Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)  (Read 5135 times)

White Noise

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Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« on: February 27, 2010, 09:20:36 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5727


Zamora left out of England squad

by Dan on February 27, 2010

Whether it was because of his Achilles injury or any other reason is unclear, but Bobby Zamora hasn’t made it into Fabio Capello’s England squad.

The Fulham striker has been impressive in the last few weeks and was thought of as a potential inclusion for Wednesday’s friendly against Egypt but Carlton Cole and Emile Heskey have been chosen up front. Ryan Shawcross and Leighton Baines have also been included in the squad.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 09:21:32 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5723


Brilliant from Bellamy


by Dan on February 27, 2010

Craig Bellamy must be a journalist’s favourite interviewee. Always likely to come up with something as good as this:

“Everyone in football knows what JT is like off the field”.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 09:26:49 PM »
http://www.soccertimes.com/americans/2010/feb26

Both succeeding in Greece, Johnson gets critical U.S. call, Adu does not.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)


SoccerTimes

(Friday, February 26, 2010) -- United States midfielder Freddy Adu and striker Eddie Johnson both have worked their way into the starting lineup for Aris Thessaloniki of Greece, but their international careers are heading in opposite directions. Johnson has a chance to play for the United States in this summer's World Cup in South Africa; Adu, who scored twice in Aris' last three outings, apparently does not.

When U.S. coach Bob Bradley yesterday named a 20-player roster for Wednesday's friendly, a visit to play the Netherlands, Johnson was on the list. Adu was not picked for the final game before Bradley names his World Cup roster.

On Sunday, Adu and Johnson were in the starting lineup for Aris, which dropped a defensive struggle 1-0 to host AEK Athens. Johnson went the distance, while Aris manager Hector Raul Cuper took Adu off at halftime.

On February 17, Adu scored for the second straight match for Aris, which defeated Xanthi Skoda 3-0 in a Greek Cup semifinal. In the 24th minute Adu, after a long run up the middle, ran onto a looping cross from the right side and redirected it from the air into the net. Adu played 68 minutes as a starter, while Johnson was used for the final 15 minutes.

On February 14, Adu scored his first goal in Greece and Johnson added an assist in a 2-1 league triumph over Ergotelis.

Just before intermission, Adu ran into the left side of the penalty area and slammed home a low right-side cross. A few minutes earlier, Johnson assisted on Aris' first goal. Adu came off in the 62nd minute, Johnson a minute earlier.

Aris is in fifth place and in position to enter a playoff for a European Champions League spot at 9-6-8 with 35 points.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 09:28:24 PM »
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=269992&cc=5739

Cattermole returns for Black Cats


Team Stat Comparison 
 Sunderland  Fulham 
Matches Played  26  27 
Table Position  14  10 
Points  26  37 
Goal Difference  -12  3 
Goals for *  1.6  0.8 
Goals against *  1.2  1.5 
Last 5  L-D-D-D-L  W-W-D-W-L 
Last 5 home  D-D-D-L-D  W-W-W-L-D 
Last 5 away  L-D-L-L-D  D-L-L-L-L 
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club 
·  Club Stats:  Sunderland  |  Fulham 

Competition Stats 
   Sunderland  Fulham 
Goals  Darren Bent 15  Bobby Zamora 8 
Reds  Kenwyne Jones 1  Kagisho Evidence Dikgacoi 1 
Yellows  Lorik Cana 8  John Pantsil 4 
·   Club Squads : Sunderland | Fulham 

 
Last Five Matches in Competition 
Sunderland  Fulham 
A: Arsenal 2-0  H: Birmingham 2-1 
A: Portsmouth 1-1  H: Burnley 3-0 
H: Wigan Athletic 1-1  A: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 
H: Stoke City 0-0  H: Portsmouth 1-0 
A: Everton 2-0  H: Aston Villa 0-2 
· Club Results: Sunderland | Fulham 

Next Five Matches in Competition 
Sunderland  Fulham 
28/2  H: Fulham  28/2  A: Sunderland 
9/3  H: Bolton Wanderers  14/3  A: Manchester United 
14/3  H: Manchester City  20/3  H: Manchester City 
20/3  H: Birmingham  27/3  A: Hull City 
28/3  A: Liverpool  2/4  H: Wigan Athletic 
· Club Fixtures: Sunderland | Fulham 
Updated: February 27, 2010, 1:14 PM UK

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole will return from suspension for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham.

The 21-year-old missed last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal after being sent off at Portsmouth. David Meyler, who was dismissed during the same game, still has two more matches to serve.

Manager Steve Bruce is otherwise only without Andy Reid (hamstring) and Jordan Henderson (ankle), and they could both be back in business within 10 days.

Lee Cattermole is convinced a run of four successive home games could have Sunderland fans looking to Europe again rather than fearing relegation.

The Black Cats headed into the weekend sitting just three points clear of the drop zone and knowing their plight could have worsened by the time they run out to face Fulham.

However, the vagaries of the fixture list mean Bolton, Manchester City and Birmingham will follow Roy Hodgson's men to Wearside before Sunderland head out on to the road again, and that run of games could have a significant say in the outcome of a troubled campaign.

A season which began with such promise has dwindled away to the point where a sequence of 13 league matches without a win has prompted talk of a fight against relegation, and an overdue turn-around cannot come quickly enough.

Asked about the "R-word'', 21-year-old midfielder Cattermole said: "People do mention it, but I don't like to talk about it.

"We know the position we are in. We were on a bit of a bad run, but we stopped it with three games unbeaten and it's not too bad.

"I think those three points will prove to be massive towards the end of the season.

"Once you put a couple of wins together, people start talking about Europe. It's ridiculous how quickly things can change.

"We have just got to keep doing things well during the week on the training pitch and take them into the game on a Saturday.''

Bobby Zamora is doubtful for Fulham's trip.

The 15-goal striker limped out of Thursday night's Europa League success at Shakhtar Donetsk with an Achilles tendon injury.

Boss Roy Hodgson will consider making changes 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.

Under Hodgson, Fulham are enjoying unprecedented success with Thursday's epic 1-1 draw at Shakhtar earning them a Europa League last-16 tie against Italian giants Juventus.

The Cottagers also have an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham to look forward to, while they have recovered from a recent four-game losing streak to once again sit comfortably in the top half of the Premier League.

And Duff is full of praise for the job Hodgson has done since taking over at Craven Cottage just over two years ago.

"It's not so long ago, January, that we had an horrendous month and people were writing us off so it's credit to the gaffer and the lads that we bounced back,'' added Duff.

"It's exciting times for a club which two years ago just escaped from relegation on the last day, so we've come a long way since then.

"The gaffer has come in and done brilliantly ever since.

"We have a small squad but when anyone comes in to do a job, they do great. And with a top manager, working with him every day is going to pay off.''

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 09:29:49 PM »
Duff happy to be out of north-east


Saturday, February 27, 2010 - 01:04 PM



Damien Duff heads back to the north-east to face Sunderland tomorrow having put his Newcastle nightmare firmly behind him.

The Republic of Ireland winger endured a tough spell at St James’ Park, with an injury-hit three years culminating in last season’s relegation when his final-day own-goal against Aston Villa sealed the Toon’s fate.

But Fulham manager Roy Hodgson rescued Duff at the start of the new campaign and has been rewarded with a stunning return to form from the player Chelsea once shelled out £17m for.

“I had a difficult few years up in the north-east but I’m just happy to be back playing and thankful to be playing good football with a good team and a good manager, and long may it continue,” said Duff.

“It’s always going to be hard going up there but we’ll keep working hard and see what comes.”

Under Hodgson, Fulham are enjoying unprecedented success with Thursday night’s epic 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk earning them a Europa League last-16 tie against Italian giants Juventus.

The Cottagers also have an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham to look forward to, while they have recovered from a recent four-game losing streak to once again sit comfortably in the top half of the Barclays Premier League.

Duff is full of praise for the job Hodgson has done since taking over at Craven Cottage just over two years ago.

“It’s not so long ago, January, that we had an horrendous month and people were writing us off so it’s credit to the gaffer and the lads that we bounced back,” added Duff.

“It’s exciting times for a club which two years ago just escaped from relegation on the last day, so we’ve come a long way since then.

“The gaffer has come in and done brilliantly ever since.

“We have a small squad but when anyone comes in to do a job, they do great. And with a top manager, working with him every day is going to pay off.”

Brede Hangeland headed in Duff’s free-kick to score Fulham’s crucial goal in Ukraine.

The Norway defender also credits Hodgson for the team’s extraordinary rise, and insists there is more to come.

“It’s almost unbelievable to see what has happened here in the last two years and he has to take the credit for that. I stand in line and applaud him with the rest,” he said.

“It’s hard to say how far we can go. Our mentality is to keep going, do the best we can in each game, try to be modest and stick to our game plan. That’s brought us some success and long may it continue.”

Hodgson will check on 15-goal top scorer Bobby Zamora ahead of tomorrow’s clash after he suffered an Achilles injury in Donetsk.



Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/sport/duff-happy-to-be-out-of-north-east-447955.html#ixzz0gm4Aynhw

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010, 09:34:23 PM »
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/353545-6-most-overated-and-underrated-premier-league-players#page/3

Underrated Players: Danny Murphy Slide 3 of 8
 
 
Fulham's victory over UEFA Cup holders Shakthar Donetsk in Ukraine was remarkable for a club with such limited resources.

While Roy Hodgson must be commended for his excellent managerial skills, it is ex-Liverpool star Murphy who has been pulling the strings for the Cottagers.

What the 32-year-old lacks in pace, he more than compensates for with his vision, understanding of the game, composure, consistency...and the influence he imparts on games.

No, he is a not a flashy player, and he is as likely to go to South Africa as Wayne Bridge, but his contribution is consistently overlooked by pundits and scouts...much to the relief of his boss.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2010, 09:37:13 PM »
Liverpool sign England starlet Raheem Sterling from QPR

By Daniel King
 
Last updated at 9:31 PM on 27th February 2010

Rafa Benitez has beaten Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Fulham to sign Queens Park Rangers wonderkid Raheem Sterling.
 
The 15-year-old striker's prodigious talent has led to comparisons with Wayne Rooney at the same age but Liverpool were the only club willing to guarantee an initial fee of £500,000, with extra payments contingent on his development and appearances.
Sterling, born in Jamaica but an England Under-16 international, has been one of the hottest properties in English football for some time.

QPR reportedly considered making him the youngest first-team player in British football history by giving him his debut at the age of 14.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1254287/Liverpool-sign-England-starlet-Raheem-Sterling-QPR.html#ixzz0gm5bXEZA

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2010, 10:12:06 PM »
http://fulham.theoffside.com/podcast/fulham-podcast-22710.html

Fulham Podcast 2/27/10

By: timmyg | February 27th, 2010
 
Don Hymel AND Dan Crawford join an epic pod as we look back on a memorable February that saw Fulham advance past Shaktar Donetsk in Europe, play into the Elite 8 of the FA Cup, go undefeated at home in the league, and drawn with Juventus in the Europa League.


  Standard Podcast: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2010, 10:13:26 PM »
http://fulhampatsfan.blogspot.com/2010/02/importance-of-roy-hogdson-to-fulham.html

The Importance of Roy Hogdson to Fulham


You need talented players to build your team. Unless you have someone to guide that talent it will go nowhere. Roy Hogdson took over a squad that 2 years ago that was fighting relegation to the Championship. To the present he has taken a team that is in the final 16 of the Europa League. To me this is an incredible accomplishment and I don't think he is getting the credit he deserves.

The big question is how did Hogdson accomplish this feat in 2 years? To me it all starts on defense. In American football if you have a strong defense you pretty much can be competitive in all of your games. I have a feeling that football in the EPL you can have a similar result with a strong defense. Hogdson brought in players like Brede Hangeland, John Pantsil, and Mark Schwarzer. Hangeland came in during the January transfer window of his first season. John Pantsil and Mark Schwarzer came in the following summer. Fulham now had 2 really good defenders and a top notch goalkeeper in Schwarzer. Defense is the first quality he brought to Fulham.

Hogdson also brought a work ethic and discipline that is shown every week on the pitch. His team is always in position and does not tend to beat themselves. The team keeps it shape which is difficult for their opponents to break down. This is a quality I admire. You are going to have to beat Fulham. They will not do it for you.

Roy Hogdson has also been able to get everything he can out of the talent he has at his disposal. Fulham do not have an unlimited budget like a team in the big four. He needs to find good players on a limited budget. For example, he got Mark Schwarzer for next to nothing. He also bought players like Bobby Zamora and Brede Hangeland. These players again were accomplished players but they weren't superstars at the time. Instead of acquiring talent Roy was building a team that is disciplined, plays a great defense and has an incredible work ethic.

As a fan all you can ask is that your club is put in position every week to win. Roy Hogdson has done this since January 2008. It blows me away how the media looks at Fulham. I listen to the commentary and I read the articles in the media. Just like the New England Patriots the media does not get it. They just see the names on the back of the jerseys. Someone needs to put those names in position to win and Hogdson does this week after week. It is a combination of the right players and the right manager.

How else would you explain how Fulham were able to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at Craven Cottage and then tie this team in the Ukraine. Shakhtar are more talented and play "beautiful football". Where did that get them in the end? Fulham moved on and Shakhtar are out. Shakhtar could not break down Fulham no matter how hard they tried. All Fulham did was take advantage of an opening when it was there. The free kick from Duff and headed in by Hangeland in the last game just shows me what Fulham is all about. They again won on defense, discipline and work ethic.

The importance of Roy Hogdson to Fulham to me is huge. Hogdson picks the players to play, puts them in position to succeed and just watches them play hard. If I were Chairman, Roy Hogdson would be manager for as long as he wants. I think the future is bright for Fulham Football Club. In my humble opinion Roy Hogdson has a great deal to do with it.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 3:14 PM


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2010, 10:14:43 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5730

Stockdale error costs Plymouth


by Dan on February 27, 2010

Horrible mistake from David Stockdale at Sheffield United today. Plymouth staged a remarkable fightback to get close to pulling back a 3-0 deficit, but the game was up after a horrible mistake from the on-loan Fulham goalkeeper handed Richard Creswell one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score.

Stockdale dived at Creswell’s feet to gather the ball, but forgot that the striker was behind him when he rolled the ball out. Creswell nicked it from him and gleefully dispatched the finish. Stockdale held his head in his hands and won’t want to see the Football League show highlights tonight.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2010, 11:31:08 PM »
http://fulham.theoffside.com/podcast/fulham-podcast-22710.html

Fulham Podcast 2/27/10

By: timmyg | February 27th, 2010
 
Don Hymel AND Dan Crawford join an epic pod as we look back on a memorable February that saw Fulham advance past Shaktar Donetsk in Europe, play into the Elite 8 of the FA Cup, go undefeated at home in the league, and drawn with Juventus in the Europa League.


  Standard Podcast: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

just listened,very interesting ,highly reconmended,good work all :D

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2010, 07:18:08 AM »
http://www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com/rodney-marsh-interview-with-nasl-legend/8280

Rodney Marsh: Interview With NASL Legend


by Chuck Zsolnai H.D. on February 27, 2010 · 2 comments




Thirty three years ago two players who earned their soccer wages in America went back to English clubs on loan. Long before David Beckham and Landon Donovan were rented to AC Milan and Everton respectively, George Best and Rodney Marsh spent the off-season playing at Fulham Football club.

In a recent interview the Tampa Bay Rowdies legend recounts his trans-Atlantic occupation. Rodney Marsh, who has returned to Florida to work for a production company, does not sugar-coat his journeys or his exploits. George Best, who passed away in 2005, and the 65 year old Marsh embodied the sex, drugs and rock-n-roll of England’s swinging 60’s and America’s heavy 70’s.

Rodney’s American odyssey begins with one of many storied bust-ups with football management – this time at Manchester City. Disagreements with gaffer Tony Book and owner Peter Swales led to his release to play for Cork Hibernian. While still collecting a salary from the English club, he earned more playing 6 games for the Irish side – but in essence getting a paycheck from both teams. As one of the top English soccer stars in 1975 Marsh was contacted by Elton John’s agent and flown out to California by private jet. Rock legend John, then part owner of the Los Angeles Aztecs, urged Marsh to sign for the NASL club.

While he was given the VIP treatment taking in Elton John’s concert at Dodger Stadium he met the Campbell Soup heir George Strawbridge, Jr., who persuaded him to sign instead for his NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies.

In February 1976 the newly crowned champions of NASL welcomed Marsh as the “Clown Prince of Soccer” and the “White Pele”. Not familiar with the political or demographics of the American South, Marsh corrected the waiting media with ” no, he’s the black Rodney Marsh”.

Never one to apologize for his sharp retorts or fiery quips, he explains “that’s who I was”. Both he and George Best grew up in the poverty of post-war Britain. Rodney admits it was reason for only 9 international appearances. He sets the record straight on his banishment from the England National Team by Sir Alf Ramsey who was a cockney like Marsh.

“I was not one of those guys that ran around the pitch, I could make a few runs, get the ball twice and score”.

Marsh reveals that the English Football Association sent Ramsey for elocution lessons after winning the 1966 World Cup to “correct” his strong regional accent. On the occasion of a team talk Sir Alf chided Rodney for his work rate in a rather proper English tone. “I’ll be watching you, and if you do not work harder, I will pull you off at half-time”.

As both Ramsey and Marsh grew up speaking cockney, this pretense led to Marsh replying with “Christ, Alf, at Manchester City all we get is an orange and a cup o’ tea”. With snickers abound, Rodney was never to play for England again.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the late 1970’s played a very attractive offense-minded brand of soccer. Loads of goals appealed to the American sports public and Tampa fans in particular. With no other major sport in the Florida city, the “fannies” filled the stadium and made “a kick in the grass” their soccer motto.

At the close of the 1977 NASL season, Fulham approached L.A.’s George Best, Bobby Moore, then with San Antonio Thunder and Marsh to join them on loan. Marsh had a two-year contract with the Rowdies at the time and had fully intended to spend the off-season in Florida. However, he says he earned more money for the 6 month loan at Fulham than he did for the full season at Tampa.

To this day, Rodney does not know the exact financial details between the clubs, but his contract renewal increased considerably on his return to the Rowdies. While Rodney describes former England Captain Moore as “the sensible one”, his assessment of Best’s and Marsh’s days at Fulham as “just crazy”. Attendance for the Second Division side almost doubled at Craven Cottage where, indecently, American Clint Dempsey currently plays.

But Marsh also says that he almost did not return to the Rowdies. Rodney’s clash with South African Coach Eddie Firmani over tactics had to be settled by owner George Strawbridge – with Marsh coming back and Firmani leaving to take over the New York Cosmos.

While still in England, Rodney was often asked about the standard of play in America and of course the pay. The money seemed almost too good to be true and the exodus of British players to the NASL is well documented. However, Marsh can be credited for influencing a few of those including England World Cup star Alan Ball. When asked about how the subject came up, Rodney says it was after a night out with him and George Best. Ball signed for the Philadelphia Fury soon afterwards.

Rodney played his last NASL game for the Rowdies in the 1979 Soccer Bowl. He left to coach in the A.S.L. although there were rumors of offers from Philadelphia, Montreal and San Jose Earthquakes. Although he knew the New York United were a minor league club, he describes it as 4 months of a negative experience. But he says, he learned “what not to do” as a coach and following 4 years were “very happy” as he was hired away by the Carolina Lightnin’. Rodney’s Lightnin’ won the 1981 Championship before a home crowd of over 20,000 defeating, ironically, the New York club he left the previous season.

By 1983 genuine managerial offers came. He was approached by his former club Queens Park Rangers, yet he chose to return to Tampa Bay instead.

When asked about his advice to managers trying their hand in American soccer, Rodney chuckles. “I wish they would ask me or contact my consulting firm”. “Ruud Gullit should have called me” was his comment about the Dutchman’s unsuccessful stint with the L.A. Galaxy.

Rodney draws a serious tone as he shares his insight to soccer management in the U.S. – “if I could advise one thing … the one word, it would be patience. Patience with the fans, patience with attendance and patience with the media”. It is in fact what he told Rowdies new head coach, Paul Dalglish, over dinner recently. Dalglish’s father was the star player and later successful manager of Liverpool.

Currently, Rodney Marsh is hosting the TV show “The Road to South Africa” produced by EMG Sports & Entertainment leading up to and including the FIFA World Cup. It can be seen on Tampa’s NBC affiliate station.


Rodney Marsh ABC InterviewTry our new player

Rodney Marsh ABC Interview
by flg8or99
Chuck Zsolnai is the Historical Director at the International Soccer Archives. He has been covering soccer since 1989.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2010, 07:22:57 AM »
http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/741221/HANGELAND-I-WAS-RIGHT-TO-STAY-PUT.html

HANGELAND: I WAS RIGHT TO STAY PUT


Defender's Arsenal snub is justified
 
By Alex Shaw, 27/02/2010

BREDE HANGELAND insists he had no doubts about staying at Fulham - and says he has been proved right by the club's stunning run in Europe.

The Norwegian defender nodded Fulham into a last 16 showdown with Juventus after his crucial goal at Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday.

Fulham were staring down the barrel of relegation two seasons ago but Roy Hodgson's men pulled off the Great Escape and have never looked back.

Arsene Wenger wanted the 28-year-old last summer but Hangeland chose to stay at Craven Cottage.

And with the glamour European ties as well as an FA Cup showdown with Tottenham to come, he thinks the good run is a reward for his loyalty.

Hangeland said: "We are definitely having a good time at the moment. From the time I came here I always wanted to stay.

"It's been a great club and we have been going in the right direction for the past two seasons.

"It has been great to be a part of the Europa League run and we also have the FA Cup to look forward to.

"To have the reward of a European campaign on the back of a good season last year is very nice.

"I love the FA Cup, I grew up watching it in Norway and would try and watch all the games throughout the competition.

"I played in a Cup final there but I guess it's not like Wembley. Getting to Wembley would be very special - we're all looking forward to the game."

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2010, 07:25:04 AM »
http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/football/741041/BRUCE-BUILD-OR-BUST-FOR-SUNDERLAND.html

BRUCE: BUILD OR BUST FOR SUNDERLAND


Wage structure cost Black Cats three stars
 
 

By Martin Hardy, 27/02/2010

STEVE BRUCE is ready to put a new rebuilding programme to Sunderland owner Ellis Short to end the club's recent history of relegation battles.

Bruce was handed £30million in the summer and his signings Darren Bent, Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana have been the bright spots of a campaign that has once again seen the club fighting for their Premier League status.

Short, an American billionaire who amassed his wealth through hedgefunds, has invested heavily in the North East's only Premier League club since he joined the board in 2008.

But huge amounts were spent under Roy Keane. Indeed, £42million went on Teemu Tainio, Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque, Anton Ferdinand, George McCartney and Craig Gordon.

Short financed all of those deals and has so far remained supportive of chairman Niall Quinn's second managerial appointment since he rescued the club three-and-a-half years ago.

But the Black Cats boss believes fresh investment is needed and the club's wage structure has to be broken to bring in two big-name signings next season.

Bruce was left devastated when deals for Richard Dunne, Sylvain Distin and Peter Crouch broke down.

All three spent time with him, agreed terms, only for late offers from Aston Villa, Everton and Spurs respectively to blow his plans apart.

Sunderland's top earner is Bent on around £60,000-a-week, which is £15,000-a-week less than Villa offered Dunne after months of work to tie up the Republic of Ireland captain.

And, similarly, Bruce has been left frustrated with the historical problems of attracting players to Wearside, an issue Keane first raised when he admitted players' wives did not fancy moving to the area.

The planning is however proof that Bruce is looking beyond the current run that has undermined an excellent start to the season and that he has the direct support of Quinn.

Sunderland bosses are aware of the significance of the next two games, both of which are at the Stadium of Light, against Fulham and then Bolton.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2010, 07:30:46 AM »
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/outside-the-box-sir-stans-magic-boots-are-more-special-than-throwaway-jose-1913122.html

Oh you of little FA-ith

As for this year's FA Cup and all those boots of many colours, Sky Sports clearly have little faith in Tottenham or Birmingham coming through the sixth round. For the semi-final on 10-11 April, they have scheduled Tottenham versus Arsenal and Manchester City against Birmingham as their televised Premier League games without so much as a "provisional" in the listings. Most observers would give Birmingham (at Portsmouth) and Spurs (at Fulham) a fair chance of going through. At least Manchester United's League game at Blackburn on Sunday 11 April will be safe, as for the first time since 1998 there are no Lancashire clubs among the last eight. Sky could still end up looking for alternatives for the Saturday lunchtime and Sunday 4pm games; Hull v Burnley anyone? An Outside the Box reader points out the pleasing symmetry of the quarter-final draw, which pitches four teams who have won the Cup (Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Chelsea and Tottenham) against four teams who have never done so (Fulham, Birmingham, Reading and Stoke).


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2010, 07:33:20 AM »
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28 February 2010

FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson is [...]

HOTLINE


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is tracking Villarreal's Argentinian striker Marco Ruben - after his move to Wigan collapsed. Hodgson sent his top European spy to watch the little hit man in action against Real Madrid.

Wigan chief Roberto Martinez missed out on Ruben after agreeing a fee - with chairman Dave Whelan unwilling to fork out. Now Hodgson is now set to fly to Spain to make a personal check on the hitman.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2010, 07:35:01 AM »
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28 February 2010


The Turin proud...


Dave Kidd


Fourteen years ago, Fulham were next to bottom of the Football League and losing to Torquay, the only team beneath them.

Next week, they face the mighty Juventus in the Europa League, having knocked out holders Shakhtar Donetsk.

And the best thing about Fulham going to Juventus? Their midfielder Jonathan Greening can get to visit his uncanny lookalike, the Turin Shroud.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2010, 07:36:38 AM »
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KENNY'S STERLING EFFORTS


EXCLUSIVE


Alan Nixon; Steve Bates


Liverpool have dramatically won the race for QPR's young England starlet Raheem Sterling - beating Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Fulham to get him.

The 15-year-old has agreed to join the Kop in a major coup and was finalising the deal yesterday despite rival offers from some of the biggest names in English football.

And it took a personal call from Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish - currently academy director and club ambassador at Anfield - to finally convince Sterling into signing.
 
Sterling shot to fame after Rangers put him on standby to make his debut - as People Sport first revealed - and the attacking midfielder has thrilled the talent spotters.

Arsenal, Fulham and City all made offers for him and United youth chief Brian McClair was at the last two Rangers youth team games.

But Liverpool, who were always the player's first choice, finally agreed to come up with a deal for him and will pay Rangers around £750,000 up front, rising to more than double if he makes the grade.

United pulled out at the death and insiders in the deal said: "It has all been a bit messy, with various agents trying to get involved. But in the end the kid is going where he wants - and QPR have got a good price."


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2010, 07:38:01 AM »
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28 February 2010


Race to seal new Zamora deal


Dave Kidd


Fulham are ready to open contract talks with Bobby Zamora - as the red-hot striker has just 16 months to run on his current deal.

West Ham's new owners David Sullivan and David Gold have let it be known that they wish to tempt Zamora back to Upton Park in the summer. Several other clubs have been monitoring the player's outstanding form as he spearheads Fulham's progress in the Premier League, FA Cup and in Europe.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was ready to sell Zamora to Hull last summer - only for the striker to reject the move after a fee was agreed.

But now the Craven Cottage club will pull out all the stops to tie Zamora to a longer deal with improved terms.

Zamora signed a threeyear deal when he arrived from West Ham in 2008.

And although the Hammers were the club he supported as a boy, he suffered stick from the Upton Park crowd and is not believed to be keen on a return.

Talks on a new deal are thought to be in the pipeline, although they have been held up by Fulham's hectic playing schedule.

Zamora has been watched by England boss Fabio Capello as he has clocked up 15 goals this term. But he suffered a minor Achilles injury in the UEFA Europa League success against Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday and is likely to miss today's visit to Sunderland.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (28.02.10)
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2010, 07:40:09 AM »
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28 February 2010

BRUCIE BONUS


He won't be axed even if Black Cats go down


Alan Oliver


Sunderland v FULHAM

Today, KO 3pm

Premier League


Sunderland will NOT sack Steve Bruce - even if they suffer the dreaded drop this season.


They take on Fulham at the Stadium of Light today aiming to end their run of 13 matches without a Premier League victory. The fact the London side had a long and tiring Europa League trip to the Ukraine in midweek will help their cause.


Sunderland's slide down the table has seen Bruce emerge as the bookies' favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be axed.


However a Sunderland insider told People Sport: "The owner Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn won't be shouting from the rooftops about Steve of fight the Bruce because they know that this sends out the wrong message.


"But there is no way Steve Bruce will be sacked even if we are relegated at the end of the season.


''Yes Ellis Short has instructed Bruce to reduce the wage bill but this is more to do with the way the club has been left to pick up the pieces by some of the deals done by Roy Keane."


However Bruce himself insists he will not take the backing of Short and Quinn as a given while he bids to end the worst run of his footballing career.


He said: ''I value Niall's support and that of the owner, but I'll never take it for granted.


"I speak to Ellis once a week or so. He's fine - he's disappointed, as we all are at the way things have gone over the last three months, but he's been nothing but supportive.


"And I value his support - in that way, I've not felt under pressure.


"After the wonderful start we made, who'd have thought we'd go three months - 13 games - without a win? It's the worst run I've had in my 35 years in the game."


As well as support in the boardroom, Bruce has the full backing of his players.


Sunderland's Scottish international keeper Craig Gordon said: "The players are 100 per cent behind the manager.


"Steve Bruce has done a good job in a short space of time and his management team as a whole is very strong. He has been great all season and there's absolutely no problem there.


"He will get it right and I'm sure that between now and the end of the season results will pick up and we can look forward and improve again next season.


"The injury crisis and suspensions we had have let up a bit, and the likes of Lee Cattermole and Anton Ferdinand are back.


"Fulham have a lot of quality in their side but we just need to concentrate and make sure we win."


Meanwhile Bruce is working hard both on the short and long-term fronts to build a brighter future at the Stadium of Light.


As revealed in People Sport on February 14, he is ready to pay £4million to Spurs for on-loan right-back Alan Hutton.


And Sunderland joined Everton and Spurs running the rule over Anderlecht's wonder kid Romelu Lukaku in their UEFA Europa League victory over Athletic Club on Thursday.