Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...  (Read 11579 times)

Offline whitejc

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Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« on: December 07, 2011, 08:01:02 AM »
 
Luis Suarez facing second FA charge for finger gesture made after Liverpool defeat to Fulham
The Football Association are looking at allegations Liverpool striker Luis Suarez made an offensive gesture after last night's 1-0 defeat at Fulham.


Controversy: Luis Suarez was seen making inappropriate hand gestures in the direction of
Fulham fans as he left the pitch Photo: JAVIER GARCIA


Photographs published today show the Uruguay international making a gesture in the direction of the crowd as he left the pitch at Craven Cottage.

The FA are aware of the alleged incident and it is understood they are now looking at the matter.

Should he be found guilty of insulting or offensive behaviour, Suarez could be handed a two-match ban which would see him miss Liverpool's forthcoming ties with QPR and Aston Villa.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was cautious when quizzed after the game about the allegations.

"I've not seen the picture and I am not taking anybody's word for it," he said. "But until you have proved it is true to me, I won't comment."

Dalglish went on to defend his striker after he was subjected to "cheat" taunts by fans unhappy at the way the player went to ground regularly.

"Scandalous," the Scot said of Fulham fans' behaviour. "I would like to see you write that in the paper because you would be in a bit of trouble as well. You write what you want to write.

"At the end of the day, we will look after Luis the best we can and I think it is about time he got a bit of protection from some people."

Suarez is currently awaiting a date for his hearing at which he will deny an FA racism charge after allegations made by Manchester United defender Patrice Evra back in October.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/8938043/Luis-Suarez-facing-second-FA-charge-for-finger-gesture-made-after-Liverpool-defeat-to-Fulham.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 08:03:02 AM »
 
Fulham draw gives Addicks chance to test potential


Manager Chris Powell

CHARLTON columnist MATT FRICKER believes an FA Cup third round trip to Fulham is a near perfect draw for Chris Powell’s men.

ON Sunday afternoon Charlton Athletic were drawn away to Premier League Fulham in the third round of the FA Cup.

The tie very almost gives Chris Powell the ideal of what he wanted after the manager told reporters after the Carlisle game he hoped for a home game against opposition who would challenge his team.

While we’ve been drawn away, the short journey across London is very favourable when compared to some of the locations we could have been required to travel to.

Look at Millwall, who face a trip to either Walsall or Dagengham, while Palace head north to Derby.

What’s more, Fulham aren’t a Premier League team who would be expected to tear the Addicks to shreds.

They’re currently 13th in the table and even though they somehow beat Liverpool 1-0 last night, Fulham were outplayed for long periods.

With the form Chris Powell’s side are currently in with eight wins in a row, you’ve got one hell of a cup tie.

For me, the most interesting prospect of the forthcoming Fulham game will be the chance to see a Premier League team up against an Addicks side who are currently taking no prisoners on the pitch.

There’s always been a lot of comparison between the clubs.

While London rivals, we have a good natured history with the Cottagers and played a similar style of football in our early Premier League years.

The key difference between the two has always been money, as thanks to Mohamed Al-Fayed, Fulham have been able to sustain their life as a side in the top flight who are now regularly accustomed to challenging for European football.

Charlton’s League One revival has been impressing people left, right and centre and I can’t help but think we have a genuinely good chance of reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2008/09 season.

Of course the concern is the Fulham match could have an adverse effect on the Addicks as a win, while enjoyable, would arguably see the cup run become a distraction from our main concern this season - promotion.

This said, if we give the Cottagers a scare and are defeated by a late free-kick, Powell’s men would have every right to leave SW6 with their heads held high and an even greater determination to ensure their day of celebration will come in May.

Come on you Addicks!


http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/sport/football/charlton/9404060.Fulham_draw_gives_Addicks_chance_to_test_potential/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 08:04:55 AM »
 
Fulham v Liverpool ~ Player Ratings
by LORK on DECEMBER 6, 2011



Ahhhh that was nice. Lady luck smiled on us a couple of times – Suarez was onside and Senderos maybe should have gone late on – but overally it was a very even and entertaining game where we managed to put one of out shots away when Liverpool couldn’t. Liverpool’s team selection was bizarre, especially considering how they destroyed us last season, but nonetheless it was a very creditable performance, and results like these against the big sides (Arsenal, City, Liverpool, etc) demonstrate that we are a good side and on the cusp of moving up the table. Hopefully our ball-playing attackers can take advantage of Swansea’s open style of play and get another win next week.

Schwarzer – 7.5, Reina demonstrated why Schwarzer should be regarded as one of the top keepers in the league. Three times Reina parried shots, and once could you regard them as effective – from Dembele’s long range strike in the first half – i.e. getting it away from danger. The other two times the ball ended up right infront of him, and on the second occasion Dempsey made him pay. Schwarzer does not let the ball end up in dangerous positions after people shoot at him (unless there’s nothing he can do like Enrique’s 20 yard volley) because his handling is superb, and it’s an attribute of his that I’ve been championing for ages. Hopefully yesterday people will notice how that makes all the difference. Made some good saves, especially when tipping the ball onto the post from a fabulous Downing strike a minute before we scored, and did well aerially.

Senderos – 7, I thought Senderos has done really well these last couple of games. For some reason he gets labelled as a mistake waiting to happen, and maybe thats just because his face constantly looks worried naturally, but our record with him in the side is (I’m pretty sure it is and hopefully my tweet to OptaJoe will confirm it) outstanding, in terms of goals conceded and clean sheets kept. He’s very comfortable on the ball (sometimes too determined to play it out from the back) and one of my favourite moments in that first half was when he did two stepovers and skipped past Suarez I think it was. Had to deal with a large amount of crosses into the box and did well with that. However there were two times when he didn’t close down and we were fortunate to escape, when Henderson and Downing charged forward into space that Senderos left open to run into and hit the woodwork. I’m not sure why he didn’t go to close down. He also misjudged a bouncing ball totally and Suarez threatened to get in behind. But other than that, solid game. Is the time of H&H over?

Hangeland – 7.5, same comments as Senderos really without the errors; was assured all game and got to a load of crosses first. Dealt with Suarez perfectly this time, by getting tight enough as to not allow him to turn but staying far enough off him so that Suarez couldn’t just spin behind or win a free kick anyway.

Kelly – 6.5, defensively again, a very assured performance, and offered himself in possession well. Made numerous blocks and Suarez didnt cause too many problems down that left hand side, apart from on one occassion where he skipped to the byline. Seems to have won over any detractors he did have and is now an important member of the squad.

Riise – 7, struggled at times in the first half, Bellamy was almost allowed to get crosses in at will, but in the second half that side was much more solid. Our play noticably improved when Riise started to get forward more about 20 minutes or half hour in, because then he started offering width, and he provided a frequent outlet from our midfielders wanting to switch play. I’d say infact that second half performance was about as dominant, attacking wise, as we’ve seen from him, brekaing forward numerous times and on several occassions receiving the ball in the box. It was his break forward into space (that Ruiz spotted and played a lovely ball too) which won us the corner from which we eventually scored. When he was far up the pitch the space behind him wasn’t covered well at all which allowed Liverpool to break on us, 3 on 3 or 4 on 3 a few times; fortunately for us they weren’t as clinical as they should have been from those opportunities. It was difficult though because Etuhu, normally the covering midfielder, was asked to play further up the pitch from Murphy when we started progressing into their half with possesion. Talking of which…

Etuhu – 8, OK, after three or four arguably man-of-the-match performances in a row I’m not sure now Etuhu can be dropped (and it looks like he won’t be with Murphy out for a couple of weeks). His range of passing is not the greatest, that’s for sure, and that’s a limitation the players, manager and player alike all accept. However, he DOES keep the ball well, and offers himself to collect the ball off the back four to keep the ball moving. Then, as I say, when Murphy wanted to dictate play Etuhu would then move futher up the pitch, almost alongside out attacking wide midfielders. I didn’t think Etuhu would fit in under Jol but his awareness, confidence and decision making with the ball has vastly improved, and all he does is make 5 or 10 yard passes which he always has done, but they are now more effective. It is nice to see him now playing the ball forward quite often. Off the ball Etuhu was fantastic. Suarez loves to drop off the back four and pick up space infront of it but several times Etuhu nicked the ball off of him, breaking down attacks, which was vital in stopping a fluent attacking performance from Liverpool. He played with discipline and I’d have to say Etuhu’s played his way into the side for me. I don’t think he’d be as effective in games where we’d dominate (we wouldn’t have demolished QPR 6-0 with Etuhu because Sidwell is simply more dynamic in possession and forces the agenda more), but perhaps if we’re going to play with a fluid front four, and stick Murphy in as playmaker, we will need Etuhu to stay anyway.

Murphy – 7, we really started to get going when Murphy started to switch the play. The midfield was quite congested so he had to drop deep to get the ball but suprisingly when he was on the ball he was under barely any pressure, no one went to close him down. Started to float some lovely through balls to get behind the Liverpool defence and it was of course his sweet drop of the shoulder to beat Johnson (!!) that opened up the space to shoot; Reina spilt it and the rest is history. Hopefully his injury isn’t serious.

Dempsey – 8, a constant thorn in Liverpool’s side all night. In actual fact he didn’t make many particuarly incisive passes or runs with the ball but five or six times he was on the end of attacking moves, firing shots in at goal and testing Reina, and his movement inside meant that Riise had a load of space to run into, from which we caused a fair amount of danger down that side. What an utter shame that he hit the crossbar from what was a gorgeous flowing move in the second half, but what a great piece of anticipation to tap the ball into the back of an empty net (check Rich’s second-by-second (almost) analysis of the goal to appreciate just how it was), utter poachers goal. And with that, he’s the highest scoring American in Premier League (and surely English Leage Football?) history.

Ruiz – 7, demonstrated a delicate touch but gave the ball away too often to be classed as effective really, that through ball to Dembele aside which was just lovely. Second half he really picked up, got more involved, floated into the centre to link with play and it was his sweet chipped pass which found Riise in space for the built up to the goal. Coming into his own now just as we’ve entered a run of 8 games in a month so good timing, and in games in which he can be expected to suit his style (Swansea, Bolton, United, Arsenal, all are quite open, or at least will come out and attack). He is so cool on the  ball, he does dictate the pace of play when he’s on it. Still not quite up to speed but another player which you can’t really drop now.

Dembele – 8, the sky’s the limit for Dembele. Bamboozled Liverpool players all night with agile turns, drops of the shoulder, gentle touches of the ball just a yard or two in space, leaving them for dead. His finishing leaves alot to be desired still, and while his passing is more intelligent his awareness is still lacking (twice he should have played in players down the left after Johnson had come inside, and they were really in acres of space). However he was constantly probing, creating space for him and others to play in, complete with a work rate and tenacity off the ball which is to be admired. And to think he was once considered a ‘luxury player’. This is why I can’t make my mind up whether I want Dembele or Ruiz to be in behind Zamora; you would imagine that Ruiz, being the better passer and more creative of the pair, would revel in the middle and be allowed to influence games more but you must also consider that Dembele wins the ball back off players so well, using his deceptive strength and tricky feet to nick the ball off players, control it, and start a move high up the pitch. Let’s be very very thankful to that he anticipated the challenge from Spearing and jumped, otherwise his ankle would literally have snapped in two, the replay still makes me wince.

Zamora – 6.5, took a knock early on in the game and wasn’t very mobile for the rest of it which meant it was difficult for him to recieve the ball. However, when he did he was strong up against two big centre halves in Skrtl and Agger, and he layed the ball off pretty well. Our player seemed to pick up pace when Johnson came on but remember it wasn’t long after that when Spearing was sent off. I also worry that we lose our shape when we lose Zamora. He’s still not showing the tenacity and aggression perhaps that was the trademark of his 19 goal season with us, but he is still playing okay, and we are a better team with him in it.

~Subs~

Johnson – 6.5, the game opened up soon after he came on and that’s the sort of thing Johnson would enjoy. We could get the ball quicker up the pitch with him on, especially with the Liverpool fullbacks pushing almost suicidally far forward when they were down to ten men. Was really disappointed with his half-arsed effort when through on goal in the 94th minute, he didn’t even consider trying to beat the last defender and just shot to waste time. Really not on, I don’t know why he decided to do it when he could have cut inside Johnson.

Gecov – N/A, the ball was in play for no more than thirty seconds for the time Gecov was on the pitch. Will he finally start at Swansea, or will Sidwell recover in time?

~lork



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/12/fulham-v-liverpool-player-ratings/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 08:06:39 AM »
 
4 Things We Took From Liverpool’s Defeat To Fulham

Liverpool dropped 3 vital points against Fulham at Craven Cottage last night in a controversial game which saw poor refereeing and Liverpool hitting the post on countless of occasions. Here are four things i took from the game:

1. Bad Refereeing Still Plagues the League
Maybe it’s just me, but there were so too many ridiculous refereeing decisions in the game. Liverpool were denied a strong penalty claim when Charlie Adam was hauled to the ground following a Philippe Senderos tackle, which was adjudged to have been outside of the box, when replay’s suggested it was inside.

Along with that, Luis Suarez had a fantastic goal ruled out by referee Kevin Friend. The Uruguayan had worked the oppourtunity and finished brilliantly, with replays suggesting that the South American was indeed onside when the ball was played. Jay Spearing was also on the wrong side of a bad decision, after his tackle on Mousa Dembele earned him a straight red card, even when the Englishman managed to get the ball cleanly. Another questionable decision that went against Liverpool.

2. Jay Spearing Might Just Be Ready
Spearing, brought in to replace long-term casualty Lucas Leiva, worked really hard to close down Fulham’s midfield yesterday night and should be applauded for his efforts. He was unlucky to be sent off 72 minutes into the game and Spearing distributed the ball well throughout the match.

Jay Spearing has been waiting on the sidelines for a long time now and he might just be the man to step up in during Lucas Leiva’s absence. Although it looks like he’ll be suspended for 3 games now unless Liverpool win an appeal.

3. Daniel Agger is a Consistent Performer
Daniel Agger seems to get better by the game, and the Danish defender produced another fine display at the heart of the Liverpool defence. But could he be the right man for the defensive midfielder spot in Jay Spearing and Lucas’ absence? It doesn’t sound like a bad idea. He breaks play down well, passes adequately and even has a rocket of a shot from his left foot.

Agger might just be the man whom can solve Liverpool’s short term defensive midfielder woes, with Jamie Carragher preferably coming back into the side at centre back alongside our Slovakian no-nonsense defender Martin Skrtel.

4. Our Midfield Looks Very Disjointed
In Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Jay Spearing we had a reasonable midfield, but they struggled to work together against Fulham. Charlie Adam was doing his own thing, Henderson showed glimpses of vision, creativity and managed to hit the post and Jay Spearing simply chased balls down trying to break up play. But they didn’t work as a unit.



http://football-talk.co.uk/51037/4-things-we-took-from-liverpools-defeat-to-fulham/?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 08:08:10 AM »
 
FA looking into offensive gesture from Liverpool's Luis Suarez after Fulham defeat
The Uruguay forward was photographed appearing to raise his middle finger towards the home fans after Monday's 1-0 loss, adding to the ongoing probe over alleged racial abuse

The FA is looking into an offensive gesture allegedly made by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after Monday’s 1-0 defeat by Fulham in the Premier League.

The Uruguay forward was caught by photographers appearing to raise his middle finger towards the Craven Cottage crowd as he left the pitch.

Manager Kenny Dalglish refused to condemn the forward, telling reporters: “I've not seen the picture and I am not taking anybody's word for it. But until you have proved it is true to me, I won't comment.”

Suarez has already been charged by the FA for alleged racist comments made to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during the two sides’ Premier League clash in October.

The loss to Martin Jol’s side leaves the Reds in seventh place in the table, three points behind Newcastle.


http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2011/12/06/2790418/fa-investigating-offensive-gesture-from-liverpools-luis?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 08:09:35 AM »
 
Reserves 3-0 West Brom

Simon Davies returned to action on Tuesday afternoon as Fulham’s Reserves recorded a three-goal victory over West Brom in the Barclays Premier Reserve League.

Davies played the first 70 minutes as goals from Kerim Frei, Pajtim Kasami and Orlando Sa secured the three points for Billy McKinlay’s men.

West Brom got the game underway on a chilly afternoon at Motspur Park. Kasami started the game on the right hand side and looked lively during the early stages. After a nice spell of football from the visitors early on, Fulham showed their maturity some resolute defending, especially from young Dan Burn.

The first real chance fell to Sa who was released by Kerim Frei after a fine piece of skill, but the Portuguese striker couldn’t keep his shot down from the acute angle.

Simon Davies, who was making a welcome return from injury on Tuesday afternoon, looked to get on the ball and stamp his authority from his central midfield position.

With just over 15 minutes played Fulham created a wonderful chance. Matthew Briggs switched play and after an excellent first touch and back heel from Kasami, Smith was released and attacked the box, but unfortunately couldn’t get enough on his shot to beat West Brom ‘keeper Jack Rose at his near post.

With 20 minutes played Fulham got the breakthrough that their dominance deserved. Bjorn Helge Riise whipped in a dangerous corner and Kerim Frei rose high to win a header that was acrobatically cleared off the line. The ball then fell to Kacaniklic on the edge of the box and his low drive was saved by the goalkeeper, but spilt kindly for Frei to tap in. Nothing more than the Whites deserved.

The goal seemed to increase Fulham’s confidence, who continued to get Frei and Kasami on the ball as much as possible.

Fulham made a bright start to the second-half and Kasami demonstrated impressive strength to hold off his marker following a bustling run forward, which resulted in Jack Rose making a smart save down to his left.

Simon Davies showed little sign of tiring in the second-half as he threw himself into challenges and readily made himself available for the pass. However it was West Brom, whose eagerness to get back on level terms, appeared to be driving factor in the early flow of the half.

However Fulham soon managed to reclaim the upper hand in the possession stakes and started to impose their will on the visitors. Davies ended a successful return to action on 70 minutes, being replaced by Tom Donegan.

A fine save from Rose prevented Kasami from doubling Fulham’s advantage on 71 minutes. Alex Kacaniklic outpaced his marker to the by-line and played a dangerous low pass across the face of goal, Kasami, lurking at the far post, placed a firm shot back across the face of goal only to see Rose parry the effort away.

Kasami doubled the lead on 75 minutes with an expertly taken left-footed free kick. A fast break from Fulham involving Frei and Kacaniklic, culminated in the Swedish winger being brought to ground on the edge of the penalty area. Kasami’s set-piece effort rattled the underside of the crossbar on its way to the back of the net.

Kasami combined with Orlando Sa minutes later to create Fulham’s third and final goal of the encounter. Winning possession well on the right flank, he sprinted away and squared a simple pass for Sa who produced a cultured finish to place the ball beyond Rose.

Fulham: Etheridge; Smith, Pritchard (Harris 19), Briggs (Dean 79), Burn; Riise, Frei, Davies (Donegan 70), Kasami, Kacaniklic; Sa

Unused Subs: Joronen, Brister



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2011/December/ReservesvWestBrom.aspx?#ixzz1fpn1aPJH


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 08:11:42 AM »
 
Riise refuses to condemn Suarez



Fulham defender John Arne Riise refuses to condemn Luis Suarez for diving, instead accepting it as part of the game.


The ease with which Suarez went to ground in Liverpool's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Craven Cottage saw him targeted with chants of "cheat" by home fans.

The Uruguay striker courted further controversy when he appeared to make an offensive gesture towards the crowd after the game, an incident the Football Association are examining.

Riise, who was playing against former club Liverpool for the first time, bears no grudge against Suarez for his style of play.

"Players going down happens, that's football. If he is diving or not diving, that's not up to us," he said.

"We play on and if we feel it's not a free-kick then we tell him. He's a good player, we respect him for what he's doing. "

"You could see three or four times that he grew frustrated. But then the frustration soon goes away and that's the professionalism he has in his body."


http://www.setanta.com/ie/Articles/2011/12/06/Riise-bears-no-grudge-towards-Reds-star/gnid-120734/?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 08:13:42 AM »
 
United striker targeted in west-London swoop - reports
Dimitar Berbatov could be heading to Fulham



Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov could be offered a way out of Old Trafford by Fulham, according to The Daily Mail.

The Bulgarian striker has played second fiddle to Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck this season after finishing as the club's top scorer during their title winning campaign.

Berbatov's rare appearances have coincided with lacklustre United performances this term, the latest of which came during the Carling Cup defeat to Crystal Palace.

With Berbatov, 30, entering the twilight of his career, United are keen to recoup some of the £30 million they paid for him in in 2008.

Fulham boss Martin Jol originally signed Berbatov during his spell at White Hart Lane in 2006 and with the likes of Moussa Dembele and Bobby Zamora attracting attention from elsewhere, the Dutch boss may be tempted to splash out on a replacement.

Berbatov was left out of the United squad that faced Aston Villa and is set to miss the trip to Basel on Wednesday with an ankle injury.


http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/united-striker-targeted-in-west-london-swoop---rep?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 08:17:33 AM »
 
Tactical analysis: Fulham 1-0 Liverpool: Why Liverpool lost?
In a game littered with controversial refereeing decisions, Fulham managed to eke out a slender 1-0 win over Liverpool, after making the most of Spearing’s sending off on 72nd minute. It was difficult to comprehend, especially after three successive professional performances as the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City were played off the park.


Starting teams for both sides
Much of the build-up to the game centred around how the loss of Lucas Leiva to injury will be tackled by Dalglish’s management, especially considering he has been the League’s top tackler up till this point. He used a direct replacement in Spearing, who was at the base of a midfield trio, and sat slightly forward were Adam and Henderson – both of whom had responsibitilies both in attack and defence.

Bellamy had a primary position on the right wing, attacking down Riise’s flank, while Suarez and Carroll weren’t tied down to any particular spot; they had their shackles off them and were able to drop back or move wide as and when they deemed it fit.

For Fulham, their play centred around Murphy, who crafts the beginning of most of their attacks, while the likes of Dempsey and Ruiz continually were allowed to roam inwards from the flanks. When not in possession, Dembele, who starts behind Zamora, continously drops back to hassle and break up Liverpool’s attacks.

Dembele’s key role

Dembele’s contribution for Fulham was all-round and he was all over the pitch – he recorded a total of 11 tackles, 7 won and 6 lost. While his main role was just off the target striker in Bobby Zamora, he did succeed with intelligent movement around the pitch, constantly dropping back. To a certain extent, he did offer adequate protection against Bellamy, covering for Dempsey who cut inwards to provide a further threat for Fulham’s attack.


Highlighting Dembele's contribution
The above chalkboard represents the tackles he made for Fulham. As highlighted by the black box above, a fair share of his tackles came from Fulham’s left, with 4 tackles being made in Fulham’s own half. It is obvious that Martin Jol had identified that Bellamy was an obvious threat who had the ability to wreck havoc, especially when allowed time to run on the ball. But with Dempsey having a more primary role as an attacker, Dembele was employed to do the graft, covering for Dempsey in the back-tracking department.

Naturally, this allowed Dempsey to cut inwards without much worry as to whether Fulham could cope should Liverpool start counter-attacking, especially down his channel.

Space created between Liverpool’s midfield and defence

With Liverpool starting with a three-man central midfield, one might have thought the Reds were well-stocked in that department. Instead, the use of Dembele was crucial in exploiting this ‘strength’. Since Dembele had the constant opportunity to drop deep into midfield, the likes of Adam and Henderson were naturally drawn towards him. Both Liverpool midfielders recorded little on-the-ball movements especially in a key area which Fulham attacked – central and just outside the penalty box.


Passing heatmap for Henderson and Adam
As seen in the passing heatmaps from the chalkboards above, both players had very little involvement in passing the ball from that red zone. Inevitably, their overall contribution especially in shielding the back four suffers.

As a result, Spearing had to contend with a “double-team” effort from Ruiz and Dempsey, who were coming inwards. Both of Fulham’s wide midfielders attacked the acres of space that was left between Liverpool’s midfield and defence. Naturally, it was too much to cope for Spearing, so Dempsey was allowed many shots on target especially outside the penalty area.


Dempsey's shots v Liverpool
Conclusion

The above two reasons are most possibly why Liverpool found the going tough against Fulham, who attacked intelligently. The problem was compounded severely when Spearing, who was anchoring the midfield, was sent off. The gaping hole in midfield wasn’t plugged, and so gleefully for Fulham, there was more space to be exploited between Liverpool’s midfield and defence.

It could have been ideal to bring on a centre defender, or someone in the mould of Kelly to actually cover up that fragile area which could have been the difference between a draw and a defeat. However, the game was settled by a blunder by Reina, some bizarre refereeing decisions which did swing the balance in Fulham’s favour. But whether or not Liverpool could have won should those mistakes be eradicated, remains a question mark.


http://thespionkop.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/tactical-analysis-fulham-1-0-liverpool/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 08:19:11 AM »
 
Fulham target loan move for Manchester United misfit Berbatov

Fulham are reportedly eyeing a loan move for Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

The People claims United manager Sir Alex Ferguson may allow Berbatov to leave in January.

Fulham boss Martin Jol is believed to be interested in talking the Bulgarian on loan if United are unable to secure a suitable permanent deal for him.

The 30-year-old is slipping down the striker order at Old Trafford, starting only one Premier League match this season.

It is understood that Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala want him, but he would rather stay in a major European league.

Craven Cottage chief Jol signed Berbatov for Tottenham in 2006 and the frontman enjoyed the best season of his career working under the Dutchman.


http://www.click-manchester.com/sport/manchester-united/1214854-fulham-target-loan-move-for-manchester-united-misfit-berbatov.html?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 08:20:28 AM »
 
Ebbs, Flows And Locker Room Foes

The beautiful game can be beautifully ironic at times.

Liverpool, undefeated in 11 straight, marched into Fulham's typically bulwark-like Craven Cottage yesterday, where the Whites had only managed one league win on the season.

Not only that, but rumors of locker room disharmony persisted, even worsened, over the past week. The latest step? A gag order.

Fulham players have been hit with a gagging order to stop tales of dressing-room unrest leaking to the media.


Players face a fine of two weeks' wages if they speak publicly without the club's permission.

But even still, a Fulham "insider" managed to relay some oh-so-reliable, indirectly sourced, direct quotes to The Sun today. Yeah, it's The Sun, but, at this point, who knows? Could be tue.

Aside from that, we've at least heard rumblings of the following:

Andy Johnson, on his way out.
Bobby Zamora, not a fan of Martin Jol.
Moussa Dembele, intrigued at the idea of playing at a higher level.
Clint Dempsey, flat-out asking for that opportunity at the start of the year.
Pajtim Kasami, fined for taking a penalty, and the locker room was apparently less than thrilled with the decision.
Monday night we had resurgent Liverpool marching into London, ready to continue their climb up the table over hapless, disharmonious Fulham.

And Fulham won 1-0.

Wait, what?



Fulham didn't do anything particularly different than they had the last few games, which were, on the surface, poor. They didn't win a Premier League contest in November. They just lost on the road at FC Twente, putting their Europa League life at risk.

But if you saw the team that took at point at Arsenal a week ago, this was a virtual clone, from construction, to impetus, to philosophy.

Even though Johnson's goal scoring record has been impressive, Martin Jol obviously loves the versatility of playing one out-and-out forward, in Zamora, and three attacking midfielders with ball skills and flair, in Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele and the gradually emerging Bryan Ruiz.

Watching Ruiz can be fraught with difficulties before moments of brilliance allow you to see what Jol saw when he dropped a Buckingham Palace mortgage on the winger. His first notable influence on the game was a sublime through-ball that played Dembele in on goal. Jose Reina's excellent instincts denied the Belgian's poor finish. So it goes.

The next notables from Ruiz were him overrunning a ball and mistiming a back heel. Later, he executed a perfect back heel that, in its context, allowed a fluid attacking movement to continue. It's stop and start stuff from the lanky Costa Rican, but there is a start, and it is nice to see when it emerges.

Dembele and Dempsey were better, with Dempsey's wanton shoot-at-all-costs mentality and Dembele's smooth dribbling on display. Even with Zamora disinterested, the attack looked lively, and chances generated were relatively even.

Liverpool looked the better side though, but not by much. Both the hosts and the guests shared a number of chances, each doing a tremendous job of finding the woodwork. Jay Spearing's red card was harsh, but it gave Fulham a rare bit of luck and an impetus to attack. Liverpool bringing on Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt for Craig Bellamy and Andy Carroll showed they were going for the win, but didn't add much steel in defense.

In the end, it was Dempsey, seizing the opportunity to convert a rebound, that made the difference. Suddenly, Fulham's Premier League streak of winless in three became an unbeaten in two, against Liverpool and Arsenal, and not trailing for a second in either contest.

December will be a brutal month. This was just the second game of eight. But the win, the beautiful, beautiful win, allows Jol a moment to breathe. His team is now five points above the drop and, regardless of rows, regardless of reports, Monday night was a harmonious one at the Craven Cottage.


http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2011/12/6/2613830/fulham-liverpool-additional-analysis?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 08:21:44 AM »
 
Fulham Get A Boost In Their Attempts To Sign £2 Million African Defender

Fulham have been given an extra boost in their attempts to sign Ivorian right-back Abdoulaye Bamba after the player admitted he is flattered by interest from Fulham.

The 21-year-old currently plays for Ligue 1 side Dijon in France, but he has attracted interest from other clubs after his performances for the french side earned him rave reviews and Bamba who spent time with Juventus’ famed youth side, will have the pick of many Premier League clubs but it seems Fulham is high on the players wish list after commenting on recent speculation linking him with a move to Craven Cottage.

Bamba told the media “I am flattered by the interest of clubs, Fulham have not made any contact with me and it is only paper talk so far, but if it is true I will be very happy to be linked with such a club after only a year in the French top league, I will not lose my head, I love what is happening to me at the moment and Dijon is close to my heart also, having given me this opportunity to realise my dream.”

Bamba could cost Fulham a transfer fee in the region of £2 million with manager Martin Jol eager to add to his squad’s defensive options.



http://www.footylatest.com/fulham-get-a-boost-in-their-attempts-to-sign-2-million-african-defender/25852?#


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 08:22:37 AM »
 
Simon Davies makes Fulham comeback

SIMON Davies made his first appearance for more than four months in this afternoon's development game with West Brom.

The Fulham winger has been sidelined with a knee injury since the Europa League win against NSI Runavik back in June.

Davies had minor surgery in a bid to clear up the problem, but returned to full training at Motspur Park last month.

The Welshman played 70 minutes of the 3-0 win against the Baggies second-string, and boss Martin Jol is hopeful he could return to the first-team fold in a couple of weeks.

Kerim Frei, Pajtim Kasami and Orlando Sa were on target for the Whites.



Read More http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2011/12/06/simon-davies-makes-fulham-comeback-82029-29901845/?#ixzz1fpqLVfga

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 08:25:55 AM »

Fulham defender delighted with victory and a clean sheet against Liverpool

Brede Hangeland hailed his side’s defensive effort against the Merseyside giants

Fulham defender Brede Hangeland was relieved to keep a clean sheet against Liverpool last night.

The Whites ran out 1-0 victors and were fortunate as the Merseyside giants hit the woodwork through a curling Jordan Henderson effort and Mark Schwarzer was forced into making some good saves.

The Reds also had a Luis Suarez goal disallowed for offside, although the Uruguayan appeared to be level.

“I’m sure you saw it better than me. I just saw the flag go up,” he said.

“If you’re playing Carroll and Suarez then it changes every 10 seconds but on the whole we did quite well and with a brilliant goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet.

“If you look at the league table you can see how important this win was.”

Fulham travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea on Saturday – the last time they faced the Welsh club in the league was in the old Division 3 in 1997.


http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/fulham_defender_delighted_with_victory_and_a_clean_sheet_against_liverpool_1_1146462?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 08:28:12 AM »
 
Michel Vorm claims Swansea City's clash with Fulham is 'must-win' game


Michel Vorm

MICHEL VORM has labelled Swansea City’s clash with Fulham as ‘must-win’ after insisting their away-day blues have ramped up the pressure on them at home.

Swans No.1 Vorm says the Liberty Stadium side simply have to turn it on back on their own patch after slipping up on the road once more at Blackburn.

And the Dutch star has urged his team-mates for greater fight to make it happen when it comes to the contest with the Cottagers.

The Swans’ loss at bottom-three Blackburn at the weekend kept the club’s seven-month wait for a win on the road going, as well as dragging them down the table towards the drop zone.

With Fulham recording a surprise win over Liverpool on Monday night to jump ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ men, it’s only added to the significance of Saturday’s meeting between the two.

Now goalkeeper Vorm has refused to dodge the fact that the Swans simply have to be back to the kind of form that has made them such a force at fortress Liberty, especially against sides likely to be a rival for safety at the end of the season.

Vorm said: “We have to win. We know we can beat anyone at home – but the pressure is on us after Blackburn.

“At this level there is no easy game but we know we have to win most of our home games, especially if you are not winning away.

“The goals we conceded up there were too easy and we had individual faults.

“We played against a team who I don’t think were that good but we conceded four goals. That is not possible.

“So we have work to do, we will train hard and move on because Fulham is a must-win game.

“It’s as simple as that.”

While Swansea have not yet reached the halfway point of the season, Vorm knows the clash with 16th-placed Fulham precedes two tough away tests at Newcastle and Everton.

And with Martin Jol’s side likely to be among the rather large pack looking to secure safety, rather than aim for Europe, all at the Liberty will be hoping for a win to ease the burden before the back-to-back away games.

But the Holland international reckons more will be needed against the teams in similar positions to themselves if Swansea are to keep themselves away from danger.

“In matches like against Blackburn, Norwich and Wolves we have to bring more,” the 28-year-old said.

“These kind of matches are more important than playing against Manchester United or Liverpool.

“Blackburn are a team below us and we knew they would fight for every ball.

“Any player can give more against Liverpool.

“It’s easy to do that.

“We must learn from it and make sure we win our games at home – but we have to learn really quickly because the competition is going so fast. Blackburn are coming up fast.”




Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/swanseacityfc/swansea-city-fc/2011/12/07/michel-vorm-spells-out-need-for-a-swans-win-against-fulham-91466-29907544/?#ixzz1fprho8Ql


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 08:29:23 AM »
 
Big blow for Fulham blow as Murphy misses trip to Swans

FULHAM will be without key man Danny Murphy when they travel to the Liberty Stadium this Saturday.

But boss Martin Jol is keeping his fingers crossed Steve Sidwell will be ready to step into Murphy’s midfield shoes in time for the Swansea City clash.

Sidwell has not featured since the Cottagers’ 3-1 defeat to Spurs last month after undergoing a hernia operation.

But, despite Jol admitting the 28-year-old is still feeling the effects of the surgery, he is set to rush Sidwell back after Murphy picked up a problem with his ankle in Monday night’s win over Liverpool.

Still, while Jol will welcome Sidwell’s return, the loss of Murphy for the meeting with Brendan Rodgers’ men has come as a hammer blow to the Dutchman after the playmaker’s impressive start to the season.

Murphy has been ever-present for Fulham, scoring once but making an eye-catching five assists.

And, following the 1-0 win over the Reds that saw Fulham leapfrog Swansea in the Premier League table, Jol said: “Danny’s ankle has swollen up. It looks a bad one and hopefully it’s just one match he misses – but it could be a couple of weeks.

“Hopefully he (Sidwell) can be fit for the next game. He needed a minor operation and they told me maybe he would play the next match after 10 days, but he still feels it – it’s still painful after the operation. Hopefully he will be OK.”

The game will come too early for former Wales international Simon Davies, despite the Haverfordwest-born midfielder stepping up his return to fitness yesterday.

Davies has been out of action since injuring his knee in a Europa League tie back in June, needing small-scale surgery to help alleviate the problem.

But, after returning to full training, Davies was able to make his comeback appearance for Fulham’s second-string against West Brom yesterday with an eye on a first-team return later this month.

Fulham face both Manchester United and Chelsea over the Christmas period and Jol will want 32-year-old Davies back in his plans.

But defender Stephen Kelly insisted immediate focus remains on facing a Swansea side just one point and two places below Fulham in the table before the top-four tests.

“Beating Liverpool certainly gives us the confidence that we can go out and get results against teams that are expected to be in the top four and that sets us up well going into the Christmas period,” Kelly said. “But we know we go to Swansea first who are a very good attacking side.

“And you have to give them credit for their results so far this season.

“But we do go there with confidence.”



Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/swanseacityfc/swansea-city-fc/2011/12/07/big-blow-for-fulham-blow-as-murphy-misses-trip-to-swans-91466-29907542/?#ixzz1fps085gK

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2011, 08:31:17 AM »
 
Liverpool FC won't appeal over Jay Spearing red card as Luis Suarez waits gesture verdict

LIVERPOOL FC will not appeal  against Jay Spearing’s red card at  Fulham – as Luis Suarez waits to  hear his fate following his controversial Craven Cottage gesture.

Spearing was contentiously  sent off by referee Kevin Friend 18  minutes towards the end of the 1-0  defeat on Monday after a strong  challenge on Mousa Dembele.

Despite clearly winning the  ball, Friend adjudged the Liverpool FC midfielder to be guilty of serious foul play  after catching the Fulham man on  his follow-through.

Immediately after the game,  Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish suggested the club may  launch an appeal against the dismissal.

But the Anfield outfit have ultimately opted against such an action, with Spearing’s three-match  ban meaning he misses the forthcoming home game against  Queens Park Rangers and away  matches at Aston Villa and Wigan  Athletic.

Meanwhile, the Football Association will decide today whether to slap Suarez with a disrepute charge following his obscene  gesture towards Fulham supporters after the final whistle.

The Uruguayan, who  suffered a barrage of abuse from the home  fans, responded by  raising his middle  finger in their  direction.

A photographer captured the incident, and now the  FA will consider  whether Suarez, who  is already facing a  charge of racist language  towards Patrice Evra, has  a case to answer.

Dalglish was cautious  when quizzed after the game  about the allegations.

“I’ve not seen the picture and I  am not taking anybody’s word  for it,” he said. “But until you have  proved it is true to me, I  won’t comment.”

And Dalglish defended  the striker after he was  subjected to “cheat”  taunts by fans unhappy at the way the  player went to  ground regularly.

“Scandalous,”  said the manager.  “At the end of the  day, we will look  after Luis the best  we can and I think  it is about time he  got a bit of protection  from some people.”

And Fulham’s former  Liverpool defender John  Arne Riise has refused  to condemn Suarez over  continued accusations he  is a diver.

“Players going down happens,  that’s football. If he is diving or  not diving, that’s not up to us,”  said Riise.

“We play on and if we feel it’s  not a free-kick then we tell him.  He’s a good player, we respect him  for what he’s doing.

“You could see three or four  times that he grew frustrated. But  then the frustration soon goes  away and that’s the professionalism he has in his body. He’s mentally very strong.”

While Riise is happy to defend  Suarez, he insists the 24-year-old  must expect the physical treatment he occasionally encounters.

“He’s a character and he has  one type of football to play,” he  said. “He has proved he’s a great  player and sometimes people get  tough on him because that is the  way some people have to play  against him.

“If you try to be nice to him he  can kill the game off. You have to  be tough against him.

“He’s lively. It’s hard to know  where you have him because he  can be on the right, in the middle  or on the left. He keeps going back  and forth. He’s always putting his  body in.

“Our central defenders had him  under control so all honour to  them.”



Read More http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2011/12/07/liverpool-fc-won-t-appeal-over-jay-spearing-red-card-as-luis-suarez-waits-gesture-verdict-92534-29909891/2/#ixzz1fpsVIwKp

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 08:32:54 AM »
 
Defender issues Fulham plea



BREDE Hangeland has urged boss Martin Jol to stop chopping and changing Fulham's back line.

The Whites have used EIGHT different defenders already this season, with the Norwegian the only ever-present in the Premier League.

And he has pleaded with his manager to keep faith with the defence which kept a shut-out against Liverpool on Monday night.

“So far this season there's been a lot of changes in the back four,” said the centre-back.

“I think I've played every league game but the other three positions have been changing quite a lot.

“Ideally you would like a back four that's really settled and know each other well. Hopefully we can get that as soon as possible.”


http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/sport/fulham-fc-ealing/2011/12/07/defender-issues-fulham-plea-64767-29909388/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 08:34:44 AM »
 
With Friends Like That...

Liverpool's eleven game unbeaten run and recent winning streak in West London came to a grinding halt on Monday night at Fulham's Craven Cottage.

There were plenty of controversial decisions by referee Kevin Friend for Kenny Dalglish and his side to be aggrieved by but also a lack of killer instinct for them to be concerned about.

The game was a curious affair in many ways. Fulham were tepid for the most part yet always seemed likely to score and could have done so in the sixth minute when Moussa Dembele was played in by Ruiz and only an alert Pepe Reina prevented the Reds falling behind. A few minutes later Andy Carroll, set up by Suarez, swept a shot straight at Schwarzer in the Fulham goal. After this flurry the game settled into a pattern of Liverpool probing for an opening without ever looking fully convincing in their work and Fulham taking long-range shots at goal that didn’t fully stretch Reina. On the twenty eight minute Jordan Henderson provided the closest to a goal the first half was to witness as he skipped into the box and with minimal back lift lofted the ball beyond Schwarzer only to see it agonizingly hit the inside of the post and rebound back and away from the net. It was a moment of impudent skill that deserved a greater reward.

The second half brought a little more aggression and purpose to Liverpool’s play and Enrique, Bellamy and Suarez all threatened to break the deadlock.  Fulham had their chances too but neither side was creating clear-cut opportunities, a lack of width being the game’s most striking feature.  Twenty-three minutes into the half the referee disallowed Suarez’s cleverly finished goal for offside when replays show that the Uruguayan was played on by Hangeland’s outstretched leg.  To compound Liverpool’s sense of injustice minutes later Friend waved a red card at Jay Spearing for a two footed tackle. If the offside decision was marginal the sending off was clearly a injustice. Spearing had his feet on the ground when he made contact with the ball and his momentum clattered him through Dembele. Not a single Fulham player appealed for a foul and the referee appeared to make the decision only as he saw Dembele hit the floor. Having clearly seen Spearing’s contact with the ball he initially had turned to follow the play. Seconds earlier Kelly had slid, foot raised, into a challenge on Adam. Neither warranted a card so Friend’s inconsistency was both frustrating and glaring.

The sending off forced Liverpool into a reshuffle and Dalglish introduced Downing and Kuyt and the former almost turned the game the visitors way with a shot from twenty yards that Schwarzer did well to force wide with his fingertips. Fulham’s response was immediate and Danny Murphy’s shot was spilled into the path of Dempsey, who a few minutes earlier had been denied by the bar, and the American slotted home. It is arguable that Dempsey should not have been on the pitch as he had, following an innocuous challenge in the forty-eighth minute, pursued Bellamy, pushing his face against the Welshman’s. In a somewhat incredulous decision, given his later interpretation of Spearing’s intent, Friend opted to give both players a yellow card.

So Liverpool returned to Merseyside with much to ponder. A game that had been theirs to win, and on the balance of play should have been, had ended pointless. While poor refereeing played a part ultimately the inability to turn possession into goals had undone the Reds. The level of performance continues to encourage but unless a ruthless streak in front of goal develops soon that improvement will not receive its just reward in both points and league position.


http://www.lfconline.com/feat/ed12/with_friends_like_that_716809/index.shtml?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (07/12/11)...
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2011, 08:35:47 AM »
 
Hangeland wants settled back four
by DAN on DECEMBER 7, 2011

Brede Hangeland has asked Martin Jol to settle on his first choice back four in order to give Fulham’s defensive unit some much needed continuity.

Injuries and the manager’s decision to shuffle his pack have meant that Brede Hangeland is the only ever-present member of Fulham’s back line so far this season. Most recently, the Norwegian has been partnered by Philippe Senderos at the heart of the back four and Hangeland hopes that Jol will soon stick by his preferred partnership.

So far this season there’s been a lot of changes in the back four. I think I’ve played every league game but the other three positions have been changing quite a lot.

Ideally you would like a back four that’s really settled and know each other well. Hopefully we can get that as soon as possible.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2011/12/hangeland-wants-settled-back-four/?