Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)  (Read 5392 times)

White Noise

  • Guest
Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« on: May 14, 2011, 11:42:21 PM »

http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/football-hotline/2011/05/15/west-brom-set-to-sign-striker-andy-johnson-102039-23130121/




West Brom set to sign striker Andy Johnson



May 15 2011


by Mel Henderson, The People


West BROM boss Roy Hodgson is planning to raid former club FULHAM for striker Andrew Johnson.

The two clubs are already in talks about a £4million deal for the former England player, who has just one year of his contract still to run.

When Hodgson was in charge at Craven Cottage three years ago, he paid £10.5m to sign Johnson from Everton.

Johnson, 30, capped eight times, has scored 16 goals in 76 games for the Londoners.

If the deal goes ahead, it could pave the way for IPSWICH to land Baggies hitman Simon Cox after DONCASTER snubbed the Tractor Boys’ £2.3m bid for Billy Sharp.

Ipswich boss Paul Jewell is keen on Cox, 24, who snubbed a loan move to Portman Road earlier in the season.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 08:10:29 AM by White Noise »

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 11:43:49 PM »

http://www.people.co.uk/sport/columnists/dave-kidd/2011/05/15/fulham-in-europe-for-being-england-s-softest-pussycats-102039-23130293/


Fulham in Europe for being England's softest pussycats

May 15 2011


by Mick Walsh, The People


MARK HUGHES’ Fulham side have been on course to win a Europa League spot for much of the season by virtue of their lofty position in the ludicrous Fair Play League.

Cue Sparky himself earning the club’s first red card of the campaign for kicking seven bells out of a water bottle at Wolves, then his players picking up five bookings as Fulham adopted an ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, kick ‘em’ policy while being outclassed by Liverpool.

Anything, it seems, to avoid Hughes dying with the embarrassment of his team entering Europe by virtue of being England’s softest pussycats.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 06:38:47 AM by White Noise »

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 11:46:00 PM »

McLeish urges Birmingham to show bite



Published 08:00 14/05/11


By James Nursey



 
Alex McLeish has told his ­Birmingham stars to play ‘like Rottweilers’ tomorrow - but also warned them about ill-discipline.

The Carling Cup winners remain in relegation danger after losing at Newcastle.

They had Liam Ridgewell sent off at St James’ Park and also saw Craig Gardner red-carded in their previous game at home to Wolves.

But ‘Big Eck’ still wants his players to come out snarling when Fulham visit tomorrow.

“We’ll look for our boys to be like ­Rottweilers," he said. "We need them to go and show no fear - the sun will still come up the next day whatever happens.

“We have to turn it on again for the home crowd. Fulham have some terrific front players and they are a handful.

“The stakes are extremely high but we want to get the stability of staying in the league for three or four years.”

Midfielder Gardner picked up two bookings in the 1-1 draw against Wolves, while Ridgewell saw red for deliberate handball at Newcastle.

McLeish added: “The message to the boys is to make sure 11 stay on the pitch.

“Unfortunately, the last two games we have played with 10 men for long parts of the game. But I think we have been unlucky, I don’t think it is a case of the pressure getting to us.

“Gardner reacted to a tough tackle and I don’t know if you would see bigger names getting booked for that kind of thing.”



Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Alex-McLeish-has-told-his-relegation-threatened-Birmingham-stars-to-play-like-Rottweilers-against-Fulham-but-also-warned-them-about-ill-discipline-article735252.html#ixzz1MMyhnZhf


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2011, 11:46:46 PM »

http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/05/next-up-birmingham-away/


Next up: Birmingham (away)


by Tor on May 14, 2011


What a difference a game makes. Before last week there was a storm up into the top half of the table, the possibility of sneaking into Europe via the Fair Play spot, some great performances from all of the players and a huge burst of optimism surrounding the end of the season. Then came those manager-and-left-back-stealing reds.

So where are we now? Well, we dropped three points and suffered a humiliating defeat. To add injury to insult, Simon Davies suffered an injury and Bobby Zamora has another small niggle, this time in his groin, so they might not feature. I do wonder if Zamora might have been rushed back too soon. I hope not, but at least we’re coming up to the summer when he can have a proper rest. Because that’s the other thing, with five yellow cards and a pending charge for Baird over obscene gestures to the referee, we may not be needing our passports next season. In some respects this is a good thing – if we qualify for the Europa League through the Fair Play route, we’d have to play in June around three weeks after the end of the Barclays Premier League season. It also allows for a full summer and pre-season ready for our onslaught on the league and domestic cups next season. Ahem.

But the season isn’t over yet. We’ve got two more matches. Birmingham away and then we host Arsenal at Craven Cottage on the last day. Be honest, how many points do you think we’ll take from the possible six? Three weeks ago, I’d have said zero, but now we’ve another away win under our belt and the players need to make up for a pretty shoddy performance last Monday so, together with Birmingham’s form this season, I’m reasonably optimistic about taking something from St Andrew’s tomorrow. What will be interesting is what team Mark Hughes puts out. We’ve issues at full back with Baird’s suspension and Salcido’s inconsistency, and I’ve heard a few people question whether Schwarzer should feature after his impression of Heurelho Gomes last week. Harsh maybe, and I can’t see him being dropped, but I do like Stockdale and would like to see him get more playing time.

The injury to Simon Davies means we may get another chance to see Gael Kakuta who seems to have impressed since joining us on loan from them up the road and after opening his Fulham account (even if it was slightly fortunate) at the Stadium of Light, it would perhaps be harsh for him to be overlooked. Or we may have a rare sighting of Zoltan Gera. Rumoured to be going just about everywhere else except staying in SW6 this summer, Gera is fit and could feature. Hughes has been reported as saying he’d like to keep the Hungarian captain at Craven Cottage next season but Zolly doesn’t seem to figure too highly in Hughes’ plans. Perhaps tomorrow will be a opportunity for him to change that. Sidwell continues to look good in midfield and although Etuhu has improved this season, I think we need Sidwell’s intelligence and speed in the centre of the park. Plus he’s not afraid to have a shot occasionally. Upfront we’ve a few options and I like that Hughes has been rotating the strikers. It’ll keep them all on their toes. Moussa Dembele seems to work well with whoever he’s playing with and I think that’s a strength we should definitely use to our advantage. I have my doubts about Gudjohnsen and I think I need to accept that my bet with Gatesy that AJ will score 8 goals this season simply isn’t going to happen, but we are still getting some goals in and that’s what matters. I couldn’t care less who scores them.

So, my XI for tomorrow assuming Davies and Zamora are unavailable; Stockdale, Briggs, Hangeland, Hughes, Kelly, Gera, Sidwell, Murphy, Dempsey, Dembele, Kakuta.

Do you agree? Who would you play?


Offline Tom

  • cebu
  • *
  • Posts: 4526
  • WTF
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 12:33:03 AM »

Hughes on verge of signing new deal to stay at Fulham


Published 23:00 14/05/11


By MirrorFootball



 
A full version of this story appears in today's People. Read it online at People.co.uk

Mark Hughes will prove his loyalty to Fulham by agreeing a new deal.

The manager has a break clause in his current contract at Craven Cottage but does not intend to take advantage of it as he has been in discussions with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh over how he plans to lead the club forward.

Hughes has spoken publicly about his intentions to remain at the club, and now he has also made it clear to the board he wants to carry on in West London.



Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Mark-Hughes-is-on-the-verge-of-signing-a-new-deal-to-stay-at-Fulham-article735824.html#ixzz1MMxozuEx

This is fantastic news! Now let's put pen to paper and get it done.

RidgeRider

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 02:31:39 AM »
http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/news/2011/05/15/mark-hughes-to-agree-new-deal-at-fulham-102039-23130666/


Mark Hughes to agree new deal at Fulham
May 15 2011 by Dean Jones, The People


MARK HUGHES will prove his loyalty to Fulham by agreeing a new deal.

The manager has a break clause in his current contract at Craven Cottage but does not intend to take advantage of it as he has been in discussions with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh over how he plans to lead the club forward.

Hughes has spoken publicly about his intentions to remain at the club, and now he has also made it clear to the board he wants to carry on in west London.

His pledge is a huge relief to Mackintosh, as Aston Villa are eyeing Hughes as one of the candidates to replace Gerard Houllier this summer.

Further talks will now go ahead at the end of the season to tie up his future.

Sparky has been in detailed discussions with Mackintosh over his transfer kitty – with five signings his summer target.

Eidur Gudjohnsen will be the first as his deal is made permanent, while a central defender is also high on the priority list.

The club are also putting together a package to try to land one of Hughes’ top targets Dani Osvaldo too.

Hughes has made trips to Spain to check out the Espanyol striker, who would cost around £10million. The decision to pursue the interest in one of La Liga’s top forwards proves the club’s confidence in Hughes as he prepares for next term.

Hughes is waiting on the outcome of the Fair Play results before making concrete plans with his team.

Hughes said: “We’ve got plenty of plans for the summer but we can’t commit to any of them at the moment, due to waiting to see if we qualify for the Europa League.”


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2011, 06:45:05 AM »

http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2011/05/14/2486899/fulhams-mark-hughes-reveals-bobby-zamora-and-simon-davies



Fulham's Mark Hughes reveals Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies are doubtful against Birmingham City


Cottagers boss reveals fresh injury notices ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture with desperate relegation-strugglers Birmingham City



By Nathan Lowe


May 14, 2011 11:23:00 PM


Fulham manager Mark Hughes revealed doubts over the fitness of Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies ahead of his side's tie against Birmingham City.

The Cottagers travel to St Andrew's Sunday already comfortable in mid-table at 11th place on 45 points while their opponents will be desperate to win at home to avoid relegation.

It looks like the London club could be without their best striker as the Welshman revealed to his club's official website.

“Bobby didn’t complete training on Friday because he was suffering from soreness in his groin,” Hughes said. “We pulled him out of training as a precaution and we’re hopeful that will settle down and he’ll be able to train on Saturday.

“Simon Davies got a kick on his calf [against Liverpool] and there was localised bleeding so he hasn’t trained since the match.

"Having worked him with the physiotherapists on Friday we’re hopeful that as long as the area doesn’t bleed he’ll have a chance this weekend.”

Hughes however had some good news to offer about the fitness of his Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Gera.

“Zolly has missed a couple of weeks training but he’s back now, he’s trained and he’s fit, so he should be okay for Sunday.”


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2011, 06:47:02 AM »

BIRMINGHAM V FULHAM: ECK LETS HIS PLAYERS OFF LEASH IN HUNT FOR SURVIVAL   


Birmingham v Fulham



Sunday May 15,2011


By Roger Airey 

Birmingham v Fulham: ALEX McLEISH wants his Birmingham players to be dogs of war against Fulham today to secure their top-flight status.

The Blues have had a season to remember having won the Carling Cup – their first major trophy for 48 years.

But wins for Blackpool and Wolves yesterday have dragged them deeper  into the relegation mire. Big Eck is aware of the dangers, and said: “We are looking for our boys to be rottweilers on Sunday and fight all the way for a victory.

“To get to this stage of the season, given the injury problems we’ve had since the Carling Cup fi nal, I think the lads have done brilliantly. But they’ve just got to make that big final push.

‘‘The Carling Cup win was fantastic from the point of view of the trophyless cupboard for 40-odd years. “But the Premier League is the bread and butter and the stakes are extremely high.

“We just want to get that stability of staying in the league for three or four seasons like Stoke have done and go from strength to strength. “The players have got to go out and enjoy it, not fear it.’’

Fulham boss Mark Hughes, meanwhile, is determined to end his season on a high after the 5-2 home drubbing by Liverpool last week.

He said: ‘‘We want to get over that result, put it behind us and win the last two games.

‘‘That will give us a top 10 finish and send us off into the summer in good heart for next season.’’



Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/246793/Birmingham-v-Fulham-Eck-lets-his-players-off-leash-in-hunt-for-survivalBirmingham-v-Fulham-Eck-lets-his-players-off-leash-in-hunt-for-survival#ixzz1MOgWIhzx

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2011, 06:51:01 AM »

http://blogs.soccernet.com/fulham/archives/2011/05/on_the_road_to_brum.php



On The Road to Brum


Posted by Phil Mison 13 hours, 50 minutes ago


The domestic silverware gets settled in the space of an afternoon. 'Madchester' celebrates on both sides of the city, and well done to them. Now let's see Fulham get down to business.

I've been reading through some old programmes from the Coleman era to draw a perspective on how this season rates for our great club, while it also helped alleviate some of the tedium from watching a very ordinary FA Cup final. The big game of the day was clearly at Bloomfield Road, but for all their pluck and enterprise Blackpool it seems are going to need a miracle to survive.

Which is where we may be able to help. Birmingham will really sweat their final day trip to Spurs if the Whites can replicate their away day win at Sunderland two weeks ago. Is a win at St. Andrews on the cards? The omens are not bad - the Whites have lost only twice on their last nine visits, Brum have been on a miserable run since lifting the Carling Cup - just two wins in 10 - and they have their two best players Gardner and Ridgewell serving bans.

So what Fulham will turn up? Coleman was good value in his programme notes. By coincidence I found him lambasting the team after a home loss to Birmingham at the end of 2004, but saying how you craved an early chance to put it right. Three days after that defeat we took on Crystal Palace and bounced back with a 3-1 win. All managers suffer setbacks, and all know it's how you respond in the next game that characterises your team.


 © Getty Images

The big news of the week of course has been Mark's statement that he is going nowhere and intent on implementing a summer programme to 'improve on what we've got to take the club forward.' Continuity is a hallmark of the best clubs. Nobody knows that better than Manchester United. So Sparky's public comments have rendered obsolete one of the questions on my mini-survey. I know one of our regular posters who will NOT be happy with that...

Hughes and the boys would all have taken a bruising from Monday's shellacking. A team meeting was held in the week to get it out of the system. Now Fulham have to go to a side short on confidence, but battling for their lives, and turn in a very solid performance. The manager will not want anybody cruising, even this late in the season.

Team selection will be interesting. Baird's torrid time Monday saw him lose his rag with Lee Mason when carded, and he's taken a two game ban on the chin without appealing. A golden opportunity for fans favourite John Paintsil to make an emotional farewell? Would be hugely popular, but I don't see Sparky as a sentimentalist. Expect Senderos to feature in a re-shaped back four. As of Friday both Simon and Bobby limped out of training, calf and groin respectively. I pray both rise like Lazarus to feature, they were our two best players in the Sunderland win. But I'm not optimistic.

Whatever the team, Fulham fans will set out to enjoy the day. Tradition dictates some fancy dress for the final away game of the season, and with the pressure off to get a result we're gearing up for a party. And it's always nice to get a result at St. Andrews, one of the less savoury venues on our calendar.

Yes folks, we Fulham fans are nothing if not optimists. It hasn't quite morphed into the season we would have hoped, but let's be ruthless and nail that top ten finish. And looking on the bright side, by the time you come to review the next blog West Ham's relegation may be confirmed.

Finally, well done to Kit's U-18's for a terrific season and coming so close to glory Friday night against Everton's academy boys. And thanks to all those who took the trouble to partake in our little vote...Bairdinho for 'player of the year,' hmmm, interesting choice I must say. My view is we need two new full-backs for next season, definitely another striker to take the pressure off BZ, and - top priority - a new midfield dynamo to run the team. Open letter to Charlie Adam...life by the Thames can be so rewarding...Charlie, can you hear me? Oh sorry...what, you've got Kenny Dalglish on the line..?

COYW Twitter@fulhamphil



White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2011, 06:52:24 AM »


http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/birmingham-vs-fulham-sun-15-may-2011




Birmingham Vs Fulham, Sun 15 May 2011


Birmingham Vs Fulham: Match Preview



By GMF Editor  May 14, 2011



Birmingham will be without leading scorer Craig Gardner and defender Liam Ridgewell through suspension for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham at St Andrew's.

Nine-goal Gardner will complete a two-game ban while Ridgewell will serve a one-match suspension for his red card in last weekend's 2-1 reverse at at Newcastle.

Stuart Parnaby and David Murphy will be in contention to replace Ridgewell at left-back. Striker Nikola Zigic is still battling to overcome groin and hip problems and unlikely to be fit.

Fulham have doubts over Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies.

Davies has not trained since being kicked on the calf in Monday's 5-2 home defeat by Liverpool, while Zamora did not complete training today because of soreness in his groin.

Full-back Chris Baird looks like missing the last two games of the season after deciding not to contest the charge of using an abusive gesture towards referee Lee Mason in the Liverpool match.

Alex McLeish has challenged his Birmingham players to show "no fear" as they look for victory to secure their Barclays Premier League status.

Blues have had a season to remember having lifted the Carling Cup - their first major trophy for 48 years.

But McLeish is aware of the need to establish City as a top-flight club as they aim to clinch a third successive campaign in the Premier League.


 

He said: "It's in our own hands if we win so there's that motivation and that target for us.

"To get to this stage of the season, given the injury problems we've had since the Carling Cup final, I think the lads have done brilliantly.

"But they've just got to make that final push over the line on Sunday.

"We are looking for our boys to be rottweilers at the weekend and give us those performance levels we got against Bolton, Sunderland and, to a lesser degree, Wolves when we were down to 10 men."

He added: "The league has always been of paramount importance to us. The Carling Cup was fantastic from the point of view of the trophyless cupboard for 40-odd years.

"You can never take that away from us, so we're proud of that, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

"But the Premier League is the bread and butter and the stakes are extremely high.

"We just want to try and get that stability of staying in the league for three or four seasons like Stoke have done and go from strength to strength.

"The players have got to go and enjoy it, not fear it. The sun will still come up the next day whatever happens.

"We need them to go and show no fear and they have gone and done that exceptionally well.

"We've had a wee bit of travel sickness recently in terms of away performances but they've got to turn it on for the home crowd."

Fulham manager Mark Hughes believes his side's 5-2 thrashing by Liverpool on Monday is bad news for Birmingham.

A Maxi Rodriguez hat-trick and further goals from Dirk Kuyt - the Reds' third after just 16 minutes - and Luis Suarez stunned Hughes' men at Craven Cottage.

"That was a real shock to us - we didn't see that coming," commented Hughes. "But since the turn of the year we have been fantastic and that was an anomaly we must put behind us and learn from.

"In terms of motivating the players that performance has made it easier for the last two games."

Fulham, 10th in the Barclays Premier League, visit Birmingham and then finish the season at home to Arsenal next Sunday.

Hughes continued: "When you have a significant defeat you look at who did well and who didn't. That happens after every game, whether the result was positive or negative. I have a lot of options - there are not many missing through injury."

Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies have to clear up fitness doubts first, though.

"Bobby didn't complete training on Friday because he was suffering from soreness in his groin," said Hughes. "We pulled him out as a precaution and we're hopeful that will settle down.

"Simon got a kick on his calf against Liverpool and there was localised bleeding, so he hasn't trained since the match.

"Having worked him with the physiotherapists on Friday we're hopeful that as long as the area doesn't bleed he'll have a chance."


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 06:53:51 AM »
http://www.teamtalk.com/birmingham-city/6932141/Hughes-Blues-should-fear-Fulham



Hughes: Blues should fear Fulham



Saturday 14th May 2011 15:29


Fulham manager Mark Hughes believes his side's 5-2 thrashing by Liverpool on Monday is bad news for Sunday's opponents Birmingham.

A Maxi Rodriguez hat-trick and further goals from Dirk Kuyt - the Reds' third after just 16 minutes - and Luis Suarez stunned Hughes' men at Craven Cottage.

"That was a real shock to us - we didn't see that coming," commented Hughes. "But since the turn of the year we have been fantastic and that was an anomaly we must put behind us and learn from.

"In terms of motivating the players that performance has made it easier for the last two games."

Fulham, 10th in the Premier League, visit Birmingham and then finish the season at home to Arsenal next Sunday.

Hughes continued: "When you have a significant defeat you look at who did well and who didn't. That happens after every game, whether the result was positive or negative. I have a lot of options - there are not many missing through injury."

Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies have to clear up fitness doubts first, though.

"Bobby didn't complete training on Friday because he was suffering from soreness in his groin," said Hughes. "We pulled him out as a precaution and we're hopeful that will settle down.

"Simon got a kick on his calf against Liverpool and there was localised bleeding, so he hasn't trained since the match.

"Having worked him with the physiotherapists on Friday we're hopeful that as long as the area doesn't bleed he'll have a chance."

Hungarian Zoltan Gera is available again, with Hughes commenting: "Zolly has missed a couple of weeks' training but he's back now, he's trained and he's fit, so he should be okay."

Relegation-threatened Birmingham's last match next weekend is away to Tottenham and Hughes commented: "They are not safe yet and until you are it's a worry and you are still looking over your shoulder.

"They will feel this is their best opportunity to get the job done. We have just got to make sure we perform.

"We want to finish in that top 10 if we can and then we will be able to look back on the season and ahead to next season with real confidence.

"We've got the basis of a good team. I am very clear in how far we can go as a club - it's fair to say there is a glass ceiling for clubs in a similar position - but that does not mean it's not challenging."

And the challenges of next season could well include the Europa League again for last year's beaten finalists.

England are set to be awarded a spot under the UEFA Fair Play scheme and Fulham, the only side in the Premier League not to have had a player sent off this year, are neck-and-neck with Tottenham just behind Chelsea - already certain of the Champions League, of course.

Hughes can see pluses and minuses to qualifying. There is the fixture congestion and the fact that they could be in action after just four days of pre-season training, but he added: "If we get in we will try to progress as far as we can.

"It's not a case of dreading it - we should embrace it - but it just makes it difficult early on. You could argue that both sides balance themselves out."

.

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2011, 06:55:25 AM »

http://images.icnetwork.co.uk/upl/fulhamchronicle/jan2011/8/7/mark-hughes-image-5-728538314.jpg



Fulham boss has Europa League fears



By Paul Warburton


May 14 2011
 

FULHAM boss Mark Hughes is worried his side might have to enter the Europa League with just four days training behind them.

The Whites are in pole position to claim a place in the competition they graced last year when they were lost in the final to Atletico Madrid.

But the manager reckons such is the early start required, his hopes rest on a squad having trained during their summer break.

He said: “In the early part of it (competiton), you come up against sides of a lesser standard, but who may have been training three or four weeks by then.

“We’ll have four days before the first game.

“It won’t be easy, and you have to trust the players to come back in the right physical condition.

“There’s that concern you won’t have players coming back fresh. The plus side is we’ll be in one of Europe’s premier competitions.”

If Fulham get the nod, their first game is on June 30 – the second week of Wimbledon – and the other concern from the club’s point of view is not being able to plan pre-season friendlies until they know their European fate.

“It won’t be decided until the end of the season, and after our last game against Arsenal,” added Hughes.


Read More http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2011/05/14/fulham-boss-has-europa-league-fears-82029-28693939/#ixzz1MOif1Q6b


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2011, 07:01:06 AM »


http://www.fanhouse.co.uk/2011/05/14/birmingham-v-fulham-preview-alex-mcleish-desperate-to-avoid-las/



Birmingham v Fulham Preview: Alex McLeish Desperate to Avoid Last Day Drama


14/5/2011 3:59 AM GMT By Brendan McLoughlin


PREMIER LEAGUE: ST ANDREW'S, SUNDAY MAY 15, 2011. KICK-OFF: 1600 BST

St Andrew's has proven a fortress for Birmingham this season and they will need it to be so again this weekend - otherwise they could find themselves embroiled in final-day relegation drama.

The Carling Cup winners begin the weekend in 16th position, three points clear of the drop zone, however by the time they kick-off on Sunday afternoon, it is possible they could find themselves in the bottom three should Wolves win and Blackpool do the same as well as turn around a four-goal deficit.

It means a tense weekend is guaranteed for Alex McLeish and his troops, who would reach the 42-point mark with a win.

Blues can take heart from an excellent home record, having lost just four of their 18 games at St Andrew's in the Premier League this season.

And with a tough away trip to Tottenham on the final day, McLeish will be desperate to claim three points at the expense of a Fulham side who were thrashed 5-2 at Craven Cottage by Liverpool on Monday night and have won just twice away all season.

KEY MATCH-UP: Kevin Phillips v Brede Hangeland. The veteran forward has been Blues' key man at home of late with two goals in their last four matches at St Andrew's and McLeish's men are likely to rely on him again this weekend. Phillips was in the Sky commentary box to witness Hangeland's nightmare show against Liverpool on Monday night and, on that evidence, you would not bet against the striker finding the net again.

FORM GUIDE: Blues have picked up seven points from their last three home games, while the Cottagers' defeat to the Reds ended a three-game unbeaten run.

ODDS: Birmingham 6-5, Fulham 23-10, Draw 23-10

BIRMINGHAM:
Manager McLeish has challenged his players to settle their destiny by winning on Sunday to guarantee Premier League survival.

"It's in our hands," he said. "There's that motivation and that target. To get to this stage of the season given the injury problems we have had since the Carling Cup final, I think the lads have done brilliantly, we just need that push to get us over the line.

"We have a really hard game against a really good team. Mark Hughes has everyone available and Fulham are a handful. I'm looking for the boys to be rottweilers and give us the performance they did against Bolton and Sunderland."

Meanwhile, McLeish has backed goalkeeper Ben Foster's decision to make himself unavailable for England duty until further notice.

He added: "You have to respect the individual's decision. I chose to play whenever they picked me. Towards the end there was the understanding that I was there if they needed me as the younger players came through and I slowed up. There was no retirement for me.

"It's not been an easy decision for him. He's been thinking about it for a long time. He did talk about it a wee while ago and I said: 'Think long and hard - don't make any rash decisions.'

"But it has clearly been troubling him. I think his body has taken a bit of a pounding over the past two or three years, injury-wise. I would never ask a player not to play for his country. It's great for players to get recognition because it means he's doing something right and the team is benefiting because of that. He's made his decision. Whether he will get an opportunity to go back I don't know because everyone will have an opinion on it."

Strategy: Go for the throat. With the onus on Birmingham to be positive and claim the three points which would make them safe, McLeish seems certain to adopt a 4-4-2 formation, meaning a recall to the starting XI for Phillips alongside Cameron Jerome. Lee Bowyer will be asked to play central midfielder alongside Barry Ferguson to form a pairing which will offer grit, guile and goals, while Stuart Parnaby looks the obvious candidate to fill in at left-back.

Injury Update: Strike duo Obafemi Martins (groin) and Nikola Zigic (hip) are out for the season, while Craig Gardner and Liam Ridgewell are suspended.

FULHAM:
With their Premier League survival already assured, Fulham can start looking ahead to next season and one player who has reason more than most to feel optimistic is Philippe Senderos.

The Swiss international suffered an Achilles injury during pre-season training. The problem meant he has missed the majority of this season as he has only just returned to full fitness.

He now has the task of replacing season stalwarts Brede Hangeland or Aaron Hughes in Hughes's squad.

He told the club's website: "Here at Fulham I have a very good and experienced partnership in front of me.

"The team defends really well, you can see that we don't concede many goals. I will have to keep pushing and see if I can offer something different.

"I'm happy to have at least contributed this season [after playing against Sunderland] and hopefully I can build on it next season."

Strategy: Away games have been a problem for Hughes as they were his predecessors Roy Hodgson, Lawrie Sanchez and Chris Coleman. However, Fulham's last away trip saw them run out comfortable 3-0 winners over Sunderland. It is likely that Hughes could opt for a similar 4-4-2 formation however he could juggle his starting line-up after the defeat to Liverpool.

Fulham were overwhelmed by Liverpool's pace and movement and only made headway in the game when Bobby Zamora was introduced at half time. The striker is struggling with a groin problem but even if he doesn't play, Hughes will expect his forwards to provide a more impressive target and help ease some of the pressure on his back four.

Injury Update: Simon Davies has not trained since the Liverpool defeat while Zamora sat out Friday's session but Hughes is hopeful both players will be fit for the trip to Birmingham. Zoltan Gera is fit again and pressing for a starting spot.


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2011, 07:02:28 AM »

http://www.joysandsorrows.co.uk/2011/05/birmingham-city-vs-fulham-preview/



Birmingham City vs Fulham – Preview


May 14th, 2011 | By Aylesburyblue



Craig Gardner and Liam Ridgewell are both suspended for this match. David Murphy or Stuart Panaby should come in at left back with Kevin Phillips likely to start in a return to a 4-4-2 formation.

Chris Baird is suspended after being found guilty of making offensive comments at a linesman in the defeat to Liverpool. Zoltan Gera is a doubt and Damien Duff is definitely out.

Last Meeting

The last meeting was at a very cold Craven Cottage in November and finished 1-1 with goals by Seb Larsson and Clint Dempsey.

Recent Form

Fulham have been in good form of late having won three of their last six games and even won away on their last trip. They are coming off the back though of a horror show against Liverpool on Monday night

Blues have only picked up one win and five points in their last six although they have won two of their last three at home.

Outlook

In the tightest relegation race for years our situation is simple. Win and we stay up, draw and we probably do as well. If we lose then we have to get our calculators out and hope for something away at Tottenham. So in summary, Sunday is everything and it was always going to be a game that we should target for points in the run in. This was because our home form is so much better than our away form and the same can be said about Fulham. We have a good recent record against them at St Andrews (Even the 2005-06 team beat them!) and they don’t have a lot to play for this season.

I’m always a little bit wary of the side with nothing to play for though. Two weeks ago Cardiff had a home game against mid-table Middlesbrough and lost 3-0. Two years ago we had a home game against Preston to cement our place in the Premiership. That went horribly wrong as well and I was left with just a few hundred other fans clapping the end of season lap of appreciation. Hopefully we can be celebrating all together at six o’clock on Sunday evening. It would also be nice to follow Liverpool’s example from Monday and be 3-0 up at half time so we can relax. That’ll never happen of course, Blues don’t do things easily.

With the loss of Gardner and Ridgewell and the likely non appearance of Zigic the side pretty much picks itself. It’ll be good to be able to keep eleven men on the pitch this time as we don’t need to be shooting ourselves in the foot again. A positive approach should pay dividends and while Fulham will be looking for a reaction from the last game they did look very shaky at the back. To take advantage of that we need to be positive. Fulham bring threats of their own up front with former Blue Andrew Johnson and former Blues targets Bobby Zamora and Moussa Dembele. Top scorer Clint Dempsey will also have to be watched. I predict a more open game than the one at Craven Cottage and hopefully a better performance than we have seen in the past month.

We should have a good crowd and with Fulham not bringing many we must be looking to create an atmosphere to urge the side to victory. Let’s try and keep it up even if things don’t go too well in the first thirty minutes. I want to be clapping the team with thousands of others at the end and celebrating a good season.

My prediction Blues 2 Fulham 1

C’mon you Blue Boys!


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 07:04:23 AM »

http://www.goal.com/en/match/49108/birmingham-vs-fulham/preview



Premier League Preview: Birmingham City - Fulham



The Blues will need to improve their terrible record against London clubs this season when they face a side who have won just two of their last 36 away games in the league


By Ian Murphy

PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Birmingham City (4-4-2):

Foster; Carr, Jiranek, Johnson, Ridgewell; Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, Bentley; Phillips, Jerome. 

Obafemi Martins, James McFadden and Scott Dann are all long-term injury doubts for the home side - with centre-half Dann confirming that he would not be rushed back for the final two games of the season even though there was a possibility he could have been available.

Fulham (4-4-2):

Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Davies, Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey; Dembele, Zamora. 

Mark Hughes has no new injury worries ahead of his sides's trip to the Midlands but striker Bobby Zamora could come in to the starting XI after he was brought on at half-time in Fulham's 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool last Monday night.

 DID YOU KNOW?

•Birmingham 'keeper Ben Foster (pictured right), who announced he was taking a break from international football earlier this week, has been forced into a save every 20 minutes and 18 seconds this season - more than any other Premier League goalkeeper.
•Despite the superb form of their former Manchester United stopper, Birmingham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 league games.
•Alex McLeish's men have not enjoyed facing Londoners this season, winning just two of their eight games against sides from the capital and scoring an average of just one goal in each game.
•Birmingham have struggled to find the back of the net regularly enough this season and may need to improve their record of scoring exactly one goal in their last four home games against Fulham if they are to take all three points.
•Fulham, who sit comfortably in tenth place, will need to improve their absymal away record if they are to pile the pressure on Birmingham this weekend - the Cottagers have won just two of their last 36 Premier League away games.
•Mark Hughes' charges have seemed to take a while to get going in games this campaign - and if only the second half of Premier League games counted, Fulham would be third in the table with 60 points.
•Oddly enough, the history books between the two sides re-affirm this statistic - with eight of Fulham's last nine goals against Sunday's opponents coming in the second 45 minutes.


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2011, 07:08:22 AM »

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6931800,00.html


Hughes' Euro concern


Manager worried by lack of rest if Fulham qualify for Europe


Last Updated: May 14, 2011 12:36pm



Mark Hughes admits it would feel like a 'chore' if Fulham qualified for the Europa League through the Fair Play table.

If the Cottagers keep up their good behaviour against Birmingham and Arsenal in the last two games of the Premier League season, the club are set to join the first qualifying round of the competition.

However, that could mean their season kicking off in late June, much to the dismay of Hughes.

He told The Sun: "I think it feels like a chore because of where we are this season - it's been a long one.

"You feel there's a point close to the end of the season where you are looking for a break so that you can come back refreshed.

Concern

."There's a real concern that maybe that will not be available to us if we come back at an earlier date."

Fulham are sitting second behind neighbours Chelsea in the Fair Play table, but the Blues have already qualified for the UEFA Champions League through their league position.

So, Hughes' side look like certainties for Europe, barring a rash of cards in their final few games.

And Hughes added: "It's positive that you're in Europe.

"But you don't get that key time that you need to recover."


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2011, 07:14:13 AM »

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/05/14/11/etheridge-spend-more-time-azkals



Etheridge to spend more time with Azkals

by Edward Lao, ABS-CBN Europe


Posted at 05/14/2011 11:22 PM | Updated as of 05/14/2011 11:22 PM
 

British-Filipino signs contract extension with Fulham FC


LONDON - The future was uncertain for the Philippines' national football team goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. His contract with Fulham FC in the English Premier League (EPL) was due to expire at the end of this (2010-2011) football season. However, any doubts over where he would be next year were recently laid to rest after he put pen to paper on a 2-year contract extension.

In a telephone interview with ABS-CBN Europe, the 21-year-old British Filipino gave his thoughts.

“I'm very happy to accept the contract that they've offered me. There were a lot of negotiations that went on back and forth for nearly 3 or 4 months. There were other clubs that were taking a look as well but I think Fulham is the right place for me to stay for the time being. I've been here for 4 years now. I've also enjoyed my time this season and I get on with everyone at the club, including the manager and the coaches,” Etheridge said.

“I'm happy to play the next two years of my career at Fulham Football Club. I've met some great people along the way, like (goalkeepers) Mark Schwarzer and Pascal Zuberbuhler, who have really helped me in my development”, he added.

Now that contract talks are finished, Etheridge revealed he has been able to relax and concentrate on other things like moving into his recently purchased home in the county of Surrey, outside London.

With the season nearly over, qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are on the horizon. The Azkals will face Sri Lanka on July 29 in the first leg of Asian qualifying. Etheridge is feeling positive.

“This year has been a big, big year for me. I was out of contract at the end of the season, but now I can look forward to the future. I've got World Cup qualifiers coming up end of June and early July, which I am looking forward to. I'll be spending the majority of my time with the national team. Most of the lads (at Fulham) will be off, but it will be training as normal for me”, he said.

In the run-up to the first leg against Sri Lanka, Etheridge will be training in Germany with the rest of the Azkals from June 12.
 
“I am quite confident. I don't think I've ever gone into a game not confident. There are a few hurdles that we need to get over on and off the pitch, I've stated that many a time, but I'm quite confident in the team's ability and I'm sure we'll all pull through,” he added.

The Philippines and Sri Lanka will face each other again in the return leg taking place in Manila on July 3.

The 6-foot-3 shot stopper, yet to make his first team debut for Fulham FC, also provided a hint that he may be gaining experience elsewhere next season.

“I'm looking forward to next season. I don't know, but more than likely I'll be going on loan. There are a few clubs, one in Switzerland, one in France, and a few in England that I'm looking at. I don't really know yet what next year holds for me but I'll take it as it comes and do my best.

“At the start of next season I should know where I'll be and what's going on. I know it sounds strange but I don't expect to be at Fulham next season.”

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2011, 07:19:00 AM »

http://tribalfootball.com/articles/symons-fulham-fans-can-be-excited-about-youth-progress-1632901



Symons: Fulham fans can be excited about youth progress


15.05.11 | tribalfootball.com


Fulham academy coach Kit Symons is excited about the talent they're producing.

The Cottagers lost to Everton yesterday in the Academy playoff final.

“With the way Academy football is structured you can play three third year scholars, under-19s, in games like this and tonight we had Courtney Harris and Alex Smith,” Symons told fulhamfc.com. “Everton also had two or three of their own.

“So Alex and Courtney will move on to be solely reserve players next year, like the bulk of the games they’ve played this year. So we wish them all the best and hopefully they can push on in the reserves and further their careers.

“This year’s second years will become third years and may still play for us from time to time, but we want to see them develop in the reserves and hopefully get in the First Team, because that’s what youth football is all about really.

“Finally, it’s worth pointing out that there were quite a few first years out there, and Stephen Athurworrey is a schoolboy. They’ll all be the core of our team next year, so we’re quite healthy really.

“As I say, it was disappointing tonight, but overall, when you look at the Academy from top to bottom and there is some real talent coming through.

“The Fulham Academy is a good place to be at the moment.”



White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2011, 07:20:07 AM »

http://tribalfootball.com/articles/everton-academy-boss-dewsnip-delighted-national-title-triumph-1632811



Everton academy boss Dewsnip delighted with national title triumph


15.05.11 | tribalfootball.com



Everton academy coach Neil Dewsnip is delighted to have been crowned the best team in the country.

The young Blues won the national academy league title in spirited fashion on Friday evening, coming back from a goal down with 15 minutes left to defeat Fulham 2-1..

"I am incredibly proud, for the players and the staff and for our Club," Dewsnip told evertontv after the game..

"We have been saying all season about the character of the boys and how they keep going is brilliant and they showed it again tonight..

"We have won our section which involves some good competitors and we have beaten the best in the midlands and now the best down south, so why not?"


White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (15.05.11)
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2011, 07:21:55 AM »

http://tribalfootball.com/articles/fulham-boss-hughes-admits-qpr-target-gera-likely-go-1631711



Fulham boss Hughes admits QPR target Gera likely to go



14.05.11 | tribalfootball.com


Fulham boss Mark Hughes admits Zoltan Gera could be on his way.

The Hungary midfielder has been linked with a move to Premier League new boys QPR next season and, although Hughes wants to keep him at Fulham, he cannot guarantee a place in the starting XI for anybody.

Hughes said: "There are conversations that go on but it is clear I would like him to stay. Zoltan is in a position where he can talk to foreign clubs and keep his options open when his contract runs out.

"The problem is I cannot guarantee regular football. I cannot do that for anybody in the squad and maybe he feels like he needs to move elsewhere to get a chance to play on a more regular basis.

"We are going to have more conversations at the end of the season but I would like him to stay."