Friends of Fulham

General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 08:57:23 AM

Title: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 08:57:23 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3284/euro-2012/2010/08/09/2062213/wales-midfielder-simon-davies-retires-from-international (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3284/euro-2012/2010/08/09/2062213/wales-midfielder-simon-davies-retires-from-international)

International Football - Davies calls time on Wales career

Fulham midfielder Simon Davies, veteran of 58 games for Wales, has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 30.

Wales manager John Toshack had originally named Davies in his squad for the friendly against Luxembourg in Llanelli on August 11.
But the Football Association of Wales confirmed that Davies had subsequently withdrawn.
Davies, who had scored six times for Wales since his debut in 2001, played his last game for the Dragons in March against Sweden. He cited his desire to prolong his career as the reason behind ending his international commitments.
In another change to the Wales squad to face Luxembourg Toshack will be without the services of Sam Vokes. The striker, on loan at Bristol City from Wolverhampton Wanderers, has withdrawn with a hamstring injury.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 08:58:52 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7933250/Fulham-striker-Bobby-Zamora-must-hit-the-high-notes-for-England-says-Mark-Hughes.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7933250/Fulham-striker-Bobby-Zamora-must-hit-the-high-notes-for-England-says-Mark-Hughes.html)

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora must hit the high notes for England, says Mark Hughes

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora has been urged to take his England call-up with both hands and avoid joining the club of one-cap wonders who failed to live up to expectations.
 
By John Ley
Published: 7:15AM BST 09 Aug 2010

There was a clamour for the Fulham striker to be included in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad but an injury made that decision easy for the

England manager. However, Capello has included him for Wednesday’s friendly against Hungary.

Zamora scored in Saturday’s impressive 5-1 win over Werder Bremen and, three hours later, got the call to confirm that he would feature against Hungary.

Mark Hughes, upbeat after such a successful debut as Fulham manager, said: “We’re delighted for Bobby. It’s recognition for his fine play.

What Bobby’s got to do is build on last year and the performances that have been highlighted by Capello.

“If he has a similar season we benefit and England will, because we’ll both have a player with great ability.”

Zamora became a father of twins last week, so he has only just returned to training. But the 29 year-old proved he had lost none of his sharpness with a goal against Werder.

Hughes added: “He’s missed a couple of days in training after his partner had twins, so we’ve only had a couple of sessions with him, but
you can see the qualities that he has and I thought he was excellent again today.

“He looks a good player and he has to kick on now and be one of the main players in the Premier League. It’s up to him. If he has an opportunity and he gets the shirt, it’s all about grasping it.”

Hughes believes Zamora has the ability to become a regular fixture in Capello’s European Championship squad. “There’s a wind of change in the England squad, and he may well benefit from that,” he added.

Against Werder, Fulham came back from a goal behind to win comfortably, thanks largely to a remarkable 11-minute hat-trick from Zoltan Gera, and the Hungarian is set to face Zamora at Wembley.

Gera said: “When I came on I said to Bobby 'See you on Wednesday’ at Wembley. Hopefully he’ll be able to play.

“He had a fantastic season last season and he’s a quality player. I wish him all the best if he plays in the national team.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 08:59:22 AM
http://www.socceramerica.com/article/39226/altidore-and-johnson-both-score.html (http://www.socceramerica.com/article/39226/altidore-and-johnson-both-score.html)

[AMERICANS ABROAD] American forwards Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson, both trying to make cases with the European clubs at which they've up until now failed to settle in, scored in friendly action over the weekend.

In Altidore's case, the goal for Villarreal came against Besiktas, the Turkish club that is reportedly pursuing him for a permanent transfer.

Altidore was signed by Villarreal from the New York Red Bulls but then was loaned out to Xerez and Hull City.

Johnson impressed in Fulham's first game under its new manager, Mark Hughes. He scored and Clint Dempsey got an assist in a 5-1 friendly win over Werder Bremen.

Johnson is trying to work his way into a squad that has loaned him out twice since he arrived in January 2008 from the Kansas City Wizards. He went scoreless in four league appearances for Fulham last season before being loaned to Greece's Aris in January.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:01:38 AM
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/431667-2010-11-fulham-preview (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/431667-2010-11-fulham-preview)

2010-2011 Fulham Premier League Preview
By Cody Worsham (Featured Columnist) on August 8, 2010

This article first appeared at Hammy End. Follow the link for further reading.

The 2010-11 campaign of Fulham Football Club will be a fascinating mixture of strange and familiar.

Newly-hired manager Mark Hughes arrives to Craven Cottage with big shoes to fill. Roy Hodgson left Fulham as one of its most popular managers ever, capping off his stay in London with a trip to the Europa League final.

But many of the old faces remain. The big performers of the 2009-10 side—Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera, Clint Dempsey, Bobby Zamora, among others—are all back. In fact, of squad members who made at least 15 appearances last season, only Chris Smalling and Erik Nevland have left the club.


Mark Hughes' biggest task will be keeping an aging squad fresh for Premier League Competition. Tactics will be key in doing so.

Thus, Hughes’ job is made easier by the fact that he is inheriting an experienced and comfortable squad. This year’s side will be familiar with one another, so chemistry should not be a problem.

Hughes’ top priority, then, will be managing the tactical aspects of the squad. His biggest challenges will be finding depth in a side that lacks a true big-name star and utilizing versatile players in their most effective spots.

As the transfer window has yet to close, this piece may require edits as players come or go. For now, we’ll work with the players available and leave speculation for another day.

Defence

Barring injury or transfer, Fulham are set to have one of the strongest defensive units in the Premier League.

Despite much talk of moving to bigger clubs, Brede Hangeland returns for another campaign for the Whites. His size will again match nicely with the speed of Aaron Hughes for the classic stopper-sweeper pairing in central defence, and new signing Phillipe Senderos should provide much-needed depth in the centre.

At fullback, John Pantsil and Paul Konchesky provide skill and service going forward, but both are disciplined, steady defenders. Pantsil missed much of the season last year due to injury, but he was superb at the World Cup this summer, grading out among the best according to the Castrol Index.

Chris Baird, the Cottagers’ consummate utility player, may get starts across the back four due to his versatility and could see minutes in the midfield as well. Stephen Kelley could see an expanded role with Smalling gone, but he’ll have an uphill battle behind the likes of those already mentioned.

Mark Schwarzer has turned down Arsenal and other suitors to return between the pipes. His experience and skill should keep backups David Stockdale and Pascal Zuberbuhler fairly inactive for the season.

While Mark Hughes’ teams are known for a physical style of defence (his Blackburn teams were consistently atop the league in fouls), this defense relies more on finesse and positioning, with vice-captain Aaron Hughes as the face of the Fulham back line. Don’t expect the strategy to change much, but some physicality will be injected with new leadership, and a relief from European duty should allow the Cottagers to improve on last season’s respectable tally of 46 goals conceded (the eighth best total in the Premier League).


Aaron Hughes is the unsung hero in the Fulham back line, and the vice-captain's leadership will be vital to success for the Whites.

Of all the areas in the squad, the defence should see the most improvement, if due to nothing more than increased rest and added depth and experience. It should also be the most consistent area, with Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, and Pantsil getting the most minutes and Baird or Senderos providing depth in key spots.

Midfield

If the defence is to be the most consistently fielded area of the squad, the midfield should see the most turnover game-to-game. There are no spots locked up in the midfield, save one, with the right wing being the most tightly-contested slot.

Captain Danny Murphy should be the one guarantee in the midfield. The experienced central midfielder drives the Fulham attack and anchors the defence from the middle. He should see less time than his 41 appearances of a year ago, which should bode well for his 33-year-old legs.

Damien Duff on a wing is the next-closest to a lock in the side. Hodgson was fond of allowing the left-footed Duff to play on either side of the midfield, and Hughes may do much of the same. On the left, Duff provides great service and cleverness to get down the byline, while on the right he’s always a threat to cut inside and rip one from long distance.

Jonathan Greening and Dickson Etuhu should battle for the central spot beside Murphy. Both are effective counters to Murphy, providing bulk and defensive range to match nicely with Murphy’s passing finesse. Etuhu is the favorite to start early on, but Hughes would do well to look for a transfer target that can both start beside Murphy and also begin the process of replacing the aging captain.

The biggest battle will be for the wide midfield spot opposite Duff. Clint Dempsey, Simon Davies, and Zoltan Gera will be fighting for a place in the starting lineup for much of the early part of the season. All could see time there, with Dempsey the likeliest to earn the most starts.

With that said, I imagine there will be a place for two of the above each and every game. That will depend on the formation Hughes implements, but more on that later.

Forwards

With news of an England call-up fresh off the presses, Bobby Zamora enters the 2010-11 campaign off of one of the finest years of his career.

In a season so successful that he nearly emerged as a member of Fabio Capello’s World Cup side, Zamora scored 19 goals in all contests, including 11 en route to the Europa League final.

But it’s not just his prowess in front of net that makes Zamora so valuable to the Whites. He led the club in assists during the Premier League campaign last year, and his passing sets up just as many scores as his running and shot-taking.

Beyond him, however, there are no guarantees leading the line. Andy Johnson is still battling chronic knee injuries with no foreseeable return date. David Elm will be back, but his scoring record is less than stellar. Gone are Nevland and Stefano Okaka, who saw the next most minutes up top. Eddie Johnson returns from loan to Aris, where he played well, but Johnson has been as dependable as London weather since his arrival to the Cottage.

So with such little depth up top and a bit of depth in the midfield, how should Mark Hughes set out his side?

Tactics

With only one forward a proven threat in the league (barring any significant pick up in the transfer market), Hughes’ best bet is to set out in a lone forward formation.

Zamora is the prototypical target forward: He’s excellent with his back to goal, he can drop into the midfield to distribute, and he has an unbeatable work rate.

If lone forward is the decision, then, that leaves some decision-making concerning the midfield. As previously noted, a lack of depth in the central midfield makes 4-5-1 an unlikely decision. 4-2-3-1 requires a tandem of tough, tackling holders, true wingers, and a play-making trequartista-like player in the final third—again, not exactly the type of personnel Mark Hughes is blessed with.


The chemistry between Zamora, left, and Gera should make for a potent Fulham attack in the final third.

The most comfortable option, based on performance last year and simple personnel common sense, is 4-4-1-1. This works well with the depth and versatility in wide midfield positions and the lack of depth in the centre of midfield. The back four and midfield four play in their natural shapes, with the fullbacks free to roam forward, the wide midfielders space to cut in or push wide, and the central midfielders playing on a string.

Gera, Davies, and Dempsey can all excel wide or just behind the striker, with Gera in particular relishing in a role just off Zamora’s shoulder. The Hungarian international scored 10 goals in all competitions, including six in the Europa League, where he and Zamora were often paired in a similar fashion. It was this position that allowed Gera to be named the club’s 2009-10 Player of the Year.

With Gera more forward, Dempsey and Davies can battle it out for the other wide position, and hopefully Bjørn Helge Riise can push for time out wide, as well.

Unquestionably, Hughes needs to get on the transfer market and bring in some talent, most pertinently in the central midfield and forward positions. Depth and age are going to be issues for this team, and the easiest fix can be found on the market. However, in a 4-4-1-1, much like the one pictured below, Fulham can put out a starting XI that can compete for top-six standing in the Premier League
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:02:43 AM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3270/england-national-team/2010/08/09/2062058/fulham-midfielder-zoltan-gera-thinks-that-bobby-zamora-is-worthy- (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3270/england-national-team/2010/08/09/2062058/fulham-midfielder-zoltan-gera-thinks-that-bobby-zamora-is-worthy-)

Fulham midfielder Zoltan Gera thinks that Bobby Zamora is worthy of England chance

Hungarian star looking forward to friendly against the Three Lions

By Anthony Sciarrino

Zoltan Gera believes that Fulham team-mate Bobby Zamora is fully deserving of his call-up by Fabio Capello to his England squad.

The 29-year-old Cottagers striker is readying to make his debut appearance for the Three Lions in a friendly against Hungary on Wednesday after missing out on a chance to go to the World Cup this summer due to injury.

Gera, a Hungary international, thinks that his Fulham team-mate’s performance last season merits his call-up to the England side and insists that Zamora should get a chance to play.

“I don’t think it matters how old you are if you play well and show you deserve to play,” Gera told the Daily Star.

“England have lots of good, hungry players and I’m not going to tell the manager who to pick but hopefully Bobby will play.

“Hopefully he will play. He had a fantastic last season, he is a quality player and I wish him all the best when he plays for England.”

The 31-year-old Hungarian, who scored a hat-trick in Fulham’s 5-1 pre-season victory over Werder Bremen, believes that playing the Three Lions will be a great opportunity for his country.

“England are still a good team. But it’s a great chance for us. We have a new manager and a new squad with younger players.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:03:59 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301356/Bobby-Zamora-Wind-change-favours-England-striker.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301356/Bobby-Zamora-Wind-change-favours-England-striker.html)

Bobby Zamora swept up in a wind of change in week to savour for new England striker
By LAURA WILLIAMSON

It's been quite a week for Bobby Zamora. The 29-year-old Fulham striker became a father to twins and can now win his first England cap after earning a place in Fabio Capello's squad to face Hungary on Wednesday.

Fulham manager Mark Hughes believes Zamora can profit from the 'wind of change' within the England camp after the team's World Cup disappointment and cement his place in the side.

Hughes said: 'We're delighted for Bobby. It's recognition for his fine play in recent times.

'He looks a good player and he has to kick on now and be one of the main players in the Premier League.

'If he has an opportunity and he gets the shirt, it's all about grasping it. He mustn't allow the progress that he's undoubtedly made in recent times to waver. There's a wind of change in the England squad, and he may well benefit from that.

'What Bobby's got to do is build on last year and the performances that have been highlighted by Capello. If he has a similar season we benefit and obviously England will, because we'll both have a player with great ability.'

Zamora scored Fulham's equaliser on Saturday as the London club overturned a 1-0 deficit to beat Werder Bremen 5-1 at Craven Cottage in Hughes's first game in charge.

The win included a goal for Eddie Johnson and a superb 10-minute hat-trick for Zoltan Gera.

The 31-year-old is in Hungary's squad to face England and said Fulham team-mate Zamora is certainly not too old to make his international debut.

Gera said: 'It doesn't matter how old you are, if you play well and deserve to play in the best team in your country. It doesn't matter how old you are, it matters how well you're doing on the pitch.

'I said to Bobby, "See you on Wednesday, on the field, at Wembley". He had a fantastic season last season and he's a quality player.
'England have lots of good young players, hungry players and are a very good team so it's going to be difficult for us.'
Both Zamora and Gera impressed more than Werder midfielder Mesut Ozil, whom Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson cast an eye over from the stands.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301356/Bobby-Zamora-Wind-change-favours-England-striker.html#ixzz0w5sWkwIs (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301356/Bobby-Zamora-Wind-change-favours-England-striker.html#ixzz0w5sWkwIs)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:04:49 AM
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/148270/Fulham-s-Zoltan-Gera-Give-Bobby-Zamora-England-job/ (http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/148270/Fulham-s-Zoltan-Gera-Give-Bobby-Zamora-England-job/)

FULHAM'S ZOLTAN GERA: GIVE BOBBY ZAMORA ENGLAND JOB

BOBBY ZAMORA has been tipped to hand England’s young guns a real lesson after finally being given the chance to shine by Three Lions boss Fabio Capello.

The Fulham ace, 29, is set to make his international debut against Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday, after missing out on a shock World Cup call-up through injury.

And despite Zamora’s late arrival on the big stage, Fulham team-mate and Hungary star Zoltan Gera is expecting a stellar showing from the Barking-born striker.

“I don’t think it matters how old you are if you play well and show you deserve to play,” said Gera.

“England have lots of good, hungry players and I’m not going to tell the manager who to pick but hopefully Bobby will play.

“Hopefully he will play. He had a fantastic last season, he is a quality player and I wish him all the best when he plays for England.”

Gera was in top form during Fulham’s 5-1 win over Werder Bremen in their final pre-season friendly before next weekend’s Premier League opener at Bolton.

The former West Brom man warmed up for the clash with England by netting an 11-minute hat-trick, with Zamora and Eddie Johnson also scoring.

He added: “England are still a good team. But it’s a great chance for us. We have a new manager and a new squad with younger players.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:06:35 AM
Premier League preview: Fulham
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER

Three things often forgotten about Mark Hughes: 1) His first name’s actually Leslie; 2) His big, curly German hairdo in the Eighties; 3) His success in taking Blackburn to sixth in the League and two FA Cup semi-finals.

Moving to Fulham after their years of over-achievement with Uncle Woy and talking about a top 10 finish might sound far-fetched.

The only way is down, cries commonsense, but operating on similar resources to Blackburn will play to his strengths in the transfer market and effective man-management.

First task, convince Zamora to stay.

Boss’s toughest job
Winning over the crowd. Fans seem non-plussed by Sparky’s arrival and Roy wonder is some act to follow.
But it was the same with Hodgson, and look how that turned out.
Hiccup on horizon
Fulham’s route to the Europa League final was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
Trouble is that neither fans, nor owner Mohamed Al Fayed, will enjoy a dose of reality which could come this season.  Sound familiar, Mark?

The numbers game
1 - Number of goals Fulham have scored in each of their last four openers 46 - Fewest amount of yellow cards picked up in the PL last season
5 - But they gave away joint-highest number of own goals

Alternative sponsor
Easyjet — Famed for cheap and cheerful trips all over Europe

Ins/Outs
In – Philippe Senderos (Arsenal, free), Jonathan Greening (West Brom, undisclosed)
Out – Chris Smalling (Man Utd, £8m), Elliot Omozusi (L Orient, free), Christopher
Buchtmann (Cologne, undisclosed), Wayne Brown (Bristol Rovers, free), Erik Nevland (Viking, free).

Keep an eye out for
Keanu Marsh-Brown Age: 18 Position: Winger
Can also play at full back. Very right-sided, but this skilful trickster poses a considerable threat.

Fan’s view
Josh Day: We dodged a bullet getting Hughes instead of Sven.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301324/Premier-League-preview-Fulham.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz0w5t6M9Wj (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301324/Premier-League-preview-Fulham.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz0w5t6M9Wj)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:08:45 AM
Young Lions Clubbed To Death- Alan Shearer

ALAN SHEARER - Former England captain
 
IT was refreshing to see some young talent brought in by Fabio Capello - but I wonder how much sustained impact they will have on the England team.

Kieran Gibbs, Adam Johnson, Jack Wilshere are all good players but all they have at the moment is outstanding potential.

What they don't have is the experience of playing regular, high-quality football in either the Premier or Champions Leagues.

And the question you have to ask is: How are they going to get it?

The same applies to Joe Hart and Theo Walcott - both immensely talented but both likely to have to spend a big part of the season on the sidelines.

These players are at clubs chasing top honours at home and in Europe, and the priority for each of their managers, I'm afraid, is not the welfare of the England team.

Take Roberto Mancini. After another summer of major spending, Manchester City's owners expect a Champions League place as an absolute minimum this season.

So it won't matter to the City manager whether he uses Hart or Johnson on a regular basis. It won't matter to him that Capello wants young English talent to thrive and prosper.

He will pick the best City team available to him and that, more than likely, will mean the high-profile signings he's made.

If Mancini decides to go with the experience of Shay Given in goal, Hart will be on the bench.

Likewise, Johnson will no doubt find himself down the pecking order in the City attack. And that won't be a lot of good to Capello as he tries to reshape his England squad.

Gibbs and Walcott will also probably be bit-part players as Arsene Wenger tries to win some silverware for Arsenal.

It is the age-old problem of foreign imports taking priority over home-grown talent and I cannot see it changing because the pressure on managers to deliver instant success is greater than ever.

That's why I don't envisage a wholesale changing of the guard after our dismal failure of the World Cup finals.

John Terry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard all still have a massive part to play - certainly in the European Championship qualifiers.

So too will Wayne Rooney. And it is time to wipe the slate clean as far as the Manchester United striker is concerned.

He is still a world-class player. He has been for the last five years and one poor tournament won't change that.

No one quite knows why he underperformed in South Africa. Whether it was because of tiredness or injury, only he knows.

But I bet he will have another outstanding season for United and be the focal point of England's attack for years to come.

Wayne will have a new selection of strike partners against Hungary on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see how Darren Bent, Bobby Zamora and Carlton Cole do.

I thought Bent was unlucky not to make it to South Africa.

One thing all strikers need to do to catch the eye is score goals. The Sunderland man did that in abundance last season and he did it in a side struggling at the wrong end of the table for most of the season.

Zamora did amazingly well for Fulham, too, and Cole has shown at West Ham he leads the line well.

But all three now face a much bigger in challenge international football. It is probably a bigger step up than for any other position.

Advertisement

Strikers get fewer chances at that level.

Defenders are ruthless and determined not to give you an inch and it doesn't matter how well you play, you will always be measured by the number of times you find the target.

Try telling that to Peter Crouch, though. He has an incredible scoring record for England.

Some will argue he has done it against lesser teams, but he has still been prolific and he should have been given more of a chance in the matches out in South Africa.

His omission from this squad is probably down to Spurs having a Champions League qualifier the following week - which would also account for Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe's absence.

In all truth, the Hungary game is one which no one really wants. Probably not even Capello.

At least it gives him the chance to take a closer look at the kids.

But he would much rather see them playing Premier League football for their clubs every week.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/sunsport_columnists/3086764/Alan-Shearer-What-hope-is-there-for-England.html#ixzz0w5tnEuPz (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/sunsport_columnists/3086764/Alan-Shearer-What-hope-is-there-for-England.html#ixzz0w5tnEuPz)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:09:44 AM
BBC Sport - Football - Fulham's Simon Davies calls time on Wales career (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/league_of_wales/8896230.stm#id8890000/8896700/8896761)

Fulham's Simon Davies calls time on Wales career

Wales midfielder Simon Davies has retired from international football.
The 30-year-old Fulham player won 58 caps for Wales, scoring six goals, after making his debut in 2001.
The Football Association of Wales said Davies had decided to concentrate on club football after struggling with a foot injury for the past 18 months.
Davies has slipped down the Wales midfield pecking order due to emergence of Aaron Ramsey, David Edwards, Jack Collison, Joe Ledley and Andy King.
But the news will be a blow for Wales boss John Toshack, who only last week spoke about the importance of senior players such as Davies as Wales attempt to qualify for Euro 2012.
Davies, who made his Wales bow debut in a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in March 2001, last played for Wales in the friendly loss to Sweden in March but that had been his first appearance in almost a year because of injury.
And Davies, who captained Wales in their 2-0 defeat by Germany in April 2009, even admitted to BBC Sport almost exactly 12 months ago that he considered quitting Wales.
"I did initially think after this campaign I'd have a look and see about retiring from Wales," Davies said last year.
"It gets harder and harder because the Premier League is so demanding.
"It is sometimes difficult to go away with Wales when you see the other lads having a few days off recharging their batteries."
But Davies deciding to call time on his international career is the latest in a long line of high-profile experienced Wales players to retireme since previous boss Mark Hughes quit.
Gary Speed, Robbie Savage, Mark Delaney, John Hartson, Mark Pembridge, Andy Melville and Ryan Giggs have all quit Wales since Hughes left to take over at Blackburn in 2004.
But Toshack is in the middle of a Wales rebuilding process with the country's promising youngsters.
And Davies was one of the senior Welsh players criticised following Wales' disappointing World Cup qualifying defeat to an average Finland side in Cardiff in March last year, a loss that made 2010 World Cup qualification virtually impossible.
Arsenal playmaker Ramsey, West Ham sensation Collison, Celtic new boy Ledley, Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster Edwards and King of Leicester are ahead of Davies in Toshack's pecking order.
So instead of Davies, a star of Fulham's charge to last season's Europa Cup final, being a Wales squad player so the Haverfordwest-born player informed the Welsh FA of his decision to retire.
Wales begin their preparations for their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, which begins in Montenegro on 3 September, with a friendly against Luxembourg in Llanelli on Wednesday.
A Welsh FA statement read: "The FAW would like to take the opportunity of thanking Simon for his service and wishes him well for the forthcoming season with Fulham."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:10:25 AM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gaeBbsAAEY4OJVTWjj7F2vPT00tg (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gaeBbsAAEY4OJVTWjj7F2vPT00tg)

Hughes out of Montenegro clash
(UKPA) – 10 hours ago

Northern Ireland captain Aaron Hughes has been been ruled out of the friendly against Montenegro on Wednesday in Podgorica.
Hughes is returning to Fulham after his inflamed Achilles was assessed by the medical team.
He is the second defender to be sidelined over the weekend after Gareth McAuley suffered a back injury in Ipswich's victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.
It means three players have dropped out of the squad in total, with Sunderland goalkeeper Trevor Carson being replaced by Alan Blayney of Linfield.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:12:29 AM
Fulham - Another Year of Football

To say this Summer has been a turbulent one could be considered a reasonably large understatement.

While signings have been close to non-existent, the back pages have been filled to the brim with a managing debacle which all unfolded after Roy Hodgson's understandable departure to Liverpool.

Martin Jol was, and it's no secret, Mohamed Al Fayed's first choice for the manager role at the Cottage. However, the interest came to nothing and with what seemed slight reluctance, Al Fayed opted for the sturdy hand of Mark Hughes to take Fulham forward.

Pre-season was mixed, with a memorable win at Griffin Park followed by relative disappointments at both Portsmouth and Bournemouth.

Sparky's first game in charge on the other hand brought jubilation to Craven Cottage with a fine 5-1 drumming of Champions League qualifiers Werder Bremen.

Regrettably though, we can't read too deeply into such Summer successes as of course, they are only friendlies, and friendlies, in reality, are arranged to provide answers to questions of fitness rather than ability.

Saying that though, the boys did look sharp and it's a decent way to kick start a new managerial campaign for us.

With that in mind, I get the feeling this year has the potential to be a good one.

Firstly, let's talk transfers: The uncertainty over the managerial hot seat has left the side looking short on incomings.

Phillipe Senderos and Jonathan Greening are the only deals to go through since the window opened with the first of which being wholly Roy-Hodgson-inspired. Greening's permanent move has been met with a mixed reaction from the fans, but for the most part, his addition to the squad doesn't seem too necessary given his overly weak role in last year's triumphs.

Hughes is likely to delve into the market when you take into account his promised £20 million from Mo, yet, the wage structure at the club will by no uncertain terms be compromised, which has more than likely ruled out moves for the likes of Stephen Ireland and Craig Bellamy.

The new boss has little time to work with but I would expect him to do anything but panic, with new transfers likely to be few and far-between. I'd anticipate Mark bringing in two or three additions safe in the knowledge he has inherited a side capable of reaching a Europa League final.

I'm sure he's noticed the team is in desperate need of firepower alongside the now Internationally accredited Zamora, as well as a play maker to temporarily complement captain Danny Murphy before eventually replacing him.

At risk of being fatally proven wrong, I get the feeling our goalkeeping maestro Mark Schwarzer will be staying by the Thames and Hangeland seems a certainty to play a part in the up and coming term.

Because of this, Hughesey is unlikely to invest much into a defensive department who have gelled well over the last two years and will be looking to improve on only 46 Premier League goals conceded last season.

Tactics: With only one pre-season game to base predictions on, I can see us being tactically similar to the previous two years under Roy, with a few predictable tweaks which will suit the new chief.

Hopefully the attractive football will continue to be something to look forward to on any given weekend, but a more direct style may prove appropriate given the aerial and physical attributes Bobby Zamora possesses.

Against Bremen, for example, the first time passes from midfield in the second half exposed the German's defence far more than the slow, patient build up which was employed in the opening segment of the game.

4-4-2 or any adaption therein (4-4-1-1 e.t.c.) is likely to be a mainstay from Hodgson's era, though, I could easily be proven wrong after a few signings.

Final Standings: Once everything is looked over, even at this early stage, the season ahead looks to be relatively rewarding.

Assuming signings do come and assuming Mark Hughes withholds his reputation of getting his teams to punch above their weight, we could be looking at a decent cup run or two as well as an established, if not very reputable, league finish.

Premier League: 9th

F.A Cup: Quarter-Finalists

League Cup: Finalists/Winners


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=208086#ixzz0w5upDKn3 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=208086#ixzz0w5upDKn3)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:13:16 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6301737,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6301737,00.html)

Double blow for N.Ireland

Captain and Ipswich defender sidelined

Northern Ireland have received a double blow with the news that captain Aaron Hughes and defender Gareth McAuley will miss Wednesday's friendly against Montenegro.

Hughes is returning to Fulham after his inflamed Achilles was assessed by the medical team on Sunday night.

Ipswich defender McAuley picked up a back injury in the victory over Middlesbrough at The Riverside on Saturday.

It means three players have dropped out of the squad in total, with Sunderland goalkeeper Trevor Carson being replaced by Alan Blayney of Linfield.

Nigel Worthington's men will be looking to boost confidence ahead of the start of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Northern Ireland have been drawn to face Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Estonia and Faroe Islands in Group C.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:30:44 AM
http://www.football365.co.za/story/0,22162,14340_6302254,00.html (http://www.football365.co.za/story/0,22162,14340_6302254,00.html)

`Bafana can beat Black Stars`

Injured midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi is confident South Africa can impress against Ghana at Soccer City on Wednesday night.

The Fulham anchor will miss the Black Stars test with a torn abductor muscle in his right leg, but is nevertheless excited by the challenge ahead.

"I like the fact that they are bringing the big guns," he said on the Times Live website.

"It does not matter for us. The bigger, the better. It is a big occasion for South Africa as well, because we will be going out there to impress our new coach (Pisto Mosimane)," he said

Dikgacoi added that he was pleased with Mosimane's recent promotion to the Bafana hotseat and called on his team-mates to support the former SuperSport United boss.

"It is not a surprise; he has been with the team a long time. It was good that SAFA selected him.

"There must not be this thing of undermining him because he is young and not foreign. We must respond when he calls us up.

"South Africa must not beg players. If someone does not want to come to the national team, we have to leave them alone.

"When the big tournaments come, they should be left out. You either want to be part of the national team or not."

The midweek fixture will be Mosimane's first game in charge of Bafana following Carlos Alberto Parreira's departure after the World Cup.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:36:50 AM
http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/sport/8319843.Hughes_the_right_man_for_Fulham/ (http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/sport/8319843.Hughes_the_right_man_for_Fulham/)

Fan's eye view: By Andrew Binner
9:27am Monday 9th August 2010

Last week Mark Hughes was announced as Fulham's new manager for the 2010-2011 season and the Cottagers should be delighted with the new appointment at Craven Cottage.

Sparky, as he was affectionately known during his playing career that included spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United is said to be impressed by the ambition at Fulham and is a good appointment for two main reasons.

Firstly, he is not Jose Mourinhio.

By this, I mean whilst boasting an enviable CV including successful managerial spells of the Welsh national team, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City, he does not grab the limelight at every given opportunity boasting as big, if not a bigger, profile than the club he is serving.

Whilst Real Madrid's new man is undoubtedly a fantastic coach for the top teams in the world, a quieter approach more focussed on the football is what Fulham really need at his point.

In this way Hughes can carry on the great work of last season's manager Roy Hodgson, whilst still implementing his own philosophy and style to the team, as opposed to completely restructuring the club to suit himself and represent his brand; something that “the Special One's” new charges in Madrid can expect this season.

The second valuable asset Hughes could potentially bring to West London is a host of top name signings he brought to Manchester City, who have become disillusioned under Hughes' successor Roberto Mancini, and never really got over the manner in which popular Hughes lost his job to the Italian.

Hodgson's late departure to Liverpool has left Hughes with not as much transfer time as he would have deemed ideal (a notion Fulham Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed publicly criticised Hodgson for this week) but will have Santa Cruz, Ireland and Bellamy in his sights to provide much-needed supplementing last season's front man Bobby Zamora on loan deals if nothing else.

However Hughes has defensive retention problems to address as well as recruitment of fire-power for his first season in charge as his priority for the immediate future has to be to retain the services of veteran Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (currently being courted by Arsenal) and Brede Hangeland (the Norwegian captain).

Following defender Chris Smalling's move north to Manchester United, Fulham managed to capture the signing of Philippe Senderos on a three-year deal for this season, but the manager will be keen to avoid any other departures saying in a recent conference: “It's not my intention to allow the better players at Fulham Football Club to leave the club”.

Hughes is showing signs of being the pragmatic manager the Cottagers need, setting out his ambitions for the club in a recent press conference as a top ten finish in the league and a good run in the cup, despite his new owner Mohamed Al Fayed's jovial protestations to the press (coupled with the symbolic handing over of a £50 note for new signings) that his new manager can “take Fulham to the championship” (meaning the Premier league of course).

Provided Hughes can recruit a new striker, whilst retaining some of last seasons top performers Fulham's new man may just be the man to provide the spark to bigger and better things for Craven Cottage this season.

After a pre season fixture at Werner Bremen to test his new charges for the first time this Saturday, Hughes will be looking to make a winning start to the season with a tough away match at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, 14 August.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 10:19:02 AM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6302278,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6302278,00.html)

Fulham plot Johnson return
Hughes expects striker to feature next month

By Elliot Ball   Last updated: 9th August 2010   

Fulham have pencilled striker Andy Johnson in for a return to first-team action in late September.

Cottagers manager Mark Hughes revealed the Fulham front man is recovering quicker than expected from a serious knee injury and could be involved in the Premier League as early as next month.

Johnson made just 13 appearances last term and his last outing was back in January before requiring surgery on the problem in February.

The 29-year-old had been hoping to be fit for Fulham's curtain raiser against Bolton on Saturday, but saw those plans scuppered after returning to the United States last month for further treatment following a setback during pre-season training.

But Hughes reckons the former England international could be back playing sooner rather later and will be in the shape of his life when he makes his long-awaited comeback.

"It looks very positive and he's looking to get back as soon as he can," said the Cottagers boss in The Daily Telegraph.

"He's done a lot of physical work while he's been out and the key to it is when he does come back he'll be the strongest he's ever been in his career. We're probably looking at September or October."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 10:20:40 AM
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2010/08/136_71126.html (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2010/08/136_71126.html)

Seol rises in second leg of K-League
By Yi Whan-woo

Pohang Steelers’ decision to scout forward Seol Ki-hyeon this season began as he netted goals in three games in a row, and finally put end to the team’s seven-game winless streak, Sunday.

The 31-year-old drew attention as he just made the K-League debut this year despite a 10-year professional career, while missing the whole first half of the season due to injury.

The former Fulham forward actively represented Pohang in the second leg of the season, as he played in all five games as starter since July 10.

His first goal in the league came on his third match cap against Suwon BlueWings in a 1-1 draw on July 25. Seol connected midfielder Hwang Jin-sung’s assist from the left touch line straight into the net with his right in the 5th minute to prove he has fully recovered from knee injury.

The forward showed his first goal was only the beginning for his campaign in the league, as he scored the second on July 31 against the Chunnam Dragons. Pohang was trailing Chunnam 2-0 in the second half, and Seol and Hwang worked together again this time in an effort to upset. Seol connected Hwang’s pass from the penalty arc on the right, and sent the ball beyond the goalkeeper Park Sang-chul in the 59th. Pohang failed to seize its first win since March 20 over Gangwon FC, but managed to avoid a defeat for a 2-2 draw.

On Sunday, Seol’s effort to draw out the team’s first win since March 20 over Gangwon FC shone, as Pohang could shutout Seongnam Chunma 2-0, thanks to the forward’s early goal.

Seol rushed for the ball as he found another forward Joao da Mota’s cross from the left touch line, and tossed the ball lightly into the net with his right in the 6th minute, leaving the 2010 World Cup goalie Jung Sung-ryong helpless. With the additional score by Almir Lopes De Luna in the 52nd, Pohang eventually grabbed its long-awaited victory.

Pohang showed a sign of hope in the remaining season, despite the fact that the team still needs to overcome a 3-6-7 record for the 10th place among the 15 clubs. Seol is expected to make an effective role for the team to climb up to higher standings.

Seol started his professional career overseas with Royal Antwerp in the Belgian league where he scored 10 goals in 25 appearances. He stayed in the European leagues in Belgium and England until 2008 and was loaned to Al-hilal in the Saudi Professional League temporarily from January 2009 . Such a decision came as Seol lacked in playing time at Fulham and was not showing notable plays when he did.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 03:57:53 PM
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2995/betting/2010/08/09/2062896/top-five-premier-league-long-shot-bets-liverpool-to-win (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2995/betting/2010/08/09/2062896/top-five-premier-league-long-shot-bets-liverpool-to-win)

Top 5 longshot bets

* Mark Hughes to be August manager of the month
   Odds: 15.0 (14/1)

Everybody loves a good comeback story and pretty much everyone, with the possible exception of Man City owners, would smile if Sparky clocked up this accolade. Fulham play Bolton, Manchester United and Blackpool in August and are more than capable of taking six points from these games. The toughie will be the Red Devils at home but punters should remember the Cottagers have won the past two games against United by a combined score of 5-0 at Craven Cottage. If Hughes can clock up a result against his old club some silverware could be coming his way nice and early.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 03:59:58 PM
http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/can-bobby-zamora-be-englands-missing-link- (http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/can-bobby-zamora-be-englands-missing-link-)

Can Bobby Zamora be England’s missing link?
Fulham Correspondent: Fulham striker gets England call-up – and deservedly so
By Paul Dawson  August 09, 2010

As Fabio Capello looked to revamp his World Cup squad there were some notable additions to the national camp.

For Fulham fans, the most interesting one was the inclusion of Bobby Zamora who was unlucky to miss out on South Africa – although watching England displays from the sidelines due to his injury, the Z-Man might have thought differently.

With Emile Heskey retiring from international football, there is a huge opportunity for a striker to grab the spot next to Wayne Rooney. And there is every reason to think that Zamora can be that man.

We always have a tendency to look at what a player lacks rather than what he actually has in his locker so there will be some doubters regarding Bobby but he is certainly worth a strong shout. We know Capello, like many Italian managers, has a soft spot for a big man up front, as Heskey’s regular appearances under Fabio confirm.

A target man who can be physical and unsettle a central defensive partnership seems a key attribute to get the best out of Rooney. To hold the ball up, bring others into play and build attacks from there. Zamora can do that and much more. His scoring record is a strong one and the potential he has shown for a few years has finally come good.

Okay, so he might not have Defoe’s mad run of goals or Crouch’s goal per game return at international level, but if Heskey can perform and give something to the team without any goal return, then Zamora can certainly do the same but with a greater threat.

Zamora is also more mobile than Emile, has a desire to get on the end of crosses and is a little more feisty – no bad thing for a strapping centre-forward – he won’t be intimidated by anyone.

Scoring goals and linking play in a team that likes to knit their passes together as Fulham have done, has seen such improvements in his touch that national selection was a natural next step.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:00:36 PM
http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/fulham-fc-ealing/2010/08/09/johnson-hopes-to-impress-under-new-fulham-boss-64767-27027847/ (http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/fulham-fc-ealing/2010/08/09/johnson-hopes-to-impress-under-new-fulham-boss-64767-27027847/)

Johnson hopes to impress under new Fulham boss
Aug 9 2010 By Paul Warburton

EDDIE Johnson insists he's got a point to prove to new boss Mark Hughes.
The Fulham frontman has spent the majority of his 30-month stay at Craven Cottage on loan elsewhere, but scored in his first appearance under Hughes in Saturday's 5-1 thumping of Werder Bremen.
But the USA international admits this is last-chance saloon to make an impression in SW6.
He said: “This is the last year of my contract, so a new manager is a fresh opportunity to get a run of games.”
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:01:10 PM
http://www.premiershiptalk.com/2010/08/09/are-capellos-new-lions-good-enough-2/ (http://www.premiershiptalk.com/2010/08/09/are-capellos-new-lions-good-enough-2/)

Are Capello’s new Lions good enough?
By Zain Alvi | 9th August 2010

 
It was almost like a fairytale unveiling of a fresh squad. Late Saturday evening, when the entire nation awaited Fabio Capello’s announcement regarding a new-look England team, it truly felt as if the failure of the World Cup was a thing of the past.

After all, the build-up suggested that a new era is about to begin, even if the manager remains the same. Once the 23 names to face Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday were revealed, not many supporters of the underachieving England national team were complaining.

That much was only to be expected, though. An embattled England manager who almost lost his job this summer would obviously never name a squad that is only capable of generating hatred. So, the Three Lions as we know them today are, without a doubt, a decent bunch of lads.

Nevertheless, the question that was asked of them throughout this summer’s doomed World Cup campaign in South Africa is surely to be brought up again. Are they good enough to deliver the goods at the highest level?

That is, even if they can improve on their past failures and at least overcome the likes of Algeria and Slovenia, will they ever be able to hold their own against a team as strong as the reigning European and World Champions Spain?

Not too long ago (two years, to be precise), Vicente Del Bosque’s squad was also comprised of a host of household names who could not function together as a team. In essence, they were very comparable to their underperforming counterparts in England, if not worse.

In addition to putting domestic club rivalries behind, the Spaniards also had to strive to get a divided nation behind them as one. The whole process of uniting the various regions of the country began on the field as the star-studded roster began to function effectively as a unit.

Therefore, judging by Spain’s sudden metamorphosis from long-standing underachievers to the undisputed leaders of world football suggests that as a first step towards glory, a national squad must earn the respect of their supporters and opponents alike.

For England, that means that the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard will have to link-up successfully, for a change. What that does not mean, however, is that the forwards are allowed to stand and wait for the service to arrive from the superstar midfield duo. Instead, everyone must hustle to create opportunities for themselves if they need to.

With that said, allow me to revisit the all-important question once again. Can the current England roster replicate the success of Spain and succeed at the highest level? In short, the answer to that question is a huge maybe. To reiterate, Capello has named a competitive squad. However, it must be pointed out that it is not without its share of loopholes.

Let’s analyze the strength of each new Lion on an individual basis. It is only logical to begin with the goalkeepers, who have clearly played their part every time England falls short of expectations. David James and Robert Green are finally gone; Ben Foster and Joe Hart will now be at the helm of affairs between the sticks.

The promising young duo will be joined by Blackburn’s Paul Robinson and it has to be acknowledged that Capello’s staff has made the right selection here. It will be interesting to see which player eventually emerges as the number one once England (hopefully) qualify for Euro 2012.

Although the defense looks strong overall, one can’t help but feel sorry for the exclusion of Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher. The center-half was called out of retirement to travel to South Africa this summer and after being used sparingly, he ended up becoming a mysterious victim to Capello’s axe.

The most obvious problem with omitting Carragher is the inclusion of Manchester United’s Wes Brown. I have personally never been impressed with Brown because he is one of the most error-prone defenders in the Premier League.

In fact, forget about English football; Brown struggled to defend against MLS players as well and was eventually humiliated when Toronto’s Dwayne DeRosario ran past him to score with utmost ease during the All-Star game less than two weeks ago.

While Carragher’s experience has not been replaced by Capello, at least his skill-set won’t be missed as much due to the worthy selection of Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Bolton’s Gary Cahill. Liverpool’s Glen Johnson and Chelsea’s Ashley Cole can rival any full-back duo in the world so one can only hope that they jell together, starting in two days’ time against Hungary.

Cole’s Blues teammate John Terry retains his place along with Tottenham’s Michael Dawson, who controversially stays in the squad at the expense of West Ham skipper Matthew Upson. Arsenal will also be represented in England’s defense now that young Kieran Gibbs has been called up.

The central midfield remains the same with the exception of 18-year old Jack Wilshere, who is also joined by Arsenal teammate Theo Walcott. Manchester City’s Adam Johnson and Aston Villa’s Ashley Young have also been given an opportunity to prove that they can make up for the pace that will be lost as a result of Liverpool’s Joe Cole being left out.

The most significant improvement, though, has by far arrived in the forward department. Fulham’s Bobby Zamora has received a highly deserved call-up while Sunderland’s Darren Bent has also been rewarded (albeit late) for a stupendous display throughout last season.

West Ham’s Carlton Cole will also get an opportunity to shine up front and as expected, Wayne Rooney will once again lead the attack. Capello definitely could have still done without getting rid of Jermain Defoe.

The Spurs striker scored to lead England to their only win in this summer’s World Cup as soon as he was chosen over Emile Heskey but somehow, he finds himself out of the squad at the moment. Defoe must be feeling unlucky considering that Gareth Barry has been chosen in an already stacked midfield despite his poor showing in South Africa.

All said and done, the time to debate over the squad selection is now well past us. Starting with Wednesday, no external factors should be involved as England seek to sort out the mess that has been created in the aftermath of the World Cup.

If they want to be celebrating at the podium with the Euro 2012 title in less than two years, it is essential to take responsibility for each other and make a sincere attempt at playing like a team.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:01:46 PM
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hodgson-geras-up-for-fulham-raid-1084816.html (http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hodgson-geras-up-for-fulham-raid-1084816.html)

Hodgson Gera's up for Fulham raid
Last Updated: Mon, 09 Aug 2010 14:13

Fulham star Zoltan Gera could be set for a shock exit out of Craven Cottage this summer with Liverpool keen on the midfielder.
The 31-year-old has just a year left on his Cottagers deal and has yet to begin negotiations over a new contract with his future now appearing to be up in the air.

Roy Hodgson's departure to Liverpool has prompted speculation he could return to raid his old club for the Hungary international while Sunderland and Blackburn are reportedly also monitoring the situation with a view to making bids.

Gera, who hit a stunning 12-minute hat-trick against Werder Bremen on Saturday in Fulham's final pre-season friendly before the new campaign, could be available at a knock-down £2million fee as he has just a year left on his current terms.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:06:00 PM
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23865073-simon-davies-puts-fulham-first-as-he-calls-time-on-wales.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23865073-simon-davies-puts-fulham-first-as-he-calls-time-on-wales.do)

Simon Davies puts Fulham first as he calls time on Wales
09.08.10

Simon Davies has quit international football so he can concentrate on Fulham.

The 30-year-old has been troubled by a foot injury over the last 18 months and feared he would suffer more problems if he continued playing for club and country.

The news has come as a shock to Wales manager John Toshack, who had called up the midfielder for Wednesday's match against Luxembourg in Llanelli.

Wales begin their Euro 2012 qualifiers in Montenegro next month and Toshack spoke only on Friday of the importance of senior players such as Davies, Craig Bellamy and James Collins to him.

Meanwhile, Fulham defender Aaron Hughes is out of Northern Ireland's friendly in Montenegro on Wednesday with an inflamed Achilles
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:08:40 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6302651,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6302651,00.html)

Gera attracting interest

Trio target Fulham star

Skysports.com understands a number of clubs are tracking Fulham ace Zoltan Gera.

Gera's future at Fulham could be in doubt following the arrival of new boss Mark Hugheswith the Welshman expected to bring in new faces to put his own stamp on the side.

The 31-year-old has just a year to run on his current contract and talks over a new deal have yet to take place as yet, alerting a number of clubs to his possible availability.

Liverpool could be in the market for Gera with Roy Hodgson a big fan of the Hungarian and his versatility would appeal to the new Reds boss.

Sunderland are also thought to be interested in Gera with Black Cats chief Steve Bruce keen to bolster his squad before the close of the transfer window.

German side Werder Bremen are also thought to be monitoring Gera's situation following his stunning 12-minute hat-trick against the German club in Saturday's pre-season friendly between the two sides.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:10:05 PM
http://www.joe.ie/football/premier-league/premier-league-preview-fulham-liverpool-manchester-city-and-manchester-united-004230-1 (http://www.joe.ie/football/premier-league/premier-league-preview-fulham-liverpool-manchester-city-and-manchester-united-004230-1)

JOE continues its series of Premier League previews with a look at last year's runners-up Man Utd, as well as Man City, Liverpool and Fulham.

By Conor Hogan

Fulham

Last Season: 12th

Transfers in: Jonathan Greening (West Brom, free), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal, free)

Transfers out: Chris Smalling (Manchester United, £10m), Chris Buchtmann (Cologne, undisclosed), Erik Nevland (Viking, free), Wayne Brown (Bristol Rovers, free)

Overview: The ghost of Roy Hodgson will loom large at the Cottage for a long time. The man rescued Fulham from certain relegation before leading them to 7th in the league and a Europa League final in consecutive seasons.

The Fulham job could be looked upon as something of a poisoned chalice for even the best of managers. This is especially the case for new boss Mark Hughes, as he was clearly the second choice behind Ajax’s Martin Jol.

Then again, Fulham fans are a realistic lot. Most of them can remember a time when their team was in danger of dropping out of the football league altogether. And that seasons like the last two are more likely to be exceptions rather than the norm.

Fulham have a decent if ageing squad, and aren’t weak in any particular position. Hangeland and Hughes form a solid centre-half partnership in front of one of the league's best goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer (who they’ll be hoping doesn’t move to Arsenal).

Duff and Davies were exceptional playing on the wrong wing and cutting inside last season, while American Clint Dempsey, who can play on either wing or up-front, produced some moments of magic. Then there was Bobby Zamora, a man who scored five goals in all competitions in 2008-2009, yet found the net 21 times last season. A man who undoubtedly should’ve been named in the England World Cup squad.

Fulham is the kind of club that should suit Hughes more than Manchester City. Like Blackburn, who he managed to two top seven finishes, they are a smallish club where he’ll have more freedom to mould the team in his image. With no European football for Fulham to worry about this term, they are likely to improve their league position.

One to watch: £10 million man Andy Johnson has been something of a forgotten man, after missing most of last season with a wounded knee. Fulham were reliant on his goals in 2007-2008 as Bobby Zamora wasn’t particularly prolific. Now that Zamora has added goals to his game, the two could form a lethal combination as soon as Johnson returns from injury.

Fantasy football goldmine: Brede Hangeland - £5.5 million. Hangeland has garnered 263 points in the last two Fantasy Premier League seasons. The man is a bonus point machine.

JOE prediction: 9th
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:10:54 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/09/england-hungary-training-fabio-capello (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/09/england-hungary-training-fabio-capello)

Five England players miss first training session before Hungary game
• Bent, Johnson and Barry have treatment for 'minor' injuries
• Fabio Capello yet to replace Paul Robinson and Wes Brown
 
The England manager Fabio Capello saw only 16 of his players train this morning. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Fabio Capello's new-look England squad were reduced to training with only 16 of the 23 players originally selected as the national side began preparations for Wednesday's friendly with Hungary at Wembley.

The squad was reduced by two yesterday, when Paul Robinson and Wes Brown announced their international retirements.

Those moves lent an air of chaos to the first game since England's dismal World Cup campaign. So far Capello has opted not to draft in any replacements, although it is anticipated he could bring in someone from Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad should the need arise.

In addition to the permanent absentees, five more players were unable to play a full part in training. Chelsea's John Terry and Ashley Cole both went for warm-down sessions following yesterday's Community Shield and after forming part of the initial group meeting. In addition, Darren Bent (back), Glen Johnson and Gareth Barry (both ankle) also went for treatment on what have been classed as "minor" injuries.

Happily for Capello it is not anticipated that any of the quintet will miss out and all are expected to train tomorrow.

The remaining members of the session included all three players who have been called up for the first time. Fulham's Bobby Zamora will be hopeful of playing some part on Wednesday, having caught Capello's eye prior to the World Cup but then missing out due to a hamstring injury.

Both Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs took part, too. The young Arsenal players are viewed as two of England's most talented prospects and will at the very least benefit from the exposure they will gain and quite possibly make first senior appearances at the same time.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:39:22 PM
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/41916/Given_will_quit_Eastlands_if_he_is_not_number_1.aspx (http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/41916/Given_will_quit_Eastlands_if_he_is_not_number_1.aspx)

Given will quit Eastlands if he is not number 1
Author:  Nigel Brown

Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given has revealed that he will seek the exit door at the Eastland’s stadium if Joe Hart is made the number 1, putting pressure on manager Roberto Mancini to make a decision on his first-choice alerting Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The 34-year-old Republic of Ireland international has revealed he does not want to sit on the bench at this stage in his career and will look to leave the City of Manchester if England hopeful Joe Hart is picked ahead of him. The report by the Daily Mail says whoever Mancini picks for the Premier League opener against Spurs will force the other goalkeeper to quit the Eastlands stadium.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been linked with loan moves over the weekend for both Joe Hart and Shay Given, while Arsene Wenger is also looking to solve his goalkeeping crisis by looking to sign Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer. However Fulham manager Mark Hughes is reluctant to grant the big Australian’s dream move to the Gunner’s.

Given revealed: "I think we are both at a stage where we need to be playing football," he said.

"If I don't start then I will sit down with the club next week and see where my future lies, and maybe it will be vice-versa with Joe. We both feel that we need to be playing. I'm at a stage where I need to be playing, I'm 34 and I haven't got millions of years left to play football.

"Hopefully I will play on Saturday, but whatever decision the manager makes I will respect that and then sit down with the club next week."
Given did admit that he may have to look at a loan move:

"Ideally I would like to stay at the club because it's a big club and an ambitious club, with fantastic owners and I want to be part of that, that's why I joined in the first place.

"Possibly, if I didn't start, then there could be a loan and then I'd come back and see where that takes me."

"The manager will decide who he wants to start with on Saturday and you would imagine that will be who he wants to play in most of the games this season," he said.

"Joe's a top keeper as well so it's inevitable that there will be speculation about who will start on Saturday, that's part and parcel of being at a big club because there are so many great players there. It's not just my position, there are 10 other positions where people aren't sure who is going to play."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:40:01 PM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/09082010/63/given-won-t-settle-city-second-line.html (http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/09082010/63/given-won-t-settle-city-second-line.html)

Given won't settle for being City's second in line

Shay Given is to discuss his future with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini next week if he finds himself on the bench on Saturday.
City's other stopper, Joe Hart, was outstanding during a season-long loan at Birmingham last season, to such an extent that Mancini has refused to allow the 23 -year-old to join another club on a similar basis.
That has opened the debate as to whether Hart or Given will receive the nod from Mancini for Saturday's Barclays Premier League curtain-raiser against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
At the age of 34, Given knows his career for both club and country are on the line and that he has to be playing first-team football with one to further his longevity with the other.
"We will have to wait until lunchtime on Saturday when the manager picks the team to see who starts in goal," said Given, who has been linked with Arsenal and Fulham of late due to the uncertainty. Obviously I hope to start, but it's inevitable there is going to be speculation because I know Joe is also a top `keeper.
"The manager will decide, and whoever he starts with you would feel that is who he would mostly want to play in the big games. If I don't start then I'll sit down with the club next week and see where my future lies, and maybe vice-versa with Joe, because we will both feel we should be playing."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:41:29 PM
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/08/09/fulham-season-preview-mark-hughes-has-a-tough-act-to-follow-at/ (http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/08/09/fulham-season-preview-mark-hughes-has-a-tough-act-to-follow-at/)

Fulham Season Preview: Mark Hughes Has a Tough Act to Follow at Cottage
Ian Winrow

It tells you everything you need to know about Fulham's unforgettable 12 months that, when Mark Hughes was finally pronounced as Roy Hodgson's successor, the appointment of the former Manchester City manager was greeted with a degree of disappointment among some of the club's supporters.

Last season's spectacular, Hodgson-inspired, overachievement that culminated in an appearance in the Europa League final delivered unprecedented success to a club more accustomed to making up the numbers and generated a level of expectation previously unknown at Craven Cottage.

The last thing Fulham need, however, is to lose sight of the qualities of modesty and hard work that Hodgson harnessed to such effect.

So the decision to bring in Hughes – a manager who revelled in the role of underdog with Wales and Blackburn – appears to be a wise one.

THE NEW (AND OLD) MEN:
Ins: Philippe Senderos (Arsenal) free, Jonathan Greening (West Brom) free.
Outs: Chris Smalling (Manchester United) £10m; Wayne Brown (Bristol Rovers) free; Christopher Buchtmann (Cologne) free; Elliott Omozusi (Leyton Orient) free.

Summary: The impasse caused by the failed attempt to lure former Tottenham manager Martin Jol from Ajax meant any meaningful transfer activity was put on hold this summer and Hughes will be anxious to strengthen a squad that is short on numbers. Manchester City strikers Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz are two likely targets but the new manager will also want to add strength to the central midfield and full back areas. Expect a hectic three weeks before the transfer window finally closes.

THE MAIN MEN:
World Cup factor: Dickson Etuhu has unexpectedly emerged as an effective Premier League midfielder and his experience with Nigeria in South Africa can only benefit a player who provided backbone to last year's team. Clint Dempsey's World Cup peaked when Robert Green allowed the USA striker's shot to dribble into the goal in England's opening group game while goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer enjoyed a steady, if unspectacular, tournament with Australia.

Goalkeepers: Schwarzer remains a target for Arsenal and if he goes, Hughes will have to move quickly with Hull City's Boaz Myhill currently heading the list of potential replacements. The high grade for this area assumes that Schwarzer is staying. A-

Defence: Hodgson's side was impressively drilled and the defence operated well as a unit. If Hughes can maintain those standards, the back four will once again provide a formidable foundation. B+

Midfield: The combination of Etuhu's athleticism and Danny Murphy's intelligent passing game held the team together last season. while Damien Duff and Simon Davies provided excellent service from the wings. The back-up players look less impressive, however, and a couple of untimely injuries would leave Fulham severely depleted in this area. B-

Attack: Many people are still scratching their heads trying to work out just what happened to Bobby Zamora last season. Whatever the answer, the striker goes into this campaign regarded as one of the Premier League's most effective forwards, supported by the fast improving Zoltan Gera. B+

The Boss: Hughes will find Craven Cottage a much more tolerant place than Eastlands where he was sacked after failing to deliver immediate success. That tolerance will only extend so far, though, and he must make an early impact to draw a line under the Hodgson era. B

THE GAMES:
Start With: Bolton away, August 14: The old Fulham would have conceded the points before they had even boarded the coach, but these days the trip should deliver at least one point.

End With: Arsenal home, May 22: Not the kind of game you would want if there was anything still at stake.

The Big One In Between: Liverpool away, December 18: If things go to plan, this could be an important game in the battle to finish in the top seven. More importantly, it is the first opportunity for Fulham to put one over Hodgson.

THE FANS:
Most Likely to Say: "Isn't it about time you washed that Europa League final T-shirt?"

Least Likely to Say: "Roy who?"

Expectation rating: ****. No matter how many times Fulham supporters tell themselves they are keeping things in perspective, anything less than a top seven challenge will be regarded as a disappointment.

Reality check: *** There's no reason why Hughes cannot engineer a top 10 finish, but a return trip to Europe? Unlikely.

It's a good season if: Without a gruelling Europa League campaign to contend with, focus will remain on the league and Hughes will be satisfied if his side finish in the top half having claimed a few major scalps along the way. A decent FA Cup run wouldn't go amiss either.

THE NUMBERS:
Title odds: 1000/1
Relegation odds: 7/1
FanHouse UK prediction: 10th

Last season's form
League: 12th
FA Cup: Quarter-final
League Cup: Round 3
Top League Scorers: Bobby Zamora 8, Clint Dempsey 7, Damien Duff 6
Discipline: Yellow 46, Red 1
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:42:53 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/09/the-season-preview-fulham (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/09/the-season-preview-fulham)

The season preview: Fulham
Can Mark Hughes build on Roy Hodgson's admirable achievements at Fulham?
 
Unofficial motto

Summus tuguribus quaestus

(The ultimate Cottage industry). The continued ability of this relatively small club to compete with the big boys is all about good management, some inspired appointments (and dismissals) and down-to-earth hard graft. Well, that and a few bob off the chairman. Mark Hughes will be looking to carry on the good work after being out of management for more than six months and shouldn't be short of motivation.

The age of austerity

With the club about £170m in debt, there's a reason why Mohamed Al Fayed gets such a rousing reception when he takes to the Craven Cottage turf. If he goes – it is reported the 77-year-old tycoon wants to sell up after offloading his little corner shop in Knightsbridge – they're in trouble.

What they want

They may have lost their Roy Hodgson, but they haven't lost their taste for glory. There'll be no European football this time, but a top-10 finish would be good. The fans are not known for their unrealistic ambitions.

What they get

Only 12th last time, but then they made up for that by pasting Juventus, among others, on their way to that Europa League final. Not since the Beatles has anyone had a more memorable trip to Hamburg. But by the end of the season, that grand tour could seem like a very distant memory.

The players

Coalition or opposition?

No wonder it didn't take long for the scouts to start sniffing around Chris Smalling – youngsters in Fulham's first team are rarer than members of the official BP fan club (United States branch). In recent years this has been the rehabilitation centre of choice for no-longer-as-highly-rated-as-they-once-were pros to prove their best days are not all behind them.

Yoof of today

Aged 16 years and 65 days Matthew Briggs became the youngest player in Premier League history. That was three years ago and he's still waiting for his second game, but the defender remains highly rated and spent the summer with England's Under-19 squad.

Mr Fulham

Nobody has been at Fulham longer than Clint Dempsey, and it's just as well he agreed a contract extension last summer as after the World Cup, and that "unstoppable" World Cup wonder goal against England, his stock has never been higher. "You never know in football, it's so crazy, but I don't need to move," he said last year. "I'm a more complete player than I was when I first arrived. I owe them a lot."

Who should have his benefits cut?

No wonder Fulham are in so much debt – they get nothing back from their players in fines. The closest they've got to a born hell-raiser is a Bjorn Helge Riise. Geddit?

Everybody loves…

While Bobby Zamora became the face of Fulham's fantastic fortunes last time out the Hungarian Zoltan Gera provided the brains, and the fans duly voted him player of the season. "Popularity is important, of course," he says, "but the team cannot survive on that."

The manager

Life and times

His former Manchester United team-mate Paul Ince declared himself "astonished" that Hughes – real first name Leslie – ever moved into the dugout. "The cleverest manager I played for," said Gary Speed, though not so clever when it came to spending Manchester City's fortune.

Master tactician or lucky general?

Thrived with Wales and Blackburn, where Craig Bellamy starred and players without great egos bought into his fitness-based dynamic football. Failed at City, where Bellamy starred but the only thing the rest of the squad bought into were mansions in Alderley Edge.

Regrets… he's had a few

Talking of which, Sparky fell out with Michael Carrick in 2008 when the Manchester United midfielder, who lived next to Hughes in Prestbury at the time, applied for planning permission to increase the height of his house. Hughes vehemently opposed the idea, but the council ruled that as another property nearby had been transformed from a bungalow into a multi-storey palace a precedent had clearly been set. No need to ask who owned that one…
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:43:20 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jt49FgWrwGdKIvN9mIBWjwszxmDg (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jt49FgWrwGdKIvN9mIBWjwszxmDg)

Given won't be City understudy
(UKPA) – 12 minutes ago
Shay Given is to discuss his future with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini next week if he finds himself on the bench on Saturday.
Joe Hart has not been allowed to go back out on loan this season following his outstanding campaign on loan at Birmingham last term, opening the debate as to whether he or Given will receive the nod from Mancini for Saturday's Barclays Premier League curtain-raiser against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
"We will have to wait until lunchtime on Saturday when the manager picks the team to see who starts in goal," said Given, who has been linked with Arsenal and Fulham of late due to the uncertainty. "Obviously I hope to start, but it's inevitable there is going to be speculation because I know Joe is also a top 'keeper."
He added: "The manager will decide, and whoever he starts with you would feel that is who he would mostly want to play in the big games.
"If I don't start then I'll sit down with the club next week and see where my future lies, and maybe vice-versa with Joe, because we will both feel we should be playing.
"Ideally I'd like to stay at the club because it's a big club to be at, a very ambitious club with fantastic owners.
"I want to be part of it, which is why I joined in the first place.
"If I don't start I guess it's an advantage the transfer window will still be open.
"Maybe I'll go out on loan, come back and see where that takes me.
"But I know I'm at a stage where I need to be playing. I'm 34, and I've not got millions of years left."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:50:02 PM
http://www.wba.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~2115310,00.html (http://www.wba.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~2115310,00.html)

Shorey completes Albion move
Posted on: Mon 09 Aug 2010
ROBERTO Di Matteo has boosted his defensive options by signing former England full-back Nicky Shorey for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old left-back has made the short move from Villa after passing a medical and penning a two-year contract, plus a further year's option in the club's favour.

Di Matteo now has plenty of competition at left-back, with Slovakian international Marek Cech and former England Under-21 defender Joe Mattock already on board.

Shorey has become Albion's fifth summer signing, following in the footsteps of Pablo Ibanez, Steven Reid, Boaz Myhill and Gabriel Tamas.

"I'm delighted to welcome Nicky to the club," said the head coach.

"He's an experienced, solid, reliable left-back who likes to get forward and get involved.

"I also like the fact he's English and knows what the Premier League is all about.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:50:45 PM
http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/2010/08/09/fulham-look-set-to-miss-out-on-manchester-city-frontman-64767-27028405/ (http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/football-ealing/2010/08/09/fulham-look-set-to-miss-out-on-manchester-city-frontman-64767-27028405/)

Fulham look set to miss out on Manchester City frontman
Aug 9 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

MARK Hughes has played down speculation linking him with a move for Manchester City frontman Roque Santa Cruz.
The Fulham boss is in the market for a new striker, but has already ruled out a swoop for Santa Cruz's Eastlands team-mate Craig Bellamy.
But he insists a move for the Paraguay international is also unlikely because he can't afford his wages.
He said: "People are making assumptions because I've worked with him before.

"I like him as a player, that's been clear because of the number of times I purchased him.

"I think there's a lot of players at Manchester City that are at a level of finance which makes it difficult for a lot of teams to allow the player to make a decision to come to a certain club.
"There may be other opportunities we may try and pursue instead of that one."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:52:05 PM
Season Ticket Cards
Monday 9th August 2010

The Club would like to inform all 2010/11 Season Ticket Holders that new Access Cards are scheduled to arrive on your doorsteps by the end of this week.

If you haven’t yet purchased your Season Ticket, there’s still time to do so before our home opener against Manchester United at the Cottage on Sunday 22nd August (Kick-Off 4pm).

A 2010/11 Season Ticket is the ONLY way to secure your place at all 19 Barclays Premier League home matches, including Manchester United.

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/August/SeasonTicketcards.aspx#ixzz0w7mZyv2q (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/August/SeasonTicketcards.aspx#ixzz0w7mZyv2q)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:53:09 PM
Hat-trick Hero
Monday 9th August 2010

 Zoltan Gera certainly made an impact in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen at Craven Cottage. The Hungarian international replaced Clint Dempsey just after the hour mark and proceeded to net a rapid-fire hat-trick before setting up Eddie Johnson for Fulham’s fifth and final goal of the afternoon.

“I’m very happy because we played very well in the second-half,” said Gera as he looked back on the game. “The tempo was a bit higher in the second-half and everyone moved the ball early. It’s always good to score goals, especially when it’s three goals against a very good quality team like Werder Bremen.

“Sometimes you need luck - the first goal was unstoppable, sometimes that happens. The second was a good cross from Bobby and for the third I was in the right place at the right time. I’m happy scoring goals and I want to keep scoring in the Premier League.”

Zoltan remained hopeful that his three-goal salvo would be enough to convince Mark Hughes to give his a place in the starting line-up next weekend as Fulham face Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

“I would like to play but the Manager will tell me whether I will play or not,” he said. “The squad is very strong and we have many good players so it will be difficult to get into the team – but hopefully I will start.”

Of course, before the Barclays Premier League season gets underway Zoltan could be potentially lining-up against Fulham team-mate Bobby Zamora when Hungary take on England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening.

“England is still a very good team so it’s going to be a difficult night for us but I think it’s a good opportunity for us playing at Wembley against England,” Gera explained. “We have a new manager of the national team, it’s going to be a good new squad with young players so it’s up to us. I said to Bobby ‘I’ll see you on Wednesday’ and hopefully he will play.

“I think he had a fantastic season last season, he’s a quality player and I wish him all the best if he plays for the national team.”


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/August/GeraHat-trickHero.aspx#ixzz0w7minH7t (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/August/GeraHat-trickHero.aspx#ixzz0w7minH7t)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:53:46 PM
Dermologica Clean Start
Monday 9th August 2010

 Aspire 2 Move is a project delivered by Fulham Football Club Foundation, across the boroughs of Kingston, Merton and Hammersmith and Fulham that aims to engage young women between the ages of 12 and 21 in positive activities.

Over the summer the A2M programme will be running a number of Girls Nights in association with Dermologica Clean Start where members of the Clean Start teams will be giving an interactive workshop about skin and how to keep it healthy!

All young women aged 12-21 are invited to attend.

Tuesday 10th August 6-8pm
The Brunswick Club, Fulham SW5 7EU

Wednesday 18th August 6-8pm
Piper Hall, Kingston, KT1 3EX

Thursday 19th August 6-8pm
Kingsnympton Community Centre, KT2 7XZ

Thursday 19th August 6-8pm
Tolworth Junior School Hall, KT6 7SA

Wednesday 25th August 6-8pm
Chessington Community College, Kingston, KT9 2JS

Thursday 26th August 6-8pm
Pollards Hill Youth Centre, Merton, CR4 1LT

For more information please contact Jen Emeny on 020 8336 7587 or email jemeny@fulhamfc.com

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/August/Dermalogia.aspx#ixzz0w7myS5R9 (http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/August/Dermalogia.aspx#ixzz0w7myS5R9)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:54:42 PM
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/08/09/fulham-boss-plays-down-roque-santa-cruz-rumours-82029-27028228/ (http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/08/09/fulham-boss-plays-down-roque-santa-cruz-rumours-82029-27028228/)

Fulham boss plays down Roque Santa Cruz rumours
Aug 9 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

MARK Hughes has played down speculation linking him with a move for Manchester City frontman Roque Santa Cruz.

The Fulham boss is in the market for a new striker, but has already ruled out a swoop for Santa Cruz's Eastlands team-mate Craig Bellamy.

But he insists a move for the Paraguay international is also unlikely because he can't afford his wages.

He said: "People are making assumptions because I've worked with him before.

"I like him as a player, that's been clear because of the number of times I purchased him.

"I think there's a lot of players at Manchester City that are at a level of finance which makes it difficult for a lot of teams to allow the player to make a decision to come to a certain club.

"There may be other opportunities we may try and pursue instead of that one."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 04:57:21 PM
http://www.facebook.com/# (http://www.facebook.com/#)!/video/video.php?v=1322484352056

An exclusive look behind the scenes at our Kappa Kit Shoot.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: Lighthouse on August 09, 2010, 04:59:10 PM
Over the summer the A2M programme will be running a number of Girls Nights in association with Dermologica Clean Start where members of the Clean Start teams will be giving an interactive workshop about skin and how to keep it healthy!



PLEASE TELL ME I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO SNIGGERED AT THIS.  :011:
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 05:01:29 PM
http://www.liveoddsandscores.com/news/sports/4212213/premier-league-transfer-market-betting-odds-bellamy-cut-to-join-spurs (http://www.liveoddsandscores.com/news/sports/4212213/premier-league-transfer-market-betting-odds-bellamy-cut-to-join-spurs)

Premier League transfer market betting odds – Bellamy cut to join Spurs
Posted in English Premiership, Soccer, Sports on August 9, 2010 @ 4:42 pm by Matt Knowles

Craig Bellamy’s odds of joining Spurs have been cut to 2/1 (bet £10 to win £20 profit) with Sky Bet as Manchester City desperately look to offload players following the new Premier League rule that forces clubs to name a squad of 25 players for the coming season. City’s hoarding of expensive talent means that if they cannot sell those deemed surplus to requirements they will be paying wages to players who cannot even be named as substitutes come match-day.

Sky Bet have made Celtic the most likely destination for the former Liverpool striker, offering 6/4, while he is 7/4 to rejoin fellow Welshman Mark Hughes, who brought him to City, at Fulham. Newcastle and Villa may both be interested as well, with both available at 14/1.

Another player who looks as if he might leave Eastlands is the extremely talented but hard-to-manage Robinho. The Brazilian showed at the World Cup why City paid Real Madrid more than £30 million for his services but he spent last season on loan at Santos after struggling to settle in England. Remarkably, Sky Bet have made Turkish club Besiktas the most likely destination at 2/1. He may prefer the more prestigious Inter Milan, who would be in a better position to fulfil his wage demands, and the Treble-winners are 5/2 to land the forward, with Benfica priced at 11/2.

Inter are almost certain to land Liverpool holding midfielder Javier Mascherano, who has expressed his desire to join up with former manager Rafa Benitez in Milan. Sky Bet offer only 1/12 that he gets his wish, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are 14/1 and 20/1 respectively. Liverpool will try to replace some of the lost defensive metal of Mascherano by signing Fulham defender Brede Hangeland and Roy Hodgson is 4/5 with Sky Bet to get his man. Arsenal are waiting in the wings, however, at 3/1 to hijack the move.

Other potential signings of note include Mesut Ozil, who has been slashed from 5/1 to 8/11 this afternoon to join Barcelona, having been odds-on at 1/3 to join Manchester United. He is now evens to move to Old Trafford and 7/2 to move to Real Madrid.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 05:10:06 PM
Fulham - Living Within Our Means!

Rumours relating to Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland being on Mark Hughes shopping list were all the rage last week!

But it seems highly unlikely that either will get the chance to wear our famous shirt due to one reason - money!

The tabloid press seem quite keen to hammer home the point that Mohammed Al Fayed isn`t prepared to break our strict salary structure to bring in players and if they are not prepare to accept that fact then there is no chance of a deal being struck.

On one hand it seems a touch disappointing that we`re not prepared to go out on a limb for that odd special player or two but on the other you have to admire the fact that our club isn`t prepared to sacrifice its principles and place its whole future in a financial whirlpool!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=208244#ixzz0w7r6yT43 (http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=208244#ixzz0w7r6yT43)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 05:11:09 PM
http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6782NU20100809 (http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6782NU20100809)

Fabio Capello faces hard task to rebuild players' confidence

England (Reuters) - England manager Fabio Capello admitted Monday that he was struggling to find a way of rebuilding his players confidence after their disappointing early exit at the World Cup finals in South Africa.

He also made a public apology to the fans for England's poor performances which ended with them losing 4-1 to Germany in the second round of the tournament after being ranked among the pre-tournament favourites to win the trophy.

"I think what is really important is the mind of the players but I don't know what we have to do to improve it," the Italian told a news conference as England prepared to face Hungary in a friendly Wednesday which will be their first match since the World Cup debacle.

"At the moment I do not know. We did not play with confidence, we played with fear and that must change. I have a few ideas in mind, but I do not know."

He reiterated his view that things might have turned out very differently for England if Frank Lampard's legitimate goal against Germany had stood rather than not been given after the ball clearly crossed the line. That would have made the score 2-2 against the Germans who benefited from the reprieve and went on to dominate the rest of the match and ruthlessly expose England's failings.

But even though the World Cup ended so badly, he said he had learnt a lot and improved as a manager which would help him prepare England for his next challenge: winning a place in the finals of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

PUBLIC APOLOGY

However, he expected England's fans to boo him and his team at the start of Wednesday's match.

"I expect that yes," he said. "I have to say sorry to the fans because our performance was not good. We know the fans spent a lot of money and time to support us in South Africa and I am really sorry.

"We did not play at the same level in South Africa as we did in the qualifying.

"In the World Cup you have to arrive in a really good physical situation. The level was not high."

Wednesday's match is England's only warm-up before the start of their qualifiers in which they face Bulgaria, Switzerland, Montenegro and Wales, but Capello's plans for the game were disrupted when goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Wes Brown announced their international retirements after being selected for the squad.

"I respect their decisions," he said.

Capello has called up just 10 of his 23-man World Cup for this squad, including youngsters Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal, even though they have only a handful of first team appearances between them.

Wilshere made seven appearances for Arsenal last season and 14 appearances on loan at Bolton Wanderers. Gibbs played six times for Arsenal.

He has also selected 29-year-old striker Bobby Zamora of Fulham after leaving him out of the World Cup squad.

"He is not young, but he is a good player. At the moment I have to change something but who knows what will happen in the future."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 05:44:58 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6303200,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6303200,00.html)

Gera could leave Cottagers
No guarantee Hungarian forward will stay put

Zoltan Gera's agent has done little to curb speculation surrounding his client's future at Fulham.

The Hungarian is reported to be interesting several clubs across Europe, having enjoyed a productive six-year stint in England.

From the Premier League, Liverpool and Sunderland are believed to be monitoring his situation, with the Reds now bossed by former Cottagers coach Roy Hodgson.
Elsewhere, German giants Werder Bremenare said to be preparing a move for the experienced forward after seeing him bag a hat-trick against them in a recent pre-season friendly.

Gera's representative admits there is a possibility a deal could be struck before the summer transfer window slams shut, and has attempted to tout his client's services to Liverpool.

Dangerous

"At the moment I don't want to comment on the news, but there is always a chance for a club change when a player has enjoyed such a great season, like Gera did," Vladan Filipovic told www.origo.hu (http://www.origo.hu).

"Mr Hodgson liked him very much at Fulhamand that belief could be seen in Gera's performances, he played some great football."

Filipovic added: "I think his favoured position is behind the striker and there could be a place for him in the Liverpool starting line-up.

"They have signed Joe Cole, and there are several world-class players in the Liverpool squad, but they don't have a player in Gera's position who is as hard-working as him or as dangerous in front of goal.

"He showed with his hat-trick against Werder Bremen that his form is as good as it was last season."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 05:46:20 PM
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/08/09/oneills-departure-from-aston-villa-underlines-the-growing-weal/ (http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/08/09/oneills-departure-from-aston-villa-underlines-the-growing-weal/)

Martin O'Neill's Shock Resignation Highlights the Growing Gap Between the Top Clubs
Ian Edwards

Martin O'Neill issued the clear threat towards the end of last season that he would have the ultimate say on his future at Aston Villa and the manager has been good to his word after apparently deciding the economic frustrations of life in the Premier League left him with no choice but to quit.

Three successive sixth-placed finishes would not normally be the trigger for a manager to vacate his position but O'Neill has tendered his resignation after growing frustrated at hitting a glass ceiling which has prevented Villa from breaking into the Champions League places.

O'Neill's relationship with American owner Randy Lerner appears to have taken a turn for the worse since January largely because of the Cleveland Browns owner's reluctance to make further heavy investment in the team.

That, coupled with the increasing spending power of Manchester City and the impressive work of Harry Redknapp at Spurs, has left O'Neill feeling he can no longer take the team forward in the manner he would like and he seems to have taken the reluctant step of stepping aside.

It is not thought that the protracted saga surrounding James Milner's possible move to City is responsible for the poorly-timed departure of the Northern Irishman. After all, Milner's desire to leave was something Villa were powerless to prevent, especially when the prospective buyers are Manchester City. Few clubs in the country could compete against that.

The expected £27m transfer may well have been the straw that broke the camel's back but the troubled waters at Villa Park run deeper than Milner and there is little suggestion that Villa are too unhappy at the shock, even if it leaves them with precious little time to find someone to take O'Neill's place in time for the start of the season.

O'Neill has spent over £150m since he arrived four years ago and Lerner has made it clear his pockets are not bottomless, especially as Villa's expenditure was up 42% in the last financial year and their wage bill was larger than that at Spurs, who made it to the Champions League qualifiers.

Yet while O'Neill's budget was substantial, the enormous spending power of City has meant that all teams harbouring ambitions of breaking into the top four have effectively taken a step backwards and the manager clearly believes that Villa have now missed the chance to progress to the next level, especially with Liverpool apparently poised to receive a major cash injection.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Aston Villa, said: "The club would like to thank Martin for the great work he has done at Aston Villa over the past four years.

"He has helped to establish the club in the upper echelons of the Premier League, has taken us to Wembley and we have also qualified for European competition for the past three seasons under his management. We wish him the best in the future."

O'Neill said: "I have enjoyed my time at Aston Villa immensely. It's obviously a wrench to be leaving such a magnificent club.

"I would like to pay tribute to the Villa players, my coaching staff and the Villa supporters for all the support and encouragement they have given both the club and me personally during my time as manager.

"I wish them all the best for the future. I will obviously be assisting the club in the immediate short-term with regard to the handover of my duties."

Kevin MacDonald, reserve team manager, has assumed the role of caretaker manager and will prepare the team for the opening game of the season against West Ham on Saturday at Villa Park.

How long he will have to remain in charge remains to be seen, but the timing of O'Neill's leaving could not have been worse.

If this had all been sorted out at the end of last season, when O'Neill was clearly unhappy with his lot, Mark Hughes would surely have diverted from Fulham to Villa Park.

With things so late in the day, the potential candidates for such a big job will be thin on the ground and repairing the damage done will be a huge task.

Yet while O'Neill's sudden departure will frustrate many with Villa Park connections, his actions will no doubt be regarded with some degree of sympathy at those other talented managers who feel powerless to bridge the growing wealth gap that exists between even the top teams.

Tottenham may well have finally breached the established top four last season but O'Neill's actions suggest he believes a new hierarchy is about to be established. And that hierarchy doesn't include Villa.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 05:47:16 PM
http://www.livesoccertv.com/news/1263/grasp-the-england-shirt-bobby-zamora-fulham-boss-marc-hughes/ (http://www.livesoccertv.com/news/1263/grasp-the-england-shirt-bobby-zamora-fulham-boss-marc-hughes/)

'Grasp The England Shirt, Bobby Zamora', Fulham Boss Marc Hughes
Angela Asante, August 9th, 2010

Ahead of the England vs Hungary friendly, new Fulham boss Marc Hughes has backed club star Bobby Zamora to take hold of Wednesday's opportunity for a bright future in the England squad. Bobby Zamora, 29, will actually receive his first cap against Hungary at the Wembley Stadium.

The English player of Trinidadian decent is one of the three new names called up by Coach Fabio Capello for this upcoming friendly match. Bobby Zamora was instrumental for Fulham last season, helping the London club to stun elites such as Juventus on their way to the final of the Europa League.

With Darren Bent pulling out of the Hungary friendly match through injury, Zamora could be given a bigger role and thus a bigger opportunity to make an impact upfront alongside fresh 2010 Community Shield winner Wayne Rooney.

Fulham manager Marc Hughes expressed his joy concerning Bobby Zamora's England call-up. He stated:

"We are delighted for Bobby. It is recognition for his fine play in recent times. He looks a good player and he has to kick on now and be one of the main players in the Premier League."

As England's national football team tries to repair all the problems that humiliated the country during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Fulham boss Marc Hughes encouraged Bobby to take his chances.

"If he has an opportunity and he gets the shirt, it's all about grasping it. He must not allow the progress that he has undoubtedly made in recent times to waver.

"There is a wind of change in the England squad, and he may well benefit from that. What Bobby has got to do is to build on last year and on the performances that have been highlighted by Capello."
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: Mr Fulham on August 09, 2010, 06:22:14 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6303200,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6303200,00.html)

Gera could leave Cottagers
No guarantee Hungarian forward will stay put

Zoltan Gera's agent has done little to curb speculation surrounding his client's future at Fulham.

The Hungarian is reported to be interesting several clubs across Europe, having enjoyed a productive six-year stint in England.

From the Premier League, Liverpool and Sunderland are believed to be monitoring his situation, with the Reds now bossed by former Cottagers coach Roy Hodgson.
Elsewhere, German giants Werder Bremenare said to be preparing a move for the experienced forward after seeing him bag a hat-trick against them in a recent pre-season friendly.

Gera's representative admits there is a possibility a deal could be struck before the summer transfer window slams shut, and has attempted to tout his client's services to Liverpool.

Dangerous

"At the moment I don't want to comment on the news, but there is always a chance for a club change when a player has enjoyed such a great season, like Gera did," Vladan Filipovic told www.origo.hu (http://www.origo.hu).

"Mr Hodgson liked him very much at Fulhamand that belief could be seen in Gera's performances, he played some great football."

Filipovic added: "I think his favoured position is behind the striker and there could be a place for him in the Liverpool starting line-up.

"They have signed Joe Cole, and there are several world-class players in the Liverpool squad, but they don't have a player in Gera's position who is as hard-working as him or as dangerous in front of goal.

"He showed with his hat-trick against Werder Bremen that his form is as good as it was last season."

What an idiot that agent is! Unbelievable! :014:
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 06:30:30 PM
http://www.sbnation.com/2010/8/9/1613330/english-premier-league-2010-11-preview-where-we-left-off (http://www.sbnation.com/2010/8/9/1613330/english-premier-league-2010-11-preview-where-we-left-off)

Premier League 2010-11 Preview: Picking-Up Where We Left Off

By Richard Farley

The 2010-11 English Premier League season kicks-off on Saturday. Before it does, it's time to take inventory of where we left off -- long ago, before the World Cup.

   

Aug 9, 2010 - Our continued (and for some people, illicit) love affair with English football ignites again on Saturday with the start of the English Premier League (EPL) season.  Still, after a summer dominated by the World Cup, many fans may have forgotten where the league left off.  And by "many fans," I mean me, because May 2010 seems so long ago.

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to take this time to dig into the annals of Premier League history, to a time before the second Hand of God and the Dutch attack on Spain in Johannesburg.  Long before Diego Forlán was DIEGO FORLAN or adidas debunked Newtonian physics, there was the 2009-10 EPL season.

So I looked it up, and it turns out not only did Chelsea win the league without José Mourinho (whatever happened to him?) but Tottenham Hotspur qualified for Champions League.  And - get this - Fulham made it to the final of a major European tournament.  A team went into administration, Liverpool finished seventh (seventh!), Manchester City's spending might have broken the league because Newcastle United was nowhere to be found.

It turns out there were a number of interesting stories that were swept away by the World Cup's wave, so at the onset of the 2010-11 Premier League season, now's a good time to flashback to May and take inventory of where we left the league's 20 clubs: some on highs; some on lows; and some carrying mixed bags into the new season.

HIGH

Blackpool - Blackpool won five of six matches to close the season, including the Championship playoff final at Wembley, beating Cardiff City 3-2 to earn promotion for the first time in the club's history. While much of this summer's discussion of the Tangerines has focused their small stadium (12,555 at Bloomfield Road) and lack of resources, manager Ian Holloway, entering his second season on the job, will be an asset to the Premier League regardless of his club's finish:



It's going to take all my powers of restraint to resist using "on the pull" in each Blackpool match report.

Tottenham - It's still difficult to believe Spurs finished top four. After being brought-up on the maxim "Tottenham always fades," I saw Spurs accelerate to and through the Premier League finish line, further evidence Manchester City's broken the league.  Wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, and City over the league's last month have Spurs one two-legged tie from their first Champions League appearance. While it's unlikely 2009-10 will prove tthe point Tottenham becomes a permanent member of the EPL Elite (code name for the crew featured in the documentary Ronin), Spurs supporters can start the 2010-11 campaign with bragging rights over City, Liverpool, and the other clubs trying to keep up with the league's three Joneses.

Arsenal - Though the Gunners felt some late season pressure for third place from their North London rivals, it was a season of mild redemption for Arsenal. Coming off a fourth place finish which had many prognosticators predicting a fall out of Champions League, Arsenal made a small title push before succumbing to injuries (most notably to Cesc Fábregas and Robin van Persie). The mere fact that they have their two most dangerous players healthy and with the team (and not in Barcelona) makes 2009-10 an building block instead of a relic.

Birmingham City - Recent history says Birmingham City, one of the yo-yo teams of recent seasons, is not in the clear yet, but after climbing from Championship to ninth place in one season, Alex McLeish can be permitted an exhale. And that's where we find Brum - reflecting on a remarkable campaign. True, City has failed to reinforce their team over the summer and have had to swap Joe Hart for Ben Foster, but if Roger Johnson and Scott Dann can replicate their 2009-10 performances, the Blues will carry their warm-fuzzies into 2011. For now, it's all warm-fuzzies.

Wolverhampton Wanderers - The last time Wolves came up (2003) they went right back down, so their ability to stay-up with largely the same team that won the 2008-09 Championship had to be satisfying. That Mick McCarthy secured safety a week early gave Wolves supporters a chance to savor the season's last match, a 2-1 victory over McCarthy's former team, Sunderland, in front of near-capacity crowd at the Molineux.  For a team that may have had less talent than any team in the league (well, Burnley), Wolverhampton rarely looked relegation-bound after January, a triumph for their manager.

Everton - It looked bad - really bad - for Everton after the first few months of last season. People were talking relegation, so for the Toffees to surge to eighth place while exhibiting a contender's form sends supporters optimistically into 2010. With Mikel Arteta, the club's best player, returning from injury to record six goals in 13 end-of-season appearances, Toffee fans can understandably have a take-on-all-comers attitude.

Chelsea - And then there's the league champions, who put up 103 goals on their way to a third Premier League title. There's no other place you can put the victors than into the "High" group.

MIDDLE

Aston Villa - You can forgive Villa supporters their mixed emotions. On the one hand, their club's coming off a strong league performance that saw them break through their late season wall and maintain in their Champions League challenge deep into the season. On the other hand, Villa's failed to make improvements this offseason, should expect Liverpool and Everton to be stronger, and are letting their summer be defined by James Milner's move.  Now you might ask what those facts have to do with an end-of-season reflection.  They don't, but when a club's manager unexpectedly resigns as I'm editing this piece, format goes out-the-window.

Bolton - Owen Coyle came in mid-season and lifted the club out of the relegation zone, consistently getting results against bottom-of-the-table competition. The problem: Coyle's open style of play combined with Gary Megson's personnel saw the Trotters ripped open by the more talented teams in the league. That's the bargain made by Bolton in bringing Coyle in. Do they have the stomach for a full season of it?  Being the EPL litmus test?

Manchester City - Fifth place can't help but be a disappointment not only because they were expected by some jump-the-gun projections to make Champions League.  The disappointment also comes from fourth place being in their grasp, slipping away with a late, home season loss to Spurs. Had City lost a decisive match to Arsenal, Chelsea, or even Liverpool, it would have been understandable, but given the club's goals at the season's onset, Tottenham was not a team that was supposed to beat them. Fifth place was a strong finish, but it also carried misgivings.

Newcastle - A great Championship season sees the Toon bounce up after one campaign in the second division, but for a team that should have never gone down, it's the expected result. Congratulations to Chris Hughton for righting the ship, but unlike Ian Holloway, Hughton should be expected to steer his team above a relegation battle, a feeling that had settled-in by the beginning of summer.

West Bromwich Albion - This is the fourth time since 2002 that West Brom's earned promotion, which tells you they've been sent down a number of times, too. Why is 2010-11 going to be different? There isn't much to say it will, but we don't need to tell that to Baggies supporters. As nice as it is to jump-up to the Premier League, the promotion comes with misgivings. A here we go again feeling settled-in long before last season's promotion.  It's become part of the club.

Stoke City - It's not fair to Potters players who helped solidify Stoke in the league, but Stoke's season will forever be linked with Ryan Shawcross's tackle on Aaron Ramsey. Not only did the play put the Arsenal midfielder out of a year, but it also led to a prolonged debate about Stoke's tactics and, of course, the state of the English game.  The derision targeting Ryan Shawcross was ill-placed, with the World Cup providing a welcome rest for club and player.

Blackburn - Rovers supporters are a gang of Fausts, and Mephistopheles just took them to tenth place.  Whereas once Blackburn supporters stubbornly opposed the idea of Sam Allardyce's style of football, a year and half after he saved them from a Paul Ince-induced relegation battle, they're stuck.  Can't live without Big Sam, so might as well try to live with him.

LOW

Manchester United - For a club that's won's 11 of the Premier League's 18 iterations, any season in which Manchester United goes without a title is a relative low point.  In absolute terms, United has little to worry about.  They finished one point back and have a number of reasons to believe themselves in position to claim a 12th title.

Sunderland -  A lot was expected of Sunderland in their first season under Steve Bruce, but the Black Cats flirted with the a relegation fight throughout the season, and while a true battle never materialized, Sunderland's 13th place finish represents a lost season, particularly in light of their spending.  The lingering feeling:  Is Steve Bruce destined to manage relegation-battling teams?  Because the feeling around the Stadium of Light sees a team with too much talent to play to that fate.

Wigan Athletic - The few Latics fans that showed-up to the DW were left wondering whether this team's destined for a 2011 relegation or will take a step forward in their second year under Roberto Martínez.  I suppose any struggling team could set-up that dichotomy, but with Wigan, there were undeniable indications of each.  Wigan allowed the most goals of any returning team yet were still able to record wins against Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Chelsea.  So what's it going to be Wigan?  Are you that team that gave up 79 goals?  The team that got three wins against the top six?  Or, are you just that indecisive?

West Ham United -The Hammers took a huge step back.  The team never seemed capable of winning a close game or protecting a lead, so although their goal difference was only eight worse than the year before, the Hammers dropped from ninth to 17th.  New owners David Gold and David Sullivan took over the team mid-season, immediately making public the club's huge financial problems, creating a certain foreboding around the team.  Although West Ham survived the season (thanks to the historically low point totals of the relegated clubs), 2009-10 left Upton Park feeling like the first act of a zombie movie.

Fulham -  The Cottagers finished the season in high-spirits despite losing the Europa League final to Atlético Madrid, but when Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool in early summer, there developed a feeling that the ride may be over.  Seventh place one year.  Major tournament final the next, all on the heels of a barely surviving a 2007-08 relegation fight.  Shortly after the end of the 2009-10 campaign, when if became clear that Hodgson would leave, the mood around Craven Cottage shifted.  Are relegation battles back on the table for Fulham?

Liverpool -  True, Hodgson replacing Rafa Benitez is an upgrade, and signing Joe Cole is a great signal of intent, but Liverpool finished seventh last season.  Now the term "Big Four" hasn't been used in so long, I'm tempted to explain it.  Whether ownership or management was to blame, Liverpool took a historic step back last season.  In that context, only three teams had worse 2009-10 campaigns, and they're no longer in the league.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 08:57:48 PM
http://www.thisisanfield.com/blog/2010/08/09/mike-kelly-joins-hodgson-at-liverpool/ (http://www.thisisanfield.com/blog/2010/08/09/mike-kelly-joins-hodgson-at-liverpool/)

Mike Kelly joins Hodgson at Liverpool

Article added: August 9th, 2010  Add a comment
TIA Home » LFC News » Mike Kelly joins Hodgson at Liverpool

 
Since his appointment in July Roy Hodgson has yet to appoint any new coaching staff at Liverpool, despite the departures of three key men who shaped Rafa Benitez‘s backroom team.

First team coach Mauricio Pellegrino, goalkeeper coach Xavi Valero and fitness coach Paco De Miguel have all joined up with Rafa at Inter Milan.

With the new sports science team arriving at Melwood this summer, Darren Burgess – the new head of fitness and conditioning – appears to have taken De Miguel’s role but no appointments have been confirmed with regards the goalkeeper coach and first team coach positions.

However, we understand that Mike Kelly, Hodgson’s assistant at Fulham, has now joined up with the Reds and was at Melwood last week. Kelly is a goalkeeper coach and so can fill the void left by Valero’s departure. Kelly’s appointment has yet to be confirmed by LFC but he is no longer listed as a member of staff on Fulham’s official website.

We understand Liverpool were first denied in their approach for Kelly shortly after Hodgson’s appointment until they had concluded their search for a new manager, which ended last week with the appointment of Mark Hughes, seemingly leaving Kelly free to rejoin his former boss at Liverpool.

Kelly has vast experience as a keeper coach, including three World Cup’s. Two with England in 1986 and 1990, and in 1994 with Hodgson and Switzerland.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 08:59:23 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/england/7935628/England-v-Hungary-Bobby-Zamoras-belated-debut-highlights-wider-problem.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/england/7935628/England-v-Hungary-Bobby-Zamoras-belated-debut-highlights-wider-problem.html)

England v Hungary: Bobby Zamora's belated debut highlights wider problem

The commanding figure to whom the Football Association committed £6 million a year 30 months ago is, temporarily at least, no more. That, not the players, is the biggest problem facing England in this part of the cyclical process of picking ourselves off the floor after failing at a major championship.
 
By Kevin Garside

More than ever England need to be led, not propping up a fading guru scratching his head. “I don’t know what we have to do to improve the minds of the players. At this moment I don’t know.” Capello appeared diminished and uncertain in the critical atmosphere that pervaded England’s first day back at school.
His first engagement post-South Africa was always going to be one to get out of the way. His discomfort was exposed in the rush of scripted apologies with which he began the televised inquisition. Like a guilty child caught smoking behind the bike sheds Capello wanted to talk, to pore over the detail of what went wrong at the World Cup as if to purge his conscience for the part he played in it.
 
There was no catharsis to be had. The story has moved on. Capello was quickly pinned with questions about those selected but not in attendance. He was forced to reach for explanations in a way he has not experienced before.
It was hard to watch his authority being questioned in this way. The reverence has gone. England are in trouble if the players feel the same way.

The cynic would have no trouble linking the retirements of Paul Robinson and Wes Brown to a wider discontent, fringe players though they were.

Capello strode out of the changing room at Arsenal’s London Colney training base alone, some minutes ahead of the players. The cameras went berserk.

Capello’s appearance might have been entirely innocent but circumstances being what they are, there was symbolic value in that singular walk. The cameras knew it, too.

Throughout his post-training media commitments Capello was accompanied by his English teacher. She was particularly energised when Capello struck a defensive attitude, reminding people of the competent job he had done in qualifying. Capello continues to grope for the right word, which in a losing coach is not a positive attribute. It merely adds to the perceptions of inadequacy.

The urge to pin blame somewhere is difficult to resist. But it may be that the England problem is insurmountable. That is the view of Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who sees in the primacy of the Premier League over all other considerations a structural impediment that none could overcome.

The argument goes something like this. The Premier League is inextricably linked to the Champions League and European club competition in a way the old first division used to be with England. When the Bobbys Moore and Charlton were in their pomp, the England team represented the highest technical level since it culled from the clubs the best players in the country.

The finest footballers in the country today are more likely to be foreign than English, a feature that has driven the technique and intensity of club football higher than it is with England. Therefore when Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard step out for their country they are in effect stepping down a level because the spread of talent is thinner.

Emile Heskey could barely get a game for Aston Villa last season yet he went to South Africa as England’s first choice partner for Rooney.

On Wednesday Bobby Zamora, of Fulham, is expected to make his debut at 29, which makes Wenger’s argument forcibly. If Zamora is good enough now, he was good enough five years ago. He hasn’t changed that much. Circumstances have.

The reduced talent pool is compounded by a wounded coach. Capello is clearly embarrassed by his own failings as much as the team’s. He was shocked by the South African experience, unnerved at having his certainties shredded.

Nothing in his bag of tricks acquired at the great footballing houses of Europe, at Real Madrid and AC Milan, prepared him for a month in the African bush with a mixed bag of knackered Premier League footballers.

Capello’s pride is hurt. He did not expect to have to prove himself all over again. Not many on his salary do. But that is his lot. Against Hungary on Wednesday Capello is on trial as much as his players.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:10:19 PM
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11854_6303466,00.html (http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11854_6303466,00.html)

Clubs considering Marchetti

Arsenal and Fulham linked with shot-stopper

Skysports.com understands that a number of clubs will be watching Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti against the Ivory Coast in London on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old, who played the majority of the World Cup following an injury to Gianluigi Buffon, has been placed up for sale by Cagliari.

Arsenal and Fulham have been linked with Marchetti as a result, with a possible decision resting on which of the Premier League rivals are in possession of Mark Schwarzer come the end of the summer.

The fact that Marchetti was called up in South Africa appears to have raised his own ambitions, with the player publicly declaring that he was disappointed not to be given the opportunity to move to Sampdoria.
According to the shot-stopper, Cagliari asked for too much money from their Serie A rivals, denying him the chance to play UEFA Champions League football next season.
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: os5889 on August 09, 2010, 09:11:12 PM
Shay won't take a Hart transplant: Given ready to quit City if he loses No 1 jersey
By COLIN YOUNG Last updated at 7:56 PM on 9th August 2010

Having spent the pre-season watching Joe Hart start all six of Manchester City's warm-up games, Shay Given is not going to sit quietly on the sidelines as the real business begins.
The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, arguably the finest in the Premier League, is ready to throw Eastlands into turmoil by demanding showdown talks with manager Roberto Mancini if he is left out of the side to face Tottenham on Saturday.

Shay Given v Joe Hart: The facts behind the fight to be Manchester City's No 1
Given is believed to be prepared to request a transfer if he is left on the bench. Mancini says he has yet to decide whether to start Given or England keeper Joe Hart at White Hart Lane but Hart is thought to be his first choice.
With Fabio Capello hoping to name the Premier League keeper of last season as his No 1 for England's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, there is pressure on Mancini to go with the Englishman, who has returned to City after an impressive season at Birmingham City.
Ireland No 1 Given, who is recovering from a shoulder injury with his 104th cap against Argentina on Wendesday night, says Mancini has given no indication who will play.
But the 34-year-old, a £6million signing from Newcastle just 18 months ago, has made it clear he is not prepared to start as a substitute and will seek a meeting with the Italian coach on Monday.
Given said: 'I haven't joined City to sit on the bench. I've gone there to play. If that's not the case, I'll sit down on Monday with the club and see where I can go after that. The manager hasn't picked the team yet and he hasn't spoken to me. It's not ideal. You want to know mentally whether you're starting.'
Given, in Dublin for the first international at the re-built Lansdowne Road, could have skipped Monday's press conference before the Argentina friendly. But, as ever, he was keen to speak, and will be happy to confront Mancini if he is overlooked for the season's opener.
He said: 'It's different if you're a midfielder - you can rotate them and play them in different positions. It's a specialist position and you can only play the one player.
'Joe did well last year and deserves great credit for that but I'd like to think I did OK at Manchester City. I missed only the last week of the season and I worked hard all summer to be fit for the new campaign.'
Last week Sunderland boss Steve Bruce revealed his loan bid for Hart was turned down by City. Bruce wanted cover for injured Craig Gordon for two months.
City have also rejected offers from Fulham and Arsenal. Arsene Wenger kept tabs on Given during his 10 years at Newcastle but never accepted the club's valuation. Given has now again been linked with Wenger as he seeks an experienced keeper.
Given said: 'To discuss now would be a little disrespectful to the goalkeepers they have already. Arsenal are a fantastic club, it's just too soon.'
Given added: 'I'm 34 and you cherish every year, every game. For me, it's very important that I play football. I know I'm at a very exciting, very ambitious club with great owners and great ambition to win trophies. That's why I went there.'
Mancini said: 'We have two good keepers and one will play and one will stay on the bench. We play a lot of games in one year - three games every week - so we could play both goalkeepers.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301582/Shay-Given-ready-quit-Manchester-City-Joe-Hart-Eastlands-choice.html#ixzz0w8pi2vir (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301582/Shay-Given-ready-quit-Manchester-City-Joe-Hart-Eastlands-choice.html#ixzz0w8pi2vir)
Title: Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
Post by: White Noise on August 09, 2010, 10:47:38 PM
Eidur Gudjohnsen on the verge of joining Fulham after snubbing Rangers and Birmingham offers


By Sportsmail Reporter


Last updated at 10:01 PM on 9th August 2010


Fulham are on the brink of completing a season long loan signing of Monaco striker Eidur Gudjohnsen in the next 24 hours.

The Iceland international, 31, spent last season on loan at Tottenham, and new Craven Cottage manager Mark Hughes looks to have beaten off competition from Birmingham City and Glasgow Rangers.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301668/Eidur-Gudjohnsen-verge-joining-Fulham.html#ixzz0w9Da6wRA (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301668/Eidur-Gudjohnsen-verge-joining-Fulham.html#ixzz0w9Da6wRA)