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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:23:59 AM

Title: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:23:59 AM

Saturday's Focus



Friday 26th March 2010

Fulham FC News

DaviesAwayFulham will be looking to put Wednesday night’s FA Cup Quarter-Final defeat to Spurs behind them on Saturday afternoon by achieving a positive result against Hull City at the KC Stadium|, as Simon Davies explained to fulhamfc.com on Friday afternoon.

“The next game is always the most important and we’ve had a couple of losses in the League and we’ve got to get our form back. We had a meeting and the Manager told us we have to forget about it [Cup exit] now and try and pick our form up. After the massive disappointment on Wednesday this game on Saturday is a great chance for us.

“We’ve got a big week coming up. We’re back to the League tomorrow and then obviously there is the big European match next week. It would be nice to go into the match next Thursday with a good performance and result behind us.”

Davies was quick to emphasise that the Whites would not be distracted on Saturday by next week’s European glamour tie against Wolfsburg|, especially considering Hull’s current predicament and the stern test they will provide on home soil.

“At the moment all we’re thinking about is the game against Hull,” said Davies. “It’s a difficult place to go and we’ve been in their position before, fighting for Premier League survival, and they’re going to be well up for it.

“It’s their first game at home with a new manager so we’re going to have to go there and get back to our solid ways. If we get that back then hopefully we’ll get a result.”

One familiar face in the Hull squad who is likely to feature on Saturday is former Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard, and Davies is looking forward to challenging his former teammate for three points on Saturday.

“It should be fun and I’m sure they’ll be a few texts flying around tonight. He’s [Jimmy Bullard] been a big signing for them and he’ll have a big role to play for them if they’re going to stay up.”

Davies can empathise with Hull's current standing, having fought a successful relegation battle with Fulham two years ago. Reflecting on Fulham’s remarkable ‘Great Escape’, Davies has clearly savoured the stunning progress at the Club under Roy Hodgson and is now hoping to enjoy a successful end to this season on the European and domestic front.

“We were talking about it the other day on the bus and it’s like Sliding Doors,” Davies explained. “Imagine two years ago if we’d of gone down. It’s hard to imagine. None of us would have imagined that not only would we have consolidated our position in the Premier League, but we'd finish the next season in a European position, and then reach the Quarter-Finals.

“It’s been an unbelievable couple of years but I think we’re all modest enough to know that it could have quite easily gone the other way so we keep our feet on the ground and never get too carried away.

“Luckily I’ve never experienced relegation but I do feel that if you're part of a squad that goes down the easy thing to do is jump ship but I would have definitely stayed and done everything I could. Thankfully we never got to that point and went from strength to strength.

“The squad’s got stronger and the Manager has really got us working together as a team and it’s been really exciting – I’ve loved the last couple of years here and this season is not over – we’ve got exciting things to play for.”

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/DaviesHullPreview.aspx#ixzz0jM6ScP8K (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/DaviesHullPreview.aspx#ixzz0jM6ScP8K)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:26:21 AM
Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArchive.aspx#ixzz0jM6nsjrm (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArchive.aspx#ixzz0jM6nsjrm)


Inside Fulham


This week's edition of 'Inside Fulham' features interviews with Manager Roy Hodgson, Pascal Zuberbuhler and John Pantsil.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iffc (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iffc)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:27:56 AM

Wolfsburg v Fulham tickets


Wolfsburg

UEFA Europa League

Thursday 8 April

Kick-Off 20:05 BST - 21:05 CET

Tickets and Travel

The Club is pleased to announce it has secured an allocation of 2,400 tickets for the away leg of the Europa League Quarter-Final against Wolfsburg.
On Sale Dates

    * Season Ticket Holders - on sale (1 ticket)
    * Members - on sale (1 ticket)
    * Purchase History - Mon 29 March, 9am (1 ticket; Phone bookings only)

Buy tickets now|
Ticket Prices

    * £20 (including booking fee)

Please note Season Ticket Holder / Member making the booking must be the named traveller, tickets can not be allocated to third parties. In accordance with UEFA Europa League regulations, you must pre-register your details| prior to making a booking.
How to Buy Tickets

    * buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day.
    * by phone 0870 442 1234 opt 3: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
    * in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm

Official travel to see Wolfsburg v Fulham

Due to high demand, the Club is pleased to announce that a second Official Fulham Fans Day Trip| to the match against Wolfsburg is now on sale to Season Ticket Holders, Club Members and those with a Fulham booking history.

Those fans who have already purchased a match ticket direct from the Club will also be able to book on this flyer (minus the cost of your match ticket).  This flight now replaces the original overnight trip and all supporters booked on the overnight trip will be contacted individually. Those fans will now have the opportunity to book the official day trip.

The trip includes:

    * return flights from Gatwick to Hannover,
    * all overseas coach transfers (Airport- Hannover City Centre- Stadium- Airport),
    * your ticket (if required) to the match,
    * Fulham FC stewards,
    * TMG Sport trip escorts,
    * all taxes, charges and ATOL bonding. 

Prices for the day trip are £299pp (including match ticket) and £279pp (without match ticket).

You will be required to supply your Season Ticket Number or Club Membership Number as well as the date of birth at the time of booking.

Book your package today



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/WolfsburgvFulham.aspx#flyer#ixzz0jM7P3FKA (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/WolfsburgvFulham.aspx#flyer#ixzz0jM7P3FKA)

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:30:04 AM

Fulham v Wigan tickets


Barclays Premier League


Sunday 4th April

Kick-Off 15:00

Tickets are now on General Sale


Buy your tickets now|


Don't miss a day of Family Fun when Wigan Athletic visit Craven Cottage on Easter Sunday (4th April, Kick-Off 3pm).

The day will be one of celebration with jugglers, stilt walkers, balloon modellers and face painters entertaining supporters on Stevenage Road before the match.

Furthermore, we will also be joined by football freestyle world record holder Dan Magness, who will be hosting a skills workshop in Bishops Park for fans between 2pm – 2:30pm. Dan will then perform for supporters inside the stadium for a further 10 minutes at 2:45pm and at half-time.
Billyresized

Buy your tickets now|

To add to the occasion, we are giving the opportunity to bring your whole family with our great value Family Pack.
My First Matchday Package

My First Matchday offers Junior supporters and an accompanying adult the opportunity to see what really goes on behind the scenes at Craven Cottage in the build-up to matchday. Pretend you’re a radio commentator in the press box, run down the tunnel, pretend you’re directing the players from the Manager’s seat in the dugout, interview a guardian in front of the TV interview boards, see our trophy cabinet and even meet a Fulham FC legend! More info and prices|
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 )
    * by postal application to FFC Ticket Office, Stevenage Road, Fulham, SW6 6HH enclosing a stamped addressed envelope (download printable form )
    * Seatwave - the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange
    * Thomas Cook - match breaks for all Fulham FC home games

* These exclusive offers are subject to availability and not available on the day of the game.

** Lower booking fees compared to telephone booking
Prices

Category C prices apply to this match.

Craven Cottage Map

 

 
  Stand (Grade C)     Block     Adult     Conc     Junior
 Riverside     S, Z     £35     £20     £5
 J Haynes     D, DL, G, GL     £35     £22     £10
 Hammersmith / Putney     All Blocks     £30     £20     £10
 J Haynes    B, BL, C, CL J, JL, H, HL      £30     £20     £5
 J Haynes     A, K, AL, KL     £25     £15     £5

    * Junior - under 16
    * Consessions: Young Person - under 21
    * Concessions: Senior - over 65


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvWigan.aspx#ixzz0jM7sTC9n (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/Games/FulhamvWigan.aspx#ixzz0jM7sTC9n)

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:31:54 AM
http://articles.squarefootball.net/squarefootball/2010/03/hull-city-vs-fulham-mustwin-for-tigers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Squarefootball+%28Squarefootball%29


Hull City vs Fulham: Must-win for Tigers

Posted by Antony Melvin at 01:32 AM


The defeat to Portsmouth was a body blow for Hull, yet again conceding late goals to drop points; Hull dropped 5 points last week due to goals conceded in the 88th minute or later. Fulham are starting to look tired after one of the longest seasons possible and a team that rarely travels well will not be expected to win this game easily.

It now looks like two from Hull, Burnley and West Ham will join Portsmouth in the Championship next season and if Hull want to finish fourth bottom again then four wins are probably needed - this is a must-win for Hull. Whether they get the win is another matter.

Hull City vs Fulham; Kick Off 3:00pm 27 Mar 2010

Prediction Panel

Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Dave Blackburn : 0 - 0
Chris Cox : 0 - 0
Graham Enwright : TBC
Sue Gardener : 0 - 2
Chris Goodwin : 0 - 2
Paul Grech (sqf) : TBC
Colin Illingworth (sqf) : 2 - 1
Hugh Larkin (sqf) : 1 - 1
Peter Lee : 1 - 1
Don McMahon : 0 - 1
Antony Melvin (sqf) : 1 - 0
Paul O'Meara (sqf) : TBC
Dave Nash : 0 - 1
Stephen Orford (sqf) : TBC
Tony Ratton : 1 - 1
Peter Rendle : 0 - 1
Dan Taylor : 1 - 2
Andy Wakeman : 0 - 2
Isaac Williams : TBC
Mark Williams : TBC

Panel Verdict
The panel is expecting a low-scoring game with Fulham edging it 1-0.

Home: 2; Draw: 5; Away: 7; TBC: 6.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:33:28 AM
http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/celtic/diomansy-kamara-set-to-return-to-fulham-1.1016367

Diomansy Kamara set to return to Fulham

David Friel


Published on 27 Mar 2010

Diomansy Kamara will snub any permanent contract offer from Celtic after Tony Mowbray’s departure as manager, the player’s former agent has said.

The Senegalese striker, sidelined with a hamstring injury, joined on loan from Fulham in January, having previously worked under Mowbray at West Bromwich Albion.

Kamara scored twice in his first four games for the Parkhead side and Mowbray was keen to tie him down on a long-term deal.

But Fabrizio Ferrari, who represented Kamara for 10 years and brokered his £6m move to Craven Cottage, says Celtic now have no chance of keeping the 29-year-old.

Ferrari said: “Tony Mowbray was the reason Diomansy signed for Celtic. They worked well together at West Brom and he wanted to play for him again.

“It’s very sad what happened with Tony and it will have a big impact on Diomansy’s future. He will be very disappointed.

“I can’t see him staying at Celtic now. He will probably wait until the end of the season and then go back to Fulham.

“Long-term, I don’t know what the future will be for Diomansy. He will speak to Fulham and make a decision, but I don’t expect him to be at Celtic next season.”

Kamara is one of four players Celtic have on loan and all could leave at the end of the season.

Robbie Keane is on record as saying he will return to Tottenham, while Edson Braafheid has been unconvincing since arriving from Bayern Munich and is expected go back to Germany.

Celtic have an option to make Landry N’Guemo’s move from AS Nancy permanent, but it remains to be seen whether Neil Lennon, or any other incoming manager, will view the midfielder as a long-term answer.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:40:35 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_6056043,00.html


Shorey hints at Fulham switch


Defender enjoying his football; Murphy calls for league focus

Last updated: 26th March 2010   

Nicky Shorey has told Fulham he is willing to consider a permanent move to Craven Cottage.

The Aston Villa left-back joined the Cottagers in the January transfer window and has been a mainstay in Roy Hodgson's starting XI for Premier League fixtures.

Shorey's spell in West London expires in the summer, but the former Reading man has not ruled out extending his stay.

"At the moment I am not too sure what will happen, but I'm not in the picture at Villa so I do have to think about that," said the one-time England international.

"I'm enjoying my time here and it will definitely be something that I consider when the time comes."
Strange

Shorey should feature at the KC Stadium against Hull City this weekend, but the defender will not play against Wolfsburg in Fulham's quarter-final Europa League tussle on Thursday as he is ineligible.

And the 29-year-old admits watching games like the famous win over Juventus from the sidelines has been tough.

"It's a strange situation really, and in a lot of ways it's worse than being injured," he said.

"When a player misses games through injury it's an enforced absence, but when you are fit and ready to play but still not getting a look in it's hard to take. It was a frustrating time and hopefully one I won't experience again."

Kick-on

Fulham's hopes of silverware looked like it was beginning to take its toll on their league form last weekend as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home to UEFA Champions League chasing Manchester City.

And skipper Danny Murphy, who scored from the penalty spot in that reverse, has told his team-mates not to forget their league duties as they go in search of European glory.

"Regardless of what is going on in other competitions, we still want to kick on and maintain our top-half placing," said Murphy, whose side were knocked out of the FA Cup this week.

"All through the season I've talked about our character and strength and every member of the squad deserves credit because over the past eight months everyone has played their part.

"When you look at the difference between now and last season, when we played a similar team for the majority of it, it shows how much the squad has developed. I think it has made us a stronger club."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:45:00 AM
http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/fulham-fc-ealing/2010/03/26/fulham-star-eyes-europa-league-glory-64767-26117179/


Fulham star eyes Europa League glory


Mar 26 2010


By Jacob Murtagh


AARON Hughes insists Fulham’s quest for glory is still on despite Wednesday night’s FA Cup exit.

Bobby Zamora had fans dreaming of a first trip to Wembley since 1975 when he gave them the lead in the quarter-final replay, only for Spurs to spoil the party at White Hart Lane with three unanswered goals after the break.

It is the second successive season that the Whites have bowed out at the last-eight stage, and with a Europa League quarter-final with Wolfsburg next Thursday, Hughes is desperate to make it third time lucky.

He said: "It’s unfortunate, and the same thing happened last year.

"We got to the quarter-finals and just missed out, and it’s happened again.

"It’s important we get over the disappointment. When you get to this stage and you have the incentive of getting to Wembley, it’s hard to forget.

"But we’ve got to put it to the back of our minds."

Fulham sealed their spot in the last eight with a thrilling 4-1 victory against Juventus last week.

And having previously dispatched Basle and UEFA Cup holders Shakthar Donetsk, Hughes reckons they can go all the way.

"We’ve got nothing to lose," he said. "There’s still a lot of quality teams left - no one expected us to get this far, but we know we can beat anyone on our day.

"The main thing is not to concede in the first leg at home. If we can come away with a clean sheet we’ll be reasonably happy, then we can see what we need over there."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:47:47 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/1863/world-cup-2010/2010/03/26/1851073/world-cup-2010-fulham-star-clint-dempsey-looking-forward-to


World Cup 2010: Fulham Star Clint Dempsey Looking Forward To Facing England, Admits Group Stage Exit Would Be ‘Failure’ For USA

Craven Cottage man eager to play ‘best teams in the world’


By Richard Parry


Mar 26, 2010 10:14:00 PM


Fulham star Clint Dempsey admits that it would be a failure if the USA failed to progress from Group C this summer’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

The Americans will face Fabio Capello’s England, Algeria and Slovenia in the group stages, and Dempsey cannot wait to get started.

"It's kind of exciting because in a big competition you want to play against some of the best teams in the world," Dempsey told ESPN.

On the prospect of facing England, the Fulham man played down the significance of the match, insisting that every game will be important.

"It's great to have the opportunity to play against them but you know every team is going to be difficult so we are just looking forward to it and hopefully we can advance from the group.

Dempsey added: "Algeria did well in the African Nations Cup and they're not going to be an easy team to beat, they've showed that.

"We know we've got a tough group and we'll take each game one at a time, but advancing through the group has to be the goal and anything less than that will be a failure."

Dempsey, who spoke to exclusively Goal.com UK in February, is confident that should the USA play to their strengths, they could prove a surprise package in South Africa.

"We are a solid team, we finished first in our qualifying campaign and we did well in the Confederations Cup last year.

"We beat Spain which not many people thought we could do that but once you get out the group it's a one off game and anything can happen."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:50:01 AM
Fulham Offside Podcast 3/26/10

By: timmyg | March 26th, 2010

Don Hymel and Dan Crawford of hammyend.com join the pod as we dissect the busy month of March that saw Fulham drop out of the FA Cup at the Elite 8, not worry about relegation (or even paying attention to the table), and advance to the Elite 8 of the Europa League thanks to a memorable night at the Cottage against The Old Lady. The pod starts with The Morning Benders providing some intro music.

icon for podpress  Fulham Offside Podcast 3/26/10: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download


http://fulham.theoffside.com/team-news/fulham-offside-podcast-32610.html (http://fulham.theoffside.com/team-news/fulham-offside-podcast-32610.html)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:54:03 AM
Chris Coleman appears on World Football Daily


By: timmyg | March 26th, 2010

Former Fulham player and gaffer Chris Coleman was on World Football Daily yesterday and I must say it was quite nice to hear the legend. He discussed recruiting Clint Dempsey, his time at Real Sociedad, and his current stint at Coventry City with hosts Steven Cohen and Kenny Hassan.

Cookie’s sacking will always be a contentious issue for us Fulham fans. His charisma is one of many reasons I was drawn to the club. Nonetheless it is good to hear the former great — both coach and player — is doing well for himself.

Many, many thanks Steven and Kenny for letting me repost the interview on this site. Be sure to check out their website for more information about their daily radio show/podcast. It’s not free but they pull in quality guests, be them pundits or players, and it’s must listen for any footy fan in my opinion.

icon for podpress  World Football Daily -- Chris Coleman: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

http://fulham.theoffside.com/team-news/chris-coleman-appears-on-world-football-daily.html
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:56:20 AM
http://www.hullcityindependent.net/?page=news_archive&groups=true&news_group_id=5&news_id=199

Hull City v Fulham - PREVIEW

By CI Admin | 26/03/2010 at 19:33

It’s not a must win against Fulham apparently. Well, if we can’t beat Fulham at home – who have only won once away all season – who the hell are we going to beat? Kidding you not is regular City Independent stalwart NATIONAL TIGER someone who is firmly in the ‘must win’ camp, but not necessarily for the obvious reason of three points…

Let’s have it right, three points would be most welcome. But let’s get realistic for a minute, this match has to be must win. Fulham are tired, with injuries and have priorities quite rightly elsewhere from a long, mundane trip to the cold north with the glamour of the UEFA Cup just days away. And that suits me fine.

Sure, Fulham will be up for it. No doubt they’ll be professional in their approach, but who is kidding who, here? Hull City desperately need three points. We are at home. We’re playing a team who are perennial poor Premier League travellers. And no Fulham fan/player/manager is going to fool me into thinking this game really matters with Wolfsburg round the corner for a place in the UEFA Cup semis.

No. City have to win. Our opportunity for victory and to build some momentum has never ever been better. Iain Dowie will greet the Circle faithful for the first time and some new managerial exuberance will be in evidence. The heartbreak of Saturday will be cleansed from the mind and soul come 3pm and then we need to be at ‘em. Just like we have been for most of the season at home.

I’m not looking for a performance. Neither am I looking to be entertained. Portsmouth robbed us on Saturday with a cheap display that warranted nothing and yet gained everything. Well, frankly, I’ll have a slice of that pie too on Saturday. The turnaround has to be kickstarted somehow. The best way to breed confidence is to win. And we have a golden opportunity this Saturday; so lets take it.

City should be boosted by the expected return of an influential trio in winger Stephen Hunt who has a good chance of making the match following a foot injury. Uncle George is back from suspension to shore up the midfield, while the pace and power of Jozy Altidore will be a welcome addition should he be picked. Ahead of the exiled Caleb Folan who bagged a brace? Oh well…Andy Dawson is the only major concern and is struggling to make the grade.

Fulham meanwhile, have one time Tiger target Bobby Zamora looking seriously doubtful with a stomach bug. Andrew Johnson remains on the long term sick list so the in-form Cottagers attack appears to blunted. For a team lacking goals on the road, even City’s fragile defence have a chance of conceding less with this news.

Yet, none of that really matters. Only the result matters at this stage. A fluke win, a spawny goal, a highly contentious decision going in our favour. Bring them all on. I couldn’t give a flying one. When has football ever been fair? And if luck has a habit of levelling itself out, then after 106 years we must be seriously in credit at the bank.

Its must win. We need three points. Go out and deliver. And most of all, get behind the team. COME ON CITY!
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 06:58:10 AM
http://www.sportingpreview.com/team_news/09100484.php


HULL v FULHAM


EARLY TEAM NEWS


SportingPreview.com, 26 Mar 2010

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will check on Bobby Zamora's fitness ahead of the trip to Hull.

Zamora was substituted during the FA Cup defeat at Tottenham in midweek after suffering severe stomach cramps at half-time.

Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil remain on the injury list, while David Elm has been ill.

Andy Dawson and Stephen Hunt are unlikely to be fit for Hull.

Acting captain Dawson came off with a hamstring injury during last week's defeat at Portsmouth and top scorer Hunt has been sidelined for more than a month with a foot problem.

George Boateng returns from suspension while Jozy Altidore has recovered from a hamstring injury, but youngster Liam Cooper (ankle) and Amr Zaki (knee) are expected to miss out.

Club captain Ian Ashbee (knee) trained for the first time this week after almost a year on the sidelines but is still some way away from a first-team return.

Kamil Zayatte (knee) and Anthony Gardner (ankle) are also long-term casualties. Boss Iain Dowie remains hopeful Gardner will return before the end of the season but admits Zayatte may not.

Teams:

Hull (from): Myhill, Duke, Marney, McShane, Mouyokolo, Kilbane, Bullard, Cairney, Garcia, Geovanni, Boateng, Ghilas, Olofinjana, Barmby, Altidore, Fagan, Venegoor of Hesselink, Folan, Mendy.

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Riise, Hughes, Smalling, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Okaka, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Shorey, Kelly, Hangeland, Stoor, Nevland.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:00:16 AM
http://www.sportingpreview.com/matches/09104688.php


HULL CITY v FULHAM


BIG MATCH FACTS


SportingPreview.com, 26 Mar 2010

Hull City will be desperate for all three points to aid their current relegation fears when Fulham arrive at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

The Tigers sit second-from-bottom in the Premier League table although they are just three points from safety with a game in hand on fourth-placed West Ham.

Ian Dowie's men will have to overcome a poor run of form if they are to retain their top-flight status although four of their last five matches have all come away from home.

MATCH FACTS

Head To Head

There have been 86 previous meetings between these two clubs. Hull have won 31 matches, Fulham have won 29 and there have also been 26 draws.

Hull have lost just one of their last six home league clashes with Fulham.

Hull

Hull are hoping to avoid a sixth successive Premier League loss.

The Tigers have managed just one victory from their last 16 top-flight games.

The Humberside club have collected nine less points this season than they had at this stage last term.

Fulham

Fulham have lost their last two Premier League matches and without a win in their last three league outings.

The Cottagers have picked up just three victories from their last 13 top-flight fixtures.

Roy Hodgson's men are without an away win since the opening day of the season.

LEADING GOALSCORERS

Hull

Hunt: 6 goals

Fulham

Zamora: 17 goals

MOST RECENT CLASH

Fulham 2-0 Hull City (19 October 2009)
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:01:28 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=6192

Where are they now? Chris James

by Dan on March 26, 2010

Looks as though the once highly thought-of Fulham midfielder Chris James is about to join Barnet on a short-term deal.

The versatile midfielder, who can play on either side of the pitch, was brave enough to turn down a new contract with Fulham to try and first-team football and his attempts to get a regular game took him to Tampere United in Finland.

James will be at the World Cup with New Zealand in the summer, having turned his back on England (who capped him at youth level) in favour of senior caps with the All Whites. A free transfer to Barnet will allow him to get some much-needed game time before the tournament in South Africa this summer.

I’ll be interested spectator in seeing how Chris, who I thought could blossom into a good player, gets on.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:03:00 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=6195

Hodgson ‘classiest’ Premier League manager

by Dan on March 26, 2010

Times journalist Gabriele Marcotti invited his followers on Twitter to nominate the classiest Premier League manager. No prizes for guessing that Fulham’s esteemed boss topped the poll:

    1. Hodgson 38
    2. Zola 18
    3. Ancelotti 14
    4. McLeish 9
    5. Martinez 8
    6. O’Neill 7
    7. Moyes 5
    8. Coyle, McCarthy, Grant 4

Don’t you just love Roy?
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:06:57 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/26/hull-city-fulham-squad-sheets

Squad sheets: Hull City v Fulham

guardian.co.uk, Friday 26 March 2010 16.19 GMT

Iain Dowie's first home game in charge of Hull offers Jimmy Bullard a chance to show his former employers Fulham and their manager, Roy Hodgson, precisely what they are missing. Bullard's midfield playmaking skills probably represents Hull's best hope of avoiding relegation. After spending much of his time in east Yorkshire injured, he said: "I owe this club and its fans. I don't want to be seen as a peg-leg." Fulham are not the best travellers but, having lost to Manchester City and Tottenham during the past week, Hodgson will be anxious to avoid a third defeat in the space of seven days. Louise Taylor

Venue KC Stadium, Saturday 3pm Tickets £32.50 (01482 505 600) Last season Hull 2 Fulham 1 Referee C Foy

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Football/Pix/pictures/2010/3/26/1269619614617/Hull-001.jpg)

Hull Probable starters in bold, contenders in light Photograph: Graphic

This season's matches 23 Y60, R2, 2.70 cards per game

Odds Hull 6-4 Fulham 21-10 Draw 12-5
Hull

Subs from Duke, Geovanni, Olofinjana, Cairney, Garcia, Barmby, Altidore, Ghilas, Dawson, Hunt

Doubtful Dawson (hamstring), Hunt (foot)

Injured Gardner (ankle, 17 Apr), Zayatte (knee, 24 Apr), Ashbee (knee, May), Zaki (h'string, unknown)

Suspended None

Form guide LLLLLW

Disciplinary record Y54 R5

Leading scorer Hunt 6
Fulham

Subs from Zuberbühler, Konchesky, Smalling, Stoor, Kelly, Greening, Riise, Nevland, Okaka, Dempsey, Elm

Doubtful Zamora (stomach), Elm (virus)

Injured Dikgacoi (ankle, 3 Apr), Paintsil (knee, May), A Johnson (knee, Aug)

Suspended None

Form guide LLDWWD

Disciplinary record Y33 R1

Leading scorer Zamora 8
Match pointers

• Three of these teams' last five meetings on Humberside have been draws with one win apiece

• Hull have won 24% of games in which Seyi Olofinjana has played, compared to 8% without him

• Fulham have won none of their last 14 league away matches, since the opening-day win at Portsmouth

• Hull have lost two of their last 11 games at the KC Stadium, against Arsenal and Manchester United

• Hull have played 59 league games since they last won by more than a single goal
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:10:17 AM
http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/hull-city-vs-fulham-sat-27-mar-2010


Hull City Vs Fulham

   
DATE:
Sat 27 Mar 2010
TIME:
15:00
VENUE:
Kingston Communications Stadium

Hull duo Andy Dawson and Stephen Hunt are unlikely to be fit for the crunch clash against Fulham at the KC Stadium.

Stand-in captain Dawson limped off with a hamstring injury during last week's 3-2 defeat at Portsmouth and leading scorer Hunt has been sidelined for more than a month with a foot problem.

Manager Iain Dowie, who takes charge of his first home game, will have George Boateng back from suspension while Jozy Altidore has recovered from a hamstring injury but youngster Liam Cooper (ankle) and Amr Zaki (knee) are set to miss out.

Club captain Ian Ashbee (knee) participated in training for the first time this week after almost a year on the sidelines but remains some way away from a first-team return.

Kamil Zayatte (knee) and Anthony Gardner (ankle) are also long-term injury victims.

Dowie remains hopeful Gardner will return before the end of the season but admits Zayatte may not.

Dowie has told his Hull players to take the positives from last week's Portsmouth heartbreak into the crunch Premier League clash against Fulham.

Hull return to the KC Stadium looking to end a run of five successive defeats but, at the end of his first week in the north-east, Dowie insists it is far from all doom and gloom.

He said: "I watched the video a few times and it doesn't get any easier but we've got enough good characters around the place that came in bright and bubbly and we've had a good week. The response has been good, there's a focus about them. I've learned they're a group of lads that really care about the club.

"Sometimes in your darkest moments, you find something within yourself. That's the time when inspiration comes to you. We have to work alongside each other and hopefully each player on Saturday will be an inspiration for the one alongside him.

"The key is to use what's been a positive start in lots of creative ways as a strength. It's very important we start the game in a positive frame of mind."


Fulham


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will need to check on Bobby Zamora's stomach problems ahead of the clash.

Zamora was substituted during the FA Cup defeat at Tottenham in midweek after suffering severe cramps during the half-time interval.

Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil remain in the treatment room while David Elm has been ill.

Fulham skipper Danny Murphy has told his team-mates not to forget their Barclays Premier League duties as they go in search of silverware.

Hodgson's men are still in the Europa League and expectations have risen following their famous victory over Juventus to earn a place in the last eight.

They face German side Wolfsburg on Thursday but Murphy is focused on the trip to Hull at the weekend and he believes Hodgson's squad is capable of coping with the demands of extra fixtures.

"Regardless of what is going on in other competitions, we still want to kick on and maintain our top-half placing," Murphy said.

"All through the season I've talked about our character and strength and every member of the squad deserves credit because over the past eight months everyone has played their part.

"When you look at the difference between now and last season, when we played a similar team for the majority of it, it shows how much the squad has developed. I think it has made us a stronger club."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:12:17 AM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/3/26/1391442/my-5-keys-to-victory-for-fulham


My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham Against Hull City - Match Preview


by Fulhampatsfan on Mar 26, 2010 3:23 PM

Fulham play tomorrow against Hull City at the KC Stadium. The game takes place at 3PM UK Time and 11AM EST. The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel in the U.S. on taped Delay at 6PM EST. In October, Fulham beat Hull 2 - 0 at Craven Cottage. This should be an interesting game as Hull are fighting relegation and Fulham are trying to win there second road game.Below are"my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Hull City."   

1. Fuham need to score early and set the tone for the match.  Fulham, can really set the tone for the match with an early goal.  A nice goal by Bobby Zamora or Clint Dempsey should do just fine. They did this in their last match, but they had a poor second half. On the road against Hull City they could really take the crowd out of the match and really hurt the confidence of Hull City.  Hull City can be tough at home.  If they get off to a fast start it might be tough for Hull to keep up.   

 2.  If Bobby Zamora cannot play I hope Okaka will start. Zamora came out in the second half of the last match. According to the newspapers he is a late fitness test for the match. If he cannot go please give Stefano Okaka a chance to shine. It looks like he has some skills. This could be a good chance for him to show what he can do.

3.  Fulham again need to be better against set pieces.This is turning out to be a regular theme lately with Fulham regarding set pieces. They got burned again against Tottenham on a free kick. As we all know Jimmy Bullard is excellent on free kicks. They need to fix this issue this week. Roy Hogdson I hope worked on this with the club in training.

4. Fulham need to watch out for Jozy Altidore. Many fans might not be familiar with him, but he can score and needs to be watched. I have watched this Team USA player play many times. I actually was hoping he would be coming to Fulham.  He is coming off of an injury though. Mark Schwarzer in net should be aware of where he is at all times.

5. Fulham need to control the midfield.  Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu need to control this part of the field. To me it is again setting the tone and getting the ball up to Zamora.

A victory tomorrow for Fulham Is really needed. They need to win again on the road. They have a better shot in this road game than there next road game against Liverpool. Let's hope the Cottagers can pull out a victory.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:14:05 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=6176

Elm to sign contract extension

by Dan on March 26, 2010

David Elm has just told Swedish radio that he will be signing a contract extension to stay at Fulham beyond the summer.

This confirms the perception that Elm has done a lot better in his first year at the club and the former Kalmar striker has persuaded Roy Hodgson to tie him down to a long-term deal. The sticking point seems to be the length of the contract (likely to be two years at best for the moment).

Elm, who joined from the Swedish champions in a surprise summer deal, had impressed when he got a run in the first team earlier this yea
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:15:47 AM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/26032010/63/murphy-calls-focus-league.html

Murphy calls for focus on league

Fri, 26 Mar 14:42:11 2010


Fulham skipper Danny Murphy has told his team-mates not to forget their Barclays Premier League duties as they go in search of silverware.

Roy Hodgson's men were knocked out of the FA Cup this week but they are still in the Europa League and expectations have risen following their famous victory over Juventus to earn a place in the last eight.

They face German side Wolfsburg on Thursday but Murphy is focused on the trip to Hull at the weekend and he believes Hodgson's squad is capable of coping with the demands of extra fixtures.

"Regardless of what is going on in other competitions, we still want to kick on and maintain our top-half placing," Murphy said.

"All through the season I've talked about our character and strength and every member of the squad deserves credit because over the past eight months everyone has played their part.

"When you look at the difference between now and last season, when we played a similar team for the majority of it, it shows how much the squad has developed. I think it has made us a stronger club."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:17:52 AM
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/defending-stephen-kelly/


Defending Stephen Kelly


Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 2:28 pm

At the Fulham fans’ forum a couple of years back, Roy Hodgson was asked about backups for Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland.  At the time we didn’t know about Chris Smalling, so the cover essentially came down to an as yet unreformed Chris Baird.

People were concerned about this, but Roy had a good answer.  While he could see why this would be a concern, he noted that it is not always easy to find good backup players.  If a player is good enough to start for a mid-table Premiership team he will want to do so, after all.  So how do you find players who are on the one hand good enough to play for your team, but on the other, won’t mind not doing so?

The short answer is that you can’t find these players really.   Or that it is, at least, hard to find them.  Therefore we ended up with a young player, Chris Smalling, and a utility player, Chris Baird.  Which worked well.

But back to this backup player concept.   What sort of a player would be a realistic understudy to John Paintsil? We thought Fredrik Stoor might be a good alternative, but for whatever reason, he has not figured in the first team.   There is no obvious youngster who is ready to play a series of games at the top level.  And Chris Baird remains (probably rightly) convinced that right back is his third best position.  So Hodgson has turned to Stephen Kelly. 

Kelly is, I suspect, fairly typical of a lot of good but not great footballers.   At this point in his career he can (depending on demand for his services) opt to be a reserve player in the top division, or he can drop down to the Championship as a regular player.  There are shades of grey in between, but that’s essentially what a backup player for a mid-table team amounts to, I think.   Teams need players like this.   It would be lovely if we could have a Konchesky/Shorey situation at every position, but that is not remotely realistic.  People might tolerate such an arrangement at Chelsea, where wages might make up for lack of pitch time, but at Fulham?  No, the good players will come to Fulham to play every week.  If they wanted to be a reserve they would aim higher.

So I wonder what people expect from a backup full-back at Fulham?   Is it reasonable to expect him to play really well every game?  No, because if he did that he wouldn’t be a backup full-back at Fulham.   He might take his chance and show that he’s been miscast all along (Chris Baird did this in midfield), but the chances are he’ll have some good games, some not so good games, and much in between. 

This is exactly what Stephen Kelly has done.   When he first broke into the side he had a few shaky games without really doing any harm, but he has had a few really first class games, too, especially in Europe.   On balance he’s been okay, given his role in the team.   Roy hasn’t been desperately keen to use him, but hasn’t banished him to the reserves either. 

You would expect your first choice player to be a bit more consistent than this, and, not surprisingly, John Paintsil is more consistent than Kelly.   That’s why he’s first choice.   But if you were to look at clubs of about our stature, and see who their reserve right-back might be, I don’t know that the player in question would be a better player than Stephen Kelly.  In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the opposite were true.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:22:39 AM
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Dowie-vows-to-be-Hull-s-human-punchbag-to-save-players-from-flak-article369073.html


Dowie vows to be Hull's human punchbag to save players from flak


Published 05:00 27/03/10


By Jeremy Cross


Iain Dowie is starting to resemble a human punchbag for his players – but the Hull chief admits he could not be happier provided they land the knockout blow and keep City in the Premier League.

Dowie has come in for some flak since succeeding Phil Brown at the top-flight strugglers.

The new manager has not been a popular choice with sections of fans, who are convinced he is not the man to keep up their side.

Dowie will take charge of his first home game today when in-form Fulham are the visitors to the KC Stadium.

But he admits he could not care less what people think or say about him and is happy to take the flak if it eases the pressure on his squad.

Dowie insisted: “It’s been my job to reinforce the message to keep ­positive, no one wants the manager to be downbeat and glum.

“People can write what they like about me, but it’s not about me, it’s about the players and what they do.

“I’m a positive person and I’ve got big enough shoulders to take it.

“I’m happy to take all that pressure off the players. It’s up to me and my staff to shield it and let the players go out there and perform.

“Football is a game of enjoyment, people forget that sometimes and that’s the key.

“Of course it’s difficult under this pressure, but let’s hope we send the Hull folk home happy on Saturday night. The fans that went to ­Portsmouth saw a positive response and they were magnificent and supported me very well.

“They care about the club and they know what it’s all about to be in the Premier League. Their response will be fantastic, I’m sure, but it’s up to us to give them a performance that reflects the fans’ passion.

“They’re a passionate, vociferous group of fans and I expect exactly that against Fulham.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:26:45 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,1838_6055418,00.html


Rovers chief set to keep the faith


Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope will keep faith with the same squad against Southend after failing in his attempts to bring in any new faces.

Trollope was unable sign West Brom striker Chris Wood before Thursday's loan deadline after the Championship outfit decided not to let him leave the Hawthorns.

On-loan Fulham midfielder Wayne Brown has picked up another knock and will not be returning to the Memorial Stadium this season.

The Pirates, who lost 2-1 at Southend in October, are nine points away from the play-off places in League One and will be looking for a second successive win following last weekend's impressive 3-0 drubbing of rivals Yeovil.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 07:34:32 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article7078148.ece


Revealed: Michel Platini’s plan to end spending of Premier League giants

Click to download the image above as a full-sized PDF file



Matt Dickinson, Chief Sports Correspondent



Michel Platini’s plan to regulate football and curb its worst financial excesses has few outspoken opponents — after all, who wants to be seen to be championing outrageous transfer fees and spiralling player wages?

But as English clubs pore over the most significant changes to the game since the start of the Premier League era, they are approaching the new restrictions with ill-concealed concern.

The regulations, spelt out in a draft 60-page document seen by The Times, mark a massive cultural shift from a competition in which anything goes to one in which Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour will be barred from splashing out on superstar players by Uefa inspectors.

No more Sheikh Mansour lavishing more than £400 million to secure a place in the Champions League unless he can square the outgoings with Manchester City’s income. No Mohamed Al Fayed propping up Fulham, or Randy Lerner at Aston Villa, unless their cash injections are beneath the limit — to become less than "10 million (£9 million) a year on average — that a sugar daddy can spend.

It is a world, according to Uefa, of “discipline and rationality”, and an end to inflated wages and £80 million transfers such as that which took Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. It will stop clubs such as Portsmouth going into administration by forcing them to live within their means. So far, so much common sense.

But while even the richest of club owners have talked of encouraging greater financial restraint, it is one thing to want to limit their losses — perhaps another to be told by Platini what they can, or rather cannot, spend in the quest for success.

English clubs are already voicing private concerns about whether regulation to this microscopic level will be possible. Their accountants and lawyers are scouring the complex rules for loopholes.

For example, Uefa has introduced safeguards to stop a rich owner “sponsoring” his team beyond a fair market price to inflate the club’s income but already some clubs are expressing doubts about how effectively this can be policed.

There are fair questions to be asked, too, about whether there will be undeserved victims such as Fulham or Wigan Athletic, where owners have been propping up their clubs to moderate levels without distorting the transfer market or the competition. Is break-even necessary for all or should those owners be allowed to indulge their interest?

Already the European Club Association (ECA), led by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has secured some concessions and continues to fight for more.

While eager not to be seen to be obstructing moves towards more moderation — particularly in the present financial climate — the Premier League has been defensive of those club benefactors who have helped to turn the competition into the most successful in the world.

“The idea of preventing what the likes of Dave Whelan, Jack Walker, Steve Gibson, Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour have done to take their clubs on is not something that appeals to us,” a source said.



They can expect little let-up from Platini, who has made it his mission to introduce “financial fair play” into European football. He expects to see the draft proposals set out in the March 2010 Uefa Club Licensing paper to be implemented by the executive committee this summer, although negotiations continue with the leading clubs.

There is a concession to those clubs reliant on sugar daddies with a weaning-off period; each club can lose up to ¤45 million over an initial three-year spell so long as the owner pumps in the cash to cover it. By 2015, the maximum loss permitted will be ¤30 million over three years provided it is paid off by the owner.

But Platini is determined to move towards break-even and has set strict levels of “acceptable deviation”. Without the support of an owner, the losses are restricted to a meagre ¤5 million over three years. Clubs exceeding those limits over a three-year cycle — something the ECA wants changed to five years — could be barred from the Europa League and Champions League.

Platini has also said that he will target clubs carrying excessive, unsustainable debts — as best he can given the vast liabilities sustained by sides as popular and successful as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.
Related Links

    * Uefa’s plan will help avoid another Portsmouth

    * Fans may pay price of Platini’s daft proposal

The inspectors reserve the right to target those clubs where debt is in excess of annual turnover, although it remains to be seen whether Platini’s Club Financial Control Panel will have the bite to go with its bark. While the debt level at United would fall foul of Platini’s guidelines, the club will argue that repayments are sustainable.

Similarly, the new regulations state that players’ salaries should not add up to more than 70 per cent of that annual revenue figure — but will sanctions be enforced at a club such as Manchester City where wages are well in excess of 100 per cent?

Those clubs who fail to comply with the rules — which are effective from the 2013-14 season, although a club’s books will be examined back to 2012 — risk being barred from European competition but there are already expectations of drawn-out legal battles that Uefa can ill afford as the competitions move quickly between one campaign and the next.

While the rules apply only to those competing in Europe, Platini is encouraging domestic leagues to introduce the standards for all clubs.

Platini denies that his plans are anti-English; simply that the Premier League has more clubs that are guilty of spending beyond their means. In the 2007-08 season 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs made a loss, including United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

To support his proposals, Uefa recently published The European Club Footballing Landscape report, which revealed that 47 per cent of Europe’s top clubs made a loss in 2008 despite record revenues. Although the Premier League clubs reported the highest revenue, they also owed almost £4 billion. Platini is a fan of the German model in which at least 51 per cent of every club must be owned by the supporters, ruling out private speculators.

He is insistent that his rules do not thwart ambition. For smaller clubs with rich owners, he claims that there is a route to success because the regulations do not limit spending on infrastructure or youth policy.

It makes sense on the surface — but the devil will be in the detail. Supporters mystified by their club’s lack of transfer activity may want to become experts in profit-and-loss and player amortization.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.03.10)
Post by: White Noise on March 27, 2010, 08:03:45 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/fink_tank/article7078012.ece


Fink Tank: English can be more dominant


The Fink Tank: Daniel Finkelstein

 

It’s time to fight back. For years we’ve been told that the Premier League clubs are dominating the Champions League and that it’s just not fair. Well, how about this, then — the Premier League isn’t dominating enough and that’s what is really unfair. Sort of.

This thought was prompted by that magnificent win by Fulham over Juventus. Magnificent yes, and surprising after losing so badly in the first leg. But not a giant-killing act. Because the Fink Tank rankings, based on all European games and properly weighted to allow international comparison, show that Fulham and Juventus are of roughly equal quality.

What does that say about the Premier League and its role in European competitions? Dr Henry Stott, Dr Ian Graham and Dr Mark Latham did a little figure work in the margins, while calculating the chances for the remaining clubs in this year’s competition.

By and large we would want the best teams to be in the competition. Right? So it seemed worth looking at the top 18 sides from the top five leagues and seeing the extent to which the country allocations led to those teams being excluded.

There have been five Premier League teams ranked in the top 18 by the Fink Tank in the past three seasons. Yet there have been only four spaces for English teams.

It has been even worse for Spain. For the past two seasons it has had six sides in the Fink Tank 18 but only four Champions League places. France has had only one team in our top 18 and is therefore over-represented by two places. Italy has probably had one too many places this year.

Now, naturally, this doesn’t make an irrefutable case for changing the allocation. There are other considerations. Uefa wants to smooth inequalities and retain international interest. All I am pointing out is that equality measures are already in place. The Premier League is already being kept in its place by a redistributive regulation.

Now, what about this season? I probably don’t need to tell Arsenal fans this, but they have had a very sticky draw. Despite the strength of English clubs there is still a big gulf between Arsenal and Barcelona. Arsenal are the third-best team left in the competition but are still only 61 per cent as good as Barcelona. Their chance of progressing to the semi-finals is therefore 32.6 per cent. This makes progression far from being impossible, but it’s still a hard task.

Manchester United, on the other hand, are strong favourites to go through. They are only 80 per cent as good as Barcelona because, while they can defend almost as well, they are much weaker in attack. But they are a lot better than Bayern Munich, their quarter-final opponents, and have a 70 per cent chance of progression.

Lyons and Inter Milan are favourites in their ties, against Bordeaux and CSKA Moscow respectively, but not overwhelmingly so, with both being roughly 60-40 to go through.

Chelsea had no business losing to Inter, who would not be favourites even in a tussle with Tottenham Hotspur. And Real Madrid? It is extraordinary that a club can spend so much money without stopping to wonder whether they are spending on the right things. Real are 96 per cent of Barcelona in attack — in other words, the second-best side in Europe — but are 62 per cent of Barcelona in defence. As are Aston Villa.

There is now a 39.6 per cent chance of English winners, made up of 28.2 per cent for United and 11.4 per cent for Arsenal. And there is a 33.3 per cent shot that the winners will be Spanish. Made up entirely of Barcelona.