Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)  (Read 11125 times)

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Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« on: February 19, 2010, 10:41:51 PM »
Shakhtar Screening

Friday 19th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Don't worry if you can't make it to Donetsk for our away leg in the UEFA Europa League, you can cheer the Team on with fellow Fulham fans at one of our stylish bars at the Cottage (from 5pm, Thursday 25 February).

We are also offering a great value food and drink deal - a beer and a pie for just £5 .

After Fulham's great performance in the home leg, this is a game you won't want to miss!

Register your interest
Register your interest now   
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White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 10:43:45 PM »
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Inside Fulham

Download this week's 'Inside Fulham' podcast featuring Manager Roy Hodgson, Mark Schwarzer and Aaron Hughes.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 10:44:33 PM »
Still Time to Board

Friday 19th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham travel to Donetsk with a 2-1 lead next Thursday, and there are still a few seats remaining on the Official Fulham flyer| .

Fulham’s away UEFA Europa League tie against Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday 25th February presents Fulham fans with not only the chance to witness Roy Hodgson’s side take on last season’s UEFA Cup winners in the last 32 of the competition, but also the opportunity to visit Shakhtar’s magnificent Donbass Stadium. 

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.

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.

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
Your ticket to the match
Please note flight times are:

25 Feb 10  Thursday  MON9132  LGW-DOK  0825-1410
26 Feb 10  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|

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White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 10:45:27 PM »
Fulham v Birmingham

Barclays Premier League

Sunday 21 February

Kick-Off 15:00

Tickets are now on General Sale.   

Buy tickets now|

How to Buy Tickets
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 hrs a day
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
by fax 0207 384 4810 (download printable form )
by postal application to FFC Ticket Office, Stevenage Road, Fulham, SW6 6HH enclosing a stamped addressed envelope (download printable form )
Seatwave - the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange
Thomas Cook - match breaks for all Fulham FC home games
* Lower booking fees compared to telephone booking

Category B prices apply to this match.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 10:46:32 PM »
Season Tickets 2010/11 on sale now

It’s been an unforgettable season so far, with the side already recording eight league victories at Craven Cottage, including memorable victories over Liverpool and Manchester United.

And with the Whites just one game away from a Wembley Semi-Final and place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League, this campaign looks set to be as memorable as last year’s highest ever league finish.

With the ever-increasing stature of the Club under Roy Hodgson, we have launched 2010/11 Season Tickets earlier than ever to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the action at Craven Cottage next season!

Season Tickets at Fulham are accessible to all real football fans – and just as importantly these days, it’s a genuinely affordable way to catch all 19 of Fulham’s Barclays Premier League home games!

New Season Ticket Applications are now being accepted. Adult and Concession Season Tickets for the 2010/11 season start at just £285 , and Junior Season Tickets from just £95 – that’s only £15 and £5 per game respectively! We even have a limited number of FREE Season Tickets for Under 8s if requested at the same time as a full Adult Season Ticket*.

Don’t worry if you are a Season Ticket Holder looking to renew , your seat is being held until the 19th April .

*Note: these must be requested at the same time as purchase of the accompanying adult ticket.   Not available to buy online. Printable renewal and application forms will be available mid-March.

Buy your Season Ticket Now|

2010/11 Season Ticket Prices
SEASON TICKETS 10/11   Early Bird   (pre 10 May)  Post Early Bird 
Adult  Conc  Jnr  Adult  Conc  Jnr 
Riverside  SL, ZL  285  285  155  285  285  185 
Hammersmith  H1, H8  349  329  155  399  379  185 
Hammersmith  H2, H7  369  329  155  419  379  185 
Riverside  XL, TL  399  349  155  449  399  185 
Haynes  A, AL  399  349  95  449  399  95 
Haynes  K, KL  399  349  155  449  399  185 
Putney  P1  369  329  155  369  329  155 
Hammersmith  H3, H6  479  349  155  529  399  185 
Hammersmith  H4, H5  499  349  155  549  399  185 
Haynes/Riverside  B, GL, C, CL, H HL, J, JL / Z, S  559  369  155  609  419  185 
Haynes  D, DL, G, GL  599  389  189  649  439  219 
Haynes/Riverside  E, EL, F, FL / X, T  699  649  599  749  749  749 
Riverside  W, VL, WL  849  799  749  899  899  899 

Concessions : over 65 (as of 1 Dec 2010) / under 21 (as of 1 Aug 2010)
Junior : under 17 (as of 1 Aug 2010)

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White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 10:47:23 PM »
Holding the Fort

Friday 19th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Whilst goals from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora grabbed the headlines in Fulham’s scintillating 2-1 defeat of Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday night – the composure and resilience of the back four was, as ever, also instrumental.

The Whites made a dream start to their round of 32 first-leg tie at Craven Cottage when Gera slotted home from Zamora’s clever lay-off inside three minutes.

However, last season’s UEFA Cup winners hit back and responded with an impressive demonstration of attacking intent and intricate movement – spearheaded by their five-strong Brazilian contingent.

As Shakhtar’s dominance grew, Fulham spent long periods pinned with their backs to Mark Schwarzer’s goal with Aaron Hughes in particular working overtime to keep the Ukrainians at bay.

He told “As we all know we started the game very well and scored a quick goal through Zoltan Gera. But after Shakhtar got the game restarted they pretty much kept possession for the rest of the half.

“They’re a good side and they showed that they have a lot of threat with their Brazilian players showing their great technical and creative ability. They’re a side that keeps the ball very well and always had it moving.

“That spell brought a goal of course, but for all their pressure I do think that was their only real chance, although at times we were throwing bodies in the way of everything.”

A goal from Luiz Adriano after 32 minutes certainly upped the ante as the Northern Ireland skipper went on to make several key blocks and a number of important tackles.

“In the second-half we put them under a bit more pressure and just tried to get in and amongst them,” said Hughes. “I think we picked our moments a lot better and enjoyed our fair share of possession.

“From that we managed to increase our tempo a little and as a result Bobby Zamora scored a fantastic goal that went in off the underneath of the bar. It was a brilliant strike and that set us up nicely.

“We knew it would be a game where we didn’t see large spells of the ball and that we would have to soak up the pressure and perhaps spend a bit of time doing all we could to keep them out.

“They’re a different type of opponent to what we are used to. But for all the possession that they had, I thought we defended pretty well and kept our shape.

“We were disappointed to concede the goal how we did, but apart from that I don’t think they cut through us that often. They had a few chances, but so did we.

“It was a tough game and we know that we have beaten a very good team. To come out on top was very satisfying and we can head into the second-leg with a bit of confidence.”

Fulham now have the advantage as they make the 1,500-mile trip to the Donbass Arena for Thursday night’s second-leg clash. But an even tougher encounter can be expected on Ukrainian soil with Mircea Lucescu’s side unbeaten at home this season.

The 30-year-old added: “We have a game against Birmingham City to play before that one. That’s the focus now, because Birmingham are a good side and one that is enjoying a very good season so far.

“When Sunday’s game is out of the way, then we’ll start thinking about heading out to Ukraine. I think we go there in a positive position, and Thursday night was a good win for us. But it is a difficult place to go, we know that.

“It would have been nice to go there having kept a clean sheet, but we’ll give it a good go of scoring a goal for ourselves which will even out that away goal. It will certainly be an interesting game, but one that everyone wants to be part of.”

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 10:49:10 PM »

Flying High

Friday 19th February 2010

Fulham FC News

|Fulham defender Brede Hangeland praised the Club’s supporters following Thursday night’s memorable victory over current UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Fulham faithful produced an electric atmosphere for Hangeland and company and the Norwegian defender was clearly delighted to have extended the Club’s unbeaten European record at the Cottage.

“It’s great when the crowd gets behind you like they did on Thursday night,” said Hangeland. “I hope everyone had a good time and we’re certainly happy with the score.

“We’ve beaten them at home so we’ll go there [Donetsk] with a lot of confidence and hopefully we can get a good result.

“It’s a good achievement, especially after playing such a good team. I was really impressed with the way they played the game. We’ll have to take our chances when we go to the Ukraine next week for the second leg."

Fulham’s Ukrainian opponents produced spells of sublime football on Thursday night and Hangeland revealed after the game that composure and patience were crucial factors in dealing with Shakhtar’s highly impressive offensive play.

“When you play against these types of teams you have to accept they’re very good on the ball and will have most of the possession,” said Hangeland.

“Luckily that’s not always the way forward to score goals and on Thursday night we won 2-1 even though they must have had 60 to 70 percent of the possession - it’s important that you don’t get frustrated by that.

“I think they’re the best team we’ve played in Europe by quite a margin. You could see why they’re the current holders of the UEFA Cup."

Thursday night’s encounter was settled by a moment of magic from Bobby Zamora and Hangeland was keen to highlight the importance of the striker to the Fulham Team after the match.

“He’s [Zamora] done well ever since he arrived at the Club – the only difference this year is he’s had some more luck in front of goal. We’ve always known he was a good player and it’s good that everyone else can see that now too.

“He’s vital to the Team and certainly one of our most important players. He holds the ball up well; he scores goals and gives opposition defenders a very hard time.

“He showed again on Thursday night what a massive player he is for us. He can make things happen and he scored a fantastic goal and I’m very happy for him.”

All talk of next week’s return leg will be put on ice for now as Roy Hodgson’s side prepare for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Birmingham City and Hangeland is confident Fulham can continue their outstanding home record this weekend.

“Our main priority has always been the Premier League but it’s always nice to play in this type of competition and hopefully we can continue further.

“It’s now all about preparing for the game against Birmingham City on Sunday and we’ll talk about Shakhtar again after that.

“At home we’re capable of beating most teams and that’s what we’ll be trying to do on Sunday.”

Get down to the Cottage on Sunday to support Roy Hodgson's side as they take on Birmingham City at the Cottage. Tickets are now on General Sale.|

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 10:50:04 PM »
From the Other Side

Friday 19th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Speaking after Thursday evening's match between Fulham and Shakhtar Donetsk, visiting manager Mircea Lucescu gave his assessment of the game.

"It is a good thing that we've got a second leg so we'll still have a chance," the Shakhtar Manager explained. "We've lost a game that we shouldn't have lost. A lack of practice coming into the game saw us concede the first goal. After that we had the game under control.

"There were a lot of chances out of which we could have scored but unfortunately we couldn't find the right solution. This was a rivalry between two different styles of game - Fulham were playing very strong passes and we based our game on technique and speed. As a result we had a spectacular game for the fans.

"Now we have to do our best to realise our potential in Donetsk and win the game. It will be very difficult because Fulham are very well organised, especially in defence. We'll definitely have to find ways to weaken their defence and create our own chances.

"We hope that the referees in Donetsk will facilitate a beautiful game and not what happened today, I'm not judging the referee - he had his own method of judgement which facilitated more physical football.

"But I congratulate Fulham, they are a great team who have a very good defence and play in a compact manner, that's why it's going to be very difficult in the second leg. I'm sure we will be in better form in Donetsk. Fulham definitely had some luck and managed to take advantage of their chances but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate Fulham's defensive strength."   

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 10:52:20 PM »
Birmingham Travel Update

Friday 19th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Supporters planning on coming to this Sunday's match between Fulham and Birmingham City at Craven Cottage should note that ongoing works to Hammersmith Bridge and the London Underground could affect travel times.

Hammersmith Bridge
Work on Hammersmith Bridge will continue until March 2010, the bridge will be closed to all traffic in both directions every weekend until March 15. However, the bridge will be open to cyclists and pedestrians at all times during these works.

Circle Line, District Line and Hammersmith and City Line 
There is no service on the Circle Line on the entire line due to track replacement work this weekend.

There is no service between Edgware Road and High Street Kensington on the District Line  due to track replacement work.

There is no service between Baker Street and Hammersmith on the Hammersmith and City Line  due to track replacement work.

Your journey time could take up to 45 minutes extra. If you need any further information visit| , phone 0843 222 1234 (24 hours) or speak to station staff.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 10:55:07 PM »

Fulham v Birmingham Preview: Phillips on a Survival Mission for Blues

19/2/2010 5:25 PM GMT

By Ian Winrow

The mantra trotted out in the wake of Thursday's thrilling Europa League victory over Skakhtar Donetsk was that any thoughts about next week's now eagerly anticipated return in Ukraine must be put to one side until after the meeting with Birmingham.

"That's the focus now, because Birmingham are a good side and one that is enjoying a very good season so far," Aaron Hughes told the club's official website,, sticking to the party line. "When Sunday's game is out of the way, then we'll start thinking about heading out to Ukraine."

Roy Hodgson and his players are undeniably professional enough to ensure their actions match their words, but it will be hard to avoid the feeling that this mid-table Premier League meeting is now something of a support act ahead of the main attraction next Thursday night.

That, of course, marks an about-turn from the long-standing view that the midweek European jaunts should play second fiddle to the more prosaic task of accumulating Premier League points.

Fulham, though, already look secure and while the league campaign and the looming FA Cup quarter final will recapture the imagination soon enough, the possibility of knocking out last season's Uefa Cup winners to set up a meeting with Ajax or Juventus is currently more alluring in the eyes of many supporters.

After such a successful month, it's important Hodgson's side maintain the winning habit no matter what the competition while striker Bobby Zamora will be keen to maintain his current scoring form that culminated in his outstanding winner against Shakhtar.

"He's [Zamora] done well ever since he arrived at the club – the only difference this year is he's had some more luck in front of goal," defender Brede Hangeland told the club's official website, "We've always known he was a good player and it's good that everyone else can see that now too.

"He's vital to the team and certainly one of our most important players. He holds the ball up well; he scores goals and gives opposition defenders a very hard time.

"He showed again on Thursday night what a massive player he is for us. He can make things happen and he scored a fantastic goal and I'm very happy for him."

Strategy: The link-up play between Zamora and Zoltan Gera, who was operating as a deep-lying second forward, caused problems for Shaktar, particularly when Damien Duff and Simon Davies pushed forward in support, and Hodgson will expect similar movement against Birmingham. Hangeland would prefer to forget some moments of torments inflicted on him by the fleet-footed Ukrainian side but he and Hughes should form a strong enough central defence to deny Birmingham's forwards.

Injury update: Nicky Shorey will return at left back in place of Stephen Kelly after being cup-tied for the Shakhtar game. Paul Konchesky could win a place on the bench after recovering from a foot injury but strikers Andrew Johnson and Clint Dempsey (both knee), midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi (ankle), and full back John Pantsil (knee) remain sidelined.

Kevin Phillips can inch Birmingham even higher up the Premier League table this weekend but insists he is still only thinking about survival. Phillips is on a mission to drive Alex McLeish towards the magical 40-point mark and finally end any lingering fears about relegation.

McLeish has performed superbly to guide the club to the top half and fans are still dreaming of a shock move towards a European place. Birmingham are only seven points behind Liverpool in fifth place and can edge even closer with a win here.

But ex-England striker Phillips has warned that Hull's shocking slide last season is proof that Birmingham won't be getting carried away.

He said: "I don't believe we will be in trouble but Fulham is an important game for us and, if we can manage to get the win that puts us on 40 points, you'd like to say that's definitely safe. Then you can start looking up and beyond.

"People are saying that Birmingham are probably safe now but you only have to look at what happened to Hull last season who only scraped it in the end so I don't want that to happen to us.

"It's been a fantastic season so far. I don't think anyone believed we'd be where we are. I think even a few of us didn't think we'd be where we are. It's been such a successful season we don't want to start getting blasé and complacent, we want to keep pushing on and try and get this club as high as we possibly can.

"At the beginning of the season, survival was the main thing and we're very close to that. Anything beyond that is a fantastic achievement especially as we haven't spent mega millions."

Strategy: Phillips is proving a potent weapon off the bench, after his stunning contribution against Wolves earlier this month, so McLeish will continue with Christian Benitez and Cameron Jerome. But Birmingham's biggest headache will be Zamora, with the Fulham striker still being whispered about as a possible England cap in the near future.

Birmingham's success this season, however, has been built on the backbone of Stephen Carr, Roger Johnson, Scott Dann and Liam Ridgewell and they will provide Zamora with a significant test today. Not to mention goalkeeper Joe Hart, who should be involved in England's friendly with Egypt next month.

Hart said: "The defence have been absolutely magnificent. 'Ridgey' has got two important goals for us recently and big Scotty is a presence in the air and it's nice for them to do it in the opposition box because they win everything at the back. Is Scotty getting the plaudits he deserves? That is not what he is really about. He has been in the leagues for a long time, is playing really well, and deserves everything he gets."

Injury Update: Birmingham striker Garry O'Connor is still struggling with a hip problem while Lee Carsley continues to recover from an ankle injury.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 10:58:23 PM »

Up next: Birmingham City (h)

by Dan on February 19, 2010

The games just keep coming for Fulham at the moment. After the glamour of Shakhtar Donetsk, a busy Birmingham side will be hoping to catch us a little cold at the Cottage on Sunday. Alex McLeish will be well aware of the threat Fulham will pose to a Blues side that has been impressive in patches on their return to the top flight this year as he was at the game last night and has previously spoken about wanting to emulate what Fulham have achieved under Roy Hodgson.

Just after Christmas, all the buzz was about McLeish and how he’d turned Birmingham into a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. The Blues might have started the season with fairly prosaic ambitions – avoiding the kind of yo-yo existence between the top flight and the Championship that has characterised their recent years – but some shrewd transfer dealings saw McLeish put together a steady side. Lee Bowyer, who has popped up to score a few crucial goals this season (including the winner against Fulham at St. Andrew’s), looks an absolute steal on a free transfer from West Ham and Barry Ferguson’s made a far better fist of the English game than his first effort south of the border.

The real revelations, though, were Birmingham’s pair of Championship defenders. Roger Johnson’s arrival from Cardiff City for £5m raised a few eyebrows, even if the man himself and his former team-mates had no doubts about his ability to step up. Johnson’s been outstanding at the heart of the Birmingham defence and his importance to McLeish’s set-up is shown by the fact that he’s started every single league game to date. He has forged an almost impregnable partnership with Scott Dann, rumoured to have cost around £3.5m up front from Coventry in the summer, and those two have hardly put a foot wrong. Considering that conceding too many goals is the hallmark of a team that will go down, being so miserly at the back is vital to securing Premier League football.

Just as crucial to Birmingham’s defensive stability has been the performances of on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was harshly cast aside by Manchester City after Shay Given signed from Newcastle. Quite how Hart hasn’t forced himself more firmly into the England reckoning after all the injuries, contract negotiations and transfer rumours that have disrupted David James’ season at Portsmouth, is beyond me. Hart’s heroics in goal were a key factor in sustaining an almost unbelievable 15-match unbeaten run, which included draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Beating England’s most impressive keeper will be no easy task.

It would be wrong to suggest that Birmingham are just a dour, well-drilled side. They possess plenty of quality in midfield with great things expected of the highly-rated Spaniard, Michel, who arrived from Sporting Gijon in the summer. The mercurial James McFadden, who can drift deceptively in and out of games before making his mark, will also need to be watched carefully. Sebastien Larsson, a scorer against Fulham in recent seasons, has unfathomably been overlooked in a struggling Swedish national side of late but can cause problems having notched four goals already this term.

Birmingham have struggled to score goals this season but there are blessed with plenty of striking talent. Cameron Jerome scored a spectacular goal at Anfield in November and snaffled another one against Manchester United in January – and you certainly don’t want to give him too much of a sight of goal. Christian Benitez might have struggled to adjust to both the pace and physical nature of the Premier League but he’ll be a lively customer up front and, just in case you’d forgotten, Kevin Phillips’ timely brace the other week to beat Wolves showed that he’s not lost the killer instinct in front of goal.

How Fulham respond after their European high will be particuarly interesting. Such a hard taskmaster as Hodgson will not tolerate any slacking and it will be interesting to see whether he tweaks a formation that worked so successfully on Thursday night. His main choice will be whether to move Zoltan Gera from the advanced position in ‘the hole’ where he clearly thrives in favour of giving Bobby Zamora a more orthodox partner up front. The only other change should see Nicky Shorey replace Stephen Kelly at left back.

MY FULHAM XI (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Davies; Gera; Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Greening, Riise, Nevland, Okaka, Elm.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 10:59:28 PM »

Shakhtar centre back on Zamora’s goal

by Dan on February 19, 2010

Olexander Kucher sums up the Fulham winner better than anyone else for me.

By the way, the second shot was an extremely crazy one.

Spot on. Good old Bobby Zamora.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 11:01:53 PM »

England Comment: Fulham's Bobby Zamora Deserves A Chance To Gatecrash Fabio Capello's World Cup Squad

In-form Cottagers striker should win first cap for Egypt friendly

By Jamie Dunn

Feb 19, 2010 2:41:00 PM
While the column inches surrounding England manager Fabio Capello’s next squad selection have been dominated by two defenders – John Terry and Wayne Bridge – for reasons far removed from matters on the pitch, at the other end, Fulham’s Bobby Zamora has been staking a claim for a place in England's World Cup squad.

Capello is set to announce his squad for the March 3 friendly against Egypt on the weekend of the February 27/28 - and with chances to impress prior to this summer’s pinnacle of international football limited to a selected few outings, Zamora, 29, must now be in the Italian's thoughts as he continues to blossom under Fulham manager Roy Hodgson.

It has been a long road for Bobby Zamora. After impressing at Brighton and Hove Albion, a move to Tottenham Hotspur turned sour as he failed to hold down a place in the starting XI in a handful of appearances at White Hart Lane.

At West Ham United he showed early promise but his stay ended unceremoniously as he departed for Fulham in 2008. His lack of goals had been a source of frustration for a number of years.

Under Hodgson this season though, Zamora may have finally cracked it - just in time for a summer trip to South Africa. Often leading the line alone for the southwest London club, Zamora has grasped his raw ability by the scruff of the neck in 2009/10 and has shown the qualities - strength, power, pace and an eye for goal - he had only alluded to in fits and starts in the past.

The Cottagers front man set about displaying some of those qualities inside just three minutes at Craven Cottage on Thursday night. Fulham raced out of the blocks, pressing an otherwise dominant Shakhtar Donetsk side early on and when the ball fell to Zamora, he expertly held off a challenge and cushioned the ball into the path of Zoltan Gera, who slotted home for a dream start.

Zamora regularly showcased his ability as a target man for the duration, winning headers and running the channels to great effect, but the icing on the cake was his stunning 63rd-minute strike, turning to hammer the ball off the underside of the crossbar from 20 yards, in a game where genuine chances were few and far between.

It was an historic night for Fulham, beating the reigning UEFA Cup champions, but for Zamora, Thursday night’s performance was just another game in an already impressive season. The former West Ham man has now bagged 14 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions, shrugging off a broken collarbone picked up against Stoke in January that pundits and analysts feared would derail his season to notch three strikes upon his return.

The chants of “When the ball hits your head/and you’re sat in row Z/that’s Zamora,” may have been silenced, but the forward remains an unglamorous choice amongst England fans. With the groans at Emile Heskey’s every touch of the ball becoming more and more audible with each international, the nation is seemingly crying out for Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe to partner the rampant Wayne Rooney in South Africa.

For all of Defoe’s 21 goals this season, and indeed similar returns from Sunderland’s Darren Bent (16) and Heskey’s Aston Villa strike partner Gabriel Agbonlahor (12), Capello’s unwavering stance suggests he is likely to stick with the successful system that takes the Three Lions to the World Cup and sees a ‘big man’ partnering Rooney in attack. Of all the archetypal English target men in the Premier League, Zamora is the in-form option, looking unplayable at times.

Zamora so nearly closed the door on a call-up to any possible future England squad himself as he reportedly flirted with the idea of playing for Trinidad and Tobago, the country of his father’s origin.

But if he continues to cause problems for helpless defenders while finding the net with regularity in the process, Capello should put a cap on his head at Wembley Stadium next month to avoid letting the late-blooming 29-year-old slip through his fingers.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 11:03:35 PM »
Shakhtar Donetsk

Ground Name: Donbass Arena
Nicknames: Hirnyky (The Miners), Kroty (The Moles)
Division: Ukranian Premier Liha

Telephone No: +38 062 387 0102, +38 062 387 0103
Website: Official Club Website
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General Introduction
Formed in 1936, Donetsk are now one of the premier sides in the Ukraine, and its current champions. Knocked out of the Group C of Champions League in 3rd place behind Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon they went on to win the UEFA Cup in the 2008-09 season.

As with all of our guides, if there is anything missing from the following pages that you need to know then feel free to drop us an email and we'll do our best to find it out for you.

Brief Club History
The team has played under the following names: Stakhanovets (1936-1946), Shakhtyor (1946-1992) and FC Shakhtar (since 1992). Shakhtar are one of 5 sides to have competed in every Premier Liha season since the end of the Soviet Vysshaya Liga in 1991.

Fans & Foes
Shakhtar’s biggest rivals are Dynamo Kyiv. Since the inaugural Premier Liha season in 1991 was won by SC Tavriya Simferopol every championship has gone to one of the two sides, meaning that while not geographically particularly close there is still a strong rivalry between the two sides.

Their other main rivalry, with Metalurh Donetsk, is a local affair, and although perhaps not as significant as games against their rivals from the capital, they are still keenly contested. The games between the two sides are known as the Donbass Derby, named after the region of which Donetsk is the capital.

Shakhtar’s anthem, translated into English, is below:

Glory to you, Shakhtar!
Heavens of football stars
Will always be on your side,
And the light of your best dreams
Is shining from above.


Beauty of green fields, that's for you, Shakhtar.
My fate is in your hands, you are the best, Shakhtar.
And for you, Shakhtar, the medal of my love
Will always shine on the pitch where you are,
And forever will protect you from defeat
The brightest football star!

Club Honours
Shakhtar are 4-times winners of the Ukrainian Championship, founded in 1992, including 3 titles in the last 4 seasons, and have finished as runners-up on 9 occasions. They have also won the Ukranian Cup 6 times since 1995.

They were twice runners-up of the USSR Championship in the 1970s, and won the old USSR Cup 4 times before the fall of the Soviet Union.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 11:07:10 PM »

Squad sheets: Fulham v Birmingham City, Friday 19 February 2010 18.26 GMT

Birmingham have begun to drift back towards a position in the table more suited to a well drilled but limited team. The return of Christian Benítez from injury will aid their cause but until they can find a regular goalscorer it is unlikely that they will finish higher than Fulham, a side who are similar in many ways but possess slightly more unpredictability and penetration. A narrow home win in a low-scoring game looks the most likely outcome, and that will be enough to lift Roy Hodgson's men above Alex McLeish's team, which is where they belong, at least for now. Paul Doyle

Venue Craven Cottage

Tickets £30-40 (0870 442 1234)

Last season n/a

Referee P Dowd

This season's matches 21 Y67, R4, 3.38 cards per game

Odds Fulham 15-13 Birmingham 11-4 Draw 23-10

Probable starters in bold, contenders in light.

Subs from Zuberbühler, Kelly, Stoor, Konchesky, Smalling, Greening, Riise, Nevland, Okaka, Elm, Milsom

Doubtful Gera (knee), Konchesky (foot)

Injured Dempsey (knee, 27 Mar), Dikgacoi (ankle, 27 Mar), Paintsil (knee, Apr), Johnson (knee, May)

Suspended None

Form guide WDWLLL

Disciplinary record Y28 R1

Leading scorer Zamora 7

Subs from Doyle, Taylor, Murphy, Phillips, Míchel, Fahey, Queudrue, Parnaby, O'Shea, Vignal, Tainio, Gardner

Doubtful Tainio (knee)

Injured Carsley (ankle, 6 Mar), O'Connor (hip, 13 Mar)

Suspended None

Form guide LWDLDW

Disciplinary record Y49 R1

Leading scorers Bowyer, Jerome 5

Match pointers
• Fulham have kept five clean sheets in their last six games at Craven Cottage

• Four of Lee Bowyer's five Premier League goals this season have come against sides from London

• Fulham have scored a higher proportion of their goals in the second half (67%) than any other side

• After going five away games without defeat, Birmingham have lost their last two without scoring

• Fulham have lost four of the five league games in which Chris Smalling has appeared this season

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 11:09:07 PM »

Club Focus - Fulham - Zamora teaches European masters a lesson

By Matt Domm

It really is game on in the Europa League Round of 32 as Fulham take a one-goal lead into the second leg. At the same time Bobby Zamora did his England chances no harm with a neat assist before firing in the winner - the best goal Cottagers fans have celebrated at home for quite some time.

Shakhtar passed the ball as well as any visiting side has done all season, and at times their movement would not have been out of place in a Champions League final. But Fulham - as they have showed signs of being recently - were at their resilient best, and Zamora punished the pretty yet non-clinical Ukrainians in the best imaginable fashion. Indeed throughout the game, when the Whites weren’t chasing shadows, the rekindled partnership of Zamora and Zoltan Gera was a thorn in Shakhtar’s side. The two players made the most of somewhat limited chances, combining for both goals - the first Gera finished after being slipped through by Zamora, and then the Hungarian himself neatly flicked the ball for Zamora’s stunner. The goals were the most telling examples of their shrewd link-up play, but were by no means isolated examples. On many occasions Gera dropped off for a Zamora knockdown or pushed up for a flick-on, and several other times the Hungarian fell into the midfield to try and play his partner through, and indeed help win the ball back from the crisp-passing visitors. Gera has impressed almost every time he has played in his preferred position just off the striker, especially in Europe, and with Roy Hodgson’s striking options limited - Diomansy Kamara on loan at Celtic, Stefano Okaka still learning the ropes, Andy Johnson out for the season and Erik Nevland more effective as a substitute - the former West Brom man looks the best bet to partner Zamora.

The England hopeful’s name is carved into the teamsheet whenever he is fit, such has been his turnaround in club form this season. His strike against Shakhtar was his 14th in 31 appearances in all competitions this season - a ratio of almost one goal in every two games, which has been a completely unheard of statistic at Fulham since Louis Saha was scoring for fun at the Cottage, 15 in 22 before his move to Manchester United. And such a return from a striker makes a welcome change for fans who have barely seen their forwards reach double figures since that remarkable Saha campaign. In fact, Zamora’s strike last night makes him the most prolific forward since then, with Andy Cole next on the list with his 13 scored in the 2005/06 season - from 40 appearances. When he plays as he did against the Ukrainian side the tag of being the most prolific Fulham player in six years is fully justified. He can battle with even the toughest of Eastern European centre-backs and has a touch that belies his physical stature. In short, he is a real handful at any given time, but when his confidence grows as it has done this season he is close to unplayable - words that have rarely been used to describe a Fulham player since the aforementioned Saha was strutting his stuff. The goal was no more than he deserved on the night, and the win was earned by the whole team, despite them for long periods having to watch what resembled a game of Total Action Football.

It was hard-fought, but now there are only a few days for the players to recover before the Premier League comes to the fore once again. A different challenge entirely awaits Hodgson’s troops this weekend, as instead of being on the receiving end of a dazzling passing display they will be expected to be the football-playing team. The fixture gives the Whites a chance to breath down their weekend opponents’ necks in the league table as the momentum continues to gather following last night’s confidence-heightening victory. Of course, Alex McLeish’s charges did not have the energy-sapping tie that Hodgson’s did, so they will likely come out lively for the result. The result will largely be decided on which aspect in football is more important, freshness or momentum.

If Fulham can keep tight at the back and prolific going forward, then the run of wins could easily continue, but if weariness starts to set in then the tie could go either way.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2010, 11:10:32 PM »

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2010, 11:12:01 PM »
Fulham v BIRMINGHAM: Alex McLeish sticks with same squad for trip to the capital

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 4:01 PM on 19th February 2010

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has no fresh injury worries ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

McLeish is to keep faith with the 18 players on duty in last Saturday's FA Cup fifth round win over Derby at Pride Park.

The former Scotland boss has more midfield options after the arrival of Craig Gardner and Michel during the January transfer window.

He left out James McFadden and Sebastian Larsson for the previous league game at West Ham 10 days ago and brought in Gardner and Keith Fahey as the wide players.

Birmingham (from): Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, McFadden, Jerome, Benitez, Taylor, Phillips, Michel, Fahey, Parnaby, Vignal, Gardner.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2010, 11:14:49 PM »
Fulham chief Mohamed Al Fayed forced to apologise after Europa League opponents Shakhtar Donetsk are refused entry to Harrods

By Ashley Gray

Last updated at 5:33 PM on 19th February 2010

Mohamed Al Fayed has tried to see off revenge from Shakhtar Donetsk by apologising to the team for their lock-out from Harrods.

Fayed's grandiose London department store refused to let the Ukrainian team in for a spot of souvenir shopping when they turned up in a large group wearing tracksuits.
Fulham, also owned by the businessman, followed up the snub by beating Shakhtar 2-1 in the Europa League last 32 first leg.

But with the return match looming in Donetsk next Thursday, the UEFA Cup holders revealed Fayed had been building bridges.
'The store's owner has made apologies for that incident,' Shakhtar said on their website.
'Mohamed Al Fayed assured that there must have been some misunderstanding.
'On the contrary, he would be happy to see Shakhtar players at his shops. The billionaire is very upset over this incident and made his apology.'

'Shakhtar’s CEO Sergiy Palkin has let Rinat Akhmetov, the president of the club, know about such regrets. The apologies are accepted. The issue is settled.'

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (20.02.10)
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2010, 07:30:42 AM »

Fulham 2 -1 Shaktar Donetsk

What a buzzing evening that was! We took advantage of the cup game by switching our seats to the middle of the Hammy End, much closer to the chanting and a greater view of the action and boy did it pay off for this match. Plenty of shouting and the best 'you're poo aaaaaaaah' at the opposition keeper for an age.

I was surprised at the strength of the team Hodgson put out, especially with high flying Birmingham coming on Sunday, but as soon as I realised Gera would be playing as a support striker I made my way to the ridiculously ramshackle Ladbrokes booth, which for once didn't have a cast of thousands queuing in front of it, and stuck a fiver on him to score the first goal at 8/1. I didn't expect it to happen that quickly though! Gera has played exceptionally well in that position, especially in Europe, and tonight was no different. But having seen a replay, the goalie should have done far better.

However this just riled Shaktar, who have a horrible sub-Hull City kit. The next 43 minutes was all the visitors. They must have had 70 per cent possession at least. The strange formation meant that when the ball broke to Murphy or Etuhu, there were five Shaktar players around them and this basically nullified their threat. Etuhu in particular was very poor, giving the ball away needlessly when he did win it or going constantly backwards when found with a pass. Meanwhile the Ukrainians, with a Brazilian 'front five' calmly pinged the ball to each other. The good thing for Fulham was that this was mainly occurring in front of the solid back four, with Duff and Davies doing sterling work helping out the full backs when needed. The one time that Shaktar did get behind the defensive line, partly due to Hughes' poor decision to step up to try and catch Adriano offside, Shaktar scored a deserved equaliser. During the game, Adriano's angled run made it look like Kelly was at fault, but he was mainly blameless for the goal and all match was reasonably solid. Far better than his recent appearances anyway.

Somehow Fulham got to half time without conceding again. But the second half began in the most peculiar fashion. Shaktar again dominated possession for the first ten minutes of the half, but didn't do anything with it. They just passed it among their defenders around their own penalty area. It was like watching old matches featuring Liverpool from the 1980s before the backpass rule was introduced. They were content with their away goal and didn't want the scoreline to change much, so wasted a bit of time. Either that or they were trying to somewhat childishly trying to draw Fulham forward in order to create room behind them. They should know better than to try that against a team drilled by Roy Hodgson. They were fleet on the break though and a few times after Fulham had enjoyed half chances they shot up the other end and won corners. It's hard to want the team to push on when there's that kind of sucker punch lurking behind.

I did think that Gera should have dropped deeper to help out the struggling midfield a bit or that Davies and Duff should switch wings to try some crosses instead of having to continually cut inside, which Shaktar were well prepared against.

It began to resemble a more even football match after that though and Fulham even enjoyed some possession without doing much with it. Then BANG. Zamora ran onto the ball with a little bit of space on the edge of the area and absolutely twatted it. I thought he'd easily cleared the bar, but instead it had bounced down from it into the back of the net. Absolutely incredible. And not at all deserved. But who cares? He should have got another with a far post header, but contrived to push it wide. Maybe next week, Bobby?
Will 2-1 be enough? Probably not. Shaktar seem to have a habit of winning 2-0 at home in Europe and they are a considerably talented side. But many wrote off Fulham's chances (ie me) when they needed an away win in Basel. Roy's team is capable of anything.

Attendance: Me, Jarrod, Loz & Nicky