Friends of Fulham

General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:33:13 AM

Title: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:33:13 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7706949/Fulhams-Roy-Hodgson-named-League-Managers-Association-manager-of-the-year.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7706949/Fulhams-Roy-Hodgson-named-League-Managers-Association-manager-of-the-year.html)
Fulham's Roy Hodgson named League Managers Association manager of the year
Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been named manager of the year by the League Managers Association.
(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01633/roy_hodgson2_1633620c.jpg)
Honoured: Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been named the League Managers Association manager of the year Photo: PA
Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Harry Redknapp had led the call for Hodgson to be honoured and he was the overwhelming choice of his fellow managers.

Howard Wilkinson, the LMA chairman, said: "Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season.


"This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League. He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

The LMA also honoured former England manager Steve McClaren, who took FC Twente to the Erdervisie in Holland, with the Special Merit Award.

The Barclays Premier League Manager of the Year was won by Spurs' Harry Redknapp, while Newcastle's Chris Hughton is the Coca-Cola Football League Championship Manager of the Year.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert and Rochdale's Keith Hill won the League 1 and League 2 awards respectively.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:34:33 AM
http://football.uk.reuters.com/leagues/uefacup/news/2010/04/29/LDE63S2PE.php?rpc=401 (http://football.uk.reuters.com/leagues/uefacup/news/2010/04/29/LDE63S2PE.php?rpc=401)
Hodgson hails "magical" time at Fulham after Europa win
(http://football.uk.reuters.com/uploads/2010/04/29/fs_2010-04-29T212704Z_01_EJK21_RTRIDSP_2_SOCCER-EUROPA.jpg)

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Roy Hodgson, who joined Fulham when they were fighting a Premier League relegation battle in December 2007, paid tribute to chairman Mohamed Al Fayed after his team clinched a Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

Europa League

"The time at Fulham has been quite magical for me," the much-travelled manager told ITV after a 2-1 second-leg victory over Hamburg SV at Craven Cottage on the bank of the River Thames on Thursday.

"From the moment I came in I established an immediate rapport with the chairman who has been very good during my time here. He's given us the backing we need."

The former Inter Milan and Switzerland manager also thanked the London club's players and supporters after their 2-1 aggregate victory in the semi-finals.

"Tonight is a reward for the fans who have supported us so well over the last two years and it's certainly for all those really faithful Fulham fans who have seen some bad times through the years," said Hodgson.

"I know the players are never going to let me down. Football is an emotional game so in a semi-final they could be excused for losing their heads or discipline but they didn't do it tonight."

Just 13 years ago Fulham were in the fourth tier of English soccer.

Atletico also reached the May 12 final in Hamburg after beating Liverpool on away goals when their tie finished 2-2 on aggregate.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:35:53 AM
http://football.uk.reuters.com/leagues/uefacup/news/2010/04/29/LDE63S2PO.php?rpc=401 (http://football.uk.reuters.com/leagues/uefacup/news/2010/04/29/LDE63S2PO.php?rpc=401)
Fulham find new heroes on memorable Europa night
(http://football.uk.reuters.com/uploads/2010/04/29/fs_2010-04-29T212754Z_01_EJK22_RTRIDSP_2_SOCCER-EUROPA.jpg)

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Fulham have always been a club where old men talked fondly of the glory days long past but now a whole new generation have been given memories to last a lifetime after an extraordinary night at Craven Cottage.

Europa League

Space will have to be found on the walls of the Johnny Haynes Stand, alongside the black-and-white posters of the player who was "Mr. Fulham" for two decades from 1950, for the club's new heroes who took them into the Europa Cup final against Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera, whose goals secured a 2-1 comeback win over Hamburg, will stand alongside past heroes such as Bobby Moore, England's World Cup-winning captain who took Fulham to the FA Cup final in 1975, and George Best, who treated the scarce-believing fans to the autumn of his career.

Davies and Gera struck in the second half of the semi-final second leg to give the west London club a 2-1 aggregate win and a first shot at European glory.

Under manager Roy Hodgson, the unfashionable but friendly club added the former European champions to an already impressive list of scalps.

Having begun their campaign against Lithuania's Vetra last July, Fulham eliminated holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and German champions Wolfsburg before beating Hamburg.

Again and again in this extraordinary run they looked dead and buried, not least when they trailed Juventus 4-1 on aggregate only to claim an astonishing 5-4 victory.

Fulham fans must have been thinking that the Juventus win would be the biggest memory of the season as Mladen Petric's brilliant 22nd-minute free kick put Hamburg in line for the May 12 final at their own ground.

With Fulham's leading striker Bobby Zamora unable to make any impact after needed an injection to overcome an Achilles problem, Hamburg looked comfortable and their shock decision to sack manager Bruno Labbadia on Monday began to look like a master stroke.

Fulham, however, have built up an enviable record in their short European experience. In their 15 home games before Thursday's clash they had 11 wins and four draws in the UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup and Europa League.

 

RIVERSIDE HOME

Davies produced his own exquisite touch to equalise after 69 minutes and invigorate the home fans.

Shiny, new stadiums have their appeal but on such a night there is nothing to match a capacity crowd packed into a tight, Victorian-built ground like the riverside home of Fulham.

The deafening noise from the mass of fans just metres from the touchline turned the whole atmosphere and Fulham tore forward.

Hungarian forward Gera swivelled in the box to fire in the second goal seven minutes later and another roar went up.

Fulham still had to hang on in a tense finale but they did so with the calm control and application that has been Hodgson's career trademark.

When he arrived at the club two-and-a-half years ago they were staring relegation in the face and needed some last-day heroics to hang on to their Premier League status.

"The time at Fulham has been quite magical for me," Hodgson said. "I think we've made a major piece of history here tonight. That atmosphere is something I think we'll all remember for a long time.

"Tonight is a reward for the fans who have supported us so well over the last two years and it's certainly for all those really faithful Fulham fans who have seen some bad times through the years."

In 1996 Fulham ended up eight places from the bottom of the entire Football League but by last season they had achieved their best performance when they finished seventh in the Premier League.

That earned a place in the Europa League and the fans who set off for Vilnius last July could hardly have dared to dream where that journey would end.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:37:06 AM
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198349 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198349)
Fulham - Sidwell a Plausible Target?
With it being common knowledge that Fulham wil be recruiting this summer, the name of Steve Sidwell seems to have become prominent in a leading red-top.

Sidwell who made his name at Reading before seeing his career stall with moves to, first, Chelsea and then Aston Villa, is ecxpected to leave Villa Park this summer.

With a home near London, obviously Fulham could be a convenient next stopping off point for a player that needs to resurect his career.

Would it be a good move for both parties?




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198349#ixzz0nbHUXKKp (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198349#ixzz0nbHUXKKp)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:38:28 AM
http://www.101greatgoals.com/having-got-this-far-fulham-must-believe-that-they-can-beat-atletico-madrid-in-the-europa-league-final/54956/ (http://www.101greatgoals.com/having-got-this-far-fulham-must-believe-that-they-can-beat-atletico-madrid-in-the-europa-league-final/54956/)
Having got this far, Fulham must believe that they can beat Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final
(http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Fulham+v+FK+Vetra+UEFA+Europa+League+t-3T-dV3U4tl.jpg)

Fulham v Atletico Madrid, Premier League, May 12, 2010

Fulham 2.10; Draw 3.30; Atletico Madrid 3.50


Atletico Madrid and Fulham lock horns on Wednesday night in Hamburg as they battle to become the winners of the inaugural edition of the Europa League.

Fulham’s passage to the final is the stuff dreams are made of. One of the more unfashionable clubs in London, the west Londoners have been living in the shadows of rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and even Tottenham for years now. But under Roy Hodgson, the toast of the media in England since negotiating the Cottagers’ unbelievable route to the final, Fulham are on the brink of joining the big leagues as they aim to scoop the biggest prize in the club’s history.

Quite simply, if you’d have lined up the likes of Roma, Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg in front of Fulham at the start of the season, only the most die-hard Cottager could have argued that the Premier Leaguers would advance all the way to the final. But now is not the time to reflect on the past - that can wait until Thursday morning - as Fulham’s sole focus is to conjure up a game-plan that can upset Atletico in the showpiece final.

On Sunday at Arsenal, Fulham rung the changes and were duly thumped 4-nil by the Gunners. With the likes of Kagiso Dikgacoi, Bjorn Helge Riise, Erik Nevland and Stefano Okaka in the starting eleven, consensus opinion appears to have termed Fulham’s line-up at the Emirates as a second-string XI who were almost beaten before they stepped out on the pitch.

Yet worryingly for the Cottagers will have been the glut of first-teamers who did play against the Gunners. In particular, few excuses could mask the horrible error from keeper Mark Schwarzer that gave away the opener to Andrei Arshavin. Similarly, Chris Baird was unable to pass off the blame for scoring an own goal, while Clint Dempsey (3.20 to score) and Jonathan Greening had poor performances ahead of the biggest match of their careers.

Also of major concern to the Cottagers is the prognosis on striker Bobby Zamora (7.00 to score first) ahead of the final. Zamora, Fulham’s talisman this season with 16 goals and six assists in 41 matches, has been sidelined in recent weeks with an Achilles injury. While it is unlikely that 29-year-old Zamora will miss the biggest match of his life, it is also doubtful that the hitman will be on top form and Fulham could suffer as a result.

Rather than focus on single player participation though, where Roy Hodgson has been truly successful has been developing a “team first, individuals second” mentality. Accordingly, the experienced pros such as Danny Murphy and Damien Duff have been able to bond brilliantly with the likes of Brede Hangeland (11.00 to score), Dickson Etuhu and the exciting Zoltan Gera (3.50 to score) to form a well-oiled and effective unit that will prove highly competitive against the Rojiblancos.

While Fulham have stormed into the final on the back of a series of incredible and unlikely wins, Atletico appear to have stumbled into the final in a passage to the final has appeared far more subdued and seemingly fortunate.

At large the red and whites have had a miserable season, which kicked off in the worst possible manner with one win in their opening 11 league matches which saw former coach Abel Resino lose his job in October. Sanchez Flores was then installed and, though they remain a relatively lowly 9th in the league, their season has steadily improved at the back end of the campaign. That said, Atletico, with a run of three wins, three defeats and one draw heading into the final, have been notorious this season for being consistently inconsistent.

Much like Fulham, Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores rested a whole host of first teamers ahead of their last match at Sporting Gijon. Both leading striker Diego Forlan (5.50 to score first) and Kun Aguero (2.37 to score) were left on the sidelines, while midfielder Jose Antonio Reyes (3.75 to score) and Simao were both given the night off at the weekend.

While Atletico should have the attack refreshed them for Fulham, the problems for the Madridistas remain, as always, at the back. None of defenders Antonio Lopez, Mariano Pernia, Tomas Ujfalusi nor Alvaro Dominguez come highly recommended, although 19-year-old keeper David de Gea has proved to be somewhat of a revelation in his debut season in the first team.

Predicting who’ll come out on top in the final is really difficult. Atletico, by historical rights, deserved to be labelled the front-runner, however something feels very wrong in making the Rojiblancos favourites. Fulham, on the other hand, have repeatedly defied the odds, and no-one would bet against them doing the same in their final match of the season.

Expect goals. Expect mistakes. And hopefully Fulham can come out lifting the trophy.

101gg predicts: Atletico Madrid 1 - Fulham 2 (9.42)


Fulham 2.10; Draw 3.30; Atletico Madrid 3.50
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:39:33 AM
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/10/1466025/fulham-need-to-win-final-to-ensure (http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/10/1466025/fulham-need-to-win-final-to-ensure)
Fulham need to win Final to ensure return to the Europa League next year

To ensure the return to the Europa League next year Fulham will need to win the Final now .  This is according to the Daily Mail article " Blow for Burnley and Fulham as England slip in Fair Play ranking and lose extra Europa League spot" . In the article it states that England have dropped in the Fair Play rankings.

The top 3 spots in the "Fair Play League" give that country an extra spot in the Europa League. The latest results have England dropping to 7th. England do not get an extra spot which could have gone to Fulham.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:40:43 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6146242,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6146242,00.html)
Key Fulham duo back in training
Zamora and Duff boost prospects of being fit to face Atletico

Fulham have been handed a boost after Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff took part in training ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final.

Zamora has not played for the Cottagers since aggravating a long-standing Achilles problem in the second leg of the semi-final win over Hamburg last month.

Duff, meanwhile, sat out Sunday's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal after he suffered a recurrence of a calf problem in last week's game against Stoke City.

However, both players trained on Monday and will be out to prove their fitness to manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the final with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Hodgson is also monitoring the fitness of John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise, who were both substituted with knocks during the Premier League loss at Emirates Stadium.

Speaking after the game, Hodgson confirmed Pantsil had picked up a thigh complaint and Riise was struggling with a stomach problem.

Hodgson said on Sunday: "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 reassess him.

"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."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:42:03 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/european/7706044/Europa-League-final-ash-cloud-prompts-Atletico-Madrid-to-travel-24-hours-in-advance.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/european/7706044/Europa-League-final-ash-cloud-prompts-Atletico-Madrid-to-travel-24-hours-in-advance.html)
Europa League final: ash cloud prompts Atlético Madrid to travel 24 hours in advance
Atlético Madrid will leave a day ahead of schedule to travel to Hamburg for Wednesday's Europa League final against Fulham to limit potential disruptions caused by Iceland's volcanic eruption.

The Atlético team will leave today [Monday] instead of Tuesday for Germany, the club announced on its website.

Their decision followed the club having to travel by bus to play their weekend league game against Sporting Gijon because several airports in the north of Spain were closed.

Potential travel disruptions has led Fulham manager Roy Hodgson to suggest to Uefa that the Europa League final should be postponed if ongoing travel concerns cause too many problems for either side.

"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," Hodgson said.

"It is all very well people saying change the flights, but we can only change that on Monday. 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 on Monday 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 nine o'clock.'

"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."

Meanwhile, Atlético goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo will miss the clash in Hamburg after being ruled out for up to six months at the weekend.

The 20-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left leg.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:43:10 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/10/1918551/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-only-a-win-will-make-me-enjoy (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/10/1918551/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-only-a-win-will-make-me-enjoy)
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: Only a win will make me enjoy Europa League final
Cottagers boosted by return of Zamora and Duff...

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he does not expect to enjoy his side's first ever European final against, when they face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League on Wednesday evening.

The Cottagers have exceeded expectations this season to reach the Europa League final, beating the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Hamburg along the way.

Hodgson however, has revealed that he will not be able to sit back and enjoy the final unless his side triumph against the Spanish side.

"The idea of enjoying matches goes out of the window when you sign your first professional contract," Hodgson told FourFourTwo magazine.

"After that the only enjoyment you can get is doing your job well – that means winning."

The 62-year-old believes it will be a tough task to beat Atletico, who got the better of Liverpool in the semi-finals and thinks his side will have to be at their best on the night.

Hodgson, who has been in management since 1976, insists his experience will count for nothing however, on Wednesday evening.

He said: "Luckily, the match isn’t going to be decided on who has the most previous experience in Europe or the most famous players.

"It’ll be won by the team who play the best football on the night."

The Cottagers have been boosted by the return of Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff to training, ahead of Wednesday's showpiece.

The pair have been in fine form this season, and could prove to be the difference if Fulham are to triumph in Hamburg.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:45:51 AM
http://www.epltalk.com/fulham-need-to-avoid-the-fairytale-turning-into-a-nightmare/19418?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EPLTalk+%28EPL+Talk%29 (http://www.epltalk.com/fulham-need-to-avoid-the-fairytale-turning-into-a-nightmare/19418?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EPLTalk+%28EPL+Talk%29)
Fulham Need To Avoid The Fairytale Turning Into A Nightmare

To some, there’s nothing more condescending than when their team are described as plucky, punching above there weight or a battling side. Each of the terms generally means the same thing when used towards a football club. You’ve punched above your weight and sooner rather than later, you’re going to get brought down to earth. Fulham have got used to running the whole gambit of these cliche ridden back handed complements this season during their run to the Europa League Final.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen a few articles around stating it’s the biggest game in Fulham’s history. Sorry to deflate the collective bubbles, but that simply isn’t true at all. It’s possibly the craziest day in an average Fulham fans lifetime but it’s not even close to biggest match in the clubs history. I doubt even the most ardent Cottage regular would have even considered getting to the final when you look at the teams they were up against. It’s a brilliant day and they will want to win it, but I’ll look at the clubs biggest game in the modern era further down.
(http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Fulham+v+FK+Vetra+UEFA+Europa+League+t-3T-dV3U4tl.jpg)
Of course, I will be rooting for Fulham on Wednesday night in the final as if it’s my own team. I like Fulham, I like the way they play the game, I like Roy Hodgson, so I naturally want the best for them. I’d love it if they won the game, but do not underestimate Athletico Madrid. Despite the fact that they are clearly the most disaster prone side in European football and have somehow got to the game by only winning 2 matches, they still have some quality in the team.

If any team can implode and throw any situation away, then Athletico are the team to put your money on. For example, they won the Spanish double in 1996 with Raddy Antic as manager and then four years later they dropped out of the Primera League. Their greatest era as a club coincided with Real Madrid being the greatest club side in the world for about 15 years. The fans burnt the club shop down in 2005 when the new Nike kit was discovered to have scrapped the red and white stripes. This is a club that make Tottenham look the model of consistency.



Despite all that, Fulham stand on the threshold of an amazing achievement. Don’t patronise them by assuming by being in the final being good enough. Hodgson and his players will want to win the trophy. By falling at the final fence, everything will have been in vain. All the sweat, the comebacks, the fighting spirit will have come to nothing if they fail to come home without that trophy. Being there doesn’t count unless you win the damn thing. Ask the Middlesbrough faithful.



Now, as for the biggest game in Fulhams modern history, the day they played Torquay United in a battle between the two lowest placed league sides in 1996 has to be up there. Only 14 years ago, Fulham faced relegation out of the league and financial implosion. Crowds were little better than 4,000 a game and they had less than a 1,000 season ticket holders. They lost the match and faced ruin and that was just 14 years ago. The same season, Hodgson was leading Inter Milan to a 7th place finish in Serie A and Fulham managed to survive by bringing Mickey Adams in as manager.

That’s how far this club has come in such a short time and for all the hype and posturing, the Fulham fans will always look back to the day they were facing oblivion in the face. Football is indeed a funny old game, but for Fulham and Roy Hodgson, only a win at the HSH Nordbank Arena will suffice in bringing a smile to their faces.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:47:25 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/f/fulham/8673848.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/f/fulham/8673848.stm)
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson voted manager of the year

Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been voted manager of the year by a record margin after steering the west London club to the Europa League final.

Hodgson received the award from the League Managers Association after a poll of coaches, including managers from the top four leagues in England.

Fulham face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, league sponsor Barclays named Harry Redknapp manager of the year and Wayne Rooney the top player.

Hodgson's award is recognition for a remarkable season in which he masterminded Fulham's progress to their first European final, while securing a 12th place finish in the Premier League.

The Cottagers played 18 matches on the road to the final in a campaign that began in July, overcoming the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.

Despite minimal spending in the transfer market, the club never flirted with relegation and only struggled for form at the end of the season when Hodgson began to rest players with the Europa League in mind.

Hodgson arrived at Fulham in December 2007 and led the club on a run of 12 points from their last five games to ensure Premier League survival on the last day of the season.

Last year they achieved their highest ever league position of seventh.

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said Hodgson received an "overwhelming" number of votes from the association's 256 members, made up of all 92 league clubs' bosses, retired coaches, and those still involved in the game below managerial level.

"Roy won the LMA manager of the year award by the most significant margin in the history of the award," said Bevan.

"He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football."

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said: "Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries.

"He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had led calls for Hodgson to be given the award, describing his achievements as "miraculous," while Tottenham boss Redknapp called them "unbelievable".

Last week, Hodgson admitted he would like to lead a "big club" in the future but vowed to remain at Fulham for the time being.

In his 34-year managerial career, Hodgson has coached Halmstads, Bristol City, Orebro, Malmo, Neuchatel Xamax, Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Grasshopper, Copenhagen, Udinese, Viking, and Fulham.

He led Switzerland to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup and qualification for Euro 96, also managing the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

Redknapp's award comes after Spurs qualified for the Champions League by beating the likes of Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool to fourth place.

Manchester United striker Rooney's prize completes a hat-trick after he already collected the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' awards for this season.

The LMA also awarded a special merit award to former England boss Steve McClaren, who led FC Twente to the first Dutch league title in their 45-year history.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:48:33 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6146404,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6146404,00.html)
Hodgson takes manager prize
Redknapp wins Premier League manager of the year award

Roy Hodgson has been awarded the manager of the year prize by the League Managers' Association after leading Fulham to the Europa League final.

The Fulham boss has been rewarded after following up last season's seventh-placed finish in the Premier League with another excellent campaign at Craven Cottage.

In addition to claiming 12th spot in the domestic table, Hodgson has also guided the club to a first European final, with Fulham facing Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday night.

Fulham, who also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, will have played 63 games this term after their prestigious clash with Atletico having started their European campaign last July.

Harry Redknapp took this season's Premier League manager of the year award after guiding Tottenham to fourth place, but LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson believes Hodgson's efforts since taking over an ailing Fulham in December 2007 make him a worthy winner of the overall prize.

Highly respected
"Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes," said Wilkinson.

"He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Newcastle's Chris Hughton is the new Championship manager of the year for his efforts in taking the club back up at the first attempt, while Norwich's Paul Lambert and Rochdale's Keith Hill have been honoured for their exploits in League One and League Two respectively.

Steve McClaren, enjoying a career renaissance in Holland with FC Twente, was handed the LMA's special merit award, while there were also gongs for Arsenal director Ken Friar, who won the service to football award, and Ron Atkinson, who was inducted to the LMA's Hall of Fame.

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, said: "Roy Hodgson received an overwhelming number of votes from the members and has won the LMA manager of the year award sponsored by Barclays by the most significant margin in the history of the award.

"He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football. He freely gives up his time to help other coaches and managers develop and hone their skills and talents, regularly contributing to the LMA's educational programmes."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:50:12 AM
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/HodgsonManagersAward.aspx (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/HodgsonManagersAward.aspx)
Manager of the Year

[img]http://www.fulhamfc.com/Images/MainNews/NewsPages/Management/hodgson/general1.jpg[
/img]
Roy Hodgson has been voted Manager of the Year by the League Managers Association. The Fulham Manager received the award after a poll of coaches and managers from the top four leagues in England.

Fulham Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed said:

“I am delighted that Roy should win this award, he's not just a great football manager he is a splendid human being. It is a pleasure to work with him and we have a great relationship.

“This award shows that occasionally football makes the right decision, and Roy is it; now all he has to do is win the Europa League competition and I will pay the excess baggage for him to bring the trophy back. Congratulations!”
.

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/HodgsonManagersAward.aspx#ixzz0nbKhAgYB (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/HodgsonManagersAward.aspx#ixzz0nbKhAgYB)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:51:35 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6146397/Hodgson-named-Manager-of-the-Year (http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6146397/Hodgson-named-Manager-of-the-Year)
Hodgson named Manager of the Year

Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been named as Manager of the Year by the LMA, while Harry Redknapp and Chris Hughton are among other bosses honoured.

Hodgson has been recognised by his peers in the League Managers' Association after steering the Cottagers to the Europa League final for the first time in their history as well as taking the London club to 12th in the Premier League on a limited budget.

Fulham, who also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, will have played 63 games this term after their prestigious clash with Atletico Madrid having started their European campaign last July.

Tottenham's Redknapp took this season's Premier League manager of the year award after guiding Spurs to fourth place but LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson believes Hodgson's efforts since taking over an ailing Fulham in December 2007 make him a worthy winner of the overall prize.

"Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes," said Wilkinson.

"He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Newcastle's Hughton is the new Championship manager of the year for his efforts in taking the club back up at the first attempt, while Norwich's Paul Lambert and Rochdale's Keith Hill have been honoured for their exploits in League One and League Two respectively.

Steve McClaren, enjoying a career renaissance in Holland with FC Twente, was handed the LMA's special merit award, while there were also gongs for Arsenal director Ken Friar, who won the service to football award, and Ron Atkinson, who was inducted to the LMA's Hall of Fame.

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, said: "Tonight is a celebration of this season's managerial achievements throughout all four leagues at the highest level.

"To be voted for and acknowledged by your fellow members, peers and competitors is a great honour and the ultimate accolade is public recognition of success.

"The manager remains the most important man at a football club and to succeed in this profession requires extreme dedication and commitment.

"Roy Hodgson received an overwhelming number of votes from the members and has won the LMA Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays by the most significant margin in the history of the award.

"He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football. He freely gives up his time to help other coaches and managers develop and hone their skills and talents, regularly contributing to the LMA's educational programmes."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:52:33 AM
http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1208426.html?cid=rssfeed&att= (http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1208426.html?cid=rssfeed&att=)
Hodgson named LMA Manager of the Year

Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been named as the manager of the year by the League Managers' Association.

Hodgson has been recognised by his peers after steering the Cottagers to the UEFA Europa League final for the first time in their history as well as taking the London club to 12th in the Barclays Premier League on a limited budget.

Fulham, who also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, will have played 63 games this term after their prestigious clash with Atletico Madrid having started their European campaign last July.

Tottenham's Harry Redknapp took this season's Premier League manager of the year award after guiding Spurs to fourth place but LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson believes Hodgson's efforts since taking over an ailing Fulham in December 2007 make him a worthy winner of the overall prize.

"Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes," said Wilkinson. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Newcastle's Chris Hughton is the new Coca-Cola Championship manager of the year for his efforts in taking the club back up at the first attempt, while Norwich's Paul Lambert and Rochdale's Keith Hill have been honoured for their exploits in League One and League Two respectively.

Steve McClaren, enjoying a career renaissance in Holland with FC Twente, was handed the LMA's special merit award, while there were also gongs for Arsenal director Ken Friar, who won the service to football award, and Ron Atkinson, who was inducted to the LMA's Hall of Fame.

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, said: "Tonight is a celebration of this season's managerial achievements throughout all four leagues at the highest level.

"To be voted for and acknowledged by your fellow members, peers and competitors is a great honour and the ultimate accolade is public recognition of success.

"The manager remains the most important man at a football club and to succeed in this profession requires extreme dedication and commitment.

"Roy Hodgson received an overwhelming number of votes from the members and has won the LMA Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays by the most significant margin in the history of the award.

"He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football. He freely gives up his time to help other coaches and managers develop and hone their skills and talents, regularly contributing to the LMA's educational programmes."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:54:05 AM
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=784847&sec=england&cc=5739 (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=784847&sec=england&cc=5739)
Hodgson named Manager of the Year by fellow bosses

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has been crowned Manager of the Year by the League Managers' Association (LMA), an award voted for by all the managers in the top four leagues in England.

Hodgson has regularly received plaudits from his peers this season after guiding Fulham to a first ever European final, beating the likes of Juventus and Wolfsburg along the way.

And the former Inter Milan boss will lead the Cottagers into battle against Atletico Madrid this Wednesday in the inaugural Europa League final, looking to become the first English manager to lift a major European trophy since Bobby Robson won the Cup Winners' Cup with Barcelona in 1997.

LMA Chairman, Howard Wilkinson, said: "Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Hodgson was charged with saving Fulham from relegation when he first took the reins at Crave Cottage in December 2007, something he achieved in dramatic fashion with a victory over Portsmouth on the final day of the 2007-08 season to keep the Cottagers up on goal difference.

Since then he has built on a solid foundation, motivating a group of good, if not spectacular Premier League footballers to achieve well above their station in European competition.

Newcastle's Chris Hughton was named the Championship Manager of the Year for his efforts in taking the club back up at the first attempt, while Norwich's Paul Lambert and Rochdale's Keith Hill have been honoured for their exploits in League One and League Two respectively.

Steve McClaren, enjoying a career renaissance in Holland with FC Twente, was handed the LMA's special merit award, while there were also gongs for Arsenal director Ken Friar, who won the service to football award, and Ron Atkinson, who was inducted to the LMA's Hall of Fame.

Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA, said: "Tonight is a celebration of this season's managerial achievements throughout all four leagues at the highest level. To be voted for and acknowledged by your fellow members, peers and competitors is a great honour and the ultimate accolade is public recognition of success.

"The manager remains the most important man at a football club and to succeed in this profession requires extreme dedication and commitment. Roy received an overwhelming number of votes from the members and has won the LMA Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays by the most significant margin in the history of the award.

"He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football. He freely gives up his time to help other coaches and managers develop and hone their skills and talents, regularly contributing to the LMA's educational programmes.

"On behalf of the LMA, I wish Roy and the Fulham players the very best for this week's Europa League Cup Final in Hamburg. It will be a tremendous feat if they bring back the cup. I would also like to say a special thank you to all the members who have contributed to yet another fantastic season."

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:55:13 AM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/10/SOCCER_LMA_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/10/SOCCER_LMA_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer)
HODGSON NAMED LMA MANAGER OF YEAR

Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been named as the manager of the year by the League Managers' Association.

Hodgson has been recognised by his peers after steering the Cottagers to the Europa League final for the first time in their history as well as taking the London club to 12th in the Barclays Premier League on a limited budget.

Fulham, who also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, will have played 63 games this term after their prestigious clash with Atletico Madrid having started their European campaign last July.

Tottenham's Harry Redknapp took this season's Premier League manager of the year award after guiding Spurs to fourth place but LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson believes Hodgson's efforts since taking over an ailing Fulham in December 2007 make him a worthy winner of the overall prize.

"Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes," said Wilkinson.

"He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Newcastle's Chris Hughton is the new Coca-Cola Championship manager of the year for his efforts in taking the club back up at the first attempt, while Norwich's Paul Lambert and Rochdale's Keith Hill have been honoured for their exploits in League One and League Two respectively.

Steve McClaren, enjoying a career renaissance in Holland with FC Twente, was handed the LMA's special merit award, while there were also gongs for Arsenal director Ken Friar, who won the service to football award, and Ron Atkinson, who was inducted to the LMA's Hall of Fame.

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, said: "Tonight is a celebration of this season's managerial achievements throughout all four leagues at the highest level.

"To be voted for and acknowledged by your fellow members, peers and competitors is a great honour and the ultimate accolade is public recognition of success.

"The manager remains the most important man at a football club and to succeed in this profession requires extreme dedication and commitment.

"Roy Hodgson received an overwhelming number of votes from the members and has won the LMA Manager of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays by the most significant margin in the history of the award.

"He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football. He freely gives up his time to help other coaches and managers develop and hone their skills and talents, regularly contributing to the LMA's educational programmes."

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:56:21 AM
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=784815&sec=uefaeuropaleague&cc=5739&cc=5739 (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=784815&sec=uefaeuropaleague&cc=5739&cc=5739)
Europa League ash worries subside

Fulham are expecting no disruption to their travel plans for the Europa League final after fears that the volcanic ash cloud could again spread were eased on Monday.

The club had drawn up alternative arrangements in case the situation deteriorated, but will fly to Hamburg from London as scheduled on Tuesday morning, while Atletico travelled on Monday - 24 hours earlier than initially planned, as a precautionary measure.

Flights between London and Hamburg were running as normal on Monday, saving supporters travelling to Wednesday's final from the nightmare prospect of finding a different route.

Manager Roy Hodgson urged UEFA to consider postponing the match if the ash caused more travel chaos, after the Cottagers faced a gruelling 12-hour coach trip to Germany last month for the first leg of their semi-final against Hamburg, following the closure of European airspace after the initial eruptions in Iceland.

Airports across France, Spain, northern Italy and Germany were closed on Sunday as the cloud drifted, but by this morning they had reopened.

Meanwhile, Fulham have bee issued with a new, "very limited'', allocation of tickets for the final. Supporters were furious after the initial 12,650 allocation - the same number also given to Atletico - sold out within four hours, prompting the club to request more.

The shortage occurred because season ticket holders were able to buy up to four tickets for the final, though in their defence, the club said they were surprised by the "unprecedented demand'' for tickets.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:58:07 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/10/1918663/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-named-lma-manager-of-the-year (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/10/1918663/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-named-lma-manager-of-the-year)
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson named LMA Manager of the Year
Cottagers boss rewarded after fine season...

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has been named the LMA Manager of the Year, ahead of his side's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

The Cottagers boss missed out on the Premier League Manager of the Year award, with Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp picking up the accolade last week.

However, after guiding his Fulham side to a respectable 12th place finish in the league, as well as a Europa League final on Wednesday, Hodgson has been rewarded by the League Managers' Association.

It will be the club's first ever European final when they face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday evening in Hamburg, after beating a host of top European clubs along the way.

Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Roma were all knocked out by the West London Club, as Hodgson's side exceeded expectations, making it one of the most memorable seasons in the clubs history.

After joining the Cottagers in December 2007, Hodgson has taken the club from relegation candidates to possible Europa League winners, and LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson believes he is a worthy winner of the award.

Wilkinson said:"Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes," reports Press Association Sports.

"He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries.

"He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed said he was "delighted'' by the decision to give the award to Hodgson.
 
"This award shows that occasionally football makes the right decision, and Roy is it," he told Associated Press.

He added: "Now all he has to do is win the Europa League competition.''
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 07:59:38 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6146427,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6146427,00.html)
Hodgson humbled by award
Fulham boss hoping for one last effort in Europa League final

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson admits being voted the LMA manager of the year is the 'greatest award' he has received in his career.

Hodgson was honoured by his peers for his achievements in leading Fulham to the Europa League final this season, in addition to securing 12th spot in the Premier League.

The Cottagers also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and, ahead of Wednesday's European showdown with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, Hodgson expressed his pride upon receiving the award.

"There's no greater acknowledgement in football than an award that comes from people who are in the same profession as you and who are facing the same difficulties day after day as you," Hodgson told Sky Sports News.

"When they look at the criteria and it's the guy who makes the most out of the material he's got, when they say it's you, all you can do is humbly bow your head and thank them for the award.

"It's certainly the greatest award I've had in my career."

Dedication
The Europa League final will be Fulham's 63rd game of a season which started last July and Hodgson is hoping his players can maintain their level of consistency for one last hurrah.

He added: "It's 62 games long already and what the team has shown is an enormous consistency, enormous resilience and enormous dedication.

"These are great qualities for any football player or any football team to show.

"I'm hoping desperately that we are going to take them into the 63rd game of the season."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:00:51 AM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/10052010/58/premier-league-hodgson-named-lma-manager-year.html (http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/10052010/58/premier-league-hodgson-named-lma-manager-year.html)
Premier League - Hodgson named LMA manager of year

Fulham's Roy Hodgson has been named as the manager of the year by the League Managers' Association.

Hodgson has been recognised by his peers after steering the Cottagers to the Europa League final for the first time in their history as well as taking the London club to 12th in the Premier League on a limited budget.

Fulham, who also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, will have played 63 games this term after their prestigious clash with Atletico Madrid having started their European campaign last July.

Tottenham's Harry Redknapp took this season's Premier League manager of the year award after guiding Spurs to fourth place but LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson believes Hodgson's efforts since taking over an ailing Fulham in December 2007 make him a worthy winner of the overall prize.

"Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes," said Wilkinson. "He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League.

"He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles in no fewer than seven countries. He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:04:04 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276832/Fulhams-miracle-man-Roy-Hodgson-named-boss-year-Europa-League-heroics.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276832/Fulhams-miracle-man-Roy-Hodgson-named-boss-year-Europa-League-heroics.html?ITO=1490)
Fulham's miracle man Roy Hodgson named boss of the year after Europa League heroics


Roy Hodgson has been named the League Managers' Association Manager of the Year.

The prestigious award is voted for by managers from the top four leagues in England and last night the Fulham boss won by the most significant margin in the award's 18-year history.

Hodgson, 62, has taken Fulham from the brink of relegation to tomorrow's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid since taking over at Craven Cottage in December 2007.

This season, Fulham secured Barclays Premier League football for the 10th successive year, reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and could yet win the Europa League.
LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said: 'Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He is highly respected by the LMA members and also on an international level where he has worked his miracles.

'He is a great role model for all aspiring managers and coaches and is fully deserving of this recognition.'

 Magic moment: Zoltan Gera sends Fulham to the Europa League final
Ahead of the Europa League final, Hodgson is still sweating on the fitness of top scorer Bobby Zamora, who continued his comeback from an achilles tendon injury by training yesterday.

The striker had a pain-killing injection to play 52 minutes of the semi-final second leg against Hamburg two weeks ago.

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and Damien Duff (leg), who were all rested for Sunday's 4-0 defeat by Arsenal, are all expected to be fit.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276832/Fulhams-miracle-man-Roy-Hodgson-named-boss-year-Europa-League-heroics.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nbOLtic2 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276832/Fulhams-miracle-man-Roy-Hodgson-named-boss-year-Europa-League-heroics.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nbOLtic2)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:06:56 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1918747/fulham-boss-roy-hodgson-lma-manager-of-the-year-is-the (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1918747/fulham-boss-roy-hodgson-lma-manager-of-the-year-is-the)
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: LMA Manager of the Year is the greatest honour of my career
Englishman has led Cottagers to Europa League final

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson acknowledged that being named the LMA Manager of the Year is the  ‘greatest award' of his career.

Hodgson was honoured by his peers for leading the Cottagers to a 12th place finish in the Premier League, the FA Cup quarter-finals and the Europa League final this season.

Fulham will take on Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final in Hamburg on Wednesday.

Hodgson was pleased that his fellow managers have recognised his work with Fulham this season.

"There's no greater acknowledgement in football than an award that comes from people who are in the same profession as you and who are facing the same difficulties day after day as you," Hodgson told Sky Sports.

"When they look at the criteria and it's the guy who makes the most out of the material he's got, when they say it's you, all you can do is humbly bow your head and thank them for the award.

"It's certainly the greatest award I've had in my career."

When Fulham take on Atletico will the Cottagers 63rd game of the season and Hodgson hopes that his squad are able to give him one more good performance on Wednesday.

"It's 62 games long already and what the team has shown is an enormous consistency, enormous resilience and enormous dedication.

"These are great qualities for any football player or any football team to show.

"I'm hoping desperately that we are going to take them into the 63rd game of the season."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:08:40 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134747/Danny-Murphy-I-nearly-walked-out-on-Fulham-s-European-dream-/ (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134747/Danny-Murphy-I-nearly-walked-out-on-Fulham-s-European-dream-/)
DANNY MURPHY: I NEARLY WALKED OUT ON FULHAM'S EUROPEAN DREAM

DANNY Murphy last night ­revealed how he nearly walked out on Fulham’s European dream.



The Black and Whites skipper could not take any more after watching Juventus take the lead against Fulham at Craven Cottage in the last 16 of the Europa League.



Murphy did not play because he was ­suspended after foolishly getting sent off against Shakhtar Donetsk.

And when David Trezeguet scored he thought Fulham’s amazing journey was over.



Murphy revealed: “I thought that was it when I was sitting in the Cottage and Trezeguet scored after two ­minutes. Yes, I really did think it was over.


“I contemplated going home at that point. It was 4-1 on aggregate at that stage. I felt like leaving the ground.”


Winners



But Fulham then pulled off the performance of the season to score four goals and scramble their way into the quarter-finals en route to the greatest night in the club’s history.



It was hard for the Fulham ­players to believe they could ­really reach tomorrow’s Europa League final in Hamburg, where they face Atletico Madrid.



Murphy added: “I think when you get through the Shakhtar tie and then you draw Juve, you think, ‘It is another big team, can we do it again over two games, especially against a side of such quality?’

“I think they had four or five World Cup winners in that Juve side that night.



“Sitting in the stands watching the lads ­exceed everybody’s expectation with that game at the Cottage was something that will live in the memory and was probably the night where everyone started to ­believe it could be a special year in this competition.



“I think that night in particular has been pivotal in this journey.


“I did sense a belief after that game that we could go on and win it.”



Murphy admits that getting through that incredible tie made the players believe they can lift the trophy.

The midfielder added: “There was a sea change in the players’ thinking ­after that game.



“Rather than just going into the games and enjoying the experience and thinking this could be the end, we were actually going into the games after that thinking, ‘Hold on, we’ve just beaten Juve, we can beat anyone here’.
“That mentality changed a little bit so that night was pivotal.”



Murphy played in the incredible 2001 UEFA Cup final for Liverpool where they beat Alaves 5-4 in extra-time with a golden goal. And he does not mind if that is the score again against Atletico Madrid as long as Fulham are the winners.



He added: “If it went to us, I wouldn’t mind.


“The memory of that was funny because we had played Arsenal in the FA Cup ­Final at the weekend and we couldn’t celebrate that because we had Alaves coming up.



“Obviously with Liverpool’s big squad we changed the team around a little bit.


“I remember thinking when we were 3-1 up that we had won it.



“It’s a very stupid mentality to have because obviously we nearly threw it away in the end.


“There was a golden goal, then Gary McAllister whipped in a great free-kick and it got deflected in. The ­relief and pleasure of knowing the game was over when the ball hit the net was a fantastic feeling.



“I look back on that with great fondness. Winning trophies, whether it is expected of Liverpool or unexpected, it is the memories you will carry with you for the rest of your life.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:10:56 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/11/mohamed-al-fayed-fulham-interview (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/11/mohamed-al-fayed-fulham-interview)
Mohamed Al Fayed on why he will always try to run Fulham the right way
The Fullham owner has cashed in on Harrods, but says he could never sell his team short like some owners do

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Football/Pix/pictures/2010/5/10/1273501322559/Mohamed-Al-Fayed-006.jpg)
Mohamed Al Fayed says he would not block an approach for Roy Hodgson from England, but Liverpool would get 'two fingers'. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Are you a Fulham fan?" Mohamed Al Fayed barks cheerfully as a way of introduction. The chairman and owner of Fulham rocks back in his chair when he hears the name of a different club as an answer. "Oh no, oh no," he chortles while waiting for the qualification that soon follows. In recent months it has been easy to claim Fulham as a second favourite team – at least on those giddy nights at Craven Cottage when, in the often derided Europa League, the London club have pulled off some outrageous victories on their way to the final of tomorrow night's competition.

Fulham now face Atlético Madrid in the culmination of an extraordinary journey. It also marks another highpoint in a momentuous week for Fayed. Three days ago he sold Harrods for £1.5bn. But it is a sign of his commitment to Fulham that, in the midst of completing the sale, Fayed sets aside time to discuss his club.

He stresses that, despite ending 25 years of ownership at Harrods, "it all remains the same at Fulham. Fulham is not being sold". An earlier analogy has already been made, suggesting that the sale of your house does not automatically trigger the sale of your car. But Harrods has been his "home" for so long that his departure will leave a huge hole in his life – that perhaps only his family and Fulham can fill. Tomorrow's final will offer him the sweetest diversion.

Fulham's European adventure began last July, spanning two qualifying rounds as well as group and knockout matches totalling 18 games and covering seven countries, as they also defeated Shakhtar Donetsk, the holders, and Wolfsburg, the German champions. Their win over Juventus in the last 16 was especially unforgettable. After conceding early in the second leg, they needed to score four unanswered goals against a famous old Italian club with six World Cup winners in their squad that delirious night.

Inspired by an admired English manager in Roy Hodgson, and a fevered crowd in a comfortable corner of west London, Fulham pummelled the Italian giants until the winner was scored with a chip of exquisite delicacy from Clint Dempsey.

Fayed was not quite as delicate before the semi-final second leg against Hamburg last month. As is his way, the 76-year-old walked around Craven Cottage before kick‑off, waving his scarf while relishing the applause of Fulham supporters who acknowledge the stability he has brought to the club over 13 years. A typical Fayed moment soon unfolded. As he approached the away end he stuck up two fingers at the Hamburg supporters. "When I passed them they started shouting at me," Fayed says amid hearty laughter. "What can you do? You want to go and punch them and not give them two fingers?"

It is less a question than a statement of defiance. Fayed chuckles again when asked if he was taunted by the visiting fans. "I don't know what they were singing. They were German you know. It's a language which makes you feel terrible when you hear people talking it."

Fayed will have ample opportunity over the next two days to consider the cadences of German speech. He flies to Hamburg this morning in preparation for an emotional final that, ironically, will be played in the home stadium of those fans who received his dismissive salute.

Any late move to install the tubby septuagenarian as Germany's World Cup mascot will not be boosted by a pre-match walk around the pitch. "It's not my club," Fayed says, "so I will just go where my fans are and say hello to them. I will be with the players and fans as much as I can."

In a season when the fractured relationship between supporters and owners has plummeted to a new low – especially in the embittered situations at Manchester United and Liverpool – the comparative warmth Fulham fans feel towards Fayed is striking. If there were concerns about his motives when he bought the club in 1997, with fears that he would sell Craven Cottage and plunder the profits, Fayed has emerged as a surprisingly benign and even popular chairman.

"I'm always bonding with the players and fans," Fayed says, having attended "80 or 90%" of Fulham's staggering 63 matches this season. "It's part of my love for the club. I am involved with all aspects – and it's important the players and manager see I am always encouraging them. I'm also always with the fans."

There would be a terrible threat of violence, and even worse, if any of the Glazer family tried to mingle with justifiably furious supporters after their purchase of the club saddled United with debts of £700m that have already cost over £325m in interest payments alone. The same brooding backdrop applies at Anfield as another set of American businessmen, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, try to sell off Liverpool after also using dubious methods to buy the club which is now £350m in debt.

Fayed might be an eccentric man, haunted by conspiracy theories and derided across large sections of the country, but he can be cherished at Fulham. He invested £200m of his own money in the club during his first 10 years of ownership – and his astute appointment of Hodgson has transformed fortunes on the pitch. His enthusiasm for Fulham is palpable.

"If you own a football club you have to be really involved and committed," Fayed says. "That is very important and it's the same in any business. You have to be really caring and show people you are really interested. I come out before the matches because it's important the fans see I am in a good mood. When I get to the club my mood is always lifted. You can be in a terrible mood but once you are at Fulham you are happy. I am also a fan. And so I have a tremendous feeling of being committed and helping give pleasure to all the supporters and players."

The Glazers, and some other new owners, are accused of pure greed. Is Fayed concerned about club ownership in the Premier League? "Yes, it is a pity. This is a British league and for people who own clubs they have to be really committed and care about the players and fans."

Fayed believes there is now a sustained threat to the health of the English game. "Absolutely. It all depends on the owners. Do they really love the game? Do they really love the club? Or are they just there for other causes? This is why clubs falter. It's difficult to show that love if you are far away. And it's not a good example if people own clubs just to make money or show off. If people are really keen about football and are not only thinking of a club as a way to make money it's fine. But if they are only thinking about money the whole attitude changes. It is not the right approach."

He might be a bit of a show-off himself but, as he insists Fulham act prudently and have built a team that, devoid of stars, works together as a coherent whole, Fayed becomes almost breathless with exuberance. "When you see our players, and how they work together in one unit, it is like art. Sometimes you also need to look to the sky so God helps us. But a lot depends on the team's mood. And so much comes down to the manager. He co-ordinates everything by studying the opposition and how best to beat them. It is also art – being a successful manager. It takes a lot of time and effort and I know personally Roy has done this study."

Who should be manager of the year – Hodgson for taking Fulham to the brink of European glory while patiently accepting his chairman's frequent visits to the dressing room or, just down the road, Carlo Ancelotti, who could complete the double in his first season with Chelsea? "It must be Roy," Fayed says. "I hope so. He deserves it."

There have been suggestions that Hodgson could become England's next manager or that he would be a practical alternative to Rafael Benítez at a floundering Liverpool. "If it is England I don't mind having to sacrifice Roy. It is important England do well. When England came for Kevin Keegan [in 1999 when he managed Fulham to promotion from Division Two] I didn't have any objection. It gave us pride that England was led by an ex-Fulham manager."

Fayed must hope Fabio Capello prospers at the World Cup. "Of course but, anyhow, if they want Roy for England I don't mind." What about those Liverpool fans who would welcome the appointment of Hodgson at Anfield? "I will go there and give them those two fingers," Fayed laughs.

When he turned to Hodgson just after Christmas in 2007, Fulham were reeling. It took Hodgson eight matches before Fulham won under his tenure; and two years ago this month the club were embroiled in a desperate fight. On the last day of the season they needed to beat then high-flying Portsmouth away to secure their Premier League status on goal difference.

"It's difficult when the players are faltering and not lifting themselves up," Fayed says. "It's a tremendous responsibility as an owner if you are facing relegation. You try your best to raise their feelings so they can deliver. I spent a lot of time at the training ground that week. You need that commitment if you own a club. But I'm always talking to the players. I'm saying, 'Are you happy? Do you have any complaints?' It's important to be human and be a father figure to them."

Has Fayed done the same this week as Fulham prepare for the most important game in their history? "Definitely. All week I have been with them. If they have the will they definitely can win it. But whatever happens you must smile. If you win it's wonderful. If it's bad you must still understand – it's football."

Fulham have been on such an exhilarating journey that, at least for one night, football fans across the country can support a team that Fayed and Hodgson have created in singular fashion. "I feel the warmth of the neutral fans," Fayed says. "This is such a beautiful club that is available to everybody who loves football. Change your team to Fulham. It is going to be difficult but everything is possible. We have learnt that this season."

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:14:27 AM
http://www.cityam.com/sport/relief-fulham-supporters-club%E2%80%99s-battle-extra-final-tickets-bears-fruit (http://www.cityam.com/sport/relief-fulham-supporters-club%E2%80%99s-battle-extra-final-tickets-bears-fruit)
Relief for Fulham supporters as club’s battle for extra final tickets bears fruit

FULHAM fans have until 5pm this afternoon to snap up the last few tickets for tomorrow’s Europa League final after the club succeeded in increasing its allocation.

Supporters besieged the Cottagers with complaints after the initial supply of tickets sold out within hours of going on sale last week.

Fans were unhappy that the club had allowed season ticket-holders to buy four seats each for the historic showdown with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Chiefs in turn pleaded with governing body Uefa to provide more tickets – and that request bore fruit yesterday when hundreds more were put on sale to Craven Cottage regulars.

Season ticket-holders who missed out on the first batch can now purchase one each for the club’s first European final. Although they are available by telephone, officials are encouraging anyone interested to buy in person from the box office, due to the shortage of time until the final.

The ticket chaos follows concerns that the team’s travel to Germany would be disrupted once again by volcanic ash.

l Meanwhile, Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson was last night named Manager of the Year by the League Managers’ Association.

Hodgson received the award – voted by coaches and managers from all 92 member clubs – by a record margin.

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: “He is highly respected within the game and held in the highest regard in the family of football.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:16:00 AM
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/174407/Tony-Gale-story-needs-fairy-tale-ending/ (http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/174407/Tony-Gale-story-needs-fairy-tale-ending/)
TONY GALE STORY NEEDS FAIRY-TALE ENDING

TALES of homespun warmth and humanity spill out of ­Fulham as naturally as the River Thames flows by ­Craven Cottage.


But in this momentous week, there is a unique magic about Tony Gale’s recollections of how the club’s players used to know all the regular fans by sight. And most of them by name.

There were so few of them, you see. No more than 5,000 or so when the team flitted around the old Second and Third Divisions in the Seventies and Eighties and were heading perilously close to bankruptcy and extinction.

“It’s a ground where the stands are very close to the pitch,” said Sky TV pundit Gale, who played 277 times for the club and has the place imprinted deeply on his soul.

“So you could recognise most of the people because they stood in the same place every week. You would also meet them at service stations travelling to and from away matches, so you’d get to know each other.

“It couldn’t happen now of course. But this was football in a different era. A very different era.” This is the modern English game’s greatest you-couldn’t-make-it-up story, so the point of Gale’s remembrances is obvious. No club have diced so dangerously with financial extinction and penury, only to clamber upwards and onwards, all the way to the European final they will contest against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg tomorrow.

At a rough estimate, it has cost the chairman, Moham ed Al Fayed, £200million over 13 years in charge to haul Fulham from the precipice. Charter jets have taken the team across most of the 30,000 miles and nine away legs they have played to get to the Europa League final.

But to reach Hamburg for the first leg of the semi-final they travelled by coach because of the volcanic ash cloud, which prompted another memory of how things used to be.

Ray Lewington, assistant to Roy Hodgson and the man who embodies the club’s spirit like no other, recalls how during one of his many spells as boss, player-manager, caretaker and No2, the pre-match meal was usually eaten on the team bus. A bowl of cornflakes for all, which presumably meant a lot of spilled milk.

“Roy rightly gets a lot of credit for this but, of course, it wouldn’t have happened without people like Ray Lewington and Mike Kelly on the coaching staff,” said Gale.

“Mr Al Fayed’s money has done so much but, without Ray and his family, there probably wouldn’t even be a Fulham. No man could represent more powerfully what the club are all about and he’s as good a coach as he was a player for the club too.

“But you don’t hear any of them blowing their own trumpets. It’s not the Fulham way. It’s not their way.”

By this stage of the build-up to this match, Fulham’s fans might be entitled to ask everyone to stop ruffling their hair so lovingly. It ought to be remembered that it is relentless training-ground drilling and serious hard work which has propelled the team on this journey, not fairy dust.

Yet it is so difficult to avoid lauding the club and the supporters for maintaining a sense of old-fashioned decency at the very top of a brutally rapacious business.

Whoever did not fancy a beer by the river and an afternoon among funny and committed followers of the game in the Cottage’s bucolic old stands? There is a good reason TV’s Minder made Terry McCann a Fulham supporter; not as some Cockney cliche but because the place is a real staple of London life.

Gale, a former apprentice who was at the club between 1977 and 1984, hails Al Fayed for defying every expectation that he bought Fulham on the make.

“It has been the opposite,” said Gale. “This is the man who appointed as a director Dennis Turner, fan and the club historian. It shows he understands and appreciates what Fulham are all about.” Even ahead of a major final like this, the special spirit made its mark. Gale and fellow members of the side who won promotion from Division Three under Malcolm McDonald in 1982 – including Lewington, Ray Houghton and Paul Parker – gathered for a fundraising night for cancer-stricken former team-mate Roger Brown.

“ More than 250 people came and we raised £10,000,” said Gale. “And among them I recognised a load of those old faces I used to see from the pitch, all these years later. That’s why people love Fulham.”‘Without Ray there wouldn’t be a Fulham’
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:17:33 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1918813/atletico-madrid-striker-sergio-aguero-fulham-do-not-have-the (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1918813/atletico-madrid-striker-sergio-aguero-fulham-do-not-have-the)
Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero: Fulham do not have the pedigree to defeat us in the Europa League final
But Argentine believes his team must still respect Cottagers

Sergio Aguero believes that Fulham do not have the history to defeat Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final.

Atletico were in the Champions League group stage earlier this season, and were winners of the old European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1962.

The Argentina international has warned his team that anything can happen in a final, but still insists that Atletico should beat the Cottagers in Hamburg on Wednesday.

“If we analyse the history and the statistics in Europe, Atletico are superior to Fulham,” Aguero told The Daily Star.

“This is no guarantee in the final, I respect Fulham because they have defeated Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.

“They will fight for the ball, but they are not Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal.”

Atletico advanced to the final after an extra-time Diego Forlan goal in the semi-final second leg at Anfield saw the Spanish club eliminate Liverpool on the away goals rule.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:18:33 AM
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/174405/Danny-Murphy-will-rely-on-his-faith/ (http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/174405/Danny-Murphy-will-rely-on-his-faith/)
DANNY MURPHY WILL RELY ON HIS FAITH

FULHAM’S incredible journey to their first European final has stunned football – not least skipper Danny Murphy, who was ready to give up the ghost the night his team-mates staged their amazing comeback to topple Juventus.


He sat suspended, frustrated, in the stands after being sent off in stoppage-time of the previous round at Shakhtar Donetsk, and thought Fulham’s great adventure was over in the last 16.

Murphy, who has been an integral part of the success story which has taken them to tomorrow’s final against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, said: “David Trezeguet scored after two minutes and I thought that was it. I contemplated going home at that point. It was 4-1 on aggregate and I felt like leaving the ground.”

But Murphy stayed, and was glad he did as he witnessed one of the great recoveries when Clint Dempsey’s late strike earned a 5-4 triumph.

“That was something that will live in the memory and was probably when everyone started to believe it could be a special year,” he added. Fulham used that belief against Wolfsburg and Hamburg, and will do so again against favourites Atletico.

Murphy said: “Rather than just going into the games and enjoying the experience and thinking, ‘This could be the end’, we were actually thinking, ‘We’ve just beaten Juventus, we can beat anyone’.”

There was good news for Fulham yesterday when Bobby Zamora (Achilles) and Damien Duff (leg muscle) both trained.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:25:57 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276830/Roy-Rover-Fulham-boss-Hodgsons-incredible-journey-Sweden-Middle-East-Milan-Fulham.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276830/Roy-Rover-Fulham-boss-Hodgsons-incredible-journey-Sweden-Middle-East-Milan-Fulham.html?ITO=1490)
Roy the Rover: Fulham boss Hodgson's incredible journey from Sweden to the Middle East, Milan and Fulham


Roy Hodgson has honed his managerial skills on a remarkable odyssey that has taken him to 12 clubs in six countries (plus three spells in charge of national sides).

Sportsmail looks back at a 34-year coaching career that will reach another pinnacle in Hamburg on Wednesday night.

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-09848D92000005DC-715_634x451.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A1E9000005DC-60_306x264.jpg)(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A264000005DC-833_306x262.jpg)
(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A20C000005DC-209_306x262.jpg)(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A1FC000005DC-350_306x261.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A359000005DC-759_306x261.jpg)(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A372000005DC-426_306x261.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A34D000005DC-656_306x261.jpg)(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A4FA000005DC-580_306x261.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A515000005DC-849_306x260.jpg)(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A4BC000005DC-655_306x260.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984BDB1000005DC-61_306x260.jpg)(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A33F000005DC-423_306x258.jpg)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/11/article-1276830-0984A244000005DC-706_634x469.jpg)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:32:01 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/11/1918859/atletico-madrid-striker-kun-aguero-focused-on-defeating (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/11/1918859/atletico-madrid-striker-kun-aguero-focused-on-defeating)
Atletico Madrid Striker Kun Aguero Focused On Defeating Fulham
Argentinian says the Copa del Rey final can wait...

Atletico Madrid striker Kun Aguero is hoping his side can capture a double cup success but insists the primary focus for his side is the Europa League final against Fulham in Hamburg on Wednesday.

A week later they face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final at Camp Nou but the Argentinian insists there will be plenty of time to think about that game after the European game.

"Since January we made a huge sacrifice. Now we have two finals and hopefully both titles. I am anxious for the first one to arrive. It's my debut in a final with a club," he said in an interview with El Pais.

"We must approach it as if it were the game of the century. We have to enjoy it and give it our all. If we win, it will give us a boost before the Copa final.

Aguero is wary of the threat Fulham possess and expects a tough challenge for his side, particularly from set pieces.

"They've knocked out several big teams. Juventus, Wolfsburg, Hamburg and in the group stages faced Roma. English football will guarantee strong players who are doing very well at the top. Their best weapon is the dead ball, just where we are weak. Almost all the goals that come this way and Bobby Zamora is not your typical big man. He knows how to move and open up spaces. We must be alert to their counterattack, which is also dangerous," he noted.

"We will celebrate if there is something to celebrate for sure. There will be days to prepare the match against Sevilla but first we must think about the Europa League. If we win, we will obviously have to celebrate."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:33:30 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/collins-happy-seeing-fulham-boss-hodgson-receive-due-recognition-830331 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/collins-happy-seeing-fulham-boss-hodgson-receive-due-recognition-830331)
Collins happy seeing Fulham boss Hodgson receive due recognition

Former Fulham star John Collins is delighted to see Roy Hodgson getting due recognition for his success at Craven Cottage.

Hodgson leads Fulham into the Europa League final against Atletico Madrid tomorrow night.

“Roy has improved almost every club he has been at,” Collins told The Herald. “He took Inter to the Uefa Cup final and second in Serie A. If you ask people in Scandinavia, everyone knows him. Maybe he did not have much experience as a player, but everyone knows that and management are two very different jobs. Arsene Wenger took the same path. Roy and Arsene are great teachers. If you listen to them, they are thoughtful coaches who do not bawl too often – you must have communication skills to be a good manager.

“Roy has reinvigorated people at Fulham whose careers were drifting elsewhere, such as Danny Murphy and Damien Duff, who now look to be at their best, while lots of people questioned spending £6 million on a striker like Bobby Zamora, but now he could go to the World Cup finals with England.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:34:39 AM
http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/duff-gives-fulham-europa-boost-2174927.html (http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/duff-gives-fulham-europa-boost-2174927.html)
Duff gives Fulham Europa boost

DAMIEN DUFF gave Fulham a Europa League final boost by coming through a training session yesterday.

Bobby Zamora, Fulham's other main injury concern, also trained but manager Roy Hodgson has yet to decide whether the striker, who has been struggling with an Achilles problem, is fit enough to start against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg tomorrow night.

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

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and John Pantsil also came through training yesterday -- as did Bjorn Helge Riise, who had to be substituted against Arsenal on Sunday because of stomach cramps.

Fulham expect no disruption to their travel plans after fears that the volcanic ash would play spoilsport eased.

The club, who had drawn up alternative arrangements in case the situation deteriorated, expect to fly to Hamburg from London as scheduled this morning.

As a precaution, Atletico departed for Germany yesterday -- 24 hours earlier than planned.

- Jamie Holland

Irish Independent
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:35:30 AM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/murphy-biggest-trophy-chance-fulham-history-830601 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/murphy-biggest-trophy-chance-fulham-history-830601)
Murphy: Biggest trophy chance in Fulham history

Fulham captain Danny Murphy says leading the club to Europa League glory would be the biggest moment of his career.

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: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:36:57 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/11/fulham-star-gunning-for-revenge-against-madrid-82029-26418313/ (http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/11/fulham-star-gunning-for-revenge-against-madrid-82029-26418313/)
Fulham star gunning for revenge against Madrid

BREDE Hangeland won’t get a wink of sleep until Fulham face Atlético Madrid tomorrow evening.

The giant Norwegian has suffered sleepless nights since his missus gave birth to his second daughter that coincided with their Europa League semi-final win over Hamburg.

But Hangeland admitted it’s not just the four-hour feeds during the night that are keeping him awake - it’s a chance to get his own back on the Spanish side.

The defender wants revenge for a 2-0 defeat inflicted by Madrid when he played for FC Copenhagen in the old UEFA Cup.

He said: "I could do with a bit more sleep - but we won against Hamburg so maybe I can’t complain too much.

"Atlético are a great side, and on their day not far behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“I’m not worried they will be favourites. I don’t think that’s an issue - we’re Fulham, aren’t we? So the other team are always favourite."

There will be a medal of some sort to show baby Ella - but before that, Hangeland has had to stave off ‘friends’ that have appeared out of the woodwork hoping for a ticket.

He said: "I’ll have to check my phone again - no doubt there are a few more texts. And yeah, Fulham getting to the final is a little bit of consolation for Norway not going to the World Cup."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:38:09 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7707529/Atletico-Madrid-v-Fulham-Danny-Murphy-savours-Uefa-Europa-League-final-script.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7707529/Atletico-Madrid-v-Fulham-Danny-Murphy-savours-Uefa-Europa-League-final-script.html)
Atlético Madrid v Fulham: Danny Murphy savours Uefa Europa League final script
Danny Murphy says winning the Europa League final with Fulham on Wednesday would surpass anything he achieved during seven years at Liverpool.

Murphy, the club captain, has plenty of experience of magical European occasions at Liverpool – not least their 5-4 golden goal win over Alaves in the 2001 Uefa Cup final – but even this most battle-hardened of footballers finds himself shaking his head in wonderment at Fulham's achievements.

"If you go from two years ago when we played Portsmouth on the last day of the season, the transformation since then has been film-like really," he said. "If you had written it as a book or made it as a film, you would just laugh really at the speed and surrealism of it."

There was nothing more surreal than the second leg of Fulham's last-16 tie against Juventus. Murphy was suspended, meaning he could only watch from the stands and when David Trezeguet scored after two minutes he thought all hope had gone.

"I contemplated going home at that point," Murphy said. "It was 4-1 on aggregate and I felt like leaving. Juventus had four or five World-Cup winners. What happened will live in the memory and was probably the night where everyone started to believe it could be a special year. That night has been pivotal in this journey."

If any player has come to represent Fulham's journey, it is Murphy. Having left Tottenham in 2007, his career appeared locked on a downward spiral as Fulham looked certainties to be relegated back into the Championship. Roy Hodgson had replaced Lawrie Sanchez in December 2007, yet still needed to mastermind five wins in their final five league matches to ensure survival.

"I was at a crossroads with Tottenham," Murphy said, "and I knew there was a new adventure around the corner. Roy doesn't like all the plaudits but he has deserved them because he has turned the club around. It has been a classic Italian mentality."

That mentality has placed Fulham on the brink of an achievement against Atlético Madrid in Hamburg that Murphy says would top his achievements at Liverpool.

"The trophies I won at Liverpool, including the Uefa Cup, were kind of expected," he said. "I remember thinking most, when we were 3-1 up against Alaves, that we had won it, that we had done it. It was a very stupid mentality to have because we nearly threw it away. Winning trophies, whether it is expected of Liverpool or unexpected, is the memories you will carry with you for the rest of your life."

Fulham expect no disruption to their travel plans after fears over the volcanic ash cloud subsided on Monday

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:39:18 AM
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6146636/Fulham-s-fingers-crossed-over-Zamora (http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6146636/Fulham-s-fingers-crossed-over-Zamora)
Fulham's 'fingers crossed' over Zamora

Fulham's Aaron Hughes believes it is crucial that Bobby Zamora wins his fitness battle for the Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

Zamora is struggling with an Achilles injury and is a doubt for the biggest match in the Cottagers' 131-year history.

A clearer picture over his availability should emerge today and Hughes feels it is imperative the team's top scorer features after playing such a central role in helping Fulham reach the Hamburg Arena.

"Bobby's desperate to play. It's a European final and he's contributed so much the club," said the Northern Ireland defender.

"This season he's had the goals to go with his hard work whereas last season he didn't get the recognition he is now for scoring.

"Everyone's delighted that he's been able to get the recognition he deserves. He's such an important part of our team.

"If he doesn't play we'll miss him but fingers crossed he'll be fit and if he is that's definitely a plus for us."

Atletico are clear favourites to prevent Fulham lifting their first major trophy but Hughes insists there is one last effort left in their fairytale season.

"We've done it the hard way in getting to the final and that shows our character more than anything," he said.

"We kept believing in ourselves and the way we play and that's got us to where we are. There's no reason why we can't win it.

"Atletico are such a big name with such big players that we have to be the underdogs

"It's a fine line because anything can happen in the final. It's impressive to get this far but it would be great to win it."

Hughes lavished praise on manager Roy Hodgson, who has become hot property after masterminding Fulham's spectacular campaign.

"Roy's about hard work, about getting across his principles on style of play. Everyone knows their job and their position," he said.

"He's seen it all in his career so is very composed - he knows how to deal with situations.

"He's pretty calm and that transfers to the players. You don't see us panicking much in games, we just stick to the plan.

"He stresses that win or lose a lot can be made of one game when in fact you play 38 in the league alone."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:40:14 AM
http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/amateur-football/2010/05/11/beware-bobby-zamora-says-atletico-keeper-david-de-gea-100252-26418742/ (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/amateur-football/2010/05/11/beware-bobby-zamora-says-atletico-keeper-david-de-gea-100252-26418742/)
Beware Bobby Zamora says Atletico keeper David de Gea

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 tomorrow’s Europa League final despite an Achilles injury.

De Gea 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, with Atletico also facing Sevilla in the Copa del Rey.

“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. Hopefully we can win both.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 08:41:09 AM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/11/fulham-v-atletico-madrid-82029-26420467/ (http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/05/11/fulham-v-atletico-madrid-82029-26420467/)
Fulham v Atletico Madrid

DAMIEN Duff and Bobby Zamora have handed Fulham a massive boost ahead of tomorrow night's Europa League final with Atletico Madrid.

The Irishman missed Sunday's defeat to Arsenal with a calf problem, while Zamora hasn't featured since limping out of the semi-final win against Hamburg with a recurrence of an Achilles injury.

But the duo returned to training yesterday and are both set to start against the Spanish side.

However, Whites boss Roy Hodgson is still sweating on the fitness of John Pantsil (thigh) and Bjorn Helge Riise (ill).

The pair were substituted in the 4-0 drubbing at the Emirates, and face a race against time to be fit for the final.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 09:34:58 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276927/Fulham-defender-Aaron-Hughes-banking-Bobby-Zamora-fit-face-Atletico-Madrid.html?ITO=1490 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276927/Fulham-defender-Aaron-Hughes-banking-Bobby-Zamora-fit-face-Atletico-Madrid.html?ITO=1490)
Fulham defender Aaron Hughes banking on Bobby Zamora being fit to face Atletico Madrid

Fulham's Aaron Hughes believes it is crucial that Bobby Zamora wins his fitness battle for Wednesday night's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.   

Zamora is struggling with an achilles injury and is a doubt for the biggest match in the Cottagers' 131-year history.   

A clearer picture over his availability should emerge today (Tuesday) and Hughes feels it is imperative the team's top scorer features after playing such a central role in helping Fulham reach the Hamburg Arena. 

'Bobby's desperate to play. It's a European final and he's contributed so much the club,' said the Northern Ireland defender. 

'This season he's had the goals to go with his hard work whereas last season he didn't get the recognition he is now for scoring.   

'Everyone's delighted that he's been able to get the recognition he deserves. He's such an important part of our team.   

'If he doesn't play we'll miss him but fingers crossed he'll be fit and if he is that's definitely a plus for us.'
Atletico are clear favourites to prevent Fulham lifting their first major trophy but Hughes insists there is one last effort left in their fairytale season.   

'We've done it the hard way in getting to the final and that shows our character more than anything,' he said. 'We kept believing in ourselves and the way we play and that's got us to where we are. There's no reason why we can't win it.   

'Atletico are such a big name with such big players that we have to be the underdogs.
 
'It's a fine line because anything can happen in the final. It's impressive to get this far but it would be great to win it.'
Hughes lavishes praise on manager Roy Hodgson, who has become hot property after masterminding Fulham's spectacular campaign.   

'Roy's about hard work, about getting across his principles on style of play. Everyone knows their job and their position,' he said.   

'He's seen it all in his career so is very composed - he knows how to deal with situations.   

'He's pretty calm and that transfers to the players. You don't see us panicking much in games, we just stick to the plan.   

'He stresses that win or lose a lot can be made of one game when in fact you play 38 in the league alone.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276927/Fulham-defender-Aaron-Hughes-banking-Bobby-Zamora-fit-face-Atletico-Madrid.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nbl9D11V (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1276927/Fulham-defender-Aaron-Hughes-banking-Bobby-Zamora-fit-face-Atletico-Madrid.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nbl9D11V)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 09:35:49 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1919047/manchester-united-boss-sir-alex-ferguson-confident-fulham (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1919047/manchester-united-boss-sir-alex-ferguson-confident-fulham)
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson confident Fulham will win Europa League final
Fergie backing Hodgson's men for glory in Hamburg...

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has little doubt that Fulham will beat Atletico Madrid this week in Hamburg to win the Europa League.

Cottagers manager Roy Hodgson was named manager of the year on Monday evening by the League Managers Association, after steering his side through a marathon campaign to the final of the competition.

Ferguson cannot see Atletico beating the west Londoners, who have benefited from having a settled side over the season.

"I think there's only one choice to be honest with you," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"Roy Hodgson's performance and feat in taking Fulham to a final after 63 matches is quite amazing really.

"I think they've an absolutely magnificent chance - I think they will win it.

"I think that the great thing about Fulham at the moment is you know what you're getting every week. There's a consistency and there's a good team selection all the time.

"The same team has been doing the job all the time.

"Hopefully Bobby Zamora's fit for it because he's an important player for them, obviously.

"But they've got the shape of their team right, they've got the balance and they know how to play. I think they've got a great chance."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 09:43:22 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134760/Decision-day-for-Fabio-Capello-about-final-World-Cup-squad-/ (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134760/Decision-day-for-Fabio-Capello-about-final-World-Cup-squad-/)
DECISION DAY FOR FABIO CAPELLO ABOUT FINAL WORLD CUP SQUAD

FABIO CAPELLO gets nought out of 100 for his absurd World Cup commercial game with the England players.



The Capello Index was launched yesterday and what an own goal from the England coach. 



The 63-year-old Italian has not put a foot wrong since taking over but has now dumped his size nine right in the **** with this venture. 



Capello is to mark his World Cup players out of 100 after every game in South Africa for a ‘football index for fans’ project. 



He has been working on it for two years to help create an international player ranking system as well as the scoring mechanism for a new fantasy football game – the Capello XI. 



What is he thinking of and why on earth did the FA not stop him? 



This is right up there with former chief executive David Davies writing a World Cup 98 diary with manager Glenn Hoddle and Graham Taylor being wired up for sound in the dressing room without the players knowing. 



Capello had not discussed this extraordinary venture with his players either and says he will use the markings as motivation in South Africa. 



Oh yes, great motivation when players discover they have got 20, 30 or 40 out of 100 for their performances. 



Players hate this kind of thing. Capello has always fiercely protected his men and this blows any secrecy completely. 



What you think of your players should stay in the dressing room, not splashed all over a commercial website. Yesterday’s announcement came just 24 hours before Capello’s 30-man squad get texts today telling them they are in before the names are made public. 



From 4pm today he can’t make a mistake and must get everything absolutely right. 



The backdrop to the announcement is now controversy and news that will shake the players. This is so unlike Capello, who prides himself on doing everything right. 



He has banned the players from making a World Cup record, told the WAGS to stay away and frowns on the use of too many electronic games inside the South African HQ. 



He has been the tough schoolmaster they were waiting for. Then he goes and does this without the squad knowing. 



It is the fi rst slip of the iron mask we have seen and it can only be for financial gain. 



On £6m a year he should have focused only on the World Cup and not dropped his guard so blatantly. 



There are 62 days to the World Cup Final in South Africa and Capello simply can’t afford another mistake like this one. 



He hasn’t achieved anything yet because England should always qualify for the major tournaments. 



He gets vast amounts and is viewed as one of the best coaches in the world. 



He certainly has more problems to solve than he would have liked at this stage of England’s build-up. 



Capello has always maintained he would never take a crocked player to South Africa. Also, his players have to have performed regularly for their clubs. 



All that has come back to haunt him because of so many injuries at the end of a long, hard Premier League season. 

 

It is likely Spurs captain Ledley King will be included despite a dodgy knee and the fact he can’t train between matches and needs round-the-clock treatment. 



But Capello yesterday dropped a massive hint when he said of King: “I am really happy because he has played four games in 15 days.” 



What happens if he breaks down early on in the tournament? 



King is a Cinderella story but he must not go to the ball. 



Rio Ferdinand has played fewer games than King this season and his form and fitness is one of the biggest concerns. 



At this moment Ferdinand and King are both gambles. It’s why Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher has been persuaded to come out of international retirement. 



Carragher will be in the final 23 because there is no point in bending over backwards to get him to change his mind and then leaving him behind. 



Carragher quit England because he was fed up with turning up, travelling and then sitting on the bench. 



He will have to get used to that again if Ferdinand and Terry are fit and in form. Or has Capello made bigger promises to him? 



Surely the England coach can’t gamble on Owen Hargreaves after a couple of seconds on the pitch for Manchester United this season? 



A fit Hargreaves walks into the 30 and then the 23, but not after such a long lay-off and the complication of a virus that ruled him out of Manchester United’s last game of the season against Stoke on Sunday. 



Wes Brown of United is set to be named even though he has never inspired as an international. 



Phil Jagielka of Everton has only played a handful of matches at the end of the season and there can be no place for Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott, whose season has been blighted by injury. 



Capello will not go for Gareth Barry, who is recovering from an ankle injury. Tom Huddlestone is waiting for a late call, and what does Capello do about Joe Cole of Chelsea? 



Capello said yesterday he would address the Cole situation today. It is not encouraging for the Chelsea man. 



He loves pace and in attack so there will be places for Theo Walcott of Arsenal and Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon. 



Can he squeeze Shaun Wright- Phillips in to the final 23? The answer is probably no. 



Bobby Zamora of Fulham has made a late bid and seems certain to be in today’s 30 – if he is fi t. If he’s not, Darren Bent of Sunderland will replace him. But for me he is not an international footballer. 



That is the point of today’s announcement. Capello has got to get it right and then carry on getting it right. On and off the pitch. 



He conceded yesterday: “I have two decisions to make. One is a medical problem and the other is something else.” 



The decision to announce his Capello Index is the one that could come back to haunt him, especially if things don’t start well in South Africa. 



Nought Fabio.... and that is marking you highly. 



Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:25:59 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/11/fulham-europa-league-final (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/11/fulham-europa-league-final)
Fulham's Europa League final given go ahead
• Ash cloud threatens to disrupt air travel
• Uefa will review situation if planes are grounded

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Football/Pix/pictures/2010/4/30/1272609325371/Fulham-v-Hamburg-Zoltan-G-007.jpg)
Fulham's Zoltan Gera celebrates scoring his side's winner against Hamburg in the Europa League semi-final second leg. Photograph: Joe Giddens/Empics Sport

Uefa expects tomorrow's Europa League final in Hamburg to go ahead as planned, despite the threat of the latest ash cloud potentially disrupting air travel for Fulham and Atlético Madrid and their supporters. European football's governing body will reassess the situation if air travel from the United Kingdom is suddenly ruled out overnight.

Airports were closed in Germany on Sunday for nine hours, though the London-Frankfurt route, which many Fulham fans are expected to use, was open for business yesterday morning.

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, voiced his concern after the club's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal that the ash might again affect his club's ability to fly to Hamburg. Fulham were forced to travel by rail and road for the semi-final first leg against Hamburg after airports were closed due to the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano. Hodgson, right, said: "If Madrid are also in that situation then Uefa should try and find a solution to help us both."

Fulham had to endure a 12-hour trip to reach Hamburg a fortnight ago and will hope to fly out this morning as they originally planned. Hodgson, meanwhile, was last night voted manager of the year by his peers, the League Managers' Association, for steering Fulham to a European final.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:27:42 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6146787,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6146787,00.html)
Aguero - Fulham are inferior
Forward insists Atletico not afraid of Cottagers ahead of Hamburg final

Sergio Aguero has played down Fulham's chances of winning the Europa League after insisting Atletico Madrid deserve the trophy on the back of their European heritage.

The Primera Liga side won the old Cup Winners' Cup in 1962 and have competed in the UEFA Champions League for the last two seasons and Aguero, 21, reckons Atletico have every right to feel that they are the favourites in Wednesday's showpiece.

The highly-rated Argentine forward insists the Spanish outfit do not fear Roy Hodgson's side, despite the Cottagers' fine run to the final which has included the scalps of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.

"If we analyse the history and the statistics in Europe, Atletico are superior to Fulham," Aguero told the Daily Star.

"This is no guarantee in the final, I respect Fulham because they have defeated Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.

"They will fight for the ball, but they are not Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:29:51 AM
http://www.adifferentleague.co.uk/p6_1_2844_club-focus-fulham-hodgson-the-history-maker-on-the-brink-of-europa-league-glory.html (http://www.adifferentleague.co.uk/p6_1_2844_club-focus-fulham-hodgson-the-history-maker-on-the-brink-of-europa-league-glory.html)
Club Focus - Fulham - Hodgson the history-maker on the brink of Europa League glory

And so ends a somewhat ordinary league season with a 4-0 defeat to Arsenal. While the Whites have exceeded all expectations in Europe with an extraordinary run to the Europa League final, the Premier League campaign has taken on a far more familiar look. Defeat in North London means the opening-day victory at Fratton Park remains Fulham's sole away league win all season.



For everything Roy Hodgson has achieved at the club, it appears only Jesus himself could overturn the Whites' miserable form on the road - not that anyone involved with the club dare ask for anything more, as for many of them the Messiah is exactly what they have been provided with. It is a remarkable achievement, of course, that the continental run did not come at the expense of the Cottagers' top-flight status, and the league finish is, in itself, a massive success, such are the resources available to Roy Hodgson and his troops. The manager resisted the urge to give his first-team a thorough test before Wednesday's final, deciding instead that rest would be far more useful to his overworked side. Keeping the European heroes fit is of far more importance than a measly Premier League fixture, and form in the build up to European knock-out ties is hardly anything to go by, either. The Whites lost three on the spin between that Juventus tie and the first-leg against Wolfsburg, and the two Hamburg legs were sandwiched between a morale-sapping last-minute defeat at Goodison Park. The league had no effect on either of those occasions, and nor will the players be thinking about their current two-match losing streak when they line up alongside Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan et al on Wednesday night.



Just as times could not be better for the club, Chairman Mohammed Al-Fayed has sold one of his prized assets, Harrods. Whether this means he will be looking to sell one of his others - Fulham - will likely be a huge topic of speculation over the summer. If rumours are to be believed, he has been open to offers for several years. The Egyptian is undeniably looking to wind down, and leaving behind a legacy of the (potential) inaugural Europa League winners would certainly be the highest of curtain calls. All anyone can go by is the Chairman's own words, which are that he has no intention of selling. Besides, there is the small matter of a European final before attentions may or may not be turned to off-field matters. Fans can take comfort from his recent comments on Hodgson’s moment of recognition: “This award shows that occasionally football makes the right decision, and Roy is it. Now all he has to do is win the Europa League competition and I will pay the excess baggage for him to bring the trophy back.” His generosity has known no bounds since becoming a part of the SW6 furniture, and Hodgson would certainly not turn down an offer to fund some more European gems along the lines of Brede Hangeland this summer.



The former Blackburn Rovers manager may well have missed out on the Premier League award for top boss, but the LMA gong comes as a well-deserved nod to his achievements at the club - achievements that, should the foundations hold firm, could well keep coming. The speculation surrounding Hodgson, Liverpool and England will go on but this writer questions the sense in the Merseyside rumours at least - he is not the kind of man who courts publicity or likes to have his every move questioned. English clubs failed to give him his big opportunity in his younger years and he instead had to ply his trade in Europe - it seems now, with a humble club that gave the modest man his chance, a deserved European trophy is just 90 minutes away from his grasp. He has certainly found success with his continental outlook and, ironically, what he was forced to learn away from these shores he has brought back with him to the detriment of his opposite numbers - what many clubs would give to have a Hodgson of their own.



It probably will never get bigger for Fulham fans than tomorrow night, and if there was ever a manager to lead an English side to European success then it is Hodgson, who has seen everything our continental neighbours have to offer - and has beaten it all tactically.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:31:49 AM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/05/11/1919182/fulham-sweating-on-the-fitness-of-striker-bobby-zamora-ahead (http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/05/11/1919182/fulham-sweating-on-the-fitness-of-striker-bobby-zamora-ahead)
Fulham Sweating On The Fitness Of Striker Bobby Zamora Ahead Of Europa League Final
Hughes hails Hodgson as a knowledgable boss

Aaron Hughes admits that Fulham are desperate to see striker Bobby Zamora spearhead the attacking third of the pitch during the Europa League final.

The London-based club will take on Atletico Madrid at Hamburg in a battle to be crowned winners of Europe's second-tier competition. But Zamora must first overcome a persistent Achilles injury if he is to play a part in the proceedings on Wednesday.

"Bobby's desperate to play. It's a European final and he's contributed so much the club," Hughes told the press. "This season he's had the goals to go with his hard work whereas last season he didn't get the recognition he is now for scoring.

"Everyone's delighted that he's been able to get the recognition he deserves. He's such an important part of our team.

"If he doesn't play we'll miss him but fingers crossed he'll be fit and if he is that's definitely a plus for us."

The Cottagers' defender maintains that it is a great achievement to be part of the squad that has made it to the first European final in the club's history, but wants to ensure victory over Atleti to make the occasion that much sweeter.

"We've done it the hard way in getting to the final and that shows our character more than anything," said Hughes.

"We kept believing in ourselves and the way we play and that's got us to where we are. There's no reason why we can't win it.

"Atletico are such a big name with such big players that we have to be the underdogs

"It's a fine line because anything can happen in the final. It's impressive to get this far but it would be great to win it."

A lot of credit for Fulham's dream run in Europe has been attributed to manager Roy Hodgson, who has now been named the LMA Manager of the Year.

And the Northern Ireland international added: "Roy's about hard work, about getting across his principles on style of play. Everyone knows their job and their position.

"He's seen it all in his career so is very composed - he knows how to deal with situations.

"He's pretty calm and that transfers to the players. You don't see us panicking much in games, we just stick to the plan.

"He stresses that win or lose a lot can be made of one game when in fact you play 38 in the league alone."

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:32:41 AM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/11/manual_102101.html&TEAMHD=soccer (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/11/manual_102101.html&TEAMHD=soccer)
AL FAYED WOULDN'T BLOCK HODGSON

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has revealed he would have no objection to Roy Hodgson becoming the next England manager.

Cottagers boss Hodgson was named manager of the year by the League Managers' Association on Tuesday after leading his side to the Europa League final, with Fulham set to face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.

Hodgson also guided the club to the FA Cup quarter-finals and 12th spot in the Premier League this season, but Fayed insists he would be willing to let his manager leave should England come calling.

"If it is England I don't mind having to sacrifice Roy," Al Fayed told The Guardian.

"It is important England do well. When England came for Kevin Keegan (in 1999 when he managed Fulham to promotion from Division Two) I didn't have any objection.

"It gave us pride that England was led by an ex-Fulham manager."

Al Fayed is hoping Fabio Capello can prosper with England at the World Cup this summer, adding: "Of course but, anyhow, if they want Roy for England I don't mind."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:34:01 AM
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/key-cottagers-in-training-boost-1061052.html (http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/key-cottagers-in-training-boost-1061052.html)
Key Cottagers in training boost

Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff have handed Fulham a boost ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday by returning to training.

The Cottagers have been sweating on the fitness of top scorer Zamora, who has failed to feature for the club since they progressed to the final courtesy of their semi-final second-leg win against German side Hamburg last month, due to an Achilles problem.

Republic of Ireland international Duff was forced to miss Sunday's final Premier League game of the season at Arsenal, due to a calf injury he picked up in the 1-0 home defeat to Stoke last Wednesday.

However, they both trained on Monday afternoon and enhanced their chances of playing in the final against Spanish side Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Meanwhile boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful that John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise can also prove their fitness for the game after both were substituted in Sunday's 4-0 defeat against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium with respective thigh and stomach problems.

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 reassess him.

"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."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:35:17 AM
http://www.clubcall.com/fulham/duo-back-boost-cottagers-1061052.html (http://www.clubcall.com/fulham/duo-back-boost-cottagers-1061052.html)
Duo back to boost Cottagers

Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff have handed Fulham a boost ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday by returning to training.

The Cottagers have been sweating on the fitness of top scorer Zamora, who has failed to feature for the club since they progressed to the final courtesy of their semi-final second-leg win against German side Hamburg last month, due to an Achilles problem.

Republic of Ireland international Duff was forced to miss Sunday's final Premier League game of the season at Arsenal, due to a calf injury he picked up in the 1-0 home defeat to Stoke last Wednesday.

However, they both trained on Monday afternoon and enhanced their chances of playing in the final against Spanish side Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Meanwhile boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful that John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise can also prove their fitness for the game after both were substituted in Sunday's 4-0 defeat against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium with respective thigh and stomach problems.

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 reassess him.

"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."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 11:36:39 AM
http://www.bettingzone.co.uk/football/betting/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=betting/10/05/11/manual_091951.html (http://www.bettingzone.co.uk/football/betting/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=betting/10/05/11/manual_091951.html)
FULHAM CAN MAKE DREAM COME TRUE

Fulham are preparing for the biggest match in their history against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and we're backing the Cottagers' fairytale journey to end in celebrations.

Roy Hodgson has demonstrated his managerial genius against all the odds in Europe this season by guiding his side to the Europa League final and there's little doubt what a remarkable achievement it would be for them to prevail in Hamburg.

They are regarded by the bookies as outsiders at a best of 7/5 with Blue Square to lift the trophy but considering what they've been through just to get there, you could argue they have the 'sporting gods' on their side.

At 4-1 down on aggregate against Juventus following David Trezeguet's second-minute goal in the second leg of their last 16 tie at Craven Cottage, Fulham were as good as out and their dreams in tatters.

But in one of the most magical nights of the season, the Cottagers battled back through Bobby Zamora, Zoltan Gera (2) and Clint Dempsey to claim a stunning 5-4 victory and set up a quarter-final clash with German champions Wolfsburg.

Despite being underdogs once again, Hodgson's men cruised through 3-1 on aggregate after impressively edging the second leg 1-0 away from home, never looking troubled as soon as talisman Zamora gave them the lead inside a minute.

Another trip to Germany beckoned in the first leg of their semi-final and although the volcanic ash cloud forced them to undertake a gruelling 17-hour journey on a bus, Fulham's defence stood tall as they frustrated hosts Hamburg to a gutsy goalless draw at the Nordbank Arena.

They didn't make it easy for themselves at the Cottage, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1, sparking wild scenes of celebration with their supporters now looking forward to a historic first ever European final.

In total they've played an incredible 18 games in Europe this season and can boast 11 wins, four draws and just three defeats, which they suffered away in Rome, Turin and way out near the Ural Mountains in Russia last August, so they have every reason to be confident of causing one last upset.

But having already beaten the likes of Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Juventus and big spending UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk, would overcoming a rather average Atletico Madrid side really be a shock?

The Spanish side failed to win any of their Champions League group games during a dismal campaign which saw them sneak third place ahead of Apoel Nicosia on a measly three points while they haven't looked much better in Europe's secondary competition.

After edging to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Galatasaray in the first knockout round, Quique Sanchez Flores' men then progressed past both Sporting Lisbon and Valencia on away goals without winning a single leg.

Diego Forlan was the hero in their semi-final against Liverpool, scoring the only goal at Vicente Calderon before netting the decisive away strike during extra-time at Anfield, and he'll be the man Fulham's defence will be fully aware of.

Domestically, both clubs have experienced pretty similar league campaigns with Fulham ending up in a respectable mid-table position of 14th while Atletico, who have also reached the final of the Copa Del Rey, can't finish any higher than ninth heading into Spain's final round of fixtures.

It's to Fulham's credit they effectively managed to seal their safety early enough for them to fully concentrate on their European ambitions, which had been the second priority earlier in the season, and recent Premier League results shouldn't be relied on too much when betting on this match.

The Cottagers were thumped 4-0 at Arsenal on Sunday - their 62nd game of the season - having rested a number of key names while you have to wonder if recent defeats to Stoke and Everton were really that much of a disappointment.

Atletico have only won three of their last nine Primera Liga games, drawing one and losing five so again there's no reason to think Fulham are up against a vastly superior side at a venue they've already experienced of course.

The fitness of Zamora and Damien Duff will be crucial to Fulham's chances but don't forget they actually scored both goals against Hamburg at Craven Cottage without their star striker on the pitch.

We'd rather take the 7/5 about overall victory for Fulham rather than the 13/5 on them to win inside 90 minutes because of the amount of draws Atletico have forced so far in this competition.

It could also be an extremely cagey affair given how desperate these teams will be to win the trophy and we wouldn't be surprised to see this go all the way to penalties.

In that case, it's obviously a lottery so a small punt on either side to win via that method would also be advisable - Atletico are a best of 10/1 with Stan James while Fulham are priced at 12/1 with the same firm.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:07:11 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2010/05/11/1918988/europa-league-final-analysis-atletico-madrid-v-fulham-the (http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2010/05/11/1918988/europa-league-final-analysis-atletico-madrid-v-fulham-the)
Europa League Final Analysis: Atletico Madrid v Fulham - The Key Battles
Goal.com's Subhankar Mondal looks at the key individual duels that could determine the result of Wednesday's Europa League final.....

Luis Perea v Bobby Zamora

Colombia Nationality England

31 Age 29

Centre Back Position Centre Forward

7 Matches 13

0 Goals 6

 857 Castrol Ranking 588


Luis Perea was solid as a rock on most occasions against Valencia and Liverpool in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively of the Europa League this campaign. The Colombian international centre-back played an important part in stopping Liverpool score at the Calderon.

Atleti's major defect is their defence, and although Perea cannot be ranked as one of the best defenders in Spain, the 31-year-old has proven in the knockout stages of Europe's second most prestigious club competition that he can be relied upon for the most part. Along with his central defensive partner Alvaro Dominguez, Perea will be looking to maintain a solid front at the heart of the Atleti defence on Wednesday evening.

Bobby Zamora has had a breakthrough season with Fulham this campaign and has been a very important player for the Cottagers in the Europa League. Zamora, who has been struggling with an Achilles problem, has struck six times and completed two assists in 13 matches in Europe and scored against both Juventus and Wolfsburg.

The Fulham striker has been so good that he is expected to be named in Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup finals. Zamora's movements and eye for goal will give Atletico Madrid's defence a huge problem, but he will have to encounter tough challenges from Luis Perea and Alvaro Dominguez. Atleti custodian David De Gea has acknowledged the threat posed by the former West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur striker when he defined Zamora as a "great player".


Paulo Assuncao v Danny Murphy

Brazil Nationality England

30 Age 33

Midfielder Position Midfielder

 8 Matches 9

0 Goals 1

 512 Castrol Ranking 476


Paulo Assuncao has been a consistent figure in the Atletico Madrid midfield since arriving from FC Porto at the start of the 2008-09 season. The Brazilian defensive midfielder might not always get recognition for his battling qualities in the middle of the park but he will be a key player for Atleti on Wednesday night.

Atleti's notoriously porous backline will depend on how Assuncao works in the midfield and protects it. Assuncao was recently nominated for the Atleti player of the season award by Goal.com and he should be looking to justify it.

Danny Murphy has rejuvenated himself since joining Fulham in 2007 and has had an effective and successful season this term. The 33-year-old has scored once and made another in nine appearances in the Europa League for the London side.

The former Liverpool midfielder's best days may have been at Anfield but this campaign the ex-Charlton Athletic medio has shown that he still has fuel in his tank. Murphy will be featuring in central midfield for Fulham and will be looking to push the Cottagers into the opposition half. Murphy's experience in big games will be an asset in combating the Atletico midfield.
 

Simao Sabrosa v Damien Duff

Portugal Nationality Ireland

30 Age 31

Winger Position Winger

8 Matches 11

1 Goals 1

291 Castrol Ranking 297


Simao will start on the left side of the midfield for Atletico Madrid and will be a huge threat. A winger by description, Simao is best as a wide midfielder who has the ability and propensity to drift inside.

The former Barcelona winger, who can also feature as a forward on occasion, will have Jose Antonio Reyes across the pitch at the other end and he and the Spaniard will be looking to create havoc on the flanks. Moreover, Simao's free-kick skills could come in handy.

Damien Duff will start on the right for Fulham, which implies that the Irishman will be facing Simao, at least initially. Duff is a tricky winger whose dribbling, shooting and passing abilities are markedly brilliant.

Duff is more direct and faster than Simao and it will be interesting to see how the duo battle with each other when they come face to face.

Sergio Aguero v Brede Hangeland

Argentina Nationality Norway

21 Age 28

Centre Forward Position Centre Back

7 Matches 11

2 Goals 2

64 Castrol Ranking 632


Sergio Aguero hasn't been as prolific in Europe as one would have expected him to be but the Argentine international striker will be a key threat to the Fulham citadel. With Diego Forlan, Aguero forges one of the most dangerous strike partnerships in the whole of Europe.

The 21-year-old's runs, movement, dribbling skills and link-up play with Forlan will keep the Fulham defenders on their toes throughout. It will be interesting to see what plan Fulham manager Roy Hodgson hatches to cope with this diminutive, world class striker.

Brede Hangeland's physical presence and aerial prowess at the heart of the Fulham defence will be hugely important. The Norwegian international centre-back is also known for his technique and he will be keen to see that his side do not buckle under the threat of Aguero and Forlan.

Aguero needs the ball to be at his feet to weave his magic and if Hangeland can intercept the passes threaded through for the Argentinian, then he will win this individual duel.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:08:15 PM
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/11/SOCCER_Fulham_Pantsil.html&TEAMHD=soccer (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/11/SOCCER_Fulham_Pantsil.html&TEAMHD=soccer)
PANTSIL RELISHES IMPROVED STATUS

John Pantsil believes that Fulham have earned the right to be known as one of the biggest clubs in the land thanks to their incredible Europa League exploits this season.

Fulham will end the week with their first major piece of silverware if they overcome Atletico Madrid in Wednesday night's final in Hamburg.

A win over the Spanish side would cap a memorable season for the Cottagers, who started their 18-match campaign back in July with a qualifying win over Lithuanian side FK Vetra.

Roy Hodgson's side have had to dodge ash clouds, deal with injuries to key players, and overcome the odds to knock out the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach the final.

Pantsil, who joined Fulham in 2008 when Hodgson had just steered the club to safety, believes the Cottagers will get some well-deserved recognition thanks to the run - and has backed his team-mates to pull off another shock win against Atletico.

"When I came to the club I knew they'd do well, I knew the club played good football but to get to the Europa League final after beating who we've beaten is just incredible," the Ghana defender said.

"We have come a long way in this tournament. We started all the way back in Lithuania in July, that wasn't easy, then we went to Bulgaria and then we had to go to Russia and Italy so it has been a very long journey for us.

"Now no-one can call Fulham a small club because of what we have done.

"Now we have got this far after working so hard that we are not going to let this opportunity go easily. We deserve to win it."

Pantsil is a doubt for the game after being substituted in the second half of Sunday's 4-0 loss at Arsenal with a thigh injury.

Should Pantsil overcome the knock, his appearance at the final would represent a remarkable comeback for the 28-year-old, who thought his season was over when he picked up a cruciate ligament injury in Fulham's west-London derby with Chelsea in December.

The right-back returned to action last month after successful surgery, which has put him back in contention for a place in Ghana's World Cup squad.

He is now determined to make up for lost time by guiding Fulham to glory.

"When I got injured I thought I was going to miss out on the World Cup, The African Nations Cup and the rest of the season so now I'm happy that I'm back," the former West Ham man said.

"When I had to sit out I was feeling terrible. It was frustrating sitting on the sidelines watching my colleagues playing and doing so well.

"It was strange because I was happy that they were winning though because I knew that if they continued then I would be able to come back and play towards the end of the European campaign.

"I told myself that I had to work hard just in case that when I got back I would be able to play in the competition so I think I have come back at a good and exciting time."

Hodgson has two back-up options in Chris Baird and Stephen Kelly if Pantsil fails to overcome his injury, but the 62-year-old will be more concerned about the fitness of key duo Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora.

Duff (calf) and Zamora (Achilles) are both doubts while Brede Hangeland (knee) and Bjorn Helge Riise (stomach) picked up knocks during Sunday's defeat.

The Fulham boss will give an update on the fitness of his squad when he holds his pre-match press conference at the Hamburg Arena later today.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:10:12 PM
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/11/1919282/goalcom-worldview-atletico-madrid-fulham-europa-league-final (http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/11/1919282/goalcom-worldview-atletico-madrid-fulham-europa-league-final)
Goal.com Worldview: Atletico Madrid - Fulham Europa League Final Predictions
The global view of the big match...

It is perhaps unusual to see two mid-table sides contest a European final, yet nobody would say that Atleti and (especially) Fulham don't deserve their moment in the sun. Both have pulled off shocks to be here and will regard this game as one in which they have nothing to lose. Thus I expect it to be an open affair, but for me the Spaniards have a bit more attacking firepower and though they are prone to errors they will make that tell in extra time. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham (AET)
Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com International

This is time for Aguero to book his first team place at the World Cup, and he has to be the winner. This also applies to Forlan, and Simao is under competition from Nani...so Atletico have more than one reason to win and  have proven they can hurt any opponents when they concentrate. They have beaten Barcelona and Liverpool and can do it again on Wednesday. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Mohammed Awaad, Goal.com Arabic

Although this is not the biggest match-up, both teams did special things to be in Hamburg. The frontline of Atletico will be dangerous, but Fulham have proven already that they can handle big attackers. So, with the support of thousands of Fulham fans, they can do something crazy. Atletico Madrid 1-2 Fulham
Wout Stravers, Goal.com Netherlands

It's a final which nobody expected. Fulham are the suprise of the season, who slapped Juve and HSV in their faces. They're on a high and have nothing to lose. It's maybe their biggest game ever, so the English fighters will be motivated. But maybe Atletico are much more experienced, cooler, more clever, and this could make the difference in the end. But who knows? It wouldn't be the first Fulham sensation this season... Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Francois Duchateau, Goal.com Germany

Fulham and Atletico Madrid are two unpredictable teams. If you look at the rosters you would put money on the Spanish team. Fulham has proven to be a very well organised team and I think that it will be an entertaining match. Fulham have chalked up some incredible results but I am not sure they can do it again. They also lost 4-0 on the last day of the Premier League season. Atletico Madrid have more strength up front with Forlan and Aguero, so I bet on the Spanish team. Atletico Madrid 3-1 Fulham
Alexandre Walraevens, Goal.com France

If you'd have told Roy Hodgson that he'd be leading Fulham into a Europa League final back in 2008, he'd have probably laughed at you. It really is a fairytale story to have seen the Cottagers, who just two years ago survived relegation by the skin of their teeth, reach their first European final. Having already beaten some tough opponents en route to Hamburg, Atletico should know they simply can't underestimate Fulham, but having already knocked out Liverpool, Atleti should be full of confidence and thus I'm tipping them to edge it on the night. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Steven Darwin, Goal.com UK

Fulham have had a remarkable season, and you only need to look at the teams they have toppled to reach this point to see how far they've come. Meanwhile, everyone in the UK is well aware of Diego Forlan and Atletico Madrid, who, while disappointing domestically, are a team that has enjoyed Champions League football in recent years. If Bobby Zamora misses out through injury Fulham may struggle, and on a one-off occasion, I would expect Atleti to shade it - just. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Jamie Dunn, Goal.com UK

This should be a great match to watch. Styles make fights as they say, and this is a stylistic match that should produce some great football. Fulham like to play with the ball on the ground, but they stick to the defensive mindset above all. Atletico love to attack and have great skill on the ball. I think the Spaniards are the better side, especially considering the health issues of Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora, but Fulham are extremely hard to break down and it will be a tight match. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Allen Ramsey, Goal.com USA

In Roy Hodgson, Fulham have an able tactician and a great manager who has churned out the maximum from an otherwise average squad. In the games against Juventus and Hamburg they were the underdogs who excelled and showed that they truly deserve to be where they are. However, I do believe that Atletico have that extra fire power up front in players like Reyes, Forlan and Aguero, which will prove to be the difference. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Rahul Bali, Goal.com India

Atletico Madrid are a very strange team, but historically a great one. It's poignant that the worse the team seems to get, the more fans follow the club. There is a historical debt owed to these people - it's been more than 10 years since Atleti won anything - and now's the time to pay it back. Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan are the two 'cracks' that must overcome the resistance of Fulham. The Londoners are no slouches, but the team that eliminated Valencia and Liverpool will prove to Europe that they are once again a great club. Atletico Madrid 3-1 Fulham
Ivar Matusevich, Goal.com Spain
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:11:42 PM
http://www.caughtoffside.com/2010/05/11/europa-league-final-sergio-agueros-unwarranted-attack-gives-fulham-boost/ (http://www.caughtoffside.com/2010/05/11/europa-league-final-sergio-agueros-unwarranted-attack-gives-fulham-boost/)
Europa League Final: Sergio Aguero’s Unwarranted Attack Gives Fulham Boost

Atletico Madrid spouts his mouth off and gives Craven Cottage side even more motivation to win in Hamburg.

Sergio Aguero has played down Fulham’s chances of winning the Europa League after insisting Atletico Madrid deserve the trophy on the back of their European heritage.

The Primera Liga side won the old Cup Winners’ Cup in 1962 and have competed in the UEFA Champions League for the last two seasons and Aguero, 21, reckons Atletico have every right to feel that they are the favourites in Wednesday’s showpiece.

The highly-rated Argentine forward insists the Spanish outfit do not fear Roy Hodgson’s side, despite the Cottagers’ fine run to the final which has included the scalps of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.
“If we analyse the history and the statistics in Europe, Atletico are superior to Fulham,” Aguero told the Daily Star. (Sky Sports)

Now no one is saying that what Sergio Aguero is saying is not correct, of course it is, but what does he have to gain from saying it? Nothing. What could he stand to lose from saying it? Well you can guarantee this is the kind of thing that Roy Hodgson can print out and pin to the dressing room door before Fulham march out to take on the La Liga strugglers.

It would be akin to Frank Lampard going on record before the FA Cup Final to state “We are so much better than Portsmouth, they don’t stand a chance”.

Personally I feel that Fulham will have enough to beat Atletico Madrid who have had a torrid season. What do you lot think?

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:13:32 PM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832699-bobby-zamora-starts-training-raising-hopes-he-will-face-atletico-madrid.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832699-bobby-zamora-starts-training-raising-hopes-he-will-face-atletico-madrid.do)
Bobby Zamora starts training, raising hopes he will face Atletico Madrid

Bobby Zamora could make a dramatic return for Fulham in tomorrow's Europa League Final after coming through his first training session in a fortnight.

The 19-goal striker has not played since limping out of the semi-final win over Hamburg with an Achilles problem and Roy Hodgson had only rated him as “touch and go” for the clash with Atletico Madrid.

But the Fulham manager is now waiting to see if Zamora has suffered any reaction to yesterday's 90-minute session before deciding on his team.

Fulham's remarkable march through Europe owes much to an attacking partnership in which Zoltan Gera plays just behind Zamora.

And Gera believes that his team‑mate's presence on the pitch tomorrow would be a huge boost to Fulham's challenge.

“This season Bobby's played much closer to goal and he's much more dangerous there,” said the Hungarian. “You can see it: he's scoring goals, he is setting up goals, he keeps the ball well, and gives lots of passes. He can shine if he plays in the final.”

Winger Damien Duff could also be back in the side as he trained yesterday having missed Sunday's defeat to Arsenal with a calf injury.

Although this is the biggest match Fulham have played, it is not the only reason tomorrow will be an historic day for the club.

For at a board meeting hours before kick-off, it is understood owner Mohamed Fayed will announce that he will keep Fulham despite selling Harrords last week.

A £1.5billion deal saw Fayed end his 25-year ownership of the Knightsbridge department store.

That had led to speculation the tycoon could try to sell Fulham after 13 years but it is reported his commitment is still strong and that he could take an even greater interest in running the club.

Hodgson, meanwhile, flew with his team to Germany today having been named manager of the year by the League Managers' Association.

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever League position last season.

“This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in Europe.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:15:56 PM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832750-forget-the-beatles-and-stones-this-doesnt-get-any-bigger-for-diddy.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832750-forget-the-beatles-and-stones-this-doesnt-get-any-bigger-for-diddy.do)
Forget the Beatles and Stones, this doesn't get any bigger for 'Diddy'
(http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/david-hamilton415.jpg)

Talk to Fulham fans about the legends who have graced Craven Cottage and the names come thick and fast: Johnny Haynes, Bobby Robson, George Cohen, Alan Mullery, Jimmy Hill, George Best, Diddy' David Hamilton.

Diddy' David? The veteran broadcaster has never kicked a ball in anger for the Whites, yet his lifelong affection for the club that embraces cheering from among the weeds of the old Putney End stand, a spell in the directors' box, and playing the part of pitch-side announcer for the past 14 seasons, has endeared him to the Fulham faithful.

He will be on the microphone again tomorrow night, having been asked by UEFA to be the English announcer for the Europa League Final between Fulham and Atletico Madrid here.

Hamilton was once among Radio One's elite roster of disc jockeys, he regularly hosted Top Of The Pops and rubbed shoulders with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Yet, on the eve of the biggest match in Fulham's history, the 71-year-old said: “This is about as good as it gets.”

Dubbed Diddy' by comedian Ken Dodd for his shortness of stature, Hamilton said: “This season has been unbelievable. Getting to the final has been such an achievement but we've beaten so many good teams to get here that I don't see why we shouldn't win.”

Hamburg's spectacular HSH Nordbank Arena, which hosts tomorrow's game, is quite a contrast to the Craven Cottage which Hamilton first attended as a nine-year-old living near Putney Bridge station. “It was a very cold ground,” he recalled.

“There was no stand on the river side, there were just big hoardings with flags flying over them. The wind would come off the Thames and whip across the terraces.”

Hamilton has fond memories of knocking a ball about with his mates in Bishop's Park near the Cottage and watching in awe as Robson strode by in his blazer and flannels. And there were the glamour games of the mid-seventies when the likes of Bobby Moore and Best graced the Cottage with their famous but fading talents.

“That was a great showbiz era,” said Hamilton. “My daughter used to sit next to Angie Best, who was George Best's first wife. She learned a whole new vocabulary through Angie ranting at referees because they didn't give George enough protection. George was losing his speed by this time and he got kicked a lot. He used to come off the pitch black and blue and Angie used to get very upset about it.”

Hamilton tells another story of complimenting terrace favourite Les Strong on his performance alongside Best in a game that kicked off at midday on a Saturday at Crystal Palace. He said: “I told Les, You played very well'. He replied, Funny you should say that because Besty and I were out on the p**s all night and when we kicked off at 12 o'clock, to be honest, I was still p****d'.

“I was a director at the time and I told Les, As a director, my advice to you is this: if you can play like that on a Saturday, make it your regular Friday night routine'.”

Such were the accepted excesses of the day. Of course, that behaviour would not be tolerated by current boss Roy Hodgson, whose usual position in the technical area at the Cottage is just in front of Hamilton's dugout section.

Hamilton has the highest regard for the manager who has led the club to their first European final. “Roy is the perfect manager for Fulham,” said Hamilton. “He's very Fulhamish. Not only is he a terrific coach, he's also a true gentleman.”

Hamilton has also established a warm relationship with Fulham owner Mohamed Fayed, the eccentric who once invited his bemused announcer to the boardroom at Harrods and presented him with a bottle of whisky and some Viagra, insisting: “This is what you need.”

There is concern among some Fulham supporters about the future commitment of both Hodgson, said to be a possible target of Liverpool, and Fayed, following his sale of Harrods over the weekend.

Hamilton believes Fulham can continue to be a force if the two men remain. He said: “I think Roy loves it at Fulham and he knows that we love him. The chairman loves this club, too. He gets such a warm welcome from the supporters. I don't think he would want to miss out on that.

“If the manager and the chairman stay, I believe next season might be even better than this one.”
The voice was that of an accomplished announcer but he spoke with the passion of a fan.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:48:26 PM
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1487017.html (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1487017.html)
Hodgson named top manager in England

Fulham FC boss Roy Hodgson has been named as England's Manager of the Year by his peers after leading the Premier League club to the inaugural UEFA Europa League final.

(http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Photo/competitions/DomesticLeague/01/48/38/75/1483875_w2.jpg)

Fulham FC's Roy Hodgson has been named as Manager of the Year by his English peers after guiding the west London club to the UEFA Europa League final.

Fulham coach since December 2007, the 62-year-old received the League Managers Association (LMA) award on Monday night. He will lead his side into their first major European final on Wednesday as the Cottagers meet Club Atlético de Madrid at the Hamburg Arena.

LMA chairman and former Leeds United AFC manager Howard Wilkinson said: "Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League."

The club's chairman Mohamed Al Fayed added: "I am delighted that Roy should win this award; he's not just a great football manager, he is a splendid human being. It is a pleasure to work with him and we have a great relationship. This award shows that occasionally football makes the right decision, and Roy is it; now all he has to do is win the Europa League competition and I will pay the excess baggage for him to bring the trophy back."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:51:40 PM
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/postcard-europe-fulham-supporters-over-moon-about-dempsey (http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/postcard-europe-fulham-supporters-over-moon-about-dempsey)
Postcard from Europe: Fulham supporters over the moon about Dempsey
Fans gush about the onetime Revs star ahead of Europa final

(http://www.mlssoccer.com/sites/default/files/image_nodes/2010/05/dempsey2.jpg)

Stateside fans are proud as peacocks with U.S. star Clint Dempsey set to wage battle against Atlético Madrid in the first-ever Europa League final on Wednesday in Hamburg, Germany. But they’re far from only the Fulham watchers beaming over the Texas native these days.

The 27-year-old attacker has become a bona fide fan favorite since arriving at Craven Cottage midway through the 2006-07 campaign. But don't take my word for it.

"Everyone loves Clint, I think," Richard Allen, season ticket holder and author of the annual Fulham Review book, told MLSsoccer.com. "There seem to be more No. 23 shirts in the crowd than any other number, certainly."

"I think this because of how he plays the game,” Allen continued. “He works as hard as anyone, but has that glint in his eye, too -- you know that he could come up with something special at any moment. It's a powerful combination."

Diehard Fulham fan Dan Crawford, co-proprietor of Cottagers blog Hammy End, concurs.

"The short answer is that Fulham fans love Clint Dempsey," he said. "He's clearly benefited from the success of Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra down by the Thames."

"He scored a massive goal against Liverpool to secure our Premier League status [in 2007] and quickly became popular with the supporters for his desire, work ethic and the ability to produce a brilliant a bit of skill out of nothing."

Crawford says Dempsey then became even more popular in West London for fighting back into the lineup after the "Great Escape" goal against Liverpool that spring.

"Clint lost his place," he recalled. "There were rumors that he might move on. But, instead of sulking about it, he knuckled down, scored goals from the substitutes bench and proved his worth to Roy Hodgson. He's become an automatic selection when fully fit and is probably the most popular member of the first team with the fans--just listen for how loudly we sing his name."

The American's Cottage song fulfills the two basic grandstand requirements: It rhymes and it slurs archrival Chelsea.

He scores with his left,

He scores with his right,

That boy Clint Dempsey,

Makes Drogba look sh---!

It's a hearty claim, but Dempsey's flair for the big exploit is what gives these singers full voice. If the relegation-beater three years ago made his name and consistent effort strengthened it, the sublime comeback capper to oust Juventus from the Europa League in March put it in lights.

"The Liverpool goal was hugely important for us and also for him," compared Allen. "The Juventus goal might just be the single greatest thing 20,000 Fulham fans have ever witnessed."

"I was overcome with emotion," said Crawford of the devilishly crafted diagonal chip shot. "I started going to Fulham in the early 1990s when the club's entire existence was under threat and we were losing to non-league clubs in the first round of the FA Cup.

"If I'd have told people that the team that was at the wrong end of Division Three in the 90s would be beating Juventus and heading to a European final, they would have thought I was mad!"

"Dempsey's chip was without doubt the best moment of my Fulham-supporting career,” he insists. “It all seemed to happen in slow motion and we held our breath as the ball headed towards the far post. It underlined what Fulham fans have known for a while: Clint's class and England better watch out in Rustenburg in June."

Not all proud Cottagers hail from London, mind you. Will Lytle, an American living in Malta, was in the house when Dempsey's inclusion sparked the semifinal rally against Hamburg.

"He immediately had an impact on the game and the guys around him," said the club member, who makes it over to London when he can. "I cannot say I thought we'd come back, since two goals in 30 minutes against a team like Hamburg is very difficult, but you got the sense that that fans were all much more optimistic once Dempsey entered."

"After [Simon] Davies knocked in that first goal with a brilliant first touch, I don't think there was anyone at the Cottage that evening who thought the second goal wasn't a sure bet,” Lytle continued. “It was an incredible change of atmospheres that night, and a big part of that was attributable to Dempsey.

This spark should come as no surprise; the American captures Fulham spirit while lending some needed moxie to a club playing in Europe for just the second time.

"I guess he embodies Fulham ‘09-10 in that he is a talented player who has worked hard under the manager and taken his game to a new level as a result," offered Allen.

Added Crawford, "His confidence is vital, too, because he will try things that others just wouldn't dare and he has such natural ability that they often come off."

With plenty of show-stopping moments already to his credit and Wednesday's final the next stage, it's seems to fair to ask if Dempsey could actually go down in Fulham history alongside 2006 World Cup teammate McBride, ranked last year by The Times as the 10th-best Cottager ever.

"Put it this way,” posed Allen. “In years to come, when people look back on this golden age of Fulham FC, they'll remember Clint Dempsey's contributions. One of the greats? That's hard to say, but he's been here a while now, and keeps on improving. So you never know. Come back in five years and we'll see where we are."

Greg Seltzer will report from Hamburg for Wednesday’s Europe League final. His “Postcards from Europe” appear every Tuesday on MLSsoccer.com.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:53:09 PM
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hughes-fears-zamora-injury-blow-1061122.html (http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hughes-fears-zamora-injury-blow-1061122.html)
Hughes fears Zamora injury blow

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes admits the absence of Bobby Zamora would be a blow to Fulham's Europa League hopes.

Hughes knows his side face an uphill battle when they face Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Europa League final in Hamburg, especially with their star striker facing a fitness battle to be take part in the Cottagers' biggest-ever game.

Zamora has been struggling with an Achilles injury and the Northern Ireland defender admits that the underdogs can win in a one-off final, but their chances of pulling off a shock will be affected if their top scorer is not available.

"Bobby's desperate to play. It's a European final and he's contributed so much the club," said Hughes.

"He's such an important part of our team. If he doesn't play we'll miss him but fingers crossed he'll be fit and if he is that's definitely a plus for us."

"It's a fine line because anything can happen in the final. It's impressive to get this far but it would be great to win it."

Roy Hodgson's men have raised many eyebrows with their impressive run to the Europa League final and many fans may use their free bet on the biggest game in Fulham's 131-year history.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:54:48 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/england/7710692/World-Cup-2010-Bobby-Zamora-ruled-out-of-England-squad.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/england/7710692/World-Cup-2010-Bobby-Zamora-ruled-out-of-England-squad.html)
World Cup 2010: Bobby Zamora ruled out of England squad
Bobby Zamora’s chances of being part of the England squad for World Cup 2010 have been dashed by his Achilles injury – though he will still play for Fulham in the Europa League final.

Zamora was already an outsider for the final 23-man squad to go to South Africa but many had predicted he would feature in Capello’s 30-man provisional squad to be named this afternoon.

The former Brighton and West Ham striker has had the best season of his career and done much to propel Fulham to their first ever European final, where they will meet Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Telegraph Sport has learnt that Zamora will take an injection to ensure he can feature in that match but he will undergo surgery after the game, thus ending his hopes of ending his season year with a World Cup tournament.

Capello will name his provisional England squad around 4pm today with the prospect of surprises open as a number of key players struggle for fitness.

Yesterday Capello said: “We have some problems. The doctors are speaking with the teams’ doctors, so we have to wait.

“It’s not so easy because 30 is very important number but 23 is more important and telling seven they have to go home will not be easy for me.”
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:56:07 PM
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=785020&sec=uefaeuropaleague&cc=5739&cc=5739 (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=785020&sec=uefaeuropaleague&cc=5739&cc=5739)
Pantsil confident of Fulham glory

John Pantsil believes that Fulham have earned the right to be known as one of the biggest clubs in the land thanks to their incredible Europa League exploits this season.

A win over Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday would cap a memorable season for the Cottagers, who started their 18-match European campaign back in July.

Pantsil, who joined Fulham in 2008, believes the Cottagers will finally get some deserved recognition thanks to the run - and has backed his team-mates to pull off another shock win against Atletico.

''When I came to the club I knew they'd do well, I knew the club played good football but to get to the Europa League final after beating who we've beaten is just incredible,'' the Ghana defender said.

''We have come a long way in this tournament. We started all the way back in July in Lithuania, that wasn't easy. Then we went to Bulgaria and we had to go to Russia and Italy so it has been a very long journey for us.

''Now no-one can call Fulham a small club because of what we have done. We have got this far after working so hard that we are not going to let this opportunity go easily. We deserve to win it.''

Pantsil is a doubt for the game after being substituted in the second half of Sunday's defeat at Arsenal with a thigh injury. Should Pantsil overcome the knock, his appearance at the final would represent a remarkable comeback for the 28-year-old, who thought his season was over when he picked up a cruciate ligament injury in Fulham's derby with Chelsea in December.

"When I got injured I thought I was going to miss out on the World Cup, The African Nations Cup and the rest of the season so now I'm happy that I'm back,'' the former West Ham man said. ''When I had to sit out I was feeling terrible. It was frustrating sitting on the sidelines watching my colleagues playing and doing so well.

''It was strange because I was happy that they were winning though because I knew that if they continued then I would be able to come back and play towards the end of the European campaign. I told myself that I had to work hard just in case that when I got back I would be able to play in the competition so I think I have come back at a good and exciting time.''

Hodgson has two back-up options in Chris Baird and Stephen Kelly, should Pantsil fail to overcome his injury, but the 62-year-old will be more concerned about the fitness of key duo Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora, who remain doubtful despite training on Monday
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 11, 2010, 01:57:15 PM
http://www.tribalfootball.com/al-fayed-tell-fulham-board-he-will-not-sell-831851 (http://www.tribalfootball.com/al-fayed-tell-fulham-board-he-will-not-sell-831851)
Al Fayed to tell Fulham board he will not sell up

Mohamed Al Fayed has no plans to sell Fulham.

The Times says at a board meeting, Al Fayed, the chairman, will tell his fellow directors that, despite his sale of Harrods, the department store, for £1.5 billion last week, he will not dispose of the football club.

“Fulham Football Club and Harrods are completely separate legal entities,” a source close to Al Fayed said last night. “If you sell your house, it doesn’t mean you sell your car. But if you sell your house, you might have more money to upgrade your car.

“It is utterly untrue that the club will be sold. Mr Al Fayed is as committed as ever; he wants to have his gateaux and eat it. He may now take an even greater interest in the running of the club.

“It is up to Mr Al Fayed and Roy to discuss whether there is more money available and they will be talking. Roy usually has a free hand. He is the master of his own kingdom and it could be that Fulham will become bigger in the grand scheme of things.”