Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)  (Read 6478 times)

White Noise

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Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« on: March 06, 2010, 09:17:13 PM »
Fulham 0 - 0 Tottenham


This London derby got off to a lively start with both sets of fans helping to create a raucous atmosphere at the Cottage. The visitors’ primary target in attack was clearly the head of Peter Crouch, who was looking to occupy the dangerous positions in front of Fulham’s back line – looking for the flick-ons.

But whilst neither keeper was called into action in the opening 15 minutes, it was Tottenham who were establishing the territorial advantage with lots of early possession in the Fulham half. Fortunately for the Whites, much of Spurs’ possession was limited to long range efforts, such as the free-kick from distance from Niko Kranjcar, which drifted harmlessly wide on 17 minutes.

With stakes high, both sidles were careful of not committing too much forward as the first-half continued with neither Mark Schwarzer or Heurelho Gomes making any stops of note.

A powerful strike from Kranjcar on 28 minutes forced a strong parry from Schwarzer as Spurs managed to connect a rare few passages of play together. A header from Crouch on 30 minutes had Schwarzer troubled but the Fulham keeper was alert enough to push the England striker’s effort wide.

A powerful piece of running from Bobby Zamora on 39 minutes had the Spurs defence on the back foot, with Gomes eventually having to clear the danger with his head for a throw-in.

The second-half got under way with the Whites attacking the Hammersmith End. Roy Hodgson’s men wasted little time in attacking when a cross from Simon Davies was headed back into the path of Zoltan Gera by Bobby Zamora. The Hungarian international forced a splendid save from Gomes with his header.

Dickson Etuhu saw his 49th minute header gratefully held by Gomes after the Whites pressed forward.

Spurs were looking to Gareth Bale for their spark of creativity, and he nearly provided an opportunity for the visitors on 53 minutes when he caused the Fulham defence a headache with a determined run down the left flank.

A spell of pressure for Tottenham ensued which culminated in Michael Dawson firing a powerful volley wide on 57 minutes. The action swung to the other end just a minute later when an inviting volley fell to Damien Duff’s right foot, unfortunately the winger could only swing his effort wide of goal.

With a number of fifty-fifty challenges increasing in the second-half, this encounter started to pick up. Gomes pulled off a fine save on 63 minutes to deny Damien Duff’s effort from the edge of the area.

The action swung from end to end; the Whites used a slightly more direct approach whilst Spurs’ attacked looked to utilise the space afforded to them by Bale and Assou-Ekotto down Fulham’s left wing.

With the time running down the attacks from both sides, which had previously been somewhat limited, were starting to loosen up with more players being forced forward.

David Elm came on for Simon Davies on 72 minutes as Roy Hodgson looked to refresh his attacking line-up. The switch saw Gera move too wide left with Elm taking his place up front.

The Whites managed to wrestle the upper hand from Spurs late on in the second-half when Bobby Zamora was just unable to stretch and get his toe on the end of a dangerous pass into the area.

Harry Redknapp’s introduction of Jermain Defoe with nine minutes remaining was a clear attempt to end the tie on the day.  But it did little to swing the play in favour of his side as both teams continued to battle out a tense affair. Bobby Zamora was almost set free down the right wing on 84 minutes but his right-footed shot from the angle flew wide of the post.


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/MatchCentre/Matches/0910/FACup/FACup6thRound.aspx#ixzz0hQvvyLVc

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2010, 09:18:34 PM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/SchwarzersSpursReaction.aspx


Schwarzer's Spurs Reaction


Saturday 6th March 2010


Fulham FC News


Barclays Player of the Month for February, Mark Schwarzer, thought a draw was a fair result in Saturday’s goalless FA Cup Quarter-Final with Tottenham Hotspur, although he admitted a tinge of regret that Fulham didn’t capitalise on their home advantage.

“I think it was fair,” he assessed. “It was a little bit disappointing because we had a few decent chances, but they had some half chances too.

“It’s a little disappointing when you’re playing at home because you think you have that bit of an upper hand, but they’re a very, very good side and I think overall it was a fair enough result.”

The Aussie stopper had to be on his toes to deny a driven first-half effort from Niko Kranjcar and a header from Peter Crouch amongst a few other chances, but on the whole had a reasonably quiet afternoon in a match that never quite ignited into an FA Cup classic.

“I think the action came in spits and spurts,” he reflected. “There were periods of the game when it was open and exciting, but overall I think it was one of those games where they were happy enough to be able to draw and take us back to White Hart Lane for a replay.

“Our plan was very much the same as it is every week. To play football, with quick movement, passing the ball well and trying to keep our shape - and we did that well today. Obviously we tried to nick a goal – and we had our opportunities - but it just didn’t work out for us.”

The result means that Fulham will now have to travel to North London for a replay, adding yet another fixture to an already jam-packed list. By the time the game comes around it will be the team’s 50th of the season, but you won’t find Schwarzer complaining.

“This is what you play football for, these exciting games,” he said. “Today we played Tottenham in the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup, next we play Juve twice, with Manchester United in between, there’s Manchester City after that and then Tottenham again!

“It doesn’t get much better than this, so we’ll just enjoy it.”


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/SchwarzersSpursReaction.aspx#ixzz0hQwd7VqW

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 09:21:50 PM »


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 09:24:52 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11675_6007470,00.html

Redknapp wary of upset

Spurs boss also pleased with performance of Gomes


Last updated: 6th March 2010   



Harry Redknapp acknowledges Tottenham are favourites to win their FA Cup replay against Fulham and qualify for the semi-finals, but he remains wary of an upset.

Spurs drew 0-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday evening in a relatively drab stalemate and the teams will now meet again at White Hart Lane on 24th March.

Redknapp recognises his side are now in the box-seat to eliminate their London rivals, however, he is conscious of the threat of Roy Hodgson's side after they recently eliminated Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 32 of the Europa League.

"We kept possession well, though we didn't create enough chances," said the Tottenham boss.

"Of course we'll be the happier side. Before we came here we would have taken the draw. This is a difficult place to come.

"Fulham are a difficult team to beat, they just knocked holders Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Europa League. That tells you all you need to know about them.

Praise
"They're well managed and coached and are not easy to play against. A replay gives us a good chance at home and we're still bang in there.

"At home we've got a big chance, but I bet Shakhtar thought they were favourites for the second leg of that Europa League tie.

"It didn't work out that way, though. Fulham's win was one of the results of the season."

Redknapp also hailed Gomes after the Tottenham goalkeeper, who had a nightmare at Craven Cottage two years ago, prevented Fulham from snatching victory.

"Gomes looks different to the goalkeeper who came here in 2008 when I first arrived," he said.

"He had a terrible time here then but he's a different lad now, full of confidence, who looks what he is - a top keeper.

"He had a bad day here in 2008 but it didn't affect him today."

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 09:26:49 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3252858,00.html

Cottagers and Spurs to meet again

Replay required after a drab stalemate by The Thames


Last updated: 6th March 2010   
 

Fulham and Tottenham could not be separated in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and will require a replay after an uninspiring 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.

The tie appeared the most appealing of the sixth round, but it failed to live up to expectations as the contest ended in a stalemate repeat of the Premier League meeting on the banks of The Thames on Boxing Day.

A non-event of a first half was followed by only a marginal improvement, with Zoltan Gera wasting the best chance shortly after the break when his weak header was saved by Heurelho Gomes.

Tottenham, who were frustrated by Fulham's rigid defence, had a decent claim for a penalty when Brede Hangeland's arm prevented Peter Crouch from meeting a cross, but referee Mark Clattenburg was not interested.

For Gomes it was a return to the ground where in November 2008 he made the worst in a string of blunders that almost saw him sold by manager Harry Redknapp.

At the other end, Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar and Crouch, but was hardly involved again.

For all their possession and a passing game that was easy on the eye, Spurs rarely troubled Fulham's goal and wilted as an attacking force.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson could be disappointed his side, who continue to punch above their weight in two cup competitions as their Europa League campaign keeps going, did not finish off their capital rivals.

Anticipation

Hodgson and Schwarzer were presented with their manager and Player of the Month awards for February shortly before kick-off.

Spurs pressed hard in midfield to give their opponents little time on the ball, but despite some slick passing, they failed to trouble Fulham's goal.

Anticipation gripped home fans as Zamora broke free down the left before expertly cutting back inside where he fired a shot straight into the arms of Gomes.

It was not until the 28th minute that either goalkeeper was extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Kranjcar.

The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to turn a fine goalbound header by Crouch away from the target.

Damien Duff pulled the trigger from long range at the other end as Fulham's chances continued to be severely limited.

Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one well-worked move, but Michael Dawson intervened to snuff out the danger.

The second half was not even a minute old when Gera drew a superb save from Gomes.


Frantic

Simon Davies initiated the move with a marauding run down the right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora directed the ball to Gera whose header was well stopped by Gomes.

The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out Hangeland's header from a Davies corner.

The match was coming alive after a dull first half, partly thanks to the noisy Spurs fans.

Duff found the side netting after being set up by Davies and was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent work by Zamora.

Kranjcar fizzed a lethal cross through the penalty area as Spurs launched a counter-attack.

Space was opening up for both sides in an increasingly frantic last 10 minutes that saw Zamora fail to connect with a fine chance.

Vedran Corluka almost turned an attempted clearance into his own net. He did not know where the ball was going and Spurs breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.


Fulham
Team Statistics
Tottenham Hotspur

0 Goals
0

0 1st Half Goals
0

4 Shots on Target
2

4 Shots off Target
9

2 Blocked Shots
5

2 Corners
9

10 Fouls
10

1 Offsides
1

1 Yellow Cards
0

0 Red Cards
0

78.4 Passing Success
77.4

27 Tackles
19

74.1 Tackles Success
78.9

52.9 Possession
47.1

43.7 Territorial Advantage
56.3



White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 09:28:09 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/user_ratings/0,19768,11065_3252858,00.html

Fulham Player ratings

Player Our Rating Your Rating Rate player

 Mark Schwarzer  0 7.0  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Brede Hangeland  0 7.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Aaron Hughes  0 6.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Nicky Shorey  0 6.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Chris Baird  0 6.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Jonathan Greening  0 5.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Dickson Etuhu  0 6.2  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Simon Davies  0 5.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Bobby Zamora  0 7.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Damien Duff  0 7.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Zoltan Gera  0 7.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 09:30:12 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6007490,00.html

Hodgson - Spurs have advantage

Cottagers boss frustrated that side could not snatch a winner


Last updated: 6th March 2010   
 

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson knows that Tottenham are now in pole position to reach the FA Cup semi-finals following their 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.

The London rivals played out a quarter-final stalemate on Saturday evening and will now meet again at White Hart Lane in a couple of weeks.

Hodgson believes the draw was a fair result, but is frustrated his side could not snatch a win and that Spurs now have the upper hand.

"I'm only the more disappointed because it was a home game and the advantage now passes over to Tottenham because they will be at home for the replay," he said.

"We're pretty evenly matched and I'm disappointed we couldn't get the goal that would have put us through.

Magnificent

"We were close at the end, but, on the basis of the play, 0-0 was a fair result, although it was anything other than a dull cup tie because of the quality and commitment on show.

"The atmosphere was magnificent. I'm pleased we didn't lose as that would have been a bitter disappointment."

Hodgson was unhappy with the state of the pitch at Craven Cottage and revealed it will be re-laid over the summer.

"The chairman is keen to invest in a new pitch. We badly need it because this one has been going a while," he said.

"By this stage of winter it gets bare and uneven and that doesn't help ball control. We need a proper pitch, there will be no temporary solution."

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2010, 09:33:50 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/06/fa-cup-fulham


Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur - as it happened

You'll never get these 90 minutes back, but here's a 19-minute interview with the great JP Donleavy, Roy Hodgson's favourite author, to make up for it.


FA Cup Quarter-Final

Fulham 0 
Tottenham Hotspur 0 

Scott Murray guardian.co.uk, Saturday 6 March 2010 16.36 GMT Article history
JP Donleavy, upon being photographed at his stately pile in Mullingar

It was World Book Day on Thursday, and so both Fulham and Tottenham wheeled out the big names in the hope of encouraging youngsters to read. Tottenham striker Peter Crouch spoke of his love for Roald Dahl, the famous children's author, spinner of family-friendly tales such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox. With the same cause in mind, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson cited the work of JP Donleavy, author of classic booze-and-carouse romp The special one Man, whose hero Sebastian Dangerfield's baby goes hungry when Daddy spends all the money on malt whisky, and etiquette satire The Unexpurgated Code, which contains detailed advice on how to act "Upon being stung on the end of your p**** by a bee on a golf course". Read up, kids! You have got to love Roy Hodgson.

For the record, here's what to do upon being stung on the end of your etc.: Donleavy suggests betting heavily on yourself, as your opponent will be laughing too hard to play properly.

Anyway, after a week of sterling work on behalf of the publishing industry, it's back to the day job. This is the second FA Cup quarter-final, and one with good omens for both teams, sort of: Fulham have only lost one of their last nine home games against Spurs, though that was a 4-0 FA Cup tonking in 2007.

The first page turns at: The traditional 5.20pm. Thank you, my ITV!

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Greening, Etuhu, Davies, Gera, Zamora.
Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling, Elm.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Palacios, Kranjcar, Bale, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko.
Subs: Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Defoe, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Manager of the month: Hodgson picks up his award from Barclays, or Barclaycard, or whatever. In the past, he'd have been given a massive multi-litre bottle of Bells whisky for this, allowing him, theoretically at the very least, to romp like his hero Dangerfield through the streets of Soho in a refreshed manner while wearing a kangeroo costume. Not now, though, not now. We've all taken a wrong turning somewhere, people.

Anyway, a proper old-school FA Cup atmosphere at Craven Cottage, what with both managers treating the competition with respect, and the fans not treating it with a tiresomely snobbish attitude, and all that. And we're off! Fulham playing in their traditional white and black, the Lilywhites playing in dark blue, which may or may not be traditional, I don't know enough about the history of Tottenham's second strips to say either way. Anyway, Gera slips down the right in some space... but faffs around and can't get a cross in. An open game with a stupid number of goals, please, everyone.

2 min: Spurs can't get their foot on the ball yet, a problem in this sport for reasons I needn't go into.

4 min: There's always an awful song and dance made about how good Crouch is on the ground for a big man, but Spurs are lumping high balls towards his head here. They fling three forward in quick succession, the third nearly paying dividend as Hughes momentarily loses the flight of the looping pass, allowing Crouch to nod it down for himself and race towards the area. Hughes recovers well, though, toe-poking the ball away from Crouch before he can take a pelt.

7 min: Spurs win a corner. Pavlyuchenko gets his head to the set piece from the right, but he can't put any London-style BOSH into the effort and the ball sails into Schwarzer's hands. "According to Clive Tyldesley, Harry Redknapp is one of the most loved managers in the game," reports Lee James. "Presumably that's one of the bedtime stories Clive's mother tells him before tucking him under his limited edition 'That Night In Barcelona' duvet." Nothing wrong with a bit of fiction for the innocent little ones, Lee. Unless it gets a bit too scary for them. The story of the Portsmouth wage bill, for example.

10 min: Spurs have started strongly enough, enjoying the majority of possession. Modric, Palacios and Kranjcar stroke it around 30 yards out, but Fulham hold their shape and eventually Modric sloppily lets the ball zip out of play and into the stand on the right.

12 min: Fulham can't hold onto the ball at all. Greening in particular has been guilty of conceding possession under no pressure whatsoever. Spurs will be perfectly happy with this.

15 min: Thirty-five yards out, Zamora flicks a majestic header down the inside-right channel past Dawson for Gera, on the edge of the area. Bassong holds Gera up, the Fulham man considering a preposterous first-time dipping volley towards the top-left-hand corner, then thinking better of it, then wishing he'd given it a go on account of Dawson hoving back into view and buggering off with the ball.

18 min: Spurs ping it around again, hither and yon, 35 yards out. They're getting nowhere, Kranjcar eventually whacking the ball out of play, but Pavlyuchenko is upended by Greening in the centre. That's a free kick, 30-odd yards out. Fulham don't put up much of a wall - the thing's a three-man shambles - but it doesn't make much difference, Kranjcar dragging a pathetic low shot well wide left and out of play.

19 min: Finally something from Fulham up front as Zamora bustles down the inside-left channel, reaches the box, checks inside and hits a medium-paced number goalwards. Gomes is all over it.

21 min: Zamora dances around in the centre of the park, his back to goal, dragging the ball here and there and making Bassong look very daft indeed. He does a great job of pulling the Spurs back line out of shape, but then goes for a ridiculously difficult killer pass: Gera's not there, having expected a sensible ball and made a move towards The Sensible Place.

24 min: Hangeland hoofs a long ball forward. Gomes comes out to the edge of his area to claim, confident to roam because Fulham haven't committed anyone up front at all. This is pretty poor stuff now, though let's remember this afternoon's Portsmouth-Birmingham match was even worse than this in the first half, and that ended up reasonably interesting if not exactly a classic. Look, I'm trying here.

25 min: Davies slides in on Bale. It's late. It should be a free kick in the centre, 30 yards out. It could be a card for the Fulham midfielder too. It's neither, though, much to the displeasure of the Tottenham fans.

27 min: Greening bombs down the left and, right in the corner, digs out a very decent cross indeed. The ball zips through the Spurs area, but Gera, ten yards out just to the left of goal, can't control it and the danger, such as it ever was, is gone.

28 min: A goalkeeper finally has to do something, and what a meal he makes of it. Crouch, on the edge of the D, his back to goal, shifts the ball right to Kranjcar, who shuffles the ball between his feet and sends a stinger towards the top-right corner. It's not right in the corner, though, and should be easy to deal with. Schwarzer, however, elects to parry, the ball bouncing down and all around before being swept clear by Hughes.

31 min: From a Kranjcar right-wing cross, Crouch sends a header towards the bottom-right. Schwarzer slaps it away, again making a full-blown musical of the whole affair. The ball finds its way out for a corner, which is headed lamely over by Bassong.

35 min: From the left wing near the halfway line, Assou-Ekotto sends a long diagonal ball into the Fulham box. It drops just past the far post, about three yards out. Suddenly seeing Assou-Ekotto very much as the Arnold Muhren de nos jours, Crouch attempts to replicate Marco van Basten's goal in the 1988 European Championship final. I needn't bother explaining what happened, need I?

37 min: This is not great entertainment, though Spurs will be far the happier team. Fulham can't impose themselves on this game at all, Spurs camped in their half. I would say it's only a matter of time, but they're not doing much with all this possession and territory.

40 min: Bale gets the wrong side of Baird down the left and reaches the byline. He pulls the ball back, but there's nobody there. Fulham scoot straight up the other end, Zamora chasing a long ball and forcing Gomes to come out of his area down the Fulham right and head into the stand. Hoy! People tryin' to drink Bovril here!

42 min: To illustrate how poor this game has become, the most talented man on the park, Modric, hoicks the ball into the stands, halfway up, nobody within 20 yards of him in any direction. I don't work for ITV, so am under no obligation to big this up: this is dreck.

44 min: Shame shame shame, and so sad for this match to still be so shabby.

HALF TIME: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur. Bale hits a long ball into the area for Crouch. It's too high, by a neatly symmetrical six feet and seven inches. And that's that for a half which started quietly, then became eye-bleedingly painful. Come back in 15 minutes for the second half, though I stress you are in under no obligation whatsoever to do so.

And we're off again! No changes at half time. "Another Donleavy character is Clementine of the Three Glands," writes Mike Jones, fan of The Onion Eaters, before continuing in the abrupt Donleavy style. "He being possessed of an extra testicle. In matches like this, perhaps Sepp Blatter might forget trying to dump the offside rule and introduce an extra ball instead."

46 min: An instant improvement. Fulham attack down the left, Shorey finding Davies down the left with a raking pass. Davies sends a long cross to the far post, Zamora heads back into the centre, and from six yards Gera guides a header towards the top-right corner. It isn't directed right at the postage stamp, though, and Gomes is equal to it, palming the ball away.

50 min: Fulham win a corner down the right, the team having achieved more in the first five minutes of this half than the entire 45 that preceded it. Etuhu meets the set piece squarely, but heads the ball straight at Gomes, and without much power t'boot.

52 min: Bale zig-zags down the left and wins a corner, which he takes himself. It's only half cleared, the ball being whacked back into the area from left and right, but neither Crouch nor Pavlyuchenko can hold the thing up, the latter eventually falling over backwards, a precursor to the most half-arsed penalty claim of all time.

54 min: A more passionate penalty shout this time, as Crouch and Hangeland go up for a high ball in the Fulham area, the ball brushing the defender's paw. You'll have seen them given, it would have been harsh, nobody really cares, etc.

56 min: Fulham started this half semi-brightly, but now they're back in the old habits of sitting back and not being able to string more than one pass together. Spurs win a couple of corners in quick succession, then spend a couple of minutes passing it around the front of Fulham's area, then win another corner. Worrying stuff for the home side.

58 min: Another couple of Spurs corners! This is getting old. After a bout of head tennis following the second, Dawson unleashes a blistering dipping volley from the edge of the area just wide left of the target.

59 min: Schwarzer launches a long ball forward. It drops on the edge of the Spurs D. Assou-Ekotto tries to control it in the fancy manner, makes a total balls of the whole effort, and watches in horror as Gera nips in to shift the ball wide right for Duff, racing into the area in space. Luckily for the errant full back, Duff sends his powerful shot over the bar.

61 min: Fulham have weathered that particular storm, it seems. Spurs really had them on the ropes for the last ten minutes or so.

64 min: Duff comes inside from the right and gives the ball to Zamora, on the edge of the box. The striker holds the ball up, then lays it back to his winger, who digs a shot out without much backlift, sending the ball flying low and hard towards the Spurs goal. The shot's dead central, though, allowing Gomes to claim easily enough. But this is better from Fulham (again).

66 min: Cue Spurs looking dangerous again. Bale takes a long throw from the left. Crouch heads on. Pavlyuchenko, eight yards out, attempts an overhead kick. He meets it with meat - not the sort that Dangerfield accidentally puts on display in a train carriage - but it flies well over the bar.

69 min: Fulham are sitting back again, and nearly pay the price, Crouch getting a head to a deep Assou-Ekotto cross. He can only eyebrow it out to the right, however, and the home side breathe again.

71 min: Duff twists and turns down the right, making himself some space, but with Zamora and Gera both waiting in the centre, his cross is about as successful as Kenneth O'Keefe's attempts to lose his virginity.

73 min: The first change of the match, as striker Elm comes on for midfielder Davies.

75 min: It's a lot of long balls and bluster at the moment. In fairness, while the quality hasn't been great, at least both sides have attempted to ping it around on the floor. Most of the time.

77 min: Hoof, hoof, miscontrol, shank, slice, hoof, hoof, misplaced pass, hoofity, hoof, hoof. The teams are getting nervous.

78 min: Gera, on the left, dinks a ball across the face of the Spurs area for Duff on the right-hand edge of the box. Duff controls a difficult ball with ease, but then welts a half-decent chance well wide left of goal. He's had the two best chances of this period, both of them not exactly gift horses, but still.

80 min: Cutting in from the right, Baird hoicks a long ball down the centre of the park. Zamora sticks out a leg, but never looks like getting the ball. Down the other end, Bale fizzes a cross from the left across the face of the Fulham goal. Crouch doesn't bother moving, allowing Hangeland to hook clear.

82 min: Pavlyuchenko is replaced by Defoe.

84 min: Coming in from the right, Kranjcar hits a shot, or is it a cross, towards the top left. Schwarzer isn't confident of covering it, but no worries, the ball sails wide left.

86 min: Zamora gets a yard on the Spurs back line down the inside-right channel. Gomes thinks about coming, but doesn't. Zamora takes a shot early, from an acute angle, but can only screw it wide left. Spurs were holding their breath there for a nanosecond.

88 min: Etuhu crumps the top of Crouch's boot with his studs, and is booked for his trouble.

89 min: BREAKING DONLEAVY NEWS!!! Turns out Ger Gilroy, of Dublin radio station Newstalk 106, spoke to the great Donleavy on Friday. Here's the interview.

90 min: Kranjcar miscues in front of his own goal. With his back to the target, he nearly slices it into the top-left corner. The ball sails wide for a corner, which is duly wasted.

FULL TIME: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur. A poor game ends goalless. Duff probably had the best chances of the game, chances he may live to regret missing.

God's mercy
On the wide
Fulham Man.

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 09:36:23 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/mar/06/fulham-tottenham-hotspur-fa-cup-match-report

FA Cup Quarter-Final

Fulham 0 
Tottenham Hotspur 0 


John Ashdown at Craven Cottage

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 6 March 2010 20.36 GMT


These two sides are hardly regulars in FA Cup semi-finals of late – Fulham have made only one appearance in the last four since reaching the final in 1975, Tottenham have not reached the semis since 2001 – and neither side seem hugely intent on breaking that run, if this evidence is anything to go by. This was a replay waiting to happen, a staccato midfield battle enlivened by brief, occasional flurries at either end. The comfort for both is that, even at this late stage of the competition, excitement can be found elsewhere.

Tottenham are deep in the race for a Champions League spot, while Fulham's visit to Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday is billed by the club as "arguably the biggest" in their history. There is no question that the promise of a semi-final trip to Wembley is an enticing one for both, but even with the deadlock unbroken as the clock ticked down there was no frantic finale, a fact particularly frustrating for home fans hoping for their first trip to the national stadium in a generation.

Roy Hodgson, a cup winner in Sweden and Denmark with Malmo and FC Copenhagen, rather oddly felt it was "anything other than a dull Cup tie", but admitted that the Craven Cottage surface had contributed to an unappealing spectacle. "When it gets to this stage of the season after a bad winter, unfortunately it does get very bare, somewhat uneven and it doesn't exactly help ball control," said the Fulham manager, who nevertheless remains optimistic of success at White Hart Lane a fortnight on Wednesday.

"We know we can trust the players to give the sort of performance they've given today, even if we're a little bit wounded in terms of personnel, so in that respect we're confident," said Hodgson. "On the other hand we know Tottenham are a very good team, they're not fourth in the land for nothing. They are there on merit, so we'll be up against it."

Harry Redknapp concurred over the "difficult" state of the pitch, but was satisfied with the result. "There wasn't as many chances as you'd have liked," said the Spurs manager. "But when you come here you take a draw. It's a difficult place to come. This team just knocked Shakthar Donetsk out of the Uefa Cup, the holders. That tells you an awful lot about them. They're difficult to break down, they're well organised, they're well managed, well coached, and they're not easy to play against."

Redknapp had pointed out pre-match that injuries had reduced him to around 12 first-team players. Indeed, such was Spurs' shortage that Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend were recalled from loan spells at Peterborough and Milton Keynes Dons respectively to take places on the bench. Though cobbled together, Spurs began the brighter, but were hardly radiant. It took 18 minutes for their first genuine shot at goal, and that was an apologetic free-kick from Niko Kranjcar that bobbled well wide. Little more than a minute later Bobby Zamora, an angular, awkward, though largely ineffective presence throughout, responded by showing neat feet to cut inside and force Heurelho Gomes into a smart save at his near post.

It proved to be the first-half high-point for the home side. At the other end Mark Schwarzer made two fine saves, palming away Kranjcar's curling effort and scrambling across goal to divert Peter Crouch's goalbound back-post header.

Hodgson is not a manager to threaten the half-time tea-cups, but his side certainly emerged from the dressing room with a spring in their collective step and they were the better side in an almost-equally forgettable second half. Within 60 seconds of the restart, Zamora headed across goal and Zoltan Gera, little more than six yards out, forced Gomes into the best save of the match.

Tottenham then had two penalty claims turned down. Roman Pavlyuchenko's tumble was wildly optimistic, though Mark Clattenburg's decision to wave play on as Brede Hangeland, jumping with arms aloft, appeared to be struck on the hand was less clear cut. And though the home side gradually grew in confidence and competence — Damien Duff twice stabbed shots at goal from promising positions, while Zamora dragged a late half-chance well wide — they failed to find a way through.

While Redknapp, whose side had been taken to replays by both Bolton and Leeds in the previous two rounds, was understandably optimistic of completing the hat-trick, with games mounting up a rematch is hardly what Fulham need, though Hodgson is keen to look on the bright side.

"I don't know really if one can ever be a victim of success," said Hodgson. "I think success is what we all strive for. This team has been very successful and as a result we find ourselves playing lots of games, but rather than feel like victims I think we should be basking in the glory of it. It's not every year we get to play close to 60 games a season. There are plenty of times when we've barely scraped over 40, so let's be glad about it."

THE FANS' PLAYER RATINGS AND VERDICT

CHRIS LLOYD, Observer reader The first half was nothing like what I expected. This was an important game for us. It's not often you get the chance to go to Wembley. The second half was much better, with Zamora and Duff coming to the fore. Unfortunately, Zamora didn't have his shooting boots on, while Gomes was excellent in the Spurs goal. Our defence coped easily with Crouch and Pavlyuchenko, with Hangeland outstanding. It was disappointing to see our midfield struggle. Davies and Greening were poor and it had quite an impact. We've got the replay now, but our away form is terrible. Let's hope we can prove the critics wrong and do something special at White Hart Lane.

The fan's player ratings Schwarzer 7; Baird 7, Hughes 7, Hangeland 8, Shorey 7; Duff 8, Greening 6, Etuhu 5, Davies 6 (Elm 73 6); Gera 7; Zamora 8.

DAVE MASON, Observer reader This will be our third replay and we are certainly doing it the hard way. We had loads of possession but hardly tested Schwarzer in the Fulham goal. Crouch was supposed to have had a great game for England in midweek, but he and Pavlyuchenko play the same game. We just lump it up to Crouch and expect him to hold it, but he can't. The same with Pavlyuchenko — they play in each other's shoes. I have to say we're missing Bentley wide right, but Palacios was terrific. The amount of possession he wins for us is superb. Gomes was again outstanding. This time last year he was throwing the ball in his own net.

The fan's player ratings Gomes 8; Corluka 6, Dawson 7, Bassong 6, Assou-Ekotto 6; Kranjcar 6, Modric 6, Palacios 8, Bale 7; Pavlyuchenko 5 (Defoe 81 n/a), Crouch 4.

TO TAKE PART IN THE FANS' VERDICT, SPORT@OBSERVER.CO.UK


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 09:44:23 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/match/3103467


Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur

 
 Match facts


 FA Cup Quarter-Final

Saturday 6 March 2010 17.20

  Score line 
Final score  Fulham  0 – 0
(HT 0 – 0)
  Tottenham Hotspur 
Bookings Etuhu 89
   
 Fulham's Percentage Tottenham Hotspur's Percentage
Corners 2 18%  9 82% 
Goal attempts 8 42%  11 58% 
On target 4 66%  2 34% 
Fouls 10 50%  10 50% 
Offside 1 50%  1 50% 

Fulham

Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera, Damien Duff, Dickson Etuhu, Jonathan Greening, Simon Davies (David Elm, 73), Bobby Zamora
 
Tottenham Hotspur

Heurelho Gomes, Gareth Bale, Sebastien Bassong, Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Wilson Palacios, Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar, Roman Pavlyuchenko (Jermain Defoe, 82), Peter Crouch 

Referee Clattenburg, M

Venue Craven Cottage

Attendance 24,533

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 09:47:20 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7385383/Fulham-0-Tottenham-Hotspur-0-match-report.html

Fulham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0: match report

Read a full report of the FA Cup quarter-final match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage on Saturday, March 6 2010.
 
By Duncan White


Published: 7:31PM GMT 06 Mar 2010

 
Like all good cockney showdowns there’s got to be a sequel. Roy versus ‘Arry II coming to a screen near you. Rated R.

For once it’s got to be better than the first one: the acting was wooden and plot just meandered along without really going anywhere. At least the soundtrack was good: there was an excellent atmosphere down at the Cottage.

Tottenham trying to hang on to fourth spot and Fulham still in the Europa League neither Harry Redknapp nor Roy Hodgson wanted the replay from this one but a replay is what they got.

There was no shortage of huff and puff but nothing that remotely looked like bringing the house down. Wembley deferred.

Before the game Roy Hodgson and Mark Schwarzer were presented with their manager- and player-of-the–month awards for February, a recognition of the fine achievements of this modest club this season.

Even more impressive was Hodgson’s cross-field dash to get back to the dressing rooms for a last exhortation to his men and at a fair old nick for a man who has just entered his seventh decade.

That was just about the quickest anyone moved on this turgid pitch. With Jermain Defoe’s hamstring niggle keeping him on the bench and Fulham playing Bobby Zamora alone up front there was preciously little pace in either attack.

The result meant both lines of defence could squeeze the play, leaving little space in a stodgy midfield.

Unsurprisingly, then, chances were scarce in the first half. Fulham had the first significant effort on target, Zamora taking advantage of Vedran Corluka’s error to get a shot in at the near post which Heurelho Gomes saved comfortably.

Without Danny Murphy, out with a groin injury, Fulham lacked wit and too often chipped the ball vaguely in Zamora’s general direction.

With Croatian pair Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar there was more imagination in Tottenham’s approach play. The latter nearly embarrassed Schwarzer with a dipping shot 28 minutes in that the Australian only managed to awkwardly parry.

Two minutes later and Schwarzer was called on again, getting smartly across goal to push Peter Crouch’s impressive header from Corluka’s cross behind for a corner.

Fulham, though, are a robust defensive unit and they were clearly looking to take things very cautiously and pick Tottenham off by putting away one of their infrequent chances.

They almost did just that with the break looming, but Benoît Assou-Ekotto hooked alertly away from Zamora as he tried to latch on to Gera’s flick.

Mercifully the game opened up after the break. Seconds after the restart and Fulham had their best chance yet. Nickey Shorey played a ball down the left which Simon Davies crossed to the far post where Zamora nodded back across goal.

Gera’s close-range near-post header was flailed away by Gomes. Moments later Gomes saved more comfortably from Dickson Etuhu’s header after the Nigerian met Davies’ outsinging corner.

Fulham no longer appeared content to let this game drift towards a replay.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, in such fine form at the moment, hazarded a particularly unconvincing dive to try and win Spurs a penalty – he should have been booked – and then referee Mark Clattenburg failed to award a genuine one, missing Brede Hangeland’s handling of the ball as he challenged Crouch in the air. Spurs had their revenge though, when Kranjcar accidentally body-checked the referee minutes later, leaving him on his backside.

Damien Duff, playing on the right, twice went close for Fulham shooting wide with a right-footed drive before squirting out an effort with his left that Gomes dived to save. Spurts responded, with Pavlyuchenko hooking over after Crouch had flicked on Bale’s long throw. Unbelievably, Modric then managed to jump high enough to get in Crouch’s way from another Bale cross.

With both side’s tiring, the game was getting stretched. Hodgson moved first sending on David Elm for Simon Davies to play up front with Zamora. Fulham hit and hoped for a winner, Zamora twice nearly getting on the end of optimistic punts into the box and when he did get a sight of goal he mis-hit it.

All a bit of an anticlimax, really. Roll credits.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2010, 09:51:13 PM »
Fulham 0 Tottenham 0:  Heurelho Gomes saves the day for Spurs in last-eight stalemate at Craven Cottage


By Sportsmail Reporter


Last updated at 7:39 PM on 06th March 2010

Tottenham had Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping them in their FA Cup tie with Fulham at Craven Cottage that came alive in the second half. 

Gomes made a string of fine saves as Fulham went poured forward after the interval to earn his side a quarter-final replay at White Hart Lane on March 24. 

The Brazilian prevented Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Brede Hangeland and Zoltan Gera scoring in a London derby that lacked any bite until a pulsating second period.
 
For Gomes it was a return to the ground where in November 2008 he made the worst in a string of blunders that almost saw him sold by manager Harry Redknapp.

Redknapp opted against offloading the £7.8million signing from PSV Eindhoven. The Spurs manager's faith has already been repaid but once more Gomes underlined his value. 

At the other end, Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar and Peter Crouch at the end of the first half, but was hardly involved again.   

For all their possession and a passing game that was easy on the eye, Spurs rarely troubled Fulham's goal and wilted as an attacking force. 

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will be disappointed his side, who continue to punch above their weight in two cup competitions, did not finish off their capital rivals.   

Hodgson and Schwarzer were presented with their manager and player of the month awards for February shortly before kick-off.   

Spurs pressed hard in midfield to give their opponents little time on the ball but despite some slick passing, they failed to trouble Fulham's goal.   

Anticipation gripped home fans as Zamora broke free down the left before expertly cutting back inside where he fired a shot straight into the arms of Gomes. 

It was not until the 28th minute that either keeper was extended, Schwarzer palming away a well-struck shot from Niko Kranjcar. 

The big Australian then had to dive sharply to his left to turn a fine goalbound header by Peter Crouch away from the target. 

Damien Duff pulled the trigger from long range at the other end as Fulham's chances continued to be severely limited.   

Zamora bulldozed his way through at the end of one well-worked move but Michael Dawson intervened to snuff out the danger. 

The second half was not even a minute old when Gera drew a superb save from Gomes.   

Simon Davies initiated the move with a marauding run down the right followed by a pinpoint cross to the far post where Zamora directed the ball to Gera whose header was well stopped by Gomes. 

The Brazilian then had to react sharply to keep out Hangeland's header from a Davies corner. Dawson smashed the ball into the stands to end a spell of Spurs' dominance but once again the visitors did not look like scoring for all their dominance. 

The match was coming alive after a dull first half, partly thanks to the noisy Spurs fans. Duff found the side netting after being set up by Davies and was then denied by another fine save from Gomes following excellent work by Zamora.   

The impressive Kranjcar fizzed a lethal cross through the penalty area as Spurs launched a swashbuckling counter-attack.   

Space was opening up for both sides in an increasingly frantic final 10 minutes that saw Zamora fail to connect with a fine chance.   

Vedran Corluka almost turned an attempted clearance into his own net - he did not know where the ball was going and Spurs breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle went.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1255996/Fulham-0-Tottenham-0--Heurelho-Gomes-saves-day-Spurs-stalemate-Craven-Cottage.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0hR4Ua2XK


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2010, 10:18:18 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5856

Stalemate leaves Spurs in the driving seat


by Dan on March 6, 2010

The overwhelming feeling at the end of a Cup tie that became more engrossing as time ticked by was that Fulham’s chance of a rare walk down Wembley way had slipped away. Tottenham started with a frenzied flurry and settled in their pretty passing swiftly, but Roy Hodgson’s side created more chances as the game grew older and, with Fulham’s notoriously poor domestic away form, you felt that they had to finish the job at Craven Cottage.

That they didn’t owed a lot to Heurelho Gomes. The Brazilian goalkeeper returned to the scene of a horrific error early in his Tottenham career, when he carelessly let a tame shot from Simon Davies trickle into the net, but he carried on from where he left off last Boxing Day when an inspired performance earned Spurs a point. He was much the busier keeper, producing a couple of terrific saves to deny Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff, as Fulham looked a lot more adventurous after the break.

Tottenham had the bulk of the possession in the first period, with little Luka Modric buzzing forward ominously from central midfield, but struggled to penetrate a well-drilled defence. Harry Redknapp paired Roman Pavlyuchenko with Peter Crouch up front but Brede Hangeland won most of the aerial duels and Fulham were fairly comfortable, especially as there was little danger behind the back line with Jermain Defoe only fit enough to manage a brief cameo from the bench.

Bobby Zamora led the line with characteristic endeavour for the home side, engaging in a running battle with Sebastien Bassong, who seemed eager to take Zamora’s shirt away with him long before the final whistle. On the ocassions when Zamora escaped the attentions of his marker, he failed to find the finishing touch. A smart turn on the edge of the box gave him the space to shot at goal but Gomes smothered the shot at his near post.

Spurs, previously restricted to patient passing and hopeful efforts from distance, first tested Schwarzer through Niko Kranjcar, whose powerful shot proved too hot for the Australian to hold, though Hangeland was on hand to sweep the rebound to safety. Schwarzer showed an agility beyond his years to get a hand on a downward header from Crouch that seemed to be creeping inside the far post but that was close as Spurs came.

The sum of Fulham’s attacking efforts were that low Zamora drive and some speculative shots from Damien Duff, although Michael Dawson was forced into a hurried clearance as Zamora bore down on goal. Hodgson’s side were much more effective after the break, with the second half only seconds old when Gomes stretched to brilliantly palm away Zoltan Gera’s header after Zamora had glanced on a cross from Simon Davies. The goalkeeper made a more conventional stop from Dickson Etuhu’s header five minutes later and that lively spell sparked Spurs into life.

They forced a succession of corners and the rampaging Gareth Bale burst alarming past Chris Baird on a couple of ocassions – though the relief was tangible when Michael Dawson drove wide from inside the box. The game was suddenly a lot more open. Zamora somehow worked a yard of space for Duff, whose sidefooter from 20 yards just lacked the pace to take it past a diving Gomes, while Kranjcar’s dangerous cross from the flank eluded everybody in the Fulham penalty area.

Defoe belatedly joined the Tottenham frontline, but it was Fulham who came closest to nicking it towards the end as David Elm came on to partner Zamora. He was agonisingly close to latching onto a raking through pass from Chris Baird and then dragged the game’s last chance frustrating across goal from a narrow angle. Fulham, who badly missed the creativity of injured captain Danny Murphy, might come to rue those late missed chances.

FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Greening, Duff, Davies (Elm 73); Gera; Zamora. Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Kelly, Konchesky, Riise, Okaka.

BOOKED: Etuhu.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Bassong; Palacios, Modric, Kranjcar, Bale; Pavlyuchenko (Defoe 81), Crouch. Subs (not used): Alnwick, Dervite, Livermore, Townsend, Rose, Gudjohnsen.

REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg (County Durham).

ATTENDANCE: 24,533.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2010, 10:19:53 PM »
From the Other Side

Saturday 6th March 2010


Fulham FC News


Speaking in Saturday's post-match press conference, Spurs Manager Harry Redknapp gave his assessment of the game:

"We kept possession well, though we didn't create enough chances," said Redknapp.

"Of course we'll be the happier side. Before we came here we would have taken the draw. This is a difficult place to come.

"Fulham are a difficult team to beat - they just knocked holders Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Europa League. That tells you all you need to know about them.

"They're well managed and coached and are not easy to play against.

"A replay gives us a good chance at home and we're still bang in there.

"At home we've got a big chance but I bet Shakhtar thought they were favourites for the second leg of that Europa League tie.

"It didn't work out that way, though. Fulham's win was one of the results of the season."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/RedknappReaction.aspx#ixzz0hRC1JXLi

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2010, 10:21:26 PM »
Roy's FA Cup Reaction

Saturday 6th March 2010


Fulham FC News

Looking back on Saturday's FA Cup Quarter-Final draw with Spurs at Craven Cottage, Roy Hodgson gave his post-match reaction:

"I'm only the more disappointed because it was a home game and the advantage now passes over to Tottenham because they will be at home for the replay," Hodgson said.

"We're pretty evenly matched and I'm disappointed we couldn't get the goal that would have put us through. Both teams defended exceptionally well and played some good football on a very difficult pitch that makes passing and ball control difficult.

"It was an exciting, fierce cup tie played in the right spirit and I don't think Harry or myself could complain about the result.

"We don't feel we're out yet, we're just as capable of giving a good performance away from home.

"We were close at the end but, on the basis of the play, nil-nil was a fair result, although it was anything other than a dull cup tie because of the quality and commitment on show.

"The atmosphere was magnificent. I'm pleased we didn't lose as that would have been a bitter disappointment."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/March/HodgsonSpursReaction.aspx#ixzz0hRCTsxGP


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2010, 10:56:29 PM »
http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/748597/FULHAM-v-TOTTENHAM-RIVALS-GO-FUL-PELT-BUT-JITTERS-BUG-EM.html

RIVALS GO FUL PELT BUT JITTERS BUG 'EM


Fulham 0 Tottenham 0
 
 
By Neil Ashton, 06/03/2010

PERHAPS they were put off by the prospect of playing a semi-final on that pot-holed Wembley surface, relaid before they even replay.

They will clash again at White Hart Lane, two teams colliding before one of them will ultimately appear on that pock-marked pitch.

These two footballing teams were too afraid to make a mistake, nerves shredded as they failed to finish the day in a semi-final.

It was there for both of them, each capable of finding the finishing touch and then waiting for this afternoon's draw.

Roy Hodgson's expansive side have been a breath of fresh air this season, fighting on three fronts with a group of players who show no shortage of desire.

The stakes are higher for Tottenham and their demanding chairman Daniel Levy, a team put together with ambitions to break the top-four cartel.

Harry Redknapp is the man to do it and yet these two must try again in the FA Cup, failing to carve out the openings that would have taken them into the last four.

Potential matchwinners were positioned all over the pitch, stationed on both sides by two adventurous, attack-minded managers.

Bobby Zamora was in his element again, escaping the clutches of Sebastien Bassong and thriving on the anticipation.

Fulham's supporters were counting on him, full of anxiety as the players set out to reach Wembley for the first time since 1975.

They are set up to secure a semi-final under Roy Hodgson, with his tailor-made team operating like a top-four club these days.

On Thursday, they will travel to Turin, jetting into industrial Italy to take on the might of Juventus in the Europa League's round of 16.

Fulham's supporters have a taste for continental football, yet it is a day trip to Wembley they covet under Hodgson's guiding hand.

They merit it having covered themselves in glory after Premier League victories at Craven Cottage over Manchester United and Liverpool.

Zamora is their talisman, shrugging off his pointed exclusion from the England squad last weekend with another excellent performance.

His right-foot shot on the turn in the first half, eluding Tottenham's defence to drill an effort down the throat of Heurelho Gomes, typified his attitude.

The Fulham striker is the link-up man for this fast-flowing team, always available for Simon Davies or Jonathan Greening to ping the ball into his path.

This was their chance to rub out Tottenham's name from this year's competition, sending them the same way as Arsenal, Liverpool and United.

The draw opened up for both teams, eyeing the prize of a place in next month's semi-final to underline their Cup credentials.

Redknapp demanded it, determined to continue his love affair with the competition that started as a manager when his Cup kings Bournemouth knocked out holders United in 1984. So were Tottenham's supporters, turning out in force to chant their favourite Chas and Dave number from 1981.

Gareth Bale was not even born when Spurs beat Manchester City in a replay at Wembley and yet he is eager to play his part in this Cup run.

Bale was brimming with confidence, Tottenham's tormentor-in-chief with his frequent runs down the left.

He's a different player now, flush full of confidence after finally winning over Redknapp.

Tottenham's manager is not quite convinced of him as an orthodox left-back, shuffling him up a place and stationing him at left midfield.

But he imposed himself, making the ambitious runs that characterised his game when he was still a kid at Southampton.

Redknapp will want more of the same if he is to stay in the Spurs team, a creative force with the ability to conjure chances.

Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko were there to take them, preferred to the destructive force of Jermain Defoe.

They earned their start together, with Crouch's double for England in midweek convincing the Tottenham chief to stick with him.

Defoe sat it out, nursing a hamstring injury after Redknapp went with two towering forwards to take on Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes. Crouch's awkward approach unsettles teams, combining a decent first touch with his ability to feed fellow team-mates.

Egypt saw that at Wembley last Wednesday as he made an instant impact leaping off the bench.

Tottenham needed some of that raw enthusiasm to smooth their passage into the semi-final.

So much at stake and yet a twist or turn was all it required, a player with the audacity to take this tie into their own hands.

Bale threatened but too many other players in this Tottenham team were happy to pass on the responsibility.

Niko Kranjcar was non-existent in the first half, a player with the talent but not the desire to be considered one of the best. Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer spilled his effort, his solitary contribution to the most ordinary half of his career.

The Croatian winger is so much better than this, a player who can give the world's top full-backs a run for their money.

But talent runs throughout this Tottenham team, with Luka Modric another capable of classier performances.

He was picked to play central midfield, shoe-horned into a Tottenham team that Redknapp will readily explain has been deprived by injury.

Not quite down to the bare bones but requiring a bit more meat for them to secure their semi-final place.

Wilson Palacios gave them presence in the centre of midfield, a workhorse piling into challenges with Dickson Etuhu and Greening. Redknapp loves this warrior, a disciplined and determined character, never allowing anyone to settle on the ball.

He covers every blade, bouncing off the opposition and getting his body in the way of danger.

His influence is vital, a protective shield in front of an increasingly hesitant back four.

Twice, Fulham threatened with headed efforts at the start of the second half but Spurs were grateful to Gomes for his safe hands and excellent positioning.

Michael Dawson and Bassong allowed Zoltan Gera to slip through the net, directing his attempt straight into the arms of Tottenham's keeper.

A minute later, he had to be equally alert, perfectly placed to collect Etuhu's well-taken header. They were let-offs for Spurs but they responded by turning the screw.

It was the reaction Redknapp was screaming for. Crouch's effort was cleared, Palacios' long-range drive was deflected away and Dawson's effort skewed wide of Schwarzer's post.

Stirring stuff, Cup tie drama as two of the Premier League's finest football teams resolved to get it done inside 90 minutes.

It seemed like a pretty good deal, with Damien Duff taking up the challenge with two decent efforts.

All it needed was a follow-up, someone desperate to be the hero and thrust their team into the last four.

Wembley awaits. They will just have to wait that bit longer.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2010, 11:01:28 PM »
http://www.dearmrlevy.com/dml/2010/3/6/fa-cup-glory-take-it-backto-the-lane.html

FA Cup glory? Take it back...(to the lane)


Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 10:40PM


Fulham 0 Spurs 0

Not exactly your quintessential cup tie that. For all the talk about squad depletion and recalling of yoof players to make up the numbers, our starting line-up wasn't too shabby. Defoe on the bench, but the switch on the left-side (BAE slotting into left-back and Bale into left-midfield) was something I was keen to see and Modric in the middle is something that's always up for discussion - can it work? Crouch upfront with Pav and Niko on the right. Regardless of the kids on the bench keeping JD company, it's a line-up good enough to beat Fulham, or at least make the effort to do so.

So, how did this game end 0-0? Simply put, because it wasn't very good. There were moments for both sides. We dominated possession but Fulham had the shots on target. Palacios marshalled the midfield but Modric struggled to dictate or find the time to hurt the opposition. Perhaps this wasn't the perfect stage for him to play central, but then Harry was forced to do so thanks to our bare bone crisis. Had we another CM capable of fulfilling the role then perhaps Modric starting out on the left would have allowed him to roam, dink and cut inside in that wonderfully jinxing manner we love to watch. His passing was a little off-key too. Not the best of days. But perhaps not the best of pitches (although no excuse, he worked his magic up at Wigan a few weeks back).

First half was congested, untidy. No real FA Cup magic to behold, in fact no real evidence of this being an FA Cup tie full stop. Second half, better, but frustrating. For all the ball at our feet and defending when called upon to do so there was still moments when Zamora and company threatened. The threat thankfully always ended with a sigh of relief. Fulham not really causing us anything more than half a missed heart-beat. But you know how it is, we dominate, they break, they score and we rage. You could almost see it happening, compounded with what smelt like ominous irony (smells like sick) mainly because we lacked cutting edge up front. This game was made for the sucker-punch.

I guess with Fulham playing so deep and defensive, there wasn't enough about them to make us that nervous. Not really.

As for us; cutting edge, the lack of. How you haunt me week after week. I'm actually not going to knee-jerk and perhaps the more astute amongst you will reason why the Pav/Crouch combo failed to ignite today. IMO, it failed because it was just one of those games. I love the word 'fragmented' (to be copyrighted). And today it just felt like our forwards were snuffed out of it by the resolute tenacity of the Fulham defenders and the tactics of Hodgson. It was all a bit too fragmented.

I think Roy was quite clever. If this was a traditional cup tie and had Fulham gone out and attempted to give it some proper gallivanting play, we'd had beaten them. We have the better footballers. And they lacked the presence of a Murphy in the middle to make them truly tick creatively. So what Roy did (the git) was have his players work their socks off. And their more direct play pushing forward (not talking long ball but speed of attack) allowed them the opportunities to test us, so from their perspective they could contain us and counter. Good tactics.

The problem we had in countering this, is one open for debate. Pav didn't really have any goal-sniffing opps that he thrives off. No 'one second' to think moments. He disappeared in some of the build up play, sometimes struggling to bring the ball under control quickly. Could he have dug deeper? Can he dig deeper? Is it the right game to knee-jerk on his performance? No. Let this one be. Watch the difference in the replay. Although if a play fails to find another way into a game and a trend develops, we have a problem. Said player can only play effectively if the game suits him (Darren Bent anyone?)

Crouch was okay. Felt at times that we didn't really use him properly. Crossing was not great and there seemed to be the usual confusion with when exactly to aim for his head and when to play the ball forward to his feet. Towards the end (when JD came on for Pav) someone (sorry, forgot who) pumped the ball up to Defoe. I mean seriously, Crouch has gone off and we're still pumping it up forwards. This time to a midget. Giving him 60/40 against him to win it. Bit of common sense sometimes let's us down. I know this isn't exactly criminal, but sometimes a little bit more intelligence is required - especially in the final moments of a game.

I'll add this - there were moments in the game when players made mistakes when a LEADER was blatantly required to shout at them. Sometimes it looks like discrepancies are accepted.

Perhaps its time for a new directive. Play the ball on the ground unless you're passing the ball up the field to someone's feet. There is a time and place to play the knock down via Crouch. But anyways, if we haven't worked it out yet, I can't see us working it out any time soon. It's what births the questions about how Crouch is more successful for England than he is for Spurs - and if its because Crouch is an out and out striker for England - then it means we've got the wrong player up front to aid the Spurs 'out and out' forward.

Moving on.

Bale was stupendous to watch. Powerful and silky. Our best creative outlet, but alas not enough on the day to craft out a chance. No fault of his. He had plenty of success but cut backs were limited. Gomes, confident in goal, helped as survive any potentially heart in mouth moments. In the end, tbh, I'm happy with the result. Neither side deserved to win it and had, let's say Fulham nicked it, I'd have been furious for what was such a lacklustre game to have allowed a winner to head towards Wembley for the semi-final. Mainly because I'd have looked at our players and questioned their belief and determination to force the issue and score. Losing games of this manner is far more frustrating then losing a ding dong cup tie.

Corluka almost scoring an own-goal and earlier in the game, BAE attempting to be smart in the box and losing the ball - two moments that had me screaming out WTF expletives. Crouchies header and Pav's attempted over-head kick not enough.

Far from over, mind. But Fulham have a mental fixture list in the next few weeks, so as long as we can recover some of our walking wounded and get through our games without any further damage - we should...should be able to get the right result at WHL (Wed 24th).

As important as 4th is, the FA Cup is something I'm desperate for us to win again. Been too long.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2010, 11:04:17 PM »
http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/articles/well-take-draw-harry-060310.html

We'll take draw - Harry 

06 March 2010


Harry Redknapp stressed the importance of staying in the tie after Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final finished goalless at Fulham.

It was a game high in intensity but with few clear-cut chances at Craven Cottage as both teams go into Sunday's semi-final draw.

We edged the first half as Mark Schwarzer kept out Niko Kranjcar's stinging shot and Peter Crouch's header but Fulham came closest after the break as Heurelho Gomes saved superbly from Zoltan Gera and Vedran Corluka sliced agonisingly just wide of his own goal in the final minute.

"You come here and you take a draw," stated Harry. "I'm not disappointed to come here and get a replay.

"You only have to look at their home record, they are solid at Craven Cottage and difficult to beat, so it was important for us not to lose.

"They've just knocked Shakhtar Donetsk, the holders, out of Europe and that says a lot about them.

"They are difficult to break down, well coached, well managed and not easy to play against, so to come away with a replay now gives us a good chance."

Harry described Wilson Palacios' display in central midfield as 'immense'. "He was outstanding for us, really strong," he added.

"I thought we kept possession well perhaps without creating as many chances as we would have liked, but both defences played well when they had to.

"We've got a big chance now playing at home but I'm sure Shakhtar felt the same when they went home for the second leg in the European game and it didn't work out that way. It will be another tough game but we're still right in there."


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2010, 11:06:43 PM »
http://fulhampatsfan.blogspot.com/2010/03/fulham-0-0-tottenham-at-craven-cottage.html


Fulham 0 - 0 Tottenham at Craven Cottage


If Fulham had won today against Tottenham they would have advanced to Wembley and the semifinals of the FA Cup. Today's game was home for Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Unfortunately for Fulham the game ended in a 0 - 0 draw. This was a disappointing result for Fulham. They will now have to play the replay later this month back to White Hart Lane . The last time the teams played at White Hart Lane, Tottenham won the game 2 - 0.

The first half was pretty back and forth with not too many chances by either team. For the most part Tottenham controlled the play better especially in the midfield.In the 4th minute there was a shot by Modric that sailed over the net. For several minutes in the first part of the half Tottenham were controlling the play.

The best chance for Fulham came in the 19th minute. Bobby Zamora's shot was saved by the goalkeeper. It was a good chance just inside the box, but was handled by Gomes.

The other good chances for the half were by Tottenham. In the 28 th minute there was a decent shot by Kranjcar. In the 30th minute, a header by Peter Crouch is saved by Schwarzer. The announcers mentioned that Tottenham were looking dangerous but not doing enough.

For Fulham in the first half it was obvious that they did miss Danny Murphy. Jonathan Greening was on his place. To win this game they needed to do better in the midfield. At the half the score is 0 -0.

The second half opened similar to how it started. Fulham came out aggressive in the opening minutes. Fulham had the first real good chance of the second half. In the 46th minute a Simon Davies cross went to Bobby Zamora who headed the ball to Zoltan Gera. His header was saved by Gomes.

As like the first half, Tottenham shortly after the brief advantage by Fulham started to grab control again. In the 55th minute a shot by Kranjcar goes off of Nicky Shorey, but was in a dangerous area near the net. Shortly after that in the 58th minute a shot by Michael Dawson slices away from the net.

Tottenham had more of the play, but Fulham were definitely getting some chances. Damien Duff started to get some shots. In the 58th minute a shot by Duff just goes wide of the net. In the 64th minute a shot by Duff is again saved by Gomes. This shot was a very good chance for Duff. In the 77th minute a pass from Zoltan Gera leads to another shot by Damien Duff that goes wide of the net. The last real chance for Fulham was in the 85th minute with a Bobby Zamora run and a shot that goes very wide of the net.

As the match winds down the game ends 0 - 0 with a replay at home to Tottenham. This game reminded me some of the Boxing Day match. However, Tottenham I thought played at a much higher level tonight. To be honest both teams had there chances. Tottenham had 9 corners in the match to Fulham having only 2. Tottenham just couldn't break though the Fulham defense.

This was a disappointing result for Fulham. They have so many tough matches this month. Now, they will have a replay in the quarterfinal of the FA Cup. I think both teams played well. Like I mentioned prior I was impressed by the play for Tottenham Hotspur. I can see why they are in the running for a Champions League spot.

Fulham are definitely a tough team to beat at home. The question is can Fulham win at White Hart Lane? We will find out later this month.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 11:15 AM

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (07.03.10)
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2010, 11:09:21 PM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/03/06/fulham-x-tottenham-x/

Fulham 0 Tottenham 0: Heurelho Gomes Heroics Deny Cottagers Victory

06/3/2010 1:23 PM GMT


By Ian Winrow


Heurelho Gomes produced three outstanding second-half saves to deny Fulham and secure an FA Cup quarter-final replay for Spurs.

Chances were few and far between in a disappointing game with neither side ever taking control of the tie.

And when Fulham stepped up the tempo after the break, Gomes responded to a spell of home pressure by denying headers from Zoltan Gera and Brede Hangeland, before producing a full-length dive to keep out Damien Duff's drive.

The two sides will now meet at White Hart Lane on March 24th.




REACTION:
Roy Hodgson accepted the draw as a fair result and having seen his side produce some impressive away performances recently – most notably against Shakhtar Donetsk – remains confident ahead of the replay.

"I'm only the more disappointed because it was a home game and the advantage now passes over to Tottenham because they have that advantage," said the Fulham manager. "We've pretty evenly matched and I'm disappointed we couldn't get the goal that would put us through.

"We were close at the end but on the basis of the play a draw was a fair result.

"The way we've played recently and the fact we know we can trust the players to giver the type of performance they have done today makes us confident.

"But we also know Tottenham are a very good team who are where they are in the league on merit. Harry has brought in some very fine players and we'll be up against."

The fact that Fulham now travel to face Juventus in the Europa League although provided consolation for Hodgson.

"It's a wonderful time for the club," he added. "We've had a magnificent February.

"One is always wary that after such a good month the next one will start poorly. I'll quite happily accept the 0-0 today and take this to Juventus.

"I remind the players this is what you're a Premiership player for - there are lots of people in lower divisions who are envious. We should be grateful for that."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp acknowledged the debt his side owed Gomes who had a difficult afternoon here last season when he appeared on his way out of the club.

"Gomes looks different to the goalkeeper who came here in 2008 when I irst arrived," said Redknapp. "He had a terrible time here then but he's a different lad now full confidence who looks what he is - a top keeper.

"He had a bad day here in 2008 but it didn't affect him today."

And he added: "At home we've got a big chance but I bet Shakhtar thought they were favourites for that second leg, but it didn't work out that way.

"That was one of the results of the season - I know how hard it is to go there."

HOW IT HAPPENED:
It was clear from the opening moments that this would be a tightly contested affair and it took 20 minutes before either side created a meaningful opening, a half chance that was spurned by Bobby Zamora. Tottenham shaded the first half without ever truly taking control then after the break Fulham showed the greater initiative but were unable to find a way past Gomes. The quality of both sides' defending will have satisfied the purist but as a spectacle, this tie never really took off.

EXPERT VIEW:
The games are coming thick and fast for Fulham right now and a replay will further clog their fixture list. When that list includes FA Cup quarter final replays and a Europa League tie, however, it's no surprise that Hodgson is viewing the coming weeks with relish. With Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United already out of the competition, both teams came into this game knowing they had a chance of winning the competition and from that point of view, nothing has changed.

QUOTABLE:
"Rather than see ourselves as victims we should bask in the glory because it's not ever year we get to play close to 60 games in a season."
- Hodgson shows he is a workaholic


FULHAM 0 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0

PLAYER MARKING:
Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer 8; Baird 6, Hughes 7, Hangeland 7, Shorey 6; Duff 7, Greening 7, Etuhu 6, Davies 6 (Elm 73, 6); Gera 6, Zamora 5.
Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling.

Tottenham (4-4-2): Gomes 9; Corluka 6, Bassong 7, Dawson 8, Assou-Ekotto 7; Krancjar 7, Modric 6, Palacios 7, Bale 8; Crouch 5, Pavlyuchenko 5 (Defoe 82, 5).
Subs (not used): Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.

ATTENDANCE: 24,533

NEXT UP:
- Fulham v Juventus (Away), Europa League 11/03, 2005 GMT
- Tottenham Hotspur v Blackburn Rovers (Home), Premier League 13/03, 1245 GMT

MAN OF THE MATCH:
Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham): It wasn't hard to stand out in a agme like this and the Brazilian provided the few moments of excitement with a series of second half saves.