Friends of Fulham

General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:23:05 AM

Title: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:23:05 AM
http://www.tribune.ie/sport/soccer/article/2010/may/09/on-the-brink-of-the-ultimate-crowning-moment/ (http://www.tribune.ie/sport/soccer/article/2010/may/09/on-the-brink-of-the-ultimate-crowning-moment/)
On the brink of the ultimate crowning moment
Roy Hodgson has enjoyed a long and well-travelled career in management, but winning the Europa League with Fulham would trump all of his achievements

HE has managed in a World Cup and taken two clubs to the finals of European competitions – feats that are beyond the scope of the vast majority of coaches – but Roy Hodgson gives the impression that his success has been some sort of accident. Given that his World Cup, with Switzerland, was in 1994 and those finals have been 13 years apart, you may actually believe Fulham's manager.

If ambition has been the mark of Jose Mourinho's career, then Hodgson admits that it has been lacking from his work. Yet, despite it all, he will be in Hamburg's Nordbank Arena on Wednesday hoping to guide his club to victory against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League, in what is Fulham's first ever European final.

"Whenever I leave a job," the man who joined the apparently relegation-doomed Cottagers in late 2007, says, "I have a tremendous tendency – and it's probably not always been intelligent of me – to jump at the first job that comes my way that sounds half-decent and interesting and sounds like an interesting experience.

"I jump at it without thinking 'how does this affect my position on the ladder'? If I'd been a bit more cynical – if I'd thought 'I'm at Inter, or at Blackburn having just left Inter, my position on the ladder is X, I definitely don't want to lose my position' and if I wanted to go higher – I wouldn't have taken the job at Grasshoppers [in 1999].

"I haven't regretted it. That's the strange thing – maybe I should have done. I don't know. They've been good experiences. The United Arab Emirates was a very good experience. I had no notion of the Arab world before I went there. I would like to think I'm better for it. But, if you're thinking that as a coach you should always be looking to take a step up, I haven't done that. I've gone sideways, backwards and upwards again. If you were to do a graph of my career it would look like a Kandinsky painting." Pretty wild, in other words.




You see what he means when you consider what happened after four years in the ascendancy, first due to his work with Switzerland, then with Inter in reaching the 1997 Uefa Cup [they lost on penalties in the two-legged final to Schalke 04], before he moved to Blackburn that summer, and took them into the Uefa Cup as well. However, he was sacked by them in late 1998 as things went off the rails and they were on course for relegation. Then came his ambition-free years: Grasshoppers [of Zurich], the UAE, FC Copenhagen, Viking Stavanger of Norway, and then the Finland national team. Scandinavia was where he had started his coaching career, in 1976.




That high watermark with Inter did not lead Hodgson to thinking he was any sort of Special One. He says: "When I reached the final with Inter my next thought was not 'how can I reach my next final'? I was just anxious to keep working in football and take what jobs came my way. Most of my career, with the one very obvious, glorious exception of Inter, has not been with the types of clubs who get to European finals. At FC Copenhagen, they had never won the league, so doing that was enough for them – they didn't think 'let's get Hodgson, we'll be in the final next year'."




Fulham were not thinking that either when they made their surprise appointment at the end of 2007. Lawrie Sanchez had failed to arrest the slide that started under Chris Coleman and the club turned to the man from Croydon who was available and willing to work in his home country again.

It seemed like the impossible job, with the club's inability to compete in the transfer market seemingly pointing to an end to seven years in the top flight. Yet come the end of the 2007/8 season, Hodgson had rallied his players to give them hope. With three games to go and needing to win every one of them, they were 2-0 down away against Manchester City with 20 minutes left and won 3-2. On the final day against Portsmouth, they won and stayed up on goal difference.

That game against City also served as a template for arguably the key point in Fulham's European adventure, and proof of how effectively Hodgson has drummed his methods into his players. Having lost the first-leg game against Juventus 3-1, the side from south west London clambered back to win 5-4 on aggregate in an epic night that might not be surpassed for drama, even if they win against Atletico.

Hodgson has doubts over the fitness of Damien Duff and their top scorer Bobby Zamora, but few would bet against him pulling off his most impressive feat yet in management.




Europa League Final: Atletico Madrid v Fulham, HSH Nordbank Arena, 7.45, Live, TV3, 7.30
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:24:52 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/7700693/Arsenal-4-Fulham-0-match-report.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/7700693/Arsenal-4-Fulham-0-match-report.html)
Arsenal 4 Fulham 0: match report
Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Arsenal and Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, May 9 2010.

The most anti-climatic of Premier League finales was only momentarily compromised at the Emirates. After just three minutes, news filtered around the stadium that Tottenham had taken a 1-0 lead over Burnley and so moved level on points with Arsenal in third, meaning that one slip would cause the indignity of finishing below their north London rivals.

That danger, though, proved strictly theoretical, with what was effectively the Fulham reserve team carrying only the most negligible of threats and Arsenal utterly dominant both in possession and chances.

Robin van Persie had forced early acrobatics from Mark Schwarzer with a curling free-kick, while Samir Nasri dragged an excellent early chance narrowly wide after Andrei Arshavin’s cross.

It was Arshavin’s first start for almost a month and a combination of his quick thinking and an uncharacteristic Schwarzer mistake put Arsenal into a 21st minute lead.

Schwarzer, who is the only Fulham starter likely to keep his place for Wednesday’s Europa League final, horribly miss-controlled what should have been a routine clearance to allow Arshavin to take possession.

Arshavin then cut back inside Schwarzer to shoot into an unguarded Fulham goal, with Fulham’s embarrassed goalkeeper left only to honesty hold up his hand in acknowledgement of the error.

The match was then effectively ended when Theo Walcott created two goals in the space of 11 first-half minutes.

He crossed for Van Persie to score following a Schwarzer save and then threaded another ball across the Fulham six-yard box which somehow travelled off the heel of Emmanuel Eboue and then through the legs of John Pantsil before being turned into his own goal by Chris Baird.

Arsenal could and should have finished with an even more comfortable margin of victory. Having helped create two goals, Walcott was less efficient when presented with an outstanding opportunity by another clever back-heel from Eboue, pulling his shot badly wide.

Van Persie then missed two chances to further extend the lead, having one effort blocked by Schwarzer and then shooting against the post from the rebound.

There was also controversy when Eboue got behind the Fulham defence and was clearly fouled by Stephen Kelly, only for referee Mike Jones to brandish a yellow card for ‘diving’.

Eboue was outraged by the slur, with the reaction of the crowd underlining his transformation over the past 18 months to Arsenal cult hero.

There was also rather more ironic cheering every time goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made a successful catch, although Fulham really did not threaten with enough regularity to test Arsenal’s error-prone second-choice goalkeeper.

At the end of a season that had promised so much but again delivered no silverware, Arsenal did at least finish in some considerable style.

Samir Nasri had split open the Fulham defence and Carlos Vela duly converted the chance with a delicate lob over the helpless Schwarzer.

The sight of Johan Djourou - coming on for a first appearance of the season at centre-back - will also have encouraged Wenger, who knows that improving the Arsenal defence remains the overwhelming priority this summer.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:26:26 AM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485857.html?rss=1485857+Quique+Flores+targeting+final+flourish (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485857.html?rss=1485857+Quique+Flores+targeting+final+flourish)
Quique Flores targeting final flourish

Quique Sánchez Flores has worked wonders at Club Atlético de Madrid but, with Fulham FC now awaiting in the UEFA Europa League final, he recognises: "Everything comes down to this match."

Having painstakingly rebuilt confidence in his six months of work at Club Atlético de Madrid, Quique Sánchez Flores knows that a mere 90 minutes now stand between his players and UEFA Europa League glory.

The former SL Benfica coach replaced Abel Resino in the Spanish capital on 23 October last year with Los Rojiblancos bottom of their UEFA Champions League group and boasting just one win from their first seven league matches. Since then, he has lifted Atlético away from the Liga relegation zone and led them to a pair of showpiece occasions, with Wednesday's meeting with Fulham FC in Hamburg coming a week before their Copa del Rey final against Sevilla FC.

It has been a remarkable turnaround, with Atlético now on the verge of their first trophy since their league and cup double in 1995/96, but their upward trajectory will count for little this week. "Everything comes down to this one match," Quique Flores said. "There'll be so much euphoria, while every goal and every mistake will be decisive. It'll be different to any other game."

It will also be different in that Atlético progressed through the last three rounds on away goals after two-legged ties, eliminating Liverpool FC following extra time in the last four. "In a final, there isn't any margin you can take with you, so we have to maintain our level and improve," continued Quique Flores. "It's a privilege for any team to be in the final. We're there now, so we want to take advantage and finish well."

Should they prevail at the Hamburg Arena, it will prove a victory for self-belief as much as talent as far as the coach is concerned. "The confidence aspect was a fundamental thing with the players," explained the 45-year-old, looking back on his early work at the club. "They had to believe in themselves to be able to put in the effort. That was a huge battle, but step by step the team started performing differently in the league and other competitions."

One of the most significant steps was also their first after transferring from the UEFA Champions League, with Diego Forlán's last-minute winner away to Galatasaray AŞ in the round of 32 giving them vital momentum. "We maybe had it hardest against Galatasaray," recalled Quique Flores. "It's difficult to motivate your players at the beginning of the competition when there are so many problems, but they reacted very well in Turkey, which was key. That's when we started to develop a good feeling in this competition."

Now, they face one final hurdle in the shape of Fulham, and Quique Flores paid tribute to the Premier League side. "They're a well-organised team with a good manager," he said. "I've learned that they have a good English player in Bobby Zamora and their three midfielders [Clint] Dempsey, [Simon] Davies and [Zoltán] Gera can make life dangerous for us. But we have players who can make it difficult for them too, like [José Manuel] Jurado, [José Antonio] Reyes and Simão. We'll have to see what happens."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:27:30 AM
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37998/Arsenal_thrash_disinterested_Fulham.aspx (http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37998/Arsenal_thrash_disinterested_Fulham.aspx)
Arsenal thrash disinterested Fulham

Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Fulham to clinch third place and automatic qualification into the Champions League.

Goals from Andrey Arshavin, Robin van Persie, an own goal from Chris Baird and a delightful chip by Carlos Vela were enough to dismiss a largely disinterested Fulham, although it did not start that way.

With just one win in their last eight matches, and north London rivals Spurs waiting to take advantage of another slip, the Gunners could not afford to relax on the last day of the season.

Fulham on the other hand, with a trip to Hamburg on their minds, were able to rest a host of first-choice players. Roy Hodgson's side however did not show any early signs that they would lay down.

Perhaps with places up for grabs for this Wednesday's Europa Cup Final, the Cottagers were making a game of it.

There were some early moments of anxiety for the Gunners, principally when Lukasz Fabianski failed to deal with a cross convincingly, sparking shouts of "Wenger spend some money".

Van Persie looked sharp at the other end. His inswinging free-kick from the right tested Mark Schwarzer who managed to parry the ball to safety just before the balled dipped into the net. Samir Nasri also tested the Australian keeper, who pushed the effort around his right post.

The Fulham number one went from hero to villain moments later though. He came out to meet a back-pass and mis-controlled the ball allowing Arshavin to nip in and steal possession.

The Russian cut in to the left side of the area before firing in a shot from an acute angle with the defenders on the line unable to prevent the powerful shot from finishing in the back of the net.

The Gunners went 2-0 up in the 26th minute when an Emmanuel Eboue pass beat the offside trap allowing Theo Walcott to leave a flat-footed defence in his wake before squaring the ball for van Persie.

The Dutch striker's first shot was half-saved by Schwarzer, but the ball bounced back off the bottom side of the bar for van Persie to calmly place the ball beyond the grounded keeper. Fulham's heads visibly dropped.

Baird's own goal in the 38th minute made it 3-0 to Arsenal. Eboue's back-flick from Walcott's cross threw the Fulham defence into disarray. With van Persie bearing down on goal, Baird stuck a leg out and inadvertently directed the ball past his own keeper.

Another Eboue back-flick from van Persie's pass put Walcott in on goal, but the World Cup hopeful failed to test the keeper when through on goal on the right side of the area and he dragged his shot wide of the left post.

The Gunners went close to going 4-0 up just four minutes after the re-start when Bacary Sagna's cross from the right was met on the volley by van Persie but Schwarzer spread himself well to make a point-blank save. The rebound fell to the Dutchman whose snap-shot hit the left post before bouncing away to safety.

Carlos Vela came off the bench to make it 4-0 in the 84th minute. The Mexican ran on to Nasri's throughball before lifting the ball over the oncoming keeper to secure the win and third place.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:29:13 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2010/05/09/1916714/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-weve-done-brilliantly-to-finish (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2010/05/09/1916714/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-weve-done-brilliantly-to-finish)
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: We've done 'brilliantly' to finish 12th in the Premier League
Weakened Cottagers side well beaten by Gunners...

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson praised his team's overall league performance despite watching his side thoroughly beaten 4-0 by Arsenal on the final.

"We’ve done brilliantly in the Premier League, 12th is a very respectable place for Fulham," he told BBC Sport.

With the Europa League final on Wednesday, the Cottagers boss made eight changes to his starting line-up which allowed Arsenal to dominate the match.

Fulham didn’t start the game well and found themselves three goals behind at half-time.

"We went a goal down to a rare mistake from Mark Schwarzer," Hodgson continued.

"He said the ball bobbled but I don't believe it. He has blamed the pitch, but I think he was being tongue-in-cheek"

The second half turned into something resembling a training match as both teams saw out the end of the season in comfortable fashion.

There was also time for Mexican substitute Carlos Vela to grab a fourth goal in the 84th minute to ensure Arsenal finished third in the Premier League.

"After going in 3-0 down at half-time, my aim was to 'draw' the second half and we almost did that," Hodgson continued.

"But we didn't have enough in our locker to bother a good Arsenal team and an Arsenal team determined to win the game."

With the league campaign now concluded, Fulham’s attention now turns to their Europa League final clash against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday and Hodgson is waiting on the fitness of five of his first team regulars.

"I rested [Aaron] Hughes, [Brede] Hangeland and [Paul] Konchesky with minor problems. Bobby [Zamora] and Damien’s [Duff] injuries are slightly more serious." Hodgson added.

"The availability of Damien and Bobby means a lot."

And with the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud potentially causing flight problems, Hodgson was unsure how his side will get to Germany for the biggest game in the club's history.

"There’s no leeway [for the game to be moved] from UEFA so we’ve got to get there come hell or high water." He added.

"We would have liked to have played today’s game on Saturday, but it will be very difficult to get away tomorrow. I suppose we have to hope that on Tuesday the flight can take off or otherwise we’ll make arrangements for tomorrow evening."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:30:33 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6144294,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6144294,00.html)
Hodgson makes plea to Uefa
Ash cloud could again cause travel chaos

Roy Hodgson believes Uefa should consider postponing the Europa League final if the volcanic ash cloud prevents air travel to Hamburg.

Fulham have already travelled to Hamburg by coach this season in the competition after knocking out the German side in the semi-finals to set up a final meeting with Atletico Madrid.

The ash cloud is again threatening to cause travel chaos for Wednesday's final and Hodgson feels it may be sensible for Uefa to postpone the showpiece if the players and fans are unable to fly to Hamburg.

"If Madrid are also in that situation, Uefa should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there," said Hodgson.

Harsh
"I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

"You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for Uefa to reconsider.

"It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already."

Speaking after a 4-0 defeat at Arsenal on the final day of the Premier League season, Hodgson confirmed his squad are currently due to fly out to Hamburg on Tuesday.

And he admits that it would be difficult for the club to arrange flights to the city before then in order to prevent another coach journey.


Hard to organise
"We can't get out much earlier," Hodgson told Sky Sports. "It's Sunday evening now and I don't think we'll be able to get a flight between now and the end of the evening.

"We're training in the morning, so we've only got between the afternoon and evening to organise and organising flights for 40 people is not such an easy thing to do.

"Obviously it's a situation which our administrative people are keeping an eye on, but we certainly aren't going to gain very much because if we leave tomorrow evening or Tuesday morning early, we're not gaining a great deal.

"I don't know if there is going to be an enormous difference between the ash cloud on Monday evening and on Tuesday morning.

"Whatever decision needs to be taken, we need to take the right one, we need to have good information and we'll see what happens."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:32:15 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/roysarsenalreaction.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/roysarsenalreaction.aspx)
Arsenal Reaction
(http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/HeadlineImages-small/Management/Hodgson/royarsenal.jpg)


Roy Hodgson gave his verdict on Fulham’s defeat to Arsenal on Sunday evening before delivering the latest fitness news ahead of Wednesday night’s UEFA Europa League Final in Hamburg.

“I thought we started the game reasonably well to be honest,” said Hodgson during his post match press conference at the Emirates Stadium.

“When Mark made his very, very uncharacteristic error it put us on the back foot. I’m pleased he’s [Schwarzer] got it out of his system, because I was beginning to wonder when he’d make a mistake, because he’s made so few this season, if any.

“Then to concede an own goal just before half time, again somewhat unfortunately, I thought we were looking at a rout in the second half if we weren’t careful, but I was actually feeling quite good in the second half.

“I thought we’d done well to keep the score down so I was disappointed when the fourth went in so late in the game.

“There’s nothing for me to do but congratulate Arsenal on their victory. They were clearly much better than we were today.

“I’m actually quite satisfied with how the players went about things and kept battling away and fighting against enormous odds because playing against a team of Arsenal’s quality we were fighting hard to keep our head above water.”

Fulham defender John Pantsil was forced from the field of play during the second half with a muscular injury and Hodgson confirmed the defender wasn’t the only Fulham player suffering at the Emirates on Sunday.

“John Pantsil felt a slight problem in his thigh but we don’t think it’s massive. Don’t forget John hasn’t played for four months. He got injured in the last game in December and now he’ played two or three games in a two week spell. A slight strain is a possibility but we’ll have to reassess him on Monday.

“Bjorn Helge Riise was suffering from stomach cramps at half time and he had to go home. We hope it’s not a viral infection but he was certainly the most injured of the players today.”

Fulham’s players will reconvene at Motspur Park on Monday morning and Hodgson is confident that several First Team players will now be ready for Wednesday’s Final after a few days rest.

“Paul Konchesky’s ankle is better and I’ll be surprised if he can’t train on Monday. Brede Hangeland’s knee will have profited from not having to play for a couple of days and I expect him to be okay, as I do Aaron Hughes, who has had a slight tightness in the groin area.

“Damien Duff has been having treatment since the Stoke game and is making good progress. We are very hopeful he’ll train on Monday and Bobby Zamora is making progress.

“Monday is quite a crucial day to see if he’s [Zamora] fit enough to get on the training field with us, or whether he’ll need more time, but of course the more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection, because he hasn’t played or trained since coming off against Hamburg.”

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/roysarsenalreaction.aspx#ixzz0nVPq5RyZ (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/roysarsenalreaction.aspx#ixzz0nVPq5RyZ)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:33:37 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6144357/Hodgson-worried-about-travel-chaos (http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6144357/Hodgson-worried-about-travel-chaos)
Hodgson 'worried' about travel chaos

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has called on UEFA to postpone the Europa League final if the volcanic ash causes more travel chaos next week.

Fulham are preparing for Wednesday's clash with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

The Cottagers, who fielded a much-changed side for the 4-0 defeat in their last Premier League game at Arsenal, faced an arduous journey to get to Germany for the first leg of their semi-final after European airspace was shutdown following eruptions in Iceland.

The latest burst of ash is now drifting across areas of France, Spain, northern Italy and Germany bringing more disruption as several airports - including Munich - have been closed.

Forecasts suggest the volcanic cloud could disrupt UK airspace again over the next few days.

Fulham are set to fly out on Tuesday morning.

Hodgson maintains if the situation worsens, then Europe's footballing governing body must take a stance.

"We are worried, because they are always talking about changing wind direction, and having to play this game on Sunday does not give us too much alternative," said the Fulham manager.

"It is all very well people saying change the flights, but we can only change that till tomorrow.

"We are talking about 40 people and a lot of kit - it is not like someone going on a package holiday, it is a major operation.

"We are training tomorrow morning, and I am not expecting to race around and try to contact the players now to say 'You had better bring your bags for 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.'

"It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany.

"It is a very, very complicated matter and while our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us."

With the ash closing Spanish airports, Atletico are likely to face similar problems.

Hodgson added: "If Madrid are also in that situation, UEFA should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

"I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

"You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider.

"It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already."

Hodgson hopes his injury problems will clear up ahead of the Europa League final.

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and Damien Duff (leg) are all expected to train tomorrow.

Striker Bobby Zamora, however, faces a race against time to shake off a niggling Achilles problem.

Defender John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise were both substituted at Emirates Stadium.

Hodgson said: "Pantsil has felt a slight problem in his thigh, but we do not think it is massive.

"It might be a slight muscle strain, but the physios did not seem to be terribly disturbed. We will have to re-asess him tomorrow.

"Riise was suffering from stomach cramps at half-time. That could be worse. He has had to go home, and we hope it is not a viral infection."

Hodgson is keeping his fingers cross Zamora can play some part against Atletico.

"Bobby is also making progress and tomorrow will be quite a crucial day to see if he is fit enough to train, or whether he needs more time," he said.

"Of course, though, the more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection because he has not trained or played since coming off against Hamburg.

"Time is working on his behalf, so if Bobby was lucky enough to be involved for England, then by the time that group get together after the FA Cup final, it would not prevent him from taking part in that."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:36:08 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275919/Fulham-fear-Europa-League-journey-volcanic-ash-cloud-wreaking-havoc-continent.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275919/Fulham-fear-Europa-League-journey-volcanic-ash-cloud-wreaking-havoc-continent.html?ITO=1490)
Fulham fear for Europa League journey with volcanic ash cloud wreaking havoc on the continent

Fulham face an anxious wait to see if volcanic ash could once again scupper their Europa League plans.

The club were forced to travel 895 miles to Hamburg by coach for the first leg of their semi-final on April 22 as UEFA refused to re-arrange the game.
Roy Hodgson's side may now be forced to repeat their gruelling 27-hour journey ahead of Wednesday's final against Atletico Madrid, which will also be held in Hamburg’s Nordbank Arena.

Volcanic ash affected air travel across much of southern Europe yesterday and the Fulham boss admitted he was worried.
He added: ‘It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany.
‘It is a very, very complicated matter. While our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us.’

Fulham are scheduled to leave Gatwick Airport at 11am on Tuesday morning, but Hodgson called for the game to be postponed if Atletico Madrid’s travel plans are also affected.

He said: ‘I hope UEFA show some transience, rather than the usual intransigence, and try to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

‘You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider. It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already.’ 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275919/Fulham-fear-Europa-League-journey-volcanic-ash-cloud-wreaking-havoc-continent.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nVQmg7sV (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275919/Fulham-fear-Europa-League-journey-volcanic-ash-cloud-wreaking-havoc-continent.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nVQmg7sV)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:37:29 AM
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/174157/Bobby-Zamora-hopes-to-make-World-Cup-squad (http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/174157/Bobby-Zamora-hopes-to-make-World-Cup-squad)
BOBBY ZAMORA HOPES TO MAKE WORLD CUP SQUAD

FABIO Capello has 45 players on standby for his provisional World Cup squad that will be announced tomorrow.

The FA has sent emails to the majority of Premier League clubs telling them they have players who could be in the 30-man England party Capello will unveil at Wembley.

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is one. He is battling an ankle injury but hopes to face Atletico Madrid oversee. England are also awaiting injury updates on Gareth Barry.

Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher is certain to make the 30-strong squad after indicating he would end his self-imposed exile from internationals.

Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:38:39 AM
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2010/0510/1224270048926.html (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2010/0510/1224270048926.html)
Al-Fayed sells luxury store Harrods to Qatari royal family for €1.74bn

THE INVESTMENT arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has bought famous London department store Harrods from Egyptian-born businessman Mohamed al-Fayed in a deal reported to be worth about £1.5 billion (€1.74 billion).

Qatar Holding, the prime vehicle for strategic and direct investments by the State of Qatar,would not confirm the estimated figure reported by Sky News.

The country’s prime minister, who is also chairman of Qatar Holding, said there were plans to upgrade the luxury store, which is popular with tourists and an historic landmark in the upmarket Knightsbridge area of London.

“What I can assure you is Qatar Holding will do their best to upgrade this monument, to make it even greater and better for the tourism and also for the British people,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told reporters in an impromptu news conference at the store. He said it will create a “road map” to upgrade Harrods in the next few months. The deal brings to an end 25 years of ownership by al-Fayed, who will become honorary chairman.

“Mohamed al-Fayed has decided to retire and to spend more time with his children and grandchildren,” said Ken Costa, chairman of Lazard International. Lazard advised the al-Fayed family trust. “Qatar Holding was specifically chosen by the trust as they had both the vision and financial capacity to support the long-term successful growth of Harrods.”

Qatar Holding is an arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen its economy by diversifying into new asset classes.

QIA is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with an estimated $60 billion (€47.12 billion) or more in assets under management.

Qatar Holding has stakes in supermarket chain J Sainsbury, the London Stock Exchange and Credit Suisse.

The purchase followed interest from the emir of Qatar, the prime minister said. “Harrods generates good and stable returns as a business – it will add much value to our international portfolio of investments,” Sheikh Hamad said. – (Reuters)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:40:17 AM
http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/roy-please-uefa-dont-make-an-ash-of-euro-final-119400.html (http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/roy-please-uefa-dont-make-an-ash-of-euro-final-119400.html)

Roy: Please UEFA, don’t make an ash of Euro final



THOUGH an early Fulham goal or news of a Tottenham romp at Burnley might have put a different complexion on matters, this game was always going to be about the future.



For Fulham that represents a game in Hamburg in two days’ time and, even more pertinently, the chances of catching a flight there tomorrow.

For Arsenal it was all about not having to qualify for the Champions League next season, having bolstered a squad that once again wasn’t quite up to it in the process.

For the record, the 90 minutes that constituted Arsenal and Fulham’s final fixture of the Premier League campaign featured four goals, some woodwork thumping, a penalty that was missed by the officials, a goal ruled out for offside and a few bookings.

Andrey Arshavin capitalised on an error from the otherwise-excellent Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal to make it 1-0. Robin van Persie, having seen his initial shot deflected on to the crossbar by the self-same Australian, made it 2-0 on the rebound and Cottagers’ defender Chris Baird added another before the break with a comedy own goal from a Theo Walcott cross.

Substitute Carlos Vela completed the scoring with six minutes left with a cheeky little chip as the visitors had to accept the beating its performance deserved.. Fulham fielded a shadow side featuring only Schwarzer, defender John Pantsil and striker Clint Dempsey as regular picks.

The reason, of course, is to keep the rest fresh for Wednesday night’s Europa League final with Atletico Madrid but already there is a problem for Hodgson and Co in the shape of a volcanic ash cloud.

Hodgson called upon UEFA to do the decent thing. "I would be expecting UEFA to show some understanding rather than the usual intransigence and try to find a solution that helps us both by postponing the game for a time when we can both fly," he said.

"The final is a great occasion and we would be playing the game with thousands of fans unable to go because of volcanic ash in the air."

At least Hodgson has not yet had to leave any of his preferred picks at home, although Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff have yet to leave the treatment table and resume training.

Arsene Wenger’s sights are set firmly upon August when his players must once again embark on a quest to find the end of a trophyless trail dating back five years.

Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is due to sign within days but exactly who else will arrive remains to be seen. The Frenchman insisted on debating the exact definition of a ‘big signing’.

"It is always the same when you say big names or big players," he said. "Sometimes it is only one player. Sometimes not big names are still big players. I believe that what the fans want from me is that I bring in top players.

"We bought Thomas Vermaelen last year and nobody knew him. Today he is a big player. What the fans want concerns me of course because we both love the club and want the best possible team. But we have to be in a position where we can pay our wages at the end of the month. We have to respect our business rules."

So, no big names then. And no new contract for the Frenchman either, at least not yet. "At the moment I have not extended," he said. "I am very happy with my club and always respect a contract but when I extend I don’t know yet."

MATCH RATING *** – Arsenal made it entertaining but Fulham were always going to be there for the taking.

REFEREE: Mike Jones (Cheshire) 7 – Booked Emmanuel Eboue for diving and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for handling outside his area so gets plaudits for making decisions that annoyed the home fans.

 

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, May 10, 2010



Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/roy-please-uefa-dont-make-an-ash-of-euro-final-119400.html#ixzz0nVRqtfpr (http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/roy-please-uefa-dont-make-an-ash-of-euro-final-119400.html#ixzz0nVRqtfpr)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:41:38 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1275566/WORLD-CUP-2010-Fulham-star-Bobby-Zamora-set-World-Cup-place.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1275566/WORLD-CUP-2010-Fulham-star-Bobby-Zamora-set-World-Cup-place.html?ITO=1490)
WORLD CUP 2010: Fulham star Bobby Zamora set for World Cup place

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is set to be named in England's provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
Zamora's stock has risen rapidly this season after a string of impressive displays that have helped the Craven Cottage club reach the Europa League final.
Three Lions chief Fabio Capello has overlooked the uncapped Zamora for his previous squads.

But according to the Sunday Telegraph, Zamora has received a letter from the FA requesting he is available for the provisional squad - which is named on Tuesday.
Zamora - who has hit 18 goals this season - is facing a race against time to be fit for Fulham's date with destiny against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday due to a long-term Achilles injury.
But should he shake off the complaint, Zamora is expected to be handed the chance to cement his place in Capello's final 23-man squad in the forthcoming friendlies against Mexico and Japan.
Capello must name his World Cup squad by midnight  on June 1.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1275566/WORLD-CUP-2010-Fulham-star-Bobby-Zamora-set-World-Cup-place.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nVSB09Y4 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1275566/WORLD-CUP-2010-Fulham-star-Bobby-Zamora-set-World-Cup-place.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nVSB09Y4)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:44:39 AM
BBC Sport - Football - Hodgson eyes glory after defeat (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8671367.stm#id8670000/8671300/8671333)
Hodgson eyes glory after defeat

Roy Hodgson admitted that a weakened Fulham's 4-0 loss to Arsenal is a small sacrifice for improving their chances in Wednesday's Europa League final.

The Cottagers boss rested players ahead of the match with Atletico Madrid and said: "Reaching the Europa League final outshines our Premier League record.

"Five players were unavailable because of injury, so I rested only Danny Murphy, Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies.

"We didn't have enough in our locker to beat a good, determined Arsenal team."

Fulham take on Atletico Madrid in Hamburg in midweek and victory would see them cap a terrific season with some silverware.

After failing to get the match with Arsenal brought forward a day to give them more time to prepare for their trip, Fulham were always going to field an unfamiliar line-up.

And with Arsenal desperate to earn at least a point to secure third place - ahead of Tottenham - and automatic qualification into next season's Champions League, Fulham's task looked a tough one.

Hodgson praises 'brave' Fulham
"I made a lot of changes to the line-up and we unfortunately went a goal down to a rare mistake from Mark Schwarzer," said Hodgson.

The visiting keeper miscontrolled a backpass and Andrey Arshavin nipped in to steal the ball and eventually fire home.

Hodgson continued: "Mark said the ball bobbled but I don't believe it! I think he was being tongue-in-cheek.

"He has barely made an error all season, so one had to come. And it's better that it happened today than on Wednesday."

Arsenal scored twice more in the first half, through Robin van Persie and a Chris Baird own goal.

"As soon as Arsenal scored their second we knew it was going to be an uphill struggle," said Hodgson.

"After going in 3-0 down at half-time, my aim was to 'draw' the second half and we almost did that.

"We gave a brave performance and people worked hard enough but we were unable to really bother Arsenal."

Arsenal wrapped up the win when substitute Carlos Vela dinked in late on.

But Gunners boss Arsene Wenger seemed in reflective mood after the game, clearly disappointed at ending the season without a trophy for the fifth consecutive campaign.

"We have mixed feelings," said the Frenchman. "With the number of injuries we had, to be third is maybe not too bad - especially when you think what people expected of us at the start of the season.

Wenger pleased to finish difficult season on a high
"But third is not good enough because you want to win."

Arsenal had to do without Van Persie for most of the season, and also lost Cesc Fabregas and William Gallas for spells.

But they remained in the hunt for trophies until they fell away in the last couple of weeks, hammered in the Champions League by Barcelona and then blowing their title hopes.

Wenger admitted: "We scored lots of goals this season but we conceded too many.

"And when you reach March, April and you do not have your best players available it is very difficult."

However, Wenger took some consolation from the fact his side hung on to third place and will again play in the Champions League next season - for their 13th consecutive year.

"I felt that we gave absolutely everything to finish in the top three. It is the second best place to be in England - the first is to win the title, the second is to qualify for the Champions League.

"But for me it is not enough - it is the minimum requested .

"We were close this year, we are a young side and have learnt a lot. We want to add to the squad and come back stronger next season."

Wenger also revealed that he is close to clinching a deal for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh.

"He could be our first new signing," he said. "We have to finalise some papers and he will need to pass a medical but it is very close."


 
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:46:32 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917212/atletico-madrid-winger-simao-expecting-tough-test-from-fulham-in- (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917212/atletico-madrid-winger-simao-expecting-tough-test-from-fulham-in-)
Atletico Madrid Winger Simao Expecting Tough Test From Fulham In Europa Final
The Portuguese says the final is evenly poised...

Atletico Madrid winger Simao has insisted that Wednesday's Europa League final against English Premier League side Fulham is evenly poised and added that he expects a tough, physical test from the Londoners.

The 30-year-old also admitted that his side were a little nervous and anxious to play the game while also declaring that winning Europe's silver medal competition would be a satisfying finish to a difficult season for los Colchoneros.

"We're fine, a little anxious to play this final, because it is an important game for everyone, for the players, for the club and the fans. It's a long time since we were in this position and on a personal level it's also an important date, so we're a little anxious, but we have prepared well to have a good game," he said, according to AS.

We reached the final because we really enjoyed UEFA competition to the utmost. I think it was a success to reach the final but now all that goes through our heads is winning."

"Winning the final is the best thing that could happen after the start of season we had, we suffered a lot. We can finish well with a sweet taste and lifting the cup would be phenomenal.

"It's a final and I don't know how Fulham will play. We want to pressure high up the field as always. Fulham has a more direct style of football, typically English. We know that English clubs are very strong in the air and from set pieces so we have to be extremely focused and try not to make mistakes near our goal, because they try to surprise us from set pieces. W want to keep it away from our goal because that makes us closer to scoring.

"A final is 50-50. There is no favourite. I think both deserve credit for having reached the final. We leave behind teams such as Valencia, Sporting Lisbon, Galatasaray and Liverpool and they knocked out Juventus which I think surprised us all when they won at home 4-1.They deserve credit like us for reaching the final so it's 50-50.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:47:42 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-backing-schwarzer-shake-arsenal-gaffe-827701 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-backing-schwarzer-shake-arsenal-gaffe-827701)
Fulham boss Hodgson backing Schwarzer to shake off Arsenal gaffe

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has no concerns with goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer after his gaffe in defeat to Arsenal yesterday.

An error from Schwarzer gifted Andrey Arshavin a goal in the 4-0 rout.

But Hodgson, now looking ahead to the Europa League final with Atletico Madrid, reflected: "Schwarzer is blaming the pitch, saying it took a bobble, but nobody believes him!

"I am pleased to see he has got it out of his system because he has made so few this season, if any."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 07:50:09 AM

Fulham Premier League season review 2009-10
Read Telegraph Sport's 2009-10 Premier League season review for Fulham under manager Roy Hodgson.

(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01632/dempsey_1632255c.jpg)
Oh what a night: Fulham's Clint Dempsey (left) celebrates after scoring the goal that sent Juventus crashing out of teh Europa League Photo:

GETTY IMAGES Manager: Roy Hodgson

Not just a job done; Hodgson has performed outstandingly, making subtle signings, coping with serious injuries and juggling the Europa League with Fulham's Premier League duties. The man who should be manager of the year deserves every accolade he achieves.

Best player: Bobby Zamora

When Hull came hunting, Hodgson was prepared to let the striker leave. Instead, Zamora decided to stay and, strangely, has benefited from the long-term injury to Andrew Johnson. Injury-permitting, he will lead Fulham in Hamburg and a World Cup call is still possible.

Worst player

Not too many candidates because Hodgson got rid of those under-performing. Seol Ki Hyeon did little before returning to South Korea and Pohong Steelers, but Diomansy Kamara disappointed before he, too, left, for Celtic on loan.

Moment of the season

Plenty to chose from, even better than the 3-1 win over Liverpool or the 3-0 dismemberment of Manchester United has to be the that wonderful night when Fulham, 3-1 behind to Juventus, won 4-1 in the second leg thanks to Clint Dempsey’s wonderful late goal.

Big issue

Can Fulham hold on to Hodgson? He has achieved so much in a relatively short time-span and with little money and suddenly the big boys are peering over the garden wall. Liverpool must be interested, while Juventus will have also noticed his achievements.

Verdict: 9 out of 10

Outstanding. Fulham surprised many by winning a place in the Europa League but they took that a step further by consolidating their League position and reaching the final in Hamburg. Fulham fans are still pinching themselves
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:35:05 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/FinalTicketUpdate.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/FinalTicketUpdate.aspx)
Final Ticket Allocation
Monday 10th May 2010
 
The Club is delighted to inform supporters that it has now received another very limited allocation of tickets for the Final over the weekend and this limited allocation is now on sale to Season Ticket Holders who have yet to secure a ticket for the Final. There are a limited amount of tickets in certain categories (majority in Category 1) so please keep this in mind when booking.

You can purchase your ticket by calling, or visiting, the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage. Please note, tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, one per Season Ticket Holder and all tickets must be purchased and collected from the Fulham FC Ticket Office at Craven Cottage no later than 5pm Tuesday 11th May.  Due to limited phone lines we strongly recommend supporters buy their tickets in person.

How to book:
To book your ticket for the UEFA Europa League Final, call 0870 442 1234 (option 3) or visit the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage in person (preferred) by 5pm Tuesday 11th May.

Travel Options
There are still a limited amount of places left of the Fulham Flyer Daytrip to Hamburg and you can book  your spot on the flight online| or by calling Thomson Sport on 0845 121 2018.
.

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/FinalTicketUpdate.aspx#ixzz0nWOs3Jnh (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/FinalTicketUpdate.aspx#ixzz0nWOs3Jnh)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:36:46 AM
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6144816,00.html (http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6144816,00.html)
SMALLING LIVING THE DREAM

Fulham defender Chris Smalling admits he is struggling to come to terms with the meteoric rise which has seen him go from non-league footballer to Europa League finalist within two years.

Smalling, along with his Fulham team-mates, will depart for Hamburg on Tuesday looking to upset the odds by beating Spanish side Atletico Madrid to lift the first major trophy in the club's 131-year history.

Smalling's impressive performances during the opening stages of the campaign caught the eye of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who moved to sign the defender in a £10million transfer in January.

It is all a world away from where the 20-year-old was two years ago when he was turning out for Isthmian League side Maidstone United.

"If you would have told me that I'd be in a European final back when I was at Maidstone then I wouldn't have believed you," the England Under-21 defender said.

"This is the sort of thing that I used to dream of when I went to bed at night back then. This has been a great journey for us. We just have to kick on now and come away with a winners medal."

Smalling will join United on a four-year deal in the summer but he must first focus on edging Aaron Hughes or Brede Hangeland out of Roy Hodgson's starting XI for Wednesday's clash against Spanish giants Atletico, who include the likes of Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan among their ranks.

Having disposed of the likes of Juventus and holders Shakhtar Donetsk to make the final, Smalling believes he and his team-mates should fear nothing from their opponents.

He said: "Atletico have been regulars in the Champions League over the last few years and they haveen up there in the top half of the Spanish league, but I think some of the teams that we have knocked out have been very much elite in their own countries so we have no fear.

"The management have put that belief into us that whoever we play and whoever is in our path we can get past them."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:37:55 AM
http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2010/0510/hodgsonr.html (http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2010/0510/hodgsonr.html)
Hodgson hoping Fulham issues will ease

Roy Hodgson is hoping both the latest travel chaos from the volcanic ash cloud and Fulham's own injury problems clear up ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

The Cottagers, who field a much-changed side for Sunday's 4-0 defeat in their last Barclays Premier League game at Arsenal, are scheduled to head out to Germany tomorrow morning.


However, a new eruption form the Icelandic volcano which forced Fulham to make an arduous journey to the Continent by coach and train for the first leg of their semi-final after European airspace was shutdown threatens to once again hamper travel plans.

The latest burst of ash is now drifting across areas of France, Spain, northern Italy and Germany bringing more disruption as several airports - including Munich - have been closed.
Forecasts suggest the volcanic cloud could disrupt UK airspace again over the next few days.


Hodgson maintains if the situation worsens, then Europe's footballing governing body must take a stance.


'It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany,' said the Fulham manager, who admits striker Bobby Zamora faces a race against time to be fit from an Achilles problem.

'It is a very, very complicated matter and while our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us.'

Hodgson admitted: 'We are worried, because they are always talking about changing wind direction, and having to play at Arsenal on Sunday did not give us too much alternative.

'It is all very well people saying change the flights, but we are talking about 40 people and a lot of kit - it is not like someone going on a package holiday, it is a major operation.'

With the ash closing Spanish airports, Atletico are likely to face similar problems.

Hodgson said: 'If Madrid are also in that situation, UEFA should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

'I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

'You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider.

'It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already.'

Hodgson hopes his injury problems will clear up ahead of the Europa League final.

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and Damien Duff (leg) are all expected to train later today.


Defender John Pantsil (thigh) and Bjorn Helge Riise, who complained of stomach cramps, were both substituted at the Emirates Stadium.


Hodgson is keeping his fingers cross Zamora can play some part against Atletico.


'The more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection because he has not trained or played since coming off against Hamburg,' said the Fulham boss.

'But if Bobby was lucky enough to be involved for England, then by the time that group get together after the FA Cup final, it would not prevent him from taking part in that.'
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:39:58 AM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832039-injuries-and-travel-worries-cause-concern-for-fulham-ahead-of-europa-league-final.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832039-injuries-and-travel-worries-cause-concern-for-fulham-ahead-of-europa-league-final.do)
Injuries and travel worries cause concern for Fulham ahead of Europa League final
(http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2010/04/Roy-Hodgson415.jpg)
Roy Hodgson is hoping both the latest travel chaos from the volcanic ash cloud and Fulham's own injury problems clear up ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

The Cottagers, who field a much-changed side for Sunday's 4-0 defeat in their last Barclays Premier League game at Arsenal, are scheduled to head out to Germany tomorrow morning.

However, a new eruption form the Icelandic volcano which forced Fulham to make an arduous journey to the Continent by coach and train for the first leg of their semi-final after European airspace was shutdown threatens to once again hamper travel plans.

The latest burst of ash is now drifting across areas of France, Spain, northern Italy and Germany bringing more disruption as several airports - including Munich - have been closed.

Forecasts suggest the volcanic cloud could disrupt UK airspace again over the next few days.

Hodgson maintains if the situation worsens, then Europe's footballing governing body must take a stance.

"It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany," said the Fulham manager, who admits striker Bobby Zamora faces a race against time to be fit from an Achilles problem.

"It is a very, very complicated matter and while our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us."

Hodgson admitted: "We are worried, because they are always talking about changing wind direction, and having to play at Arsenal on Sunday did not give us too much alternative.

"It is all very well people saying change the flights, but we are talking about 40 people and a lot of kit - it is not like someone going on a package holiday, it is a major operation."

With the ash closing Spanish airports, Atletico are likely to face similar problems.

Hodgson said: "If Madrid are also in that situation, UEFA should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

"I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

"You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider.

"It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already."

Hodgson hopes his injury problems will clear up ahead of the Europa League final.

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and Damien Duff (leg) are all expected to train later today.

Defender John Pantsil (thigh) and Bjorn Helge Riise, who complained of stomach cramps, were both substituted at the Emirates Stadium.

Hodgson is keeping his fingers cross Zamora can play some part against Atletico.

"The more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection because he has not trained or played since coming off against Hamburg," said the Fulham boss.

"But if Bobby was lucky enough to be involved for England, then by the time that group get together after the FA Cup final, it would not prevent him from taking part in that."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: os5889 on May 10, 2010, 11:40:44 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/10/admin-error-handed-me-euro-lifeline-says-fulham-s-john-pantsil-82029-26414107/ (http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/10/admin-error-handed-me-euro-lifeline-says-fulham-s-john-pantsil-82029-26414107/)

Admin error handed me Euro lifeline, says Fulham's John Pantsil

(http://images.icnetwork.co.uk/upl/fulhamchronicle/apr2010/6/9/john-pantsil-image-1-454305492.jpg)

May 10 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

JOHN Pantsil thought his Europa League dreams were over - now, after defying the odds twice, the Fulham defender is 90 minutes away from a winner’s medal.

The Ghanaian feared missing the rest of the season and this summer’s World Cup after suffering a nasty knee injury in the derby defeat to Chelsea in December.

But the former West Ham full back made a miraculous recovery and returned to action four months later. Then, after missing the first leg of the semi-final in Hamburg, he was given a second chance in the return leg at Craven Cottage seven days later because of an administration error.

Now he is hellbent on going all the way against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday.

He revealed: "I was worried I might miss the rest of the season, but even when I did recover, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play in Europe.

"Everyone thought they had taken me off the squad list because of my injury, so I missed the first leg in Hamburg. But, fortunately, they forgot to take me off, so it’s fate."

Pantsil is a firm favourite with the Craven Cottage faithful, with his customary lap of honour at home games if they win.

But the 28-year-old admits he doesn’t know what he’ll do if they cause another upset in five days’ time.

"The semi-final was a special day," he added.

"I did two laps because the fans deserve it - time will tell how many I do if we win!"
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:42:20 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275947/Fulham-weigh-3m-offer-Borussia-Dortmund-hitman-Nelson-Valdez.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275947/Fulham-weigh-3m-offer-Borussia-Dortmund-hitman-Nelson-Valdez.html?ITO=1490)
Fulham weigh up £3m offer for Borussia Dortmund hitman Nelson Valdez
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is considering a £3million move for Borussia Dortmund striker Nelson Valdez according to reports in Germany.
Bild claims Hodgson is interested in bringing Valdez, who is set to play for Paraguay at the World Cup, to Craven Cottage next season.
Fulham are also said to be tracking Lech Poznan striker Robert Lewandowski but feel they have a much better chance of signing Valdez.

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/10/article-1275947-097C907F000005DC-879_468x299.jpg)
Fulham-bound? Dortmund striker Nelson Valdez is a target for boss Roy Hodgson

Valdez has recently said he would 'love' to play in the Barclays Premier League or Spain and it is thought £3m would be enough to tempt them Dortmund to sell.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275947/Fulham-weigh-3m-offer-Borussia-Dortmund-hitman-Nelson-Valdez.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nWQUMbiZ (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275947/Fulham-weigh-3m-offer-Borussia-Dortmund-hitman-Nelson-Valdez.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nWQUMbiZ)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:43:24 AM
http://www.fulhamusa.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=958 (http://www.fulhamusa.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=958)
Where American Fulham Fans will be watching the Europa League Final.
   
 Looking for a place to settle down on Wednesday afternoon (after you've snuck out of work of course) and take in the UEFA Europa League Final between Atletico Madrid and Fulham FC?

Here is a shortlist compiled by our FulhamUSA members of places around the country showing this European Final.

Atlanta
The Brewhouse Café
401 Moreland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 525-7799
http://www.brewhousecafe.com/ (http://www.brewhousecafe.com/)

Austin, TX
Mister Tramp's
8565 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 837-3500
www.mistertramps.com (http://www.mistertramps.com)

Baltimore
Sláinte Irish Pub and Restaurant
1700 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 563-6600
http://www.slaintepub.com (http://www.slaintepub.com)

Denver
The British Bulldog
2052 Stout St.
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 295-7974
http://www.britishbulldogdenver.com/ (http://www.britishbulldogdenver.com/)

Los Angeles
The Fox and Hounds
11100 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604-3133
(818) 763-7837
www.thefoxandhounds.com (http://www.thefoxandhounds.com)

New Orleans
Finn McCool's Irish Pub
3701 Banks St.
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 486-9080
www.finnmccools.com (http://www.finnmccools.com)

New York
Nevada Smith’s
74 Third Ave (Between 11th & 12th St.)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 982-2591
http://www.nevadasmiths.net (http://www.nevadasmiths.net)

San Antonio
The Lion and Rose
5148 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 822-7673
www.thelionandrose.com (http://www.thelionandrose.com)

Washington, DC
Kitty O’Shea’s
2403 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
Courthouse Metro-Orange Line
(703) 522-5295
www.kittyosheasva.com (http://www.kittyosheasva.com)

If you’re location is not shown, try:
http://www.bigsoccer.com/pubs/location/United-States/ (http://www.bigsoccer.com/pubs/location/United-States/) 
 
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:45:56 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-striker-zamora-get-capello-call-828491 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-striker-zamora-get-capello-call-828491)
Fulham striker Zamora to get Capello call

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is set to be named in England's provisional World Cup squad.

The Sunday Telegraph says Zamora has received a letter from the FA requesting he is available for the provisional squad - which is named on Tuesday.

Zamora - who has hit 18 goals this season - is facing a race against time to be fit for Fulham's date with destiny against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday due to a long-term Achilles injury.

But should he shake off the complaint, Zamora is expected to be handed the chance to cement his place in Capello's final 23-man squad in the forthcoming friendlies against Mexico and Japan.

Capello must name his World Cup squad by midnight on June 1.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:47:25 AM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485615.html?rss=1485615+Hodgson+enjoying+personal+high+point (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485615.html?rss=1485615+Hodgson+enjoying+personal+high+point)
Hodgson enjoying personal high point
Veteran manager Roy Hodgson admits Fulham FC's run to the inaugural UEFA Europa League final "matches anything I've done" as he looks forward to taking on Spain's Club Atlético de Madrid.

Roy Hodgson has enjoyed his fair share of success since beginning his managerial career with a Swedish league title, including leading an unremarkable FC Internazionale Milano side to the 1997 UEFA Cup final. But, he says, nothing is greater than his run to the inaugural UEFA Europa League final with Fulham FC.

"I'd have to say it really matches anything I've ever done," said the 62-year-old. "Reaching the final with Inter was a great achievement because we had so many injuries, but we didn't really meet the same level of opponents along the way. You know, we met Guingamp, Anderlecht, Sturm Graz, and Monaco: all good teams, but, quite frankly, not Roma, Basel, CSKA Sofia, Shakhtar, Juventus, Wolfsburg, Hamburg. With respect, I think that Inter team would have had a harder job eliminating those."

It is some achievement for a club who were 14 minutes from Premier League relegation two years ago after a fraught first five months at the helm for the former Finland and Switzerland coach. The Lazarus act has been re-enacted a few more times during this UEFA Europa League campaign, only Fulham's second season of European football. "We finished seventh last season after many years of avoiding relegation on either goal difference or by winning a couple of games at the end to lift us out of the bottom three," said Hodgson. "Our aim was to be a much more solid, respected Premier League team and then give it our best shot at every Europa game and see how far we get."

Fulham's mindset switched from 'lets give a good account of ourselves' to 'we can hold our own here' with victory against UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32. That became 'hold on, we can actually win this' with their remarkable comeback against Juventus in the next stage, Clint Dempsey sealing a four-goal swing with a memorable late chip. "The players really just played so well that day and the crowd was so unbelievably supportive throughout, that we ended up getting a victory that none of us could really have imagined before the game started," continued Hodgson.

There was similar disbelief when Fulham ended Hamburg's ambitions of a final on home soil. Instead, the Cottagers will line up against Spanish side Club Atlético de Madrid. "As we get closer we get more and more excited about it," said Hodgson, who is looking to add to his haul of six Swedish titles, two Swedish Cups and the 2001 Danish championship he won with FC København. "It's been a magnificent season that will live long in the memory. Reaching the final is in itself an achievement, but I don't think any team would ever get to a final and think 'now we've done enough, we can take our foot of the pedal'. We're going to be as desperate to win the final as we were to win the semi-final."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 11:48:29 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917478/atletico-madrid-coach-quique-sanchez-flores-looking-forward (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917478/atletico-madrid-coach-quique-sanchez-flores-looking-forward)
Atletico Madrid Coach Quique Sanchez Flores Looking Forward To Fulham Europa League Final
The Atletico coach is eagerly anticipating Wednesday's Europa League final...

Primera Division side Atletico Madrid have been performing rather disappointingly this season, but the Rojiblancos can still save their season by winning the Europa League. They lock horns with Fulham in the final this Wednesday and head coach Quique Sanchez Flores is eagerly anticipating the upcoming match.

"Everything comes down to this one match. There'll be so much euphoria, while every goal and every mistake will be decisive. It'll be different to any other game," said Sanchez Flores on the UEFA website.

"In a final, there isn't any margin you can take with you, so we have to maintain our level and improve. It's a privilege for any team to be in the final. We're there now, so we want to take advantage and finish well.

"Fulham are a well-organised team with a good manager. I've learned that they have a good English player in Bobby Zamora and their three midfielders Clint Dempsey, Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera can make life dangerous for us.

"But we have players who can make it difficult for them too, like Jose Manuel Jurado, Jose Antonio Reyes and Simao. We'll have to see what happens."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 12:24:47 PM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485926.html (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485926.html)
Forlán primed for final push
Diego Forlán is excited about the "unique" occasion of playing in a European final as he bids to help Club Atlético de Madrid finish an often frustrating season on a high against Fulham FC.

It was a tricky first half of the season for Club Atlético de Madrid, but after bowing out of the UEFA Champions League, the Spanish club have made amends since the turn of the year and will contest the UEFA Europa League final against Fulham FC on Wednesday. The club's top marksman both domestically and in Europe, Diego Forlán tells UEFA.com that he is looking forward to finishing an often frustrating season on a huge high.

UEFA.com: What was your experience of the Liverpool semi-final?

Diego Forlán: Those are the types of games you dream about – and they were two intense matches. The team played well in the first leg and deserved to score another goal. It was a result that didn't allow us to relax, and we still needed to play a tricky match at Anfield, which we knew would be hard. We needed to score a goal; it was key to score. Maybe it came very late, but we did score, and so made it through.

UEFA.com: Anfield is somewhere you have won in the past at Manchester United FC. Did that knowledge give you a psychological lift?

Forlán: No, not at all. Yes, I have played there, won there and scored goals. In this case we actually lost, but we went through, so it doesn't matter ... but we knew it would be a very difficult game. We know that they are a team with a lot of history, that it's difficult to play on that pitch and that is how it turned out.

UEFA.com: Now you face Fulham in the final – are they your preferred opponents from the other semi-final?

Forlán: It doesn't matter to me who we face, but the main difference between Hamburg and Fulham is that Hamburg would have been playing in their own stadium – this could have made a difference, because it's your own surroundings, your city. Now, though, there will be two teams playing on a neutral ground, so in this sense I prefer Fulham as final opponents.

UEFA.com: What do you know about Fulham?

Forlán: They are a team that work very well and have good players. Defensively, they are very solid. They have a player in their midfield [Danny Murphy] who is very experienced, and who has won titles. And up front, they can create danger and score goals.

UEFA.com: Do you feel Atlético are favourites to win the final?

Forlán: No – I think it is 50-50. Of course we'll go there believing in ourselves and in the way we are playing. We know that we have improved a lot, are more solid and working well as a team. It is a final, so it's the details that will decide whether we win or lose. Will you play a great game and win the final, or the opposite? These are unique games, and different circumstances can occur, so you never know. I think the day of the final will be spectacular with a great atmosphere and plenty of our fans there.

UEFA.com: Why have Atlético been more successful in cup competitions this season?

Forlán: It's difficult to say. We started badly in the Liga, and that cost us dearly. In the other competitions, the Europa League and the Copa del Rey, the team has been much better.

UEFA.com: What difference has Quique Sánchez Flores made?

Forlán: Well there's always a new dynamic with a change of coach, but as time passed we started working in this new way, with the new technical team and now we are seeing the results of that. The team is doing much better, and that is proved by our results and the way we are moving forward.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 12:25:51 PM
http://itn.co.uk/0539279024b51654b04aa160bc437307.html (http://itn.co.uk/0539279024b51654b04aa160bc437307.html)
Hodgson's Europa League final fears

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has called on UEFA to postpone the Europa League final if the volcanic ash causes more travel chaos ahead his team's clash with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

The latest burst of ash from a volcano in Iceland is now drifting across areas of Europe bringing more disruption and several airport closures. Hodgson maintains if the situation worsens, then Europe's footballing governing body must take a stance.

"We are worried, because they are always talking about changing wind direction, and having to play this game on Sunday does not give us too much alternative," said the Fulham manager.

"We are talking about 40 people and a lot of kit - it is not like someone going on a package holiday, it is a major operation."

With the ash closing Spanish airports, Atletico are likely to face similar problems.

Hodgson added: "You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go."

Hodgson hopes his injury problems will clear up ahead of the Europa League final.

Paul Konchesky, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes and Damien Duff are all expected to train on Tuesday.

But Striker Bobby Zamora, however, faces a race against time to shake off a niggling Achilles problem.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:08:34 PM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/10052010/2/soccer-fulham-aim-final-fling-against-atletico.html (http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/10052010/2/soccer-fulham-aim-final-fling-against-atletico.html)
Soccer-Fulham aim for final fling against Atletico

Fulham and Atletico Madrid, two proud clubs living in the shadow of more illustrious city rivals, take centre stage on Wednesday in Hamburg when they meet in the Europa League final.

Two years after saving their Premier League skins on the final day of the season, homely Fulham are hoping to complete a remarkable journey under much-travelled manager Roy Hodgson by beating the nine-times Spanish champions.

Midfielder Simon Davies described Fulham's sensible, well-organised style as "not very exciting" at the club's training ground last week but their path to the showpiece in the German port city has been pure fantasy.

After starting in the qualifying competition against Lithuanian side FK Vetra on July 30 last year, Fulham made it out of a tough first round group containing AS Roma, CSKA Sofia and Basel, and then began toppling some of Europe's big guns in the knockout rounds.

First, holders Shakhtar Donetsk were felled, then Juventus and they followed that by beating German champions Wolfsburg before breaking SV Hamburg's hearts in the semis.

"Since staying up on the last day at Portsmouth the transformation has been film-like really," midfielder Danny Murphy, a UEFA Cup winner with Liverpool, told reporters.

"If you had written it as a book, you would laugh at the speed of it and the surrealness of it and that's all credit to Roy and the staff."

"I was suspended for the Juventus game and when they scored I felt like going home. But after that fightback we all started to believe it could a special year. We thought, we've beaten Juve, so we can beat anybody."


FORMIDABLE UNIT

Englishman Hodgson, the former Inter Milan coach, has done a remarkable job moulding a bunch of players that were bit-part players at former clubs into a tight-knit unit that has proved formidable at their Craven Cottage ground beside the Thames.

Bobby Zamora, a striker who had mixed success at Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, has bagged eight goals in the competition although he is struggling with an Achilles injury.

Zoltan Gera, the Hungarian midfielder signed from West Bromwich Albion, has chipped in with six, including two on an incredible night in March when Fulham came back from the dead against Juventus, overturning a 4-1 aggregate deficit.

Ireland's Damien Duff and American Clint Dempsey have also been vital cogs as has Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer who is hoping to make up for losing to Sevilla in the UEFA Cup final when playing for Middlesbrough.

"It's been a remarkable achievement to reach the final but I for one will be telling the boys that this opportunity might not come round again," Schwarzer said. "I've been lucky and this is my second and I want a positive conclusion."


RICH PEDIGREE

Unlike Fulham, Atletico have a rich European pedigree but have not appeared in a continental final since the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup in 1986.

Often regarded as the scruffy relations in the Spanish capital where Real reign, they are seeking their first trophy since their league and cup double in 1996, ending years of inferiority for the fans appropriately known as "los sufridores" (the sufferers).

In Diego Forlan, Antonio Reyes and Sergio Aguero, they have a formidable looking strike-force and will start as favourites but they have hardly blazed a trail in Europe this season.

They began it in the Champions League where they failed to win a group game and after dropping into the Europa League they won three of their four ties on away goals, including the semi-final victory over Liverpool courtesy of Forlan's late effort.

However, like Fulham, they have prospered under a new coach.

Quique Sanchez Flores was appointed in October with the club in the relegation mire and he could end it with two trophies, first the Europa League and then the Copa del Rey next week when they play Sevilla.

"We have to be on our best form. We respect Fulham," he told reporters. "When a team gets to a final having knocked out some very strong opposition that shows they have some tools they use very well. We should not underestimate them."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:10:17 PM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832247-fulham-fears-ease-over-flight-to-europa-league-final.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832247-fulham-fears-ease-over-flight-to-europa-league-final.do)
Fulham fears ease over flight to Europa League Final

FEARS that travel chaos from the voclanic ash cloud could spell a nightmare for Fulham and their fans travelling to Hamburg for the Europa League Final eased today.

Airports in Germany re-opened last night after a nine-hour closure caused by the ash from Iceland.
Flights from London to Frankfurt, the route which the majority of Fulham's supporters will be taking, were operating as normal this morning with German air traffic control saying it did not anticipate any problems today.

As a result Roy Hodgson (left) will continue with his plans to fly out tomorrow ahead of Wednesday's match against Atletico Madrid.

The developments are a relief to Fulham, who endured a 12-hour coach trip to Hamburg last month after the ash cloud grounded their flight for the first leg of their semi‑final.

Yesterday Hodgson had asked UEFA to consider postponing the final if neither team could fly there.

“If Madrid are also in that situation, UEFA should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and try to find a solution which helps us both,” he said.

However, Atletico have brought forward their trip by 24 hours and were flying to Germany this afternoon. On Saturday, they went by bus to their league game at Sporting Gijon because several airports in the north of Spain were closed.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:12:22 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917776/italys-nicola-rizzoli-to-referee-atletico-madrid-fulham (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917776/italys-nicola-rizzoli-to-referee-atletico-madrid-fulham)
Italy's Nicola Rizzoli To Referee Atletico Madrid-Fulham Europa League Final
Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli will be the man with the whistle on Wednesday...

The UEFA Referees Committee has named Italian official Nicola Rizzoli as the referee for the first ever Europa League final between Atletico Madrid and Fulham to be played on this Wednesday in Hamburg.

The 39-year-old Rizzoli has been an international referee since 2007 and has officiated in a total of 28 UEFA matches in his refereeing career. The Italian has handled eight Champions League matches during the current season.

Rizzoli will be assisted by his fellow countrymen Cristiano Copelli and Luca Maggiani. The fourth official will be another Italian, Gianluca Rocchi.

The referee team will be complemented by two additional assistant referees, Paolo Tagliavento and Andrea De Marco. This is a continuation of the experiment which has seen the trial of two additional assistant referees behind the goal-lines at all Europa League matches since the beginning of the current season.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:21:29 PM
http://www.imscouting.com/global-news-article/Atletico-Madrid-v-Fulham-player-efficiency-comparison/7647/ (http://www.imscouting.com/global-news-article/Atletico-Madrid-v-Fulham-player-efficiency-comparison/7647/)
Atletico Madrid v Fulham – player efficiency comparison

The Europa League final on Wednesday night, if it is not postponed due to volcanic ash cloud, looks set to be one of the most intriguing games of the season.

Fulham have been the revelation of the tournament so far, seeing off the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk (the holders), Juventus, Wolfsburg (German champions) and Hamburg (where the final will be played).

Atletico Madrid meanwhile beat Liverpool in the last round and have some terrific players including feared front pair Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero . As well as one of the top up and coming keepers in European football in David De Gea – who was named as an IMScouting Player to Watch in January.

Looking ahead to the mouth watering clash, here at IMScouting we have produced a player efficiency report to analyse which players are most likely to score or assist on Wednesday night.

It will come as no surprise that the two most likely strikers to score or assist in Germany are the Atletico pair of Forlan and Aguero. The Uruguayan has scored or assisted every 106.8 minutes this season whilst the Argentine comes in second on the report below with an efficiency rating of 137.7.

The surprise comes with Erik Nevland securing third place ahead of in-form England striker Bobby Zamora . This can be partly explained as Zamora has scored more goals than the Norwegian and also played nearly a 1,000 minutes more.

The rest of the Special Report highlights the players that could well secure themselves hero status in Hamburg. Damien Duff , Clint Dempsey , Danny Murphy and Zoltan Gera are all potential match winners for the Roy Hodgson's side whilst Jurado and Jose Antonio Reyes could be big players for Atleti.

IMScouting’s Player Efficiency reports include players who have appeared in a minimum of 500 minutes in the league and equally values a goal or assist.

Further statistics on the clash between Atletico Madrid and Fulham can be seen at this match preview.

You can also calculate your own reports at the IMScouting report generator, which creates instant comparisons of players and teams from every league in the world.


(http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/9470/effk.jpg)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:24:44 PM
http://www.imscouting.com/global-news-article/Atletico-Madrid-v-Fulham-Europa-League-final-preview/7649/ (http://www.imscouting.com/global-news-article/Atletico-Madrid-v-Fulham-Europa-League-final-preview/7649/)
Atletico Madrid v Fulham – Europa League final preview

Both sides will step out of the shadows of more illustrious neighbours to battle it out for the inaugural Europa League title.  Atletico Madrid will hope to win some silverware, while their arch-rivals Real Madrid will likely finish the season empty handed.  However, most of the pre-match hype has focused on Fulham's improbable European success.  A victory on Wednesday for Roy Hodgson's unfashionable side would mean that Chelsea will not be the only side to parade a trophy through the streets of West London in the coming weeks. Whoever the winners turn out to be, it will be considered a fairy tale success.  Predicting who will be victorious is far from simple.

Fulham come into the game with some impressive scalps to their name in the competition so far.  The likes of Roma, Wolfsburg, Juventus, Hamburg and holders Shakhtar Donetsk have been unable to deal with the mixture of industriousness, physical strength and efficiency which characterizes Hodgson's side.  The likes of Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes provide a solidity at the back in front of evergreen goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to make up the foundation upon which Fulham go forward. 

Hodgson rested midfielders Simon Davies, Danny Murphy and Zoltan Gera for Fulham's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal.  However, all three will likely play a major role on Wednesday and Hodgson will hope that Damien Duff has made a sufficient recovery from injury to take his place in the starting eleven.  Duff's ability to penetrate the opposition's defence will be much needed. 

Another player recovering from injury who Fulham will be desperate to see play is striker Bobby Zamora , who has perhaps been the star of their European campaign.  His goals and all-round contribution have been so impressive that he is expected to be named in Fabio Capello's initial squad of 30 players ahead of the World Cup.  However, the striker has been missing recently with an Achilles injury.

Hodgson commented on Zamora and Duff, saying, "They both have a good chance of playing in the final."

Fulham have been cast as underdogs throughout their Europa League campaign and will take on that mantle again.  Being considered favourites is something that Atletico Madrid will not be used to and it will be interesting to see how they will cope with the weight of expectation from their own fans.  Having defeated Liverpool in the semi-final, Atletico's loyal following will be confident of victory over Fulham.

However, it is worth noting that Quique Flores' side have won only two of their fourteen European matches this season, relying on the away goals rule for progress.  Having said that, they boast a wealth of dangerous and experienced attacking options.  The jewel in their crown is the talented Argentinian Sergio Aguero , who is set to be one of the stars of this summer's World Cup.  They have also been able to rely on the goals of Uruguayan master scorer Diego Forlan , who netted in front of the Kop to take Atletico to the final. Wednesday's match may well hinge largely on how effectively Fulham deal with both Aguero and Forlan.

Flores' side is far from a two man show.  In goal, the outstanding David De Gea is certain to play, especially given the knee injury suffered at the weekend by second choice Sergio Asenjo.  Meanwhile, Forlan and Aguero are ably serviced by former Arsenal player Juan Antonio Reyes and experienced Portugese attacker Simao. 

In fact, Simao well summed up the unpredictability of Wednesday final, saying "There is no favourite, this is 50-50."

He may well be right and with finals often cagey affairs, the game could well be decided by a lone piece of magic on either side.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:25:45 PM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-face-contract-dilemma-over-seven-senior-players-829071 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-face-contract-dilemma-over-seven-senior-players-829071)
Fulham face contract dilemma over seven senior players

Fulham face a dilemma over seven off contract stars.

The News of the World says skipper Danny Murphy, keeper Mark Schwarzer, Simon Davies, Paul Konchesky, Zoltan Gera, Dickson Etuhu and John Pantsil all have just one year left on their existing deals.

Many of them are fretting over their futures but they have been told to wait until after Wednesday's Europa Cup Final against Atletico Madrid.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 01:53:09 PM
http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/fulham-boss-has-earned-his-time-in-the-spotlight (http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/fulham-boss-has-earned-his-time-in-the-spotlight)
Fulham boss has earned his time in the spotlight
Roy Hodgson has become one of the most sought-after managers around
(http://www.givemefootball.com/GMF/files/ab/ab9a7e27-cec2-4f27-9048-2ff5f7b4cd1e.jpg)

If Fulham pull off the unthinkable and win the Europa League final on Wednesday night, or even if they fall short against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, the question remains whether the Cottagers will be able to keep Roy Hodgson at the club next season.

Harry Redknapp picked up the Manager of the Year award after guiding Spurs into the Champions League, but surely Hodgson ran the Tottenham boss a close second after masterminding European wins against Roma, Juventus and Wolfsburg on route to the final.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is being linked with a switch to Juventus in the summer and the bookies have installed Hodgson as the favourite to replace him at Anfield should the Spaniard leave.

There are few managers with a CV as wide-ranging as Hodgson’s – he has managed at international level with Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, and also coached Inter Milan and Blackburn.

On top of that, he has also been in charge at lesser clubs such as Bristol City, Copenhagen, Viking, Malmo and Grasshoppers.

Hodgson said: “If the day comes when a big club wants me and I am available, then I would be happy to do it.

“This, I guess, is my period, and the speculation is rife around me. I can’t bear not working so whenever I leave a job I have the tendency - probably not always intelligent - to jump at the first half-decent job that comes my way.

“I jump without thinking. How does that affect my position on the ladders of things? I’ve gone sideways, backwards and then up again.”

Hodgson’s two-and-a-half year reign at Craven Cottage has coincided with the best run for the club in 131 years – rescuing Fulham from relegation in 2008, guiding them to seventh place last season and now reaching a European final.

And defender Brede Hangeland says the players will be going all out to win the final even if a victory would make Hodgson an even more attractive proposition to suitors.

He said: “I hope Roy stays for a long time. He is a great manager and we all enjoy working with him. I haven’t thought about whether our success could cost us our manager and that certainly won’t stop us from trying our best.

“Roy is the main reason why we have come from battling relegation to playing in a European final. It’s a fairytale for this club.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 03:47:59 PM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/UEFAFans.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/UEFAFans.aspx)
Final Fan Guide
Monday 10th May 2010
 
Supporters who are travelling to Hamburg may wish to read or print copies of the official UEFA Fan Guide| to Hamburg and the Europa League Final.

The guide| contains varied and useful information on a number of subjects. These include public transport in and around Hamburg, airport & rail transfers, tourist attractions, ground regulations and the UEFA Fan Zone. The guide also lists contact telephone numbers for the local tourist office, British Embassy & Emergency Services.

There is also an official UEFA Map| highlighting the location of the stadium and other places of interest. There is no private car parking available at the stadium. The UEFA Fan Leaflet outlines details for the matchday Park-And-Ride at Othmarschen. Your match ticket entitles you to use to the local public transport network free of charge on the day of the game.

Please note that we are unable to arrange for match tickets to be reprinted, so please take good care of your ticket. The stadium opens at 18:30 CET on Wednesday evening. Official UEFA merchandise will be on sale during the day at the Fan Zone in Spielbudenplatz and also in the immediate vicinity of the stadium.

If you are arriving and/or leaving the stadium by coach, please note that the Fulham supporters coaches will be located in the Red parking zone. The exact location is outlined on the UEFA Fan Map.

Fan Zone
On the day of the UEFA Europa League Final, a fan zone will be open to all football fans located at Spielbudenplatz on the Reeperbahn.

spielbudenplatz
Spielbudenplatz is located on the legendary Reeperbahn. At the fan zone, you can meet other fans and experience the final atmosphere before kick-off.

Official Fulham FC Final Merchandise
The fan zone will also be an opportunity for fans to purchase Official Europa League Fulham merchandise will be on sale from designated booths. Also, the Official UEFA Europa League match day programme will be available from several locations around the fan zone

Getting to the Fan Zone
S-Bahn: S1, S11,
Reeperbahn stop

If you need to contact the Club during your trip to Hamburg, please telephone Supporter Relations Manager Tommy Guthrie on 07717 225 164. You can also contact the Club in London (UK office hours only) by telephone on 0870 442 1222.
.

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/UEFAFans.aspx#ixzz0nXQXa4JA (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/UEFAFans.aspx#ixzz0nXQXa4JA)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 03:50:32 PM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485951.html?rss=1485951+Davies+dreaming+of+perfect+finish (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485951.html?rss=1485951+Davies+dreaming+of+perfect+finish)
Davies dreaming of perfect finish
Fulham FC have thrilled fans and neutrals alike in Europe this season, and midfielder Simon Davies says the players are now "really looking forward to the challenge" of Wednesday's final.

Fulham FC have provided plenty of entertainment en route to the UEFA Europa League final and midfielder Simon Davies hopes they can serve up another occasion to remember during Wednesday's meeting with Club Atlético de Madrid.

This may be only the London side's second ever European campaign, but they have regaled fans with a lengthy list of memorable nights on their path towards the Hamburg showpiece. None was more thrilling than the 4-1 comeback win against Juventus in their round of 16 decider, but Roy Hodgson's men also claimed the notable scalps of UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk and German champions VfL Wolfsburg, before another superb fightback to down Hamburger SV in the last four.

"Everyone's really looking forward to the challenge," said Davies, who summed up the predominant mood in the Fulham camp as "excitement". "We've worked hard enough to get here, so we're really going to go and enjoy it – and just keep playing our game. Hopefully that will take us one step further."

While the Craven Cottage side have undoubtedly given fans plenty to cheer this term, the Welsh international insisted that it has been a reciprocal process. "The European nights have been amazing since the Juventus game, when they got behind us when we really needed them to – and obviously we responded to get back in the game and win it, which was fantastic," he said. "I think it's just created that excitement from then, and every time we've played at the Cottage since it has been a great occasion."

He and his team-mates will now be pulling for similar levels of support at the Hamburg Arena, with the club's allocation sold out. Likewise, Davies hopes that Fulham's tactical approach will again serve them well, their tidy, passing style seemingly suited to European nights. "We like to keep the ball on the floor," he explained. "We like to play [the right way] and keep compact. Playing in Europe, you see teams that play very similarly to ourselves, so both teams tend to get a lot of the ball. And, of course, having got to the final you can say it's definitely suited us this year."

Their experiences over the campaign will also have taught them to stay calm should Atlético take the lead, with much of that composure emanating from manager Hodgson. The well-travelled 62-year-old will be overseeing his second European final after his FC Internazionale Milano side lost the 1996/97 UEFA Cup final to FC Schalke 04 on penalties, and it was his guidance that helped Fulham advance this far after falling behind in their semi-final second leg against HSV.

"At half-time, the manager just said to us: 'Just keep playing your game', because he felt we were playing well enough," said Davies. "There were no panic stations; it was just a case of going out there and continuing to play the way he believes we can. And that's what we did, really. We kept trying to pass the ball around and we got our goals in the end."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 03:51:51 PM
http://www.fulham-mad.co.uk/news/tmnw/hodgson_confident_over_zamora_fitness_525589/index.shtml (http://www.fulham-mad.co.uk/news/tmnw/hodgson_confident_over_zamora_fitness_525589/index.shtml)
Hodgson Confident Over Zamora Fitness

Roy Hodgson has backed striker Bobby Zamora to be fit and firing if he chosen to represent England at the World Cup.

The 29-year-old has never played for his country before but his 19 goals this season have put him in contention for selection despite missing much of the last two weeks with an Achilles problem.

And Hodgson is sure he can be fit for the summer, saying: "If Bobby was lucky enough to be involved for England, then by the time that group get together after the FA Cup final, it would not prevent him from taking part in that."
 
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 03:53:04 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198218 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198218)
Who Will Make The 30?
The final 23-man squad for South Africa will be named soon enough, although the initial 30 will be named tomorrow - Vital England asks who you think will, could or should stay or go?

Vital England says: Fabio Capello announces his 30-man provisional world cup squad for South Africa on Tuesday, but who do you think will make it?

Can you see any surprise 1st time inclusions, late recalls or even surprise omissions taking place - in fact who would you like to see go or miss out?

What do you think?

This is just a sample section (feel free to leave comments here and there), read the full article on this link - England - who will make the 30?




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198218#ixzz0nXRrA8K7 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198218#ixzz0nXRrA8K7)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 04:00:52 PM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2943/castrol-debates/2010/05/10/1917701/europa-league-final-debate-how-do-atletico-madrid-and-fulham (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2943/castrol-debates/2010/05/10/1917701/europa-league-final-debate-how-do-atletico-madrid-and-fulham)
Europa League Final Debate: How do Atletico Madrid and Fulham match up head-to-head?
We compare the potential starting line-ups of both sides...

Atletico Madrid and Fulham lock horns on Wednesday to be crowned winners of the inaugural edition of the Europa League.

Both sides have been lurking in the shadows of their more well-known city rivals, and now have the opportunity to make history by emerging triumphant in the final of Europe's second-tier competition.

With the final in Hamburg looming on Wednesday evening, Goal.com UK took a look at the Castrol Rankings of the two challengers' potential line-ups to get an insight into what to expect.

And in one of the closest head-to-heads so far, Fulham have the edge player-by-player with a 6-5 victory, but Atleti hold a slender points advantage.

It is at the back that Fulham seem to have the most telling presence, Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland and Paul Konchesky holding sizeable advantages over their opposite numbers.

But the midfield is an entirely different story, as influential Portuguese winger Simao's advantage over the rest of the pack proves to be telling. Even Damien Duff's 195-point advantage over Jose Antonio Reyes only reduces the gap.

Up front, former Manchester United hitman Diego Forlan and one of Europe's hottest properties at the moment, Sergio Aguero, combine to ensure that Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora stand little chance by comparison. This gap could increase further if the latter is not able to overcome an Achilles injury in time for the final.


Goalkeeper
David DE GEA Rank:No.1126  Points: 403   Fulham by 276pts Mark SCHWARZER Rank: No.132 Points: 679

Defence
Tomas UJFALUSI Rank: No.648 Points: 530  Fulham by 7pts    John PANTSIL Rank: No.616 Points: 537
Luis PEREA Rank: No.857 Points: 487  Fulham by 47pts     Brede HANGELAND Rank: No.632 Points: 534
Alvaro DOMINGUEZ Rank: No.627 Points: 535  Atletico by 15pts    Aaron HUGHES Rank: No.702 Points: 520
Antonio LOPEZ Rank: No.758 Points: 510  Fulham by 74pts   Paul KONCHESKY Rank: No.428 Points: 584

Midfield
Jose Antonio REYES Rank: No.1076 Points: 423  Fulham by 195pts    Damien DUFF Rank: No.297 Points: 618
Raul GARCIA Rank: No.717 Points: 518  Atletico by 64pts    Dickson ETUHU Rank: No.982 Points: 454
ASSUNCAO Rank: No.512 Points: 560  Fulham by 11pts     Danny MURPHY Rank: No.476 Points: 571
SIMAO Rank: No.291 Points: 620  Atletico by 400pts     Simon DAVIES Rank: No.1588 Points: 220

Attack
Diego FORLAN Rank: No.82 Points: 706  Atletico by 139pts     Zoltan GERA Rank: No.487 Points: 567
Sergio AGUERO Rank: No.64 Points: 722 Atletico by 179pts     Bobby ZAMORA Rank: No.588 Points: 543

Overall head-to-head score:
Atletico Madrid 5 Fulham 6

Overall points advantage: Atletico by 187
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 04:02:04 PM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/10/1465612/analysis-of-my-5-keys-to-victory (http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/10/1465612/analysis-of-my-5-keys-to-victory)
Analysis of " My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham Against Arsenal"

Fulham lost yesterday to Arsenal 4 - 0 at the Emirates Stadium. Going into the match I thought this was going to be an extremely difficult match. I guess I was right. I wasn't expecting though for Arsenal to score four goals.  This game was more about how great Arsenal played than how Fulham performed. I always go back to look at my "keys" to see if they were any factors to the result of the match.  Below is an analysis of "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Arsenal."   

1. Who will be in the lineup tomorrow? Well, Roy Hodgson made many changes to his lineup yesterday. As expected players like Jonathan Greening, Chris Smalling, and Kagisho Dikgacoi did play. The problem was how well did they play? Let's just say losing 4 - 0 it is hard to say anyone played well with that result. The lineup changes were a huge factor yesterday.

2. Fulham's strikers need to take advantage of any opportunity they get to score.  Fulham as expected did not get many opportunities to score yesterday. On the small amount of chances they had,  the strikers obviously did not take advantage of them. Okaka made a nice pass to Dempsey in the penalty box. It looked like he might have been fouled. The was no foul called on this play. Erik Nevland had a chance with a header late in the first half. His shot went over the net. There were just not enough chances for Fulham yesterday.     

3. Fulham need to contain Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin.  Fulham failed big time on this key. Andrei Arshavin and Robin van Persie both scored goals and were active the entire game. The back four did a horrible job on their strikers.

4.  Kagisho Dikgacoi and Jonathan Greening need to be solid in the midfield.  Again, with Fulham losing 4 - 0 it is tough to say anyone was solid yesterday. Arsenal controlled most of the match. Fulham had very little possession. Kagisho Dikgacoi and Jonathan Greening really did not make any impact in this match.

5. Mark Schwarzer again will need to be exceptional .  I can't believe I am going to say this, but Mark Schwarzer actually made a mistake. He let Arshavin steal the ball from him which eventually led to the first goal. He rarely makes mistakes so I need to keep this mistake in perspective. However, since he was not exceptional in this match this key was a factor as well. 

I was not optimistic going into this match. I was not expecting Fulham to lose 4 - 0.  It was a bad result for the club.

In concluding,  I think everyone of my "keys"were negative factors in this match. Again, this match was more about Arsenal than Fulham. I wouldn't be surprised to see them winning the League next year. The youngsters of Arsenal are starting to grow up.

Now that this post is over I can concentrate on getting excited for Wedneday. I think you might see some posts from me leading up to the biggest match in Fulham history
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 04:03:22 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276387/Blow-Burnley-Fulham-England-slip-Fair-Play-ranking-lose-extra-Europa-League-spot.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276387/Blow-Burnley-Fulham-England-slip-Fair-Play-ranking-lose-extra-Europa-League-spot.html?ITO=1490)
Blow for Burnley and Fulham as England slip in Fair Play ranking and lose extra Europa League spot

Burnley's dream of a European tour is over after it was announced England had slipped down the Fair Play table.

From the coveted third place to a lowly seventh, England's demise has come at a cost to the Clarets who had hoped to sneak into the Europe via the back door.

UEFA reward the three 'cleanest' leagues on the continent with an extra spot in the Europa League, which this season will go to Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

England were ranked third last season and were expected to maintain that position when the latest results were published this week. However, their seventh-place standing will earn them nothing.

The news is also a blow for Fulham who now have to beat Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the Europa League final to ensure their own passage back into the compeition next season.

The Cottagers were the best behaved team in England according to the rankings and would have had that to fall back on in the event of defeat in Hamburg.

Teams are graded on their discipline, respect for opponents and referees, positive play and behavior by fans and team officials.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276387/Blow-Burnley-Fulham-England-slip-Fair-Play-ranking-lose-extra-Europa-League-spot.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nXUT2RJV (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276387/Blow-Burnley-Fulham-England-slip-Fair-Play-ranking-lose-extra-Europa-League-spot.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nXUT2RJV)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:40:44 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198317 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198317)
Fulham - Two More Injury Worries!
This close to the Europa League Final is not the time to be picking up further injuries.

Unfortunately, in the 4-0 defeat to Arsenal, two more of our likely squad for the fixture in Hamburg, didn`t make the full ninety minute mark.

John Pantsil had to leave the pitch, with a thigh problem, whilst Bjorn Helge Riise was replaced after suffering from painful stomach cramps.

Of the two, Riise is the one giving more concern with the club fearing he`s picked up a virus, or as (Sir) Roy puts it,

"Pantsil has a slight muscle strain but the physios did not seem to be terribly disturbed. We will have to re-assess him."

"Riise was suffering from stomach cramps at half time. That could be worse. He has to go home and we hope it Is not a viral infection."

Fingers crossed these two make it for what will be the biggest game in Fulham`s history!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198317#ixzz0nY83FEZi (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198317#ixzz0nY83FEZi)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:42:04 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198315 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198315)
Fulham - Zamora Injury Update!
As the 12th May draws ever closer, we`re no nearer to finding out whether Bobby Zamora will make the starting eleven.

Our nineteen goal striker continues to receive treatment on his Achilles problem and relating to the current position, (Sir) Roy has commented,

"Bobby is also making progress and we will have to see if he is fit enough to train, or whether he needs more time."

"Off course though, the more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection because he has not trained or played since coming off against Hamburg."

Could Roy be thinking of starting with Bobby on the bench or will he risk him from the off?




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198315#ixzz0nY8NxClH (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198315#ixzz0nY8NxClH)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:43:12 PM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198314 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198314)
Fulham - To Err or Not To Err?
As one of only two players, the other being John Pantsil, who were in the starting eleven and who also turned out against Stoke in midweek, it was uncharacteristic for Mark Schwarzer to make an error.

The Australian keeper has been one of our more consistent performers over the last two years but, as we all know, errors are part and parcel of the game.

Being a keeper though, you`re cut from different silk and being a proud bunch, it`s probably inevitable that Mark was reluctant to take any blame for his gaff, as (Sir) Roy explains,

"Schwarzer is blaming the pitch, saying it took a bobble, but nobody believes him!"

"Mark made a very uncharacteristic error - but I am pleased he has got it out of his system."

Exactly, the Nordbank Arena is not the place for anyone to commit an error / mistake. If Atletico Madrid are to be beaten it`ll need to be one of those nights where everyone is on top of their game.




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198314#ixzz0nY8fNX4W (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198314#ixzz0nY8fNX4W)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:46:45 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276581/Danny-Murphy-demands-final-fling-Fulham-bring-home-Europa-League-trophy.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276581/Danny-Murphy-demands-final-fling-Fulham-bring-home-Europa-League-trophy.html?ITO=1490)
Danny Murphy demands final fling from Fulham to bring home Europa League trophy

Danny Murphy has urged Fulham to complete the fairytale when they face Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Europa League final.   

The Cottagers have defied all odds during their arduous 10-month march to the Hamburg Arena by producing a string of giant-killing displays.   

Big-spending holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and German champions Wolfsburg are among the victims strewn across the 18 matches it has taken to reach the final.   

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/10/article-0-097230DD000005DC-291_468x322.jpg)
Dan the man: Murphy is desperate to finish the job against Atletico Madrid
Universally acclaimed for reaching a European showpiece and doing it the hard way, Fulham are braced for the biggest match in their 131-year history.   

But Murphy insists the plaudits will sound hollow unless they claim the club's first major piece of silverware.   

'Even though we deserve the praise we're getting, it won't make it feel any better if we wake up on Thursday morning without having won the trophy,' said the club captain.   

'It's great to be in the final but we want to win and complete the fairytale. If we manage that we can be pleased with ourselves and look back with huge satisfaction on a wonderful season.   

'For us to win would be an unbelievable achievement. To do what we've done is remarkable with the squad and the budget we have.   

'We know it will be difficult because that's the way it's been in every match of this competition.'
Mirroring virtually their entire European campaign, Fulham are expected to be up against it one last time after bookmakers installed Atletico as clear favourites.   

Roy Hodgson's side have spent the season making a mockery of predictions so another upset would hardly be surprising, but Murphy insists Atletico start in pole position.   

The Spanish club may sit in mid-table of La Liga but they have also reached the final of the domestic cup and bristle with attacking options in Sergio Aguero, Jose Antonio Reyes and Diego Forlan.   

'I wouldn't understand if people made us favourites. You have to base it on the players the team has and the budgets they work from,' he said.   

'I'd hazard a guess that Atletico's wage bill is far greater than ours. They have a lot of top-class international players   

'We deserve respect for what we've achieved but they're still the favourites. That's no problem to us anyway, we're used to it now. If we play well we can beat anybody.'
Murphy helped Liverpool win the 2001 UEFA Cup but insists Fulham's European adventure is a greater achievement.   

'There's a big difference - at Liverpool you're expected to be in finals every year,' said the 33-year-old midfielder. 

'When we started out on this campaign even the die hard fans probably didn't anticipate such a wonderful run to get to the final.   

'This is a different type of satisfaction. The expectancy hasn't been there and the underdog tag has stuck with us throughout the competition.   


(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/10/article-0-0828BC3B000005DC-446_468x298.jpg)
Dangerous: Fulham's defenders will have to keep a close eye on Aguero'A good analogy is that the other day Liverpool were talking about winning the Europa League as a consolation.   

'We're talking about it being the best trophy in the club's history.'
Fulham are waiting for injury updates on striker Bobby Zamora and winger Damien Duff, who face a race against time to be fit from their respective achilles and leg problems.   

'Hopefully Bobby and Damien will be fit,' said Murphy. 'It would be a shame if either of them were to miss out because they've contributed so much to this season.   

'They've been two of our best players so it's fingers crossed because you want your best team available.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276581/Danny-Murphy-demands-final-fling-Fulham-bring-home-Europa-League-trophy.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nY99r2lI (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276581/Danny-Murphy-demands-final-fling-Fulham-bring-home-Europa-League-trophy.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nY99r2lI)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:48:03 PM
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6145898/Murphy-calls-for-one-last-Euro-push (http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6145898/Murphy-calls-for-one-last-Euro-push)
Murphy calls for one last Euro push

Danny Murphy has urged Fulham to "complete the fairytale" when they face Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Europa League final.

The Cottagers have defied all odds during their arduous 10-month march to the Hamburg Arena by producing a string of giant-killing displays.

Big-spending holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and German champions Wolfsburg are among the victims strewn across the 18 matches it has taken to reach the final.

Universally acclaimed for reaching a European showpiece and doing it the hard way, Fulham are braced for the biggest match in their 131-year history.

But Murphy insists the plaudits will sound hollow unless they claim the club's first major piece of silverware.

"Even though we deserve the praise we're getting, it won't make it feel any better if we wake up on Thursday morning without having won the trophy," said the club captain.

"It's great to be in the final but we want to win and complete the fairytale.

"If we manage that we can be pleased with ourselves and look back with huge satisfaction on a wonderful season.

"For us to win would be an unbelievable achievement. To do what we've done is remarkable with the squad and the budget we have.

"We know it will be difficult because that's the way it's been in every match of this competition."

Mirroring virtually their entire European campaign, Fulham are expected to be up against it one last time after bookmakers installed Atletico as clear favourites.

Roy Hodgson's side have spent the season making a mockery of predictions so another upset would hardly be surprising, but Murphy insists Atletico start in pole position.

The Spanish club may sit in mid-table of La Liga but they have also reached the final of the domestic cup and bristle with attacking options in Sergio Aguero, Jose Antonio Reyes and Diego Forlan.

"I wouldn't understand if people made us favourites. You have to base it on the players the team has and the budgets they work from," he said.

"I'd hazard a guess that Atletico's wage bill is far greater than ours. They have a lot of top-class international players

"We deserve respect for what we've achieved but they're still the favourites.

"That's no problem to us anyway, we're used to it now. If we play well we can beat anybody."

Murphy helped Liverpool win the 2001 UEFA Cup but insists Fulham's European adventure is a greater achievement.

"There's a big difference - at Liverpool you're expected to be in finals every year," said the 33-year-old midfielder.

"When we started out on this campaign even the die hard fans probably didn't anticipate such a wonderful run to get to the final.

"This is a different type of satisfaction. The expectancy hasn't been there and the underdog tag has stuck with us throughout the competition.

"A good analogy is that the other day Liverpool were talking about winning the Europa League as a consolation.

"We're talking about it being the best trophy in the club's history."

Fulham are waiting for injury updates on striker Bobby Zamora and winger Damien Duff, who face a race against time to be fit from their respective Achilles and leg problems.

"Hopefully Bobby and Damien will be fit," said Murphy.

"It would be a shame if either of them were to miss out because they've contributed so much to this season.

"They've been two of our best players so it's fingers crossed because you want your best team available."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:49:06 PM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/10/SOCCER_Atletico_Madrid_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/10/SOCCER_Atletico_Madrid_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer)
DE GEA AWARE OF ZAMORA THREAT

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea is wary of the threat posed by Fulham striker Bobby Zamora.

The 29-year-old has had a breakthrough season with Fulham and still hopes to be fit to face the Spaniards in Wednesday's Europa League final in Hamburg despite a long-standing Achilles injury.

Such has been his form this term he is even expected to be named by Fabio Capello in England's provisional 30-man World Cup squad.

That has not escaped the attention of De Gea, who is wary of the threat posed by the Cottagers on the break - and Zamora in particular.

He told Marca: "They are very physical and will have to defend very well to stop us scoring and I will have to be very careful to stay on my game.

"In addition Zamora is a great player and I'll have to be aware of him."

At the start of the season, De Gea, 19, could not have imagined he would have a pair of finals to look forward to.

Coach Abel Resino had brought in Sergio Asenjo from Real Valladolid as one of his highest-profile summer signings.

But their poor early-season form meant Resino was shown the door, replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores, while 20-year-old Asenjo's errors saw him replaced in the first team by De Gea.

The campaign has been on the whole disappointing for Atletico, as they failed in the Champions League and will finish the Primera Division season in a relatively lowly ninth.

The silver lining though is a pair of cup finals, on Wednesday against Fulham and a week later against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey, giving De Gea plenty to be proud of at such an early stage in his career.

"I don't know if this is the season of my life, but it is so far, because it's been very good in that I played in the Primera Division," he said.

"Playing finals is a dream and hopefully we can win both.

"This was unthinkable when the season started, because I didn't play much for the team, but I knew that by working and struggling I would have a chance, and I had to seize it."

Atletico have not won a major title since their league and cup double in 1996.

"A final is always special, but this is still more so because it's a long time that the club has not won a title and we want to do, so let's go for the two competitions," said De Gea.

"I don't remember much about the double, but I've seen a lot of videos and pictures and hopefully it will be repeated because it was a very big party."

While things have got better and better for De Gea, injury was added to insult for Asenjo on Saturday when, in a rare start in the 1-1 draw against Sporting Gijon, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

He is due to undergo surgery tomorrow and is expected to be sidelined for around six months.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:50:33 PM
http://fourfourtwo.com/news/restofeurope/53882/default.aspx (http://fourfourtwo.com/news/restofeurope/53882/default.aspx)
EXCLUSIVE Roy won't enjoy final

Fulham are preparing for their first ever European final – but manager Roy Hodgson has admitted he's not going to enjoy the experience.

The Cottagers have exceeded all expectations in their run to the Europa League final, but the well-respected gaffer has been in the game too long to kick back and have a good time – as he reveals in an exclusive interview for an official UEFA online magazine created by the folks behind FourFourTwo.

"The idea of enjoying matches goes out of the window when you sign your first professional contract," insists Hodgson, who has been a manager since 1976. "After that the only enjoyment you can get is doing your job well – that means winning."

Hodgson acknowledges that victory won't come easily against Atletico Madrid – "a really top team" who eliminated Liverpool in the semi-finals – but insists that reputations count for nothing in finals.

"Luckily, the match isn’t going to be decided on who has the most previous experience in Europe or the most famous players," he says. "It’ll be won by the team who play the best football on the night."

See the Hamburg Final Online Magazine for full exclusive interviews with Hodgson, Brede Hangeland, Quique Sanchez Flores, Andy Roxburgh and others, plus much much more.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:51:53 PM
http://cottagers.blogspot.com/2010/05/hamburg.html (http://cottagers.blogspot.com/2010/05/hamburg.html)
Hamburg
We're going to Hamburg! Which is a bit scary. I did question whether I had any right to attend the final but as a season ticket holder for four years (will I will be) and having already been to watch Fulham overseas in Switzerland then I think I'm justified in having one of the 12,000+ tickets made available.
Also my trip has been funded by Mr Paddy Power after a successful punt on Fulham and Athletico getting to the final as mentioned here and also a bet on Chelsea betting Wigan by more than five goals this weekend. It's hard to like Chelsea but the way they have pummelled teams this season is worthy of the title.
Here are some OFFICIAL UEFA statistics:

•Atlético have reached the final of a major UEFA club competition on four previous occasions, enjoying just one triumph. That came in the 1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup when they drew 1-1 with ACF Fiorentina in Glasgow before beating the Italian side 3-0 in a replay at the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart on 5 September 1962. Thus, Atlético won their only major European trophy on German soil.
•They also reached the 1962/63 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, but – in their only previous final meeting with an English side – lost 5-1 to Tottenham Hotspur FC at De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam.
•Overall, their record in six major UEFA showpiece matches reads W1 D2 L3 (not including the European/South American Cup), scoring six goals and conceding 14 in those games.
•Current Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has been involved in one major European final before, with his FC Internazionale Milano side losing the 1996/97 UEFA Cup showpiece 4-1 on penalties at San Siro after trading 1-0 home wins with FC Schalke 04.
•Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer played for Middlesbrough FC in the final of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup, which his side lost 4-0 to Atlético's Liga rivals Sevilla FC.
• Danny Murphy is the only Fulham player to have won a UEFA Cup final, having been on the victorious side with Liverpool FC in the 2000/01 edition. The Reds beat Spanish side Deportivo Alavés 5-4 thanks to an extra-time golden goal at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. Thus, his only previous UEFA club competition final against a Spanish side in Germany ended in victory.
•The final will be Atlético's 75th UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League outing and Fulham's 25th. Atlético have disputed 211 UEFA club competition games to Fulham's 32.
•Fulham are now unbeaten in their last five European games since a 3-1 loss at Juventus in their round of 16 first leg. The London side will be competing on German soil for the third successive round after meeting VfL Wolfsburg and HSV in the quarter and semi-finals respectively; away from home, they beat the 2008/09 Bundesliga champions 1-0 before drawing 0-0 with Hamburg.
•The final will be Fulham's 19th game since they started their UEFA Europa League campaign in the third qualifying round. Their record in 18 European fixtures this season reads W11 D4 L3, scoring 30 goals and conceding 16. It will be Atlético's 17th European fixture since their campaign began in the UEFA Champions League play-off round. Their 16 games thus far have given them the tally W4 D8 L4, scoring 17 goals and conceding 22.
•• Atlético have lost all three of their UEFA club competition penalty shoot-outs to date; 7-6 at home to Derby County FC in the 1974/75 UEFA Cup, 3-1 at Fiorentina in the 1989/90 UEFA Cup and 3-1 at home against Villarreal in a 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup final.
•The referee is Italy's Nicola Rizzoli, who bossed Manchester United's game against Bayern Munich from which the German side advanced on away goals after United's right back was dismissed for two soft yellow cards. Well, a soft second yellow at any rate. He has refereed Atheltico before - an Intertoto cup defeat by Romanian side Gloria 1922 Bistriţa in 2007.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:53:14 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6145899,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6145899,00.html)
Murphy orders one last push
Fulham skipper warns plaudits will sound hollow unless they land trophy

Danny Murphy gave Fulham a frank rally-cry ahead of their Europa League final - complete the fairytale.

The Cottagers are within one win of securing the greatest result in their 131-year history as they take on Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's European showpiece.

In the 18 games it has taken Fulham to reach the Nordbank Arena, Roy Hodgson's side have defied odds to upset a host of clubs across the continent, including big-spending holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and German champions Wolfsburg.

The Premier League outfit have earned rave reviews for reaching the final in Hamburg but club captain Murphy, who won the same trophy with Liverpool in 2001, says the arduous 10-month campaign will count for nothing unless they are crowned winners in Germany.

"Even though we deserve the praise we're getting, it won't make it feel any better if we wake up on Thursday morning without having won the trophy," said the 33-year-old.

"It's great to be in the final but we want to win and complete the fairytale.

"If we manage that we can be pleased with ourselves and look back with huge satisfaction on a wonderful season.

"For us to win would be an unbelievable achievement. To do what we've done is remarkable with the squad and the budget we have.

"We know it will be difficult because that's the way it's been in every match of this competition."

Underdogs
Mirroring virtually their entire European campaign, Fulham are expected to be up against it one last time after bookmakers installed Atletico as clear favourites.

Hodgson's side have spent the season making a mockery of predictions so another upset would hardly be surprising, but Murphy insists Atletico start in pole position.

The Spanish club may sit in mid-table of La Liga but they have also reached the final of the domestic cup and bristle with attacking options in Sergio Aguero, Jose Antonio Reyes and Diego Forlan.

"I wouldn't understand if people made us favourites. You have to base it on the players the team has and the budgets they work from," he said.

"I'd hazard a guess that Atletico's wage bill is far greater than ours. They have a lot of top-class international players

"We deserve respect for what we've achieved but they're still the favourites.

"That's no problem to us anyway, we're used to it now. If we play well we can beat anybody."


Zamora & Duff injuries
Fulham are waiting for injury updates on striker Bobby Zamora and winger Damien Duff, who face a race against time to be fit from their respective Achilles and leg problems.

"Hopefully Bobby and Damien will be fit," said Murphy.

"It would be a shame if either of them were to miss out because they've contributed so much to this season.

"They've been two of our best players so it's fingers crossed because you want your best team available."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
Post by: whitejc on May 10, 2010, 06:54:43 PM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/10/1465782/i-also-want-fulham-to-win-the (http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/10/1465782/i-also-want-fulham-to-win-the)
I also want Fulham to win the Europa League Final for all the small clubs in the EPL

As we get closer to the Europa League Final I keep going back to how incredible this journey has been for Fulham.  They are a mid - table club right now in the EPL. I think in the future they could possibly be a top half of the table club consistently most years. In comparison to the "big four" they are a small club. The fact that they are a small club makes this story even better.

The game of football is dominated by the teams who have the most money. They can spend more money on players than a team like Fulham. The Cottagers have to be smart on who they sign and spend their money wisely. They have succeeded in building their club against the difficult financial advantage that bigger clubs have.

Fulham cannot win the Barclays Premier League the way the league is currently structured. However, they have proven to be very competitive in the league and Europe. The credit goes to the manager, the owner, and the players. Everyone that is associated with Fulham should be very proud of getting to the Final of the Europa League.

There is one more step in their quest and that is trying to win the Final on Wednesday. To win this match would be incredible not just for Fulham, but I think for all the small clubs in the EPL.  I think a win for Fulham could help clubs like Blackburn, Stoke City, Sunderland, and Wigan. These clubs and their fans would know that maybe they can win Europe someday just like Fulham accomplished it . The odds are stacked against all of these clubs including Fulham.  It comes down to money. 

Middlesborough almost accomplished winning the UEFA Cup in the 2005/ 2006 season. They got to the Final and lost. It is a great accomplishment getting there, but winning it is a completely different story. After Middlesborough lost this match their manager took the England job. Three years later the club was relegated to the Championship.

If fulham win how can this help the other smaller clubs in the EPL? As I stated before maybe the mentality of these clubs change. They now see a club just like them win a European Championship. The next time a larger club comes knocking on the door to "cherry pick" one of their best players away, maybe this time the smaller club says "no". They hold on to the players they have and try to build on the structure already in place. The transfer money offers makes it difficult, but if you are building a team you believe in I think you need to hold on to your "key Players".

The money in football makes it very hard for smaller clubs. I just would like them to see what can be accomplished.  I think a win for Fulham could be beneficial for the EPL.

All of this talk brings me back to my favorite movie of all time. It is Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman. It is a story about a small Indiana high school basketball team that defies the odds and wins the State Championship. The coach asks his players if they have anything to say before they play the biggest game of their lives. In the movie Hoosiers, one player says " let's win this one for all the small schools who never had a chance to get here."

Don't get me wrong. I  do want Fulham to win this match for themselves and their fans. But, I also hope it could be beneficial for other clubs just like Fulham.  I also want Fulham to win the Europa League Final for all the small clubs in the EPL.