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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:09:49 AM

Title: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:09:49 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247219/Celtic-beat-Hull-City-West-Brom-sign-Fulhams-Diomansy-Kamara-loan-Scott-McDonald-edges-closer-exit.html?ITO=1490
Celtic beat Hull City and West Brom to sign Fulham's Diomansy Kamara on loan as Scott McDonald edges closer to exit
By John Greechan Last updated at 1:08 AM on 30th January 2010
Comments (0) Add to My Stories Celtic are closing in on a loan deal for Fulham striker Diomansy Kamara, paving the way for Scott McDonald to be sold before the transfer window closes on Monday night.

Sources close to the Senegal international told Sportsmail he has chosen Celtic ahead of Hull City and former club West Brom.

Celtic sources last night played down reports linking them with Real Mallorca defender Ivan Ramis and Halmstad striker Emir Kujovic.
(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/29/article-0-080837D2000005DC-980_468x286.jpg)
In loan talks: Fulham's Diomansy Kamara is set for a move north of the border
But boss Tony Mowbray, who loaned club captain Stephen McManus to Middlesbrough and sold Danny Fox to Burnley yesterday, is continuing to wheel and deal - with West Brom midfielder Robert Koren and out-offavour Bolton centre-half Danny s***tu also on the radar.

Prime target Kamara, 29, joined Fulham in a £6million transfer from West Brom but, despite scoring 10 goals in his first campaign at Craven Cottage, has fallen out of the reckoning.

He would join Celtic on loan with a view to a permanent transfer in the summer. The collapse of Birmingham's £4m bid for Lens forward Aruna Dindane, on loan at Portsmouth, also provided Mowbray with a second chance to pinch the Ivory Coast international.

The arrival of any striker will almost certainly be funded by the departure of McDonald, already the subject of a failed £3.5m bid from Middlesbrough.
Former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan will return with an improved offer and, despite Mowbray insisting he won't force the Australian out, he will be sold to balance the books.

'I think we'll get the people we have targeted. I hope that's the case,' said Mowbray.

'We're working hard behind the scenes and things have moved on since last week. We're pretty close with one or two people. '
Hopefully things will be concluded before Monday night but you never know. '(Scott's) our top scorer and will contribute immensely to us.

'There's never been any evidence of him wanting to move. We've never had a cross word and I don't think he's ever felt he's not been appreciated.

'If he's here to play on Tuesday, I'll be delighted. If not, there are reasons behind it that will become evident. There is interest in Scott, that is widely known. But has he got a future at Celtic? Yes he has.'

Speaking about the players who left yesterday, he said: 'I saw (McManus) this morning and wished him well. He's looking forward to a new challenge.
'It's an opportunity for Danny to go into the Premier League and test his talents. The money we receive for him will be spent elsewhere to strengthen the areas that need strengthening.'



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247219/Celtic-beat-Hull-City-West-Brom-sign-Fulhams-Diomansy-Kamara-loan-Scott-McDonald-edges-closer-exit.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0e4qRSyKs
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:11:57 AM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/29012010/63/fulham-duo-continue-comebacks.html
Fulham duo continue comebacks
Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies will continue their Fulham comebacks in the Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

Zamora (collarbone) and Davies (foot) played some part in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham and could start at Craven Cottage.

Andy Johnson is still struggling with a knee problem while Clint Dempsey (knee), Paul Konchesky (ankle) and John Pantsil (knee) are long-term injuries.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:15:47 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/f/fulham/8487968.stm
Roma striker Okaka poised to seal Fulham loan move
Fulham hope to complete the loan signing of Roma striker Stefano Okaka on Monday after the 20-year-old passed a medical at the club.

The Italy Under-21 international played in both Europa League games between Roma and Fulham this season, scoring in Roma's 2-1 win at the Olympic Stadium.

"We've monitored him for a long time, before we were drawn against Roma in Europe," said Fulham boss Roy Hodgson.

"His name was well known to our scouting staff."

It is thought the player may not have been too keen on the move, but Hodgson said the intended transfer was never in serious doubt.

"The deal is on. It was never really off but there have been a lot of problems to iron out," said Hodgson.

"I expect him to join us from Monday. He won't be in line to play against Aston Villa on Saturday as Roma want him available for their game on Sunday."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:17:46 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/January/RoysVillaPreview.aspx
Team News
Friday 29th January 2010

(http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/NewsPages/Players/Zamora/General1.jpg)

Roy Hodgson's Team return to the Cottage on Saturday for their first home league fixture of 2010, challenging Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa side, albeit without the aid of a host of First Team players this weekend.

“We’ve been missing seven players from the Team that finished seventh last year,” said Hodgson during Friday afternoon's press conference.

“The only four players that have been in the Team from last year are Mark Schwarzer, Aaron Hughes, Brede Hangeland and Danny Murphy. The other seven have been out; John Pantsil, Paul Konchesky, Clint Dempsey, Dickson Etuhu, Andy Johnson, Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies.

“Bobby Zamora is back, albeit we can’t deny the fact that the shoulder is going to be a concern for everybody. Of course Simon Davies is back and technically fit but he hasn’t had a chance to play a game.

“That still leaves five players and that’s a lot of changes in a Team that finished seventh last year. With respect, if you take five players that did well for Chelsea, Arsenal, United and Liverpool out of their teams from last year even they would feel the pinch. I think we’ve done quite well considering and put up some good performances.”

Hodgson's side will welcome a return to the Cottage after enduring a testing month on the road. Despite a recent run of defeats Hodgson has been pleased with the spirit and performance of his side in light of the Club's current injury concerns.

"All defeats are a concern," said Hodgson. "They were defeats in away games that were at notoriously difficult place to go. Chelsea tend to win their home games. I think it’s about 95 now so the fact that we’ve been one of those 95 victims doesn’t make me rush in to thinking what an earth is wrong with our football team.

“Our last two away performances against Blackburn and Tottenham have been very good but we haven’t taken any points. I’m still quite prepared, at this moment in time, to see the positives in how we’re playing and prepared to accept you go through these periods, especially at a time when we’ve got lots of injuries.

“We’ve got to survive this period and get through it. I would be much more concerned if we were losing games and I saw we were playing very badly or there were big lacunars’ in our game, which I haven’t seen.

“I’m hoping that now with nine home games to play out of the last 16 matches that things will start to even themselves out and I’m hoping to get some of our injured players back into the Team and make us as strong at the end of the season as we were at the start of the season.

“I’m expecting all of the players I’ve mentioned to play for Fulham again before the end of the season. We’re going to have to go through a difficult period in the weeks ahead I am sure, working with the players we have, and accepting that players under normal circumstances who might be regular players in our Team won’t be there.”



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/January/RoysVillaPreview.aspx#ixzz0e4sRbc9w
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:19:05 AM
http://www.rs.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/01/29/1767059/romas-stefano-okaka-is-having-a-medical-at-fulham
Roma's Stefano Okaka Is Having A Medical At Fulham
Okaka to seal a loan move should he pass medical exam...


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Roma's 20-year-old forward Stefano Okaka has, pending a medical, signed for the Craven Cottage outfit, however, the Italy Under-20 international will not feature against Saturday opposition Aston Villa.

"The deal is on," Hodgson said on Friday to Press Association Sport. "It was never really off but there have been a lot of problems to iron out.

"At the moment he's finishing off a medical. Barring any problems with the medical I expect him to join us from Monday.

"He won't be in line to play against Aston Villa tomorrow as Roma want him available for their game on Sunday."

Okaka's agent, Domenico Scopelliti, recently said that he hoped any exit from Roma would result in a permanent deal for his client. He said in The Daily Mail: "We are looking for an opporunity that will allow the player to find continuity.

"Because honestly, after two loan-spells, it would be useless for him to leave for six months, and then return to the Roma bench."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:20:40 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/January/YouthCupPreview.aspx
5th Round Awaits

(http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/NewsPages/Management/brazil/general1.jpg)

Fulham’s FA Youth Cup adventure continues on Tuesday night when the Whites take on Ipswich Town at Portman Road in the 5th Round.

Fulham completed a league double over their Cup opponents last weekend with a resounding 6-1 victory, but Academy Manager Gary Brazil is certainly not be underestimating Ipswich, who knocked Arsenal out the 4th Round in convincing fashion.

“It’s the same opposition but the teams will be very different on Tuesday night," Brazil explained. "There were changes from the Ipswich team that beat Arsenal and we weren’t going to put our Youth Cup Team out against them last weekend.

“I have to say it was a very pleasing performance on Saturday and the result was a positive one. We scored some very good goals and overall the team play was very strong.

“It won’t be an indicator for next Tuesday but it does you no harm to go out and score goals and we’ve beaten Ipswich home and away now. It will be down to who handles the night the best on Tuesday."

Brazil revealed his Team’s preparation for FA Youth Cup matches replicates that of the First Team and the support of the Club is certainly paying dividends on the pitch in this season's Cup competition.

“The preparation has already started for next week," said Brazil. "We have a game against Portsmouth on Saturday which is a good way of preparing for what will be a tough game on Tuesday. We’ve been well supported by the Club having had the opportunity to take the boys away prior to both the previous rounds.

“We treat them as though they’re the First Team in terms of their preparation. The principle is the same; staying away the night before, preparing and training. A lot of the people involved in our Academy have experience of First Team football and the players have responded to that.

“We’ve prepared really well for the last two rounds in our professional preparation and the way we’ve looked after the boys and in fairness to the players they’ve responded with committed performances.

“The real good preparation for Bolton was to go away for five days to the indoor tournament in Germany and put the boys in pressure situations when they have to win to go through to the next round.

“We went out to Austria Vienna on penalties in that competition but going through that process, you can’t replicate that feeling when penalties are happening, you’ve got to score and the boys did very well in Germany but went out in sudden death. At the Reebok every player kept their cool and Marcus Bettinelli kept his cool in goal.”

Brazil was certainly impressed with Ipswich’s 4th Round victory over Arsenal and is hoping his Team can secure a place in the Quarter Final's for a clash with Aston Villa or Millwall at the Cottage.

“We’ve got hard work to do at Portman Road but the reward for Ipswich or ourselves will be a home fixture against Aston Villa or Millwall. They play on Friday night and I’ll be going up to watch that game. It’s an opportunity to go even further.

“Kris Kywomia [Ipswicxh Academy Manager] will have his side well organised. They were excellent against in the previous round and deserved to beat Arsenal. It’s a tough, tough fixture but we’ve got nothing to fear.”



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/January/YouthCupPreview.aspx#ixzz0e4tAkIoA
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:23:40 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2009/December/ManUtdDVD.aspx
Own The DVD

(http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/NewsPages/Merchandise/DVD/man-utd-dvd2.jpg)

Fulham 3-0 Man United DVD: In Stores NOW

Roy Hodgson and his players made it a Christmas to remember for Fulham's loyal supporters.

Following a memorable 3-2 win over Basel in Switzerland that saw the Club qualify for the later stages of the UEFA Europa League, the Whites delivered a pre-Christmas cracker at the Cottage with a stunning 3-0 victory over the Barclays Premier League champions, Manchester United.
Now you can own this bit of history by purchasing| the official Fulham 3 - 0 Manchester United DVD today.

Hodgson's side dominated the contest from the off and when Danny Murphy put Fulham ahead the Whites were on their way to another historic win at the Cottage.

Second-half goals from Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff wrapped up another famous victory for Hodgson's men who once again proved their mettle against one of the great forces of world football. It was quite simply a proud day for every Fulham fan across the globe.

This DVD is available online|  or in stores now. Pick yours up tomorrow when Fulham take on Villa at the Cottage. 



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2009/December/ManUtdDVD.aspx#ixzz0e4tuhnJp
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:26:23 AM
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=270118&cc=5739
Fulham  v  Aston Villa

Fulham duo continue comebacks

Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies will continue their Fulham comebacks in their Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Zamora (collarbone) and Davies (foot) played some part in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham and could start at Craven Cottage tomorrow.

Andy Johnson is still struggling with a knee problem while Clint Dempsey (knee), Paul Konchesky (ankle) and John Pantsil (knee) are long term injuries.

Hodgson is dismayed by Fulham's current injury problems.

"I'm disappointed our injury level has developed to quite the level it has,'' he said.

"It's the first time in my two years at the club that I've had a headache fielding a team I'm comfortable with.

"Our midfield is terrific but in defence and attack we've been hit really hard.

"Villa are a stable and strong team so this is not the best time to be playing them.''

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has named an unchanged squad.

O'Neill is forced to keep faith with the players on duty in the goalless draw with Arsenal in midweek because of continuing injury problems.

Left-back Stephen Warnock and striker John Carew are still ruled out through shin and knee injuries respectively, while midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will be out for up to three months with a stress fracture to his ankle.

James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor are expected to be fit despite picking up knocks against the Gunners.

O'Neill is backing Villa to put their recent goal drought in the Premier League behind them as they look to put their top-four challenge back on track.

Villa have failed to score in their last four league matches and picked up only two points from draws with West Ham and Arsenal.

But between times they have found their touch in cup competitions, hitting six past Blackburn in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg and another three against Brighton in the FA Cup.

O'Neill said: "I pay less attention to it. That's not to say, of course, that you want to be scoring more goals. The more you score the better chance you have of winning football games.

"We haven't capitalised on the chances we have made. Just in the Premier League, we should have beaten Liverpool, should have beaten West Ham and on reflection a draw against Arsenal was probably a fair result.

"Those are our last three league games. I always say with `ifs, buts and maybes' that it is best to keep them out of the equation.

"The team is playing very well at this moment and it is less of a concern than it would be normally.

"We had scored nine goals in the previous two games before Wednesday.

"But people will divide up your season into little segments and the segment they are concerned about at the moment is not scoring enough league goals.''

O'Neill knows Villa will face a stiff test at Craven Cottage where Fulham have a formidable record.

He said: "Their home record is quite phenomenal. They will be disappointed with their away form, but at home they are a different team altogether playing with loads of confidence and it won't be easy for us.''
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:29:19 AM
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/01/29/fulham-v-aston-villa-preview-bobby-zamoras-return-lifts-the-co/
Fulham v Aston Villa Preview: Bobby Zamora's Return Lifts the Cottage

PREMIER LEAGUE: CRAVEN COTTAGE, SATURDAY JANUARY 30, 2010. KICK-OFF: 1500 GMT


FULHAM:

Fulham rolled over a little too easily at Tottenham in midweek, but they are a different beast at Craven Cottage and will look to demonstrate that against Aston Villa.

The Whites have brought a talented young defender through the ranks having spotted him playing for a non-league club, but already Chris Smalling is coming to the end of his Fulham career, having already been lured north by Manchester United. All eyes will be on him, therefore.

"I'm grateful we have been able to keep him for the rest of the season as it allows us time to look for a replacement," said manager Roy Hodgson.

"I think he will handle the step up to pull on the red shirt and play in front of 80,000 people every week. We have to take pride in the fact we found him, and I'm sure Fulham supporters will see that."


Fulham have lost their last four games, their worst run since March 2006, but injuries are at least part of the cause. Bobby Zamora, the forward, returned earlier than planned however after breaking his collarbone, making his comeback against Spurs. And Diomansy Kamara also featured as a late substitute in the 2-0 reverse.

"All defeats are a concern," Hodgson added. "But I am going to focus on the positives from our last two displays and hope that with nine of our last 16 games at home, things will even out.

"This season has been disappointing for me in terms of injury. It is the first time since I've been here that I've had a real selection headache."



Strategy: Injuries to players who usually play full-back has forced Roy Hodgson to ask his more versatile defenders to adapt and he is therefore likely to field a back four made up entirely of centre-backs. Hodgson prefers to play two strikers so Zamora can expect to be partnered by either Kamara or Erik Nevland but it would be no surprise if Hodgson's instructions are based on a safety first approach as Fulham aim to avoid their first sequence of five defeats since 2002.

Injury Update: Experienced internationals Andrew Johnson, Paul Konchesky and Clint Dempsey are all out, stretching Hodgson's resources. Midfielder Simon Davies is back to fitness though, and could feature from the start.

ASTON VILLA:
Martin O'Neill's indignation at Arsene Wenger's midweek accusations that Aston Villa are bunch of neanderthal, long-ball merchants has increased in its intensity, rather than subsided since Wednesday night.

Wenger's myopic comments will not have helped Fulham's cause, because there is nothing like the Villa manager scorned and the Northern Irishman feels he is merely voicing an opinion held silent by a growing number of Premier League counterparts.

Only really Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, when he was in his pomp off the Kings Road at Chelsea, stood toe-to-toe with Wenger, but O'Neill can sense that, while there remains a huge wealth of regard for the Frenchman's professional work at the Emirates, many believe Wenger could brush up on his graciousness and ability not to win with dignity.

O'Neill's mentor Brian Clough would be proud of the way he has launched a second stout defence of his players in the wake of Wednesday's 0-0 draw at Villa Park that did little to help Arsenal's title ambitions or Villa's chances of making it into the top four.

Those notorious "long ball merchants," James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing will be glad of the stout defence from their manager, who insists there is no truth in Wenger's criticisms and he has revealed he confronted the Arsenal manager in the dressing room area after the game.

"If you look at the statistics, apparently we played 43 long balls and Arsenal played 37. For the last half hour they were smashing long balls up to a 6ft 4in centre forward. So I find it hard to agree with Arsene," said O'Neill.

"I went to see him about what he said and told him my thoughts. I could not care less what his response was. We have been playing really well. This team is the most entertaining Villa fans have seen for 20 years.

"None of what has been said is true and it certainly will not have any influence on the way we play between now and the end of the season. We will carry on doing what we are doing."

The only caveat for O'Neill is that he would like them to rediscover their goalscoring touch in the League. Villa have gone four league games without a goal and that is seriously hampering their Champions League bid.

Strategy: You get the feeling anoraks will be in the stands at Craven Cottage counting every time the ball is played long in the direction of Emile Heskey or Gabriel Agbonlahor. It is all a matter of opinion and debate whether a long ball is a long pass. Whatever the answer is, Villa have the ability to mix things up nicely with neat inter-changing in midfield, with their England trio of Milner, Downing and Young.

They also have the alternative to hit long and use the physical presence of Heskey and the pace of his partner Agbonlahor. Those options have already guided Villa to the Carling Cup final, the fifth round of the FA Cup and have kept them in contention in the scramble for a Champions League place, even if they have fell slightly off the pace in recent weeks. Nothing will alter in their method and approach even if it does not meet with agreement looking through Wenger's purists spectacles.

Injury Update: Left-back Stephen Warnock is still suffering with a shin problem and could be out for several more weeks Nigel Reo-Coker has added to the injury problems by suffering an ankle injury that will prevent him from playing again this season. On the plus side, Wilfred Bouma is training again after 19-months out with a fractured ankle.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:30:58 AM
http://www.soccerway.com/news/2010/January/29/fulham-close-in-on-okaka/
Fulham close in on Okaka

(GSM) - Premier League side Fulham are close to signing Roma striker Stefano Okaka after the player under went a medical at Craven Cottage.

The 20-year-old is due to join the Cottagers on loan for the rest of the season as boss Roy Hodgson is keen to bolster his attacking options after losing Clint Dempsey to injury.

"The deal is on. It was never really off but there have been a lot of problems to iron out," said Hodgson

"At the moment he's finishing off a medical. Barring any problems with the medical I expect him to join us from Monday.

"He won't be in line to play against Aston Villa tomorrow as Roma want him available for their game on Sunday."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:32:15 AM
http://www.rs.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/01/29/1767193/chris-smalling-blocked-from-playing-for-fulham-against
Chris Smalling Blocked From Playing For Fulham Against Manchester United - Report
The soon-to-be Red Devil will not be able to play against his future team...


Manchester United have prevented Fulham from being able to field Chris Smalling against them when the two sides meet later this season.

According to The Times, the Premier League board have last night ruled out the possibility of Smalling playing against his future club as it would put both parties in a difficult position.

United beat Arsenal in the race to sign the highly rated centre back and as part of the deal the Premier League champions have agreed to loan Smalling back to Fulham until the end of the season.

However, according to the The Times, there is no clause in Smalling’s contract to prevent him from playing against his future employers but the Premier League have stepped in in order to prevent any suspicion over the deal.

The 20 year-old signed a four-year deal with United in a move reportedly worth £12 million to Fulham. The deal sees a remarkable rise through the ranks for Smalling who was playing non-league football with Maidstone United just two years ago.

The centre back has only made eight appearances for the London club this season and will not now be facing United when Fulham travel to Old Trafford on 10th March hoping to complete a double over the champions.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:34:05 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=186427
Fulham - Deal Set to go Ahead!
The mystery surrounding the long and protracted move of the AS Roma star, Stefano Okaka, to Craven Cottage still meanders along live that fast flowing river.


We understand that a loan signing is almost inevitable now after Roy Hodgson explained that several obstacles to the deal were slowly being overcome.

Speaking about the situation, Roy has remarked to the media,

'We've monitored him for a long time, before we were drawn against Roma in Europe.'

'His name was well known to our scouting staff.'

'The deal is on. It was never really off but there have been a lot of problems to iron out.'

'I expect him to join us from Monday. He won't be in line to play against Aston Villa on Saturday as Roma want him available for their game on Sunday.'

Anyone prepared to lay odds on the lad picking up an injury playing for Roma this Sunday?

The way our injury list has been growing it certainly wouldn`t surprise me if such a thing were to happen!
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:35:16 AM
http://fourfourtwo.com/news/england/47269/default.aspx
Wenger came close to signing Smalling

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that the Gunners came close to signing Fulham defender Chris Smalling, who has since agreed to join Manchester United.

The Gunners' supremo recently admitted that he was an admirer of the England U21 international, who has made just four league appearances for the Cottagers, scoring an own goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in December.

However, while the Frenchman was mulling a move for the former Maidstone stopper, Old Trafford adversary Sir Alex Ferguson was busy swooping in to snare his signature, with Smalling set to join the Red Devils at the end of the season.

Having missed out on Smalling, Arsenal were then dealt another defensive blow with Thomas Vermaelen sustaining an injury at Aston Villa on Wednesday that is expected to rule him out of Sunday's crunch clash with Manchester United.

And Wenger has admitted that a deal to bring Smalling to the Emirates Stadium was close to being completed, as well as wishing the 20-year-old good luck for the future with United.

“Manchester United got Smalling, I’m sorry. We were close to getting him as well," he said.

“I wish the player well, it is important that he is happy and I hope he makes a great career.”

Smalling, speaking to the Red Devils' official website, said the opportunity to work under the guidance of Ferguson was too good to turn down.

“My time at Fulham has been great and I have learned a lot about the game from Roy Hodgson and the coaching staff. But the chance of coming to the biggest club in the world is something I just couldn’t turn down," he said.

"I’m excited about working with Sir Alex and the fantastic players in the squad.

“I’ve played a few times in the Europa League this year, but the thought of making the step up to the Champions League next year is great. I can’t wait.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:37:29 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/accrington-unhappy-fulham-attitude-cup-clash-608451
Accrington unhappy with Fulham attitude at Cup clash
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has come in for criticism following the Cottagers 2-1 FA Cup win at Accrington Stanley last weekend.

Their build-up to the match, though, was far from what was expected, with Hodgson insisting his side get changed into their kit at a luxury hotel as opposed to the visitors' dressing room.

To add insult to injury, Hodgson then spent large parts of the game criticising the club's aggressive style of play.

Stanley assistant manager Jimmy Bell slammed Hodgson's approach, insisting the League Two side's facilities are good enough for any side.

"Fulham's decision to snub our dressing room was disgraceful," he told The Mirror.

"Our changing rooms are not the best in the world but they are certainly not the worst either."

Hitting back at comments made throughout the match, a defensive Bell said: "The conduct of Fulham and Roy Hodgson was very poor.

"He was disgraceful towards myself and our manager John Coleman during the game."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:39:20 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247093/Fulham-v-ASTON-VILLA-Martin-ONeill-unchanged-injury-crisis.html?ITO=1490
Fulham v ASTON VILLA: Martin O'Neill to name unchanged side due to injury crisis


Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has named an unchanged squad for the Barclays Premier League clash at Fulham.
O'Neill is forced to keep faith with the players on duty in the goalless draw with Arsenal in midweek because of continuing injury problems.
Left-back Stephen Warnock and striker John Carew are still ruled out through shin and knee injuries respectively, while midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will be out for up to three months with a stress fracture to his ankle.
James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor are expected to be fit despite picking up knocks against the Gunners.
Team (from): Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Luke Young, Downing, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Davies, Delph, Shorey, Beye.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247093/Fulham-v-ASTON-VILLA-Martin-ONeill-unchanged-injury-crisis.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0e4xsWA0C
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:40:53 AM
http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/fulham-v-aston-villa-sat-30-jan-2010
Fulham v Aston Villa, Sat 30 Jan 2010
Fulham v Aston Villa: Match Preview

Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies will continue their Fulham comebacks in their Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

Zamora (collarbone) and Davies (foot) played some part in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham and could start at Craven Cottage tomorrow.

Andy Johnson is still struggling with a knee problem while Clint Dempsey (knee), Paul Konchesky (ankle) and John Pantsil (knee) are long term injuries.

Hodgson is dismayed by Fulham's current injury problems.

"I'm disappointed our injury level has developed to quite the level it has," he said.

"It's the first time in my two years at the club that I've had a headache fielding a team I'm comfortable with.

"Our midfield is terrific but in defence and attack we've been hit really hard.

"Villa are a stable and strong team so this is not the best time to be playing them."

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has named an unchanged squad.

O'Neill is forced to keep faith with the players on duty in the goalless draw with Arsenal in midweek because of continuing injury problems.

Left-back Stephen Warnock and striker John Carew are still ruled out through shin and knee injuries respectively, while midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will be out for up to three months with a stress fracture to his ankle.

James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor are expected to be fit despite picking up knocks against the Gunners.

O'Neill is backing Villa to put their recent goal drought in the Premier League behind them as they look to put their top-four challenge back on track.

Villa have failed to score in their last four league matches and picked up only two points from draws with West Ham and Arsenal.

But between times they have found their touch in cup competitions, hitting six past Blackburn in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg and another three against Brighton in the FA Cup.

O'Neill said: "I pay less attention to it. That's not to say, of course, that you want to be scoring more goals. The more you score the better chance you have of winning football games.

"We haven't capitalised on the chances we have made. Just in the Premier League, we should have beaten Liverpool, should have beaten West Ham and on reflection a draw against Arsenal was probably a fair result.

"Those are our last three league games. I always say with `ifs, buts and maybes' that it is best to keep them out of the equation.

"The team is playing very well at this moment and it is less of a concern than it would be normally.

"We had scored nine goals in the previous two games before Wednesday.

"But people will divide up your season into little segments and the segment they are concerned about at the moment is not scoring enough league goals."

O'Neill knows Villa will face a stiff test at Craven Cottage where Fulham have a formidable record.

He said: "Their home record is quite phenomenal. They will be disappointed with their away form, but at home they are a different team altogether playing with loads of confidence and it won't be easy for us."

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:43:17 AM
http://www.sportingpreview.com/matches/09103951.php
FULHAM v ASTON VILLA
TEAM NEWS


Fulham could include Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies in their starting XI for their clash with Aston Villa.

The duo have recovered from respective collarbone and foot injuries and came through bit-part appearances in the mid-week loss at Tottenham.

Andy Johnson (knee) is out for Roy Hodgson's men while Clint Dempsey is nursing a knee injury.

The Cottagers are still without long term casualties John Pantsil (knee) and Paul Konchesky (ankle).

Aston Villa are set to field the same side that drew with Arsenal on Wednesday evening for their trip to face Fulham.

Martin O'Neill's men are without Stephen Warnock (shin) and John Carew (knee) although James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor should be fit.

Nigel Reo-Coker is sidelined for three months with a stress fracture on his ankle.

Teams:

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Kallio, Hangeland, Baird, Hughes, Kelly, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Nevland, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Riise, Dikgacoi, Smalling, Davies, Elm, Kamara, Zamora.

Aston Villa (from): Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Luke Young, Downing, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Davies, Delph, Shorey, Beye.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:44:41 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247098/FULHAM-v-Aston-Villa-Andy-Johnson-Clint-Dempsey-available-Roy-Hodgson.html?ITO=1490
FULHAM v Aston Villa: Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey still not available for Roy Hodgson


(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/29/article-0-07C225F1000005DC-360_306x402.jpg)

Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies will continue their Fulham comebacks in tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Zamora (collarbone) and Davies (foot) played some part in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham and could start at Craven Cottage.
Andy Johnson is still struggling with a knee problem while Clint Dempsey (knee), Paul Konchesky (ankle) and John Pantsil (knee) are long term injuries.
Provisional squad: Schwarzer, Kallio, Hangeland, Baird, Hughes, Kelly, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Nevland, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Riise, Dikgacoi, Smalling, Davies, Elm, Kamara, Zamora.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:45:47 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=186445
Fulham - Not So Royal Roy
Previous to our 3-1 FA Cup victory over Accrington Stanley last Saturday, Roy Hodgson instructed our players to get changed into their kit in a luxury hotel, rather than utilising Stanley's facilities.

That rather dubious decision has been met with some very strong morals from those up in Lancashire, who have slammed Roy's lack of respect and in this case, tradition.

To add to that, it would appear Hodgson spent much of the match complaining about Accrington's aggressive tactics and overly rough style of play.

Now, it is very unlike our humble club, and for that matter, our very humble manager, to be the ones voiding traditions and general British mannerism.

Based on that, are the Northern Club just being picky and exaggerating the claims?

Whatever really did happen, at the end of the day, our manager will have just been doing what is best for the club.

I think 'that lot up there' are just making the most out of a simple gesture designed to increase our chances of winning.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:49:06 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jan/29/fulham-aston-villa-squad-sheets
Squad sheets: Fulham v Aston Villa Sat 3pm

Today's game at the Cottage finds both teams in a trough so far as their Premier League form is concerned. Fulham have lost their last four league fixtures while Aston Villa have not scored in four league games, although their attack has been prolific in the cups. Nettled by Arsène Wenger's suggestion that they are a long-ball team the quality of Villa's passing is likely to be tested by Roy Hodgson's neat, quick, ball-to-feet Fulham side. If ever a match needs an early goal to open things up this will be it. David Lacey

Venue Craven Cottage
Tickets Sold out
Last season Fulham 3 Aston Villa 1
Referee L Mason
This season's matches 14 Y38, R4, 3.00 cards per game
sportingbet odds Fulham 6-4 Aston Villa 8-5 Draw 11-5

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Football/Pix/pictures/2010/1/29/1264789761457/Fulham-001.jpg)

Fulham
Subs from Zuberbühler, Stockdale, Kallio, Andranik, Riise, Greening, Davies, Dikgacoi, E Johnson, Elm, Nevland, Konchesky

Doubtful Konchesky (ankle), A Johnson (knee)

Injured Dempsey (knee, Apr), Paintsil (knee, May)

Suspended None

Form guide LLLLDW

Disciplinary record Y27 R1

Leading scorer Zamora, Dempsey 6

Aston Villa
Subs from Guzan, Delph, Sidwell, Shorey, Beye, Davies, Delfouneso, Albrighton

Doubtful Petrov (achilles)

Injured Bouma (fitness, 21 Feb), Carew (knee, 6 Feb), Warnock (shin, unknown), Reo-Coker (ankle, Aug) Suspended None

Form guide DDLLWW

Disciplinary record Y41 R2

Leading scorer Agbonlahor 8

Match pointers
• Fulham and Villa have met 51 times in the league with 17 wins apiece and 17 draws, while only one of their last 17 meetings has ended as an away win

• Villa have gone 389 minutes without a league goal but have never gone five Premier League games without scoring

• Roy Hodgson's side have gone five hours and 25 minutes since last conceding a league goal on home soil and have not lost at home since September

• Fulham did not manage a single shot on target in the reverse fixture in August
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:50:25 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-poised-sign-roma-striker-okaka-608631
Fulham poised to sign Roma striker Okaka
30.01.10 | Ian Ferris
Fulham are on the brink of completing the loan signing of striker Stefano Okaka from Roma until the end of the season.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson expects the Italy Under-21 international to be available after the transfer window closes on Monday.

"The deal is on. It was never really off but there have been a lot of problems to iron out," said Hodgson.

"At the moment he's finishing off a medical. Barring any problems with the medical I expect him to join us from Monday.

"He won't be in line to play against Aston Villa tomorrow as Roma want him available for their game on Sunday."

Okaka started both of this season's Europa League matches between the clubs and scored the winner at the Stadio Olimpico in early November.

"Okaka played against us and did well. He's also played for Italy Under-21s," said Hodgson.

"We've been monitoring him for a long time, before we were drawn against Roma in the Europa League. His name was well known to our scouting staff."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:51:26 AM
http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2010/0129/okakas_fulham.html
Okaka set for Fulham deal

Roma striker Stefano Okaka is to join Fulham on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Okaka underwent a medical at Craven Cottage after negotiations over the 20-year-old were revived since a perceived lack of interest from the player and his club threatened to scupper the move.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson expects the Italy Under-21 international to be available after the transfer window closes on Monday.

'The deal is on. It was never really off but there have been a lot of problems to iron out,' said Hodgson.

'At the moment he's finishing off a medical. Barring any problems with the medical I expect him to join us from Monday.

'He won't be in line to play against Aston Villa tomorrow as Roma want him available for their game on Sunday.'

Okaka started both of this season's Europa League matches between the clubs and scored the winner at the Stadio Olimpico in early November.

'Okaka played against us and did well. He's also played for Italy Under-21s,' said Hodgson.

'We've been monitoring him for a long time, before we were drawn against Roma in the Europa League. His name was well known to our scouting staff.'

Fulham's scouting department have certainly been earning their keep with the sale of Chris Smalling to Manchester United trumping their scrutiny of Okaka.

Smalling made only a handful of first-team appearances for the Cottagers before the 20-year-old centre-back became the subject of a bidding war between United and Arsenal this week.

Alex Ferguson's successful offer of £7million, rising to £10million on appearances, represented a staggering profit on a player who cost just £10,000 from non-league Maidstone 18 months ago.

Hodgson expects Smalling, who will remain at Fulham until the end of the season though is barred from playing in the rivals' clash at Old Trafford on 14 March, to take the move in his stride.

'Chris is potentially a great player in the making. He can handle the step up to Manchester United,' he said.

'The day he had to step into the breach with us was a big step and now he has the next step to take. Of course I think he can go on and win England honours.'
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:55:07 AM
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/balance-3/
Balance
Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 10:32 pm

Football is a fluid team game, with good sides acting as machines where the component parts work together to make something good happen.   We currently have:

loads of regulars injured

just played a load of away games

And so things have looked bad.

One thing that was broadly okay on Tuesday was the centre of midfield.  Murphy had a decent battling game (despite what people have said), as did Kagiso Dikgacoi.

(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/kd.png?w=324&h=515)

Here’s Kagiso’s chalkboard, and on it we see a roving performance with more forward passes that we’re used to from any of Murphy’s henchmen.   He was not averse to passing forwards, and not always over short distances.   For a player new to the league to slip in this seemlessly strikes me as fairly impressive, and Dikgacoi’s performance was one of the few highlights on Tuesday.

Thing is though, as the dust settles, Roy’s assessment that we didn’t do all that badly wasn’t far off.   If you look at the Spurs chalkboards you see that Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe did virtually nothing:

(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/pc2.png?w=328&h=545)

We faced a barrage of crosses from Bale and Bentley, loads of the feckers, but dealt with them all.   Take away the freak goals and it was a stalemate, which didn’t make for good viewing but which would’ve done as a decent result.  It’s the old story:  Roy’s away plan is acceptable when it works, but looks awful when it doesn’t.

Some more things:

Average positions are skewed because Duff and Gera switched at half-time, but still, Zamora was thoroughly isolated.   People have said how he didn’t look all that fit, but I thought he had a minor stormer, given no help whatsoever up front (we just got nobody around him) he still fought well, and was frequently beating Dawson in the air, chesting the ball down, etc.  It was a performance that would have looked a lot better had he had accompaniment.

(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/avpos.png?w=296&h=431)

But Gera was busy being a fifth midfielder, Riise is very much a wide player, and Duff was always waiting for the run that never came from Baird.     In short, the right hand side was blunt, where Hughes (as we might expect) did a fair job of getting up the line, but where Riise struggled to find his European form and didn’t cut inside as Duff and Dempsey do (thus giving support to the forwards).   The left hand side where Duff was having a quiet one and where Gera didn’t go, even post switch, was an attacking blank, which really only left us the middle of the pitch, which is easy to defend if you’re not being stretched at all.  Here Murphy and Dikgacoi did all the usual approach work you might expect, but with Gera, Duff, Riise, Hughes and Baird not attacking as a unit like Gera, Dempsey, Duff, Paintsil and Konchesky did, we were, effectively, five attackers short!

(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/post2.png?w=606&h=384)

(my high-tech diagramming tool seems to have wiped out Zamora there…)

That sounds like an exaggeration, but we usually expect attacking work in combination from those five players, and we just didn’t get it on Tuesday.    People moan about Andy Johnson’s slow return to form, but the movement when he, Zamora, Dempsey and Duff are all in the team, with Konchesky overlapping, well that’s what Roy’s after, and that’s why he’s nervous at the moment.    I think we’ve still got the spine of the team about right, but the improvement (why am I italicising everything?) to this year’s side has been what’s going on on the flanks, the outstanding work of the pairings (I nearly italicised that too) on each side.   With Zamora holding up, Dempsey and Duff darting in and the full-backs using that space we’re a cohesive attacking unit;  with Tuesday’s configuration we’ll never score in a month of Sundays.

This is what I was driving at earlier in the week when I pondered the Duff/Davies full-back tandem.  It isn’t a realistic option – I know that – but the effects of the injuries we have are greater than it feels like they should be.    The machine needs all its parts to work;  take out four importants nuts and bolts and it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the build is, something’s going to suffer.   

It’s going to be a long few weeks…
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 07:56:41 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=5038

Collins John to join Chicago Fire on trial

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/07/05/article-0-0169707C0000044D-412_468x402.jpg)
Collins John will join Chicago Fire on trial for their pre-season training camp.

This piece suggests that Frank Klopas, the Fire’s technical director, has spoken with Brian McBride, who would team up with John again in Chicago, and Carlos Bocanegra about the Dutch striker, who they know from his days at Fulham.

John’s career has gone rapidly downhill since a bright start at Fulham. Exceptionally talented, the Liberian-born forward was capable of scoring breathtaking goals – like that jaw-dropping volley at Middlesbrough – but also frustratingly lazy and seemingly unable to grasp the concept of the offside law. Having been released by Fulham, John has failed to impress at NEC or KSV Roeselare in Belgium.

Let’s hope he’s grown up a bit or he could be that all-too-common footballing phenomenon: a talent youngster who squandered his talent.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 08:00:26 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/119694/Hodgson-backing-Chris-Smalling-/
HODGSON BACKING CHRIS SMALLING
ROY HODGSON is backing Chris Smalling to become an England star once he makes the move to Manchester United in the summer.
The 20-year-old centre-half is so level-headed that Fulham manager Hodgson expects him to cope with his shock £8m move to Old Trafford even easier than he adjusted to life at Craven Cottage after leaping up from non-league Maidstone.

Smalling starts for Fulham against Aston Villa today, with Hodgson insisting he will go from strength to strength.

He said: “Of course he can go on to play for England. Sir Alex must know that, too, with him paying so much money to sign him.

“He must think he will help him win trophies at home and abroad.

“Chris’ major step was the one he ­already made from non-league. ­After that everything will come gradually.

“Alex has seen players like this ­before and dealt with them. He will relate him to a 17-year-old Ryan Giggs, 18-year-old David Beckham and 19-year-old Wayne Rooney.

“Chris is not the finished article, yet they are signing a player who can deal with the big time.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 08:01:44 AM
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/155100/Hodgson-Chris-Smalling-can-make-it-big-/
HODGSON: CHRIS SMALLING CAN MAKE IT BIG

ROY HODGSON is backing Chris Smalling to become an England star once he makes the move to Manchester United.

(http://images.dailyexpress.co.uk/img/dynamic/67/285x214/155100_1.jpg)

Centre-half Smalling, 20, is so level-headed Fulham boss Hodgson expects him to cope with a shock £10million move to Old Trafford even easier than he adjusted to life at Craven Cottage after leaping up from non-league Maidstone.

Smalling starts against Aston Villa today as United have allowed him to remain with Fulham until the end of the season. And Hodgson said he will go from strength to strength. “Of course he can go on to play for England – Sir Alex Ferguson must know that too with him paying so much money to sign him. He must think he will help him win trophies at home and abroad too.

“I have had lots of talks with Sir Alex recently and he has given me his blessing to play Chris in as many games as we like. The more experience he gains now will only help him in the future.

“His major step was the one he made from non-league. After that everything will come gradually. We unearthed a diamond.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: whitejc on January 30, 2010, 08:07:40 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8481175.stm

Fulham    v    Aston Villa
Venue: Craven Cottage Date: Saturday, 30 January 2010 Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live, local radio, Final Score & highlights on Match of the Day

TEAM NEWS
Fulham striker Andrew Johnson remains sidelined, along with defender Paul Konchesky and midfielder Clint Dempsey.

Chris Smalling should continue in defence despite agreeing to join champions Manchester United at the end of the season.

Aston Villa are likely to again be without Stephen Warnock, who is suffering with a shin injury.

Nigel Reo-Coker could be sidelined for up to three months with an ankle injury picked up in training.



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

Fulham

Injured/unavailable: Dempsey, Johnson & Pantsil (all knee), Konchesky (ankle), Etuhu (Africa Cup of Nations)

Aston Villa

Doubtful: Carew (knee), Warnock (shin)

Injured: Albrighton & Reo-Coker (both ankle), Bouma (toe), Harewood (foot)


MATCH PREVIEW
Aston Villa enter a critical stage of the season that will "make or break" their Champions League challenge, according to manager Martin O'Neill.

 I think the target for the team is to finish higher than we did last year... Hopefully that could potentially mean a Champions League spot

Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne
Villa are four points off fourth spot and round off the month with Saturday's trip to Craven Cottage before facing Tottenham and Manchester United at the start of February.

Despite reaching their first Wembley final for a decade, Villa's league form has suffered an alarming dip. Wednesday's goalless draw with Arsenal was a return to form of sorts, but it was Villa's fourth game without a win in a spell during which they have only collected two points. Significantly they have failed to score in any of those four matches.

Fulham have suffered their own dramatic decline. They have now lost four league games in a row and gone five without a win since December's 3-0 defeat of Manchester United.

Roy Hodgson's side are, however, unbeaten at Craven Cottage since September and have not lost at home to Villa since February 2004.


MATCH FACTS
Head-to-head

• This is the 56th meeting between these sides. Fulham have won 18, Villa 19 with 18 draws.

• Only one of the 17 Premier League meetings between the two sides has ended as an away win.

• Fulham are unbeaten at Craven Cottage since the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on 26 September, a run of 11 games.

• If selected, Danny Murphy will be making his 100th appearance for Fulham.

• The Cottagers have won 100 Premier League matches. Roy Hodgson has also overseen 100 games at the club.

Aston Villa

• Villa have only taken two points from their last four league matches, and not scored a single goal in that time. Failure to score at Craven Cottage would equal their top-flight record, last set between February and March 1992.

• Villa have won just four of their last 16 Premier League matches on the road.

• Curtis Davies has made 199 career appearances.


LEADING GOALSCORERS

 
Fulham

Zamora: 11 goals (6 league); Dempsey: 7 goals (6 league)

Aston Villa

Agbonlahor: 10 goals (8 league); Milner: 8 goals (4 league)


MATCH OFFICIALS
Referee: Lee Mason

Assistant referees: Simon Long & Ceri Richards

Fourth official: Andy D'Urso


LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
Fulham (L0-2 v Tottenham, a): Schwarzer; Hughes, Hangeland, Smalling, Baird, Riise (Davies 64), Dikgacoi, Murphy, Gera (Kamara 72), Duff, Zamora (Elm 79). Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Greening, Kallio.

Aston Villa (D0-0 v Arsenal, h): Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, L Young, A Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor, Heskey (Delph 78). Subs not used: Guzan, Shorey, Beye, Davies, Sidwell, Delfouneso.


MOST RECENT MEETING

Aston Villa 2-0 Fulham (30 August 2009)

Aston Villa scorers: Pantsil 3 (o.g.), Agbonlahor 59
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: White Noise on January 30, 2010, 09:59:19 AM
 
Andy Townsend's boot room: Long and short of what Aston Villa do best
By Andy Townsend

Last updated at 7:45 PM on 29th January 2010

Comments (0)

Aston Villa will not be going to Fulham today to play long-ball stuff, despite what Arsene Wenger accused them of this week.

The world and his wife, quite rightly, eulogise about the quality of Arsenal's play but it was a bit unnecessary of Wenger to infer that Villa just launch it and chase.

Arsene should bear in mind that lots of managers have spoken very highly about the way Arsenal go about their football.
 

Villa are certainly not long-ball merchants. They are an attack-minded team. How many sides in the Barclays Premier League play with two out-and-out wide men?

They have always got an out ball on both flanks and they are very quick to counter- attack. Physically they can stand up to most, so it is no surprise to me that Villa are a decent side away from home. You are entitled to say Villa get it forward quickly into danger areas but they can also get it down and play. They are not crude. They play the sort of game that suits their personnel the best. That is sensible tactical football.

O'Neill's side will not be lacking in confidence, having already won at Old Trafford and Anfield. Going to Fulham is certainly not like an away game at Plough Lane or The Dell on a wet Tuesday night.

You haven't got a slope to deal with or a blasting wind. In fact, a trip to Craven Cottage was one I always enjoyed as a player.

It is far from being one of the most intimidating places to go and play but there are certain teams that, when they get a bit of home form going, really welcome playing on their own patch.

Fulham have the joint best defensive record in the division at home and have already beaten Manchester United and Liverpool, so getting a result will be no mean feat for Villa.

Roy Hodgson has allowed players to express themselves in the right areas, so confidence has grown. The crowd are a realistic bunch and they realise Roy has moved the team on. It is not so long ago that Fulham were simply concerned with avoiding relegation.

Experienced managers, when they come into a club, simplify things. Too many of the younger managers are looking to rewrite the coaching manuals.

Sometimes, at the top level, the players frown on that kind of thing. Roy has brought an effectiveness to the team and they are proving very difficult to break down at home. Mark Schwarzer is a good goalkeeper and in Brede Hangeland they have a dominant centre half. Danny Murphy is enjoying the responsibility that goes with the captaincy.

With those three players, Fulham have got the right blend of quality and experience where they need it.

Up front, Bobby Zamora has certainly benefitted form his manager's influence.
He is a talented player who I have watched a lot. But too often he has played in areas where he is never going to get his quota of goals. If a striker is not scoring, his confidence is going to drain away. But he is playing with confidence under Hodgson and, while he is never going to top the scoring charts, he has certainly got a better return than before.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247141/Andy-Townsends-boot-room-Long-short-Aston-Villa-best.html#ixzz0e5X7zAOX
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: White Noise on January 30, 2010, 10:04:31 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=5033


Fulham ‘declare their interest’ in Moses


by Dan on January 29, 2010

According to Sky Sports News, Fulham have declared their interest in Victor Moses after Newcastle made a bid for the Crystal Palace starlet. I’m not really sure what declaring an interest actually means, but apparently Wigan and West Ham have also done it.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: White Noise on January 30, 2010, 10:06:31 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=5031

Making us tick

by Dan on January 29, 2010

A few people have mentioned to me that they think Danny Murphy’s in decline – in that his performances are much less impressive than last season – and that this probably should be his last season in a Fulham shirt. I think that’s very harsh, but what is clear that the opposition have worked out how to make us less of a threat: shut Murphy down.

Stoke did it very effectively at the Britannia in the New Year, but the most graphic demonstration comes from a comparison between Murphy’s return to the league side, against Manchester United at home in December, and Tuesday’s sorry display against Spurs:


by Guardian Chalkboards

Murphy had much more space to operate in against Manchester United, perhaps because we were at home and more adventurous. But he did get that opportunity against Tottenham. Palacios and Huddlestone hurried him and most of his passes are concentrated in the middle of the field, deprieving Fulham of any forward energy, something particularly important in the absence of Clint Dempsey and with a lone striker. He also wasn’t helped by having a nervy Dikgacoi alongside him rather than Chris Baird.

You can be sure Villa – probably through Petrov – will look to press Murphy again tomorrow. Fulham will need their captain to be a little more dynamic and his fellow midfielders to offer themselves more if their football is to be fluid enough to pass the test.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (30/01/10)
Post by: White Noise on January 30, 2010, 10:07:52 AM
http://hammyend.com/?p=5029

Even steven

by Dan on January 29, 2010

Remarkable stat from OptaJoe:

17 – Fulham and Aston Villa have met 51 times in the league with 17 wins for Fulham, 17 victories for Villa and 17 draws. Uniform