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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:09:39 PM

Title: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:09:39 PM
 
Tunnicliffe praises Ipswich after making Fulham switch

(http://talksport.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/201402/ryan-tunnicliffe.jpg?itok=uy0cEHLj)

Fulham new boy Ryan Tunnicliffe has thanked Ipswich Town for helping him complete his move to Craven Cottage.

Manchester United agreed to sell the combative midfielder to the Premier League's basement club last week, allowing the player to reunite with Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen. The pair worked together at Old Trafford when the Dutchman was a coach and Tunnicliffe an academy star.

The 21-year-old has signed until the summer of 2017, with an option for a further year, following spells at Peterborough United, Barnsley and, most recently, Ipswich Town.

At Portman Road, under manager Mick McCarthy, Tunnicliffe made 27 Championship appearances, helping the club’s push for promotion.

Tunnicliffe tweeted: “Delighted to have joined #FFC. It was a tough decision to leave #Mufc given I've been there since the age of 9 but the opportunity to work Rene Meulensteen, a coach I hugely admire again, along with the chance to play Premier League football was too good to turn down.

“I would just like to thank everyone at United who has helped me get to this point & now can't wait to get started.

“I would also like to thank Mick McCarthy, all the boys at #Itfc & of course the fans. Absolutely loved my time at the club & I wish them all the best for the rest of the season.”


Read more at http://talksport.com/football/tunnicliffe-praises-ipswich-after-making-fulham-switch-14020378324#M1yxlS5KxHZFZSiq.99 (http://talksport.com/football/tunnicliffe-praises-ipswich-after-making-fulham-switch-14020378324#M1yxlS5KxHZFZSiq.99)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:11:04 PM
 
Posh linked with Fulham youngster

(http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/webimage/1.5851697.1391420248!/image/1317322404.jpg_gen/derivatives/articleImgDeriv_628px/1317322404.jpg)
Chris David (right) could be moving to Posh from Fulham.

Fulham youngster Chris David has emerged as a possible Peterborough United replacement for departed star Lee Tomlin.

The 20-year Dutchman was linked with a move to London Road over the weekend. He is an attacking midfielder who can play a withdrawn role behind a main striker.

Chairman Darragh MacAnthony revealed over the weekend that Posh agreed loan deals for a ‘Premier League player comfortable in the number 10 role’ and another player who would become a permanent signing at the end of the season.

And in a weekend interview MacAnthony disclosed that the Premier League player would have signed last week, but he is required to play in a cup tie before joining, Fulham are the only Premier League side involved in the FA Cup this week.

David was part of Dutch club Twente Enschede’s youth academy before joining Fulham in January, 2013. He moved to London despite being linked with Ajax.

Tomlin joined Championship side Middlesbrough on loan on transfer deadline day (January 31) with a view to a permanent £1.5 million transfer.

The loan transfer window opens on Saturday (February 8) and players have to sign before noon to be able to play on that day. Posh have a League One fixture at promotion-chasing Leyton Orient on Saturday.


http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/sport/football/peterborough-united/posh-linked-with-fulham-youngster-1-5851698 (http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/sport/football/peterborough-united/posh-linked-with-fulham-youngster-1-5851698)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:12:19 PM
 
Kvist's Vow
(http://www.fulhamfc.com/-/media/hero/Players/William%20Kvist/Kvistherodebut.ashx?w=350&h=250)

Fulham new boy William Kvist says the Whites will be doing ‘everything’ they can to preserve the Club’s Barclays Premier League status.

The midfielder was handed his debut as Fulham took on Southampton at the Cottage on Saturday. But a disappointing 3-0 defeat to the in-form Saints, coupled with Cardiff City’s win over Norwich City, saw the Whites sink to the foot of the table.

With just 14 games left this season, Kvist admits Fulham need to quickly turn their fortunes around in order to move away from trouble.

“I thought we played well in the first half on Saturday and had some good chances,” the 28-year-old told the official website. “But when you’re down at the bottom it’s often the story that you don’t get that bit of luck you need. If we’d gone 1-0 up I’m confident we would have won the game.

“We’d been defending well but when Southampton went in front it was difficult for us to get back in the game. It’s disappointing but we have 14 games left and I’m still quite sure that this is a very good team and over the coming weeks we’ll train together and try and pick up a lot of points.”

Teams all the way up to 10th-placed Aston Villa are still not clear of the danger and Kvist continued: “It’s very close down there but we just have to focus on ourselves, that’s the most important thing. If we can score some goals and defend well, no matter who we’re playing, then we’ll get points.”

Fixtures don’t come much tougher than Fulham’s next two league games, with an away trip to Manchester United followed by a home encounter with Liverpool.

“Yes, they don’t get much harder but it’s a hard league,” stated Kvist. “We’re looking forward to the two games and we’ll do everything, I repeat, everything, we can to get some points from the matches.”

Result aside, Kvist was delighted to pull on the Fulham shirt for the first time following his loan switch from VfB Stuttgart on Thursday.

“I enjoyed the first half especially,” the Denmark international mused. “It was a high tempo but I made it to 80 minutes feeling good. The Cottage is an historical place and the atmosphere was fantastic. Hopefully next time the result will be better.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/kvists-vow? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/kvists-vow?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:14:38 PM
 
Porto star targets summer Premier League switch

(http://talksport.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/201402/steven-defour.jpg?itok=TzBxJg_v)

Fulham target Steven Defour has targeted a summer switch to the Premier League.

Rene Meulensteen held talks with Porto over a January move for the midfielder but failed to reach an agreement with his club.

The Portuguese giants did not want to do sanction a deal last month as they are currently in an almighty scrap for the title.

They are currently four points off pacesetters Benfica and they also resisted Manchester City's double offer for Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando.

Numerous clubs have expressed an interest in signing Defour as well, with Manchester United linked to him in the past.

Aston Villa are also thought to be monitoring the situation and the 25-year-old Belgium international is open to a move to the Premier League.

Porto will assess the situation in the summer but they could be ready to cash in on Defour as they look to spark an auction between interested clubs.


Read more at http://talksport.com/football/porto-star-targets-summer-premier-league-switch-14020378332#3HlgMySGVBjsLTOA.99 (http://talksport.com/football/porto-star-targets-summer-premier-league-switch-14020378332#3HlgMySGVBjsLTOA.99)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:17:23 PM
 
Unseemly begging

(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/coversmalljpg2.jpg?w=216&h=300)(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/smallcover.jpg?w=207&h=300)

(http://cravencottagenewsround.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/smalcover.jpg?w=210&h=300)

Sorry, this will come across all wrong, but with one income and two small children, and it being January, we’ve… well put it this way, the well is dry.

So if you enjoy the website then I know you’ll enjoy the Fulham Review books we made over the years, which have insightful match reports, and loads of essays by terrific writers, all about the club.  Ideal toilet reading!

I have copies of the 08/09 season book (when we qualified for Europe), the 10/11 book (Hughes’ season, which wasn’t great, but I think overall it was the best of the books) and 06/07, the Coleman season, which was the first one we did. I have a single spare copy of the Hamburg Europa League book which I guess I could sell if anyone wants it. Maybe £10 to reflect the fact that it’s the very last one.

If you always meant to have a look at the books, please consider doing so now. Just go to www.godsfoot.com (http://www.godsfoot.com) and order a back issue, saying which you want on the paypal notes field.  (note that the one we have on display there is sold out).

Thank you so much!
Rich



http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/unseemly-begging/? (http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/unseemly-begging/?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:19:35 PM
 
Fulham v Sheffield Utd

(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/72724000/jpg/_72724459_fulvsheffutd.jpg)

FA CUP FOURTH ROUND REPLAY
Venue: Craven Cottage Date: Tuesday, 4 February Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio, Final Score


Fulham hope to have full-backs Sascha Riether and Kieran Richardson available for their FA Cup fourth-round replay against Sheffield United.

Like in the first game, which ended 1-1, Cottagers boss Rene Meulensteen is expected to make changes, although Fernando Amorebieta and John Arne Riise are likely to remain sidelined.

Sheffield United skipper Michael Doyle continues to serve a three-match ban.

They will also be without cup-tied duo Billy Paynter and Elliott Whitehouse.

Ahead of the match, Meulensteen says he has been speaking with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as he tries to keep his new club in the Premier League.

Meulensteen was part of Ferguson's coaching staff at Old Trafford, helping the club to win three Premier League titles as well as the 2008 Champions League final.

"I have spoken to him like I do, on and off," said the 49-year-old Dutchman, who will not be able to use £11m deadline-day signing Kostas Mitroglou, Johnny Heitinga or Lewis Holtby in Tuesday's cup replay.

"Sometimes he rings me and sometimes I ring him. He is always a phone call away.

"I have always felt that whenever we stared into adversity or disappointment, he is remarkably strong in those moments.

"You could never spot any doubt in his words or behaviour and that always transferred back to the players. I want to do exactly the same [at Fulham]."

Fulham, who are bottom of the Premier League and four points from safety, have to put their relegation worries to one side against League One Sheffield United, who have promised to attack the Cottagers.

"We can have a real go," said Clough, who led his side to a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in the last round. "It's similar to Villa Park, let's go and enjoy it and have a go.

"They are confirmed favourites, they don't play again until Sunday so it will be interesting to see how they line up. I think they will be much-changed from the one at Bramall Lane."



http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25923290? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25923290?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:21:06 PM
 
Relegation Betting – Fulham 7/4 to finish bottom of Premier League

(http://sportsnewsireland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/fulham-600x400.jpg)

Following their 3-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday, Fulham now lie bottom of the Premier League table.
Boylesports go 7/4 that the Cottagers will remain in that place at the end of the season and 1/2 from 5/6 to be relegated into the Championship.
Crystal Palace lie just one point above the relegation zone and are 23/20 to make the drop whilst the Eagles are 4/1 to finish bottom of the Premier League table this season.
Cardiff who managed a 2-1 victory over Norwich at the weekend still lie second from the bottom of the table and are currently 9/2 to finish bottom whilst the 13/10 that is available suggests that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad may be playing Championship football next season.
Liam Glynn, PR Executive at Boylesports said “We have seen a surge of support for Fulham to be relegated this season as they now have lost their last four Premier League matches. Punters have backed the Cottagers into 1/2 from 5/6 to make the drop down into the Championship.”
He added “Norwich who suffered defeat to Cardiff on Saturday are only two points off the relegation zone and are currently 17/10 to be relegated.”
Premier League 2013/2014 – To Be Relegated
Fulham 1/2
Crystal Palace 23/20
Cardiff 13/10
Norwich 17/10
West Ham 13/5
Sunderland 11/4
Hull City 7/2
West Brom 4/1
Stoke 6/1
Swansea 8/1
Aston Villa 12/1
150/1 Bar

Premier League 2013/2014  – To Finish Bottom
Fulham 7/4
Crystal Palace 4/1
Cardiff 9/2
Norwich 10/1
West Ham 10/1
Sunderland 12/1
West Brom 16/1
Hull City 18/1
Stoke 33/1
Swansea 66/1
Aston Villa 66/1


http://sportsnewsireland.com/soccer/soccer_irish/relegation-betting-fulham-74-to-finish-bottom-of-premier-league-2014-02-03/? (http://sportsnewsireland.com/soccer/soccer_irish/relegation-betting-fulham-74-to-finish-bottom-of-premier-league-2014-02-03/?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:22:19 PM
 
Rene Meulensteen believes he still has full backing of Fulham owner Shahid Khan

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen believes he still has the full backing of the club's owner Shahid Khan despite his team's poor form.

The Cottagers slipped to the bottom of the Premier League table following Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Southampton and there have been reports that Meulensteen is set to be replaced by technical director Alan Curbishley.

Former Manchester United assistant boss Meulensteen was only appointed in place of Martin Jol at the beginning of December.

However, Fulham have won only four of their 14 matches since the Dutchman took charge and they have lost their last four, prompting suggestions that Curbishley could be promoted after he was brought in on Christmas Eve.

But when asked if he had the support of Khan, Meulensteen replied: "Yes, 100 per cent. And more importantly I have got the full confidence of the playing squad because they have to do the job."

Meulensteen believes Fulham's task involves winning half of their remaining 14 Premier League games in order to avoid relegation.

The 49-year-old added: "I would think from the 14 games we should probably have to win half of them if you look at adding up the points where you get to.

"I don't know if six games will be enough, or five games and a couple of draws, but if you cut it in half and you look at it then with seven wins we would be in a much better position."

Meulensteen also revealed he remains in contact with Sir Alex Ferguson, his former boss at Old Trafford.

"I have spoken to him like I do, on and off. Sometimes he rings me and sometimes I ring him. He is always a phone call away," said the Dutchman.

"I have always felt that whenever we stared into adversity or disappointment, I have always found him remarkably strong in those moments.

"You could never spot any doubt in his words or behaviour, that always transferred back to the players and I want to do exactly the same (at Fulham)."



http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9148949/rene-meulensteen-believes-he-still-has-the-full-backing-of-fulham-owner-shahid-khan? (http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9148949/rene-meulensteen-believes-he-still-has-the-full-backing-of-fulham-owner-shahid-khan?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:23:33 PM
 
I still call Sir Alex Ferguson for advice admits embattled Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen

UNDER pressure Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has insisted that he does not fear for his job – even though the experienced Alan Curbishley is waiting in the wings at Craven Cottage as Technical Director.

Fulham take on League 1 Sheffield United in their FA Cup fourth round replay tomorrow night at Craven Cottage after having won only one of their last seven games and rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

But Meulensteen said: “I do not feel my job is under threat at all. I don't lose an night's sleep over that. There are maybe 16 Premier League managers under threat. That's how football works.

"It could be Chris Hughton or Alan Pardew. It's the mechanism of the industry. It doesn't worry me at all.

"I know I have the full confidence of the owner, 100 per cent. But more importantly I have the full confidence of the playing squad."

Meulenstseen, who will only have forward Clint Dempsey of his January singings available tomorrow night, said: “If you look at it, from the 14 league gamesleft, we will probably have to win half of them - maybe six games would be enough, or five wins and a couple of draws.”

The former Manchester United no2 admitted he still talks to Sir Alex Ferguson, and asks him for advice, and he said: "I've spoken to him, on and off. Sometimes he rings me and sometimes I ring him. He's always a phone call away.

"It’s about doing the right work, having the right beliefs, doing the right things. He was always remarkable strong in situations like this. There was never any doubt in his words or behaviour, because that transfers back to the players. I want to do the same.”



http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/457739/I-still-call-Sir-Alex-Ferguson-for-advice-admits-embattled-Fulham-boss-Rene-Meulensteen (http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/457739/I-still-call-Sir-Alex-Ferguson-for-advice-admits-embattled-Fulham-boss-Rene-Meulensteen)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 03, 2014, 07:24:37 PM
 
Fulham boss plans to field strong side for Sheffield United clash
 
Riether and Richardson injury concerns for FA Cup fourth round replay

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen plans to field a strong side for tomorrow night's FA Cup replay against Sheffield United.

The Dutchman changed his entire starting XI for the 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane last time out to rest his first team for a Premier League clash against Swansea just 48 hours later.

However, the Craven Cottage chief will field some of his stars, coupled with some of the club's talented youngsters, for the fourth round replay.

None of the new signings are eligible to play as they weren't registered in time for the first game, while Sascha Riether (calf) and Kieran Richardson (foot) are injury doubts.

But defender Fernando Amorebieta should be in the squad after returning to training this week.

"We don't have any major problems," said Meulensteen.

"Fernando Amorebieta has made good progress and is back in training. Sascha Riether's got a tight calf and Kieran Richardson had a knock on his foot.

"It's a great competition to be in and is a good opportunity to utilise the squad and blend in some of the young players to give them experience.

"The team that will play tomorrow night is a very strong team."



http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fulham-boss-plans-field-strong-6663435? (http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fulham-boss-plans-field-strong-6663435?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:37:46 AM
 
Fulham sweat over quartet for Sheffield United clash

Fulham are hopeful defenders Sascha Riether (calf) and Kieran Richardson (foot) will be fit for Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Sheffield United.

Cottager boss Rene Meulensteen is again likely to draft in some fringe players, but defender Fernando Amorebieta (knee) and John Arne Riise (hamstring) remain doubtful.

Deadline-day signings Kostas Mitroglou, Johnny Heitinga and Lewis Holtby are all not eligible to play in the cup tie.

Provisional squad: Stockdale, Passley, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Plumain, Duff, David, Bent, Karagounis, Kasami, Tankovic, Rodallega, Stekelenburg, Christensen, Kacaniklic, Sidwell, Pritchard, Richardson, Riether, Parker, Dempsey.



http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/fulham_sweat_over_quartet_for_sheffield_united_clash_1_3280920 (http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/fulham_sweat_over_quartet_for_sheffield_united_clash_1_3280920)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:40:03 AM
 
Keeping Fulham up would top trophies with Manchester United, Meulensteen reveals

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen has revealed that keeping the Whites up would trump any title wins with Manchester United.

The 49-year-old spent 10 years, on and off, with the Red Devils and helped win three Premier League titles, the Champions League, Community Shield, FIFA Club World Cup and the League Cup.

But it would top all of that if he is able to guide the west London outfit out of the relegation mire.

It’s one thing to coach Manchester United players – the likes of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and co don’t need much input but it’s another to work with players who don’t have the talent of those players.

And he feels it is now a very different part of his man-management skills set which must come into play and would rank survival “higher than any other prize” he has ever won.

He added: “At the very top you find the highest quality, and quality players, you don’t have to motivate them. You have to trust them and you can.

“Here it is more that you need to be much more constructive, more repetitive.

“Players at the top, half a word is enough and don’t have to say it again. They understand, here it is more you need to make sure.”

Despite Fulham being bottom, they are still just four points from safety.

Meulensteen, though, feels it could take another half-a-dozen wins to be sure of safety.

“From the 14 games, we will probably have to win half of them - maybe six games would be enough, five wins and a couple of draws,” he said.

“We know we will be in a tough run coming up, the players are aware of that, but we will take it head on.

“All the ingredients are there for us to stay up and now it is up to us to make sure that happens.”

Meulensteen feels he has “100 per cent” support from owner Shahid Khan and is not about to ‘lose any sleep’ over reports recently-appointed technical director Alan Curbishley was being lined up to replace him should results continue to nosedive.

The Fulham manager will again utilise his squad against the Sheffield United, but nevertheless has a fifth-round place very much in his sights.

“We know that nothing positive, nothing good comes out of losing a game,” Meulensteen said.

“We are Fulham, a Premier League club and we want to progress.”

hopes a pep talk from Sir Alex Ferguson can help him convince his squad they have the quality to stay in the Barclays Premier League.

The Cottagers slipped to the bottom of the table after they were beaten 3-0 at home by Southampton on Saturday, but have the chance to record a much-needed win against League One outfit Sheffield United in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday night.

Meulensteen revealed that he has had conversations with former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I have spoken to him like I do, on and off. Sometimes he rings me and sometimes I ring him. He is always a phone call away,” said Meulensteen, who will not be able to use £11million deadline day signing Kostas Mitroglou, Johnny Heitinga, Larnell Cole, Ryan Tunnicliffe or Lewis Holtby in Tuesday’s cup replay, nor will he be able to use William Kvist, who joined last week.

“I have always felt that whenever we stared into adversity or disappointment, I have always found him remarkably strong in those moments.

“You could never spot any doubt in his words or behaviour, that always transferred back to the players and I want to do exactly the same (at Fulham).”

Meulensteen continued: “It is making sure that the messages you are going to send out to the team are clear, that there is no doubt, that this is what we are going to do and these are the reasons why.

“I have to be the one who adapts the most in this job because I came from an environment (at United) where we have always been able to dominate, that was my task (there) - how can we dominate the opposition and find our extra man?

“I have pushed certain elements (of that) into this squad, to which they have responded really well.

“But, sometimes I have to say, ‘hold on, Rene, you’re not in the same environment’.

“You have to look at the squad and make sure they feel comfortable with what they are doing. That is how you come to a solution which will help us.”



http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/keeping_fulham_up_would_top_trophies_with_manchester_united_meulensteen_reveals_1_3280939 (http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/keeping_fulham_up_would_top_trophies_with_manchester_united_meulensteen_reveals_1_3280939)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:40:58 AM
 
René's Blades Preview

René Meulensteen says losing is not an option for Fulham when they host Sheffield United in Tuesday night’s FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round Replay.

The Whites take on the Sky Bet League One Blades at the Cottage after the two sides drew 1-1 at Bramall Lane last month.

A home draw against either Nottingham Forest or Preston North End awaits the winners and Meulensteen said: “Nothing positive comes out of losing a game so it’s not an option for us. We should have put the game to bed up there but credit to Sheffield United, they hung in there and it will be tough on Tuesday. But we are Fulham, a Premier League club, and we want to progress.”

Meulensteen has used the competition to give First Team opportunities to some of the Club’s younger players and he admitted Tuesday night’s game will be no different.

“I keep sticking to the same principles,” the Head Coach stated. “It’s a great cup competition to be in – that’s why we keep playing replays so we can play as many games as we can! It’s a good opportunity to utilise the squad and blend in some young players to give them that experience. The younger players we’ve used so far have done extremely well so we’re going to come up with a good team selection.

“The team that will play is a very strong one. I’ll give some young and upcoming players a chance but that doesn’t take away the quality,” continued Meulensteen who reported no fresh injury concerns.

“We haven’t got any major problems,” he said. “The new signings aren’t eligible to play because they’re not registered for the game. Fernando Amorebieta has made good progress and is back in training. We’ve got a few minor, minor niggles – Sascha Riether has a tight calf that kept him out of training and Kieran Richardson had a knock on the same foot that he’s hurt before. But it’s nothing major that will keep them out of selection.”

Fulham will go into the game having slumped to the foot of the Barclays Premier League table with a 3-0 home defeat to Southampton on Saturday.

Meulensteen, however, is remaining upbeat about Fulham’s survival chances, telling the media: “It’s a good club with good people and it’s a good squad and that gives me hope that we’re going to get out of this.

“I think from the 14 games, we’ll need to probably win half of them. I don’t know if five or six games will be enough but seven wins would put us in a much better position. We know we’ve got a tough run coming up but we’ll face it head on. We know there are areas we need to address - we need to convert our chances and get our noses in front.

“We looked very comfortable against Southampton and we should have gone in front. Going in front makes a hell of a difference as you have something to hold onto.

“We need to address both ends of the pitch. Let’s make sure we become a stronger defensive unit and start the second half in better shape. These are the things we need to get right.”

The former Manchester United coach admits he has tapped into the knowledge of his former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks to move Fulham up the table.

“I come from an environment where we’ve always been able to dominate,” said Meulensteen. “I’ve spoken to Sir Alex - he’s always only a phonecall away. Whenever United faced moments of adversity, I always found him remarkably strong. You could never spot any doubt in his words or behaviour and that transferred back to the players.

“What we discussed was making sure the message you give to the team is clear; that there’s no doubt about what you want them to do.”

Asked if he was feeling under pressure, Meulensteen insists he’s remaining calm, responding: “I don’t lose sleep over it – you’ve got 20 clubs in the Premier League and 16 managers are under threat. That’s how football works. I’ve got the full confidence of the Owner and the full confidence of the playing squad. We’ve got plenty of experience with the likes of Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley and that’s why I bought these guys in with me. They’ve gone through that roller-coaster of emotion before.

“If you look at the quality, experience and determination we have in the squad, all the ingredients are there for us to stay up. It’s up to us to make that happen.”

Tickets for Tuesday’s Replay are available on General Sale. Click here for more details.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/renes-blades-preview? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/renes-blades-preview?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:42:11 AM
 
Sheffield United boss maintains survival battle is priority over Fulham clash

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough is adamant that League One remains his priority despite knowing his side could reach the last 16 of the FA Cup if they win their fourth-round replay at Fulham.

The Blades head to London searching for a second successive Barclays Premier League scalp, following the defeat of Aston Villa in the last round, after the original tie finished 1-1 just over a week ago.

A win would set-up a fifth-round tie with either Nottingham Forest or Preston but with his side entrenched in a relegation dogfight in League One, which was not helped by Saturday’s woeful 3-0 loss at Crewe, Clough’s primary concern is keeping his side in the third tier.

“A cup run would mean nothing unless we start winning in the league,” he said.

“The last thing we want is to have a cup run and then struggle in the league and be in the relegation zone.

“Wigan did that last year, I have heard a few people say they wouldn’t swap it, the cup is important but not as important as the league.

“I would prefer a win on Saturday against Shrewsbury than tomorrow.”

Despite harbouring that attitude, Clough, who played in the 1991 FA Cup final for Nottingham Forest, is aware of the opportunity that his side have.

They have the struggling Premier League side in their sights having been the better team in their first meeting at Bramall Lane, Clough knows they have nothing to lose.

“It gives us an opportunity to get through to the last 16 and you don’t get many opportunities to do that,” he added.

“We can have a real go. It’s similar to Villa Park, let’s go and enjoy it and have a go.

“They are confirmed favourites, they don’t play again until Sunday so it will be interesting to see how they line up. I think they will be much-changed from the one at Bramall Lane.”

Clough, who has no fresh injury or suspension concerns, will not be able to call on the cup-tied pair Billy Paynter of Elliott Whitehouse.



http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/sheffield_united_boss_maintains_survival_battle_is_priority_over_fulham_clash_1_3280990 (http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/sheffield_united_boss_maintains_survival_battle_is_priority_over_fulham_clash_1_3280990)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:43:16 AM
 
Save On Home Shirts!

Fulham fans can save on adidas 2013/14 Replica Kit with our latest Great Save! offer: get up to £20 off a Home Shirt!

Choose from long or short sleeve adult (was from £49.99, now from £29.99), kids (was £34.99, now £24.99) or the mini kit (was £27.99, now £17.99).

And why not personalise your choice with the name and number of one of our newest squad members? With William Kvist (6; pictured), Lewis Holtby (10) and Konstantinos Mitroglou (18) amongst our January signings, there are plenty to choose from.

Shop now to take advantage of this fantastic offer. Buy online, direct on 0843 208 1223 or at the Stadium Store



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/save-on-home-shirts? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/save-on-home-shirts?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:44:28 AM
 
Long night in store at the Cottage

Ben Coley previews Tuesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay between Fulham and Sheffield United at Craven Cottage.

Fulham v Sheffield United (1945 GMT)

If you shop around, you can find prices for Fulham's top goalscorer this season.

The market is headed by Steve Sidwell, with new signing Kostas Mitroglou clear third-favourite at just 4/1 despite having yet to play let alone score. More than anything else, this underlines the problems faced at Craven Cottage as well as the problem with backing them at odds-on.

Quite simply, Rene Meulensteen lacks attacking options and while his side continue to defend like amateurs, they're going to struggle to keep their Premier League status alive.

At least Mitroglou can help in that regard, but he's ineligible for this FA Cup replay having been signed after the 1-1 draw at Brammall Lane.

That game was one Fulham were a tad fortunate to draw. Sheffield United looked in command thanks to Chris Porter's first-half goal, until Michael Doyle's red card allowed Fulham back into it.

Hugo Rodallega fired home the equaliser and with all four goals for Fulham having come in cup competitions, he's worth considering at 13/2 to open the scoring.

As touched upon, Fulham's attacking options are limited and if the Cottagers do break the deadlock it's likely to have come from Rodallega, Darren Bent (5/1) or even the aforementioned Sidwell (10/1).

United have previous in the competition having won at Aston Villa in the third round and, at 5/1, they'll again have their backers.

Given that they were shorter than 2/1 for the first clash and were the better side 11 v 11, there's arguably been an overreaction to their patchy League 1 form and the fact that they're away from home this time around.

Porter returned from injury at the weekend to provide a boost to Nigel Clough and if you can get past their awful away record in the league, the Blades make some sort of appeal given how low on confidence their opponents are.

However, there's nothing about either side that particular entices me and I can see this being very close, which makes the draw the value call.

Further to that, I'd be inclined to suggest that we could need penalties to solve this puzzle and small stakes on either side winning via a shootout is the advice although I must confess I approach this game with trepidation.

This game is being televised live in the UK on ITV4



http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/article/419/9149179/-? (http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/article/419/9149179/-?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:45:17 AM
 
A First!
   
As we prepare to let the dust die on yet another Premier League defeat, we`ve dragged up one last statistic.

It would seem that the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton created something of a milestone.

Apparently, it was the first time Fulham Football Club had failed to score at Craven Cottage in a Premier League game.

Now can we focus on the next game and a clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348310#ixzz2sKEnDLst (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348310#ixzz2sKEnDLst)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:46:14 AM
 
Examining our central midfielders

Apologies if you hated my past post but I want to revist the +/- stat with regards to our four main central midfielders. Again, this stat isn’t a great indicator of causation, but correlation. It also doesn’t occur in a vacuum, as the entire team and certain dynamics of the sport play a hand in the metric. But, along with other indicators, I found it to be quite instructive, as seen below. So consider it more an idea board then a didactic study.

I left out wingers as I wanted to keep the scope on what we’re all in agreement is our main problem area: the center of midfield; particularly the Parker/Sidwell axis. StatsBomb recently did an amazing (and horrifying) job at comparing those two and Kasami to Barca’s Xavi, Busquets, and Iniesta. This is very much like comparing a Hank Williams or George Jones song to a Blake Shelton tune, but what can you do. I also broke up the stats by each manager to see if there’s any differences.

Sidwell

GF   GA   +/-   +/- PG   APPS
Jol   10   22   -12   -0.92   13
Rene   10   29   -19   -1.73   11
Total   20   51   -31   -1.29   24
It may seem like Sidwell has regressed under Rene (if “Sidwell” and “regressing” is somehow possible), but 6 of the 29 GA came in that Hull City match. Nonetheless our opponents have scored >3 goals a whopping FIVE times since Rene has taken over and Sidwell is on the pitch.

Parker

GF   GA   +/-   +/- PG   APPS
Jol   8   22   -14   -1.27   11
Rene   12   21   -9   -0.90   10
Total   20   43   -23   -1.10   21
Very similar to Sidwell, with the only visible difference is he was fortunate enough to escape that 6-0 Hull City thrashing. Like with Sascha Reither, there certainly seems to be a visceral notion that Parker belongs in the side. But beyond high interception and tackling rates, which as StatsBomb said is most likely down to the oppositions always with the ball/running at him…what are the justifications exactly?

Kasami

GF   GA   +/-   +/- PG   APPS
Jol   12   22   -10   -0.83   12
Rene   5   18   -13   -1.30   10
Total   17   40   -23   -1.05   22
This is where it starts to get interesting. Rene’s been using Kasami as a sub for the majority of his league reign–only 3 starts in his 10 games under Rene compared to 11 starts under Jol. This explains why the GF is way down but the GA still quite high. But, considering Fulham scored three goals in the entire month of January, it’s perplexing why he only averaged 15 minutes last month.

Karagounis

GF   GA   +/-   +/- PG   APPS
Jol   3   4   -1   -0.17   6
Rene   6   10   -4   -0.80   5
Total   9   14   -5   -0.45   11
I didn’t include Boateng because he had such a small sample size, but thought it would be interesting to see what Karagounis has done with ever-so-slightly more play time. Each manager has treated Karagounis differently: Jol used him as a sub for 5 of his 6 appearances; Rene started him in all his 5 appearances (albeit none since Hull City in December). But if we were to take away that Hull City game, we’d see his +/- to be fairly respectable, despite the small sample size–unlike if we subtracted result from Sidwell’s stats, they’d still be terrible. I’m not sure why Kara hasn’t been playing (hooray opaqueness!), but like Kasami, it’s clear he’s a necessary dynamic that’s being under-utilized.

No one needs to opine how the Parker/Sidwell duo has proved to be detrimental. But the idea behind these stats further reinforce such a notion, and that stems from the fact the two are always playing. Whether it’s down to them or other factors, it certainly feels like we’re at the point where, when we see both in the starting XI, much like seeing a bad #5 pitcher start, we’re going to lose.

I’d argue it’s not one part of the combination that needs to be replaced, it’s the entire recipe. Curious to know your thoughts as well.



http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/examining-our-central-midfielders/? (http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/examining-our-central-midfielders/?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:47:12 AM
 
Tranmere Extend Arthurworrey Loan

Defender to stay at Prenton Park
Tranmere have today extended Stephen Arthurworrey’s loan deal from Fulham by a month subject to Football League and Football Association clearance.
The centre back joined Tranmere on New Year’s Day and has made six appearances for the Club.
Manager Ronnie Moore said: “Stephen has done well since he has been here.
“He’s only young so he’s still learning the game but he’s shown that he’s a strong defender who is settling in well to League 1 football.
“I’d like to thank Fulham for letting Stephen stay with us and hopefully they’ll see the benefits when he returns to them in the summer."



Read more at http://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/article/arthurworrey-030214-1338231.aspx?#Dap9VLzom6mURe2R.99 (http://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/article/arthurworrey-030214-1338231.aspx?#Dap9VLzom6mURe2R.99)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:48:31 AM
 
The secret to Fulham’s Premier League survival revealed…
Based on games where they’ve conceded fewer than two, the Cottagers would be fifth, not bottom.

Taking a pounding off a Southampton side marooned in mid-table doesn’t bode well for Fulham’s flimsy survival chances, but the Premier League props can’t be condemned to the Championship just yet.

At 1/2, the Cottagers are the only clear-cut favourites to fall through the top-tier trapdoor, but with half the league still firmly in relegation contention, there’s still ample time for them to escape.

For want of any transfer chit-chat to blow out of proportion, the rumour mill has turned its attention to Rene Meulensteen, suggesting the freshly-appointed Fulham boss is on the brink of being binned so technical director Alan Curbishley can attempt to salvage the club’s season following four straight league losses.

The final three in this quartet of defeats came without a single goal being mustered, but some shrewd deadline day dealings can rectify this and keep their affable coach in a job.

Kostas Mitroglou, aka Mitro-goal, represents something of a coup and should he repeat the feats of untried strikers to set England’s top flight ablaze following a January switch, then the west Londoners have a real chance of bridging the four-point gap that stands between them and safety.

Papiss Cisse, Nikica Jelavic and Demba Ba are recent winter imports to propel their buyers up the table with late-season goal flurries and everyone rooting for Fulham will have their fingers crossed Mitroglou replicates their achievements.

The defensive acquisition of World Cup finalist Jonny Heitinga could be equally as important, though.

Shoring up the defence is a necessity if Meulensteen is to heave Fulham clear of danger as their record in games where they’ve leaked fewer than two is surprisingly good.

The Cottagers may be bottom of the table overall, but based on games where they’ve restricted the opposition to one goal or less they would sit fifth.

Across the eight games in question, they’ve won six and lost just once, meaning that if they find a formula that allows them to limit their foes to one on a regular basis, they can still claw themselves out of the mire; they’re priced at 29/20 to stay up.

Fulham to stay up @ 29/20


- See more at: http://bwinbetting.com/leagues/premier-league/secret-fulhams-premier-league-survival-revealed,51530.html?#sthash.pHv07OvQ.dpuf (http://bwinbetting.com/leagues/premier-league/secret-fulhams-premier-league-survival-revealed,51530.html?#sthash.pHv07OvQ.dpuf)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 04:49:31 AM
 
Philippe Senderos admits Valencia offer was too good to turn down

Philippe Senderos has explained that the lure of the challenge of playing in Spain's top flight was too good to turn down after joining Valencia from Fulham.

The Switzerland international defender was only informed late in the transfer window that there was a chance to go to the Mestalla.

The former Arsenal man admitted he was surprised by the interest from Valencia and jumped at the chance to move to La Liga.

"They told me about the interest from Valencia really late on. I was just completely focused on working with FUlham," Senderos told reporters.

"However, I think that this is a great opportunity for me and that is why I accepted it.

"I really want to play in La Liga and playing for Valencia is a great challenge for me.

"I know that we can challenge to play in the Europa League again and go a long way in the competition.

Senderos made 17 appearances for Fulham this season, scoring one goal, and believes that he is ready to immediately start playing for Los Che.

"I am physically in great condition as I played only a week ago," he continued. "I am ready to start right now.

After leaving Servette in 2003 to join Arsenal, Senderos played 84 times for the Gunners before joining AC Milan and Everton on loan and then heading to Fulham on a permanent basis in 2012.


http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9149227/philippe-senderos-admits-valencia-offer-was-too-good-to-turn-down? (http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9149227/philippe-senderos-admits-valencia-offer-was-too-good-to-turn-down?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: bobby01 on February 04, 2014, 08:30:29 AM

A First!
   
As we prepare to let the dust die on yet another Premier League defeat, we`ve dragged up one last statistic.

It would seem that the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton created something of a milestone.

Apparently, it was the first time Fulham Football Club had failed to score at Craven Cottage in a Premier League game.





Now can we focus on the next game and a clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348310#ixzz2sKEnDLst (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348310#ixzz2sKEnDLst)




Who researched that? 1500.gif
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: JBH on February 04, 2014, 09:22:39 AM

A First!
   
As we prepare to let the dust die on yet another Premier League defeat, we`ve dragged up one last statistic.

It would seem that the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton created something of a milestone.

Apparently, it was the first time Fulham Football Club had failed to score at Craven Cottage in a Premier League game.





Now can we focus on the next game and a clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348310#ixzz2sKEnDLst (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348310#ixzz2sKEnDLst)




Who researched that? 1500.gif

If its for this season then it is a correct fact  065.gif
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 02:55:18 PM
 
Fulham v Sheffield United: Rene Meulensteen provided with chance to quieten sack rumours with progress in the FA Cup

(http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9102840.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/11-Meulensteen-PA.jpg)
Both sides come into this replay on the back of 3-0 defeats

Having both lost 3-0 on Saturday, plunging each of them deeper into relegation trouble, Fulham and Sheffield United have more significant priorities than Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth round replay at Craven Cottage, but only one can approach tonight’s tie with a ‘what will be, will be’ outlook.

Sheffield United's history is more illustrious than Fulham's but at present they are a struggling League One side so will travel to their Premier League opponents with no pressure of expectation. They have already made their mark on the FA Cup after winning at Villa Park in the last round and manager Nigel Clough may welcome a night free of worry before Saturday's relegation scrap at home to Shrewsbury.

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen, however, can ill-afford another humbling with Manchester United and Liverpool next on the agenda, and reports suggesting Alan Curbishley may soon be promoted from technical director to replacement.

"Nothing positive, nothing good comes out of losing a game," said Meulensteen who said he felt he had "100 per cent" support from owner Shahid Khan and was not about to "lose any sleep" over the rumours about Curbishley.

Mulensteen cannot field any of Fulham's six deadline recruits because they are ineligible having not been signed prior to the original tie. He will thus deploy a mixture of the regulars and fringe players similar to that which beat Norwich in the third round and drew with the Blades at Bramall Lane. Sascha Riether (calf) and Kieran Richardson (foot) should be fit but Fernando Amorebieta (knee) and John Arne Riise (hamstring) are doubtful.

Sheffield United are without cup-tied Billy Paynter and Elliot Whitehouse, and Michael Doyle is suspended after being dismissd in the first match.  "A cup run would mean nothing unless we start winning in the league," Clough said. "The last thing we want is to have a cup run and then struggle in the league and be in the relegation zone."

The winners face Preston or Nottingham Forest for a place in the quarter-final.


http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/fa-league-cups/fulham-v-sheffield-united-rene-meulensteen-provided-with-chance-to-quieten-sack-rumours-with-progress-in-the-fa-cup-9105268.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/fa-league-cups/fulham-v-sheffield-united-rene-meulensteen-provided-with-chance-to-quieten-sack-rumours-with-progress-in-the-fa-cup-9105268.html)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 02:57:40 PM
 
Stephen Extends Rovers Stay
(http://www.fulhamfc.com/-/media/Under%2021%20action%20shots/Arthurworreycrop.ashx?w=350&h=250)

Fulham defender Stephen Arthurworrey has extended his loan spell at Tranmere Rovers by a further month.

The giant centre-back, 19, joined Sky Bet League One Rovers on New Year’s Day and has made six appearances for the club.

Rovers boss Ronnie Moore told their official website: “Stephen has done well since he’s been here. He’s only young so he’s still learning the game but he’s shown that he’s a strong defender who is settling in well to League One football.

“I’d like to thank Fulham for letting Stephen stay with us and hopefully they’ll see the benefits when he returns to them in the summer."

Hackney-born Arthurworrey joined Fulham's Academy at the age of 10.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/stephen-extends-rovers-stay? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/03/stephen-extends-rovers-stay?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 02:59:58 PM
 
Fulham Transfer Analysis: From A Fulham Fan

Fulham fans were left feeling more optimistic and confident than they had done all season after the January transfer window closed on the night of the 31st. By the next afternoon, a devastating loss to Southampton had restored the now regular panic around Craven Cottage.

Two new signings were on show for the visit of the Saints, and while the team capitulated as usual in the second half, Lewis Holtby and William Kvist gave promising individual performances.

Denmark international Kvist showed his experience by keeping a calm head in the middle of the park, and he made a handful of impressive interceptions. He is not known so much for his creativity however, and the midfield trio or Kvist, Parker and Sidwell tells you all you need to know about how few chances Fulham were able to create.

Any chances Fulham had came from Tottenham loanee Lewis Holtby. The German, with one eye on making the World Cup squad and the other on eventually breaking into the Spurs first eleven, was eager to impress, and did so with a skillful, creative performance.

His problem was getting into the game from the wide positions. For Fulham to have a chance at beating the drop, Holtby has to operate in his preferred position in behind the striker.

After yet another poor performance from Darren Bent, new addition Kostas Mitroglou will surely be that striker. Fulham fought off competition from fellow strugglers West Ham to bring in the £11m Greek international from Olympiakos on deadline day.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper, and current Olympiakos stopper, Roy Carroll, had this to say about his former teammate: ’He has been the top goalscorer in Greece for the last two years. I remember watching Cantona – that’s the type of player Konstantinos is.’ No pressure, Kostas.

John Heitinga also signed on deadline day, as a replacement for the outgoing Philippe Senderos (or, should I say, as an upgrade on Philippe Senderos?) The former Everton man joined on a free as Rene Meulensteen looks at reducing Fulham’s dire goal difference. Another man with World Cup ambitions, Heitinga will give his all for the Cottagers’ cause.

Fulham even managed to squeeze through the signings of former Manchester United duo Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole before the window closed, as Meulensteen looks to build a solid platform for the future, whatever the outcome of this season.

After the loss of eccentric flair players Bryan Ruiz, Adel Taarabt and Dimitar Berbatov, Meulensteen and owner Shahid Khan replaced them with ‘engine’ players, scrappers with something to prove. They have given Fulham every chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League after thirteen years of top flight football.

But with games against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City looming, it looks as though Fulham might have to pull off yet another Great Escape. England boss Roy Hodgson oversaw the first; does Rene Meulensteen have it in him?



http://threeandin.com/archives/34458? (http://threeandin.com/archives/34458?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:02:23 PM
 
Fulham need battlers not bottlers for relegation run-in admits boss Rene Meulensteen

Cottagers are rock-bottom with 14 games to go and have shifted Berbatov, Ruiz and Taarabt out on loan with head coach demanding to see more fight

(http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article2978647.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Fulham-v-West-Ham-United-Premier-League-2978647.jpg)
Ready to rumble: Meulensteen's men face FA Cup giant-killing then a scrap to stay up
Steve Bardens

Rene Meulensteen insisted he has a team up for a relegation fight now he has got rid of Dimitar Berbatov and Adel Taarabt.

Despite Fulham falling to the bottom of the Premier League, the Dutchman claimed he has the full backing of owner Shahid Khan and technical director Alan Curbishley.

And the former Manchester United No.2 revealed he has been getting tips from his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson as he tries to keep up the morale of his struggling side.

During a busy transfer window, Meulensteen was allowed to break the Cottagers’ transfer record to sign Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou from Olympiacos.

But Meulensteen reckons the offloading of Berbatov (loaned to Monaco), Taarabt (returned to parent club QPR, then loan to AC Milan) and fellow forward Bryan Ruiz (loaned to PSV Eindhoven) will prove as important to toughen up his team.

Speaking before Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay at home to League One strugglers Sheffield United, Meulensteen said: “Am I now looking for more fight? Absolutely. There’s no two ways about it.

“The only way to get out of this mess is to have a stack of totally committed players who want to work and do the necessary job. Because of where we are, the job has to change slightly. We have to be more disciplined defensively, more organised, instead of just flying forward.”

Meulensteen said the backing he received in the January transfer window shows he enjoys the “100 per cent” confidence of Khan.

“He understands the situation alright,” the head coach said. “I had the privilege to meet Mr Khan in America over the summer and I stay in regular contact with him and all I can do is live up to his expectations. It was a huge statement of intent to back us with the transfer money.”

And after replacing Martin Jol just two weeks after arriviving at Craven Cottage to be first-team coach, the Dutchman insisted he was not worried about former Charlton and West Ham manager Curbishley now replacing him.

“Not at all,” he said. “I brought Alan into this club as part of my squad. He’s as much responsible as myself, (assistant head coach) Ray Wilkins, John Hill and Mike Priest (first-team coaches). Were all in this together.

"I wanted Alan here for these scenarios. He is utterly 100 per cent supportive of me, Ray and all the others.”

After losing eight of his first 11 matches, Meulensteen has set Fulham the target of winning half of the remaining 14 games to reach the target of 40 points.

He added: “If we stay up, I would rate it higher than any Premier League or any prize that I have ever won.”

Meulensteen, who won three league titles and the European Cup with Ferguson, said: “I have spoken to him like I do, on and off. Sometimes he rings me and sometimes I ring him. He is always a phone call away.

“I’ve always felt that whenever we’re stared into adversity or disappointment, I’ve always found him remarkably strong in those moments.

“You could never spot any doubt in his words or behaviour. That always transferred back to the players. I want to do exactly the same.”

New signings Mitroglou, Johnny Heitinga and Lewis Holtby are not eligible to face the Blades, who are fighting relegation to League Two, to decide who goes through after the 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane eight days ago.

The winners of the replay will be at home to Championship Nottingham Forest or League One Preston on February 15/16 for a place in the last eight.



http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/fulham-relegation-fight-meulensteen-wants-3109216#ixzz2sMk7t8Fu (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/fulham-relegation-fight-meulensteen-wants-3109216#ixzz2sMk7t8Fu)
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Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:04:03 PM
 
Rene Meulensteen's job as at Fulham manager in jeopardy due to dire defence
Fulham head coach ordered to shore up leaky backline as Alan Curbishley waits in the wings to take over

René Meulensteen must immediately patch up Fulham’s battered defence to prevent himself following Martin Jol out of the exit door.

Fulham are ready to ask Alan ­Curbishley, the technical director, to try to save their season if Meulensteen, the head coach, cannot prove he can stop the team leaking goals.

Curbishley could even take over team affairs in time for the vital ­Premier League relegation match against West Bromwich Albion on Feb 22 if results get even worse.

Fulham host League One outfit Sheffield United in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Craven ­Cottage on Tuesday night before facing league games against Manchester United, Liverpool and then West Bromwich.

The 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Southampton meant that Fulham plunged to the bottom of the Premier League table and there are big ­concerns over the fact that the club’s defensive record has got worse under Meulensteen.

Jol lost his job as manager after Fulham conceded 31 goals in the first 16 games in all competitions of the season. Under Meulensteen, Fulham have let in the same number of goals in two fewer matches.

Meulensteen has a good reputation in football for his one-on-one coaching and technical work. But there are growing fears that his defensive coaching is simply not good enough.

Fulham players are surprised that more work has not gone into improving the team’s defence and making them harder to beat, given the fact that they have conceded 53 Premier League goals this season – 12 more than second-bottom Cardiff City.

Question marks have been raised over the fact that, despite their poor record at the back, Fulham splashed out £11 million on a striker, Konstantinos Mitroglou, in January and spent nothing on the defence. Central defender John Heitinga was signed on a free transfer from Everton.

Since Meulensteen took charge of first-team affairs, Fulham have ­conceded six goals to Hull City, four to Sunderland and were hit for three by Southampton.

Meulensteen did little to calm the fears of his Fulham chiefs after the Southampton defeat by admitting that he concentrated most of his time on forward work. “I still think that attacking and possession, and ­turning teams is the best way to defend,” he said. “But you need to have the ­quality and the understanding and the energy to do it.”

Having spent years working under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Meulensteen appears to be attempting to use the same principles that proved so successful with world-class players at Old Trafford.

Fulham’s players who worked under Roy Hodgson during his ­successful time at the club remember the fact their former manager used to prepare for the fact the Londoners would have around 45 per cent ­possession at home and just 35 per cent away from home.

Hodgson may be accused of being negative, but he made Fulham incredibly difficult to beat and Curbishley has proved similarly efficient during his management career at Charlton Athletic and West Ham United.

Curbishley has resisted trying to meddle in first-team coaching since being appointed technical director on Christmas Eve, but he has been a regular spectator at Fulham’s training ground.

Meulensteen’s contract expires at the end of May, which makes him relatively easy and cheap to replace. Fulham insiders believe that ­Curbishley is the club’s next manager in waiting and it is just a matter of time until he takes over.

Curbishley is seen as a steady pair of hands to either try to maintain Fulham’s Premier League status or attempt to get the club promoted back to the top flight at the first attempt if they go down.

Meulensteen believes he that retains the backing of Fulham owner Shahid Khan. When asked if he is worried by the presence of Curbishley, the 49-year-old said: “No, not at all. I brought Alan into the club as part of my squad. Alan is as much responsible as myself and Ray Wilkins. We are all in this together and I wanted Alan here for these kinds of scenarios.

“He is 100 per cent supportive of myself and Ray, and we will plan together to get the best possible results for the next games and the coming months. The owner understands the situation. He has supported me in the transfer window and his success in business is built on trusting the right people.”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/fulham/10615716/Rene-Meulensteens-job-as-at-Fulham-manager-in-jeopardy-due-to-dire-defence.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/fulham/10615716/Rene-Meulensteens-job-as-at-Fulham-manager-in-jeopardy-due-to-dire-defence.html)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:05:18 PM
 
Fulham's René Meulensteen claims '100% support' of owner Shahid Khan
• Manager insists he has full 'confidence of players'
• Alan Curbishley's presence at club 'not a threat'

René Meulensteen believes he retains the backing of the Fulham owner, Shahid Khan, and does not consider the presence of the experienced Alan Curbishley on the club's staff as a threat to his position as manager.

Fulham prop up the Premier League after Saturday's demoralising home defeat to Southampton, their fourth league loss in succession, and play Sheffield United of League One in an FA Cup fourth round replay on Tuesday.

Meulensteen, who boasted no experience as a senior manager on his appointment in December, has lost eight of 11 league games after taking up the reins when Fulham had 10 points from 13 matches.

The owner sanctioned the arrivals of seven players in January, which served as public backing for his rookie manager. "It was a huge statement of intent to back us with the transfer money," Meulensteen said. "I had the privilege to meet Mr Khan in America over the summer and, straight away, I felt he was a really thorough, amicable man who's very successful in business. He doesn't do anything knee-jerk. He thinks about things and there's a rationale to everything. His whole business is built on getting the right people in and trusting them to do the right things. He understands the situation all right. I have full respect and admiration for the support he's given me and the club in the last transfer window. He's been absolutely top drawer.

"I stay in regular contact with him and all I can do is live up to his expectations and that's what I intend to do. I have his support 100% but more importantly I have the full confidence of the squad."

Curbishley, who has experienced successful scraps against relegation as a manager with Charlton and West Ham, was confirmed as technical director over Christmas on Meulensteen's recommendation, in much the same way that the Dutchman's arrival as head coach had been promoted by the former manager, Martin Jol.

Fulham are arguably playing more purposeful football than earlier in the campaign but chances are being missed and their defence is more porous – they have shipped 29 goals in 11 games– than it had been over the first four months of the season.

In that context, Curbishley's presence could be considered unnerving. "Not at all," Meulensteen said. "I brought Alan into this club as part of my squad, to give me the best possible backbone. He's as much responsible as myself, Ray Wilkins, John Hill and Mike Priest. Were all in this together. I wanted Alan here for these scenarios: he has gone through that roller-coaster of emotion before. He is utterly 100% supportive of me, Ray and all the others. We keep making sure we move forward in the right way and get the right plan together for the next couple of months."

Only Clint Dempsey of the recent arrivals is eligible to play against Sheffield United, with a similar blend of youth and fringe players expected to take to the pitch, though Meulensteen is hopeful Fulham's record signing, the £12m Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou, will be fit to feature at Manchester United on Sunday.

The club shed its "luxury" players over January with Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz and Adel Taarabt departing. "The only way to get out of this mess is to have a stack of totally committed players who want to work and do the necessary job," Meulensteen said. "Because of where we are, the job has to change slightly. We have to be more disciplined defensively, more organised, instead of just flying forward. Look at the quality and the experience that we have in the squad, the determination. The ingredients are there for us to stay up. It's up to us to make sure that happens."



http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/feb/03/fulham-rene-meulensteen-support-owner (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/feb/03/fulham-rene-meulensteen-support-owner)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:07:45 PM
 
David's Desire
(http://www.fulhamfc.com/-/media/Retail/FFC-Cover17-SUFC-Cup.ashx?w=300&h=400)

Having made two appearances for Fulham in this season’s FA Cup with Budweiser, Chris David is desperate to be involved again on Tuesday evening.

The young Dutchman was handed his Whites debut in the prestigious competition in last month’s 1-1 draw at Norwich City in the Third Round.

“Everyone knows the FA Cup,” David told the official matchday programme. “It’s one of the biggest cup tournaments in the world. It was a special day for me making my debut. I’d been here a year and I’d worked hard for that moment, so yes it was a special occasion for me and I hope I get more chances and more minutes for Fulham.

“I’d already played some games in pre-season but this was my debut. When I went on the pitch, I felt something in my stomach. It was an amazing feeling. When the game kicked off, I just wanted to show people what I could do. I didn’t think about the crowd after that, I just tried to play my game.”

The 20-year-old played the full 90 minutes at Carrow Road before again being handed a starting role in the Fourth Round tie away to Sheffield United.

At a rain-drenched Bramall Lane, David played for just under an hour as Fulham departed Yorkshire with a 1-1 draw to tee up the Replay with the Sky Bet League One Blades.

“We were expecting a tough game up there as cup matches are always difficult,” said David. “It was played on a tough pitch in wet conditions against a team who were probably happy to sit back and defend and wait for their moment to hit us on the break. It was difficult for us to play and we could have done better but we tried our best and we got a draw. Now it’s up us to beat them on Tuesday.”

To read the full interview with David, pick up an official matchday programme on Tuesday.

Other key content in the only matchday magazine that matters - which is available to download digitally from 12pm on Tuesday - include: 

René Meulensteen pens his regular programme notes
Moussa Dembélé takes the Fulham 50 challenge
Andy Melville recalls a goalscoring performance against Sheffield United
Former Blades star Brian Deane assesses the Cottage encounter
Beautiful South singer Paul Heaton discusses his lifelong love for the Blades
And Alain Goma looks back on his playing stint in SW6

Priced £3, the 68-page publication is available from various sellers on Stevenage Road from two hours before kick-off. Fans can also order copies directly from www.programmemaster.com (http://www.programmemaster.com)
The programme is also available as an app with added video content from 12pm on Tuesday via Apple’s Newsstand or Pocketmags. You can subscribe for the whole season for the digital edition or buy a single issue for £1.99.


http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/04/david-desire? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/04/david-desire?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:08:56 PM
 
Blades boss Nigel Clough ready for Cup replay at Fulham

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough has challenged his charges to repeat their Villa Park heroics when they travel to Fulham on Tuesday night.

The Blades produced one of the results of the Third Round Proper when they eliminated Premier League Aston Villa on their own patch, with goals from Jamie Murphy and Ryan Flynn condemning the Midlanders to an early exit.

And United were just 15 minutes away from a second successive top-flight scalp toward the end of last month, until Hugo Rodallega popped up and salvaged a draw for Fulham at a wet and windy Bramall Lane.

The sides will meet again in their replay at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, with both teams looking to cast aside their recent league travails for one evening.

United, who lost 3-0 at Crewe Alexandra last weekend, are locked in a relegation battle in League One, while Fulham prop up the Premier League table after slumping to a 3-0 home defeat against Southampton.

Despite the fact that the battle for league survival is at the forefront of Clough's mind, the former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker insists he would love nothing more than to book his side's place in the last 16 of The Cup.

He said: "It's not a distraction, it gives us an opportunity to get through to the last 16 - you don't get many chances like that.

"Fulham become firm favourites and they don't play again until next Sunday, so they've got a five-day break. We're both coming off the back of 3-0 losses at the weekend, so we'll both be hurting and looking for a reaction.

"It's sort of similar to Villa Park, let's enjoy it and have a go as well. When we get down there we will want to get through.

"Everybody's fit at the moment. We've just got the two lads who are Cup-tied who will drop out of the squad from Saturday, Billy Paynter and Elliott Whitehouse.

"So Diego De Girolamo comes back and we'll take one of the U18s with us. We'll think about [making changes] in the next 24 hours and see."

Fulham have strengthened significantly since the clash at Bramall Lane, with head coach Rene Meulensteen drafting in the likes of Lewis Holtby, Johnny Heitinga and Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou, but Clough is relieved that they will not be eligible to face his side.

He added: "I think he'll pick a much-changed side from the one which played at Bramall Lane. None of their new lads can play though, which is good. You had to be registered before the first game at Bramall Lane."



Read more at http://www.thefa.com//news/the-fa-cup/2014/feb/fulham-sheffield-united-nigel-clough-preview-040214?#CKx65TLv8yJFFU8m.99 (http://www.thefa.com//news/the-fa-cup/2014/feb/fulham-sheffield-united-nigel-clough-preview-040214?#CKx65TLv8yJFFU8m.99)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:12:21 PM
 
Price Boost: Fulham striker can put Sheffield Utd to the sword
Bent hasn't scored many but has developed trends that suggest he'll bag in FA Cup replay

When Sheffield United come to Craven Cottage, they’ll encounter a side whose confidence, if it’s at all possible, has fractured further since their 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane just over a week ago.

That draw against Nigel Clough’s League One improvers – they’ve lost just four times since he took charge 18 games ago – is part of a four-game winless run for Rene Meulensteen’s side, although that’s not enough to render them the outsiders.

The Cottagers are 8/13 to win the match, with the Blades available at 5/1 and a draw rated as a 11/4 possibility.

However, it’s in the first goalscorer market that the value is attributed, with Darren Bent receiving a price boost on his odds to break the deadlock.

The former Tottenham man is now 9/2 to score first in this FA Cup replay, out from 4/1. Even though he is a large reason as to why the first match ended level, missing a chance with four minutes to go that Sandra Redknapp could have scored,  he still represents a decent bet.

Fulham’s number 39 has scored five goals in 24 appearances for the west London club this season, hardly a glowing endorsement of his skills admittedly, but the strikes he does have to his name indicates a sixth is on the cards here.

A creature of clear home comfort, Bent has notched four of his tally at Craven Cottage while scoring in two of his last three FA Cup appearances.
What’s more, Aston Villa’s former bench warmer has broken the deadlock in three straight games in which he’s found the net.

Finally, it matters very little whether the 29-year-old plays from the off or is introduced off the pine, as he’s notched three times as a substitute while also scoring in two of his last three starts.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



http://news.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/football/fa-cup/price-boost-fulham-striker-can-put-sheffield-utd-to-the-sword_186268.html (http://news.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/football/fa-cup/price-boost-fulham-striker-can-put-sheffield-utd-to-the-sword_186268.html)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:13:17 PM
 
Fulham v Sheffield United – FA Cup Fourth Round replay preview

Fulham’s promising youngsters will have another chance to fire the Whites into the FA Cup Fifth Round when League One Sheffield United visit Craven Cottage on Tuesday.
 
A fourth consecutive Premier League defeat left Fulham four points from safety at the bottom of the table on Saturday. However the visitors without a win in their last five games in all competitions.
 
Nigel Clough’s Blades were on the brink of one of the biggest upsets in Round Four when Chris Porter put the Football League side ahead against Rene Meulensteen’s young Fulham. However, Michael Doyle’s second half dismissal allowed the Premier League side back into the match, and Hugo Rodellega forced a replay late on.
 
Four-time FA Cup winners Sheffield United – currently 23rd in League One – were battered 3-0 at fellow relegation candidates Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, whilst Fulham were beaten by the same scoreline at home to Southampton. Both teams will have a chance to forget their poor league form and fight for the opportunity to host either Nottingham Forest or Preston North End in Round Five.
 
Fulham have never beat the Blades in the FA Cup, but Sheffield United have not won at Craven Cottage since 1985. However the Sheffield club haven’t won at the Cottage since 1985, with their last trip to Fulham ending in a 1-0 defeat.
 
Team news
 
Fulham’s new influx of signings are ineligible to feature as they were not registered in time for the original tie. Therefore Kostas Mitroglou, Larnell Cole, Lewis Holtby, Ryan Tunnicliffe, William Kvist and John Heitinga will all watch the replay from the stands. Fulham’s new boys could be joined by John Arne Riise, Fernando Amorebieta and Matthew Briggs who are all struggling with injuries.
 
Sheffield United striker Chris Porter could return from a hamstring strain in time to start against Fulham on Tuesday. Blades midfielder Michael Doyle serves the second match of a three-game ban for the red card he picked up against the Whites at Bramall Lane.



http://blog.marathonbet.com/?p=11105 (http://blog.marathonbet.com/?p=11105)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:15:16 PM
 
FFC U18s 2-1 Leicester U18s

Watch the goals as substitute George Williams completed the comeback as the Whites kept up their winning streak.

Fulham 2-1 Leicester, Barclays U18 Premier League (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS_fNlO8FEs#ws)

Fulham’s Under-18s left it late again to secure a 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Motspur Park on Saturday.

The Whites started brightly, dominating the early play and bossing possession only to fall behind in the 10th minute after some sloppy defending allowed a Leicester player to sneak in at the far post and meet a cross before bundling the ball home.

It was all Fulham for the remainder of the half, but the Whites couldn’t break down a stubborn Leicester defence, with Aaron Redford missing a couple of good chances.

Trailing at the break, the Whites made two changes on 55 minutes, with Patrick Roberts and George Williams entering the fray.

And the Whites levelled five minutes later when Jordan Evans’ corner found Liam Donnelly at the back stick and the defender headed home.

With the game heading for a draw, the Whites snatched victory when good build-up play eventually saw the ball worked to Roberts. His disguised pass found Williams who made no mistake.

It was the third game in a row that Fulham have won a match in the last 10 minutes.

Fulham: Norman, Sheckleford, Donnelly, Adebayo (Burgess 65), Evans, Sambou, Baba, Foday, Leacock-McLeod, Elworthy (Roberts 55), Redford (Williams 55).



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/04/leicester-u18-video? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/04/leicester-u18-video?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:16:18 PM
 
Rene Meulensteen plans to mix youth with experience

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has revealed that he plans to field a mix of young and experienced players for tonight's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Sheffield United at Craven Cottage.

The Cottagers were held to a 1-1 draw by the League One side when the teams met at Bramall Lane last month.

"It's a good opportunity to utilise the squad and blend in some young players to give them that experience," the Dutchman told the club's official website.

"The younger players we've used so far have done extremely well so we're going to come up with a good team selection."

Fulham reached the fourth round of last season's competition before losing 4-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.


http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/fa-cup/news/meulensteen-to-mix-youth-with-experience_135107.html (http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/fa-cup/news/meulensteen-to-mix-youth-with-experience_135107.html)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:18:25 PM
 
Three reasons why Sheffield Utd will knock Fulham out of the FA Cup
After losing for the 18th time this season last time out in the Premier League, the Cottagers' confidence must be shot to pieces

Two sides haunted by relegation in their respective divisions clash when League One Sheffield United travel to Fulham for an FA Cup fourth-round replay and the visitors, who’ve lost just three of their last 14 fixtures, look terrific value at 9/2 to take their second successive Premier League scalp.

Having taken over a side that had managed to win once in their first 14 fixtures, Nigel Clough has steered the Blades to victory in seven of his 18 games in charge.

Sheffield United may be languishing in the nether regions of League One, but that’s largely due to their horrendous start to the season under former gaffer David Weir, who oversaw seven losses, two draws and a single win in their first ten league games.

Former Derby boss Clough has only tasted defeat five times with the same group of players since taking over three months ago and the cramped state of the division means a couple of wins in the games they have in hand over close rivals could see them jump up to mid-table.

After seeing off Aston Villa away in the last round, Craven Cottage and a Fulham side with the lowest points tally in the 92-team pyramid will hold no fear for the Blades.

Striker Kostas Mitroglou and Fulham’s other deadline-day signings aren’t eligible to play, while the Cottagers’ defensive injury problems are mounting.

Mitroglou, Lewis Holtby and Johnny Heitinga will all sit out this cup tie, as they weren’t registered with Fulham before the 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane.

A team that’s scored just once in their last four fixtures could use a striker who’s already bagged 21 goals for club and country this season, but the area of greatest need for Fulham is at the back.

Kieran Richardson and Sascha Riether face late fitness tests and could join fellow defenders John Arne Riise and Fernando Amorebieta on the sidelines, which will heap more responsibility on the shoulders of Premier League rookies William Kvist and Dan Burn.

Rene Meulensteen’s men have lost 14 of their last 20 matches in all competitions.

Fulham aren’t just propping up the Premier League, they’re also rock bottom of the top-flight form table – having won just once in their last six matches – and could be the first team this season to be cut adrift, with 17th-placed Crystal Palace now four points better off than them.

The west Londoners have made losing a habit this season and have only avoided defeat in six of their fixtures since the end of October.

At 8/15, Fulham represent no value and another Sheffield Utd shock looks very much on the cards in the capital.

Top bet: Sheff Utd to beat Fulham @ 9/2



- See more at: http://bwinbetting.com/leagues/premier-league/reasons-sheffield-utd-knock-fulham-fa-cup,51541.html?#sthash.Wz6YXHTW.dpuf (http://bwinbetting.com/leagues/premier-league/reasons-sheffield-utd-knock-fulham-fa-cup,51541.html?#sthash.Wz6YXHTW.dpuf)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 03:19:58 PM
 
The Tony Gale Column
(http://www.fulhamfc.com/-/media/hero/Former%20Players/Tony%20Gale/Gale%20Hero%20Fultime1.ashx?w=350&h=250)

I’m still standing by my prediction that Fulham will stay up this season. The Barclays Premier League table doesn’t make good reading right now but it’s so important to stay positive.

We’ve got four tough league games coming up but if we can still be in touch after that, the last six fixtures really play in our favour. Look at the run-ins of the other teams around us – Norwich City, for instance, have to play the top four in their final four games.

The minute you become negative about things, you’re doomed. I was involved in three relegations – one for Fulham and two for West Ham United so I’ve been there and I know one result can change things in an instant.

Alan Curbishley knows all about staying up. When he went to West Ham, they survived on the final day of the season with a win away at Manchester United. They’re the sort of things that can happen and, with 14 games left, there’s still plenty of time for Fulham to get out of this predicament.

I just hope now that the new signings can hit the ground running because there’s no time to readjust. The signings had to be made, without a doubt, and I was pleased with the dealings we did.

Going through them one by one, let’s start with Lewis Holtby. He’s a good player. He made his name as a goalscoring midfielder in Germany and it’s important we find a system that suits him.

Konstantinos Mitroglou’s been in good form in the Greek Super League so I hope he can bring that with him. I’ve seen him play a few times in the UEFA Champions League and he’s showed a lot of promise.

(http://www.fulhamfc.com/-/media/PlayerActionShots/2013-14/Group%20shots/PA-18853974.ashx)

John Heitinga’s a good signing. He’s a no-nonsense player and he’s experienced in the top flight. He can do two jobs – he can play at the back or in a holding role in midfield.

I have to admit, I don’t know much about William Kvist. He played in a holding role on Saturday and did okay, and he could be a good asset to have in the squad.

The two boys from Manchester United, Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe, were probably made more with the future in mind, but René Meulensteen knows them well from his time at Old Trafford and I’m told Red Devils fans weren’t too pleased about their departures so hopefully that bodes well for us.

Four players left the Club, too. I wasn’t surprised by the exit of Adel Taarabt – I said he was a gamble when he signed. Philippe Senderos was a decent player but he made too many errors for my liking. Aaron Hughes was a good servant to the Club but he deserved to playing week in, week out, and he’ll get that at Queens Park Rangers. Dimitar Berbatov was an enigma and an incredible talent but I don’t think he was the easiest to work with. I must say that I loved watching him play when he was at it but a move away was probably best for all parties.

Saturday’s loss to Southampton was a funny one. As Sven Göran-Eriksson used to say, ‘first half good, second half not so good.’ Once we went 1-0 down, we got picked off. It just shows how important it is to take your chances when they come along. Brede Hangeland had a header well saved and Darren Bent had two good opportunities. That’s what happens when you’re down the bottom – chances don’t come along too often and when they do you sometimes snatch at them. Hopefully Mitroglou will be the answer. He’s a gamble, but it’s a gamble worth taking if we want to stay in the Premier League.

We play Sheffield United on Tuesday night in the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round Replay and we should make home advantage count. It could be a chance for some of the younger players to feature again and they’ve impressed me when I’ve seen them play.

Then on Sunday we head to Manchester United. They’re giving everyone a chance this season. Even when they beat Cardiff City when Juan Mata made his debut, the away side still had chances. If those chances arise, you have to take them, it’s as simple as that. But I’d take a point now as United will be stung after losing at Stoke City at the weekend. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are both fit but they have got problems in defence. So it shouldn’t be a case of sitting back - we need to try and score.

A few days later we host Liverpool at home. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are up there with the best top-flight partnerships right now but Liverpool have got their weaknesses – West Bromwich Albion showed that they can be got at defensively. You have to make it a high-tempo game and get into them. It’s a match Fulham can win.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/04/the-tony-gale-column? (http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/04/the-tony-gale-column?)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04/02/14)...
Post by: whitejc on February 04, 2014, 06:52:03 PM
 
Three reasons why Fulham sacking Meulensteen will see them relegated
Alan Curbishley may be waiting in the wings at Craven Cottage, but history suggests losing another boss would send the west Londoners down.

Rumours abound that Fulham – who are 8/15 to beat Sheffield Utd in their FA Cup fourth-round replay – will sack coach Rene Meulensteen and appoint technical director Alan Curbishley in his place, following their 3-0 loss at home to Southampton.

The Cottagers may be rock bottom and favourites to go down at 1/2, but three-manager seasons – as Curbishley should know only too well – tend to end in disaster.

Southampton 2004/05. Managed by Paul Sturrock, Steve Wigley and Harry Redknapp. Finished 20th.

Gordon Strachan’s resignation in March 2004 sent the Saints into a tailspin they’ve only recovered from in recent years.

Paul Sturrock took over with Southampton in 12th and kept them there until the end of the season, but his time at the club ended two matches into the following campaign after alleged problems with the playing staff.

Reserve team coach Steve Wigley took over, but was replaced by Harry Redknapp with the Saints in the relegation zone after one win from 14 games.

Despite winning 20 points with Redknapp in charge, Southampton lost their top-flight status for the first time in 27 years when finishing bottom on a dramatic final day.

Charlton 2006/07. Managed by Iain Dowie, Les Reed, Alan Pardew. Finished 19th.

Curbishley could tell a cautionary tale of his own regarding managerial security, as he kept Charlton in the Premier League for six successive seasons at the start of this century, before quitting the Addicks after more than 700 games in charge.

Iain Dowie took over, but was sacked after overseeing just two wins in his first 12 games and his replacement Les Reed didn’t make it past Boxing Day, when Charlton sat a point off the bottom of the league.

They finished the season in 19th, despite the best efforts of their third boss of the season, Alan Pardew, to keep them up.
Newcastle 2008/09. Managed by Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear and Alan Shearer. Finished 18th.

The third coming of Keegan on Tyneside ended in tears once again, after the ‘love it!’ legend scuttled off into the sunset claiming ‘it wasn’t like it said on the brochure’.

Joe Kinnear took over from Keegan in September 2008 and promptly went about insulting north east media correspondents with the choicest of terms, before leaving the club in February 2009 to undergo heart surgery.

Geordie hero Alan Shearer took over and comprehensively proved himself a better analyst than a coach, taking five points from a possible 24 and leading his beloved Newcastle into the Championship.

Fulham to beat Sheff Utd @ 57/100


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