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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:35:20 AM

Title: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:35:20 AM
Wes Brown lined up Sunderland's opener against Fulham
Paolo Di Canio expects Wes Brown to be in contention for the Premier League opener against Fulham despite deciding to rest him in Denmark

Paolo Di Canio expects Wes Brown to be in contention for the Premier League opener against Fulham despite deciding to rest him in Denmark.

Former Manchester United defender Brown suffered a minor reaction after his exertions in Hong Kong and the Sunderland boss opted to rest him – along with Ji Dong-Won, who seems set to play a frontline role for the Black Cats this season.

Brown’s long battle with injuries has been well documented at the Stadium of Light and he missed the whole of last season as he struggled to shake off a knee problem.

But it is a measure of Brown’s pre-season renaissance that Di Canio hopes to have him fit enough to play an “important role” when the campaign kicks off. “He had a little problem and we decided not to risk him today,” Di Canio revealed.

“He has had a very good pre-season which was a surprise for everyone, even him.

“We didn’t want to risk him because he’s an important player now.

“On Wednesday he was running again and on Thursday he can train harder because I want him to be available as soon as possible.” (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:36:51 AM
A book by its cover.
by andersons11

What makes a football player? Is it a charming personality? A great abundance of skill mixed in with the right mentality? In the best sense it is a combination of the above along with other attributes.After all a skillful player can be a down right horrible person, aka Mr. Suarez where you grudgingly acknowledge his talent. However the footballers that tend to be recognized by the supporters are the former, a great person that happens to make his pay by being a skillful football player.

Why is this question being brought up? Well its simple really, we as football supporters have the easy task of being very judgmental about our fellow human beings with little to no retribution. During the silly season ever supporter is a pundit, scout and God among men. It may not be to that exact point for some, but if you were to ask any supporter during the off season what they would likefor the squad, they would at least have a position, if not a name picked out for whom they would like to come in. It is easy for us. As for the men and women who actually work for the club, a wrong transfer or some bad advice could mean the end of a job, particularly in the transition period that the club is in. Everything is magnified.

As social media and the internet increase our visibility of the transfer window, problems arise that necessarily were not present in large sections of the support. Anyone can start a rumor and by in large get in published in the papers if it creates enough movement. While annoying, it is relatively harmless. However, social media and other sites can also bring out the worst in a football supporter.

It is so easy in this day and age to type something in your web based content along the lines of “he is crap” or “not fit to wear the shirt” among the nicer things. Where as you can sort of take back something you say, once it is out on the internet you won’t get it back.
It is human nature to judge, sad but true. This seems to be doubly the case when it comes to football.

As a supporter a bad game can worsen your mood, just as much as a thrilling win heightens it. Individuals are always picked out, though it is a team game. When the club struggles it’s quite easy to say “player x” was terrible, he should be sent packing”. Just as it is easy to say “player x” was amazing no one could touch him.
When it is silly season, as mentioned before, players are linked and judgment is already passed.

Common arguments are “he was terrible for a relegated side”, “he couldn’t get into “Team X’s starting XI, why is he coming here” or “he’s great, but I can’t see him coming to Fulham. As a supporter it is really hard not to make these statements. After all it isn’t a perfect world. However, everything is situational, if they have never played a match for Fulham try to keep the criticism to a rational level, after all most supporters player of the season in Reither came from a relegated Bundesliga side.

Players are human too, while their quality of life may be a tad bit better, they still go home to their families and deal with situations just like us, along with having to deal with the plusses and minuses of all the attention being a professional footballer brings. If they have a good match, I will congratulate them and ask for more, and if they have a bad game I won’t leave it at “he had a terrible match” but instead point out what was done wrong and how to go about fixing it.

After all, you never know who might be reading. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:38:53 AM
Adel Taarabt - Hard work but worth the reward for Fulham?

Fulham will have to work extra hard with the addition of Adel Taarabt from QPR, but the hard work will be rewarded.

Adel Taarabt has signed for Fulham on loan for the coming season, once again linking up with Martin Jol, the manager who signed him for Spurs.

Taarabt needs to play Premier League football, of that there is no doubt but he also needs to play in a side where his managers, and fellow players value him, and understand the way he plays.

Oddly, the manager to get the best out of him was known disciplinarian Neil Warnock, during QPR’s triumphant championship winning year, which must seem so long ago now for hoops fans.

Warnock knew that Taarabt, on his day was a match winner, and despite being kicked from pillar to post in the championship, he didn’t sulk, he played for the team and scored some memorable goals as they romped to the title. Warnock got the best out of this phenomenal talent and the results flowed.

Taarabt doesn’t really seem the player that Warnock would have had the time for, and nurture, but he could see the quality, had players around him who would clean up after him if things went wrong and would put an arm round his shoulder and massage his considerable ego. It is seen as one of Warnock’s greatest pieces of management.

This, remember is the player who on wishing to leave Spurs thought either Real Madrid or Barcelona would be his next destination, rather than Loftus Road. Nothing wrong with having confidence in your own ability, but even the most myopic critic could see that was not going to happen anytime soon.

It was Harry Redknapp, as manager of Spurs who initially loaned Adel to QPR, and now as manager of QPR, it is Redknapp who is loaning him to Jol and Fulham. At least, since his arrival in England in 2007, he wouldn’t have had to move house!

It seems safe to say, that Taarabt is not a player that Redknapp rates particularly highly, despite the praise lavished on him after QPR’s first victory of the season last year, against ironically Fulham.

Battling relegation though is not what Taarabt’s game is about, and it is no wonder that he was played more sparingly as the season progressed as Redknapp overhauled his squad with his own signings in his desperate and ultimately doomed effort to avoid the drop.

Fulham though is an interesting destination on Taarabt’s tour of London’s Premier League grounds. They struggled for much of last season, only putting together a run towards the end of the year which saw them finish relatively comfortably in 12th position. Is Taarabt the sort of player which Fulham really need?

A comparatively small and extremely aging squad certainly needed new blood, but Fulham already boast the mercurial talents of Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz, and Kerim Frei. Will all three be able to play together, as all are known to not be the best at tracking back! The Cottagers defensive players will be wondering where any cover will be coming from, especially if John Arne Riise is rampaging up his wing as well.

Martin Jol has made some sound acquisitions this window, and also shipped a lot of dead wood and out of contract players out. It still looks like a season of transformation for them though, especially considering the change of ownership as well.

There is no way that new owner Shahid Khan will want to see his investment go down to the Championship, so if Jol needs it there will be more funds available. It is encouraging however that creative, intuitive players will be leading Fulham’s attack in the coming season, and there will be no lack of entertainment down by the banks of the Thames.

Taarabt could just be the key to an abundance of goals, probably at both ends in Fulham games this season, and maybe the Cottage will become an even more becoming stage for his lavish skills than Loftus Road was.

Jol should be able to nurture his talent in a similar way to Warnock did, and while there is a change of mindset at Fulham, Taarabt should take this opportunity to once and for all prove that, one day he will be gracing Real Madrid or Barcelona as he bravely foretold. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:39:55 AM
What`s Happened to Sako Deal?
Reports in the tabloid press this morning infer that the Wolverhampton Wanderers winger, Bakary Sako could be about to join Nottingham Forest.

It seems that Wolves are willing to pay £2.5 million for a player we`ve supposedly been keen on signing all summer.

Reports suggest the deal from Moulineux to Craven Cottage faltered and Forest are now set to cash in.

Another one we`ve lost I surmise!

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:42:31 AM
Premier League preview: Fulham

Enigmatic striker Dimitar Berbatov holds the key to Fulham's survival chances. Photo: PA

Last season: 12th

It’s all about the small victories for Fulham as they look to maintain their Premier League status with a touch of flair for another season.

To add to their roster of technically gifted footballers, Martin Jol has signed QPR maverick and strop merchant Adel Taarabt on a season-long loan, with the country waiting to see how he will link up with fellow divas Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz.

Jol’s men comfortably survived last season in 12th place, but only managed to muster 43 points, something that will concern the Dutchman, as the Premier League becomes increasingly competitive.

They rely heavily on their one top class player Berbatov, who scored 15 goals for the Craven Cottage outfit, with the Bulgarian at the centre of all the good play the west Londoners produced last season.

If the former Manchester United striker were to get injured, goals could become sparse; last season no other player scored on more than five occasions, which would worry the Fulham faithful.

Fellow forwards Ruiz and Mladen Petric netted 10 between them, and Hugo Rodallega got a pitiful three goals in 33 appearances, which makes it more surprising that Jol is yet to bolster his forward line.

Their new arrivals haven’t turned many heads. There’s been a change in the goalkeeping department following Mark Schwarzer’s release, with Netherlands international Maarten Stekelenburg coming from Roma.

Ahead of the Dutchman, La Liga’s dirtiest ever player Fernando Amorebieta has joined on a free transfer from Athletic Bilbao, and midfielder Derek Boateng has also pitched his tent at Craven Cottage.

In recent times Fulham have possessed the quality to keep their head above water, but if they were to get stuck in a rut this year players like Berbatov, Taarabt and Ruiz might not have the attitude to turn things around, meaning a long time looking over their shoulder.

Ins: Maarten Stekelenburg (Roma, £4m), Fernando Amorebieta (Athletic Bilbao, free), Derek Boateng (Dnipro, free), Adel Taarabt (QPR, loan).

Outs: Chris Baird, Simon Davies, Mahamadou Diarra, Thomas Donegan, Corey Gameiro, Georgios Karagkounis, James Musa, Richard Peniket, Mladen Petric, Mark Schwarzer, Alex Smith, Csaba Somogyi (All released), Dan Burn (Birmingham, loan).

Check out the stats on Fulham's Bulgarian maestro from last season. Credit:

One to watch: Fernando Amorebieta. The Venezuelan has rocked up with a reputation of enjoying a foul, having won the title of the worst disciplinary record in La Liga history. In the quicker paced Premier League it will be interesting to see how the player copes, as he is known to take a player down needlessly and ruthlessly.

Something to prove: Hugo Rodallega. Having left Wigan looking for bigger things, the Colombian striker failed to deliver last year thanks to poor form and spending most of the campaign hugging the left touchline instead of playing down the middle.

Predicted finish: 15th

Relegation odds: 4/1 (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:47:56 AM
Capital One Cup Draw

Fulham will face Sky Bet League Two side Burton Albion in the Second Round of the Capital One Cup at the Pirelli Stadium.

The match is due to take place the week commencing Monday 26th August. Ticketing details will be announced on in due course. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:52:24 AM
Fulham transfer news: "New Fellaini" impasse

Fulham's hopes of signing young Belgian Bernard Malanda-Adje, dubbed "the new Fellaini", have stalled as the club and player failed to agree terms.

The teen was a key member of Belgian side Zulte Waregem's push for a Champions League spot, with several Premier League sides, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton keeping tabs on him since the end of last season.

The player has since terminated his contract with the club, using the country's labour laws to help him become a free agent, and Fulham were in the driving seat to sign him.

Although the player is keen on a Premier League, Fulham boss Martin Jol is under pressure to make the player a better offer or risk losing him to an English rival. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:55:17 AM
Saha retires on 35th birthday

Louis Saha has chosen the occasion of his 35th birthday today to bring the curtain down on his professional football career.

The former France international, who enjoyed spells with Newcastle United, Fulham, Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham Hotpsur and Sunderland, took to his Twitter account to deliver the news. Saha said: "Want to thks all managers, all staffs, all teammates, all opponents, all fans, for all support and love towards me during my football career.

"I'm a proud man but without you all I won't be myself now. Thx for the challenges thx for the help thx for the memories thx for the passion," the striker said. "I will stop to be call a professionnel footballer and wish many young talent to enjoy as much as me my football. Love you and thx again."

After starting his career at Metz in 1997, Saha initially played on loan at Newcastle in the second half of the 1998/99 season, making 12 appearances. Fulham then signed Saha on a permanent basis in the summer of 2000, the Frenchman enjoying a prolific spell with 64 goals in 144 games. That sparked a £12.8m move to Manchester United in January 2004, with Saha weighing in with 42 goals 124 appearances.

After four and a half years at Old Trafford, Saha then joined Everton where he scored 35 goals in 115 games, before moving on again to Spurs in January last year, followed by brief spells with Sunderland and Lazio at the end of last season. Saha also made 20 appearances for France, scoring four goals. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: Riverside on August 09, 2013, 09:56:46 AM

Fulham transfer news: "New Fellaini" impasse

Fulham's hopes of signing young Belgian Bernard Malanda-Adje, dubbed "the new Fellaini", have stalled as the club and player failed to agree terms.

The teen was a key member of Belgian side Zulte Waregem's push for a Champions League spot, with several Premier League sides, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton keeping tabs on him since the end of last season.

The player has since terminated his contract with the club, using the country's labour laws to help him become a free agent, and Fulham were in the driving seat to sign him.

Although the player is keen on a Premier League, Fulham boss Martin Jol is under pressure to make the player a better offer or risk losing him to an English rival. (

Is this not old news ?
I thought Malanda had gone to Wolfsburg ?
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: ScalleysDad on August 09, 2013, 09:57:17 AM
Re. A book by its cover.
Fair point at the end of the piece but do we do not seem to see the nurturing bit from the touchline, coaching out the errors as it were. Players seem to fall in and out of favour as opposed to picking up skill levels or being more dynamic over a few weeks. Rodders still has the first touch of a breeze block and Riise has frequently been found out although he did step up his fitness levels but they retain first team squad status. Meanwhile the likes of Frei, Trotta, Kasammi and Briggs who made their share of errors as part of a sharp learning curve seem to be having those errors fixed well away from the classroom that counts.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:58:16 AM
Kasami's Great Whites Hope

After returning to SW6, Pajtim Kasami is bidding to make up for lost time.

The midfielder is the cover star and main interview in the new-look official matchday programme for Saturday’s (3pm) game with Parma, Fulham’s final pre-season friendly of the summer.

And having spent the majority of the second half of the 2012/13 season on loan at FC Luzern, ex-Palermo man Kasami has outlined his hopes and ambitions now he’s back at the Cottage.

“There's a lot of competition in the squad, more so than when I first arrived, so it will be tough,” said Kasami. “But I’m ready, I want to play my part and help the team to a successful season.

“I don’t think the fans have seen a lot of me in a Fulham shirt, so hopefully that will change this season. I think I’ll get my chance, so it’s up to me to impress and do well.

“The Manager is pleased and he says that he has a good feeling about me this season, which is great to hear.”

Read the full interview with Kasami in Saturday’s matchday programme.

Other highlights in the only matchday magazine that matters - which is available to download digitally from 9am on Saturday – are:

Martin Jol’s exclusive Manager’s notes
Martin Djetou looks back at his time with both Fulham and Parma
Chris David takes the Fulham 50 challenge
John Mitchell recalls Fulham’s stint in the Anglo-Italian Cup
An A-Z of Fulham’s Italian connections
The full lowdown on our visitors
Quizzes for fans both young and old
And a nostalgic trip down programme memory lane in our Rewind feature
Priced £3, the 64-page publication is available from various sellers on Stevenage Road from two hours before kick-off. Fans can also save money by taking out a season subscription for just £55 for the campaign - that’s a saving of £11.50 if you were to purchase each edition individually. Head to ( for more details.

The programme is also available as an app with added video content from 9am on Saturday, so whether you’re at home or away, you need never be without it on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, PC or Mac via Apple’s Newsstand. The programme is also available via the Pocketmags app on Kindle Fire and Blackberry Playbook. You can subscribe for the whole season for the digital edition for just £24.99 or buy a single issue for £1.99. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 09:59:52 AM
Has Martin Jol captured a frustrated genius, or just a frustration?

Like the British weather, Adel Taarabt is changeable, frustrating, sometimes brilliant, but consistently inconsistent. There’s no doubting his skill, quick feet or ability to score world-class goals. The problem is he can be an expensive luxury, particularly when fighting relegation.

The Moroccan, a favourite with the Queens Park Rangers fans, has been allowed to join Fulham on a season-long loan. If that goes well, then it’s safe to assume he’ll make the move permanent. Harry Redknapp, an advocate of attacking football, obviously believes that Taarabt’s penchant for mixing genius with table-thumping disbelief is one he cannot afford to indulge as he plots a course to return QPR to the Premier League.

That’s a view that has seemingly been shared by previous interest suitors, including AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, who were heavily linked but pulled out of any potential deal. And, some would argue, the reason why is not confined to his transgressions on the pitch, but rather those off it.

In July he was sent home from QPR’s pre-season training camp after turning up late for a training session, while he has sometimes opened his mouth without thinking of the consequences.

Fulham boss Martin Jol, however, has put that to one side. His belief in Taarabt is steadfast, although he did admit that he was signing the player during a “bad” time in his career.

I have known him now for a long time. Remember the fact he was an over £10million  player 12 months ago, so I  think you have to take them when they are bad and  hopefully he will show his potential here,” Jol is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

“‘I think he can do a hell of a job for us because he is a tremendous player on the ball.”

Again, the potential is not in doubt, and Jol – having signed Taarabt for Tottenham in 2007 – clearly believes he’s the one to extract his best. The player, too, is anxious to get started at Craven Cottage.

I’m really looking forward to [playing with  Berbatov],” commented Taarabt. “I’m a big fan of Dimitar  Berbatov. When I arrived at Tottenham he was already a star and I was just a  young kid.

“Every time I saw him pay  at the games he was unbelievable. Now that I have the chance to play with him  hopefully we can understand each other, play good together and score some  goals.”

There’s every chance that this could be the season in which Taarabt does prove the naysayers wrong and lives up to his billing.

His performances last season were, at times, effective, and he did score five goals with four further assists. According to, that means he was directly involved in 30% of QPR’s 30 league goals.


He attempted 147 dribbles, second only to Luis Suarez (255), of which 83 were ‘successful’. This ability on the ball, as suggested by Jol, is a primary reason why Fulham have taken the plunge. Having a player who can dribble past the opposition is a huge asset, when used in the correct positions and situations.

A player of comparable ability in the Fulham squad is Bryan Ruiz. According to, Ruiz had a ‘dribble success’ rate of 45.7% during 2012-2013, compared to Taarabt’s  56.5%. The former Spurs player also made 2.5 key passes per game, better than Ruiz’s 1.7. Both were level on goals scored, although Ruiz did provide seven assists.

Similar players, similar positions and similar stats, then.  As such, they could push each other on, giving Jol a choice on who to use in the playmaker role.

On the other hand, he could place Taarabt in the centre of Fulham’s midfield, or out on the left where he can cut in on his right foot. This versatility is useful for Jol, and again highlights one of the attractions to Taarabt. However, for many, the jury is still out. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 10:00:52 AM
Fulham Drawn Away
The draw for the second round of the Capital One cup was made earlier today.

With a domestic cup our only possible chance of a trophy this season we would have hoped for a home tie.

Instead we were given a tricky looking away tie against Burton Albion

The second round ties will take place in the week commencing 26th August.

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 10:02:18 AM
Faurlin loan on Fulham agenda

Fulham are showing interest in QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin amid claims that a season-long loan deal could suit both clubs.

Fulham coach Billy McKinlay and ex-Cottagers defender Ian Pearce saw the Argentine return to first-team action in the QPR's 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Martin Jol could now make a move for a player who could be the perfect compliment to new arrival Adel Taarabt in the Whites' midfield. Rangers would prefer to broker another such loan agreement after chairman Tony Fernandes made it plain the playmaker was very much part of long-term plans if his club regain their Premier League status. But Loftus Road manager Harry Redknapp allowed Faurlin to go on loan to Palermo last season and may be interested in another such arrangement. The player has only one year left on his QPR contract and is attracting interest elsewhere in the Premier League as well as France and Italy.

Read more at: (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 10:05:06 AM
Fulham remain bookie favourites to sign South American

We believe that Fulham have done some exciting business already this summer. By capturing QPR playmaker Adel Taraabt on loan for the season, they have sprinkled some fairy dust on a squad heavily reliant on the magic of Dimitar Berbatov.

There is continued speculation that Darren Bent will also sign for the club to add firepower and potentially become the perfect foil for the Bulgarian. But there is interest from elsewhere for the England man, most notably from Newcastle United. Until that deal is sealed there will be anxiety amongst Fulham fans about his ultimate destination.

But another striker to be regularly linked with Fulham this summer is Argentinian hitman Pablo Osvaldo. The 27 year old Roma striker has scored 27 goals in his 55 appearances for the Italian outfit.

Various reports, over the last couple of weeks, have suggested that Fulham are in talks with Roma about signing player. With those attempts to sign Darren Bent ongoing the Osvaldo trail seems to have gone a little bit cold.

Nevertheless he remains favourites with bookmakers SkyBet to make the move to West London this summer. SkyBet have him at 5/2 to join The Cottagers before the end of the window.

Let’s see him in action. Fulham fans, would you prefer Osvaldo to Bent? (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 10:06:39 AM
Agent Of Napoli Midfielder In London For Talks With Fulham

The agent of Napoli midfielder Walter Gargano is in London in order to seal a move to Fulham.

The 29-year-old spent last season on loan at Inter, but the Nerazzurri opted not to exercise their option on the Uruguayan.

As a result, he returned to Napoli this summer but it does not appear as though new coach Rafa Benitez is keen to hold onto him for the upcoming season with Fulham the favourites to land the Paysandu native.

“His agent is in London to talk directly with Fulham,” Gianluca Di Marzio stated on Sky Sport.

“They have already shown their interest in Gargano last week, as he is awaiting a new adventure.”

Gargano joined the Azzurri from Danubio in 2007 before going on to make 199 appearances in all competitions for the club. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 10:08:38 AM
Future bright for Fulham under Khan

When a team are bought by one of the richest men in the world, it is only natural for them to look to the stars.

For Fulham, though, evolution rather than revolution looks to be the way.

Shahid Khan is worth £1.9billion, according to Forbes magazine, making him the world’s 490th most wealthy man.

Born in Pakistan, the 62-year-old moved to the United States aged 16 for college and secured an engineering degree from the University of Illinois.

Khan went on to create an auto parts empire and such riches allowed him to buy NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will play one regular season game at Wembley in each of the next four years.

Those links to London saw him move for Fulham this summer, taking over from Mohamed Al Fayed in a reported £200million deal.

Over 16 years, the former Harrods owner has overseen the west Londoners’ ascent from the lower reaches of the Football League to become an established Premier League force.

Such generosity and support means Al Fayed is adored by Fulham fans and Khan has pledged to continue his “incredible legacy” and take them onto the next step.

“On the pitch, we have to have sustainable results moving forwards,” he told Press Association Sport.

“I have felt that football clubs, whether soccer or NFL football clubs, are civic institutions.

“We are custodians of that. It is business, yet it is a civic asset.

“Fulham is going to be Fulham. It has its unique character, unique history and our goal would be to develop that, respect that and move it forwards.”

One of Khan’s first moves will be to get the development of the Riverside Stand under way, which would see Craven Cottage’s capacity increased to 30,000.

He will also provide funds to strengthen the squad, although manager Martin Jol is not expecting the new owner to throw his money about.

“He is a very energetic man and he wants us to deal well,” he said of Khan.

“He is not here to burn his money and some clubs are doing that. Sometimes they do well, sometimes they struggle.

“We have to find a healthy way to do our business and try to do it in a healthy way.

“That doesn’t mean we will pay £20million for a player, even £10million.

“I am excited about the youngsters and if the players come to this club I hope, and we are dealing with a few, the future will be bright.”

Those bright talents come from Fulham’s excellent academy, which has won the Barclays Under-18 Premier League title for the past three seasons and the National Final for the past two.

A number of those players will be pushing for a first-team berth this campaign, as will young talents like Mesca, Chris David and Marcello Trotta.

Jol has worked smartly to add to those promising players, bringing in Derek Boateng and Fernando Amorebieta on free transfers from Dnipro and Athletic Bilbao respectively.

Maarten Stekelenburg, Holland’s goalkeeper in the 2010 World Cup final, has also arrived to replace Mark Schwarzer, while more are set to follow.

Such business is a far cry from last season, when the departures of Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy led to instability that affected them throughout.

Now, with Khan leading the evolution from the top and Jol from the field, things are looking much brighter by the Thames. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 10:10:22 AM
Parma Preview

Fulham’s pre-season campaign reaches its climax on Saturday (3pm) with the visit of Parma to Craven Cottage.

Still not got your tickets for our final pre-season game? Purchase them in advance of the match and they’re priced at just £10 for adults, £5 for juniors and £1 for under-8s.

Having suffered just one defeat in the build-up to the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season – a narrow loss at Werder Bremen – Martin Jol will be keen to see his charges finish in style ahead of the trip to Sunderland next week.

Alexander Kačaniklić remains a doubt for the fixture as he continues his recovery from a hamstring strain, while the match may come too soon for new loan signing Adel Taarabt.

Five of the current Fulham squad have experience of playing in Serie A, and the three of them who have faced Parma before have enjoyed relative success. Former Palermo midfielder Pajtim Kasami – cover star on Saturday’s official matchday programme – was on the winning side during each of his two meetings with the Crusaders, while Maarten Stekelenburg won three of the four games against them when he was keeping goal for AS Roma. John Arne Riise, another who plied his trade at the Stadio Olimpico, never lost to Parma; winning and drawing two apiece in his four meetings with the club.

The opposition

Now entering their centenary season having been formed in December 1913, Parma enjoyed the golden decade of their history from 1992-2002 when they picked up no fewer than eight trophies, and came agonisingly close to claiming their first-ever Serie A title in 1997. They actually won more games than eventual champions Juventus in the 1996/97 season, but seven defeats ultimately proved costly as they finished two points behind the Old Lady.

The 1990s saw Parma’s squad boast a plethora of Italian talent, with Azzurri superstars Gianfranco Zola, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Enrico Chiesa all making more than 100 appearances for the club. They attracted quality from all over the globe, too, with the likes of Faustino Asprilla, Hernan Crespo, Lilian Thuram and Roberto Sensini all enjoying success at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. Now, their star man is summer signing Antonio Cassano following his summer move from Inter Milan.

Since their promotion back to Serie A in 2009 (they spent 2008/09 in the second tier but came back up at the first attempt) Parma have been mid-table frequenters, finishing no higher than eighth, but no lower than 12th, in the past four seasons.

The manager

After coming through Atalanta’s youth ranks, Roberto Donadoni established himself at the club as a pacey winger and impressed enough in 100-odd appearances to attract the attention of AC Milan. He was an overwhelming success during his first decade at the San Siro, picking up five Serie A titles (he nabbed his sixth in his second spell), three European Cups, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups. During this time, he was also part of the Italy side that finished third and second at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, respectively. He did, however, miss one of the penalties in the Semi-Final shoot-out loss against Argentina in 1990.

After a short time in Saudi Arabia, Donadoni retired from playing at the age of 36, taking up his first managerial position with Calcio Lecco in 2001, before he was handed the reins at Livorno and then Genoa. He returned to Livorno in 2005 and led them to an unexpected ninth-place finish, before resigning the following season with the side sitting sixth.

His success prompted an approach by the Italian FA to take the national job – it was a position under a lot of expectation considering his predecessor Marcello Lippi had just won the World Cup. Donadoni successfully oversaw his side’s qualification for the European Championship in 2008, but he was dismissed from his role after the Azzurri were knocked out by eventual winners Spain following a penalty shoot-out in the Quarter Final.

He later spent time at Napoli and Cagliari before being appointed Parma head coach in January 2012 with the club at the wrong end of the table. Donadoni oversaw an upturn in form as seven consecutive wins helped Parma finish the season in eighth position, which promptly saw him given a contract extension. Parma finished last season in 10th as he continues to make his mark at the club.

Players to watch

Antonio Cassano

Without a doubt one of the most gifted Italian players in recent years, Antonio Cassano is something of a high-class journeyman striker, counting AS Roma, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan amongst his former clubs. After turning heads with his form for Bari, he was snapped up by Roma for a reported €30m, making him one of the most expensive teenagers of all time. There were concerns that Cassano’s career may have to be cut short when he underwent heart surgery in 2011, but thankfully the enigmatic forward made a full recovery.

Jonathan Biabiany

After breaking onto the scene as a teenager at Inter Milan, Jonathan Biabiany’s progress stalled somewhat at the San Siro and he was subsequently loaned out to Chievo, Modena and Parma, before joining Sampdoria on a permanent deal. The winger was soon back at Parma, though, and has now enjoyed a rejuvenation as an important part of Donadoni’s plans.


Brazilian-born but with one cap for Italy, Amauri is another who has tasted Serie A action with a host of clubs. After an initial spell at Parma, it was with Chievo where the powerful striker first made a name for himself, with his all-round play prompting Palermo to make a move for his services. There, he was prolific and so a big-money move to Juventus came to fruition, but his time with the Old Lady wasn’t as prosperous and he was subsequently loaned back to Parma where he scored seven times in 11 matches. After a short spell at Fiorentina, the 33-year-old is now enjoying a third spell with the Crusaders.

Magic numbers

3 – The number of goals current Parma forward Stefano Okaka Chuka scored for Fulham during his loan spell at Craven Cottage during the 2009/10 season

12 – The squad number retired by the club as a mark of respect to the fans who sit in the Curva Nord area of the ground; Parma’s 12th man

22 – The amount of league goals scored by Parma striker Hernan Crespo in the 1999/00 season – only Gabriel Batistuta and Andriy Shevchenko scored more

63 – The number of points gained in the 1996/97 campaign – two less than Serie A champions Juventus

99 – Antonio Cassano’s squad number at the club (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 11:37:47 AM
Why Mark Hughes will be a success at Stoke:

On the eve of the Premier League season, Stoke currently lie 4th favourites to go down just in front of the three recently promoted clubs Cardiff, Hull and Crystal Palace.

There has been discontent within Stoke’s own supporters upon the appointment of Mark Hughes with the comical ‘Hughes Out’ van parked outside the Britannia.

This all before Hughes had even been appointed.

As many say “the Bookies don’t often get it wrong”.

However on this occasion they have. And I will put my neck on the line by tipping Stoke for a top half finish.

And before the abuse start flying, let me back it up why Hughes is the perfect fit for Stoke.

Mark Hughes’ first dip into management was with Wales, taking over a country whose footballingteam was at a point of crisis and going through a bad patch (albeit one of many). However in his 5 year reign Sparky rejuvenated the national side and would have taken the team to a major championship had it not been for a playoff defeat to Russia.

Wales finished second in their group behind the Italians who they actually beat along the way.

His performances as Wales’ manager convinced Blackburn to offer him the manager’s job at Ewood Park. And this is where he made a name for himself as one of the brightest young managers in the game.

In his opening season at Rovers, Hughes was tasked with keeping them away from any relegation trouble, which he did.

In fact he guided them to an F.A Cup semi-final for the first time in 40 years.

This was then followed up by a top 6 finish and a place in the European Cup

And for all Hughes’ criticism at QPR for his transfer dealings, at Rovers Hughes signed David Bentley for a fee in the region of 500k, Ryan Nelson on a free transfer, Roque Santa Cruz for a mere £3.5 Million and Christopher Samba for just £400 k. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 01:21:10 PM
Sunderland Target Walter Gargano Holds Talks with Fulham Over Craven Cottage Switch

Sunderland could be dealt a blow in their efforts to sign Walter Gargano as the player's agent is in discussions with Fulham for his transfer, according to Sky Italia.

Napoli midfielder Gargano was linked with a move to Sunderland in recent weeks, especially after impressing in his loan stint with Inter Milan and in the Confederations Cup.

The Nerazzurri saw him clock in 36 times overall, while he made four assists in as many games for Uruguay who were eventually denied third place by Italy.

His contract at Napoli still has three years left, but after six years it is understood he is keen to try his hand elsewhere, especially given the change in management at Serie A club.

Gargano's agent Alessandro Lucci is reportedly in London to discuss his client's future at Fulham, who have also acquired Derek Boateng for the same position.

Fulham boss Martin Jol is very much in favour of keeping his defensive-midfield options open, and the result could be a reported £6m deal for the 29-year-old.

Jol is understood to have been keeping track of Gargano even before Sunderland came into the picture, but the Black Cats have proven themselves a force in the transfer window.

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has already made nine full signings, and it remains to be seen if a late hijack is on the cards for Gargano, capped a total of 56 times by Uruguay.

Read more at (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 01:22:33 PM
Fulham Set Sights On Former Real Madrid Playmaker. Transfer Scouting Report.

Although QPR have enjoyed a fine start to the new season, winning their opening Championship match and beating Exeter in the League Cup, their summer’s transfer business is far from concluded, with Harry Redknapp eyeing one or two more new signings and some high-earners still to be removed from the wage bill.

One player who is likely to leave is Esteban Granero, with the Daily Mail suggesting that Fulham could raid QPR for a second time having already signed Adel Taarabt on loan for the season.

Despite a mixed campaign for QPR, Granero is a target for several clubs, with Real Sociedad likely to be Fulham’s biggest competition for his signature. The 26-year-old made an encouraging start under Mark Hughes, but rarely featured once Harry Redknapp took over at Loftus Road, finishing the season with a Performance Score of 515 from his 24 appearances.

One area where Granero excelled was in creating chances, making 46 key passes in his 24 appearances, a total which easily outstripped those in Fulham’s midfield last season. Martin Jol has clearly identified this as a problem, with Taarabt already arriving, and Granero now reportedly a target.

Granero is also an accomplished defensive player, who won a superb 88% of his tackles last season, as well as completing 79% of his take-ons. The Spaniard also averaged three Defensive Actions per game, ensuring that he would add some defensive cover and creativity to Fulham’s midfield.

Playing in a relegated side under two managers with different approaches made Granero’s first season in English football a struggle, but he still managed to show plenty of qualities that would make him an ideal fit for a Premier League side.

Fulham are still on the lookout for a midfielder who can provide some creativity from deep, whilst maintaining an effective defensive presence, and Granero could be an excellent signing this summer on both counts. (
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (09/08/13)...
Post by: whitejc on August 09, 2013, 01:23:46 PM
Jol plans to loan out Fulham duo

MARTIN Jol plans to send Fulham youngsters Pajtim Kasami and Matthew Briggs out on loan again this season.

Kasami made just three appearances for the Whites last season before spending time at Swiss side Lucerne, where he featured 16 times.

The midfielder came off the bench in Fulham's pre-season friendly draw with Real Betis on Monday night.

But boss Jol plans to send the 21-year-old out again to get regular game time.

He said: “If you look at the likes of [Steven] Caulker and [Kyle] Naughton they needed 100 games or more then came back to their clubs and did well.

“That's what I hope for the players I've got as well because in England there aren't many youngsters [who are playing regularly].

“I would like to give them experience and put them on loan, like I did with [Alex] Kacaniklic. He came back and he was better.”

Jol has also made young defender Briggs available for another loan spell.

The 22-year-old left-back had stints at Bristol City and Watford last campaign, and the Dutchman admits his chances at Craven Cottage are limited.

He added: “I think Briggs could do with another 25-50 games, and if not he stays here and he'll be a back-up player.”

Read more: Fulham Chronicle (
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