with. Schwarzer, however, elects to parry, the ball bouncing down and all around before being swept clear by Hughes.

31 min: From a Kranjcar right-wing cross, Crouch sends a header towards the bottom-right. Schwarzer slaps it away, again making a full-blown musical of the whole affair. The ball finds its way out for a corner, which is headed lamely over by Bassong.

35 min: From the left wing near the halfway line, Assou-Ekotto sends a long diagonal ball into the Fulham box. It drops just past the far post, about three yards out. Suddenly seeing Assou-Ekotto very much as the Arnold Muhren de nos jours, Crouch attempts to replicate Marco van Basten's goal in the 1988 European Championship final. I needn't bother explaining what happened, need I?

37 min: This is not great entertainment, though Spurs will be far the happier team. Fulham can't impose themselves on this game at all, Spurs camped in their half. I would say it's only a matter of time, but they're not doing much with all this possession and territory.

40 min: Bale gets the wrong side of Baird down the left and reaches the byline. He pulls the ball back, but there's nobody there. Fulham scoot straight up the other end, Zamora chasing a long ball and forcing Gomes to come out of his area down the Fulham right and head into the stand. Hoy! People tryin' to drink Bovril here!

42 min: To illustrate how poor this game has become, the most talented man on the park, Modric, hoicks the ball into the stands, halfway up, nobody within 20 yards of him in any direction. I don't work for ITV, so am under no obligation to big this up: this is dreck.

44 min: Shame shame shame, and so sad for this match to still be so shabby.

HALF TIME: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur. Bale hits a long ball into the area for Crouch. It's too high, by a neatly symmetrical six feet and seven inches. And that's that for a half which started quietly, then became eye-bleedingly painful. Come back in 15 minutes for the second half, though I stress you are in under no obligation whatsoever to do so.

And we're off again! No changes at half time. "Another Donleavy character is Clementine of the Three Glands," writes Mike Jones, fan of The Onion Eaters, before continuing in the abrupt Donleavy style. "He being possessed of an extra testicle. In matches like this, perhaps Sepp Blatter might forget trying to dump the offside rule and introduce an extra ball instead."

46 min: An instant improvement. Fulham attack down the left, Shorey finding Davies down the left with a raking pass. Davies sends a long cross to the far post, Zamora heads back into the centre, and from six yards Gera guides a header towards the top-right corner. It isn't directed right at the postage stamp, though, and Gomes is equal to it, palming the ball away.

50 min: Fulham win a corner down the right, the team having achieved more in the first five minutes of this half than the entire 45 that preceded it. Etuhu meets the set piece squarely, but heads the ball straight at Gomes, and without much power t'boot.

52 min: Bale zig-zags down the left and wins a corner, which he takes himself. It's only half cleared, the ball being whacked back into the area from left and right, but neither Crouch nor Pavlyuchenko can hold the thing up, the latter eventually falling over backwards, a precursor to the most half-arsed penalty claim of all time.

54 min: A more passionate penalty shout this time, as Crouch and Hangeland go up for a high ball in the Fulham area, the ball brushing the defender's paw. You'll have seen them given, it would have been harsh, nobody really cares, etc.

56 min: Fulham started this half semi-brightly, but now they're back in the old habits of sitting back and not being able to string more than one pass together. Spurs win a couple of corners in quick succession, then spend a couple of minutes passing it around the front of Fulham's area, then win another corner. Worrying stuff for the home side.

58 min: Another couple of Spurs corners! This is getting old. After a bout of head tennis following the second, Dawson unleashes a blistering dipping volley from the edge of the area just wide left of the target.

59 min: Schwarzer launches a long ball forward. It drops on the edge of the Spurs D. Assou-Ekotto tries to control it in the fancy manner, makes a total balls of the whole effort, and watches in horror as Gera nips in to shift the ball wide right for Duff, racing into the area in space. Luckily for the errant full back, Duff sends his powerful shot over the bar.

61 min: Fulham have weathered that particular storm, it seems. Spurs really had them on the ropes for the last ten minutes or so.

64 min: Duff comes inside from the right and gives the ball to Zamora, on the edge of the box. The striker holds the ball up, then lays it back to his winger, who digs a shot out without much backlift, sending the ball flying low and hard towards the Spurs goal. The shot's dead central, though, allowing Gomes to claim easily enough. But this is better from Fulham (again).

66 min: Cue Spurs looking dangerous again. Bale takes a long throw from the left. Crouch heads on. Pavlyuchenko, eight yards out, attempts an overhead kick. He meets it with meat - not the sort that Dangerfield accidentally puts on display in a train carriage - but it flies well over the bar.

69 min: Fulham are sitting back again, and nearly pay the price, Crouch getting a head to a deep Assou-Ekotto cross. He can only eyebrow it out to the right, however, and the home side breathe again.

71 min: Duff twists and turns down the right, making himself some space, but with Zamora and Gera both waiting in the centre, his cross is about as successful as Kenneth O'Keefe's attempts to lose his virginity.

73 min: The first change of the match, as striker Elm comes on for midfielder Davies.

75 min: It's a lot of long balls and bluster at the moment. In fairness, while the quality hasn't been great, at least both sides have attempted to ping it around on the floor. Most of the time.

77 min: Hoof, hoof, miscontrol, shank, slice, hoof, hoof, misplaced pass, hoofity, hoof, hoof. The teams are getting nervous.

78 min: Gera, on the left, dinks a ball across the face of the Spurs area for Duff on the right-hand edge of the box. Duff controls a difficult ball with ease, but then welts a half-decent chance well wide left of goal. He's had the two best chances of this period, both of them not exactly gift horses, but still.

80 min: Cutting in from the right, Baird hoicks a long ball down the centre of the park. Zamora sticks out a leg, but never looks like getting the ball. Down the other end, Bale fizzes a cross from the left across the face of the Fulham goal. Crouch doesn't bother moving, allowing Hangeland to hook clear.

82 min: Pavlyuchenko is replaced by Defoe.

84 min: Coming in from the right, Kranjcar hits a shot, or is it a cross, towards the top left. Schwarzer isn't confident of covering it, but no worries, the ball sails wide left.

86 min: Zamora gets a yard on the Spurs back line down the inside-right channel. Gomes thinks about coming, but doesn't. Zamora takes a shot early, from an acute angle, but can only screw it wide left. Spurs were holding their breath there for a nanosecond.

88 min: Etuhu crumps the top of Crouch's boot with his studs, and is booked for his trouble.

89 min: BREAKING DONLEAVY NEWS!!! Turns out Ger Gilroy, of Dublin radio station Newstalk 106, spoke to the great Donleavy on Friday. Here's the interview.

90 min: Kranjcar miscues in front of his own goal. With his back to the target, he nearly slices it into the top-left corner. The ball sails wide for a corner, which is duly wasted.

FULL TIME: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur. A poor game ends goalless. Duff probably had the best chances of the game, chances he may live to regret missing.

God's mercy
On the wide
Fulham Man.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:36:23 PM

FA Cup Quarter-Final

Fulham 0 
Tottenham Hotspur 0 

John Ashdown at Craven Cottage, Saturday 6 March 2010 20.36 GMT

These two sides are hardly regulars in FA Cup semi-finals of late – Fulham have made only one appearance in the last four since reaching the final in 1975, Tottenham have not reached the semis since 2001 – and neither side seem hugely intent on breaking that run, if this evidence is anything to go by. This was a replay waiting to happen, a staccato midfield battle enlivened by brief, occasional flurries at either end. The comfort for both is that, even at this late stage of the competition, excitement can be found elsewhere.

Tottenham are deep in the race for a Champions League spot, while Fulham's visit to Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday is billed by the club as "arguably the biggest" in their history. There is no question that the promise of a semi-final trip to Wembley is an enticing one for both, but even with the deadlock unbroken as the clock ticked down there was no frantic finale, a fact particularly frustrating for home fans hoping for their first trip to the national stadium in a generation.

Roy Hodgson, a cup winner in Sweden and Denmark with Malmo and FC Copenhagen, rather oddly felt it was "anything other than a dull Cup tie", but admitted that the Craven Cottage surface had contributed to an unappealing spectacle. "When it gets to this stage of the season after a bad winter, unfortunately it does get very bare, somewhat uneven and it doesn't exactly help ball control," said the Fulham manager, who nevertheless remains optimistic of success at White Hart Lane a fortnight on Wednesday.

"We know we can trust the players to give the sort of performance they've given today, even if we're a little bit wounded in terms of personnel, so in that respect we're confident," said Hodgson. "On the other hand we know Tottenham are a very good team, they're not fourth in the land for nothing. They are there on merit, so we'll be up against it."

Harry Redknapp concurred over the "difficult" state of the pitch, but was satisfied with the result. "There wasn't as many chances as you'd have liked," said the Spurs manager. "But when you come here you take a draw. It's a difficult place to come. This team just knocked Shakthar Donetsk out of the Uefa Cup, the holders. That tells you an awful lot about them. They're difficult to break down, they're well organised, they're well managed, well coached, and they're not easy to play against."

Redknapp had pointed out pre-match that injuries had reduced him to around 12 first-team players. Indeed, such was Spurs' shortage that Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend were recalled from loan spells at Peterborough and Milton Keynes Dons respectively to take places on the bench. Though cobbled together, Spurs began the brighter, but were hardly radiant. It took 18 minutes for their first genuine shot at goal, and that was an apologetic free-kick from Niko Kranjcar that bobbled well wide. Little more than a minute later Bobby Zamora, an angular, awkward, though largely ineffective presence throughout, responded by showing neat feet to cut inside and force Heurelho Gomes into a smart save at his near post.

It proved to be the first-half high-point for the home side. At the other end Mark Schwarzer made two fine saves, palming away Kranjcar's curling effort and scrambling across goal to divert Peter Crouch's goalbound back-post header.

Hodgson is not a manager to threaten the half-time tea-cups, but his side certainly emerged from the dressing room with a spring in their collective step and they were the better side in an almost-equally forgettable second half. Within 60 seconds of the restart, Zamora headed across goal and Zoltan Gera, little more than six yards out, forced Gomes into the best save of the match.

Tottenham then had two penalty claims turned down. Roman Pavlyuchenko's tumble was wildly optimistic, though Mark Clattenburg's decision to wave play on as Brede Hangeland, jumping with arms aloft, appeared to be struck on the hand was less clear cut. And though the home side gradually grew in confidence and competence — Damien Duff twice stabbed shots at goal from promising positions, while Zamora dragged a late half-chance well wide — they failed to find a way through.

While Redknapp, whose side had been taken to replays by both Bolton and Leeds in the previous two rounds, was understandably optimistic of completing the hat-trick, with games mounting up a rematch is hardly what Fulham need, though Hodgson is keen to look on the bright side.

"I don't know really if one can ever be a victim of success," said Hodgson. "I think success is what we all strive for. This team has been very successful and as a result we find ourselves playing lots of games, but rather than feel like victims I think we should be basking in the glory of it. It's not every year we get to play close to 60 games a season. There are plenty of times when we've barely scraped over 40, so let's be glad about it."


CHRIS LLOYD, Observer reader The first half was nothing like what I expected. This was an important game for us. It's not often you get the chance to go to Wembley. The second half was much better, with Zamora and Duff coming to the fore. Unfortunately, Zamora didn't have his shooting boots on, while Gomes was excellent in the Spurs goal. Our defence coped easily with Crouch and Pavlyuchenko, with Hangeland outstanding. It was disappointing to see our midfield struggle. Davies and Greening were poor and it had quite an impact. We've got the replay now, but our away form is terrible. Let's hope we can prove the critics wrong and do something special at White Hart Lane.

The fan's player ratings Schwarzer 7; Baird 7, Hughes 7, Hangeland 8, Shorey 7; Duff 8, Greening 6, Etuhu 5, Davies 6 (Elm 73 6); Gera 7; Zamora 8.

DAVE MASON, Observer reader This will be our third replay and we are certainly doing it the hard way. We had loads of possession but hardly tested Schwarzer in the Fulham goal. Crouch was supposed to have had a great game for England in midweek, but he and Pavlyuchenko play the same game. We just lump it up to Crouch and expect him to hold it, but he can't. The same with Pavlyuchenko — they play in each other's shoes. I have to say we're missing Bentley wide right, but Palacios was terrific. The amount of possession he wins for us is superb. Gomes was again outstanding. This time last year he was throwing the ball in his own net.

The fan's player ratings Gomes 8; Corluka 6, Dawson 7, Bassong 6, Assou-Ekotto 6; Kranjcar 6, Modric 6, Palacios 8, Bale 7; Pavlyuchenko 5 (Defoe 81 n/a), Crouch 4.

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:44:23 PM

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur

 Match facts

 FA Cup Quarter-Final

Saturday 6 March 2010 17.20

  Score line 
Final score  Fulham  0 – 0
(HT 0 – 0)
  Tottenham Hotspur 
Bookings Etuhu 89
 Fulham's Percentage Tottenham Hotspur's Percentage
Corners 2 18%  9 82% 
Goal attempts 8 42%  11 58% 
On target 4 66%  2 34% 
Fouls 10 50%  10 50% 
Offside 1 50%  1 50% 


Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera, Damien Duff, Dickson Etuhu, Jonathan Greening, Simon Davies (David Elm, 73), Bobby Zamora
Tottenham Hotspur

Heurelho Gomes, Gareth Bale, Sebastien Bassong, Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Wilson Palacios, Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar, Roman Pavlyuchenko (Jermain Defoe, 82), Peter Crouch 

Referee Clattenburg, M

Venue Craven Cottage

Attendance 24,533
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:47:20 PM

Fulham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0: match report

Read a full report of the FA Cup quarter-final match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage on Saturday, March 6 2010.
By Duncan White

Published: 7:31PM GMT 06 Mar 2010

Like all good cockney showdowns there’s got to be a sequel. Roy versus ‘Arry II coming to a screen near you. Rated R.

For once it’s got to be better than the first one: the acting was wooden and plot just meandered along without really going anywhere. At least the soundtrack was good: there was an excellent atmosphere down at the Cottage.

Tottenham trying to hang on to fourth spot and Fulham still in the Europa League neither Harry Redknapp nor Roy Hodgson wanted the replay from this one but a replay is what they got.

There was no shortage of huff and puff but nothing that remotely looked like bringing the house down. Wembley deferred.

Before the game Roy Hodgson and Mark Schwarzer were presented with their manager- and player-of-the–month awards for February, a recognition of the fine achievements of this modest club this season.

Even more impressive was Hodgson’s cross-field dash to get back to the dressing rooms for a last exhortation to his men and at a fair old nick for a man who has just entered his seventh decade.

That was just about the quickest anyone moved on this turgid pitch. With Jermain Defoe’s hamstring niggle keeping him on the bench and Fulham playing Bobby Zamora alone up front there was preciously little pace in either attack.

The result meant both lines of defence could squeeze the play, leaving little space in a stodgy midfield.

Unsurprisingly, then, chances were scarce in the first half. Fulham had the first significant effort on target, Zamora taking advantage of Vedran Corluka’s error to get a shot in at the near post which Heurelho Gomes saved comfortably.

Without Danny Murphy, out with a groin injury, Fulham lacked wit and too often chipped the ball vaguely in Zamora’s general direction.

With Croatian pair Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar there was more imagination in Tottenham’s approach play. The latter nearly embarrassed Schwarzer with a dipping shot 28 minutes in that the Australian only managed to awkwardly parry.

Two minutes later and Schwarzer was called on again, getting smartly across goal to push Peter Crouch’s impressive header from Corluka’s cross behind for a corner.

Fulham, though, are a robust defensive unit and they were clearly looking to take things very cautiously and pick Tottenham off by putting away one of their infrequent chances.

They almost did just that with the break looming, but Benoît Assou-Ekotto hooked alertly away from Zamora as he tried to latch on to Gera’s flick.

Mercifully the game opened up after the break. Seconds after the restart and Fulham had their best chance yet. Nickey Shorey played a ball down the left which Simon Davies crossed to the far post where Zamora nodded back across goal.

Gera’s close-range near-post header was flailed away by Gomes. Moments later Gomes saved more comfortably from Dickson Etuhu’s header after the Nigerian met Davies’ outsinging corner.

Fulham no longer appeared content to let this game drift towards a replay.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, in such fine form at the moment, hazarded a particularly unconvincing dive to try and win Spurs a penalty – he should have been booked – and then referee Mark Clattenburg failed to award a genuine one, missing Brede Hangeland’s handling of the ball as he challenged Crouch in the air. Spurs had their revenge though, when Kranjcar accidentally body-checked the referee minutes later, leaving him on his backside.

Damien Duff, playing on the right, twice went close for Fulham shooting wide with a right-footed drive before squirting out an effort with his left that Gomes dived to save. Spurts responded, with Pavlyuchenko hooking over after Crouch had flicked on Bale’s long throw. Unbelievably, Modric then managed to jump high enough to get in Crouch’s way from another Bale cross.

With both side’s tiring, the game was getting stretched. Hodgson moved first sending on David Elm for Simon Davies to play up front with Zamora. Fulham hit and hoped for a winner, Zamora twice nearly getting on the end of optimistic punts into the box and when he did get a sight of goal he mis-hit it.

All a bit of an anticlimax, really. Roll credits.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 09:51:13 PM
Fulham 0 Tottenham 0:  Heurelho Gomes saves the day for Spurs in last-eight stalemate at Craven Cottage

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 7:39 PM on 06th March 2010

Tottenham had Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping them in their FA Cup tie with Fulham at Craven Cottage that came alive in the second half. 

Gomes made a string of fine saves as Fulham went poured forward after the interval to earn his side a quarter-final replay at White Hart Lane on March 24. 

The Brazilian prevented Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Brede Hangeland and Zoltan Gera scoring in a London derby that lacked any bite until a pulsating second period.
For Gomes it was a return to the ground where in November 2008 he made the worst in a string of blunders that almost saw him sold by manager Harry Redknapp.

Redknapp opted against offloading the £7.8million signing from PSV Eindhoven. The Spurs manager's faith has already been repaid but once more Gomes underlined his value. 

At the other end, Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar and Peter Crouch at the end of the first half, but was hardly involved again.   

For all their possession and a passing game that was easy on the eye, Spurs rarely troubled Fulham's goal and wilted as an attacking force. 

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will be disappointed his side, who continue to punch above their weight in two cup competitions, did not finish off their capital rivals.   

Hodgson and Schwarzer were presented with their manager and player of the month awards for February shortly before kick-off.   

Spurs pressed hard in midfield to give their opponents little time on the ball but despite some slick passing, they failed to trouble Fulham's goal.   

Anticipation gripped home fans as Zamora broke free down the left before expertly cutting back inside where he fired a shot straight into the arms of Gomes. 

It was not until the 28th minute that either keeper was extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Niko Kranjcar. 

The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to turn a fine goalbound header by Peter Crouch away from the target. 

Damien Duff pulled the trigger from long range at the other end as Fulham's chances continued to be severely limited.   

Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one well-worked move but Michael Dawson intervened to snuff out the danger. 

The second half was not even a minute old when Gera drew a superb save from Gomes.   

Simon Davies initiated the move with a marauding run down the right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora directed the ball to Gera whose header was well stopped by Gomes. 

The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out Hangeland's header from a Davies corner. Dawson smashed the ball into the stands to end a spell of Spurs' dominance but once again the visitors did not look like scoring for all their dominance. 

The match was coming alive after a dull first half, partly thanks to the noisy Spurs fans. Duff found the side netting after being set up by Davies and was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent work by Zamora.   

The impressive Kranjcar fizzed a lethal cross through the penalty area as Spurs launched a swashbuckling counter-attack.   

Space was opening up for both sides in an increasingly frantic final 10 minutes that saw Zamora fail to connect with a fine chance.   

Vedran Corluka almost turned an attempted clearance into his own net - he did not know where the ball was going and Spurs breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 10:18:18 PM

Stalemate leaves Spurs in the driving seat

by Dan on March 6, 2010

The overwhelming feeling at the end of a Cup tie that became more engrossing as time ticked by was that Fulham’s chance of a rare walk down Wembley way had slipped away. Tottenham started with a frenzied flurry and settled in their pretty passing swiftly, but Roy Hodgson’s side created more chances as the game grew older and, with Fulham’s notoriously poor domestic away form, you felt that they had to finish the job at Craven Cottage.

That they didn’t owed a lot to Heurelho Gomes. The Brazilian goalkeeper returned to the scene of a horrific error early in his Tottenham career, when he carelessly let a tame shot from Simon Davies trickle into the net, but he carried on from where he left off last Boxing Day when an inspired performance earned Spurs a point. He was much the busier keeper, producing a couple of terrific saves to deny Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff, as Fulham looked a lot more adventurous after the break.

Tottenham had the bulk of the possession in the first period, with little Luka Modric buzzing forward ominously from central midfield, but struggled to penetrate a well-drilled defence. Harry Redknapp paired Roman Pavlyuchenko with Peter Crouch up front but Brede Hangeland won most of the aerial duels and Fulham were fairly comfortable, especially as there was little danger behind the back line with Jermain Defoe only fit enough to manage a brief cameo from the bench.

Bobby Zamora led the line with characteristic endeavour for the home side, engaging in a running battle with Sebastien Bassong, who seemed eager to take Zamora’s shirt away with him long before the final whistle. On the ocassions when Zamora escaped the attentions of his marker, he failed to find the finishing touch. A smart turn on the edge of the box gave him the space to shot at goal but Gomes smothered the shot at his near post.

Spurs, previously restricted to patient passing and hopeful efforts from distance, first tested Schwarzer through Niko Kranjcar, whose powerful shot proved too hot for the Australian to hold, though Hangeland was on hand to sweep the rebound to safety. Schwarzer showed an agility beyond his years to get a hand on a downward header from Crouch that seemed to be creeping inside the far post but that was close as Spurs came.

The sum of Fulham’s attacking efforts were that low Zamora drive and some speculative shots from Damien Duff, although Michael Dawson was forced into a hurried clearance as Zamora bore down on goal. Hodgson’s side were much more effective after the break, with the second half only seconds old when Gomes stretched to brilliantly palm away Zoltan Gera’s header after Zamora had glanced on a cross from Simon Davies. The goalkeeper made a more conventional stop from Dickson Etuhu’s header five minutes later and that lively spell sparked Spurs into life.

They forced a succession of corners and the rampaging Gareth Bale burst alarming past Chris Baird on a couple of ocassions – though the relief was tangible when Michael Dawson drove wide from inside the box. The game was suddenly a lot more open. Zamora somehow worked a yard of space for Duff, whose sidefooter from 20 yards just lacked the pace to take it past a diving Gomes, while Kranjcar’s dangerous cross from the flank eluded everybody in the Fulham penalty area.

Defoe belatedly joined the Tottenham frontline, but it was Fulham who came closest to nicking it towards the end as David Elm came on to partner Zamora. He was agonisingly close to latching onto a raking through pass from Chris Baird and then dragged the game’s last chance frustrating across goal from a narrow angle. Fulham, who badly missed the creativity of injured captain Danny Murphy, might come to rue those late missed chances.

FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Greening, Duff, Davies (Elm 73); Gera; Zamora. Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Kelly, Konchesky, Riise, Okaka.

BOOKED: Etuhu.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Bassong; Palacios, Modric, Kranjcar, Bale; Pavlyuchenko (Defoe 81), Crouch. Subs (not used): Alnwick, Dervite, Livermore, Townsend, Rose, Gudjohnsen.

REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg (County Durham).

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 10:19:53 PM
From the Other Side

Saturday 6th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Speaking in Saturday's post-match press conference, Spurs Manager Harry Redknapp gave his assessment of the game:

"We kept possession well, though we didn't create enough chances," said Redknapp.

"Of course we'll be the happier side. Before we came here we would have taken the draw. This is a difficult place to come.

"Fulham are a difficult team to beat - they just knocked holders Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Europa League. That tells you all you need to know about them.

"They're well managed and coached and are not easy to play against.

"A replay gives us a good chance at home and we're still bang in there.

"At home we've got a big chance but I bet Shakhtar thought they were favourites for the second leg of that Europa League tie.

"It didn't work out that way, though. Fulham's win was one of the results of the season."

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 10:21:26 PM
Roy's FA Cup Reaction

Saturday 6th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Looking back on Saturday's FA Cup Quarter-Final draw with Spurs at Craven Cottage, Roy Hodgson gave his post-match reaction:

"I'm only the more disappointed because it was a home game and the advantage now passes over to Tottenham because they will be at home for the replay," Hodgson said.

"We're pretty evenly matched and I'm disappointed we couldn't get the goal that would have put us through. Both teams defended exceptionally well and played some good football on a very difficult pitch that makes passing and ball control difficult.

"It was an exciting, fierce cup tie played in the right spirit and I don't think Harry or myself could complain about the result.

"We don't feel we're out yet, we're just as capable of giving a good performance away from home.

"We were close at the end but, on the basis of the play, nil-nil was a fair result, although it was anything other than a dull cup tie because of the quality and commitment on show.

"The atmosphere was magnificent. I'm pleased we didn't lose as that would have been a bitter disappointment."

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 10:56:29 PM


Fulham 0 Tottenham 0
By Neil Ashton, 06/03/2010

PERHAPS they were put off by the prospect of playing a semi-final on that pot-holed Wembley surface, relaid before they even replay.

They will clash again at White Hart Lane, two teams colliding before one of them will ultimately appear on that pock-marked pitch.

These two footballing teams were too afraid to make a mistake, nerves shredded as they failed to finish the day in a semi-final.

It was there for both of them, each capable of finding the finishing touch and then waiting for this afternoon's draw.

Roy Hodgson's expansive side have been a breath of fresh air this season, fighting on three fronts with a group of players who show no shortage of desire.

The stakes are higher for Tottenham and their demanding chairman Daniel Levy, a team put together with ambitions to break the top-four cartel.

Harry Redknapp is the man to do it and yet these two must try again in the FA Cup, failing to carve out the openings that would have taken them into the last four.

Potential matchwinners were positioned all over the pitch, stationed on both sides by two adventurous, attack-minded managers.

Bobby Zamora was in his element again, escaping the clutches of Sebastien Bassong and thriving on the anticipation.

Fulham's supporters were counting on him, full of anxiety as the players set out to reach Wembley for the first time since 1975.

They are set up to secure a semi-final under Roy Hodgson, with his tailor-made team operating like a top-four club these days.

On Thursday, they will travel to Turin, jetting into industrial Italy to take on the might of Juventus in the Europa League's round of 16.

Fulham's supporters have a taste for continental football, yet it is a day trip to Wembley they covet under Hodgson's guiding hand.

They merit it having covered themselves in glory after Premier League victories at Craven Cottage over Manchester United and Liverpool.

Zamora is their talisman, shrugging off his pointed exclusion from the England squad last weekend with another excellent performance.

His right-foot shot on the turn in the first half, eluding Tottenham's defence to drill an effort down the throat of Heurelho Gomes, typified his attitude.

The Fulham striker is the link-up man for this fast-flowing team, always available for Simon Davies or Jonathan Greening to ping the ball into his path.

This was their chance to rub out Tottenham's name from this year's competition, sending them the same way as Arsenal, Liverpool and United.

The draw opened up for both teams, eyeing the prize of a place in next month's semi-final to underline their Cup credentials.

Redknapp demanded it, determined to continue his love affair with the competition that started as a manager when his Cup kings Bournemouth knocked out holders United in 1984. So were Tottenham's supporters, turning out in force to chant their favourite Chas and Dave number from 1981.

Gareth Bale was not even born when Spurs beat Manchester City in a replay at Wembley and yet he is eager to play his part in this Cup run.

Bale was brimming with confidence, Tottenham's tormentor-in-chief with his frequent runs down the left.

He's a different player now, flush full of confidence after finally winning over Redknapp.

Tottenham's manager is not quite convinced of him as an orthodox left-back, shuffling him up a place and stationing him at left midfield.

But he imposed himself, making the ambitious runs that characterised his game when he was still a kid at Southampton.

Redknapp will want more of the same if he is to stay in the Spurs team, a creative force with the ability to conjure chances.

Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko were there to take them, preferred to the destructive force of Jermain Defoe.

They earned their start together, with Crouch's double for England in midweek convincing the Tottenham chief to stick with him.

Defoe sat it out, nursing a hamstring injury after Redknapp went with two towering forwards to take on Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes. Crouch's awkward approach unsettles teams, combining a decent first touch with his ability to feed fellow team-mates.

Egypt saw that at Wembley last Wednesday as he made an instant impact leaping off the bench.

Tottenham needed some of that raw enthusiasm to smooth their passage into the semi-final.

So much at stake and yet a twist or turn was all it required, a player with the audacity to take this tie into their own hands.

Bale threatened but too many other players in this Tottenham team were happy to pass on the responsibility.

Niko Kranjcar was non-existent in the first half, a player with the talent but not the desire to be considered one of the best. Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer spilled his effort, his solitary contribution to the most ordinary half of his career.

The Croatian winger is so much better than this, a player who can give the world's top full-backs a run for their money.

But talent runs throughout this Tottenham team, with Luka Modric another capable of classier performances.

He was picked to play central midfield, shoe-horned into a Tottenham team that Redknapp will readily explain has been deprived by injury.

Not quite down to the bare bones but requiring a bit more meat for them to secure their semi-final place.

Wilson Palacios gave them presence in the centre of midfield, a workhorse piling into challenges with Dickson Etuhu and Greening. Redknapp loves this warrior, a disciplined and determined character, never allowing anyone to settle on the ball.

He covers every blade, bouncing off the opposition and getting his body in the way of danger.

His influence is vital, a protective shield in front of an increasingly hesitant back four.

Twice, Fulham threatened with headed efforts at the start of the second half but Spurs were grateful to Gomes for his safe hands and excellent positioning.

Michael Dawson and Bassong allowed Zoltan Gera to slip through the net, directing his attempt straight into the arms of Tottenham's keeper.

A minute later, he had to be equally alert, perfectly placed to collect Etuhu's well-taken header. They were let-offs for Spurs but they responded by turning the screw.

It was the reaction Redknapp was screaming for. Crouch's effort was cleared, Palacios' long-range drive was deflected away and Dawson's effort skewed wide of Schwarzer's post.

Stirring stuff, Cup tie drama as two of the Premier League's finest football teams resolved to get it done inside 90 minutes.

It seemed like a pretty good deal, with Damien Duff taking up the challenge with two decent efforts.

All it needed was a follow-up, someone desperate to be the hero and thrust their team into the last four.

Wembley awaits. They will just have to wait that bit longer.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:01:28 PM

FA Cup glory? Take it back...(to the lane)

Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 10:40PM

Fulham 0 Spurs 0

Not exactly your quintessential cup tie that. For all the talk about squad depletion and recalling of yoof players to make up the numbers, our starting line-up wasn't too shabby. Defoe on the bench, but the switch on the left-side (BAE slotting into left-back and Bale into left-midfield) was something I was keen to see and Modric in the middle is something that's always up for discussion - can it work? Crouch upfront with Pav and Niko on the right. Regardless of the kids on the bench keeping JD company, it's a line-up good enough to beat Fulham, or at least make the effort to do so.

So, how did this game end 0-0? Simply put, because it wasn't very good. There were moments for both sides. We dominated possession but Fulham had the shots on target. Palacios marshalled the midfield but Modric struggled to dictate or find the time to hurt the opposition. Perhaps this wasn't the perfect stage for him to play central, but then Harry was forced to do so thanks to our bare bone crisis. Had we another CM capable of fulfilling the role then perhaps Modric starting out on the left would have allowed him to roam, dink and cut inside in that wonderfully jinxing manner we love to watch. His passing was a little off-key too. Not the best of days. But perhaps not the best of pitches (although no excuse, he worked his magic up at Wigan a few weeks back).

First half was congested, untidy. No real FA Cup magic to behold, in fact no real evidence of this being an FA Cup tie full stop. Second half, better, but frustrating. For all the ball at our feet and defending when called upon to do so there was still moments when Zamora and company threatened. The threat thankfully always ended with a sigh of relief. Fulham not really causing us anything more than half a missed heart-beat. But you know how it is, we dominate, they break, they score and we rage. You could almost see it happening, compounded with what smelt like ominous irony (smells like sick) mainly because we lacked cutting edge up front. This game was made for the sucker-punch.

I guess with Fulham playing so deep and defensive, there wasn't enough about them to make us that nervous. Not really.

As for us; cutting edge, the lack of. How you haunt me week after week. I'm actually not going to knee-jerk and perhaps the more astute amongst you will reason why the Pav/Crouch combo failed to ignite today. IMO, it failed because it was just one of those games. I love the word 'fragmented' (to be copyrighted). And today it just felt like our forwards were snuffed out of it by the resolute tenacity of the Fulham defenders and the tactics of Hodgson. It was all a bit too fragmented.

I think Roy was quite clever. If this was a traditional cup tie and had Fulham gone out and attempted to give it some proper gallivanting play, we'd had beaten them. We have the better footballers. And they lacked the presence of a Murphy in the middle to make them truly tick creatively. So what Roy did (the git) was have his players work their socks off. And their more direct play pushing forward (not talking long ball but speed of attack) allowed them the opportunities to test us, so from their perspective they could contain us and counter. Good tactics.

The problem we had in countering this, is one open for debate. Pav didn't really have any goal-sniffing opps that he thrives off. No 'one second' to think moments. He disappeared in some of the build up play, sometimes struggling to bring the ball under control quickly. Could he have dug deeper? Can he dig deeper? Is it the right game to knee-jerk on his performance? No. Let this one be. Watch the difference in the replay. Although if a play fails to find another way into a game and a trend develops, we have a problem. Said player can only play effectively if the game suits him (Darren Bent anyone?)

Crouch was okay. Felt at times that we didn't really use him properly. Crossing was not great and there seemed to be the usual confusion with when exactly to aim for his head and when to play the ball forward to his feet. Towards the end (when JD came on for Pav) someone (sorry, forgot who) pumped the ball up to Defoe. I mean seriously, Crouch has gone off and we're still pumping it up forwards. This time to a midget. Giving him 60/40 against him to win it. Bit of common sense sometimes let's us down. I know this isn't exactly criminal, but sometimes a little bit more intelligence is required - especially in the final moments of a game.

I'll add this - there were moments in the game when players made mistakes when a LEADER was blatantly required to shout at them. Sometimes it looks like discrepancies are accepted.

Perhaps its time for a new directive. Play the ball on the ground unless you're passing the ball up the field to someone's feet. There is a time and place to play the knock down via Crouch. But anyways, if we haven't worked it out yet, I can't see us working it out any time soon. It's what births the questions about how Crouch is more successful for England than he is for Spurs - and if its because Crouch is an out and out striker for England - then it means we've got the wrong player up front to aid the Spurs 'out and out' forward.

Moving on.

Bale was stupendous to watch. Powerful and silky. Our best creative outlet, but alas not enough on the day to craft out a chance. No fault of his. He had plenty of success but cut backs were limited. Gomes, confident in goal, helped as survive any potentially heart in mouth moments. In the end, tbh, I'm happy with the result. Neither side deserved to win it and had, let's say Fulham nicked it, I'd have been furious for what was such a lacklustre game to have allowed a winner to head towards Wembley for the semi-final. Mainly because I'd have looked at our players and questioned their belief and determination to force the issue and score. Losing games of this manner is far more frustrating then losing a ding dong cup tie.

Corluka almost scoring an own-goal and earlier in the game, BAE attempting to be smart in the box and losing the ball - two moments that had me screaming out WTF expletives. Crouchies header and Pav's attempted over-head kick not enough.

Far from over, mind. But Fulham have a mental fixture list in the next few weeks, so as long as we can recover some of our walking wounded and get through our games without any further damage - we should...should be able to get the right result at WHL (Wed 24th).

As important as 4th is, the FA Cup is something I'm desperate for us to win again. Been too long.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:04:17 PM

We'll take draw - Harry 

06 March 2010

Harry Redknapp stressed the importance of staying in the tie after Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final finished goalless at Fulham.

It was a game high in intensity but with few clear-cut chances at Craven Cottage as both teams go into Sunday's semi-final draw.

We edged the first half as Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar's stinging shot and Peter Crouch's header but Fulham came closest after the break as Heurelho Gomes saved superbly from Zoltan Gera and Vedran Corluka sliced agonisingly just wide of his own goal in the final minute.

"You come here and you take a draw," stated Harry. "I'm not disappointed to come here and get a replay.

"You only have to look at their home record, they are solid at Craven Cottage and difficult to beat, so it was important for us not to lose.

"They've just knocked Shakhtar Donetsk, the holders, out of Europe and that says a lot about them.

"They are difficult to break down, well coached, well managed and not easy to play against, so to come away with a replay now gives us a good chance."

Harry described Wilson Palacios' display in central midfield as 'immense'. "He was outstanding for us, really strong," he added.

"I thought we kept possession well perhaps without creating as many chances as we would have liked, but both defences played well when they had to.

"We've got a big chance now playing at home but I'm sure Shakhtar felt the same when they went home for the second leg in the European game and it didn't work out that way. It will be another tough game but we're still right in there."
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:06:43 PM

Fulham 0 - 0 Tottenham at Craven Cottage

If Fulham had won today against Tottenham they would have advanced to Wembley and the semifinals of the FA Cup. Today's game was home for Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Unfortunately for Fulham the game ended in a 0 - 0 draw. This was a disappointing result for Fulham. They will now have to play the replay later this month back to White Hart Lane . The last time the teams played at White Hart Lane, Tottenham won the game 2 - 0.

The first half was pretty back and forth with not too many chances by either team. For the most part Tottenham controlled the play better especially in the midfield.In the 4th minute there was a shot by Modric that sailed over the net. For several minutes in the first part of the half Tottenham were controlling the play.

The best chance for Fulham came in the 19th minute. Bobby Zamora's shot was saved by the goalkeeper. It was a good chance just inside the box, but was handled by Gomes.

The other good chances for the half were by Tottenham. In the 28 th minute there was a decent shot by Kranjcar. In the 30th minute, a header by Peter Crouch is saved by Schwarzer. The announcers mentioned that Tottenham were looking dangerous but not doing enough.

For Fulham in the first half it was obvious that they did miss Danny Murphy. Jonathan Greening was on his place. To win this game they needed to do better in the midfield. At the half the score is 0 -0.

The second half opened similar to how it started. Fulham came out aggressive in the opening minutes. Fulham had the first real good chance of the second half. In the 46th minute a Simon Davies cross went to Bobby Zamora who headed the ball to Zoltan Gera. His header was saved by Gomes.

As like the first half, Tottenham shortly after the brief advantage by Fulham started to grab control again. In the 55th minute a shot by Kranjcar goes off of Nicky Shorey, but was in a dangerous area near the net. Shortly after that in the 58th minute a shot by Michael Dawson slices away from the net.

Tottenham had more of the play, but Fulham were definitely getting some chances. Damien Duff started to get some shots. In the 58th minute a shot by Duff just goes wide of the net. In the 64th minute a shot by Duff is again saved by Gomes. This shot was a very good chance for Duff. In the 77th minute a pass from Zoltan Gera leads to another shot by Damien Duff that goes wide of the net. The last real chance for Fulham was in the 85th minute with a Bobby Zamora run and a shot that goes very wide of the net.

As the match winds down the game ends 0 - 0 with a replay at home to Tottenham. This game reminded me some of the Boxing Day match. However, Tottenham I thought played at a much higher level tonight. To be honest both teams had there chances. Tottenham had 9 corners in the match to Fulham having only 2. Tottenham just couldn't break though the Fulham defense.

This was a disappointing result for Fulham. They have so many tough matches this month. Now, they will have a replay in the quarterfinal of the FA Cup. I think both teams played well. Like I mentioned prior I was impressed by the play for Tottenham Hotspur. I can see why they are in the running for a Champions League spot.

Fulham are definitely a tough team to beat at home. The question is can Fulham win at White Hart Lane? We will find out later this month.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 11:15 AM
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:09:21 PM

Fulham 0 Tottenham 0: Heurelho Gomes Heroics Deny Cottagers Victory

06/3/2010 1:23 PM GMT

By Ian Winrow

Heurelho Gomes produced three outstanding second-half saves to deny Fulham and secure an FA Cup quarter-final replay for Spurs.

Chances were few and far between in a disappointing game with neither side ever taking control of the tie.

And when Fulham stepped up the tempo after the break, Gomes responded to a spell of home pressure by denying headers from Zoltan Gera and Brede Hangeland, before producing a full-length dive to keep out Damien Duff's drive.

The two sides will now meet at White Hart Lane on March 24th.

Roy Hodgson accepted the draw as a fair result and having seen his side produce some impressive away performances recently – most notably against Shakhtar Donetsk – remains confident ahead of the replay.

"I'm only the more disappointed because it was a home game and the advantage now passes over to Tottenham because they have that advantage," said the Fulham manager. "We've pretty evenly matched and I'm disappointed we couldn't get the goal that would put us through.

"We were close at the end but on the basis of the play a draw was a fair result.

"The way we've played recently and the fact we know we can trust the players to giver the type of performance they have done today makes us confident.

"But we also know Tottenham are a very good team who are where they are in the league on merit. Harry has brought in some very fine players and we'll be up against."

The fact that Fulham now travel to face Juventus in the Europa League although provided consolation for Hodgson.

"It's a wonderful time for the club," he added. "We've had a magnificent February.

"One is always wary that after such a good month the next one will start poorly. I'll quite happily accept the 0-0 today and take this to Juventus.

"I remind the players this is what you're a Premiership player for - there are lots of people in lower divisions who are envious. We should be grateful for that."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp acknowledged the debt his side owed Gomes who had a difficult afternoon here last season when he appeared on his way out of the club.

"Gomes looks different to the goalkeeper who came here in 2008 when I irst arrived," said Redknapp. "He had a terrible time here then but he's a different lad now full confidence who looks what he is - a top keeper.

"He had a bad day here in 2008 but it didn't affect him today."

And he added: "At home we've got a big chance but I bet Shakhtar thought they were favourites for that second leg, but it didn't work out that way.

"That was one of the results of the season - I know how hard it is to go there."

It was clear from the opening moments that this would be a tightly contested affair and it took 20 minutes before either side created a meaningful opening, a half chance that was spurned by Bobby Zamora. Tottenham shaded the first half without ever truly taking control then after the break Fulham showed the greater initiative but were unable to find a way past Gomes. The quality of both sides' defending will have satisfied the purist but as a spectacle, this tie never really took off.

The games are coming thick and fast for Fulham right now and a replay will further clog their fixture list. When that list includes FA Cup quarter final replays and a Europa League tie, however, it's no surprise that Hodgson is viewing the coming weeks with relish. With Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United already out of the competition, both teams came into this game knowing they had a chance of winning the competition and from that point of view, nothing has changed.

"Rather than see ourselves as victims we should bask in the glory because it's not ever year we get to play close to 60 games in a season."
- Hodgson shows he is a workaholic


Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer 8; Baird 6, Hughes 7, Hangeland 7, Shorey 6; Duff 7, Greening 7, Etuhu 6, Davies 6 (Elm 73, 6); Gera 6, Zamora 5.
Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling.

Tottenham (4-4-2): Gomes 9; Corluka 6, Bassong 7, Dawson 8, Assou-Ekotto 7; Krancjar 7, Modric 6, Palacios 7, Bale 8; Crouch 5, Pavlyuchenko 5 (Defoe 82, 5).
Subs (not used): Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.


- Fulham v Juventus (Away), Europa League 11/03, 2005 GMT
- Tottenham Hotspur v Blackburn Rovers (Home), Premier League 13/03, 1245 GMT

Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham): It wasn't hard to stand out in a agme like this and the Brazilian provided the few moments of excitement with a series of second half saves.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:11:10 PM

Popo pops up to beat Cottagers

Tosan Popo snatched a last-gasp winner as Charlton's U18s defeated their Fulham counterparts at Sparrows Lane on Saturday.

The striker popped up in the last minute as the young Addicks recovered from an interval deficit to pocket three points.

The Cottagers, who are set for an FA Youth Cup quarter-final in midweek, took the lead in the opening period - but Charlton hit back after the break.

Midfielder Ben Davisson grabbed his first goal of the season to level matters as his recuperation from a serious ankle injury continued.

And Popo struck at the death, converting his third goal in his last four games to seal the win.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:13:13 PM

Fulham Coach Roy Hodgson: Playing Juventus Will Be Like A Final

Hodgson is getting ready to return to Serie A...

By Salvatore Landolina

Mar 6, 2010 11:47:00 AM
Roy Hodgson is preparing to lead Fulham to new heights in the Europa League, but he is well aware that facing Juventus is anything but easy.

"Playing against the Bianconeri is like a final for us, there aren't many teams left in the competition who can match the pedigree of Juventus," he told Tuttosport.

The Cottagers travel to Turin on Thursday for the first-leg, last 16 clash, and for Hodgson playing away from home first is always a big advantage.

"It certainly isn't a disadvantage [to play away]. It's always better for us to play the decisive [second leg] match at Craven Cottage.

"The stadium will be sold out and, although we have played little in Europe, we have a 14 game unbeaten run at home, and we are proud of this."
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:22:21 PM

Fulham 0 Tottenham 0

Published: Today

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TOTTENHAM and Fulham will have to lock horns again after this FA Cup quarter-final ended in stalemate.

Spurs controlled the first half of but failed to score the goal their dominance deserved.

Niko Kranjcar and Peter Crouch tested Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in an opening period that was largely incident-free.

Bobby Zamora produced the best shot for Fulham but Heurelho Gomes saved easily.

It was not until the 28th minute that either goalkeeper was extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Kranjcar.

The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to turn a fine goal-bound header by Crouch away from the target.

Damien Duff tried his luck from long range at the other end as Fulham's chances continued to be severely limited.

Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one well-worked move but Michael Dawson intervened in the nick of time to snuff out the danger.

Most of the action continued to take place in Fulham's half, however, with Brede Hangeland clearing a dangerous cross.

The second period was not even a minute old when Zoltan Gera drew a superb save from Gomes.

Simon Davies started the move with a marauding run down the right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora directed the ball to Gera, whose header was well stopped by Gomes.

The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out Hangeland's header from a Davies corner.

Dawson smashed the ball into the stands to end a spell of Spurs' dominance but again the visitors did not look like scoring for all their possession.

Damien Duff found the side-netting after being set up by Davies and was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent work by Zamora.

Zamora was at it again as the game drew to a close, striding towards a static Tottenham back four.

Gomes hesitated, but despite connecting cleanly with an early shot, the striker blazed his shot wide.

After the game, Spurs striker Crouch said: "It was a good cup tie, end to end and we'll go back to White Hart Lane full of confidence as we beat them their earlier this season.

"They're very good at home, tough to break down and we're pleased to still be in the hat."

And Fulham boss Roy Hodgson felt a draw was a fair result. He added: "I thought it was a correct result, both teams defended excellently on a difficult pitch.

"I was astounded at the quality of play considering the pitch, but it was a fierce cup tie played in the right spirit and I don't think Harry Redknapp or I could complain about the result, despite a few scares at both ends.

"We don't feel we are out of the competition, we're just as capable of giving as good a performance away from home as we have at home."

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Greening, Etuhu, Davies (Elm 73), Gera, Zamora.

Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling.

Booked: Etuhu.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Palacios, Kranjcar, Bale, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko (Defoe 81).

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.

Att: 24,533

Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:29:50 PM

Fulham   0 - 0   Tottenham

By Phil McNulty

Chief football writer at Craven Cottage 

Fulham and Spurs must do battle again for a place at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final after a deadlock at Craven Cottage.

Roy Hodgson's side, seeking to secure their first Wembley appearance since they lost to West Ham United in the 1975 FA Cup final, created the better opportunities of a tightly-contested encounter short on clear-cut openings.

Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes ensured they survived to earn a replay at White Hart Lane with a faultless display that included outstanding saves from Zoltan Gera and Damien Duff in the second half.

Fulham were rarely troubled at the back, although keeper Mark Schwarzer was tested by Niko Kranjcar's shot and Peter Crouch's header before the break.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will be the happier manager after securing home advantage with this draw, but Hodgson has fashioned a talented side at Fulham and will also go into the replay with real optimism.

Crouch, fresh from his two-goal success for England against Egypt in midweek, was paired with Roman Pavlyuchenko in attack as Jermain Defoe surprisingly stayed on the bench.

 606: DEBATE
Give your reaction to the draw 
To say the first 45 minutes was unspectacular is to do the game a great kindness, with plenty of pretty passing but little or nothing in the way of excitement or serious goal threat.

Bobby Zamora holds the ball up for Fulham at Craven Cottage
Fulham's Bobby Zamora tested Gomes low down with a shot from inside the area, while Kranjcar forced Schwarzer into a fumble. The Fulham keeper also needed to dive to his left to claw away Crouch's header.

Gera should have given Fulham the lead seconds after the break, but Gomes produced a fine instinctive save from his header after Zamora won an aerial battle in the Spurs penalty box.

Gomes was called into action again five minutes later, but on this occasion he was able to deal more comfortably with Dickson Etuhu's headed effort from a Simon Davies corner.

The caution of the opening period was forgotten as both sides pushed harder for the vital breakthrough, with Michael Dawson flashing a volley wide and Duff just off target with an angled finish.

Duff was the danger man again after 63 minutes as he was the beneficiary of more excellent work by Zamora, but Gomes was equal to his 20-yard shot with a spectacular stop.

Zamora had worked tirelessly in pursuit of an opening and he was inches away from getting on the end of Chris Baird's searching long pass after escaping the attentions of the Spurs defence with 11 minutes to go.

This was the signal for Redknapp to finally introduce Defoe at the expense of the subdued Pavlyuchenko as his tried and trusted partnership with Crouch was renewed.

But Zamora was the man troubling Spurs as Fulham took the direct route over the top again, but this time the angle was too acute and he dragged his shot well wide of the target.

It was the last chance of the game - and now the sides must do it all again on 24 March.


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:
"I thought it was the correct result.

"Both teams defended exceptionally well and played some good football on a very difficult pitch that makes passing and ball control difficult.

"It was an exciting, fierce cup tie played in the right spirit and I don't think Harry (Redknapp) or myself could complain about the result.

"We don't feel we're out yet, we're just as capable of giving a good performance away from home."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp:
"A draw was a fair result, I'd say. We had a lot of possession, a lot of the game, but it was a fair result.

"This is a fantastic competition. Ask any fan, and this means a huge amount. We want to get to Wembley again, for sure.

"Will we be able to get some injured players back for the replay? I don't know about that - all our injured boys are out for six weeks or more by the look of things. But, hey, we'll see.

"We're at home now, we'll look forward to it, but we know it'll be another tough game."
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 06, 2010, 11:33:01 PM

Fulham 0-0 Tottenham: The Sunday Mirror match report

Published 21:35 06/03/10

By Ralph Ellis

Roy Hodgson’s iron-man players must now add another match to their marathon season.

This was the 45th game his Fulham side have fought their way through and all it brought them was another replay to squeeze into a crowded ­schedule.

Not that Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp will be any happier at the thought of a replay to complicate his real goal of finishing fourth and a place in the Champions League.

But both of them want a dash of FA Cup glamour this season too and neither were willing to give way yesterday.

Hodgson began the afternoon collecting the Manager of the Month award for a ­February that had seen ­Fulham go unbeaten through a demanding schedule of eight games. Goalkeepeer Mark Schwarzer, arguably the most important signing the Fulham boss has made, picked up the Player of the Month trophy.

But the prize both of them most wanted was a trip to Wembley for the club’s first FA Cup semi-final since 2002.

And nobody needed to ­remind either of them of the curse that hangs over the Manager of the Month prize – especially after Tottenham began by dominating the first 20 minutes.

Apart from one half chance for Zoltan Gera, when he couldn’t quite control a clever flicked header by Bobby Zamora, they hardly got into the other half until Zamora suddenly held off Sebastien Bassong’s challenge and hit a low shot that brought a decent save from Heurelho Gomes.

Zamora wasn’t born when Fulham last went to Wembley, led by Bobby Moore in the 1975 FA Cup Final.

But if anybody has deserved a bit of glory this season it’s the centre forward who has overcome ridicule from his own fans by hitting 15 goals from 36 games before last night – four of them in his last six matches.

Spurs, of course, also have a striker bouncing back from being labelled a misfit – Roman Pavlyuchenko, whose five goals in three games meant Harry Redknapp had the luxury of leaving Jermain Defoe on the subs bench.

And the Russian should have got another after just seven minutes when he met Nico Kranjcar’s near-post ­corner with an unmarked header which flew just over. But that was a rare moment of danger created by Spurs, for all their early possession.

Schwarzer was finally tested with half an hour gone by Kranjcar’s rising 20-yard drive.

A few moments later he was in action again tipping Peter Crouch’s header round the post then watching another from Bassong drop just over.

Crouch was full of ­confidence and threat after his starring two-goal role in England’s ­midweek Wembley win, and tried an ambitious volley from a Luka Modric centre only to sky the ball high into the stands.

Left-back Gareth Bale had been pushed into midfield and was a constant threat, forcing Damien Duff to ­abandon his own attacking instincts and scurry back to cover.

And that was making room for Modric to pull the ­midfield strings with ­Dickson Etuhu and Jonathan Greening ­working overtime to keep up.

After the break, Fulham carried more threat as Etuhu tested Gomes with a good header, and then Duff broke behind Spurs defence to go close with a low shot.

But Zamora was having to live off scraps as far as chances were concerned and the same was true of Crouch at the other end.

The Spurs striker never had a real opportunity to bring his England goals back to club level – even when Redknapp threw on Jermain Defoe with 10 minutes left in search of a winner.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 06:47:36 AM

7 March 2010

FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson is [...]


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is considering making a £3million bid for Shakhtar Donetsk centre-half Yaroslav Rakitsky - to replace Manchester United-bound Chris Smalling.

The ball-playing defender impressed Hodgson during Fulham's Europa League defeat of the Ukrainians But Rakitsky, 20, is only on the fringes of Ukraine's national team and may struggle to obtain a work permit unless he becomes a regular starter.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 06:49:32 AM

7 March 2010


Ful if you think it's over Harry as Hodgson's battlers take Spurs to a replay

Dave Kidd

Fulham 0

Spurs 0

If Spurs are indeed on their way to Wembley, they are taking the long and winding road to the venue of legends.

Harry Redknapp's men will need a replay for the third round in succession after a grinding stalemate at Craven Cottage.

And if Fulham are to reach the national stadium for the first time in 35 years, they are going to have shrug off a wretched away record, which has seen them fail to beat top-flight English opposition on the road since August.

Peter Crouch, one of the few men who seem to like the dodgy Wembley turf, forced the best save of the match from Mark Schwarzer.

Spurs shaded the contest and might have had a penalty for a Brede Hangeland hand-ball.

But two of the meanest defences in the country cancelled each other out as these two sides fought out their third goalless draws in four meetings.

This was hardly teatime fun for all the family, as an armchair audience watched those two canny managerial masters, Roy Hodgson and Redknapp, fail to conjure up a checkmate.

Fulham may be enjoying an outstanding season on three fronts but they have had plenty of luck on their FA Cup run, defeating Swindon, 10-man Accrington Stanley and a Sven-less Notts County to reach the last eight.

But with Spurs having seized pole position in the race for fourth spot in the Premier League, this kettle of fish could not have been much more different.

The Thames-side air was crackling with nervous energy, Fulham sensing a chance to reach Wembley for the first time in 35 years.


Back then, Fulham's Cup Final song had been Viva El Fulham - as if any link between the club and Europe was some sort of music-hall joke.

This week, though, Hodgson's men travel to Turin to take on Juventus in the Europa League. Heady days indeed.

The early exchanges were full of hot-potato football - neither side capable of getting it under control and rolling out their passing games.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, the man who came in from the cold, sent a header wide from a Niko Kranjcar corner.

Bobby Zamora then cut inside Vedran Corluka and drilled in a shot which Heurelho Gomes got down to smother.

The Brazilian keeper had suffered his lowest moment when he allowed a soft Simon Davies shot to slip through his grasp for a comedy goal in last season's League defeat - but he had kept three clean sheets against Fulham since and has transformed his reputation.

At the other end, Schwarzer - who had been named the Premier League player of the month just a day earlier - was unconvincing as he beat away a Kranjcar long-ranger that he would have expected to hold.

Then the Aussie pulled off a tumbling save to push wide a Crouch header from Corluka's cross.


The England striker held talks about a move to Fulham last summer before Redknapp nipped in to sign him for what seemed like the umpteenth time.

Crouch had netted against Fulham in Tottenham's League victory in January and was proving a real menace again to the men who might have been his team-mates. Spurs were searching for a third Wembley appearance in as many seasons, and their fans were singing out the old Ossie Ardiles 'boys from Tottingham' line as the visitors gained the ascendancy late in the first half.

Fulham gave away a series of dangerous setpieces but the hosts, with Hangeland to the fore, clung on for the interval.

Yet within a minute of the re-start, Gomes needed to be at his acrobatic best to push away a point-blank Zoltan Gera header after Zamora had nodded a Davies centre back across goal.

Soon after, Dickson Etuhu powered in a header, from a Davies corner, which was too close to Gomes. As the second half picked up at tearaway pace, Spurs were convinced they should have had a penalty when Hangeland appeared to handle a Benoit Assou-Ekotto cross as he leapt with Crouch.

The massed ranks of Spurs fans behind Schwarzer on the Putney End were willing the ball into the net as Redknapp's men forced a succession of corners.

From one, skipper Michael Dawson attempted a galloping volley which flew wide, a red-raw Cup tie breaking out after the first-half caginess. Yet when Fulham went route-one, Gera teed up Damien Duff to drive into the side netting.

And when they threaded a few passes together, Duff asked a full-stretch save from Gomes.

Pavlyuchenko's over-head kick, from a long Gareth Bale throw, whistled over as the action got breathless.

Duff and Zamora both fired woefully wide when presented with late chances through the inside-right channel and you had to wager that Fulham's best chance had gone.

A replay at White Hart Lane is a tough ask for them especially with Juve, Manchester United and Manchester City next up in their hectic season.

Shiner Zamora

Confident display from the England hopeful. Held the ball up well and deserved a goal for his efforts.

Fulham: Schwarzer 6 - Baird 6, Hughes 7, Hangeland 7, Shorey 6 - Duff 7, Greening 6, Etuhu 6, Davies 6 (Elm, 73mins) - Gera 6 - *ZAMORA 8.

Tottenham: Gomes 7 - Corluka 6, Dawson 6, Bassong 6, Assou-Ekotto 6 - Modric 6, *PALACIOS 7, Kranjcar 6, Bale 7 - Crouch 6, Pavlyuchenko 6 (Defoe, 82mins).

Referee: M Clattenburg 6

Shocker Crouch

The frontman just couldn't match his heroics from midweek at Wembley. Didn't really impress.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 06:53:55 AM




Attendance:- 24,533

Referee:- Mr. M. Clattenburg
Assistants:- Mr. P. Kirkup & Mr. M. Murphy
Fourth Official:- Mr. K. Friend

Fulham (4-4-1-1):- Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes (Capt.), Hangeland, Shorey; Duff, Etuhu, Greening, Davies (sub Elm, 73); Gera; Zamora

Subs not used:- Zuberbuhler; Kelly, Konchesky, Smalling; Riise; Okaka Chuka

Booked:- Etuhu

Spurs (4-4-2):- Gomes; Corluka, Dawson (Capt.), Bassong, Ekotto; Kranjcar, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Crouch, Pavlyuchenko (sub Defoe, 81)

Subs not used:- Alnwick; Dervite; Rose, Livermore, Townsend; Gudjohnsen

No Bookings

Into the semi-final draw at least

In a game of few chances, and relatively little action for either goalkeeper, both teams can take credit from this game, where the draw was a fair result. Spurs will take Fulham back to the Lane in two and a half weeks time (Fulham have away and home games against Juventus in the meantime), and for the moment, both teams are in the semi-final draw, and can keep a grasp on their dreams of Wembley for the semi-final and the final of this year’s FA Cup.

As has been reported, Harry Redknapp’s choices were extremely limited, due to the number of injuries and a couple of cup-tied January signings, which meant that both Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend, who were recalled from their loan spells this week, found themselves on the bench in this vital game. Neither were used though, as Harry Redknapp was able to include the doubtful Jermain Defoe on the bench, who was the only Spurs substitute used.

Redknapp advanced Gareth Bale into the midfield, where he played on the left side, whilst Luka Modric played in a central role beside Wilson Palacios. Ekotto played at left back. There were many good performances for Spurs, and two or three excellent efforts. Modric did generally keep the discipline of playing in the left of centre midfield position, where he helped at the back, and fed the attack, in particular sending Bale away on plenty of probes down the left flank, which was really Spurs’ main attacking outlet.

Wilson Palacios had an excellent game patrolling the back of midfield, and avoided a yellow card too, despite his tenacity and ball-winning skills. For Fulham, Bobby Zamora was dominant and had a really impressive game, playing with his back to goal, and winning the greater percentage of balls aimed in his direction, shielding and protecting that ball so well. Whilst Zamora would start with possession, Bassong and Ekotto often combined to clear the decks so well for Tottenham.

Peter Crouch was winning the ball more often than not, but his distribution was too often thwarted by the alert Fulham defence. Despite being the home side, Fulham played like an away team with Gera in a withdrawn role, and the home side getting plenty of men behind the ball, putting as many as three defenders on Bale. It was a game where both defences played well, and a lot of fans might have been frustrated in a game that was of perhaps more technical interest than one filled with excitement.

Fulham put Spurs under some pressure in the first minute, and it was Bale’s timely interception on the left flank in his own half that eased that situation, when he sprayed the ball across the field. Having dealt with that initial attack, Spurs then dominated possession, without threatening Mark Schwarzer in goal. Kranjcar had the first clear chance on goal with a free kick after 18 minutes, which he hooked a little and sent wide of Schwarzer’s right post. The ball then ran in Zamora’s favour as he carried it across the edge of the Spurs area, squeezing in a low shot, which Gomes held. Soon after that Bassong defended well against the former Spurs man, and enabled Spurs to clear their lines down the left flank, where Bale would often be the main threat, getting to the bye-line on more than one occasion.

Schwarzer then had to make two great saves, firstly from an excellent shot by Kranjcar and then from a Crouch header across his goalmouth, as Spurs piled on a bit of pressure. Crouch had another effort go wide after 35 minutes, following good work by Bale and Ekotto, who crossed the ball.

Fulham had their best chance just after the break. They had a free kick and Simon Davies crossed deep from the left. Zamora at the back post headed back towards Gera, whose close range header was pawed away by Gomes. Gomes was positioned well on subsequent occasions when chances came in his direction from inside the box. Bale was again dominant at the other end, as the visitors piled on the pressure and had one handball appeal turned down by Mark Clattenburg, who had a good game – allowing the football to flow. Michael Dawson had a shot on goal after a corner in the 58th minute, which curled just outside the top corner.

Ekotto made one error that I can recall, in failing to clear, which led to Damien Duff hitting a shot across Gomes’ bows, which passed wide. Zamora fed Duff for another chance which he hit well wide. After a Bale cross and pressure by Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlyuchenko tried an overhead kick which was too high. Spurs best chance of the half came after Modric started the attack and Bale crossed, by which time Modric was in the middle with Crouch, but neither of them could make their mind up whether to go for the ball as it fell loose.

Simon Davies was replaced by striker David Elm, as Fulham sought to finish the tie off, and Defoe replaced Pavlyuchenko. Jermain nearly forged one or two openings for himself, but it was just not quite happening for us, despite the fact that Schwarzer was beaten a couple of times by crosses from left and right by Bale and Kranjcar.

Both teams live to fight another day, and with Fulham having the heavier programme of the two sides before the replay, Spurs must surely be favourites to get to the semi-final. The delay before the replay will also give us a chance to get some key players fit again!
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 06:55:48 AM

FA Cup - Fulham take Spurs to replay

Eurosport - Sat, 06 Mar 19:20:00 2010

Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur must play an FA Cup quarter-final replay after a tepid goalless draw at Craven Cottage.

Two sides with similar styles cancelled each other out, with both sets of well-drilled defences ensuring chances were few and far between.

A poor first-half started promisingly but ended with both sides resorting to atypical long balls in an attempt to break the deadlock.

There was plenty of potential, with Gareth Bale marauding down the Spurs left wing and Damien Duff working hard on Fulham's right, but visiting strike duo Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko failed to gel while Bobby Zamora looked a touch lonely with Zoltan Gera operating deeper than he would have liked.

Zamora had the first shot on target on 19 minutes, but his low drive was easily saved by Heurelho Gomes, while Schwarzer had to be alert on two occasions either side of the half hour, batting out a rising drive from Niko Kranjcar and tipping behind a well-placed but weak header by Crouch.

Sebastien Bassong had to be alert to dispossess Zamora after Simon Davies and Gera combined to put the England hopeful in, while Chris Baird and Brede Hangeland did well to deny Bale after he raced through the middle.

Whatever Roy Hodgson said at the break had an immediate impact, as a furious opening few minutes from Fulham saw Gomes make the save of the game, tipping away Gera's goal-bound header after strong link-up play from Zamora.

Spurs eased back in control of possession though, with Michael Dawson sending a long-range drive just over after Fulham failed to clear a corner and Pavlyuchenko overhead-kicking clear of the bar.

They had two weak penalty appeals rejected, an accusation of handball by Brede Hangeland waved away and Pavlyuchenko going over very easily after a nothing challenge from the Norway defender.

Fulham were dangerous on the break though, Duff firing wide twice and Zamora put through by Baird but unable to control the high ball.

As the threat of a replay at White Hart Lane beckoned, the hosts pushed for a winner.

Zamora fired wide from an angle when he could have taken it on further, and his side went agonisingly close when Vedran Corluka's mis-hit clearance sliced just wide.

But with neither side really doing enough to deserve victory, a draw was a fair result and the two sides will match up for a fourth time since Christmas.

Reda Maher / Eurosport
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 06:58:54 AM

Heurelho Gomes keeps Tottenham in the FA Cup

Fulham 0 Tottenham 0

Duncan Castles at Craven Cottage
IN 2008, Craven Cottage was Heurelho Gomes’ personal Hades, but yesterday he exorcised the demons. Unsatisfactory in many ways, this scoreless FA Cup quarter-final at least underlined the harshness with which the Brazilian goalkeeper was judged for a hard afternoon in his debut season.

Gomes was written off as the Premier League’s poorest ever goalkeeper after a 2-1 loss at Fulham in which he played with a hip injury that prevented him from training, but now he has re-established himself as the No 1 who was so dominant for PSV Eindhoven his coach labelled him “The Octopus”.

Had his tentacles not thwarted a succession of Fulham chances, Harry Redknapp would no longer be pursuing a third trip to Wembley in three years. “Gomes is looking a different goalkeeper to the one who came here when I first arrived,” said Tottenham’s manager. “He had a terrible time here last year but he’s a different lad now. Now he looks what he is: a top keeper.”

Under Roy Hodgson, Fulham have established themselves as a team capable of regularly upsetting the best. “I’m disappointed in the sense that it was a home game,” said Hodgson. “But the way we’ve played recently and the fact we know as a coaching staff we can trust the players to give the type of performance they gave today we are confident. We can reproduce today’s performance and get the win.”

Their opponents’ injury list added to Fulham’s pre-match expectation. Tottenham were minus an entire midfield of England internationals and a viable central defensive pairing in Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate.

Yet it was Danny Murphy’s absence from the home midfield that had greatest initial effect as Tottenham camped in opposition territory. Peter Crouch almost eluded Mark Schwarzer with a header and the goalkeeper did well to block from Niko Kranjcar.

Resilience, though, is a central tenet of the Hodgson method. Comfortable playing on the back foot, Fulham filtered back to block Tottenham’s path to goal. Possession was turned back to keeper or defender to target Bobby Zamora with long balls, and eventually the striker broke free of Sebastian Bassong’s wrestling hold for a shot Gomes did well to hold.

The Brazilian rescued Tottenham again at the start of the second half, saving from Zoltan Gera and Dickson Etuhu. Tottenham responded with a brace of questionable penalty claims and a flurry of pressure — Michael Dawson’s volley wide and Roman Pavyluchenko’s overhead kick the highlights.

More worrying was the hesitancy with which Benoit Assou-Ekotto allowed Gera to manufacture another Fulham attempt on goal. Gomes’ was in action again, fully airborne to haul in Damien Duff’s drive.

Limited in options from the bench, Redknapp waited until the final 10 minutes to risk Jermain Defoe, but it was Zamora who came closer to a winner, but he shot wide.

If Fulham are to end a 35-year wait for Wembley they will have to elude the Octopus.

Star man: Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham)

Yellow card: Fulham: Etuhu

Referee: M Clattenburg Attendance: 24,533

Fulham: Schwarzer 7, Baird 6, Hughes 7, Hangeland 7, Shorey 6, Duff 6, Greening 5, Etuhu 6, Davies 7 (Elm 73min), Gera 7, Zamora 7

Tottenham: Gomes 8, Corluka 5, Dawson 7, Bassong 7, Assou-Ekotto 5, Modric 6, Palacios 7, Kranjcar 6, Bale 6, Crouch 7, Pavlyuchenko 5 (Defoe 81min)
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 07:01:29 AM

Gomes forces Fulham to play at bogey ground

Fulham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0: Goalkeeper's saves take Cottagers back to the Lane – where they have won just once in 25 attempts

By Steve Tongue at Craven Cottage

Sunday, 7 March 2010

In front of the second packed house of the FA Cup quarter-finals, this was a strange tie, played at a furious pace but, probably because of that, of poor quality. A single goal always looked like being sufficient to win it but was rarely promised, each goalkeeper making perhaps one save of any note.

Spurs, aiming for a 17th semi-final, were the neater but enjoyed only one spell of sustained pressure, soon after half-time. Fulham, after five successive home wins and an unbeaten February, proved unable to match their recent exploits and must be a little fearful of a replay at Tottenham, where they have won once in 25 visits. That will go on the back burner in any case until 24 March, with two glamorous Europa League encounters against Juventus and a visit to Old Trafford to sort out before then.

They will be desperate for the return of their captain, Danny Murphy, although he is frustratingly suspended for Thursday's game in Turin. Murphy's craft might just have provided the sort of service that Bobby Zamora lacked, or unlocked a door that remained resolutely barred. The manager, Roy Hodgson, chose to praise Murphy's deputy Jonathan Greening, a sentiment not shared by those in the stands who otherwise contributed to a crackling atmosphere worthy of a better game.

What supporters seemed to agree with both managers about was the justice of the result and the state of the surface on which it was played. "You've got to be very good to play on that pitch," Tottenham's Harry Redknapp said. "We kept possession well, though there weren't many chances. I'd have taken a replay before the game but it will be hard."

Hodgson said: "We don't feel we're out of the competition. We're just as capable of giving a good away performance as at home. It's a wonderful time for the club." That was reflected in presentations before the match – normally a kiss of death – to Hodgson and Mark Schwarzer as Manager and Player of the Month respectively. In the event, the goalkeeper had little opportunity to further enhance his considerable reputation, although Heurelho Gomes (left) at the other end was happy to redeem his in front of a home crowd who had revelled in his embarrassment when conceding a soft winning goal in last season's League fixture. Almost 20 minutes had elapsed before he was required to make a save, a comfortable enough one as Zamora turned inside and shot.

On the soft pitch Tottenham were still able to knock the ball around, which they did for much of the time without creating anything more than half-chances. Niko Kranjcar was stationed out on the right, where he was less effective than in most recent games, and his compatriot Luka Modric was as neat as ever without taking hold of the game. Kranjcar, set up by Peter Crouch just outside the penalty area, troubled Schwarzer once with a swerving shot that he did not hold, and the goalkeeper played safe with a good downward header from Crouch that bounced in front of him, pushing it away for a corner.

Fulham made, if anything at all, quarter-chances. Shortly before the interval Zoltan Gera and Damien Duff almost put Zamora through in quick succession, only for Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Michael Dawson to produce timely interventions.

The second half began with the game's first outbreak of authentic excitement. Nicky Shorey started the move with an excellent ball down the line for Simon Davies to hoist to the far post. Zamora outjumped his marker to nod across goal, where Gera's header was held by Gomes. Hesitant defensive work by Assou-Ekotto then allowed Gera to set up Duff for a shot wide, before the Irishman brought a leaping save from Gomes.

When it was time for changes, Hodgson was first to act, sending on the tall Swedish striker David Elm for Davies to provide some closer support for Zamora, whose new confidence had been evident throughout. Gera, who had been playing just behind him, dropped a little further back, sending one long ball forward that Zamora just failed to latch on to.

With 10 minutes to play Jermain Defoe, another victim of last Wednesday's heavy Wembley pitch, replaced Pavlyuchenko. Overall, however, the two defences remained in control until the finish. Just as the first half had ended in anti-climax so the game's last attempt on goal, by Zamora on his right foot, went for a throw-in. Had ITV scheduled a highlights programme last night, there would have been few to show from here.

Attendance: 24,533

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Hangeland

Match rating: 4/10
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 07:05:05 AM
Fulham 0 Tottenham 0:  Heurelho Gomes saves the day for Spurs in last-eight stalemate at Craven Cottage

By Sportsmail Reporter and Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday Chief Football Writer

Last updated at 11:39 PM on 06th March 2010

Fulham and Tottenham must try again at White Hart Lane on March 24 for the right to play at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final after grinding out a goalless draw in a match of admirable commitment but which lacked the requisite guile to produce a goal.

Roy Hodgson's side will surely feel this an opportunity missed, after creating the better chances and controlling long periods of the game, while Tottenham will be grateful to have endured it.

That said, despite a last-minute wobble by Vedran Corluka, who almost sliced into his own net when attempting a nervy clearance, Tottenham survived without major discomfort.

But should they lift the famous old trophy come May, they will owe a debt of gratitude to Heurelho Gomes for his athletic 47th-minute save from Zoltan Gera's header.

Still, these are heady days for Fulham. Their forthcoming fixtures include Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City before the chance to take on Spurs again. They have never seen the like at Craven Cottage and Hodgson was relishing the extra fixture being inserted into his schedule.

'You could say we're victims of our success but I think we ought to be basking in the glory of the number of games we're playing,' said Fulham's manager.

'I keep reminding the players that this is what being a Premier League footballer is all about. Most players would be envious of a fixture list like that, so we should be grateful.'

For Harry Redknapp, Wembley beckons again, for potentially the third time in three seasons, and how richly ironic that the opportunity of meeting his former club Portsmouth, now facing financial oblivion, remains.

'I suppose at home in the replay we ought to have a good chance but Shakhtar Donetsk probably thought that when they played Fulham in the Europa League, and they ended up out of that Cup,' said Redknapp.
'That was one of the results of the season, to beat the UEFA Cup holders, and it shows what an organised and good side Fulham are.'

Yesterday, both sides displayed admirable organisation but not enough real craft to justify calling it an entertaining Cup clash.

Still, a genuine sense of anticipation was evident. A group of Spurs fans had commandeered a barge and were seen sailing down the Thames towards Putney Bridge, bawling their chants, which made a change from the usual coach trip round the North Circular.

Fulham, meanwhile, were seeking their first trip to Wembley since 1975 and the days of Bobby Moore, and the usually gentrified surroundings of Craven Cottage were disturbed by the visceral roar of animated supporters.

But it was 18 minutes before a goalkeeper was tested, Gomes diving to save from Bobby Zamora.

Niko Kranjcar's strike from long range on 28 minutes swerved wickedly and almost fooled Mark Schwarzer but a more apt summary of the first-half endeavours came when Peter Crouch found himself six yards out but volleyed into the upper reaches of the Hammersmith End. On the bench, Redknapp winced and turned away. 

There was a more sprightly start to the second half, Simon Davies dashing down the left to deliver a cross for Zamora, who headed across the face of goal towards Gera. Michael Dawson had lost his man and the Hungarian headed goalwards, but Gomes intervened in spectacular fashion to tip it over.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Shorey; Davies (Elm 73min), Etuhu, Greening, Duff; Gera, Zamora. Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling.
Booked: Etuhu.
TOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Kranjcar, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Pavlyuchenko (Defoe 81), Crouch. Subs (not used): Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

At Craven Cottage last season, Gomes's career in England seemed to reach its nadir with a diabolical performance, but he is now acknowledged as one of the finest shot-stoppers in the League

'He's a different goalkeeper to the one I had when I came,' said Redknapp. 'He had a horrible time. But now he looks what he is: a top goalkeeper.'

Tottenham managed a brief period of dominance, Wilson Palacios driving them on in the second half and forcing a succession of corners, but they could ultimately only produce a wayward Dawson strike.

Damien Duff put one chance in the side-netting and had another saved by Gomes went close while Zamora worked tirelessly. In the final 10 minutes, he raced clear only to pull his shot wildly.

Tottenham and Fulham will need to offer something more to win the replay.

Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 01:47:27 PM

Fulham 0-0 Spurs

Filed under: Match info — weltmeisterclaude @ 11:22 am

A good old-fashioned potboiler.  While the neutrals may have found little to get their teeth into, for the rest of us was a thoroughly absorbing match between two very even sides playing good, disciplined football.     Who would find a tactical solution to the other’s cast-iron defence?  Who could conjure something out of nothing to take the game?   Who would make the first mistake?

Momentum swung back and forth gently, with Spurs perhaps in the ascendancy early on, and Fulham more positive after half-time.   As has often been the case this season, Fulham’s well drilled defensive unit kept their opponent at arm’s length, and apart from a couple of neat but comfortable saves from Schwarzer, there were few heart-in-mouth moments.

In the second half we saw more of the Fulham we enjoy, with Zamora, Duff, Gera and Baird spinning some enterprising passing moves together.   Sadly the Spurs defence is every bit as solid as our own, and for all his hulking approach work, Zamora couldn’t find a spare yard to tee up a teammate in a position of danger.   It felt as if Gera or Duff might slip through at some point, but this was a game for Dempsey, crashing into the area to get on the end of something, or Murphy, to deliver something of quality, but both were missing and all our attacking moves ended tamely.

It was, however, a good day for defensive midfielders.  Wilson Palacios showed that he’s up there with Mascherano and Hargreaves, lightning quick to spy issues, uncompromising in sorting them out.  His tackling, distribution and overall nous were first class, and he was, by some distance, my man of the match.

Dickson Etuhu’s return to form continued though, and our man put in another strong performance in the middle of the park.  He is not a natural shield like Palacios, but his athleticism and desire got him several balls that others might have lost out on.  An underrated player who could move to another level if he took more responsibility for directing attacks.

The latter was probably the only disappointing thing about our performance for me.  On occasion we played it too safe, happier to recycle possession through the back four than try to force the issue in the final third.  This is perhaps a sensible approach to take for most possessions, but we did this too much.  Only Chris Baird seemed prepared to try something unusual, his angled through balls becoming something of a trademark.  You’d call them long balls if they weren’t so carefully weighted, and if we were going to score this was how.   Sadly Zamora and the passes never quite coincided; it was tempting to think that Stefano Okaka, who appears to be quite quick, might have been worth a go later on for this very reason.

As the temperature dropped below freezing the prospect of us getting a result all but disappeared, and we will (at some point) have to win this one at White Hart Lane if we want to go to Wembley.   This seems unlikely – Spurs are our equal at the Cottage, but better than us at their place – but as we have seen, this team is more than capable of grinding out unexpected results.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 01:50:51 PM

The missing men

by Dan on March 7, 2010

Last season, Fulham were fortunate with injuries. Roy was able to let the same side settle into a system that gradually became successful. With the amount of key players we’ve lost this year, it’s a wonder the Whites are still competitive on three fronts at this stage of the season.

Looking at a couple of the Tottenham blogs last night I was surprised to read descriptions Hodgson’s negative tactics and complaints about ten men behind the ball. That struck me as strange given that Fulham had more of the ball and tested Gomes more often than Tottenham troubled Schwarzer. The 4-4-1-1 has worked wonders since it was largely forced on the wily old coach because of an absence of strikers and Zamora especially has revelled in being the leader of the line. He was at it again yesterday, giving a masterclass in the art of playing with your back to goal, and when Zoltan Gera’s come alive in that advanced role you’d be foolish to tinker with it.

What Hodgson demands of his players above all else is discipline. Dickson Etuhu summed it up last month:

The Manager has made sure we all know what we have do to. I have never played in a team like this before – where everything is just so simple. It certainly works for us and is one of the main reasons we do well.

That work ethic and organisation is one of the main reasons only three teams have beaten us at home this season. Hodgson knew that, even without a lot of options in midfield, he had to clamp down on Tottenham’s creativity. Modric looked threatening but never really found the space to wreak havoc and Kranjcar drifted in and out of the game. Perhaps Spurs’ biggest threat was the brilliant Gareth Bale, who was buzzing up and down the left flank like a Duracell bunny, but the persistence of Chris Baird and Damien Duff’s tracking back meant he couldn’t have had the kind of impact on this game as he’s had on other games against Fulham.

Furthermore, Hodgson would have badly rued the absence of his own two injured midfielders. Danny Murphy’s failed fitness test was a particular blow. Not only would he have been keen to prove a point against Tottenham, but Murphy has the ability to both spot and execute the killer pass. In his absence, we were a little lost in central midfield. Etuhu’s a decent enough stopper but his distribution was woeful yesterday. Twice he surged forward with the ball into space having won it back: in the first half, he chose the wrong pass, and – after the break – he gave the ball to Jonathan Greening and stopped running bringing a promising move to a standstill. Greening kept things steady in the engine room but wasn’t inclined to try a few forward passes.

What Clint Dempsey might have done drifting infield dangerously is anyone’s guess. As the game progressed, Duff became more influential and came close to breaking the deadlock on two ocassions. Dempsey offers you that X-factor that a workmanlike Fulham side sometimes lacks: the ability to beat a few players or deliver a telling cross. Whisper it quietly, but he just might be back for the replay.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 01:52:39 PM

Hodgson the man for all seasons

Phil McNulty | 22:34 UK time, Saturday, 6 March 2010

As Roy Hodgson switched seamlessly from English into perfect Italian, he provided a graphic illustration of the scale and success of his reconstruction on the banks of the Thames.

Hodgson had finished discussing Fulham's fight on equal terms with Tottenham to reach the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley - and was moving on to the Europa League date with "The Old Lady" of Juventus in Turin on Thursday.

This cosmopolitan and experienced manager has brought heady days to Craven Cottage, and his presence alone guarantees "La Vecchia Signora" will treat Fulham with unswerving respect on the next stage of their European adventure.

Hodgson is still admired in Italy after his time at Inter Milan, and while the tight and tense FA Cup quarter-final with Spurs was not an example of his finest work, it still demonstrated the sound principles and pure common sense he has brought to Fulham.

When Hodgson succeeded Lawrie Sanchez at Craven Cottage in December 2007, Premier League survival was a long shot. The suggestion that Fulham might, at some future date, have to break off from FA Cup quarter-final combat with Spurs to meet Juventus in the latter stages of European competition would have been regarded as residing somewhere between fanciful and farcical.

And yet this is what Hodgson has done, drawing praise from Spurs counterpart Harry Redknapp, another member of management's older brigade, when I asked him about his achievements at Fulham.

He said: "Roy has done a great job. They went away to Shakhtar Donetsk, the holders of the Europa League, and got one of the results of the season to get through.

"They are well-organised, strong defensively and a very well-coached side. Roy has to take great credit for that and when you look at results like they got against Shakhtar you see why we won't be taking them lightly in the replay, even though we are happy with a draw."

Hodgson has been the architect of Fulham's upturn in fortunes

Hodgson's sure touch was in evidence, even during a cup encounter that lacked spark and was short on opportunities. Fulham, as Redknapp said, were meticulously prepared in defence and varied in attack. The creation of players such as Zoltan Gera and Damien Duff was mixed with a willingness to go route one and serve the transformed Bobby Zamora.

When I put it to Hodgson that to follow up an FA Cup quarter-final with Spurs by playing Juventus in Europe was an obvious indicator of his club's development, he was only too happy to agree, but with the humility that is the hallmark of his club.

He said: "I would quite happily accept a 0-0 draw against Spurs in the last eight of the FA Cup to take to Juventus in the Europa League. It is very pleasing and I often remind the players that this is what you are in the Premier League for. I tell them these are the games you want to play, and there are lots of people in the lower divisions who are very envious of you.

"We play Juventus then we play at Manchester United, then we have Juventus and Manchester City at home before we have the replay at Spurs - although we just have to accept we might not win them all."

Hodgson is happy to take the taxing programme as a sign of success, saying: "I'm not sure you can say we are victims of success by having to play all these games. Success is what you strive for and this is an indication that this team has been successful.

"We should bask in the glory because it's not every year Fulham get close to playing 60 games and lots of times we barely scrape to 40."

One of the finest examples of Hodgson's powers of renewal is the rejuvenation of striker Bobby Zamora. The days when he was a victim of terrace taunts at Craven Cottage seem an age away - and his performance was testimony to the manner in which his confidence, and indeed his whole whole game, has been reassembled by Hodgson.

Zamora would have been barely recognisable to the Spurs fans who watched him toil at White Hart Lane as he probed tirelessly, chasing all causes and emerging as the pivotal figure in Fulham's plans.

If there is a sole symbol of what Hodgson has been able to achieve at Fulham, it is Zamora. He may not have found the finishing touch to see off his former club on Saturday, but the doubters have been silenced by his development into a striker of real Premier League quality.

Zamora's form has led to talk of him potentially filling a strikers's role for England

Hodgson accepted a draw was a fair result, and one which was also welcomed by Redknapp as Spurs now assume the mantle of favourites to progress to Wembley with home advantage in the replay.

Both managers complained that the Craven Cottage pitch undermined any attempts to play constructive football. Jermain Defoe's hamstring problems, which Redknapp revealed were a result of Wembley's own poor surface when he played for England on Wednesday, forced him to pair Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko in attack. It was not a comfortable fit.

And if Hodgson deserves praise for his work with Zamora, then the same credit is due to Redknapp and his staff after a faultless display from Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes.

Craven Cottage was the scene of Redknapp's first defeat as Spurs boss in November 2008 - and Gomes was the villain when he dropped Simon Davies' cross into his own net and blundered for Andrew Johnson's second.

Redknapp described the Brazilian's errors that day as "farcical" - adding, somewhat unconvincingly, that he simply had to keep faith with Gomes. When Redknapp followed this up by insisting "confidence is king" it appeared little more than an attempt to keep Gomes' spirits up before flogging him at the first opportunity.

He did stick with Gomes, and saves of the calibre he produced from Gera's header, plus a performance of all-round assurance, justified the belief Redknapp had in the keeper.

Gomes denied Fulham a victory that would have taken them back to Wembley for the first time since 1975 - but there is no denying Craven Cottage has undergone a remarkable transformation the expert guidance of Hodgson.

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Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 01:54:17 PM

Fulham v Spurs. Back to the Lane

March 7, 2010 Alan

So it’s back to the Lane next week, as I predicted in my preview. This in itself in unusual, getting something right in the preview that is, but there was always something about this fixture that screamed ‘draw’. Fulham are busy and well-organised but low scorers, Spurs more creative but since the four goals in the Cup we can’t quite do enough at the Cottage to score one more than them. And that’s the match summary, right there. We played well but lacked the cutting edge to make sufficient decent chances,  Fulham had less of the ball but kept Gomes moving around without having the sharpness in the box, where it counts.

Following Harry’s remarks earlier this week that we can’t play 4-5-1, Spurs duly lined up with Crouch and Pav up front in the absence of Defoe. The pattern of the game was drawn by Fulham withdrawing their midfield into an area 30 or 40 yards in front of their goal when we had possession. Willingly we came on to them and moved the ball around well for the most part, searching for an opening, although at times we could have done so more swiftly. Modric was prominent in the early stages and had a good game. He’s made for that central berth. Always trying to make himself available and able to pass both long and short, able to pass quickly or hold it as the situation demands, he’s never on the ball for any longer than is necessary. It was noticeable how seldom he was caught in possession, and for that matter the same can be said for his team-mates, a sure sign that the support for the man on the ball was good throughout the team.

Crouch also had a fine first half, although he faded later. Two reasons; one, he stayed close to his team-mates rather than isolating himself further upfield as he has done too often this season. Two: decent service. We played it up to him early, accurately and firmly. No aimless hoofs, Crouchie kept moving and responded in kind with quicker lay-offs. This blog has always said that he could play like this and has become increasingly irritated by his performances over the last few months, but there’s evidence here to show that the long ball may have been imposed upon the team tactically by the manager, worrying in itself but that seems to be history now so we’ll let that one go for the moment. TOMM doesn’t forget, however….now there’s a threat to set Harry twitching, just watch him next time he’s in the dugout, you’ll see what I mean….

One of the sub-plots of the match was the comparison between the two big centre-forwards. Earlier this season I was somewhat disparaging about Zamora in my preview of the corresponding league fixture but yesterday as time went on he came into the match as Crouch disappeared from view. He’s come to terms with his limitations and under Hodgson’s wise guidance has become an effective target man, determined with his back to goal and looking to come on to the ball in the box. His team work well around him and he provides that extra second or two that enables the Fulham midfield to get to him and turn defence into attack. He provided Bassong with a stern test but for the most part Seb did well. As with the Bolton centre forward in the replay, Bassong was determined not to let his man turn. It was a fine tussle, which also provided a nice piece of commentary (not sure I’ve ever written that sentence before in regard to ITV…). Beglin rightly enthused about Zamora’s surge and shot in the second half, talking about how he put it across the keeper. Clive came in, quietly and dryly: ‘It’s gone for a throw-in.’

And that sums up much of Fulham’s efforts in the box, they didn’t quite come off, but in the first half they seldom approached our area, let alone the goal. I’m a big fan of Roy Hodgson and he had prepared well. His midfield were prepared to concede possession but not space in front of their box. We had the ball but no room. So it became a series of almosts and might have beens as our attempts nearly came off but not quite. Also, Roy put two men on Bale, something that he had better get used to. It’s easier to mark him when he’s in midfield because he starts his runs from further up the pitch. At fullback he comes from deeper and so is more difficult to pick up. Also, he can move later in an attack when defenders are already more committed. Despite this he coped reasonably well and occupied two men. If Duff is back, his attacking prowess is blunted, whihc in turn releases pressure on us. Modric picked up on this and switched play regularly to the right. However, Corluka had a poor game. He became the spare man and was the main target but his distribution was inaccurate with a series of wasteful crosses and passes. This to me was a crucial element of the match, we failed to take advantage of the spare man and amount of ball on the right that we had worked hard to achieve.

Fulham steadfastly reused to budge. We prompted and probed but did not really get very far. Pav worked hard but did not get past the white-shirted barrier. His control let him down too often, especially in the area. Again, like the Corluka comments, this was a match that might have been won and lost on the tiniest margins, so this mattered.

The second half began much as the first had ended. Fulham livened up a bit but did not really look like the home team until they went 4-4-2 towards the end. They slid the ball inside and behind our full-backs and if Murphy had been playing, his shrewd passing might have been significant. We were defending well and I wondered if this could give us the room to hit them on the break but it was not to be. Our solidity was due to in large part to Palacios’ determined sentry duty in front of our back four. He refused to budge, something that I’ve advocated throughout the season and again in the preview, and his disciplined performance was justifiably rewarded with a MOM award. He repeatedly broke up the Fulham movements and knocked it out to a better placed colleague. This strength enabled Modric and Krancjar to play their more creative game (I was pleased with Niko’s work-rate too) and really gives the team shape.

Other bits and pieces: BAE was quietly efficient, his brainstorm clearance in the second half aside. He just gets on with it, and I like it. We failed to capitalise on the corners because of bad delivery, and the same can be said for the long throws – Bale can do it so can’t we have a system to profit from it, as Stoke do, rather than have a loose informal gathering in the box as is the case now.

We have a great chance for a cup semi-final in the replay. We could have won it yesterday with more punch up front but on the whole a decent performance, credit Fulham with being an effective team in their chosen role.

Finally, a moan. The warm and respectful gesture to wear black armbands in memory of Keith Alexander was tainted by our use of black shiny gaffer tape. It smacks of hasty preparation. We should have put more into that – how long would it have taken to run something proper up, as our opponents managed.
Title: Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 07, 2010, 01:57:26 PM,17033,8742_6008081,00.html


"1) Wilson's best game for ages. 2) Fulham's pitch is a bit rank tbf. 3) They really only have one tactic, a chip into Zamora's feet, he holds it up and lays it off to a midfield player. Thought we coped with it really well. 4) Everyone worked really hard , which has to be done against teams like Fulham, but some of the final passes / decision making was a bit poor. 5)Think we can do them in the replay" - Colin Grigson.

"It was freezing! I was only four or five seats from the river end of the stand and I can honestly say I've never been colder watching a football match. Didn't help I was only wearing a Spurs shirt and a pretty thin jacket, I guess.

"Me no likely Kranjcar and Charlie down the right. When Niko goes walkabout, Charlie is left really exposed and his lack of pace in that situation worries me - fortunately they didn't exploit that today.

"I was surprised to read the BBC match report say Fulham were the better team - maybe they had one or two good chances, but I felt we controlled the game for large spells.

"I wonder whether we'll hear any comments about Fulham being a long ball team" - Wandsworth Spur

"In the words of Ian Holloway: 'She wasn't the best looking girl in the bar, but at least we got her back in the taxi'. Only way to describe yesterday's game" - Toxxic.

"Apart from being toothless upfront we played very well yesterday. Wilson being good again makes a huge difference because CM is the achilles heel. Everywhere else on the pitch we had quality and effort. Keep doing that and we will be fine for the replay. Obviously Lennon is a huge miss but Bale is doing his bit to inject a bit of pace. I still think BAE is the better LB against better teams but Bale couldn't be doing much more to keep himself onboard" - SPP65.