Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)  (Read 6928 times)

White Noise

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Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« on: March 05, 2010, 09:50:31 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/tottenham/7379176/Tottenham-have-only-12-fit-first-teamers-to-face-Fulham-in-FA-Cup.html


Tottenham have only 12 fit first-teamers to face Fulham in FA Cup


Harry Redknapp is concerned that injuries and ineligibility will handicap his side's chances of progressing to the FA Cup semi-finals.
 
By Telegraph staff and agencies

Published: 8:57PM GMT 05 Mar 2010


The Tottenham manager has only 12 fit first-team regulars available for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Fulham, with three youth team players expected to feature on the substitutes' bench.

Tottenham are considered to have one of the strongest squads in the Premier League, but striker Jermain Defoe is doubtful with a groin problem and could join fellow England internationals Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Tom Huddlestone on the sidelines.

With Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker Cup-tied, Redknapp has brought back youngsters Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend from loan spells.

"Without exaggerating I would say I've only got one spare senior player available," said Redknapp. "We took a chance and let a few go out on loan and we brought a couple in who are Cup-tied and that is the problem. The Cup is the problem."

Redknapp's side sit fourth in the Premier League as they fight for a place in the Champions League next season, but the Tottenham manager is eager to repeat his FA Cup triumph with Portsmouth two seasons ago.

Yet on Saturday he comes up against manager of the month Roy Hodgson, who he voted for as manager of the season last year.

"They [Fulham] finished seventh last year and he took them into Europe. He deserved it last year so he got my vote," explained Redknapp. "They looked like they were getting relegated when he arrived and what he has done is create a very well organised team."

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 10:06:48 PM »
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/03/05/fulham-defender-tipped-for-world-cup-place-82029-25972943/


Fulham defender tipped for World Cup place



Mar 5 2010 By Paul Warburton

FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson believes there is still time for Paul Konchesky to go to the World Cup as an England player.

And there would be no better time for the left-back to stake a claim for a late place in Fabio Capello's notebook than against Tottenham in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday night for Konchesky's first game since he got an ankle injury in the away defeat to Blackburn on January 16.

The 28-year-old earned two caps under Sven-Goran Eriksson between 2003-05, and has been a pillar for the Whites since joining in July 2007 – but has also been kept wanting for further honours by the likes of Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge.

With both out of the England reckoning for different reasons, Hodgson reckons a trip to South Africa for a tilt at football's top prize is still a possibility for his own player.

He said: “Fabio Capello will have a very clear opinion of Paul Konchesky – he's seen enough of him.

“Not being fit enough to be considered for a game on March 3 will not make a difference to being fit on June 1.

“We'd be delighted if one of our players got into the England squad – we'd be the first to wish him well – and even carry him to the get-together.

“It's not too late for Paul – certainly not in terms of injury.

Offline leonffc

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 10:08:34 PM »
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/03/05/fulham-defender-tipped-for-world-cup-place-82029-25972943/


Fulham defender tipped for World Cup place



Mar 5 2010 By Paul Warburton

FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson believes there is still time for Paul Konchesky to go to the World Cup as an England player.

And there would be no better time for the left-back to stake a claim for a late place in Fabio Capello's notebook than against Tottenham in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday night for Konchesky's first game since he got an ankle injury in the away defeat to Blackburn on January 16.

The 28-year-old earned two caps under Sven-Goran Eriksson between 2003-05, and has been a pillar for the Whites since joining in July 2007 – but has also been kept wanting for further honours by the likes of Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge.

With both out of the England reckoning for different reasons, Hodgson reckons a trip to South Africa for a tilt at football's top prize is still a possibility for his own player.

He said: “Fabio Capello will have a very clear opinion of Paul Konchesky – he's seen enough of him.

“Not being fit enough to be considered for a game on March 3 will not make a difference to being fit on June 1.

“We'd be delighted if one of our players got into the England squad – we'd be the first to wish him well – and even carry him to the get-together.

“It's not too late for Paul – certainly not in terms of injury.

hilarious
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 10:10:28 PM by leonffc »


Offline HatterDon

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 10:18:31 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/tottenham/7379176/Tottenham-have-only-12-fit-first-teamers-to-face-Fulham-in-FA-Cup.html


Tottenham have only 12 fit first-teamers to face Fulham in FA Cup


Harry Redknapp is concerned that injuries and ineligibility will handicap his side's chances of progressing to the FA Cup semi-finals.
 

Chickens coming home to roost. He got rid of his reserve side and, instead, farmed out the players who would feature there predominately via the loan mechanism. NIce planning, plonker.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 10:23:00 PM by HatterDon »

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 10:20:01 PM »
http://goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/03/05/1819834/fa-cup-preview-fulham-tottenham-hotspur

FA Cup Preview: Fulham - Tottenham Hotspur


The only quarter-final derby will be contested at the Cottage...


By Richard Parry


Mar 5, 2010 7:20:00 PM
 
Kick-Off: Saturday, 6 March, 17:20 GMT


Craven Cottage, London


Fulham welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Craven Cottage this Saturday as we reach the quarter-final stages of the FA Cup.

Both sides will be looking to claim a place at Wembley, and with the semi-finals being held at the home of English football, one of these London sides will be fortunate enough to grace the hallowed turf – albeit a particularly dodgy one of late!

The FA Cup is all about history, memories and tradition; and both of these London sides awash with these aspects of the game.

Fulham first entered the FA Cup in 1896, as a non-league side participating in the London League, and it was some seven years later that the Cottagers made their first appearance in the FA Cup first round, and have appeared in the competition every year since then.

In 1958, Fulham participated in the emotionally charged semi-final against Manchester United at Villa Park, less than two months after the tragic Munich disaster. 70,000 spectators attended the match, with went to a replay after a 2-2 draw. Bobby Charlton, one of the miraculous survivors of the disaster, scored United’s equaliser.  The Red Devils won the replay 5-3 at Highbury.

Fulham made their first and only FA Cup final appearance in 1975, as they took on West Ham United in front of the legendary Wembley Twin Towers.  The match would see England legend Bobby Moore line-up against his beloved Hammers, and the East London side claimed the cup with a 2-0 victory.

As for Tottenham, they can boast an impressive love affair with the FA Cup, albeit that the club have been starved of success in the competition since their 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the 1991 final.

Spurs have won the prestigious tournament eight times, more than any other side left in the competition.

Successes in 1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981, 1982 and the aforementioned 1991 have earned the White Hart Lane side the stigma of only ever recording triumphs when the years end in a one, so history suggests Harry Redknapp’s men may have to wait until next season to lift the cup once again.

In terms of head-to-head meetings, Spurs have a 100 per cent record against Fulham in the FA Cup; beating them 4-0 in their last meeting (2007), also at Craven Cottage, with braces from Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.

Saturday will be a proper cup tie, a London derby held at a picturesque and unique stadium, with two of English football’s most respected managers – as Roy Hodgson and Redknapp plot their campaigns to Wembley.

FORM GUIDE

Fulham

28 Feb: Sunderland 0-0 Fulham (Premier League)
25 Feb: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Fulham (Europa League)
21 Feb: Fulham2-1 Birmingham City (Premier League)
18 Feb: Fulham 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Europa League)
14 Feb: Fulham 4-0 Notts County (FA Cup)

Tottenham

28 Feb: Tottenham 2-1 Everton (Premier League)
24 Feb: Tottenham 4-0 Bolton (FA Cup)
21 Feb: Wigan 0-3 Tottenham (Premier League)
14 Feb: Bolton 1-1 Tottenham (FA Cup)
10 Feb: Wolves 1-0 Tottenham (Premier League)

TEAM NEWS

Fulham

Danny Murphy faces a fitness test before his participation against his old club can be confirmed, although fellow Spurs old boy Paul Konchesky could return after being sidelined with an ankle injury.

Hodgson will have to do without the services of USA international Clint Dempsey and Ghana defender John Pantsil, who remain unavailable (both suffering cruciate ligament injuries), while Andrew Johnson will also miss out (knee).

Starting XI from last match (vs Sunderland): Schwarzer, Hangeland, Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Gera, Murphy, Duff, Etuhu, Davies, Zamora.

Tottenham

Tottenham could be without Jermain Defoe this weekend, after the club’s top goalscorer picked up a hamstring injury during England’s match against Egypt.

Redknapp’s biggest cause for concern, however, lies within his midfield, with Jermain Jenas, Aaron Lennon (both groin), Tom Huddlestone (ankle) and David Bentley (hip) all sidelined.

Club captain Ledley King also remains doubtful, so Sebastien Bassong will deputise alongside Michael Dawson as Younes Kaboul is cup tied.

Gareth Bale, who has been impressive at full-back for Spurs in recent weeks, may also miss out after picking up a knee injury whilst on international duty with Wales.

Starting XI from last match (vs Everton): Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Bale, Kranjcar, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Fulham - Bobby Zamora

The striker could be one of five players facing their former employers on Saturday, with Simon Davies, Stephen Kelly, Paul Konchesky and Danny Murphy having all played for Tottenham.

Fulham’s leading scorer has failed to score against Spurs so far this season, and Tottenham are yet to have conceded against their London rivals at all after their two league matches - a goalless draw at the Cottage and a 2-0 victory for Spurs at White Hart Lane.

In front of a packed stadium, with home support behind, Zamora will be looking to make it third time lucky against Redknapp's side.

Tottenham - Roman Pavlyuchenko

Having seen his first team appearances limited to a spot on the bench this season, Pavlyuchenko has bagged six goals in his last four appearances, having scored back-to-back braces against Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers before hitting Spurs’ opening goal against Everton last time out.

With top goalscorer Jermain Defoe a doubt for Saturday’s match, the Russian international is set to partner England hero Peter Crouch upfront for Spurs, and they’ll both be looking to build on their recent good form.

PREDICTION

One thing is certain about this contest; both sides will be going for the throat – attacking from the offset. Hodgson will see this as his side’s best chance of reaching Wembley, with a potential replay at White Hart Lane a less than appetising prospect. Redknapp, meanwhile, has consistently conceded that his side is built to attack, and they will feel that they can get a result.

I personally feel that this one is destined for two legs, and despite what I expect to be a thoroughly entertaining match, the scores will end tied.

Fulham 2-2 Tottenham

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 10:48:00 PM »
http://www.dearmrlevy.com/dml/2010/3/5/fulham-v-spurs-its-actually-massive.html


Fulham v Spurs - It's Actually Massive


Friday, March 5, 2010 at 9:13PM


by guest blogger Chrisman


I’m going to lay it on the line here – The F.A. Cup QF against Fulham will be a cracker. It might not have loads of goals, and we might not get either of the results that we want, but it will be good. It will be a rarity – a game between two PL teams desperately wanting to win. And two teams quite reasonably believing they can win.

Roy Hodgson is a manager that I love listening to. He is almost the polar opposite of Harry in his handling of the media. Hodgson will openly, and often quite savagely ridicule the interviewer and his questions. ‘Roy, surely this is a must win game?’ he will be asked. His reply will be something along the lines of ‘Well, what happens if we don’t win? Does the season end? Will Fulham FC automatically self-destruct? Of course we want to win, but no, it’s not a must win’. You can tell he absolutely hates the cliché driven style of football in the British media, and he won’t even play lip service to it. Harry, on the other hand, revels in it.

Both men are actually very similar. The difference in their personas is directly due to the fact that Hodgson has spent the best part of 30 years in management outside England. To a total foreigner coming here, the way the ‘media circus’ exists will be a source of amusement, bafflement and eventual indifference. But because Hodgson is English, and he understands it a bit more, he’s visibly disgusted by it. He doesn’t even make an effort to conceal his total contempt for it. Old Harry, however, doesn’t have that luxury. He has had to play the game over the last 20 years, and he’s played it pretty well. He is so well versed in cliché speak that it’s actually very difficult to tell what he is thinking, about anything, ever. But one thing is certain, and it’s one thing that Harry’s cliché speak and Hodgson’s cynicism cannot overpower – The F.A Cup is a trophy both of these men are still desperate to win.

There won’t be any resting players, no saving it for the league – with 3 of the traditional big 4 already out, this is probably the best chance either team has had of winning the trophy for quite a while. It’s the business end of the tournament, and it’s 2 men at the business end of their careers. Expect both teams to give everything on behalf of the managers and fans.

Pavlyuchenko remains the key man for Spurs. If he plays as well as he has done, we have a great chance. With Defoe probably out, you feel Pav has to score if we are to get a result. And with Huddlestone out, a huge amount of responsibility falls on Modric, and to a lesser extent Kranjcar. Playing against a Fulham midfield that is likely to include Murphy, Gera, Davies and maybe Greening could be a blessing. They have a lot of ball players and not a lot of horsepower in their midfield, which should suit us if we are to play Modric in the middle. Conversely, the battering ram approach of Zamora should suit Dawson’s style. Gomes is going to have to have another good game if we are going to get a result. More of his heroics from the league visit to Craven Cottage are pretty essential.

It’s also to be expected that Smalling and Hangeland won’t have too much trouble dealing with a ‘direct’ approach. What we need is Pav coming deep and linking up with Modric and Kranjcar. If the 3 of them hit it off, we could, against all odds, win the game. If we were to do that, without Defoe and Huddlestone in the team, I think that will give the lads a pretty significant confidence boost for the rest of the season. What’s more likely is a hard fought score draw, then back to the lane for another classic night of mayhem.

Excitement building already. With the battle for the top 4 taking all our attention, this has almost approach unnoticed. But it’s here, an F.A. Cup Quarter Final, and a London Derby to boot. Sexual Chocolate.


White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 10:52:03 PM »
http://www.todayonline.com/Sports/EDC100306-0000119/Old-boys-could-spur-Fulham

Old boys could spur Fulham


But history's against Cottagers as Wembley looms


05:55 AM Mar 06, 2010FA Cup quarter-final

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur


LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur have a proud tradition when it comes to the FA Cup, having lifted the famous trophy eight times.

Fulham, on the other hand, have played in the Final just once, back in 1975. They lost 2-0 to West Ham.

The Cottagers are looking to reach the semi-final this season, and if they do beat Tottenham on Saturday, they will have some former Spurs players to thank.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has four to choose from in Bobby Zamora, Simon Davies, Danny Murphy and Stephen Kelly.

Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, who will try to shackle the in-form Zamora, is aware all four would be keen to get one over their former club at Craven Cottage.

"Simon Davies was at Tottenham when I first came to the club, and 'Murph' was here as well," he said.

"I've played with Bobby at England Under-21 level but not when he was at Tottenham. They're good players and we know they're a good team.

"Bobby's definitely one of the in-form strikers in the Premier League at the moment. Whenever you play against him you know it's going to be a tough.

"Look at the way he holds the ball up, his goal-scoring, he's a top player.

"You come up against so many of them in the Premier League so it's going to be another good test."

With Arsenal and Manchester United both having been knocked out in earlier rounds, there's a greater opportunity for Spurs to win the FA Cup for the first time since 1991 and Dawson was adamant the north London side had their sights set on more than just a Wembley semi-final.

"We're 90 minutes away from Wembley," he said. "If we go there in the semi-final we'll certainly want to go there and play again. It's not just one day out, it's cup final day that you want to be there, not the semis. You want to win the cup, it's as simple as that."

Fulham, ninth in the Premier League table to Tottenham's fourth, are also still in the Europa League and have a double-header with Italian giants Juventus to look forward to this month.

But, for Republic of Ireland international Kelly, the FA Cup is a huge prize as well.

"Tottenham in the FA Cup this weekend is special for me, especially if I can get one over on them," he said.

"They are playing a lot of good football and doing very well in the league at the moment.

"It is going to be difficult, but we have got them at home and our home form has been very good this season so why can't we get through to the next round!" AFP

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 10:57:16 PM »
Heurelho Gomes was a joke - now he's my No 1 at Tottenham, says Harry Redknapp


By Laura Williamson

Last updated at 10:26 PM on 05th March 2010


Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp could be forgiven for thinking his former Portsmouth assistant Tony Adams had gone back on the booze when he said Heurelho Gomes was the best goalkeeper in the world.

Last season at Craven Cottage the Tottenham goalkeeper capped a forgettable first three months in English football with a disastrous display in Fulham's 2-1 win.

Gomes dropped a deflected Simon Davies cross into his own net and then failed to clear a Fulham corner, from which Andy Johnson scored.

'Farcical,' was Redknapp's succinct appraisal of a quite miserable performance.

Heurelho Gomes – A tale of two seasons
                                    08/09        09/10
Apps...........................34................. 22
Mins pld.................3060..............1907
Goals...........................40................. 16
Mins per goal...............77 ............119
Clean sheets...................12 ..............9
Saves per shot %.........75............... 80
Pens saved.......................0 ...............1
Fault for goals.................7 ................0

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was more tactful, admitting his side had tried to crowd out Gomes at corners because this area wasn't a 'real strength' for the goalkeeper.

He had previous after all. Gomes knocked out team-mate Vedran Corluka against Stoke City, allowed a shot from Aston Villa's Ashley Young to slip under his body and misjudged a Robin van Persie corner from which William Gallas scored in October.

With such a catalogue of errors after his �7.8million move from PSV Eindhoven, it was no wonder Redknapp was on the look-out for a replacement in January last year.

The Spurs boss said: 'When I first came here, I did think maybe we needed another goalkeeper. Gomes  wasn't showing me what everybody had told me about him.  

'The reports from people I respected were that he was a world-class goalkeeper, but he was just having a bad time and his confidence was shot.'

As Tottenham prepare to meet Fulham at Craven Cottage in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this evening, however, Gomes is no longer regarded as gaffe-prone.

An impressive performance in Boxing Day's Premier League stalemate at Fulham was a testimony to how much the stopper has progressed under the tutelage of Redknapp and, specifically, goalkeeping coach Tony Parks.

Top 10 keepersSaves per shot %
Friedel.......................80.19
Gomes......................80.00
Van der Sar.............78.05
Schwarzer...............76.27
Hart...........................76.07
Hahnemann............75.64
Sorensen.................73.83
Cech.........................71.83
Reina........................71.43
Myhill........................69.78
(Premier Lge only)

Redknapp appointed the 1984 UEFA Cup winner in place of Austrian Hans Leitert shortly after Gomes' calamitous performance at the Cottage and then signed Carlo Cudicini from the dark side last 14 months ago to give the 29-year-old some much-needed competition.  

The Tottenham manager said: 'I just kept picking him, that was the key and then I brought Tony Parks in to work with him. Tony's worked on him, maybe making him more used to the English game, dealing with crosses. He's playing with confidence. He's up there with the best of them at the moment.'

Gomes will need to be in fine form against a Fulham side with a formidable home record. Winning 17 of their 22 matches at home this season, losing only two games, and can count Manchester United, Liverpool and 2009 UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk among their more notable scalps.

After Tottenham, the next visitors to Craven Cottage will be Juventus for the second leg of their last-16 Europa League meeting.

Fulham's progression to the quarter- finals of the FA Cup and knock-out rounds of European competition is a testimony to their progress since Hodgson took over in December 2007 and Redknapp believes it's only right the 62-year-old is talked about as a possible manager of Great Britain's team for the 2012 Olympics.

Hodgson was named Barclays manager of the month yesterday, with keeper Mark Schwarzer player of the month.

Redknapp, however, is looking no further than ending his career at Swanage, just along the coast from his home in Sandbanks, Dorset.

The Spurs boss joked: 'That's where I'll finish, I've always said that. The manager over there rang me up one day and said, 'Stop saying you want my job!"'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1255836/Heurelho-Gomes-joke--hes-No-1-Tottenham-says-Harry-Redknapp.html#ixzz0hLUDiP0q

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 11:06:50 PM »
Ashley Young, Luka Modric, Adam Johnson... why Premier League bosses are going crazy for the inside-out wingers

By Alex Kay


Last updated at 9:27 PM on 05th March 2010


Stewart Downing does it. Adam Johnson and Damien Duff like it. Even Ashley Young, Steven Pienaar and Luka Modric are at it. And that's just to name a few.


Right-footed wingers playing on the left and left-footed wingers starring on the right seem to be the new fashion in the Barclays Premier League.

But why are managers playing their stars supposedly out of position and does it do any good?
ALEX KAY asked some bosses and former players what's behind the latest craze of the inside-out wingers.

THE MANAGERS' VIEW


ALEX McLEISH
Birmingham City

It's a new take on the traditional winger in England but it has been used for a while now in Europe. AC Milan, for instance, had Clarence Seedorf on the left and Gennaro Gattuso on the right. They were not going to beat any full back on the outside, so they had to be industrious inside.

Wingers are now encouraged to come in and play a lot more. That's why it helps if you have a left-footer playing on the right. They will link up using their stronger foot. Look at the goal Fulham's Damien Duff scored against us a couple of weeks ago when he cut in, played a one-two at the edge of the box and hit it with his left foot. Coaches are looking for players to come into little holes and pockets.

There is also the added benefit of having an in-swinging cross on occasion that could go out for a corner or even better end up in the net. You don't get that with traditional wingers. The angles are different.

Look at Arsenal's team that won the league. Robert Pires was brilliant at it, making those runs. I remember speaking to Arsene Wenger about it, asking him whether he was bothered that teams could counter Arsenal down the line.



STEVE BRUCE
Sunderland

Cloughie played John Robertson, who was right-footed, on the left. Some players without pace find it a bit easier because they can't go down the outside and beat a man and they feel sometimes it is easier when they are coming inside to beat somebody and shoot with their stronger foot.

With Duff at Fulham, Roy Hodgson obviously feels now he does not have that blistering pace to take him down the outside, so maybe that is why he is playing there.
Some people would say the best position for Steed Malbranque is on the left and he played there a lot at Spurs. I can understand that because he does not have the kind of pace to get past people on the right.

But I am not one for putting square pegs in round holes. I believe if you have a genuine right winger, you play him on the right. But I can understand why teams do it because there are not many players like Duff, Charles N'Zogbia and Adam Johnson. It is not bad sometimes.

THE CENTRE BACK'S VIEW

MARTIN KEOWN
Ex Arsenal, England

The first thing to do defending against this type of player is to not drop too deep. Otherwise your keeper is crowded out and there's a sea of players in the box - which can lead to nasty deflections.

You need to push out, press the winger and offer assistance to the full back who is marking him if he comes inside. If you are in the box when an in-swinging cross comes in, it is tougher to deal with as you have to deal with deeper runs from the midfield as well as the man you're picking up as any glancing touch can lead to trouble.
 

THE FULL BACK'S VIEW

VIV ANDERSON
Ex Nottm Forest, England

In my days, you used to guide players down the line but when you've got a right-footer playing on the left coming inside or vice-versa, it's dangerous to do that. If you take that route, you need to make sure one of your midfielders is covering the inside because if they're not there it gives the winger a lot of scope to cross and shoot.

It's particularly difficult with players like Ashley Young and Stewart Downing who are good with both feet. But I think it's still best to channel them down the line, where you're quickest and strongest.

If you show them inside, they can get a shot away or it opens up acres of space out wide for attacking full backs like Ashley Cole or Glen Johnson.

THE KEEPER'S VIEW

JOE HART
Birmingham (on loan)

The problem with in-swinging crosses is that anyone can get a touch. You have got to be brave with your decisions. It would be easy to rush off your line but bravery sometimes means that you just have to stand your ground and accept the ball is not yours. If you come and someone gets a deflection, you can look stupid.

It's very different from when I was growing up when the wide players used to stand the ball up and leave it to the attackers, centre halves and the keepers to fight it out.

THE WINGER'S VIEW

MARC OVERMARS
Ex Arsenal and Holland



As a right-footer, I was always much more comfortable playing on the left wing. In fact, when Arsene Wenger started me on the right for Arsenal, I would say to myself that I'd be able to give a six out of 10 performance. But when he put me on the left, I knew I would get at least an eight.

The reason for that is that when I was on the right, I felt there wasn't enough space between the ball and the touchline for me to make things happen – there was little room for manoeuvre.

Playing on the left allowed me to get the ball out from my feet quicker and easier and also be more effective going forward. When you pick the ball up on the left wing with your right foot, you can knock the ball forward with you first touch. But on the right, the first thing you have to do is control the ball and you've therefore already lost time.
Also from the left I could cut inside, which made me more dangerous and meant I could get shots away.

THE STRIKER'S VIEW

ANDY GRAY
Ex Aston Villa, Wolves, Everton

I don't get it with Aston Villa. With great headers of the ball like Emile Heskey and John Carew, you would think they would want Stewart Downing and Ashley Young in the best positions possible to put crosses into the box which they can attack. They want wingers to be going to the byline.

Wayne Rooney loves Antonio Valencia doing that. But I understand some managers like it because the winger can get on his strong foot at the crucial time while the full back is then on his weaker side.     




Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1255794/Ashley-Young-Luka-Modric-Adam-Johnson--Premier-League-bosses-going-crazy-inside-wingers.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0hLVqTdgr


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2010, 11:10:38 PM »
http://www.oddspreview.com/category/Football/Fulham-v-Tottenham-Hotspur-betting-preview-201003050043/


Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur betting preview



11/5 Fulham are good value to beat Spurs at Craven Cottage(credit: mad1how)

Oddspreview staff - 5 Mar 2010


Craven Cottage set for an enthralling cup tie

The last time Spurs travelled across London to Craven Cottage, they left with a nil-nil draw, and then just over a month ago, they beat the Fulham two-nil at White Hart Lane. Harry Redknapp’s side enjoy playing Fulham, although 6/4 (Boylesports) that they win on Saturday is far too short, against a side who are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions.

Fulham have won nine out of fourteen at home in the Premier League this season, and they have an excellent defensive record at Craven Cottage. They are 11/5 (Victor Chandler) to beat Spurs, and if they can stop Jermaine Defoe (6/1 Coral FGS) and Roman Pavlyuchenko (13/2 bet365) from scoring, then they have a great chance of victory.

Fulham are 11/4 (Sky Bet) to keep a clean sheet, and 9/2 (Sky Bet) to win to nil on Saturday. Five shut-outs in their last eight matches suggest Roy Hodgson’s side are definitely capable of stopping opponents from scoring.

Bobby Zamora is playing the best football of his life at Fulham, and the former Spurs striker will be keen to maintain his excellent scoring record this season with the game’s opener (13/2 Sky Bet FGS), and a Zamora goal in a 1-0 Fulham win (17/2 Sky Bet) is a not inconceivable outcome to the game. That double pays a respectable 33/1 with Sky Bet.

Recommended bet:
Fulham to win @ 11/5 Victor Chandler
Fulham to Win to Nil @ 9/2 Sky Bet

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2010, 11:12:31 PM »
http://tottenhamonmymind.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/fulham-v-spurs-shuffle-the-pack/

Fulham v Spurs. Shuffle the Pack

March 5, 2010 Alan


My last post has been so well received, I’ve finally found the level of my audience – urine and toilets. So that’s the future for TOMM…

Back to football and our vital cup quarter final away to Fulham. Something new to preview this week, an injury crisis. One day you’re knee deep in midfielders (oh dear, straying too close to yesterday’s toilet gags), next you can’t find one for looking. This weekend we may be able to judge the degree of success achieved by the policy of farming out youngsters to the lower leagues, rather than  nurturing them in the reserves, now non-existent. Jake Livermore has some experience and is muscular, eager and athletic enough to warrant serious consideration for the centre midfield berth left vacant as Hud rests and JJ recovers from his groin operation.

But it is a risk, away from home against a redoubtable Fulham team who have overcome a recent blip and won their last four matches, including a fine two leg victory over the Europa Cup holders, no mean achievement. Yet the alternatives carry some risk too. Modric and Kranjcar have both played in the middle. Modric looks most comfortable there; he likes to be involved and the team plays better when he’s on form and on the ball. However, his presence could leave us weak defensively. He showed last Sunday that he’s not afraid of hard work and can put his foot in when it matters but he could be over-run by Fulham’s industrious and canny midfield.

Everything revolves around this selection. Livermore could mean the Croatian duo can maintain their balance on the right and left and give Modric a fraction more room on the left. Disruption is minimal. Modric will mean experience and greater creativity. And that’s what I would go for. Luka can handle himself and WP must hang back to shield the back four. Just don’t move, Wilson.

Next problem: up front. Defoe is ‘doubtful’. By the strict meaning of the word, he’s unlikely to play but I suspect that in football speak it translates as – he has a bit of a knock but Harry thinks he’s fit enough. Or maybe it means nobody knows until tomorrow teatime. I think he’ll start, a feeling with no basis in evidence whatsoever. If he’s not fit, it’s tempting to consider Gudjohnsen. His game is to drop deeper and link the midfield and the frontmen, handy if we need some help further back. But he’s not on his game. At all. The ‘game’ passed him by completely on Sunday.

Meanwhile, just when I turned my back for a split second, Crouch has become a nailed on world cup certainty and in the top twenty all-time England scorers. I had to work late on Wednesday and now look what has happened. Never again. There must be a better big striker in England. What’s that? Oh, well, apparently there isn’t. So that’s that then. Pav obviously, and if no Defoe it’s Crouch for me. Pav’s renaissance began when he played off PC at Bolton. On condition that we don’t wang the ball forward. Deal?

Finally, that leaves left midfield. Bale is also doubtful, whatever it means, but if fit he could fill with BAE behind him. This is what our big squad is for and we should be able to cope, but if Wilson gets booked, the resulting suspension could cost us dear next week. Worry about that after Saturday, because this match demands our full and complete attention. Fulham will be hard to beat but here is a golden chance to progress towards a cup final. We must be positive and take the game to our opponents. Whatever the personnel it’s what we do best. Spurs after a replay.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2010, 11:14:28 PM »
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Soccer+Fulham+manager+Hodgson+faces+defining+week/2646560/story.html


Soccer: Fulham manager Roy Hodgson faces defining week
 
 
By Jason Burt, LDTMarch 5, 2010 1:03 PM
 
ROY HODGSON is about to embark on one of the most significant weeks in Fulham's history. But he dismisses notions that what happens against Tottenham Hotspur today, in the FA Cup quarter-finals, and against Juventus next Thursday, in the last 16 of the Europa League, will "define" his time as the club's manager.

"For me, I'm afraid, I will always preach: do a good job every week, work within your budget, stay in the Premier League and, if you are lucky enough to have the type of year we are having this year, then embrace it. Take it happily, try and do something with it," Hodgson, a serial achiever, said.

The Fulham manager, as any observer of his methods will understand, is not into the quick-fix, the day in the sun.

He faces HR (Harry Redknapp) today, who won the trophy two years ago with Portsmouth, overstretching themselves disastrously to do so, but he is not into HP.

Indeed the 62 year-old launches a staunch defence of Mohamed Fayed, Fulham's owner, who would surely invest in one of his trademark, colourful shirts should his club reach a semi-final at Wembley Stadium.

"Not just a good businessman but a great businessman and he wants us to do well and has invested heavily in the club to help us to do well," Hodgson said.

"At the same time he has a very sensible business head and, like me, he does not want one moment of glory to be achieved by spending money that we cannot sustain. He wants sustainable success.

"If you ask me, what the success of Mohammed Al Fayed and Fulham Football Club is then it's a: saving the club from virtual extinction, then b: getting them into the Premiership and keeping them there for nine solid years and a 10th one if nothing untoward happens between now and May. That is a marvellous achievement.

"For me, achievements are something which are often brought about over a period of years The true measure of a club's success is what it does week in, week out."

Which is all true, even if Fulham have also had their years of overspending, followed by prudence, by Hodgson in particular. But which of their supporters is not hoping that the last trophy Hodgson picks up this season is not the manager of the month, which he collected yesterday for his achievements in February? "All I can say is that it will be great for me and, more importantly, it will be great for this football team and this club because many of these players have been good professionals for a number of years but they cannot really show you the CVs that their careers merit," he said.

"There are a lot of people in the team who are more deserving than me of a big moment in their football lives."

This tie - probably the game of the round - pits Hodgson against Redknapp, a manager he has known for some time and who he counts as a friend, and someone who "let him know" that Fulham's pursuit of Peter Crouch last summer was pointless. "It was made clear to me early on, by Harry, that he 1/8Crouch 3/8 was going to Tottenham. And as it turned out Bobby Zamora has had a wonderful season anyway. So I'm in no way regretful there."

Zamora is one of five former Spurs players in the Fulham ranks - so is there extra motivation for them? "When you meet an old club it's always a motivating factor - but the chance to get to Wembley 1/8for Fulham 3/8 for the first time in 25 years is motivation enough," Hodgson said. He has led a team out at Wembley once. "I took Switzerland there for a friendly but my Wembley appearances have been limited," he explained.

Another one would highlight the remarkable body of work he has achieved at Fulham, where he took over with the team seemingly doomed to relegation and playing an unsophisticated style of football. Hodgson has instituted a root-and-branch reform. It feels like a different club.

"Over the last couple of years we have made a pretty clear statement of what we are about and what we want to be," he said.

There is clearly an excitement of what the next few days hold - first Spurs, then Juve, with the added motivation for Hodgson, a former Inter Milan coach, of taking on a Serie A giant again. For once, his sober approach cracks. "It's amazing that the two games are back to back," Hodgson said. "It's like when you are a kid and you get loads of sweets given to you at one time by your aunts and then you go weeks without seeing them again."

Fulham fans are in for a treat.


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2010, 11:17:28 PM »
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100306/SPORT/703059818/1004

Earning an admiring glance

Richard Jolly

Last Updated: March 05. 2010 10:08PM UAE / March 5. 2010 6:08PM GMT 

Recognition can take time, as Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp can testify. The reward for either the Fulham or the Tottenham manager today will be a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

If the journey from either Craven Cottage or White Hart Lane to Wembley should not be a lengthy one, two Londoners have taken a circuitous route. A 63-year-old and a 62-year-old, born within six months of each other in 1947, have more than six decades in coaching and management between them. Achievements abounded, but appreciation can be elusive, particularly close to home.

For Redknapp, it belatedly arrived in the FA Cup two years ago. A career that began with a 9-0 defeat at Bournemouth in 1982 peaked when Portsmouth beat Cardiff at Wembley in 2008. His first major trophy now seems a tainted triumph: paid for on the never-never, it was a team that ultimately Portsmouth could not afford. With respect to West Ham and Portsmouth, Redknapp had been a manager for more than a quarter of a century before a first genuinely big club appointed him. Eight-time winners of the FA Cup, Tottenham’s pedigree in the competition predates Redknapp’s.

Then there is Hodgson, whose path has taken him the 11 miles from his native Croydon to Fulham via seven other countries. He was valued rather more in most than in England: a brief stint at Bristol City concluded unhappily in 1982, while 17 months at Blackburn ended in 1998 with Rovers in the relegation zone. The third act of his managerial life in England has been much the best: saving Fulham from relegation in improbable fashion, taking the club to their highest ever league finish (7th) and overseeing arguably a still better campaign this year.

In an injury-ravaged year, ninth place in the Premier League is more than respectable while Fulham’s FA Cup run pales into insignificance compared to their European exploits. Three lower-division sides have been beaten in the FA Cup, but eliminating a hugely accomplished Shakhtar Donetsk side from the Europa League sets up a tie with Juventus on Thursday which Fulham are describing as perhaps the biggest in their history. A most cosmopolitan coach is admired at home and abroad.

His imprint is all over his team. The defence and the midfield are superbly well-drilled, a narrow back four restricting space for opponents. Hodgson has overseen Bobby Zamora’s transformation from selfless target man to regular scorer, Danny Murphy’s conversion to efficient midfield anchorman and the left-footed Damien Duff’s revitalisation as a right winger. He unearthed Chris Smalling, playing for non-league Maidstone, and has agreed to sell him to Manchester United for £10 million (Dh55.2m).

Redknapp may not micro-manage like Hodgson; he is less of a tactician and more of a man-manager. More prone to wit and wisecracks, he can motivate. The revival of Roman Pavlyuchenko, scorer of six goals in his last four games, could compensate if a hamstring problem rules out Jermain Defoe.

“Pav’s in great form,” said Redknapp. So is Peter Crouch, scorer of a brace for England on Wednesday. “It was great to see Crouchy come and score his goals,” added his manager. “Wherever he has plays, he has always done well. He brings something very different to the team.”

“We have got a difficult game at Fulham,” said Crouch, an FA Cup winner with Liverpool in 2006. “We have got to try and make sure we get through that and we have got a real chance of going all the way in the FA Cup.

“This club deserves to get to an FA Cup final. It’s been a while and I’ve been lucky enough to win it. It’s a fantastic feeling and hopefully I can do it again with Tottenham.”

Their task is tougher because Redknapp has a depleted midfield, where the absentees include the English quartet of Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon and David Bentley.

Two emerging players, Andros Townsend and Jake Livermore, could be involved. “It’s quite easy to pick the team because we’ve got about 12 fit players,” said Redknapp. With four of the Premier League’s top six already eliminated, the FA Cup presents an opportunity for Spurs.

“We are also in a fight for fourth place, that’s going to the right to the wire,” added Crouch. “It’s exciting times.”

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2010, 07:07:00 AM »
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2010/0306/1224265702799.html

Smalling ready to make another big leap

CHRIS SMALLING grew up in a household that in footballing terms was quite a battleground. His mum, Theresa, followed Tottenham. He supported Arsenal. His father, Lloyd, and younger brother Jason plumped for Manchester United. Little did this young Gunner know that one day he would be playing at White Hart Lane, about to meet Alex Ferguson, and that his world would spin upside down in the most thrilling way imaginable.

Sitting in the wintry sunshine at Fulham’s training ground, Smalling gives the impression he is remarkably calm about the recent turn of events that led him to sign for Manchester United. He will move to Old Trafford in the summer, just two years after he left Maidstone in the Isthmian League, six tiers below the top flight. Those promising feet are grounded. There is enough apprehension mixed in with the excitement to prevent a sudden swagger. “It’s been a really crazy couple of years,” he says, bashfully.

The craziness peaked last month. His career was progressing steadily at Craven Cottage, and Smalling had been selected for his second Premier League start for an away match at Tottenham Hotspur. Nobody said a word before kick-off as Fulham’s management team wanted him to be concentrating, but afterwards he was pulled aside and informed Ferguson had come to watch him and wanted to talk to him.

Considering it was the eve of the League Cup semi-final second leg, with United preparing to play City at Old Trafford, Smalling was bowled over to discover the manager of the Premier League champions would make such an effort. Just for him. Up until that point he had played 239 minutes of Premier League football.

“For him to come down the day before a big game was a huge compliment,” he says. “That made it feel incredible. I went up the next day to the Manchester derby and got to meet some of the players. I went to see the training ground, did the medical, and everyone was very welcoming.”

The 20-year-old found himself chewing the fat with one of his role models, Rio Ferdinand, a fellow south London boy who told him about moving north at a young age to further his career.

“He told me I would very much enjoy it up there,” adds Smalling, who returned to London enthusing about how he might pick up some tips from the main man next season and hopefully even play alongside him in the centre of defence.

That treatment worked. The player had been torn when it emerged that his boyhood club, and one much closer to home, was also in the chase. But Arsene Wenger did not put in the personal effort in that Ferguson did, a reversal of what happened when Aaron Ramsey was the prize they fought over. “When Sir Alex came and met me and I went to go up and visit, I had the gut feeling this was the place for me to continue my football education,” Smalling says. “My brother was just over the moon. Being a Man United fan he is going to want a few tickets. My mum and brother are so proud of me.”

So they should be. Few players make the leap from non-league to Champions League within a couple of years. Not so long ago Smalling was making plans for a life where the idea of football as a career was a hope rather than an expectation. He worked hard at school, and his A-level passes in economics, business studies and media secured him a university place. “I would have gone to Loughborough to study business management and was looking forward to that,” he says.

While studying for his exams at 17 he was also playing for Maidstone United. He trained twice a week and played matches at the weekend, experiencing a side of football he appreciates for giving him perspective. “My team-mates had different jobs,” he recalls. “A few worked in the city, some did building and carpentry, a lot of them had played in the league at a higher level but dropped down for whatever reason, whether they were coming to the end of their career or had an injury and struggled to get back,” he says. “That makes you value the opportunity you have.”

Thankfully, once he reached the first team at Maidstone he did not have to take his kit home for mum to deal with, but he still had to get himself to matches and cadged lifts from his friends. “Some games would be a bit of a nightmare if there was traffic and you’d be rushing for kick-off.”

Naturally, as a teenager, he was targeted by the gnarled veterans of the Isthmian League. “Their game is geared to sort of roughing you up if they see they are up against someone who has played a handful of times. That gave me a grounding in the less pretty side of the game. I like to get the ball down and play, but I can always get stuck in and hold my own.”

He was picked for England schoolboys, a selection that opened the door to trials with a couple of Premier League clubs, and it was Fulham who felt right in the summer of 2008. “After playing a reserve game Roy Hodgson took me into his office and complimented me on my game. We had a general chat, he was telling me about when he played for Maidstone back in the day, so it all felt very nice to be at the club. They gave me a chance, they saw some raw ability and it has been a joy working here.”

Smalling is hopeful he can experience some tangible success with his team-mates before he bids them farewell. Fulham has got under his skin, and he would dearly love some cup success, with Tottenham in the FA Cup quarter-finals today and Juventus in the Europa Cup on the horizon. “The chance of getting to Wembley, and playing against the likes of Juventus, shows how far we have come as a group.”

In the meantime, he is juggling plates again. When not focusing on Fulham, he is planning for Old Trafford. He has already started the search for a place to live, and wants to get sorted before the summer so he is ready to hit the ground running in pre-season.

Overall, he could hardly be more sensible. Ferguson knows his €11 million has been spent on a player who does not just have the talent to go far, but the work ethic and level-headedness as well. He even wants to continue his studies while he is at United. “I’d like to pick it up as there is obviously quite a bit of spare time after training, to get a few qualifications for after football.”

As Smalling gets up from his seat when our conversation draws to a close, he seems to go on forever. Some footballers are not as big as you expect in the flesh, but Smalling towers. It is necessary to crane your neck to say goodbye and apparently all 6ft 4in of him is yet to fill out. Manchester United just might have bought themselves a very big player for the future.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2010, 07:14:51 AM »
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/161925/Antti-hero-Hodgson-is-just-the-job

ANTTI HERO HODGSON IS JUST THE JOB 


Hodgson is chasing "glitterng prizes" over the next few days
 
Saturday March 6,2010

By Gideon Brooks  Have your say(0)


IN THE immediate aftermath of Lawrie Sanchez’s failed regime, when Fulham’s directors were nervously contemplating their next move, Antti Niemi got ­himself into a routine that might just be his best contribution to the club.

As he left training at Motspur Park every day in late 2007, goalkeeper Niemi would seek out chief executive David McNally, pull his car alongside, beep his horn and mouth: “Get Roy Hodgson.”

According to one executive who witnessed this, it became more pronounced with every day that passed and with every other manager that was linked to the job.

“Get Roy Hodgson” drifted through the window daily.

It was a message that might not have won prizes for the subtlety of its delivery, but it was one that eventually got through.

Hodgson was appointed on the penultimate day of 2007 and one of the best chapters of Fulham’s history started to unfold.

From there to here – a week which will start with an FA Cup quarter-final against Spurs at Craven Cottage tonight and work its way through a trip to Turin to take on Juventus in the last 16 of the Europa League and finish at Old Trafford next Sunday – has been quite a journey.

No wonder some are talking of Hodgson, 63, as a likely candidate to take over from Fabio Capello when he vacates the England role.

Perhaps Niemi is even parked outside FA headquarters shouting right now.

If it has not been without its early scrapes and moments of good fortune – notably in that run to safety on the last day of the 2007-08 season – those banking on Hodgson’s luck running out with the modest resources at Craven Cottage have long since run out of patience.

In addition to sitting ninth in the table, Fulham are still going strong in two cup competitions. A contract renewal last December when he signed a rolling deal worth up to £5 million until the end of the 2012 season, has not led to any evident complacency.

An extraordinary 33-year career in management might have flagged up as much. Aside from 18 months with Blackburn in 1997-98, his best work has been done abroad in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy and Finland, where he worked with Niemi.

It has left him with an impressive fluency in five languages and a deep knowledge of the talent pool elsewhere, something he has used to good effect.

For all that he has made some shrewd signings – Brede Hangeland, Erik Nevland, Mark Schwarzer and Bobby Zamora to name but four – those who work with him say his success is built on simple but solid foundations. “Hard work and discipline,” said Hodgson .

He is a stickler for team shape, his players know where they should be in relation to each other down to the nearest yard. It is something he often stops training to correct.

He is also a strict disciplinarian. Midfielder Chris Baird suggested the team’s good season has seen him in high spirits all year, but there is a fire underneath his coiff ured hair when things go wrong.

“The boys have seen it a couple of times like with every manager, but not this season,” said Baird , cautiously.

Hodgson picked up his second Barclays Manager-of-the-Month award yesterday after their unbeaten run in February. Schwarzer, Niemi’s successor, won the player award.

Hodgson is, of course, aware that this week carries with it the chance for even greater recognition and reward. “It’s a huge week,” said Hodgson.

“There is a glittering prize riding on the back of both of the next two fixtures and, if we are lucky enough to win the first of them, we get a trip to Wembley – the first in 35 years for this club. And my first aside from a friendly with the Swiss national side.

“But as far as a defining week in the club’s history, I don’t know. What we have achieved, barring something going very wrong, is to be a Premier League team for a 10th season.

“That is the achievement and that is what defines what this club is about.

“If you are lucky enough to enjoy years like this, then you have to embrace them and we will. It would be a tremendous thing to get a result in either of these fixtures and whoever wins on Saturday will have a great chance in the competition.

“But there is no secret formula beyond hard work and discipline. The more we can do to dispel the myth that football management is miraculous and that you are granted the magic wand or not, the better.

“The harder you work, the more success you have.”

He might say that, but there are others convinced there is more to it than that.‘The harder you work the more success you have’


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2010, 07:19:14 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/facup/7378392/Fulham-manager-Roy-Hodgson-faces-defining-week-but-craves-long-term-success.html

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson faces defining week but craves long-term success


Fulham play Tottenham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday then Juventus in the Europa League.
 
By Jason Burt


Published: 11:00PM GMT 05 Mar 2010

 
But he dismisses notions that what happens against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and against Juventus next Thursday, in the last 16 of the Europa League, will "define" his time as the club's manager.

"For me, I'm afraid, I will always preach: do a good job every week, work within your budget, stay in the Premier League and, if you are lucky enough to have the type of year we are having this year then embrace it. Take it happily, try and do something with it," Hodgson, a serial achiever, said.

The Fulham manager, as any observer of his methods will understand, is not into the quick-fix, the day in the sun. He faces HR (Harry Redknapp) on Saturday, who won the trophy two years ago with Portsmouth, overstretching themselves disastrously to do so, but he is not into HP.

Indeed the 62 year-old launches a staunch defence of Mohamed Fayed, Fulham's owner, who would surely invest in one of his trademark, colourful shirts should his club reach a semi-final at Wembley Stadium.

"Not just a good businessman but a great businessman and he wants us to do well and has invested heavily in the club to help us to do well," Hodgson said.

"At the same time he has a very sensible business head and, like me, he does not want one moment of glory to be achieved by spending money that we cannot sustain. He wants sustainable success.

"If you ask me, what the success of Mohammed Al Fayed and Fulham Football Club is then it's a: saving the club from virtual extinction, then b: getting them into the Premiership and keeping them there for nine solid years and a 10th one if nothing untoward happens between now and May.

"That is a marvellous achievement. For me, achievements are something which are often brought about over a period of years. The true measure of a club's success is what it does week in, week out."

Which is all true, even if Fulham have also had their years of overspending, followed by prudence, by Hodgson in particular.

But which of their supporters is not dreaming, praying that the last trophy Hodgson picks up this season is not the manager of the month – the second time he has been awarded the prize – he collected on Friday for his achievements in February?

"All I can say is that it will be great for me and, more importantly, it will be great for this football team and this club because many of these players have been good professionals for a number of years, but they cannot really show you the CVs that their careers merit," he said.

"There are a lot of people in the team who are more deserving than me of a big moment in their football lives."

This tie – probably the game of the round – pits Hodgson against Redknapp, a manager he has known for some time and who he counts as a friend, and someone who "let him know" that Fulham's pursuit of Peter Crouch last summer was pointless.

"It was made clear to be early on, by Harry, that he [Crouch] was going to Tottenham. And as it turned out Bobby Zamora has had a wonderful season anyway. So I'm in no way regretful there."

Zamora is one of five former Spurs players in the Fulham ranks – so is there extra motivation for them?

"When you meet an old club it's always a motivating factor – but the chance to get to Wembley [for Fulham] for the first time in 25 years is motivation enough," Hodgson said. He has led a team out at Wembley once.

"I took Switzerland there for a friendly but my Wembley appearances have been limited," he explained.

Another one would highlight the remarkable body of work he has achieved at Fulham, where he took over with the team seemingly doomed to relegation and playing an unsophisticated style of football.

Hodgson has instituted a root-and-branch reform. It feels like a different club. "Over the last couple of years we have made a pretty clear statement of what we are about and what we want to be," he said.

There is clearly an excitement of what the next few days hold – first Spurs, then Juve, with the added motivation for Hodgson, a former Inter Milan coach, of taking on a Serie A giant again. For once, his sober approach cracks.

"It's amazing that the two games are back to back," Hodgson said. "It's like when you are a kid and sometimes you get loads of sweets given to you at one time by your aunts and uncles and then you go weeks and don't see them again."

Fulham fans are in for a treat.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2010, 07:26:18 AM »
http://www.thisiswesternmorningnews.co.uk/football/Stockdale-given-backing-Mariner/article-1889937-detail/article.html

Stockdale given full backing by Mariner


Saturday, March 06, 2010, 07:00

DAVID Stockdale is unlikely to pay for his alarming error at Sheffield United last weekend with the loss of his place in Plymouth Argyle's first team.
The Pilgrims' on-loan Fulham goalkeeper made a huge mistake which gifted the Blades what proved to be the winning goal in what was a very important Coca-Cola Championship fixture.
Stockdale was preparing to kick the ball upfield when he threw the ball in front of him, eight minutes before the end of the match. Unfortunately for him and Argyle, he had failed to notice that home striker Richard Cresswell was lurking behind him.
Cresswell pinched possession, and rolled home United's fourth goal in what turned out to be a 4-3 win. The result left the Blades in contention for a place in the promotion play-offs – and left the Pilgrims five points away from a place outside the Championship relegation zone.
Argyle will resume their increasingly urgent quest for points in today's home game against mid-table Preston North End, and it seems that Stockdale will be picked to face the Lancashire side.
 Romain Larrieu, the long-serving goalkeeper who made way for Stockdale when the 24-year-old was borrowed from Fulham, was given some match practice with a start in Tuesday's reserve-team game against Forest Green Rovers, but he did not complete the game. He was replaced at half-time, because of a slight fitness concern. The Frenchman's comeback will, it seems, have to wait for another day.
"I spoke to David on Sunday and on Monday," Argyle head coach Paul Mariner said. "He's a resilient boy, he's mentally very tough. He apologised after the game to the lads, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime error.
"John Carver [Argyle's assistant head coach] has told a story about Shay Given [the Republic of Ireland and Manchester City goalkeeper]. He said that exactly the same thing happened to Given [at Newcastle United], and look where he is now. He's in the top three or four in the Premier League.
"Sometimes you grow and learn from errors, and I'm sure David will," the Pilgrims' boss added. "He'll become a better 'keeper.
When Mariner was asked if he intended to select Stockdale tomorrow, the head coach replied: "I don't see why not. As I've said to him, he has helped us out a number of times by making crucial saves.
"Romain played in the reserves on Tuesday and came off with a bit of a thigh strain, just as a precaution," Mariner added. "I don't think there'll be any change in the goalkeeping spot."
If that decision has been made, Mariner and Carver may well have found it somewhat more difficult to decide who will play up front for the Pilgrims today. Even if he had not gone all the way to California and back to play for New Zealand in the past week, Rory Fallon's status in the first XI would have been a topic for discussion.
In Argyle's last two games, a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City a fortnight ago and last weekend's narrow defeat at Bramall Lane, Fallon has made way for Joe Mason. The skilful teenager has impressed, and he scored his first goal for the Pilgrims against the Blades.
Mason has stated his case for a recall to the Devon club's starting line-up, and Fallon will undoubtedly be weary after returning to England yesterday afternoon, following his 35-minute shift as a substitute in New Zealand's 2-0 friendly defeat to Mexico in Pasadena on Wednesday night. There are other contenders for any vacancy that might arise, as Mariner pointed out.
"We've got Bradley Wright-Phillips, who scored for the reserves in midweek," he said. "He's obviously in the frame, Kenny Cooper is pushing for a place, and Joe is pushing."
When the head coach was asked if Fallon was a definite non-starter, he replied: "No. We'll have to consider the aerial threat that Preston possess."
Mariner and Carver will also have to assess their options in defence. The back four effectively picked itself last weekend. Karl Duguid, Kari Arnason, Réda Johnson and Chris Barker were the only four fit defenders who were available for selection. Even though Johnson was forced off the field soon after half-time in South Yorkshire with a groin injury and is very unlikely to play today, Argyle are better off for back-line men than they were at Bramall Lane.
Right-back David McNamee returned to action in Tuesday's second XI game, after a groin strain. Left-back Gary Sawyer, who gashed a knee in a training session nine days ago, is expected to be available. The Pilgrims can also call upon Richard Eckersley, whom they have borrowed from Burnley. The 20-year-old can play as a right-back, or as a central defender.
One change in the back four seems certain. "Réda is struggling," Mariner admitted. "Not just for Saturday, but for next Tuesday [when Argyle go to Queen's Park Rangers] as well."
The Pilgrims also have to decide who plays on the left wing this afternoon. Craig Noone was excellent on that flank against Leicester, but was not so effective in Sheffield, where Yannick Bolasie (like Mason) scored after climbing off the bench. Bolasie also made more impact than Noone after replacing the former Southport winger in Argyle's most recent victory, the 3-1 win at Barnsley three weeks ago.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2010, 07:28:06 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5836

Fulham will wait on Murphy

by Dan on March 5, 2010

Danny Murphy faces a late fitness test as he strives to captain Fulham against his old club Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup quarter final at Craven Cottage tomorrow night.

The veteran midfielder came off early at Sunderland last week and has been struggling with a groin strain, which will be tested before the Saturday evening kick-off. Losing the captain would be a massive blow for Roy Hodgson’s side with Jonathan Greening likely to fill the void should Murphy fail to prove his fitness.


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2010, 07:31:30 AM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/03/05/fulham-v-tottenham-preview-these-are-sweet-times-for-roy-hodgso/

Fulham v Tottenham Preview: These are Sweet Times for Roy Hodgson

05/3/2010 12:24 PM GMT By Ian Winrow


Ian Winrow

FA CUP: CRAVEN COTTAGE, SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 2010. KICK-OFF: 1720 GMT

FULHAM:
It's a measure of Fulham's success this season that it's arguable whether an FA Cup quarter final meeting with Tottenham is the biggest game Roy Hodgson's side will face over the coming fortnight.

To come is the two-legged Europa League tie with Juventus with a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United sandwiched in between. Heady days, indeed, at Craven Cottage.

"It's fantastic," said Hodgson, the manager. "It's amazing the two cup games come back to back. It brings it home to you when they are so close to each other. It makes me realise more and more what a fantastic job this group of players has done.

"It's like being a kid. You always seemed to given a load of sweets by aunts and uncles, then it was a long time before you saw the aunts and uncles again. So it's nicer when things are spread out. But we'll accept we are there, are happy with the matches and make the most of the opportunities."

Hodgson admits the prospect of leading a team out at Wembley is an enticing one having visit the old national stadium as manager of Switzerland. He is anxious not to get too far ahead of himself, though, and knows the visit of Tottenham marks a major challenge for his side.

"Tottenham are in excellent form and that is shown by their standing at fourth in the league," added the manager. "There are a number of former Tottenham players in our ranks but they don't need the extra motivation of facing a former club. Not when there is the place in a semi-final at Wembley at stake."

Strategy: Danny Murphy is rated doubtful and that the midfielder's absence will be keenly felt. Murphy has been outstanding this season, operating as the fulcrum for most of Fulham's moves and much will be expected of his likely stand-in Jonathan Greening.

Hodgson's side have been exceptionally well organised all season and there is no doubt the back four is more than capable of handling Tottenham's attack. The onus will then be on Zoltan Gera andBobby Zamora to conjure something at the other end and if recent games are anything to by, Zamora is more than capable of producing the decisive moment of the game.

Injury Update: Murphy has a groin problem and will face a late test. Left back Paul Konchesky returns after a lengthy absence but may start on the bench. John Pantsil, Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey, andKagisho Digachoi remain long term casualties.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR:
Tottenham were being tipped earlier in the season to last the Premier League pace because of the depth of their squad.

There was even a suggestion that Harry Redknapp could field two teams strong enough to make an impression in the top-flight.

Well, now we are finding out if those views were correct, with Redknapp having to cope with a string of injuries to key players.

The manager reckons he has only 12 fit senior players, hence recalls for Jake Livermore from Peterborough and Andros Townsend from MK Dons and they could be on the bench for this game.

Redknapp said:"We have only three central midfield players. Jermaine Jenas had a hernia operation on Wednesday in Germany, Tom Huddlestone has his foot in a protective boot at the moment so he will be out for a few weeks, while Wilson Palacios is on nine bookings, one away from a two-match suspension.

"It leaves us very short in there. I've brought Livermore and Townsend back from loan and both have got good futures. They will be in the squad tomorrow.

"Picking the team isn't going to be a massive problem," said Redknapp. "But we still have 11 very good players and that's the most important thing."

One area where Redknapp has no concerns is among his forwards. Jermain Defoe is a doubt, but he can still choose from Roman Pavlyuchenko,Peter Crouch and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Redknapp said:"Pav's in great form with five goals in two-and-a-bit games."

Pavlyunchenko is likely to start alongside Crouch, who was so impressive for England in midweek. Redknapp said:"Peter could be England's supersub and he could be England's super-starter. I think he is capable of both. He will score goals whether he starts or comes off the bench.

Strategy: Redknapp is likely to be deprived of some of his attack-minded players, but that is unlikely to affect the way they approach this game. They have been enterprising on their travels on many occasions this season and, while David Bentley will be reminded of his defensive duties, they will hope to put Fulham under pressure down the flanks. It should be an entertaining affair.

Injury Update: Defoe will require a fitness test on a back problem and is rated as a 50-50 chances, but Spurs already know they will be without key men such as Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Huddlestone and Jenas. The btter news involves in-form full back Gareth Bale, who has recovered from a knee injury suffered when he played for Wales.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (06.03.10)
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2010, 07:34:12 AM »
http://fulhampatsfan.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-5-keys-to-victory-for-fulham-against.html

My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham against Tottenham

The match tomorrow is the FA Cup Quarterfinals.

Fulham host Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage. The match takes place at 5:20 PM UK Time and 12:20 PM EST. In the United States the game will be shown on taped delay on Fox Soccer Channel at 5PM EST. If Fulham can win this match they will go on to Wembley for the Semifinals. For me the season has already been a success. A victory tomorrow would just take the season to the "next level." Below are my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Tottenham.

1. It is imperative that Fulham score the first goal. This is usually a key for every match, but I think tomorrow it is even more important. Last year Fulham got blown out at Craven Cottage against Manchester United 4 - 0. This was also the quarterfinals for the tournament. Fulham need to show Tottenham very early that they are "in it to win it." I almost felt last year the team was just happy to be there. An early goal will set the tone for the match and will put all of the momentum with Fulham. I would love to see an early strike by Bobby Zamora.

2. Nicky Shorey just needs to continue to play solid defense. Paul Konchesky is almost ready to return. He played a great deal in the last reserves match. I think it is important that Shorey plays. I think he has proved his worth on defense. With the likes of Defoe, Crouch, and Pavlyuchenko at Tottenham's disposal Shorey will be tested. I think there will be a time soon for Konchesky to return to the lineup. I am hoping for continuity and fitness reasons that Shorey plays.

3. Roman Pavlyuchenko and the rest of the strikers need to be contained. Whether he starts or comes off of the bench he has been hot lately scoring goals. In all competitions this year he has scored 10 goals. However, his form lately has been very good. Fulham's defense against Tottenham at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day did a great job of neutralizing Crouch and Keane. They will be asked tomorrow to step it up once again and contain Pavlyuchecko and his teammates.

4. Fulham need to shoot often at Heurehlo Gomes. In the Boxing Day match he was fantastic. If it wasn't for Gomes, Fulham could have won the match. Goalkeepers can be a position that can be affected by confidence. By shooting often at Gomes the idea is to hopefully rattle him early. This can also work against Fulham as it might build his confidence. I think it is worth it though as he has had confidence issues before. If you put him under constant pressure I think we could breakthrough. Bobby Zamora should shoot often whenever he has an opening.

5. Fulham need to stop Luka Modric. Number 5 is actually I think the key to the entire match. I have to give credit to Dan at Hammyend.com for his great article on "How to beat Spurs" . He beat me to the punch on the #1 key to the match. Dan at Hammyend.com stated "What Fulham can’t afford is to allow Modric and company to dictate play forcing Danny Murphy backwards." The Croatian born player has the ability to dictate the pace of the game and get the ball up to the strikers. Please check out Dan's article. It is a great breakdown to the game. There are comments to his article. You will see that the Tottenham fans are in agreement of Dan's breakdown and key to beating Spurs.

Tomorrow is a wonderful chance for Fulham to make this season even a bigger success. Let's hope Fulham fans leave Craven Cottage tomorrow very happy.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 7:39 AM