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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:48:59 AM

Title: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:48:59 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134149/Erik-Nevland-hails-hard-line-Hodgson/ (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134149/Erik-Nevland-hails-hard-line-Hodgson/)
ERIK NEVLAND HAILS HARD-LINE HODGSON

ERIK NEVLAND claims Roy Hodgson’s stubborn streak has led Fulham to their crack at greatness.

The west Londoners face Atletico Madrid in Hamburg in the Europa League final next Wednesday – the club’s first European final.

The turnaround in fortunes under Hodgson is remarkable considering Fulham were on the brink of relegation before he took over in December 2007.

And Nevland, who worked with him at Norwegian club Viking, says his gaffer’s strict football principles have sparked Fulham’s revival.

The former Manchester United striker explained: “I played under him six years ago but he hasn’t changed a bit.

“He believes in the same things and does the same things now as he used to do back then.

“He knows his football and that hasn’t changed.”

Nevland, 32, played his last game at Craven Cottage in Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat against Stoke.

His contract runs out at the end of the season and he will leave after the final.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed myself at Fulham from day one. It was disappointing to lose my last game at the Cottage, but overall it’s been a great time.

“It would be great to leave the club on a high by helping us to win the Europa League.

“It’s one of the biggest games I’m ever going to play in. I hope to play some part.”

His chances of featuring depend on whether leading scorer Bobby Zamora recovers from an Achilles injury.

And Hodgson’s casualty list increased against the Potters after Damien Duff aggravated a calf injury which could rule him out of the big game.

The Premier League yesterday turned down Fulham’s request to bring forward their final game of the season at Arsenal to give them extra time to prepare for the clash against Atletico.

The Cottagers made a formal request to have the Emirates Stadium match moved from Sunday to Saturday, but the league insist all matches kick off at the same time in the last round of fixtures.

Hodgson is now likely to rest all of his big guns for the trip to north London.

Nevland added: “I don’t know what team we will play at Arsenal.

“The gaffer might make a few changes, but I wouldn’t expect too many.”
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:50:41 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/06/1911997/fulham-striker-eric-nevland-eyes-dream-end-to-cottagers-stay (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/06/1911997/fulham-striker-eric-nevland-eyes-dream-end-to-cottagers-stay)
Fulham striker Eric Nevland eyes dream end to Cottagers stay with Europa League final triumph
Norwegian ready to fill in if top-scorer Bobby Zamora can't play

Erik Nevland believes it would be a dream come true if he were to end his two-and-a-half year spell at Fulham with a Europa League winners' medal.

Fulham return to Hamburg next week, hoping to overcome the odds once again by beating Atletico Madrid to lift the first major trophy in the club's 131-year history.

Roy Hodgson's side will go into the match as underdogs against an Atletico side who dumped Liverpool out in the semi-finals. And with top scorer Bobby Zamora and winger Damian Duff struggling to overcome injuries for the match, their chances will take another hit.

But the London club have already put out the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsburg and Hamburg to make the final in Germany, and if Zamora misses out Nevland would relish the chance to fire Fulham to victory and end their incredible run in style.

Nevland is due to return to Viking Stavanger, the club where he began his career, at the end of the season and the 32-year-old told the Press Association: "We want to win every game we play but for me personally it would be an absolute dream to leave with a Europa League medal around my neck.

"Obviously I want to play in the final. It's one of the biggest games I will ever play in and I want to be a part of it.

"There is still a big game to play so it's going to be exciting and we are looking forward to it."

Duff, Hodgson's other major injury concern, will be monitored by the club's medical staff on Thursday as they seek to determine whether the Republic of Ireland winger will be available for the game, after he was forced to leave the field at half-time of Wednesday night's Premier League defeat against Stoke.

He is likely to miss Sunday's Premier League finale against Arsenal, while Zamora is struggling to overcome the Achilles injury which has kept him out of Fulham's last two games.

UEFA are expected to announce over the next couple of days whether or not Fulham have been successful in their application for extra tickets for Wednesday's game.

The club sold out their allocation of 12,650 tickets within hours of them going on sale on Friday morning.

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:52:01 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197846 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197846)
Fulham - Konchesky Linked With Move Away!
Now here`s a conundrum for you all!

One leading tabloid is running an article this morning that implies that Paul Konchesky is looking for a new club.

It implies that Konchesky, who has twelve months left on his contract, is willing to leave Craven Cottage.

That may well be so!

But, the waters get muddier when the article then goes on to suggest that Paul is being linked with a move to either Bolton or Birmingham.

The latter perhaps but the former, a definite no, no!

Unfortunately, it gets worse, with the tabloid implying that we already have a ready made replacement on our books in Nicky Shorey.

Now Shorey may well be a decent enough player but currently he lags behind Konchesky in the pecking order.

Surely a better solution, if there is an ounce of truth in this article, is to talk to Paul and convince him to stay!

Or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197846#ixzz0nDhwDGzi (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197846#ixzz0nDhwDGzi)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:53:11 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197844 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197844)
Fulham - Stoke Defeat Inquest!
Hands up if you thought Stoke`s mauling at the hands of our rivals down the road would have an adverse effect on our result?

After losing 7-0 to that lot down the road you just knew that it would be a far more resilient Stoke outfit that pitched up at Craven Cottage.

Tony Pulis is a hard task master and assisted by Gerry Francis and Peter Reid, he wound his boys up suitably enough to frustrate us on the night, prompting (Sir) Roy to comment after the game,

"We know what Stoke do and we stood up to it well. For large parts of the game, we passed it around them."

But with the grandeur of a European Final next week, it was always going to be a performance whereby those expecting to start next Wednesday might have their minds on other things, prompting Roy to quip,

"You can`t take next week`s match out of their minds. We haven`t changed anything in our preparation but that doesn`t mean the players won`t have that game in their minds - thinking about strong challenges and injuries."

Sadly, any thoughts of finishing in the top ten might just have gone out of the window with that single goal scored by Matthew Etherington!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197844#ixzz0nDiFRIxX (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197844#ixzz0nDiFRIxX)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:54:28 AM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/6/1460501/analysis-of-my-5-keys-to-victory (http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/6/1460501/analysis-of-my-5-keys-to-victory)
Analysis of "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Stoke City"

Fulham lost 1 - 0 to Stoke yesterday at Craven Cottage.  For me this was a frustrating loss. Fulham gave up a late goal to Matthew Etherington of Stoke. I have to give credit to Stoke City. They played well in the second half and did create chances for themselves. This was a lost opportunity for Fulham. To have a real good shot at the top 10 in the league they will probably need to win at Arsenal. I believe a point could help, but a win would increase their chances of a top 10 finish.  It is time to look back at "my keys"  to the match to see if they were factors yesterday.  Below is an analysis of  "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Stoke City."   

1. Fulham need to be next to perfect defending set pieces.  Fulham did  their job on set pieces. This key did not burn them yesterday.

2. Fulham need to score early in this match.  This key I think was a factor in the match. Even though Fulham controlled the first half, they did not score. If Fulham were able to get an early goal, it really could have hurt the confidence of Stoke. Stoke recently lost 7 - 0 to Chelsea. Instead, Stoke came out well in the second half. All they did was take advantage of an opportunity.

3. Fulham need to contain Matthew Etherington. I guess you can say Fulham failed at this key to the match. Matthew Etherington scored the winning goal yesterday. He was also very active in this match.

4.  Clint Dempsey again needs to be involved in scoring opportunities.  I thought Clint Dempsey was very involved in scoring opportunities yesterday. This wasn't a key that caused the loss. He did his part. Dempsey just couldn't get that goal that Fulham needed. 

5. Chris Smalling needs to step up once again and be very solid on defense.  Chris Smalling did not play yesterday. This key was a non - factor in the match. The defense played well for the most part.   

The big question I was asking before the match is who would be starting for Fulham?  Hodgson put out a very strong side yesterday. Bobby Zamora was the only significant player who did not participate in the game. The fact that Fulham had a pretty strong side yesterday makes this loss more disappointing.

In concluding, I think two of my "keys"were factors in this match. First, Matthew Etherington was very good yesterday. Also, Fulham were not able to score early in this match.  Now, it is on to play away to Arsenal on Sunday. The big question for this game  is who will be starting?
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:55:51 AM
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/05/06/plaudits-for-roy-hodgson-are-well-deserved-but-hes-too-old-for/ (http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/05/06/plaudits-for-roy-hodgson-are-well-deserved-but-hes-too-old-for/)
Plaudits for Roy Hodgson Are Well-Deserved but He's Too Old For England

Hodgson for England? The words are heard now, after Fulham's extraordinary success in the Europe League. Heard from such former, famous internationals on television as Alan Hansen of Scotland and Lee Dixon of England. Sentiments which I myself, who have known and admired the managerial skills of Roy Hodgson for so many years, would heartily endorse. Indeed, I would go further, believing that he could well have been given the job of England manager as long ago as 1994, when he had resourcefully guided Switzerland to the finals of the World Cup in the United States, having previously given Italy a terrible fright in the eliminators of the tournament.

Alas, at 62-years-old, it is most unlikely that Roy will receive the appointment he has long deserved. This, after a remarkable, cosmopolitan career which, more recently saw him successfully manage the Finland national team. I came to know him well and appreciate his abilities when he was in charge of Internazionale of Milan. Having previously won the fervent support of the late Giacinto Facchetti, Italy's attacking left back of the 1960s, an Inter player himself, now a senior coach; hugely enthused by the performance against Inter in the European Cup of Hodgson's Swedish club, Malmo.

In no time at all, Hodgson had revised and revitalised the tactics of an Inter team which had been shipping water. Though early the following season, he reacted bitterly to what he regarded as unfair treatment by the local, notoriously aggressive press, eventually refusing to conduct his interviews in Italian, rather than English.

No doubt at all that at modest Fulham, bank rolled by the controversial tycoon, Mohammed Al Fayed, Hodgson has worked wonders. Two seasons ago, he saved them from relegation at the last gasp. This season, despite one disastrous spell of five league losses in a row, he has guided them to a safe and solid position. Above all, he has taken them all the way to the final of a ludicrously overcrowded, absurdly drawn out new Europa League competition, beginning at the start of the season, meaning that by the time Atletico Madrid are met in the ensuing final, Fulham will be playing their 63rd game of the season.

Meanwhile, he has reactivated the likes of striker Bobby Zamora, midfielder Danny Murphy and the elegant Irish winger, Damien Duff, knocked out such powerful opponents as Juventus and Hamburg, installing both resilient tactics and unbreakable morale. At 62, he could still serve England well, a fascinating rise from the obscurity of local amateur Home Counties soccer as a very modest player.

Watching Portsmouth yet again last week, at Fratton Park, this time vigorously winning against Wolves, doomed to virtual extinction after they have met Chelsea in the imminent FA Cup Final, I was astonished by the vivacity. As we alas know, they are already not only due to be relegated at season's end, fined a multitude of points for going into administration but most of their gifted players will be sold or lost after loans. Will Jamie O'Hara, voted player of the year by a host of local polls, be playing in the final? He wasn't fit for the Wolves game, is on loan from Spurs, and longs to be present.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:56:58 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2559/rumours/2010/05/06/1911867/fulham-set-to-swoop-for-on-loan-portsmouth-striker-frederic (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2559/rumours/2010/05/06/1911867/fulham-set-to-swoop-for-on-loan-portsmouth-striker-frederic)
Fulham set to swoop for on-loan Portsmouth striker Frederic Piquionne - report

Fulham are set to bid for Lyon striker Frédéric Piquionne, according to reports from Sky Sports News.

The 31-year-old is currently on-loan at Premier League strugglers Portsmouth, but is set to return to France after next week's FA Cup final, and it is believed that Roy Hodgson is ready to add the experienced striker to his ranks as he looks to ease the burden on Bobby Zamora.

Lyon are likely to be eager to sell, with the former Monaco and Saint-Etienne man way down the pecking order at Stade Gerland, behind the likes of Lisandro Lopez and Bafetimbi Gomis.

Piquionne is Pompey's top-scorer with 11 goals this season, and is believed to be interesting a number of Premier League clubs — including Birmingham, Bolton and Wolves. The player himself spoke back in March of his desire to extend his stay in England.

He is set to lead the line as Avram Grant's already-relegated side take on Chelsea at Wembley in next weekend's showpiece event, and a good performance there could convince Hodgson to turn his interest into something concrete.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:58:04 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197858 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197858)
Fulham - Nordbank Arena Ticket Carve-Up!
For those questioning as to how the ticket allocation for the Europa League Final has been distributed, read on……….

The two competing teams, Fulham and Atletico Madrid, have both received 12,650 which gives us a running total of 25,300

4,600 tickets have gone to the local organizing committee, running total increases to 29,900

6,100 tickets have gone to the UEFA associations and commercial partners, making the running total 36,000.

14,000 tickets have been allocated to the general public making a running total of 50,000

A typical carve-up for a major final we believe!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197858#ixzz0nDjSNzCm (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197858#ixzz0nDjSNzCm)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 06:59:28 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197857 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197857)
Fulham - Ticketing Shambles Rumbles On!
Looking at our FORUM, once again it appears that tickets for the Europa League are in abundance on the black market.

If you haven`t got a ticket I besiege you to be careful if you enter into negotiations with anyone you select from the pages of this site as we are not liable for anything that may go wrong.

But, it still wrangles with some that Fulham Football Club appears to have handled the sale of the tickets for the final in a rash manner.

Allowing season ticket holders to purchase four tickets at a time soon meant that the limited stock of 12,500 was sold out.

A rough mental calculation shows that even though Craven Cottage holds circa 25,000, those 12,500 tickets could see as little as 4,100 regulars and circa 9,000 of their friends enjoying themselves in Hamburg.

It`s no wonder some supporters are up in arms about the situation.

Surprisingly, the club feel that they did nothing wrong and some quotes form Sarah Brookes, the Director of Communications, offer an insight into there way of thinking,

"We had a limited window to sell off our tickets and if we didn`t manage to sell them all then the club would have taken a million pound financial hit."

"We apologise, of course we apologise if anyone has missed out, but this really is an unprecedented level of demand - we have never sold out an away ticket allocation so quickly."

"We are looking at ways to help genuine supporters and season ticket holders who may have missed out and we will do all we can to help sort out any anomalies."

"But I am confident that the vast majority of fans who have followed us through thick and thin over the years will be with us in Hamburg."

Word, just words, we doubt that last statement will ever hold water Sarah!

On election day; it sounds like typical election speak!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197857#ixzz0nDjoXuO7 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197857#ixzz0nDjoXuO7)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:00:41 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197856 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197856)
Fulham - Don`t Even Ask!
It was worth a go I suppose!

Asking the Premier League if we could go against tradition in moving our last game of the season back to Saturday from the normal Sunday!

Perhaps the answer, a blunt refusal, was only to be expected what with Arsenal and Spurs still, in theory, contesting third place.

Nevertheless, we shouldn`t be too disgruntled!

After all it`s only a European Final for which we were seeking to get an additional days rest!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197856#ixzz0nDk6f13h (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197856#ixzz0nDk6f13h)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:01:48 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=7101 (http://hammyend.com/?p=7101)
Early Transfer Talk
by lydia on May 6, 2010

With the season coming to a close, the Fulham board are likely to start looking at transfer option for the summer. The Europa League finalists have had a super season so ar and hopefully it is only to get better next Wednesday.  One of the added bonuses of devastating many European teams  this season will be that people aren’t going to sneer at bids from Fulham. Teams will be even more attracted to our little club if we secure European football next season by winning the Europe League next week. Everybody knows that we have a tiny squad at Fulham so adding players is very important and with Roy having this amazing ability to find stars out of nowhere on the cheap, this could be a very interesting summer for Fulham fans. However I would like Fulham to use their money wisely and sign someone who wealready  know is good!

I think that if we are in europe next season again we will need to add at least 4 players to our squad. Already some rumours have developed surrounding Fulham. First of all, it looks like a target of last year by the name of Paul Scharner is leaving Wigan and we are in bidding wars with Everton for him. He is a decent player and could do well at Fulham. Another player who we seem to be interested in is Portsmouth loanee  Frederic Piquionne. The 31 year old looks likely to leave Lyon in the Summer and Fulham are amongst the clubs who are reportedly interested. Piquionne has done quite well at a struggling Portsmouth team and has scored 11 goals so far this season. Lastly, we seem to be scouting Camaroon mid fielder Somen Tchoyi. The 27 year old is one of Red Bull Salzburg star players. He is a typical african mid-fielder- strong, quick and has a good eye for goal.

As a fan, I have to admit that I would like to see some quality youth players added to the team. Stephen Ireland’s Man City future seems to be in doubt and I wonder would he be affordable? He was certainly be a super player to add to our ranks. The average age of our team is around 30 so I definatly think that now is the time for younger players to start playing along side the older guys to learn Fulhams style for the future.

I certainly hope its a good transfer window for Fulham.

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:03:13 AM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/6/1460573/will-tottenham-fans-become (http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/6/1460573/will-tottenham-fans-become)
Will Tottenham fans become supporters of Fulham for just one day?
(http://cdn1.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/379697/97831856_large.jpg)

Let me start off by saying congratulations to Tottenham and their fans for getting into the Champions League. This is a very big achievement. Fans of Fulham and Tottenham have much to be proud of this year. However, is it possible for Tottenham fans to actually support Fulham on Sunday as they play Arsenal?

I read this nice post on spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk entitled " Come on Fulham !!!" .  The writer of this article is mentioning the advantages of Tottenham ending third in the EPL. For this to happen, Tottenham would need to win and probably Fulham would have to beat Arsenal. According to this article, if Tottenham ended third they would be avoiding the play - off round in August of the Champions League.

As a Fulham fan I know all about playing extra matches. Fulham had to go through the qualifications stages of the Europa League at the end of last July. If Fulham win in the Final they will go right to the Group Stages of the Europa League next year. I definitely see the advantages of wanting to avoid these extra stages.

Now the match on Sunday is not going to be easy for Fulham. I think they have a decent chance at a draw. But, if Fulham win it could give them a great chance at a top 10 finish. It would possibly indirectly benefit Tottenham. Below I will give my opinion on pros and cons for Fulham in this match against Arsenal.  I will actually list the cons first.     

 

The cons for Fulham against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday are below:

1. Fulham have only one road win this season in the EPL.  This record on the road for Fulham is terrible. In fact, their only road win came against Portsmouth in the Opening Match.

2. Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff are probably both not playing on Sunday.  Damien Duff came off at halftime yesterday with a calf injury. His availability for the final is being questioned right now. Bobby Zamora I doubt very much will play. These two players are very key scoring options for Fulham. Without them Fulham will need to rely on Clint Dempsey and Zoltan Gera.

3. Who else will Roy Hodgson rest for this match?The final will only be a few days later. Will Fulham put out a side similar to the team that played West Ham?



The pros for Fulham against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday are below:

1. I think Fulham would like to go into the Final on a positive note.  The loss against Stoke City might change how Roy Hodgson plays this game against Arsenal. I don't think the manager or the club were happy with the result yesterday.  If they are able to win on Sunday it could give the club an added boost going into the Final. You don't want to go into that match with a negative result.

2. I think Fulham would like to end the season in the top 10.  For a club like Fulham any additional money that they can get by getting a higher position in the league is probably important. Also, being in the top 10 would be quite an accomplishment regarding the amount of games the club has played. 

3. This could be Erik Nevland's last match actually playing with the club. There is a possibility this Sunday could be his last match with playing for Fulham. He could play in the final if Bobby Zamora is not fit to play. Regardless, this will be Nevland's last EPL match with Fulham. He might have some extra incentive to really play well on Sunday. Nevland is returning to Viking next season.

4. This game could also be the final impression that Stefano Okaka could make on Fulham.  He is on loan from Roma,  and slated to return after the season. He is ineligible for the Final. If for some reason he wants to stay at Fulham this will be his last chance to show the club what he has to offer. Fulham I believe do have the right to potentially make the loan move a permanent one. This will be his last chance to shine. He does have goal scoring potential. 

 I think Fulham do have an opportunity on Sunday to end the League season on a very positive note. I would love to see them get this victory at Arsenal. Realistically it does look difficult.

To the Tottenham fans I will leave you with this thought. No one believed they would get to the Final of the Europa League. They have been counted out so many times this year during the Europa League. They have the ability to surprise you.  Don't completely dismiss this as a possibility they could win. Two years ago they could have been relegated on the last day of the season. They beat Portsmouth away to stay up.  Just when you count them out they can surprise you. Why not come along for the ride for just one day?   
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:04:31 AM
http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/content/Islington/gazette/Arsenal/story.aspx?brand=ISLGOnline&category=ArsenalNews&tBrand=ISLGOnline&tCategory=defaultArsenal&itemid=WeED06+May+2010+17%3A32%3A00%3A007 (http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/content/Islington/gazette/Arsenal/story.aspx?brand=ISLGOnline&category=ArsenalNews&tBrand=ISLGOnline&tCategory=defaultArsenal&itemid=WeED06+May+2010+17%3A32%3A00%3A007)
Fulham have bigger fish to fry than worrying about Arsenal

A few years ago this would have been a typical end of season fare for Arsenal - one team has nothing to play for and the other has their minds on a bigger prize.

The somewhat alarming reality for Gunners fans however is that their season has been over for weeks, while Fulham have a little date in Hamburg to think about next week.

Reaching the Europa League final, where they will face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, is an achievement that still takes some believing. Where all the Premier League heavyweights have failed in Europe this season, Fulham have excelled in reaching only their second ever major cup final.

The first was in 1975 when they were beaten in the FA Cup final by West Ham, but the 35-year wait has certainly proved worth hanging around for with this season's miracle run.

Let us not forget, Fulham's European quest started 10 months ago in July, has encompassed 18 games so far, and has seen them knock out the holders, Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus, Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, and Hamburg, who were denied the chance to play the final in their own stadium by last week's breathtaking semi-final second leg win.

Perhaps even more impressive feat from Roy Hodgson's side is that they somehow dust themselves down and maintain their Premier League form, as Sunday's 3-2 win over West Ham showed, which keeps them in with a chance of a top-half finish.

All of this has led to Arsene Wenger acclaiming Hodgson as deserving of the manager of the season award.

"Fulham and Roy have been fantastic," said the Gunners boss. "They are the ones more than anybody else who have punched above their weight. And maybe that's why Roy deserves it [manager of the season].

"Their intelligence, experience and his scouting has been good. His buys have been good. He's bought players who aren't in the top three or four but have the level to flirt with it.

"Zamora, Duff have played at top clubs, Murphy has played at top clubs. They have players who can play at the top level but at some stage lost out.

"Hodgson is a fantastic manager - but there's no secret. You need good players and they have good players."

Not that many of them will be trotting out at the Emirates on Sunday - with the final just 72 hours later, it will be a strictly B team from Hodgson, and their Euro heroes such as Zamora, Davies, Duff, Hangeland, and Schwarzer will all surely be rested. Not that the squad players are nobodies - defender Chris Smalling will play his final game before joining Manchester United, who he of course chose ahead of Arsenal, in the summer.

Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey and Stephen Kelly all have plenty of Premier League experience while the likes of powerful South African Kagisho Dikgacoi and strikers Stefano Okaka and David Elm have already impressed in glimpses. But Fulham's fans will be in party mood and really couldn't care less about Sunday's game as long as nobody who has a chance of playing in Hamburg gets injured.

As a result, and despite the professionalism shown by Hodgson's wonderful team this season, you can't help but feel they are the perfect opposition for an Arsenal side low on players and even lower on confidence.

If Arsenal can't raise themselves end the season on a high note, Fulham really would be the miracle men. But then again they have had some season....

Prediction: Arsenal 3 Fulham 1
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:05:44 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6137273,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6137273,00.html)
Nevland looking to end on high
Striker wants to take Europa medal back home

Erik Nevland is hoping to finish his Fulham career with a flourish by winning the Europa League trophy.

The striker, who was one of manager Roy Hodgson's first signings when he joined the club in January 2008 from Groningen, will return to Norwegian club Viking Stavanger at the end of the season.

The Norwegian has made five starts and four appearances off the bench for the Cottagers in Europe this season, and is desperate to play some part in the final and take home the trophy when they face Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday.

Despite Hodgson's best efforts to keep the former Manchester United player at Craven Cottage, Nevland's desire to return to the club he began his career with means an appearance in the final would be his last for the club.

Dream
With first choice striker and top goalscorer Bobby Zamora still in doubt to start, Nevland may be asked to take his place in the starting line up, with the 32-year-old clearly relishing the prospect.

"We want to win every game we play but for me personally it would be an absolute dream to leave with a Europa League medal around my neck," he said.

"Obviously I want to play in the final. It's one of the biggest games I will play in and I want to be a part of it.

"There is still a big game to play so it's going to be exciting and we are looking forward to it."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:07:07 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/06/1912375/atletico-madrid-captain-antonio-lopez-we-wont-underestimate (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/06/1912375/atletico-madrid-captain-antonio-lopez-we-wont-underestimate)
Atletico Madrid Captain Antonio Lopez: We Won’t Underestimate Fulham In The Europa League Final
Atleti captain won’t let the fans down…

Atletico Madrid captain Antonio Lopez has insisted his side won’t underestimate their English counterparts when they meet Fulham next week in the UEFA Europa League final in Hamburg.

“We do not underestimate any of our rivals, much less Fulham, who have every right to be in the final,” Lopez told the club's official website. “We will go there with all the enthusiasm and desire to win the final.”

“We have long been excited about the season finale,” he added. “We hope everything goes well.”

Finally, the Spanish international praised the club’s fans and assured them the players were desperate to put on a good show.

“On Wednesday we have a European final, which all players want to be a part of,” he said.

“We hope to give our great fans the joy that they deserve.”
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:08:34 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/06/1912474/quique-flores-insists-atletico-madrid-must-not-underestimate (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/06/1912474/quique-flores-insists-atletico-madrid-must-not-underestimate)
Quique Sanchez Flores Insists Atletico Madrid Will Not Take Fulham Lightly In Europa League Final
Los Colchoneros eyeing double cup success...

Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores has declared that the club have reached two finals this season through patience and hard work but noted that his side must not underestimate Europa League final opponents Fulham in the Hamburg showpiece later this month.

Flores once again acknowledged the work of his predecessors in the Atleti hotseat and praised the patience of the fans before declaring that his side must ensure they give their best possible display against Roy Hodgson's men.

"We were tested and the players have come out as winners. I've always said that I believed in these players, and you can see the results having recovered the values of each player. Before Abel [Resino] reached important benchmarks and [Javier] Aguirre, and today the levels achieved are very important. I am pleased because we have created a tremendous enthusiasm," he said.

"This has been achieved with great patience by the fans, the work of the players and the will to believe that the challenge was not seen as an insurmountable obstacle."

"We are obliged not to underestimate [Fulham], we must even overstate their resources. Above all we must think of how to make our best effort. Fulham are in the final because they have the capability to be there.

"I've been to clubs, meeting objectives, but sometimes there comes the chance to achieve titles. I have suffered a lot with this team and with these players. The intention now is to show the fans how committed we are to the club."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:09:49 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274038/Fulham-set-inquire-Portsmouths-loan-striker-Frederic-Piquionne.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274038/Fulham-set-inquire-Portsmouths-loan-striker-Frederic-Piquionne.html?ITO=1490)
Fulham set to inquire about Portsmouth's on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne

Fulham have inquired about signing Portsmouth's on loan striker Frederic Piquionne.

Piquionne is on loan from Lyon and they are likely to sell the 31-year-old for around £4m. Birmingham, Bolton and Wolves are also interested.

Fulham are also rivalling Birmingham and Everton for Ghana international midfield prodigy Andre Ayew, 20, from Marseille.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274038/Fulham-set-inquire-Portsmouths-loan-striker-Frederic-Piquionne.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nDmUxjJm (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274038/Fulham-set-inquire-Portsmouths-loan-striker-Frederic-Piquionne.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nDmUxjJm)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:11:49 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1273978/Spurs-wont-protest-Fulham-field-reserves-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1273978/Spurs-wont-protest-Fulham-field-reserves-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490)
Spurs won't protest if Fulham field reserves at Arsenal as Roy Hodgson rests his stars for Final

Fulham have been given the green light to field a weakened side against Arsenal on Sunday with both the Premier League and Tottenham 'highly unlikely' to complain if Roy Hodgson rests his star names ahead of the Europa League final.
A request by Fulham to have their final league game of the season brought forward to Saturday was rejected by the Premier League on the grounds it could damage the integrity of the competition.

The same reasoning could certainly be applied to the case of Fulham fielding a weakened team at the Emirates as defeat for Arsenal and victory for Spurs against Burnley would see Harry Redknapp's side finish above their North London rivals in third spot.
But Spurs, who sealed fourth place by beating Manchester City, are ready to let Hodgson prepare in a way which gives Fulham the best chance of victory over Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, even if it means they must qualify for the group stages of the Champions League next season by competing in the final play-off round.

Hodgson is sweating on the fitness of winger Damien Duff, who was withdrawn at half-time against Stoke with a suspected muscle injury.
Bobby Zamora is also struggling with his achilles problem and has not played since lasting only 58 minutes of Fulham's semi-final second-leg win over Hamburg last week.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1273978/Spurs-wont-protest-Fulham-field-reserves-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nDmwsfF2 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1273978/Spurs-wont-protest-Fulham-field-reserves-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nDmwsfF2)

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:13:39 AM
http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/fulham-facing-final-wait-for-injured-wing-wizard-duff-119164.html (http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/fulham-facing-final-wait-for-injured-wing-wizard-duff-119164.html)

Fulham facing final wait for injured wing wizard Duff



FULHAM manager Roy Hodgson hopes the injury which Damien Duff picked up during Wednesday night’s defeat against Stoke will not rule him out of next week’s Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.



Duff hobbled off at half-time during the Barclays Premier League defeat with a leg muscle injury.

The Republic of Ireland winger has been an integral part of the Cottagers’ European campaign, which has seen them brush aside the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach Wednesday’s final in Hamburg.

He did emerge after the final whistle to take part in a lap of appreciation for the Fulham fans following the club’s last home game of the season.

He will now be monitored by the club’s medical staff, who are already working overtime to make sure that top goalscorer Bobby Zamora is fit for Wednesday’s final.

"Duff was taken off at half-time because he took a kick a while ago and we think one of his muscles was cramping up," said Hodgson.

"We hope it’s not too serious.

"I hope he’ll be fit for the final. There’s a week to go now. The medical staff don’t think it’s a muscle tear or anything like that.

"They think that it’s something to do with a kick he took a while ago which is switching off the muscle."



 

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, May 07, 2010



Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/fulham-facing-final-wait-for-injured-wing-wizard-duff-119164.html#ixzz0nDnQPr3p (http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/fulham-facing-final-wait-for-injured-wing-wizard-duff-119164.html#ixzz0nDnQPr3p)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:15:44 AM
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/173724/Harry-Redknapp-and-Roy-Hodgson-keep-home-fire-burning/ (http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/173724/Harry-Redknapp-and-Roy-Hodgson-keep-home-fire-burning/)
HARRY REDKNAPP AND ROY HODGSON KEEP HOME FIRE BURNING

JUST for a second, Harry Redknapp did not look too happy after ­being drenched with an ice bucket by ­Tottenham’s players in ­celebration of qualification for the Champions League.


That familiar grin soon spread across his face and now he is going to auction his soaked suit for a cancer charity. But you would have understood if he had got the hump.

It has been difficult for English managers to get football to take them seriously these past few years.

At the point of his finest achievement, having confirmed Spurs as something like the force they always should have been, did he really need to be standing at Eastlands dripping wet?

The Manager of the Year award seems destined for Roy Hodgson, who has fabulously led Fulham to the final of the Europa League. But Redknapp surely runs him a near second and that is even if Carlo Ancelotti secures a first league and FA Cup Double for Chelsea.

The difference is that both Hodgson and Redknapp have built and shaped their teams by their own hand, while Ancelotti – quite admirably and cleverly, it must be said – has simply made a few shrewd tweaks to a side he inherited at Stamford Bridge.

There has been a lot of soul-searching in England over perceived failure to produce top-drawer coaches. After Steve McClaren’s failure with the national team, we turned again to a foreigner, Fabio Capello, and watched agape as he made the transformation of the side look so simple. Perhaps we were just being impatient.

In Redknapp’s case, the leap towards a proper acknowledgment of his wisdom and instinct could not happen until he got to a club with significant resources like Tottenham. But it is a telling point that he and Hodgson are finally being hailed here now they are in their early sixties, when all their years of learning and experience are bearing a rich reward.

The key thing both have done is what managers are supposed to do – manage. They have bought wisely, balanced their teams well and given them an emphatic sense of themselves and what they are trying to do, tactically and mentally.

The timing of the current appreciation of this is important because it contrasts so starkly with the latest round of whingeing from Rafael Benitez, who is complaining yet again about apparent broken promises from the Liverpool boardroom.

He is demanding yet more money for yet more signings. But his team show no evidence that they have been constructed and run with any sort of cohesion or idea of development in mind, even if somewhere in Benitez’s fevered mind there was a grand scheme.

He has spent nearly £300million and traded 105 players during his six years in charge. Ian St John was on Five Live discussing the decline of his old club and was told Benitez had made 76 signings. “What?” replied ‘The Saint’. “Is he starting his own league?” Set this against Spurs’ composed and disciplined display at Manchester City as proof foreigners do not always know best.

For starters, there is the advancement of Michael Dawson into a potential England World Cup defender, confirming Redknapp’s ability to inspire and develop players.

Then there is his outstanding work in the transfer market which has given Spurs their strongest, most well-balanced and purposeful squad for years. And he simply will not deny a love of attacking football. Spurs play with style and daring.

Hodgson’s Fulham have been more careful at times during their European adventure. But the proper practice of management is about getting goalless draws at Hamburg as much as inspiring extraordinary wins over Juventus.

Like Redknapp, Hodgson has bought shrewdly and blended a team, not a collection of individuals. The players tell of how training is all about coaching team shape and patterns of play, drilling in both the framework and discipline which has enabled them to pull off so many shocks. Only now is Hodgson a hero in his own land. Even when he was bucking the trend abroad to ignore English coaches and leading Inter Milan to third place in Serie A and the 1997 UEFA Cup final, it passed largely unnoticed here.

Ironically, his elevation here has coincided with another Englishman making a rare mark in Europe.

McClaren won the Dutch title for Twente last weekend. This is a remarkable rehabilitation. It proves young English coaches can learn from their misfortunes and apply their own experiences. Suddenly, the English are showing they can shape the game they invented as cleverly as foreigners after all.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:20:08 AM
http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/premierleague/matchreports/report-fulham-v-stoke-949501908.html (http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/premierleague/matchreports/report-fulham-v-stoke-949501908.html)
Report: Fulham v Stoke

Etherington wins it

A late strike from Matthew Etherington gave Stoke a shock 1-0 win over Europa League finalists Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Stoke winger latched on to Ricardo Fuller's cross to smash his drive past Mark Schwarzer to inflict Fulham's fifth home defeat of the season and move Tony Pulis' side up to 10th in the table.

Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic had to react quickly to deny Clint Dempsey in the second half but Fulham otherwise lacked any killer instinct in what was largely a dull match.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson recalled Brede Hangeland, Zoltan Gera, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu to a strong side for the Cottagers' final home game of the season.

Pulis opted to stick with the same team that drew 0-0 with Everton on Sunday.

With the Europa League final just seven days away, many had predicted that Hodgson would put out a second string for the club's 61st game of a long season.

But aside from the injured Bobby Zamora, the side which Hodgson selected was so strong that he may well field the same team against Atletico Madrid next week.

Mark Schwarzer came out to punch Rory Delap's first trademark long throw in the fifth minute before Etuhu needed two minutes to recover after being hacked down by a mis-timed sliding tackle from Mamady Sidibe.

Wasteful passing from Fulham and resolute defending from Hangeland ensured neither goalkeeper was tested in the first 15 minutes.

Duff then found Gera in space in the 19th minute but he scooped his shot over from 10 yards.

Hangeland was barged into the advertising boards by Fuller as he shepherded the ball out but referee Peter Walton waved play on.

As a dull game limped past the half hour, the Stoke fans vented their frustration by deciding to embark upon a conga around the Putney end stand.

Both sides failed to create chances before the game was given a little life when referee Walton had to stop play to talk to Dempsey, who argued with Ryan Shawcross after the American's path was blocked by the defender.

The first shot on target of the game came seven minutes from the break when Dempsey slipped in Gera who shot straight at Stoke stopper Begovic.

Fuller ranted at Walton after he failed to give a foul when Etuhu pulled him back just before the break.

Robert Huth then entered the book for arguing with the referee before Glenn Whelan fired harmlessly wide on the stroke of half-time.

Duff, who finished the first half clutching his leg, failed to emerge after the break and was substituted by Erik Nevland, who was making his last home appearance for the club before moving to Viking Stavanger.

Fuller beat his marker to send a glancing header wide from a Delap throw as Stoke looked for a quick goal after the break.

Hodgson came out of his dugout to vent his frustration at his side, who were struggling to get into their rhythm.

Shawcross was booked for a blatant tug of Dempsey's shirt eight minutes into the second half.

Etherington beat John Pantsil for pace down the left but his teasing cross flew across the box without a vital tap-in.

Etuhu's 15-yard header flew over just after the hour but Stoke continued to control most of the play.

Fulham hit back though through Gera, who picked out Dempsey at the back post but the striker's shot inside the six-yard box was tipped wide by Begovic.

Pulis looked for inspiration from Tuncay, who came on for Sidibe with 20 minutes left.

Etuhu climbed well to beat Delap from a Murphy corner but Begovic was equal to the midfielder's header.

Pantsil's ambitious 30-yard drive cleared Begovic's bar with just over 10 minutes left as Fulham regained control of the game.

But with little over seven minutes left the Potters took the lead when Fuller's cross skimmed off Tuncay's back to fall to Etherington who smashed his finish home off the Fulham woodwork.

Hodgson replaced Pantsil with striker Stefano Okaka as he looked to find a leveller while Etherington left the field for Salif Diao for Stoke.

A late challenge on Tuncay earned Aaron Hughes a booking towards the death as Stoke continued to frustrate the hosts in their search for an equaliser.

The home fans urged their team on but they could not find their way through a solid Stoke back line.

The Cottagers' attentions now turn to Arsenal before next week's Europa League final in Hamburg, where they will have to improve dramatically if they are to pick up their first major trophy in their 131-year history.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:21:19 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/nevland-wants-sign-fulham-euro-success-822001 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/nevland-wants-sign-fulham-euro-success-822001)
Nevland wants to sign off from Fulham with Euro success

Erik Nevland is keen to sign off from Fulham with victory in the Europa League final.

Nevland is due to return to Viking Stavanger, the club where he began his career, at the end of the season, despite Hodgson's best efforts to keep him at Craven Cottage.

The 32-year-old admits he would relish the prospect of helping fire Fulham to victory on Wednesday if top goalscorer Zamora misses the match.

"We want to win every game we play but for me personally it would be an absolute dream to leave with a Europa League medal around my neck," said the Norwegian.

"Obviously I want to play in the final. It's one of the biggest games I will ever play in and I want to be a part of it.

"There is still a big game to play so it's going to be exciting and we are looking forward to it."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:23:07 AM
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/173712/Fulham-waiting-on-UEFA-tables (http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/173712/Fulham-waiting-on-UEFA-tables)
FULHAM WAITING ON UEFA TABLES
FULHAM will find out on Monday if they are guaranteed European competition again next season – when UEFA publish their Fair Play tables.

The top three nations are entitled to enter representatives in the Europa League and insiders say England are well-placed to claim one of the spots.

With one match to play, Fulham – in third place overall in the Premier League fair play table – cannot be caught by anybody who has not already qualified for Europe.

Should they beat Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the Europa League final they will qualify as holders.

What is more, they would enter at the group stage in September rather than with the first qualifying round on July 1 – 10 days before this season finishes with the World Cup final.

If Roy Hodgson does lift the trophy, the fair play place will pass to Burnley thanks to their respect to opponents as well as their red and yellow card tally.

If there was a “respect for the media” award, Burnley would also be highly placed. Reporters will have a “champagne breakfast” for the final Friday press conference with Brian Laws today – Turf Moor style, with bacon butties and hash browns.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:24:42 AM
http://www.soccertimes.com/americans/2010/may06 (http://www.soccertimes.com/americans/2010/may06)
For Fulham, Dempsey set to become first U.S. player in European final.

Clint Dempsey will become the first American to ever play for a major trophy in Europe with Fulham when the English Premier League Cottagers travel to Hamburg, Germany's Nordank Arena to face Spain's Atletico Madrid in the Europa League championship match.

Somewhat surprisingly, Fulham made it into the title match on the strength of a come-from-behind 2-1 victory Thursday over visting Hamburg SV of the German Bundesliga. This gave Fulham a 2-1 aggregate for the two-match series following a 0-0 draw April 22 at Hamburg.

Fulham meets Spain's Atletico Madrid which needed an extra-time strike by Diego Forlan to beat Liverpool of the EPL 1-0.

On Thursday, Hamburg took a 1-0 lead on a 22nd -minute goal by Mladen Petric. Dempsey came on in the 57th minute replacing limping Bobby Zamora as the lone striker.

Simon Davies scored in the 69th and Zoltan Gera in the 76th to give Fulham its decision. Dempsey played strong defense to protect the lead and picked up his first yellow card of the Europa League campaign in the final minute for wasting time.

In the first leg, played during the airline embargo in Europe because of the Icelandic volcano, Fulham had to travel for a full day to reach Hamburg via English Channel ferry and motor coach. In this game, Dempsey also came on in the second half -- in the 74th minute -- and helped keep the home side off the scoreboard which gave Fulham an advantage in the return home leg.

While Dempsey was a reserve against Hamburg, he has been starting in the Premier League.

Last night, he went the distance in a 1-0 loss to visiting Stoke City. Dempsey had a good chance to score in the second half, but was denied by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Dempsey also had a shot saved by Begovic in the seventh minute and had a short shot tipped wide by Begovic later in the first half.

On Sunday, Dempsey played 86th minutes and scored a goal in a 3-2 home defeat of West Ham United.

After hitting the crossbar from 20 yards in the 26th minute, Dempsey opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time when he collected a pass from Simon Davies and hit a hard shot past West Ham keeper Robert Green.

An own goal by Carlton Cole put Fulham ahead 2-0 shortly after the restart. Cole redeemed himself when he headed West Ham back into the game, but Fulham substitute Stefano Okaka put Fulham ahead 3-1 from close range in the 79th minute. An injury-time goal from Guillermo Franco was the final gasp by West Ham.

American Jonathan Spector went the distance on the back-line for West Ham. Last week, Spector was charged with an own goal, but West Ham still prevailed 3-2 over Wigan Athletic to avoid relegation.

On April 25, Fulham traveled north to Everton and Dempsey faced off against U.S. keeper Tim Howard. Fulham rested a number of starters ahead of its return clash with Hamburg, but Dempsey played 90 minutes in the center of midfield.

Everton won on a penalty kick in the third minute of stoppage time.

With one match remaining, Fulham is in 12th place at 12-15-10 with 46 points. After a 0-0 draw with Stoke City Saturday, Everton (15-9-13, 58 points) will finish in eighth place -- one match remains -- and failed to earn a berth in the the Europa League next season. The fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place teams made the Europa League.

Everton thought it had scored in the 74th minute against Stoke, but the goal was disallowed for a foul that was not readily seen.

Hull City (6-20-11, 29) was relegated following a 2-2 draw Monday with Wigan. U.S. striker Jozy Altidore did not play and his career at Hull is certainly at an end following being sent off last week in Hull's 1-0 loss over visiting Sunderland.

As the halftime whistle was about to blow, Altidore and Sunderland defender Alan Hutton collided going after a ball which landed out-of-touch. Altidore ended up on the ground and Hutton took the ball and dropped it on Altidore's head. Altidore jumped up and head-butted Hutton in the face.

Referee Lee Probert immediately red-carded Altidore. After he received treatment, Hutton was sent off also. Had Altidore not retaliated, Hull would have had a man advantage the second half. Playing 10-on-10, Hull lost 1-0 and the loss doomed Hull to relegation with two matches left to play.

Going into the match, Hull's only chance of escaping the drop was to win its final three games.

Altidore was suspended for three matches and thus would miss Hull's final two matches of 2009-10. Hull's financial situation is perilous. The team is desperately trying to avoid going into "administration," a kind of bankruptcy, and have said it will have to cut expenses to the bone next season.

Altidore is on the squad through an expensive loan from Villarreal of Spain, something Hull will not be able to afford next season.

"I'm so sorry about yesterday," Altidore said. "(I) made a stupid, immature and costly mistake. I apologize to Hull City and the fans who I let down. I let my emotions get the best of me and lost my composure."

Aston Villa will be playing in the Europa League next season despite a 3-1 road loss at Manchester City Saturday.

American keeper Brad Friedel's clean sheet in last week's 1-0 victory at home over Birmingham City made the Man, City match meaningless. Against Birmingham, the match came down to an 83rd-minute penalty kick.

Friedel had seven saves, including a beauty, denying Craig Gardner who hit a 25-yard bullet. Brad Guzan was again Friedel's backup in both Villa matches.

Villa finished sixth at 17-7-13 with 64 points.

A series of draws over the past month guaranteed that U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemannand Wolverhampton avoided being dropped and will play again in the Premiership next season.

On April 24, Hahnemann made a half dozen saves in a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

Ryan Nelsen, who once toiled for D.C. United in Major League, was the one who beat Hahnemann off a corner kick.

Safe from relegation, Wolves' defense was lax Saturday and Portsmouth, which will drop to the second division, yet has advanced to the FA Cup final, won a home game 3-1.

In the English League Championship, Jay DeMerit remains sidelined with a stomach muscle strain, but Watford secured a return to the second division their survival with a pair of nice wins. On Sunday, Watford won a 4-0 road contest at Coventry City.

A week earlier, Watford defeated Reading 3-0 on goals by Danny Graham and Heidar Helguson.

American defender Frank Simek did not dress for either of Sheffield Wednesday's final two matches, a defeat and a draw that saw them relegated. On Saunday, Wednesday drew 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace after dropping a 3-2 decision at Cardiff City.

U.S. forward Kenny Cooper did not dress for relegated Plymouth, which dropped its final two matches of the season, 3-0 at Nottingham Forest and 2-1 to Peterborough United
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:25:57 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/7686616/Arsenal-v-Fulham-match-preview.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/7686616/Arsenal-v-Fulham-match-preview.html)
Arsenal v Fulham: match preview
Read a full match preview of the Premier League game between Arsenal v Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday May 9, 2010, kick-off 16.00 BST.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Almunia; Sagna, Campbell, Silvestre, Clichy; Diaby, Eboué; Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin; Van Persie.
Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Pantsil, Baird, Smalling, Konchesky; Riise, Greening, Dikgacoi, Davies; Dempsey, Nevland.
Referee: Mike Jones. Matches: 19. R: 1. Y: 60.

Tale of the game

Arsenal's recent record is poor with just one point from their last four games, the latest reverse a 2-1 defeat at Blackburn on Monday. That is their worst return since April 2007, but they need one point to better last's season 72-points haul.

And Arsenal's record at home to Fulham is impressive. In 22 League games at home they have never lost to Fulham, winning 19 games and drawing three including last season's 0-0 stalemate.

If Arsenal lose and Spurs win, at Burnley, the balance of power in North London will shift to N17, with their deadliest rivals finishing third.

Arsenal, though, are unbeaten in their last eight home League games and they face a Fulham side that, in midweek, lost 1-0 to a late goal against Stoke. Manager Roy Hodgson fielded the likely team to face Hamburg in next Wednesday's Europa League final, with the exception of Bobby Zamora, who will rest until the game against Atletico Madrid.

So, at Arsenal, he is likely to revert to a team including the likes of Chris Smalling and Erik Nevland, who returns to Viking in the summer.

Arsenal test goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who has missed the last three games with a wrist injury. But Denilson, Thomas Vermaelen, Cesc Fabregas, Aaron Ramsey and William Gallas remain on the sidelines.

Andrew Johnson is still absent for Fulham, while Damian Duff joins Zamora on the sidelines ahead of the Europa League final.

This season: Fulham 0 Arsenal 1.

Last season: Fulham 1 Arsenal 0, Arsenal 0 Fulham 0.

Stat of the game: Arsenal have scored 79 goals, their best return since the 2004-05 campaign. But they have also conceded 41, the highest since they let in 42 in 2002-03.

Betting tip: Arsenal need to win to end their bad spell. 1-0 is 13-2.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:28:14 AM
http://www.livesoccertv.com/match/84539/arsenal-vs-fulham/ (http://www.livesoccertv.com/match/84539/arsenal-vs-fulham/)
Arsenal vs Fulham Match Preview
Arsenal’s proverbial nose was rubbed in their own dismal end-of-season run by Blackburn Rovers on Monday, who came from behind to beat the Gunners 2-1 at Ewood Park.

Gunner’s manager Arsene Wenger bemoaned Blackburn’s tactics of crowding Arsenal’s polish keeper Lukasz Fabianski, and further claimed that referee Martin Atkinson should have done more to protect the apparently delicate Fabianski.

Still in 3rd where they have resided much of this campaign, Wenger will surely now be building for next season and indeed the announcement this week that Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh is coming to the Emirates is proof.

But this season isn’t quite over yet and suspense lingers. Tottenham’s victory over Manchester City on Thursday increases the pressure on Arsenal, who are now in clear danger now of losing their third place position to their North London Rivals. A win over Fulham on the final day of the season therefore becomes vital for the Gunners.

Fulham took on West Ham at Craven Cottage on Sunday in a lesser London derby, and despite the exertions of their Europa League Semi Final victory last Thursday, the Cottagers successfully avoided falling victim to the Euro-fatigue that often follows midweek European clashes. Fulham beat the Hammers 3-2 to further enhance an impressive season.

Less impressively, however, the Cottagers lost 0-1 at home to Stoke City midweek. Stoke’s win leapfrogged them over Fulham in the league table and into 10th place. Fulham now sit in 12th.

A win on Sunday for the Cottagers could spoil Arsenal’s season now that Spurs are within striking distance of third place. But a question of priorities has surfaced at Craven Cottage.

Fulham meet Atletico Madrid in the Europa League Final next Wednesday and have asked the Premier League to move their match with Arsenal from Sunday to Saturday to allow additional preparation time. The league has refused.

Given the importance to Fulham of their Euro final, manager Roy Hodgson may therefore choose to rest some regulars and field a weakened squad against the Gunners.
Arsenal vs Fulham Videos
Video highlights will be available after the match.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 07:29:36 AM
http://www.cityam.com/sport/fulham%E2%80%99s-pleas-are-yet-convince-angry-fans (http://www.cityam.com/sport/fulham%E2%80%99s-pleas-are-yet-convince-angry-fans)
Fulham’s pleas are yet to convince angry fans

FULHAM fans continue to seek answers over the controversy surrounding the distribution of tickets for next week’s Europa League Final – despite the club’s attempts to cover their tracks.

The club angered their loyal following by offering each of their estimated 10,000 season ticket holders as many as four tickets each to fill the clubs 12,650 allocation.

Fulham responded to the criticism by requesting more tickets from Uefa, blaming an “unprecedented demand”.

But fans such as Paul Clayton, a season ticket holder at Craven Cottage for 12 years, remain up in arms. He said: “I followed Fulham home and away throughout this competition, yet I couldn’t get a ticket. By 9am they had all gone because people were snapping up four per season ticket. In the end, my brother got a ticket from an American website in a ‘neutral zone’, costing £225.

“It’s a joke, they’ve just tried to sell the tickets as fast as they could without any thought. It’s not difficult, if you’ve got just over 10,000 season ticket holders and 12,650 tickets to sell, why not offer two per season ticket holder?”

A club spokesman replied: “We are lobbying for more tickets, fans should register with us.”

Fulham have also failed in an attempt to move Sunday’s final match at Arsenal forward 24 hours.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 09:36:29 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8665597.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8665597.stm)
Arsenal v Fulham
(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47790000/gif/_47790978_ars_ful_0506.gif)
Fulham fielded quite a strong team for Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Stoke, which suggests to me that boss Roy Hodgson will give most of his players a rest ahead of next week's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

The Premier League might disagree but I think Hodgson is perfectly entitled to rotate his squad for the game at the Emirates. I expect Arsenal to end their season on a high note by winning and clinching third spot.

Prediction: 2-0
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:34:13 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/07/europa-league-glory-means-more-than-manchester-united-s-champions-league-triumph-says-fulham-star-82029-26393649/ (http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/07/europa-league-glory-means-more-than-manchester-united-s-champions-league-triumph-says-fulham-star-82029-26393649/)
Europa League glory means more than Manchester United's Champions League triumph, says Fulham star

JONATHAN Greening says winning the Europa League would mean more to him than his Champions League triumph.

The Fulham midfielder picked up a winner’s medal in Europe’s premier club competition as a non-playing substitute for Manchester United in 1999.

But the 31-year-old admitted he felt ‘a fraud’ after failing to make a single appearance on their route to the final.

Greening, who is set to start in the final league game of the season at Arsenal on Sunday, has a chance to set the record straight when Fulham face Atlético Madrid three days later.

And he insists whatever colour medal he ends up with, it will get a more prominent place in his trophy cabinet.

He said: "It would mean more than winning the Champions League.

“I’ve played my part and started a few games, and it’s great to be involved in an incredible journey with a great manager, staff and team.

“The boys have done unbelievable. Everyone who’s played a part has done a great job.

“I’m proud to be part of it, and hopefully we can go and finish the job off."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:37:27 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274280/Andrey-Arshavin-Robin-van-Persie-line-start-Fulham-Arsenal-look-secure-third.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274280/Andrey-Arshavin-Robin-van-Persie-line-start-Fulham-Arsenal-look-secure-third.html?ITO=1490)
Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie in line to start against Fulham as Arsenal look to secure third

Arsene Wenger is ready to unleash both Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie from kick-off as Arsenal look to secure third place with victory over Europa League finalists Fulham on Sunday.   

The Gunners have seen another campaign which promised so much end without silverware for a fifth successive year, and suffered a third successive away defeat at Blackburn in the Barclays Premier League on Monday. 

Indeed, arch rivals Tottenham could yet overtake Wenger's men - and with it secure direct qualification to the Champions League group stages - were Fulham, likely to field a much-changed side, to pull off a shock victory at Emirates Stadium.   

Wenger has seen his plans hit by injury to key men like Van Persie and captain Cesc Fabregas at various stages of the season.   

Yet with the current options limited, the Gunners boss maintains he has little room for manoeuvre in terms of team selection after Tomas Rosicky (ankle), Alex Song (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) all picked up knocks which will again keep them out.   

'We always work hard in training and of course when you cannot rotate, then you do get those kind of injuries,' Wenger said.   

'[Andrey] Arshavin should be okay and should be capable to start against Fulham, [Robin] van Persie too. 

'We have the same players available [from Blackburn]. The only good news is that we may have [Gael] Clichy back.'   

Forward Theo Walcott saw his own progress at the start of the campaign hampered by a series of niggling injuries.   

The England winger - fighting to be on the plane to South Africa - feels sometimes players can be too eager to get themselves into the thick of action again, only to suffer a setback. 

'It is one of those things where we need to hopefully try to look after ourselves a bit better,' he said. 'There is a different side when you are off the pitch and we have to look after ourselves and not suffer so many injuries.'   

Much has been made about Wenger's continued faith in the promise of youth, with the Gunners boss insisting his squad will be stronger for having come through the last couple of testing campaigns.   

Walcott, 21, feels the players have learnt some hard lessons, having seen their title chances blown away with successive defeats at Spurs and then Wigan, when they lead 2-0 with 10 minutes left. 

'We can't use the experience as an excuse now, with the experiences we've had as a side - we need to go that one step further,' Walcott declared. 'It has been quite hard at times. We had a lot of injuries to big players and it has been very frustrating.'
Wenger has admitted he needs to add a couple of experienced heads this summer, but only ones which are 'top class'.   

The arrival of Morocco international Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer is set to be confirmed once the striker's contract with Bordeaux expires.   

Wenger is also said to be targeting a central defender, as the future of William Gallas remains uncertain, although fellow veteran Sol Campbell is understood to be close to agreeing a new deal.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274280/Andrey-Arshavin-Robin-van-Persie-line-start-Fulham-Arsenal-look-secure-third.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nEcYftxJ (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274280/Andrey-Arshavin-Robin-van-Persie-line-start-Fulham-Arsenal-look-secure-third.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nEcYftxJ)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:38:47 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=7103 (http://hammyend.com/?p=7103)
Etherington sneaks the points for Stoke
by Dan on May 6, 2010

A rather dreary game seemed destined for a scorless draw at the Cottage last night until Matthew Etherington, who seems to greatly enjoy playing against Fulham, stepped up to score a smart-taken winner and propel Stoke above the Whites and into the top half of the table.

The defeat might prove more costly for Roy Hodgson than the loss of a league place and three points too. The Fulham manager fielded a rather strong side considering that we were a week away from a European final and had to substitute Damien Duff at half-time. The Irish winger has a calf strain and is now rated as a doubt for the trip to Hamburg to play Atletico Madrid next week.

Shots on target were at a premium throughout. Fulham tried to play the more fluid football but Stoke, anxious to avoid another hammering in these parts having been hit for seven not so long ago at Chelsea, were disciplined in defence and exceptionally difficult to break down. That’s a credit to the managerial acumen of Tony Pulis and they restricted Hodgson’s side to just  a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes. A nice move involving Clint Dempsey, playing as a centre forward in the continued absence of Bobby Zamora, and Simon Davies finished with a Zoltan Gera snapshot from 20 yards flying into the arms of Asmir Begovic.

Gera continued to prove a real threat to the Stoke goal. He collected a short pass from Duff and drove a shot narrowly over the crossbar and then created a chance for Dempsey almost out of nothing only for an excellent intervention by Robert Huth to deny the American an opportunity to get his shot away.

The visitors started the second half the brighter. Though they played plenty more football than their reputation as long-ball merchants might suggest, Stoke’s first chance came courtesy of a Rory Delap long throw. Fulham dealt with the aerial bombardment pretty well all evening but this time they allowed Ricardo Fuller to find some space in the box and he headed narrowly wide.

Fulham responded with a rather vigorous riposte. Gera’s terrific reverse ball looked to have freed Dempsey at the back post but the American, sliding in to finish, was thwarted by a terrific reaction save from Begovic. The former Portsmouth goalkeeper threw himself to his left to turn the ball away for a corner, which was particularly impressive as Dempsey was less than six yards out. The American international tried his luck twice from long range but was off target on both ocassions.

The winner arrived with seven minutes to play. Fuller ventured down the right and, encouraged by an untimely slip from Paul Konchesky, crossed for Etherington, who underlined his status as Stoke’s player of the season, by firing high into the roof of the net. Pulis was understandably delighted afterwards as Stoke took another step towards their highest league finish for 35 years.

FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Pantsil (Okaka 86), Konchesky, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy, Duff (Nevland 45), Davies; Gera; Dempsey. Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Baird, Dikgacoi, Riise.

BOOKED: Hughes.

STOKE CITY (4-4-2): Begovic; Higginbotham, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross; Whelan, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington (Diao 88); Fuller (Lawrence 90), Sidibie (Tuncay 71). Subs (not used): Simonsen, Collins, Pugh, Moult.

BOOKED: Shawcross, Fuller, Huth.

GOAL: Etherington (83).

REFEREE: Peter Walton (Liverpool).

ATTENDANCE: 20,831

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:40:04 AM
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,13320_6136795,00.html (http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,13320_6136795,00.html)
Why Woy Is Wong Man For Anfield...

If, as has been suggested in some quarters, Liverpool FC decide to employ Roy Hodgson as a replacement for Rafa Benitez, then the club will be making a profoundly worrying statement about how it sees its future.


That may seem unfair to the Fulham manager, who is undoubtedly having an exciting season at Craven Cottage, but were he to be offered the Anfield hotseat then the Merseysiders will be tacitly accepting that the club's future lies outside of the top echelons of the game.


I've found it hard to escape a sense this term that sections of the football media have decided that the manager of a big club must go, and Rafa Benitez's poor season with Liverpool and his continuing, public battle with the club's owners have made him by far the most likely candidate. It may seem like an unlikely conspiracy theory. But then consider yet more hysterical headlines this week suggesting that Benitez had snubbed two opportunities to meet with Liverpool's new chairman - headlines that were not even supported by the stories they topped, each of which simply stated that Liverpool's travel difficulties in getting to Madrid and their busy fixture list meant that any meeting was difficult to arrange. Is there really no underlying agenda against the Spaniard?


By the same token, there has been a movement in sections of the British media to see British football managers in British football jobs. Roy Hodgson has been the most recent beneficiary of this persistent undercurrent. His good work at Fulham in keeping them away from the relegation trapdoor while blazing a trail across Europe has seen him become the latest in a line of flavours of the month.


The irony is unlikely to be lost on the likeable Hodgson - having been largely ignored by the English press during his continental years and having been pilloried when struggling with Blackburn in the late 1990s. Philosophical and long in the tooth, he is well-placed to appreciate the position in which Benitez finds himself at Anfield.


But for the sake of argument, suppose the Spaniard does leave Liverpool under his own steam, or otherwise, what is there to suggest that at the grand old age of 61, Hodgson has become a serious candidate for one of the biggest jobs in British and indeed European football? For all his relative success at Fulham, his trophy hauls from the backwaters of European club football and his modestly-impressive international achievements, if the Liverpool board have seriously pinpointed him as a candidate for the Anfield job, then clearly all hope that the club once had of regaining its former glory has been extinguished.


Benitez is clearly not everyone's cup of tea - few managers have polarised opinion to such an extent - but the Spaniard clearly has the kind of profile required for management at the highest level. If Liverpool do look for a replacement, then they should be looking for someone of a similar calibre.


When the Reds sought to replace the lost-for-ideas Gerard Houllier, the decision to hire the Spaniard was applauded for its boldness. Benitez was a manager on the up - in his early 40s, he had won two La Liga titles with Valencia plus the UEFA Cup. His Valencia side was one of the more feared outfits in the European game. In appointing Benitez, Liverpool were showing serious intent.


So, were Liverpool now to turn to Hodgson, then it would surely only serve to underline just how far the club has fallen under their current owners and just how low Liverpool fans should level their expectations. The unkind amongst you may suggest that Hodgson is about the right level for a club that is heading for prolonged, mid-table anonymity - with qualification for the Europa League the loftiest target. And if that nice Uncle Roy - sacked by Bristol City, Blackburn and the UAE in his time - does get the job, then Liverpool fans would probably have little choice but to agree with you.


Paul Little
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:41:44 AM
http://www.fulham-mad.co.uk/news/tmnw/hodgson_hopeful_on_duff_524232/index.shtml (http://www.fulham-mad.co.uk/news/tmnw/hodgson_hopeful_on_duff_524232/index.shtml)
Hodgson Hopeful On Duff 
By PA Thursday, 6th May 2010
 
Roy Hodgson hopes the injury which Damien Duff sustained during Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat to Stoke will not rule him out of next week's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

Duff hobbled off at half-time during the Barclays Premier League defeat with a leg muscle injury. The winger has been an integral part of the Cottagers' European campaign, which has seen them brush aside the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach Wednesday's final in Hamburg.

"Duff was taken off at half time because he took a kick a while ago and we think one of his muscles was cramping up," said Roy Hodgson. "That was a blow of course. We hope it's not too serious. I hope he'll be fit for the final."

The Republic of Ireland midfielder did emerge after the final whistle to take part in a lap of appreciation for the Fulham fans following the club's last home game of the season.

He will now be monitored by the club's medical staff, who are already working overtime to make sure that top goalscorer Bobby Zamora is fit for Wednesday's final.

Hodgson added: "There's a week to go now. The medical staff don't think it's a muscle tear or anything like that. They think that it's something to do with a kick he took a while ago which is switching off the muscle."

Zamora's physical presence was sorely missed by Fulham's attack on Wednesday night as Hodgson's team slid to their fifth home defeat of the season with a sub-par performance.

The former Spurs striker has scored 19 times this season, including eight in Fulham's European campaign.

Hodgson revealed that the 29-year-old is struggling to overcome the Achilles injury which has kept him out of the Cottagers' last two matches.

Hodgson said: "Bobby stands a chance of making it but he's not making vast amounts of progress on a daily basis so it could be touch and go."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:43:40 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6138331/Skipper-staggered-by-Fulham-s-final-date (http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6138331/Skipper-staggered-by-Fulham-s-final-date)
Skipper staggered by Fulham's final date

Even skipper Danny Murphy shakes his head in disbelief at Fulham's extraordinary march to the Europa League final.
A competition initially viewed as a novelty that became a nuisance as injuries mounted has provided the club with the biggest match in its 131-year history.

Over nine months, 20,000 miles and 18 games have passed since Fulham set-off last July on an epic journey that has taken them to the extremity of the continent.

Their heroics in humbling heavyweights such as Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsburg and Roma has seen them feted across Europe.

Adding to the fairytale is that it has been achieved with a small squad working off a limited budget, while comfortably avoiding a relegation battle in the Premier League.

Murphy has been present virtually every step of the way yet even he rubs his eyes in astonishment at the way Fulham have repeatedly defied all expectations - even their own.

"If you had looked at the betting at the start of the Europa League we would have been nowhere near the final," said the former Liverpool midfielder.

"If I'm being honest even here at the club we thought that if we could get to the group stages we would have done well.

"That's because we are realists and we had to mix the Europa League with the Premier League.

"As we progressed it became more evident we had a good chance of doing well.

"Each time we drew big teams people thought we were the underdog and everyone thought it would be the end of the road but we kept jumping over the hurdles."

Fulham's march to the final reflects the genius of manager Roy Hodgson and perhaps more than any other player Murphy has been revitalised by his arrival.

It may be hard to imagine now but 18 months ago he was viewed by fans as a secondary figure in Fulham's midfield, overshadowed by the more popular Jimmy Bullard.

Questions were even asked whether the return to fitness of Dickson Etuhu would see Murphy dropped.

Hodgson had his reservations about Bullard, however, and acted by selling him in to Hull.

Fast forward to the current season and Hull have been relegated while Murphy has been in inspired form, his vision, composure and leadership making up for legs that have inevitably slowed with time.

The 33-year-old has little chance of adding to his nine caps but has been one of England's form midfielders and is far more than the ageing journeyman that lost his way at Charlton and Tottenham.

"Roy's contribution to the club in such a short space of time has been nothing short of amazing," said Murphy.

"He really has transformed the club and the reason for that is because he's a knowledgeable man with his football.

"He treats people with respect and maturity and while they sound like obvious things for a manager, I can assure you they're not.

"He's an honest man. He's always there to talk to you and whether it be positive or negative, he will tell you how he's feeling,

"That is healthy I think and honesty is not always something that managers are good at.

"In terms of his coaching he is a perfectionist. He works really hard on the training pitch with his other staff, to make sure the team plays the way he wants.

"We know our jobs - there's no question mark over what he wants from us, and I think you see that."

Atletico Madrid will start as favourites at the Hamburg Arena yet this will be shrugged off by a Fulham side that has spent the season making a mockery of predictions.

For Murphy the philosophy behind the success is simple.

"There are no stars. Perhaps Bobby Zamora has become the star this season because of his goals," he said.

"But if you ask people about Fulham they will say we will play as a team."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:45:11 AM
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-this-result-will-not-be-blood-and-thunder-?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29 (http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/-this-result-will-not-be-blood-and-thunder-?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29)
'This result will not be blood and thunder'

For Arsenal and 18 other Premier League sides, the 2009/10 season finishes on Sunday. But Fulham still have the Europa League Final to play on Wednesday night.

The game has been described as the biggest in the Cottagers' history, so that was the topic which dominated when we spoke to Paul Warburton of the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle ahead of Sunday's London derby.


CAUSE FOR CONCERN
"I think Fulham were hopeful that the Arsenal game would be moved to allow them some breathing space before the biggest game in their history on Wednesday night. But they are a pragmatic bunch at Craven Cottage, they tend to take both success and failure in much the same stride so I don't think it will affect them unduly."


EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL FEVER
"The whole season depends on the game against Atletico and it would be naïve not to think anything else. When they were beaten by Stoke on Wednesday night it was a pretty decent Fulham team on the field, so for them to be beaten by Stoke was something of a surprise, even given all the excitement around the game against Atletico. But that gives you some indication as to where their priorities lie."


TALKING TACTICS
"Roy Hodgson has very rarely changed the Fulham team because he believes that a team with momentum and a team that is playing together all the time knows each other inside out and if they are getting decent results then they will take that form into any kind of game, regardless of if it is a European final or not. But I think you are likely to see changes on Sunday. The truth of the matter is that first of all you have the recovery time and secondly you run that horrible risk of having somebody injured going into a final."


THE MAN IN CHARGE
"It would be a crime against humanity if Hodgson isn't named Manager of the Season. You have a side like Fulham, who are considered to be a humble organisation who even if they squeeze everybody into every spot of the Cottage can still only manage a maximum of 25,000 for home games. Everybody sees them as a mid-table Premier League side and yet they are in a Europa League final with a side of few particularly renowned players. It is a remarkable achievement."


TAKING ON ARSENAL
"I think the kindest thing to say is that this result will not be blood and thunder and guts for Fulham. We all know there will be a different momentum going into the Europa League Final compared with that going into the final game of the season where Fulham can only manage a mid-table finish."


THE STORY SO FAR
"Their away form is woeful. Domestically, they have not been the same team away from home as they have been at Craven Cottage for the last three seasons. To be honest if their home form had been as poor, I think by now they would be a Championship team."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:46:57 AM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1484267.html (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1484267.html)
Fulham in safe hands with Schwarzer
A 2006 UEFA Cup final loser with Middlesbrough FC, Mark Schwarzer will draw on that experience to try to avoid more heartache with Fulham FC against Club Atlético de Madrid.
(http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Photo/competitions/Comp_Matches/01/48/33/45/1483345_w2.jpg)
One of two members of the Fulham FC squad to have played in a European final, Mark Schwarzer's experience will prove invaluable when the London club round off their most historic campaign with the UEFA Europa League showpiece against Club Atlético de Madrid.

The goalkeeper was part of the Middlesbrough FC team that competed in successive UEFA Cup seasons from 2004/05, culminating in a 4-0 defeat by Sevilla FC in the 2006 final. En route to Eindhoven, Schwarzer appeared in some memorable matches, notably against FC Basel 1893 and FC Steaua Bucureşti – both times Middlesbrough conceded early in the home second leg but defied the odds by scoring the required four goals to progress.

Nor has drama been in short supply in west London this term. Roy Hodgson's side overturned a 3-1 first-leg loss to Juventus in the round of 16 by winning the return 4-1 at Craven Cottage. Then, after a goalless semi-final opener with final hosts Hamburger SV in Germany, they recovered from shipping an away goal with two strikes in the space of seven second-half minutes.

Throughout Fulham's run to the Hamburg Arena, which has also included the scalps of FC Shakhtar Donetsk and VfL Wolfsburg, Schwarzer has continually drawn upon his Middlesbrough experience. With another final looming on Wednesday, the Australian international will delve into the memory bank once again. "You think back to the times you had before, particularly my times with Middlesbrough," the 37-year-old, who left Teesside for Fulham in summer 2008, told UEFA.com.

"On any given night we could beat any team at home, and that's the way it's run for us this season at Fulham," he added. "The experience you gain in the past, you try to bring forward. You try to use it to help your team-mates along the way, the guys who haven't been in that position."

Fulham's unforgettable night against Juventus is one of the defining moments of a European odyssey which began almost ten months ago with a third qualifying round tie against Lithuania's FK Vėtra. "Those evenings are the sort you've dreamed of," said Schwarzer, who has figured in all but one of Fulham's 18 games in this competition. "You would normally write a movie script about it, but to actually experience it and live it is very special. It's something that will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life, as well as the rest of the players. We'll definitely look back with fond memories."

Defeating the two-time European champions was perhaps the cue for Hodgson's men to dare to dream they could add to the Cottagers' 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup triumph – the only honour in Fulham's 131-year history. After all, as Schwarzer admits, winning the inaugural UEFA Europa League was the last thing on anyone's mind at the start of the club's second continental campaign.

"At the beginning it was fantastic to be playing in Europe. It was a bit of a journey, a bit of excitement, a challenge, and we thought 'let's enjoy it while it lasts'," he said. "With each round we progressed through, the self-belief and the confidence grew, not only in the players but also with the fans."

With 14 goals between them, Bobby Zamora and Zoltán Gera have commanded many of the headlines accompanying Fulham's unexpected journey to the final. Schwarzer, though, prefers to champion the collective effort which has taken a team considered rank outsiders to the brink of a fairy-tale achievement. "So far this season the guys have been exceptional – it's very difficult to pick any one individual you would say has outshone the others," he continued.

"Obviously Bobby has scored a lot of goals and that has been a major reason for our success in Europe, as well as in the league. He can turn a game on its head, as can a number of players. That's the good thing about us – we have a lot of good players but no out-and-out superstars. We are pretty level-headed and everyone gets on extremely well. We fight and pull for one another all the time, all over the pitch."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:48:32 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/NextUpArsenal.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/NextUpArsenal.aspx)
Derby Finale

Arsenal v Fulham, Barclays Premier League
Sunday May 9th 2010, Kick-Off 4pm

Our final Barclays Premier League fixture of the season is the relatively short trip to North London. Fulham have yet to win at the Emirates, and also failed to record a victory at Arsenal’s former Highbury home.

Despite that record, our performances at the Gunners’ newer home have been presentable. On our first visit in April 2007, we looked briefly to be heading for a point following Simon Davies’ 78th minute equaliser, only for Arsenal to score two late goals. Four months later, we led for more than 80 minutes following David Healy’s first minute opener, only to lose the game in the final minutes. Last season the sides shared a goalless draw.

For a while it looked as if Sunday’s fixture might be significant to the destination of the Premier League title, but Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat at Wigan last month all but ended their championship hopes following, as it did, a 2-1 reverse at Tottenham a few days earlier. This is therefore the fifth season without a trophy for the north London side, although since winning the FA Cup in 2005, the Gunners have reached the finals of both the 2006 Champions League and the 2007 Carling Cup.

Arsene Wenger’s side started the campaign with a 6-1 win at Everton, but it is their form at home which has been outstanding. It is, however, significant that their only reverses have come at the hands of fellow title contenders Chelsea and Manchester United.

In the cups, the Gunners’ Carling Cup campaign ended in a quarter-final defeat at Manchester City, whilst they failed to progress beyond the last 32 in the FA Cup, Stoke inflicting a 3-1 defeat at the Britannia. In Europe, they were undone at the quarter-final stage courtesy of a virtuoso performance from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Injuries have played a decisive role in the Gunners’ line up almost throughout the season. Star men Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie have been significant absentees for much of the campaign and Belgian centre-back Thomas Vermaelen recently sustained an injury likely to sideline him for the rest of the campaign. Denilson, Eduardo and Gallas are also injured at the time of writing.

Perhaps the biggest story in recent weeks though has been the form shown by Sol Campbell, who started the season playing for Notts County at Morecambe, before making a sensational return to his former club.

Ground Details:
Address: Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5
Telephone: 020 7619 5003
Capacity: 60,355
Visitors Sections: South East Corner
Disabled Enclosure: South East Corner


FULHAM AT ARSENAL
P22 W0 D3 L19 F18 A55


LAST TIME AT THE COTTAGE
Barclays Premier League 28.02.09

Arsenal 0
Fulham 0

Attendance 60,109 

Getting There:
(Approx 12 miles from Fulham)

Coaches:
Depart Motspur Park 12.30pm/Craven Cottage 1pm
Price: Season Ticket Holders/Fulham Members’ Club Adults £10, Juniors £5
Non-Season Ticket Holders Adults £15, Juniors £8

By Road
Leave Fulham area via Hammersmith and follow A219 to Shepherds Bush. Turn right at Shepherds Bush Green onto Uxbridge Road then left at roundabout onto M41 (signs A40(M)West End, City). Continue on A40M to end of motorway and across flyover into Marylebone Road (A501). Turn left onto Albany Street (A4201) and continue to Camden Town then follow signs for A503 into Camden Road. Continue ahead at junction with A1 into Seven Sisters Road and then turn right into Hornsey Road. Ground is on the left.

Car Parking
There is quite a large residents only section around the Emirates so it is advisable to make all or part of your journey by public transport. Any street parking is likely to involve a long walk to the stadium.

By Rail
The nearest tube station is Arsenal (Piccadilly Line), turning right when exiting the station. Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line) and Finsbury Park stations (Piccadilly and Victoria Line) are both about a 15 minute walk from the ground.

Note: Holloway Road (Piccadilly Line) is closest to the ground, but is often closed or exit only on matchdays. Finsbury Park is the closest Network Rail station.

You should note that engineering works regularly take place on tube lines at weekends so please consult the Transport for London website www.tfl.gov.uk (http://www.tfl.gov.uk) to see if these will affect your journey.




Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/NextUpArsenal.aspx#ixzz0nEfW7lq8 (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/NextUpArsenal.aspx#ixzz0nEfW7lq8)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 10:49:31 AM
http://arsenal-mania.com/articles/3108517/Team-news-v-Fulham-Options-limited-by-injury.html (http://arsenal-mania.com/articles/3108517/Team-news-v-Fulham-Options-limited-by-injury.html)
Team news v Fulham: Options limited by injury

Written by Jonathan Chong on Friday, May 7, 2010
 It looks like the injury crisis that perhaps put an end to our title challenge this season isn't abating as we approach our final game of the season.

And we need to beat Fulham, as there is a real danger that Tottenham could still pip us into third place should we lose on Sunday and they earn three points.

Manager Arsène Wenger says that only Andrey Arshavin looks to have recovered, but Robin van Persie could start upfront. Our options are limited by injuries to Tomas Rosicky (ankle), Alex Song (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin).

Speaking to Arsenal TV Online, Wenger said: "There is a small chance for Clichy. Everyone is still out.

"We always work hard in training and of course when you cannot rotate then you do get those kinds of injuries.

"(Andrey) Arshavin should be okay and should be capable to start against Fulham, (Robin) van Persie too.

"We have the same players available (from Blackburn). The only good news is that we may have Clichy back."
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:14:32 PM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/07/1913099/my-experience-of-playing-in-a-european-final-will-help-fulham-in- (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/07/1913099/my-experience-of-playing-in-a-european-final-will-help-fulham-in-)
My experience of playing in a European final will help Fulham in Europa League - Mark Schwarzer
Veteran shot-stopper believes these are special times for club

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer insists that he will draw on his vast experience to help his side win the Europa League.

The Cottagers take on Atletico Madrid in the final of the competition on May 12, and the shot-stopper is one of only two people in the squad to have played in a European final prior to the dream run under manager Roy Hodgson.

The Australian was a part of the Middlesbrough side that went all the way to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2006, only to lose 4-0 to Sevilla and return empty handed.

However, the Cottagers' custodian hopes to draw on his past experience and ensure that a similar situation does not occur this time around.

"You think back to the times you had before, particularly my times with Middlesbrough," Schwarzer told UEFA.com.

"The experience you gain in the past, you try to bring forward. You try to use it to help your team-mates along the way, the guys who haven't been in that position."

Earlier in the season, it had appeared as though Hodgson's charges were certainly going to bow out of the competition, following a 3-1 loss to Juventus in Turin. However, the London-based club staged a sensational comeback to beat the Italian club 4-1 at home and ensure progression in the competition.

"Those evenings are the sort you've dreamed of," said the 'keeper. "You would normally write a movie script about it, but to actually experience it and live it is very special. It's something that will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life, as well as the rest of the players. We'll definitely look back with fond memories."

Fulham will clash with Atletico on May 12 at the HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:15:41 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/725/bundesliga/2010/05/07/1913024/fulham-boss-roy-hodgson-twente-coach-steve-mcclaren-wanted (http://www.goal.com/en/news/725/bundesliga/2010/05/07/1913024/fulham-boss-roy-hodgson-twente-coach-steve-mcclaren-wanted)
Fulham Boss Roy Hodgson & Twente Coach Steve McClaren Wanted By Wolfsburg - Report
Die Wolfe’s search for a new coach has taken them to English shores...

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson continues to attract interest from home and abroad due to his recent exploits at Craven Cottage, and the Englishman is in the running along with countryman Steve McClaren, the current coach of Twente, to become Wolfsburg’s next boss, according to Kicker.

The Bundesliga club have endured a difficult campaign and are presently coachless as Lorenz-Guenther Koestner is only taking care of the side on a temporary basis until a permanent appointment can be made. Gerard Houllier has already reject die Wolfe, prompting general manager Dieter Hoeness to look to England for his next general.

Hodgson would appear to be the ideal candidate. Not only has he enjoyed terrific success with the Cottagers this season, leading them to the final of the Europa League, he also has vast experience of coaching abroad, having enjoyed posts in Finland, Italy and Switzerland amongst others. His ability to speak German is also considered a major plus.

Meanwhile, McClaren’s stock has risen dramatically since being sacked as England boss in 2007. The former Middlesbrough leader has enjoyed a renaissance in the Netherlands, leading Twente to their first Eredivisie title.

Die Wolfe are likely to have stiff competition for both men as there are whispers linking the managers to Liverpool.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:17:16 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197933 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197933)
Fulham - Nevland`s Premier League Farewell!
Sunday could see the final appearance, in the Premier League, for our Norwegian forward Erik Nevland.

His return to Norwegian football, at the end of the season, has received much publicity and he returns there with the full blessing of the club.

With (Sir) Roy Hodgson set to field a weakened team at the Emirates Stadium, on Sunday, we`d be gob-smacked if Erik were not to start.

However, Roy surprised us all in midweek with his starting eleven selection for the visit from Stoke and Erik is under no illusion as to whether he`ll be picked or not, remarking,

"Players always want to play. There has to be a balance."

"I don`t know what team we will play at Arsenal. The gaffer might make a few changes, but I wouldn`t expect too many."

One last Premier League appearance, one last Premier League goal please Erik!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197933#ixzz0nFGv9XT4 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197933#ixzz0nFGv9XT4)
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:18:21 PM
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8689_6138347,00.html (http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8689_6138347,00.html)
CLICHY COULD RETURN FOR GUNNERS

Left-back Gael Clichy could be available for Sunday's final Barclays Premier League game of the season against Europa League finalists Fulham.

France international Clichy may make his return from an ankle problem, while Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin should start, but Tomas Rosicky (ankle), Alex Song (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (groin) are still out.

Cesc Fabregas (knee), William Gallas (calf), Thomas Vermaelen (calf), Denilson (groin), goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (wrist) and Aaron Ramsey (leg) remain sidelined.


Teams:


Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Silvestre, Campbell, Traore, Sagna, Eboue, Walcott, Nasri, Diaby, Van Persie, Arshavin, Mannone, Djourou, Gibbs, Henderson, Eastmond, Eboue, Vela, Clichy.


Fulham (from): Will appear here...
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:19:58 PM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1483448.html?rss=1483448+Fulham+players+hail+Hodgson+factor (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1483448.html?rss=1483448+Fulham+players+hail+Hodgson+factor)
Fulham players hail Hodgson factor
Whether "honest man" or wily "old fox", there is universal respect at Fulham FC for Roy Hodgson, architect of their transformation from Premier League strugglers to European finalists.
(http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Photo/competitions/General/01/48/34/54/1483454_w2.jpg)

Fulham FC's transformation from Premier League strugglers to European finalists has taken less than two years, and few have any doubts about who is responsible. Roy Hodgson, whether he is an "honest man" or wily "old fox", has ushered in a golden age at Fulham FC.

Sir Alex Ferguson joined a growing band of avowed Hodgson admirers when he last week claimed the 62-year-old was the only man in the running for the manager of the year award. "It is a miracle," the Manchester United FC chief said of Fulham's run to next week's UEFA Europa League final. "It is one of the best British performances of all time." And Sir Alex knows a thing or two about success on the continental stage.

As does Hodgson, who has accrued as much experience as he has air miles in the 34 years since the former English non-league player took his first role as coach at Sweden's Halmstads BK. After spells with FC Internazionale Milano and the Finnish and Swiss national teams, to name a few, he accepted a return to London (he was born in nearby Croydon) at the end of 2007. Fulham were struggling, and would come 14 minutes from relegation before clawing their way back – a Lazarus act re-enacted a few more times during this UEFA Europa League campaign.

The west London side have seen off UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk, mustered a four-goal swing against Juventus and came from behind to beat 1983 European champions Hamburger SV in last week's semi-final decider. UEFA.com asks three of his players about the man with the Midas touch.

Danny Murphy, captain and midfielder
His contribution to the club in such a short space of time has been nothing short of amazing. He really has transformed the club, and the reason for that is because he's a knowledgeable man with his football. He treats people with respect and maturity and while they sound like obvious things for a manager, they're not I can assure you. He's an honest man. He's always there to talk to you and whether it be positive or negative, he will tell you how he's feeling, which is healthy I think – honesty is not always something that managers are good at.

In terms of his coaching he is a perfectionist. He works really hard on the training pitch with his other staff, to make sure the team plays the way he wants the team to play. We know our jobs; there's no question mark over what he wants from us, and I think you see the way we play, we are organised. He gets the lads playing, in terms of their commitment, hunger and work ethic.

Mark Schwarzer, goalkeeper
He's an old fox, isn't he? He's got a lot of experience from around the world, particularly European football, and I think that shows. Our style of football works really well for us in Europe, playing against European opposition, because of the way we want to play football, the way we close down our opposition, retain possession – we want to play the game in an effective way. Maybe not always the most entertaining way, but an effective way. The manager is obviously 100% behind that, and that's why we play like we do. He instils a great deal of confidence and he uses his experience to help the players along the way as well.

Aaron Hughes, defender
He has been around, all over the world; whether it's a national team or at a club level, he has seen a lot of different styles. He knows how different teams play and their styles, and has given us a platform to work off. He knows what he wants and how to get his players to do it. He likes us to play football in the right way, passing it around. At the same time, playing in the Premier League every week, you have to adapt sometimes, you have to be a bit more physical. When we defend, we defend well as a unit; everyone chips in and helps. When we attack we create problems for other teams – that has been big part of our success.
Related Items
Fulham and Atlético make for fascinating finalHodgson salutes Fulham history makersFulham fightback ends HSV dreamHodgson talks tacticsRoy HodgsonHodgson accepts Fulham positionHodgson on first-leg deficits
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“His contribution to the club in such a short space of time has been nothing short of amazing. He really has transformed the club
Danny Murphy”
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“Our style of football works really well for us in Europe, playing against European opposition, because of the way we want to play football
Mark Schwarzer”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“He has been around, all over the world; whether it's a national team or at a club level, he has seen a lot of different styles
Aaron Hughes”©UEFA.com 1998-2010. All rights reserved.
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:22:37 PM
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37927/Mourinho_beating_prentenders_Hodgson_Ferguson_Ancelotti__Redknapp.aspx (http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37927/Mourinho_beating_prentenders_Hodgson_Ferguson_Ancelotti__Redknapp.aspx)
Mourinho beating prentenders Hodgson, Ferguson, Ancelotti & Redknapp

Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho is leading Sport.co.uk’s latest poll ‘Who has been the best manager in European football this season?’ The former Chelsea FC boss is ahead of Fulham FC’s Roy Hodgson, who has 25% of the vote, while Manchester United supremo Sir Alex Ferguson is in third just ahead of his Champions League conqueror, Luis Van Gaal of Bayern Munich. Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp will be cutting his managerial teeth in the Champions League next season, and the Spurs boss has 7% of the vote.

Chelsea FC’s Carlo Ancelotti has just 2% of the vote, despite being on the verge of a domestic double. Surprisingly Manchester United’ Sir Alex Ferguson has amassed more than 9%, although that pales compared to the Inter Milan boss who has won 42% of the vote. Fulham FC’s exploits in the Europa League this season has rightly won plaudits in addition to some backing on Sport.co.uk. Like Inter Milan, Bayern Munich can still win the Treble, yet Luis Van Gaal has only won 7% of the vote, the same amount as Tottenham Hotspur’s Redknapp.

Aside from the aforementioned managers from Inter Milan, Fulham FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Tottenham Hotspur  do you think anyone else is worthy of the votes. Steve McClaren perhaps?
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 01:24:11 PM
http://www.whtimes.co.uk/sport/football/premier_league_arsenal_wenger_praises_europa_league_finalists_fulham_1_295421 (http://www.whtimes.co.uk/sport/football/premier_league_arsenal_wenger_praises_europa_league_finalists_fulham_1_295421)
Premier League: Arsenal: Wenger praises Europa League finalists Fulham
ARSENAL face Fulham in their final Premier League fixture of the season on Sunday with manager Arsene Wenger praising his Craven Cottage counterpart Roy Hodgson.

A few years ago this would have been a typical end of season fare for Arsenal – one team has nothing to play for and the other has their minds on a bigger prize.

The somewhat alarming reality for Gunners fans, however, is that their season has been over for weeks, while Fulham have a little date in Hamburg to think about next week.

Reaching the Europa League final, where they will face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, is an achievement that still takes some believing.

Where all the Premier League heavyweights have failed in Europe this season, Fulham have excelled in reaching only their second ever major cup final.

The first was in 1975 when they were beaten in the FA Cup final by West Ham, but the 35-year wait has certainly proved worth hanging around for with this season’s miracle run.

Let us not forget, Fulham’s European quest started 10 months ago in July, has encompassed 18 games so far, and has seen them knock out the holders, Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus, Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, and Hamburg, who were denied the chance to play the final in their own stadium by last week’s breathtaking semi-final second leg win.

Perhaps even more impressive feat from Roy Hodgson’s side is that they somehow dust themselves down and maintain their Premier League form, as last Sunday’s 3-2 win over West Ham showed, which keeps them in with a chance of a top-half finish.

All of this has led to Arsene Wenger acclaiming Hodgson as deserving of the manager of the season award.

“Fulham and Roy have been fantastic,” said the Gunners boss.

“They are the ones more than anybody else who have punched above their weight. And maybe that’s why Roy deserves it [manager of the season].

“Their intelligence, experience and his scouting has been good. His buys have been good. He’s bought players who aren’t in the top three or four but have the level to flirt with it.

“Zamora, Duff have played at top clubs, Murphy has played at top clubs. They have players who can play at the top level but at some stage lost out.

“Hodgson is a fantastic manager – but there’s no secret. You need good players and they have good players.”

Not that many of them will be trotting out at the Emirates on Sunday – with the final just 72 hours later, it will be a strictly B team from Hodgson, and their Euro heroes such as Zamora, Davies, Duff, Hangeland and Schwarzer will all surely be rested.

Not that the squad players are nobodies. Defender Chris Smalling will play his final game before joining Manchester United, who he of course chose ahead of Arsenal, in the summer.

Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey and Stephen Kelly all have plenty of Premier League experience, while the likes of powerful South African Kagisho Dikgacoi and strikers Stefano Okaka and David Elm have already impressed in glimpses.

But Fulham’s fans will be in party mood and really couldn’t care less about Sunday’s game as long as nobody who has a chance of playing in Hamburg gets injured.

As a result, and despite the professionalism shown by Hodgson’s wonderful team this season, you can’t help but feel they are the perfect opposition for an Arsenal side low on players and even lower on confidence.

If Arsenal can’t raise themselves end the season on a high note, Fulham really would be the miracle men. But then again they have had some season...

Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 02:29:10 PM
http://www.sportingpreview.com/aff/bfair/001044.php (http://www.sportingpreview.com/aff/bfair/001044.php)
ARSENAL v FULHAM - BIG BETFAIR PREVIEW
Betfair, 7 May 2010

Who would have thought that going into the last match of the season, Arsenal could end up finishing just fourth?

Unlikely defeats at Wigan and Blackburn, combined with Spurs' super run of form, mean that if they lose to Fulham and Spurs beat Burnley, they'll finish below their arch rivals.

If Arsenal don't show up, Fulham put out a strong side and play out of their skins that could happen but that's a lot of 'ifs'. For starters, Fulham won't be too fussed about what happens in this match and you can't blame them; they're about to play the biggest match of the club's history on Wednesday night, so clearly have bigger fish to fry.

I think Arsenal have had a decent season and would mark them as seven-and-a-half out of 10. They were unlucky with injuries at key times to key players. They missed Robin van Persie badly and fans of the Gunners will be left wondering what might have been if he hadn't got injured.

The losses to injury at different times of the likes of Cesc Fabregas and William Gallas didn't help either, and despite a decent run of scoring a couple of months ago, Nicklas Bendtner simply didn't score as many goals as Arsene Wenger would have liked him to, after getting an extended run in the team.

This is all for Wenger to ponder over the summer, but right now they need to win this match and make sure they finish at least third. I can't see that being a problem for a side as talented as this at home to a team with other things on their mind.

Recommended bets:
Back Arsenal to be leading at half-time and winning at full-time at 1.68
Back Arsenal to win 2-0 at 7.2
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 03:24:49 PM
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-i-have-not-tried-to-sign-hangeland?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29 (http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-i-have-not-tried-to-sign-hangeland?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29)
Wenger - I have not tried to sign Hangeland

Arsène Wenger insists he has never tried to sign Brede Hangeland.
 
The Fulham centre back was regularly linked with a move to Arsenal last summer and his name has cropped up again ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
 
Wenger could be in the market for a defender but told Arsenal TV Online that Hangeland has not been on his radar.
 
“I find he is a good player but we have never been in for him,” said the Frenchman
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 03:46:35 PM
http://www.wigantoday.net/news/scharner_i_don_t_know_where_i_ll_end_up_1_764253 (http://www.wigantoday.net/news/scharner_i_don_t_know_where_i_ll_end_up_1_764253)
Scharner: I don’t know where I’ll end up

PAUL Scharner will make his final appearance for Wigan Athletic against Chelsea this weekend – but admits he has yet to make a decision on where his future lies.

The Austrian is out of contract this summer and will move on after four-and-a-half successful seasons with Wigan.

After expressing a desire to sample European club football, Scharner has been linked with moves to Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa.

But the 30-year-old has dismissed reports he has already put pen to paper with any of his potential suitors.

Scharner told the Reporter: “Everything that has been written about me is just paper talk.

‘I am still not sure about the future – and all I am focusing on now is the Chelsea game and then going away on holiday.”

Scharner said his goodbyes to the Wigan fans before, during and after Monday’s draw with Hull, having the word ‘Thanx‘ spray-painted on to the back of his head to show his appreciation for the support given to him over the years.

“It looks like that was my last game for Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium and it was a very emotional day for myself. Absolutely,” he added.

“I’ve been here for four-and-a-half years, and I need to say a lot of thank yous.

“First of all to the chairman for giving me the chance to play in the Premier League.

“Secondly, to Wigan Athletic for always supporting me, especially when I was injured.

“Thirdly, to the supporters, who created a lovely song for me and will always have a place in my heart.

“I wanted to send a special message to the fans, and hopefully they all noticed it in my hair.

“I was thinking of how I could say ‘thank you’ to the supporters, and I’m known for my crazy haircuts so I thought it would be perfect to finish with.

“I did have a tear in my eye at the end because I have had a very nice time at Wigan, and I wish everyone at the club good luck for the future.”

Scharner is hoping to bow out in style at Stamford Bridge this weekend, with Latics looking to follow up their 3-1 victory over the Blues earlier in the season in which he scored the crucial third goal.

Latics have released season ticket details for the 2010-11 campaign, with prices frozen for the fourth year in a row.

There are new offers for families to watch every game, with two adults and two under-16s able to purchase a family pass for £500, as well as a new “Dads and Lads” ticket for £300.

Prices for Under-21s have been reduced from £250 to £190, while season-ticket holders can now pay over eight months rather than the previous four months.

A new micro-website is being launched (www.laticsseasontickets.com (http://www.laticsseasontickets.com)) that gives fans the chance to check out the full benefits, while fans can also renew at the ticket office or by calling 0871 6633552.

“We don’t want us to be looking over our shoulder every season any more”, said Roberto Martinez.

“We want this to be a top-10 club, a club challenging for Europe and a model for other teams.

“With your patience and understanding this season, the fans have made a real difference.

“The atmosphere generated here for the Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal games in particular made me so proud to be involved with this club, and this is the cauldron- like feeling that we need to replicate every week.

“The supporters have a vital role to play as we attempt to move the club onto the next level and I hope that everyone books their seat for next season, because it’s going to be really exciting again.”
Title: Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 07, 2010, 04:01:55 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8665276.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8665276.stm)
Arsenal    v    Fulham

TEAM NEWS
Arsenal defender Gael Clichy could return after a one-match absence with an ankle injury.

Russian forward Andrey Arshavin is fit to start, with Carlos Vela most likely to make way for him.

Fulham are expected to play a weakened team as they prepare for the Europa League final next Wednesday.

Damien Duff is unlikely to feature after limping out of the midweek home defeat against Stoke with a leg muscle injury.

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

Arsenal

Doubtful: Almunia (wrist), Clichy & Gibbs (both ankle)

Injured: Bendtner & Denilson (both groin), Djourou & Song (both knee), Fabregas & Ramsey (both broken leg), Gallas & Vermaelen (both calf), Rosicky (ankle)

Fulham

Doubtful: Duff (leg) Injured: A Johnson (knee), Zamora (Achilles)


MATCH PREVIEW
There was a hung parliament when Fulham made their first league visit to Arsenal in 1914, but the result of this fixture has rarely been in doubt over the last century.
Arsenal have never lost at home to Fulham, which will provide some solace to Gunners fans concerned at the prospect of conceding third place to north London rivals Tottenham.

Arsenal have not been outside of the league's top three since the beginning of December and a point would ensure automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages. It would also eclipse last season's points tally.

Nonetheless, their title chances evaporated in the final weeks of the season, and manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he needs to add a couple of experienced players to his squad this summer.

Fulham's focus is on Wednesday's Europa League final. Their request to play this game 24 hours earlier was turned down by the Premier League, and it seems probable that manager Roy Hodgson will elect to rest several of his key players.

MATCH FACTS
Head-to-head

• Arsenal have never lost at home to Fulham, winning 19 and drawing three of their 22 league meetings and also triumphing in their only cup tie.

• Fulham's only win in their last six league matches against Arsenal was 1-0 at Craven Cottage in August 2008.
 
Arsenal

• Arsenal have only won one of their last six league games and picked up a solitary point from the last 12 available.

• However, they are on a six-match unbeaten run at home, winning five and keeping a clean sheet in the last three.

• They have won each of their last six home matches on the final day of the season since losing 3-1 to Tottenham in May 1993.

• Robin van Persie has scored three goals in his last five matches against Fulham, including the winner at Craven Cottage earlier this season.

Fulham

• Fulham have failed to win a Premier League away game in 17 attempts since beating Portsmouth on the opening day of the season.

• If they fail to win on Sunday it will be the third time in the last five years that they have picked up only one away victory all season.

• Erik Nevland scored their first league goal in eight away matches at Everton on 25 April.

• They have scored 12 first-half goals this season - fewer than any other club in the division.


LEADING GOALSCORERS

 
Arsenal

Fabregas: 19 goals (15 league);
Bendtner: 12 goals (6 league)


 
Fulham

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


MATCH OFFICIALS
Referee: Mike Jones

Assistant referees: Andy Newbold & Phil Sharp

Fourth official: Mick Russell


LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
Arsenal (L1-2 v Blackburn, a): Fabianski; Sagna, Campbell, Silvestre, Traore, Eboue (Eduardo 77), Diaby, Walcott, Nasri, Vela (Arshavin 67), van Persie. Subs not used: Mannone, Djourou, Gibbs, Eastmond, Henderson.

Fulham (L0-1 v Stoke, h): Schwarzer; Pantsil (Okaka 86), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff (Nevland 46), Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Dempsey, Gera. Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Riise, Smalling, Dikgacoi.


MOST RECENT MEETING

Fulham 0-1 Arsenal (26 September 2009)

Arsenal scorer: van Persie 52


PERMUTATIONS
Arsenal's highest possible finish: 3rd

Arsenal's lowest possible finish: 4th

Fulham's highest possible finish: 9th

Fulham's lowest possible finish: 13th