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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:00:03 PM

Title: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:00:03 PM
Fulham's £7.5m bid for Morrison and Diame rejected by West Ham

FULHAM have seen a joint £7.5million bid for West Ham pair Ravel Morrison and Mohamed Diame rejected.

Ravel Morrison (left) and Mohamed Diame (right) are wanted by Fulham [EXPRESS]

Rene Meulensteen confirmed that Fulham's offer had been "knocked back", but West Ham are bracing themselves for another approach.

Express Sport exclusively revealed at the weekend that the Cottagers were planning an ambitious double swoop for Morrison and Diame.

And West Ham have now turned down Fulham's initial bid - £4m for Morrison and £3.5m for Diame.

Fulham are expected to make another offer in the next 48 hours, certainly for Morrison.

Fulham progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Norwich on Tuesday.

And after the victory, Meulensteen revealed the Cottagers' attempts to reinforce their squad had failed.

"Yes we have made an offer, but we got knocked back. It got rejected," he said.

"So we will review the situation and move on. I’ve left it with our chief executive Alistair Mackintosh. I’ve explained what I think about the situation, so I have to wait and see.

"Morrison does want to come here. I’ve known him for a long, long time but we have to wait and see now." (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:01:18 PM
Hangeland hails clean sheet
by DAN on JANUARY 15, 2014


Fulham captain Brede Hangeland was ‘very pleased’ that his side managed to keep a clean sheet as they progressed to the FA Cup fourth round with a comfortable win over Norwich City in last night’s replay.

The Norwegian centre back returned to the heart of the Fulham defence after three months on the sidelines and, alongside the impressive Dan Burn, kept the club’s first clean sheet in six weeks. Rene Meulensteen’s side went through with goals from Darren Bent, Ashkan Dejagah and Steve Sidwell but Hangeland was the happiest with Fulham’s defensive performance, considering how sloppy the side have been at the back in recent weeks.

For sure it’s the clean sheet. We’ve conceded far too many goals and one of our main targets was to keep that clean sheet today so we’re very pleased.

We need to find the right balance between attack and defence. Lately we’ve been conceding too many goals so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:02:32 PM
Fulham discuss new bid for West Ham star

Fulham are considering whether to table an improved bid for Ravel Morrison.

Head coach Rene Meulensteen is due to discuss the club’s next move with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh after West Ham rejected their offer for the midfielder.

Meulensteen knows the player well as he was part of Manchester United’s coaching team when Morrison was at Old Trafford.

And he has made it clear he believes Morrison, 20, wants to leave Upton Park and sign for the Whites.

West Ham do not want to sell, but Meulensteen is hoping an agreement can be reached.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” said the Dutchman.

“I’ve left it with Alistair Mackintosh and explained what I think of the situation. I’ve made my desires clear.

“I’ll leave it up to the relevant people to take forward. We’ll review it, as I don’t know the ins and outs of why the bid was rejected.” (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:03:30 PM
Boss Meulensteen to decide on Burn

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen says he faces a decision over Dan Burn’s short-term future following the centre-back’s performances against Norwich in the FA Cup.

Burn impressed during a recent loan spell at Championship club Birmingham City, who are keen to have him back for the rest of the season.

Meulensteen indicated last week that Burn would be allowed to return to St Andrews, and the 21-year-old is still expected to rejoin the Blues.

But the Dutchman has subsequently suggested that the move is not a foregone conclusion after Burn followed up his promising outing at Norwich with another eye-catching display in Tuesday’s replay against the Canaries.

“It’s definitely something we’re going to review,” said Meulensteen.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air. He did well in the Norwich away game too and has matured a lot in Birmingham, where he had a very good loan spell.

“Next to Brede Hangeland he looks very comfortable. It’s great for Dan to have someone like Brede working alongside him.

“But Dan is also a very bright boy who speaks his mind and that’s the sort of thing you look for.” (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:04:31 PM
Bryan Joins PSV

The Club can confirm that Bryan Ruiz has joined Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Having made 14 appearances for the Whites in the current campaign, Ruiz will now link up with Phillip Cocu’s side as they aim to improve on their current standing of seventh in the Eredivisie.

Everyone at Fulham would like to wish the Costa Rica captain well during his temporary spell in the Netherlands. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:05:51 PM
Transfer news: Fulham launch bid for Leicester's Liam Moore

Liam Moore: Wanted by Fulham

Fulham have launched a £2million bid for Leicester defender Liam Moore, Sky sources understand.

The 20-year-old centre-back is a product of Leicester's academy and has emerged as one of the best young players outside the Premier League over the past 12 months.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton and Aston Villa are amongst the clubs reported to have scouted the England Under-21 defender in recent months.

Now Fulham are trying to prise him away from Leicester and have made a £2million offer.

Moore has 18 months left on his current deal at the King Power Stadium. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:07:14 PM
Fulham boss thrilled duo came through Norwich win and available for Arsenal

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen was delighted to see Brede Hangeland and Maarten Stekelenburg return from injury in the 3-0 FA Cup win over Norwich.

The Whites captain has been out for three months after nerve damage affected his right leg, while the goalkeeper has been absent through an ankle knock.

The Dutch boss was delighted to see his captain back and was delighted he came through the game.

“It was a big big boost,” he said. “He’s done ever so well after surgery.

“He’s trained very hard. Sunderland was a bit too early. That’s why we pushed him for this game.”

Hangeland felt no ill effects during the win over the Canaries and Meulensteen is hopeful he will be available for their trip to league leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

“I don’t see why not – he’s back now,” he added. “Arsenal is a different kettle of fish away from home.

“We’ll review the game with Brede and go from there. We will review it and see what he feels.”

Fulham had gone seven games without keeping a clean sheet and Meulensteen was delighted to see his side enjoy the first shut-out since the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on December 8.

“My biggest thing was the clean sheet,” he said. “I keep saying that to the players.

“If we get clean sheets on the board, we’ll climb up the table.”

Part of the clean sheet was down to Stekelenburg’s save from Nathan Redmond in the third minute.

And Meulensteen was delighted to see the stopper back in action and to have him available for Arsenal.

“Yes, very much so,” he said. “It was a very unfortunate injury that he took.

“You think it’s not as bad and it takes a bit longer than we think. We’re glad to see him back. “It will definitely help [having Hangeland and Stekelenburg back] of course.”

Meulensteen also denied reports linking him with West Ham midfielder Mo Diame. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:08:15 PM
Man Utd Away

Tickets for our trip to Old Trafford on Sunday 9th February 2014 (4pm) are now available for Members to buy in addition to Season Ticket Holders.

Ticket prices can be found here and supporters are reminded that all Junior Season Ticket Holders and Junior Members are entitled to a free ticket to this match when purchasing alongside an adult ticket.

The Club will again be offering free coach travel to this match on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read more information here and buy today.

If you’re interested in signing up to become a Member, you can do so from just £20 for adults and £5 for kids. Get more information on our Membership packages here. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:10:04 PM
Transfer news: Liam Moore bid from Fulham rejected by Leicester

Leicester City have rejected Fulham's bid for Liam Moore, Sky sources understand.

Sky Sports revealed on Wednesday that Fulham had lodged a £2million offer for the England Under-21 defender.

However, Leicester have wasted little time in rebuffing Fulham's offer for one of their prized assets.

A host of Premier League clubs have been linked with Moore - a product of Leicester's academy - in recent months, and he has just 18 months left on his current deal.

However, with Leicester one of the favourites for promotion, they will be anxious to fend off any interest in Moore. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:11:07 PM
Darren's Verdict

Darren Bent hopes two goals in his last two starts will give René Meulensteen something of a selection quandary ahead of Saturday’s game at Arsenal.

Bent opened the scoring in Tuesday night’s FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round Replay against Norwich City, before goals from Ashkan Dejagah and Steve Sidwell sealed a fairly comfortable 3-0 win for the Whites at a soggy Craven Cottage.

Having also found the net in the original tie at Carrow Road, Bent’s 16th-minute strike in SW6 took his tally for the season to five and he told the official website: “It’s always nice to get on the scoresheet and the last two games I’ve started I’ve managed to score in both. Hopefully that will continue. I’ve got a decent record against Norwich and it’s always nice being an ex-Ipswich Town player to score against them.

“Norwich came out pretty sharp and they were on top for the first five minutes. Maarten Stekelenburg made a great save and Norwich then hit the bar. But after that we settled down and there was a bit more urgency in our play. After we got the first one that knocked them a bit and then the second goal just before half-time kind of killed the game off.”

Sidwell’s effort was his third goal in as many games and makes him the Club’s leading scorer this season with six - no mean feat for a midfielder at this stage of the campaign.

Bent, though, isn’t surprised by his teammate’s form in front of goal, stating: “Every season he always seems to chip in with goals here and there. This term he’s doing really well, not just with his goals but his all-round game. He’s difficult to play against and he’s a real driving force for us right now.”

The win against Norwich sets up a Fourth Round tie at Sky Bet League One Sheffield United on Sunday 26th February (1pm) and, while the Whites are still in it, Bent admits there’s no harm of dreaming of a run in the famous old competition.

“It would be nice,” he mused. “The fans would love a day out at Wembley I’m sure, although that’s a long way off. If we can keep playing well and put in performances like the one against Norwich then there’s no reason why we can’t go far. To play in an FA Cup Final would be magnificent. As a kid, the FA Cup was probably the biggest competition in England for me.”

Before all that, however, there’s the small matter of Saturday’s trip to league leaders Arsenal, with Bent keen to keep his place in Fulham’s starting XI.

“It would be nice to get a start,” he added. “It’s always difficult to play against the Arsenal but if we can ride our luck and play well, there’s no reason why we can’t get something from the game.” (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:13:26 PM
Transfer news: West Ham complain to Premier League over Rene Meulensteen comments about Ravel Morrison

West Ham United have made a complaint to the Premier League over comments made by Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen about Ravel Morrison, according to Sky sources.

Speaking on Tuesday night after the FA Cup replay against Norwich, Meulensteen admitted that Fulham had had a bid for Morrison rejected by West Ham.

Meulensteen coached Morrison through Manchester United's youth systems during his time at Old Trafford. West Ham's hackles have been raised because Meulensteen claimed that the player 'wanted' to join Fulham.

"Yes, we did make a bid," Meulensteen said after the 3-0 win over Norwich. "Yes, I think he does want to come.

"He would add pace, power, unpredictability and a real attacking threat. I don't know what the situation is now, because that's left with our director Alistair Macintosh."

United academy product Morrison, who left Manchester in 2012, has impressed at Upton Park this season after a loan spell with Birmingham last term.

If the Premier League deems Fulham are in breach of the rules the club could face a reprimand or fine - it is also possible the case could be referred to the Football Association. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:14:33 PM
Cup Tickets On Sale

We travel to Bramall Lane to play Sheffield United on Sunday 26th January (1pm) and Season Ticket Holders and Members can now secure their seats. Tickets will go on General Sale from 10am on Friday 17th January.

Season Ticket Holders can attend the match for just £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s, whilst non-Season Ticket Holders can buy their tickets for £15 for adults and £5 for juniors.

Supporters can purchase up to six tickets each online or by calling the Ticket Office on 0843 208 1234.

While this is a cup game, the Club will be extending the Premier League offer of free coach travel to Bramall Lane. Travel reservations will continue to be made available at the same time as match tickets and places will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis to any supporters who have purchased a ticket for the game. For more information and to book your place please call the Ticket Office on 0843 208 1234. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:15:51 PM
West Ham, Fulham, and Ravel Morrison: Be careful what you wish for

Rene Meulensteen has confirmed that Fulham have been actively trying to sign West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison, but that the West London club’s first bid has been rejected.

“We have put in a bid for Ravel Morrison that has been knocked back.

It’s back to Alistair Mackintosh [Fulham chief executive] and we’ll see what happens.

Yes, we did make a bid. Yes, I think he does want to come.

“He would add pace, power, unpredictability and a real attacking threat.”


It’s obvious from those comments that there’s been contact between Morrison’s agent and Fulham, and that the player’s camp are actively trying to engineer a transfer.

What a shame; Morrison has barely played half a season of Premier League football, and he’s already making a money-grab – for the first time in his career he’s settled, stable, and playing regularly, and yet he’s pursuing a horizontal move in the division mid-season.

Reports in the media suggest that the kind of value being discussed for Morrison is in the £5m-£7m range, and while that sounds like a good deal, Fulham fans would have to question what they would really be getting in return. A me-first player with well-documented character and personality issues who, if given the opportunity, will be moving again in the Summer – he’s exactly the right type of player for Fulham, but absolutely the wrong sort of person.

I’ll go back to what I said in September about Morrison: at what point did anybody think that becoming wealthy and getting a lot of attention was going to make him a better professional? (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:17:27 PM
Hangeland: Back In Action

Brede Hangeland expresses his delight in overcoming his back injury and believes a cup run can lift the whole Club.

Hangeland: Back In Action ( (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:18:52 PM
Dan burns bright in heart of Fulham defence

Making an impression: Dan Burn closes in on Steven Whittaker as the Norwich defender lets fly in last night’s FA Cup replay at Craven Cottage

Rene Meulensteen’s revelation after this victory that Ravel Morrison wants to join Fulham should not draw attention away from the promising performance of young defender Dan Burn.

Burn was an assured presence alongside the returning Brede Hangeland in central defence as Fulham registered only their fourth clean sheet this term.

The 21-year-old was recalled from a loan spell at Birmingham two weeks ago after impressing in the Championship and Meulensteen will now decide whether to keep him at Craven Cottage. On this evidence, Fulham will be keen for Burn to stay and he may even start against Arsenal on Saturday.

Meulensteen has now used five different centre-back pairings since replacing Martin Jol but captain Hangeland and Burn formed an impressive partnership as Fulham booked an FA Cup fourth-round tie with Sheffield United.

“He has been a breath of fresh air,” said Meulensteen. “He did well in the away game [against Norwich] and he has matured a lot at Birmingham after a very good loan spell. Next to Brede, he looked very comfortable.

“It is great for him to have someone like Brede alongside him but he is a very bright boy. He is not afraid to speak his mind and it was a very positive performance. It is a big boost to have Brede back as well and it is great to see him come through the 90 minutes so well.”

Darren Bent, Ashkan Dejagah and Steve Sidwell scored last night to build some momentum ahead of a tricky run of Premier League fixtures.

Fulham go to Arsenal on Saturday and, after their Cup clash, face Swansea (a) Southampton (h), Manchester United (a) and Liverpool (h). They are one point above 18th place and need a positive return from those games to distance themselves from the bottom three.

Meulensteen said: “Making sure you get into the habit of positive performances is important and keeping a clean sheet was great.”

Bryan Ruiz today completed his loan move to PSV Eindhoven as Fulham were linked with a £2million deal for Leicester defender Liam Moore. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:21:04 PM
Killing of a flash boy: Ruiz leaves to PSV

Ruiz to PSV.  I’m sure that video’s right out of context but seems to resonate to a degree, beyond just being part of Suede’s Great Run of Amazing B Sides.  If you missed it, my emotional send off to Bryan was (and still is) here.

Anyway, I didn’t see the game last night. As you know, my season ticket was not renewed when we left London so I’m on streams like the rest of you. Last night our internet wasn’t working so that was that.

It’s funny how withdrawal makes things less real. I have never seen the team play under this manager. I haven’t seen any of the youngsters we’re all so excited about.  But it’s nice they’re worming their way into the picture.  3-0 Cup wins don’t come along every day, do they? (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:21:58 PM
Fulham 3 Norwich 0
After the 4-1 drubbing inflicted by Sunderland at the weekend, part of me was dreading the FA Cup replay against Norwich last night.

The confidence factor that is normally prevalent in abundance had been drained, gradually; away buy a series of poor results. In fact I`d hazard a guess I`m not alone in that aspect of thought as, along with the apathy the FA Cup appears to be greeted with these days, a mere 11,172 poured through the Craven Cottage turnstiles last night.

But those who did left thankful that their faith in Fulham Football Club hadn`t eroded completely with the lads putting on a polished performance. With Brede Hangeland back in the heart of our defence, we looked solid (although Norwich apart from hitting the woodwork very early on were a poor outfit) and a three goal salvo was enough to land us a 4th round tie away to Sheffield United.

The first of the three goals came in the 16th minute when Darren Bent scored his fifth of the season. Some decent work from Dejagah and Kasami opened up the visitors defence for Bent to finish with some aplomb.

The second of the trio of goals came four minutes before half time when some enterprising work from Kacaniklic ended a Norwich attack, the visitors keeper Bunn panicked when it came to a clearance, Kacaniklic worked the ball back in, a header from Bent assisted and there was Dejagah to make it 2-0.

Two goals to the good at half time, you sensed it would take a minor catastrophe for Fulham to let this one slip away or a great fight-back from Norwich, but neither never really looked like happening and when Sidwell headed him the third goal from close range, the game was well and truly up for the Norfolk side.

The fourth round trip to South Yorkshire, to take on Sheffield United looks a tricky tie but, personally, I`m still reveling in the fact we got through against Norwich and can still dream about a trip to Wembley.

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:22:45 PM
Rene`s Thoughts on Cup Win
Before the tie against Norwich City last night, our boss, Rene Meulensteen, had hinted that he was going to take the tie seriously and give the FA Cup the respect it deserves.

As it turned out, although Rene made six changes to the side that had lost, emphatically, against Sunderland last time out that proved to be the case.

Speaking to the media afterwards, reflecting on a job well done, our Dutch boss had this to say,

"Nothing positive ever comes out of losing a game. It`s definitely a big boost to go through."

"From a defensive point of view, we kept a clean sheet and that was the biggest thing. I keep telling the players if they keep clean sheets, with the quality we have we will move up the league quickly."

"We are in the next round and the FA Cup is a fantastic competition."

It certainly is and it has been a dream of mine to return to Wembley to avenge that loss, to West Ham, way back in 1975, but there`s still some way to go is there not!

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:23:28 PM
Can We Play You Every Week?
It is a song that is sung at almost every ground when the one side inevitably finds themselves easily beating their opposition.

Last night, thankfully, Fulham got back to winning ways when they beat Norwich Coty 3-0 in their FA Cup 3rd round replay.

But looking through the record books, it appears that it was a result that was always going to happen.

You see, it turns out that when it comes to fixtures against Norwich City we`ve won the last 5 we`ve played against them.

Also, in doing so, we`ve managed to score 18 times whilst conceding just the 1.

Like the song says, can we play you every week?

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:24:48 PM
Fulham hit top gear in win over Norwich City

Fulham forgot their English Premier League struggles to sweep into the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-0 victory over fellow top-flight strugglers Norwich City in a third-round replay.

Fulham, thrashed 4-1 at home by relegation candidates Sunderland on Saturday, cast off the shackles of their league form to hit top gear with a performance full of attacking intent on a cold Tuesday night (local time) at a half-empty Craven Cottage.

They opened the scoring after 16 minutes through former England striker Darren Bent, who found the net from Pajtim Kasami's cross for his second goal in three games having failed to get on the scoresheet in the previous 10.

Ashkan Dejagah fired into the roof of the net to double the London side's lead four minutes before the break and Steve Sidwell made the result safe with a header in the second half to set up a fourth-round clash at Sheffield United.

Holders Wigan Athletic, who shocked Manchester City to win the Cup last season before being relegated from the top flight, were taken to extra time by third tier MK Dons.

Bournemouth beat Burton Albion 4-1 to set up a home clash with Liverpool in the next round while there were also wins for Birmingham City, Kidderminster, Port Vale, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford.

Charlton Athletic and Oxford United drew 2-2 in their third round tie and will face a replay. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:26:28 PM
Broken nose set to rule Rosicky out of Fulham clash

Arsenal will reset the Czech midfielder's nose following his collision with Gabby Agbonlahor but the club are hopeful that Nacho Monreal has not broken a bone in his foot

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Tomas Rosicky has broken his nose and is set to miss Arsenal's clash against Fulham on Saturday, Goal can reveal.

Scans have shown that the Czech midfielder's nose was displaced when he was caught by a stray elbow from Gabby Agbonlahor as the pair went up for a header in the Gunners' 2-1 over Aston Villa on Monday.

It is understood that Rosicky's broken nose now needs to be reset and he is considered unlikely to make Saturday's league match at Emirates Stadium.

However, there could be some better news for the Premier League leaders regarding Nacho Monreal, the other casualty of Monday’s Villa Park clash.

There were fears that the Spaniard suffered a broken metatarsal in a challenge with Ron Vlaar, but Arsenal are hopeful that the scan results they are poised to receive on Wednesday will show only bad bruising to the bone.

Rosicky was left bloodied and bruised following the collision with Agbonlahor, but manager Arsene Wenger held back from blaming the Villa forward in the immediate aftermath of the match.

Wenger said Rosicky had a "bad nose" and explained at the time that the club "don’t know if it’s broken". He added: "Honestly, I didn’t see the elbow, I have to watch it again. [Rosicky]  told me that he got the elbow but he, himself, doesn’t know if [Agbonlahor] did it on purpose." (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:27:58 PM
Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen will review the future of defender Dan Burn

Dan Burn: Future at Craven Cottage hangs in the air

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen will review the future of defender Dan Burn after he made his senior home debut at Craven Cottage on Tuesday.

The Dutchman was impressed with his performance in their 3-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Norwich City after being recalled from his loan at Birmingham City on 2nd January.

The defender made 28 appearances for the Blues, but for now his fate remains to be decided by Meulensteen who is unsure whether to pitch him out on loan again.

"Dan's been a breath of fresh air. He did well in the Norwich away game," Meulensteen said.

"Him staying here now is definitely something we're going to review, definitely.

"He's matured a lot in Birmingham where he had a very good loan spell and next to Brede Hangeland he looked extremely comfortable.

"The only way that I keep them apart is that he's right footed and Dan's left footed.

"You work with him on the pitch - it's great for someone like Dan to have Brede coming back from that injury so they can work together.

"Dan is a very bright boy, he's not afraid to speak his mind, he talks, and that's the sort of thing you look at, and it was a very positive performance from him." (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:28:48 PM
Etheridge Suffers Set-Back

Crewe pursue other goalkeeper targets after Fulham keeper suffers slight recurrence

Crewe Alexandra may have to look elsewhere for another loanee goalkeeper after primary target Neil Etheridge suffered a recurrence of his thigh injury.

The Fulham goalkeeper has tweaked the problem muscle and it forced him to miss last night’s FA Cup tie against Fulham. He had been deputising for the current number David Stockdale as the Dutch International Maarten Skekelenburg is also out injured.

Steve Davis hinted yesterday that if there was any further delay in trying to re-signing Etheridge, he would have to revisit the loan market for a possible goalkeeper.

The Crewe boss wants a more experienced goalkeeper to assist his young England goalkeeper Ben Garratt.

Read more at (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:30:19 PM
New Lines & Further Reductions

The Great Save! sale just got better, with new lines added and further reductions for Whites fans to take advantage of.

Don’t miss out on fantastic savings such as the adidas Fulham Team Bag (pictured, was £24.99, now £14.99), as well as new kidswear lines, including the adidas Fulham Kids Full Zip Hoody and Pants (was £27.99, now £9.99).

Shop for amazing bargains in the Great Save! sale today online, direct on 0843 208 1223 or come and see us at the Stadium Store.

What’s more, if you spend more than £75 online then you’ll get your shopping delivered free of charge!*

*Free delivery offer valid on UK Standard Delivery with an online spend of £75 or more. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:31:35 PM
Darren Bent urged to perform by Fulham boss

Darren Bent has been urged to keep his eye for goal in focus by Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen, after helping to fire the Cottagers into The FA Cup Fourth Round.

The England striker has been in and out of the Fulham team this season, but Tuesday night’s opening goal against Norwich City was his fifth of the campaign.

And head coach Meulensteen was impressed by Bent’s performance over the two Cup ties, which saw him score at both Carrow Road and Craven Cottage.

"I thought he was excellent, and that's what we want him to do," said Meulensteen after their 3-0 win.

"He scored away from home in this round of The Cup at Norwich, and he's scored again.

"The only way for Darren to get more and more of those performances in is to keep doing what he did there.”

The former Spurs, Sunderland and Aston Villa man hasn’t featured for England in over two years, with his last cap coming in a game against Sweden at Wembley in November 2011.

But Meulensteen has challenged the 29-year-old to keep the form shown on Tuesday night over the rest of the campaign and beyond.

"If he does put that kind of performance in, the more and more likely it is that we're going to use him,” he added.

"That's what you want as a manager - you want the players to push each other and give you decisions to make."

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Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:32:36 PM
Inside The Emirates

Fulham make the trip to North London to face Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday (3pm). We caught up with Gunners fan Connor Deacon to get his take on the Barclays Premier League encounter.

We’ve entered the second half of the season and Arsenal are still very much in the running for the title. Could this be your year?

I think we’re in with a chance, and that’s the important thing. We’re competing at the top and that’s what we wanted. We’ve played some fantastic football in the process and will continue to do so. We go into Saturday’s game in top spot and, while there’s plenty of football to play, I think we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end. Manchester City look very strong, while you can never rule Chelsea out either. Liverpool have improved massively, so I think they too could push themselves into contention. Whatever happens, it’s going to be an exciting race to the finish.

Fulham got an important result in midweek in the FA Cup with Budweiser and will be hoping to carry that momentum into Saturday’s game. Have you seen much of the Whites this season?

I’ve seen a fair bit of them this term. I was at Craven Cottage for the reverse fixture in August when we won 3-1. I also watched the game against Norwich City in the week, and I thought Fulham played really well - they were comfortable from start to finish. Over the years my friend has taken me to the Cottage, and I was at the game when they beat Aston Villa in December. It’s been a strange season for Fulham but, from what I’ve seen, I think they’ll be fine. The win in midweek will have given them a massive boost, but a trip to the Emirates isn’t easy!

So what sort of game are you anticipating?

Fulham have proved a tough opponent for us in recent seasons, and I don’t think Saturday will be any different. Last season, they got a 3-3 draw in what was a very entertaining encounter. It was a fantastic game. Fulham seem to play very well against us and we’ll have to be on our toes.

How big a loss will Theo Walcott be? We saw a bit of his likely replacement, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, at Motspur Park last week when he turned out for your Under-21s - are you confident he can start where Theo left off?

I’m a huge fan of Theo. He’s had his critics but, for me, I think he’s a devastating mix of pace and clever movement. More recently, he’s added goals to his game and I think he’s really established himself as a key player for Arsene Wenger. On his day, he’s a genuine match-winner – there’s no doubt about that. It looks like he’ll be out for six months, which is very sad. But that’s football, and it’s a chance for someone else to show what they can do. You’d expect that person to be Oxlade-Chamberlain, who himself has just returned from injury. Like Theo, he’s got pace, can play down either flank and can take players on. He’s arguably a bit more powerful, and if he can develop in a similar fashion we’ll have a great player on our hands. He’ll be looking to make an impact, and I think he will.

Which players have stood out for Arsenal this season?

Aaron Ramsey has not only been one of the standout players of our team, but one of the standout players in English football. I think he has 13 goals in 27 appearances this term, which is an amazing return for a midfielder. The two central defenders, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, have impressed, while Jack Wilshere continues to develop into a world-class player. Wojciech Szczesny has been a steadying influence in goal, and Serge Gnabry has emerged as an exciting talent.

There’s been a lot of talk about Koscielny and Mertesacker – just how good is that central defensive partnership?

We all know that we’ve had some defensive insecurities in recent years, but these two have gone a long way in establishing that steely reputation of old. As has been pointed out, we haven’t lost a game when Koscielny and Mertesacker have completed 90 minutes together. That’s 28 games, 20 of which have ended in victories. They work so well together; Koscielny is tough and puts himself about, while Mertesacker is so cool and composed on the ball. You’d be hard pushed to find a better partnership in the Premier League right now.

Which visiting players do you think could provide the biggest threat for your team on Saturday?

Despite turning out for Tottenham Hotspur, I’ve always rated Scott Parker. His effort and determination is so impressive, and he just drives teams on. I’m surprised he’s not in the England squad, because I think he’s certainly good enough. He’ll be key to how Fulham’s season unfolds. Steve Sidwell, an Arsenal old boy, always seems to play well against us, and we’ll have to be aware of his runs into the box from midfield because he’s got a knack of popping up with a goal. Brede Hangeland made a welcome return to the Fulham side in the week, and he’s someone that never fails to impress me. Like Parker, the big man’s contribution over the remainder of the season will be invaluable.

The January transfer window has opened. Who would your dream signing be?

Our need for a striker has been well documented and I think that has to be our area to focus on. I don’t think we’ll have a chance of luring Luis Suarez, that boat has sailed. I’d be very happy to bring in Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, but I’m not sure how willing his team will be to part with one of Europe’s in-form strikers. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has been linked, as has his teammate Alvaro Morata. I’d be keen on the latter, because I think Wenger could help develop him into a fantastic striker. But I think we need a player that can come in and make an immediate impact in front of goal, so step forward Radamel Falcao. The Colombian is rumoured to be unhappy at Monaco, and if we can bring him in he could be the man to lead Arsenal to glory. Failing that, his former FC Porto strike partner, Jackson Martinez, would also be a welcome addition.

What’s the best thing about a trip to the Emirates?

I might be biased, but the Emirates is one of the best stadiums in the country – it really is first class. If you haven’t been before, than I’d certainly recommend it as a ground to visit. The pitch is immaculate and you’re almost always guaranteed a decent game of football. I’m not a big fan of some of the modern stadiums that we see these days, but the Emirates really is state-of-the-art.

Can you recommend a good place for the Fulham fans to grab a pint before the game?

The Drayton Arms in Highbury is always very popular with away fans and that would be my recommendation. But there are lots of different pubs in Finsbury Park so Fulham fans will have a lot of options. 

What are your standout memories from games between the two sides from the past?

We’ve got a good record against Fulham and, while games have been tighter lately, they weren’t always that way. Our games against the Whites during the 2005/06 season were particularly fruitful. The 4-1 home win was certainly memorable because Pascal Cygan scored twice - you know it’s a good day when that happens. The great Thierry Henry grabbed the other two, after Claus Jensen had put Fulham in front. We then won 4-0 at Craven Cottage, with Henry netting another double in what was a master class in ice-cool finishing. Emmanuel Adebayor and Cesc Fabregas were also on target.

Can we move you into making a score prediction for the match ahead – how will this one finish?

I can only see this ending in a home win - sorry Fulham fans! That said, I think this might be a tight one. I can see an Arsenal goal coming towards the start and the end of the match, so 2-0 to the Gunners. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:34:20 PM
Stoke and Fulham fight for QPR winger

Stoke City’s hopes of brining in Queens Park Rangers winger Shaun Wright-Phillips have hit a snag because the player is unwilling to uproot from London, Sports Direct News understands.

The 32-year-old has a young family and is settled in the capital, which puts fellow suitors Fulham in the driving seat to secure his signature. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 15, 2014, 07:36:06 PM
Cottagers keen on Magpies wideman

Fulham could make a move for out-of-favour Newcastle United winger Gabriel Obertan after Cottagers head coach Rene Meulensteen set his sights on younger flair players for his side.

Jet-heeled Obertan played under Meulensteen when the Dutchman was Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team coach at Manchester United.

At 24-years-old, he fits the criteria the Fulham coach has drawn up for the January transfer window, as he looks to overhaul an ageing and under-performing squad.

It is understood that a loan move is the London outfit’s preferred option this month, with a view to a permanent deal in the summer if they secure their Premier League status.

However, if the funds are available to seal a permanent move now, it is hard to see Newcastle manager Alan Pardew turning down the opportunity to sell the Frenchman, who rarely figures in his first-team plans.

Obertan’s switch to Fulham hinges on the progress Meulensteen makes with his other targets, including Queens Park Rangers wideman Shaun Wright-Phillips. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:38:47 AM
Were Fulham right to let Bryan Ruiz go out on loan?

Fulham have confirmed that playmaker, Bryan Ruiz, has joined Dutch side PSV Eindhoven on loan for the remainder of the season but will they regret letting him depart?

Bryan Ruiz is returning to Dutch football, where he made his name at FC Twente before Fulham signed him for an undisclosed fee in August 2011.

SEE ALSO: Why would Ravel Morrison want to swap West Ham for Fulham?

The 28-year old links up with Phillip Cocu’s PSV Eindhoven until the end of the season, who currently sit seventh in the Eredivisie.

The Costa-Rican will be desperate to get some regular football under his belt before the World Cup in the summer, in which he is set to captain the nation team in Group D alongside Uruguay, Italy and England.

“It’s true I didn’t have much playing time at Fulham lately, so I see this as a great opportunity for me” Ruiz said.

Name   Team   Goals    Assist   Apps   Mins
Bryan Ruiz   Fulham   1   3   12   773
He has made just 12 league starts for Fulham this campaign, and has only played 63 minutes under new boss Rene Meulensteen. The Dutch manager was evidently not Bryan Ruiz’s biggest fan but the decision to loan him out is a strange one.

Ruiz had only managed one goal all season, and that was back in September when Fulham lost 2-1 at home to Cardiff. Although he had managed to create 15 chances this season for a struggling Fulham side, grabbing three assists in the process.

It is bewildering that the Cottagers were happy to allow Ruiz to help PSV try and climb the Eredivisie rather than helping Fulham get out of their trouble as they currently sit in 16th, just one point above the relegation zone.

His flair and attacking play is what Fulham are in need of as they must score more goals if they are to avoid the drop. The West-London outfit have managed just 22 goals so far, ten fewer than they had at the same stage last season.

Adel Taarabt has started four of Fulham’s last five Premier League games under Meulensteen, and he will be expected to offer the spark that they need. Although the man on loan from QPR has managed just one assist and is without a goal in the same number of games as Ruiz had played.

It will be interesting to see if Fulham bring anyone in to play behind the striker, following reports of a failed move for West Ham’s Ravel Morrison.

Perhaps Meulensteen has a replacement lined up, but for now, it appears a brave move to allow the Costa-Rica captain to leave - one that may come back to haunt them. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:40:26 AM
Fulham in FA Cup 4th round

LONDON - Fulham overwhelmed fellow English Premier League strugglers Norwich 3-0 at Craven Cottage yesterday to move into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Former England striker Darren Bent scored Fulham's opener before setting up Ashkan Dejagah's decisive second goal as Norwich's winless run stretched to eight matches.

Steve Sidwell scored Fulham's third goal shortly before the hour to leave the Cottagers with a fourth-round tie against third-tier Sheffield United.

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland was delighted following last weekend's 4-1 league defeat by Sunderland.

"We need to find the right balance between attack and defence. Lately we've been conceding too many goals so hopefully this is a step in the right direction."

Elsewhere, non-league Kidderminster Harriers won through to a fourth-round tie with EPL outfit Sunderland after a 3-2 replay victory away to third-tier Peterborough United.

Tommy Rowe gave Peterborough an early lead but two goals in four minutes after halftime from Michael Gash and Jack Byrne turned the tide in Conference club Kidderminster's favour.

Britt Assombalonga's penalty levelled the scores with 16 minutes to go but, two minutes later, Joe Lolley scored Harriers' winner.

Kidderminster are the only non-league side left in this season's FA Cup after Macclesfield suffered a 4-1 defeat by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, who made it 10 goals in two matches after their 6-0 thrashing of Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.

FA Cup holders Wigan needed extra time to see off Milton Keynes Dons 3-1 in a third-round replay at Stadium MK and avoid becoming only the second holders of the trophy to go out in the third round the following season.

Luke Chadwick put the Dons ahead in the 10th minute and it was a lead they held until 11 minutes from time before Nick Powell, on loan from Manchester United, equalised.

In extra time, Powell scored again before Marc-Antoine Fortune sealed Wigan's victory.

Manchester City, last season's losing finalists, face second-tier Blackburn Rovers in a third-round replay on Wednesday.

Bournemouth will welcome English giants Liverpool to the south coast in the fourth round after a 4-1 win over fourth-tier Burton Albion.

Two goals from Brett Pitman and strikes from Ryan Fraser and captain Tommy Elphick - a Liverpool fan - set up a dream tie for the Championship club.

FA Cup third-round results:

Fulham 3, Norwich 0

Birmingham 3, Bristol Rovers 0

Bournemouth 4, Burton Albion 1

Charlton Athletic 2, Oxford United 2

MK Dons 1, Wigan 3

Peterborough United 2, Kidderminster Harriers 3

Plymouth Argyle 2, Port Vale 3

Preston 3, Ipswich 2

Sheffield Wednesday 4, Macclesfield Town 1

Watford 2, Bristol City 0 (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:46:43 AM
The View From South Texas — Fulham FC v. Norwich City FA3 Replay

by HatterDon

Up for the Cup
Yesterday – yes, I know, not my usual publishing speed – Fulham roasted an all-at-odds Norwich City at half-empty Craven Cottage and sent them down the mine in search of a Canary and out of the FA Cup.

Bouncing back from perhaps the most embarrassing league result in recent memory, Fulham controlled the action almost from the beginning and ran out 3-0 winners. It was much easier than the scoreline indicated. Yes, young Murphy started again and caused Riether some problems early on, but also early on Norwich displayed a tactical flaw. Passes upfield out of defense were tentative and to zone rather than to player. What was needed here was a greedy opponent – preferably a young winger – to capitalize on this weakness. In Alex Kacaniklic, Fulham have such a young winger, and he purloined passes all match. Fulham also showed a desire to press Norwich’s defense and midfield all evening, which made it easier for the Whites to turn toothless City attacks into ruthless Fulham attacks.

Fulham’s first goal combined two wingers, a center mid and a fullback, but was scored by our much maligned striker Darren Bent. Bent’s not the most industrious chap ever to wear the black and white, but he knows what to do with a cross and a distracted defense. Fulham’s second came from the Andrew Johnson playbook. Bent stretched out the defense by going wide, Kacaniklic moved to the right wing further confusing them, and found right winger Ashkan Dejagah racing into the penalty area like an Iranian Clint Dempsey. Two crosses, two easy conversions. What next?

Well, it wasn’t immediately next, but Fulham’s third goal came from a cross hammered into the back of the net by the White’s own special one Iniesta. How sad is it when your leading goalscorer is a central midfielder and you have two proven goalscorers in your striker corps? Pretty sad, but just imagine how poor our season would be if we didn’t have Sidwell out there – match after match – winning the ball, supporting the attack, and converting chances. Yeah, just imagine … we might be playing crap match after match and finding ourselves in the middle of a relegation struggle.

Hey, wait a minute … .

Individually? This match was my first look at Dan Burn. I liked what I saw. I think he’s better than any CB we have on our books and should stay. Yes, I noticed that Hangeland was back, but I also noticed that he was still tentative and slow on the turn. It might be a fitness thing, but I think Fulham supporters are kidding themselves if they believe that they’ll ever see the Hangeland that was the Rock of Defensive Ages.

Generally speaking, starting Special K and Super Iranian made Fulham instantly better. Two attack minded wide players increase the threat of Darren Bent significantly. I’m not all that sure about Karagounis as the protector of the back four, however. Despite the fact that I’ve seen several shouts for him to be man-of-the-match, I though him most responsible for Norwich’s early attacking moves in each half. He dwelt on the ball and conceded possession leading to almost every threat to the Fulham goal. Oh, and speaking of which Stekelenberg was back, and impressed me not at all. I thought Richardson showed why he should be first choice LB, but I haven’t figured out what Rene wants his sides to do yet, so I’m not predicting.

Finally, I was pleased to see Tankovic, Dembele, and Christensen get minutes. The highlight of the match for me was watching Dembele muscle Bassong out of the play and retain possession. I don’t think City’s central defender has had that sort of treatment from many teenagers.

All it all, it was a very good win and round four sends us to darkest Yorkshire to face Sheffield United. If we continue to use youngish players in the Cup, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t continue to look better in that competition than in the league. Or, maybe our leadership triumvirate will see the benefit in using the youth in the league as well. Well, perhaps.

HatterDon’s Man of the Match – With a special salute to Alex Kacaniklic who set the tone of the match early on, the non-existent Shiner Bock keg goes to Steve Sidwell for being an old-fashioned English box-to-box midfielder. Well done you! (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:48:18 AM
Fulham hoping to agree an audacious deal with Man Utd

Premier League side Fulham are hoping to scupper Sporting Lisbon’s move to land Manchester United winger Nani on loan. Reports in The Daily Express reveal that the Cottagers are looking to acquire the services of the Portuguese to help them avoid relegation this season, with their manager Rene Meulensteen hoping to pull some old strings to make the move a success.
Nani has failed to impress much under new manager David Moyes and is consequently expected to be offloaded this month, with the boss unwilling to place his faith in the player anymore. The likes of Juventus and Sporting Lisbon have been reported willing to take the player aboard with the Portuguese side now believed to be on the verge of landing him on loan.

Meanwhile, Fulham will try to pour cold water on the hopes of Sporting by landing Nani this winter. The Cottagers are understood to be on the verge of offloading Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz to PSV Eindhoven which will in turn create place for the Red Devils winger in their squad. Also, with reports of Sporting having not formally approached United for the player doing the rounds, the Premier League side will certainly hope to grab him before other suitors enter the frame. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:49:19 AM
Why Rene Meulensteen should not be punished for his Ravel Morrison comments

If a rousing 3-0 victory over Norwich City wasn’t enough for Fulham fans this week, Rene Meulensteen whetted our January appetites by claiming a bid had been made for West Ham United’s Ravel Morrison.

It was rejected outright, and in some corners has been described as ‘derisory’ and ‘insulting’ in its value. But it was the intention that caught some of us off guard. Fulham, bidding for a player? A young, sought-after one at that? Audacious.

But the joy was short lived with West Ham now complaining to the Premier League over Meulensteen’s apparent ‘tapping up’ of their star youngster.

The evidence is there, unfortunately, for all to see. ‘Yes,’ he said, responding to questions after sailing through to the 4th round of the FA Cup without a whimper in resistance from Norwich City. ‘I think he does want to come.’

That, I’m afraid, is really quite brazen. But should we be punished?

The short answer is, naturally, yes. Justice must be seen to be done. Yet in a legal landscape, where precedence has the final say, surely a ticking off is as bad as it should get for our humble club.

For that’s what Liverpool received for their rather ballsy attempt to lure Clint Dempsey to Anfield in 2012. The company that owns the Merseyside club even went to the extent of publishing a press release on their website welcoming the American to Liverpool.

Did our complaint against them, made in September of that year, get very far? Not at all.

That’s not to excuse Meulensteen, of course, who has been both naive and foolish with his indiscreet spewing.

There are certain ways in which our club – most clubs in fact – handle itself and the open door policy on transfer ramblings is not one of them. We normally keep our business quiet at Craven Cottage, and that is probably the best way.

Meulensteen though has brought a touch of the Sir Alex Ferguson with him with this latest trick.

There are many Ferguson mannerisms that we’d be quite content to witness from our new boss, but this really isn’t one of them. (
Title: Re:
Post by: Count Berbatov on January 16, 2014, 04:57:19 AM
can you imagine if you got Nani! That would be awesome. IMO he's been rotated too much and suffered from that. He's very good at almost everything. He can finish, he can cross, he can beat his man. Even his decision making is getting better. Great with both feet.. He's gifted in so many ways. Hope Rene gets him convinced.
Title: Re:
Post by: leonffc on January 16, 2014, 05:29:25 AM
can you imagine if you got Nani! That would be awesome. IMO he's been rotated too much and suffered from that. He's very good at almost everything. He can finish, he can cross, he can beat his man. Even his decision making is getting better. Great with both feet.. He's gifted in so many ways. Hope Rene gets him convinced.

Never ever liked him and am still fuming the way he was goading the Johnny Haynes stand (with no punishment) after a shocking dive when we won the other year. BUT if he has his heart on his Fulham sleeve then he would certainly do a job!!

Further up the news we are linked with Obertan and SWP.  :58:  Either of those and I will be straight down the bookies lumping on us for relegation!!
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: K33NY on January 16, 2014, 07:28:19 AM
AH I dislike Nani so much, yes he has skills though its just hes attitude and personality.......
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: OdecaMynoT on January 16, 2014, 08:20:36 AM
AH I dislike Nani so much, yes he has skills though its just hes attitude and personality.......

He's like a 'Happy Shopper' version of Ronaldo. I can live with that if his coming gets us out of the mire.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:12:42 PM
Fulham Make Offer For To Sign Livorno Striker On Loan


Fulham have made an offer of €2 million in an attempt to land Livorno striker Paulinho on loan for the remainder of the season.

The striker has been one of the few bright spots for the Amaranto this season, leading the club with six goals in 18 appearances despite sitting in 19th place.

Sky Sport report that the London club have offered €2m to sign the Brazilian on loan for the remainder of the season.

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for the 28-year-old in the past, though it is believed Livorno will more than likely keep hold of their most important player as they look to avoid relegation.

Paulinho played a key role in the Amaranto’s Serie B campaign last season, scoring 23 goals in 47 matches as they achieved promotion to Italy’s top flight. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:14:56 PM
Scouting preview ahead of the next game: Fulham

I have a very good friend who, for his sins, has been a Fulham supporter since he was knee high to a grasshopper.  As a season ticket holder he is entitled to buy up to four extra tickets for selected home games before they go on wider sale so a while ago he asked if I wanted to go to watch Fulham v Sunderland and as we had no home game on 11 January, and Fulham were about to put in an appearance at the Emirates, so I said yes – more as a chance of catching up with him than in any expectation of a good game of football I might add.  The ticket was in the Putney end and cost the princely sum of £10, a good way of rewarding the Fulham faithful.

If you haven’t been to Craven Cottage, let me explain.  It is an old fashioned ground, quite small and all supporters are close to the pitch which itself is somewhat smaller than we are used to at the Emirates.  The Putney end is designated as Mixed in that it has both home and away supporters.  I had Fulham fans to my front and right and Sunderland to my left and behind and all were very well behaved throughout.  The official Away supporters area is at the left hand side of the stand facing the pitch.

The ground backs onto the Thames on one side, was built in the 19th century on what was a wilderness, and received its first major upgrade in 1905, just as the Chelsea ground along the way was being built.  Rather amusingly the same architect (who also took on the role of what later became known as the “clerk of the works”) ran both projects simultaneously.   He was one Archibald Leitch.

Anyway to the game, Fulham lined up as follows :-

Stockdale; Riether, John Arne Riise; Sidwell; Senderos, Amorebieta; Duff (Dejagah 68′); Parker; Berbatov; Taarabt (Kasami 63′), Dempsey (Bent 79′)

They were somewhat under strength at the back with Stockdale, their No 2 goalkeeper, starting and Senderos starting in place of Hangerland, who has been missing for a long time (yes the same Senderos who was always an accident waiting to happen when he was on Arsenal’s books a few years ago).  Riise is the regular left back and is starting to show his age.  Dempsey is back with Fulham on a two month loan from MLS.

Sunderland were :-

Mannone (well known to Fulham fans following his heroics for Arsenal was it two or three years ago), Bardsley, O’Shea, Brown, Alonso, Johnson (Celustka 88′), Cattermole, Colback, Ki, Borini (Larrson 75′) and Fletcher (Altidore 66′).

Fulham started brightly, knocking the ball about confidently and provided Berbatov with two excellent opportunities to score, a header first that he failed to get any proper kind of contact on and it went straight into the ground before being grabbed by Mannone.  A few minutes later an even better opportunity but he missed his kick horribly and the ball went out for a goal kick.

After 20 or so minutes Sunderland started to come into it more and the game became far more even.   In minute 28 Johnson was fouled and took a great free kick from 20 yards or so which beat Stockdale despite him getting both hands to it (0-1).

In minute 30 Bardsley showed what an idiot he is by kicking the ball away well after Mr Dean had blown his whistle and went into the book (stupid and unnecessary yellow card).   In minute 36 the card count was equal as Sidwell went into the book and in Minute 40 Fulham were two one in this score as Riise lunged at Borini  (this was at the opposite end of the ground to where I was seated and I thought it could easily have been a red, but the replay on MOTD indicated that a yellow was probably adequate – just).

In Minute 41 Ki doubled Sunderland’s lead following another free kick (0-2).  That just about wrapped up the first half – Fulham on top in terms of possession but lacking a clear cutting edge and let down by conceding free kicks in dangerous positions which they failed to defend properly.

In the second half again Fulham started brightly and in Minute 51 their pressure resulted in a corner, Duff crossed and Sidwell, unmarked, headed home (1-2), poor defending from Sunderland.

In minutes 59 and 60 the yellow card swapping continued with Colback and Parker going into the book.  The Parker one was after a good piece of refereeing when Dean allowed a good advantage leading to a Sunderland shot and then the booking was made when play stopped.  Fair play to Dean for that one.

In Minute 69 the two goal cushion was reinstated as Johnson slotted in from Ki’s pass (1-3).  Till then the second half was really end to end stuff with Fulham on top in terms if possession and intent.  The scoring ended in the 88th minute when Senderos clumsily collided with Altidore in the penalty area, Dean thought about it then awarded the spot kick.  Johnson sent Stockdale the wrong way and hit a solid penalty, to get his hat-trick, to the left hand side of the goal (1-4).

Fulham didn’t do nearly enough to win the game and were always at risk on the break.  Whilst they had the greater part of possession, most of it was in areas where Sunderland were quite content to sit back behind the ball and watch the ball passing sideways in front of them.  Riise was too slow, and Senderos and Amorbietta frequently caught out of position.  Senderos, in particular always looked likely to be beaten and was bullied/tormented by Altidore once he came on.

In the middle of the park, Parker tried valiantly but his fellow midfielders gave little support, Taarabt tried hard and offered the most endeavour but again with little end result.  Dempsey was his usual energetic self, but at times was frustrated with lack of movement around him.  Berbatov was interested for the first 20 minutes or so but his finishing was woeful, after that he was a peripheral figure for the rest of the game.  Bent came on for Dempsey in the79th minute but hardly had the ball.

So what, if anything, do Arsenal have to look out for at the weekend?

Fulham looked like an ageing team, they were slow in movement and thought and really struggled to cope with Sunderland’s counter attacking and we can certainly do that better than the bottom team in the league.

With all respect to Johnson, if he can create as much damage as he did from the right hand side, Gnabry, Rosicky or The Ox should have a field day.

And if Senderos/Amorbietta couldn’t control Altidore they certainly will have bigger problems with Giroud.

Man for man our midfield is much younger, faster and technically competent than Fulham.

The biggest threats are likely to come from Taarabt and Dempsey, if they can get their radars synchronised in time.  Our midfielders will have to be wary of these two.

Berbatov was slow and ponderous every time he had the ball, he certainly isn’t any kind of answer to any need we might or might not have for a new striker.  Give me either of Giroud or Bendtner every day of the week, both work far harder and don’t act as ‘ball hogs’.  I’m sure Berby will fit nicely in the pockets of either of Kos or Mert.

Bent looked overweight and lacking in fitness and must soon end his fortune in scoring against us.

In short and based on this performance from Fulham,  I would regard the game as one where we should get all three points quite comfortably.  Always discounting untoward influences of course.

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:16:25 PM
Ex-Quaker may stay at Fulham

FULHAM are considering keeping former Darlington defender Dan Burn at Craven Cottage despite Birmingham City wanting to re-sign him on loan.

Boss Rene Meulensteen was impressed with 21-year-old Burn's composed performance as he made his senior home debut in Tuesday's 3-0 FA Cup third-round replay victory over Norwich City.

It was his second game for Fulham, his first earlier this month triggered a clause in his contract which meant Quakers received a £75,000 payment.

Darlington will receive more money if the Blyth-born defender reaches a certain amount of first-team appearances, so Meulensteen's words of praise will be well received by Quakers.

The Dutch boss has admitted Fulham will weigh up whether to send the former Quakers centre-back out on another loan, or pitch him into league action with the Cottagers.

"Dan's been a breath of fresh air. He did well in the Norwich away game," the Fulham manager said.

"Him staying here now is definitely something we're going to review, definitely.

"That's a different challenge from playing at home, but he's matured a lot in Birmingham where he had a very good loan spell.

"And next to Brede Hangeland he looked extremely comfortable.

"The only way that I keep them apart is that he's right footed and Dan's left footed.

"You work with him on the pitch - it's great for someone like Dan to have Brede coming back from that injury so they can work together.

"Dan is a very bright boy, he's not afraid to speak his mind, he talks, and that's the sort of thing you look at, and it was a very positive performance from him."

Blyth-born Burn made 28 appearances in his loan stint at Birmingham in the first half of the season, before being recalled by Meulensteen on January 2.

Blues boss Lee Clark remains keen on another loan deal for Burn.

Meanwhile, Darlington supporters have been praised for turning up in their droves to watch last weekend's win at Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Although the match was Darlington's shortest away journey of the season, the crowd of 1,026 exceeded estimations and the vast majority left happy after seeing promotion-chasing Quakers win for the eighth time in their last nine games.

Prior to the game, Darlington officials had advised police to expect around 500 fans, but the game saw an estimated 900 make the trip from the North-East, swelling a crowd that represented the Yorkshire club's highest since winning promotion in 2006. The Railwaymen's average before Saturday was 94.

Speaking to the official league website, Harrogate secretary Mike Sunley said: "Our committee were unsure of how many were going to turn up when most of us were thinking in the region of between 450 to 650 judging by the average away gates they have had this season.

"We were told that about two to three hundred would be attending but we never expected anything like this - they just kept coming through the gates and it never stopped until just before the kick-off.

"At any level of football, except maybe the Premier League and Championship, it was a magnificent turnout by the Darlington fans and a credit to their club. There wasn't any trouble of any kind and again they were a fantastic credit to Darlington FC."

He added: "Our average gate is only 94 so I also have to mention too that it was a truly a magnificent effort by all the staff and volunteers of Harrogate Railway who helped to manage and cope with such a large crowd on the day."

Darlington are now nine points off the top as Curzon returned to pole position by winning one of their games in hand on Tuesday, beating third-bottom Wakefield 3-2.

Quakers are at bottom-of the table Ossett Albion on Saturday while they return to Heritage Park on January 25 when they face Cammell Laird. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:18:02 PM
Arsenal v Fulham - Matchday strips


Arsenal will wear red and white shirts, white shorts and white socks against Fulham at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, January 18.
Arsenal's goalkeeper will wear all green.
The referee will be Lee Probert. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:19:39 PM
West Ham admit ex-Man Utd starlet Ravel Morrison could go as Fulham circle
WEST HAM assistant manager Neil McDonald admitted young starlet Ravel Morrison has a price.

The former Manchester United youth player was subject of a bid from fellow strugglers Fulham in midweek, which was rejected by the Hammers.

Morrison has made only one appearance so far this year due to a niggling groin injury but is included in the squad for the crucial weekend clash with Newcastle.

However, ahead of the match at Upton Park, McDonald claimed that every player – even Morrison – has their price.

"I would imagine everyone has a price," McDonald said.

"There seems to be a story on Rav every week, the lad comes in and trains – he has had a little bit of a groin injury. He trained yesterday with a huge big smile on his face with the rest of the squad."

Morrison, 20, returned to the Hammers from a loan deal at Birmingham at the beginning of the campaign and has gone on to impress, scoring a sensational solo goal in the 3-0 victory over Tottenham in early October.

But since then the England Under-21 international has struggled for consistency.

When asked about whether West Ham want to keep hold of Morrison, McDonald responded: "Why not? He needs to get into the team first and be consistent. He had a great run of three or four games where he was outstanding, but he is a young kid and is still learning the game." (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:21:03 PM
No Fear

Steve Sidwell is hoping Tuesday night’s FA Cup with Budweiser triumph provides Fulham with the momentum to earn a result against Arsenal at the weekend.

As well as earning progression to the Fourth Round of the historic competition, the 3-0 win over Norwich City restored confidence to René Meulensteen’s side following the disappointment of the previous defeat by Sunderland.

And while a trip to the home of the Barclays Premier League leaders may appear daunting, Sidwell assured fans that his side will not show the Gunners too much respect, stating: “We won’t go into any game fearing anyone. It doesn’t matter where we are in the league.

“You’ve seen so far this season that everyone’s beating everyone – teams like Arsenal are losing, Manchester United are losing. These teams are losing games so if we can go there, defend well and create chances, then we’re more than capable of scoring.

“It’s a tough game, a very tough game, but they’re all tough games now. We’re going into the match with the confidence that we’ve gained from the Norwich result and hopefully we can put a performance in.”

Asked if he’s been impressed by their staying power at the summit of the Premier League, the former Gunners academy player admitted: “Very. People still aren’t really talking about them [as title contenders], they’re talking about Chelsea and Manchester City, which Arsenal will probably like as it takes the pressure away from them. But they keep grinding out results, they’re keeping in there and it’s going to go to the wire.”

While the race for the title is as open as it’s been for years, it’s just as tense at the other end of the table, with Fulham one of around 11 sides keen to put daylight between themselves and the drop zone.

The Whites had occupied one of the three relegation places for a number of unwelcome periods this season, but currently sit outside of the bottom three having won three league matches since Meulensteen took charge.

“I think if you look at the Premier League in general, it’s never been as tight as this – at the top or the bottom,” Sidwell said. “If you look at the bottom half of the table there’s six points from 20th to 10th, so it goes to show it’s not just on our form, it’s how the whole Premier League has gone.

“I think since René has come in he’s brought a new lease of life to the players and I think we’ve been hard done by with some of the results, especially when we’ve got back into games.

“If you look at Man City, Everton – we’ve got back on level terms and then we’ve thrown games away. A lot of them have been down to mistakes by ourselves so if we can erase those errors and concentrate on keeping clean sheets then we feel as though we’ve got enough up top and people that can score goals to win us games.”

Away from league matters, the Whites continue to fight on in the FA Cup and Tuesday’s win has set up a Fourth Round tie at Sky Bet League One strugglers Sheffield United.

It’s a competition in which Sidwell is keen to enjoy a prosperous run after he notched another goal in the win over the Canaries – his sixth overall for the season and his third in as many games.

“It’s a little purple patch so it’s good for me personally but obviously it’s the old cliché that the result is the more important thing,” he admitted. “It was very important for us [to beat Norwich], I think you could tell that by the team selection.

“For me, personally, the FA Cup is traditional with the very British, English mentality that I’ve got. It’s special for me and we’ve got Sheffield United now in the next round and hopefully we can put the same performance in and progress.” (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:22:27 PM
Exclusive - Fulham need Berbatov to stay, says Sidwell

Steve Sidwell has defended under-fire teammate Dimitar Berbatov and insists Fulham need the mercurial striker if they are to beat the drop.

Berbatov has frustrated fans with his performances this season and has been tipped to leave the struggling Cottagers in this transfer window.

Arsenal have been suggested as possible suitors for the 32-year-old, but Sidwell wants the former Manchester United star to stay as he believes his creative qualities are still much-needed.

“His vision, his touch, what he can produce week in, week out to win games for you, it’s there to see. He did that last season. He won numerous games with the goals he scored,” said the midfielder, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“This year, perhaps because he hasn’t scored as many as he would have liked, it comes down to what else he is producing on the pitch. So, if he has not scored, they look at his work rate, the chances he has created. Obviously we haven’t had a great run of form this year as a team and he can’t be the brunt of that.

“You always want your best players to stay, wherever you are in the Premier League. Whether you are at the bottom, in the middle, or pushing for the championship, you want your best players to be there because you know on their day what they can produce.”

Read more at (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:23:47 PM
Shahid Khan, wishful thinking, and change at Fulham

Ben Weeks urges Fulham to consider a change to their approach…

“Everyone needs to realise we must invest” – Rene Meulensteen, shortly after taking over at Fulham.

There’s a sense of ‘we know, we know you know, and you know that we know’ regarding the relationship between Fulham fans and the powers that be at Craven Cottage right now. It’s not as though it’s a secret that Fulham require investment. Years of stagnation and a short-term mindset from Mohammed Al-Fayed whom, contrary to his own protestations otherwise, was probably gearing up to sell for a while, have led to an old squad and insufficient infrastructure to back it up. It’s not that Fulham don’t have promising youth players – quite the reverse – it’s simply that the majority of these aren’t ready for the considerable step-up. There is very little promise left in between the experienced names like Scott Parker and Dimitar Berbatov and the too young such as Mousa Dembele or Lasse Vigen Christensen. This in turn creates the sort of pressure that has been placed on the shoulders of Pajtim Kasami to rescue Fulham, which is obviously unfair given his youth and relative inexperience.

Meulensteen has said what everyone knows:

“We need to look how we can strengthen this squad to ensure Fulham stay in the Premier League.”

It’s out on the table, playing staff are needed. Now, it might just be wishful thinking, but…

Fulham need not just an influx of cash and a couple of additions, but a renewed philosophy. The loans and free transfers must be limited massively, in favour of reasonable contracts for reasonably aged players. Fulham are unlikely to not be the sort of club that sells assets in their prime for a while yet, if ever, but without those assets to sell it’s difficult to see where the club is going to recoup its transfer outgoings – Berbatov, Parker, Riise? None of these have much value anymore. Instead, promising younger players sourced from the Championship and less ‘established’ European leagues and clubs need to be targeted. Aaron Cresswell, Daley Blind, Danny Ings, Siem de Jong…these are all talented players for whom a few years down by the Thames could work well for all involved. I’m not specifically saying Fulham need to target those four names, but they represent the combination of talent and age that demands exploitation.

Obviously this approach will require significantly more investment than has been traditional at the Cottage over the past few years..or since the ‘failed’ experiment that was Bryan Ruiz, at least. But Shahid Khan made a pledge to the club when he took over:

“I’d like Fulham to be sustainable. Fulham, even past my time, shouldn’t be dependent on someone’s generosity.”

That word sustainable is so important – it implies that the club will be able to look after itself: through the increased ticket revenue the ground expansion will bring assuming it goes ahead, more lucrative sponsorship deals (Marathon this year was the club’s best yet) and yes, a system of bringing in players with a view to getting the best out of them, before selling them for profit. Khan obviously knew all of this when he took over, and actually I have faith in him to see it through… but it needs to be sooner, rather than later.

Achieving sustainability as a Premier League club is going to be a damn sight harder in the Championship (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:24:51 PM
Clark - Burn return unlikely

Lee Clark says he as all but admitted defeat in his attempts to bring former loanee Dan Burn back from his parent club Fulham.
The centre-half returned to Craven Cottage at the start of the month, following a successful loan spell at Blues, during which he made 28 appearances and scored one goal.

Fulham changed managers in December when Dutchman René Meulensteen took over at the helm. Meulensteen has subsequently played Burn in his side's last two FA Cup with Budweiser matches against Norwich City and was massively impressed by his performance alongside Brede Hangeland in the centre of defence.

"It doesn’t look like Dan is coming back and he is going to stay at Fulham," Clark told

"He's been playing too well, which is a double-edged sword. He’s gone in and played against Norwich again in the cup replay and he was outstanding. I spoke to René and René was really impressed with him

"The Premier League is where Dan wants to be and that’s where I knew he’d end up going. We’ve obviously been thanked by Fulham because we helped him with his development but it’s not a good scenario for us.

"If I was in René's position I’d probably feel the same. They’re his players and if they come back and they’re in a good situation, you’ve got to accept that."

The almost certain loss of Burn, means that Clark will be redoubling his efforts to strengthen his squad before the end of this month's transfer window.

"We’ve got to go looking again for another raw talent that we can hopefully polish up and send back to their clubs a better player," he added. "It was always an area I was looking to bring players in, but I need to bring players in for all areas of the team.

"The situation I’ve got that is difficult is that I can only name five loan players in the 18. If I’m looking to strengthen different areas of the squad I’m going to end up with more than five players, so sometimes it’s going to be frustrating not having loan players involved in the 18. I’ve got to be able to balance that in the right way."

Read more at (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:26:33 PM
'Everyone has a price' - West Ham admit Fulham target Morrison is not unsellable


The Hammers assistant Neil McDonald insisted the youngster is happy but could be sold if the right offer comes in, while he dismissed links with Rickie Lambert as pure speculation

West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald has admitted that "everybody has a price" amid speculation linking Ravel Morrison with a transfer to Fulham.

Goal exclusively revealed on January 7 that the attacker has made it known to his current club that he wants to make the move to west London this month.

The Cottagers head coach Rene Meulensteen confirmed on Tuesday that they have seen a bid for the 20-year-old turned down as he aimed to be reunited with a player he worked with at Manchester United.

The Hammers subsequently lodged a complaint with the Premier League that was thought to relate to these comments, but McDonald conceded that the club would consider each offer on its merits.

"There seems to be a story about Rav every week," he told reporters. "I would imagine everybody's got a price."

But when questioned on whether the Upton Park outfit would prefer to hang on to the midfielder, McDonald added: "Why not? But he needs to get into the team and he needs to be consistent.

"He's a young kid and he's still learning the game and he goes through inconsistencies to an extent.

"Rav trained with the rest of the lads with a big smile on his face yesterday and we look forward to having him in the squad for Saturday (when West Ham host Newcastle United)."

West Ham have been linked with a move for Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, but McDonald stressed that the rumoured transfer was all hearsay for the time being.

"He's a fantastic player and he's in good form, but it's all speculation at the minute," he added. "Whoever the manager decides to bring in, I'm sure it'll be a good addition to the squad." (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:27:38 PM
Bent Hopes for Arsenal Start
I have to admit that when Martin Jol persuaded Aston Villa to loan us Darren Bent for the season I was excited.

Here we were taking on board a striker that had scored at Premier League level with regularity and had also been on the fringes of international recognition on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, Darren never really got off to the start he wanted and we hardly saw him in a Fulham shirt. But just recently that position has changed and his goal, against Norwich on Tuesday evening, put us on the way to a fourth round tie with Sheffield Wednesday.

Darren, buoyed by his recent change in circumstances, is hoping that he can be part of the starting eleven that takes on the Premier League leaders, Arsenal, this weekend, remarking to the media,

"It would be nice to get a start. It`s always difficult against Arsenal but if we ride our luck and play well we could get something from our game."

There`s no doubting that it is a tall order but you just never know do you and isn`t it the right thing in life to remain optimistic?

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:28:51 PM
Fulham boss confirms Burn will be staying

Fulham defender Dan Burn will not be rejoining Birmingham City on loan, Whites boss Rene Meulensteen has confirmed.

The 21-year-old impressed during a recent loan spell at the Championship club, who were keen to have him back for the rest of the season.

After returning to Craven Cottage earlier this month, Burn followed up a promising outing against Norwich in the FA Cup third round with another eye-catching display in Tuesday’s replay victory over the Canaries.

Meulensteen initially indicated that Burn would be able to return to St Andrews, but following Tuesday’s game said he would “review” the situation before making a decision.

Birmingham manager Lee Clark subsequently revealed that Burn was set to stay at Fulham.

And Meulensteen confirmed: “At the moment his future is here. He has impressed me a lot. We have had more access to him, seeing him train, and he has matured a lot.” (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:29:58 PM
Fulham preparing bid for Tottenham’s Belgian outcast
Dembele could be set for return to relegation-threatened Craven Cottage club


Fulham are believed to be considering a move to bring former fan favourite Mousa Dembele back to the club in a bid to stave off the threat of relegation from the Premier League.

The Belgian international has long been linked with a return to the club where he first made his name in the English top flight, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur for £15m back in August 2012.

And with new Spurs boss Tim Sherwood eager to trim a squad boasting an abundance of midfield options and give opportunities to academy youngsters like Nabil Bentaleb, Dembele could be among the first to head for the White Hart Lane exit.

The Belgian has thus far failed to replicate the kind of form that first convinced the north London club to acquire his services and with a World Cup looming large, the midfielder may be tempted to push for a move away in a bid to ensure first-team football for the remainder of the season.

Fulham could represent the most realistic option for the 26-year-old, with the club in desperate need of reinforcements to bolster their ailing campaign.

Martin Jol has already been sacked, while his replacement Rene Meulensteen is under increasing pressure to get results in the Premier League, particularly after their 4-1 humbling at the hands of fellow strugglers Sunderland.

The former Manchester United coach is a 20/1 outsider to be the next manager in the division to leave his post, but whether the Dutchman stays or goes, Fulham remain deep in the relegation mire.

Ladbrokes is offering evens on the Cottagers going down this term, though the creativity and hard work of Dembele could be enough to inspire the London club to another great escape.

With a price of 4/5 offered on Meulensteen’s side surviving, the arrival of the Belgian midfielder, most likely on a loan deal until the end of the season, could be enough to ignite their campaign.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing. (
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (16/01/14)...
Post by: whitejc on January 16, 2014, 04:31:17 PM
Serie A side in for Cottagers forward


Italian side Sampdoria are keeping tabs on Fulham striker Marcello Trotta, Sports Direct News understands.

The former Napoli and Manchester City youth team player has only made three cameo appearances for the London club as a substitute, but has caught the eye during several loan stints in the Football League.

Currently at League One outfit Brentford, he has fired them to the top of the table with eight goals this term, sparking praise from Cottagers head coach Rene Meulensteen, who is already making plans to include Trotta in his first team next term.

However, Sampdoria are lining up a move to take him back to Serie A, where he never got a look-in for Napoli.

Former Sampdoria boss Sven-Goran Eriksson speaks favourably about the player, who was an up-and-coming teenager during his time as manager at the Etihad Stadium.

Should Muelensteen decide to sell, he is likely to hold out for at least £1million this summer. (