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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 08:33:32 PM

Title: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 08:33:32 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/19/juventus-fulham-italian-press-reaction

Italian press rounds on 'total flop' Juventus after Fulham humiliation

'Those who failed must pay,' thunders Tuttosport editor


Cannavaro's role as captain of Italy called into question


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Paolo Bandini guardian.co.uk,

Friday 19 March 2010 15.10 GMT


Tuttosport made its point loud and clear. "You should be ashamed," read the oversized banner stretched across the front of the Turin-based newspaper's website this morning and the paper and ink version was no more forgiving in the wake of last night's 4-1 defeat at Fulham. "A total flop," read the front-page headline. Just below that was a leader piece written by the editor, Paolo de Paola, titled "Those who have failed must pay".

"This is the last station. The end of the line," writes De Paola. "Juventus's year has been a total flop in which the ownership, club and team are all implicated. All of them. Reacting to the situation and working to find the solution is now obligatory. The ship is full of leaks: every sector needs to be looked at because in every one there is disfunction and holes."

De Paola's list of grievances is long – from the club's failure to appoint a permanent president ("because we all know very well that the role is only temporarily being filled by Jean-Claude Blanc) to the appointment of such an inexperienced manager as Ciro Ferrara at the beginning of the season. Either way his focus was squarely on Juventus's failings rather than Fulham's achievements. As, indeed, were most of the rest of the Italian press.

"Europa League nightmare, Juve choose suicide," was the headline in Il Giornale and the universal sentiment was that the Italian side's wounds were entirely self-inflicted. There was universal agreement that the penalty award had been harsh but even then many pointed out that Fabio Cannavaro might have given away another before he saw red.

"Juve did everything they could to throw away qualification to the quarter-finals and, in the end, they managed it," wrote Riccardo Signori in Il Giornale. In La Repubblica Fabrizio Bocca took up a common theme by insisting that Fulham were "certainly not a club of the very top level", while La Gazzetta dello Sport's writers described Roy Hodgson's side on numerous occasions as "modest".

Just as Inter's win over Chelsea had been held up as a triumph for all of Italy to celebrate, so this defeat was seen as a savage blow to the whole country's pride. "Slapped down by Fulham, a result that hurts very, very much," wrote Bocca in La Repubblica. "Not only for Juventus, but for all of Italian football: which not only loses precious Uefa coefficient points, but is quite simply humiliated. This was a worse showing even than the 4-0 defeat of Milan at Old Trafford. There, at least, the opponent was a great Manchester United."

Gazzetta's Alessandro de Calò, meanwhile, was keen to consider the implications for the national side this summer in South Africa. "The unknown Bobby Zamora provoked [Fabio Cannavaro] with his words before the game, causing the Italy captain's blood to boil. We were expecting a reaction filled with pride, a great match worthy of a Ballon d'Or winner and at the levels of the last World Cup. Sadly, Cannavaro opened the way for the English with first a slip to gift Fulham's first to Zamora, then his red card.

"The question becomes a national one because Cannavaro's flop looks like a metaphor for what could happen in South Africa to the glorious "old-fashioned" group which remains tied to [the Italy coach] Marcello Lippi."

Only in the player ratings was there any real discussion of Fulham's players, with Gazzetta's Francesco Bramardo naming Zoltan Gera as man of the match, but saving his kindest words for Zamora. "He tried everything he could think of, he turned defenders' heads and he found the equaliser," says Bramardo. "He also had a hand in Gera's first. Not by chance is he the team's top scorer."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:05:41 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/19/squad-sheets-fulham-manchester-city

Squad sheets: Fulham v Manchester City  

(1)Tweet this (7)guardian.co.uk,

Friday 19 March 2010 18.05


This will inevitably feel like an afternoon after the Lord Mayor's show given Fulham's astonishing elimination of Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday night, though the hosts will benefit from fresh minds with the likes of Danny Murphy and Jonathan Greening available after European suspension. The visitors arguably have more pressing league priorities, but they arrive at Craven Cottage with only one win from their last six games in all competitions – albeit at nearby the dark side – and can ill afford to concede more points in their pursuit of fourth place. Yet no side has won at Fulham since January. Theirs is a daunting task. Dominic Fifield

Venue Craven Cottage, Sunday 3pm

Tickets £45-60 (0870 442 1234)

Last season Fulham 1 Manchester City 1

Referee L Probert

This season's matches 17 Y61, R4, 3.82 cards per game

Odds Fulham 12-5 Manchester City 11-8 Draw 23-10

 Probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Graphic Fulham
Subs from Zuberbühler, Smalling, Kelly, Shorey, Stoor, Teymourian, Riise, Okaka, Greening, Elm, Dikgacoi, Dempsey, Nevland, Marsh-Brown

Doubtful Elm (virus), Etuhu (leg)

Injured Paintsil (knee, 2 Apr), A Johnson (knee, Aug)

Suspended None

Form guide LDWWDW

Disciplinary record Y33 R1

Leading scorer Zamora 8

Manchester City
Subs from Taylor, Touré, Vieira, Onuoha, Boyata, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Sylvinho, Ibrahim, Santa Cruz

Doubtful None

Injured Petrov (knee, 24 Mar), Bridge (groin, 24 Apr), M Johnson (knee, Aug)

Suspended Adebayor (third of four)

Form guide DWDDWL

Disciplinary record Y41 R2

Leading scorer Tevez 15

Match pointers
• This will be the 50th league meeting between these sides – Manchester City currently lead the way with 21 wins to Fulham's 15

• The scorer of the first goal has not won any of the last six meetings in all competitions between these sides

• City have the best shooting accuracy in the top flight, hitting the target with 49% of their shots

• 69% of Fulham's goals have come in the second half, the largest share in the division

• If selected, Shay Given will be making his 400th Premier League appearance
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:17:02 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/19/europa-league-draw-liverpool

Fulham face Wolfsburg in Europa League quarter-finals

• Stunning win earns tie against German champions

• Liverpool draw Portugal's Benfica

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Paul Coupar guardian.co.uk,

Friday 19 March 2010 12.32


Fulham's reward for their stunning victory over Juventus is a Europa League quarter-final with the German side Wolfsburg.

Fulham recovered from losing the first leg 3-1 and conceding an early goal in the second leg at Craven Cottage to grab a memorable 5-4 aggregate win on Thursday.

Today they were drawn to face the Bundesliga champions in the last eight, with the first leg at home and a potential semi-final against either Hamburg or Standard Liège to follow.

In the other quarter-finals, Liverpool take on Benfica with the second leg at Anfield. The winner of that tie will face the winner of the all-Spanish match between Valencia and Atlético Madrid.

Fulham's Clint Dempsey was confident they could go further. "Can we go all the way? Why not? If you work hard and you believe, there's always a chance. And I believe," said the American.

"We're a team that has a lot of character and that has a lot of heart. Everybody thought it was over when we went 1-0 down but the character and the heart of the guys began to show, we fought back and to get the result we did was incredible.

"We're getting stronger and stronger, and hopefully we can push further in this competition."

The Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez is wary of the threat posed by Benfica having previously been knocked out of Europe by them. Four years ago the Portuguese side ended Liverpool's hopes of becoming the first side to win back-to-back Champions League titles when they lost 3-0 over two legs.

Benfica are currently three points clear at the top of the Portuguese Liga and Benítez will not underestimate their last-eight opponents, who include Pablo Aimar, who Benítez managed at Valencia.

"We know they are a good team and, of course, we have played them before in the Champions League," said the Liverpool manager.

"They are a massive club with a lot of support from their fans and it will be a tough game. They are top of the table and playing really well at the moment. I know a number of their players well – Aimar, Javier Saviola, Javi García – so we know they have a lot of quality."

Benítez has got his preferred schedule, with the away leg first but he is concerned the Anfield may not intimidate Benfica as it has other visiting sides in recent years.

Benfica won 2-0 on Merseyside back in 2006 and the Liverpool manager believes that will give their opponents confidence.

"It's always important that the second leg is at home in front of our fans," he added. "Because we have played Benfica before they will know Anfield and so may not be as scared as other teams."

Should they get through Liverpool will face either Valencia or the striker Fernando Torres's former club Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals.

Quarter-finals

Fulham v Wolfsburg

Hamburg v Standard Liège

Valencia v Atlético Madrid

Benfica v Liverpool

Semi-finals

Fulham/Wolfsburg v Hamburg/Standard Liege

Valencia/Atletico Madrid v Liverpool/Benfica
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:21:43 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/portsmouth/article7067788.ece


Portsmouth consider fielding weakened teams in final Premier League games


Grant says he has a duty to his club alone and not the rest of the Premier League


Nick Szczepanik

Avram Grant, the Portsmouth manager, could field weakened teams in his team’s nine remaining Barclays Premier League matches now that the nine-point deduction imposed for the club entering administration has made relegation all but certain.

Grant will hold a meeting with his squad at the training ground today to discuss the implications of the points deduction and has not ruled out resting players, with the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur or Fulham in mind.

That could cause consternation among rival clubs who are hoping that Portsmouth aim to be competitive until the end of the season. With matches against Hull City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers, Portsmouth could have a say in events at either end of the table.

But Grant rejected the suggestion that they have a duty to other clubs after the Premier League imposed what he considers to be an unfair punishment for the club’s move into administration. “The Premier League has a duty to the other teams,” he said. “We have a duty to Portsmouth and I have a duty to football.

“I think the PL are embarrassed by Portsmouth and it’s not their fault — they didn’t create this situation. But I think they need to check through their rules about who can and can’t buy clubs. I’m not a judge, but I can tell you 100 per cent who did nothing wrong — the fans, the players, the people sitting at home without a job.

“We’ve tried everything in the last months to keep the spirit of football. If we’d given up before, it would not have been good for the Premier League. But what we’ll do next I will tell you after I meet the players. I want to know their opinions and also speak with the administrator. We’re speaking about the future of the club.”

The administrator might try to talk Grant out of anything rash, pointing out that the League recently imposed a suspended £25,000 fine on Wolves for fielding a weakened team against Manchester United last December in breach of Rule B13, which concerns “obligations to the League and other clubs in the utmost good faith”. The League could also freeze a mooted advance of parachute payments intended to help the club out of administration.

“Nobody knows how to deal with it,” Grant said. “I said that we would fight relegation as long as we thought we had a chance. We knew from the administrator two weeks ago that they would take the nine points, but until it happens you still have a hope.

“It’s a new situation for the Premier League and maybe we’ll make some rules that will help other clubs, because we won’t be the last.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:24:40 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/rick_broadbent/article7068230.ece

1. Roy Hodgson (up)

A footballing anomaly, the Fulham gaffer is so old school that he does not damn referees as the spawn of Satan and even refrains from topping up his tan on a pre-match sunbed. He does not claim to be a partially-sighted visionary and fatuously refuses to snub the BBC because he did not much like the last episode of Neighbours. Fulham 4 Juventus 1. The true Special One.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:27:47 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article7066911.ece?token=null&offset=36&page=4

Fulham v Manchester City, 3.00pm

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, welcomes back Danny Murphy and Jonathan Greening for the visit of Manchester City. Both players were suspended for the emphatic win over Juventus and Murphy could replace Dickson Etuhu, who picked up a knock during the game.

Andy Johnson and John Pantsil are both out with knee injuries, while David Elm is a doubt with illness. Europa League hero Clint Dempsey is pushing for a starting place after scoring the winner against Juventus.

Roberto Mancini will be without Wayne Bridge. The full back will be sidelined for a month after undergoing a hernia operation and Javier Garrido is favourite to replace him. Emmanuel Adebayor is absent through suspension while Martin Petrov has a knee injury.

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler, Baird, Kelly, Shorey, Stoor, Konchesky, Hangeland, Hughes, Smalling, Gera, Duff, Murphy, Greening, Davies, Etuhu, Riise, Nevland, Elm, Okaka, Zamora, Marsh-Brown.

Manchester City (from): Given, Taylor, Richards, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Toure, Lescott, Boyata, Garrido, Sylvinho, Johnson, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Vieira, Barry, De Jong, Ibrahim, Tevez, Bellamy, Santa Cruz.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:32:40 PM
Roberto Mancini lauds Roy Hodgson ahead of Manchester City's trip to Fulham

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 4:03 PM on 19th March 2010



Roberto Mancini has joined the list of senior football figures lauding veteran Fulham manager Roy Hodgson.   

Hodgson led his team to a remarkable 5-4 aggregate victory against Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday night after being 4-1 down at one stage.   

Like Mancini, Hodgson was once in charge of Inter Milan, and the Manchester City boss is looking forward to meeting him on Sunday when the teams come face to face. 
 
Mancini said: 'They played a fantastic game because after 30 minutes they were losing, then scored four goals.   

'They are a strong team with a good manager. I knew about him when he worked in Italy and he did very well at Inter. I have a lot of respect for him.   

'It will be a difficult game and we will need to play 100% on Sunday. They have a good team spirit but so have we. But we must improve if we want to win in the future.'
Mancini will be without Wayne Bridge following a hernia operation but hopes the full back changes his mind about not going to the World Cup as he believes England can win the tournament.   

Bridge decided to opt out after John Terry's alleged affair with his former girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel. 

However England manager Fabio Capello said yesterday he has kept the door open for Bridge, who is expected to be sidelined for a month.   

Mancini intends to talk to Bridge once he returns to training about the importance of taking the chance, if it arises, of going to South Africa.   

Mancini said: 'It is always important for a player to play in the World Cup, because you can only play in it once or twice in your life.   

'I hope for Wayne and England he changes his mind. If you have a chance of playing for England, they can win the World Cup. 

'So for a player it is important to play in this World Cup. The England team have a big chance and I hope Wayne will change his mind. 

'I think he will be ready for the last five games of the season. In the next month maybe he can change his situation.   

'When Wayne returns to training I will speak with him and hope he will play in the tournament.'   

Mancini is looking for his side to get back on track at Craven Cottage following the draw against Sunderland in the chase for a top-four spot.   

He added: 'It is important to start well and I feel it was two points lost. 

'We have to continue on Sunday like we did in the second half when we had seven or eight chances to score. Maybe if we had taken them we would have won the game.'   

Emmanuel Adebayor remains absent through suspension while Martin Petrov has a knee injury.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259214/Roberto-Mancini-lauds-Roy-Hodgson-ahead-Manchester-Citys-trip-Fulham.html#ixzz0if0wWPUo (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259214/Roberto-Mancini-lauds-Roy-Hodgson-ahead-Manchester-Citys-trip-Fulham.html#ixzz0if0wWPUo)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:35:20 PM
Fulham hero Clint Dempsey insists: We can win the Europa League

By Sportsmail Reporter


Last updated at 4:00 PM on 19th March 2010


Clint Dempsey believes Fulham have what it takes to go all the way in the Europa League after Thursday night's shock hammering of Juventus.

The Cottagers, who were 3-1 down from the first leg, produced a stunning
comeback at Craven Cottage to beat the Serie A giants 4-1 and seal a 5-4 aggregate win.

The reward for Roy Hodgson's men is a mouth-watering quarter final against German side Wolfsburg, who beat Rubin Kazan to qualify for the last eight.

The victory heralded the latest chapter in an incredible season for
Fulham and the win was all the more remarkable given that they went behind to a David Trezeguet goal inside two minutes.

Dempsey's clever chip sealed Fulham's passage to the quarter finals and he firmly believes getting to the final in Hamburg is a distinct possibility.

'Can we go all the way? Why not? If you work hard and you believe, there's always a chance. And I believe,' said the USA forward.

'We're a team that has a lot of character and that has a lot of heart. Everybody thought it was over when we went 1-0 down but the character and the heart of the guys began to show, we fought back and to get the result we did was incredible.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259193/Fulham-hero-Clint-Dempsey-insists-We-win-Europa-League.html#ixzz0if1e51on (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259193/Fulham-hero-Clint-Dempsey-insists-We-win-Europa-League.html#ixzz0if1e51on)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:42:52 PM
EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW: Liverpool face Benfica on tough route to final as heroes Fulham handed Wolfsburg clash

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 1:22 PM on 19th March 2010

QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Fulham v Wolfsburg

Hamburg v Standard Liege

Valencia v Atletico Madrid

Benfica v Liverpool

The first legs will be played on April 1 with the second legs on April 8

Semi-finals: Hamburg/Standard Liege v Fulham/Wolfsburg;  Valencia/Atletico Madrid v Benfica/Liverpool

The first legs will be played on April 22 and the second legs on April 29.

Fulham's reward for their stunning victory over Juventus is a Europa League quarter-final with German side Wolfsburg.

Roy Hodgson's side recovered from  losing the first leg 3-1 and conceding an early goal in the second leg at Craven Cottage to secure a memorable 5-4
aggregate win over the Italian giants.

Today they were drawn to face Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg in the last eight, with the first leg at home and a potential semi-final against either Hamburg or Standard Liege to follow.
In the other quarter-finals, Liverpool take on Portuguese side Benfica with the second leg at Anfield.

The winner of that tie will face the winner of the all-Spanish tie between Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

Liverpool lost the first leg 1-0 to Lille in the previous round but goals from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres (two) at Anfield last night kept their hopesof silverware this season alive.

Valencia will be at home for the first leg on April 1, before a return trip to Madrid seven days later.
Their last trip to the Vicente Calderon was notable not only for the thumping they received at the hands of hot-and-cold Atletico, but also for a controversial refereeing decision, when Alfonso Perez Burrull gave a penalty and sent off Carlos Marchena after consulting with the fourth official.
 
Valencia, who won the tournament as the UEFA Cup in 2004, progressed following a 4-4 draw at 2009 finalists Werder Bremen last night, while Atletico saw off Sporting Lisbon.

It is unlikely to get any easier for whichever side progresses as they will face the winners of the tie between Benfica and Liverpool.

The Reds, UEFA Cup winners in 2001, were handed a trip to Portugal as their reward for seeing off Lille last night.

The Europa League is their only remaining chance of silverware after a disappointing Barclays Premier League season.

German champions Wolfsburg will hope to avoid the fate that befell Juve in their tie against Fulham.

For the first leg, they will travel to Craven Cottage where the Bianconeri were last night subjected to a humiliating 4-1 defeat by Roy Hodgson's men, who will make their first appearance in a European quarter-final.

The winners of that tie will next face either Hamburg or Standard Liege, with a potential all-German semi-final in the offing.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259095/EUROPA-LEAGUE-DRAW-LIVE-Fulham-Liverpool-hat-quarter-final-draw.html#ixzz0if32Hm3L (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259095/EUROPA-LEAGUE-DRAW-LIVE-Fulham-Liverpool-hat-quarter-final-draw.html#ixzz0if32Hm3L)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 09:52:28 PM
Fulham have finally arrived: Now the likes of Bobby Zamora can really be compared to Cottage legends Johnny Haynes, Bobby Moore and Alan Mullery

By Mark Lawford


Last updated at 12:28 PM on 19th March 2010

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/19/article-1259167-08C682CC000005DC-327_306x512.jpg)

High flier: Bobby Zamora of Fulham is challenged by Juventus's Zdenek Grygera


If there is going to be a European trophy coming to West London this season it'll be coming to Fulham not Stamford Bridge.

The small and unfashionable cousins of big-spending Chelsea are through to their first-ever European quarter-final following a remarkable 5-4 aggregate defeat of Juventus in the Europa League - and now they face Wolfsburg.

This after they had trailed 4-1 at one stage, just two days after Chelsea failed to overturn a measly 2-1 deficit against Italian champions Inter.

It's taken the Cottagers 131 years to become an overnight success despite some of the greatest players in the English game having worn the famous white shirt.

And in that time they've hit some real lows too - just 14 years ago were in the fourth tier of the domestic game and actually finished 17th - a position currently occupied by Macclesfield.

But Fulham have been on the up since February 1996 when Micky Adams took over and got them promoted.

Sportsmail charts the progress of a club who lost their dignity, almost lost their Football League place then did lose their ground for two years when they were forced to share with QPR from 2002 while the Cottage was rebuilt.

Great players

Johnny Haynes was not called 'The Maestro' for nothing. With 658 games for his only club during the 1950s and 60s, he is regarded as their best-ever player and even managed to chalk up 18 England caps - many while in a second division team.

Haynes never won a World Cup winners'  medal but Bobby Moore did - and he led Fulham to the 1975 FA Cup Final during his three-year spell there.


(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/19/article-1259167-00086FEE00000258-402_224x287.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/19/article-1259167-01C349FA000004B0-374_224x287.jpg)

Legends all: Alan Mullery, Bobby Moore and Johnny Haynes (right) all hold a special place in Fulham history

England star Alan Mullery was another high-profile re-signing (he totalled 412 games for the club in two spells) as were legendary duo George Best and Rodney Marsh who all played alongside Moore in the second division.

Add the likes of Bobby Robson, Jimmy Hill, Edwin van der Sar, Ray Houghton, Louis Saha and George Cohen and it's obvious it's never been a dull place to watch football.

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/19/article-1259167-0058D7A900000258-923_306x423.jpg)

Famous firsts Nothing to shout about: Steve Marlet's 11 goals cost Fulham over £11m

On January 20 1974, Fulham lost 1-0 to Millwall in the first ever Sunday match played in England.

Fulham's only trophy is the 2003 InterToto Cup, secured with a 5-3 aggregate win against Bologna.

Fulham's only FA Cup Final appearance was in 1975 when they lost 2-0 to West Ham.

En route to that final Fulham played 11 matches - including replays - a record for reaching the Wembley showpiece.

Bobby Robson's first manager's job was at Fulham where he lasted just 10 months before being sacked

Fulham FC founded the south's first pro rugby league team - Fulham Rugby League - in 1980 and hosted games until 1984. The club is now Harlequins RL.

In September 1986 Liverpool beat Fulham 10-0 in the League Cup - the first and only time they have conceded ten goals in a game.

Fulham were the first  team to ever believe that Steve Marlet was worth £11.5m and the only team to actually pay that for him.

League ups and downs

Sporting a proud history without winning anything, Fulham's yo-yo existence throughout the 60s and 70s went sour in the 1980s when they almost won promotion to Division One under Malcolm MacDonald and by 1987 only just escaped going out of business.

It got worse in the 90s when they became entrenched in the third tier before slipping into the bottom level by 1994.

Their lowest point was a defeat to bottom side Torquay United that ended the reign of manager Ian Branfoot and an eventual finish just four wins better than second-bottom Scarborough.

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/19/article-1259167-0005D7F000000258-368_468x341.jpg)

Dream team: Arthur Cox, Ray Wilkins, Mohamed Al Fayed and Kevin Keegan begin their reigns at Fulham

Adams arrival heralded a change of fortunes and by 1997 Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed bought the club. He promptly sacked Adams and appointed Kevin Keegan and Ray Wilkins as his dream team, promising Premier League football within five years.

Promotion followed before al-Fayed gave Keegan to England but by 2001 Jean Tigana had taken Fulham into the top flight - where they have remained since.

Tigana, Chris Coleman and Lawrie Sanchez have been dispensed with as boss in that time allowing Roy Hodgson to first keep them up, then take them to a best-ever League finish of seventh - and now European glory.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259167/Fulham-finally-arrived-Now-likes-Bobby-Zamora-really-compared-Cottage-legends-Johnny-Haynes-Bobby-Moore-Alan-Mullery.html#ixzz0if4J6MiV (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259167/Fulham-finally-arrived-Now-likes-Bobby-Zamora-really-compared-Cottage-legends-Johnny-Haynes-Bobby-Moore-Alan-Mullery.html#ixzz0if4J6MiV)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 10:06:57 PM
Zebina slams his own fans after claims of racist abuse


By Christopher Davies

Last updated at 12:20 PM on 19th March 2010


Jonathan Zebina launched a blistering attack on Juventus fans who racially abused him at Craven Cottage during their 4-1 Europa League defeat by Fulham.

Zebina was sent-off in stoppage time but revealed visiting supporters abused him as Juve's 3-1 lead slipped away.

In contrast,  praised Fulham fans and said: 'I was insulted by approximately 30 thugs and racists,

'Some of them came to England, traveling thousands of kilometers to just sing those things.

'To me, and to [Brazilian team-mate] Felipe Melo, they began to denigrate us during the warm-up. I am sick of this situation. These people need to stop. We received more applause from the fans of Fulham than our own supporters.'

Zebina admitted he regretted reacting to the Juve supporters and said: 'I raised my middle finger and ask to be forgiven for this because I was not a good example for children but I was exasperated.'

If the UEFA observer mentions the taunting in his report it would leave Euroopean football's ruling body in an unusual position of having to fine a club for their fans abusing one of their own players.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259158/Juventus-defender-Jonathan-Zebina-slams-fans-claims-racist-abuse.html#ixzz0if9exiYD (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259158/Juventus-defender-Jonathan-Zebina-slams-fans-claims-racist-abuse.html#ixzz0if9exiYD)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 10:38:31 PM
Stoke to launch internal inquiry after James Beattie instigates grievance procedures against manager Tony Pulis

By Sportsmail Reporter


Last updated at 12:24 PM on 19th March 2010

Add to My Stories James Beattie has instigated grievance procedures against Tony Pulis following the allegations in December that the Stoke manager physically attacked the striker in the dressing room.

Beattie had been upset with the way the club handled the episode, which was reported to take place after Stoke's defeat at Arsenal, when there were suggestions that the striker had apologised for his part in the episode.

It has now emerged that Beattie has submitted an official complaint about Pulis that will mean the club launching an internal investigation into the incident.

All those present at the time have been asked to provide details of the events.

Pulis and Beattie became involved in a row, initially reported by Sportsmail, about the players' Christmas night out, and it has been alleged that the manager headbutted Beattie after taking offence at a remark.

Pulis reportedly told his players they were expected to be at training on Monday, but Beattie responded by reminding the manager that he told them they could extend their Christmas party - in London on that Saturday night - into a two-night affair and report back for training a day later.

Beattie has made only two starts for the Potters since that Arsenal game, and came close to joining Fulham at the end of the transfer window, before the deal fell through.

Peter Coates, the Stoke chairman, said that the investigation was ongoing.

He told the Guardian: 'It has not been concluded. It's still in process. I have not been closely involved. But we have set up the right procedure and done it by the book.

'We are dealing with it in what we feel is the right and proper manner. It disappoints me that it has been leaked.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259088/Stoke-launch-internal-inquiry-James-Beattie-instigates-grievance-procedures-manager-Tony-Pulis.html#ixzz0ifHQZLqi (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259088/Stoke-launch-internal-inquiry-James-Beattie-instigates-grievance-procedures-manager-Tony-Pulis.html#ixzz0ifHQZLqi)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: os5889 on March 19, 2010, 10:43:03 PM
http://www.juventus.com/site/eng/NEWS_newsseriea_C5F35BE36EB84A35B8F8857FB167A40E.asp (http://www.juventus.com/site/eng/NEWS_newsseriea_C5F35BE36EB84A35B8F8857FB167A40E.asp)
(http://www.juventus.com/site/filesite/news/logo_news_ufficiale.jpg)


19 March 2010
A note from the management
At the end of the training session, the president and deputy director general of Juventus spoke formally to certain players to assure that in the future certain episodes like the ones at the end of recent matches are not repeated. The frustration for a disappointing result does not justify a certain type of behaviour which leads to useless tensions and are of damage to the image of the club. The team must get back to its maximum compactness on the field and must benefit from the full support of its fans, whose contribution is decisive to win back the necessary faith and overcome the momentary difficulties.

it made me laugh


Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 10:48:44 PM
http://chicagofiresoccer.blogspot.com/2010/03/mcbride-on-fulhams-4-1-upset-of.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


McBride on Fulham's 4-1 upset of Juventus
 


Caught up with Brian McBride at training today and asked for his reaction to Fulham's 4-1 win over Italian giants Juventus. The result gave Fulham a 5-4 aggregate victory, advancing the club to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League -- the furthest the Cottagers have ever gone in European competition. Countryman Clint Dempsey, a substitute for Roy Hodgson's side hit the winner on 82 minutes.

Today's quarterfinal draw saw Fulham get another team McBride is familiar with, defending Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg, the club where the striker made his European debut in 1994. The home and home series will take place April 1 and 8.

Brian McBride on the victory--

"I didn't get to see the game but I did read about it. It's just a great result for the club, to go down a goal and be behind 4-1 on aggregate and then fight back to equalize was impressive. They kept fighting for the go-ahead goal despite being level and you can tell that they have a lot of spirit in that team. Clint's goal was an impressive, clutch goal and clinched an amazing result."

On Fulham drawing Wolfsburg in the Europa League quarterfinals--

"(Laughs) It's funny how things work out sometimes. Looking forward to it!"
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 10:52:26 PM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1466043.html

Hodgson full of respect for Wolfsburg


Published: Friday 19 March 2010


Fulham FC manager Roy Hodgson warned that while VfL Wolfsburg may lack the pedigree of Juventus they are no less dangerous, especially as they believe "English football could suit us".

Published: Friday 19 March 2010

Hodgson full of respect for Wolfsburg

Fulham FC manager Roy Hodgson warned that while VfL Wolfsburg may lack the pedigree of Juventus they are no less dangerous, especially as they believe "English football could suit us".
Read moreTwo sides that had never previously reached the last eight of major European competition will square off in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after Fulham FC were paired with VfL Wolfsburg in Friday's draw.

After knocking out UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32 then Juventus in stunning fashion on Thursday, Roy Hodgson will not let his side lower their guard against less prestigious opposition. "They've done very well to get where they are, we've done very well to get where we are so it's a meeting of fairly similar clubs and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "German champions and Bundesliga teams can certainly cause problems and I think our fans our wise enough to put things in perspective."

Christian Gentner's strike in the last-minute of extra time against FC Rubin Kazan on Thursday earned Wolfsburg their place in the quarter-finals and the match-winner knows the challenge ahead is tougher still. "Fulham ousted Juventus in the previous round which shows their quality," he said. "English teams are always strong. It is a nice, but also very difficult task."

Coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner added: "This is a good draw. We will try everything to make it into the next round. I had tipped us to be drawn against Liverpool so I wasn't that far off. English football could suit us, but we will have to be at the top of our game."

Wolfsburg have already made one trip to England this season, losing 2-1 to Manchester United FC in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and defender Marcel Schäfer is looking forward to returning. "This is a super draw," he said. "The atmosphere in English stadiums is always great. All eight teams left in competition are very good, so it doesn't really matter who we're up against. It's a big challenge, and we want to rise to it. Fulham are opponents we can overcome."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 10:56:50 PM
http://juventus.theoffside.com/team-news/the-aftermath-of-fulham.html

The Aftermath of Fulham

By: alessio | March 19th, 2010
 
There’s a lot of issues at Juventus right now. The humiliation to Fulham, the inability to maintain a lead, and more personal, the Zebina-Melo incidents with the tifosi.

Before the disaster even began, at training the fans chanted against Zebina and Melo. At the end of the match, as you may know, Zebina was heavily jeered again by the fans having been sent off. There was a second player who received heavy criticism from the traveling fans (and had often in the past) but it wasn’t Felipe Melo, it was Cannavaro. I don’t like Cannavaro and never will, but he is a classy person. He’s dealt with a lot of criticism since returning to Juventus, but never lashed out in the way that Melo and Zebina have, simply, because he knows it complicates things immensely.



The team returned last night to Caselle, Turin’s airport, and were welcomed by a few hundred tifosi who jeered the team. Leaders of the fans met with Del Piero and Bettega, and while the humiliation at Fulham was discussed, the primary topic was in fact Melo and Zebina’s disgraceful gestures and whether any action would be taken. Bettega and Del Piero did not give any specific responses, and the fans promised that they would not protest at Vinovo, though they reserved the right to do so away at Sampdoria. However, a few showed up to erect a banner saying, “You do not deserve our love, be ashamed of yourself.”

Today, in a brief interview, Melo complained, “In London I ran hard and fought, what do you want from me?” (Hint: A decent performance, you jackass) And “This cannot continue, we received more applause from Fulham fans than our own.” (Maybe because you just gave them their team’s best-ever result, and gave us a giant turd) This morning at Vinovo, Blanc and Bettega met with the team for a long time, and warned the players of their behavior, saying that what had passed was unacceptable. A double-aimed message was posted officially on Juventus.com, with the translation below.


No more.

Official Note from Juventus

At the end of training today, the President and vice-director General formally called into question some of the players, so that in the future they do not repeat events such as those that happened at the end of the last few games. Frustration for a very disappointing result does not justify behavior which increases useless tensions, hurting the image of Juventus. The team needs to find the maximum compactness on the pitch, and enjoy the full support of their own fans, who’s contribution is decisive for finding the confidence necessary to overcome these difficult moments.

One can read a condemnation of Zebina and Melo in there, but also one of the fans. For me, this isn’t satisfying. Jeering Melo and Zebina isn’t necessarily right (I’d jeer JZ if I was there, but not Melo) but their behavior is unacceptable and a verbal and formal reprimand is not enough. Both need to be suspended for a few weeks and receive a massive fine, one hopefully in line with their grossly overpaid salaries.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:01:44 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/10/italy/2010/03/19/1840533/juventus-rebuke-jonathan-zebina-and-felipe-melo-after-fulham

Juventus Rebuke Jonathan Zebina And Felipe Melo After Fulham Loss - Report


The Bianconeri management were not pleased with the reactions of two members of the squad...


By Adam Scime


Mar 19, 2010 4:55:00 PM
 

Juventus have warned players Felipe Melo and Jonathan Zebina for their behavior following the Europa League exit at the hands of Fulham, according to Ansa.

Zebina launched an attack on the club's fans after the match at Craven Cottage, saying he was "sick" of he and team-mate Felipe Melo being denigrated. Meanwhile, last weekend, Melo engaged in an argument during the 3-3 draw against Siena, swearing at a section of the supporters in Turin.

Club president Jean-Claude Blanc and director Roberto Bettega officially expressed their disapproval of the duo's actions at the end of Friday's training session and have released an official statement. The Bianconeri officials said their "behaviours fuelled unecessary tensions" and "were not justified by frustration over a disappointing result."

The players have not been fined, but only warned. Both players had already issued apologies for their reactions, but were certainly upset by the fans' chantings.

Juventus face Sampdoria at the Marassi this weekend.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:04:16 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/plymouth_argyle/8577089.stm


David Stockdale lengthens Plymouth Argyle loan spell 
 
Stockdale had loan spells at Rotherham and Leicester last season

Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale has agreed a second extension to his loan deal at Plymouth Argyle that will keep him in Devon until 24 April.

The 24-year-old has started 12 games for Argyle since signing on an initial one-month loan in January.

Plymouth boss Paul Mariner told BBC Devon: "David is a young goalkeeper and he's got some fantastic assets.

"He commands his box, he can kick it a mile, but he's learning like any young player who's trying to make his way."
 
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:09:16 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7483254/Fulham-prove-to-be-talk-of-Uefa-headquarters-as-they-dream-of-Europa-League-glory.html


Fulham prove to be talk of Uefa headquarters as they dream of Europa League glory


It was a clear sign of how remarkable Fulham's triumph over Juventus was that west London's second club were the talk of the Uefa headquarters on Friday as officials filed in for quarter and semi-final draws of the Champions League, never mind the Europa League.
 
By Jason Burt


Published: 10:30PM GMT 19 Mar 2010

 
Fulham's reward is a tie against Wolfsburg, the Bundesliga champions, although after defeating the illustrious Italians, and having already knocked out holders Shakhtar Donetsk, there will be no fear for Roy Hodgson or his players.

Clint Dempsey, whose goal clinched the tie against Juve, said: "Can we go all the way? Why not?"

 And why not, indeed, even if Hodgson will be preaching caution against the Germans and the threat posed by "two talented Bosnians" – striker Edin Dzeko and midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic.

Hodgson added that Wolfsburg "had a fantastic season last year and although this year has not gone quite so well for them they have some talented players. I know a fair bit about them. It's a meeting to some extent of fairly similar clubs".

If Fulham triumph they will face either Hamburg – who host the final – or Standard Liege having been selected in the other half of the draw from Liverpool, who must see off Benfica to set up a tie against either Valencia or Atletico Madrid.

Both Rafael Benítez – the former Valencia manager – and Fernando Torres – a legend at Atletico – could be forgiven for having half an eye on the semi-final possibilities but they will also be wary of the threat poised by the Portuguese, who destroyed Everton in the round before last.

Indeed four years ago Benfica, who are three points clear at the top of the Portuguese league, ended Liverpool's hopes of becoming the first side to win back-to-back Champions League titles when they beat them 3-0 over two legs.

"We know they are a good team and, of course, we have played them before in the Champions League," said Benítez.

"They are a massive club with a lot of support and it will be a tough game."

Benítez has got his preferred schedule, with the away leg first, but he is concerned that Anfield may not intimidate Benfica as it has other visiting sides in recent years.

"Because we have played Benfica before they will know Anfield and so may not be as scared as other teams," he said.

Route to Hamburg

Quarter-finals

Fulham v Wolfsburg
Hamburg v Standard Liege
Valencia v Atlético Madrid
Benfica v Liverpool
Two legs to be played Apr 01 & 08

Semi-finals

Hamburg/Standard Liege v Fulham/Wolfsburg
Valencia/Atlético Madrid v Benfica/Liverpool
To be played Apr 22 & 29
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:12:30 PM
German threat to Fulham dream: Roy's boys to face Wolfsburg in Europa League


By Laura Williamson


Last updated at 10:45 PM on 19th March 2010


The Europa League final in Hamburg on May 12 could still be an all-English affair.

Fulham meet Wolfsburg and Liverpool play Benfica in next month's quarter-finals and the Barclays Premier League sides were kept apart in the semi-final draw.
 
After their historic 4-1 win against Juventus at Craven Cottage on Thursday, Roy Hodgson's Fulham will be confident of progressing against Wolfsburg.

Hodgson said: 'It's a meeting, I think, of two fairly similar clubs so I'm looking forward to it. Wolfsburg's stadium is like our own. It's not a 60,000-seat stadium. It's a very compact one.

'I think our fans will be wise enough to put things into perspective. They were great nights against Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk but there's no guarantee that when we meet a team that's just slightly less it is going to be an easy game.'

The German side were surprise winners of the Bundesliga last season but currently sit eighth and have a poor home record that includes a 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United in the Champions League, courtesy of a Michael Owen hat-trick.

But highly rated striker Edin Dzeko, who has been linked with AC Milan as well as Chelsea, Arsenal and United, will pose a threat, particularly as Fulham play the second leg away from Craven Cottage, where they have been so impressive this season.

Zoltan Gera, who scored twice against Juventus, said: 'Craven Cottage is not a big stadium but the fans are very close to the pitch and the atmosphere is great, too. I think it is a good thing for us to have a ground like this and it can help us.'

Liverpool, who beat Lille 3-1 on aggregate, renew acquaintances with Benfica - the Portuguese club who ended their dreams of retaining the Champions League title in 2006 - with the second leg is at Anfield.

Manager Rafa Benitez said: 'We know they are a good team and of course we have played them before in the Champions League.

'They are a massive club with a lot of support and it will be a tough game. They are top of the table and playing really well at the moment.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259313/German-threat-Fulham-dream-Roys-boys-face-Wolfsburg-Europa-League.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0ifPuuuF5 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1259313/German-threat-Fulham-dream-Roys-boys-face-Wolfsburg-Europa-League.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0ifPuuuF5)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:18:53 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/03/18/1839312/juventus-captain-alessandro-del-piero-i-never-imagined-losing-to-

Juventus Captain Alessandro Del Piero: I Never Imagined Losing To Fulham


The striker can't comprehend what happened tonight...


By Rick D'Andrea


Mar 18, 2010 10:01:00 PM
 
Juventus hitman Alessandro Del Piero has admitted that this campaign has been the hardest since former coach Marcello Lippi left the Bianconeri.

The Turin giants have seen Ciro Ferrara fired from his coaching post, replaced by current tactician Alberto Zaccheroni. On top of this, the Bianconeri were bundled out of the Champions League, and now the Europa League, at the hands of Fulham 4-1 this evening.

"It is definitely the toughest season since Lippi left Juventus," the 35-year-old declared to Corriere Dello Sport.

"I would have never thought that we were going to lose this evening.

"But the players must take all the responsibility at the moment, and not the coach," he concluded.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:29:49 PM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23816534-hitman-clint-dempsey-the-man-to-make-fulhams-day.do

Hitman Clint Dempsey the man to make Fulham's day


David Smith


18.03.10


Should Fabio Capello or Franco Baldini choose to take in Fulham's Europa League clash at home against Italian giants Juventus tonight, it is likely the England coach or his right-hand man will be just as interested in the form of Clint Dempsey as that of Bobby Zamora.

While the chances of Zamora making Capello's World Cup squad remain slim despite the rejuvenated striker's tally of 13 goals from 38 appearances this season, Dempsey is guaranteed a start for the United States so long as the Texan remains free of injury.

But there is no fear that the 27-year-old part-
time rapper will wrap himself in cotton wool and shirk his share of the work as he makes his first home appearance since sustaining knee ligament damage against Blackburn in the middle of January.

They breed them tough in Nacogdoches, a small town between Dallas and Houston where Dempsey grew up playing football with the offspring of Mexican immigrants.

Before crossing the Atlantic to join Fulham in January 2007, he played two games in the MLS with a broken jaw and he was straining at the leash ahead of his return to Roy Hodgson's squad for the Europa League round of 16 first leg tie at Juventus last week.

Dempsey came on for Simon Davies in the 59th minute of a game at the Stadio Olimpico that Fulham were to lose 3-1. He then started against Manchester United on Sunday and is set to make another start tonight for the most important game Fulham have played at the historic Craven Cottage.

On either the left wing or up front alongside Zamora, Dempsey's firepower will be vital to Fulham's cause if they are to reach the quarter-finals of what was the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history.

He said: “This is why I play over here, so I can play the best teams in the world. It's exciting when you get to play in these games.

“It's great to be back. They told me I would be out for between five to eight weeks and it took seven weeks. Sometimes that's the way it goes.

"I've been in England three years and seven weeks is the longest I've been out, so I feel fortunate.

“But I'm still working on trying to be 100 per cent fit and get the sharpness back.”

Dempsey has become a cult hero at the Cottage, where he has thrived under Hodgson's guidance. “Roy has done well,” he said. “He has changed things around for us. The whole coaching staff deserve credit and some of the key players have stepped up.”

Dempsey's contribution — whether it be a spectacular long-range thunderbolt like the one he scored in the win at Stoke just before sustaining his injury, or mixing it inside a crowded penalty area — has been significant as Hodgson's resurgent Fulham have all but secured Premier League survival for another season, swept into the last eight of the FA Cup and embarked upon a magnificent European adventure.

But that form — Dempsey has scored six goals in 22 Premier League appearances which compares favourably to Zamora's haul of eight from 24 — could have repercussions for Capello's England come the summer.

World Cup group rivals England and the United States meet in Rustenberg on 12 June and that is set to bring Dempsey face to face with Wayne Rooney.

He is an admirer of the prolific United striker but he said: “You have to focus on all the players. England have a very talented side and have more weapons than just one.

“We will have to play compact against England and limit the chances they create.”

Of more immediate concern, Fulham must limit Juve's chances in a game that kicks-off at 6pm to suit the demands of UEFA's television paymasters.
Zamora insists confidence is coursing through the Fulham squad.

He said: “We're a good team, a very good team. We've beaten the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool this season at home and we gave Arsenal a great game at the Cottage, so there's no reason why we can't get another good result tonight.”

There are still those in the Craven Cottage stands who can't stand the enigmatic Zamora and waste no opportunity to tell him so. “But I've managed to silence one or two,” said the 29-year-old, who can certainly count Hodgson as a fan.

The Fulham boss, who stood by his man even when he netted just four times last season, said: “I was always convinced about Bobby and actually spoke to him and said listen, you will score goals because technically you're good enough to do so'.

“He is an all-round centre-forward. He leads the line, he's a focal point for our attacks, he's quite prepared to go into battle with big centre-backs and make their lives difficult, he can score goals and, probably most importantly of all, he works unbelievably hard for the team.

“I'm actually painting a picture here of a very good centre-forward.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 19, 2010, 11:34:41 PM
http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,1775_6037920,00.html

Baird: Fulham can go further


Fulham defender Chris Baird feels the Cottagers have the quality to progress even further in the Europa League this season.

 
Fulham beat Juventus 4-1 in Thursday night's last-16 second-leg tie to win 5-4 on aggregate and reach the quarter-finals, where they will take on Wolfsburg.

"To get to the quarter-finals of the Europa League is a massive achievement for the club," Baird told Fulham's website.

"I got a text from one of my mates saying 'You don't get much bigger than that' and to be fair I don't think we've had bigger than that in our careers.

"We're going to enjoy it but we'll be looking forward to the next game now.

"It's important to continue that form in the league on Sunday when we play Manchester City, because that is going to be another very tough game."

The quarter-final first legs will take place on April 1, with Liverpool's tie against Benfica in Lisbon kicking off at 8.05pm UK time and Fulham hosting their German opponents at Craven Cottage.

Second legs will be played a week later, with Liverpool again kicking off at 8.05pm.

If Fulham beat Wolfsburg, they will face either Hamburg - the city which hosts the final in May - or Standard Liege in the semis on April 22 (away) and 29.

Should Liverpool be successful, they will be away in their semi-final first leg.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:15:46 AM
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/

Fulham 4-1 Juventus

Filed under: Match info — weltmeisterclaude @ 10:51 pm

Read that scoreline again.  And again.   Fulham 4, Juventus 1.   Wonderful.  Unbelievable.   Wonderful.

I can not imagine how this can be bettered.  From whatever angle you look at this game it was astonishing.  There we were, 4-1 down on aggregate, a goal down in the first minute, playing against an Italian side that, one would assume, would be able to defend a big lead without too much trouble.   But no.  We did it.

It is easy to go over the top after famous victories, but the performances tonight were out of this world.  Bobby Zamora:  can a centre-forward do any more?   Damian Duff is to Fulham what petrol is to a car.   Zoltan Gera thinks he’s Nandor Hidegkuti.   Chris Baird thinks he’s Glenn Hoddle.  My brain cannot comprehend all this.

That wily old fox David Trezeguet scored in the first minute and that seemed to be about that.  If the buildup to the game suggested a rousing evening of cat and mouse football, Trezeguet’s goal ended all of those ideas.  For one thing it meant that Juve were almost certainly through; for another, and perhaps this was vital, Fulham realised that the only way back would be to take off the handbreak.

A goal was needed, and arrived quickly.   Konchesky – excellent – curled a ball into the area that Zamora controlled expertly and hammered past Juventus’ third choice goalkeeper.  It was a brilliant strike, but very un-Italian defending.  He should never have had so much room.

Fulham built momentum, Simon Davies slamming a free-kick against the bar from wide on the left, Dickon Etuhu hitting the post with a header.  So close!

Gera was unleashed again, but his run on goal was halted by Cannavaro’s trip.  The red card (yes! we thought) was exciting but seemed harsh.  On the one hand Gera was in, but on the other, so were some defenders.    This changed the game.

Fulham’s second goal was as good as we’ll see.  Baird took a free-kick in the middle of the park and swung the ball wide into the path of Konchesky.  Konchesky found Zamora, Zamora looped a ball over the defence for Davies, Davies reversed the ball into the six yard box and Gera levered the ball into the roof of the net!   It doesn’t get any better than that.   Passing and moving of the sort you might imagine, but rarely see.  Phenomenal.

Now we had a chance.  Another away goal would finish things, but Juve were all over the place now, couldn’t get the ball, couldn’t keep the ball, and Fulham were in absolute control.

So the next goal would be key.   The second half began, and here was Duff, having a storming game again, fizzing in and out on the right flank.  His cross hits a hand, and the referee awards a penalty!  No Murphy, no Dempsey, who wants this?  Gera?  Fair play to the man.  Up he steps, the ‘keeper goes one way, the ball the other, and Gera has bloody well done it!  3-1!   The game is level, stark raving level.  Who’d have guessed?

We now enter what was expected to be a period of consolidation, with Fulham anxious not to concede and Juventus anxious to get to penalties.  Roy has other ideas though, and on comes Dempsey, Davies drops to right back (why not – nobody’s attacking down there) and off comes Stephen Kelly (to a standing ovation, it must be said.  Good on him).   The game huffs and puffs along, and then….

…..

…..

Clint Dempsey gets the ball on the edge of the box.  You remember that goal Eric Cantona scored?  The chip?  Dempsey, in this most extraordinary game, this most important game, this game against Juventus, fiddles around for a moment, then dinks the ball high………..high………… and in!  In!  In!  4-1!   Ridiculous!  Absolutely ridiculous!   We felt like crying.   How can this be?   Not only are we beating Juventus in extraordinary circumstances, but we’ve done it with a goal of intergalactic quality, a shot that calmly, angelically, floated through the cold riverside air, ducked under the bar, and nestled in that Hammersmith End net, a goal fit to win any game.

What else is there?
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:23:06 AM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23816927-an-unforgettable-triumph-for-fulham-footballs-little-guys.do

An unforgettable triumph for Fulham, football's little guys

Chris Blackhurst

19.03.10


Grownmen wept on Putney Bridge last night. As the crowd poured out of Craven Cottage and headed home they shook their heads in disbelief, and laughed and hugged each other, and yes, they shed real tears.

Fulham, tiny Fulham, composed of footballers who command few headlines and sums that John Terry and his mates would not get out of bed for, had beaten Juventus 4-1. The club that not so long ago was used to playing Crewe and Scunthorpe, versus the aristocrats of the European game —twice the continent's champions — and the little folk won.

Not only that, they did so with verve, spirit and style. And from a goal behind in the first few minutes. And with a goal that was pure wonder.
For the 23,000 who packed into the creaking old ground with its high, timber steps and clunky, old-fashioned turnstiles, and the wider Fulham faithful, this was their moment.

A mile away, earlier in the week, the snarling, unappealing pompadours of Chelsea had given way to Inter Milan. Immediately, the talk was of a furious billionaire owner and a manager who could be fired, and players who must be brought in and others who will have to go. Such is the expectation of success — that all it takes is to release more cash and scatter it around.

It's the same at Manchester United, where a figure of £1.2 billion for the club is airily tossed around. And Arsenal, with its mighty stadium and a tie-in with a Middle Eastern airline. And Liverpool, who still regard the Premiership as theirs by right.

They're the clubs who hog the sports pages. Their stars are superstars with labels that need no introduction — Frank, Wayne, Cesc and Stevie. Their bosses are household names — Carlo, Sir Alex, Arsene and Rafa.

By the time the coverage reaches Fulham, when Gary Lineker gets around to the also-rans (I swear an eyebrow is always slightly raised and his lip has the hint of a curl), everyone is sated or, in the case of the Match of the Day, ready for bed.

Not yesterday. For once, Fulham were not mentioned in the same breathe as Wigan and Hull. This was a fightback of epic proportions, a group of footballers standing up and giving the giant a bloody nose.

Yes, it was only football. But it was also about an owner, Mohamed Fayed, much-maligned in the rest of his life, showing that by remaining true it is possible to win. It was about a manager, Roy Hodgson, a true gentleman, overlooked in England and forced to ply his trade in Scandinavia and other countries, returning in triumph. It was about a collective passion of never say die.

It was about restoring belief in human nature, that life is not the domain of greed and money and cynicism. And, in one short passage of play, it was about the power of genius.

That was when Clint Dempsey, an American who would be consigned to the reserves if he was lucky at the grander clubs, produced a stroke of unutterable beauty. A brief look-up at the goal and he didn't lash the ball but sent it on a slow parabola into the top corner. It was audacious and brilliant.

At the end where Dempsey scored is a black-and-white poster of the great Johnny Haynes. Fulham, England but always understated, he would have signalled his approval. At the other, the scoreboard changed — Fulham 4 Juventus 1 — and the cameras flashed away, capturing a famous, never-to-be-forgotten victory.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:27:36 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/mancity/7473652/Fulham-v-Manchester-City-match-preview.html

Fulham v Manchester City: match preview


Read a full match preview of the Premier League game between on Fulham and Manchester City at Craven Cottage on Sunday, March 21 2010, kick-off 15.00 GMT.
 
By John Ley

Published: 6:00AM GMT 19 Mar 2010

 
Sunday, March 21

Fulham v Manchester City
Craven Cottage
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT.
TV: Highlights, BBC2 Match of the Day 2.



Fulham have conceded just nine goals at Craven Cottage. Only Manchester United (8) have let in fewer goals at home in the Premier League. John Pantsil and Andrew Johnson are still missing for Fulham while City are still without the suspended Emmanuel Adebayor but Wayne Bridge is missing again while Martin Petrov is doubtful.

These teams have met twice this season. In the League Cup, in September, City won 2-1 in extra time in the Carling Cup and, a month later at Eastlands, they drew 2-2 when City led 2-0.

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Shorey; Davies, Murphy, Baird, Dempsey; Gera; Zamora.
Manchester City (4-5-1): Given; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Sylvinho; Wright-Phillips, Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy; Tévez.
Referee: Lee Probert. Matches 17. R4. Y59.

This season: City 2 Fulham 2.

Last season: Fulham 1 City 1, City 1 Fulham 3.

Stat of the game: City are unbeaten in their last three visits to Craven Cottage.

Betting tip: Clever Fulham are strong at home so try 2-1 at 9-1.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:32:44 AM
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/fulham-given-german-test-after-juve-heroics-1924385.html

Fulham given German test after Juve heroics

German champions Wolfsburg offer hopes of semi-final spot for Hodgson

By Glenn Moore


Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Europa League's antecedents are commercial – the competition was originally the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, open to clubs from cities which hosted trade fairs – so it is a perhaps appropriate that Fulham's next match in their European odyssey could be a works XI fixture: Harrods v Volkswagen.


While the shopping emporium merely shares the same owner as Fulham, VfL Wolfsburg – their quarter-final opponents – are wholly owned by the car giant and were originally its works' team. They are now the German champions and their pairing was an anticlimactic reward for the dramatic dispatch of Juventus. Liverpool were given a tricky tie against Benfica, who knocked them out of the Champions League, winning home and away, when Rafael Benitez's side were holders in 2005.

While Liverpool supporters will enjoy a break in Lisbon, Fulham fans will be less enthralled by a trip to the industrial central German city, which was created to house Volkswagen workers in the Thirties. For Roy Hodgson and his players the tie offers beatable opposition, with Wolfsburg's form less impressive this season following the exits of the coach Felix Magath and playmaker Diego.

The latter was in the Juventus team vanquished at Craven Cottage on Wednesday, a victory which has given the team the belief they can beat anybody. "Can we go all the way? Why not?" said Clint Dempsey, the match-winner. "If you work hard and you believe, there's always a chance. And I believe. We're a team that has a lot of character and that has a lot of heart.

"Everybody thought it was over when we went 1-0 down, but the character and the heart of the guys began to show, we fought back and to get the result we did was incredible."

In reference to the team narrow's escape from the drop less than two years ago he added: "To go from relegation candidates to the quarter-finals of the Europa League is crazy. But you always have to be trying to better yourself and be moving in the right direction, and this club is doing that."

Wolfsburg's strength is in attack with Grafite, recently returned to the Brazilian side, much-coveted Bosnian Edin Dzeko, and Obafemi Martins, previously of Newcastle. Defensively they are less sound, as Michael Owen showed when scoring a hat-trick in Germany for a half-strength Manchester United side this season.

Should Fulham defeat Wolfsburg they will meet Hamburg, whose ground hosts the May final, or Standard Liège of Belgium.

Liverpool have a more daunting path. Should they overcome Benfica they will play Spanish opposition, Valencia, Rafael Benitez's former side, or Atletico Madrid.

Benfica, currently three points clear in Portugal, thrashed an injury-hit Everton 5-0 earlier in the competition, with Argentina's Angel De Maria to the fore. They also include Pablo Aimar, whom Benitez managed at Valencia. "We know they are a good team," said the Liverpool manager. "They are top of the table and playing really well. I know a number of their players well – Aimar, Javier Saviola, Javi Garcia – so it will be tough."

Europa League: Quarter-final draw

Fulham v Wolfsburg, Hamburg v Standard Liège, Valencia v Atletico Madrid, Benfica v Liverpool

Ties to be played 1 and 8 April
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:35:44 AM
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/neil-warnock-i-turned-down-zamora-ndash-but-what-do-i-know-about-strikers-1924397.html

Neil Warnock: I turned down Zamora – but what do I know about strikers?

What I Learnt This Week


Saturday, 20 March 2010

What a fantastic game and super result for Fulham on Thursday. It just shows what you can do with the right attitude, and, when you look at the way Juventus played, what can happen to you with the wrong attitude. A few rounds ago I don't suppose Fulham were bothered one way or the other about the Europa League and they were fielding weakened teams. Having almost secured Premier League football next season they can now give the competition a full whack and are really going for it.

It looked and sounded like a great atmosphere. Craven Cottage is still one of the great football grounds, though I do wonder what some of the Juventus players thought of it with the cottage and the dressing rooms. I can remember playing there at the beginning of my career, with Chesterfield, and a few parts don't seem to have changed.

Thinking about England, Bobby Zamora is the nearest thing there is to another Emile Heskey, more than Carlton Cole. I could have had him on loan when he went to Brighton about 10 years ago. I'd just taken over at Sheffield United and he was out of favour at Bristol Rovers. I thought he was a bit lazy for me but he did well on loan at Brighton so they signed him and later sold him to Spurs for £1.5m. Now he's all over Fabio Cannavaro and might play for England. But that's typical, I'm absolutely useless at spotting strikers, though I think he works harder now.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:41:28 AM
GAIN, NO PAIN ... Luka Modric

Published: Today


Add a comment (3)


LUKA MODRIC admits he would sacrifice silverware with Tottenham - if it guaranteed a Champions League spot next season.

Spurs are just two games away from an FA Cup final appearance, with Fulham and Portsmouth standing in their way.

However, they have never qualified for the Champions League - and midfielder Modric is clear what his priority is.

Modric, 24, said: "We have not achieved a fourth-place finish in recent times - so if I had to choose between that and the FA Cup, I'd go for the fourth place."

Modric also believes striker Roman Pavlyuchenko will play a key role in the final games.

He said: "Roman's best form is coming at exactly the right time."

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/2900009/Mod-chooses-top-four.html#ixzz0ihEz3vJj (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/2900009/Mod-chooses-top-four.html#ixzz0ihEz3vJj)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:44:05 AM
We’re hungry like the Wolf

By ANDREW DILLON

Published: Today
 
ZOLTAN GERA has warned Wolfsburg that cosy Craven Cottage is a red-hot European cauldron.
Giantkillers Fulham face the German champs in the Europa League quarter-finals following Thursday's amazing 4-1 victory over Juventus.

And two-goal Gera, 30, rapped: "Juventus were a little bit unsettled and put off by our ground.

"Craven Cottage is not a big stadium but the fans are close to the pitch, much closer than you see in Italy.

"I think it was the best game ever played at Craven Cottage - for the players, the fans, for everyone involved with the club.

"I missed all the celebrations in the dressing room afterwards because I had to go to doping control - but everything worked first time!"

Wolfsburg were dumped out of Manchester United's group in this season's Champions League and knocked Portsmouth out of last season's UEFA Cup.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson said: "They had a fantastic season last year but lost their coach this season and things haven't gone so well.

"They have done well to get where they are, as have we.

"It was a wonderful result and a wonderful performance against Juventus.

"I didn't sleep very well afterwards. I got to sleep quite quickly but then woke up and couldn't sleep again.

"All managers go through it and it's a small price to pay. The longer the game went on, the more those four goals seemed achievable.

"But our fans know it's a topsy-turvy world and just because we have had great nights against Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus it doesn't guarantee us anything."

But match-winner Clint Dempsey believes Hodgson's troops have what it takes to go all the way in the Europa League.

His glorious chip eight minutes from time sealed Fulham's passage into the last eight.The USA international midfielder, 27, said: "Can we go all the way? Why not? If you work hard and believe, there's always a chance - and I believe.

"To go from relegation candidates to the quarter-finals of the Europa League is crazy.

"But you always have to be trying to better yourself and be moving in the right direction and we're doing that.

"We're getting stronger and, hopefully, we can push further in this competition and in the FA Cup."

Dempsey has fully recovered from a knee injury which threatened to end his season in January.

He added: "Scoring against Juve told me I'm back after my injury.

"I've got to keep working hard and get my fitness and sharpness back to what I had."



Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/2900005/Zoltan-Gera-Fulhan-are-hungry-like-the-Wolf.html#ixzz0ihFl0Bua (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/2900005/Zoltan-Gera-Fulhan-are-hungry-like-the-Wolf.html#ixzz0ihFl0Bua)

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:49:50 AM
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Clint-Dempsey-eyeing-Europa-League-glory-after-Fulham-s-stunning-victory-over-Italian-giants-Juventus-article360733.html

Dempsey eyeing Europa League glory after shock Juve win

Published 15:16 19/03/10


By MirrorFootball

 
Fulham's match-winning hero Clint Dempsey believes Fulham have what it takes to go all the way in the Europa League after last night's shock hammering of Juventus.

The Cottagers, who were 3-1 down from the first leg, produced a stunning comeback at Craven Cottage to beat the Serie A giants 4-1 on the night and seal a 5-4 aggregate win.

The reward for Roy Hodgson's men is a mouth-watering quarter final against German side Wolfsburg, who beat Rubin Kazan to qualify for the last eight.

Last night's victory heralded the latest chapter in an incredible season for Fulham and the win was all the more remarkable given that they went behind to a David Trezeguet goal inside two minutes.
 
Dempsey's clever chip sealed Fulham's passage to the quarter finals and he firmly believes getting to the final in Hamburg is a distinct possibility.

"Can we go all the way? Why not? If you work hard and you believe, there's always a chance. And I believe," the America forward said.

"We're a team that has a lot of character and that has a lot of heart.

"Everybody thought it was over when we went 1-0 down but the character and the heart of the guys began to show, we fought back and to get the result we did was incredible."

Progressing to the last eight of the competition is by far Fulham's biggest achievement in Europe, with their previous best a third round UEFA Cup appearance eight years ago.

The victory also demonstrates how far Fulham have come under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson, who took charge at the club in December 2007 when they were on the verge of relegation.

After saving the club from the drop Hodgson guided his side to a seventh place finish in his first full season at Craven Cottage.

Dempsey believes last night's victory could inspire Fulham to success in the Barclays Premier League and in the FA Cup - where they face Tottenham Hotspur in a quarter final replay on Wednesday.

"To go from relegation candidates to the quarter finals of the Europa League is crazy," said the 26-year-old, who signed from New England Revolution in January 2007.

"But you always have to be trying to better yourself and be moving in the right direction, and this club is doing that.

"We're getting stronger and stronger, and hopefully we can push further in this competition and in the FA Cup, and see if we can try to finish where we did or higher in League than last season."

Hodgson insists his side must not get carried away with the victory and underlined that point by instructing his players to come in for training today ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League game with Manchester City.

Dempsey is pushing for a start alongside Bobby Zamora up front after fully recovering from a knee injury which threatened to end his season in January.

Dempsey scored the equaliser against City in the reverse fixture earlier this season and he has warned it will take him time to get back to his best.

"To me, scoring that goal says to me that I'm back after my injury," said Dempsey.

"I've just to keep working hard and get my fitness back and get that sharpness and get the form that I had before I got injured."

Fulham will welcome back captain Danny Murphy and Jonathan Greening for Sunday's game after the midfield duo missed last night's game through suspension
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:52:19 AM
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Transfer-news-Arsenal-ponder-move-for-Brede-Hangeland-in-the-summer-with-William-Gallas-Mika-l-Silvestre-and-Sol-Campbell-all-out-of-contract-article360219.html

Arsenal to move for Brede Hangeland in the summer?


Published 09:20 19/03/10


By MirrorFootball

(1) Recommend (3)
 
Reports this morning suggest Arsene Wenger will look to bring in a major defensive signing this summer.

The Arsenal boss could face something of a crisis at the back, with William Gallas, Mikaël Silvestre and Sol Campbell all out of contract at the end of the season.

Talks with Gallas are on-going but it is thought the Frenchman wants a two-year contract, which would mean a change in policy for Arsenal who normally only offer one-year deals to players over 30.

After missing out on Chris Smalling to Manchester United in January, Wenger may well turn to another Fulham star Brede Hangeland.

The Gunners chief is a known admirer of the centre back and after the club posted a healthy profit in their most recent financial results, it's clear they could afford it.

Arsenal fans: Who would you like to see Wenger bring in? Is Hangeland the answer?

Fulham fans: How much would it take to prize Hangeland away?
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:56:30 AM
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/mark-lawrenson/Mark-Lawrenson-column-After-his-heroics-at-Fulham-Roy-Hodgson-wins-my-vote-to-take-over-from-Fabio-Capello-as-England-s-next-boss-article361187.html


Roy Hodgson wins my vote to be England's next boss after his Fulham heroics

By Mark Lawrenson

Published 05:05 20/03/10

 
Roy Hodgson has earned himself legendary status at Fulham – and put himself in the frame for the England job.

Hodgson has made Fulham every football fan’s second team (maybe apart from the odd Chelsea supporter) and that was borne out by the overwhelming feelgood factor across the nation following their Europa League win over Italian giants Juventus.

It is a result that will be remembered for a long time, going down as probably Fulham’s best-ever night and one of the best games in European football history.

That is typical of Hodgson and what he has achieved at Craven Cottage against all of the odds – upsetting the big guns and pulling off the ­impossible job even from the day two years ago when he kept Fulham up on the final day of the season.

Now when you fast forward to Fulham getting into Europe, claiming some major scalps at the Cottage and working miracles on a shoestring you get a sense of Hodgson’s achievements.

The England job should be done on a two-year basis.

You’re never going to build an academy or long-term future. It’s from tournament to tournament.

And when time runs out on Fabio Capello – the Italian says he will stay on for the Euros in two years’ time – then, if he is still managing at the top level, Hodgson should be ­considered.

Everyone laments the dearth of British managers and yet when you consider the jobs that Hodgson, David Moyes and, even Tony Pulis at a different level, have done then there is every reason to feel encouraged and ­optimistic.

Hodgson also has ­pedigree at the top level, working at Inter Milan and with ­Switzerland.

Blackburn didn’t work out, but he has clearly found a great formula at Fulham. Hodgson has developed a reputation for working on a budget and, if anything, he seems to have restored and revived owner Mohamed Al Fayed’s enthusiasm for the club.

He puts on good training sessions by all accounts, keeping them fresh and ­interesting while bringing experience from all over Europe with him.

Hodgson is also a gentleman and that filters down throughout the club which is run well – they look after you and it’s a good place to go.

But another major aspect is that Hodgson has taken players who have been at the crossroads in their careers or even seemingly on the way down and improved them.

Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora have both worked under Hodgson and he’s markedly made them better players.

He signed keeper Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer and what a signing he’s been.

Hodgson has a great eye for a player and is a good man-manager to boot. Just look at Zamora. He had the opportunity to go to Hull last summer and some of the Fulham fans had been getting on his back.

But the Fulham manager put an arm round his shoulder, made him feel wanted, convinced him to stay – and then look at how Zamora took apart Juventus. Utterly destroyed one of the best and most famous teams in Europe.

Zamora deserves to be knocking on the door for England. Is he international class? I have my doubts, but others have continued to get their chance.

Zamora now scores goals, flicks on, holds the ball up and is a real handful, as Juventus discovered to their cost. Hodgson has also taken players like Aaron Hughes, who I worked with at Newcastle, and played and used them to their strengths. A no-nonsense, solid defender.

It’s the simple things for Fulham. Hodgson gets his players to do the simple things.

The best bit of advice I ever had as a footballer when I was a kid was to play simple passes in the first 10 minutes, don’t do ­Hollywood passes.

Then you gain confidence, get stronger and go from strength to strength, rather than attempt the spectacular and see it all go wrong.

That is what Hodgson is all about and football should revel in his success at Fulham.

When the next vacancy comes up at England level, it’s hard to see past Roy just now.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:00:32 AM
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/brian-mcnally/Why-Fulham-s-Roy-Hodgson-is-a-better-manager-than-ex-Chelsea-boss-Jose-Mourinho-who-is-not-the-genius-his-Fleet-Street-fan-club-have-made-him-out-to-be-Brian-McNally-column-article360549.html

Why Hodgson is a better manager than Mourinho, who is not the genius his Fleet Street fan club have made him out to be


By Brian McNally

Published 13:20 19/03/10

 (3) Recommend (4)

 
The managerial feat of the week belonged not to the headline-hogging coach of Internazionale but to one of his barely-remembered predecessors at the San Siro.

The unassuming, under-rated Roy Hodgson's achievement in guiding Fulham to a fabulous comeback against Juventus and a place in the Europa Cup quarter final was far more impressive than Jose Mourinho's much-hyped success over former club Chelsea.

Juve may be way off the pace set by the two Milan clubs at the top of Serie A, but with four World Cup winners in their glitttering line-up and the luxury of a 4-1 aggregate lead in the opening minutes at Craven Cottage they gave Hodgson's side an Everest to climb.

But the unflappable Hodgson refused to be fazed by the Italian side's reputation and masterminded what is without doubt one of the finest comebacks by an English side in European competition.
 
Fulham should retire unbeaten, jokes 'Rocky' Roy Hodgson   

It is only now at the age of 62 that Hodgson's technical ability as a coach is being fully recognised in his homeland after spending most of his time working abroad.

But his transformation of Fulham from relegation candidates in 2008 to a club that can hold it s own in both the Premier League and Europe is testament to an astute football brain and exceptional organisational abilities.

The success he has achieved in the modest club surroundings of SW6 is reminiscent of his excellent work with the Swiss national side in the mid 1990s.

Hodgson may not have the charisma, the sound-bytes or the big-club stage of Mourinho, but in my book he is no less talented a manager or tactician - even if his CV does not boast the impressive list of trophies won by his Portuguese counterpart.

Mourinho is good, very good in fact. But, crucially, maybe not quite as good as he thinks he is.

It is a fact that his most impressive achievements were in his homeland where he got Porto to punch way above their weight to win both the UEFA Cup and the Champions League.

Since then his record in Europe has been distinctly average, despite the vast resources he has had at his disposal.

Mourinho may be the most successful manager in Chelsea's history and continued Robert Mancini's domestic success with Inter, but since 2004 his Champions League record is nothing to write home about.

The fawning adulation that has been heaped on the self-styled Special One by large sections of the English media in recent weeks has been embarrassing in the extreme.

Out-witting Carlo Ancelotti over two legs hardly qualifies him for the "tactical genius" plaudits showered on him by his Fleet Street fan club, after all, Manchester City's Roberto Mancini also managed to completely unravel the Chelsea manager's predictable, one-dimensional strategy at Stamford Bridge recently.

And the media-led campaign to lure Mourinho back to England conveniently ignores the unsavoury and negative aspects of his management style. The amateur theatrics, repeated diving and blatant time-wasting have not changed a jot since his days at Porto and Chelsea.

The self-righteous indignation of the Stamford Bridge fans as Mourinho's side did a passable impression of Chelsea circa 2004-07 was rich with irony just as the 1-0 scoreline reminded us that goals are usually at a premium in a Mourinho victory.

Mourinho and Inter throughly deserved their win even if they were aided and abetted by poor refereeing, but I am not convinced that they are good enough to trouble Barcelona or Manchester United.

Maybe I am old fashioned but I enjoyed the excitement of Fulham's rousing victory far more than the stop-start, ploddingly slow chess game that was Chelsea-Inter.

As an entertainment spectacle Roy Hodgson's Fulham certainly stole the show from the Special One this week.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:03:15 AM
Fulham v Manchester City

Barclays Premier League

Sunday 21st March


Kick-Off 15:00

On-sale dates
Season Ticket Holders   Now on sale (Max 6 tickets)
Fulham Club Members   Now on sale (Max 6 tickets)
General Sale  Now on Sale (Max 6 tickets)
Buy tickets online|

How to Buy Tickets
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online*
by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1) - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
by fax 0207 384 4810 (download printable form )
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Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvManCity.aspx#ixzz0ihKVryls (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvManCity.aspx#ixzz0ihKVryls)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:05:13 AM
Inside Fulham

Download the latest edition of 'Inside Fulham' to hear exclusive interviews with Roy Hodgson, Bobby Zamora, Zoltan Gera and Clint Dempsey following Thursday night's historic 4-1 win over Juventus.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iffc (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iffc)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:06:20 AM
Wolfsburg Ticket Info

Friday 19th March 2010


Fulham FC News


Fulham v. Wolfsburg Home Leg Ticket Information


Following Thursday evening's famous victory over Juventus at Craven Cottage, Roy Hodgson's European heroes will now take on Wolfsburg in the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final. The first leg will take place at home on Thursday 1st April (Kick-Off 8:05pm).

Tickets for the match will be available to Season Ticket Holders (6 tickets) from 3pm on Friday 19th March, with their seats being held until 9am on Tuesday 23rd March.

Ticket prices will be as follows:

Riverside/Haynes (excludes A/AL): £40 Adults, £25 Concessions, £20 Juniors
Hammersmith/Putney and Haynes A & AL*: £30 Adults, £20 Concessions, £15 Juniors
*Family Area of A & AL to be sold from FFC Ticket Office only.

Please note the UEFA ticketing requirements for the Quarter-Finals have increased significantly compared to previous rounds, we therefore regret that sections of Block E and Block F as well as a large proportion of Z Block will be affected.


Members (6 tickets) will be able to purchase their tickets from midday on Tuesday 23rd March, with any remaining tickets going on General Sale at 9am on Thursday 25th March.

Wolfsburg home tickets are available to purchase online and over the telephone but will not be available to purchase in person until Sunday 21st March, tickets will be available from 9:30 until 2pm on the day of the Manchester City match and immediately after the final whistle.

Wolfsburg v. Fulham UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final Away Leg Ticket and Travel Information
The Club is pleased to announce it is planning official travel packages for the away leg of the Europa League Quarter-Final against Wolfsburg taking place on Thursday 8th April (Kick-Off TBC).

Match tickets for this Away Leg of the UEFA Europa League will go on sale shortly to Season Ticket Holders with Club Members being able to purchase after Season Ticket Holders have been given a window of priority (subject to availability).

Only Season Ticket Holders and Members will be able to purchase any official travel packages on offer and the Club expect demand to exceed supply when it comes to match tickets. Please note all official travel packages will include a match ticket.

Match Ticket Information
As soon as prices are confirmed, the Club will be selling match tickets for the away leg against Wolfsburg, allocating one ticket per named Season Ticket Holder. Please note Season Ticket Holders will not be able to buy for Club Members or non-members as the club expect demand to exceed supply.

Register your interest in Official Travel
You can register your interest and be the first to hear about official travel packages by visiting| the TMG Travel website|. You will receive an email with details as soon as packages are confirmed.


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/WolfsburgTicketInfo.aspx#ixzz0ihLRHcHL (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/WolfsburgTicketInfo.aspx#ixzz0ihLRHcHL)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:07:39 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.premiumtv.co.uk/articles/20100319/europa-league-draw-reaction_2254083_1999362 (http://www.fulhamfc.premiumtv.co.uk/articles/20100319/europa-league-draw-reaction_2254083_1999362)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:09:17 AM
Matchday Programme

Champions League-chasing Manchester City head to Craven Cottage on Sunday with Roberto Mancini’s side sixth in the table and looking to make their mark in the top four.

But Roy Hodgson’s charges will be aiming to bounce back from last Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United, and carry on where they left off following Thursday night’s incredible defeat of Juventus, with another first-class performance.

Fans heading to the Cottage for this exciting clash will also have the chance to get their hands on our fantastic matchday programme, which once again, contains 84 pages packed full of information, in-depth discussion, exclusive interviews and detailed coverage on your favourite club, be you a Fulham regular or visiting Blue.

The essential matchday read, sleek in design and full of innovative features, includes:


An exclusive insight from Manager Roy Hodgson.
Danny Murphy’s views as Club captain.
On loan left-back Nicky Shorey talks defensive competition and thoughts on his future.
A peek inside the opposition’s camp with Manchester City’s experienced enforcer Patrick Vieira.
Expert Analysis from former Manchester City and England left-back Andy Hinchcliffe.
A look back in pictures at some of the past meetings between the two clubs.
Match action from our league game with Manchester United and our unforgettable UEFA Europa League encounter with Juventus.
Through the ranks with talented Development Squad hopeful Christopher Buchtmann.
Match action also, from the DS’ excellent defeat of Birmingham City in the Premier Reserve League South.
Academy U18 Manager Gary Brazil discuses his side’s run in the FA Youth Cup and his thoughts on the remainder of the season.
Unprecedented fan interaction and tonnes of fun for younger fans too.
 Plus, so much more besides!


The brilliant matchday publication will be on sale in and around the ground from two-hours before kick-off and at half time.

If you miss your copy outside then look out for sellers on the Putney and Hammersmith Terrace, or at half-time from the programme room situated inside the Johnny Haynes Stand by Block E (opposite Turnstile 24).

Buy Matchday Programmes online|


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Fanzone/FFCMatchdayProgramme.aspx#ixzz0ihMDuUKX (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Fanzone/FFCMatchdayProgramme.aspx#ixzz0ihMDuUKX)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:10:20 AM
'Absolutely Unbelievable!'

Friday 19th March 2010


Fulham FC News Powered by 
 

“Absolutely unbelievable!” was how Chris Baird described Fulham's 4-1 victory over Juventus as the Northern Ireland international reflected on one the biggest matches of his career on Thursday evening.

“Obviously it was disappointing going a goal behind but we picked ourselves up and got a goal back," Baird explained. "Obviously the sending off had a bearing on the game but having said that we were on top.

“To get this far, even before this result, has been a great journey for us and we didn’t want it to end. This was a bonus for us after having a great season last year and to get to the Quarter Finals of the Europa League is a massive achievement for the Club.

“I got a text from one of my mates saying ‘you don’t get much bigger than that’ and to be fair I don’t think we’ve had bigger than that in our careers. We’re going to enjoy it but we’ll be looking forward to the next game now.

"It’s important to continue that form in the League on Sunday when we play Manchester City because that is going to be another very tough game."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/BairdJuveReaction.aspx#ixzz0ihMUftRQ (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/BairdJuveReaction.aspx#ixzz0ihMUftRQ)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:11:45 AM
A Dream Come True


Friday 19th March 2010


Fulham FC News
 

Brede Hangeland celebrated his 100th appearance for Fulham in style on Thursday evening as the Whites defeated Juventus 4-1 and the Norwegian defender's pride in victory was palpable after a sensational night of European football at the Cottage.

I didn’t know that was my 100th appearance!” said Hangeland after the match. “Well, it was a great way to celebrate it - the perfect, perfect way!

“To reach the Quarter-Final of a European competition is a dream come true for me – we’ve come really far and no one can take this away from us no matter what happens. It’s great to be a Fulham player.

“It’s probably the best feeling I’ve had as a Fulham player together with the final day of the 2007/08 season at Fratton Park - it was unbelievable and one for the record books.

“It seems like a long time ago but it’s just over two years since I joined and to think how far we’ve come to be able to beat a top European side 4-1 at the Cottage – it’s something we’re all really proud to be part of.”

Despite an early setback on Thursday evening when David Trezeguet fired Juventus ahead, Hangeland and company kept the faith and the defender praised the effort and desire of his Team to keep the Club’s European dream alive.

“I felt that even when it was 11 against 11 we dominated them," said Hangeland. “When we went 2-1 up I knew it was possible. The way we managed to do it in the end - it couldn’t have gone any better.

“Roy told us at half time to keep playing and don’t rush it because if we rushed forward like headless chickens they could nick one back and it would have been more or less over. It was important for us to keep playing the same way and we managed to do that.

“It’s hard playing like that for 90 minutes but I thought we did really well. Because of the way we played we got really tight to them up front and in midfield so they didn’t manage to get behind us which made it a lot easier defensively.

“We worked extremely hard and got our reward in the end and it’s unbelievable to be part of. I think everyone was really tired at the end but when you see the other 10 guys working their socks off you just want to do the same.

“The crowd really got behind us. I thought the atmosphere was first class and for everyone associated with Fulham it was a great night.”


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/BredeOnJuveWin.aspx#ixzz0ihMp9y74 (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/BredeOnJuveWin.aspx#ixzz0ihMp9y74)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:13:47 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8570820.stm

Fulham    v    Man City

Live text and stats
Content will update automatically

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham v  Man City 15:00
 
   

FULHAMMAN CITYPossession
Fulham 50% Man City 50% Attempts on target
Fulham 0 Man City 0 Attempts off target
Fulham 0 Man City 0 Corners
Fulham 0 Man City 0 Fouls
Fulham 0 Man City 0 Barclays Premier League
Venue: Craven Cottage Date: Sunday, 21 March 2010 Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Manchester & highlights on Match of the Day 2


TEAM NEWS
Fulham welcome back Jonathan Greening and Danny Murphy, who were both suspended against Juventus in midweek.

Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil are out with knee injuries, while Dickson Etuhu and David Elm are both doubtful.

Javier Garrido is expected to start for Manchester City in place of injured left-back Wayne Bridge.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor remains suspended, accompanying knee victims Martin Petrov and Michael Johnson on the sidelines.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fulham

Doubtful: Elm (illness), Etuhu (unspecified)

Injured: A Johnson & Pantsil (both knee)

Man City

Suspended: Adebayor (two matches)

Injured: Bridge (hernia), M Johnson & Petrov (both knee)


MATCH PREVIEW
Neither Roy Hodgson nor Roberto Mancini claim to be The Special One, but both men are former managers of Chelsea's Champions League conquerors Inter Milan. Just like current incumbent Jose Mourinho, Hodgson and Mancini have their eyes on respective end-of-season rewards.

 We want to finish fourth as badly as anyone, but I think we've shown we can battle as well as play good football

Patrick Vieira, Man City midfielder
It is hard to believe that just 17 months ago, Mancini was being linked to the Fulham hot-seat after Hodgson's side accrued only seven points out of a possible 21 at the start of the 2008/09 campaign.

Hodgson's legacy at the club will now go down as one of the greatest in Fulham's history. Their stunning 4-1 win over Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday night will live with fans forever. Fulham can also look forward to an FA Cup quarter-final replay against Spurs next week.

Just hours before David Beckham's World Cup dream ended last Sunday, Manchester City's Adam Johnson showed a glimpse of his England potential with a fabulous stoppage-time leveller at Sunderland.

The 22-year-old was certainly City's super-sub at the Stadium of Light, a role earmarked for Beckham in South Africa. He also demonstrated a knack for curling the ball home from distance to secure a valuable last-gasp draw. Now, where have we seen that before?


MATCH FACTS
Head-to-head

• Fulham are without a home win against Man City since November 2005, when a Steed Malbranque double helped them to a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage.

• Seven of the last 13 Premier League fixtures have ended in draws.

• Both teams have scored in each of the last 11 Premier League fixtures between the clubs.

• The two managers have clashed once before - Mancini's Fiorentina won 2-1 at Hodgson's Udinese in Serie A in October 2001.


 606: DEBATE
Is victory at Craven Cottage a must for Champions League-chasing City? 
Fulham

• Roy Hodgson's side have a fine recent record at Craven Cottage, winning each of their last three Premier League home games.

• Fulham have scored only two first-half goals in their last 10 Premier League games.

• If selected, Dickson Etuhu will be facing the club where he started his career.

Man City

• City have won only four of 15 away league games this season. However, just three of their nine remaining fixtures after this one will be away from Eastlands.

• Manchester City have drawn 11 Premier League games. Only Stoke (12) have drawn more.

• No club has lost fewer league games than Manchester City this term. The Eastlands club have been beaten just four times.


LEADING GOALSCORERS

 
Fulham

Zamora: 16 goals (8 league); Gera: 9 goals (2 league)


 
Man City

Tevez: 21 goals (15 league); Adebayor: 9 goals (9 league);
Bellamy 9 goals (8 league)


MATCH OFFICIALS
Referee: Lee Probert

Assistant referees: Andy Newbold & Nick Kinseley

Fourth official: Darren Deadman


LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
Fulham (L0-3 v Man Utd, a): Schwarzer; Kelly, Hangeland (Greening 62), Hughes, Shorey, Davies (Duff 46), Murphy, Baird, Dempsey (Nevland 72), Gera, Zamora. Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Okaka, Stoor, Dikgacoi.

Man City (D1-1 v Sunderland, a): Given; Richards (Vieira 64), Kompany, Lescott, Bridge (Santa Cruz 32), Wright-Phillips (A Johnson 72), Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez. Subs not used: Taylor, Ireland, Sylvinho, Toure.


MOST RECENT MEETING

Man City 2-2 Fulham (25 October 2009)

Man City scorers: Lescott 53, Petrov 60

Fulham scorers: Duff 62, Dempsey 68
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:18:44 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/127154/Fabio-Capello-told-not-to-ignore-Zamora-/


FABIO CAPELLO TOLD NOT TO IGNORE ZAMORA
 
20th March 2010

By David Woods

FABIO CAPELLO has been told he cannot ignore the damage Bobby Zamora has ­inflicted on teams across Europe.

The Fulham star has jumped into England contention with the best run of form of his career.

And Capello was on hand at Craven Cottage on Thursday night as Zamora, 28, ran ­Juventus ragged.

He scored in the 4-1 victory – which earned a 5-4 aggregate win – and was so dominant against World Cup winner Fabio ­Cannavaro that the frustrated centre-back was sent off in the 27th minute for hauling down Zoltan Gera as he burst through on to Zamora’s pass.

The reward for Roy Hodgson’s men is a mouth-watering Europa League quarter-final tie with German champions Wolfsburg.

Team-mate Gera has hailed former Spurs and West Ham star Zamora as one of the best forwards England have to offer.

He said: “Bobby has done very well this season and I think Mr Capello is clever enough to see who are the best strikers in ­England.

“So I don’t need to say he’s good enough or not. ­England have a lot of good strikers and Bobby is one of them.

“He’s playing fantastic this ­season.

‘‘He was great last season, but the difference is he’s scored more goals this time.”

And Zamora, who has already booked a holiday in Las Vegas this summer when the World Cup is on, will be watched by SDHpCapello’s assistant Franco ­Baldini when Manchester City visit Craven Cottage tomorrow.

Meanwhile, defender Brede Hangeland said Fulham’s ­amazing win on Thursday was the perfect way to celebrate his 100th appearance for the club.

He said: “To reach the quarter-final of a European competition is a dream come true for me.

“We’ve come really far and no-one can take this away from us no matter what happens. It’s great to be a Fulham player.

“It seems like a long time ago, but it’s just over two years since I joined and to think how far we’ve come to be able to beat a top ­European side 4-1 at the ­Cottage ... it’s something we’re all really proud of.”

But Gera insisted there was little chance to revel in a victory which has been described as the best in the club’s ­history.

He said: “We don’t have too much time to celebrate because we play ­another important game on Sunday, then there’s Spurs in the FA Cup on Wednesday.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:21:35 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/20/zoltan-gera-fulham-wolfsburg

Zoltan Gera ready to repel Wolfsburg at Fulham's fortress

• Compact Craven Cottage gives Fulham the edge in Europe

• Hodgson relishes quarter-final meeting of 'two similar clubs'

David Hytner guardian.co.uk,

Saturday 20 March 2010 00.11 GMT


Fulham's Zoltan Gera, left, celebrates with Bobby Zamora after scoring Fulham's third goal against Juventus. Photograph: Joe Giddens/Empics

Zoltan Gera believes Fulham have created a fortress at Craven Cottage and it can give them the edge in their attempt to make further inroads in the Europa League.

Everyone connected with the club remained on a high after Thursday's 4-1 home win over Juventus, which secured a 5-4 aggregate last-16 triumph, not least Gera, who scored twice in the fightback that has been hailed as the club's finest of all time.

Roy Hodgson, the manager, is keen for the players to remain grounded, before tomorrow's Premier League home game against Manchester City, yet the excitement of Europe continues to bubble. Fulham's reward for their dismissal of Juventus, which followed that of the holders Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous round, is a quarter-final against the German champions, Wolfsburg.

"It was an unbelievable night," said Gera, who missed the post-match celebrations in the dressing room because he had been selected for doping control. "I think Juventus were a little bit unsettled andput off by the ground. Craven Cottage is not a big stadium. The fans are very close to the pitch, so much closer than you see elsewhere, especially at Italian stadiums.

"The atmosphere was great, too. So I think it is a good thing for us to have a ground like this and it can help us. I think it was maybe the best game ever played at Craven Cottage. For the players, the fans and for everybody involved with the club." Fulham have claimed some notable scalps at home this season, including Manchester United and Liverpool, but the victory over Juventus, particularly as they had fallen 1-0 behind on the night, topped the lot. "There's just something about playing at the Cottage," said Clint Dempsey, who scored the winning goal with a breathtaking chip. "You always want to do special things in your career and I think we are on another step to something very memorable. It would be nice to think that our European adventure can keep on track for a while yet."

Wolfsburg represent testing opposition. "They had a fantastic season last year," said Hodgson, "and [Edin] Dzeko and Grafite cleaned up in the Bundesliga; they scored about 50 goals between them. This year things haven't gone quite so well. I think this is a meeting of two similar clubs."

Europa Cup quarter-final: Fulham v Wolfsburg; Hamburg v Standard Liège; Valencia v Atletico Madrid; Benfica v Liverpool. The first legs will be played on 1 April, second legs on 8 April.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:24:12 AM
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/164054/Roberto-Mancini-hopes-Roy-s-boys-show-strain


ROBERTO MANCINI HOPES ROY’S BOYS SHOW STRAIN  



Roberto Mancini was impressed by Fulham

Saturday March 20,2010


By Richard Tanner 


ROBERTO Mancini is hoping Fulham suffer a hangover after their epic Europa League win over Juventus.

Manchester City boss Mancini was a spectator at Craven Cottage and left full of admiration for the way Roy Hodgson’s team turned a 4-1 deficit into a stunning 5-4 aggregate victory.

But he hopes the physical and emotional strain of the game – and the fact they have an FA Cup replay against Tottenham next Wednesday – will lead to a dip tomorrow when City go to Craven Cottage.

Mancini said: “When it was 3-1 to Fulham, I was praying for extra-time. It didn’t happen but they still had to put a lot of effort into the game.

“They have only two days to recover before meeting us, so I hope they will be tired. They also have a big FA Cup replay next week, so maybe they will change some players.

“But it will still be a difficult game for us. They will still have a strong team and I’m sure their approach won’t change.

“They played well against Juventus and I was very impressed with them.”

Mancini says Thursday’s win will have enhanced Hodgson’s reputation in Italy, where he spent two years in charge of Inter in the mid-Nineties.

“I know Roy from Italy,” he added. “He’s a good person, a good manager. He has done very well at Fulham and he has a lot of respect in Italy.

“We need to win because we lost two points at Sunderland. We need to play like we did in the second half when we had seven or eight chances.”

Mancini dismissed reports that he could become the next manager of Italy if Marcello Lippi steps down after the World Cup finals.

   SEARCH FOOTBALL for:     

Mancini and Fiorentina’s Cesare Prandelli are favourites for the job but Mancini said: “Not now. Maybe in 10 years. Prandelli would be a good choice. I want to stay with City.”

Emmanuel Adebayor is still banned and Wayne Bridge (hernia) and Martin Petrov (knee) are both injured.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:28:58 AM
http://fulham.theoffside.com/team-news/fulham-45-41-old-lady.html


Fulham 4-1 Old Lady


By: timmyg | March 19th, 2010
 
I think I’ve sobered up. Fulham rallied to put four past Juventus and will play Bundesliga Champions Wolfsburg in a few weeks.

Wait, no. That still doesn’t read right.

One nugget of information I’ve noticed little mention of is the absence of Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie. Last week he manhandled Bobby Zamora. Thankfully for us he was suspended last night and Bobby managed to have a field day — even before Fabio Cannavaro was sent off. How Capello doesn’t pick him for a friendly is no longer funny.

Juventus fans may feel hard done, but the Dutchman Bjorn Kuipers refereed the game very technically. The sending off did impact the course of the game, but, technically, it was the right call. There were also many other muggings inside the box that were not called — even Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson took notice and voiced their disgust — that we could exchange and still have a similar result.

Was there one Fulham player that put in a poor or even mediocre performance last night? Everyone clicked. Roy finally let the boys off the leash and they devoured all second chances. Even after going down 1-0 within 90 seconds I still had a feeling we might be able to at least force extra time because there was just so much drive and energy. It made me wonder why Roy doesn’t go for (or allow?) this attacking strategy more often (particularly on the road).

There’s hope yet for Wednesday. To think, on March 19, we’re a step away from Wembley and still in Europe.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:30:43 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,1775_6037960,00.html


Kostner keen on Wolves' chances



Wolfsburg coach Lorenz-Gunther Kostner has welcomed his side's draw against Fulham in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
 
However, he is aware the German champions are coming up against a proven force in the competition this season.

The Wolves travel to Craven Cottage on April 1 before hosting the Premier League club at the VW-Arena a week later with a potential all-German semi-final against Hamburg on the cards.

But for that to become reality, Kostner knows his side, who pushed Manchester United close on two occasions in the Champions League earlier this season, will have to be on their toes.

"This is a good draw," he said. "We will do all we can to reach the next round.

"English football could suit us. But of course we are warned - Fulham have beaten Basle and Juventus already.

"Therefore, we are going to have to put in a top performance."

The club's managing director Dieter Hoeness, who was present at the draw in Nyon on Friday, cannot wait for the trip to England on April Fools' Day.

"It is always fantastic to play in English stadia," he said on his club's website.

"I am really looking forward to our visit to Craven Cottage.

"Maybe it could be a small advantage for us to play the return leg in the VW-Arena. That has proven to be lucky for us against Villarreal and Rubin Kazan."

But he too has warned about the threat of the Cottagers.

"They have not only beaten teams like Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk, but they have beaten Manchester United 3-0 already too," he added.

"Fulham have some really strong players like Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:40:36 AM
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/61177,sport,football,acclaim-at-last-for-fulham-football-gentleman-roy-hodgson-juventus-thrash

Acclaim at last for football gentleman Roy Hodgson

After a nomadic career Fulham’s multi-lingual manager is finally getting the respect he deserves

By Jonathan Harwood

LAST UPDATED 1:54 PM, MARCH 19, 2010


After 34 years as a coach and manager in eight countries, football's gentleman Roy Hodgson is finally the toast of the English game after masterminding one of the most incredible comebacks in the history of European football on Thursday night.

His Fulham side's victory over the Italian giants Juventus could count as one of the great upsets in football history - yet it chimes perfectly with Hodgson's career, which has seen the affable 62-year-old repeatedly turn around the fortunes of unfashionable clubs and make them a force to be reckoned with.

Hodgson's men lost the first leg of their Europa League cup tie in Italy 3-1, and then fell behind after three minutes of the return leg in London. But they recovered to win 4-1 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate to send the tournament favourites out of the competition.

The Fulham boss has now been installed as favourite to take over from Fabio Capello if he steps down from the England job, and is being lauded to the rafters by the press.

But despite the sensational scenes at Craven Cottage, Hodgson only allowed himself a brief smile before he began reminding all and sundry that there was another game to look forward to on Sunday. He is too long in the tooth to be carried away on the wave of euphoria washing over the rest of Fulham.

Hodgson is not cut from the same cloth as most modern managers: he rarely questions refereeing decisions, does not lose his temper with interviewers and is never seen ranting and raving in the dugout. Even more unusually for an English football manager he is multilingual, thanks to his nomadic career. He speaks fluent  Norwegian, Swedish and Italian as well as some German, Danish and Finnish. Not bad for a boy from Croydon.

After an undistinguished playing career with Crystal Palace and various non-league clubs, Hodgson began his managerial career in Sweden in 1976. That was the same year that Brian Clough was taking Nottingham Forest into the top tier of English football, and Sir Alex Ferguson was cutting his managerial teeth at St Mirren.

In his first season in charge of unfancied Halmstad, who were seen as certainties to be relegated, Hodgson guided them to the league championship. The achievement is still regarded as one of the greatest-ever shocks in Swedish football. But just to prove it was no fluke he repeated the feat in 1979. He was even dubbed "the nicest man in the world" by his fans.

Later he won five successive Swedish championships with Malmo before taking the Swiss national side to the 1994 World Cup, the first time they had appeared in the tournament for 30 years. After qualifying them for Euro 1996 he took over at Inter Milan in Italy.

In 1997 he moved to Blackburn Rovers. It was his second crack at management in his homeland after an undistinguished spell in charge of Bristol City in the early 1980s. Once again he failed and was sacked after a disastrous start to his second season. The press crucified him and it destroyed his reputation in England - he was overlooked for the England manager's job in 2000.

Those on the continent knew better, and he had spells in Denmark, Italy and Norway and as the national coach of the United Arab Emirates and Finland before returning to England for a third attempt in 2007. This time he took over a Fulham side who most people believed were already relegated. But Hodgson somehow kept them in the Premier League and subsequently guided them into Europe, and to last night's improbable victory.

But although Hodgson admitted that, as a former Inter Milan boss, he had enjoyed getting one over on Juventus, he is unlikely to rest on his laurels.

As he told the BBC in 2001: "The thing I'm most proud of is that I still enjoy getting up every morning and working with a group of players and feeling that I can do a good job. That is a better testament to my career and any qualities I may have, than any individual Championship." 

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:43:08 AM
http://fourfourtwo.com/news/england/50231/default.aspx

Humbling of Juve highlights Hodgson calibre


Reuters - Yesterday, 12:55


LONDON - In a 30-year coaching career that has taken him to Inter Milan and the Swiss national side, Roy Hodgson thought he had pretty much seen it all until Fulham's extraordinary comeback against Juventus on Thursday.

Seemingly dead and buried after losing the first leg 3-1 in Turin and going 1-0 down in the opening minutes at Craven Cottage, Hodgson's Fulham stunned the two-time European champions with a 4-1 win that propelled the mid-table Premier League club into the Europa League quarter-finals.

"We should just do a Rocky Marciano and retire now because it is not going to get any better than this," Hodgson joked after his players etched their names into folklore with a 5-4 aggregate victory.

"This must come close to the greatest night in the club's history. On a personal note I am not sure I can recall such a recovery, I am on top of the world."

It started badly for Fulham when David Trezeguet added to Juve's first-leg advantage, but Fulham responded with an astonishing fightback with two goals from Zoltan Gera and one each from Bobby Zamora and substitute Clint Dempsey.

Dempsey's 82nd-minute, long-range chip sealed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in European club competition.

Fulham's victory ranks with some of the most eye-catching comebacks yet few will be surprised that a manager of Hodgson's calibre could manufacture such a triumph.

"When I reached the final (as manager of Inter Milan in UEFA Cup final v Schalke in 1997) our European campaign was nowhere near as long as this one has been, I think it encompassed 12 games including a two-legged final.

"By the end of the next match we'll have played 16 games now and I think it is a remarkable achievement that the boys have done so well."

Juventus may not be the force they once were but they boast a phenomenal pedigree, twice being champions of Europe, along with winning 27 Serie A titles and nine Italian Cups.

Fulham have never won a major domestic honour and lost in their only FA Cup final in 1975.

After losing their place in the old First Division in 1968 they spent 33 years in the lower divisions before returning to the top flight in 2001.

Managers have come and gone since then, including former England manager Kevin Keegan and French icon Jean Tigana, but no-one has had an impact like Hodgson.

Apparently doomed to relegation when he arrived in December 2007, last season Fulham achieved their highest Premier League finish of seventh -- and, after beating holders Shakhtar Donetsk in the last round of the Europa League, have now humbled true European aristocracy.

A night that started so well for Juve ended in abject disgrace as they finished with nine men following the dismissals of Fabio Cannavaro and Jonathan Zebina, and for the last hour of the match they could not live with Fulham's pace, power and verve.

Wolfsburg, Fulham's opponents in the last eight, will need no reminding of the west London side's qualities nor of the pedigree of their vastly under-rated coach.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:45:36 AM
http://www.bluedays.co.uk/2010/03/19/preview-fulham-v-manchester-city/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=preview-fulham-v-manchester-city

Preview: Fulham v Manchester City

19th March 2010


Following their heroic achievements against Juventus, it’s to be hoped Fulham are a little partied out for the match on Sunday. Roy Hodgson has previously spoken about the importance of their midweek FA Cup replay against Tottenham, so this could be a good time to visit Craven Cottage.

City will still need to be at their best against a team that give little away at home, and who will still show the trademark Hodgson discipline. We saw that earlier in the season, when our full strength side still required extra-time to see off a weakened Fulham in the Carling Cup.  Surely Zoltan Gera can’t score as good a goal again?

Kolo Toure bagged the winner that day, but the club captain would be a surprise starter now. The physically imposing partnership of Lescott and Kompany looks better suited to the demands of the Premier League than any pairing featuring Kolo. Lescott and Kompany may lack a bit of pace, but that’s not such an issue against Fulham where we’re unlikely to be defending high up the pitch.

With Wayne Bridge absent, the question of who plays at left-back has made an unwelcome return. It’s tempting to go with Sylvinho for the more tactical battle against Fulham and Garrido for the physical demands of Everton. Zabaleta may be better than either of these defensively, but as we’re looking to win both games, a natural left-footer is better going forward. Garrido is the best crosser, while Sylvinho is least likely to waste possession.

The Brazilian’s lack of pace is less likely to be exposed on the small Craven Cottage pitch and Damien Duff isn’t the quickest these days. Having said all that, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Mancini station Zabaleta at left-back for some portion of the game – he has a fondness for moving the Argentine around. Hopefully it will be to close out a victory.

Again it will be interesting to see if Vieira starts, and whether Mancini begins with two up front. Leaving Tevez isolated ahead of three defensive midfielders was catastrophic against Sunderland. The Italian will risk the wrath of the fans if he starts with Vieira or Zabaleta alongside de Jong and Barry.

Vieira currently looks better coming on from the bench, and it could be useful to save some of his energy for the Everton fixture. Adam Johnson did enough against Sunderland to warrant starting ahead of Wright-Phillips in what is becoming a keenly contested duel for the right wing – having genuine competition can only be good for the team here.  No doubt Bellamy will be on the left, unless Mancini decides to save his knees for Everton.

Will Santa Cruz get to start? His finishing was woeful against Sunderland, but his presence as a target man did change the game in our favour. The only alternative striker is Bellamy, and the Welshman wouldn’t give us any added aerial presence.

Roberto Mancini:

“It’s going to be difficult for us on Sunday, but maybe they will be tired.

“But I still think they will go with a strong team. They may change some players, but I am sure that they won’t change their approach, and they will be taking this game just as seriously.”

There’s a danger of it being a low key game, as we rarely start games at a high tempo, while Roy Hodgson is unlikely to send out his tired troops with all guns blazing. Hopefully Mancini will look to go at Fulham early. If we get a couple of goals ahead then they are unlikely to have the energy to come back and thoughts could start to drift to their FA Cup replay.

For City, a win is essential following the two dropped points last week. With our most difficult fixtures yet to come, it’s imperative we pick up victories in the meantime, if we’re going to claim fourth place.

Blue Days line-up: Given, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Sylvinho, de Jong, Barry, A Johnson, Bellamy, Tevez, Santa Cruz.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:53:56 AM
http://www.nordicfootball.info/norway/hangeland-realises-dream/


Hangeland Realises Dream

Fri, Mar 19, 2010


Norway


Brede Hangeland had more reason to celebrate on Thursday night than most. The giant Norwegian made his 100th appearance for Fulham, who made an amazing comeback to beat Juventus 4-1 (5-4 aggregate), and knock the Italian giants out of the Europa League.

The pride of the former Valerenga man was visible for all to see after the emphatic victory sent the Cottagers through to the Europa League Quarter Finals “I didn’t know that was my 100th appearance, it was a great way to celebrate it, the perfect way” beamed Hangeland after the match. 

“To reach the Quarter-Final of a European competition is a dream come true for me – we’ve come really far and no one can take this away from us no matter what happens. It’s great to be a Fulham player.

“It’s probably the best feeling I’ve had as a Fulham player together with the final day of the 2007/08 season at Fratton Park – it was unbelievable and one for the record books.

Hangeland couldnt hide his delight  after the magnificent achievement,“It seems like a long time ago but it’s just over two years since I joined and to think how far we’ve come to be able to beat a top European side 4-1 at the Cottage – it’s something we’re all really proud to be part of.”

 Fulham suffered an early setback as a David Trezeguet goal seemingly put an end to their European aspirations. However they came back strong with Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera finding the back of the net to send Roy Hodgson`s side into the interval 2-1 up and a man to the good after Fabio Cannavaro was dismissed for hauling down Gera  .

 The Norwegian international was quick to praise the hunger of his team mates  “I felt that even when it was 11 against 11 we dominated them,” said Hangeland. “When we went 2-1 up I knew it was possible. The way we managed to do it in the end - it couldn’t have gone any better.

“Roy told us at half time to keep playing and don’t rush it because if we rushed forward like headless chickens they could nick one back and it would have been more or less over. It was important for us to keep playing the same way and we managed to do that“.

 Gera scored his second of the night from the penalty spot to level matters before American Clint Dempsey executed a sublime chip in the 82nd minute to secure a famous win. Jonathon Zebina was also sent off in the dying moments to further add to  Juve`s woes.

 “It’s hard playing like that for 90 minutes but I thought we did really well. Because of the way we played we got really tight to them up front and in midfield so they didn’t manage to get behind us which made it a lot easier defensively.

“We worked extremely hard and got our reward in the end and it’s unbelievable to be part of. I think everyone was really tired at the end but when you see the other 10 guys working their socks off you just want to do the same.

“The crowd really got behind us. I thought the atmosphere was first class and for everyone associated with Fulham it was a great night.”

Fulham`s path to Europa League glory is now mapped out after this morning`s draw in Nyon, Switzerland. The Cottagers will tackle German side Wolfsburg in the quarter finals, hosting the first leg  at Craven Cottage on April 1st. The return leg will be one week later and should Fulham advance, then the winners of  the Hamburg and Standard Liege tie stand between them and a place in the Europa League Final.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:55:43 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=6048

Defoe tears a hamstring

by Dan on March 19, 2010

Away from Europe and Juventus for a second, Radio 5 Live are reporting that Jermain Defoe has torn a hamstring and will be out for action for a few weeks. That will make the replay at Tottenham a little more interesting.

Of course, Roy wouldn’t like us to get ahead of ourselves. One game at a time
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 07:57:58 AM
http://community.footballpools.com/blog/2010/03/19/alan-hansens-premier-league-preview-fulham-v-man-city/

Alan Hansen’s Premier League Preview: Fulham v Man City


Fulham will be on cloud nine after their amazing comeback against Juventus on Thursday night. To score four goals against a team packed with experienced stars was incredible enough but to show the character to come back from conceding in the 2nd minute was simply sensational. This is surely one of the greatest results in the Cottagers history and much of the credit must go to Roy Hodgson who has been a revelation for the club. He has shown what can be done with sound management on a relatively low budget and small squad of players. Next up for Fulham is a Manchester City side that has also had problems overcoming the Londoners in recent years.

The Cottagers are unbeaten in their last five league meetings with City. Fulham have won two of those clashes with both victories surprisingly coming at Eastlands. The last two meetings at Craven Cottage have resulted in draws and I would not be surprised if this match followed suit. Roberto Mancini’s team may not be playing the most fluent football in the world but they have shown they are a hard team to beat. They are unbeaten in their last five league games (won two) but need to improve on their away form if they are going to finish 4th.

City have only won two of their last 13 away trips in the Premier League. However, they are unbeaten in their last three including that monumental 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge. The Citizens have drawn too many away games this season. In fact, no other side has drawn more than their seven this season (Stoke have also drawn 7). If City can start picking up a few wins on the road then their chances of Champions League qualification will increase dramatically as they possess an excellent record at Eastlands. Unfortunately they face a Fulham team that has shown that they are a match for anyone at Craven Cottage this season.

The Cottagers have been excellent at home this season in all competitions. Their only defeat in the last 19 home matches was against Aston Villa. In this time they’ve beaten the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Birmingham and Juventus, so cannot be underestimated. Roy has built a very efficient, organised outfit which is strong defensively and has some real threats in attack. He has totally transformed the careers of a number of players but particularly Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora who are enjoying their football again, which shows in their performances.

Bobby has matured as a footballer and is now adding goals to his good all-round game. His hold up play is as good as anyone in the Premier League at the moment and his confidence will be boosted by his midweek display against one of the world’s greatest defenders Fabio Cannavaro. If he is not rested ahead of the quarter-final replay with Tottenham, Bobby will prove to be a major handful for the City defenders.

Because of the size of the Fulham squad, Roy is likely to make a few changes but the team is so well drilled, they should not be weakened too much by this. City will struggle to break the home side down and I can see this one ending in a very low scoring draw. The Citizens have not won a league encounter with Fulham since April 2007 and have only managed to win two of the last 13 league clashes with the Cottagers. Seven of those games ended in draws and I am tipping another stalemate on Premier 10 this weekend. With an estimated £30,000 jackpot to be won this weekend, who will you back?
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 08:01:52 AM
http://www.fulhamusa.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=942

Now You Know Who Fulham Are
   
 Europa League match-winner Clint Dempsey may have been quick to share the plaudits, but there was no doubting the importance of the American’s 82nd minute strike.

In what transpired to be another unforgettable night at Craven Cottage, and arguably the Club’s finest ever moment, Fulham fought back to record a famous win against Italian giants and two-time European champions, Juventus.

A 3-1 first-leg defeat in Turin left Roy Hodgson’s side with a mountain to climb, with David Trezeguet’s goal after just two minutes seemingly ending our hopes of progression.

A cool finish from Bobby Zamora levelled proceedings on the night, while Zoltan Gera’s 39th minute strike offered hope going into the interval. With the momentum, the Whites pushed forward after the break and their endeavour was rewarded, with Gera stepping up and slotting home a confident penalty four minutes in.   
With the game there for the taking, chances fell for Fulham, before Dempsey stepped off the bench for a sumptuous finish that floated over Antonio Chimenti and into the far corner of the goal. With eight minutes left on the clock, the Cottage was bouncing with euphoria.

“It was a fantastic night, especially when you consider the fact a lot of people had already counted us out,” said Clint, talking exclusively to Fulhamfc.com. “It was a great performance and the players, the Manager and the coaching staff all deserve a lot of credit.

“We took our chances and that was important. Bobby scored another brilliant goal, while Zolly showed his class with two great finishes, particularly the one from the spot. That set it up nicely for me, and I did what I needed to do. But without those strikes from the other guys, I wouldn’t have been in that position.

“This was a great comeback and is without doubt up there in the Club’s greatest ever victories – and it’s amazing to have played a part in that.”

Fans have got used to big name casualties at Craven Cottage, with Manchester United and Liverpool dismissed with relative ease this season. Thursday's result, perhaps takes the 2009-10 season to even greater heights.

“There’s just something about playing at the Cottage,” he explains. “It seems to bring out the best in us. We are always able to create chances here and now we’ve added Juve to a list of great clubs to come unstuck here. We’ve made a bit of a habit of that and it’s a nice feeling.

“We have a lot of confidence at home and tonight was always going to be difficult. That said, we knew we were very much in this game and even when we went a goal down after a couple of minutes we had the belief to turn things around. This is a team that just never gives up.”

It was a welcome return for the 27-year-old, who had missed seven weeks of action following a knee injury. Having returned in first-leg, Dempsey was back to his best, and timing his return to perfection.

“It’s always great to score a goal,” says Clint. “I have said in the past that it is a difficult feeling to describe. That was certainly one of the best goals that I have scored.

“It’s just good to be back and playing my part again. I’ve been working hard in getting back and tonight was a reward for several weeks of frustration – it had been a long wait. But I’ve put the injury behind me, and all I want to do is finish the season strongly.”

With Fulham continuing to impress in the League, and with a FA Cup Quarter-Final Replay with Tottenham up next on Wednesday, the Whites now have another Quarter-Final to look towards, reaching the last eight UEFA Europa League.

“It’s an incredible achievement for the Club,” adds Clint. “You always want to do special things in your career and I think we are on another step to something very memorable. Hopefully we can keep going, and it would be nice to think that our European adventure can keep on track for a while yet.” 
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 08:04:59 AM
http://www.twohundredpercent.net/?p=4816


What A Night To Be A Fulham Supporter

Posted by Ian on Mar 19, 2010


 
Spring is in the air, and the good news stories just keep coming. Former Chester City supporters seem to have a decisive upper hand in their battle to get their own club, run on their own terms. Durham City of the Unibond League end a run of twenty-nine successive defeats with two wins in a row. And now Fulham have beaten Juventus in the UEFA Cup. It wasn’t just a victory, of course. It was a monumental night of drama that started disastrously for them and could have swung either way until the closing seconds, but ended with a sublime goal, one of the best of the season anywhere and the sight of a small (by Premier League standards) club getting to the last eight of a major European competition.

When David Trezeguet gave Juventus the lead in the second minute, it seemed to puncture the atmosphere at Craven Cottage. What might, with a tea-time kick-off, have been expected to be a slightly dislocated atmosphere, proved to be anything but, though. Perhaps it the accumulated caffeine imbibed by twenty-odd thousand office workers and the like was still coursing through their veins as kick-off arrived. It took just seven minutes for Bobby Zamora to bring Fulham level, and even then the feeling that there was something in the air was starting to crackle even through the television screens of those watching at home.

There were times at which they rode their luck – there is a case for saying, for example, that the sending off of Fabio Cannavaro could just about half been decreed a yellow card offence – but with the benefit of hindsight theere never really felt as if there was any significant danger of Juventus etting back into the match once Cannavaro had gone. Fearful of the gaps at the back if they threw caution to the wind, Juventus continued with the slow, slow, quick, quick, slow approach, which might have worked but for the fact that any significant danger was snuffed out before they got to the “quick, quick” part of it all. Fulham were level aggregate within five minutes of the start of the second half, but they didn’t chase the critical fourth goal with everything they had,choosing instead to bide their time and, press cleverly and demonstrate a patience in their build-up play which indicated the extent to which they had come to understand Juventus’ players. When it mattered, though, they were direct and to the point. It was a joy to watch.

And then came the fourth goal, from Clint Dempsey. Quite what can be going through the head of someone that, in an absolute pressure cooker of a match, can coolly calculate such an angle and loft the ball so delicately and so out of reach of any of the opposing players defies most rational logic. However, Dempsey managed it, looping the ball over and round, hanging in the air for what felt like forever before dropping just inside the near post. It was an exquisite moment, one worthy of winning just about any match, and it thoroughly deserved to win this one for Fulham. Juventus pushed forward with the level of desperation that one might have expected from a team chasing a late goal in a European tie, but there was really no way back. The Fulham defence dropped back five or six yards and calmly swept up every pass that entered their third of the pitch.

The reaction to the result has been a curious one, almost unseen in England over a European match for a considerable amount of time. It was almost universally positive. For those that watch the Champions League now half hoping for the English leviathans to get eliminated, it was a refreshing throwback to a simpler time to be able to get behind an English team in a European competition. There is something intrinsically likeable about Fulham. It could be the idiosyncracy of Craven Cottage, which is a “ground” and not a “stadium”, and which offers a view of the potential for football clubs in England should they choose to take a little care over what they do rather than simply erecting a tin hut and bolting some tip-up plastic seats into it. Perhaps it is about Roy Hodgson, a thoroughly modern manager who at the same time remains a throwback to a bygone age in dress, mannerism and politeness. It is one of the sad refelctions of modern football that we are unlikely to see too many of his like again.

What Fulham have tapped into this evening is a fundamental truth of football, which is that nights like these cannot be bought. They may only happen once or twice in a lifetime, but it is in the back of the mind of every football supporter that isn’t lucky enough to experience perennial success that nights like this take the majority of their value from their very rarity. It was a night to say, “I was there”, whether “there” was inside Craven Cottage, watching at home or in a pub, or listening on a car radio whilst stuck in traffic during London’s ever-horrific rush hour. Fulham may get knocked out in the next round. They may even go on and win the whole damn competition. This much, however, we can say for certain: they’ll be talking about the night they came from three goals down to beat Juventus on Fulham Broadway for a very long time indeed. What a night to be a Fulham supporter.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 08:07:38 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/03/18/juve-win-proved-people-wrong-says-fulham-star-paul-konchesky-64767-26065194/

Juve win proved people wrong, says Fulham star Paul Konchesky

Mar 18 2010 By Jacob Murtagh


PAUL Konchesky reckons Fulham's fightback against Juventus has proved their doubters wrong.

The Whites weren't given a prayer of making the quarter-finals of the Europa League after their 3-1 defeat in Turin last week.

But a stirring fightback at Craven Cottage sealed their place in the last eight after Clint Dempsey's late winner.

"I've never played in a game like that," said Konch. "It was a fantastic night for myself, for the club and every Fulham fan.

"We were 3-1 down and people thought it was game over. We thought it was going to be tough and their early goal killed us.

"It showed the character in the team to come back. We kept going and wore them down and got one quick goal and got stronger."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 08:09:32 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/03/18/juventus-win-is-the-biggest-of-my-career-etuhu-82029-26064919/


Juventus win is the biggest of my career - Etuhu

Mar 18 2010 By Jacob Murtagh



DICKSON Etuhu hailed Fulham's fightback against Juventus as the biggest win of his career.

The Whites looked like they were crashing out of the Europa League after David Trezeguet's early opener left them 4-1 behind on aggregate.

But Zoltan Gera's brace and Bobby Zamora's effort hauled them level before Clint Dempsey sent Fulham fans into dreamland.

"It's the best night of my career," admitted Etuhu. "Everyone thought that it wasn't possible, but in the dressing room we all knew we could get a result.

"The manager asked us to go out there and win the game. Everyone went out there and did their best and we were comfortable in the end."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 08:16:11 AM
TELL-TALE TABLES THAT POINT TO MELTDOWN 



Abramovich continues to prop up Chelsea with his fortune

 Saturday March 20,2010

By Brian Radford 


FULHAM are fortunate to have the rock-solid commitment of Mohamed Al Fayed.

Two highly-revealing tables place them second and third in football’s frantic scramble for survival.

Only Chelsea have a bigger debt in ‘total assets minus liabilities’ and only Chelsea and Arsenal in long-term liabilities. Fulham’s potential problems are spotlighted by a projected £168SHrS million long-term liability.

The Daily Express has obtained professional research into leading club finances from Dr John Beech of Coventry University. “Fulham would be highly vulnerable, just like all the other debt-ridden clubs who depend heavily on benefactors,” he said.

“Fulham is a perfect example because everything is theoretically fine while Mohamed Al Fayed is behind them.”

UEFA recently released a damning indictment on Premier League housekeeping with a sharp reminder that its clubs were a staggering £3.4 billion in debt – more than the rest of Europe’s top leagues put together.

The European body want all clubs entering their competitions to be solvent and debt-free. UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative will be fully operational in 2015, when clubs will be expected to break even.

With Portsmouth recently plunged into administration – a first for the Premier League – and suffering a nine-point deduction, the outlook looks bleak.

Dr Beech, a researcher for the past 10 years, has access to the financial details of all Premier League and Championship clubs as part of his specialised work.

He told the Daily Express: “There is generally a chronic understatement of the problems of Premier League clubs, mainly due to parent companies being excluded, so large debts are not disclosed. In a table showing long-term liabilities, and another identifying total assets, the worst ‘offenders’ appear at the top. All figures relate to the club’s trading company and debts would be even greater if due to be paid by a parent company.

“Not a single club is free of long-term liabilities. Unless debts are dealt with, it will come as no surprise if several leading British clubs are eventually banned from European competitions.

“The UEFA mantra is, ‘Be free of debt. Trade solvently’. Club accountants are going to be hard pressed to find ways of complying with UEFA’s stringent requirements.” Dr Beech added: “I’m a Portsmouth supporter, which makes my work extremely painful at times.

“The truth is, any club, with the arguable exception of Chelsea and Manchester City, is vulnerable, particularly if relying on benefactors to pump in funds. Some clubs could even be facing extinction if their benefactor is unable, or unwilling, to continue to pour funds in.

“Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, and Manchester City’s owners are so outrageously rich that there is no real threat to these clubs, as they can simply write off loans by taking more shares in the club. And Fulham have the backing of Al Fayed.

“Desperation comes if, and when, the businessmen who are shoring the clubs up hit financial problems with their primary businesses.

“The root cause of financial troubles at most clubs is the unrealistically high wages paid to players and agents. The money taken out of the game is unsustainable as a business model.

“It might be time for British clubs to follow Germany’s lead, where benefactors are not allowed to have overall control of clubs and top foreign players are not generally attracted because wages are lower and every-thing is more sustainable.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 08:51:00 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/fulham/article7069175.ece

Roy Hodgson, the new Special One of SW6, overlooked for too long

The FA neglected to hire Hodgson, who would have been as good as the costly foreign coaches


Patrick Barclay, Chief Football Commentator

José Mourinho had only 50 hours in the limelight. At least that was the view on Thursday night from Putney Bridge, which is a short bus ride from Chelsea’s ground and a walk through the park to Fulham’s.

The sparkle in the eyes of passers-by owed less to the Inter Milan coach than one of his predecessors. If Roy Hodgson had wanted to cross the Thames on his way home, he, too, could have walked — but without using the bridge.

Hodgson was the new Special One of SW6. Two evenings after Mourinho had masterminded Inter’s Champions League triumph at Stamford Bridge, the Englishman had supervised an unforgettable Fulham comeback to oust Juventus from the Europa League.

Later, a flushed and lolling fan on a train was asked about it by the enthralled guard. “We were still queueing to get in when [David] Trezeguet scored,” the fan said, using a gift for elegant observation that you could find only in a Fulham drunk. But somehow Craven Cottage had known that, although the odds against four unanswered goals were long, a punt on the spirit of Hodgson’s side might be worthwhile. And somehow, too, it was worthy of the equal attention to skill at his club that Clint Dempsey should secure the winnings with a chip of almost ethereal beauty.

That Hodgson should appear almost an overnight success at 62, having qualified as a coach so long ago that his tutor, Bobby Robson, was regarded as up-and-coming, reflects dismally on his native land. I met him in Sweden in 1978 and he was already winning championships with Halmstad. He went with Bobby Houghton to Bristol City, who were going bust. Returning to Sweden, he won five more titles with Malmö before moving to Switzerland, where he coached first Neuchâtel Xamax and then the national team, guiding them to a first World Cup finals in 28 years.

He also saw the Swiss through to Euro ’96 but, by the time they arrived in England, he was with Inter and there also Hodgson did well, the Nerazzurri finishing third in Serie A and losing only on penalties to Schalke in the Uefa Cup final.

Yet still England ignored him. Unlike Germany, whose FA president sounded him out about succeeding Berti Vogts before being persuaded that a foreigner’s appointment would damage the national coaching body. If only the English had been as wise.

After a stint with Blackburn Rovers — they soared, then plummeted — Hodgson became manager of first Mars and then Pluto. Or might have done, given the scant credit awarded here for his achievements, which included a title in Denmark and a fine European Championship qualifying campaign with Finland.

He was considered when Kevin Keegan was given the England job, and again when Sven-Göran Eriksson got it, but each time the FA made the wrong decision, as it has continued to do since. Even when hiring Fabio Capello. For all the plaudits lavished on the Italian, would Hodgson not have been capable of getting England to the World Cup finals? Of course. And for a quarter of the money. And whatever England achieve in South Africa would have been earned, not bought.

The call will come if England flop in June or Capello leaves. But it might be too late, for what Hodgson has done since being beckoned by Mohamed Al Fayed at the end of 2007 would qualify for description as a fairytale were it not more simply the product of exceptional work by a man at the peak of his powers.

Once, during a turbulent spell with Udinese, he warned me that it was likely to be brief with words to this effect: “The money’s great in management those days, but it does make you more short-tempered. You’re less likely to put up with nonsense — because you don’t need to. You can walk away.”

Hodgson has come through that. He is as clever as ever, and as passionate, but less moody.

Before Al Fayed, there was lower-division football. Keegan, Jean Tigana and Chris Coleman are among those who have taken part in the rise and it must be acknowledged that the edge is taken off this modern fairytale by a debt of nearly £200 million that may, in time, cause Al Fayed to seek a valuation of the Craven Cottage site as prime housing land.

Whatever is running at a loss, though, it is not the Hodgson regime. Burnley apart, few clubs have less expensive squads. Yet he has this gift of coaxing the best out of every man. To individualise would miss the point. It was noticeable, especially after Fabio Cannavaro had been sent off and the obligation was to stretch Juventus, that Fulham had been imbued with a communal intelligence. No one took too many touches or too few. Seldom did the ball go forward when it had to go wide.

This is the masterwork of a football man and if his country had not been so perennially misguided, it would be more than SW6 receiving the benefit.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 12:35:34 PM
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/03/20/fulham-v-manchester-city-preview-history-beckons-for-hodgsons/

Fulham v Manchester City Preview: History Beckons For Hodgson's Side


20/3/2010 7:05 AM GMT By Dean Jones


PREMIER LEAGUE: CRAVEN COTTAGE, SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 2010. KICK OFF: 1500 GMT

FULHAM:
Roy Hodgson did his best to restore a sense of normality in the wake Thursday's staggering victory over Juventus by hauling his Fulham players back in for training on Friday morning.

The manager was anxious to emphasise the message that, as impressive as that Europa League win was, it merely ushered in a pivotal period of the club's season with Sunday's visit of Manchester City followed by next Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay with Tottenham Hotspur.

If current form is maintained, this could become the most memorable season in Fulham's history – it is already an unforgettable one – and Hodgson is not the kind of manager to allow a stab at glory slip from his grasp.

It's hard to imagine how spirits could be any higher within the Craven Cottage dressing room, and the quality of their football against Juventus means they have no reason to fear either City or Spurs.

The test of their ambitions, however, will be their ability to recover from a draining if exhilarating night in time to counter the threat of a City side eyeing fourth place.

"It was a great night for us and for the club but we were back in training on Friday," said Fulham left back Paul Konchesky.
"We've got a big game on Sunday and we've just got to work hard and concentrate on that now.

"Juventus are one of the best teams in Europe. But football-wise we outclassed them. That's what we've been like all season. Games like the one against Juventus give you loads of confidence.

"If we can play like that again on Sunday against Manchester City then we've got a great chance."

Strategy: Thursday's tactic of conceding inside two minutes is probably an approach best not repeated, but the subsequent display of sustained pressure matched the template laid down by Hodgson's side on many occasions at home this season.

Fulham's well organised defence, protected admirably on Thursday by Dickson Etuhu and Chris Baird, is clearly central to their success. But that alone is not enough and the excellent form of wide midfielders Damien Duff and Simon Davies has added a different dimension to their attacking play and will undoubtedly tests City's vulnerable full backs. CurrentlyBobby Zamora looks capable of unsettling any defence and with Danny Murphy returning to the midfield, the supply line to the England hopeful should be maintained.

Injury update: Murphy and Jonathan Greening are both available again after serving midweek suspensions while Clint Dempsey is pressing for a starting spot following his stunning late goal that secured Fulham's place in the last eight of the Europa League. Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka return to the squad after being ineligible midweek. Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil remain long term casualties.


MANCHESTER CITY:

Roberto Mancini is demanding a positive response from his side in the wake of last weekend's draw at Sunderland, when it took a late goal from Adam Johnson to salvage a point for his side.

It remains to be seen if that point eventually proves crucial, but deep down Mancini must know City need to produce a near faultless finish to the campaign in order to secure that sought-after Champions League place.

At this stage of the season teams seek perfection, not least when so much is at stake but City's away form has been less than convincing and Hodgson's side will prove formidable opponents.

Mancini said: "It's important that we play very well in midfield and we have the players to do this.

"We played a good game at Sunderland in the end, but it's also important we start games well if we want to go on and win them.

"We don't want to risk this by not starting well. We lost two points last week so it's really important we win this game. But Fulham did well and showed everyone what a good side they are against Juventus, I'm just hoping they are tired."

Strategy: It is time for Mancini's big-game stars to stand up and be counted, to justify their huge costs to the club by helping them secure Champions League football. The onus is now on the likes of Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz and Patrick Vieira to do their talking on the pitch instead of off it.

Mancini's men have proved vulnerable against the Premier League's more mediocre sides of late, with points being dropped against Hull, Stoke and Sunderland which could ultimately prove costly. City can ill-afford more mistakes because the race for fourth place is so intense and there are rivals queuing up to take full advantage, but Fulham's stunning triumph over Juventus this week shows what they are capable of and that reputations can count for little in this game.

Injury Update: Martin Petrov is out with a knee injury while Adebayor serves the third game of a four-match suspension. Wayne Bridge is also out with a serious knee injury. Kolo Toure, who has been on the bench for the last two games will be hoping for a recall after confirming he is completely recovered from the knee injury which has recently left him sidelined.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 12:38:18 PM
http://uk.soccerway.com/news/2010/March/20/juventus-win-inspires-konchesky/

Juventus win inspires Konchesky


20 March 2010

 
 Fulham defender Paul Konchesky believes that the Cottagers can see off the challenge of Manchester City on Sunday following their historic win over Juventus on Thursday night.

The Londoners head into Sunday's clash awash with confidence having dumped the Turin giants out of the Europa League with a shock 5-4 aggregate win.

But City are unbeaten in their last five league games, though, and a win could see them move into fifth to replace Liverpool, who face leaders Manchester United also on Sunday.

Fulham have won their last three league games at Craven Cottage, however, and Konchesky thinks everything is set up for Fulham to take at least a point from the match.

"Juventus are one of the best teams in Europe. But football-wise we outclassed them. That's what we've been like all season," said the 28-year-old.

"Games like the one against Juventus give you loads of confidence.

"If we can play like that again on Sunday against Manchester City then we've got a great chance."

While Thursday's win will undoubtedly go down as one of the most famous in the club's history, Konchesky believes the team must move on and focus their attention on tomorrow's game and Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay against his former side Tottenham.

"It was a great night for us and for the club but we were back in training on Friday," he said.

"We've got a big game on Sunday and we've just got to work hard and concentrate on that now."

Fulham are boosted by the return of Danny Murphy and Jonathan Greening for the match, while Clint Dempsey is pushing for a starting place alongside Bobby Zamora after scoring the winner that booked next month's quarter-final meeting with German champions Wolfsburg.

The American, who signed from New England Revolution in January 2007, believes the club's future is looking bright.

"You have to be trying to better yourself and be moving in the right direction, and this club is doing that," said the 26-year-old.

"We're getting stronger and stronger, and hopefully we can push further in this competition and in the FA Cup, and see if we can try to finish where we did or higher in the league than last season."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:07:15 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/1715/match-preview/2010/03/20/1841734/premier-league-preview-fulham-manchester-city

Premier League Preview: Fulham - Manchester City

Two teams with very different European ambitions meet...

By Jamie Dunn


Mar 20, 2010 4:27:45 PM
 

Kickoff: Sunday 21 March, 15:00 GMT
Craven Cottage, Fulham

After recording perhaps the biggest win in the club’s history on Thursday, Fulham must be currently riding the crest of a wave. The transformation of the club under Roy Hodgson has been remarkable, and a 4-1 victory over Juventus - capped by a magnificent chip from Clint Dempsey - means the European adventure rolls on.

However, Thursday’s goalfest is in stark contrast to Fulham’s current Premier League scoring form. The Cottagers have drawn blanks in their last two outings and played out a goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, but Hodgson will be hoping strikes from Zoltan Gera, Dempsey and his talisman Bobby Zamora in Europe will stand them in good stead to find their shooting boots in domestic competition; they will almost certainly need them against Manchester City on Sunday.

The blue side of Manchester kept their top four ambitions alive on Sunday as they salvaged a point against Sunderland, thanks to a stoppage time goal from second half substitute Adam Johnson. City had dominated in the second half, but Roberto Mancini’s side were kept frustratingly at bay, until Johnson – a reported Sunderland fan – wrapped his magic wand of a left foot around the ball to secure a much-needed point.

A point against the Black Cats, who have struggled of late, may not be entirely convincing from a club with designs on Champions League football, but Mancini will feel his club are still in the driving seat as they race for fourth place. With a game in hand on Tottenham Hotspur and only two points between them, it is City’s to lose, but a win over Fulham is essential.

FORM GUIDE

Fulham

Fulham 4-1 Juventus (Europa League)
Man Utd 3-0 Fulham (Prem)
Juventus 3-1 Fulham (Europa League)
Fulham 0-0 Tottenham (FA Cup)
Sunderland 0-0 Fulham (Prem)

Man City

Sunderland 1-1 Man City (Prem)
Chelsea 2-4 Man City (Prem)
Stoke City 3-1 Man City AET (FA Cup)
Man City 0-0 Liverpool (Prem)
Stoke City 1-1 Man City (Prem)

TEAM NEWS

Fulham

Dickson Etuhu is a doubt for Fulham after midweek action, while David Elm has picked up a bug and is also unlikely to feature. Cottagers fans will see the welcome return of Danny Murphy and Jonathan Greening, who were suspended for the Juventus tie, but Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil are both long-term casualties with knee problems. Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka are both available after being cup-tied in the Europa League.

Possible Starting XI: Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey; Duff, Murphy, Greening, Dempsey; Gera, Zamora.

Man City

There are three major absences from Roberto Mancini's squad; Emmanuel Adebayor is serving a suspension, Wayne Bridge has a hernia problem and Martin Petrov has taken a knock to his knee. Javier Garrido is likely to step in for Bridge, but there is still no sign of Michael Johnson, who has been missing for much of this season.

Possible Starting XI: Given; Richards, Toure, Zabaleta, Garrido; De Jong, Kompany, Barry, Wright-Phillips; Bellamy, Tevez.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Fulham

The Cottagers' stellar performance on Thursday was littered with fine performances, none more than that of Bobby Zamora. The striker returned to scoring form and proved a handful for the Juventus defence in front of England manager Fabio Capello. Another strong performance would do his national team credentials no harm.

Man City

With 15 strikes in the league to his name, and a grand total of 21 in all competitions, Carlos Tevez stands head and shoulders above the rest of the City strikers this season. The Argentinean drew a blank against Sunderland last Sunday but, in the absence of Emmanuel Adebayor, it is important the striker replicates the form that saw him score a brace against Chelsea three weeks ago.

PREDICTION

Roy Hodgson will fear the fixture load will be piling up on his Fulham charges, but thus far they have proved difficult to beat even after Europa League games. Manchester City were held by Sunderland on Sunday, and a similar result at Craven Cottage is a distinct possibility.

Fulham 1-1 Manchester City
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:09:50 PM
http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/fulham-fc-ealing/2010/03/20/shorey-writes-off-man-city-s-top-four-chances-64767-26070051/

Shorey writes off Man City's top-four chances


Mar 20 2010


By Jacob Murtagh

 

NICKY Shorey has written off Manchester City’s chances of a top-four finish.

The Fulham full-back hopes to put a major dent in City's Champions League hopes when Robert Mancini's side visit Craven Cottage tomorrow.

But the Aston Villa loan-star reckons Spurs, Liverpool and his team-mates at Villa Park stand a better chance.

He said: "I’d like to see Villa do it, but I also like the look of Tottenham.

“I reckon one of those two will finish fourth. But Liverpool have still got a good chance. They’ve been there, seen it and done it."

However, he admits the Fulham defence are in for another stern test against City's star-studded attack.

"They've got plenty of talent and pace, so we're going to have to be on our guard," said Shorey.

"You don't want to give them too much space or they will hurt you. They've got top quality all over the pitch.

"We're all going to have to have a good game to get a result."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:14:57 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6039332,00.html

Hodgson - Cups the priority


Fulham boss to go for Europa League and FA Cup success


Last updated: 20th March 2010   
 
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson admits the Premier League now sits behind both the Europa League and the FA Cup in his list of priorities.

The Cottagers completed a massive turnaround against Serie A giants Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday night, running out emphatic 4-1 winners on the night and 5-4 victors on aggregate.

The win put the Londoners into the quarter-finals of the competition, while an FA Cup quarter-final replay with Tottenham on Wednesday awaits in another fine season for Hodgson's men.

Sitting comfortable in mid-table in the league, Hodgson admits that with Premier League survival now likely, the club's cup aspirations have propelled to the top of his wish list.

"I don't think we'll go down this year," the 62-year-old former Inter Milan coach said.

"Maybe we're a few points short but I'm pretty confident that we will do it, so there's no doubt that the two cup competitions will now take priority, particularly the one on Wednesday, but that might be a competition that come Thursday we won't have to worry about because that game at Tottenham is by no means a given."

Dedicated
Hodgson is by no means suggesting that whichever side he picks in the Premier League, in which they host Manchester City on Sunday, will not be dedicated to finding the points to ensure safety.

"I think in the Premier League, with the quality of the opposition, the interest in the game, the full stadiums of people, the cheering, the intensity and the speed of the game, I think it will be very difficult for a serious professional footballer not to be up for games," he said.

City's home form has been their main strength this term, but defeats away to Hull City, Everton and Stoke, among others, means Fulham have every right to feel confident heading into the game.

However, Hodgson is wary of the expensive squad they possess and admits that his team are taking on a side with realistic chances of becoming a top-four outfit.

"I haven't thought that much about who they have lost and who they have beat but it's comforting to think that they have lost against some of the so-called 'lesser teams'," he said.

"They do have a lot of good players though and they have obviously spent a lot of money on a team that is capable of winning the Premier League just as Chelsea did a few years before them, and I'm certain that they will be very disappointed if they don't get into the top four."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 20, 2010, 06:34:06 PM
http://backofthenet.markwatsonthecomedian.com/


Man who predicted Fulham’s win over Juventus in 1995 gets last laugh from padded cell

March 19, 2010 | Posted by paulwatson | 0 comments

A psychiatric patient who was committed after insisting Fulham would one day overcome Juventus in a transparently trumped up version of the UEFA Cup has spent the last few hours grinning smugly, staff at St Bernard’s Hospital report.

Mr David Ilcombe from Putney, London had no history of mental illness before appearing to have a breakdown in 1995.

On his way back from Fulham’s Division Three defeat against Torquay United, Ilcombe worried friends and family by repeatedly stating his belief that the Cottagers would “see off a struggling Juventus side with a heroic 4-1 victory.”

“Of course by then the UEFA Cup will have lost its status and will have been renamed the Europa League in a clumsy attempt to rejuvenate the flagging competition,” he had reportedly chirped from the back of a Fiat Punto.

After a series of heart-rending family meetings, Ilcombe was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and taken to St Bernard’s where he scared staff with predictions of “a Juventus side failing to come to terms with a match-fixing scandal that would cause lasting damage to the global viability of Serie A.”

However, 15 years later it seems that Ilcombe may not have been suffering from delusional episodes.

“The patient has just been staring out of his room with an incredibly smug expression for the last few hours,” chief of staff Elaine Graham admitted grimly.

“Every so often he asks one of us whether we know what the score of the Fulham game was this evening. He knows what the score was.”