Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)  (Read 12830 times)

White Noise

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2010, 11:40:08 AM »
Holding the Line

Friday 26th February 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham produced a resolute defensive display on Thursday evening in the Donbass Arena to secure passage through to the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. Fulham held firm as Shakhtar Donetsk used their considerable attacking prowess to try and find a way back into the tie.   

Chris Baird continued his fine run of form in the right-back position and was a critical component in the Whites' defensive line-up - helping Fulham to repel Shakhtar's numerous attacks.

"It was a good performance and a good result," Baird said as he looked back on the game. "Obviously after the first game we knew that we had something to fight for and we certainly did that. We're always a threat from set-pieces and we knew that if we could get some, take our time and do it properly then we'd have a chance.

"Thankfully Brede got on the end of one and it went in for us. From there on they had all of the possession and a few good chances but we held out and thoroughly deserved it.

"We're just thrilled to get through this one, we knew it was going to be a tough game - they're the holders and are a very good side.

"With the quality of players they've got in the side, they won it last year, we knew what to expect but I think all of our players gave everything they had. We definitely deserved the result and we're looking ahead to the next round.

"It shows how far the Club's come, certainly since I've been here. We were fighting relegation in the first year; to finished seventh to get into this cup the next year was absolutely fantastic. Now that we're safe in the league, in the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup and in the last 16 in the Europa League - it shows what a good side we really are. We don't want it to end, we want to keep going and see how far we can go."

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Offline LBNo11

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2010, 11:41:11 AM »
...a classic comment from the cravencottagenewsround:--

"Shakhtar were blasting balls at Schwarzer’s goal like an old lady spending her pension money on scratchcards" It describes the vanquished team so well, profligate with little end result, very funny...

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2010, 11:41:54 AM »
Travel to Turin

Friday 26th February 2010

Fulham FC News

It was another remarkable night of European football for Fulham in Ukraine on Thursday, with the Whites defeating the UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk 3-2 on aggregate. A 1-1 draw at the Donbass Arena was enough to see the Whites through to the final 16.

Fulham are now set to take on Italian giants Juventus in the final 16 of the UEFA Europa League and the Club is making every effort to ensure fans have a safe and affordable travel option to Italy when the Whites take on Juventus in Turin on Thursday 11th March (Kick-off TBC).

The Club will be running Official travel packages for this fixture and we will endeavor to make an announcement before the end of the day.


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White Noise

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2010, 11:43:31 AM »

Fulham v Sunderland

Feb 26 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

BOBBY Zamora is a major doubt for Fulham's trip to Sunderland on Sunday.

The in-form striker limped out of last night's Europa League win in Shakhtar Donetsk with an Achilles injury, so David Elm is ready to deputise.

Roy Hodgson is also without John Pantsil, Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Kagisho Dikgacoi for the trip to the Stadium of Light, where Fulham lost 1-0 last season.

However, Hodgson is boosted by the return of Nicky Shorey, who should return to replace Stephen Kelly at left-back.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2010, 11:45:41 AM »

Alan Hansen’s Premier League Preview: Sunderland v Fulham

Steve Bruce’s Sunderland face another tough game this weekend as they look to end their 13-match win-less run in the league. The Black Cats have not won a Premier League match since November and they sit just three points above the relegation zone which will be worrying everyone at the club. The sooner they pick up 3 points the better but with the Cottagers in a good run of form, they may have to wait a bit longer.

Fulham have got over their own poor run to win three and draw one of their last four in the league. They’ve also progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals and the last 16 of the Europa League, so all is rosy in the Cottagers camp. Roy Hodgson’s team have also tightened up considerably at the back by keeping three clean-sheets in those games, so this could be another miserable weekend for the Black Cats.

It is difficult to understand why Sunderland’s form has slumped so miserably especially when they’ve managed to beat the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal this season. Away from the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats have been consistently poor but with home wins also drying up, this could be a very tough end to the season for the club. They have got some massive games coming up in the next few weeks including Aston Villa, Man City, Birmingham, Liverpool and Tottenham, so it’s not going to get any easier.

Steve has got some talented players at the club which makes their form even more surprising. Sunderland have a quartet of strikers that would be the envy of most of the clubs in the Premier League in the shape of Kenwyne Jones, Darren Bent, Fraizer Campbell and Benjani. However, the goals have dried up of late with just two goals scored in the last five league games. Defensively, the Black Cats have only kept one clean-sheet in the last 13 league games which suggests they may struggle to contain Fulham’s in-form frontman Bobby Zamora.

Bobby has scored in four of his last five games in all competitions and is even being tipped to make the England squad for the World Cup. There’s no doubt he is in the form of his career and is leading the line superbly well. He and the rest of the squad will be in great spirits after knocking out the reigning UEFA Cup holders in the Europa League this week. This was yet another outstanding achievement from Roy’s team but I’d expect some of the players to be a bit tired after the long distance travel and what was a tough match.

That fatigue could work in Sunderland’s favour especially if they can keep the match at a high-tempo. Although Fulham may be the form team, their away record is not impressive. They’ve failed to win any of their last 12 away league games and failed to score in the last three. Therefore, I am backing a low-scoring draw in this match. With an estimated £30,000 Premier 10 jackpot to play for, a stalemate at the Stadium of Light seems most likely.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2010, 11:48:51 AM »

Boylesports Match Betting: Fulham

Sunderland's official club partners take a look at the odds and markets ahead of Sunday's top-flight action. preview Sunderland's Barclays Premier League encounter with Fulham at the Stadium of Light.

London side Fulham travel north to face the Black Cats in another crucial league clash.

Sunderland are match favourites at odds of 5/4. Fulham are priced at 9/4, while the draw is available at 11/5 on

The last time these sides met was at Craven Cottage when Bobby Zamora was the hero of the day with a seventh minute strike which ensured all three points for the Cottagers.

Steve Bruce's side go into the back on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Kenwyne Jones (pictured) had Sunderland's best chance of the game and he's priced at 11/2 to grab the first goal of Sunday's encounter.

His strike partner Darren Bent is available at odds of 9/2 to score first or 11/8 to score anytime.

Sunderland have drawn four of their last five Premier League matches at home. A result of 0-0 is priced at 15/2, while a 1-1 draw result is valued at 11/2.

Full match betting available at

Match Betting
Sunderland 5/4
Draw 11/5
Fulham 9/4

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2010, 11:50:15 AM »,16374,1775_5982348,00.html

Bobby set to miss Black Cats battle

Bobby Zamora is doubtful for Fulham's Premier League trip to Sunderland on Sunday because of an Achilles injury sustained on Thursday night.

The 15-goal striker limped out of the Europa League success at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Boss Roy Hodgson will consider making changes at the Stadium of Light after a gruelling trip to Ukraine and can welcome back defender Nicky Shorey and forward Stefano Okaka, who were both cup-tied.

But Hodgson's small squad is stretched with Paul Konchesky (ankle) still struggling and Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (all knee) sidelined.

Cottagers (from): Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler, Baird, Kelly, Shorey, Stoor, Konchesky, Hangeland, Hughes, Smalling, Gera, Duff, Murphy, Greening, Davies, Etuhu, Riise, Nevland, Elm, Okaka, Zamora, Marsh-Brown.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2010, 11:51:32 AM »

View from the Press Box: Fulham

Fulham expert Jacob Murtagh joins to take an exclusive look at Sunday's opponents.
Jacob Murtagh of the Fulham Chronicle gives you the inside track on Sunderland's upcoming opponents, Roy Hodgson's Cottagers.

"In the league, Fulham had a bad January and that's cost them. If they can finish in the top 10 this season it will be a great achivement. We can probably rule out a European finish as there are six or seven teams fighting it out and Fulham are already nine points off fourth place. Fulham have had a horrendous record in the FA Cup but they will believe they can win it this year as they are a match for anyone on their day."

"Roy is a great man and a great man-manager. He has taken pretty much the same core of players and got them to perform way beyond expectations. They have caused some surprises - no-one expected Fulham to get into Europe last season. Roy has always played a weaker team in Europe up until the Shakhtar game but the sides he's put out have always done a job, no matter what."

"Bobby Zamora, without a doubt. He has really turned it around and has been a revelation this season. He's always been criticised for his lack of goals but he's got 15 already this season and the manager wants him to reach 20. With Andy Johnson out, Zamora has had to step into his boots and contribute. He's hit a purple patch at the moment and he had another one earlier in the season. At the start of the season he couldn't buy a goal but now he's really firing on all cylinders. The calls to bring him into the England squad are justified."

"Darren Bent against Brede Hangeland will be the key battle. Fulham don't score a lot away from home and when they do lose it's usually 1-0, so it will be up to Hangeland to keep Bent quiet. Fulham have one of the worst away records in terms of goals. Hangeland is really doing the business since signing a new contract and putting the transfer speculation behind him, and he's formed a good partnership with Aaron Hughes. The back four doesn't really change when everyone is fit - they're confident and having Mark Schwarzer in form behind them helps as well."

"The fans will have expected more. They had a great start when Steve Bruce came in but haven't really built on it. I expect them to pull away from the bottom and there are definitely worse teams than them in the league. It would be a shock if they went down. I expect a number of teams to finish below Sunderland."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2010, 12:00:25 PM »

Roy Hodgson: "Don’t be angry with your team"

26-02-10 00:29:38

At the press-conference after the second-leg match between Shakhtar and Fulham the coach of the London team was in a good mood, behaved freely and openly. And he had a lot of reasons for that.

– We had a wonderful evening. Certainly we felt the pressure, but you should believe me, that in the whole 35-year carrier of mine the team showed a high-level play. I say once more, it was difficult, but we coped with it. It seemed that our goalkeeper was tested all the time. Especially there were a lot of strong shots from the long distance. Thanks God Mark coped with everything. I want to thank Murphy individually…

– Mister Hodgson, how were you impressed by the atmosphere at Donbas Arena?

– I wouldn’t say that I was surprised. It wasn’t a surprise for me anyway. It was the very thing I hoped to see. Everything was wonderful. Shakhtar felt the support of their fans. The high quality of the stadium certainly impressed me. Now I understand why Shakhtar performs so nicely at the stadium of the European level.

– Could you please comment on the situation when Douglas took the field?

– I was angry with Duff. It was his fault, he didn't cope with his emotions. I adduce an excuse to the referee. Sometimes things like this happen, I think that there is a place for a foul in football. I should certainly thank the players who try to avoid it.

– Did you manage to talk to Fulham boss?

– Yes, I did. But this success has a very big part of our players' merit. They coped with the game. thanks to this we got to the next stage of the tournament. I think, when I retire, I will have the possibility to discuss the best game in my career. It may be the today's match. As for the game I can add that our hard work was rewarded by this result. We really worked at tactics a lot. especially today we felt the help of those footballers who were at the substitutes' bench. Separate thanks to Kelly. He took part in several matches, but made a good fame for himself during that time. I think he will help us greatly in Premier League.. I’d like to tell Ukrainian fans something. You can be proud of your team, your stadium. Shakhtar is the best club I have met during my career. You have the championship of your country. I'm sure that there you will gain a great success. great thanks to Mircea Lucescu. You should thant the coach for his working very hardly with the team. Don’t be upset and don’t be angry with your team.

FC Shakhtar
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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2010, 12:06:02 PM »

Brede Hangeland: “In Donetsk the hotel, the stadium and the girls are wonderful”

26-02-10 00:15:58

After the clash against Shakhtar Fulham footballers looked very happy, exchanged compliments and talked to the journalists willingly.

Bobby Zamora:

– It was a very interesting game. Shakhtar is a good team of the Euro Cup level. It was very difficult for us to keep the defense from the first minutes, but Simon brilliantly coped with it, he performed the fantastic game. The stadium impressed us very much, Shakhtar fans supported their team from the first minute to the last.

Damien Duff:

– It was really fantastic game against the owner of the UEFA Cup. I'd say that this is not a simple team. I'd like to distinguish Davies and Zamora, they did their best and had a very good match.

Brede Hangeland:

– Before the game Duff said that the match against Shakhtar is important for us, but Premier League is even more important. Have you changed your mind?
– No, I haven’t. Premier League is still number one for us. We constantly play there and the matches for Euro Cup are a kind of bonus, so to say. Moreover, it is the possibility to play with such a good team as Shakhtar and to come to such a luxurious stadium. I would compare it only to Emirates stadium in London.

– Could you compare Shakhtar to some team from the English Premier League?
– It’s very difficult to tell because these are entirely different styles of play. Shakhtar has excellent technique and skills, but they just play another way. Maybe their play style is similar to that of Chelsea or Manchester United. I understand that it’s a disappointment for you that we have won.

– Whom did you like in the rival’s lineup?
– Ilsinho.

– Did something impress you in Donetsk?
– I didn’t see enough. But I managed to see the hotel, the stadium and the girls – they are wonderful.

Danny Murphy:

– Shakhtar dominated during the whole game. Nevertheless, we managed to gain fantastic results. Perhaps, it was possible due to our organization and active training. Certainly, we had far less possibilities for targeting the goal, but at last we managed to use our chance, though in defense we had some problems in some moments. I think, we went further to the UEFA Europa League deservedly, defeated Shakhtar thanks to the quality of the play and we are proud of it.

FC Shakhtar
Press Office

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2010, 12:07:46 PM »

Mircea Lucescu: “We won’t change our playing style”

26-02-10 00:07:47

Having played the second leg in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, FC Shakhtar head coach first commented on the clash and then answered the media's questions.

  – It’s hard to comment the game where we passed 17 corner kicks and our rivals passed none, we shot the cross-section 10 times and they did so only once, we did 18 shots towards the goal, they did yet one. When one reaches such level, perform in UEFA Champions League and plays poorly in some episode, it is punished at once. We have foreseen that the only variant they can use to score a goal is our foul at the flank, i.e. we'll get the tall rivals into our penalty area. So it happened. I'd like to say that we played against the team that was well-organized. It can be seen that they participate in the serious championship and they know how to defend the score they need to go further.

FC Shakhtar

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2010, 12:10:48 PM »

Darijo Srna: “It’s a hard blow for the team”

25-02-10 23:25:20

After the match against Fulham in the mixt-zone of Donbas Arena was unusually quietly. Willian was the first to limp sullenly past the journalists. Hübschman with his head low followed him hastily. Several minutes later the other Miners appeared, gloomy and sullen. Depressed by the atmosphere, the journalists, even the English, were quiet.

Oleksandr Gladkyy:

– Sasha, was it hard to enter the game?
– Yes, because it was in full glow.

– Were your muscles stiff because of the cold weather?
– A bit. But we did some exercises during the interval. Later it was OK.

– How could one defeat Fulham? What were you counting on?
– We held the ball well, came to the rivals' goal, but, perhaps, we should have kicked more and not play passing.

– There were a lot of goal kicks in the first half, and at the beginning of the second half there were almost no kicks. Why?
– We had a lot of possibilities for a kick, but all the time we tried to make somebody to go tête-à-tête. And Fulham had a very good defense.

– Is Shakhtar's loss toFulham a lesson or a trouble?
– It’s a lesson. We should make some conclusions and prepare for the match against Vorskla.

Darijo Srna:

– Darijo, have you done all your best today?
– I’m sure, that the team did their utmost to go further. But we couldn't, we missed the goal. Although we knew that when there are corner kicks they choose the position well, moreover they are all very tall.

– There were two questionable episodes when the ball hit the hand…
– What is the sense of talking now: the game is over, 1-1. We’ll go further. I feel sorry. But we are thankful to our fans who came to the stadium, supported us, especially during the last minutes. To put it bluntly, the team is very upset. We wanted to go to the next stage.

– What is to be waited for next? Was this a hard psychological blow for Shakhtar?
– Yes, it is a horrible blow. Everybody is in a very bad mood. But in two days we have the match against Vorskla – we should analyze everything and go further.

Razvan Rat:

– Razvan, how could one defeat Fulham?
– I don’t know. Perhaps, we needed more luck. They kicked only once and there they are… I don’t even know what to talk about: a foul, that was no foul, a penalty, that wasn’t appointed at Jadson, when the defender made handling. It’s too late to talk about it now. I don’t want to praise myself and the team, but you saw yourself that Shakhtar played better.

– Does Fulham have an ideal goalkeeper?
– Why should he be called ideal? they were simply lucky and we weren't. We had about 20 or 30 kicks. And what?

– But you kicked high and low and he took all the balls.
– I don’t know, it’s hard for me to talk after such a game. because Fulham is not the team to go further.

– About fifteen corner kicks. You caught them but didn't kick and played them out. Why?
– The corner kicks are not the most important. What is the sense of talking about them, when we had 20 moments. But they were lucky.

– They had one standart…
– They didn’t. It’s my opinion.

– Will Fulham go to the next stage?
– I don't think so. But I thought that Shakhtar will go further. I don’t know.

FC Shakhtar
Press Office

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2010, 12:25:38 PM »

I have nothing to prove against Sunderland, says Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu

Feb 26 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

DICKSON Etuhu insists he's not nothing to prove against former club Sunderland on Sunday.

The Fulham midfielder spent a season at the Stadium of Light, making 21 appearances, before moving to Craven Cottage in 2008.

He had an unhappy return to the North East last time when the Whites went down 1-0, but the Nigerian international says he's got no regrets about leaving the Black Cats for SW6.

He said: "I'm past having a point to prove now. I'm a big boy and don't think about all that. I'll just go out there and play like it was against any other team.

"We played really well and were unfortunate to lose last year. It was a very even game, we had a few chances and so did they.

"We're looking forward to going there and playing in a beautiful stadium."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2010, 12:26:50 PM »

Club Focus - Fulham - Cottagers triumph with solidarity over Shakhtar's superiority

By Matt Domm

It is not often Brede Hangeland’s name makes its way on to the scoresheet, but the Norwegian picks his moments very well indeed. His header against Europa League holders Shakhtar Donetsk was only his second, but both arrived in remarkable results for the Whites.

His first signalled the arrival of the new Fulham under Roy Hodgson when he bundled the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Arsenal, right at the start of Hodgson’s first full season in charge. His second took a full 18 months to come but, being one of the biggest goals in the club’s history, it was worth waiting for. The significance of Hangeland’s neatly glanced opener is that it has put Fulham into the last 16 of a European competition, so far from Hodgson’s initial task at the club - keeping them in the league in almost impossible circumstances - that is must put the manager right up there amongst the very best. Hodgson’s turnaround of the club is remarkable considering his side is far from star-studded, has fewer recognised flair players than many Premier League clubs, and is still several first-team regulars short. On paper - and indeed grass - Donetsk ooze class and were again at times near-impossible to rid of the ball, but Hodgson, after proving to the Premier League last season, is now showing Europe that organisation, teamwork and defence is the best form of attack and can really get a team places.

It was never going to be easy and the relief of every Fulham player and fan proved it wasn’t. But whether the Ukrainian outfit were at their passing best or not, the Whites needed a leader in their well-drilled pack. Hangeland, Hodgson’s first Fulham signing - who has arguably not reached the same heights as he managed for most of last season - realised this and stepped up magnificently. Unmissable as a giant of a man, he was a titan on the pitch last night and led the defence as well as he ever has. If he missed a header throughout the whole 90 minutes then this writer missed it, and he was aware of his teammates’ responsibilities too, mopping up behind the line to clear any danger. It was possibly the adrenaline from his goal which allowed him to be first to every ball in both boxes, but is more likely to be a result of the work-ethic Hodgson - and very few other managers - manages to inspire in all players who turn out for his team. In fact, to credit Hangeland entirely for the win is to discredit those in white around him. Every single player did his job, and when that happens, a Hodgson-drilled unit are very rarely defeated.

Shakhtar, as expected, saw an awful lot of the ball, but for all their movement and intricate passing, very rarely was a player in orange in behind the wall which held strong in front of him. The statistics will read many more shots from the home side, and many, many more corners. But, while statistics don’t lie, they do often fail to tell the full story. Of the 20 shots Shakhtar attempted, more than half were from outside the box and, barring a couple of early saves from Mark Schwarzer, the Fulham stopper was not troubled as much as the statistics suggest, as his defence blocked the majority of the distance efforts. This happens to also be the reason why the corner count reads 17-0 in favour of the hosts - the majority coming from the aforementioned blocked efforts on goal. At the other end, the Whites scored from their only shot on target - clinical finishing being the key to a set up designed to defend well and try to steal a goal. And, even with five times more attempts from the home side, it was the Londoners who had the best chance of the game - Zoltan Gera missing late on which would have made stoppage-time a far more comfortable experience. Fortunately, it mattered little, and the travelling support saw solidarity triumph over superiority - a Hodgson victory indeed.

Fulham fans could surely never have imagined still being in this tournament when March came around, but the European tour continues with the Old Lady of Turin next on the Whites’ hit list. Juventus are laden with history, and a tie against Fulham, who are starting to create their own, will be two games not to miss. Dare the Cottage faithful dream of a second quarter-final of the season? At least now no-one will be ruling them out.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2010, 12:28:23 PM »

Shakhtar Donetsk v Fulham: Europa League success brings cash bonanza

Fulham are contemplating the unexpected benefits from a prolonged run in the Europa League following their magnificent 3-2 aggregate victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.
By John Ley

Published: 10:33AM GMT 26 Feb 2010

Roy Hodgson’s team sent the Uefa Cup holders out of the re-branded competition and now have a fascinating two-legged clash with Juventus, the two-time Champions League winners.

The Europa League is more profitable than the old Uefa Cup - by reaching the final 16 Fulham have guaranteed around £3 million, and that could rise to £4m by the time they have played against David Trezeguet, Alessandro del Piero and company.

And if Fulham can progress to the quarter-finals or even beyond the financial incentives are even greater.

Fulham owed an historic passage into the final 16 to Brede Hangeland’s first-half goal. Though Shakhtar equalised, Fulham went through on aggregate.

Hangeland said: “It feels fantastic. It’s a really, really great achievement for this club and I’m proud to be a part of it.

“It proves how far we’ve come as a team since Roy Hodgson became manager. We’ve beaten one of the top teams in Europe and we’ve achieved that by trusting in the way we play and working hard.

“It’s certainly great to be a part of nights like this. Who would have thought this would be possible with this club a while back?

“But it just proves that with hard work and a group of players and coaching staff pulling in the same direction, you can achieve things like this.”

Last-16 draw

Juventus v Fulham
Atlético Madrid v Sporting Lisbon
Valencia v W Bremen
Hamburg v Anderlecht
Benfica v Marseille
Lille v Liverpool
Panathinaikos v Standard Liege
Rubin Kazan v Wolfsburg
Two-leg ties to be played March 11 & 18

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2010, 12:57:56 PM »

Sunderland v Fulham

Feb 26 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

BOBBY Zamora is a major doubt for Fulham's trip to Sunderland on Sunday.

The in-form striker limped out of last night's Europa League win in Shakhtar Donetsk with an Achilles injury, so David Elm is ready to deputise.

Roy Hodgson is also without John Pantsil, Paul Konchesky, Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Kagisho Dikgacoi for the trip to the Stadium of Light, where Fulham lost 1-0 last season.

However, Hodgson is boosted by the return of Nicky Shorey, who should return to replace Stephen Kelly at left-back.

Our prediction: Fulham's miserable away record to continue in the North East.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2010, 01:06:25 PM »

Diomansy Kamara can picture Celtic catching eye in English top flight
Dimoansy has been surprised at the level of football in Scotland and reckons Celtic would be Top-10 hits down south

Ronnie Cully

Published on 26 Feb 2010

Diomansy Kamara reckons Celtic would be a Top 10 smash in the English Premiership.

But it’s finishing as No.1 in the SPL that the Senegalese hitman has in his sights – and he is fully aware a win this weekend is essential if they are to knock Rangers off top spot in the league charts.

Kamara may be new to the Scottish scene, but he is already up to speed on the importance of Sunday’s shoot-out as they try to reduce the seven-point gap.

He said: “We are behind, but we have good players and know we can do something and win something this season.

“The atmosphere here is good at the moment.”

The loan signing from Fulham openly admits the prospect of moving north of the border to add pace and goals to Celtic’s challenge did not initially rock his boat, even if being reunited with Tony Mowbray did.

But the half-dozen games he has played since arriving at Parkhead on the final day of the transfer window have convinced Kamara that there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from playing in Paradise – and that things are only going to get better for him and Celtic.

The former West Brom star explained: “I think I have made a good start. I’ve scored two goals and played some good football.

“In the beginning, I was a little bit unsure if I wanted to come to come and play in the Scottish league. But now I am happy to be at Celtic.”

He added: “I know I can do better because I had not played for so long before I came here. But, for the moment, it is okay.

“Scoring always helps you settle because a striker needs to score to be confident. I’ve now scored in the Scottish Cup against Dunfermline and in the league against Aberdeen.”

If Kamara thought it would be easy to find the net against Scottish clubs, he has quickly discovered that’s not the case.

While he has been impressed by the standard of opposition, he has been even more pleasantly surprised by the quality on show at Celtic.

The man who joined Fulham from West Brom for £6million in 2007 told Channel 67: “The football here is a good level. There are plenty of good teams, though I was surprised Kilmarnock beat us.

“Celtic is a very good team and if they were in the Premiership, they would finish in the Top 10 easily.

“There are a lot of good players here and I have been very impressed with the quality of the team.”

A team that is still very much a work in progress, as Kamara was just one of eight new players brought in by Mowbray during the last window.

While it is a transitional period for everyone involved, the Paris-born star is confident the manager is the man to get them back to the top and said: “He is my favourite coach. When I was with him at West Brom, I scored a lot of goals.

“He knows what I can do, and I love his training and I am so happy to work with him again.”

With his wife and kids sharing in his contentment as they settle into their city centre home, Kamara is already casting his mind towards what will happen at the end of his loan deal.

He has 18 months of his Craven Cottage contract to run. But whether or not Celtic are in a position to try and make the move permanent could depend on qualifying for the Champions League next term, and the £10m that adds to their coffers.

The chance to play regularly again has already brought a bonus for Kamara, as he has been recalled to the Senegal national side two years after winning his 40th cap.

And next week’s friendly against Greece has already put a smile on his face, as he prepares to face Hoops team-mate Georgios Samaras.

He smiled: “I was speaking to Georgios a few days ago and I told him we would beat them 2-1, and that he would score and I would score.”

A serious knee injury after the 2008 African Cup of Nations had contributed to his international career going on hold.

But, with a new coach in place, and his fitness no longer in doubt, Kamara is happy to return to the national fold.

He said: “It means a lot to me to play for Senegal. Although I was born and brought up in Paris, my dad is from Senegal and it makes me so happy to play for them.”
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 01:13:48 PM by White Noise »

White Noise

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2010, 01:19:38 PM »
Trio charged for ref remarks
26/02/2010 - 12:04:48

The Football Association today charged Bolton striker Kevin Davies, Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock and Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell with improper conduct.

Davies has been charged following comments made about referee Mark Clattenburg after Bolton’s match with Fulham on February 6.

The official ruled out what would have been a winner from Davies towards the end of the game at the Reebok Stadium, and after the game Davies suggested the referee had “something personal” against him.

Warnock has been charged following comments made after Palace’s FA Cup fifth-round tie with Aston Villa on February 14.

Warnock called for assistant referee Trevor Massey to be banned for incorrectly awarding the corner which led to Villa’s late equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park.

Blackwell has also been charged in relation to an incident during United’s Coca-Cola Championship game with Nottingham Forest on February 16.

The United boss was critical of the referee after Darius Henderson was shown a straight red for what was deemed to be an elbow on Forest’s Paul Anderson.

The FA confirmed the trio have until March 12 to respond to the charges.

Meanwhile, Derby’s Jay McEveley has been fined £2,500 and warned as to his future conduct by the FA after admitting a charge of improper conduct

Read more:

White Noise

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2010, 01:27:48 PM »

Hodgson Shows His Class

by Niall Owens 

Written on February 26, 2010 

Should Hodgson manage England?

 Yes  No  vote to see results

On the 28th of December 2007 the forgotten man of English management returned to to the Premier League and what a difference he has made.

Roy Hodgson the twice former manager of Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers and the Swiss national side took up his role as Fulham boss with his side facing a certain relegation and years of struggle trying to get back up into the top tier.

He came into Craven Cottage determined that the club would stay up and was proven right on the final day of the season when club captain Danny Murphy's goal in a 1-0 away win at Portsmouth ensured they would stay up. They had gone into the last few games looking as if they would go down and but won three games in a row for the first time in the club's top flight history and since then Hogdson's men have continued to amaze the world of football.

On the 16th of December 2009 Fulham headed to Basel a country Hodgson knew well in all his years of management, knowing only a win would see them into the knock out stage of the Europa League .

A fantastic performance inspired by Bobby Zamora's two goals ensured their passage but bad news came in the draw a few days later when they were to face UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk but the confidence in the Fulham camp was obvious with goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer saying: "anything's possible."

Last week they made the perfect start against the holders when Zoltan Gera put his side in front after only three minutes at the Cottage, Donetsk had not played since their final group game because of the end of season break in the Ukraine but as proven last year the break was of benefit to them as they leveled just before the break through Luiz Adriano.

Bobby Zamora fired home a wonder goal just past the hour mark to notch up what was a famous victory for the Londoners. But surely the away goal they conceded meant their task in the Ukraine was going to be too much for them.

As they made their way onto the pitch last night in what was an intimidating atmosphere as England had experienced in their recent World Cup Qualifying defeat in the Autumn Fulham knew it was the David versus Goliath tie.

They were brave and kept their heads as the home side began well and battered the Fulham defence with Schwarzer pulling off a string of great stops, but with the skill and flair of Damien Duff and Zoltan Gera Fulham knew they had the chance to get the vital away goal.

And it came ten minutes from half time when the defensive rock Brede Hangeland headed home and all of a sudden the whole of Europe took notice. Unlike youngster Chris Smalling who is leaving to join Manchester United in the summer, Fulham have managed to keep a hold of Hangeland. But after a performance of this magnitude a lot of clubs will be sniffing around come the opening of the window.

Although the home side equalised with twenty minutes to play Fulham hung on to what is their greatest achievement in European football, and Hodgson was quick to praise the spirit and the belief of his side: "

"We put in an enormous amount of work, trained a lot and the result shows it wasn't in vain," said the 62-year-old. "I wouldn't rule out that at the end of my coaching days I will name this match as the best in my career."

At the end of last season Hodgson had come on record as saying he had the tough task of calming expectations down at the club and ensured that Premier League survival was of paramount importance, but after their late show against Birmingham City saw them move into nineth and on 37 points they have their safety assured.

They take on Sunderland in the league on Sunday, but then have a home FA Cup quarter final tie against Tottenham the following weekend and then take on Italian giants Juventus a side Hodgson knows well over two legs sandwiched with a league game against Manchester United.

The other 15 teams Liverpool aside will not have heard much about Fulham but they will have done now and do not be suprised if their fairytale run continues as they face a Juventus side in all sorts of turmoil in the next round. 

Fulham have nothing to lose as for Juventus it is the opposite and once again Fulham fans can rely on a fantastic team spirit Hodgson has instilled at Craven Cottage to ensure they can run the Italians all the way. As for the rest of the season they have a genuine chance of winning the FA Cup and will hold no fears in the Europa League as has been proven, and as for the league as said earlier with survival an almost certainty and can play with no pressure as they find themselves only eight points of Europa league qualification and nine off the top four.

Hodgson is one of the nicest men in world football and is a genuine footballing man and he is dying breed in our game today with managers now being media driven and money mad. Sir Alex Ferguson regards him as one of his closest friends in management and a top boss and who is argue with that?

Let's all sit back and enjoy how he gets the best out of side week after week because it is a dying art in this modern football world.

White Noise

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (26.02.10)
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2010, 01:34:15 PM »


THE Achilles heel in Swansea's push for the Premier League can be identified by midfielder Darren Pratley's position at the top of the club's scoring charts.
Pratley is enjoying an outstanding campaign highlighted by six goals, most of them thanks to well-timed runs into the penalty area.

Pratley was signed from Fulham for a bargain £100,000 in the summer of 2006.