Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)  (Read 4783 times)

White Noise

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Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« on: March 01, 2010, 10:27:16 PM »

Why Capello MUST look to Zamora for his World Cup squad

Date: 1st March 2010 at 4:37 pm

Emile Heskey is probably the most debated player in England. Why? Because he is one of the first players on Fabio Capello’s team-sheet and a lot of people struggle to see why. Well, I am one of those people. Heskey is a good player but is he a player who should be starting for a team with very real hopes of lifting the World Cup this summer? I think not.

The general belief, and evidence will back it up, is that Capello likes to have a big-man up front in order to get the best out of Wayne Rooney. Rooney’s record of 9 goals in 9 qualifying games would suggest that this might be a wise idea but, with other potential players looking better than Heskey, should Capello persist with the Villa striker or is it time he gave a chance to the challengers?

There are 3 candidates that stand out. Peter Crouch, Carlton Cole and Bobby Zamora. Crouch has had a number of chances but is not as strong as Heskey and, despite his size, prefers the ball played to his feet than towards his head. He is a player who could provide something different but I don’t think he is quite what Capello is looking for in a partner for Rooney. Carlton Cole is probably the player who has the most potential out of the three but has struggled with injury this season and that may have an effect on his chances. Then we have Zamora, a player who, this time last year, would not have even been considered as a potential World Cup player.

Having named his England squad to face Eygpt this week, I was very surprised, and slightly annoyed, that Capello had not selected Zamora. After choosing an in form Darren Bent for the friendly against Brazil, you would have expected him to give the Fulham striker a chance. Zamora has been in red-hot form and just this week helped Fulham to set up a tie with Italian giants Juventus in the Europa League. Even the stats would suggest that Zamora should be considered. In 21 league appearances this season Heskey has 3 goals and 1 assist. Very worrying stats for a player who is more than likely to wear the number 9 shirt at the World Cup. On the other hand, Zamora has 8 goals and 4 assists in 23 games and 15 goals in all competitions. Surely a no brainer?

Not only is Zamora playing better, but he is also a very similar player to Heskey. At 6ft1 he is just 3cm smaller than Heskey and although he weighs nearly 2 stone less, he makes up for it with pace and an ability to turn quickly as well as being one of the toughest strikers in the League for defenders to play against. If Capello wants a player who can hold the ball up, bring team-mates into the game and even pop up with a few goals, then Zamora is his man.

If his form this season continues until the end and Heskey labours along as he is doing so at the moment, Capello would be a very brave man to leave him out. With Juventus in the next round of the Europa League, Zamora will know that a good performance against the Italian’s former club will surely put him in the frame for selection.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 10:29:16 PM »

Teymourian intends to stay in Europe

Iran’s Fulham midfielder Andranik Teymourian wants to continue his career in Europe after his current contract with the Premier League team expires.
Teymourian has not been in the starting lineup for a long time and intends to leave Fulham in the summer.

“I wanted to join another team in the winter break but I didn’t receive a good offer. I am determined to stay in Europe and I don’t want to return to Iran,” Teymourian was quoted as saying by

“Gaffer Roy Hodgson prefers to use the other players in Fulham and I cannot stay at the Craven Cottage. I am sure I am going to have bright days in Europe football,” the 27-year-old added.

Iran will play Thailand on March 3 in the 2011 Asian Cup qualifier in Tehran.

“We have already qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup and will play Thailand without any pressure. I believe that Iran is even able to claim the title of the 2011 Asian Cup championship,” Teymourian said.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 10:30:47 PM »

No Zamora for England

By: timmyg | March 1st, 2010
I know I’m a day late on this but Bobby Zamora’s exclusion from the England roster confuses me. Just consider the following about England’s upcoming game against Egypt on Wednesday:

a) It’s a scrimmage (lets call it what it is).
b) It’s a midweek scrimmage, not during a FIFA break.
c) It’s a midweek scrimmage against a team that isn’t in the World Cup (i.e. Egypt has nothing really to play for until ACN qualification in September).
d) It’s at Wembley, about 10 miles away from Fulham.

So yeah, don’t really see what Fabio Capello had to lose here. But whatever, National Teams are often about politics.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 10:34:25 PM »

People say for the sake of trying to win the World Cup, Terry and Bridge should put all that aside. There’s still time for Bridge to change his mind, but I doubt he will.

Bridge’s decision and Ashley Cole’s injury means Fabio Capello will be testing out some new options at left-back in tomorrow’s friendly against Egypt.

It’s a great chance for ­Everton’s Leighton Baines and Stephen ­Warnock, of Aston Villa, to stake a claim.

Warnock may feel drained after the Carling Cup final so Baines should start and there’s no better time for him than right now. He’s playing well and should be full of confidence.

I feel Paul Konchesky can count himself unlucky. He’s enjoying another good season with Fulham. He gets forward well, is an excellent crosser, he’s quicker than Warnock and a better passer than Baines. Football is all about timing and taking your chances, but one must be presented first.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 10:42:51 PM »

Fulham - A Personal Bobby Plea

By now the opportunity has been and gone, but Capello's squad selection for the up and coming Egypt friendly did spell out some hope for the English contingent within the Fulham side.

Of course, there were huge pleas for Bobby Zamora to take up a place in Fabio's 24-strong selection.

On top of that, there were albeit small cries for Nicky Shorey to be recognised and capped in an England shirt once more.

Whilst the latter was a slight long shot, I must say, as an England fan as well as a Fulham supporter, BZ should have a got a chance.

Okay, so maybe the injury he picked up in midweek will have affected the front-man's likelihood of achieving a spot on this occasion, but, he was fit enough to play on Saturday, making him fit enough to play on the England boss' mind.

No opportunity was offered to the ex-West Ham striker, however, and, although slightly belated, I hereby consolidate my biased yet realistic list of reasons for Fabio Capello to at least consider the man!

1 He's on great form. The 29 year-old can't seem to stop scoring and his confidence is at an all time high. Fulham have truly given him a new lease of life.

2 You're taking Heskey mate; Why not take a goalscorer? It's fair to say Heskey and Zamora are similar strikers. They both hold up the play and like to bring others into it. On top of that they're both physical and strong in the air. Therefore, why not take the lad who can bag in a few as well as ticking all the above boxes?

3 It's a friendly! This is your opportunity, Fabio, to experiment and follow the trial and error ruling. Don't just settle with the old.

4 You wouldn't actually need to 'adapt' your style. As previously stated, Bobby is, all round, a similar player to Heskey, so drafting him into the team would do no harm at all tactically.

5 For the benefit of the lad himself of course! While his confidence is clearly sky high, it can still be made better. A chance for him to bond with international team mates and learn the ways and means of the 'big time' would do him the world of good.

Thoughts please. Am I just being biased or is their truth and thought behind my outrage?

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 10:50:23 PM »

10 things I think about Fulham Football Club this week

March 1st

The past week for Fulham Football Club was historic . Fulham were able to tie Shakhtar Donetsk 1 - 1 in the Ukraine last Thursday. This result moved them on in the Europa League which they will next face Juventus. Fulham also picked up a valuable point in 0 - 0 draw yesterday at Sunderland. I guess these results could give me some thoughts this week.

1. I think the Shakhtar Donetsk result on Thursday is remarkable. Watching the first game at Craven Cottage I knew that Shakhtar was incredibly talented team. I didn't feel very confident going into Thursday's match. Roy Hogdson had Fulham very prepared for the match and it showed. The defense of Fulham was only broken once. For the most part the defense was tremendous. Fulham also took advantage of an opening when it showed itself. All it took was a free kick by Damien Duff and a header by Brede Hangeland to change the game. All Fulham fans should be proud of that game.

2.Was there another "lost in transaltion moment" with the Shakhtar manager after the Match on Thursday? After my entry a week ago I was curious how Mircea Lucescu would react in his press conference after the match. The transcript from his press conference has been removed from there official site It has been replaced by a portion of this transcript which you can happily read from the press office of Shakhtar Donetsk. How do I know this? I went to the site shortly after the match and read the transcript. I went back to the site yesterday and it is gone with this replacement. The entry has the manager being very complimentary to Fulham. All I have to say is the original transcript had other comments regarding the match. I could also tell that the translation to English was difficult to follow. What I have learned from this experience that translating into English is not easy. What I have also learned though that it can also be an excuse for comments said. In the case of the Shakhtar Manager I believe there is a little of both from his last press conference on Thursday regarding the match against the Cottagers. Ask yourself why is the original transcript from the press conference gone from

3. I think Stephen Kelly played a very good match against Shakhtar Donetsk.
I had mentioned in a prior entry that I thought Kelly did well in the last Europa League match. I had been critical of him so I want to give him the credit he deserves. I also think you can't blame him for the goal in the game. That was just a great move from Santos of Shakhtar. The whole defense in general was great, but I did notice Kelly.

4. I think getting any points on the road is important. I am a little disappointed by the draw at Sunderland yesterday. At some point you have to win games on the road. The really good teams all win on the road. To get to that level Fulham need to win away from Craven Cottage. However, it is important to get any points you can. All the points add up at the end of the year.

5. I think my expectations are too high for Fulham. I should have been more happy with the point. It is a long season and Fulham are going to have times when they are struggling. I guess I just see the month ahead with the difficult opponents and I am concerned. I want them to be in the Europa League next year. I think I might be shooting too high for this season.

6. I think the team has to be exhausted after the month of February. With all of the matches they played last month you would think they would struggle at Sunderland. They might have been tired but they still kept there shape and played well. What is amazing is that Hogdson used most of the same lineup at Sunderland. The only difference in the starting lineup was Nicky Shorey playing for Stephen Kelly. This is another reason why a point in Sunderland is well deserved.

7. I think Zoltan Gera probably has some sore muscles after yesterday's match. He was knocked around I believe 3 separate times during the match. What was great about his effort is he continued to play. I have to give him big credit. I am starting to like him right behind Bobby Zamora.

8. I think March could be an extremely tough month for Fulham. The month begins on Saturday March 6th against Tottenham at Craven Cottage in the F A Cup. Then, on Thursday March 11th Fulham play at Juventus in the Europa League. Three days later they play at Old Trafford On Sunday March 14th against Manchester United. Four days after that game they play Juventus again on Thursday March 18th at Craven Cottage. Three days later on Sunday March 21st they play Manchester City at Craven Cottage. The month ends on Saturday March 27 away to Hull. Is there any game in here that you pencil down as a victory? Maybe the Hull game but it is away. This month could be tough on the emotions.

9. I think the F A Cup match against Tottenham is a "statement game". This goes back to wanting Fulham to be thought of as a " very good club" each year. They need to win these types of games. Perception is a difficult thing to change. I would like Fulham not be thought of as that "nice small club". If Fulham can go to Wembley they could continue to gain some respect.

10. I think the podcast I heard regarding Fulham was very interesting. Thank you to Dan from for making me aware of this podcast. Timmyg at did a podcast with Don Hymel and Dan from This podcast kept me interested the full time which I think was slightly more than 30 minutes. To me they could have gone on for an hour. They discussed the Shakhtar match, the F A Cup and the complete month of February for Fulham. This is not "homer" radio. They critiqued the performances of the team and its players. I am not sure how often Timmyg does the podcast, but for me the three of them should do it more often. If you are a fan of Fulham you really should check out the podcast.

These are my 10 things I think about Fulham Football Club this week as of March 1st. Let's see what I come up with next week.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 8:58 AM

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010, 06:13:42 AM »

Shakhtar: did we get lucky?

Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 10:43 pm

That win felt extraordinary, but in the cold light of day it does feel as if we sneaked it a bit.   Take nothing away from anybody – we deserved to win because we scored more goals over two games – but I am still interested in the extent to which we might have fluked it.

There’s no good answer to this, but by applying what we might optimistically term “the scientific method” we can get some idea.

So I went through three years’ of results in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany looking for games where the home team had 6 or 7 shots and the away team had 13 or 14 shots, to see how often teams at home prevail in these types of matches.  Then I looked for away games where the home team had 19 or 20 shots and the away team 4 or 5.  This gives me ‘like-for-like’ equivalents to our two games with Shakhtar.

In short, I found the following:

Home equiv. 48 17 12 19
Away equiv. 39 24 9 5


Well, it means that in my 4,782 games I found 48 where the home team was outshot 6/7 to 13/14, and in those the home team won 17 times, about 35% of the time.   This is my proxy for our first leg.

And I found 39 games where the home team outshot the away team 19/20 to 4/5, and in those games the away team managed a draw 23% of the time.   This is the away leg proxy.

Which tells me that what we did wasn’t really that outlandish.    Teams don’t go away and absorb that sort of pressure all the time, but it’s not that rare either.

The average scores for my 48 home and 39 away proxy games?   1-1 for the home game and 2-0/1 (0.5) for the away game.   So, given how the shooting went, we should possibly have lost 3-1/2 on aggregate.

None of which matters a jot, of course, because we scored more than they did, but I was interested to learn whether we really had fluked it.  And I don’t think we did.

If the expected result was a 1 or 2 to 3 defeat and the actual result was a 3 to 2 win, we essentially stopped Shakhtar scoring one goal that they might have expected with all their shots (because they were too far out, because we were too organised), and we scored ~1 more than we might have expected (because their ‘keeper made a mistake, because Zamora hit a screamer, because they couldn’t defend our free-kick).    It’s really not that big a ’swing’ at all:  we deserved it.

Below the line are all the games in question, lest you are interested in the scorelines, etc:

Home team gets a minor battering:

FC Koln        Leverkusen    0    1    A
Sampdoria    Inter        1    0    H
Atalanta    Milan        1    1    D
Le Mans        Marseille    1    2    A
Auxerre        Bordeaux    1    0    H
Stoke        Arsenal        2    1    H
Lorient        Lyon        0    0    D
Valenciennes    St Etienne    2    0    H
Lecce        Juventus    1    2    A
Cagliari    Siena        1    0    H
Santander    Sevilla        1    1    D
Recreativo    Osasuna        1    0    H
Valladolid    Barcelona    0    1    A
La Coruna    Almeria        0    3    A
Levante        Ath Madrid    0    1    A
Ath Madrid    Getafe        1    0    H
Malaga        Ath Bilbao    1    1    D
Catania        Milan        0    2    A
Marseille    Montpellier    4    2    H
Boulogne    Paris SG    2    5    A
Dortmund    Wolfsburg    0    0    D
Dortmund    Werder Bremen    3    0    H
Cottbus        Leverkusen    2    3    A
Birmingham    West Ham    0    1    A
Bolton        Man United    1    0    H
Grenoble    Lille        0    0    D
Bordeaux    Monaco        2    1    H
Bologna        Atalanta    0    1    A
Bologna        Juventus    1    2    A
Napoli        Parma        1    0    H
FC Koln        Hannover    0    1    A
Ein Frankfurt    Werder Bremen    1    0    H
Freiburg    Schalke 04    0    0    D
Birmingham    Man United    1    1    D
Sunderland    Liverpool    0    1    A
Toulouse    Marseille    0    0    D
Cagliari    Udinese        2    0    H
Bologna        Siena        1    4    A
Recreativo    Valencia    1    1    D
Ath Madrid    Santander    4    1    H
Xerez        Barcelona    0    2    A
Udinese        Fiorentina    0    1    A
Birmingham    Man City    0    0    D
Man City    Liverpool    2    3    A
Nice        Marseille    0    2    A
Rennes        St Etienne    1    0    H
Ath Bilbao    Betis        1    0    H
Getafe        Ath Madrid    1    1    D

Average score: 1-1

Home team gives out a big ol’ battering

HomeTeam    AwayTeam    FTHG    FTAG    FTR
FC Koln        Nurnberg    3    0    H
Villarreal    Santander    2    0    H
Leverkusen    Hannover    4    0    H
Karlsruhe    Cottbus        0    0    D
Arsenal        Newcastle    3    0    H
Portsmouth    Everton        0    0    D
Marseille    Monaco        0    0    D
Atalanta    Sampdoria    4    2    H
Juventus    Palermo        5    0    H
Barcelona    Espanol        1    2    A
Getafe        Ath Bilbao    1    1    D
Sevilla        Betis        3    0    H
M’gladbach    Bochum        1    2    A
Valencia    Villarreal    4    1    H
Barcelona    Malaga        2    1    H
Lille        Boulogne    3    1    H
Leverkusen    Cottbus        1    1    D
Hoffenheim    Schalke 04    1    1    D
Hannover    Cottbus        4    0    H
Portsmouth    Bolton        1    0    H
Man United    Portsmouth    2    0    H
Liverpool    Fulham        2    0    H
St Etienne    Nice        0    0    D
Sevilla        Espanol        2    0    H
Santander    Numancia    5    0    H
Getafe        Villarreal    1    2    A
Osasuna        Ath Bilbao    2    0    H
M’gladbach    Hannover    3    2    H
Cottbus        FC Koln        0    2    A
Liverpool    Man United    0    1    A
Marseille    Nantes        2    0    H
Empoli        Reggina        1    1    D
Real Madrid    Osasuna        3    1    H
Chelsea        West Ham    1    1    D
Arsenal        Reading        2    0    H
Ath Madrid    Almeria        3    0    H
Barcelona    Recreativo    3    0    H
Almeria        Villarreal    1    0    H

Average score:  2-0/1 (0.5)

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 06:16:06 AM »,17033,8742_5991490,00.html


The success story of the season? The Manager of the Year Award for Roy Hodgson? Exploits of Fulham's kind don't make for great headlines or tabloid recognition but what they have achieved this season in maintaining their mid-table competitiveness at the same time as securing a date with Juventus in the Europa Cup with a medium-sized squad is outstanding. To put their draw at Sunderland, made just three days after their encounter against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine, into some context, it was their 44th game of the campaign whereas the home side have played just 32.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 06:20:15 AM »

Trapattoni is eager for his players to put the frustration of losing to France behind them.

He said: "I look forward to working with my squad again after the disappointment of Paris. The priority now is to build on the progress made during the last campaign and prepare ourselves over the coming months mentally and tactically for an important Euro campaign."

And Marc is hopeful for the coming campaign:

"Words could not describe my feeling when I heard about the call-up."

"I think we can do really well in the group," he added. "We were very unlucky not to get to the World Cup, so we have got a great chance.

Squad: Shay Given (Manchester City), Keiren Westwood (Coventry), Brian Murphy (Ipswich); Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Kevin Kilbane (Hull), Kevin Foley (Wolves), Sean St Ledger (Preston), Paul McShane (Hull), Marc Wilson (Portsmouth), Greg Cunningham (Manchester City); Aiden McGeady (Celtic), Damien Duff (Fulham), Darron Gibson (Manchester United), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Keith Andrews (Blackburn), Stephen Hunt (Hull), Liam Lawrence (Stoke), James McCarthy (Wigan); Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Anthony Stokes (Hibernian), Shane Long (Reading), Leon Best (Newcastle).

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 06:24:31 AM »

Hodgson said: "[Paul] Konchesky is close to a return, [Clint] Dempsey might not be that far away from a return, Kagisho Dikgacoi might not be that far away from a return, so going into the latter part of the season, we might actually be having the sort of squad we had at the start of January before that disastrous month robbed us of all those players."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 10:32:26 AM »

Best battlers of the season are Fulham, who have already played 44 games and stepped off a plane from Russia, having knocked out holders Shakhtar Donesk from the Europa League, to slog out a 0-0 draw with Sunderland. It might not have been pretty, but then that's what we admire about British football. Isn't it?

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 10:37:02 AM »

One-month lay-off for Amauri

Author:  Ben Moss

Posted on:02 March 2010 - 08:10 AM

Juventus have been hit with the news that Brazilian striker Amauri will miss up to a month of football with a thigh injury.

The development comes at a crucial point in Juventus' season, as The Old Lady lie in sixth place, ten points behind Roma in third but just two points off the fourth and final Champions League place, currently occupied by Palermo.

A statement noted that: "The prognosis is of 25 days." That would put Amauri out of the next five matches, including both legs of the Europa League clash with Fulham.

Only David Trezeguet has scored more goals than the Brazilian's five this season, with veteran forward Alessandro Del Piero helping out with four.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 12:31:45 PM »
Reserves Face Stoke

Tuesday 2nd March 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham’s Reserve Team play their first competitive league match of 2010 on Tuesday night when they challenge Stoke City at Motspur Park in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South.

In their final game of 2009, Billy McKinlay’s side earned a one-nil win over North London rivals Arsenal. Entry is free for supporters wishing to attend Tuesday night’s game at the Training Ground. The match will kick-off at 7pm.

A match report will be published on immediately following the final whistle.

Read more:

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2010, 12:32:48 PM »
International Whites

Tuesday 2nd March 2010

Fulham FC News

Several members of Roy Hodgson’s First Team squad are on international duty this week ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup Quarter Final against Spurs at the Cottage.
The action kicks-off on Tuesday night with Damien Duff and Stephen Kelly likely to feature in the Republic of Ireland’s glamour tie against Brazil. The friendly match is being played at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and kicks-off at 20.05pm.

On Wednesday Fulham’s Norwegian contingent, in the form of Brede Hangeland and Bjorn Helge Riise , will take on Slovakia in a friendly match being played in Zilina.

Simon Davies will be playing closer to home, as Wales take on Sweden in Swansea whilst fellow Fulham midfielder Andranik heads further afield to Tehran as Iran take on Thailand in a Continental Qualifier.

At U21 level Chris Smalling and Stefano Okaka have been called up for England and Italy’s respective European Qualifiers. Stuart Pearce’s team take on Greece in Doncaster whilst Italy will play Hungary in Rieti.

Academy Graduates Wesley Foderingham and Matthew Briggs have also been called-up to England’s U19 squad for a friendly against Holland in Waalwijk.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2010, 12:34:47 PM »
Fulham v Spurs

FA Cup Quarter-Final

Saturday 6 March

Kick-Off 17:20


Fulham are only 90 minutes away from a Wembley semi-final and we expect another electric atmosphere at Craven Cottage. There have been so many great memories so far this season and we hope to make this another game to remember. Buy your tickets today and be there to support Roy and the boys on Saturday.

The match is close to a sell out and we need as many fans in the Cottage as possible to see Fulham through to a Wembley semi-final.


On-sale dates     

Tickets are now on sale to Season Ticket Holders and Members (4 tickets)

Season Ticket Holders who are on the Home Cup Tie Scheme will automatically have their ticket loaded onto their Season Ticket Access Card. If your are on the Cup Scheme and your card details have recently changed, please inform the Ticket Office on 0870 442 1234 opt 3 (Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm).

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Adults  £25
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Seatwave - the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange
Thomas Cook - match breaks for all Fulham FC home games

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2010, 12:37:45 PM »
Luka Modric can fire Spurs into Champions League, insists Niko Kranjcar, as Tom Huddlestone hands Harry Redknapp fitness boost

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 12:20 PM on 02nd March 2010

Tottenham midfielder Niko Kranjcar has insisted Spurs can qualify for the Champions League, and thinks fellow Croatia midfielder Luka Modric is the key.

Spurs have been hit by a recent spate of injuries, including Aaron Lennon, Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley and Ledley King. But the return of Modric - and Tom Huddlestone - has given Harry Redknapp a timely boost as the season enters its business end.

And Kranjcar says there is enough belief in the squad to carry them over the Premier League finishing line in fourth place, especially with playmaker Modric back on form after breaking his leg last year.

Kranjcar said: 'Every injured player who is out for three or four months obviously needs time to get settled in. He's going to have ups and downs in the remaining games, but I think he's coming back to full fitness.

'I think at the beginning of the season we'd all be happy to be in the position we are at this point.

'We've got nothing to fear, we have a lot of self-belief. We believe in the quality of the team and we believe we can achieve good things.'
Huddlestone meanwhile has recovered quickly after being forced off with a shin injury against Everton on Sunday and could return for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Fulham.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2010, 12:44:18 PM »
Let go and laid low

Two released players tell how they are rebuilding their lives...

Last updated: 2nd March 2010   

In Part Two of Sky Sports News' special series on Life After Football, we look at what is on offer for youngsters when they are released by clubs at the age of 18.,20144,12975_5998659,00.html

"It's your world and all of a sudden it's gone" - so said one young footballer recalling the moment his dreams were shattered as he was told he hadn't made it.

Years of hard work and dedication feel like a waste as you are faced with the so-called 'real world', out of the football bubble and in need of employment.

We talk to two former Premier League apprentices who have had to deal with being 'let go'.

James Hoad spent ten years at Watford before he was released without any qualifications.

He's the first to admit his own ignorance outside of the game, left him demoralised and in need of help.

Lewis Smith took more notice as he at least left Fulham with an NVQ - but when he got the call he was no longer required, his dream of scoring in the Premier League would remain just that.

So gone but certainly forgotten - the refreshing triumph from this adversity sees both Hoad and Smith rebuild their lives in very different ways.

With help from the Premier League, Smith is now training to be a fitness instructor. And while he is still hoping to pursue football as a main career, he understands the need to build a second career.

While Hoad took advantage of a UK sport scheme to transfer his skills to another sport. Through the Pitch2Podium programme Hoad is now gunning for Olympic glory in Bob Skeleton.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2010, 02:35:18 PM »
Ask AJ

Tuesday 2nd March 2010

Fulham FC News

Andrew Johnson is currently working his way back to fitness in preparation for the 2010/11 season following recent knee surgery.

The striker is back at Fulham's Motspur Park Training Ground and we're giving you an exclusive chance to question AJ on anything you like, so submit your questions on Cottage Corner today and we'll find out the anwsers to your best questions later this week.

Ask your questions now!|

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2010, 02:37:07 PM »

Huddlestone to miss Fulham quarter final

by Dan on March 2, 2010

Tom Huddlestone will miss Tottenham’s FA Cup quarter final at Fulham on Saturday after being ruled out for at least a week with damaged ankle ligaments.

The midfielder, who has been a regular feature in Tottenham’s league match, will see a specialist tomorrow to discuss his rehabilitation options having picked up the injury in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Everton on Sunday. Huddlestone’s absence leaves Harry Redknapp with a bit of a conundrum to solve in midfield for the trip to Craven Cottage.

Jermaine Jenas is shortly to have an operation on his injured groin and will out for a while. With Wilson Palacios one booking away from a suspension, it remains to be seen whether Redknapp will risk playing the Honduran in central midfield. Who lines up alongside him is also unclear. Vedran Corluka, Younes Kaboul, Luka Modric or Niko Krancjar are all possible options, whilst Eidur Gudjohnsen could be asked to play deeper than normal.

Spurs are definitely without Aaron Lennon. The England winger will be out for six weeks after tearing fibres in his groin in training last week.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.03.10)
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2010, 02:38:49 PM »

Chris Baird wants to cement right-back berth

Mar 2 2010 By Jacob Murtagh

UTILITY man Chris Baird has warned John Pantsil he has a battle on his hands for the right-back berth.

The Fulham defender has been sidelined since the turn of the year with a knee injury, but is expected to return in the next month.

But Baird has filled the void, helping the Whites to an eight-game unbeaten streak.

And he has told his team-mate he won't give up the shirt without a fight.

"The shirt's mine to lose," he said. "It will be interesting to see what happens when John's back.

"The more good things that go right for me and the team, then it's up to the manager if he wants to change it.

"I feel like I've taken my chance, in midfield as well as right-back. The manager needed cover here and knows I can play anywhere."

Baird had a nightmare spell in the same position under former boss Lawrie Sanchez when he moved to Craven Cottage two-and-a-half years ago.

He looked to be surplus to requirements under Roy Hodgson, but the Northern Irishman has turned around his fortunes.

He added: I'm playing well, and am confident, which I wasn't under Sanchez.

"That put me down a bit, and that's why I wasn't playing as well. I'm just delighted to be getting the opportunity, and taking it."