Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)  (Read 7103 times)

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2010, 10:43:20 AM »
Step By Step

Thursday 25th February 2010


Fulham FC News Powered by 
 

Since returning from international duty with Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations, Dickson Etuhu's presence in Fulham's first eleven has coincided with an impressive run of results for the Club.

The powerful midfielder is clearly delighted to be back in the heart of Fulham's midfield, although he clearly feels there is much more to come from him over the next few months.

“It’s good to be back," said Etuhu ahead of Thursday night's game. "I’ve played the last five games now. I’m feeling good but still not where I want to be yet. That will come soon. Everybody knows what I’m like when I play at my best."

Etuhu wasn’t in the least bit surprised to see Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora score scintillating goals against Birmingham City last weekend. According to the midfield powerhouse both strikes were trademark finishes from the pair.

“It was a great strike by Bobby but he does it all the time in training so I wasn’t really surprised," explained Etuhu. "He’s a great player and he’s having a great season and I’m really happy for him.

“Duffer loves that one where he comes inside and hits it. He scored a similar one when he first signed. It’s something you see him doing a lot."

If Fulham can continue their impressive winning form in Donetsk this evening Etuhu and company could be facing either Ajax or Juventus in the last 16 of the UEFA Europe League - although Etuhu is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

“We’re thinking about each game as it comes along and getting everything out of it. We don’t think too far ahead – that’s the good thing about Fulham Football Club – we just think about the next game.

“Everybody knows they’re a great team and we did really well to beat them at the Cottage. They played really well and now we’re looking forward to going over there and playing in a big match.

“All the boys are relishing the opportunity to play in this game. We’re going there to win the game but at the same time we’re not thinking too far ahead."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/EtuhuShakhtarAway.aspx#ixzz0gXjHhjLH


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2010, 10:45:59 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7309468/Fulham-complain-after-Shakhtar-Donetsk-put-trip-details-on-website.html

Fulham complain after Shakhtar Donetsk put trip details on website


Fulham complained to Shakhtar Donetsk after the Uefa Cup holders published the London club's itinerary for their trip for Thursday night's match, including details of their flight arrival, training sessions and their hotel, on their website. The details were quickly taken down.
 
By John Ley in Donetsk


Published: 7:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2010


The complaint follows an incident last week when Shakhtar's players were turned away from Harrods, owned by Fulham chairman Mohamed Fayed. He later apologised to the club.

Manager Roy Hodgson insisted Fulham would not let it distract them from attempting to make history. He said: "I think the owner of the club also owns the hotel where we are staying and I think he likes to get a bit of publicity for it."
 
Both episodes add a touch of spice to this finely balanced tie, with Fulham leading 2-1 from the first leg, thanks to Bobby Zamora's outstanding late effort at Craven Cottage. The winners play Juventus or Ajax.

Hodgson is without the injured Paul Konchesky, Clint Dempsey, Andrew Johnson, John Pantsil and Kagisho Dokgacoi while Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okacha are cup-tied.

Hodgson admitted that even if Fulham's European journey comes to an end in the impressive Donbass Arena tomorrow, the club can be proud of their achievements.

Hodgson said: "If we get a result it will be fantastic, but if we don't it will have been a wonderful experience and helped increase the stature of the club."

Probable teams

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly; Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff; Gera; Zamora.
Shakhtar Donetsk (4-5-1): Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat; Ilsinho, Jadson, Hubschman, Fernandinho, Willian; Adriano.
Referee: S Moen (Norway).

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2010, 10:50:30 AM »
Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham – Preview – 25 February 2010

by: Jonathon Feyerherm

25 Feb 2010
Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham

UEFA Europa League Round of 32 2nd Leg

Donbass Arena – Donetsk, Ukraine

25 February 2010 – 18:00 GMT


EPL side Fulham heads to Ukraine with a 2-1 aggregate lead against defending UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham Preview
Fulham won the first leg 2-1 at Craven Cottage but will have a tough test at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk. Shakhtar have not lost at home in the Europa League this season and have a +7 goal difference in three matches. They won Group J with a dominating 4-1-1 record and conceding only three goals. Fulham were second in Group E with a 3-2-1 record and a +2 goal difference. They had one win on the road (at Basel) in the group stage.

Shakhtar had an impressive run last season to win the UEFA Cup and is one of the favorites to win the entire tournament. They are second in the Ukraine Premier League (behind Dynamo Kiev) with only one loss in 17 matches. Brazilians Luiz Adriano (9 goals) and Jadson (6 goals) provide most of the scoring for Shakhtar. Adriano provied the lone goal in the first leg against Fulham.

Fulham are in position for another top half finish in the English Premier League with 37 points through 27 matches. They are led in the attack by Bobby Zamora (8 goals) and Damien Duff (6 goals). The London club is healthy now after several early season injuries but midfielder Clint Dempsey remains unavailable. Since arriving, manager Roy Hodgson has instilled a disciplined style of play that has made Fulham one of the EPL’s stongest defensive sides.

Shakhtar will have the advantage playing at home but Fulham are capable of playing a defensive match. Fulham will play offensive and generally rely on the counterattack to get any chances. If either side is able to get an early goal, it will probably that side that advances to the quarterfinals.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham Prediction
Shakhtar are a strong team and will advance 4-3 on aggregate (3-1 win on Thursday’s match).

Watch Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham Live Online
You can watch Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham live online as well as all other Europa League games. Read our live Europa League football page for more details.



Read more: http://soccerlens.com/fulham-shakhtar-donetsk/41212/#ixzz0gXluBnaI


White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2010, 10:53:08 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5618

Rufus in Donetsk


by Dan on February 25, 2010

The quite brilliant Rufus Brevett lapping up the view from the bench in the Donbass Arena.



I still think he could do a good job at left back tonight.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2010, 10:54:40 AM »
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23809693-we-can-go-all-the-way-in-europa-league-says-fulhams-brede-hangeland.do

We can go all the way in Europa League, says Fulham's Brede Hangeland

25.02.10


Brede Hangeland admits Fulham are in bonus land as they stand on the brink of the last 16 of the Europa League - but insists they can go all the way in the competition.

Roy Hodgson's side take a slender 2-1 lead to the Donbass Stadium following last week's first-leg win over Shakhtar Donetsk, and know avoiding defeat will set up a mouthwatering clash with Ajax or Juventus in the next round.

Defender Hangeland said: "We came into this competition as a bonus for doing well last year but we'd like to go as far as we can.

"It would be great to get through, but we are fully focused on this game and not what might happen after."

The Cottagers go into the game ahead courtesy of goals from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora but Luiz Adriano's away goal gives Shakhtar, the 2009 UEFA Cup winners, something to cling on to.

"We are in the lead but we all saw at Craven Cottage what a good team they are," he added.

"We will have to play well, defend well and take our chances when they come.

"I was very impressed with them. They are quick, athletic, good on the ball. It's a different game to what we are used to in the Premier League."

Hodgson, predictably, has no intention of trying to hold out for a draw.

He said: "Playing for a draw is a difficult thing to do, you automatically give the initiative to the other team.

"I don't think it's in our nature or in our style of play to do that, surrender the initiative and try to shut up shop for 90 minutes.

"I think we want to play them, match them at least in their play and that means attacking well and defending well.

"Certainly there is going to be nothing in our preparations that will take into account that we only need a draw. We are preparing to play well against a team that we know will come at us and try to cause us problems.

"First of all we will try to stop that and then when we get the ball we can cause them some problems."

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2010, 10:55:45 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_5979486,00.html


Brede focused on Shakhtar


Hodgson insists Fulham will not play for a draw in second leg


Last updated: 25th February 2010   

Brede Hangeland insists Fulham are not looking ahead at a potential glamour tie in the Europa League and are solely focused on knocking out Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fulham take a 2-1 lead into Thursday's second leg against Shakhtar in Ukraine, with the winners facing either Ajax or Juventus in the last 16 of the competition.

But, rather than dream of facing a former European Cup winner in the next stage, Hangeland wants his team-mates' minds to be concentrated on the immediate task in hand.

"We came into this competition as a bonus for doing well last year, but we'd like to go as far as we can," said Hangeland.

"It would be great to get through, but we are fully focused on this game and not what might happen after.

"We are in the lead, but we all saw at Craven Cottage what a good team they are. We will have to play well, defend well and take our chances when they come.

"I was very impressed with them. They are quick, athletic, good on the ball. It's a different game to what we are used to in the Premier League."

Initiative

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, predictably, has no intention of trying to hold out for a draw to ensure his team's progression.

He said: "Playing for a draw is a difficult thing to do, you automatically give the initiative to the other team.

"I don't think it's in our nature or in our style of play to do that, surrender the initiative and try to shut up shop for 90 minutes.

"I think we want to play them, match them at least in their play and that means attacking well and defending well.

"Certainly there is going to be nothing in our preparations that will take into account that we only need a draw. We are preparing to play well against a team that we know will come at us and try to cause us problems."


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article7040081.ece

Carlos Tévez, their leading goalscorer, should be available with the Argentina striker due to return to England tomorrow after a two-week absence in the wake of the premature birth of his second daughter and it is as well given that Adebayor will be missing.

A tumultuous season for the Togo striker took another turn for the worse when he lashed out at Shawcross in the 82nd minute, catching the Stoke defender just below the chin with his arm. As well as the Chelsea game, he will miss the league matches at home to Tottenham and away to Fulham.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2010, 11:12:18 AM »
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/football-in-wales/2010/02/25/bellamy-faces-tosh-91466-25908471/

But every other senior player available to Toshack will be selected ... including a return of veteran Simon Davies, whose own Wales career was up in the air in the wake of the World Cup qualifying flop against Finland a year ago.

Toshack knows everything about Davies too, but wants him as part of his team in the absence of injured Wolves midfielder David Edwards.

Davies, Bellamy and Jason Koumas were among the crop of senior figures Toshack criticised after that demoralising 2-0 defeat to the Finns in Cardiff, the Wales boss saying they had failed to show the sort of leadership the younger members of the team needed.

Toshack will recall Davies for Sweden, the Fulham man having dispelled fears he was ready to quit international football.

But we understand Toshack is prepared to omit Bellamy as he looks to build on the boom factor created by Aaron Ramsey and his new-look strike force as a result of that 3-0 triumph over the Scots last time out.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2010, 11:14:43 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5611

Up next: Shakhtar Donetsk (a)


by Dan on February 25, 2010

Forget the trip to the Stadio Olimpico and discard the must-win match in Basel. This will be Fulham’s toughest European test to date. Much was made of Shakhtar’s pretty passing in the first leg last week but their performance could only be improved with a little more match practice after having previously not played a competitive game since the Ukrainian league began a long winter break in mid-December.

There’s also the fact that Shakhtar will be a very different proposition in Donetsk. Their home record is nothing short of astonishing. They have lost just one game this season and our almost impregnable at the Donbass Arena. They sit just two points behind leaders Dynamo Kyiv in the league – and will hoping to put Fulham on the back foot early on this evening.

Much of Shakhtar’s success is down their genial coach Mircea Lucescu. Regarded by his players as an inspirational manager, the Romanian  has had an almost Mourinho-like effect on the Miners since taking over the reigns in 2004. He has won three Ukrainian championships and, of course, launched the unforgettable odyssey to UEFA Cup glory last year. Such achievements make it all the more remarkable that the Shakhtar board were heavily rumoured to be close to approaching Juande Ramos, the former Tottenham coach who had a disastrous 47-day spell at CSKA Moscow after being sacked at White Hart Lane, as they inexplicably pondered whether to offer Lucescu a new deal after his European success.

Shakhtar’s South American influence gives them a distinctly different flavour to a lot of former Soviet republic sides. Though they have the capacity to be as gritty and industrious as spirited Russian and Ukrainian outfits, Shakhtar have a unique style of their own. At times in the first leg, it seemed as though Shakhtar were playing to a Samba beat. For 40 minutes in the first half, their Brazilian front five had a real influence on the contest. Ilsinho illustrated his importance with a brilliantly threaded ball through the Fulham defence to find the deadly Luiz Adriano for the equaliser. Fernandinho ran the game from an exceptionally deep position in midfield and the wondering Willian drifted into dangerous positions. Regular Shahktar watchers report that the likes of Jadson and Douglas Costa could a hell of a lot more effective in the home game.

The conventional wisdom is that Shakhtar could well win comfortably tomorrow night. Their irresistable approach play will certainly test Hodgson’s reputation for meticulous planning and organisation. Hangeland and Hughes will have a busy night at the heart of the Fulham back four but, for me, the game will be won and lost in midfield. Where Chris Baird was unexpectedly outstanding when pressed in central midfield earlier this season, Dickson Etuhu has been disappointing since returning from the African Cup of Nations recently. The Nigerian needs to be at his imposing best to disrupt Shakhtar’s rhythm this evening.

Just as important will be the mentality with which Fulham stride onto the pitch tonight.  The dangerous strategy would be to try and protect what we have – I’d go as far as to say that would be particularly foolish. Far better for Fulham to show some attacking ambition, especially as the Donetsk defence creaked alarmingly under pressure in London last week. Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov couldn’t have done much to stop Bobby Zamora’s winning thunderbolt but you would imagine that he was disheartened to let Zoltan Gera’s early shot slip through his grasp.

Donetsk had little answer to Zamora’s pace and power and it was encouraging to note Zoltan Gera’s impact on proceedings. The Hungarian scampered into several threatening positions and his classy flick into Zamora’s path created the winner almost out of nothing. Gera could have a similar influence on things tonight, especially if he continues in such a rich vein of form. With Damien Duff rediscovering the zest that characterised his entry into English footbnall with Blackburn all those years ago, Fulham will have plenty of ways to unlock the Shakhtar defence.

Much of Hodgson’s success at Fulham has stemmed from selecting the same side. That luxury hasn’t been available to the wily coach for much of this season due to just the ill-fortune with injuries that we had managed to avoid during our record breaking previous campaign. But he seems to have settled on a system that works, especially with Duff and Davies cutting in from the opposite/’wrong’ flanks, to such great effect. Indeed, perhaps the only change from the team that showed such spirit to see off Birmingham on Sunday will be enforced as the ineligible Nicky Shorey is replaced by Stephen Kelly at left back.

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


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2010, 01:52:45 PM »
http://www.wsc.co.uk/content/view/4779/38/

Fulham's floating fans 


 25 February ~ Cramming myself into a busy tube carriage last Thursday evening, I had to wonder – is the Europa League really this uninspiring? I'm within a few stops of Craven Cottage, about an hour before Fulham play UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk, and I expected a more obviously match-going crowd. From previous experience, you know you're on the way to a match when you see the first stragglers in polyester shirts, carrying scarves or walking with that quick nervy gait symptomatic of pre-match nerves.

Instead I'm surrounded by glum-looking women, carrying bags from River Island or Iceland, and men in suits and dark coats, trying to read their books and avoid the jutting elbows. Your average commuters. Nobody is singing. I see no black and white scarves. There isn't the palpable tension you'd expect considering Fulham are about to resume their longest-ever European campaign. Eventually I spot a few replica shirts on a group of lads behind me, but when I eavesdrop on their conversation they express relief, in American accents, that they booked their hotels in Paris and Rome ahead of time. It's clear they're not quite regulars at the Cottage.


Fulham's leap from lower-league struggles to European nights is remarkable. As recently as 1996 any pre-match tension on the District Line would have been attributable to the prospect of the club dropping into the Conference. But it hasn't quite turned the Cottagers into the "Manchester United of the south", as Mohamed al-Fayed promised around the turn of the century. Fulham's attendances are certainly respectable considering their sudden ascension to the top flight but it'll be a long time before they can muster a local following to compete with Chelsea's. When the club returned to the redeveloped Craven Cottage in 2004 after a brief groundshare at QPR, they applied to FIFA for permission to introduce a neutral's section, next to the away fans in the Putney End, going on the assumption that within London are plenty of rootless fans (like me) who want to see a game of football. Despite being in a game steeped in a culture of fierce parochialism and an us-against-them mentality, Fulham are selling themselves as the outsider's choice.

That's not to say Fulham don't have a fanbase of their own, of course, and it was reassuring to leave the train station and see the familiar street-clogging clot of fans. Those fans made an impressive racket during the 2-1 win over an impressive Shakhtar who – despite a heavy Brazillian contingent – were the very embodiment of that half-forgotten cliche from European ties of old, the crack eastern European outfit. The Shakhtar game was nominally of the traditional segregated home-and-away-only model, but still the crowd was more cosmopolitan than usual. Walking through the park from tube station to ground I had to skip past a group of Japanese girls excited at the sight of floodlights. One of the first genuine London accents I heard on the walk to the stadium was that of a Del Boy-type character selling tickets for £25 (it was a fiver less to get in on the gate) and during the second half, I witnessed a young couple posing for mobile phone pictures taken by an obliging home fan.

It's to the credit of Fulham's fanbase that a neutral section works. On the club website there's an optimistic-looking claim that the section is also for "home and away fans who don't mind sitting together". It sounds like a recipe for trouble but there have been no significant incidents at the Cottage since the scheme began and Fulham fans were bottom of last season's Premier League arrests table. At the risk of edging into archaic stereotypes, it's hard to think of many clubs who could operate a similar scheme. If Fulham's location means the club are disadvantaged by their proximity to Chelsea (let alone Arsenal, Tottenham, QPR, Brentford...), it also offers an advantage, in the sheer volume of nearby non-Londoners who want to see top-flight football. At a time when many mid-ranking Premier League clubs seem to be losing match-going supporters (how must those rows of sparse stands play in the Far East?), Fulham seem to have found their own way of cutting down on empty seats. Karl Sturgeon
 

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2010, 01:56:52 PM »

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2010, 02:01:28 PM »
http://shakhtar.com/en/news/12293

Rinat Akhmetov: "My heart wants everything to be determined in the first minutes"

24-02-10 21:30:24


On the eve of the very important clash of the Miners against English Fulham the President of FC Shakhtar Rinat Akhmetov visited his team’s training and shared with journalists his hopes and expectations about tomorrow’s game.

– Rinat Leonidovich, a non-football question for the beginning, it is connected with the festival that passed – Defender of the Fatherland Day. As a child, didn't you want to become the military man?
– No, I didn’t dream about it, but we celebrated this holiday in our family. I wanted to become a footballer. But my team doesn't need such footballers as me.

– Is there any additional motivation for the team for the tomorrow’s match?
– If you mean some financial stimuli, I’ve already said that if there is too much of financial motivation, it’s hard to run. And we need a good speed for tomorrow. I’m sure that the footballers will do their best to defeat Fulham.

– Is the President of Ukraine going to be at Donbas Arena tomorrow?
– We are always glad to see Viktor Fedorovich at Donbas Arena, but tomorrow, that is a very important day, he will be very busy. So I think that Viktor Fedorovich can miss the possibility to watch the game.

– And you will be in Kiev?
– Of course, I will be in Kiev and surely I will be at the stadium in the evening. I will worry with our fans and hope that Shakhtar will show nice and victorious game. I think the footballers will do their best to defeat Fulham.

– Rinat Leonidovich, for the victory we need 1-0 score, and what result would satisfy you personally?
– Certainly such score is OK, we go further, but at the same time we will “tremble” till the last second. I always like when just 15 minutes into the match the score is 3-0, and I watch football relaxed. But this is not always so, that’s why the main thing is for the result to be in our favour. If the fans are in thrill till the last second, everybody will get the great pleasure. Moreover, football fans like it, when it is n the last minutes or seconds the result of the match is determined. And my heart wants everything to be clear in the first minutes.

– Returning to the question about the additional motivation for the team. Earlier here were some methods, getting down into the mine, for example. But there haven’t been meetings with the fans for a long time. Why is it so?
– The full stadium with 50 000 of fans and several millions people watching the match on TV will be the additional motivation. I'm sure the atmosphere will be marvelous and the players will do everything to please their fans. And as for the meetings – they are always important. But it seems to me that the main meeting will be tomorrow at Donbas Arena.

– Do you think now about the Ukrainian Premier League, that starts in three days? Lucescu says that the main target is Shakhtar performance in Europe, but the title of the winner of the country’s championship is a guaranteed place in the UEFA Champions League.
– Now I think only about the tomorrow’s game and think that we should do our best for our team to get to the next stage of Europa League. As for the Ukrainian Premier League, I've always said that our main task is to gain the great success in Europe. This is our target. And the victory in Ukrainian Premier League is means. If we don't win the championship, we won't reach our goal. So now the winning of the championship or the possession of the Ukrainian Cup is not the target, it was like this ten years ago. This is natural. We can win the championship and play badly in Europe. This is not the right taste: not the one of the champion's title, not the one of Ukrainian Cup. And when I say that our target is Europe, that we want to compete with the best European teams, than it is necessary to win the country’s championship, it’s the obligatory condition.

– Do you watch other tournaments where Shakhtar doesn’t participate? UEFA Champions League yesterday, for example?
– I always watch football with great pleasure. Yesterday, for example, I liked VfW Stuttgart in the first half, the German club created a lot of problems for Barcelona. And in the second half Barcelona showed their real strength. Now it's easier for them to look into the Round 8 of UEFA Champions League.

– How do you think, is the Barcelona of today an ideal team? Would you like Shakhtar to play and look like the Catalan club?
– If Ukraine held the championship of such level as Spain or England do, I would do everything for us to have such a team – that plays such "tasty" football. I think today Barcelona is the best team in the world.

FC Shakhtar
Press Office


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2010, 02:37:04 PM »
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23809843-fulham-are-wound-up-by-shakhtars-web-blunder.do


Fulham are wound up by Shakhtar's web blunder


David Smith


25.02.10


The thermometer will tonight hover around freezing inside the futuristic new Donbass Arena, gracing the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, when Fulham seek to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League.

But temperatures threatened to reach boiling point ahead of the game when officials of Shakhtar Donetsk, whose side have it all to do after losing last week's first leg of the 2-1 at Craven Cottage, published Fulham's itinerary and hotel details on their official club website.

A potential threat to Fulham's security was exposed when Shakhtar fans were told when the team would fly in for the game, the location of their hotel and timings for their training sessions.

Fulham immediately complained to the UEFA Cup holders - that competition has now become the Europa League - and the website entry was taken down.

But the incident has stoked tension between Roy Hodgson's side and Shakhtar, whose players were turned away from Harrods, owned by Fulham chairman Mohamed Fayed, last week in London.

A subsequent Shakhtar website poll of supporters' principal wish for the outcome of tonight's clash revealed that a significant number wanted Fulham's Al Fayed to "shed tears" at his team's demise.

Hodgson sought to defuse the row over the leaking of Fulham's movements, saying: "The owner of their club also owns the hotel where we are staying and I think he likes to get a bit of publicity."

He also dismissed a charge by Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu that Fulham are a "functional" long-ball team and insisted his side will not play for a draw.

"That is a difficult thing to do," said Hodgson. "You automatically give the initiative to the other team.

"I don't think it's in our nature or in our style of play to do that, surrender the initiative and try to shut up shop for 90 minutes.

"We want to match them in all departments and that means attacking well and defending well."

Goals from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora gave Fulham their first-leg victory and Hodgson is set to name the same line-up with Stephen Kelly at left-back in place of the Cup-tied Nicky Shorey.

The winner of the match will play either Juventus or Ajax for a place in the quarter-finals.


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2010, 02:38:44 PM »
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/34703/Hodgson_full_of_respect_for_Shakhtar.aspx

Hodgson full of respect for Shakhtar

Author:  Andrew Allen


Posted on:25 February 2010 - 11:20 AM


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is aware that his side must be on top of their game if they are to knock Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Europa League.

The Cottagers take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their last-32 clash in Ukraine but face a tough task trying to hang on to their advantage against a team that won the competition last season when it was still called the UEFA Cup.

Hodgson said: "In these European matches we're limited - we've got two young players with us who have no first-team experience at all. Our squad isn't big enough to allow us to have 18 senior professionals with the injuries we currently have.

"We're confident we'll give them a good game. We obviously have a lot of respect for them as a football team. We had that before we met them because we knew they were good.

"I think if we had any doubts those doubts would have been dispelled at Craven Cottage when we saw how well they can play and how dangerous they can be.

"The task in front of us is a big one but we don't lack confidence in any way - but at the same time we're not suffering from overconfidence. We know if we're going to get a result here on Thursday night we'll have to play exceptionally well.

"It's nice to be here and it's nice to be in this situation. The players have got their focus firmly set on the game and they've also got their attitude firmly in place for the game. It's not the be all and end all but going through is certainly something we would like to do."

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (25.02.10)
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2010, 02:39:37 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5634

Snippets from Shakhtar

by Dan on February 25, 2010

Modern technology means even though we’re absolutely miles away, we miss out on none of the pre-match build up. Jacqui Oatley tweeted that she was on her way to Roy Hodgson’s press conference and invited me to send some questions over. I did, asking mainly about Fulham’s approach to the game and how we’d stop Shakhtar’s midfield.

This afternoon she’s come back with the answers from Roy:

RH: “Expecting onslaught from them but we’ll try to play same football as 1st leg and see how successful that is. Won’t play for draw.”

Four Four Two’s Russian football correspondent also noted that Shakhtar shirts were available for between £50 and £60 and, somewhat strangely, shorter-sleeved shirts were cheaper than longer ones. In a reply to me, he also says that there’s a ‘huge disparity in wealth in the former Soviet Union’:

Average wage in Moldova = £70p/m; shirts in Chi?in?u’s Debenhams = £45.