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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 05:59:44 AM

Title: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 05:59:44 AM

Dempsey set for shock Fulham return

Feb 15 2010

By Jacob Murtagh

CLINT Dempsey could return for Fulham as early as next month, according to Bob Bradley.

The US national team coach visited the crocked midfielder recently during a trip to the UK.

And he revealed the 26-year-old could be back in action in four weeks.

He said: “I think the hope is he’ll be ready to return to Fulham at some point, probably mid-to-late March.”

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:00:56 AM

Simon Davies delighted with first Fulham goal

Feb 15 2010

By Yann Tear

SIMON Davies says Fulham were always in control of their cup tie against Notts County once they had their noses in front.

The Welshman claimed his first goal of a stop-start season - one interrupted by foot and ankle injuries – midway through the first half in Sunday's fifth round tie at Craven Cottage.

It took the wind out of County's sails and they were eventually bushed aside 4-0.

"It was good to get off the mark and the first goal's always an important one in a cup tie," said Davies, who could now face old side Tottenham in the quarter-finals.

"I think once we got that, it sort of killed them a little bit and we controlled the game from there on.

"It was comfortable once the second and third went in and we could have got a few more if the final pass here and then had been a bit better.

"But it was a job well done and we keep on the little run we are on ahead of that massive game on Thursday against Shakhtar Donetsk."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:02:16 AM,19528,11681_5951925,00.html

Shorey thanks Forest

Full-back grateful to Reds for putting him back on track

By Chris Burton   

Last updated: 15th February 2010   
Nicky Shorey has thanked Nottingham Forest for playing a major part in turning his season around.

The full-back endured a difficult start to the 2009/10 campaign, with first-team opportunities proving hard to come by at Aston Villa.

Having been regularly overlooked by Martin O'Neill, the 28-year-old accepted that a loan switch was the only viable option available to him.

Championship high-fliers Forest offered him the prospect of regular football at the City Ground and he jumped at the chance to take in a spell in the second tier.

Shorey shone during his time with the Reds, helping to raise his profile during the January transfer window.

Premier League outfit Fulham were alerted to his availability and, with his deal with Forest having reached a conclusion, he was on his way to Craven Cottage.

"I've enjoyed it," said the former Reading defender.

Shock switch

"The games have come thick and fast since I joined here so that's the best way, to just get out and play.

"There's nothing worse than not playing. I really loved my time at Nottingham Forest and was looking forward to going back when this move came out of nowhere.

"It's all thanks to Forest for giving me the games otherwise I would still be at Villa kicking my heels. It all happened really quickly and it's great I could come back to the Premier League."

Shorey, who has two England caps to his name, has been touted as a possible replacement for Ashley Cole at this summer's World Cup should the Chelsea full-back fail to shake off an ankle knock in time to make the plane to South Africa.

He insists he has given little thought to reigniting his international ambitions, though, as his domestic career has to take priority at present.

"I'm just enjoying playing my football," he said.

"I've played for England before and I really enjoyed it but I'll leave that for other people to talk about."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:05:15 AM

A lot of Fixtures

by lydia

on February 15, 2010

Although we have only 12 more league fixtures this season, it is possible that we could still have 24 more fixtures overall. If we were to do as well in the FA cup and Europa League, our fixtures would just keep piling up.

Obviously we needn’t be getting ahead of ourselves as even Roy himself says that he will be focusing on the league and the FA cup but I wonder how our thin squad would cope if we were to keep on progressing in the FA cup and the Europa League.

If  I’m honest though, all I want from Thursday night is a good performance, whether we progress or not. The FA cup is the one I want to see us win. Survival is pretty much garenteed because we are well above the relegation fight so winning something would be fantastic!

Bring on  Bolton/Spurs!
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:16:33 AM,16368,1775_5951032,00.html

Orient spells over for loan duo

Leyton Orient loan duo Nicky Adams and Matthew Briggs have returned to their parent clubs following their loan spells at Brisbane Road.
Winger Adams was a big hit, starting all six games of his month-long spell from Leicester.

The 23-year-old's arrival coincided with Orient's recent upturn in form, but although boss Geraint Williams was eager to keep him on, the Foxes have opted to recall him.

"Nicky has been fantastic and he's enjoyed his time down here," said Williams. "He wanted to stay and we wanted him to stay but Leicester, as is their right, wanted to recall him."

Defender Briggs, 18, has gone back to Fulham after making one appearance - in the win over Yeovil.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:18:13 AM
Through The Ranks

Monday 15th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Like many young African footballers, Fulham’s Cheick Touré grew up practising his skills and dreaming of playing in Europe.

For most that dream will remain a distant hope. However, the Ivorian youngster was selected to be one of the pupils at the famed Abidjan football academy where teenagers in West Africa have a better chance of realising their ambitions.

Graduates of the school include Manchester City’s Kolo Touré, Arsenal’s Emmanuel Eboué, Portsmouth’s Aruna Dindane and Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou, as well as Didier Zokora and Yaya Touré who play for Sevilla and Barcelona respectively.

“I am very proud to have been part of the Abidjan academy,” reflects Cheick. “It has produced so many top players as well as lots and lots of other players across Europe.

“Some of those have gone on to make a big impact in English football and one day I would like to be thought of in the same way.

“The academy has a great reputation and is one of the best in Africa. If you get chosen you know that you have talent and that there is a good chance of getting that dream move.”

Founded by former French international Jean-Marc Guillou in 1993 with the aim of taking children off the street and giving them an education and top-class football training, the academy was soon producing a stream of undoubtedly talented players.

At one point coaches were watching 30,000 hopefuls in trial matches before picking just 18 aged between 12 and 15. The chosen live at the school during the week and take part in two football sessions per day, with a match on a Saturday.

“You live and breathe the game,” he explains. “But thankfully football was already a way of life for us.”

Unfortunately, the academy suffered when civil war broke out in 2002 but has since undergone a re-launch.

“I know that some people argue against such academies, but all I can say is that it helped me get to where I am today,” he says with conviction. And that place is Fulham Football Club.

Touré initially trialled at French club Auxerre, before being offered a professional contract at Millwall. However, it was at Motspur Park that he felt most at home, signing a one-year schoolboy contract last summer – a contract which has since become a two-year scholarship.

“I feel very comfortable here,” says Cheick. “It was difficult at first, but seven months on I believe I have made good progress and that I have become a better player.

“I came in as a midfielder, but have since been switched to the centre of defence. At the beginning I was not happy. I won’t lie, I did not want to play in defence, I wanted to play in midfield where I have always played.

“But my coaches here decided that I could become a better centre-back, which I now believe too. I certainly have the physique and power to do well in that position. The important thing is for me to be playing and moving to defence has made that happen.”

His education in football began on the dusty streets of Agnéby – one of 19 regions of Ivory Coast and with a population of 720,000.

It was here where he developed his unquestionable talent for the game and his unquenchable desire to succeed. He was a street player; one that played with a perpetual smile and with a ball constantly at his feet.

After an uneven transition into English football, Touré has overcome cultural differences and pressure to perform, with Academy staff and coaches praising his willingness to learn and develop, both as a player and as a person.

“In the beginning I didn’t know what was going on,” he admits. “I hardly spoke any English; I only knew a few words like ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’. It was difficult to communicate with my new team-mates and coaches and I just didn’t understand.

“Everyone was very patient, but it must have been frustrating for them too. I was being told things, but without knowing what exactly it was that they wanted from me, I couldn’t go away and make those improvements.

“I was making mistakes and it was clear that the team was conceding goals because of me – which was difficult to take. And in the end I lost my place in the team.

“I cried when I found myself on the bench because I just wanted to be out there playing and showing everyone what I could do.

“But that setback made me want to succeed even more and I decided to do all I could to make sure that happened. I started coming in at 7am and doing extra work in the gym, as well as extra defensive sessions after training.

“I made even more of an effort to learn English and would speak and think it as much as possible because I was determined to not let this opportunity pass. I feel as my English has got better, so has my football.

“They were things that I just had to do, and still do to this day. I now know what my position entails; I know when I have to drop off, squeeze or push forward. When the manager shouts his instructions I can react immediately. I feel very happy now.”

The 17-year-old’s natural strength and admirable commitment have brought much to the team, and off the pitch he is a popular character with both team-mates and staff.

Touré has worked hard to get where he is and it is clear the game that we call football means an awful lot to him.

“For a lot of African people it is a dream to be able to play for a team like Fulham,” he says. “Before I became part of the Abidjan academy there would be days where I would miss school just so I could play football in the streets and develop my skills.

“Ivory Coast is a lot different to England, as you can imagine. Here you have everything, back home you have nothing. You don’t have these nice Nike shirts and most of the time you don’t even have boots on your feet.

“There have been a lot of problems there and it wasn’t just difficult for me – it was difficult for everyone. Football gave me the chance to escape what was going on and it has given me an opportunity to do good things with my life.

“For me, I only have football - it is all that I have.”

Touré’s path to SW6 is a remarkable story; a humbling narrative laced with courage and resolve and entwined with political struggle and war. He appreciates the chance that football has given him, and looks set to give all he can in the white of Fulham.

“There have been a lot of obstacles in the way,” reflects Cheick. “So far, my time at the Club has been a wonderful experience and I think I have come a long way in a short space of time.

“When I came in on trial my agent gave me my first real pair of boots. I’d only ever worn boots a few times before that day. I wasn’t used to them and even that was difficult for me.

“I remember just wanting to rip them off and play in bare feet. Imagine that, a player taking off his boots and kicking the ball and going in for tackles without protection on his feet! But I knew nothing else.”

Cheick Touré Up Close

My nickname is Petr. Well that’s what Mark Pembridge calls me anyway, as in Petr Cech.
A strength of mine is that I am very physical. I’m also very comfortable on the ball.
Although my weakness is probably the fact that I am not that quick. I need to work on my speed.
I would say I play most like Carlos Puyol. He’s strong and even though he is not quick he’s always a step ahead of the strikers.
The biggest influence on my career has been Kit Symons. He has helped me a lot since I have been at Fulham because playing in defence has been a new experience for me. But he’s helped me to adapt.
My hidden talent is my dancing. I do a good African dance that everyone loves to see me do.
My favourite Fulham player is Brede Hangeland. We play in the same position and he is a player that I can learn a lot from.
Growing up my idol was Alexandre Song of Arsenal. He can play in midfield and in defence. He’s a great player.
Five years from now I’ll be at the top of my game.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:19:50 AM
Dictating The Game
Monday 15th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham produced a commanding performance against Notts County on Sunday to book their rightful place in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup and Mark Schwarzer was clearly delighted to have overcome Sunday’s opposition in such convincing fashion.

“We had to go out there and play our own football and dictate the game and stay switched on the whole time which we did very well on Sunday,” said Schwarzer.

“Complacency was one of the things we harped on about before the game and leading up to the game for most of the week. It was a relatively busy afternoon in goal and credit to the defence in front of me because they did very well.

“Everyone did a really good job today and it was nice for us to score four goals. It’s good for confidence and it’s nice to be through to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.

"People may have expected us to win on Sunday but it was always a potential banana skin because Notts County were there for a good reason. They’d beaten Wigan and that takes some doing."

Fulham will compete against either Bolton or Spurs in March for a place in the Semi-Finals and Schwarzer is determined to make it to Wembley Stadium this season following last year’s Quarter Final defeat at the hands of Manchester United.

“Obviously last time round it wasn’t very good for us at all against Manchester United. They played very well that day and deserved to beat us but who knows what will happen this time.”

Fulham return to European stage on Thursday night with a UEFA Europa League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk and Fulham’s Aussie keeper is expecting a testing encounter at the Cottage.

“They [Shakhtar] will be a tough side and Thursday’s match will be a totally different game against totally different opposition - it’s going to be a lot more difficult than Sunday’s game was in the end.”

Tickets are now on General Sale for Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Cottage (KO 8.05pm).

Supporters can purchase their tickets online| (24/7) or by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1, 24/7).

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:21:23 AM
Fulham v Shakhtar Donetsk

UEFA Europa League

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Kick-Off 20:05

On-sale Now

Tickets are now on General Sale   

Buy tickets online|

Following our outstanding 3-2 win over Basel, we have been drawn against last year's UEFA Cup Champions FC Shakhtar Donetsk .

The Whites will play the first leg of this knock out round at home which will take place on 18th February, Kick-Off 8:05pm, with either Juventus or Ajax awaiting the eventual winners.

This match signifies the biggest European game in Fulham Football Club's history and we are urging supporters to sell out the Cottage for another night of European Football.

The first 10,000 tickets have now SOLD OUT .  Ticket prices are now as follows:

Season Ticket Holders

£15 Adults
£10 Concessions (under 21 / over 65)
£5 Juniors (under 16)
Non-Season Ticket Holders

£20 Adults
£15 Concessions (under 21 / over 65)
£5 Juniors (under 16)
How to Buy
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online*
by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1) - 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
Tickets will NOT be available to book in-person or by fax or postal application until later notice.

* Lower booking fees compared to telephone booking

UEFA Seating Requirements
Please note that UEFA regulations mean that we are required to make special alterations to the seating arrangements for all European matches being held at the Cottage. As we have now progressed to the Round of 32 the media requirements imposed on us by UEFA have increased significantly. Where necessary we will be relocating a number of supporters to alternative seats, and we will endeavour to assign the best available seats to anyone affected. There is also a possibility that additional seats will be required therefore we may need to relocate supporters once tickets have been booked for the game. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this causes.


Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:23:17 AM
Lucky Programme Number

Monday 15th February 2010

Fulham FC News

The lucky programme number from Sunday's match against Notts County at the Cottage was 03475.

If you were the lucky buyer of this numbered edition then please email| with a scan or photograph of the inside back cover as proof of your success.

The winner will receive a medium Fulham shirt, signed, as well as a signed copy of Sunday's programme.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the programme at every home game to be in with a chance of winning great Fulham prizes like these.

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:25:04 AM

FA Cup Glory Would Cap Fulham's Remarkable Rise Under Roy Hodgson

15/2/2010 7:39 AM GMT

By Jon West

They are a club rich in history and boasting a famous old ground just off the Thames in a swanky part of London, but when it comes to silverware there is no denying Fulham have little to show for 103 years of endeavour.

A handful of lower league title triumphs, a full set of runners-up medals from the 1975 FA Cup Final and - how could we ever forget? - their name engraved on the Intertoto Cup in 2002.

That modest picture, however, could soon change. Indeed, Craven Cottage regulars could be forgiven for already reaching the conclusion that 2010 represents the best chance they'll ever have to win a major trophy.

Indeed, the FA Cup draws could hardly have been kinder to Roy Hodgson with Swindon of League One and League Two duo Accrington Stanley and Notts County their opponents so far.

And, in a season where Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have already been removed from the famous old competition, their quarter-final tie is a home one against either Bolton or Spurs.

And then there is the Europa League as well, with Fulham hosting Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday night in the first instalment of an intriguing clash with last season's Uefa Cup winners.

Hodgson, as you might expect, is keen to play down his side's FA Cup prospects, arguing that Chelsea, Aston Villa and Manchester City represent formidable obstacles.

But that's just Roy being Roy. He's a man who would only allow himself to get carried away if he'd been run over by a bus and the paramedics had just arrived on the scene.

For Fulham are certainly now good enough to go all the way in a knock-out competition as their squad is twice as strong as it was when Hodgson took over in December 2007.

Then, Mohamed Al Fayed's club was heading nowhere other than a return to the Championship. But the Harrods owner pulled off a masterstroke when he ended a short but utterly disastrous spell with Lawrie Sanchez in charge and brought in the much-travelled Hodgson.

Relegation was avoided on the last day of that season and the following campaign saw European football secured via a seventh-place finish. Remarkable progress indeed.

And all of this has been achieved the Fulham way, which is the same as the Hodgson way, with the minimum of fuss. Mark Schwarzer is as competent and reliable a goalkeeper as you'll find, a defence marshalled by Aaron Hughes, the captain, and Brede Hangeland is notoriously mean and former England man Danny Murphy, safe in the knowledge that Dickson Etuhu will do the hod carrying around him, pulls the strings in midfield.

Then there is Bobby Zamora. The forward is now being tipped as an England World Cup outsider and his goal in Sunday's 4-0 victory over Notts County was his 13th in an injury-hit season. He's chippy enough too, which is often an attribute for a front man, as he's still cupping his hand to his ear by way of a goal celebration, having adopted it as a riposte to fans who had been on his back last season and the start of this one too.

This, then, is Fulham's strongest-ever squad, although it's fascinating to wonder how many of its individual members would get into an All Time XI, given that Johnny Haynes is still revered along with some of his team-mates and George Best, Bobby Moore, Alan Mullery and Rodney Marsh were all at the Cottage in the Seventies.

Best & Co were all past their best when they arrived at Fulham, of course. They never won anything when they were there and now Premier League unknowns David Elm and Fredrik Stoor have the perfect opportunity to show them how it's done.

Hodgson, of course, wouldn't have it any other way. "It's wrong to compare the mythical teams of the '60s and '70s or even the showbiz teams when Marsh, Best and Moore were in the same side," he said.

"We have to be more journeyman-like in our approach because staying in the league is so important. It's not a case of Marsh doing a few tricks or Best beating a man and having a rest for five minutes. That's just not possible."
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:27:09 AM

Premier League trio hunt Spanish journeyman

Author:  Nigel Brown

Posted on:15 February 2010 - 11:29

Real Mallorca forward Aritz Aduriz is considering his future in La Liga after the Premier League trio of Wigan Athletic, Birmingham City, and Fulham have entered the race to sign the 29-year-old striker.

Aduriz, has scored goals throughout his career most recently at Real Mallorca, where the forward has netted 19 goals in 50 appearances. However despite finishing as the clubs top scorer in his first season at Mallorca Aduriz has struggled to find consistency in the last year, and is now considering making a move to the Premier League. Adruiz has also played for Athletic Bilbao, Aurrera, Valladolid, and Burgos.

At 29 the striker has one more major move left in his career, and with 18 months left on his Mallorca contract the Spanish club could cash in on the forward. It is thought the forward could be signed for around the £2 million mark considering both the players age and contract length.

Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez has already raided La Liga in the transfer market and the Spaniard has connections and a network of Spanish scouts that he has used to scout Spanish top tier. Aduriz could provide competition for Wigan’s forward line which now boasts former Crystal Palace starlet Victor Moses, Jason Scotland, Hugo Rodallega  and Bolivian Marcelo Moreno.

Birmingham City manager Alex Mcleish is reportedly assessing his summer transfer option, with the Blues new owners providing a large summer transfer kitty. Despite the additional funds at St Andrew, Mcleish is keen to find value for money in the transfer window and not be wasteful. Spanish forward Aduriz could provide exactly that, while also acting as competition for Cameron Jerome, Kevin Phillips, Christian “Chucho” Benitez, and James McFadden.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has made no secret of his pursuit of forwards, with the manager eager to strengthen his front line. Andy Johnson is out until the end of the season, but should make a full recovery in time for next season, with Hodgson relying on Bobby Zamora and Erik Nevland as traditional front men. Hodgson has tight purse strings at Craven Cottage, however a move for the Spaniard Aduriz would be value for money for the gaffer touted as the next England manager.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:29:42 AM

Fulham - The Cottage Aesthetics

With far more spare time on my hands than normal, I've found myself making the long trip to Fulham far more often than usual of late. The more frequent my trips, the more apparent it becomes that seating choice really can make or break a game for me.

Sitting in row Z of the Riverside Stand against Aston Villa, the only real noise I could make out was that of the Midlanders. To add insult to injury too, the bulk of their chants were aimed at the lacklustre response from us in the Riverside Stand.

However, once you take a seat far closer to the Hammersmith End, the only real noise that becomes apparent is that of the Fulham faithful, and it becomes all the more difficult to make out the songs coming from the away support.

Once you're in the Hammy End itself, it's practically impossible to notice the away fans even exist.

So, that has got me thinking; is it all in the design of the Cottage?

Craven Cottage is rather unique for a Premier League ground, possessing four open corners: Four open corners where plenty of sound is lost.

The majority of the noise from the home fans will appear from the Hammy End, with The Riverside Stand being overly family orientated. It would be an interesting experiment to see just how far that noise travels, as I expect it struggles to make it over the half way line.

That is, I must say, to no fault of our own, but, it can be rather embarrassing when mocked by travelling supporters.

Overall though, it must be recognised that we are a 'Family Club' and many fans in the Cottage are purely there for a fun day out. Good on them; and good choice, I must add!
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:33:09 AM

Hodgson praises hard-working Fulham

9:39am Monday 15th February 2010

 By Simon Fitzjohn »

Roy Hodgson reckons it is graft more than flair that is the key to his successful term as Fulham boss.

With a top-seven finish and a Europa League place in the bag after his first year at the helm at Craven Cottage, the Londoners have followed that up with another encouraging campaign.

And, after easing into a home FA Cup quarter-final against either Bolton or Tottenham following their 4-0 defeat of Notts County on Sunday, Hodgson insists it is all down to pure workrate.

He said: “With Fulham there is a long association with flair but that is just not possible nowadays.

“We have to be more workmanlike in our approach because staying in the Premier League is so important.

“It is wrong to compare us to the mythical teams of the 60s and 70s or even the showbiz teams of George Best, Rodney Marsh and Bobby Moore.

“Back then it was a case of Best doing a few tricks and then having a rest for five minutes but is just not possible now.”

Simon Davies, Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and Stefano Okaka were on target as the Cottagers eased past League Two County.

And with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United having bitten the dust, Hodgson has eyes on a glory run.

He added: “We think we have as good a chance as anybody else.

“The FA Cup means a lot to us and it would be a major step forward for the progression of the club.

“Notts County were a real banana skin and I am just glad we did not slip up on it.

“I wasn’t wrong to suggest they would give us a decent game.

“But now we move on and we will be highly motivated for the quarter-final - whoever we come up against.”

Fulham’s next three matches: Feb 18 Shaktar Donetsk (EL, h), 21 Birmingham City (a), 25 Shaktar Donetsk (EL, a)
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:34:29 AM

The Oldest team in London take out the Oldest Team in the League - in the worlds Oldest Cup Competition
 Fulham booked their place in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup with a professional display against Notts County at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon. Simon Davies opened the scoring for the Whites in the first-half and his goal was followed by a powerful strike from Bobby Zamora. Second-half goals from Damien Duff and Stefano Okaka capped off a good display from Fulham.

The Whites started well and crafted a fine scoring opportunity in the second minute when Chris Baird rolled a smart pass into the path of Bobby Zamora in the Notts County penalty area. Zamora turned past his marker and fired a low shot just wide of the far post.

David Kevan elected to start with a 4-5-1 formation, no doubt hoping to stifle Fulham in the midfield area. Roy Hodgson maintained the front two pairing of Zamora and Elm, and the two certainly started the game well.

Fulham looked comfortable on the ball in the opening exchanges with Baird in particular impressing with some accurate passing from right-back. The Northern Ireland international twice found Zamora with superb long-range passes and also maintained his composure in tight quarters.   
Notts County soon began to work their way back into the match and a sustained spell of pressure from County culminated in Ben Davies stinging the palms of Mark Schwarzer with a long-range effort, which the Fulham keeper pushed over.

Simon Davies put Fulham in the lead on 22 minutes with a fine finish after being found by a long pass from Danny Murphy. Davies did well to work some space for the shot from 18 yards, which he placed inside Kasper Schmeichel’s right hand post.

Schmeichel then did well to deny Damien Duff with a good save to his right after the Republic of Ireland international turned on to his left foot and tried his luck from inside the area.

Davies’ goal appeared to subdue County whose attacks became less frequent as the first-half wore on. Whilst their formation was successful in providing resistance to Fulham’s passing play in the middle of the park, their options were reduced when attacking in open play.

Craig Westcarr had by far the visiting side’s best chance of the first-half when he found space on the edge of the six-yard box but his shot was superbly saved by Schwarzer.

Bobby Zamora doubled Fulham’s lead in the 41st minute, finishing off a wonderful move from the Whites. Nicky Shorey started the attack with a direct run deep into Notts County territory before slipping a pass to David Elm who deftly flicked it to Zamora on the edge of the area. Zamora fired emphatically past Schmeichel.

The second-half got off to a slow start, with Fulham pressing Notts County well. The visitors certainly had the better of the half chances in the opening minutes with Ben Davies and Lee Hughes both getting their shots away as County looked to find a foothold in the game.

The Whites looked less active in terms of creating opportunities from open play and Notts County Manager, David Kevan, looked press for a goal when he switched formation to a more conventional 4-4-2 line-up following the introduction of Luke Rodgers.

With one less man in midfield for County, Fulham were able to attack with greater incisiveness and Simon Davies in particular was enjoying more time on the ball. Indeed, Davies could have netted a third for the Whites when he was put through, unfortunately his left-footed shot was blocked.

Danny Murphy was replaced by Jonathan Greening on 69 minutes, having put in a typically influential performance in the centre of the park.

Damien Duff netted Fulham’s third goal of the afternoon when he beat Kasper Schmeichel at his near post on 73 minutes. The goal came after a Fulham attack appeared to lose some of its momentum but Zamora found Duff with an accurate pass to get the Whites moving again. Duff cut back on to his left foot and made sure of Fulham’s place in the Quarter Finals with a crisp strike.

Stefano Okaka and Bjorn Helge Riise replace Duff and Zamora soon after the restart. And Okaka didn’t have to wait long to open his Fulham account when he pounced on a defensive error to run clear through on goal and fire a shot through Schmeichel’s legs and into the back of the net.

Posted by: AmericanMike on Monday, February 15, 2010 - 01:10 AM 
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:37:46 AM

Premiership set to debate new debt cap

Tuesday, 16th February 2010

DEBT-LADEN Premier League clubs could be forced to cap borrowing at just a quarter of their turnovers.

The drastic measures, called for by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, would be the strictest financial constraints on any major football league in the world. He proposed the changes in light of the financial misery that has been heaped on Portsmouth, which look almost certain to slump into administration.

With the exception of Wolves, Birmingham City and Stoke, all premier league clubs are indebted by more than the level proposed by Whelan, according to 2008 figures.

Chelsea, along with Fulham, are the biggest Premiership spenders, and have exceeded the proposed cap by the biggest degree.

Whelan told City A.M.: “Premier League clubs need to consider how much they feel they can borrow and set a cap, with the penalty for breaking it having points deducted at the start of the next season.

“I have put this to the Premier League and I think something will happen. It will be given serious consideration. Most clubs accept we can only borrow so much money. We can’t have a situation where a club like Portsmouth could go out of business – it would be a travesty.”

He added: “Football needs to get its house in order. Borrowing is far too high. The Premier League is always looking at things like wage caps – but that would make the league less competitive. I’ve already put a cap on spending at Wigan – it is what we need across the board.”

However, analysts claim the measures are too draconian and do not reflect the realities of the modern game. A Premier League spokesman said: “The ultimate decision-making forum is between the clubs themselves. If any club wants to bring an idea forward it can and it will be debated. We want to encourage clubs to act in a responsible manner.”

Whelan joined the chorus of football figures denouncing the possibility of new football regulator, branding the idea “a disaster”.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:41:03 AM
Lily joked: "I've been once to the Brits before. I only went to the one where I was nominated for four and then didn't win any.

"Yeah, that was quite a good night. I went out with Liam and NICOLE APPLETON that night.

"Oasis won Lifetime Achievement. Yeah that was quite a big one."

Lily has become good friends with TAKE THAT over the years.

But Lil' was surprised their former bandmate ROBBIE WILLIAMS is up for Outstanding Contribution To Music.

She explained: "I was having a meeting with the producers and they were saying the last performance is Robbie Williams, because he's winning a Lifetime Achievement award.

"I said that's a bit early isn't it? And they thought I meant in the show but I meant his life.

"He's only 30 isn't he? So that was quite funny, but good luck to him, he is winning."

I ask if football fan Lily had ever been seduced by John Terry on a night out in London, but she just laughs: "No, don't be ridiculous. I'm a Fulham fan."

Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:43:52 AM

However, while clubs such as Aston Villa and Bolton have found the Uefa Cup an inconvenience and the Fulham manager, Roy Hodgson, wondered if its replacement, the Europa League, was worth the hassle, Moyes said he has been enthused by it. Since Everton have no other silverware to compete for and are now mining a rich seam of form, the Europa League is seen from Goodison as a competition well within their compass.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:47:10 AM

Play-offs could help break glass ceiling

Out of luck: Martin Jol consoles Robbie Keane as Tottenham miss out on a Champions League place in 2006, but play-offs could end the big four's dominance

Matt Dickinson, Chief Sports Correspondent

The difficulty of trying to break the monopoly of the “big four” English clubs has already cost Mark Hughes his job and Sheikh Mansour hundreds of millions of pounds. And still you would not risk much money on Manchester City smashing the glass ceiling.

It cost Martin Jol his position, too, at Tottenham Hotspur even though food poisoning was one of the conspirators against his team when they were a victory away from a cherished place in the top four.

David Moyes is the solitary manager who has managed to smash through the glass ceiling, but Everton were promptly knocked out in the Champions League qualifier and Liverpool, saved by the miracle of Istanbul, ensured it was the usual English quartet who flied the flag in Europe — as they have done for each of the past six seasons.

Which is why the idea of play-offs for the fourth Champions League place is being so eagerly kicked around by some Barclays Premier League chairmen and chief executives; and why the underdog spirit in all of us should have met the proposal yesterday with more than a resignation that it will never happen (even though the Big Four, flexing their muscles, will almost certainly see to it that it doesn’t).

The Champions League has been a closed shop, and might yet prove so again this season even as City spend and Liverpool falter.

But that could change if seventh became the new fourth.

In potentially giving smaller clubs a chance to steal one of the places of the big boys — a rare chance for the poor to take from the rich — the proposal seems on the surface to be exactly the sort of meritocratic step we should all be applauding.

As a way to inject more excitement into the Premier League season, there is plenty to love — the greater interest for clubs striving to win a golden ticket to the play-offs; a huge battle between those jostling between third and fourth; and a thrilling climax to the season because who doesn’t like a play-off? Especially when the stakes are potentially this big.

It is why the frustrated middle tier hopes that the scheme might get enough backing from fans to put pressure on the Big Four (or Five, as City like it to be called). Backers of the play-off proposal are certainly right to be looking at Champions League qualification as a way to target inequality in our own league.

Uefa likes to play down how much the Champions League distorts domestic competition by saying that it provides only 8 to 13 per cent of income for the top clubs, but 8 per cent of Liverpool’s turnover is still a vast amount to a Stoke City, Fulham, Sunderland or even Everton.

That revenue is bolstered by those same top clubs receiving invitations to play on summer tours and increased marketing deals, tightening their grip further.

Keeping the big clubs happy is why 75 per cent of television and sponsorship money from the Champions League goes directly to 32 clubs in the group stage, usually the biggest and richest ones.

The only way to address this problem properly is for those benefits to be divided among the entire Premier League, but even to suggest it would have the big clubs making rumblings about a breakaway league.

In their frustration, ambitious middle-ranking clubs are now pushing the play-off idea and hoping to sweep along those beneath them. They know that there are objections, many sensible ones, but the very least they want, and deserve, is a fair hearing.

The biggest hurdle is football’s cluttered timetable, although the FA could assist by scrapping Cup replays.

For those with qualms about allowing the seventh-placed team into Europe’s premier competition, the Champions League was diluted years ago. As for the “fairness” of the play-offs, we long since jettisoned those qualms and revelled in the excitement. Another justified concern is whether the play-off system would actually do more than give the occasional bloody nose to the big clubs.

If we are worried about the difference between the rich and the rest, does this do enough to correct it? Will depriving a year of Champions League income from one of the bigger teams — and giving it to, say, Fulham or Spurs — really level the playing field?

They would have to negotiate a qualifying round and only then would they be assured of the millions of income from the group stages. Does that leave enough time to bolster the squad with fresh signings? How much to invest given it could be a short-lived campaign? Could their squad cope with the twin challenges? Perhaps not, but they would love just a glimmer of a chance of finding out.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:52:28 AM

Stefano Okaka Will Become A Great Striker

– Roma Midfielder Daniele De Rossi
World Cup winner believes Okaka has it all…

By Rupert Fryer

Feb 15, 2010 7:11:00 PM
Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi believes striker Stefano Okaka will one day become a football great.

“We’re good friends, he’s a great guy and will become a great player,” De Rossi told “He’s very strong, a little like Luca Toni.”

The 20-year-old Italian is currently on loan with Fulham as he moved to London in search of more first-team opportunities, something De Rossi says is all he needs to become a top European striker.

“He has fantastic technical skills and he’s physically very fit and he’s still only 20 years old," he said. "He needs to play at Fulham and he’ll soon become a great striker.”

Okaka, who scored his first goal for Fulham in the 4-0 win over Notts County yesterday, has joined the Cottagers until the end of the current campaign and if all goes well, manager Roy Hodgson has the option to extend the deal for another season.
Title: Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (16.02.10)
Post by: White Noise on February 16, 2010, 06:59:07 AM

Shakhtar decided not to watch Fulham’s play to the end

14-02-10 21:03:22

The cultural outing of Shakhtar players and coaches to FA Cup Fulham v Notts County match was not only for the entertainment, but also for information. The Miners spent an hour and a half getting from their training camp in St. Albans to London Craven Cottage stadium in order to study the habit of the rival in the home conditions.

The old stadium of Fulham is situated in a densely built district and moreover, it comes close to Thames on one side. So, there is not much free space. That is why the Miners had to leave the bus several quarters before the stadium and go on foot with the fans of both teams.

We must say that a lot of fans came to support Notts County. Buses of guests by the roadsides reminded the image, say, the Ukrainian Cup final, when thousands of fans come to the place of event across the country.

People recognized Shakhtar players, came up to take photo or ask for the autograph. In stands this process lasted nearly all match long. The English fans showed their qualification, some came up to speak a word or two with somebody of the winners of the UEFA Cup personally. Darijo Srna, Fernandinho and Jadson were very popular.

Fulham representatives turned out to be the generous hosts. They didn’t let the Donetsk delegation to stay in the queue, accredited the Press Office of FC Shakhtar... However, they didn't allow us to make the video and let us to take photos only by the unprofessional camera. So, don't judge too severely, here you can see what photos we managed to make by the simple hand-held camera.

The English use the topic of the approaching match against Shakhtar very actively. The programme for the match against Notts County is reach in information about the Donetsk team and advertisement of the tickets to buy. The word 'Shakhtar' glimpsed regularly on the light boards around the pitch. In the Fulham fan-shop beside the other things the important place was for the twin scarf made for the clash against the Donetsk team.

As concerns the game itself, maybe it was Notts County that didn’t let the Miners to see the real strength of the London team. This club turned out to be so weak that Fulham had no other choice than to smash the guests without mercy. It is clear that it would be more interesting to look at Hodgson's footballers in the clash with mightier rival. But there was no choice.

By and large the Shakhtar players agreed that our future rival hasn’t amazed us by anything special. To play against them is possible, very possible. Of course, we shouldn't play relaxed and should concentrate fully. Among Fulham players Zamora distinguished himself. The Londoners very often built their play on him. The very high defenders were also remarkable. They blocked the "second floor" completely.

The separate praise to the fans. They support their team crazily. This is England!

After the third goal was scored to Notts County, Mircea Lusescu ordered to get into the bus. There was everything clear with this match. However getting to the exit Shakhtar managed to see the fourth goal, but on the numerous screens that cover the Fulham stadium from the outside.

FC Shakhtar
Press Office