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Thursday Fulham Stuff (07.07.11)

Started by White Noise, July 07, 2011, 09:38:08 AM

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Dempsey not on Roma radar
American striker not wanted by Italian club

Roma are not targeting Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey, according to sporting director Walter Sabatini.

The USA international, who enjoyed a career-best 12-goal campaign at Craven Cottage last season, has been linked with a move to the Serie A club this summer.

However it appears Roma, who are close to agreeing a deal for young Barcelona striker Bojan, are not chasing the 28-year-old.

When asked about a move for Dempsey in Corriere dello Sport, Sabatini said: "He will not arrive."

Dempsey, capped 77 times for the USA national side, has two years left to run on his Fulham contract.

He joined the Premier League outfit from Major League Soccer club New England Revolution in 2007.,19528,11095_7024389,00.html?


Dutch Members

Q & A with Michiel Hageman, the Club Secretary for the Official Dutch Fulham Members' Club.
How long has the Dutch Fulham Members' Club been in existence?

The Dutch Members' Club was started in spring of 2010.

How did it start?

Since I came back home to Holland after living in London in 2008 I wanted to start the Dutch Fulham Members' Club. Last year I started the Members' Club thanks to a lot of help from the Fulham FC staff. They sent an email to all the Dutch members and asked if they wanted to become a member of the Members' Club. Last season was our first season and now I want to make it a success with a great Members' Day and visit to Craven Cottage.

What appealed to your Members about Fulham as a Club to support?

I think I speak for myself and most of our members that if you have visited the Cottage and watched a match of Fulham, it speaks for itself. The ambiance and the great history of the Cottage makes it such a true English football experience.

Do you get to attend many games?

Most of our Members attended three or more games last season. With the Members' Club we make sure we visit Fulham at least once a year.

Do you have a message, in Dutch, for our new Manager? (and what does it mean?!)

"Martin we wensen je het allerbeste toe! Maak van Fulhan het zwart witte leger waar we trots op zijn!! Wij als Nederlandse Fanclub staan

voor de volle 100% achter jou.. Je bent de juiste man aan het roer van Fulham!"

It means that we all believe he is the right man to be Manager of Fulham Football Club. We wish him all the best and are looking forward to see Martin Jol's Black White Army on the pitch!

Form an Official International Fulham Members' Club
There is still the chance to form an Official International Fulham Members' Club, and receive an official status award alongside many more benefits like monthly or even weekly prize draws, Cottage Tours, group information on the Club's Official website, signed kits to raffle off and more. It only takes ten paid International Members' to start one so what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

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Martin Jol warns Fulham not to switch off

Martin Jol has warned his Fulham players to be professional ahead of tonight's European tie against NSI Runavik.

The west London club lead 3-0 from the first leg against the Faroe Island minnows and the Fulham boss wants his team to be fully focused on securing a place in the second-qualifying round of the Europa League.

"The players should motivate themselves," said Jol. When you are 3-0 up it is difficult but they are professionals and they have to do a professional job."

The Dutchman confirmed there would be changes to the full-strength side he fielded in the first leg. A number of first-team players will be rested and Jol will hand senior debuts to 20-year-old full-back Alex Smith and teenage midfielder Kerim Frei.

"It's not about a second team or reserves playing," insisted Jol. "We need games for players. Steve Sidwell, Stephen Kelly and Philippe Senderos will come in.

"It's important that we get our game going and do the things we want to do. They were very well organised [in the first leg] so we have to come up with answers."


Europa League: Baird relishing trip home to face Crusaders

Northern Ireland defender Chris Baird says the prospect of a trip back to his homeland next week to face Crusaders will help motivate him for Fulham's Europa League encounter at Faroese minnows NSI Runavik tonight.

The County Antrim-born defender and his team mates head into the first qualifying round clash against NSI boasting a 3-0 lead from the first leg at Craven Cottage, with the winners meeting the Crues next Thursday.

While Baird insists the Cottagers will not take NSI lightly, the former Southampton man admits he is buoyed by the prospect of a possible trip to Belfast.

"It would be nice obviously to get back to Ireland. I don't go back much myself," he said.

"It would be another tough game because I know what to expect from them.

"It's not easy going away to any team and as I said before, we've got the quality in the team and we're getting fit, and we'll be raring to go."

Baird and international team-mate Aaron Hughes are the only two Fulham players to have travelled to the Faroe Islands before, having faced the national team last October in a European Championship qualifier.

"It's up on a big hill — it's windy, cold — not the best facilities," Baird said, speaking of the Svangaskard Stadium, Toftir. "But we have to go there and do the job.

"You have to treat every team with respect, no matter who they are," he added.

"It's down to us. We know that we're the better team, with great experience and good players.

"We have to go there and do the job, get a win.

"It's nice to see these different places. Obviously I've been there before, so I know what to expect.

"I'm sure for other players it will be an eye-opener because there's not a lot there and not a lot to do."

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Hammer of the Gods

Into the land of the Faroes we journey for the routine matter of our return leg with Runavik. The Whites will be winners, but by how many?
Fulham take a squad of 17 up into the North Atlantic for their Europa League return, leading Runavik 3-0 from the first leg. It should have been more last week in London, as the side freely admitted, having enjoyed 70% of the possession. Jol used his press conference before flying off however to praise the part-timers for not caving in, and for their technical ability. Although our opponents don't appear to carry any goal threat Jol expects a professional approach from the Whites to ensure the job gets done.

Alex Smith and Karim Frei are added to a bunch of seasoned pros, Simon Davies stays at home with a slightly sore knee, while Salcido and Dempsey are only just getting back to London after their respective duties in the Gold Cup - not much of a summer break for those two!
Once again, I expect to see us fielding plenty of star names, partly I suspect to give Martin an opportunity to learn more about the squad he's inherited. There's a world of difference between seeing a bunch of players at training compared to how they handle competitive matches.
As I write there remains some doubt as to what location may be used for the game, either Runavik's own little ground or a synthetic surface in the capital Torshavn. Weather conditions are a mix of sun and showers, temperatures around 10 degrees at kick off - that's high summer for you in these latitudes between Iceland and Norway.

With such a meaningless match the one thing you pray to avoid is anyone picking up a serious injury, which as we know can strike anytime even in the most gentlest of sessions at Motspur Park. After our three goals last week I'm finding it hard to work up any enthusiasm for tonight's game - call it jet lag after my week in the triple digit heat of the USA last week - plus there's not much of substance news wise coming out of the Cottage at present.

I make a determined effort to laugh off the hysteria of transfer activity reporting over the summer, for which Sky are far and away the worst offenders. Journos are clutching at every vague rumour out there, many storylines floated having no substance to them whatever. What we do know as fact from Fulham is that Jol already announced his desire to scout up to four or five players. And as the summer progresses and all clubs return to full training we should expect one or two of our own to be moved out, either permanently or on loan - Stockdale being an obvious candidate for the latter. Riise senior in from Roma at left-back should Carlos get his move back to Mexico? Hmm, Tigana thought he had this boy signed from Monaco a decade ago. His best years are behind him now, and at 30 isn't that going against Jol's aim of getting the average age of the team down?

With my own summer hols still pending sorry I can't get a head of steam up for the new season just yet. I have opened up a new source for gossip though since getting back from Dallas, hoping to share a few snippets of life under Mark with you in due course. With no obvious job offer on the horizon I'm of a mind to think Hughes sees himself increasingly as the natural successor to Sir Alex - he has the ego for it certainly - and rumours are growing that Fergie's losing his appetite for it. He's won it all domestically for Man U but must know Barcelona are going to reign supreme in Europe for a while yet. That footballing lesson from the Catalans at Wembley I reckon really stung the old curmudgeon.

Anyway, as a taster, I can tell you Hughes quickly got on the wrong side of a lot of people at FFC with his haughty manner. Demanding a bigger office suite at Motspur forced permanent staffers into relocating, while nobody was allowed along his corridor without an appointment. This all got a bit silly when the groundsman had a simple message for example that impacted on that day's routine. Fearing to approach the dragon's door, communication went up the chain of command thus rendering the exercise irrelevant by the time it reached the mighty Mark. In conclusion I'm heartened to see the club have released two of Sparky's gang of four while the remaining couple under contract find their roles greatly diminished.

So to finish on a plus point - well done Martin for quickly coming to the decision to appoint loyal club servant Ray Lewington as your number two. If he was good enough for Woy...

It may only be little Runavik, but as ever - COYW! Twitter @fulhamphil


Young duo set for Europe chance

Martin Jol is set to hand youngsters Alex Smith and Kerim Frei a place in the squad to face NSI Runavik, with Simon Davies ruled out.
After a 3-0 victory in the first leg at Craven Cottage, Fulham are in the box seat to make it through the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

The first-leg result will enable Jol to rest some of his first-team regulars, as Fulham continue to prepare for the season ahead, with winger Davies missing with a knee injury.

As well as young duo Smith and Frei, Philippe Senderos, Stephen Kelly and Jonathan Greening are also expected to be handed run outs in the Faroe Islands.

When asked whether it will be tough to get themselves up for the game, Jol said: "The players should motivate themselves. "I will try everything I can, but when you are 3-0 up it is difficult. But they are professionals and they have to do a professional job."


Winger misses out

Martin Jol is set to hand youngsters Alex Smith and Kerim Frei a place in the squad to face NSI Runavik, with Simon Davies ruled out.

After a 3-0 victory in the first leg at Craven Cottage, Fulham are in the box seat to make it through the second qualifying round of the Europa League.
The first-leg result will enable Jol to rest some of his first-team regulars, as Fulham continue to prepare for the season ahead, with winger Davies missing with a knee injury.
As well as young duo Smith and Frei, Philippe Senderos, Stephen Kelly and Jonathan Greening are also expected to be handed run outs in the Faroe Islands.
When asked whether it will be tough to get themselves up for the game, Jol said: "The players should motivate themselves. "I will try everything I can, but when you are 3-0 up it is difficult. But they are professionals and they have to do a professional job."


Keeper dilemma for Swansea and Fulham
Swansea City - Swans want David Stockdale to be No.1 at the Liberty

Newly-promoted Swansea have confirmed they have enquired about the availability of Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale, and are in talks with the London club about a possible move for the 25-year-old.

Following Dorus de Vries' departure to join Wolverhampton Wanderers last month, Swans have been on the look-out for a new shot-stopper for their debut season in the Barclays Premier League, and Stockdale fits the bill.

The former York keeper, who has had loan spells with Leicester and Plymouth in the past, may consider another temporary move, as he will again start the season as number two to Mark Schwarzer.

But if manager Martin Jol did agree to Stockdale going to the Liberty on loan it would leave him with the dilemma of finding another understudy to Schwarzer.

A Swansea spokesman said: "We have made an enquiry for David Stockdale and are in discussions with Fulham, but he is only one of a number of goalkeeping options we are looking at."


Weekly Accumulator – Fulham to complete Europa League job
We have ten selections in the Europa League that pay a combined 68/1

Although many of the teams taking part in the opening qualifying round of the Europa League are minnows of the European football world, the fact that the first legs of these ties have already taken place has helped us create our next accumulator.

In total we have made ten predictions for the second legs, with Europa League odds of 68/1 available on all selections being correct.

Fulham to beat Runavik @ 1/12
Rad Belgrade to beat Tre Penne @ 1/10
Rabotnicki to beat Trans Narva @ 1/8
Karabakh to beat Banga @ 1/7
Vllaznia to beat Birkirkara @ 4/11

Tight calls
Aalesund to beat Neath @ 1/3
Olimpija Ljubljana to beat Siroki Brijeg @ 4/7
FC Minsk to beat AZAL Baku @ 4/7
Glentoran to beat Renova @ 11/8
Nomme Kalju to beat FC Honka @ 16/5

Fulham lead the list and should have no trouble winning in the Faroe Islands, while Rad Belgrade and Rabotnicki are others who should win comfortably for the second leg in succession.

However, there are some big prices available in the tight calls section, with Olimpija Ljubljana, FC Minsk and Noome Kalju all avoiding defeat away and should now be able to capitalise with home advantage.

But the best value appears to come in the clash between Northern Ireland's Glentoran and Renova from Macedonia.

Renova triumphed in a close opening leg 2-1, which included a winning goal three minutes from time.

Yet the Northern Irish side may still be fairly happy with this result, having finished the game with nine men, with one of these red cards being handed out inside the opening 11 minutes.

Glentoran also conceded a separate penalty.

If Glentoran can keep 11 men on the field back on their own patch they certainly have a good chance of victory, particularly as the visitors may set up negatively in a bid to hold on to their first-leg advantage.–-fulham-to-complete-europa-league-job_068833.html


Murphy on the Europa League

Tonight, barring an absolute disaster, Fulham should secure a place in the Europa League Qualification 2nd round!

Leading 3-0 from the first leg, at Craven Cottage, our passage should be deemed to be quite comfortable against the part-timers from the Faroe Islands.

For many the mere mention of the words Europa League brings back such wonderful memories from Roy Hodgson`s last season in charge and the journey that culminated in an appearance in the final, in Hamburg.

Danny Murphy, on the eve of the fixture, has spoken about what lies ahead, both for tonight and the remainder of the competition and has warned about the dangers it could bring, commenting,

"The fantastic run we went on two seasons ago actually turned it into one of the most memorable seasons in the clubs history. But we`ve got to be careful not to get too focused on the Europa."

"The Premier League is your bread and butter. Theoretically we should be firing on all cylinders but the key is not to be firing too quickly and then burn out a bit."

"It is a difficult one at 3-0. If it was five, then it would probably be a bit easier. I would expect one or two of the younger lads to play maybe."

"Of course you need a spine but the difference when you play away is that it can be a bit of a dodgy pitch, a bit of a different atmosphere."

"It can only take one mistake and you`re a goal down after 10 minutes and all of a sudden some of the younger lads might be like 'what is going on?` so you have to be a bit careful."

"But whatever team plays, let`s be honest, we should be comfortable with a 3-0 lead. They`re not particularly good and, as the game went on, we should have wrapped it up."

It may only be 3-0 but something tells me we`ll comfortably get through tonight whatever team Martin Jol decrees is up for the task!

As for burn-out, perhaps our squad could do with enlarging slightly to reduce that risk!

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Eating Sensibly?

We`re in the back of the blue yonder tonight for the return leg of our Europa League first round qualifier tonight and nothing is being left to chance.

Preparations have been made to ensure that none of our squad gets the Faroe Islands version of 'Delhi-belly` whilst in the blue yonder with Martin Jol ensuring that nobody is tempted to try the local delicacies of puffin or whale meat, or as Jol puts it,

"We`ve bought our own people here with us so we`ll be eating what we always eat."

"I`ve never been to anywhere this remote for a football match before."

"But that`s what can happen when you play in these qualifying matches at the beginning of July."

Hopefully the result will make up for the long trip!

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Salcido`s Mexican Return!

One player expected to be leaving Craven Cottage shortly is the Mexican defender, Carlos Salcido.

Reported as being homesick, rumours abound that Fulham are looking at signing the ex-Liverpool player - John Arne Riise as his replacement.

News has filtered through today that Salcido could be about to get his wish with Chivas Guadalajara showing an interest.

We`ll report further when anything concrete is confirmed.

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Defender Loan

Signed last summer, by Mark Hughes, our Algerian World Cup star, Rafik Halliche, didn`t have the best of first seasons at Craven Cottage.

Having picked up a long term thigh injury, we`ve ye tot see if the twenty-four year old can establish himself in our squad.

Rumours in the tabloid press, this morning, infer that Halliche is to be shipped out on a season long loan deal with Queens Park Rangers and Swansea perceived as the preferred destination.

On a personal level, I have to doubt whether this is just the beginning of the parting of the ways, confirmation remains to be seen!

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Dempsey Bid Looming?

Ever since he impressed in the Confederations Cup, two years ago, I`ve feared that Clint Dempsey might be a player we`d struggle to hold on to.

The American international`s versatility, allied with his ability to produce top-notch performance after top-notch performance, marks him up as a valuable commodity.

So far, Fulham have managed to hold on to the player but now rumours are emerging that AS Roam see Clint as the ideal replacement for the departing Mirko Vuicnic.

Although Fulham will be reticent to lose Clint, I can`t help thinking that a combination of an ambition to test himself in Serie A along with a tempting transfer fee might prove to powerful a combination.

Let`s hope I`m wrong!

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