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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:10:41 AM

Title: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:10:41 AM

Mark Schwarzer fears Fulham success could prompt Hodgson to leave

• Goalkeeper says manager's 'mean streak' key to success
• Hodgson 'might think he can't take the club any further'

    * Dominic Fifield
    *, Monday 3 May 2010 22.35 BST

Mark Schwarzer has offered an insight into how Roy Hodgson has inspired Fulham's staggering season, admitting he can be "an angry little man at times", though the Australia goalkeeper expressed fears that the manager could yet decide he has taken the club as far as he can should the Cottagers win the Europa League next week.

Hodgson said he remains "happy" at Fulham after their victory on Sunday over West Ham United in the wake of suggestions that Liverpool could attempt to lure him to Merseyside as a replacement for Rafael Benítez. His time at Craven Cottage has been hugely impressive, keeping the club up against the odds in his first six months before leading them to seventh last season and their first European final, where they will face Atlético Madrid in Hamburg, this time around.

"He's the man in charge and he makes the decisions and has been extremely successful, but he's always going to be linked with other positions," said Schwarzer, who has flourished under Hodgson since moving from Middlesbrough in 2008. "Whenever there's success and someone achieves what our gaffer has in the last two and a half years, there's going to be interest. We've had a truly remarkable season and the manager, for me, is without doubt the manager of the season. We'll lock him in a room or something and make sure he can't go anywhere."

Asked whether success in the Europa League could yet persuade Hodgson to stay at the club beyond the summer, Schwarzer said: "I don't know. It might work the other way. He might think: 'Well, you can't go any further than that.' But, listen, we haven't won it yet. We've still got two Premier League games to go and then there's the final. We need to make sure we continue our run, finish in the top 10 and then go about the small job of trying to win the Europa League."

Hodgson has revived this club, inspiring a relatively small squad and producing a supremely organised and disciplined side which has excelled in the 60 games played so far this season. "You don't get this sort of success without the spirit we have," said Schwarzer. "He can be an angry little man at times, but that's what you need to be. It's well documented that Sir Alex Ferguson has got a very mean streak, as do other managers who are successful. I don't know any manager who's successful who hasn't got that angry streak, or that ruthless streak. Our manager is no different.

"No one gave us a hope in hell of getting as far as we have in the Europa League while also backing it up by continuing the success we're having in the Premier League. Trying to emulate what we did last season, finishing seventh, was always going to be a huge task but I think it's been pretty remarkable. Two more wins and we can guarantee 10th position, and that's our goal. But with the Europa League final, and for me the World Cup, to come – well, it doesn't get any better than this. What we've achieved at this club in the last two years has been unbelievable. I'm loving every minute, and I don't want it to end."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:15:28 AM

Football Weekly: Hail Roy Hodgson and Steve McClaren

Chelsea close in on the title, Man City and Spurs set up a showdown for fourth and we celebrate the success of two English managers

      Comments (161)

    * Presented by James Richardson and produced by Iain Chambers
    *, Monday 3 May 2010 17.13 BST

It's a bumper edition of Football Weekly today as Barney Ronay, Barry Glendenning and Sean Ingle join James Richardson to talk about the title race, Barry's ticker and the heart-thumping excitement promised by Wednesday night's showdown for fourth between Manchester City and Spurs.

Sid Lowe is on the line from Madrid to talk about an action-packed weekend in La Liga, while the pod is shocked by unexpected developments in Serie A, where Lazio rolled over and had their tummy tickled by Inter.

As well as a bumper crop of posts, we wave our pom-poms at Roy Hodgson for leading Fulham to the Europa League final while from Holland Louise Taylor reflects on Steve McClaren leading FC Twente to Eredivisie glory.

Have a listen and give us your thoughts on the blog below. Remember to find us on Twitter and Facebook, and get your daily dose of our free football email, the Fiver too.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:18:52 AM

Fulham hope to keep Roy Hodgson under lock and key

Russell Kempson

As the praise continues to rain down on Roy Hodgson and potential suitors appear to be queueing for his services, Mark Schwarzer has suggested a novel way in which to make sure that the Fulham manager stays at Craven Cottage.

Taking Hodgson hostage might seem a shade radical but Schwarzer, the Fulham goalkeeper, believes that it might be the only method of keeping the man who has masterminded their remarkable run to the Europa League final.

“I think it’s been a truly remarkable season and, for me, the manager is without doubt the manager of the season,” Schwarzer said. “It’s inevitable, given the success he’s had here over the last couple of years, that he’s been linked with jobs elsewhere.

“But we’ll make sure he doesn’t go because we’ll tackle him, lock him up in a room or somewhere and then he can’t go anywhere. He’s been extremely successful and he’s always going to be linked with other positions. We just hope, as players and as a club, that we can hold on to him as long as possible.”

Hodgson has mostly appeared calm throughout Fulham’s marathon 60-match season, which will reach 63 after they have met Atlético Madrid in the Europa final in Hamburg on May 12. However, Schwarzer revealed that Hodgson occasionally resorts to the hairdryer treatment in the manner of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

“We do have a special bond, a nice chemistry, with the manager and you don’t get this sort of success without that,” Schwarzer said. “He can be an angry little man at times but that’s what you need to be.

“Sir Alex has got a very mean streak as do other managers who are successful. I don’t know any manager who is successful who hasn’t got that angry streak or hasn’t got that ruthless streak. Our manager is no different and that’s part of his success.”

Schwarzer hopes that winning Europe’s new second-tier competition might persuade Hodgson to remain at the West London club but also fears that it could have the reverse effect. “I just don’t know,” Schwarzer said. “It might work the other way. He might think: ‘Well, you can’t go any further than that’.

“But listen. We haven’t won it yet. We’ve still got two Premier League games to go [against Stoke City at home tomorrow night and Arsenal away on Sunday] and we need to make sure we continue our run to finish in the top ten. Then we will go about the small job of trying to win the Europa League.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:23:38 AM

David Beckham’s withdrawal because of his Achilles injury has left Capello contemplating taking an additional striker as a replacement, instead of another nippy winger, such as Shaun Wright-Phillips. The choice of a wildcard striker is likely to come down to Bobby Zamora, the Fulham forward, and Darren Bent, of Sunderland, with the former’s greater ability at holding up the ball giving him the edge.

Capello is still concerned about the training pitches at England’s training camp in Rustenburg and has dispatched Franco Baldini to make a last-minute assessment. The general manager will return to London with his findings on Thursday, although it is unlikely England would seek to move elsewhere at this late stage.

Matt Hughes's England 23

Goalkeepers R Green, D James, J Hart
Defenders G Johnson, P Jagielka, J Terry, R Ferdinand, M Upson, L King, A Cole, L Baines
Midfield players T Walcott, A Lennon, G Barry, F Lampard, S Gerrard, J Milner, M Carrick, A Johnson
Strikers W Rooney, E Heskey, J Defoe, P Crouch
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:29:59 AM

West Brom want Southampton old boy Jelle van Damme in £2.5m deal from Anderlecht

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 2:29 AM on 4th May 2010

West Brom want Anderlecht’s £2.5million midfielder Jelle van Damme for their Barclays Premier League return — but could face competition from Stoke and Fulham.

Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo has had the Belgium international watched several times — and the 26-year-old is eager to return to England, where he played for Southampton five years ago.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:35:59 AM

Why Roy Hodgson should be Liverpool's next boss, plus the home truths facing Leeds

By Stan Collymore

Published 22:49 02/05/10

Roy Hodgson gets my vote for Manager of the Season after his work at Fulham and I now hope he gets the Liverpool job.

I have given up on campaigning for former Chelsea maestro Jose Mourinho to go to Anfield.

I was hoping if I said it enough it would come true.

But Liverpool won't be able to afford him and he will want to go somewhere where they have more cash to spend.

So who better than the vastly experienced former Switzerland and Inter Milan boss to go to Liverpool? I certainly can't think of many better candidates.

Hodgson's Fulham side qualified for the Europa League final with another gritty display against Hamburg.

And their route to the final is highly impressive having played the likes of Basle, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and the German champions Wolfsburg.

Aged 62, Hodgson is at the kind of age where he understands the game very well.

His stock is high enough in its own right to attract players and he has proved he can work within a budget.

So I would like to see Liverpool go for Hodgson.

They would be able to afford him and he would at least be able to put the club on an even keel.

Rafa appears to have had his head turned and seems set to go to Juventus.

But hopefully Liverpool can find a more than suitable replacement - starting with Hodgson.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:41:54 AM

Revealed: The six British Football League managers capable of being the next Roy Hodgson

By Michael Calvin

Published 23:02 01/05/10

Ian-Holloway-Blackpool cropped

He’s the Special K One, wholesome and full of goodness.

Roy Hodgson will never be a Karma Chameleon in the manner of Jose Mourinho.

He’s a Grandad tending the allotment, rather than a glory hunter cultivating the legend.

Yet the pair are blood brothers, Eurostars of ­modern management.

Each, in his own way, is revered at Inter Milan.

They’re brilliant tacticians, men of substance who ­strategise as effectively as any QC.

They’ve both exported their talent. But in Hodgson’s case, football has come home.

He’s reminded us of the merits of that ­under-rated breed, the British manager.

To give an indication of his importance, we present Woy’s Men in Waiting.

They’re six Football League managers, suited to this age of austerity. All deserve ­bigger stages, better ­budgets, greater recognition:

Ian Holloway (Blackpool)
A cross between Spike ­Milligan, Sir Bobby Robson and an Old English ­sheepdog. You don’t know whether to laugh, listen, or let him off the lead.

Like most comedians, Olly has a serious side. He ­re-evaluated his football ­principles during a dark year out of the game. He was radio’s loss, Blackpool’s gain.

He went for experience, leavened by bargain signings such as Charlie Adam – the find of the season in the ­Championship.

Nigel Pearson (Leicester)
Not one of life’s sunny ­optimists, he tends to the gloomy side of dour. He’s as solid, and reliable, as ­pre-stressed concrete.

He’s not a natural performer, which puts some chairmen off in an age in which football is an extension of the Big ­Brother house.

But he is a clever, ­commanding presence on the training ground.

He has worked wonders on limited resources at Leicester, and looks like a Premier League boss in the making.

Paul Lambert (Norwich)
A thoughtful Scot, his ­management style ­incorporates some of the ­traditional disciplines of the German game.

The highlight of his playing career was dominating ­Zinedine Zidane in Borussia Dortmund’s 1997 Champions League Final win.

He’s adapted to the rough and tumble of League One, and has Mourinho’s flair for getting under the skin of rival coaches.

At Colchester he halved the size of the away dressing room, painted it black and took out all the power sockets. Nice.

Kenny Jackett (Millwall)
On the day he was appointed, Jackett bumped into David Moyes, who told him: “If you can manage that club, you can manage any club.”

Jackett, the best coach you’ve never heard of, is regarded as a ‘proper’ manager by the most ­demanding fans in the game. At Millwall, that’s a symphony of praise.

He’s transformed a club which chewed up eight managers in 28 months ­before his arrival.

Tactically astute, he spends his chairman’s money as if it is own, and is now ­tantalisingly close to the fourth promotion of his ­career.

Keith Hill (Rochdale)
He plays up to his image as the Rochdale Cowboy by wearing flat caps and ­dispensing the sort of
homespun advice that stuns Prime Ministers.

You have to love his ­contempt for the way Notts County have bought the League Two title with money they do not have.

He’s unorthodox, ­inspirational and it takes real ­resilience to ­recover from having your best ­players sold to balance books.

Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
He’s 32 but looks 23, a boy band refugee who has somehow found his way into a working men’s club.

He began by ­keeping Bournemouth in the League despite a 17-point penalty. He followed up by winning promotion, despite a transfer embargo which ­limited him to 19 players.

Widiculous, as the sainted Woy would say…
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 01:42:26 PM

Wickham rumours rumble on as Fulham and Wolves reportedly join the chase

Tue 4 May 10 by Dave Gooderham

Roy Hodgson and Mick McCarthy have entered the race to sign Connor Wickham, according to one national newspaper this morning.

An anticipated hectic summer at Portman Road started within 24 hours of Sunday’s final match with the Daily Mail linking Tottenham with a £5million bid for Ipswich Town’s teenage starlet. This “offer” had risen to £6million by the time the Daily Mirror had got their hands on it with both papers claiming Spurs boss Harry Redknapp would be willing to loan back Wickham next season.

Now the Guardian have claimed Fulham and Wolves have joined the race to sign the 17-year-old who ended his first full season with Ipswich in such impressive fashion. In truth, virtually every Premiership manager next season would like to have Wickham in their squad – Roy Keane has said so much.

And none of the national stories have had any quotes to back their stories up, even if scouts were once again in attendance when the youngster led the line in the 3-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United. Wickham seemed a little out of sorts on Sunday, as if the last few weeks of first team football had finally caught up on him.

While £5million and a chance to keep Wickham for a season might tempt Keane and the moneymen upstairs, the vast majority of fans on the forums had some choice words for Harry Redknapp and his offer. But supporters will have to accept that their summer will be dominated by transfer rumours surrounding the future of their greatest hope.

Ironically, some have claimed Wolves’ striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake would be a perfect signing for Town next season and both McCarthy and Hodgson could use fringe players to try and tempt Ipswich into doing business. It has already been claimed that Sunderland were willing to offer Daryl Murphy, David Healy and possibly even Jack Colback in exchange for Wickham.

Naturally, a lot of this can be dismissed as paper talk but one thing seems certain – teams will come in for Wickham over the summer. And while £5million for a 17-year-old who has only just signed his first professional contract might seem a lot of money, most fans are hoping Keane, chief executive Simon Clegg and owner Marcus Evans resist such advances.

Through the door marked in, Town have been linked with Hungarian keeper Marton Fulop, the man who could play a major role in deciding who plays Champions League football next season. Currently out of favour at Sunderland, Fulop has been loaned to Manchester City on an emergency basis after Shay Given’s season was ended by injury.

After playing for City at the weekend, Fulop will line up in goal in Wednesday’s match against Tottenham with the winner expected to secure the coveted fourth spot – reported to be worth a massive £30million to either side. Aside from such glamour, the Hartlepool Mail have claimed that Keane is lining up Fulop to replace Richard Wright and challenge Brian Murphy and Arran Lee-Barrett for the number one spot.

The 27-year-old, who was signed by Keane when he was in charge of the Black Cats, still has 12 months remaining on his contract so Sunderland will expect a reasonable fee.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 01:45:26 PM

Mark Schwarzer hails 'mean streak' possessed by Fulham manager Roy Hodgson

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson might be universally regarded as one of football's gentlemen but, according to Mark Schwarzer, his affability can be mixed with displays of anger to match even Sir Alex Ferguson.
By Jeremy Wilson

Published: 7:30AM BST 04 May 2010

 You looking at me? Roy Hodgson has a mean streak Photo: GETTY IMAGES
With Hodgson being lauded as the rightful 'manager of the year' by his peers and now regarded as the natural native successor to Fabio Capello in the England set-up, Schwarzer revealed that his success can be attributed to more than just forensic preparations.

"He can be an angry little man at times but that's what you need to be," said the Fulham goalkeeper. "It's well documented how Sir Alex Ferguson's got a very mean streak on his side. I don't know any manager who's successful who hasn't got that angry streak or hasn't got that ruthless streak. Our manager is no different and that's part of the success that he's built at this club."

Sport on television Hodgson admitted on Sunday that it was flattering to see his name linked with the potential vacancy at Liverpool but stressed he was happy at Fulham, with Schwarzer also outlining the depth of desire in the dressing-room for the 62 year-old to stay.

"Whenever there's success, whenever someone has achieved what our gaffer has in the last 2½ years, he's always going to be linked with other positions," said Schwarzer. "We just hope as players and as a club that we can hold on to him as long as possible. We'll make sure he doesn't go because we'll tackle him and lock him up in a room or something so he can't go anywhere!

"No one gave us a hope in hell to get as far as we did in the Europa League, let alone get to a final and continue our success in the Premier League. I think it's a truly remarkable season and, for me, the manager is without a doubt the manager of the season.

"Will he stay if we win the Europa League? I don't know, it might work the other way, he might think, 'Well, you can't go any further than that'."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:02:03 PM

Wigan Athletic, Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Wolves all scouting at Huddersfield Town game

May 4 2010 by Dougie Thomson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

WIGAN Athletic’s Spanish goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara was among the scouts at Town’s clash with Colchester.

The Latics were one of six Premier League clubs represented at the fixture, with Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Hull and Wolves also watching.

Newcastle and West Brom, who will be playing in the top flight next time around, had Tony Howard and Stuart White respectively at the match.

Former Chester goalkeeper and Liverpool coach Billy Stewart, of the Football Association, was also present, as was John Boultbee, of the Australian FA, although World Cup hopeful Dean Heffernan didn’t figure for Town.

Ex-Town striker Brian Greenhalgh represented Watford.

Of Town’s possible play-off opponents, Leeds (Gary Chapman), Millwall (Keith Edgington) and Charlton (Jeff Baskerville) were there.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:03:30 PM

Boycott The Fulham Game-If The Players Don’t Care Then They Don’t Deserve The Support

Lets get one thing straight. I’m proud to be an Arsenal fan, I would follow this team into the Conference if I had to, but never in all my years have I been embarrassed for the club I love so dearly..

Losing is one thing, but losing without any effort, heart or passion is another thing entirely.

No doubt certain sections of the support will try to defend our players but quite frankly I don’t care for those opinions right now. There should be no excuses and no looking to blame others. The blame lies with the manager and the set of spineless wimps he’s assembled…

Where is the pride??? Where is the passion??? Thousands of fans turn up week in week out to support this shabby lot and they can’t even be bothered to run for 90 minutes for them.

Selfish, greedy and not good enough!!!!

We were the team that had the ‘easiest’ run in and we’ve managed one win in eight games and that was a scrappy 1-0 win against the mighty Wolves.. The rest of the games we just havent turned up..

For crying out loud we’ve gone from being top of the table to maybe losing out 3rd place to the Spuds, but the players don’t give a toss because they have no pride. They dont even play good football anymore, they are playing worse than Championship players, not putting the effort in, defending like schoolboys and getting beat

It annoys me when I see certain players busting a gut for the cause, only to be let down by others who seem content to treat the game like a training exercise and stroll around the pitch like they are just there for their wage packet..

Arsene Wenger originally assembled a  young team that he wanted to grow together and have the values of the club at heart but it has backfired badly with many of them..

For this the blame has to fall on the manager. For years he has given constant 1st team appearances to the out of form players or the ones who are not good enough and then handed them new contracts at the end of it all. Also, he doesn’t recognise two of the four cups that are available every season and uses them as a training exercise..Wenger makes it clear its OK to lose these cups as they not a priority..

The players are spoiled and don’t have what it takes..They’ve grown up with a culture that rewards poor performances and accepts losing and they’ve carried that through into the 1st team..

The truth is that without Cesc we are pretty much a one man team and without better players around him we will never be good enough.

It’s now come to a point where things have to change. The fans deserve better for the 5 years of patience and the millions of pounds they’ve ploughed into the club, helping them pay off the debts, the fans deserve something in return. We don’t have a god given right to lift a trophy, but we do have a right to see  our strongest eleven players on the pitch running their socks of for 90 minutes in every game in every competition..

The board and the manager have become complacent, happy to take the fans money and not give anything in return and they have gotten away with it for far too long. All the lies and all the spin has to stop after this season and the squad needs major reinforcements in all areas but do we trust them to do whats right by the fans?? Not if we continue to act like we don’t care they wont..

Arsenal fans should boycott the Fulham game and really put the shivers up the club’s top brass..Without the fans this club doesn’t exist so its high time the fans raised their voice..Wenger has already postponed the AGM..He knows whats coming so he’s tried taking the voice away but this is not dictatorship.

They need to know the likes of Diaby, Almunia, Denilson, Fabianski, Silvestre, Theo and co are not good enough and we need to get some new faces in in the summer..Some top class faces to play alongside RvP and Cesc and take their positions when they are injured and who know who to win..

This season has crumbled into a farce. I’m glad there’s only one game left because I have no doubt if there was 4 or 5 we would have dropped out of the top four..

I’ve stood by this team all season saying they would win the league but they have let me down badly. Some of them don’t deserve to play for this club again and if Wenger can’t see that he needs to be shown. There’s no better way than an empty stadium on the last day of the season..
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:09:51 PM

Lou Macari: Etherington and Zamora are shining examples

By Lou Macari | Published: Tuesday 04 May 2010 |  2 comments

THERE could be two old pals shaking hands with each other at Fulham v Stoke tomorrow night – and both will have plenty to feel pleased about.

Matthew Etherington has just cleaned up at Stoke’s player-of-the-year awards and appears to have got his life back on track after his gambling problems.

And then there is Bobby Zamora, his old West Ham and, briefly, Spurs team-mate, who’s come so far in the last season that people are now touting him for a place in England’s World Cup squad.

I know Etherington has gone down a storm with Stoke fans this year and I’m told his player-of-the-year trophy is fully deserved.

He took what many might regard as a backward step by leaving London to come to Stoke, but it was obviously the right choice after getting his career up and running again.

What an example that must be to certain other players in the Stoke dressing room.

All players go through a bad patch for one reason or another, but instead of bellyaching to the media, why not pull your finger out and take some responsibility for your own life and career?

Do your talking on the pitch, not off it, and you might just enjoy the kinds of rewards coming the way of your Etheringtons and Zamoras.

Both have also benefited from having great relationships with their managers, I shouldn’t wonder, and I agree with those calling for Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, pictured below left, to be named manager-of-the-year.

Never in their wildest dreams could Fulham fans have imagined they would be in a major European final, especially after playing about 130 games to get there.

It’s a wonderful achievement, particularly for Hodgson, and just goes to show how he’s revitalised both the club and players like Zamora.

Fulham has always been a lovely place to visit down by the Thames – and you could invariably bank on three pretty routine points if you were one of the bigger clubs. Not anymore.

It’s no coincidence that Hodgson is an experienced manager with a CV that includes many different jobs in several different countries, at both club and international level.

And it’s no coincidence that you see other experienced managers like Sir Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti and Harry Redknapp mixing it at the top end of our game.

I don’t think you’ll see them spending hours on a tactics board and swapping their system around every week.

No, they stick to what they know and trust, then make sure their players are properly prepared to go out and play football and do battle.

There’s been growing talk about Hodgson being the next England manager, too, and you would certainly have to throw his name into the mix at the moment.

Especially if you’re picking the next manager because of his experience and results – and not because he’s young and talks a good game in a TV studio.

Stoke go to Manchester United for their last game of the season on Sunday and they should be braced for a tough one.

I can’t see United winning the title now, but that won’t stop them going for it against Stoke.

United have to believe that Chelsea could slip up against Wigan at Stamford Bridge, but with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan already booking his players a holiday in Barbados, they literally are one step away from the beach.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:11:11 PM

Why did Hangeland reject Arsenal?

By Fab4.

Brede Hangeland has claimed he turned down a move to Arsenal, and that Fulham’s miraculous run to the Europa League Final proves he made the right decision. We know Arsene was keen on Hangeland last summer, but i always thought Arsenal were unwilling to match Fulham’s asking price and that’s why a transfer never materialised. But now Hangeland is suggesting he had the chance to join us but chose to stay at Craven Cottage.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, Hangeland said:

“I’ve had so many great nights at Fulham and that was probably the best one.

“I signed my new contract here so I could take part in games like that and I’m really happy to be at this club.

“Does this justify rejecting a move to Arsenal? I think so.

“Nights like that are for the history books and something I will always remember.”

This may be another case of ‘lost in translation’, but i can’t really believe he would reject a move to Arsenal. Sorry, no disrespect to Fulham, but what player would turn down champions league football, playing at one of the biggest clubs in europe, playing in front of 60,000 every other week and fighting for the title to stay at Fulham? Not in his wildest dreams would he have thought he would be playing in the Europa League final this time last year, so he can’t have stayed just to fight for mid-table and hope for a good run in the Europa League. There must have been more to it, no player in their right mind would turn down Arsenal to stay at Fulham.

So what reason could he have given, either to himself or Arsene Wenger, to justify this apparent rejection? Was Hangeland going to be signed instead of Vermaelen, or possibly as well as? If it’s the latter, he may not have been guaranteed first team football every week so chose to stay where he was. Maybe Arsenal wouldn’t offer him the wages he wanted. Maybe he lacks ambition to further his career and is one of those players whose happy to settle for mediocrity. Or maybe this story is rubbish.

You may have guessed that I’m pretty gutted we didn’t sign him! And this ’snub’ may also put Arsene Wenger off from making a second attempt to sign him this summer, which would be a shame because he would be a terrific signing for Arsenal. But fair play to him, he has been at the heart of everything that Fulham have achieved this year and i really hope they go on and win the Europa League. But i would love to see him in the red and white next year!
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:12:49 PM,+says+Shawcross+.html

Fulham are an inspiration, says Shawcross

By Michael Baggaley | Published: Tuesday 04 May 2010 |  Be the first to comment

STOKE star Ryan Shawcross says he would love to represent the club in Europe after being inspired by Fulham’s achievements.

City are at Craven Cottage tomorrow (8pm) to take on a Fulham side who are through to the Europa League final after becoming English football’s last survivors in Europe.

Shawcross says the London club’s achievements have given hope to all smaller clubs in the Premier League.

He believes City’s priority must be to avoid relegation next season, but Fulham have shown what could be done in future campaigns.

He said: “Next season, our first aim will be to reach a points tally where we can’t be relegated, and then we will push on from there.

“I would love to play in Europe – ask any of the Stoke lads and they would say the same.

“It is the ultimate for a professional. If we could do it, it would be fantastic, although but it is difficult and the first aim is to get to that safety mark.

“But Fulham are a good example of how, if you get off to a good start, you can push on.”

Stoke haven’t played in the UEFA Cup, now renamed the Europa League, since the 1974/75 campaign when a team featuring Denis Smith, Alan Hudson, Terry Conroy and Jimmy Greenhoff lost to Dutch giants Ajax on away goals.

Shawcross was named Stoke City’s young player of the season for the third year running at the club’s awards ceremony on Sunday.

The 22-year-old defender, who was called up to the England squad in March, says he owes huge thanks to Stoke.

He said: “When I first came on loan to Stoke from Manchester United, I was just looking for a few games.

“I was trying to prove that I could play professional football because that wasn’t set in stone.

“To do as well as I have since then is fantastic, but that is thanks to a lot of people, mostly the manager and the coaching staff.”

Shawcross has also thanked supporters who gave him a rousing reception for Saturday’s game with Everton after two months out of the starting line-up with suspension and injury.

The match was the first time the defender had played at the Britannia Stadium since February 27 when he was sent off against Arsenal and heavily criticised by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger for the challenge which broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg.

Shawcross said: “It was emotional for me, but the fans – as usual – were fantastic.

“Whenever one of their players has trouble, they are always brilliant. They are the best in the Premier League.

“Playing for Stoke City means a lot to me because the club has helped me through bad times and the fans are always there for me. When you are down, the fans keep your head up.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:13:58 PM

Hodgson: It has been a season to remember

9:32am Tuesday 4th May 2010

By Simon Fitzjohn »

Roy Hodgson has urged his Fulham side to complete their miraculous season in style when they clash with Athletico Madrid in the Europa League final next week.

Having seen off Hamburg in dramatic style, the Cottagers will meet the Spanish side in Germany on Wednesday.

And the Fulham boss hopes his charges will grasp their chance at history.

Hodgson said: “It has been a real season to remember for us but we have the chance to go one better.

“If we could lift the Europa League trophy it would be an incredible achievement and it would be almost impossible to match that.

“We have our sights fully set on the final and I do not think anybody could expect any different.

“Next year will be back to the nitty, gritty of surviving in the Premier League but for now we have to enjoy this.”

Hodgson rang the changes as his side saw off West Ham 3-2 on Sunday thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey, Stefano Okaka and a Carlton Cole own-goal.

And the veteran boss admitted he was delighted with the response of his incoming players.

Hodgson added: “I had faith in the players I bought in and they did not let me down.

“I think highly of them but they still have to go out there and perform and they did.

“It was one of those games where we could have been flat but we deserved the win.”

Hodgson has also been garnering praise from a host of Premier League managers regarding a possible Manager of the Year nod.

And Fulham boss revealed he had been touched by the comments.

He added: “It is extremely pleasing to hear some of the plaudits.

“When you have people like Sir Alex Ferguson coming out and saying how they appreciate what we have done here means an awful lot to me.”

Fulham’s remaining fixtures: May 8 Arsenal (a), 12 Athletico Madrid (EL, Hamburg)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:16:35 PM

Finalist clubs set to meet press

Published: Tuesday 4 May 2010, 10.30CET

As a precursor to the UEFA Europa League final on 12 May, Club Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC will take part in media open days at their respective Spanish and English bases this week.

Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC have confirmed details of their media open days heralding this season's UEFA Europa League final at the Hamburg Arena on Wednesday 12 May.

Representatives of the international media will have the opportunity to interview the coaching and playing staffs of both finalist clubs.

Atlético – for administrative purposes the home team in Hamburg – will hold their press day on Thursday 6 May at the Estadio Vicente Calderón. Proceedings will start at 10.30CET with a news conference featuring coach Quique Sánchez Flores and a senior player, followed by a fully open training session and a mixed zone enabling media to interview the entire first-team squad.

Media wishing to attend should email Tomas Calvo at the Spanish Liga club's press office:

Fulham will meet the press on Friday 7 May at their Motspur Park training ground located in New Malden, Surrey. An open training session will take place from 10.30 local time, before a mixed zone involving the players at 13.00 and a news conference with manager Roy Hodgson from 13.30.

Interested parties are advised to contact Carmelo Mifsud in the Premier League team's press office:

The two sides have also announced details of their pre-match media activities at the Hamburg Arena on Tuesday 11 May. Atlético will have their press conference at 18.45CET with coach Sánchez Flores and two players available to answer questions. An open training session will follow from 19.30 to 20.30.

The Fulham news conference will be staged at 17.15 with manager Hodgson and two players present. Media representatives will then be allowed to watch the west London outfit train between 18.00 and 19.00.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:26:46 PM
Hamburg Ticket Collection

Tuesday 4th May 2010

Fulham FC News

Supporters who have purchased their UEFA Europa League Final tickets and requested to collect their tickets from the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage can do so from 9am this morning.

Please note this is only for supporters who have asked to collect their tickets in person.  Fans who did not request to collect their tickets in person will have their tickets sent to them via post.


Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:27:53 PM
Sprint To The Finish

Tuesday 4th May 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham take on Stoke City in the final home game of the season on Wednesday evening (kick-off 8pm) and Bjorn Helge Riise is hoping for a continuation of the Whites' fine form of late.

The Norwegian international played the full 90 minutes in Sunday's win over West Ham United and the midfielder was certainly pleased with the way the side performed.

"It was nice to play 90 minutes and nice to win," Riise told  "There were a lot of players today who haven’t played a lot recently so to beat West Ham 3-2 is a very positive result. I enjoyed it a lot and hopefully I’ll get to play a bit more in the last three games.

"Now it’s important to beat Stoke on Wednesday to secure 10th place, and then to finish the season at the Emirates will be magnificent. I’ve never been there before, but people tell me it’s a great stadium, so I’m looking forward to that, and to play there would be really nice.

"We want to be in that top 10 so that when we look at the table on TV we’re there in the top half. And to achieve that after the season we’ve had, and getting to the Europa League Final, would be a very good season."

Roy Hodgson was clear that he didn't want an 'after the Lord Mayor's Show feeling' to Sunday's game following on from Fulham heroics against Hamburg the previous Thursday - and the players certainly delivered a performance full of enthusiasm and energy.

"We live to play football games so there was never any question of us not being up for it," Riise explained. "For those of us that were on the bench on Thursday it was a chance to prove ourselves that we can play football and that was important for us.

"We don’t want to lose games. Especially in the last weeks of the season and especially when we have a Final in 10 days so for us our aim is to get that 10th place and if we beat Stoke on Wednesday I think we will be close to achieving that."

Don't miss Fulham's final home match of the season on Wednesday night (KO 8pm) when Roy Hodgson's Team take on Stoke City. Get behind the Whites at the Cottage - tickets are now on General Sale.|


Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:29:04 PM
Fulham v Stoke City

Barclays Premier League

Wednesday 5th May

Kick-Off 20:00

Don’t miss the season finale at Craven Cottage when Stoke City visit SW6 on Wednesday 5th May (Kick-Off 8pm). Come down to the Cottage and show your appreciation to Roy and the boys in our last home game before the UEFA Europa League Final!

On-sale dates
Season Ticket Holders On sale
Fulham Club Members On sale
General Sale  On sale
Buy tickets now|

My First Matchday Package
My First Matchday offers Junior supporters and an accompanying adult the opportunity to see what really goes on behind the scenes at Craven Cottage in the build-up to matchday. Pretend you’re a radio commentator in the press box, run down the tunnel, pretend you’re directing the players from the Manager’s seat in the dugout, interview a guardian in front of the TV interview boards, see our trophy cabinet and even meet a Fulham FC legend! More info and prices|   

Group Discounts
Save 25% when you purchase eight or more adult match tickets. Call 0870 442 1234 (select option 3) to book your group tickets now. Group discount tickets can also be booked online using the group booking form. This offer is only available to advance purchasers and not on the day of the game. All tickets are subject to availability in the Riverside Block Z only.   

How to Buy Tickets
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online*
by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1) - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
by fax 0207 384 4810 (download printable form )
by postal application to FFC Ticket Office, Stevenage Road, Fulham, SW6 6HH enclosing a stamped addressed envelope (download printable form )
Seatwave - the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange
Thomas Cook - match breaks for all Fulham FC home games
* Lower booking fees compared to telephone booking

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:30:22 PM
Fulham to Wear Third Kit

Tuesday 4th May 2010


Following the finalists’ meeting in Hamburg on Friday, UEFA instructed that as Fulham had been drawn as the away club, the governing body of the competition had decided what kits both teams would wear for the Final.

To differentiate entirely from Atletico Madrid's home strip, UEFA specified that Fulham would wear its Third Kit.

A commemorative version of the Third Kit will be available with a specially stitched inscription celebrating the Team's place in the Final.

Pre-order the shirt online|

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:31:48 PM
Stoke City preview -,,10310~2042757,00.html
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:36:07 PM

Van Damme a hard target for Baggies

Tuesday 4th May 2010 10:02

Anderlecht midfielder Jelle van Damme claims West Brom are interested in signing him, with Stoke and Fulham also reportedly tracking him.

The former Southampton man has impressed at Anderlecht, helping them secure the Belgian championship this season.

The 26-year-old, who can also play in defence, admits he would be interested in a move back to England, with the Potters and Cottagers also credited with an interest in his services.

"West Brom are one of the clubs interested in me," van Damme told the Daily Star. "Other English sides have also shown an interest.

"I will consider a return to the Premier League."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:37:21 PM

Hodgson set to ring the changes

Author:  Ben Moss

Posted on:04 May 2010 - 11:30 AM

Fulham have the small matter of an upcoming Europa League Final on their minds as their Premier League season winds down with a penultimate game against Stoke City.

But despite Roy Hodgson being likely to rest some key players with half an eye on the game against Atletico Madrid on May 12, there is bound to be a celebratory mood around Craven Cottage in the last home game before the trip to Hamburg.

What's more, there's also still a possibility of finishing in the top ten domestically as the Cottagers, in 11th spot currently, are just one point adrift of Blackburn.

Sunday's 3-2 victory over West Ham was secured despite the absence of the rested Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera and Danny Murphy, and Hodgson looks set to again go with his fringe players.

The likes of Stefano Okaka and Erik Nevland will start, but these second-string players have proved in recent weeks that they are more than capable of performing in the Premier League.

Only Andy Johnson (knee) is unavailable to the west London club through injury.

The Cottagers have lost just one of their nine games - one in five domestically - and cannot be written off despite their continental distractions.

Stoke arrive in the capital with tenth place and the prestige of a top-half finish also still a possibility.

Saturday's goalless draw with Everton has left them 12th in the table and victory at Fulham would see them leapfrog both the Cottagers and Blackburn into tenth place.

However, it has not been plain sailing in recent weeks for the Potters amid reports of dressing room unrest between manager and players.

Amady Faye (groin) and Thomas Sorensen (elbow) are out for the season and will be joined by striker Dave Kitson, who missed the Everton game following an astonishing weekend interview in which he was highly critical of manager Tony Pulis.

Pulis has no fresh injury concerns so looks set to stick with the same side that held Everton, but he is still looking for a first win in five games.

Stoke were 3-2 winners when these two sides met at the Britannia Stadium in January.

They raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals by Tuncay, Abdoulaye Faye and Mamady Sidibe.

Fulham fought back but a reply from Damien Duff on the hour and a late second from Clint Dempsey was not enough.

However, Fulham have had the better of recent match-ups after winning four of the last five and drawing the other, dating back to their time as Division One clubs.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:38:31 PM

Club Focus - Fulham - How best to prepare?

By Matt Domm

Tuesday 04 May 2010

Roy Hodgson put out a starting XI that would have made West Ham blood boil. Except, this time, the east Londoners were in a position to take advantage of it, but failed to do so. The manager’s rotation policy worked wonders and despite being seven first-team regulars short at kick-off, the Whites were professional and accomplished, and just as no one player stood nor did anyone in white do anything wrong.

For a match that boasted five goals there was a real lack of goalmouth action - the home crowd and players were most certainly just going through the motions in the first of three hindrances before the big one on May 12. The players that came in did enough to justify Hodgson’s decision to rest many of his starters, but this writer expects several more first-teamers to face Stoke tomorrow night - almost two weeks without playing a game of football having had to start two almost every week since the end of July would probably end up being detrimental to the team who are running on pure adrenaline. With that in mind, those first-teamers who didn’t start against West Ham should do so against Stoke, with the exception of Bobby Zamora whose fitness Cottagers fans will be sweating on until they hear the line-up in the Nordbank Arena. After last Thursday’s unforgettable European semi-final, Fulham fans could be forgiven for not knowing where Sunday’s victory put them in the league - 10th - and nor do they, with survival having been assured long ago, care much for anything other than following their players to the 19th game on this incredible journey.

Unfortunately for a side needing to retain match sharpness and still avoid picking up knocks that could keep them out of the biggest game of their career, Tony Pulis’ outfit is the last team anyone would want to face. Already Stoke have claimed the blood of Zamora in January’s league match - a quite shocking tackle from Abdoulaye Faye from which the England hopeful dislocated his collar bone, and their record against other Premier League clubs this season is only too well known. The fact is Hodgson will look to play a strong team against either Stoke or Arsenal, and the dilemma is choosing between which one is the best practice for Atletico Madrid - probably the Gunners for the flair they have available - and which one will leave enough time for recovery ahead of the final, with Sunday’s Emirates fixture a little too close for comfort to Wednesday night. Of course Hodgson, as he so frequently does, will utilise his squad as he sees best, and the Cottage faithful can rest assured they have one of the best possible leaders to prepare Fulham for their biggest match in history.

Organisation has been the key to this season’s European success, and the reward most likely is a place in next year’s competition. (Fulham currently sit top of the English fair play league and England sit third overall, which means, barring some stupid sendings off over the remaining fixtures, the Whites will again be representing England next year whether they win or not). It would have been easy for the players last Thursday to panic after Hamburg’s opener and to go for broke too early, but, and this is thanks to the manager, they kept their shape, kept structured and kept on playing football. Their just rewards followed in the euphoric seven-minute spell in which Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera took the roof of the Cottage. For the Whites to have any chance against a technically proficient Atletico side, every player must remember what to do. And with Hodgson in the dressing room, there is little doubt they will once again prove a very tough nut to crack indeed. And one of the toughest individual nuts in the side, Zamora, will be doing his utmost to make sure he is leading the line next Wednesday.

With Zamora still being touted to Fabio Capello for inclusion in the World Cup just six weeks away, maybe, just maybe, as the Hamburg fans so eloquently put it last Thursday, football is indeed coming home - to London’s oldest club. Has there been an English side in a European final that has the best wishes of almost every fan nationwide? Probably not, but whatever happens, the Whites (or Blues, going by the ghastly kit for the final) have done the country proud.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:39:38 PM

Fulham    v    Stoke

Live text and stats
Content will update automatically

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham v  Stoke 20:00

Fulham 50% Stoke 50% Attempts on target
Fulham 0 Stoke 0 Attempts off target
Fulham 0 Stoke 0 Corners
Fulham 0 Stoke 0 Fouls
Fulham 0 Stoke 0
Barclays Premier League
Venue: Craven Cottage Date: Wednesday 5 May 2010 Kick-off: 2000 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live & local radio

Fulham's leading scorer Bobby Zamora is still recovering from the Achilles injury which saw him miss Sunday's win over West Ham.

Manager Roy Hodgson could restore Zoltan Gera to the starting line-up after resting him at the weekend.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has no fresh injury concerns and may name the same team that held Everton on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is set to continue in place of the injured Thomas Sorensen after a positive full debut.



Injured: A Johnson (knee), Zamora (Achilles)


Injured: Abdoulaye Faye (groin), Sorensen (elbow)

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson says that his side's final two league matches will play an important part in their preparation for the Europa League Final on 12 May.

 It is still a very real objective to finish in the top 10 and I believe it is healthy to retain this target

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Sunday's 3-2 win over West Ham has kept the Cottagers in confident mood and their immediate target is to finish in the top half of the table. Victory over Stoke would lift them above Blackburn into tenth place.

Stoke's last visit to West London ten days ago resulted in a 7-0 hammering at Chelsea. Tony Pulis' side restored some pride with a point at home to Everton at the weekend and they, like Fulham, have eyed a top half finish.

However, Stoke end their campaign on Sunday at Old Trafford, where Manchester United will be hoping to retain their title. Pulis, who saw his side finish 12th last season, may have to wait until the next campaign to break into the top ten.


• Fulham and Stoke have met 66 times. Fulham lead by 27 wins to 24 and there have been 15 draws.

• Stoke's last victory at Craven Cottage came in March 1991, when a Wayne Biggins goal gave them a 1-0 win in the old third division.


• Fulham are unbeaten in their last five home matches in all competitions.

• Fulham's 3-2 win over West Ham on Sunday was the seventh time they've scored at least three goals in a match at Craven Cottage this season.

• Only Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Aston Villa have left Craven Cottage with all three points this term.

• Clint Dempsey has made 99 league starts for Fulham.


• Stoke are looking for a first win in five games.

• Stoke have scored just nine away goals in the Premier League this season, fewer than any other team.

• Stoke have lost 22 points from winning positions this season. Only Wigan Athletic have lost more.

• Stoke have conceded 99 goals in their Premier League history.



Zamora: 19 goals (8 league); Gera: 10 goals (2 league)


Fuller: 8 goals (3 league); Etherington: 6 goals (4 league)

Referee: Peter Walton

Assistant referees: Ron Ganfield & Patrick Keane

Fourth official: Mike Jones

Fulham (W3-2 v West Ham, h): Pantsil, Baird, Smalling, Konchesky, Riise, Greening, Dikgacoi, Davies (Okaka 70), Dempsey (Elm 85), Nevland. Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Shorey, Gera, Etuhu.

Stoke (D0-0 v Everton, h): Begovic, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap (Pugh 88), Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington (Lawrence 87), Sidibe (Tuncay 88), Fuller. Subs not used: Simonsen, Diao, Collins, Moult.


Stoke 3-2 Fulham (5 January 2010)

Stoke scorers: Tuncay 12, Abdoulaye Faye 34, Sidibe 37

Fulham scorers: Duff 61, Dempsey 85
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:42:05 PM,19528,11681_6132742,00.html

Scharner eyeing Wigan exit

Free agent confirms he has played last home game for Wigan

Last updated: 4th May 2010   

Reported Everton and Fulham target Paul Scharner has confirmed he has played his last home game for Wigan.

The 30-year-old midfielder, who will be a free agent in the summer, came off the bench to provide the assist for Steven Gohouri's late equaliser in Wigan's 2-2 draw against Hull at the DW Stadium on Monday.

The Austrian, who joined the Latics in 2006, had 'THANX' dyed into his hair as he confirmed it would be his last home game for the club.

He said: "This was the last game at the DW Stadium for me, that's true - as a Wigan player.

Too early

"Next season, I am looking for a midfield position but it's too early to say at which club. I am looking to stay in the Premier League."

He continued: "I have lots of memories. I think we have to talk for another 30 minutes to cover all the stuff.

"First of all I have to say thank you to the chairman of Wigan Athletic for giving me the chance to play in the Premier League.

"And another thank you to the supporters. They created a nice song for me. It was very enjoyable and I go home with tears in my eyes."

Spencer retirement

Meanwhile, the Latics have confirmed that chief executive Brenda Spencer will be retiring at the end of July after 24 years with the club.

Spencer, who joined the Latics in 1986 and has seen it rise from the foot of the old Division Four to the Premier League, said: "Wigan Athletic has been my life for the past 24 years and it has been an incredible journey.

"To think that we are in the Premier League for a sixth season is another testament to all that has been achieved here and it's going to be very strange not being involved on a day to day basis any more.

"But of course, I will be watching avidly and cheering on the team from the sidelines."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:44:10 PM

Fulham striker AJ makes US dash for knee check

05.05.10 |

Andy Johnson has flown to the US to see surgeon Richard Steadman over his knee injury.

AJ, who has not played for his club since January, flew back to England on Thursday.

Steadman operated on Johnson in January and Fulham chief Roy Hodgson hopes he will return for next season.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:53:10 PM

Faye doubtful for Cottagers trip

Tuesday 4th May 2010 13:33

Abdoulaye Faye remains an injury doubt ahead of Wednesday night's trip to Fulham in the Premier League (8pm kick-off).

Faye was absent for Saturday's goalless draw with Everton due to a thigh strain and could miss out again at Craven Cottage.

Asmir Begovic will continue to deputise in goal for Thomas Sorensen, who is recovering from a dislocated elbow.

Potters (from): Begovic, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Higginbotham, Lawrence, Whelan, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington, Kitson, Fuller, Tuncay, Sidibe, Pugh, Wilkinson, Moult, Beattie, Amdy Faye, Diao, Simonsen.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:56:04 PM

Zamora unlikely to tackle Potters

Tuesday 4th May 2010 13:57

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is unlikely to play any part in Wednesday night's Premier League clash with Stoke City at Craven Cottage.

Zamora is struggling with an Achilles injury and faces a race against time to be fit for the Europa League final against Atletico Madrid next week.

Clint Dempsey will continue to deputise in attack for Fulham's last home match of the season.

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Konchesky, Hangeland, Baird, Hughes, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Pantsil, Greening, Riise, Dikgacoi, Smalling, Nevland, Okaka, Shorey, Elm.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:57:19 PM

Fulham winger Duff: I knew Hodgson was great at Blackburn

05.05.10 |

Fulham winger Damien Duff claims he's been backing Roy Hodgson's England credentials for the past ten years!

As Fulham prepare for Thursday's European semi-final decider with Hamburg, ex-Chelsea winger Duff claims Hodgson, 62, may still succeed Fabio Capello.

Duff said: "My first full season at Blackburn was under Roy. That was a while ago now, but even more than 10 years ago I fancied him to be England manager one day.

"Whether he has ever got close, I don't know, but he is a top manager and coach and I think all the lads here would back me up on that. You can see that the work he does is paying off on the pitch. It's definitely not too late even now for him to manage England.

"I love working with him and I'm not alone in thinking that. He is well respected by everyone in the game, so why not?

"For now, though, we would like him to stay at Fulham."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 02:59:32 PM

Postcard from Europe: Dempsey in uncharted territory in Europa League final

Fulham star can become first American to play in European final

Greg Seltzer May 4, 2010


Fulham face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final on May 12 in Hamburg
Clint Dempsey could become the first American to play in a European final
The memory of his sister remains a driving force for the U.S. international

AMSTERDAM — Barring some unforeseen calamity over the next eight days, Fulham attacker Clint Dempsey will boldly go where no American has gone before. He will feature in a cup final of a UEFA tournament—the first-ever Europa League title match, to be exact.

There have been several Americans to win a domestic championship in Europe, and even more have raised a domestic cup. But no one from the U.S. has ever vied for one of Europe's spotlight club cups on the field.

An American has "won" one, though. While with Borussia Dortmund, Los Angeles Galaxy forward Jovan Kirovski scored his first professional goal during the German club’s 1996-97 Champions League title run. Kirovski collected a winner's medal after Dortmund defeated Juventus in the final in Munich, but he was not in uniform.

Dempsey, however, will be key to the fray for the Cottagers, either as a starter or as a goal-seeking sub torpedo. The man they call Deuce is known for grabbing opportunities, for succeeding when the cards seem against him and his side.

Before he stares down Atlético Madrid in Hamburg on May 12, though, Dempsey can draw some inspiration from international teammates who have come close to a big cup final before he did.

In 2005, DaMarcus Beasley scored a team-high four goals for PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League proper and famously ran Jaap Stam a bit ragged while appearing in one of the semifinal legs against AC Milan. Two years earlier, John O'Brien was on the pitch for Ajax Amsterdam and 20 seconds from the semis before Milan’s Jon Dahl Tomasson bundled home a tie-flipper in stoppage time.

Now, Dempsey will take that last step in this particular ascension of American soccer exploits and physically battle for UEFA silver. In reality, though, the Texas native from humble beginnings has been battling to make this final since he was a boy.

When he was 12, Dempsey's sister Jennifer suddenly passed away. The loss still fuels his competitive fire. A recent ESPN feature on the U.S. star revealed that Dempsey placed a note on his sister's grave, telling her that she'd always be with him.

Along with the obvious soccer talents, it’s the memory of his sister that makes him the perfect man to get first crack at European glory -- he's already carrying his Fulham flag for two.

Considering his schoolyard array of flicks, kicks and tricks, Dempsey may as well still be out there showing off to his sister when he plays. He has peddled that inner drive and flair into a career that's taken him from the New England Revolution to playing in the biggest city in Europe in the biggest league in the world.

Often shifted around the field by his team’s formational needs, Dempsey has a knack for making the big play. At 27, he has already scored an impressive list of goals: to put New England in MLS Cup 2005, to give the U.S. hope of advancement at the 2006 World Cup, to save Fulham from relegation in 2007, to help the 'Nats earn runner-up status at last summer's Confederations Cup.

The most recent headline-grabber came in mid-March, when he hopped off the bench to complete a stirring Craven Cottage comeback that put Fulham past vaunted round-of-16 opponents Juventus. A moment of invention saw him nestle a pillowy chip into the far side netting, and the West Londoners moved on.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, the subject of various poetic urges that he be the next England boss, has built a side based on gritty skill. Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer and hot transfer topic Brede Hangeland—born in Houston, Texas!—supervise the back with authority. Old EPL hands Simon Davies, Damien Duff, Zoltán Gera and Danny Murphy (average age: 31) do the dirty work to set the table. Most commonly, the gobbling up is done by Dempsey or Bobby Zamora, who's enjoying the form of his life.

Atlético also could be just the right final combatant. Sure, they’re loaded with explosive talent—most notably super snipers Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán—but they’re quite beatable. In fact, Los Colchoneros will arrive in Hamburg winless in 10 away from home if they can't beat La Liga strugglers Sporting Gijón away three days before the final.

Then again, why should maestro Hodgson (who coached against the U.S. at World Cup 1994 with Switzerland) and his brave boys fear any team right now? They've already come from the third round of qualifying to dispose of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg—clubs that have combined to win nine UEFA crowns.

The closest Fulham have come to top-shelf silver was a 2-0 loss to West Ham United in the 1975 FA Cup final. Before this year’s adventure, their lone European entry ended in the third round of the 2003 UEFA Cup (re-tooled as Europa League last summer).

But everything seems to be lined up so Fulham finally can be called champions, perhaps even thanks to an opportunistic play made by Dempsey. There's just one thing that's sure: Win or lose, this first Europa League final will truly be a night to remember for Dempsey, his club, his family, the Fulham faithful and Stateside fans.

And for whichever player becomes the first American to reach the next height.

Greg Seltzer’s “Postcard from Europe” appears on every Tuesday.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:15:40 PM

India's football coach resigns - reports

(AFP) – 7 hours ago

NEW DELHI — India's football coach Bob Houghton has resigned over the delay in extending his contract beyond the Asian Cup next January, reports said on Tuesday.

Houghton, 62, sent his resignation to the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) this week while on holiday in South Africa, the Times of India said.

"Bob's biggest complaint is the breach of contract on the part of the federation," the Kolkata-based Telegraph cited unnamed sources as saying.

"A particular AIFF official began negotiating with some FIFA agents for a new coach to be appointed after the Asian Cup. He really wanted to stay but things were made increasingly difficult for him."

AIFF president Praful Patel, a federal minister, was trying to convince the Englishman to withdraw his resignation ahead of a meeting of the federation's executive committee in New Delhi on Friday, reports said.

But an AIFF official denied the coach had quit.

"I have no knowledge of Houghton?s resignation," the federation's senior vice-president Subroto Dutta told the Telegraph.

"A final call on his demands will be taken in the executive committee meeting."

Houghton, who took over as the Indian coach in June, 2006, has also demanded a raise of 10,000 dollars to his monthly salary of 20,000 dollars, the Telegraph said.

He was also unhappy with the slow progress of preparations for the 2011 Asian Cup where India, ranked 132 in the world, are pitted against strong teams like Australia, South Korea and Bahrain.

Houghton, a former Fulham midfielder, coached China for two years from 1997-1999 and then worked with Uzbekistan in 2005 before joining India.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:28:05 PM

Midfielder Britton is deemed most likely to depart as he is is out of contract and could end his seven-year stay to fulfil his Premier League ambitions, with Wigan his most likely destination.

Influential midfielder Pratley - a target for Nottingham Forest - defender Angel Rangel, who has interested Fulham, and fellow defender Williams could also leave.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:33:55 PM

Gylfi Sigurdsson happy to stay at Reading FC

By Jonny Fordham

May 04, 2010

Gylfi Sigurdsson insists he will shun the chance to join the Premier League this summer in favour of helping Reading win promotion.

The Iceland Under-21 international has a host of top-flight suitors with West Brom, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Wolves and Fulham all monitoring his progress this season.

After staring in his first full season at Madejski Stadium, the attacking midfielder, who was Royals’ top-scorer with 20 goals, has reiterated that he is going nowhere.

“I’ve got two more years on my contract and I’m not really fussed about the things which are going on,” said Sigurdsson.

“I’m happy here and playing every week so I think it would be a good idea to stay here for another two seasons. I’ll just turn my phone off and enjoy the summer now.

“If we start next season properly then I think we will have a great chance to get into the Premier League. I think it will be a good season next year.”

However, Reading chairman Sir John Madejski and his board are meeting boss Brian McDermott and director of football Nick Hammond today to discuss budgets for the 2010/11 campaign.

Although no bids have come in for any of Royals’ star players, McDermott has confessed that the club might not be able to shun multi-million pound offers from the top-flight this summer.

Sigurdsson is Reading’s most prized asset and the sale of one key player to help keep the club on a stable financial footing to move forward could be seen as more favourable than selling-off more.

But Sigurdsson added: “I haven’t seen what the bills look like, I don’t know what the chairman and other people are thinking, but I’m happy here at the moment.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:39:33 PM

Why Connor Wickham should snub Spurs and learn his trade at Ipswich

By Darren Lewis

Published 11:06 04/05/10

Do Spurs really need another wonderkid ?

Do the club on the brink of the Champions League really need to be bringing in players for the future?

I'd suggest not. However good Ipswich's Connor Wickham might be.

Especially if Spurs get into the Champions League.

The boy himself needs to be playing regular first-team football to improve himself and Spurs, should they make fourth, would surely need to focus on bringing in the experience needed for a European campaign at the highest level of club football.

Yes, the likes of Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone and Gareth Bale have gone on to make a success of themselves at Tottenham after joining the club as highly-rated youngsters.

But Wickham should bear in mind that for every Danny Rose at White Hart Lane, there is a Johnny Bostock, poached from Crystal Palace way back in July 2008 and not seen since.

As a 17 year-old, Wales full-back Chris Gunter was seduced into believing he had a future at Spurs and quit Cardiff, where he had lifted the Football League's Apprentice of the Year award, for north London.

He ended up making a handful of sporadic first team appearances (just five in the Premier League) before being farmed out to Nottingham Forest on a loan deal that was eventually made permanent.

And what about Wayne Routledge, who, at 20, turned down a deal at Crystal Palace - where he was an ever-present in the 2004-5 season - to join Spurs only to appear in five League matches before, again, being farmed out on loan to Portsmouth and Fulham and eventually joining Aston Villa three years later.

There is no doubt that Connor Wickham possess outstanding ability for his age.

Neither is anyone questioning the fact that, should he show the right attitude and train on, he will indeed end up at a Spurs, an Arsenal, a Chelsea or a Manchester United.

But perhaps this should be one occasion on which his advisers, his parents and maybe even Connor himself, should decide to continue on his upward curve to stardom at Portman Road.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:41:06 PM

Why Roy Hodgson should stay well away from the Liverpool job

By Darren Lewis

Published 11:07 04/05/10

He believes there is there is one more big job left in him but Roy Hodgson would be advised to stay well away from Liverpool.

The Fulham boss has shown himself to be an outstanding leader of men. A magnificent motivator to inspire the Cottagers to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the Final of the Europa League.

And he has every right to bask in the warm glow of a fantastic job well done at Craven Cottage. Particularly while he is being linked with the Anfield job, the England job and, possibly, even the job at No.10 on Thursday.

But of all the offers that may come his way, the Liverpool position is the one fraught with most danger. Yes, even more so than the England job.

This has been Liverpool's transitional season. The one in which it is widely accepted that the club's hapless owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, have undermined any chance of success with their restrictions on transfer funds.

But the man who succeeds Rafael Benitez next season - if indeed the Spaniard does quit for Juventus - will be expected to hit the ground running.

To knit the sum of the parts and make an effective machine capable of coping with the superior wealth of Chelsea, the production line of kids combined with the will to finally loosen the purse strings at Arsenal and the greater strength in depth at United.

And I haven't even mentioned Manchester City who will become a monster of a club should they make it into next season's Champions League. To be fair, even Spurs would be a force to be reckoned with should they make it.

In addition, the politics and uncertainty over any forthcoming investment at Anfield is such that Hodgson has no guarantees that he would get the considerable funds needed for the Reds to smash their way back into the top four next season.

For all his faults, Benitez brought one Champions League trophy to the club, reached another final and lifted the FA Cup. That, and not the barren seasons in which the Reds flattered to deceive, is the standard by which Hodgson would be judged.

And for all the compliments with which he is being showered, the 62 year-old tactician is savvy enough to know from his time at Blackburn that this remains an unforgiving industry.

One in which the heroics of this season will be regarded as a distant memory should he not make an immediate impact at Anfield.

To give Liverpool their due, they remain loyal to their bosses. The club itself has not sacked a manager during mid-season in its 117-year history.

The supporters on Merseyside are among the most knowledgeable in the country and, while everyone outside of the region has lambasted Benitez for his buying policy, his negative tactics and his reliance on Torres and Gerrard - all criticisms that have ultimately been justified - the fans stand by their man.

But the pressure on Hodgson to justify that faith will be unbearable next season. Just as it will be on the man that eventually succeeds Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Which is the reason why Hodgson should deliver a polite: 'Thanks, but no thanks' if he is approached by Christian Purslow and the men from Anfield.

Right now, with Tom Hicks and George Gillett in charge, Liverpool are a poisoned chalice. It is a description in no way intended to insult one of the giants of English football. More to articulate the situation in which the Reds now find themselves.

Yes, Hicks and Gillett may have declared their intention to sell up. But are they really going to get the £800million they want for a club they bought for just £220million three years ago?

And talking of the Fulham squad that have reached the Europa League Final, none of them are superstar names with the profile that the Liverpool players enjoy but all of them buy into the Hodgson ethos.

Would the Liverpool fans accept a Zoltan Gera or a Simon Davies, though?

Especially when the talk from the likes of Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and even Benitez himself are telling all and sundry that the ailing Reds need four or five top players to compete next season.

No, Hodgson should surely dodge this particular bullet in favour of either staying at Craven Cottage - the club that have given him the chance to reinvent himself in this country - or a project which will give him the time to replicate the success of this season
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:42:25 PM

Why I'm worried Ancelotti, Ferguson or Grant could steal Hodgson's rightful Manager of the Year award

By Darren Lewis

Published 11:03 04/05/10

While I agree that Roy Hodgson should be Manager of the Year, he could yet be run close for the award by Avram Grant.

What, for example, would happen if Grant were to inspire his Portsmouth team to victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup Final?

If the team with nothing, the relegated have-nots of the Premier League who will have to release most of their squad in the summer, were to pull of the unthinkable against the team that has everything?

Could you really downgrade the magnitude of the achievement behind the exploits of a Fulham team that might not even win the Europa League?

And what if Carlo Ancelotti wins both the Premier League AND the FA Cup in his first season?

Or if Chelsea suffer some miraculous collapse on Sunday, allowing Manchester United to claim their fourth consecutive title? What then?

Don't get me wrong - having followed Fulham during their epic odyssey across Europe, I'd love nothing better than to see Roy Hodgson lift the manager of the year award.

I remember covering the west Londoners when Hodgson arrived to take over from Lawrie Sanchez in December 2007. The club was teetering on the brink of relegation and, after one defeat in particular - to Sunderland - Hodgson admitted to welling up as he spoke of his despair at the club's situation.

They survived, courtesy of Diomansy Kamara's heroics at Manchester City two games later. And that, rather than this season, is when their journey began.

He has done a fantastic job but this unforgiving sport is about profile (note Fulham's lack of players in the PFA Team of the Year). About achievements and about winning.

Which is why it really would not surprise me to see Grant, Ancelotti or Ferguson pip Hodgson at the post should the chips fall in their favour.

And make no mistake, although each has been gracious in their praise of the Fulham boss, they would have no compunction about snaffling the award ahead of him.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:44:48 PM

Wolves set to miss out on Jeremain Lens as PSV swoop for £5m-rated striker

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 11:56 AM on 4th May 2010

PSV Eindhoven look set to beat Wolves to the signing of AZ Alkmaar forward Jeremain Lens.

Wigan, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Fulham were also tracking the Holland World Cup hopeful, but PSV are closing in after agreeing a fee for the £5million-rated 22-year-old.

'Both sides have talked about the transfer fee and the last thing I heard was that they had come to an agreement,' said Lens.

'Then I have to reach an agreement with PSV. Until Sunday, myself and AZ were focused on competition and now I will deal with the transfer.'

Lens has attracted attention by 13 goals in 36 appearances this season, which has earned him a place in Holland's training squad for South Africa 2010 ahead of Hamburg's Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:46:40 PM

O’Neill tipped to succeed Benitez as next boss

Author:  Nigel Brown

Posted on:04 May 2010 - 10:50

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill is the favourite to take over as Liverpool FC manager at Anfield this summer as current Liverpool chief Rafa Benitez mulls over whether to accept a deal to join Serie A giants Juventus. Other candidates for the job include former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and Fulham manager Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool FC manager Rafael Benitez is under intense pressure from Juventus officials to accept their job offer, however the Spaniard wants to meet Liverpool Executive Chairman Martin Broughton to discuss the future at Liverpool. Spaniard Benitez is growing increasingly fearful of Fernando Torres' departure this summer and he wants assurances from the club's executive chairman that money generated this summer will be directly invested into the Liverpool dressing room. Aston Villa manager has made a surge to the top of the candidate’s list to succeed Benitez, with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and Fulham manager Roy Hodgson also in the running.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is hot on the trail of key asset Fernando Torres, and doubts are beginning to emerge over the future of talismanic captain Steven Gerrard, prompting Rafa Benitez to discuss his future at the football club. Number 1 candidate Martin O’Neill has stabiised Aston Villa since joining the club in 2006, helping the club challenge for the top four and guiding Villa to their first Cup Final in ten years against Manchester United in the Carling Cup.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez must make a decision on his future at the club with Juventus pressing for an acceptance on their contract offer. Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill is now the favourite according to the bookmakers, however it is thought the Villa board would be unwilling to allow their manager to leave for a rival.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 03:51:22 PM

Having started with a beef about those Liverpool fans on TV I have to say the week was balanced with the good news story of Fulham reaching the Europa League final.

There was a genuine nationwide goodwill towards Roy Hodgson and his side.

People were so pleased for them that it rather restores some of my faith in fans.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 04:23:24 PM

Mircea Lucescu: «I wish Fulham to win Europa League»

03-05-10 12:52:44


Girnyky’s coach Mircea Lucescu never denied his sympathy for Europa League favorite FC Fulham, London which, on aggregate score result, drove Shakhtar out of this tournament. Mister several times emphasized that his sympathies in this tournament still remain with the Cottegers. Therefore, Fulham qualifying for Europa League final has inspired Lucescu’s addressing Cottager’s Head coach Roy Hodgson with following message : 

Dear Mr. Hodgson,
Dear FC Fulham’s players!

With all my heart I would like to send my best wishes and congratulations on your squad’s great achievement – qualfication for the UEFA Europa League Final. FC Fulham won all through the tournament stages, showing powerful, facinating football, and due to harmonious team efforts, character, irrepressible thirst of victory has become successful.

I hope, that shown by FC Fulham confident game manner, will also be performed in Final fixture on May 12, and will make all the European football world speak enthusiastically about you. I sincerely wish the team, beaten Shakhtar, to become Europa League winner, placing our squads’ names together in the winner’s line of this prestigious European football tournament. I wish you every piece of success in Hamburg.

Yours faithfully,
FC Shakhtar Head coach
Mircea Lucescu

The corresponding letter has been sent to FC Fulham’s London address.

FC Shakhtar
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 04:27:18 PM

1st May 2010


 Well, what a massive night it was on Thursday. I was working for Sky Sports which was a very tough call to make as I was so keen to be at the Cottage for what was undoubtedly the highlight of the club's history. Getting to a major European final is just massive, and for Fulham, to be the last standing English team in Europe representing the Premier League and English football in general in Hamburg later this month, well, it's is an absolute fairy tale. It's seriously the kind of thing I'll hopefully be telling my grandchildren about in 50 years time.

 I really enjoyed working on the game at Sky Sports but in the end I think I regret not being at the ground and being part of that amazing atmosphere, especially having experienced the away leg in Hamburg and the Juventus tie at the Cottage - I've got a feeling the other night would have even topped that one. You could feel it even watching it on a screen - I was doing live TV but I was shaking and my heart was absolutely racing, and a couple of days later I still feel the same. It's absolutely wonderful how this season has turned out for Fulham and I'm so happy for everyone associated with the club, but especially the players who've done such an amazing job.  I'll be at the final in Hamburg cheering them on and I can't wait!

There's only two more Premier League games to play now, and the Championship ends this weekend. I'll be taking a short break in May and going on holiday, but I'll be starting my preparations for the new season once June comes around. I played the last reserve game of the season for QPR last week. It was at Aldershot's ground and against Eastbourne. As with the previous game, I played in midfield and having got two the week before, the purple patch continued and I got another.  It was at Aldershot that I played my first QPR reserve game a couple of months back. We lost that one and I gave away a penalty, so it was nice to go back there to end the season on such a positive note. My last few games have really proved that I'm in a much better place now and what a worthwhile experience this has been - and it was certainly nice to finish the season on a bit of a scoring run, especially as I haven't been able to say that since I was about eight! 

Other than that, if you have seen Soccer AM this morning, you'll have seen me busting out a few dance moves dressed as a "Moritz Dancer" as part of their May Day celebrations. So happy May Day and I hope the weather holds out!


More soon...
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 05:41:19 PM

McAllister favourite after Coleman sacking

Tuesday 4th May 2010 15:30

Gary McAllister emerged as one of the early favourites to retake the helm at the Ricoh Arena after Chris Coleman was sacked.

The former Scotland captain, 45, enjoyed a memorable playing spell with the Sky Blues between 1996-2000 before returning to the club as player/manager in 2002, resigning 20 months later to be with his wife while she underwent treatment for cancer.

McAllister is joined at the top of most bookmakers' lists by former Celtic and West Brom manager Tony Mowbray and current Notts County boss Steve Cotterill.

Others in the frame include Phil Brown, Gareth Southgate, Alan Curbishley and Eric Black, who took over from McAllister in 2003 for a brief spell in charge and is currently assistant to Steve Bruce at Sunderland.

However despite all the inevitable early speculation, Coventry chairman Ray Ranson insists the club's board will take their time to get the decision right.

"We will not be rushed into finding a successor and the board will explore every avenue to appoint the right manager to take Coventry City Football Club forward," he said in a statement released this morning.

Coleman, formerly in charge of Fulham and Real Sociedad, took the reins at the Ricoh Arena in February 2008 with the club 20th in the Coca-Cola Championship.

The Welshman kept them up by one point on the final day of that campaign before finishing 17th last term.

The Sky Blues battled their way through some sporadic form over the first half of this season before an impressive run at the turn of the year propelled them to within reach of the play-off places come mid-March.

But a dreadful run of 11 games without victory until the end of the season, culminating in Sunday's abject 4-0 home reverse by Watford, saw the midlands outfit finish a lowly 19th - just one place above where they were when Coleman penned a three-and-a-half-year deal.

There has been plenty of clamour for his head from City supporters and that defeat, their heaviest of the season, certainly added weight to their case.

But the powers that be at Coventry were keen to stress their decision was not a knee-jerk reaction to Sunday's match but was made after assessing the last two years as a whole, while reflecting a deterioration in form towards the end of the season for the second year running.

Ranson added: "It is true I enjoyed a very close working relationship with Chris and it's been a pleasure to work with him since his arrival in February 2008.

"The board would like to place on record their thanks for his efforts over two and a half years."

As Ranson starts the search for Coleman's successor, he has confirmed the new manager will have to work with the current backroom staff of Steve Harrison, Frankie Bunn and Steve Ogrizovic.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:17:12 PM

My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham Against Stoke City

by Russ Goldman on May 4, 2010 4:14 PM BST 

Fulham play tomorrow against Stoke City at Craven Cottage.

The game takes place at 8PM UK Time and 3PM EST. The game will be on Fox Soccer Plus live in the United States.

In the first match in January,  Stoke City beat Fulham 3 - 2.  Fulham are currently 11th in the league with 46 points. Stoke City are currently 13th with 44 points. This should be another interesting game for Fulham. If the club wants to end up in the top 10 by the end of the season they are going to need some points from their final two matches. I expect a tough challenge from Stoke City.  Below are "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Stoke City."   

1. Fulham need to be next to perfect  defending set pieces.In the first match-up, Stoke City took advantage of set pieces to score goals. This was a key from the last match against West Ham. I think this key is very important in the match. If Fulham want to win tomorrow they need to defend set pieces very well tomorrow. Matthew Etherington's kicks off of set pieces set up 2 goals in their last matchup for Stoke.

 2. Fulham need to  score early in this match.  If Fulham can score early they could really take control of this match. Just ten days ago Stoke City travelled to Chelsea and lost 7 - 0.  That loss probably hurt Stoke City a great deal. An early goal could affect the confidence of Stoke City.

3. Fulham need to contain Matthew Etherington. This player was really integral in the first match - up against Fulham. He was key on set pieces, and also in the midfield on the left side. Fulham need to do a good job of limiting his effectiveness on the match.

4.  Clint Dempsey again needs to be involved in scoring opportunities.With Bobby Zamora probably being out again,  Dempsey needs to be very involved in this match up to create scoring chances. He was able to score and create other opportunities in the last match up against West Ham. This was a key as well from the last match up.

5. Chris Smalling needs to step up once again and be very solid on defense.  If he is playing in the place of Hangeland tomorrow he needs to be consistent. At time he looks very comfortable, and at other times he looks a little shaky. I think he just needs some more experience. Tomorrow would be a great time for him to be consistent and limit his mistakes.

The big question again will be who will Hodgson be starting tomorrow?  If he puts out the same lineup as the last match-up that would be fine with me. I just hope Fulham can come out strong and take control of this match early. I do expect this match to be a tough game.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:19:36 PM

Fulham 3 West Ham United 2

by Gordon Thrower

Typical isn't it. A week of sunshine, warm temperatures and blue skies. Then you go and sort out a boat trip, the skies cloud over, the heavens open up and the temperatures drop to levels approaching absolute zero. Welcome to a British Bank Holiday weekend.
This year's trip down and up the Thames was organised by our very own Romford who arrived with the good ship MV Valulla at Westminster Pier at the appointed time. I have to say that, at first glance, a brief look at the boat and a brief look at the number of people waiting on the pier suggested that the sailor to ship equation looked as if it could be a bit top heavy. I believe Admiral Romford had the same worry at first. However, as the pier emptied and the boat filled up, it became clear that, whilst it would be a bit busy, there would at least be room to swing a cat. If only one of us had thought to bring one.

The initial arrival prompted a mass attack on the bar – which for those who enjoy a tot or two of grog at 10am was a bit worrying. However, the initial rush soon thinned out and the remainder of the trip found bar service easier than in most land-based hostelries I can think of. We got the ritual playing of Build Me Up Buttercup out of the way early on. It's not big, it's not clever and anyone who likes that particular song is officially stupid. A quiet word with the DJ whereby it was suggested that his next drink would be a gallon of Thames water promptly ruled out any repeat of the error.

Things took on a surreal turn very early on. Embarking on a circular route which involved heading downstream to start off with, as we passed St Paul's I spotted a nun. Then another. Then a dozen more. Hundreds of them. Running. Now either the bottle of Old Speckled Hen that I'd been given had gone into some form of secondary fermentation process thus doubling the alcohol content causing flashbacks of my being taught by Sister Assumpta back at St Thomas' in Grays all those years ago, or there really were a load of nuns on the run. Thankfully the rest of the crew had spotted the hurrying habits, though I'm not entirely sure the chants of “get yer tits out for the lads” and similar were entirely tasteful.

The music wasn't too bad – even the hard of thinking had five minutes of garage to listen to before retiring downstairs to listen to the boat's engine. As the trip wore on and the beers slipped down, the sights to be seen got more and more weird. Admiral Romford amazed everyone by managing to carry two bottles of Magners, a bottle of Speckled Hen and three pints of lager back from the bar. However, on arrival with the drinks it became apparent that the Admiral had lightened his burden somewhat by tipping most of it down his front.

The four hours we were on the boat passed remarkably quickly and, aided by the well-known time-dilation effects of Speckled Hen, we arrived at Putney Bridge at what I was reliably informed was 2pm. I have to say that it was really nice of the Met to meet us as we disembarked, though the bloke in the van did seem slightly confused at my request for two choc-ices and a 99.

A brisk walk across the park later and we arrived at the ground. Team news was that it was much as you were really: Green, Faubert, Spector, Da Costa, Upson, Noble, Parker, Kovac, Behrami, Ilan, Cole.

You will appreciate that, the trade-off for the unorthodox mode of travel to this fixture is always going to be a reduction in the accuracy of the match reporting. Well you try breakfasting on Old Speckled Hen (Mrs Wreford, if you're reading this that's not a suggestion!). What I do remember of the first half is that it was a drab affair. We probably had more of the possession and both Noble and, bizarrely, Da Costa, pulled good saves out of Schwarzer, whilst Fulham's best chance came from a Dempsey effort that hit the top of the bar. The most amazing thing about the whole affair was how quiet the home support was. I mean, you've just made the first European final of your lives, against all odds, you'd think you'd be in some sort of celebratory mode wouldn't you? Amazingly there were dozens of empty seats – and the full ones were about as noisy. A poor 45 minutes of football came to an end with the home side taking what was, in all honesty, an undeserved lead. Faubert lost Dempsey who cut inside and beat Green low down to the right. There was barely time to restart.

The home support did manage to raise a cheer during the interval though. Sadly it came with the news from Diddy David that Chelsea had beaten (or were beating) Liverpool. It must be nice to have two teams to support.

So to the second half. Well it had everything, stamina, passion and a never say die spirit all to rarely seen thse days. Sadly all that came from the 3,000 or so travelling supporters who, shortly after the commencement of hostilities on the pitch, started the Claret & Blue Army chant. This just seemed to get louder and louder without respite. On the pitch things weren't going too well. A shot that was destined for a throw-in went in off Cole to double Fulham's lead, not that you'd have noticed if you'd been outside listening.

Shortly after there were a couple of substitutions. Ilan and Faubert departed for Franco and Diamanti. The substitutions came as we had won a free kick on our left. Noble eventually took it and curled a ball into the box and Cole's angled run enabled him to glance home to reduce the deficit and increase the decibels in the away end.

It was difficult to concentrate on the game to be honest – the combination of having stood for four hours on the boat plus the cold and damp weather was taking its toll on the dodgy knee and ankle that are the legacy of nearly 30 years of knocking about the nether regions of the Southern Amateur League. The combination of Speckled Hen and Spitfire was having a similar effect on the head. Then there was the dinghy. During the duller moments of this match – and there were more than enough of these to go round – those of us further backup the stand were continually distracted by the passage of a number of small yachting vessels crewed by people who actually enjoy being cold and wet. For fun. One of these provided the highlight of the afternoon by capsizing in precisely the area of the Thames between the stands viewable to the away support. This calamity – plus the repeated unsuccessful attempts of the unfortunate Pugwash to right the upturned vessel – caused much hilarity and the Claret & Blue Army chant was temporarily suspended for long enough to be replaced by a chant of “going down, going down, going down”. Still it could have been worse for not-quite-a-yachtman. Imagine the chants had he gone through the whole thing dressed as a nun.

On the pitch it was time for our own upturned dinghy moment. Jonathan Spector played the role of Uncle Albert as he first dithered then gave the ball away on the left hand side. Nevland played the ball across the box to give Okaka the easiest tap-in he'll probably ever have. Any celebrations by the home support were drowned out by the increased volume from the away end who,by now, were well into gallows humour territory. This was underlined by the brief change in chant to “were gonna win 4-3”.

There was still time for us to pull one back. A well-worked move saw Parker gain some space on the right. Parker pulled the ball back for Franco to sweep home from about 12 yards. The goal came in the 90th minute but there was barely enough time for the restart. The crowd departed to well- deserved applause from the players – shame it wasn't the other way round really.

An invitation for a post-match pint that had seemed like such a good idea two hours previously now, in the light of sub-arctic temperatures and a head, knee and ankle all in need of ice packs meant that a nice easy journey home in a warm car was called for – much gratitude therefore to Able Seawoman Upton Girlie for the land-based transport home.
This was one of those days where a great day out was spoilt by the football. There have been far too many of those this season and I for one will be quite happy to see the back of this one – if only to give me some recovery time until the start of next season.

Final hats off to Admiral Romford for organising the flotilla – just sort out better weather for next time squire – I really don't fancy adding hypothermia to my knee and ankle problems!

Man of the match

The bloke on the dinghy. By far and away the most entertaining thing on display over the 90 minutes.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:20:53 PM

Three English clubs chase Ghana's Dede Ayew

Posted On Tuesday, 4th May 2010

Three English clubs are among the many European sides seeking to sign Ghanaian midfielder Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew from French giants Marseille.

According to the source Birmingham City, Everton and Fulham have all approached Marseille to sign the son of legend Abedi Pele.

A football agent with extensive experience in transfers deal between English and French clubs has told Ghanasoccernet exclusively.

The Ghanaian youngster has excelled while on loan at second division side Arles Avignon but his performance during the U20 World Cup and Africa Cup Nations has heightened interest.

Ayew is reported to have snubbed a new offer tabled by Marseille to renew his expiring contract with a permanent offer from Arles unlikely to be accepted by Marseille.

But the agent has said revealed that with many offers on the table for the youngster, he is likely to demand of pound of flesh.

“Birmingham City, Everton and Fulham have all sent their representatives to talk to Marseille about Andre,” the French-Cameroonian top agent told Ghanasoccernet under conditions of anonymity.

“I think his performance at the World Youth Championship and also the Africa Cup of Nations have shown that he is matured for the top level.

“But his agents are being difficult because his price could go higher after the World Cup which the English clubs want to avoid.

“They have sent scouts to watch him in many matches he has played in including the Youth Cup and the Cup of Nations.”

Ayew’s contract with Marseille is expected to end next year.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 06:22:10 PM
Register Your Interest

Tuesday 4th May 2010

Fulham FC News

Following the extraordinary demand for UEFA Europa League Final tickets, the Club is currently working to receive a further allocation of tickets for Fulham supporters wishing to attend the Final in Hamburg on the 12th May. Should the Club receive a further allocation of tickets, they will be sold to Season Ticket Holders only (maximum one ticket).

Priority will also be given to those fans that have travelled to previous UEFA Europa League matches this season, away Season Ticket Holders and those on the Cup Scheme. Whilst the Club cannot guarantee a further allocation of tickets or that the further allocation will be greater than a few hundred, Season Ticket Holders are advised to register their interest in receiving puchase information from Fulham FC. Should a further allocation of tickets be made available to the Club, registered parties will be informed immediately.   

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Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
Post by: White Noise on May 04, 2010, 10:43:24 PM

Don’t trust Lawro with your finances

By: timmyg | May 4th, 2010

It’s one thing to have your table prediction from August differ greatly from the actual table in May, but Lawro has the benefit of making predictions every week.

And in regards to Fulham, his predictions continue to confound. The tables say it all, really.

Relegation eh, champ?