Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)  (Read 4889 times)

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Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« on: February 22, 2010, 10:40:55 PM »

Etuhu hails Fulham stars Duff and Zamora after Birmingham win

Feb 22 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora celebrate.

FULHAM star Dickson Etuhu hailed team-mates Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora after Fulham came from behind to beat Birmingham City on Sunday.

Trailing 1-0 to Chris Baird's early own goal, Duff fired the Whites level on the hour mark before Zamora snatched the spoils in the dying minutes.

"It was a great strike from Bobby," said Etuhu. "He does it all the time in training so it didn't really surprise the players. He's a great player and is having a great season.

"Duffer scored a similar goal earlier this season. He likes cutting in and shooting and it's something you see him doing a lot."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 10:46:29 PM »

Bobby Zamora staking his claim for England call-up

By Kieran Beckles   

10:24pm UK, Monday February 22, 2010

Momentum is building behind the ‘Bobby Zamora for England’ campaign after the in-form striker scored an empathic free kick in the final moments of Fulham’s clash with Birmingham City.
It capped off a superb week for the 29-year-old as he sealed the three points for his side in sensational style under the watchful eye of England manager Fabio Capello.

His thumping strike in the Europa League last Thursday secured a vital home leg victory against Shakhtar Donetsk, inevitably leading to more calls for the striker to receive a call up to the international scene for England’s imminent friendly with Egypt.

Club captain Danny Murphy led the chorus, claiming that on current form and with the player’s confidence “sky-high”, Zamora deserved a chance with England. Yesterday, Roy Hodgson added his input to the debate and, as expected, was supportive of his number 25’s credentials.

“I know the fans were chanting his name for England and that was quite right,” said the Fulham manager.

“Bobby is performing like a true target-playing centre forward who brings his team-mates into the game and holds the ball up very well. But because he’s skillful he also scores goals,” said Hodgson.

With Capello in attendance at Craven Cottage, the Italian will have certainly have been impressed by the striker’s performance. Zamora provided a constant threat to the Birmingham City defence as he prowled the front line for Fulham.

The Italian manager has experimented with Carlton Cole, Emile Heskey and Peter Crouch for the role of a target man in his starting line-up. The presence of tall and robust striker was a prerequisite when Capello opted to deploy the 4-5-1 formation at various stages throughout the qualification campaign.

So far this season Zamora has 15 goals to his name in all competitions and his tally is vastly superior to that of the names aforementioned. Crouch boasts ten goals while followed closely by Cole with nine strikes and Heskey lagging behind on just four goals.

And when it comes to creating chances for team-mates his record of four assists is second only to that of Peter Crouch who has provided five.

Zamora, who has been capped at the under-21 level, is yet to receive a call up to the senior team. Upon reflection of these persuasive stats he surely deserves a chance, especially with Capello having insisted that he will select his World Cup squad on merit and not reputation.

Of course questions about the consistency of the player will be raised and rightly so. In previous seasons he has struggled to find the net regularly, very much in contrast to his prolific Brighton days.

His lack of experience in the Champions League may also be a factor for the doubters.

One may struggle to imagine Zamora clasping the FIFA World Cup trophy come next summer, but his qualities are undeniable.

Zamora’s large frame makes him a difficult opponent to dispossess. He is more than competent with the ball at his feet and when in form possesses unerring accuracy, providing a threat with his aerial ability and showing a willingness to get team-mates involved in attacks.

All are necessary components of the ideal target man.

Zamora must continue in this fine vein of form to maintain the chance of being included in the England squad for upcoming friendlies.

Demands for him to be part of the travelling squad to South Africa this summer may be premature, but at the very least Bobby Zamora has earnt the opportunity to show Fabio Capello and all interested parties what he can do in the hostile arena that is international football.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 10:48:36 PM »
Bob’s goal

Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 9:10 pm

Someone on TiFF very kindly posted this ‘amateur footage’ of Bobby Zamora’s free-kick winner on Sunday.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 10:50:30 PM »

10 things I think about Fulham Football Club this week

Each week I will summarize my thoughts on the team . I will give you my "10 things I think." The past week was a huge success for Fulham. They beat Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday at Craven Cottage. They followed up with a victory on Sunday against Birmingham City. Roy Hodgson and the Cottagers have their work cut out for them to top last week.

1. I think Shakhtar Donetsk's players and coaches might have come into Craven Cottage a little over confident. They did start off a little slow. They are the defending UEFA Cup Champions. Fulham were fortunate to get an early goal on the Ukranian team. Shortly after the first 3 minutes Shakhtar controlled the rest of the first half. Going into the second half the game was tied 1 - 1. It took a great goal by Bobby Zamora early in the second half to gain control back to Fulham . I have a feeling Shakhtar will not be over confident this Thursday.

2. I think not having Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka available for the Europa League makes it much harder on Fulham to advance. Nicky Shorey has been very solid on defense. Stephen Kelly in my opinion has been below average. I am a little nervous seeing him out there in the Ukraine. Stefano Okaka not being available as a striker just hurts the bench and adjustments if needed. I think Stefano also needs more action. It is too bad these 2 players are not available.

3. I think even if Fulham do not advance the Europa League their play in the league is a success. I keep going back to 2 years ago. Look at how far Fulham have come. It seems like yesterday the Cottagers were fighting just to stay in the EPL. Roy Hogdson has done such a great job in a little over 2 years.

4. I think I actually miss John Pantsil. Until he got hurt in the Chelsea game he was holding his own with Drogba. He also could push the ball up and get everyone moving forward. Chris Baird has done a nice job except for his own goal yesterday. You could argue if Pantsil doesn't get hurt they might have pulled that game out against Chelsea.

5. I think there is a chance that Clint Dempsey might be coming back sooner than later. I keep reading reports that he might be coming back as early as next month. I find that hard to believe. If he could come back for the last 4 - 6 games to me that would be a huge bonus.

6. I think Alex MacLeish is a class act. I read his comments after the Birmingham City match. He was very gracious after the loss. These are quotes from an article on called "From the other Side" . McLeish stated " We lost because of 2 pieces of inspiration from Fulham. The finishes were brilliant" he said. "That is the difference in quality that we need to aspire to." McLeish also discussed one of the Fulham strikers. He stated " And Bobby Zamora was the big difference. Today, My players had a hard games against one of the best strikers in the league."

7. I think Fulham can conquer America. I wrote about this last week. If you are interested please check out that entry. Fulham I think are the type of team that could be a huge draw in the States. America loves an underdog. I think Fulham fit that bill.

8. I think it is still possible to get into 7th position by the end of the year. I know it is a longshot but you never know. Aston Villa currently have 45 points in 7th position. That is 8 points ahead of Fulham. We would have to go on an incredible run including winning on the road. I know I am probably just dreaming.

9. I think it will take an incredible effort to move on in the Europa League. Shakhtar Donetsk look "scary good". If we get a good result on Thursday it would be incredible. This team has so much quality. I am sorry if I can't be more optimistic.

10. Bobby Zamora I think should be playing for England in the World Cup. I think his play over this year speaks for itself. I don't think I need to say anymore about this subject.

It was a great week for Fulham. I can't wait for Thursday.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 10:48 AM

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2010, 10:52:17 PM »

How times change

by Dan on February 22, 2010

This tweet from OptaJoe caught my eye:

2 – Fulham and Chelsea have conceded the joint-fewest goals in the last 15 minutes of Premier League matches this season (2). Focused.

Something of a turnaround from the Sanchez era when we almost always conceded a late goal.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 10:53:23 PM »

Smalling gets U21 call

by Dan on February 22, 2010

Chris Smalling has been included in the England under-21 squad for their next European Championship qualifier against Greece next week.

The Fulham defender, poised to join Manchester United in the summer, has been included in Stuart Pearce’s squad for the stern test against the current group leaders at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium next Wednesday night. Pearce has also given first call-ups to Wigan’s Victor Moses and Aston Villa’s Nathan Delfouneso.

ENGLAND UNDER-21 SQUAD (v Greece, 3 March)

Goalkeepers: Fielding (Rochdale), Loach (Watford), McCarthy (Yeovil Town).

Defenders: Bertrand (Reading), Mancienne (Wolves), Naughton (Middlesbrough), Richards (Manchester City), Smalling (Fulham), Tomkins (West Ham), Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Cleverly (Watford), Cork (Burnley), Delph (Aston Villa), Wilshere (Bolton Wanderers), Muamba (Bolton Wanderers), Gosling (Everton), Lansbury (Watford), Moses (Wigan Athletic), Cattermole (Sunderland), Rodwell (Everton).

Strikers: Carroll (Newcastle United), Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Sturridge (Chelsea), Welbeck (Preston North End).

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 10:54:45 PM »

McLeish Left Craven for a Win in the Capital

February 22, 2010 by KevB8ll

Filed under: Articles by Dale Moon

Here is Dale’s take on yesterday.


As the heat is turned up at the business end of the championship, many of the premier league hopefuls should take note of the fine margins between victory and defeat that make the country’s top division such an unforgiving place. A trip to Craven Cottage was always going to be a tough ask for a blues side that haven’t recorded a point away at any of the London teams this year. Fulham were in form and off the back of an impressive win against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League. The game was a real battle and to many pundits surprise, somewhat more entertaining than predicted.

And when after 3 minutes Chris Baird planted a textbook header past the helpless Mark Schwartzer and into his own net, Blues had something to hold onto and as we have seen throughout the season, they certainly have the capacity to have done so. Fulham huffed and puffed and pulled off a point blank save from Joe Hart after Simon Davies crept in behind the blues backline. Bobby Zamora looked threatening throughout and had transformed into what looked like a player full of confidence and ability overnight. It was not so long ago that the banks of the river Thames were mocking the striker who seems to have proved his critics wrong. That said, Danns and Johnson dealt with most things fairly well and confined Fulham to a few half chances from Davies and Zamora. Having got to half time with a slender lead, McLeish would have been encouraged by his team’s performances, resolute rather than remarkable.

Then on the hour mark Damien Duff rolled back the years to produce a goal out of nothing. He received the ball just inside the blues half in a wide right position and after going on a mazy run he cut inside onto his favoured left foot and unleashed a precise strike off the inside of the post and into the back of the net. Being critical you could have questioned whether any of the line of players Duff seemed to evade should have took responsibility and make a challenge rather than pass him on to the next man but take nothing away from the finish from the ex-Chelsea winger. Blues to their credit rallied and if it was not for the slightest of touches off Mark Scwartzer, McFadden’s 25 yard rocket would have put blues ahead for a second time in the game. Instead, the underside of the bar diverted the ball onto the line and spun out. The game opened up and as you would expect from the home team Fulham pushed for the winner.

90 Minutes were on the clock and the ball had bounced on the edge of the box when the usually Mr. Reliable Stephen Carr came rushing across and body checked Zoltan Gera. It was one of those moments you see coming but couldn’t stop as the right back committed to the challenge and gave away a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box. To me, it was obvious that the free kick was too close to the goal for the Beckham-esque curler over the wall and so Joe Hart should have occupied his side knowing there was a real possibility that the free kick taker would strike the ball that side of the goal. Bobby Zamora stepped up and crashed a shot that Hart could only get fingertips to as it nestled in the top corner of the blues goal. And with that the game was over. Questions over Joe Hart’s positioning but again a great strike after a silly free kick from a Blues perspective.

On Reflection, a point would have been a fairer result and Blues played their part in a highly contested game. But yet again we come away from the capital with no points and add Fulham to the list of West Ham, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea for away losses. Lessons to be learnt? Well nobody can deny Duff’s strike but Stephen Carr’s rush of blood to the head cost us dearly, the wise Irishman will know himself that on another day would have used his experience to see out the game. Blues now welcome Wigan to St.Andrews and will look to take all 3 points from the strugglers but Blues being the Blues I know, never make it that simple.

Dale Moon

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 10:56:34 PM »


February 22, 2010 by KevB8ll

Here is Bazza’s match report.


On a weekend when the BAFTA awards were being handed out, I couldn’t help reflecting on the fact that football, like theatre is well represented by the masks of mirth and tragedy and this game certainly demonstrated all the varying emotions of the stage and screen with the comical own goal by Chris Baird to the sad way, from Blues’ perspective, that the match ended. More about the game in a moment as spending an afternoon with my mate Will is an entertainment in itself and this Sunday was to prove no different. I travelled up on the train for this one and although it was slow going with engineering works and the like, I kept myself reclusive and in the zone by listening to Katherine Jenkins and then Schubert’s Great Symphony on the iPhone. This passed the time nicely and I was soon disembarking at Putney Bridge tube station. I had arranged to meet Will and his brother-in-law, Alex in the Temperance pub at about one o’clock for a pint and a bite to eat. For those of you that are followers of the Royal Blue from near and far, you will be aware that the Eight Bells about 50 yards away is the normal hostelry of choice for away fans. When I enquired as to why we had come to this pub rather than that one Will said “They only sell corned beef rolls in the Eight Bells but yow can get a steak sandwich in ‘ere.” Enough said, I went to the bar and ordered one myself. We were joined by a work mate of Will’s; Bob and Bob’s son affectionately known as Stick Man, Fulham supporters both. We talked complete rubbish about anything and everything over three pints including the plight of Portsmouth. It seems opinion is divided over whether they will go out of business or not; Bob citing the example of Charlton a few years ago but the scale of the problem was very different and this time the dreaded Inland Revenue is front of queue for a large slice of the owing’s and the Tax Man doesn’t give a toss about, the club, community, traditions or the impact of football in this country and abroad so sadly unless somebody with very deep pockets and a complete loss of all reason comes forward I think it may well happen.

Any way off to the match and as mentioned earlier two minutes in and a cross by Bowyer towards the far post where Jerome was lurking was headed powerfully into the top corner by Baird who had no one within yards of him. Naturally we celebrated like we had really won the FA Cup! We didn’t care that we have forwards who cannot do what the now honorary bluenose, Chris Baird had just done; magnificent! The man is a God! Fulham were rattled by this set back for a few minutes and Fahey really should have made it two when his goal bound snap shot hit a defender when either side of him would surely have netted. Fahey was in McFadden’s left midfield berth, the latter was playing up front with Jerome and both were causing problems without really threatening the big muscular Fulham back line. The game settled after 10 – 15 minutes into a dull mediocrity with Blues allowing Fulham possession as long as it was in front of them. Consequently the ball spent a long time being passed across the field while each side probed for an opening. The worrying area for Blues was Ridgewell’s limitations in the left back berth especially as Fahey isn’t exactly strong defensively either. Zamora who was excellent all afternoon cleverly won a number of free kicks when it was he and not Ridgewell who was the perpetrator on some occasions. A special mention has to go at this point to the assistant referee with the chequered flag running the line on that side; he was truly abysmal all day and missed obvious decisions for both sides but in the first half Blues suffered greatly because of this wholly inept official. Even the throw ins he seemed to take his lead from the referee as most of the time he hadn’t a clue which player the ball had come off last. The travelling supporters were quick to voice their disapproval on numerous occasions throughout the match. Officials like this are wholly out of their depth and should have their competency reviewed and remedial action taken or be removed from the list altogether but it wont happen will it?

At half time I met Ian from Sutton Coldfield whom I now know reads this blog. He said that I wouldn’t have much to report from the first half and how right he was. The second period was a lot better and after a flurry of pressure from the home side Blues seemed to be steadying the ship and were in control when they conceded the equaliser; and what a beautiful strike it was. Damian Duff had been a thorn in our side all afternoon. He cut inside from the left exchanging a one two with Gera to hammer a fierce shot from 25 yards across Joe Hart who dived valiantly but in reality had no chance of reaching it. The shot cannoned off the far post into the net to give Fulham parity that frankly they hadn’t looked like achieving to that point; a truly fabulous goal and worth the admission money alone. The game became somewhat “attritional” from then on with Blues having a spell of pressure that culminated with an equally impressive strike by James McFadden from 20 yards which crashed against the underside of the crossbar and down onto the line. Fulham were blessed by the Gods of football that this lovely shot was not justly rewarded. However, on such fine margins are games won and lost and we really didn’t threaten the home side much after that.

The game appeared to be petering out into a draw which was the fair result on the action produced. That was until of course Stephen Carr went in on Zoltan Gera to concede a free kick just outside the area inside the D. It was a clumsy, unnecessary challenge which Bobby Zamora lined up menacingly. Unfortunately, Fabio Capello had left the stadium at this stage but had he stayed there is no doubt he would have been impressed by what happened next. A wall the length of a certain structure in China was assembled and there seemed virtually nothing to aim at. The ball was too close to get up and over in time so Zamora smashed it round the wall instead like an arrow into the top corner. Joe Hart’s despairing outstretched right hand could not prevent the ball entering the postage stamp and there it was a defeat that Blues did not deserve but nevertheless had to accept.

Most Fulham fans that I spoke to afterwards also felt that their win was harsh on our lads but as Will, the Godalming philosopher was quick to point out when the aged old cliché ‘Neither team did enough to win’ was trotted out that Fulham did indeed do enough; they scored three wonderful goals! The difference was that they have better finishers in their side than us and two new strikers at least are essential in the summer as is a left back. Our midfield, I felt had the edge. On a different day Blues win this match comfortably; Fahey scores, Duff’s effort comes out off the post not in and James McFadden’s shot crosses the line and Zamora’s strike does what happens 9/10 times and is blocked, wide, high or saved. Will also said at this point “D’yow know Baz that whenever I drink beer it seems to numb the pain of losin’” Naturally, this led to the suggestion that we should go back to the pub and do just that. Alex, Bob and Stick Man were in agreement so having fallen in amongst such bad company what choice was there but to acquiesce? Another three pints later and it was back on the train. On the way, Alex’s bladder got the better of him and he had to alight at Surbiton before his clothes got wet and had to follow on from there. We were feeling benevolent at this stage and had a lovely conversation with a music student called Catherine who politely declined to play the flute, recorder or clarinet that she had with her for our amusement. Alex and Will went on for a curry from Guildford whilst I went home. Apparently, Will has a head like a foot this morning and realises that we did after all lose the game.

It was an average game with three cracking goals and all in all it was a great day out. Blues didn’t play badly and were done by two classy finishes. During our recent run we got the little bits of luck to sustain such. Just now things have turned against us a little bit. Last week of course we mugged Derby and they argued they deserved a replay, a view with which I have sympathy but in the end they lost because they failed to keep us out. We wore the mask of mirth that day; it was our turn to don the mask of despair this time around. We have to accept the same criticism levelled at Derby last Saturday this week and congratulate Fulham who with goals like the ones they scored were worthy winners.   


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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2010, 10:57:44 PM »
Reserve Team Pitch Inspection

Monday 22nd February 2010

Fulham FC News

Supporters should note that a pitch inspection will be held on Tuesday morning ahead of Fulham's Reserve Team match against Portsmouth at Motspur Park (Kick-Off 7pm).

An announcement regarding the outcome of the inspection will be made as soon as possible.

Read more:

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2010, 11:00:40 PM »

Fulham on the rise -- again
 It’s an interesting time to be a fan of the mighty Fulham. After having a perfect record for January in the league, taking exactly zero points from 12, we have had a great February, beating the reigning UEFA Cup champions Shaktar Donetsk in the Europa League, advancing to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, and taking 10 of 12 points in the league. Our current run has us pretty much pushing what little thoughts of relegation anyone may have had in January out of our sight.

We can take aim of the finals in the FA Cup – hey, if we got this far, let’s aim for the whole danged thing. We can hope of advancing to the next round of the Europa cup, all we need is a draw as Spaceship Shaktar. And we can dream of 50 points in the league this year. That won’t get us a spot in Europe next year based on league position, unless a complete fluke happens, but that is a most successful year for a club the size of the mighty Fulham. Last year, Roy Hodgson said if someone would have told him Fulham would break the 50 point barrier, “he would have looked a little askance at them”. Let’s make Roy spin his wheels again. We should be able to grab 9th-10th place with that figure, and why not aim higher from there.

We have two of the best finishers in the league right now. Bobby Zamora is a beast right now, ensuring that Joe Hart will see him in his nightmares for the next few weeks, and he just can’t stop scoring goals. Wow, a part of me can’t believe I just typed that.   
And Chris Baird just showed how to put a cross in the back of the net, scoring an absolute blinder to make the score 1-0. As soon as we get his screwy sense of direction squared away, he should be clamoring for consideration for the Ballon D’or. Hopefully he gets a royalty for every time that goal is featured in a football blooper DVD.

So, from this point, what constitutes a successful season? One could say that we have already had one, as we will be back for next year – somehow I have faith that the 40 point mark is ours. How far can we go in both cups? How high can we finish in the league?

I am hoping for a top 10 finish and a result at Old Trafford and Anfield, Also, a win away from home would be nice too. We still have to go to Sunderland and Hull, who aren’t exactly covering themselves in glory each week – how about a W there? As far as Europa, at this stage, I think we are playing with house money. I just don’t want to see us do what Aston Villa did last year, and put out a second team squad on the road for a tie. If we lose, let’s go out with guns blazing.

There are a lot of Fulham fans who exalted and suffered with this club much more than I have, and I know a lot of them want to redo 1975 over again, only getting it right this time. So, let’s dare to dream – I want to win the FA Cup. Why not us?

Last, I want Gentleman Jim to put together a clip of his greatest hits on opposition players, from skewering Scott Dann and Stephen Carr today, to verbally taking apart Frank Lampard in The Derby With Our SW London Neighbors, and to top it off with his call of the final few minutes of the Great Escape when it became obvious we were going to make it. “Good catch there Kasey, hold onto it son!” GJ, feel free to throw in some of the many I left out.

The possibilities for our club seem endless. It’s a great time to be a Fulham fan.

Posted by: SteveM19 on Monday, February 22, 2010 - 08:13 AM 

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2010, 11:04:51 PM »
Fulham playmaker Zoltan Gera backs on-fire Bobby Zamora for England call

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 5:40 PM on 22nd February 2010

Zoltan Gera has urged England coach Fabio Capello to consider playing Bobby Zamora alongside Wayne Rooney.

Zamora once again demonstrated he is among the Barclays Premier League's most in-form strikers when he fired Fulham's last-minute winner against Birmingham yesterday.
Supporters chanted 'Bobby for England' and, while Capello had departed by the time Zamora scored, he may already have seen enough to be convinced by the 29-year-old.

The calls for Zamora's selection by England - who face Egypt on March 3 - were not taken seriously when they started in December but now he is viewed as a genuine possibility for the World Cup.

Only three months ago he was being taunted by a small section of his own fans but his record of 15 goals in 32 starts has silenced his critics.

And Gera, his current strike partner at Craven Cottage, believes it is time for him to be tested at international level.

'Fabio Capello would have been impressed with him,' he said.

'I think Mr Capello wants to find a player to make a good partnership with Rooney. In my mind I can imagine Bobby playing with Rooney because he is not just a good target player, he can score goals and run behind the defenders.

'He is a top striker. He scored another goal yesterday and he has been fantastic this season. You can see that, week in, week out, he plays very well.

'In a good way, he is selfish; sometimes a striker needs to be a bit selfish to score goals.'

Gera's role in the victory against Birmingham was considered crucial by Fulham boss Roy Hodgson. The Hungarian has been asked to play alongside Zamora after Andy Johnson was ruled out for the rest for the season through injury and has been in good form himself.

'I'm happy if we're winning. I do my best for the team. The manager wants me to play just behind Bobby and I'm happy there,' said Gera.

'I had a few chances in the game. I like to play in the middle with Bobby. He is a good player because he can hold the ball and I feel I'm more dangerous in the middle than out wide.

'It's easy to understand players like Damien Duff, Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy and Simon Davies. It's good to play with these kind of players, I know how they want to play and they are easy to read.

'I like to run for the team. As far as I can, I want to run. But, if I don't have too many touches, it's a shame. But if my running is important and I'm doing lots for the team, then I'm happy.'

Their last couple of results aside, Birmingham have defied all expectations this season, but manager Alex McLeish is wary of over-ambition.

'The bottom line is people's expectations get too high, including the media, the fans and even directors at times,' he said.

'But we are well ahead of schedule. I would have thought we were looking to be on 37 points in April, not February.'

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2010, 11:07:17 PM »,19528,11681_5971175,00.html

Duff hails 'important goal'

Winger's eighth of the season a wonder strike

By Jamie Casey   Last updated: 22nd February 2010   

Fulham winger Damien Duff has hailed his wonder strike against Birmingham as more important for the team than himself.

The Irishman scored the equaliser as the Cottagers came from a goal down to beat Birmingham 2-1 on Sunday, with Duff's effort providing the breakthrough to the turnaround just before the hour-mark.

After Chris Baird's early own goal gifted the Blues a half-time lead, Duff exchanged a one-two with Zoltan Gera before dribbling on the edge of the area and shooting past Joe Hart for a fine solo effort.

Duff was reluctant to praise the individual brilliance of the strike and instead preferred to highlight the role it played in turning the match on its head, with Bobby Zamora smashing home a stunning late winner.

"The goal was alright but it was more important that the team managed to get back into the game more than myself adding to my goals tally," Duff told the club's official website.

"Whoever scored it was an important goal.

"Of course, it is always nice to score and as we know Bobby [Zamora] went on to score the winner which made it a good day for us.

"They [Birmingham] are a good side and when they go in front like they did against us they usually don't let that lead slip - so that made the victory very satisfying."

For the first half of the game it seemed the Cottagers were fatigued from their midweek Europa League win over Shakhtar Donetsk, but once again the side recovered from a setback to edge the contest.

"I think the team spirit and desire is there for all to see," said Duff. "That was the case last Thursday and again on Sunday.

"The two games were very different. Shakhtar, as everyone will agree, were a fantastic footballing side - one of the best perhaps - and moved the ball around very nicely, whilst the match with Birmingham was more of a physical battle.

"Despite the efforts in midweek I thought we looked energetic enough, it has been a tough week for us because not long before that game we also played in the FA Cup. I think we can be very pleased with how we have played.

"We have an FA Cup quarter-final to look forward to, as well as the second leg with Shakhtar this week. That will be another exciting game and it will be an exciting place to go.

"But the league is our bread and butter, and it's important that we keep picking up points.

"We have a nice amount already, but there is a long way to go. However, we're certainly not looking downwards, we're definitely looking up."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2010, 11:08:40 PM »

Loaner Report 2/22/10

By: timmyg | February 22nd, 2010

Last week Matthew Saunders returned to Lincoln City for another month loan spell. He would come off the bench in the 53rd minute in the Imps’ 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley last Tuesday and then start and play 90 minutes in the Imps’ 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town on Saturday.

Diomansy Kamara started, played 70 minutes, and registered an assist in Celtic’s 1-0 win over Dundee United on Saturday. Celtic currently sit second in the SPL. Oh, and I was unaware of this, but Dio has his own website.

Eddie Johnson started and played 90 minutes in Aris Thessaloniki’s 1-0 loss to AEK Athens on Sunday. Aris currently sit 5th in the Greek Super League.

David Stockdale started, played 90 minutes, and made 7 saves in Plymouth Argyle’s 1-1 draw with Swansea Citylast Tuesday. On Saturday he started and played in 90 minutes in Plymouth’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City. Last week his loan deal was extended another month. Plymouth Argyle currently sit 23rd in the CCC, five points from safety.

Toni Kallio started and played 90 minutes in Sheffield United’s 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest last Tuesday. The Blades’ match against Peterborough United on Saturday was postponed to due a frozen pitch. Sheffield United currently sit 8th in the CCC.

Wayne Brown did not dress in Bristol Rovers’ 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic last Monday or 1-0 loss at Gillingham because of an ankle injury. He is currently rehabbing at Fulham. Bristol Rovers currently sit 10th on League One.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2010, 11:10:54 PM »

Thoughts on Bobby Zamora and Chris Smalling

Posted by Tom Wille

Bobby Zamora did it again! His free kick late into second half stoppage time past the outstretched arms of Birmingham City keeper Joe Hart and into the back of the net gave victory and three points to Fulham in a tough mid table battle against the Blues. The win puts the Cottagers in 9th position in the table and keeps the positive momentum going into Thursday's all important second and final leg in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League.

The goal by Zamora was his 15th goal in 32 starts. His goals have come in all competitions. The Premier League, the FA Cup and the Europa League. Not only has he scored a lot of goals for this team, but he has scored them in critical moments of matches as evidenced by Sunday's beautiful free kick goal.

The scary part about Zamora's goal tally is that he missed a month of the season with a separated shoulder. The former Brighton and West Ham striker was in the form of his life before injuring his shoulder. It was thought Zamora would miss up to eight weeks with the injury, but Zamora missed only few weeks and to the surprise of many, did not miss a beat upon his return and immediately started scoring goals again the Cottagers.

One could easily make a strong case that Zamora is Fulham's player of the season thus far. Fulham was counting on Andy Johnson to do a lot of the goal scoring this season but both injuries and a lack of form prevented that from happening. Other injuries to players like Clint Dempsey also meant that the team was lacking in goal scorers. Fortunately for Fulham supporters Zamora has stepped up and done a fantastic job in covering for the injured players and giving the Cottagers a serious goal scoring threat up front. Opposing teams have to game plan for Zamora as no matter what the opposition throws at him, he has an answer in the form of a goal. It is hard to imagine where the Cottagers would be this season without Bobby Zamora and his 15 goals.

One interesting point about Zamora is the fact that Roy Hodgson and the club had agreed to sell Zamora to Hull City for what was reported to be 5 million pounds in August of 2009. While most media outlets were reporting that Zamora was headed to Hull City, it was Zamora himself that did not want the deal to go through and decided to stick around at Craven Cottage and try to earn his place in the squad. Let's just say Bobby has earned his keep this season and will not be sold any time soon.

Reports have circulated that England manager might consider Bobby Zamora for the World Cup this summer. Perhaps those reports at first were a bit premature, but as Zamora keeps scoring and playing well, it becomes a realistic possibility that he could be on the plane to South Africa with the rest of the Three Lions team.

Overall, Bobby Zamora has been nothing short of spectacular this season. The team would be in a major spot of bother had Zamora non stepped up this season and scored goals the way he has. He is playing as well as he ever has and continued to amaze with his ability on the pitch. I think Zamora deserves more praise than he is currently getting from the football media. He may not be a Didier Drogba or a Wayne Rooney, but there are few strikers in the Premier League this season that can match what Zamora has done this season. I am just happy he is doing it for us and not Hull City.

One other player I have been meaning to write about was Chris Smalling. In January it was reported that the 20-year-old center half was going to join giants Manchester United in the summer of 2010 for a fee of around 7 million pounds. Like most Fulham supporters I was a bit surprised that the Red Devils were coming after the former non-league defender. While he is young and does have some talent, I find it hard to believe that he is going to be anything more than a fringe player on the first team for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Smalling has made a number of appearances for the Cottagers this season and I was excited about his potential at the club. He was young, he filled a position that is never easy to find and seemed to be improving each time he was on the pitch.

I do not agree with the club selling Smalling. While 7 million pounds is a lot of money, I have a hard time justifying the sale of Smalling for a few reasons. First and foremost, the current squad at Fulham is old. Most every starting player in the squad is ever over 30 or in their upper 20s. It is important to try and find some younger talent and blend them in with the current team. Smalling was just that. At 20, he could have been a mainstay at the club for years to come. Eventually the older players on this squad will have to be replaced and major turnover in the team will happen. Smalling would have been the idea candidate to transition to a younger team down the road.

Another point regarding this transfer that does not make much sense to me is why Smalling would even want to leave Fulham. I am sure the obvious answer is money. The wages he was offered at Manchester United were surely well over what he was making here and that is definitely enticing. However, outside of the money, I have a hard time believing that Smalling will do much of importance for the Red Devils. While he is a decent player, to me he is not a Manchester United player.

My fear is that Smalling will go to Manchester United this summer and outside of a few league cup appearances of the next few seasons, he will not get the playing time he needs to continue his upward progress. He will not been seen as a bright, young talent at Old Trafford. Instead, he will simply be another number. Yes, I know, he will be getting paid well to sit on the bench and feature in a few first team league cup matches, but as a Fulham supporter, it bothers me a talent like Smalling will be wasted away at a bigger club as we see all too often these days with youngsters going to Old Trafford, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal.

These bigger clubs just raid smaller clubs like Fulham. They lure players with bigger pay checks and after the player gets to the big club, he endures a few seasons of sitting on the bench and regressing as a player. This happens all too often in English football and I wish something could be done to prevent this. It's almost as though Manchester United is buying Smalling not to really play him, but to make sure Fulham cannot play him and possibly be a problem for Manchester United when the Cottagers square off with the Red Devils.

While a salary cap would be the obvious solution, I am not naive enough to think that will ever happen. What is more realistic is implementing a squad size limit. In other words, like in Major League Baseball here in the US, only 25 players are allowed to be on the first team roster. Only those 25 players can participate in a given game, match, etc. The number does not have to be 25, but I think you get my idea. If a player like Smalling were to know before he was being transferred that he would not be among the group that had a chance to play each week perhaps he and other youngsters would think twice before taking the money and running to the big clubs of England.

I do hope Chris Smalling does well at Manchester United. Seeing as Fulham picked him up from the scrap heaps, I would love nothing more than to see Smalling continue his rags to riches story at Old Trafford and play a major role in the success of Manchester United. However, as a I mentioned above, I have doubts that it will happen. Simply stated, he is not a Manchester United quality player. He is a Fulham quality player, but I think he will find it tough making the move to Old Trafford. I hope I am wrong. Time will tell.

What are your thoughts on Bobby Zamora? Is he your player of the season thus far? What about Chris Smalling's move to Old Trafford? Do you think he will be successful there? If so, does that mean you feel he will be a future first teamer at Old Trafford? Was Fulham right or wrong for selling him?

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2010, 07:30:15 AM »


By Ross Thompson-Jenkins, Press Association Sport

Teddy Sheringham feels Fulham striker Bobby Zamora could be a shock inclusion in England's World Cup squad.

Zamora has impressed for Roy Hodgson's men this term and scored the winner in Sunday's win over Birmingham with a fierce free-kick.

"Bobby Zamora has come on the scene, he is scoring goals and playing with a lot of confidence," said Sheringham.

"Confidence makes the difference. Bobby is at the top of his game and people are talking about him being a candidate.

"There is a chance for everybody and anybody to turn things around, play better and get in the squad."

Sheringham also refuses to accept time has run out for another striker - Manchester United's Michael Owen - to force his way into Fabio Capello's thoughts

"It is still early days, if Michael played the next four or five games and scored three or four goals then all of a sudden he's back in the good books and you'd have him in the squad," said the former Tottenham forward.

"You know he can score goals at the top level, if you give him a half chance he will take it.

"At the moment he is not scoring or playing, but things can change very quickly in football so we'll see."

Sheringham was at Wembley on Monday with former strike partner Alan Shearer as part of the England 2018/2022 bid where Morrisons was announced as a new official partner.

And both feel the recent allegations about players' private lives will not affect morale among the squad in South Africa.

John Terry was sacked as England captain earlier this month following allegations of an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge.

Shearer said: "Rightly or wrongly something is always brought up just before a big tournament but I don't see it being a major issue and I don't think it will affect team morale at all."

Sheringham added: "I think there will be uncertainty at the moment but come the summer everything will have died down and it won't matter so much."

Capello named Rio Ferdinand as Terry's successor as skipper and Sheringham feels he will be a similar captain to the Chelsea man.

"There's not a lot of difference between him and Terry," he said. "They are both vocal, good leaders and top players for their clubs so players won't have a problem with either one being captain."

Shearer admits England's hopes of winning in South Africa will depend a lot on the fitness of Wayne Rooney.

"Looking at our team and players then I think we've got decent chance," he said.

"We'll have to beat a Brazil or a Spain along the way but as long as we keep a certain Mr Rooney fit then we've got a good chance."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2010, 07:31:47 AM »


Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is eager for Damien Duff to bring his club form to the international stage.

The Italian named the Fulham winger in his squad on Monday for next week's friendly against Brazil.

Trapattoni also selected Wigan midfielder James McCarthy and Manchester City defender Greg Cunningham, both 19, and 22-year-old Portsmouth centre-back Marc Wilson for the first time, as the Republic prepare for their first match since controversially losing out to France in their World Cup play-off.

Trapattoni's side will take on Brazil at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium on Tuesday March 2, with the South Americans expected to bring a strong squad to London.

Duff has impressed since his move from Newcastle to west London, scoring a fine individual equaliser in Sunday's 2-1 win over Birmingham.

"I saw a great goal," said Trapattoni. "Duff was fantastic (on Sunday).

"Not only the goal, his entire situation. He can play now, he's confident. Duff is very important for us."

Duff is one of several senior men in the party, which also includes record scorer Robbie Keane, currently enjoying a decent run of form during his loan spell at Celtic.

John O'Shea misses out due to the leg injury he sustained against France. A blood clot formed, which has kept him sidelined since, and the Manchester United defender may not play again this season.

Celtic defender Darren O'Dea is left out, as are Hibernian's Liam Miller and Anthony Stokes.

Trapattoni is eager for his players to put the frustration of losing to France behind them.

Thierry Henry's handball in the second leg, as he set up William Gallas for the goal which decided the tie, was painful at the time but the veteran Italian coach wants to move on.

He said: "I look forward to working with my squad again after the disappointment of Paris.

"The priority now is to build on the progress made during the last campaign and prepare ourselves over the coming months mentally and tactically for an important Euro campaign."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2010, 05:43:10 PM »

Roy Hodgson’s miracles at Fulham

Date: 23rd February 2010 at 3:56 pm

Roy Hodgson has been a much travelled manager in his time, meaning he must have picked up a lot of skills and knowledge. He can look at his current post at Fulham and be proud of his achievements, and the desire to want more from a club that looks well equipped to compete now, and in the future.

Fulham supporters have every right to feel optimistic, especially due to the fact that the club is playing European football this season. They will be hoping for the same next season. Considering they finished in an impressive seventh place last term, the question of second season syndrome was put to them. That has been answered with another campaign that has shown a lot promise, whilst Hodgson is bringing the best out of players that were under-achieving before. The key has been putting a team together that has a mixture of unheard of players or players who looked to be stalling with their careers.

Players such as Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland and Erik Nevland have been successful signings, although the player that has really shone is Bobby Zamora. Going shopping for bargains from abroad shows the understanding the manager has. Hodgson has shown that he can get the best out of a player who has always looked like he is ready to deliver. Zamora must be one of the leading candidates to be named as Fulham’s player of the season. He has been on a great goal-scoring run, and has caught the attention of England manager Fabio Capello.

The intention of spending and the financial resources available to Fulham will be looked at if Hodgson is to make the squad stronger. When the owner happens to be Mohamed al Fayed then there must be a temptation to try and buy your way to glory. The squad does not have a Wayne Rooney or a Cesc Fabregas but their core players like Damien Duff, Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora, Clint Dempsey and Brede Hangeland are playing at a level that is sufficient enough. As good as those players are will Fulham be able to attract a Champions League player? You get the feeling that finishing between seventh and tenth position is well within the club’s grasp, but Hodgson may have the ambition of ending further up the table should the next couple of seasons see a real progression.

Rather than give false hopes and expectations to fans, Hodgson continues to reiterate that the priority is the Premier League, even with the excitement of the Europa League and the fact that they are in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. This probably comes from the fact that they survived relegation in the most amazing circumstances two seasons ago. Fulham used to talk about becoming the Manchester United of the south, but the strategy has been changed to a more realistic one. Along with that they have also altered away from developing the picturesque Craven Cottage stadium which sits on the banks of the Thames.

All in all, Hodgson’s years abroad seem to have made him appreciate the demands of English football. He has shown that to the Fulham faithful because his team always tries to play the game with style. The fans may be worried that all the good work will come to an end, judging by Hodgson’s timeline for staying at one club, but it seems that at his age, 62, he will not be using Fulham as a stepping stone for pastures new. The chance to cement himself as one of the club’s great managers is there for him.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (23.02.10)
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2010, 05:46:44 PM »

Bobby for England in 2010

By: timmyg | February 23rd, 2010

Ollie Irish over at Who Ate all the Pies is polling his readers if Bobby Zamora is good enough for England. He personally thinks not and offers actual (compared to others, which I’ll get to later) rationale:

It’s not that I don’t think he’s a very strong striker who is capable of unsettling most defenders. It’s not that I don’t like him as a player – believe me, I’d LOVE to see him score the winning goal in the World Cup final and then ‘Shhhh’ Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini. It’s simply that his playing style is not well-suited to international football – put him in an England shirt and he wouldn’t get away with half of the physical stuff he does in the Prem. That’s a problem, and other big front men such as Peter Crouch have experienced it before on the international stage. Even Alan Shearer had to tone down his natural elbows-and-all game for the Three Lions.

Although I don’t see Zamora as being that physical, he does have a point. Like with most ‘good’ college quarterbacks in American Football, I think he is excelling within the team’s system — a system that sees him as more than just a hold-up/target man. But, when taken out of the system, questions arise.

Compare this to members of the ESPN Soccernet podcast, excluding Fulham fan Adam Williams, TalkSport, and the always open-minded Alan Hansen on MOTD2 who shrugged such suggestions without giving any particular reasons.

In the other camp, besides all the Fulham fans, is Teddy Sheringham. Me? Well…

Although it’s not my national team, I don’t see why Bobby shouldn’t be given a chance in the upcoming match against Egypt. In fact, it’s probably going to happen considering the match is next week; it’s a midweek friendly that, although at Wembley, most of the big names will sit out; and Capello is known to give ‘fringe’ players opportunities.

The irony to this debate, which is something no one has really discussed is that in August he and Jlloyd Samuel got passports to play for Trinidad and Tobago. But had it not been for an injury in training, Zamora would have played against the United States in a September World Cup Qualifier. Which in turn would make this entirely moot.