Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...  (Read 8254 times)

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« on: August 12, 2011, 06:32:23 AM »
 
Premier League Statement

Following on-going discussions with the Metropolitan Police, statutory authorities and clubs in London, The Premier League can confirm that, aside from the postponed Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match, all League games in the capital will go ahead as scheduled this weekend.

The Premier League has worked closely with the authorities and London-based clubs throughout the recent civil unrest to ensure matches are staged in accordance with supporter safety.

While all efforts were made to try and facilitate the Tottenham Hotspur v Everton match by the Metropolitan Police and the local authority, the situation on the Tottenham High Road proved too difficult to overcome.

The Premier League would like to thank the Metropolitan Police and all the other relevant police forces for their efforts and on-going communication during this difficult time.

Acting on current information from the authorities there is no reason to believe that matches outside of London will be affected at this time.

Ticket availability is now limited for Martin Jol's first Barclays Premier League match in charge at Craven Cottage. A sell out is expected so, avoid missing out on the Whites opening match of the Barclays Premier League season against Aston Villa by securing your tickets today.



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2011/August/PremierLeagueStatementMatch.aspx?#ixzz1Un27SvKU

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 06:34:05 AM »
 
First Preview of 2011/12! Fulham vs Villa: Pre-Match Predictions

So that time of year is nearly upon us again! Or is it? Uncertainty over the opening weekend of Premier League fixtures due to the nonsensical rioting which started in London and has swept the country has thus far overshadowed the upcoming 2011/12 campaign, but the Villa game at Fulham, as it stands, looks to be going ahead!

Tottenham’s clash with Everton has already bean postponed due to the riots in the capital so the future of Villa’s opener is far from certain, though early indications look good and McLeish has claimed that the game will go-ahead assuming there are no major incidents between now and Saturday.

The game will of course be McLeish’s first competitive match in charge since joining from the Blues and early successes will prove vital to winning over the fans, many of whom were so strongly opposed to his appointment.

Fulham have a new manager of their own in Martin Jol and have impressed to a certain degree, sailing through their Europa League qualification thus far. The Londoners have fit again strike duo Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson back and firing, which will be a worry for a dismal Villa defence last term, though new signing Shay Given will be determined to kick-off his Villa career with a clean sheet.

Alex McLeish has claimed that he has a fully fit squad to choose from, barring Carlos Cuellar who remains sidelined with a knee injury, after James Collins returned from a back injury. Villa’s other new recruit, Charles N’Zogbia is all but certain to feature, though McLeish’s attacking set-up is less certain.

In pre-season the Scot toyed with the likes of Emile Heskey and Gabby Agbonlahor out wide, with the former the more likely to start the opener on the opposite flank to N’Zogbia. The new manager seems settled enough on a back four of Young, Dunne, Collins and Warnock, despite their downfalls last season, while captain Petrov and Jean Makoun are likely to act as a shield.

Stephen Ireland’s return to the club has been supported and jeered in fairly equal measure, with the midfielder seemingly lacking a bit of match fitness and likely to make the bench only on Saturday. If that proves to be the case than the young duo of Fabian Delph and Barry Bannan are likely to fight for a berth in a more attacking midfield role behind lone striker Bent in a 4-2-3-1 system.

Bannan has impressed me in pre-season and should get the nod in my opinion but I get the feeling that McLeish has liked what he’s seen in Delph so I’m tipping the former Leeds man to start. Young Players of the Season from last term Marc Albrighton and Ciaran Clark may ell have to settle for a place in the squad for this one after Collins’ return and McLeish’s hint towards a start for Heskey.
Fulham are likely to hand a debut to former Liverpool man John Arne Riise at left-back, with former Villan Steve Sidwell set to start in midfield.

Villa will be hoping to get a lead and hold onto it having gone up in both games last season only to concede equalisers. This fixture last term saw an injury time leveller from Brede Hangeland cancel out a memorable goal from Albrighton following a perfectly judged long ball from Bannan.

So are we all excited? I know I am, and here’s my first pre-match prediction of the new season (and you can get follow the football betting on this match too):

Possible Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Given; Young, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Makoun, Petrov; N’Zogbia, Delph, Heskey; Bent.
Key Man: Jean Makoun
Goalscorer(s): Bent

Final Score: 1-1



http://astonvillablog.com/first-preview-of-201112-fulham-vs-villa-pre-match-predictions/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2011, 06:35:22 AM »
 
Aston Villa v. Fulham Game is Still On, Darren Bent and James Collins Likely to Play

Mat Kendrick has gotten word from Alex McLeish that the Aston Villa at Fulham match is still scheduled to go this weekend. Despite the continued riots across England, apparently Premier League officials have decided that the conditions will be safe enough to allow soccer to be played. While part of me is happy to hear this, I still wonder if this is a case of mislaid priorities. But hey, there's not much we can do, so let's all hope to enjoy an opening weekend win!

And the chances of seeing that win are improving, with news from the team that Darren Bent and James Collins will be fit enough to play this weekend. I'm not sure if they will start, but it's good to know that should the need arise, these two will be there. Aston Villa is a significantly worse team without Collins and Bent. Apparently, McLeish will be working with a full roster as Fabian Delph appears to be back to being healthy, and none of the squad were injured while playing international friendlies yesterday.Things are lining up for a win that would be good in its own right, but might also be sweeter for giving the people of Birmingham something to be cheery about.



http://www.7500toholte.com/2011/8/11/2357160/aston-villa-v-fulham-game-is-still-on-darren-bent-and-james-collins?


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2011, 06:36:26 AM »
 
Fulham opener goes ahead
by DAN on AUGUST 11, 2011

The Premier League have confirmed that the remaining nine games will go ahead on the opening weekend of the season.

Tottenham’s game with Everton has been postponed due to the damage caused by the riots over the last five days, but all the other matches will be played as scheduled. That means that Fulham’s match with Aston Villa is on and will kick off at 3pm.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/08/fulham-opener-goes-ahead/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 06:38:04 AM »
 
Bent boost for Aston Villa as striker shakes off shoulder injury in time to face Fulham

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has recovered from his shoulder problem and is available for the Barclays Premier League opener with Fulham.

Bent had been ruled out of England's postponed match with Holland on Wednesday but is set to line up at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The forward scored nine goals in 16 matches after his club record £18million move from Sunderland in January and established himself as a first-choice player for his country.

Villa boss Alex McLeish has almost a clean bill of health for his first competitive game in charge since replacing Gerard Houllier in June.

Central defender James Collins has also overcome the back injury which prompted his withdrawal from the Welsh squad to face Australia in midweek.

Midfielder Fabian Delph is also in contention after a series of injury setbacks during the past two years, including ankle surgery at the end of last season.

McLeish said: 'At this moment there are no injuries to shout about. We have almost everyone available. There is no-one on the treatment table.

'Bent is fine with his shoulder. Collins was struggling with his back but the doctor injected him and took some blood out of a lump at the base of his back.

'He was in a lot of discomfort and it was right he should pull out of the midweek game for his country. But we believe he will be ready for the weekend.'

Defender Carlos Cuellar (knee) is the only absentee through injury.




Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2024887/Darren-Bent-fit-Aston-Villa-v-Fulham.html#ixzz1Un3RINBj

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2011, 06:39:17 AM »
 
Hughes scores against Faroe Islands
by DAN on AUGUST 11, 2011

Aaron Hughes grabbed a rare goal as Northern Ireland thrashed the Faroe Islands 4-0 in a Euro 2012 qualifier last night.

The Fulham defender scored his first international goal to set Nigel Worthington’s side on their way to an important victory in Group C. Hughes steered a Gareth McAuley cross home via the post after the Faroes had failed to clear a corner. The home side sealed the win with two goals in five second-half minutes. First, former Fulham midfielder Steven Davis drove home from 25 yards and then Celtic winger Paddy McCourt scored the first of two fine solo goals.

The win lifts Northern Ireland to third place in Group C and was vital after Worthington’s side could only draw in the Faroe Islands earlier in the campaign. Chris Baird also came through ninety minutes at right back alongside Hughes.

Hughes was delighted to secure the three points:

I’m delighted for everyone tonight. We thought it would be a tough game and that they would make it difficult for us and they did.

They were very defensive. They didn’t really occupy our centre halves and that gave us a bit more freedom to go and attack them.

We had to be patient and we had to build up. To come away with a 4-0 win, we have to be happy with that. This puts us in a fantastic position in the group. The way other results were going meant we were always in it.

Northern Ireland: Camp, Baird, McAuley (Cathcart 45), Hughes, J Evans, Clingan, Davis, McCann, Corry Evans (McGinn 59), Healy (Ward 83), McCourt. Subs (not used): Mannus, McGivern, Thompson, Gorman.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/08/hughes-scores-against-faroe-islands/?


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 06:41:13 AM »
 
Fulham Got No Respect; Hughes scores

Listening to the Guardian’s Football Weekly’s EPL preview podcast at the gym last night, I figured to hear a sentence or two about our season outlook. Instead, we got the last word.

As in, only the final few words spoken in the entire 45 minute podcast.

I don’t have the transcript but the last 30 seconds or so go something like this:

James Richardson: Well that should wrap things up
Barry Glendenning: I bet we missed a team
Gregg Roughley: Haven’t mentioned Fulham
Sean Ingle: Or Wolves
Barry Glendenning: Fulham and Wolves!
<end podcast>

I normally expect these sort of things to focus 95% on the Sky Five and ignore the rest of the league. Yet this was a new low. Don’t want to sound petty, but can’t say I’ll be bothering to tune in for the rest of the season.

In other news, Aaron Hughes scored for Northern Ireland yesterday! After earning over 75 caps and captaining the nation since 2003, Aaron scored his first ever national goal in Northern Ireland’s 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

Highlights can be found here. He’s somewhere in the photo below.





http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/fulham-got-no-respect-hughes-scores/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 06:42:43 AM »
 
Riise scores as Norway beat Czechs
by DAN on AUGUST 11, 2011

John Arne Riise scored as Norway completed a fine 3-0 win over the Czech Republic in an emotional friendly last night.

The new Fulham signing, who captained his country in their first game after the terrorist attacks that killed 77 people last month, scored the second goal of the evening with a trademark left-footed strike that slipped through Petr Cech’s body. Mohammed Abdellaoue netted an impressive brace, including a fine first goal that saw beat two defenders and fire home from the edge of the box, to complete the scoring.

You can see the goals below:
Norway - Tsjechie 3-0 2011 Highlights (norge - tsjekkia)



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/08/riise-scores-as-norway-beat-czechs/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 06:43:46 AM »
 
Bent fit to face Fulham
by DAN on AUGUST 11, 2011

Darren Bent has been passed fit to start up front in Aston Villa’s opening game of the season against Fulham on Saturday.

The striker had been a doubt for the game having been ruled out of England duty with a shoulder injury but new Villa boss Alex McLeish has confirmed that Bent is fit to start the Premier League opener. Bent made a real impression in the Midlands last term after scoring nine goals in sixteen appearances following an £18m move from Sunderland in January.

Bent could be joined in the starting line-up by Emile Heskey after the former Leicester and Liverpool man has impressed McLeish during pre-season. The Sunday Mercury suggests that Heskey could start on the left side of midfield.

McLeish also confirmed that centre back James Collins is available for selection after undergoing an injection on his troublesome back injury.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/08/bent-fit-to-face-fulham/?


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 06:44:47 AM »
 
Etuhu cast into the wilderness?
by DAN on AUGUST 11, 2011

Dickson Etuhu’s international career could be over after he rejected a late invitation to join the Nigerian squad this week.

The Fulham midfielder was offered a late call-up by Nigeria coach Samson Siasia after his initial squad was hit by withdrawals and injuries but Etuhu declined the request. That angered Siasia, who has vowed not to select Etuhu for the foreseeable future, according to a source quoted by an African news website:

Siasia was highly disappointed about what Etuhu did. It is not as if he was not in Siasia’s plan, the coach wanted to call him up for future games, but now I don’t think he would do that again because he is very unhappy about what the player did.

Etuhu had not previously featured for his country since Siasia took charge of the national team last year.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/08/etuhu-cast-into-the-wilderness/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 06:46:08 AM »
 
Twente's Ruiz eyes Premier move

FC Twente striker and reported Fulham target Bryan Ruiz says he would be keen on making a move to England this summer.


Ruiz has been linked to several Premier League clubs with Fulham, Spurs and Arsenal all said to be keeping a close eye on him.

The 25-year-old has claimed he would only leave Holland for one of Europe's so-called 'big leagues' and is thought to be keen on a switch to England.

Cottagers boss Martin Jol's Dutch links mean he is well aware of the striker and may look to make an offer for him before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Ruiz said: "I have three weeks left to transfer and I hope I can change to one of the best leagues, such as the English, otherwise I will stay in Twente. "

"There is a team that is showing interest, but it will be my agent that keeps me informed about the negotiations.

Ruiz reportedly has a £13.75million release clause in his contract - a figure way above what Fulham could afford - but FC Twente insist they have yet to receive an official approach from any club for him.



http://www.setanta.com/ie/Articles/2011/08/11/Cottagers-target-keen-on-Prem-move/gnid-104061/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 06:48:11 AM »
 
Numberwang

Nice bit here on the Gruaniad site about Opta.  I tried to get a job there years ago.  About 2001.  I had an Opta handbook that maintained that the best defenders belonged to Sheffield Wednesday or someone, because their defenders had done the most.  Being bottom of the league and all.  Nothing ever came of it, but I was dead keen and not earning anything at the time so it would’ve been a good fit.  Oh well.

Anyway, worth a read.

One thing to note though: they talk about stats trends – we have all those in the Fulham Reviews.  Colin’s got several years of data on the players, and it’s fascinating to track it through.

As ever, www.godsfoot.com to order.  Excuse me for continuing to push this, but we need money and also I really believe in the book.  If in doubt, please do give it a go.  You won’t regret it.





http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/numberwang-2/?


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 06:49:26 AM »
 
Opta users now more likely to wear a manager's jacket than an anorak
Premier League clubs are increasingly relying on statistics to shape their transfer policy

Here is something you probably did not know: only 13 players across Europe's top five divisions created more goal-scoring chances last season than Chris Brunt, with the West Bromwich Albion midfielder's tally of 86 putting him 11 clear of Barcelona's tormentor-in-chief, Xavi. Now, to suggest on the basis of this statistic alone that Brunt poses a greater threat to defences than Xavi would, of course, be foolish but it is, nonetheless, intriguing and helps explain the growing appeal, and influence, of Opta.

Formed in 1996 by a group of friends who used to log match statistics while watching play unfold at their local pub, the company is now global, collecting data on 30 sports across 70 countries from their nine offices in Europe, the United States and Australia. The hub of the operation is in London, with Opta's head office, located in spitting distance of Waterloo station, a hive of activity and anticipation for the new Premier League season. Once again it will be they who stock newspaper, radio and television coverage of top-flight fixtures with statistics, covering everything from goals scored to total flick-ons made by the losing team's centre-forward.

"The start of the season is a great time for us," said Matt Furniss, Opta's UK editor. "We're busy during the summer, providing data on sports like Formula One, but the Premier League is our bread and butter and it'll be great to see this place in full-flow again on Saturday."

Three analysts are posted to watch each game live and record the 1,500-plus "events" that make up Opta's full analysis of fixtures. "There is no specific requirement for the job except a genuine passion for sport," said Paul Pettitt, Opta's UK senior data collection executive. "But decent hand-eye coordination does help, and so people who play video games like Fifa and Pro-Evolution tend to be the better candidates."

After 15 years of expansion and improvement, Opta's status as Europe's leading provider of sports statistics is beyond question and has been strengthened by its introduction of OptaJoe, a regular tweeter of its more interesting statistics. As of Wednesday "Joe" had 114,733 followers, almost 30,000 more than the Labour leader, Ed Miliband.

There is, however, another frontier for Opta to explore further. With more than 11 years of extensive data on the Premier League at its finger tips, as well as similarly in-depth statistics for a host of other leagues, most notably the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Eredivisie, the company is increasingly being used by clubs, home and abroad, as a tool to shape their transfer policies. Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea are among those who have contracts with Opta, allowing them access to the organisation's vast database and, more specifically, its eye‑catching analysis tools, DataScout and VideoScout.

Data Scout allows an instant review of a player's development in any of the events Opta tracks, as well as comparing them with others in their position. The effect is absorbing, with a line-graph, for instance, showing Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka have increased the average number of interceptions they make over 90 minutes during the past five years and, should they continue at the same rate, are likely to match the levels John Terry and Rio Ferdinand reached at their peak.

VideoScout taps into the 25,000-plus matches Opta has analysed and allows the user to watch every kick, flick and header performed by the players involved. It is the equivalent of YouTube on heat. "No club is going to sign a player on the basis of a line-graph or video clip alone," said John Coulson, Opta's product manager and former video analyst for Norwich City and Middlesbrough. "Scouts still need to get out there and watch a player, learn about his character, but with our help they can get the groundwork done early.

"It's bringing science into the art of recruitment and that has been a growing trend over the past decade, mainly because the technology is there but also because of the truly global transfer market clubs now operate in. More players are being signed from Africa, South America and elsewhere and clubs want to find out as much about them as possible."

Coulson also cites the arrival of an increasing number of foreign owners into the Premier League as a reason why clubs here are using hard data in their transfer policies and that is nowhere more apparent than at Liverpool, where John W Henry has espoused the importance of Moneyball – the statistic-based recruitment strategy which helped to turn his Boston Red Sox into World Series winners – since taking over at Anfield.

Taking that into account, the club's decision to spend large sums on three midfielders this summer does not appear so strange: Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam all featuredin the top eight of Opta's list of players who created the most chances in the Premier League last season. "We know of a player signed by a Premier League club last season purely on the back of our statistics and he has gone on to be a success," said Coulson. "That makes us feel very satisfied."

Who knows how Opta will make their presence felt in the season to come, but what is for sure is that they will continue to have an impact, even if it in simply revealing the startling potency of West Brom's midfield.




http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/aug/10/opta-stats-premier-league

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 06:51:50 AM »
 
Behave or else! Players and managers face Premier League crackdown

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has warned players and managers they will be met with severe punishment if they show disrespect to referees this season.

On Thusrday Scudamore revealed all clubs, managers and referees had been in talks over the summer aimed at stamping out the indiscipline which blighted the English game last year.


No more: Premier League want to stop players attempting to intimidate refs

Scenes of players surrounding referees were still commonplace last term and indiscipline was not just confined to the pitch, with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson finding himself in trouble with the league for his on-camera tirade against referee Martin Atkinson.

Scudamore announced this afternoon that a new 'reinvigoration' of the 'Get on with the game' initiative launched three years ago had been agreed by all parties this summer.

The main aims of the new directive are to eradicate disrespectful behaviour towards match officials, stop players surrounding referees or turning their backs on them, and promote respect between officials and managers during and after games.

Any refusal to adhere to such laws will be not be tolerated, Scudamore warned.

'We`ve gone to the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) and asked them what will help them,' he said.

'We came up with a reduction in disrespectful behaviour towards match officials, turning backs on referees and we don`t want players surrounding referees, as well as the conduct of managers.


Under orders: Managers must respect referees

'We don't want players surrounding match officials. That will be dealt with more severely this season than it was the last.

'In post-match interviews we don`t want to stamp out constructive criticism. If a manager thinks a referee has got something wrong then he is perfectly entitled to say that, but it's more about the colour and the disrespectful language.'

The promise of a crackdown will inevitably be met with some scepticism given that many similar campaigns have so far failed to stop such incidents in the English game.

Scudamore is confident it will work, however.

'My confidence is borne out of discussions we had over the summer,' he said.

'It's the first time we've met with all the players together. We met with [Professional Footballers' Association chief executive] Gordon Taylor, representatives of players from all the clubs. That was very positive.

'They to a man said the relationship between the referees and players had improved since the 2008 launch.

'They were keen to make sure we didn't throw all those things out. The players themselves understand.

'All the managers have been to pre-season meetings - again, very very constructive.

'Of course we're all waiting on the first incident - there are always going to be incidents. We're looking to reduce the incidents, but we won't eliminate them.'

West Brom manager Roy Hodgson admits managers have a responsibility to make sure they keep their end of the bargain.

'Referees are an integral part of our game and sometimes we are less kind to them than we should be,' he said.

'We all make mistakes, managers, players and referees.

'If we are caught out letting our emotions run away with us, we all know the day after we are wrong and that we shouldn't do it.

'These initiatives are really important and we really need to stress it.'

Football Association chairman David Bernstein gave his backing to the campaign, stressing the importance of footballers being good role models.

He said: 'On the pitch behaviour is so important - both directly in the way it affects youngsters playing football but also in terms of wider behaviour.'




Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2024933/Players-managers-face-crackdown-behaviour.html#ixzz1Un6drLZf

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 06:53:12 AM »
 
McLeish Demands Players Stand Up To Be Counted

As we head towards the Premier League opener against Fulham this weekend, Alex McLeish has called on the players to win their personal battles and to stand up and be counted this campaign.

Speaking to the Official Site McLeish said he didn't expect Fulham to role over and die as they are a far better team than most give them credit for, but we will be heading to Craven Cottage looking for an upset and it's important the players turn up and perform.

'This weekend we play a very good Fulham side, it will be a tough opener but we plan on going down there and upsetting. We have to make sure our lads are aware of what Fulham can do, but at the same time there are no real surprises, they know the Fulham boys inside out. It's about making sure you're on top of your opponent and winning the 50/50's.'

Strong and determined words from the new manager, needs to back that up with a performance and a result now!



Read more: http://www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=7509681#ixzz1Un7L8tgk


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 06:54:30 AM »
 
Numberwang in another way

New first team squad numbers are out.

The curse of the ‘proper’ numbers continues, as John Arne Riise vacates the number seven shirt recently not worn by Seol, Andranik, and… who had it last year (ed. Sidwell)?  In any case, such a prestigious number needs an equally prestigious owner, and Fulham simply haven’t come up with one.

Steve Sidwell has John Paintsil’s number four now, which seems untoward.  Not that we could retire it or anything, but as noted earlier in the pre-season, it seems a little off to give it to someone else.  Maybe a year off would have been the right thing to do.

Pajtim ‘Hail’ Kasami has taken the bull by the horns and claimed ’10′.  Good on him – I hope he’s as good as this makes him sound.  Marcel Gecov is safe with his number 15.

Who will wear number nine?

Matt Briggs has 28, Alex Kacaniklic moves into the ‘grown up’ numbers with 19, Barry Frei has 21 and Lauri Dalla Valle 24, all of which suggests some role for them in 2011/12.  Keanu Marsh-Brown has 36, which was Chris Baird’s not so long ago.  How times change.



http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/numberwang-in-another-way/?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 06:56:30 AM »
 
Alex McLeish knows he must hit the ground running at Aston Villa
The Aston Villa manager is aware supporters will cut him little slack because of his previous job as Birmingham City manager

It is often said that the bookmakers are rarely wrong, in which case Alex McLeish should take some comfort that at least four Premier League managers – Neil Warnock, Steve Kean, Alan Pardew and Steve Bruce – are ahead of him in the sack race. It seems strange to be talking in those terms about a manager who took charge at Aston Villa two months ago but this is not an appointment where normal rules apply.

McLeish's call for patience on the eve of Saturday's trip to Fulham is indicative of the mood at a club where the supporters are expected to cut the Scot little slack because of misgivings about his credentials for the post. Although the days of protests on the steps outside Villa Park are long gone, the reality is that nothing has changed in terms of the former Birmingham City manager needing to get off to a flying start once the new season gets underway at Craven Cottage.

"There's pressure on every manager and they all need to hit the ground running to an extent but because of the decision that Alex has made you have to accept that there is added pressure," says Mark McGhee, who played alongside McLeish for Aberdeen and Scotland and remains a close friend. "But the one thing that will deal with what happened in the summer is results. If Alex gets wins under his belt and the fans see improvement, then he'll be fine."

The fixture list has been particularly kind to McLeish. Based on last season's league table, Fulham are the highest-placed opponent Villa will face in the first seven matches and they will have played only one top-six side come the middle of November. It therefore comes as little surprise that the month of December is nothing like as appealing. Villa face Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal at home and travel to Bolton, Stoke and Chelsea.

At least McLeish will not have to contend with his former employers, unless Birmingham and Villa are drawn together in one of the cup competitions. "That's something that is a pity for the rest of us because it would make it a bit more exciting for the outside world," McGhee says. "But from Alex's point of view it's a good thing because it puts Birmingham away for a bit and prevents people from making comparisons with how they are doing in the league."

Comparisons with how Villa performed under Gérard Houllier last season will inevitably be made, although McLeish is unlikely to lose any sleep over the Frenchman's record at the club. But for their unexpected back-to-back victories in the final two matches, against Arsenal and Liverpool, Villa would have finished in the bottom half, which is where they spent much of a miserable campaign during which Houllier came under intense pressure before he was taken ill in April.

Houllier never bonded with the Villa supporters, although McLeish faces an even bigger battle in that respect. "He will take longer than the average manager to endear himself to fans because of where he came from but in time I think they will come to like him as a character," McGhee says.

"He has a dry sense of humour and he's an intelligent guy. For example, he has a lot of interest in subjects well outside of football. He'll be interested in what's been happening on the streets of Birmingham and the political and social aspects of that. He will have a real empathy with the people that have been affected."

It is, however, on a matchday when McLeish will ultimately be judged. His hand has been weakened by the departures of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing, with Charles N'Zogbia the only outfield signing to date. Yet there is still plenty of creativity in the Villa side, providing McLeish with the opportunity to play the more expansive style of football that his critics have questioned he is capable of producing because of his record at Birmingham.

McGhee has no doubt that McLeish can deliver on that front but he also believes entertainment must take a backseat for the moment.

"There's nobody that admired Blackpool more than me last year – I thought the football they played was brilliant. But Alex can't afford to do what Ian Holloway did because he's not in that situation. Ian performed miracles to get into the Premier League and would have been forgiven for whatever happened last season. Alex, on the other hand, has to play winning football."




http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/aug/11/alex-mcleish-aston-villa?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 07:00:55 AM »
 
FULHAM

CURRENT MOOD 
Every reason for fans to be optimistic about arrival of seasoned boss Martin Jol.

TRANSFERS
IN: P Kasami (Palermo), JA Riise (Roma), D Burn (Darlington), C Somogyi (Rakospalotai), M Gecov (Slovan Liberec); OUT: D Stockdale (loan), J Greening, Z Gera, E Johnson, D Kamara, K Dikgacoi, J Pantsil

FORM
Last season: 8th
Last trophy: 2nd Div, 2001

FIRST FIVE FIXTURES
13 Aug, A Villa (H); 20 Aug, Wolves (A); 27 Aug, New-castle (A); 11 Sep, Blackburn (H); 17 Sep, Man City (H)

BEST CASE SCENARIO 
Another top half finish, a run in Europe to rival that of 2009 – and all with the kind of entertaining football Jol used to practice at Spurs.

WORST CASE
Jol’s honeymoon ends swiftly and they get dragged into a battle for survival.

TREVOR STEVEN’S VERDICT
Jol is a sound appointment and will be pleased with a top 10 finish. Key could be the Bobby Zamora (left)- Andy Johnson strikeforce; they’re workmanlike, with a bit extra – like Fulham.



http://www.cityam.com/sport/fulham?


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2011, 07:06:04 AM »
 
Only Dempsey and Howard assured of EPL starting jobs


[AMERICANS ABROAD] The postponement of the Tottenham-Everton match because of the recent London riots ended the possibility of U.S. goalies Brad Friedel and Tim Howard meeting on opening day in the English Premier League. Clint Dempsey is a sure thing for Fulham, while defenders Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) and Zak Whitbread (promoted Norwich) are battling for starting jobs. For more on the EPL's Yanks ...

Brad Friedel (Tottenham, 399 games, 1 goal)
Friedel holds the record for most consecutive appearances in the EPL -- 275 games and counting -- and is waiting to see if Harry Redknapp, his manager at Spurs, will give him the nod ahead of Brazilian Heurelho Gomes or Italian Carlo Cudicini. Friedel, for one, is ready. "Everyone wants to play and we cannot wait for the season to start," he says. "You have to do a lot of hard work and graft in pre-season but the real stuff now starts and we can all start getting excited now. It is all about getting your sharpness and myself and all the boys are ready."

Tim Howard (Everton, 231 games)
Howard warded off the challenge from Slovakian keeper Jan Mucha last season, starting every EPL game, but likes the competition. "Competition and pushing each other is important," Howard says. "We all need it and it's part and parcel of football today. You can't really rest on your laurels you have to keep pushing yourself every season, because if you stand still you're going backwards." Considering its lack of investment in new players, seventh place was a very good finish in 2011 and will be the same in 2012.

Clint Dempsey (Fulham, 147 games, 33 goals)
Dempsey set an American record with 12 EPL goals in 37 games for Fulham. There has been talk of a move to another club, but Dempsey likes new manager Martin Jol's attacking style. "We want to better what we did last season in the Premier League," says Dempsey, "and we want to make a good run in the Europa League." He impressed in his first action after an extended summer break following the Gold Cup. A 2-0 win over RNK Split of Croatia sent the Cottagers into the final round of Europa League qualifying.

Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers, 28 games, 2 goals)
Key to Bolton's success during the first half of the 2010-11 season -- his first full season in the EPL -- Holden was injured in a horrific challenge with Manchester United's Jonny Evans in March and missed rest of season. Isn't expected back until next month.

Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa, 5 games)
Made his debut with Villa's first team last season after progressing through its reserve team system but finished the 2010-11 season at second division Leeds. Played left back for the USA at the 2011 Gold Cup but finds himself in a battle for the starting job at right back with Habib Beye and Luke Young.

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, 1 game)
Rode the pine behind Friedel, now finds himself the backup to veteran Irish keeper Shay Given since Friedel left for Spurs. Lone EPL appearance in three seasons came in a game Friedel was red carded. Played 16 games on loan at second division Hull City.

Zak Whitbread (Norwich City (0 games)
Born in Houston, where his father was a youth coach, and joined the Liverpool youth system in which his father Barry coached at the age of 8. Never made an appearance for Liverpool in the EPL, so his league debut for the promoted Canaries would come after eight seasons as a pro. Arrival of Belgian Ritchie De Laet on loan from Manchester United could jeopardize his spot in the middle of the backline. Whitbread played for the USA at the 2003 Under-20 World Cup and in 2004 Olympic qualifying.



http://www.socceramerica.com/article/43263/only-dempsey-and-howard-assured-of-epl-starting-jo.html?

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71842
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (12/08/11)...
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2011, 02:30:52 PM »
 
Lawro's prediction

Fulham v Aston Villa

This might be a tough old season for Aston Villa. They have taken away Darren Bent's supply line with the sale of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing and Charles N'Zogbia is more of a goalscorer than a creater of chances.

New manager Alex McLeish still has Marc Albrighton, who is a great prospect, and in goal Shay Given is a good signing but I still cannot see them finishing higher than halfway up the table.

Fulham also have a new man in charge in Martin Jol but, crucially for them, up front they still look very decent.

You would expect Jol to play quite attacking football, but I'm not sure what to expect from McLeish. He was known for having more of a defensive outlook at Birmingham but we will have to wait to find out what his approach will be with Villa.

Prediction: 2-1



http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/football_focus/14387584.stm