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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:14:02 PM

Title: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:14:02 PM
AJ Update

Friday 5th February 2010

Fulham FC News

The Club can confirm that following knee surgery in Colorado by eminent specialist Dr. Richard Steadman, Andrew Johnson will not be available for the remainder of the current 09/10 season.

Following the prognosis received from the surgeon, the Club fully expects Andrew to take part in the latter part of pre-season training in readiness for the new season.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:26:39 PM,19528,11661_5919838,00.html

Pantsil blow for Fulham

Defender hopeful of being fit for World Cup understands Fulham defender John Pantsil is set to miss the rest of the season through injury.

Pantsil has been out of action since suffering a serious knee injury in the 2-1 defeat to the dark side at Stamford Bridge in December.

The former West Ham defender has been badly missed by Fulham with Pantsil one of the side's best performers before suffering his injury.

Pantsil was forced to miss the recent African Cup of Nations due to the injury and he is still some way off making a return to action.

Fulham had hoped the right-back would return later this season, but it appears highly unlikely the 28-year-old will be fit enough to play before May.

However, Pantsil is confident he will recover in time to be fit for this summer's World Cup finals with Ghana.

The news is a major blow for Fulham chief Roy Hodgson with the Cottagers boss also facing up to the prospect of being without Andy Johnson for the remainder of the campaign with a knee problem.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:27:56 PM
Question Okaka

Friday 5th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Italian U21 international striker  Stefano Okaka made his debut for the Whites on Wednesday evening and will be in Roy Hodgson's matchday squad for Saturday's trip to Bolton Wanderers.

The on-loan Roma striker only arrived in SW6 earlier this week and we're now giving you an exclusive chance to be the first to question Stefano on anything you like| , from his favourite cheese, his life in Rome, making the move to Craven Cottage or his views on Fulham following his first week at the Club.

We'll select the best 20 questions next week before sitting down with the striker to get the anwers you want. In order to take part in our exclusive Q&A with the Italian hitman just submit your questions on Cottage Corner| and keep an eye on Stefano's blog next week!

Send your questions now|

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:29:36 PM
Saturday's Challenge

Friday 5th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Roy Hodgson and his Team travel to the North West on Friday ahead of Saturday's clash with Bolton and prior to Fulham's departure Roy Hodgson spoke of the challenge that awaits the Whites at the Reebok Stadium.

“Wednesday’s result will give us momentum but it’s always a difficult game,” said Hodgson. “It’s another away game and even the top two or three teams in the country, without any injury problems, don’t find it easy going to places like Bolton.

“It’s by no means a given that, ‘here we go three more points’ - they’re desperate for points and they’re going to be fighting for their lives but if we show the type of character and courage we showed on Wednesday we’ll give them a very good game.

“If we get something from the game and then something from the game against Burnley we’d of started February well and once more nosing towards the top end of the table and leaving the bottom end of the table behind us.

“We’ll prepare for whatever Bolton throw at us. All Premier League teams are well organised and have a fighting spirit. Most teams have quite good players even if they’re near the bottom of the league so basically speaking there are no easy games and every game you play away from home is a difficult one.”

Bolton Ticket Update:
Fulham fans wishing to attend Saturday's game at the Reebok Stadium can purchase their match tickets from the Bolton Ticket Office (Adults £10 / Juniors £5) on the day of the game.

Match Preview:
Bolton Wanderers v Fulham, Barclays Premier League
Saturday February 6th 2010, 3pm.

On Saturday we again journey up the M6 looking for a second consecutive victory at the Reebok after last March’s convincing 3-1 triumph.

That was our second Premier League success at the Reebok, having won 2-0 there on the final day of the 2003-04 season, when a Brian McBride double secured the points.

Promoted alongside Fulham in 2001, Bolton have struggled for much of the season, and pressure mounted on manager Gary Megson after a run of just one win in the final nine games of 2009. Matters came to a head when the Trotters let slip a two-goal lead that allowed fellow strugglers Hull to take a point at the Reebok. Megson was dismissed the following day.

The new man in charge is former Wanderers midfielder Owen Coyle, who was persuaded to return to his old club having taken Burnley back into the Premier League for the first time in 33 years. Coyle made 54 appearances for Wanderers between 1993 and 1995.

At the time of Coyle’s arrival, Bolton had gained just two home victories from their first 10 home Premier League encounters, with only Everton and West Ham leaving empty-handed.

However, one positive in recent months for Wanderers has been the form of Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic, whose five goals in a six game spell included his well taken effort in the Trotters’ 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in November.

Getting There:
 Address: Reebok Stadium, Burnden Way, Lostock, Bolton, BL6 6JW
Telephone: 01204 673673
Capacity: 27,879
Visitors Sections: South Stand
Disabled Fans: Disabled enclosure in South Stand

Depart Motspur Park 8am/Craven Cottage 8.30am. Season Ticket Holders: Adults £20 Juniors £10. Non-Season Ticket Holders: Adults £25 Juniors £18

By Road
Leave London via M1 or M40/M42/M5 to join M6. Exit M6 at junction 21A (signs Leeds) and join M62. Follow M62 for 10 miles until reaching M60 (North). Exit M60 at junction 15 (signs M61 Bolton/Preston). Exit M61 at junction 6, taking third exit at roundabout into A6027 (Burnden Way). Ground is on the left.

Note: Fans are advised to pay careful attention to road signs when joining M61. Try to ensure that you follow M61 signs and not those for A666 (Bolton), as the Reebok Stadium is not in Bolton itself.

Car Parking
Visitors car parking at stadium. Other car parking is available nearby along off Chorley New Road.

By Rail
Train Travel from Euston via Manchester to Horwich Parkway Station on the Manchester-Blackpool line. The station is a few minutes walk from the ground. Fans are advised to check train times on 08457 484950 in advance of travel.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:31:01 PM
Shakhtar Travel

Friday 5th February 2010

Fulham FC News
There are now less than 20 places remaining on the Official Fulham Flyer,| the ONLY direct flight from Gatwick to Donetsk to see Fulham play their all importanT European away match.

If you are a Season Ticket Holder, or Club Member, you can now book your place to Donetsk and enjoy another magical night of European football at one of Europe's highest rated stadiums; Shakhtar's Donbass Arena.

With a capacity of 55,000 and built to UEFA’s five-star standard, the Donbass Stadium was unveiled in August 2009 and has already been earmarked as a flagship stadium for the UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament. The soaring roof effect resembles a flying saucer, whilst the glazed façade – a huge glass wall of 24,000 square meters – also give the venue iconic status on the landscape of Eastern European stadia.

You only have until noon on Monday 8th February to book, after which these seats will no longer be available for purchase.

Book your place| today - prices start from only £474pp .

The Official Fulham Flyer trip includes direct return flights from Gatwick to Donetsk, one night's accommodation, all overseas private coach transfers and your ticket to the match. 

Please note flight times:

25 Feb10   Thursday  MON9132  LGW-DOK  0825-1410
26 Feb10   Friday      MON9133  DOK-LGW  1400-1620

For more information, or to secure your seat on the plane please visit the Official Flyer website| or get in touch with a member of our team.

Fulham Flyer to Donetsk, book now|

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: FatFreddysCat on February 05, 2010, 10:31:48 PM
Ah White Noise just the chap. You seem to be able to investigate things and find the answers. How does the Fulham average age compare to the rest of the Premiership. Not counting young kids with the squad number 45 who never play, but proper first teamers or subs? Should keep you busy for a while ;).
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:35:28 PM
Ah White Noise just the chap. You seem to be able to investigate things and find the answers. How does the Fulham average age compare to the rest of the Premiership. Not counting young kids with the squad number 45 who never play, but proper first teamers or subs? Should keep you busy for a while ;).

That will take a while Fred - leave it with me. I just want to get this thread up to speed and I'll get right on it.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:36:44 PM
Man On A Mission

Friday 5th February 2010

Fulham FC News

For Fulham's South African international it's been a steep learning curve since he arrived in England last August, but having had time to settle in, he's now more determined than ever to make his mark in English football, and secure a place at this summer's World Cup...

“It’s up to me to make my dreams happen.” KG 


You joined the Club over the summer, six months on how have you found life at Fulham?

Well, the move was a long time coming for me, and first of all I would like to say how happy I am to be here because this is a fantastic club.

Of course, it has been a little difficult for me because I would have liked to have played more games, but that is football and as a competitive player it is natural that I want to be involved in as many games as possible.

You have joined a team blessed with a strong midfield presence, so competition was always going to be tough…

It was, and you have to react to that. As a sportsman you have to except that at the highest level competition is going to be high.

I knew that it was going to be difficult, especially making the move from South African football. Danny Murphy, Jonathan Greening, Dickson Etuhu and Chris Baird are all very good players and I’ve learned a lot from them. But I have to keep working hard if I’m going to get a place in the team.

In the eight appearances you have made, how have you found the tempo of English football?

The pace of the game is very quick here and I am getting used to it – it’s so quick, even in training. That said, I do think I have settled very well and I certainly do not feel out of place here. I am not 100 per cent at the top of my game, but I am definitely getting there.

I made my first appearance against Manchester City in the League Cup and recently played in the FA Cup against Accrington, which were both great experiences. I also played in the Manchester United match and started the recent game at Tottenham.

Talking of games, your first league appearance versus West Ham United back in October was probably one that you would like to forget…

It was and it was a disappointing afternoon for me. I had wanted to make an impression and I ended up being sent off. It’s never a nice experience and it came at a time when I was looking to make an impact. It was frustrating. Thankfully, I have featured since and I know that the coaches have faith in me.

With eight games before the end of February, matches are coming thick-and-fast at the moment. Is this a period where you can show what you can do?

I would like to think so, definitely. We’re playing a lot of games and I’m confident that I will be given a chance. I’ve been working hard in training and listening to the Manager, so I’m prepared and ready to play whenever needed.

How have you found the training sessions, one would imagine that they are more intense than what you had been used to?

I think the sessions are great and very organised, we all know what we are doing. I enjoy training, particularly when we work on the more tactical side of the game. I already feel that I have learned a lot in my time here. In terms of training, back in South Africa it wasn’t too different. Obviously we’re worked a little harder in improving fitness and strength here, but it didn’t take me too long to adjust which was important.

You have said in the past that it was your dream to play in England and test yourself in the Barclays Premier League. Why?

Well, for a start the Premier League is the biggest league in the world and it is the place a lot of young players dream about all over the globe. I had faith in my ability and believed that I would achieve that goal, although it happened quicker than I had expected. I’m very lucky because I thought I might have to play somewhere else in Europe beforehand which is what a lot of players have to do.

So did you follow English football whilst growing up?

Yes, of course. Fans probably won’t like this, but I used to follow Manchester United who are very big in South Africa, as they are all over the world. It has always been an exciting league and me and my friends and family would try and watch games as often as we could. We couldn’t wait for the weekend! The bigger clubs in England have a lot of support in South Africa and they can’t get enough of the Premier League.

Arguably the most famous South African footballer ever is Lucas Radebe who had a massive impact both at home and abroad didn’t he?

Radebe is what you would call a ‘legend’ in the game and someone that inspired a lot of young people to follow in his footsteps, certainly players like myself, Steven Pienaar [of Everton], Benni McCarthy [of West Ham] and Aaron Mokoena [of Portsmouth]. He has been an inspiration and a good ambassador for South Africa. But I think the current generation of South African footballers are also doing a good job and helping to take the game forward.

The last 10 years or so has seen an influx of African players make an impression on the English game. Why do you think that is?

It’s true a lot of African players have made a great impact and if you look at the players here now we have Michael Essien and Didier Drogba of Chelsea, and Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré at Manchester City - some of the world’s best players.

As I have said, the Premier League is the best in the world and the fact that African players are making a name here shows the strength of African football. I think the style of play suits their game because traditionally African players are very strong and don’t have too many problems with the physical side of the game. I think we will see more African players make a name for themselves in this league and hopefully I can play my part too.

We are fast approaching the four month countdown to the 2010 World Cup, a tournament that is, of course, being held in your homeland. What is the mood like in South Africa?

Well everybody is very excited and we are looking forward to hosting the biggest international football tournament in the world. There has been a lot of preparation and it has given everybody a lot of joy. I think it promises to be a special competition.

What does it mean for the people of South Africa and Africa as a continent to be hosting their first senior World Cup finals?

As you would expect, it means a lot to everybody and we are all very proud. It has opened up a lot of opportunities and I think it has not just been a positive step for South Africa but for the continent as a whole. It is the first one to be held on African soil, so it will be an unforgettable four weeks for us all.

With a number of caps for your country, what would it mean for you to play at a World Cup?

It would be a dream come true to be honest. Not every player can say that they have played at a World Cup finals and I would love to be part of the squad. I have a lot of international caps and I think I should be in with a good chance of being part of the coach’s plans. I was part of the South Africa team that played in the Confederations Cup last summer so, of course, I would love to be part of our World Cup ambitions.

It is a big year for Kagisho Dikgacoi then…

It is, yes. And it’s up to me to make my dreams happen. That starts with doing well for Fulham and taking the chances that I am given. I think the national coach Carlos Alberto Parreira knows that I am a good player and what I can do – as does Roy Hodgson. So that gives me confidence and the determination to do well.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:38:55 PM
Through The Ranks

Friday 5th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Catalonia has long produced some of the finest football players - not just of Spain, but the world.

The names and faces of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Carlos Puyol adorn young fans’ bedroom walls across the globe, while the likes of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Bojan Krkic look set to follow suit.

And Fulham have another young Catalonian hoping to walk a similar path – U18 starlet Cristian Marquez-Sanchez, who arrived at the Club over the summer having spent five seasons at RCD Espanyol.

And while the talented youngster cites Barcelona’s Xavi and Iniesta as two of his footballing heroes, there’s little question where his loyalties lie in one of Spain’s fiercest rivalries.

“Barcelona and Espanyol are the two teams of Catalonia,” explains Cristian. “It’s a big rivalry in that area, and while I do like some of Barca’s players, I’m an Espanyol fan through and through.

“Of course, I now have a love for Fulham, but Espanyol is the club of my family and I have grown up supporting them. They’re not as successful as Barcelona, but in recent seasons I’ve seen them win two Copa del Rey’s and reach the final of the UEFA Cup.”

On Wednesday night the 17-year-old was unveiled to fans on the Craven Cottage pitch having just signed his first professional contract, putting pen-to-paper on a deal that will run until June 2012.

While his education in the game started at one of Spanish football’s most successful club’s over the past six months or so, the likeable youngster has been fine tuning his game wearing the white of Fulham.

“Football in Spain and England is very different,” he reveals. “Back home it is a little more technical, whereas over here there is more of an emphasis on strength, keeping possession and tactics also.

“It is a lot more physical too, but I like that side of the game and it is something that I knew before I arrived. For me, I’ve had the best of both worlds and I think that has put me in a good position.

“I haven’t been a Fulham player for too long, but I already feel that I have developed – I think I’m more of a complete player now.”

Spotted by Whites’ scouts out in Spain, the talented right-back joined the club as a scholar after a successful trial, turning down advances from Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

“To be honest it wasn’t a difficult decision to leave home because I love English football,” explains Cristian. “It had been my dream for a while to play for a Premier League club and I’m lucky enough to have been given that opportunity.

“Of course, it was hard leaving my family behind, but it is a sacrifice young players sometimes have to make in football in the hope of furthering their career.

“There have been quite a few young Spanish players making the move to England and I have friends at Arsenal (Ignasi Miquel), Manchester City (Joan Angel Roman) and Wigan (Roman Golobart).

“We text each other and send messages on Facebook, and they all seem to be enjoying the experience too. Hopefully we can all go on and play each other in the first teams.”

The youngster highlights the impact in English football that a certain Cesc Fabregas has had – a player that arrived on these shores at a similar age and who has since become one of the league’s best players at Arsenal.

“Of course, Fabregas is the example of what can be achieved,” says Cristian. “He progressed from the Arsenal youth team to first team very quickly and is now not only their captain, but one of the best players in the Premier League.

“The younger players coming through, whatever nationality, look up to a player like him. I know that I would like to follow a similar path and breakthrough into the Fulham First Team.

“But Fabregas is not the only Spanish player to do well here and we are very proud of the impact Spanish players have had in the league over the last few seasons. The switch from La Liga is interesting and seems to work well. I don’t think it’s too difficult for us to adapt.”

Held in high regard in his homeland having captained his country at U16 level, Marquez-Sanchez is an attack-minded full-back that can also play in central defence and central midfield.

Fast, direct and with an abundance of energy, the youngster has impressed when lining up for Gary Brazil’s U18s and has also been involved in Billy McKinlay’s Development Squad.

“It was fantastic to play for my home club and the one that I supported growing up,” he says. “I learned a lot there because it is a good place for a young player. But I believe I can learn even more here and take my game to a higher level.

“Espanyol have produced a lot of good players down the years, but I just couldn’t turn down the chance to come to a club in the Premier League.

“A lot of people talk about which league is the best: La Liga or the Premier League. Some may be surprised by my choice, but I always say the Premier League. Whatever stadium you go to, the atmosphere in this country is fantastic and every game is exciting.

“For me this is where you want to be. This is the league where the best players want to test themselves.”

Fans that know their Spanish football would be correct in thinking that Espanyol was the club where one of our favourite former players, now lining up for tonight’s opponents Portsmouth, Steve Finnan, spent the 2008-09 season and the club whose captain, Daniel Jarque, died after suffering a cardiac arrest following a training session.

Jarque was also a player to have come through the Espanyol ranks, and his death in August 2008 sent shockwaves through Spanish football. It was a tragedy that had an impact at every level of the close-knit Barcelona-based club.

And it was the similarly homely feel of Fulham that Marquez-Sanchez cites as one of the main reasons for his move to SW6 and a factor he believes has allowed him to develop with relevant ease.

“Like Espanyol, Fulham is a very close club,” says Cristian. “It has a family feel and that stands it out from other clubs – I already feel at home here. The Academy and senior players use the same facilities so us younger ones feel close to what is going on and part of things.

“It’s been a big adjustment so I’ve just got my head down, worked hard and listened to my coaches. I want to improve as much as I can and work my way up through the ranks.

“To sign my first professional contract was an incredible moment for me and when I look back to the young kid that started out at Espanyol not too long ago I thought that day was a long way into the future."

Cristian Marquez-Sanchez Up Close
I haven’t got a nickname yet but I’m sure the boys or one of the coaches will think of something.
A strength of mine is my ability to get up and down the flank. I’m also good on the ball and strong in the tackle.
Although my weakness is possibly my left foot. I’m not too sure, so you would have to ask someone else!
People say that I play most like Daniel Alves of Barcelona. Well that’s what they said back in Spain.
The biggest influence on my career has been my father. He has supported me since I first started playing and has always tried to watch me play. He loves his football and is very proud of me.
My hidden talent is that I can flamenco dance! Don’t laugh because it gets the senoritas!
My favourite Fulham player is Andrew Johnson. He’s so quick and in front of goal he can be deadly.
Growing up my idols were Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas. All three are great players and important for Spain’s chances at the 2010 World Cup!
Five years from now I’ll be established in Roy Hodgson’s First Team and representing my country at senior level.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 05, 2010, 10:40:44 PM
Inside Fulham

This week's 'Inside Fulham' podcast is now available to download, featuring Manager Roy Hodgson, loan signing Nicky Shorey and England U21 defender Chris Smalling.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: FatFreddysCat on February 05, 2010, 11:03:16 PM
I cant understood why that Spanish kid who supports Espanyol names three Barca players as his heros, it'd be like asking me who my childhood heros were and me answering , Kerry Dixon, Pat Nevin and David Speedie.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 06:44:55 AM
Erik Nevland on camera

by Dan on February 6, 2010

Slightly wacky interview with Erik Nevland here but my favourite current Fulham striker comes across as the humble and yet intriguing guy that we’ve quickly grown to love at the Cottage - (
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 06:46:34 AM

Bolton stat attack

by Dan on February 6, 2010

Six of the last 10 games between Bolton and Fulham have finished 2-1.
Is Kevin Davies really dirty? Nice guy off the field apparently, but he’s committed 3.5 fouls per game on average this term, the most in the league.
Fulham haven’t won on the road in the league since the opening day at Portmsouth (11 games) but have a decent recent record at the Reebok: four points from their last two visits.
I wouldn’t go as far as guaranteeing goals but Bolton have managed just a single clean sheet in 24 Premier League games
Fulham haven’t won consecutive league games since beating Aston Villa and Newcastle last May.
On this day in 1960, Fulham and Bolton drew 1-1 at the Cottage.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 06:47:56 AM

Up next: Bolton Wanderers (a)

by Dan on February 5, 2010

Fulham will be without all three of last season's scorers at Bolton, including the injured Simon Davies

Momentum can be something of an overused term in sport, but it often make can the difference between victory and defeat. Fulham will be looking to cash in on any bounce from their first league win in a while on Wednesday at the Reebok Stadium with further success tomorrow afternoon, although Bolton themselves seem much improved under the stewardship of Owen Coyle. It’s not very often that meetings between these two sides have people licking their lips in anticipation but this fixture has the potential to be a really good contest.

Just a few days ago, Roy Hodgson’s side had the look of a patched-up, world-weary outfit. Their losing streak appeared to have end in sight – and neither did an injury crisis that the most genial of managers described as the worst he’d known in his 34 years of management. That injury situation has far from abated – Fulham will still be without their three goalscorers from last year’s shock victory in Lancashire (which was their first league win on the road) for example – but there’s a list a little less of a panicked look about Hodgson’s selection with two loan signings in Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka to bolster a fragile looking line-up.

Both would be expected to start tomorrow. Shorey stole the show with a rampaging performance at left back against Portsmouth, pushing forward to great effect and giving the injured Paul Konchesky a bit of food for thought. He linked up nicely with Jonathan Greening, who had appeared a cautious choice to fill the right midfield role that has usually belonged to Clint Dempsey, Zoltan Gera or Simon Davies this season – but eventually popped up with the vital winner. As a result, the on-loan midfielder might just reprise his burgeoning partnership with Shorey and keep Bjorn Helge Riise on the bench.

Okaka still strikes me as much more of a work in progress. Hodgson himself has acknowledged the Italian under-21 striker remains raw and has sought to alleviate much of the pressure the Roma forward may feel, especially after missing that close range header on Wednesday. Okaka’s obviously still learning the game – and he will soon note from David Elm – that there’s a bit of transition time when it comes to acclimatising to English football, even if he showed a willingness to put himself about that bodes well. There’s a chance that Erik Nevland could have shaken off a toe injury to stake a starting claim but I’d like Hodgson to be bold and stick with the youngster up front.

The only other selection conundrum surrounds Stephen Kelly, who had a rather wretched hour or so on Wednesday. Whilst Fulham improved markedly once the poor Irishman was replaced by Kagisho Dikgacoi and Chris Baird switched to right back, I’d be tempted to keep the former Birmingham full back in his place for now. A run of games can bring confidence and I still haven’t forgotten quite how worrying it was to see Baird at right back. As impressive as Dikgacoi’s arrival from the bench was, Baird’s been playing superbly in midfield this season and certainly doesn’t merit being dropped.

Bolton certainly will be up for this one. Kevin Davies, who always seems to save his most infuriatingly potent performances for games against Fulham, has targeted this fixture as one where the Wanderers can look to pick up maximum points. Coyle has been wise enough not to try and overhaul the worst elements of Gary Megson’s direct style overnight but you get the sense that both players and fans are more comfortable with one of their own in their dugout now, even if the former Trotter’s move from Burnley did raise a few eyebrows.

Wanderers might have lost three times under Coyle’s stewardship – but those defeats came at the hands of Arsenal and Liverpool, with at least two of them being particularly harsh. The squad at his disposal should be good enough to comfortably beat the drop with the likes of Jussi Jaaskelainen, Gary Cahill, Fabrice Muamba, Matty Taylor, Davies and Ivan Klasnic – a scorer when Megson picked up a point at Fulham before Christmas – all proven performers at this level. No doubt this will be one where the boys will have to roll their sleeves up and scrap.

MY FULHAM XI (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Kelly, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Baird, Murphy, Duff, Greening; Zamora, Okaka. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Stoor, Dikgacoi, Riise, Nevland, Elm.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 06:51:09 AM

Bolton Wanderers v Fulham - Preview - Saturday 6th February 2010

Bolton will be looking to pull themselves clear of the bottom three when they host Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

After defeat to Liverpool last weekend, Wanderers occupy 16th place in the Premier League and are just one point above the relegation zone.

With Ivan Klasnic expected to be out for up to a month, record signing Johan Elmander is tipped to return to the starting line-up alongside Kevin Davies.

Stuart Holden has returned to training following a thigh injury but is doubtful for the game, but fellow January signings Jack Wilshere and Vladimir Weiss should be on the bench once again.

Danny Shittu has returned from African Cup of Nations duty but isn't expected to feature, with Gary Cahill and Zat Knight, playing against his old club, looking to make it three clean sheets in a row on home soil.

Fulham ended a run of five successive defeats with victory over bottom club Portsmouth on Wednesday night but they have injury concerns ahead of the trip north.

Andrew Johnson could miss the rest of the season after failing to recover from a knee complaint, while Paul Konchesky is also a long-term casualty with an ankle injury.

With midfield duo Zoltan Gera and Clint Dempsey also on the sidelines, Wednesday's goalscorer Jonathan Greening should continue in midfield.

Simon Davies is also closing in on a return following an ankle injury of his own but isn't likely to start at the Reebok Stadium.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 06:53:47 AM

Diomansy Kamara admits Celtic players may have thought they had Kilmarnock game won before it started

Hugh MacDonald


Published on 6 Feb 2010

The loan signing from Fulham blamed complacency for the 1-0 defeat to Jimmy Calderwood’s side.

“Everyone said ‘Ah, Robbie Keane is here and it’s his debut and he’ll score’,” said the Senegalese internationalist of his fellow loan signing.

“Maybe in the minds of the players we thought the game was won before it started. We know we’re a big team with big players, but we have to win the game before we start talking.”

Kamara, who played wide on the left in an attacking Celtic line-up, said of the defeat to a Chris Maguire goal: “It was a big surprise as I never thought we’d have lost that game with all the new players that had arrived.”

The match was followed by a troubled night for Kamara. “It was hard to sleep after it. It was my first game and you don’t want to lose on your debut,” he said.

Kamara signed for Celtic early on Monday, but his recruitment was overshadowed by the publicity that accompanied the late-night arrival of Keane from Tottenham Hotspur.

“I was happy when I heard Robbie was coming here,” said Kamara. “He’s maybe one of the best strikers in the world with a great career at Spurs, Liverpool, Inter Milan and as captain of Ireland. I think it’s a big, big move for Celtic, the player and the fans.”

Kamara also insisted he had no problems being shifted wide by the manager to accommodate Keane.

”The most important thing for me is to play. Tony Mowbray told me that he would play me wide or through the middle depending on what system he chooses,” he said.

Kamara has immediately grasped the importance of tomorrow’s Active Nation Scottish Cup tie against Dunfermline. “This is now a massive game. Our minimum target should be to reach the final. We have to win something and the Scottish Cup is important,” he said.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 06:57:53 AM

John looking to recharge career in Chicago

Four years ago Collins John's future looked limitless.

He was a 20-year-old goal-scoring sensation for Fulham, notching double-digit goals for the Cottagers in a 2005/2006 season that couldn't have gone much better. Instead of being the kickoff of a blossoming career, that dream season wound up being the premature peak for a young talent who has spent the past four years trying to recapture that magic he spun at Craven Cottage.

Four years and four teams later, John finds himself in the United States, trying to revive his once-promising career by securing a contract with the Chicago Fire. The Dutch striker is traveling with the Fire to Arizona for a trial, where he is hoping to find a good fit with the club after recent stints in England, the Netherlands and Belgium.

"Football is up and down sometimes," John said in an interview with SBI. "Two years ago I was up and the last two years I've been down so I'm trying to pick it up again and hopefully it will be this year.

"You can't really say 'from now for the next five years I'm going to be playing well or scoring goals'," John said. "The first three years at Fulham I was playing every game. I played in the biggest league in the world, I was scoring goals and was having fun, and for a few reasons it went another way.

"Hopefully this year I can turn it around again. That's what I'm trying to do."

So how did John's trial with Chicago come about? His agent is a former teammate of Fire technical director Frank Klopas so when Klopas was told that John was available and looking for a fresh start, Klopas wasted no time in flying out to meet John to see if it was a move worth pursuing. The meeting has resulted in a trial that is as much for John to see how comfortable he feels with the Fire as it is about John proving himself.

"It says a lot that he's come out here because he's also risking a lot too," Klopas said. "The transfer window is closed in Europe now and he decided to come here and give it a try and with his ability it could wind up being a great move for everybody."

John is no stranger to the United States, having visited on several occasions through the years. A teammate of Brian McBride's at Fulham, John also spoke to former Fulham teammate and friend Carlos Bocanegra about Chicago and the possibility of playing in MLS.

"(Bocanegra) just told me that it was a good club with good fans and it could be a city I would enjoy," John said. "He told me I might like it and I might now like it, so that's why I'm here, to find out.

"I know a little about MLS. There have been some Dutch players to play in the league, like Dave Van Den Bergh, and as a football fan I know a little about it. I've played with Bocanegra, Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey.

"Something in me just told me to try out America," John said. "I'm just happy to be here, I'm enjoying the time and I'm glad to know a few guys and a lot of guys have made me feel welcome."

The Fire will keep the welcome mat out for John if he can emerge as a reliable scoring threat to partner alongside McBride. With Chris Rolfe having bolted to Denmark, Chicago will need to replace his goal scoring and John has the combination of size, speed and ball skills to be one of the best forwards in MLS.

It is also easy to forget that John is still just 24. Having started his career at a young age (he made his debut for the Dutch national team at 18) John enjoyed plenty of success early on. Whether he has learned from the struggles of recent years will soon be found out by a Fire team looking to rebuild an attack that has lost both Rolfe and playmaker Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

"He hasn't forgotten how to play," Klopas said of John. "When you think about how young he is and how much talent he has, he might just need a change of scenery and if he can get back to being the player he can be, it's going to be fun to watch."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 07:05:34 AM


2010 By Matt Butler

ROY Hodgson fears Fulham’s dismal away record could continue at Bolton.

Hodgson’s men face Owen Coyle’s strugglers having failed to register a league win on the road since the opening day of the season.

He believes his side would be lucky to grab three points at the Reebok even if they had the resources of Chelsea or Manchester United.

“Even the top two or three teams in the country, without any injury problems, don’t find it easy going to places like Bolton,” said Hodgson.

“It’s by no means a given that ‘here we go, three more points’. They’re desperate for points and they’re ­going to be fighting for their lives."

“But if we show the type of character and courage we showed on Wednesday (against Portsmouth), we’ll give them a very good game.”

Bolton boss Coyle has challenged his new recruits to make an impact. Coyle opted for creative midfielders in the transfer window with Vladimir Weiss and Jack Wilshere signing on loan from Manchester City and Arsenal respectively while Stuart Holden arrived from ­Houston Dynamo.

He said: “Vladimir and Jack were not going to start in their respective teams, but they have an opportunity to do so here."

“If they get that chance, it is up to them to hold on to the jersey. It is a fair fight for everyone at this club.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 07:08:36 AM

Fulham play Bolton Tomorrow at Reebok Stadium

Fulham play tomorrow at 3pm UK time and 10am EST.

They are away against Bolton at Reebok Stadium. Bolton currently sit 16th in the league with 21 points. They are right outside the relegation zone. Bolton will probably be desperate for a win. Fulham currently sit 10th in the league with 30 points.

With all the recent injuries to Fulham I am hopeful that Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera might be available for the game. On the Bolton side we could see the additions of Vladimir Weiss and Jack Wilshire who both came to the team via loan. I am actually disappointed that Fulham did not get Jack Wilshire on loan. I think he is a player with potential. It will be interesting if he plays tomorrow. There other loan addition Stuart Holden from the U.S. will probably not be fit to play.

Tomorrow will also be interesting to see who are on the starting team for Fulham. I will be curious if Stefano Okaka or Erik Nevland start up top with Bobby Zamora. Also, on defense the addition of Nicky Shorey seemed to answer the issue at left back while Paul Konchesky has been hurt. This is a game Fulham can win. They have been horrible on the road and could really use a victory tomorrow.
Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 4:43 PM 
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 07:22:09 AM

Johnson ruled out for season

Published 20:01 05/02/10

By Pa Sports
Fulham have confirmed that Andy Johnson has been ruled out for the rest of the season following surgery on his knee.

The club sent Johnson to America earlier this week where he was operated on by the man credited for saving the careers of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen - world-renowned surgeon Dr Richard Steadman.

A statement on Fulham's official website read: "The club can confirm that following knee surgery in Colorado by eminent specialist Dr Richard Steadman, Andrew Johnson will not be available for the remainder of the current 09/10 season."

The statement continued: "Following the prognosis received from the surgeon, the Club fully expects Andrew to take part in the latter part of pre-season training in readiness for the new season."

Johnson's season has been plagued by injury. The 28-year-old's first setback came during the opening weeks of the season when he dislocated his collarbone during a Europa League qualifier with Russian side Amkar Perm.

The former England man made a quick recovery but was soon in the treatment room again after suffering a groin injury which ruled him out for another three months.

He made his long-awaited return in Fulham's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea just after Christmas but only played three more games before this latest setback.

The news comes as a particularly bad blow for Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, whose striking options have been reduced by injuries to key forwards recently.

Clint Dempsey is out until April and Zoltan Gera, who filled in up front in Johnson's absence, is also struggling with a knee injury.

Bobby Zamora has only just returned from a collarbone injury while Erik Nevland, David Elm and new signing Stefano Okaka have only played a handful of games between them.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 07:25:40 AM
They’ll face heat of the Knight


Published: Today

Add a comment (0)

ZAT KNIGHT knows only too well that his old club Fulham will not fancy the trip to Bolton today - because they have always hated it.

The 6ft 5in centre-back spent eight years at Craven Cottage and admits the trip to the Reebok was one they dreaded every season.

Knight hopes it will be the case again today in a must-win game for Wanderers, who hover just above the drop zone.

Roy Hodgson's men lost five games in a row before scraping a 1-0 win over rock-bottom Portsmouth on Wednesday.

Knight said: "Obviously with me being at Fulham so long, they never liked travelling to Bolton. Not many teams like coming up here and, hopefully, we won't disappoint.

"If we are going to get anywhere decent in this league then we need to beat the likes of Fulham. They've not had a good run recently and we have to try and upset them."

Knight turned down a chance with Benfica to sign for Fulham - and is still reaping one benefit thanks to club owner Mohamed Al Fayed.

Even though he left West London in 2007, he still gets discounted shopping at Harrods when he is back in the capital.

He said: "Mr Al Fayed's a character, I take my hat off to him.

"I still get a good discount at Harrods. But I wouldn't say its free, he's not that generous!"

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 07:39:15 AM

Squad sheets: Bolton Wanderers v Fulham, Friday 5 February 2010 17.35 GMT

After beating Manchester United in December, Fulham were touted as outsiders for a place in the top six, talk that was quickly dismissed by the manager, Roy Hodgson. Six weeks and five successive defeats later you could see why, and while Wednesday saw a welcome return to winning ways against Portsmouth, long-term injuries to Andrew Johnson and Clint Dempsey are still being digested. Survival is all that matters to Owen Coyle, but he will be without Ivan Klasnic, Gavin McCann and probably new signing Stuart Holden. Paul Chronnell

Venue Reebok Stadium

Tickets £20-28 (0844 871 2932)

Last season Bolton 1 Fulham 3

Referee M Clattenburg

This season's matches 19 Y58, R4, 3.26 cards per game

Odds Bolton 13-10 Fulham 12-5 Draw 23-10


Probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Graphic BoltonSubs from Al Habsi, Bogdan, Samuel, Robinson, Riga, Gardner, M Davies, Cohen, Shittu, Harsanyi, Basham, A O'Brien, Wilshere, Vaz Tê, Weiss

Doubtful Holden (thigh)

Injured McCann (thigh, 13 Feb), Klasnic (calf, 20 Feb), Davis (knee, May), J O'Brien (knee, unknown)

Suspended None

Form guide LWLLDD

Disciplinary record Y48 R2

Leading scorer Klasnic 6

FulhamSubs from Stockdale, Zuberbühler, Riise, Stoor, Smalling, Elm, Nevland, Dikgacoi, Greening, Gera, Teymourian, Milsom

Doubtful Davies (ankle), Gera (knee)

Injured Konchesky (ankle, Mar), Paintsil (knee, Mar), Dempsey (knee, Apr), A Johnson (knee, May)

Suspended None

Form guide WLLLLL

Disciplinary record Y27 R1

Leading scorers Dempsey, Zamora 6

Match pointers• Six of the last 10 meetings between these sides in all competitions have ended with a 2-1 scoreline

• Kevin Davies has committed an average of 3.5 fouls per game this season, more than any other player

• Fulham have failed to win in 11 Premier League away games but have taken four points from their last two visits to Bolton

• Bolton have kept one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League matches

• These sides met at Craven Cottage on this day exactly 50 years ago and drew 1-1
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: whitejc on February 06, 2010, 08:01:14 AM (
Hodgson: Fulham fans must be patient with Okaka
06.02.10 |
Roy Hodgson has urged Fulham fans to be patient with new signing Stefano Okaka.

The striker has arrived on-loan from Roma.

Hodgson said: "He doesn't speak a word of English.

"He's got to get to know his team-mates, he's got to know what they're thinking and doing on the training field.

"It's going to take lots of work but I'm sure he'll get better.

"But he's not the man that's going to come in and you'll say 'Well, don't worry, Andy Johnson's not around, you've got Stefano Okaka' that would be placing far too much responsibility on his shoulders.

"Now I may be looking at the rest of the season with a limited and inexperienced group of front players."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 08:10:48 AM

8. Steve Finnan

The Irish full-back first turned out for Welling United, before spells with Birmingham and Notts County. Finnan then joined Kevin Keegan's revolution at Fulham in 1998 and was part of the team that got promoted to the Premier League. Five years later, he earned a move to Liverpool, where he won the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Champions League. Finnan is the only player to have played in the Blue Square Premier, all four professional divisions in England, the Europa League, the Champions League and the World Cup. He has won 52 caps for the Republic of Ireland and is still playing top-flight football for Portsmouth.

10. Chris Smalling

The most recent addition to the non-league to Premier League ranks, Smalling was playing for Maidstone United in the Isthmian League until June 2008, when Fulham took a punt on him. Despite making just 11 senior appearances for the Cottagers to date, the 20-year-old defender immediately caught the eye of both Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger and signed for Manchester United in a £12m deal last month. He will remain on loan at Fulham until joining the Red Devils in the summer. Smalling has already picked up three England Under-21 caps and looks to have the world at his feet as he prepares to head to Old Trafford.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: whitejc on February 06, 2010, 08:12:54 AM (
Hodgson - disappointed by form in January.

By Paul Hirst, Press Association Sport

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is happy to put a disastrous January behind him - a month which he believes has cost his side the chance to fight for a place in Europe next year.

Last season Hodgson brought European football to Craven Cottage after he guided his side to an unlikely seventh-place finish.

The Cottagers made a slow start to this season before going on a good run which culminated in a 3-0 victory over Premier League champions Manchester United the week before Christmas.

That shock win raised expectations that Hodgson's men could make Europe again this year, but a recent run of five straight defeats was only halted by Wednesday's 1-0 win over rock bottom Portsmouth at Craven Cottage.

Hodgson's efforts have been blighted by a series of long-term injuries to key players like Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Paul Konchesky.

The former Inter Milan manager is hoping for an improvement in form and luck in February.

"I don't think we're looking at Europe this year. I think we dropped too many points in January," said the 62 year old.

"The teams that are going to be European this year, which is only the top six, they're already 10-12 points ahead of us.

"And furthermore, I think it's unrealistic. Had there been no injuries, had Johnson, Dempsey, (John) Pantsil, Konchesky, (Simon) Davies, (Zoltan) Gera, had all these players been fit all the time, then maybe we wouldn't have lost many games in January, and maybe would have had a few more points.

"But we didn't, we had to battle through January as we did with a really wounded team, and as a result, I think we've slipped too far away from the top six.

"Our chance of getting into Europe will be to win a cup competition."

In fairness to Hodgson, the teams to whom Fulham lost in January - Spurs, Chelsea and Aston Villa - are among the toughest in the league.

Nevertheless, the Cottagers still looked below par against Avram Grant's side in midweek, and will have to up their game against a Bolton outfit who are fighting for their lives just above the relegation zone.

A home fixture against Burnley follows Saturday's clash before the Cottagers host League Two side Notts County in the FA Cup.

Hodgson is now hoping for a good run so his side can regain their confidence and edge away from the relegation zone.

"The Portsmouth result will buoy us up and will give us momentum," Hodgson added.

"If we can get something from the game and then something from the game against Burnley, we'll have started February well and, once again, we'll be nosing towards the top end of the table, and leaving the bottom half of the table behind us."

Stefano Okaka could start up front with Bobby Zamora despite a glaring miss on his debut on Wednesday.

Hodgson is hopeful that Davies (foot) and Gera (knee) will recover from knocks to face Owen Coyle's side, who are looking for only the second league win since the Scot took charge.

The Cottagers have not won an away league game since the opening day of the season and Hodgson is braced for a tough match.

He said: "It's another away game, always a difficult game, and even the top three or four teams in the country, with no injury problems, don't find it easy going to places like Hull and Bolton.

"They're desperate for points, they're going to be fighting for their lives.

"But, if we show the type of character and courage we showed against Portsmouth, we'll give them a very good game."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 08:17:44 AM,16368,1786_5920260,00.html

Barnes sets sights on Albion debut

Giles Barnes is hopeful of making his West Brom debut within weeks after putting pen to paper on a permanent deal at The Hawthorns.
Barnes is on his way back to fitness after suffering a ruptured Achilles in August and the 21-year-old believes a full return is not too far away.

He said: "I am short of game practice and I'm not going to hide that but as soon as I get one or two reserve games behind me then I'll be ready for selection.

"My Achilles feels fantastic, I don't have any pain or swelling from it at all so that's good news.

"I think it might, and I hope it will, be weeks rather than months before I am back."

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 08:21:16 AM,16368,1863_5920503,00.html

Kamara brushes aside title talk

Diomansy Kamara insists it is wrong for Celtic to be talking about winning the SPL while they remain 10 points adrift of Rangers.

Kamara endured a disappointing debut for his new club on Tuesday night when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock, wasting the game in hand they had over their arch rivals.

The aftermath of that defeat saw manager Tony Mowbray and Kamara's fellow forward Marc-Antoine Fortune claim overhauling Rangers was still possible.

But Kamara reckons Celtic should put talk of winning the league to one side while the gap at the top continues to get wider rather than narrower.

"At the moment, it's not good to say, 'Yes you can win the title', because we're 10 points behind," the on-loan Fulham striker said.

"We just need to win, win, win and see what happens.

"The title at the moment, it's so hard.

"If we won on Tuesday, we'd be seven points behind."

Kamara, 29, believes Celtic were unlucky to lose at Rugby Park after they created and missed a host of chances for the umpteenth time this season.

And the new arrival is keen to help them make amends in Sunday's Active Nation Scottish Cup fifth-round tie at Dunfermline.

"The good thing is we have a game on Sunday and Wednesday," said Kamara, who admits the cup is now the club's most realistic chance of avoiding ending the season empty-handed.

"This is the target," he said.

"You need to win something and this kind of thing you can win."

And Kamara hopes his own poor record in cup competitions does not prove an omen this weekend.

He added: "When you're at Celtic, we're ambitious to win the trophy because we need to win something this year and I think the cup is a good thing."

One of eight transfer-window arrivals at Parkhead, Kamara pleaded for patience to allow the new faces to gel.

"Two or three new players were playing on Tuesday," he said.

"You just need a bit of time for everyone to play like this or like that.

"And I think after two or three games, the team will be at a high level."

And he is fully behind the vision of manager Tony Mowbray, who he worked under at West Brom for most of the 2006-07 season.

"He's a very good coach with the players," he said.

"He talks a lot with the players and I love his sessions.

"He changes his training all the time and you improve with him.

"This is most important.

"When you come here, you know you can do something to improve."

The Senegal international added: "He's not a liar.

"He's straight and I like this.

"When he wants to tell you something, he tells you to your face and that's most important."

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 08:26:44 AM

Bolton v Fulham: Preview

February 05, 2010

Matt Taylor admits the pressure is on Bolton to beat Fulham at the Reebok.

The Wanderers kick-start a run of four crucial games in 12 days against Roy Hodgson's men, but have lost three of their four league matches since Owen Coyle took charge.

"It's another vital stage in the season for us and time to kick on," said the Trotters midfielder. After the Fulham game, Bolton face City (away), Tottenham (home) and Wigan (away).

"We have some very important games coming up and we are getting into the back end of the season. We need to start picking up points.

"I wouldn't say we will be preparing in any different way to recent matches.

"But we are at home and it's a game we would expect to get points from."

Taylor was speaking during a Premier League 'Places for Players' initiative involving 15 local high school pupils.

The former Portsmouth star and team-mate Sam Ricketts attended the students' 'Challenge Club' session aimed at team building and raising self-esteem levels.

"Fulham are a good team and we did well down there to come away with a point," added Taylor.

"They are in a decent position but we need to pick up points and climb the table.

"Roy Hodgson has signed some very good players.

"But if we play like we have in the last four games, I don't see us coming away with anything but a good result."

On-loan striker Ivan Klasnic misses out with a calf problem and midfielder Gavin McCann is still sidelined by an ankle problem.

However, Arsenal's on-loan England Under-21 international Jack Wilshere will make his home debut.

Hodgson is still without a series of key players for the game.

Simon Davies (ankle) could return after missing Wednesday’s win over Portsmouth, but long-term absentees Andy Johnson (knee), Paul Konchesky (foot), Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (both knee ligaments) are all out.

Hodgson is hoping Zoltan Gera overcomes a knee injury while Erik Nevland has fully recovered from a toe injury and could replace Stefano Okaka alongside Bobby Zamora up front.

Bolton Wanderers (from): Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Gardner, Weiss, Cohen, Taylor, M Davies, Wilshere, McCann, Muamba, Lee, K Davies, A O’Brien, Al Habsi, Samuel, Elmander, Ricketts, Holden.

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

Bolton league form:DLLWL

Fulham league form: LLLLW

Key opponent: Bobby Zamora - striker is having a decent season

Prediction: Bolton 2 Fulham 1 - if they keep trying to play football Bolton should get their rewards
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 10:43:24 AM

February 6, 2010

More evidence

Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 9:47 am

Dikgacoi on after 55 mins.  Here are our passes before then, and after.    Did well.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 10:48:26 AM

No favours for old boys from Zat

9:40am Saturday 6th February 2010

By Marc Iles »

ZAT Knight loved every minute of his time at Fulham — but that won’t stop him trying to put one over on his former club.

Wanderers welcome the west Londoners to the Reebok this afternoon desperately in need of points as they look to move clear of the relegation zone.

Knight knows the visitors better than most having spent nine enjoyable years at Craven Cottage.

He looks back on his time there with a great deal of affection after the club gave him his big break back in football.

The giant defender was playing for non-league side Rushall Olympic in 1999 when Kevin Keegan, the then Fulham manager, offered him his first professional contract in a deal which saw 30 tracksuits heading in the opposite direction.

“Fulham will always have a place in my heart,” admitted Knight, who joined Wanderers from Aston Villa in the summer. “I started my career there and they are always one of the first results I look for.

“I had trials at Benfica, Birmingham and West Brom, but I chose Fulham. Some people wondered why I chose Fulham when they were in the Second Division at the time, but I thought I had more of a chance of getting in the team.

“Kevin Keegan was manager at the time. I was only down there for a week’s trial but on my second day he offered me a three-and-a-half year contract, so I took his hand off.

“I really enjoyed it even though Keegan wasn’t there for too long because he went on to become England manager.

“Sean Davis was already down there. He’d been down there as a schoolboy and, when I joined at the age of 17, we were flatmates for a few years.

“When Keegan was there we won the Second Division and then the First Division under Jean Tigana and then stayed in the Premiership.

“We used to share the Bank of England training ground where England used to train and use the BBC’s ground at Motspur Park. We never really had our own training ground.

“But me starting down there gave me a good perspective on life. I see myself as a grounded person and my heads never really been up in the clouds, even though I am six foot six inches.

“Sometimes you can go to the top and be around the best facilities and you don’t really appreciate things. But I really do appreciate what I have got and where I am today.“ And it was a move which proved equally beneficial off the pitch for Knight, with Mohamed Al Fayed the multi-millionaire owner of both Fulham and luxury department store Harrods.

“We got a good discount at Harrods,“ said the 29-year-old centre-half, who has been capped twice by England. “Al Fayed comes across as a serious because of being in the position he is, but he is a funny guy.

“When he is around the boys he is a character. And what he has done for the club is fantastic. He has brought it up to where it is today and you have to take your hat off to him.“ But, despite his debt of gratitude to his former employers, Knight is totally focused on ensuring Roy Hodgson’s side return south empty-handed as Wanderers aim return to winning ways following last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool.

“If we are going to finish anywhere decent in this league - and we want to get up to mid table, which we are capable of doing - we need to beat the likes of Fulham,“ said .

“They haven’t had a good run in the league so far and, even though they beat Portsmouth on Wednesday, we need to upset them again and get a few wins under our belts.

“Being at Fulham so long, I know they never liked travelling to Bolton. I don’t think a lot of teams like coming up here so hopefully we won’t disappoint.

“Since the manager (Owen Coyle) has come in we’ve mixed our style; playing when we need to and knocking it long when we need to.

“We just need to get that right blend. Fulham didn’t play that well the other night but we know they are going to come here and try to upset us and give their manager a bit of belief.

“The last few games I think we’ve done well apart from maybe the Liverpool game. At times, we didn’t cope with it too well.

“But if we can get back to the type of football we played against Arsenal then I think we can beat anyone.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 06, 2010, 10:55:10 AM
Giles Barnes on his time at Fulham and his injuries -
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: whitejc on February 06, 2010, 12:25:21 PM (
Dikgacoi knows he has battle to win Fulham place
06.02.10 |
Kagisho Dikgacoi is determined to establish himself in Fulham's midfield.

The South Africa midfielder admits he's struggled to find a place in Fulham's impressive engineroom since his arrival.

Dikgacoi told "It was, and you have to react to that. As a sportsman you have to except that at the highest level competition is going to be high.

"I knew that it was going to be difficult, especially making the move from South African football. Danny Murphy, Jonathan Greening, Dickson Etuhu and Chris Baird are all very good players and I’ve learned a lot from them. But I have to keep working hard if I’m going to get a place in the team."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: whitejc on February 06, 2010, 12:27:26 PM (
Whites to have the edge, says Hansen
Fulham may have ended their four-match losing run with a 1-0 home win over bottom club Portsmouth in midweek but they face a tough trip to the Reebok Stadium today.

To be fair, any away trip is difficult for the Cottagers at the moment as they’ve been unable to win on the road since August, a run of 11 away trips without a victory.

Owen Coyle’s appointment has not yielded a huge turnaround in results as Bolton have only won one of his four league games in charge.

However, this is hardly a fair judgement on his work as the three Trotters defeats have come away at Liverpool and in two defeats to Arsenal. This match will be viewed as one the home side would expect to win or at least get a point from. Personally, I think they will pick up all three points.

Bolton don’t possess the best of records against Fulham in recent seasons. In fact, the Trotters have not been able to beat the Cottagers in the last five league clashes. That run includes three Fulham wins. Coyle’s team should be aware that the Londoners won 3-1 at the Reebok last season and drew there the year before that.

Owen is obviously trying to put his own stamp on the current Bolton team with his trio of youthful loan signings and they will add to the quality and enthusiasm of the current team. He will not want to rapidly alter the team he inherited especially with a relegation battle on his hands, but gradually we may see Bolton’s style of football changing. At times Bolton have been criticised for being too direct but I am sure Owen is pragmatic enough to use the players he has available whatever his preferred style.

Kevin Davies’s aerial ability is a useful weapon in Bolton’s armoury, so don’t expect Coyle not to continue to use his strength to the club’s advantage. I’d be surprised if the Bolton boss threw the likes of Jack Wilshere, Stuart Holden and Vladimir Weiss straight into the side but they all have the talent to add more creativity to a physically strong team.

The home side have also had more time to prepare for this one while Fulham played in midweek which could have a bearing on this result. Particularly as I expect the match to be played at a high tempo from the off. The Cottagers have also brought in a couple of loan signings with experienced Nicky Shorey and Roma’s Stefano Okaka arriving.

I just feel Bolton will have a little bit too much for Fulham on the day, the Cottagers are a nice neat organised team but their away form is not good whilst Bolton’s home win over Burnley should give the players belief.

The Trotters will miss the injured Ivan Klasnic but their expensive Swedish star Johan Elmander may prosper from the passing style Owen Coyle is trying to produce in his new team. Therefore, with a £30,000 estimated Premier 10 jackpot to be won this weekend, I am backing a home win for Bolton.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: whitejc on February 06, 2010, 12:29:30 PM (
Dikgacoi Inspired By Lucas
Fulham midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi says there's plenty of South African players he looks up to with Lucas Radebe right up their.

Dikgacoi is in his first season in Europe and admits Leeds United legend Radebe is someone who inspired him as a youngster.

He told "Radebe is what you would call a 'legend' in the game and someone that inspired a lot of young people to follow in his footsteps, certainly players like myself, Steven Pienaar [of Everton], Benni McCarthy [of West Ham] and Aaron Mokoena [of Portsmouth]. He has been an inspiration and a good ambassador for South Africa.

"But I think the current generation of South African footballers are also doing a good job and helping to take the game forward."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.02.10)
Post by: whitejc on February 06, 2010, 12:32:22 PM (
Hodgson down to the bare bones
Fulham, 11:29, February 6, 2010

Fulham striker Andrew Johnson will not play again this season following exploratory knee surgery in the United States.
The 28-year-old has been plagued by injuries this term which has seen him make just 13 appearances for the Cottagers, suffering a shoulder injury at the start of the season before a groin problem in November.

Johnson had travelled to Colorado to consult renowned American surgeon Dr Richard Steadman to try and correct his latest knee problem but, following the operation, he has been advised not to return until the latter part of pre-season.

Boss Roy Hodgson, who may have also lost John Pantsil for the remainder of the season, had been hoping Johnson would be back for the run-in but must now contend with his absence.

He said: "I am disappointed in that, because I was still believing he was going to come back and it would not be that long.

"Now I may be looking at the rest of the season with a limited and inexperienced group of front players."

The former England international has not played since the defeat at Blackburn last month but with Zoltan Gera and Clint Dempsey sidelined at the moment, the squad is down to its bare bones.