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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 05:48:11 AM

Title: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 05:48:11 AM

Fulham Coach Roy Hodgson Plots Juventus Downfall

The Cottagers coach believes his side can do the business in Italy...

By Salvatore Landolina

Mar 9, 2010 1:53:00 PM

Fulham coach Roy Hodgson has warned Juventus that his side are looking to make history by knocking them out of the Europa League.

Hodgson and his men travel to Turin on Thursday night for the first of their leg last 16 tie, and whilst he acknowledges the quality that binds the Bianconeri, he wants to win.

"We have not had time to think about Juventus as we have had many games, but Juve are Juve, and they are a great team, not just in Italy, but in Europe," he told Tuttosport.

"We have been given little possibility of getting through and it's right to be like this.

"But we believe in it, and if we did it then we would be making history for this club."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 05:51:13 AM

Fulham face an uphill battle at Juventus as the Bianconeri hit some form at just the right time

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Juventus v Fulham, Europa League last 16, first-leg, March 11, 2010

Juventus 1.47; Draw 3.68; Fulham 6.27

Quite simply, Thursday night offers Fulham the most glamourous night in the club’s history, and all of a sudden Juventus are going, if not great, than good guns.

It has been a rocky season for the Italian Old Lady. The first half of the year was almost a total wash-out for the black and whites as former coach Ciro Ferrara watched on from the sidelines as the Turin giants saw their Scudetto challenge never get off the ground while a 4-1 home thumping at the hands of Bayern Munich ended their involvement in the Champions League.

Facing a season with nothing to show for it, the new year brought with it some important changes, and significantly Ferrara was axed and replaced by the current no-nonsense boss, Alberto Zaccheroni. Zaccheroni’s fresh face has so far brought with it a positive upturn in fortunes, only spoiled by a 2-nil home defeat to Palermo a fortnight ago, in which Juve successfully negotiated their way past Ajax in the Europa League, whilst also picking up wins against Genoa (home), Bologna (away) and Fiorentina (away).

Last weekend’s win at the Viola was the perfect shot in the arm for Juve as they head into the business end of the season. (Juventus are 3.75 to reach the final.)

From a tactical point of view, Alberto Zaccheroni continued to show himself as a wily old fox as he tinkered with his starting eleven (adopting a 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree formation) with Diego and Antonio Candreva playing behind lone-striker David Trezeguet. Whether by luck or design, Diego, who has been a disappointment for large spells of his first season in Serie A, revelled in his role in the hole, and the Brazilian set the match alight with a goal inside the opening two minutes. Diego continued to boss the game in midfield and was integral in Juve’s eventual 2-1 win.

The match against Fiorentina also updated Juventus’ current injury situation. On the plus side, Vincenzo Iaquinta made his first appearance since facing Fiorentina themselves last October, coming on to replace David Trezeguet in the second half, and all of a sudden the Bianconeri seem to have options up top. Further, Danish enforcer Christian Poulsen also returned after an injury lay-off against the Viola, and his timing could not have been better as Felipe Melo will miss the first leg against Fulham due to suspension after collecting too many yellow cards.

For every yin though there is a yan, and Juve also picked up some unfortunate injury concerns in Florence. Paolo De Ceglie received a knock and was replaced at halftime, while the bigger news surrounds stalwart defender Giorgio Chiellini who picked up a problem with his left thigh that will leave Juve light at the back against the Cottagers.

Turning to plucky Fulham (10.50 to reach the final), having impressively dumped UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk out of the tournament in the last round, Roy Hodgson (the underdogs’ manager of the season) takes his unlikely squad to the Stadio Olimpico for a high-profile match which the internationally-groomed coach could never had dreamed of.

The big news for Fulham surrounds the absence of Danny Murphy through suspension, while Nicky Shorey is cup-tied for the trip to Ukraine, having already featured for Aston Villa in early rounds of the competition. That should see Stephen Kelly slot into a defensive role as he did against the Ukrainians, while Jonathan Greening or Bjorn Helge Riise may be asked to fill in for Murphy in the centre of the park.

Aside from those issues, Fulham should have a full squad to choose from, allowing the west Londoners to field almost their strongest spine possible with Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes all at the back, Chris Baird and Dickson Etuhu sitting in front of the defence, while Damien Duff and Zoltan Gera offer support from midfield to the Cottagers’ lone and prolific striker, Bobby Zamora.

With that said, this match should by all historical accounts be a David versus Goliath occasion. Yet the present stats point to a far more balanced last 16 tie, with Fulham carrying the honourable record of two wins and two draws on their Europa League travels this season, while they have only failed to score once in their last 13 European away ties.

It is statistics such as these which should give Fulham, their fans and punters plenty of pre-match optimism. (Back Fulham or the draw at 2.32.)

101gg predicts: Juventus 2 - Fulham 1 (6.29)

Juventus 1.47; Draw 3.68; Fulham 6.27
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 05:56:27 AM

Tough fixtures no worry for Hodgson

Author:  Ben Moss

Posted on:09 March 2010 - 04:10 PM

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has told his players to enjoy themselves despite a packed fixture list testing the depth of the Craven Cottage squad.

Hodgson is preparing his team for a Europa League last 16 clash with Juventus, with the two legs with the Italian giants separated by a Premier League clash with Manchester United.

Hodgson commented: "Success is what you strive for as a professional sportsman and we are reaping the benefits.

"Yes we are playing a lot of games, but we are not victims in any way. You look at our next few fixtures and that is what you play sport for.

"There are many players at a lower level who would give anything to be in the position we are in.

"So my message to everyone is we may not win every game, but we should enjoy each and every one of them."

Meanwhile, the Cottagers have been linked with an interest in Shakhtar Donetsk defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy.

The 20-year-old Ukraine international impressed for Shakhtar in their Europa League round of 32 tie against the Cottagers, which was won 3-2 on aggregate by Fulham.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 05:58:17 AM
Fulham 2-2 Aston Villa (aet) - Villa win on penalties

Tuesday 9th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham were denied a place in the Semi-Final of the FA Youth Cup with the lottery of a penalty shoot-out denying Gary Brazil’s brave side.

It was a nervy start to the game for the young Whites, with visiting Villa enjoying the early possession and play, with goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli doing well to beat the lively Ryan Simmonds to the ball.

The Midlands club came to Craven Cottage with an impressive reputation in youth football and had reached this stage of the competition having overcome Rochdale, West Bromwich Albion and Millwall in relatively comfortable fashion.

Fulham had also turned heads on route, seeing off Stockport County, Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town, with manager Gary Brazil praising his team’s character and desire.

And those attributes were evident as Fulham pushed forward, with Keanu Marsh-Brown seeing the best of the early chances. Having picked the ball up from deep, the England youth international played a clever one-two with Richard Peniket on the edge of the box before forcing a fine diving save from Calum Barratt.

Cheick Toure went close with a towering header, while at the other end Bettinelli took a grateful catch from Kofi Poyser’s effort at the back post.

Having soaked up the pressure and with the shackles off, Harris tried his luck cutting in from the left, but his curled strike deflected wide for a corner, while Barratt raced off his line to deny Marcello Trotta. It had been an entertaining half hour.

Aston Villa continued to move the ball around with confidence, but with Reece Jones and captain Alex Smith breaking up play and steering Fulham forward, the hosts’ threat was certainly growing.

And that positivity was rewarded six minutes before half-time, with the impressive Trotta escaping the attentions of Derrick Williams and Ellis Deeney and driving home a composed angled finish. A Marsh-Brown free-kick from the left almost brought about a second moments later.

Villa may have seen more of the ball, but Fulham went in at the break in front. And few could argue.

Five minutes into the second-half, Bettinelli was called into action holding on to Richard Blythe’s stooping header, before reacting quickly to thwart Poyser.

However, the Fulham number one was beaten moments later with Simmonds’ endeavour down the left forging a chance for Poyser, who took his opportunity with a confident first time finish.

A game of cat and mouse ensued, with both teams prompting passes forward and doing just enough to keep the other at bay in the final third.

A clever turn from Trotta did fashion a chance on 70 minutes however, with the Italian U19 international drawing another smart save from the hands of Barratt.

With the game opening up, Marsh-Brown had to be alert to rob Roberts of the ball when the Villa left-winger was well placed, while at the other end Daniel Devine denied Peniket with a clever intervention.

With 15 minutes left Kerim Frei did well to bring the ball down on the edge of the Villa box and the Turkish youth international did even better to fire at the visiting goal.

Trotta went even closer moments later, but his strike from the right arrowed narrowly wide.

With extra time looming Trotta freed Frei with a clever drag of the heel, but in similar fashion his strike also flashed wide of the Villa goal.

Fulham certainly looked the most likely to add a second in the final 10 minutes, with Paudie Quinn trying his luck from distance.

However, Villa hit back with another wave of possession and Fulham had Pierre to thank for blocking Arsenio Halfhuid’s close range effort with the goal in sight. But that was the last of the chances with extra time bringing 90 minutes to an end.

Fulham started extra time brightly with Marsh-Brown teasing in a cross from the right and Smith showing his ambition from 25-yards.

Villa had a decent chance when Halfhuid turned Toure on the edge of box, with the Dutch striker forcing a super save from Bettinelli.

Quinn had the best chance of the first period of extra time, but the Ireland youth international just couldn’t get enough on Marsh-Brown’s excellent far post corner.

Halfhuid and Poyser both tested Bettinelli in the second period, while a brilliant last ditch slide from Williams denied Trotta a certain chance on goal following Frei’s intelligent threaded pass.

However, the talented Trotta was given another bite shortly after, and needing little invitation blasted the ball off the underside of the Villa bar and into the back of the net with 113 minutes showing on the clock.

But Villa responded with an injury time leveller against the run of play, with Devine bundling in with almost the last kick of the match.

With a penalty shoot-out needed to separate the two teams it was Villa who held their nerve with visiting goalkeeper Barratt the hero.

Aston Villa now face Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Semi-Final.

FULHAM: Bettinelli; Marquez-Sanchez (Frei 63), Pierre, Touré, Kamau; Marsh-Brown, Jones (Quinn 80), Smith (Pritchard 99), Harris; Trotta, Peniket. (Subs not used): Fry, Maloney.

ASTON VILLA: Barrett; Grocott, Deeney, Williams, Blythe (Nelson-Addy 80); Devine, Lampkin, Carruthers, Roberts (Halfhuid 75); Poyser, Simmonds. (Subs not used): Johnstone, Berry, Taylor.   

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:02:01 AM

Fulham 3 - Aston Villa 5

Youth Cup Quarter Final

Craven Cottage

09/03/10 - 7pm



Fulham 3 - 5 Aston Villa
Trotta (38, 115), Frei (pen)   Poyser (55, pen), Devine (120), Simmonds (pen), Deeney (pen)
Venue: Craven Cottage   Attendance: 
The Teams
Bettinelli        Barratt     
Marquez-Sanchez     64   Grocott     
Kamau        Deeney     
Jones     78   Devine     
Toure        Williams     
Pierre        Blythe     78
Marsh-Brown        Lampkin     116
Smith     100   Carruthers     
Trotta        Poyser     
Peniket        Simmonds     
Harris        Roberts     75
Fry        Halfhuid     75
Pritchard     100   Johnstone     
Maloney        Berry     116
Frei     64   Taylor     
Quinn     78   Nelson-Addy     78
Game Statistics


Good God that wasn't for the faint hearted, seems the Youth Team have been taking lessons from our first teamers! Final minute of Extra Time, Devine equilises to take us into a penalty shoot out.

Barratt does a Guzan saving TWO penalties!

Full list - Fulham - Pritchard (saved), Peniket (saved), Frei (scored), Marsh-Brown (blasts over)
Villa - Simmonds (scored), Posyer (scored), Carruthers (saved), Deeney (scorded).

1-1 at Full time, 2-2 at Extra Time Full time, 3-1 on pens....5-3 overall.

Christ what a game!
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:03:05 AM
Great Times

Tuesday 9th March 2010

Fulham FC News

As one the Club’s current longest serving players, Simon Davies clearly appreciate how far Roy Hodgson has taken the Club over the past two years.

With a mouth-watering tie in Turin on Thursday night, Davies is relishing the prospect of a historic few weeks as the Team compete across three fronts in the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League.

“Coming from where we were two years ago, just avoiding relegation, if someone would have offered us the run of games we’ve got coming up, we’d of been jumping up and down,” said Davies.

“We’ve got Juventus, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and then Spurs in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup – it’s great times.

“It’s game after game and hopefully we can keep this run going because we had a great run in February. It will be a tough month but we’ve got a lot of experience in the squad and I’m sure the Manager will negotiate the month wisely. We’ve got a big fixture pile-up now so I’m sure the manager will use the squad.”

After defeating last season’s UEFA Cup winners in Donetsk, Davies believes his Team have nothing to fear after testing themselves against arguably one of the finest teams in European football.

“I don’t think many teams will play football as well as Shakhtar Donetsk did. It was quite unanimous in our dressing room that they were the best side we’ve ever played against.

“We’ve got to believe in ourselves because we’ve had some really good results lately. We’ll play our game and remain solid. We know it’s going to be a very tough game but we also know we’re capable of getting a result.

“We can play better than we did last weekend and hopefully we will do in the next few games.”

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:05:58 AM

Win two tickets to Manchester United v Fulham

Posted By Rob Parker on March 9, 2010

It’s competition time!

Manchester United face Fulham at Old Trafford this Sunday (1.30pm kick-off) as they look to keep up momentum going in to the business end of the season.

OTP has teamed up with our pals at football-mad Betfair to offer you and a mate the chance to join the centenary celebrations at Old Trafford this weekend as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men take on Roy Hodgson’s Fulham. With both sides in great form this match could be a cracker.

For your chance to win simply answer this question: Which Manchester United player’s career in English football began at Craven Cottage?

Email your answer, name and address to before 12pm on Thursday to be in with a chance. The winner will be picked at random.

Andy Gray is now voicing his opinions at Betfair’s great football website. Come and join the debate and follow his weekly tips, match previews and monthly podcasts at ( – the home of football rivalry.

Betfair Ts & Cs (N.B these must be included for legal reasons)
• Over 18s only
• Gamble responsibly (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:10:52 AM

Bocanegra Battles

08 March 2010

Three games without a win, and your team is sliding down the league table.

When nothing seems to be going right, sometimes the only thing that can turn your luck is pure will. The willingness to throw your body into air challenges or the ability to get a touch on a loose ball lingering around the box.

These can be the deciding factors, and in a career lasting more than a decade in America, England, and France, Carlos Bocanegra knows this better than most.

Just days removed from a set-piece header against Holland, the USMNT defender secured an important victory for his club team when he got a toe on the end of a free kick that went bouncing through the mixer.

Call it all good practice for South Africa, where pure effort to come out on top will be a deciding factor in important matches.

Prepare for Combat.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:16:45 AM
COMPETITION: Win tickets to Manchester United v Fulham - courtesy of Betfair

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 5:19 PM on 09th March 2010

Manchester United will be out for revenge when they face Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday and Sportsmail has teamed up with our pals at football-mad Betfair to offer you and a mate the chance to be there.

The Cottagers stunned Sir Alex Ferguson's side 3-0 in December but the Red Devils have lost just once in the Premier League since as they fight it out with Chelsea and Arsenal for the title.

 Bobby dazzler: Bobby Zamora was on target as Fulham beat United in December
To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, answer the following question:

Which Fulham player will join United in the summer?

a) Chris Smalling

b) Clint Dempsey

c) Brede Hangeland

Click HERE for a big clue

E-mail your answer, along with your name, address and contact number to: arrive no later than 12pm THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2010.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be 18 or over to enter and include the words 'UNITED BETFAIR' in your subject box to validate your entry.

These tickets are for home fans only and do not include travel to/from the ground or any hospitality.

Gamble responsibly (

Other normal Associated terms and conditions apply. The Editor's decision is final.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:28:24 AM

Zola: Fulham can beat Juventus

Published 22:45 09/03/10

By Neil McLeman

Gianfranco Zola reckons the strength of the Premier League means Fulham can overpower Italian giants Juventus tomorrow.

Roy Hodgson yesterday admitted his side would make "history" by beating the Serie A side to reach the last eight of the Europa League.

Fulham will be without suspended captain Danny Murphy in the first leg in Turin as they bid to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions.

But injury-ravaged Juventus, who are down in fifth place in Serie A, will be without the injured Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Amauri, while Felipe Melo is banned.

And West Ham manager Zola, a former Italy striker, is predicting a "tight game" in Torino because of the high standard of English football.

"I think it will be very close and Fulham have got a chance even against a famous club like Juventus," said the ex-Chelsea forward.

"That tells you that the Premier League is more competitive than Serie A. It is not that there are no good teams in Italy - there are.

“On paper they are very good. But right now the Premier league has got a different speed and different rhythm and everyone is sharper.

“Even Inter, Milan, Juventus, Roma are very good teams but they are not as sharp as the Premier League teams because the competition right now and the speed of the game is making everybody better.

“In the 90s, it was the same for Italy. The competition level was so high over there that everyone was getting better and better. Even myself. I noticed the difference when I came to England. Now the opposite is the case."

Hodgson, the former coach of Inter Milan and Udinese, said: "Until now we have not been able to even think about Juventus because we have had many games.

"But Juve are Juve, a great team, not just in Italy, but in Europe.

"We haven't been given much of a chance to get through and that is fair. But we believe we can do it and if we can, we would be making history for this club."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:35:04 AM

9th March 2010 – Come into my Parlour

Well it worked against Bolton so why not give it a go against Fulham: smother them away from home; wrap them up and entice them back to the Lane where we devour them whole.

 'Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly'

.Ah but what about Leeds? That was  reverse psychology: lull them into a false sense of security; give them a chance at the Lane; then swat them just when they think they've cracked it. So I'm  relieved in a disappointed Tottenham fan sort of way but clearly it was all part of the Tottenham overall grand plan. Neither side were prepared to risk everything to secure a Wembley semi-final place against Portsmouth.  Fulham, although at home, had Europa Cup hopes and Juventas on their minds. With a depleted squad, we were content to do enough to bring them back to the Lane.

On a tight ground they were compact in defence and unadventurous in attack. Neither Crouch nor Pavlyuchenko got much room to work in. Both teams were missing their creative heart in midfield with Murphy and Huddlestone out. It opened up a little in the last quarter but neither side really departed from the safety first option. None-the-less on a rough hard pitch in  windy conditions an impressive amount of decent football was played and not just by us. We had the better of the possession and they had the best of the few chances . Both keepers made a couple of decent saves. We forced another 9 corners and didn't make any of them count.

Palacios was voted our man of the match but Zamora was the best player on the pitch on the day. He has certainly changed his game since he was with us, relying more on strength to hold off challenges. He played most of the game with his back to goal, and trying to set up others . In his brief time at Spurs under Hoddle  he scored a single goal in 20 or so appearances.

Palacios under the threat of a two game suspension for ten yellows patrolled the mid-field with intent but with more circumspection than usual, as he did at Everton and was all the better for it. No late lunges and more precision and time in his passing. Bale Modric and Kranjcar made a number of decent runs and we didn't overuse the long ball. Modric, playing in the centre, didn't  make as much impact on the game as we would have liked. It took him some time  to become more attack minded although he was playing in his normal position for Croatia. Perhaps he was under instructions to tend to his defensive duties first.

Harry chose the Ekotto option in defence, with Bale in midfield and it worked well enough although with several midfielders to return it may not be a long term option. Decisions will have to be made, sooner rather than later with any luck. Pavlyuchenko's control was poor in the first half but improved later and he made a useful contribution by dropping deep to cover. There was little sign of any rapport between the two strikers. They played like divorcees at a party determined to ignore each other. Defoe looked more threatening in his ten minute cameo than either of them.

A replay at the Lane is by no means a worst case scenario. None of our rivals for the top four  played in the Premiership this  weekend so that's yet another week in fourth to enjoy. Wigan bearing us no grudge beat Liverpool to give us a game in hand as well as a point of daylight and a superior goal difference. Our heavy defeat of Wigan might prove vital in the final analysis.

Harry said this week that what is important is 'the way we play'. I don't believe or agree with a lot of what Harry says except when he is running for the 'statement of the bleedin' obvious' award, but I hope he means this and if he does I will cut him a lot of slack. We haven't sold out to a billionaire playboy who wants results the day before yesterday and we haven't sacrificed our values in the search for glory and success so far. On Monday night Liverpool were ragged but also crude and over physical in a way that I hope we never resort to. And it didn't even work. Was this the Wigan side that we convincingly beat twice this season?

This can all be frustrating to older fans hungry for the return of the Glory, Glory days or for those too young to remember them, or fed up with hearing about them. Building success and making steady progress is more satisfying in the long run. Trust me. Who outside their fans loves Chelsea? Are they respected and admired? Similarly Man.City. Aren't we all delighted that the  Abu Dhabi billions haven't bought them instant payback and have already led to the sacking of one manager. Birmingham, even with access to large Hong Kong fortunes, have done it the hard way and are commended for it.

We have won a lot of attention this season by the quality of our football. We have restored a lot of pride in ourselves and remained true to our traditions. It can all come unstuck obviously but there is no reason at the moment to suppose that it will.

The travails at Portsmouth, who have had more owners than league wins this season, and the discontent at Man. Utd should give us all pause for thought. Less than half of even Premiership clubs are financially viable and when new accounting rules are brought in, which they assuredly will be in the aftermath of the banking crises, then clubs who are trying to cut corners may find themselves broken down on the hard shoulder and not in the fast lane with the top down.

Mind you I've had this bloody 'Doom is Nigh' placard round my neck for some time.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:37:21 AM

Juventus-Fulham: Much Improved Bianconeri Await Cottagers

by Adamo Digby 

Featured Columnist

Written on March 09, 2010  Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images When the draw was made for the next round of Europa League ties, Fulham had every right to be optimistic when seeing the name Juventus pulled out of the pot.

The Old Lady of Italian football was in turmoil, losing games domestically and being eliminated in humiliating fashion from the Champions League, losing 4-1 to Bayern Munich.

All this while Fulham were riding high in the English Premier League, enjoying one of the best spells in their history under vastly underrated coach Roy Hodgson.

Juventus limped into January, losing five games out of six, falling as low as sixth in the Serie A table, and suffering elimination from the Italian Cup as well as the Champions League. A difficult-looking Europa League tie with Ajax awaited a team that was in a desperate state and whose fans had taken to setting fire to the stadium in protest at the lack of progress.

On Jan. 29 the decision was made to part company with coach Ciro Ferrara, a Juventus legend in his first season of club management. His appointment was a gamble that looked to be paying off in the early part of the season, but as injury, fatigue, and poor form set in, the club's hierarchy were left with no choice but to make a change.

That change was hardly inspiring at first, as ex-Milan, Inter, and Lazio coach Alberto Zaccheroni took charge of the fallen giant. Out of work since being fired by Juve's city rivals Torino in 2006, he was hardly the big-name appointment the fans craved.

Yet somehow, despite not being appointed until after the transfer window closed, unable to bring in any players to make a difference, Zaccheroni made this Juventus squad his own, transforming them from a disconnected bunch lacking direction into a compact, resilient, and cohesive team.

Players who previously were being jeered by their own fans were almost instantly improved. Felipe Melo and Momo Sissoko drive them on, while iconic captain Alessandro Del Piero has found his form once more to create goals both for himself and strike partner Amauri.

Ajax were humbled 2-1 in Amsterdam and then shut down in the return leg in Turin, a stereotypical Italian performance where neither side posed a genuine goal threat at any point.

A return to winning ways in Serie A followed too, with victories over Bologna and Genoa seeing them rise up the table and back into a Champions League berth.

The turnaround has not been without fault—a home loss to Palermo last week saw fans fear the worst had returned—but beating storied rivals Fiorentina away from home this weekend has done much to appease those fears.

That one of the goals came from a player whose form has mirrored that of Juventus all season long, Brazilian playmaker Diego, is perhaps as big an indicator of the improvement as the result.

Juventus still has a long way to go to rediscover the standing in world football it enjoyed before the Calciopoli scandal saw them relegated to the second tier, but under Zaccheroni they are at least headed in the right direction.
Fulham have reasons to fear them now, and with their own talisman Danny Murphy suspended, they have an even tougher task. Roy Hodgson, who knows Italian football well after spells in charge of both Inter and Udinese, will prepare his team well as always.
La Vecchia Signora awaits, and you know what they say about a woman scorned...
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:40:47 AM

Manchester United defender Wes Brown out for six weeks with broken bone in foot

Manchester United have confirmed defender Wes Brown will miss the next four to six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
By Telegraph staff and agencies

Published: 6:25PM GMT 09 Mar 2010

The news rules the 30 year-old out of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 return leg against AC Milan and a significant portion of Manchester United's end-of-season fixture programme.

Brown will miss Premier League games against Fulham, Liverpool, Bolton and a potential title-decider against Chelsea on April 3. The injury will also rule him out of the Champions League quarter-finals were United to progress.

Brown, who also broke a metatarsal bone just over a year ago, would then almost certainly be absent for the games with Blackburn on April 11 and against derby rivals Manchester City a week later.

"It's just unfortunate," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted.

"He has had a career blighted by injury and they've all been long ones, and now he has another. He'll be out for four to six weeks.

"I hope to get him back for some of the season."

Brown picked up the injury during United's 1-0 win over Wolves on Saturday in a challenge with Matt Jarvis, and left Molineux with a protective boot on the damaged foot.

The recovery timescale is at least good news for England, with Brown expected to be part of Fabio Capello's squad for the World Cup after playing at right-back against Egypt last week.

Brown's absence further adds to Ferguson's woes ahead of tomorrow night's crucial European encounter against Milan, which will see United defending a 3-2 advantage from the first leg at the San Siro.

Anderson (knee), Ryan Giggs (arm) and John O'Shea (leg) are also out, although Ferguson confirmed the in-form Wayne Rooney would be available after a knee problem.

"He is fit," Ferguson said of the England frontman.

"There is a rapid improvement from Saturday morning because on Friday evening I didn't think he had any chance.

"It's good news. He is a threat to anyone at the moment."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:43:12 AM

Fulham keeping tabs on O’Hara situation

01:30 PM 09 March, 2010

Fulham Football Club are keen on Jamie O’Hara.

The midfielder is on loan at Portsmouth this season, and he admits he faces an uncertain future when he returns to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

Roy Hodgson is believed to be keeping tabs on O’Hara’s situation, and the player believes his performances for Pompey will have won him admirers from within the Premier League.

"I'm going to sit down and have a chat with Harry Redknapp n the summer,” he said. "If he feels it's time for me to move on, I think I've done well enough to interest a few other Premier League clubs."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:47:11 AM

Juventus Reveal Chiellini's Injury Is Less Serious Than Initially Feared

Adrian Del Monte, March 9th, 2010

Recent scans on the defender's thigh however have confirmed that the damage done is less serious than initially believed.

Juventus were dealt a severe blow following their impressive 2-1 victory away to Fiorentina at the weekend, with the news that their star defender Giorgio Chiellini may be forced to miss up to a month of football with what looked to be a serious thigh strain.

Recent scans on the defender's thigh however have confirmed that the damage done is less serious than initially believed, meaning that Chiellini could be available for selection this weekend.
The club released a statement on the injury on their official website that read: "This evening, Chiellini has undergone MRI scans that were undertaken by Professor Carlo Faletti, at the Fornaca di Sessant Clinic. There is no tear in the muscle in the back of his left leg."

The Italian international is certain to miss the Bianconeri's meeting with Fulham in the Europa League on Thursday, and may also sit out the Siena clash on Sunday, despite being in contention for a recall to the squad.

A return against the English outfit in the return leg at Craven Cottage on March 18 is the most likely outcome.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 06:50:17 AM
Diego to give Ful attention

Published: Today

JUVENTUS ace Diego fears Fulham - even though they are not an English big gun.

The sides clash in the Europa League in Turin tomorrow. Diego said: "They are no Man U but English clubs aren't easy to beat."

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:13:11 AM
Juventus Transport Info

Wednesday 10th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Supporters who are travelling independently to the away leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 tie against Juventus are reminded that the local authorities are operating a free shuttle bus service for Fulham fans to use.

Buses will leave from 5:00pm, directly to the Stadio Olimpico di Torino.

Supporters are asked to gather outside the Porta Nuova railway station. Shuttle buses will also be available for the return journey after the game. Please note that you may be held inside the stadium for up to 30 minutes after the final whistle.

It is the policy of Juventus FC not to reprint duplicate match tickets, so please ensure that you take good care of your ticket. You will also be required to show your passport as proof of identity when entering the stadium.

In line with competition regulations no alcohol will be on sale inside the stadium and it is an offence to attempt to bring alcohol into the ground. Supporters who smoke should note that at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino this is permitted only in dedicated areas marked 'Posto Fumo'.

If you require any information or assistance during your trip, please contact Supporter Relations Manager Tommy Guthrie on 07717 225 164. You can also contact a Club representative in London, during office hours, on 0870 442 1222.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:14:29 AM
Juventus Screening

Wednesday 10th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Roy Hodgson’s Team face two-time European Champions Juventus in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League, with the first leg taking place in Turin on Thursday 11th March.

Don't worry if you can't make it to the game, as you can cheer the Team on with fellow Fulham fans at one of our stylish bars at the Cottage (from 6pm, Thursday 11 March).

We are also offering a great value food and drink deal - a beer and a pie for just £5 .

Arguably the biggest match in the Club’s history, this is a game you won't want to miss!

Register your interest
Register your interest now   
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Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:16:08 AM

And what about Fulham's Bobby Zamora? It was not too long ago that the former Tottenham striker, who endured an ill-fated six month stint at White Hart Lane before joining West Ham, was a painted as a laughing stock among opposition fans.

But he has silenced the boo boys this season with 15 goals which have helped his club reach the last 16 of the Europa League.

"I know the fans were chanting his name for England and that was quite right," said Fulham's experienced manager Roy Hodgson, who cites Capello as a 'friend', recently.

But while few observers would keel over in shock if either Hart or Zamora boarded the England plane to South Africa, there are other players who might as well book their summer holidays now than wait for a call from Capello - despite the backing of their managers.

Take Derby's Nigel Clough. A likeable chap, honest and hard-working. But he may well regret suggesting in December that Stephen Bywater could be England's goalkeeping saviour in South Africa.

Despite Sam Allardyce backing Paul Robinson for an England recall, the Blackburn keeper is highly unlikely to add to his 41 caps anytime soon.

And Bolton's Zat Knight can also forget learning the words to the national anthem. Knight was capped twice in 2005 and Owen Coyle believes there is no reason why he cannot feature this summer. He's as good as anything about, if not better," said the Bolton manager, with a straight face.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:24:51 AM

Wolves facing a losing battle to keep Doyle

Published 22:45 09/03/10

By MirrorFootball

Mick McCarthy has admitted that Wolves stand "no chance" of keeping £6.5million striker Kevin Doyle if they are relegated.

Wolves boss McCarthy is already preparing himself for the prospect of losing Doyle if he fails in his survival mission at Molineux.

Republic of Ireland international Doyle has impressed in a struggling side since McCarthy broke the Wolves' transfer record to bring him to Molineux.

And Aston Villa, Fulham, Everton and Sunderland will all battle to sign the 26-year-old if Wolves slip down to the Championship.

McCarthy said: "If we go down, we have no chance of holding on to him. If we stay up, we might still have a problem because there will be a few interested.

"We have seen all the teams now and I've not noticed many better players than him.

"I'm not doing a selling job saying that because I'm not telling other managers anything they don't know.

"He would not be out of place in the company of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:30:48 AM

Paolo De Ceglie Eases Juventus Injury Fears Ahead Of Fulham Clash

‘Paolino’ insists he is fit and hopes Juve can continue their progress against the Cottagers.

By Vince Masiello

Mar 10, 2010 9:10:00 AM

Juventus full-back Paolo De Ceglie has admitted he has fully recovered from the minor injury he suffered at Fiorentina last weekend and will be in contention for a starting shirt for Fulham’s visit.

The English side travel to the Olimpico tomorrow night for the first leg of the Europa League last 16 tie and there were fears De Ceglie would be ruled out after hobbling away in Florence.

But he told Sky Sport Italia: “I’m fine now, I have recovered and am ready for Thursday’s match.

“We all care for the Europa League and want to keep doing well. Just like we did against Fiorentina when we got a really important victory.”
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:31:36 AM
Zolly's Euro Dream
Wednesday 10th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Zoltan Gera is expected to partner Bobby Zamora in attack against Juventus in the first leg of the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night.

The Hungarian is clearly looking forward to challenging one of the giants of world football in Torino and spoke of his desire to repeat another sensational result on the European stage.

“It’s a very good opportunity for us to play against one of the best clubs in the world,” Gera explained.

“We are very happy to be at this stage, playing for a place in the Quarter-Finals. It’s very good for the supporters and the Club.

“I like to watch football in general so I know Juventus and the players. I watch a lot of games from the Italian and Spanish leagues so there won’t be any surprises because I’ve seen them a few times.

“They have very talented players, especially up front with players like Del Piero and Trezeguet. They are good defensively and offensively but hopefully we can do a good job on Thursday night.”

Fulham will return to the Cottage next Thursday for the return leg and when questioned whether playing away first hands Fulham an early advantage, Gera preferred to focus on the fine performance Fulham gave the last time they made the trip to Italy.

“I don’t know if there’s any advantage playing away first,” said Gera. “Normally it’s better to play away from home in the first leg. Hopefully we can just get a good result in Torino and give ourselves a good chance to go through at the Cottage.

“There will be a big difference between Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus. We played against Roma twice and played very well and hopefully we can do the same against Juventus and get a result.”

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:33:29 AM


Wednesday March 10,2010
FULHAM’S Norwegian striker Erik Nevland will leave the club on a free transfer at the end of this season to join his former team Viking Stavanger.

Erik Nevland, 32, who began his career at Viking in 1995, has scored three goals in 23 games this season.

Viking also made a bid to take Fulham’s Swedish defender Fredrik Stoor on a free transfer, but he has rejected the move.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:36:14 AM


Nevland goes - Stoor also wanted

By Adam Marshall, 10/03/2010

VIKING have agreed a deal to sign Fulham striker Erik Nevland at the end of the season and they're also trying to secure the services of Fredrik Stoor.
The Norwegians are re-signing former Manchester United forward Nevland on a free transfer as his contract is due to expire at Craven Cottage.

Coach Aage Hareide is delighted to land the 32-year-old but also wants Swedish right-back Stoor.

The defender says he doesn't want to go on loan to Stavanger after having a temporary stint with Derby and Viking have until the end of the month to conclude a deal.

It all depends whether they can agree terms with Roy Hodgson because the Fulham boss is looking for a fee.

The West Londoners have a huge match on Thursday when they travel to Italy to face Juventus in the Europa League.

"They are not Manchester United, that's clear, but English clubs are never easy to beat," said Juve's Brazilian midfielder Diego.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 11:40:21 AM

Pantsil points way forward for Fulham

Published: Wednesday 10 March 2010

by Michael Harrold from London

Defender John Pantsil told Fulham FC will not be overawed by heavyweights Juventus as they prepare for their last-16 tie. "We're not afraid of anyone – whoever comes, we are ready," he said.

For a Fulham FC side that only avoided relegation on the final day of the 2007/08 Premier League season, the prospect of facing two-time European champions Juventus for a place in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals represents a remarkable upturn in fortunes.

The west London club surpassed expectations last term by claiming a best ever seventh-place finish, and have thrived on the continental stage. Having knocked out UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk to reach the round of 16, Fulham will not be overawed by the exclusive company they are now keeping, no matter how illustrious the opposition. "We're not afraid of anyone – whoever comes, we are ready," John Pantsil told "I'm not used to losing games. I just go for victory."

It is an uncomplicated approach, and one that has established the 28-year-old Ghanaian international right-back in Fulham supporters' affections. Despite missing the Shakhtar tie because of a knee injury, his name rang out around Craven Cottage in the first leg, an ode to a man who says he "does everything from my heart".

That includes a lap of honour to thank the supporters after every home success. "The fans deserve everything I give them on the pitch, because they show appreciation. Whether it's raining or not, they're sitting, shouting, singing. So every game the team wins, I have to give them the lap of honour. They deserve it."

So do Fulham, a family club whose Craven Cottage ground sits picturesquely on the banks of the Thames. Behind the homely facade, however, lies a steely determination that is producing impressive results.

Since kicking off in the third qualifying round in July, Fulham have seen off seasoned European campaigners FC Basel 1983 in the group stage, winning in Switzerland to advance, gone toe to toe with Italian giants AS Roma and ended the ambitions of an experienced, skilful Shakhtar side.

It is easy to forget this is only the club's second season in European competition, their 2002/03 run to the UEFA Cup third round via the UEFA Intertoto Cup their only previous continental foray. With Roy Hodgson at the helm, though, Fulham do not lack experience. "He has done well," Pantsil said of Hodgson, who took FC Internazionale Milano to the UEFA Cup final in 1997.

"He has time for each and every [player]. He has changed the team, he has lifted the team to a certain level. His training makes us feel more relaxed and more comfortable with our positions on the pitch. He is experienced. He knows how to coach his players to play European football."

The former Switzerland and Finland coach took charge in December 2007 with Fulham in freefall. He arrested the slide and then masterminded the recovery, with victory at Portsmouth FC on the final day of the 2007/08 campaign keeping the club in the Premier League.

The signings of Pantsil and striker Bobby Zamora – scorer of the spectacular first-leg winner against Shakhtar – from West Ham United FC, as well as goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and centre-back Brede Hangeland, established roots which are now bearing fruit. Success in Europe, Pantsil says, "is great. It is pushing us, it is giving us morale, strength and also confidence."

There is no shortage of those attributes in Pantsil himself. The cruciate ligament injury he sustained in December was expected to keep him out for the season, but he now hopes to be back early next month. With Fulham going well in three competitions and the prospect of the FIFA World Cup to come in June, he is determined not to miss out on the action.

Representing Ghana at a World Cup was Pantsil's dream as a child, but it might never have been realised had he followed his father into the police force as his parents wished. Pantsil's passion, though, was always football and it was an enforcer of a different kind – former Manchester United FC midfielder Roy Keane – that he most admired growing up. "He was a good leader, a great midfielder, he always fought for what belonged to him on the pitch." Juventus, too, can expect no quarter in Turin on Thursday.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 02:10:25 PM

Europa League Preview: Juventus - Fulham

It's Italy against England again in Europe, this time in the Round of 16 of the Europa League.....

By Subhankar Mondal

Mar 10, 2010 12:15:00 PM

Kick-Off: March 11, Thursday, 21:05 CET.
Stadio Olimpico, Turin, Italy.

Rejuvenated And Resurrected

Alberto Zaccheroni will probably not stay on as the Juventus coach beyond the end of the current season but his impact on the Bianconeri has been massive so far. The Old Lady were struggling for a place in the top six in Serie A when the 56-year-old arrived and although Juve are currently fifth in the league standings with 44 points from 27 league matches, things have improved since his arrival.

Juventus were given a tricky tie in the Round of 32 in the Europa League as they were pitted against Dutch powerhouse and former European champions Ajax, but they came through quite comfortably in the end. After defeating the Godenzonen 2-1 in the first leg at the Amsterdam ArenA, the Bianconeri played out a 0-0 draw in Turin to progress 2-1 on aggregate.

However, Juventus will be wary of playing Fulham. Even though the Cottagers have an inferior pedrigree in Europe to Juve, they have been in great form so far this campign in the Premier League and, playing against more illustrious opponents, they will have nothing to lose.

Flying High

Fulham have been going pretty strong this season in most competitions. Although a European spot in the table looks almost impossible now, at the moment they are actually 10th in the table with 38 points from 28 matches.

This weekend Roy Hodgson's side featured in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, but failed to beat Tottenham Hotspur at home, limping to a 0-0 draw and being forced into a replay. However, that shouldn't demotivate a club that have flirted with relegation on several occasions since arriving back in English football's top flight in 2001.

Fulham narrowly defeated Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32. They won 2-1 at home and held the 2009 UEFA Cup winners to a 1-1 draw in the away leg. For a club of their budget and size, featuring in the last 16 stage and locking horns with one of the giants of European football is an achievement in itself. Moreover, playing away from home in the first leg in the pre-quarterfinals is actually an advantage for the Lilywhites.



March 6 v Fiorentina (A) - WON 2-1 (Serie A)

February 28 v Palermo (H) - LOST 2-0 (Serie A)

February 25 v Ajax (H) - DREW 0-0 (Europa League)

February 21 v Bologna (A) - WON 2-1 (Serie A)

February 18 v Ajax (A) - WON 2-1 (Europa League)


March 6 v Tottenham Hotspur (H) - DREW 0-0 (FA Cup)

February 28 v Sunderland (A) - DREW 0-0 (Premier League)

February 25 v Shakhtar Donetsk (A) - DREW 1-1 (Europa League)

February 21 v Birmingham City (H) - WON 2-1 (Premier League)

February 18 v Shakhtar Donetsk (H) - WON 2-1 (Europa League)



Buffon, Chimenti, Amauri, Giovinco and Chiellini are struggling with injuries while there are concerns over the fitness of Legrottaglie, Camoranesi and Diego. Marchisio is suffering from fever and it is not confirmed at the moment whether he will feature on Thursday evening or not.

Probable Line-up (4-3-1-2): Manninger, Grygera, Legrottaglie, Cannavaro, Grosso; Sissoko, Felipe Melo, Marchisio; Diego; Trezeguet, Del Piero


The English side will line up in a 4-4-2 formation. Danny Murphy missed the game against Spurs at the weekend but is back for the trip to Turin, although USA international Clint Dempsey, Ghana defender John Pantsil and Andrew Johnson remain unavailable.

Probable Line-up (4-4-2): Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey; Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Davies; Gera, Zamora


Diego (Juventus)

The Brazilian trequartista was impressive against Ajax in the return leg and he will again be the creator-in-chief for the Bianconeri on Thursday. Diego scored against Fiorentina at the weekend and looked to be in great shape and form. The 25-year-old led Werder Bremen to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2009 and he will be the main player that the Fulham defenders will have to keep an eye on.

Bobby Zamora (Fulham)

The 29-year-old is Fulham's leading scorer and will be a headache for the Juventus defenders. Zamora has scored eight times in the Premier League with four assists and has netted the ball thrice and given one assist in the Europa League. He failed to score against Spurs at the weekend and will be raring to give his side an away goal to take home after Thursday's match.


Playing at home in the first leg in a Cup tie in Europe is never an easy task and indeed Fulham will be happy with a scoring draw. However, on paper, Juventus do have a better attacking unit and they should be able to score, although their problems at the back could enable the Cottagers to return home with a precious away goal.

Juventus 2-1 Fulham
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 02:11:35 PM

Greening gears up for Juventus clash

Mar 10 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

FULHAM will have to reproduce the performances against Shakhthar Donetsk if they stand any chance of causing another upset against Juventus.

So says Jonathan Greening, who's in line to deputise for the suspended Danny Murphy for tomorrow's clash in Turin.

The Whites won through to the last 16 of the Europa League after a 3-2 aggregate lead against the UEFA Cup holders.

And Greening says Fulham will have to hit the same heights if they're to get past the Italian giants.

He said:"It’s just what dreams are made up. If we can put in a good performance like we did against Shakhtar – then everything is possible.

"We’re well prepared under the gaffer because everyone knows their jobs."

Greening has failed to cement a regular starting spot at Craven Cottage since his summer move from West Brom.

But he's ready to grab his chance with both hands at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino.

"I knew we would be in Europe this year and that’s one of the reasons I came [to Fulham]," he added.

"Danny’s captain and has been playing well – but it gives me a chance to come in and do well.

"Every player wants to play in these type of games."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 02:12:38 PM
Juventus v FULHAM: Skipper Danny Murphy banned for Euro glamour game

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 12:02 PM on 10th March 2010

Fulham will be without Danny Murphy for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Serie A giants Juventus in Turin.  

The Cottagers captain was sent off in the previous round against Shakhtar Donetsk and misses out along with Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka, who are both cup-tied.
Paul Konchesky could replace Shorey at left-back if he recovers from an ankle injury but Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (all knee) remain sidelined.

Provisional squad: Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler, Baird, Kelly, Stoor, Hangeland, Konchesky, Hughes, Smalling, Marsh-Brown, Gera, Duff, Greening, Davies, Etuhu, Riise, Nevland, Elm, Zamora.  

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 02:15:38 PM

Juventus    v    Fulham

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Juventus v  Fulham 20:05

Venue: Stadio Olimpico di Torino Date: Thursday 11 March Kick-off: 2005 GMT Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live and ITV4


Fulham will be without captain Danny Murphy for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Serie A giants Juventus in Turin on Thursday.

Murphy was sent off in Fulham's 3-2 aggregate win over holders Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous round.

Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka, who are both cup-tied, will also be missing.

Paul Konchesky could replace Shorey at left-back if he recovers from an ankle injury but Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (all knee) are out.


Fulham provisional squad: Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler, Baird, Kelly, Stoor, Hangeland, Konchesky, Hughes, Smalling, Marsh-Brown, Gera, Duff, Greening, Davies, Etuhu, Riise, Nevland, Elm, Zamora.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 03:33:15 PM

Two thirds of Manchester United supporters may not renew season tickets

Ben Smith

Recommend? (7)

Manchester United could be facing a fresh backlash from their supporters as it was revealed that two thirds of fans are considering not renewing their season tickets next season.

The figures, which have been published in a study conducted by Virgin Money, suggest that supporters are stepping up their revolt against Malcolm Glazer's ownership, which has gained fresh momentum over the past few weeks following interest from a group calling themselves the Red Knights.

There has been widespread discontent among the supporters ever since the American and his sons bought the club in a highly-leveraged takeover in the summer of 2005.

Many United supporters have already been driven away by huge ticket price increases, with the average season ticket price going up from £487 pre-takeover to £722 this year. The effect has been that while there has traditionally been a long waiting list for season tickets as demand far outstripped supply, for the first time in living memory a limited number of season tickets were available on general sale last summer.

The survey suggests that 15 per cent of season-ticket holders will give up their tickets completely, while another 44 per cent will only buy tickets for matches occasionally. Wolverhampton Wanderers also rate highly in the survey, with 54 per cent of supporters considering giving up their season tickets.

“The drop in costs is welcome but season tickets are still priced astronomically compared with other major European leagues such as Spain, Italy and Germany," Malcolm Clarke, Chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said. "Shamefully, Manchester United was the only Premier League club that put up their prices for the current season. Every other club froze or reduced them.

"They also sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. Huge numbers of United fans are in open revolt against the Glazer family’s huge cash drain on the club. They’re paying the price for the leveraged buy-out in 2005 that has loaded a massive £700 million debt on to United’s books. The Glazer regime has put up ticket prices by half in less than five years. No wonder almost six out of ten Old Trafford season-ticket holders are thinking of not renewing.”

According to reports yesterday, thousands of fans are preparing to boycott the opening ten minutes of tonight's Champions League match against AC Milan, leaving the television cameras to pan empty seats in a visual demonstration of anti-Glazer feeling. The prime mover behind the green and gold movement, the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) sought yesterday to play down talk of a mass boycott tonight - although the ploy may be used at other matches.

The backlash against season tickets comes despite figures showing that the cost of attending games has fallen by 6 per cent in the past year. According to the study, fans of Liverpool and Stoke City are the least likely to give up season tickets next year with just 9 per cent of supporters considering cut backs.

Percentage of fans considering cancelling season tickets

Manchester United 59
Wolves 54
Burnley 31
Fulham 29
Everton 28
Blackburn 28
Portsmouth 28
West Ham 27
Aston Villa 24
Sunderland 23
Wigan 21
Tottenham 19
Manchester City 18
Birmingham 17
Chelsea 17
Hull 17
Arsenal 14
Bolton 13
Liverpool 9
Stoke City 9
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 03:40:35 PM
FFC Hosts Down's Syndrome Tournament

Wednesday 10th March 2010

Fulham FC News

Down’s syndrome football teams from across London will come together at the Fulham FC Training Ground to launch Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week on Sunday 14th March at 11am.

The tournament will bring together the four London-based DSActive teams: Fulham Badgers, QPR Tiger Cubs, Charlton Upbeats and West Ham United DS Team. Unlike traditional tournaments, the main focus is not on winning or losing, but just taking part.

To kick-off the festivities, coaches from each of the Clubs involved will engage the players in coaching sessions to help them learn new skills and techniques. The football coaches have learned on the job through the help of the Down's Syndrome Association (DSA) and sharing their experiences since there is no formal training available to coaches. Side by side the players and coaches will learn new skills and delivery methods together.

The seven-a-side tournament will officially kick-off at 1pm, with each game being modified to fit the needs of those with Down’s syndrome and will be ten minutes in length with ten minute breaks.

DSA parent member and patron Kevin Kilbane offers his support:

“It is great to see all of the football clubs coming together in support of Down’s syndrome.” Kevin further explained, “This tournament is a fantastic opportunity for the players to showcase their skills. Having had the privilege of experiencing a couple DSActive training sessions, I know the tournament will be a success and an excellent opportunity to highlight to the outside world their true ability.”

Steven Day, Chief Executive of the Fulham Football Club Foundation, said:

“I am delighted that Fulham Football Club is able to host the first ever Down's Syndrome Football Tournament. This tournament marks the continuation of the fantastic work carried out by Fulham FC Foundation in collaboration with the Down's Syndrome Association since June 2006 and, more recently, with some other London clubs. The Foundation's ethos is to help build better lives through sport and the tournament is a perfect example of a number of partners working together to help achieve this."

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 03:46:23 PM

Europa League - Team news: Murphy missing

PA Sport - Wed, 10 Mar 13:52:00 2010

Fulham will be without captain Danny Murphy for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Serie A giants Juventus in Turin.

The Cottagers' captain was sent off in the previous round against Shakhtar Donetsk and misses out along with Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka, who are both cup-tied.

Paul Konchesky could replace Shorey at left-back if he recovers from an ankle injury but Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (all knee) remain sidelined.

Juventus boss Alberto Zaccheroni has a number of injury concerns ahead of the visit of Fulham to the Stadio Olimpico.

Goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, striker Amauri, midfielder Sebastian Giovinco and defender Giorgio Chiellini are all struggling with knocks while defender Nicola Legrottaglie and midfield duo Mauro Camoranesi and Diego are doubtful.

Midfielder Claudio Marchisio will have to prove his fitness after suffering from a fever during the week.

Follow live text commentary on the game in Italy from 20:05 on Thursday here on Eurosport-Yahoo!
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 03:47:46 PM

Pompey Cup run a great story

Tue Mar 09 12:15PM

 It has been a great story for Portsmouth to reach the FA Cup semi-final this season, and I am delighted for them.
They are a side that possess a lot of quality and I believe without the difficulties off the pitch which led to a number of their more recognisable names leaving, Portsmouth would be a competitive mid-table team.

Their run in the FA Cup shows that within the squad, there is plenty of self belief and character. In a way, the competition has been a release for them to go out and enjoy their football without the burden of a torrid league campaign. They seem like a really close group of individuals that have managed to stay strong throughout the adversity.

It is difficult to envisage a similar situation at Fulham, but I am sure when the chips are down, most clubs would be able to pull together and feel galvanised as a result.

It is clearly a difficult situation when wages are paid late, especially when players have financial commitments to savings, mortgages and regular outgoings. It is something that the players at Portsmouth have had to deal with on a number of occasions, but naturally people can only accommodate it for so long.

Avram Grant has done a great job at the club and he has really developed a good rapport with the fans and players in the Portsmouth squad. He is doing himself credit and, from personal experience, he is a very likeable character and is certainly going to work hard to keep his players motivated.

He has stuck with the club and his focus is solely on trying to retain Portsmouth's Premier League status.

The most difficult time that I encountered whilst in a squad was when I was battling for Fulham to work our way out of the relegation zone. Players were literally playing for their future. A lot of credit must go to the squad and particularly the gaffer in that situation as his calming influence had a huge impact on our survival effort.

Of course, things are different now, and we are in the latter stages of two cup competitions. Following our FA Cup quarter-final draw with Tottenham at home, it will be a challenging fixture for us when we head to White Hart Lane for the replay. They are an excellent team, both home and away, and we certainly felt the game was there for the taking in the initial fixture.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:00:56 PM

Andy Johnson – Fulham’s Forgotten Man

Date: 10th March 2010 at 1:11 pm

Rapid front-man Andy Johnson faces the prospect of being Fulham’s forgotten man after being sideline by injury for most of the year.

After helping Fulham last season to an historic 7th place in the league and the inevitable Europa League place that came with it last season, Johnson achieved a fairly decent return of 10 goals in 36 games in all competitions and although this is not especially prolific, his ability to get beyond his man and run in the channels was integral to Fulham’s style of play.

With Bobby Zamora unable to hit a barn door last term, Johnson stepped up to the mantle of senior striker, a position that seems extremely far away nowadays. Roy Hodgson is an excellent man manager, his style is comparable to that of a Dickensian fruit and veg seller and he is unlikely to abandon Johnson after one season of injury struggles but he may play a reduced role upon his return.

The faith with which Hodgson placed in Zamora after a difficult season last year and after turning down repeated summer bids from Hull City shows his determination to stick by a player he feels serves the team well, and this does bode well for Johnson, but with February proving an excellent month for Fulham as well as coinciding with the month that Johnson’s latest knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the season, Johnson must be growing increasingly concerned about his place in the team.

Johnson has been restricted to just eight appearances so far this season and has shown himself to be susceptible to little niggles throughout his career and as such he cannot often be relied upon to play an entire campaign and Hodgson may look to strengthen his attack in the summer.

With Diomansay Kamara performing well in Scotland for Celtic on loan and new signing Stefano Okaka already off the mark for Fulham after a goal in the FA Cup against Notts County last month it would appear his rivals are stepping up their game. His saving grace is that Fulham have relied upon goals from midfield this season and with a small squad such as theirs he’s always likely to be involved in the first team squad when fit.

It may also help that with Fulham 10th at present, they look unlikely to repeat this season’s European excursions in the Europa League and this means that there will be less emphasis on improving squad size to cope with the rigours of extra matches’ year on year in the summer, with additions likely to be set on improving quality instead. Erik Nevland and David Elm do provide competition for places but are considered back-ups by Hodgson at the moment.

During his time at Everton Johnson was very much outgrown by his team in his absence. The Everton of Johnson’s time compared to that of the one today, are immeasurably different in playing style and quality, and you can’t help but get the feeling that Johnson will forever be viewed as a stop gap, a player who serves a purpose for the short term but one that’s limited ability cannot be relied upon to take your team to the next level in the long term.

In his short spell at Everton they evolved from a side that played a counter-attacking game utilising Johnson’s pace on the break to one that played possession football with every player (barring Tony Hibbert of course) capable of playing the ball to feet. This it is fair to say is not Johnson’s strong point and Everton outgrew the need for a player of Johnson’s limited game and skills set and the parallels in the evolving style of play of both Everton and Fulham after they achieved their initial success, which Johnson most definitely helped them to, are startlingly similar in their patterns.

For Fulham to truly reach the next level and stay around the mid-table/ pushing for Europe mark they will have to have a better consistent partner up front for Zamora than Johnson. At 29 years of age, time is on his side and he will most certainly still be at Fulham next season, but whether he’ll be needed as much as he was last season is unlikely and Hodgson’s Fulham have developed in his absence from a side built on defensive solidity and counter-attacking play to a genuinely aesthetically pleasing outfit to watch and their play has unquestionably evolved – unless Johnson does the same, he may find himself in a similar predicament to the one that he found himself in at Everton.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:02:03 PM,19528,11681_6013655,00.html

Kelly relishes Turin trip

Fulham defender ready for Juve test

By Peter O'Rourke   

Last updated: 10th March 2010   

Fulham defender Stephen Kelly is relishing the prospect of locking horns with European giants Juventus in the Europa League.

The Cottagers travel to Turin on Thursday for the first leg of their last 16 encounter after seeing off Shakhtar Donetsk in the last round.

Kelly is excited about the possibility of tackling Juventus and he is determined to seize the opportunity as Fulham aim to pull off another shock by dumping out the Bianconeri.

"Playing Juventus in the Europa League is a dream come true," Kelly told

"To go to Turin and play them there is exciting.

"You don't get games against Juventus too often so you have to grab them with both hands.

"We had a great result against Shaktar Donetsk in the last round and we will go to Juventus with confidence."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:03:21 PM,19528,11681_6013779,00.html

FA confirm semi-final dates

Blues v Villa first up for semis weekend

Last updated: 10th March 2010   

The Football Association has confirmed the kick-off times and dates for next month's FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

The games had already been set for the weekend of 10/11th April, but the FA have now revealed when the ties will be played.

Chelsea's clash with Aston Villa is the first semi-final to take place on Saturday, 10th April at 5pm.

The weekend's other tie sees Portsmouth face Tottenham or Fulham - who will replay their quarter-final on 24th March following their goalless draw at Craven Cottage - with that game taking place at 4pm on Sunday, 11th April.

The showpiece final takes place on 15th May to give England more time to prepare for this summer's World Cup finals.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:04:19 PM

Juventus Coach Alberto Zaccheroni: I'm Thinking About Fulham, Not The Future

The coach preferred to talk about on-field matters...

By Salvatore Landolina

Mar 10, 2010 2:15:00 PM

Alberto Zaccheroni insists he is only thinking about the Europa League tie with Fulham, rather than his future at Juventus.

"The result against Fiorentina gives us stimulation to progress beacuse we have been doing well," he told the press.

"As for the Juventus bench, I prefer not to talk about this because it's not part of my actual objectives. My objective now is the match against Fulham

"And I hope to continue doing well until the end of the season. Also, I hope to have most of my squad back following injuries.

"We want to do well in the Europa League and we have respect for Fulham, who have been doing well in the Premier League and in Europe."

So well in fact that Zaccheroni's cautious approach to the game is clear.

"Fulham are a tough team and they know how to control the game and take advantage when they have their chances," he concluded.

The last 16 first leg clash kicks off at 21:05CET on Thursday night in Turin.

Midfielder Mauro Camoranesi should be in contention after returning from injury.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:05:37 PM

Juventus v Fulham – Europa League preview

March 10, 2010

In all likelihood, this will be a close tie.  However, the very idea that Fulham could take on Juventus would have been unthinkable a mere 14 seasons ago.  The 1995-6 season was a memorable one for Juventus, with the 'Old Lady' capturing the European Cup, beating Ajax in the final.  The same season saw Ian Branfoot's Fulham languishing towards the bottom of England's basement division at one of the lowest ebbs in the club's history.

The interim period has seen an incredible rise in Fulham's fortunes.  However, a potentially close clash between one of the giants of Italian football and a mid-table English side also demonstrates the primacy of the Premier League over Serie A in recent years.

Juventus are enduring a tough season.  Coach Alberto Zaccheroni has overseen a real improvement in the Turin side's form since taking over as short-term coach in January.  Juventus were struggling for a place in the top six in Serie A when the 56-year-old arrived and currently fifth in the league standings with 44 points from 27 league matches, things have improved since his arrival.

Juventus were given a tricky tie in the last round of the Europa League as they were pitted against Dutch giants and opponents in that 1996 European Cup final, Ajax.  A measure of the progress under Zaccheroni is their relatively straightforward progress against Ajax, having won the first leg 2-1 in Amsterdam.  

Fulham have virtually no pedigree in Europe.  But, in Roy Hodgson, they have a wily manager with an excellent knowledge of European football, whose name commands respect in Italy following his successful tenure at Inter Milan.  Fulham are enjoying a very good season, especially considering they only escaped Premier League relegation by a whisker two seasons ago.  They are in a comfortable tenth position in the Premier League and face an FA Cup replay against Tottenham to secure a semi-final appearance at Wembley.  

They will be missing captain Danny Murphy after he saw red in the last round of the Europa League, as Fulham knocked out holders Shakhtar Donetsk.  Both Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka are ineligible for selection while Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil are long term absentees.  However, in Bobby Zamora , Fulham possess a striker in a rich vein of form who will be determined to prove himself against Europe's finest to push for a place in England's World Cup squad.

Juventus have injury concerns over goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and centre back Giorgio Chiellini among others.  Nonetheless, they will expect to line up with the likes of David Trezeguet , Allesandro Del Piero and Fabio Cannavaro.  

Juventus have the luxury of genuinely world class players to choose from.  Despite the team's problems this season, household names like Del Piero and Trezeguet pose the biggest threat to Fulham, as shown by the IMScouting efficiency report below.  They are two of the most dangerous attacking players on either side and Fulham boss Roy Hodgson must prevent his side from giving them too much respect in order to leave Turin with a chance of progression to the next round.

IMScouting’s Player Efficiency reports include players who have appeared in a minimum of 500 minutes in the league and equally values a goal or assist. A player's efficiency is valued at how often he has produced a goal or assist.

Further statistics on the clash between Juventus and Fulham can be seen at this match preview.

You can also calculate your own reports at the IMScouting report generator, which creates instant comparisons of players and teams from every league in the world.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:07:50 PM

Fulham back in Europa League tomorrow at Juventus

Fulham will be back in action tomorrow in Turin Italy against Juventus. The kickoff is 3:05 EST from the Stadio Olimpico. The second leg will take place next Thursday at Craven Cottage. Roy Hogdson and Fulham will have their hand's full with this top Italian team.

Fulham will be without Danny Murphy who will be suspended for the match. Jonathan Greening should be in his place in the midfield. It will be interesting to see who Hogdson will go with in his starting lineup. Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka are both cup tied and can't participate in the match. John Pantsil and Clint Dempsey are still hurt and hopefully we will be seeing there returns later in the season.

There is a good article entitled "Europa League: Preview Juventus - Fulham" on Everyone should check this out to get ready for the match. This game will be a tough task for Fulham. I personally will be happy if they get an away goal. These are exciting times for the Cottagers. After this match tomorrow, Roy Hogdson's team heads to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 9:47 AM
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (10.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 10, 2010, 04:09:21 PM

Juventus v Fulham Preview: Jonathan Greening Prepares For Key Role In Turin

10/3/2010 10:30 AM GMT

By Dean Jones


A trip to Juventus once seemed beyond the wildest dreams of any Fulham supporter, but as they continue their adventure on the continent it seems nothing can faze their players.

A Europa League tie in Turin not only brings home the full extent of Roy Hodgson's success in West London, but also hands an incredible opportunity to Jonathan Greening, who is in line to deputise for suspended captain Danny Murphy in midfield.

Murphy was sent off as Fulham progressed through to the last 16 with a 3-2 aggregate success against the UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk.

Greening now has the responsibility of overcoming one of the most respected sides in the history of Italian football, but he refuses to be overawed.

"It's just what dreams are made of," Greening said, as he set off for Turin. "If we can put in a good performance like we did against Shakhtar – then everything is possible.

"We're well prepared under the gaffer because everyone knows their jobs. I knew we would be in Europe this year and that's one of the reasons I came to Fulham.

"Danny's captain and has been playing well – but it gives me a chance to come in and do well. Every player wants to play in these type of games."

Manager Hodgson took Inter Milan to the UEFA Cup final in 1997, and will realise success here would leave his Fulham side in the frame to reach their first ever European final.

Defender John Pantsil said: "He has time for each and every player. He has changed the team, he has lifted the team to a certain level. His training makes us feel more relaxed and more comfortable with our positions on the pitch. He is experienced. He knows how to coach his players to play European football."

Strategy: It would be tempting to sit back and frustrate the Italians, but on the evidence of past showings in Europe this season Fulham will try and take the game to Juve. Bobby Zamora will provide a presence in attack that Fulham will use as their focal point, with Damien Duff being told to take on his full-back and deliver as many crosses as possible from every angle in a bid to cause havoc in the Juve back line.

Injury update: Paul Konchesky is back in the reckoning following a spell on the sidelines with a calf and ankle problem, while the game is also likely to come slightly too soon for Clint Dempsey. Pantsil remains in the treatment room with a knee problem, and forward Andrew Johnson is out for the rest of the season.

The Old Lady have won only one of their last six European home games. That came against Maccabi Haifa as they picked up a 1-0 win in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

Four of their other home encounters have ended in a draw, giving Fulham extra reason to believe they can take something from the game.

Coach Alberto Zaccheroni came on board recently, and though he is not considered a long term appointment, his impact has been impressive and Juve have moved up to fifth in Serie A.

They beat Ajax in the last round, but will be missing key midfield player Felipe Melo through suspension for the first-leg.