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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:32:48 AM

Title: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:32:48 AM
Liverpool 1-2 U18s

Our U18 Premier League champions secured an 2-1 impressive victory at Liverpool on Saturday to confirm their place in the Elite Group Stage.

Fulham qualified for the Elite Group of the second stage of the Barclays Under-18s Premier League after a 2-1 win at Liverpool on Saturday morning.

Jerome Sinclair put Liverpool in front on nine minutes when he slotted home after Kristoffer Peterson's shot had been spilled by Max Oberschmidt.

But Steve Wigley’s men drew level on 35 minutes, Muamer Tankovic slotting home from the spot after Lyle Della-Verde had been fouled by Niall Heaton.

With the game heading for a draw, Fulham then snatched the winner in the 83rd minute when Tankovic teed up Jordan Evans to fire home.

Academy Director Huw Jenning said: “It was a tight game. We played well in the first half in possession. We had a different structure to the team but still passed the ball well only to concede a goal on the break after Pat Roberts had almost scored.

“We kept passing and probing away and equalised from the spot. Liverpool pressed hard in the second half but we always looked dangerous on the break and got the second goal late on. On balance I think we deserved the win and it secures our status in the second stage of the league which was obviously our objective at the start of the season.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:34:07 AM
Jol's Chelsea Preview

Fulham make the two-mile journey to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening as we prepare for our first West London derby of the new season.

We face a Chelsea side who have endured an eventful 2012/13 campaign to date, with the latest news being the arrival of Rafael Benitez at the helm following Roberto Di Matteo’s dismissal.

Benitez’s first match as Blues boss saw them hold Manchester City to a goalless draw at the weekend. It was a game which saw the Spaniard subjected to a series of boos from the home fans, but Martin Jol expects the Chelsea supporters to come around once he’s secured a few victories for his new side.

“He was at Liverpool and he said probably a few things about Chelsea,” Jol suggested as a reason for the fans’ reaction to the appointment. “I did that in the past because you are like a chameleon; you’ve got the colours of the club you are at, and that is what he did. After a couple of wins, I feel that he will win them over.

“It’s not only about the manager; it’s about the club and it’s about winning games. But hopefully that won’t start for them on Wednesday!

“I think it had more to do with Di Matteo. He was much appreciated there because he did well as a player and, I think, he did well as a manager, to be fair. So it was not a decision that everyone could understand so you get this sort of thing. But Rafa Benitez is a true professional who has been in this business for a long time so he is tough enough.

“You could say it’s a nice time to play Chelsea but, on the other hand, it’s the second game [under Benitez] so I feel it’s a must-win game for them. They will have to win or it will be problematic.”

Fulham have not won at the home of our local rivals since 1979, although we pushed them close last season.

“Last year in the League Cup against Chelsea it was a draw,” Jol said. “The league game there was a draw and in the home game we had a draw. So we had three draws which was not bad, but we couldn’t beat them. Hopefully we will beat them at Stamford Bridge soon and maybe that day will be on Wednesday.”

Our Manager also provided an update as to the personnel he has available at his disposal ahead of our derby match.

“Kerim Frei will be in the squad but Bryan Ruiz is still injured so he won’t be involved,” he explained. “That will probably take another week – [Alexander] Kačaniklić as well.

“Simon Davies is a long-term injury but he will start training next week. Kieran Richardson is ready to train with us but he won’t be involved on Wednesday – he could be available for the Tottenham Hotspur match.

“Mickael Tavares is better now but I haven’t involved him because you can only make a squad of 18 players and I have two midfield players on the bench.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:35:52 AM
Hangeland leads foursome missing for Chelsea clash

Brede Hangeland. Photo: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland is one of a number of key players missing for tomorrow’s west London derby match at Chelsea.

The Norway international serves the second of a three-match ban at Stamford Bridge and is joined on the sidelines by Alex Kacaniklic, Bryan Ruiz and Kieran Richardson (all hamstring).

Simon Davies (hip) remains out but manager Martin Jol can call upon Kerim Frei after a loan spell at Cardiff.

Provisional squad: Schwarzer, Etheridge, Riether, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Sidwell, Dejagah, Diarra, Baird, Karagounis, Banya, Kasami, Duff, Rodallega, Petric, Berbatov. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:36:59 AM
Martin Jol puts heat on Rafael Benitez

Fulham boss Martin Jol today piled more pressure on Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez by claiming tomorrow’s derby is a “must-win” game for his west London rivals.

Benitez’s appointment was met with dismay by Chelsea fans and the former Liverpool boss was subjected to abuse from the Stamford Bridge stands during Sunday’s goalless draw with Manchester City.

Jol (above) believes Benitez will make peace with Blues fans but admits the Spaniard needs a few wins before relations can begin to thaw.

He said: “In a way, it is a must-win game for them. They have to have a result, otherwise it could be problematic. Benitez was at Liverpool, a big club, and he did say a few things about Chelsea.

“I have said the same things in the past. As a manager you are like a chameleon, you wear the colours of the club where you’re at.

“I think that after a couple of wins Benitez will win the Chelsea fans over — though hopefully he won’t start tomorrow.”

Jol revealed he will tell his players to go for an early goal at the Bridge in order to pile more pressure on the home side. But he will have to make do again without Bryan Ruiz or Alex Kacaniklic, who both missed Saturday’s defeat at Stoke with hamstring injuries. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:38:43 AM
Chelsea v Fulham: Leaky defences mean goals at the Bridge
West London clubs share big defensive issues that suggest the Cottagers can get a result


Rafa Benitez can expect another frosty reception when Chelsea welcome Fulham to Stamford Bridge where he will be looking for a win over their west London rivals to help get the crowd on side.

The four previous renewals have ended in stalemate and there’s plenty of value in the 7/2 that says it’ll occur again here with both sides without a win in 10 Premier League games between them.

Both are missing big players at the back and this is one of a number of reasons pointing to a flood of goals at the Bridge.

Without the presence of suspended Brede Hangeland, Fulham’s back line were susceptible to Stoke’s strong arm tactics and his absence is sure to be felt again, despite Chelsea’s contrasting approach to that of the Potters.

John Terry will also watch the game from the stands as he continues to recover from a knee problem, though his services were not required in Benitez’s Blues bow as his side ground out their first clean sheet in eight matches.

In fact, this represented the first time that either team had managed a shut-out in a combined 13 games. This means there’s an exceptionally good chance of being paid out when backing both teams to score here at 4/6.

In terms of who scores the goals, the betting revolves around two usual suspects.

Fulham’s is Dimitar Berbatov who, in 10 starts against the Blues throughout his time in England, has notched five goals. He’s behind a host of Chelsea players – most of whom will be glad to make the bench – in the first goalscorer betting stakes at 8/1 and his 5/2 price to score at any time possess good prospect for a windfall.

As always, Chelsea will be turning to Fernando Torres for their goals, despite the sense of disappointment that tends to accompany this investment of faith.

His relationship with Benitez at Liverpool is thought to have played a big part in him landing his interim position and, although he’s had nowhere near enough time to stamp his own brand of football on the Chelsea squad – despite their 0-0 draw with Man City begging to differ – a Torres goal and home win can be backed at 7/2. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:39:45 AM
Frei in contention for Fulham

Fulham have plenty of players ruled out of Wednesday's short trip to Chelsea so Kerim Frei could be involved after his loan at Cardiff.

Cottagers' captain Brede Hangeland is one of a number of key players missing for the west London derby at Stamford Bridge, while at least four first-team regulars are on the injured list.

Norway international Hangeland serves the second of a three-match ban and is joined on the sidelines by Alex Kacaniklic, Bryan Ruiz and Kieran Richardson, who are all suffering with hamstring injuries.

Simon Davies, who has a hip injury, also remains out so boss Martin Jol's options are limited for the big derby clash.

The Dutchman may, however, opt to utilise Frei after a loan spell at Cardiff came to an end. The Turkish player, who made just three appearances while with the Championship side, has yet to be involved for Fulham this season but is highly rated and may get a chance against the Blues after being recalled last week. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:40:45 AM
Stockdale plans to stay on at Fulham

Contrary to media reports, Martin Jol is eager to see his number 2 'keeper remain in South West London.

David Stockdale has confirmed that the club plan on retaining his services so that he can fill the gap that Mark Schwarzer will leave when he retires.

Stockdale, who has been recently sent out on loan to Hull City, was thought to be out of favour at Craven Cottage and rumours have recently been circulating that Martin Jol has opted to place the goalkeeper on the transfer list, alongside Matthew Briggs.

Stockdale quickly moved on Twitter to quell the speculation and has recently revealed, to the Daily Mirror, that the club are looking to him to replace Schwarzer when the Australian eventually hangs up his gloves.

"It's a terrific opportunity for me," said the Yorkshireman.

"I have been struggling to get games in the Premier League because we have been doing well at Fulham.

"They want me to stay and hopefully, take Mark's gloves when he has finished.

"If I do well here, you never know what could happen in the future." (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:41:54 AM
Daniel Sturridge, John Terry, and Frank Lampard will all miss Wednesday's Fulham game.

Rafa Benitez gave us the injury update on Tuesday ahead of the London derby against Fulham.

Rafa Benitez spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday's London derby with Fulham, and he had updates on a number of injured players. Daniel Sturridge, John Terry, and Frank Lampard will all be out for the mid-week clash according to Benitez, who had the following to say:

"Still [Daniel] Sturridge, [John] Terry and [Frank] Lampard are not available. They are doing well, training with the physios and improving, but we don't have a fixed date for any of them. The rest of the players are fine, there are a few knocks which I need to check tomorrow but apart from that they are all okay."

He did not mention Gary Cahill in the comment, leading one to believe that the center back will be available for selection on Wednesday. He had been a bit under the weather, and was probably better served being rested instead of playing.

Unfortunately, the injury to Sturridge likely means that we'll be looking at yet another start for the woefully out of form Fernando Torres. I suppose that Benitez could surprise us all and start either Victor Moses or Eden Hazard in the center of the attack, but I think most would expect to see Torres given another chance to show even the faintest little glimmer of usefulness. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:43:24 AM
No Ruiz again, but Fulham boss won't play for draw at Chelsea

Bryan Ruiz

Chelsea v Fulham - Wednesday, 7.45pm

FULHAM will again be without Bryan Ruiz tomorrow night when they travel across the borough seeking a first win at Stamford Bridge for 33 years.

The Costa Rican (pictured) is likely to be out for another week with a hamstring strain and has little chance of featuring against Spurs at the weekend either.

Alex Kacaniklic is in the same boat, with his hamstring strain likely to keep him sidelined until the home game against Newcastle on December 10.

Keiran Richardson, who has the same complaint, is ready to train again and could return at the weekend, but the derby has come too soon for him and a banned Brede Hangeland sits out the second of three games.

Kerim Frei will not feature either, but a fit-again Mohamadou Diarra will be back in contention, having been on the bench at Stoke on Saturday.

There is better news regarding Simon Davies. He will start training again next week as he continues his recovery from a long term hip injury.

Whites boss Martin Jol is mindful that two defeats in a row have suddenly made it five without a win for his team and he won't be going to the Bridge just to eke out a draw.

“If you get draws, it's not enough, it's only one point and we've had a lot of draws,” said the Fulham boss.

“It's five games without a win, but two weeks ago, we were unbeaten in [five] games.

“Against Sunderland we had a red card and we were a bit unfortunate and I feel you can always lose at Stoke, so we are close, but of course we have to get our winning streak back.

“Last year we had three draws against them [Chelsea], which wasn't bad, but we couldn't beat them, so hopefully there will be a first time, and maybe tomorrow.

“You could say that it's a good time to play them, but I feel it's a must win game for them – they probably have to have a result tomorrow.”

Read More (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:45:25 AM
Chelsea v Fulham: match preview
Read a full match preview of the Premier League game between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday Nov 28 2012, kick-off 19:45 GMT.

Wednesday, November 28
Chelsea v Fulham
Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 19.45 GMT.
TV: Highlights, BBC ONE Match of the Day.

Chelsea (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Oscar, Hazard, Mata; Torres.
Out: Terry (knee), Lampard (calf), Sturridge (hamstring).

Fulham (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise; Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis; Berbatov; Petric.
Out: Davies (hip), Hangeland (suspended), Kacaniklic, Richardson, Ruiz, Tavarez (all hamstring).

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Matches: 9. R3. Y15.

Team news
Gary Cahill has recovered from illness and is in contention for Chelsea's west London derby with Fulham.

Defender Cahill was only able to start on the bench in Rafael Benitez's first game in charge against Manchester City on Sunday, but he could return for the Spaniard's second Barclays Premier League at the helm.

Daniel Sturridge is close to returning from a hamstring injury, while John Terry and Frank Lampard are also progressing.

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland, meanwhile, is one of a number of key players missing.

The Norway international serves the second of a three-match ban at Stamford Bridge and is joined on the sidelines by Alex Kacaniklic, Bryan Ruiz and Kieran Richardson.

Simon Davie remains out but manager Martin Jol can call upon Kerim Frei after a loan spell at Cardiff.

Match notes
Clint Dempsey prodied equalisers in both games last season between these neighbours.

Now he has gone, the role of match winner falls to Dimitar Berbatov, who has five goals in eight starts for Fulhma.

Chelsea will hope the crowd start to warm to Rafael Benítez but nothing short of an emphatic win will soften the fans' feeling towards their 'interim' manager.

Betting: Home1-2, Away 6-1, Draw 3-1.

Stat of the game: Fulham have never won at Chelsea in the Premeir League, in 11 visits. They last experienced victory in the league at Stamford Bridge in October 1979.

John Ley's prediction: Chelsea 2 Fulham 0. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:46:39 AM
The Ex-Files

Few players manage to attain cult status at rival clubs but Clive Walker did just that.

A classy winger in his day, he made over 100 appearances in the famous white of Fulham, then under the tutorship of Ray Lewington. It was a couple of miles up the road, however, that Walker made his name, coming through the youth system at West London rivals - and Wednesday's opponents - Chelsea.

His ability to terrorise even the meanest of defenders earned him legendary status at Stamford Bridge, where he is still revered by supporters after a 12-year stay.

"I joined in 1973, having been a kid there," Walker told "They had just had three great years. They won the FA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and also lost in the League Cup Final in 1972.

"They were a club, at that particular time, that I thought were going in the right direction. But the building of the new East Stand cost them a lot of money, caused a lot of problems and players had to be sold rather than better ones being brought in.

"The youngsters were given a chance as a result, which isn’t such a bad thing, but I think we needed a lot more stability at the time and basically we didn't have it. We were fighting a losing battle but for me it was great to get into the side."

And boy did he make his mark, netting 65 goals in 224 appearances for the Blues - no mean feat for a wideman. Many a defender will still be having nightmares of the pacy winger bursting past them, with blond locks trailing in his wake.

"They are long gone now," Walker said with a chuckle. "I must say that scoring goals was something I’m pleased with now when I look back. I was a wide player, a winger essentially, and scored quite a lot of goals. Those things don't often happen in the modern game. I think goalscoring wingers are something of the past so it was something I prided myself on.

"Obviously the big game was the Liverpool one everybody talks about in 1978, and also in 1982 when we beat them again was a highlight. I got two or three hat-tricks for the club but also I think we were a young group of lads growing up and I have lovely memories of the team.

"You remain friends for a long, long time and that is something I look back on with fondness, that camaraderie at the club."

Walker eventually left Chelsea in 1984, feeling the need for a big change for the good of his career and personal life.

He ended up at Sunderland - a move that created a desire to travel that stays with him to this day - but it was not long before he was back in West London, first at Queens Park Rangers and then Craven Cottage.

"Fulham were lower down the leagues and the big draw for me was Ray Lewington, who I had known as a young apprentice at 16," Walker said.

"Ray and I had been friends for a long, long time and he had been trying to get me from QPR for two or three months. Eventually QPR gave me the opportunity to go and I was keen to fulfill Ray's ambition to get me there.

"Fulham were down the leagues at the time, the (old) Third Division, with a view to getting better. Jimmy Hill was in charge and it was another football club at that level trying to turn around the financial side, like everybody else. It was tough times for Fulham but, saying that, it was personally very enjoyable.

"I loved my time there. The players were good, there was some good quality there and Ray was forever fighting to get better quality and improve the football."

Only this summer Lewington ended his long association with Fulham, going on to become part of former Whites boss Roy Hodgson's England set-up.

"I can't say I am surprised," Walker said. "People ask me now 'who was the best manager or coach that you had?' and Ray has been up in the top two for me throughout my career. I knew him well as a close friend, but when he turned to the coaching side you could see it was his forte after playing. He was just that type of guy.

"He was very good at it. He was intelligent, very thoughtful and knew what players wanted at different stages of their career. I think he knew what I wanted and we had a good partnership there as player to Manager.

"I had to be very careful with the other players in terms of my support for the manager as you don't want to be ostracised, but there was a balance there. We got on great and I can only say I’m not surprised that he has reached the highest level with England."

Walker, who picked up Fulham's 1989/90 Player of the Year award, went on to play for Brighton & Hove Albion after leaving the Club, before plying his trade in non-League.

He won the FA Trophy at Woking and, after a short spell as Brentford assistant manager, did so again with Cheltenham Town, who he also helped earn promotion to the Football League - somewhere they have stayed ever since.

It was not until the grand old age of 42 that Walker eventually hung up his boots - experience he puts to good use now in his media work.

Walker will be at Wednesday's match in his role with Chelsea TV, but is finding it hard to predict the outcome.

"The one thing these games have been over recent years is tough," he said. "Fulham have always made it very, very difficult. I think there’s a slight advantage as Brede Hangeland isn't available and I think Chelsea's depth, although John Terry is missing, is probably greater.

"From that perspective, I think they’ll get a very, very tight win. You can see it being tough and you wouldn't be surprised if Fulham got something out of it." (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 04:47:36 AM
Chelsea boss: Fulham is not the biggest rivalry for us

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has described Fulham as not the main derby for the club.

The Blues face the Whites at Stamford Bridge hoping to improve on the 1-1 draw in both games last season.

He said: “It’s a derby, it’s not the biggest rivalry for us, we respect Fulham but it’s not the biggest derby for the club.’ said the Spaniard.

“Winning is the most important thing and if we can do it in style that’s even better, but the priority is to do our best, win the game and in terms of the mood it will be a boost for everyone.

“The mentality and attitude of the players is really good, they don’t appear down at all in training. We are under pressure, they know we have a great responsibility but they are focused on the game.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: Mr Fulham on November 28, 2012, 11:16:12 AM

Chelsea boss: Fulham is not the biggest rivalry for us

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has described Fulham as not the main derby for the club.

The Blues face the Whites at Stamford Bridge hoping to improve on the 1-1 draw in both games last season.

He said: “It’s a derby, it’s not the biggest rivalry for us, we respect Fulham but it’s not the biggest derby for the club.’ said the Spaniard.

“Winning is the most important thing and if we can do it in style that’s even better, but the priority is to do our best, win the game and in terms of the mood it will be a boost for everyone.

“The mentality and attitude of the players is really good, they don’t appear down at all in training. We are under pressure, they know we have a great responsibility but they are focused on the game.” (
What a t*t
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:39:42 PM
Fulham boss admits he fears Torres revival for Chelsea

MARTIN JOL admits he is quietly fearful Fernando Torres will suddenly recapture his Liverpool form under Rafa Benitez – and make his Fulham team suffer.

The Whites are at Stamford Bridge tonight (Wednesday) for another derby against the old foes and with home fans baying for their new manager's blood and the main striker woefully off form, hopes of a first win in 33 years should be high.

But the Fulham boss is decidedly wary.

“I don't want to talk about [him] because I've always got that little fear that it [better form] will start tomorrow,” conceded the Fulham boss.

“You have to look at the stats and his past performances. If you look at the goals he scored at Liverpool, you can only come to the conclusion that there's a lot of goals in him.

“I think it has a lot to do with confidence and I think Rafa Benitez is the man who will get it out of him.

“He should get confidence out of the boy again and if he does, I think he will score goals because he always did score goals.”

Jol also downplayed the help his team might get from the antipathy Chelsea fans are directing towards their new interim manager.

“It's all hypothetical,” said the Dutchman.

“If they score in the first minute, I will look at you in the stand and regret what I told you.

“If we can score a goal early on, they will get pressure, it's a normal thing, but it's not only for this game that we have to silence the crowd and if that happens, it means that you play well.

“They will be very motivated, that is for sure. They didn't manage to have a win on the board against Man City, but they will expect to beat us.”

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Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:41:09 PM
WestEnders – The Calmness of Chairman Mo

Tonight see’s the first West London Derby of the season for Martin Jol’s men. It falls at a time when Fulham can be seen as a beacon of stability and modicum of rationality amongst the Pandora’s box of chaos and soap opera that has engulfed our two neighbours over the past week or so.

First there was the absurd sacking of Roberto Di Matteo by Tsar Roman at Chelsea. Then in a twist straight out of Monty Python, pantomime villain of the Shed, Rafael Benitez, he of Liverpool and of ‘facts’, was appointed interim boss at Stamford Bridge. His antics when manager of Liverpool, and the disposing of the manager who won them the Champions League, led Chelsea fans to boo their incumbent leader a mere two minutes into Sunday’s draw with Manchester City.

Our other neighbours, them that are rock bottom of the league, finally made a managerial change of their own on Friday. Our former manager, Mr Ambition himself, Mark Hughes, was unsanctimoniously relieved of his duties the day before a trip to Old Trafford, after QPR made the worst start to a Premier League season in the league’s history.

What makes the carnival up at Loftus Road even more fantastical is that Harry Redknapp forced the QPR board’s hand by telling them he would fly to Kyiv on Saturday to take up the post of Ukraine Manager should the Loftus Road job not be his by the end of Friday.

What’s more, Hughes’ trusted lieutenants, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzswicki, actually took charge of the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United with the full knowledge that their only chance of being employed in Shepherd’s Bush over Christmas is to be gift wrappers at Westfield.

Where does this leave Fulham? Firstly, Mohammed Al-Fayed is verging on boring compared to Tony Fernandes and Roman Abramovic, who seem to be finding new ways to mess around their football clubs. Although in fairness to Mr Fernandes, sacking Hughes was overdue.

More importantly, Fulham face trips to Chelsea and QPR in the next month. Facing a side with a new manager is often a troublesome business. In the case of QPR, this could well be the case. For any number of reasons, QPR’s cavalcade of signings never clicked under the Welshman. You have to hope that Harry’s arm round the shoulder management doesn’t translate to Spanish and French.

For tonight’s night’s trip to Chelsea though, Rafa Benitez has a much tougher task. His appointment wasn’t by design of a club looking to stop the hemorrhaging of points, the dressing room wasn’t lost and the fans weren’t baying for blood. Except that is what now presents the Spaniard. Change is often a positive thing, but change for changes sake is different. How Chelsea will respond is anything but certain.

While as a club, we are nicely stable at the moment. Our first team is in the middle of a turbulent fortnight. Brede Hangeland’s contentious red card against Sunderland, along with injuries to starters Alex Kacaniklic and Bryan Ruiz, have disrupted Martin Jol’s immediate first team plans.

Kerim Frei and Matthew Briggs are back from stop-start loan spells in the Championship, while David Stockdale, Marcello Trotta and Alex Smith have all been loaned out. Pajtim Kasami, one of our more talented youngsters, has been told to get his act together. Our central midfield has got four players fighting for two spots, and the formerly rock solid defence has begun to ship goals at a rate of knots, despite upgrading our major weakness at right back in the summer. To go with all this, we also have in our ranks, the most naturally gifted footballer in the club’s recent history. Oh and on Saturday we welcome back Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey with the visit of Spurs.

It is undoubtedly an exciting time to be a Fulham fan. How the coming weeks are going to transpire is anybody’s guess. Nothing is certain, and any results are within the realms of possibility. The script for this season is not yet even half written, beginning tonight at Stamford Bridge, let’s show Chelsea fans how it’s done, and help our team write the next chapter. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:42:18 PM
Fulham star disagrees with ex-QPR boss on the Whites’ ambition

Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell has admitted that he joined the Whites because of the ambition the club showed.

This is in stark contrast to former QPR boss Mark Hughes, who left the club because of a perceived lack of it.

“I wanted to show people that I’m still around and I can still play at a decent level,” he said. “Fulham was a club that I could see had ambition.

“I went missing for a few years with previous clubs but now I’m back on the map and showing that in my performances.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:43:38 PM
Fulham star reveals ex-Spurs and Man Utd man’s progress on settling in at Craven Cottage

Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell believes that former Manchester United and Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov has settled in at Craven Cottage.

The Englishman revealed that the Bulgarian international has started to come out of his shell now in west London.

Sidwell told the Daily Mail: “The players that we lost – Clint, who was our top goal-scorer, then Mousa as well, who was one of the best players I’ve played with over the years – (meant) we needed to get somebody in who was going to be a good buy and Berbatov has turned out to be that so far.

“Glimpses of what he does in training and stuff – he’s just brilliant. And you’re seeing that on the pitch as well.

“He’s very happy-go-lucky, very easy. Nothing seems to faze him. That’s how he plays, doesn’t he? Some people don’t like that that particular style but when he’s producing what he’s doing at the minute, you just applaud it.

“When he first came he was really quiet – but I think that’s his personality and persona. He’s started to come out of his shell and he’s quite dry, really. He comes out with a few one-liners every now and again.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:44:36 PM
Fulham star reveals Jol is tough but fair

Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell is impressed with Martin Jol’s style of football.

The Dutchman has overseen a revolution at Craven Cottage with the Whites now stalwarts in the top half of the table.

“Martin likes things done the right way,” Sidwell told the Daily Mail. “Coming from Holland he wants that…not sexy football, but that type of football. I like him. He’s tough, but fair.

“Obviously there have been players in the past who he’s not seen eye-to-eye with, but that happens at every club, and those players have moved on. Things needed to change and it does feel like his team now.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:46:02 PM
Derby Day

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is keen to forget the Team’s last two results, starting on Wednesday evening when we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues – like Fulham – have not won in five Barclays Premier League matches, but our stopper knows that will mean little when the two sides do battle come 7.45pm.

“We’ve lost our last two games, and we have a chance to put that right on Wednesday,” he told “Although that’s easier said than done, because Stamford Bridge is a tough place to go.

“Is this a good time to play Chelsea? Well, who knows, we’ll see after the game won’t we. We’ll talk about it either way after the match. It doesn’t matter when we play them, or how their results have been, you know you are always in for a tough match when you face Chelsea.”

Wednesday’s hosts drew their last outing against current champions Manchester City, while the Whites went down 1-0 at Stoke City in a result which naturally disappointed our Australian custodian.

“Stoke are a tough team to play,” the 40-year-old admitted. “They are obviously very physical and have a certain game plan. They work extremely hard all over the pitch and they can make life very difficult for their opponents – which we found last Saturday.

“They have some very good players, and they are very effective at what they do. The Britannia has become a bit of a fortress for them too, having last lost a game there in February. It can be a boisterous place to go and perhaps that can intimidate some people.

“That said, I think we were disappointed not to have taken something, because overall I thought we defended quite well and managed to contain them for large periods of the game. With a bit more luck, we might have snatched a point at the end, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“But I still believe that we have made a good start to the season and that it has been relatively positive so far. We probably should have done even better, because I don’t think we have had a lot of luck at times, but I suppose that evens itself out over the course of the campaign.”

Matches between Fulham and Chelsea have become increasingly tight affairs over recent seasons. We shared two points with our local rivals in the 2011/12 campaign, and also took them to a penalty shoot-out following our League Cup tie at the Bridge.

And Schwarzer is hoping that his side can show the same confidence in their first West London derby of the new season.

“Games between the two have been quite close in recent years so we like to think it could be our time,” he said. “We’re creating lots of chances, which is a good thing, but saying that we’ve also conceded a few too many – so that’s something we need to be aware of.

“Chelsea is the game that we all look forward too, and, alongside Queens Park Rangers, this is the derby match for this Club. They are one of the best teams in Europe; they won the UEFA Champions League last season and they will be one of the sides that challenges for the Premier League this season.

“Their fortunes have been somewhat mixed of late, but perhaps that’s because they’re entering a transitional period with a new manager. They started really well but, like us, they haven’t picked up too many points recently.

“They have real quality in every position, but we will give our best as always, and hopefully cause them problems. We want to get back on track.

“From a neutral’s point of view, we’ve been involved in some very entertaining encounters, which I’m sure they will like. There’s plenty to play for in this game so I think it will be an exciting clash.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:47:04 PM
Clean Sheet for Stockdale

David Stockdale kept a clean sheet as Hull City earned a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the npower Championship on Tuesday night.

The Tigers dominated possession at the KC Stadium but Stockdale, on loan at Hull from the Whites, prevented the Eagles from snatching a win in the dying minutes when he denied Eagles winger Wilfried Zaha.

Hull, who sit in sixth place in the table, head to Nottingham Forest on Saturday (3pm).

Elsewhere, Matthew Briggs has returned to SW6 after his loan spell with Bristol City came to an end. The left-back made four appearances for the Robins during his time with the club. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:48:15 PM
History won't hold back Martin Jol as he plans Euro mission

Martin Jol has declared his intention to drag Fulham back in contention for a place in Europe next season and harbours no fears about starting the task against Chelsea tonight even though his side’s last victory at Stamford Bridge came 33 years ago.

Fulham make the short journey to their west London neighbours without a Premier League win in five games and having had their impressive early-season momentum punctured by successive defeats to Sunderland and Stoke.

Jol, especially frustrated by four stalemates in the five games before the set-back against Sunderland, said: “We have to get our winning streak back. Getting draws is not enough, because you only get one point, and we’ve had a lot of draws.”

Victory over a Chelsea side also looking for their first win in six League fixtures and in the throes of reorganisation under interim manager Rafa Benitez would put Fulham back in touch with those clubs chasing a place in the Europa League, the competition in which they reached the final in 2010.

The Whites are also in the running for qualification through the Fair Play League, the means by which they made the Europa League under Mark Hughes.

In the latest table, yet to be updated following Brede Hangeland’s red card against Sunderland, they lie second to Arsenal and Jol admitted he would have no objections to making Europe by that means even if it meant an early summer start to the season.

He said: “I always love to be in Europe, and if it is via the Fair Play table then it is okay by me. But I would like to be there on the normal basis. That is what I always try to do and most of the time I’ve done that over the last decade.”

Jol (above) will remind his players tonight that whatever the history books may say, their recent record against Chelsea is solid. In open play last season — Fulham lost a League Cup tie on penalties at the Bridge — they drew all three clashes.

“We didn’t manage to beat them,” he said. “But in three games we had three draws, 1-1 all the time.

“Before the season, if people were to tell me we would draw against Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, I would probably take it.

“But now we need the points, Chelsea also need the win, so it should be an exciting match.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:49:49 PM
Four things we know about Fulham

After a 0-0 draw against Manchester City at home, Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea once again face another firing squad in front of the home fans in the person of local rivals Fulham. A West London derby is always a rather nervy affair, but it will be the latest attempt for Benitez to attempt to win over supporters after the protests from the crowd on Sunday.

Whereas a draw to Manchester City was always on the cards given both teams relative form, a defeat to Fulham would be catastrophic for Benitez’s campaign to acquit himself as the right man for the job.

However, this fixture shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, this is the Fulham side that very nearly turned over Arsenal just a few weeks ago in a 3-3 draw.

First thing to look at is how Benitez has changed Chelsea.
At first glance, it would appear that very little had been changed in the transition to Benitez ideas from Roberto Di Matteo’s. However, the most notable was a bit more solidity in defence that wasn’t always there under Di Matteo. The most interesting thing to me is still the correlation between the problems Di Matteo had at West Brom and the defensive issues that Chelsea had before their sacking. The argument could easily be made that at times, Chelsea played too open when they didn’t need to and weren’t able to coax defensive solidarity out when it was needed. You could say that Di Matteo’s side defended well in the lead up to the Champions League win, but you could also say that he didn’t have the ability to play three playmakers behind a striker either. While providing excitement, it also leaves you open, particularly if your deeper midfielders both like to get forward.

And there is our first major difference. In previous matches, John Mikel Obi was more than happy to supplement the attack by making forward runs of his own, regardless of whether space and shape dictated it or not. The first thing I noticed was that Mikel, and to an extent Ramires, played deeper to shield the center backs from 1 v 1 situations. It was a change that made the Blues less fluid in attack, but much more solid at the back.

The second thing was getting Eden Hazard and Juan Mata to stay wider and track the runs of the fullbacks. Against City, only Pablo Zabaleta really provided a threat from fullback, largely because City were often times playing three players on the right. Otherwise, both did a much better job defending, although at the expense of the attack.

Now on to Fulham. Martin Jol’s done a fantastic job of resurrecting the career of Dimitar Berbatov.
I would venture to say a large part of Fulham’s success this season has come down to the play of Berbatov. It’s interesting because I think to get the best out of him, you have to take the big fish, small pond approach. He almost has to have the side constructed around him as the focal point of every attack. At Manchester United, I think the biggest problem was that he wasn’t the focal point, thus his lack of work rate in winning the ball back and making repeated runs in channels was exposed.

What Jol seemingly has done is taken a similar approach to what Roma had done with Francesco Totti. You know that he’s a luxury player who has great skills and finishing ability. You know that he can pick out passes. But you also know that his movement is very efficient and he’s not going to track back 30 yards and win the ball if he loses it. However, if you construct the entire side so that his strike partner does a lot of off the ball work and his midfield works hard, he’ll create you bags of chances that he’ll either initiate, finish, or both.

That support system was lacking at United, where much of the play centered around the work rate of Wayne Rooney, but at Fulham, Jol has seemingly centered it around Berbatov.

To create the system for Berbatov, Jol has almost re-created a similar side to the 2006-2007 Tottenham side that tormented Chelsea.
When I looked at the Fulham setup, I started to realize the many parallels between the side that Jol had at Tottenham and the side he’s constructed around Berbatov at Fulham. He has a striker who plays off Berbatov with skill. He has two hard-working central midfielders. He has one attacking fullback that balances a more defensive option on the other side. And he has a number of flair players that he can play on the flanks to create chances.

It was the combination of Robbie Keane and Berbatov that caused issues that season, along with the pace of Aaron Lennon on the right. While Fulham don’t quite have anyone as pacey as Lennon, Alexander Kacaniklic and Kerim Frei have been viable options in wide areas, and Hugo Rodellega is also capable of playing out wide.

Beware of Bryan Ruiz.
With Fulham, Berbatov is obviously the main danger man, but Ruiz might be just as dangerous. If everything is played through Berbatov, Ruiz is the striker that plays as his shadow, providing the movement off the ball to create space for Berbatov, while also creating space for himself.

The other underrated part of Ruiz’s game is that he will take on defenders. He’s shown a willingness this season to drift into wider areas and run at a back line if needed. He also has that touch of flair that can open up a defence by himself. What would worry me from a Chelsea perspective is if David Luiz doesn’t get the balance between staying tight and backing off right. He does have the ability to turn his man and can finish. The back line will have to keep him in front because if he gets behind them, he could be a big threat. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:52:07 PM
Emerson's International Recognition

Fulham Under-18 midfielder Emerson Hyndman has been rewarded for his fine form this season with a call-up the United States Under-17s squad for their upcoming Nike International Friendlies tournament.

Hyndman has been a key performer for Steve Wigley’s side in the 2012/13 campaign and has not looked out of place in the Under-18 league, despite the fact that he does not turn 17 until April.

He’s helped his Fulham team to second place in the Barclays U18 Premier League, with his personal highlight coming when he hit a hat-trick on the opening day in a 7-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After winning the tournament last year, the United States U17s begin their defence of their International Friendlies against Brazil on Wednesday, before facing Turkey on Friday and Portugal on Sunday. (
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Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:52:54 PM
Benfica Midfielder Chase
Newspaper speculation, as we prepare to face Chelsea tonight, has us linked with the possible acquisition of an attacking midfielder.

Apparently, Fulham are interested in bringing the Benfica player - Nolito - to Craven Cottage.

The move, for the ex-Barcelona player, could happen in the forthcoming January transfer window and the fee could be something in the region of £5 million.

Nolito scored 11 times last season, a fine return for a midfield player, but has fallen from grace this season, thereby prompting the speculation that a move to the Premier League could well be on.

As for a potential rival for his signature, look no further than West Ham United with Sam Allardyce also rumoured to be interested in the player.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:53:53 PM
Fulham helps youngsters find a job

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Fulham are helping young unemployed people gain valuable skills to empower them to find a job, as Leon Mann reports.

The "My Future Goal" project develops life skills, such as communication and team work, as well as giving participants work-related training.

Cottagers defender Aaron Hughes said the club had benefited from the scheme too, with some young people going on to work at Fulham. (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:55:09 PM
Uefa consider merging Europa League with Champions League

A proposal to abolish the Europa League and double the size of the Champions League to 64 clubs is among a number of changes to European competitions being considered by Uefa.

The European governing body is pondering changes to both their club competitions and will make a decision in 2014.

Another proposal being looked at is to award Champions League qualification to the winners of the Europa League, and possibly even the runners-up too, in a bid to boost interest in the second-tier competition.

Uefa president Michel Platini confirmed the proposal for a 64-club Champions League is being looked at.

In an interview with French newspaper Ouest-France, he said: “There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will take between 2015 and 2018. We talk, and we will make a decision in 2014. There is nothing decided yet.”

A 64-club competition would see as many as seven English clubs and five Scottish teams entering at various stages of the qualifying rounds.

Platini also blasted Fifa president Sepp Blatter for dismissing his idea of extra officials behind the goal-line as being too expensive. Uefa are continuing with the five officials, and Platini said that the cost was minimal compared to goal-line technology.

He added: “I’ll give you some numbers. Mr Blatter said that five officials is expensive. In our UEFA competitions, if you want to put in goal-line technology it costs us 32million Euros in the first year and 54million dollars over five years. Referees, it costs us 2.3 million.

“If you put in the goal-line, it is the gateway to video in football in general. I’m against it all.” (
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff(28/11/12)...
Post by: whitejc on November 28, 2012, 03:56:18 PM
Chelsea 3-0 U21s
Here are the goals as Fulham were beaten by Chelsea on Monday at their Cobham training ground.
Fulham Under-21s slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Chelsea Under-21s on Monday night.

Kit Symons’ young side came unstuck against an in form Blues side that entered the game unbeaten in their last five outings and one buoyed by the presence of the watching Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and interim manager Rafael Benitez.

The hosts started well and threatened to break the early deadlock with Islam Feruz and Billy Clifford missing decent opportunities. Their pressure was rewarded however, when Nathan Ake opened the scoring with an impressive curled finish on 15 minutes.

Both Charles Banya and Omri Altman tested the Chelsea defence with some clever inter-play, however, it was the Blues that made the telling difference once more, when Feruz kept his cool to finish smartly beyond the reach of Jesse Joronen.

When Adam Phillip made it 3-0 just before the break, sliding in from Lewis Baker’s cross, the striker gave Fulham a mountain to climb.

Joronen made a fine stop to deny Reece Mitchell on the hour mark before George Saville shot wide, while James Musa made an excellent tackle to deny a further chance for the Blues.

It was an undoubtedly difficult evening for Symons’ charges, who face Liverpool at Motspur Park next Monday. While some billed this match as a dress rehearsal for the First Team’s encounter at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening, Fulham will be hoping for a bit more luck in two days’ time. 

Fulham U21: Joronen; Grimmer, Musa, Pritchard, Briggs; Brister, Minkwitz, Donegan, Banya; Altman, Islamovic. (Subs: Arthurworrey, Evans, Tankovic and G Williams) (