Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)  (Read 11427 times)

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Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« on: January 27, 2010, 06:19:16 AM »
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tries to snatch Fulham's Chris Smalling from Manchester United's grasp  

By Simon Jones Last updated at 2:46 AM on 27th January 2010

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 Arsenal made a last-ditch bid to prise Chris Smalling from the grasp of Manchester United last night after being gazumped in their attempt to sign the Fulham defender.

Arsene Wenger had been planning a move for the 20-year-old over the past month but was beaten to the punch on Tuesday as United stepped in with a £7million deal for a player who has made only nine first-team appearances.

United agreed the fee with Fulham and personal terms with the player's agents before contacting Fulham again prior to making an official announcement on the club website.

United expect Smalling, who was in Fulham's starting line-up last night against Tottenham, to arrive in Manchester today for a medical and he will then be loaned back to Craven Cottage until the end of the season.

However, United's move scrambled Arsenal into action and they made a counter-offer to Fulham which was rejected.

'It just looks like Manchester United offered more money than us,' said Wenger. But the Arsenal manager, determined not to let his target slip through the net, was busy trying to salvage the deal last night.

However, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson said last night he expects the player to end up at Old Trafford.

'The club has accepted an offer from United and as far as I know that's where he's going,' he said. 'I know nothing about an offer from Arsenal. Sir Alex doesn't make mistakes when he pays a lot of money for a young player because he realises in years to come he is going to seem very cheap.

'We knew we had a diamond in our midst but when you are Fulham and you produce a diamond you're always aware it can be taken away from you.'

United see Smalling as a long-term replacement for Nemanja Vidic.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 06:21:08 AM »
Fulham plan to pip rivals Sunderland and Celtic to Egypt midfielder Mohamed Gedo

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 3:11 AM on 27th January 2010

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Fulham are interested in Egypt’s attacking midfielder Mohamed Gedo, who has been one of the few stars to emerge from the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 25-year-old has scored three goals for Egypt in Angola and has attracted interest from Sunderland, Celtic, Real Sociedad and Osasuna.
Palermo, meanwhile, want to take Fulham midfielder Luca Moscatiello back to Italy

 Rising star: Fulham are interested in a deal for Egypt midfielder Mohamed Gedo

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010, 06:24:39 AM »
Eidur Gudjohnsen and Benni McCarthy move to West Ham with David Bentley next on Gianfranco Zola's transfer radar

By Simon Cass

Last updated at 2:47 AM on 27th January 2010

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West Ham have stepped up their bid to ensure their Premier League survival with a flurry of transfer activity.

After Benni McCarthy moved to Upton Park from Blackburn in a £2.5million deal Eidur Gudjohnsen was on the verge of joining him after a medical.

The former Bolton, Chelsea and Barcelona forward is expected to sign today after his current employers, Monaco, agreed to let him leave for nothing.

And Tottenham winger David Bentley, who scored in their 2-0 win over Fulham last night, emerged as another West Ham loan target.
Ironically, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp last night revealed he was keen to sign Gudjohnsen, 31, on loan and said: ‘I like Eidur and I’ve spoken to his agent.

'He’s a good footballer. I thought he was going to West Ham but I left it with my chairman. He would be a good loan signing.

‘We’ve got a lot of games coming up and he can play in different systems.’

If Gudjohnsen, 31, joins McCarthy both could feature against Blackburn on Saturday.
This would pitch the South Africa forward, who had effectively gone on strike to force through his move, against his former manager Sam Allardyce.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth have had their transfer embargo partially lifted by the Premier League after they struck a deal with Udinese to restructure the payments for former player Sulley Muntari.

Portsmouth, however, are only allowed to sign players on loan or on free transfers even though the Premier League will hand over the £1.6m left over from January’s television money.

The decision paves the way for Jamie O’Hara to return to Fratton Park on loan from Tottenham.

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant said: ‘This is the first day with good news. We need three or four new players.’

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010, 06:27:23 AM »
Tottenham 2 Fulham 0: Clinical Crouch starts the party and Bentley finishes with a flourish

By Matt Barlow

Last updated at 12:32 AM on 27th January 2010

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First it was Roman Pavlyuchenko. Now it’s David Bentley. Two players Harry Redknapp would love to see the back of are scoring vital goals for Tottenham.

Pavlyuchenko, on target against Leeds in the FA Cup fourth round, was injured last night but it was the forgotten Bentley, starting his first Barclays Premier League game in three months, who stepped up to score the second for Spurs after Peter Crouch had fired them ahead.

It might well be Bentley’s last for the club, with West Ham looking to strike a deal to take him from their rivals. But Redknapp, who is thought to be poised to pinch Eidur Gudjohnsen from under the nose of the Hammers, will not complain.

He has been trying for months to sell the winger who cost £18million from Blackburn but who only gets into the team when Aaron Lennon and Niko Kranjcar are not available.

‘He got a chance and he took it well,’ said Spurs manager Redknapp. ‘If he comes in, works hard and shows a good attitude, I’ve got no problems with him. I was pleased for him tonight. When you are not in the team you can get down and low. That’s what’s
happened to him. But he’s a terrific footballer.’

Bentley’s goal helped Spurs back to winning ways after a stutter and moved them three points ahead of Liverpool in the push for Champions League qualification.

Even the country’s hottest young central defensive property Chris Smalling - the object of a tug-of-love between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger before the game - was unable to stop Tottenham.

 You're not there yet: Fulham's Manchester United-bound defender Chris Smalling gets a word of advice from team-mate Brede Hangelaand

It was something of a surprise that Hodgson included Smalling in the team at the end of a day when Manchester United declared they had agreed a deal worth up to £7million for the defender, signed 18 months ago from non-League Maidstone for a nominal fee.

An hour before kick-off, Fulham had confirmed Smalling would be moving to Old Trafford in the summer as long as he passed a medical, planned for later today.

It had been quite a day for20-year-old Smalling and all eyes were on him as he made only his second Premier League start.

He slotted into central defence alongside Brede Hangeland, with Aaron Hughes shifting to right back in a defensive reshuffle enforced by injuries to first-choice full backs John Pantsil and Paul Konchesky.

Smalling’s admirers have likened his style to Rio Ferdinand. He is quick and comfortable on the ball and his talents were soon under even closer scrutiny with
Tottenham starting strongly, zipping the ball forward at a healthy tempo and working Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Tom Huddlestone forced two saves from Schwarzer in the first five minutes and Hangeland needed to be alert to beat Crouch to a dangerous cross from the left.

 Rare sight: David Bentley is congratulated after firing in Tottenham's second
But, having survived his early tests with some degree of composure, Smalling was then caught ball-watching as Crouch prodded Tottenham into the lead from close range in the 27th minute.

Schwarzer misjudged a swirling cross from Bentley. The goalkeeper raced from his line but, under pressure from Crouch, sliced an attempted punch towards Luka Modric, darting in from the left at the far post.

Modric did well to keep the ball alive and, when he acrobatically turned it back into the goalmouth, Crouch had drifted behind Smalling to poke home his 10th goal of the season.

Modric almost made it two in first-half stoppage time, whipping a right-foot shot just over the bar, and Spurs continued to threaten after the break. Bentley became increasingly involved and Gareth Bale continuing his excellent form since replacing the injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto at left back.

 Bale was outstanding against Leeds on Saturday and his attacking flair was in evidence again last night. It was his raid down the left which drew the free-kick for
Tottenham’s second.

Bentley stepped up to take the kick, curling it with his right foot but it was a big deflection off the head of Bjorn Helge Riise, stretching to block the shot from the defensive wall, which beat Schwarzer.

Crouch said: ‘I think we deserved to win the game. We had the better chances, we were the better side. If you don’t score early on you get nervous so I’m glad to have done that, and after the second one we started playing the kind of football we can play.

‘Liverpool are a big big team and they’re going to be up there come the end of the season so for them to drop points is good news for us.

Hodgson said: ‘We were a bit unlucky with the second goal, it took a cruel deflection. And I thought in the second half we evened things out, but to be fair their back four did well, and ours did well, too.’

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 06:30:02 AM »
Mohamed Nagy

Al-Ittihad to Fulham - The Insider says: 3/5

Star man: Nagy has been in fine form in Angola

Fulham are preparing a bid for Nagy who has been one of the few stars to emerge from the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 25-year-old, nicknamed Geddo, has scored three goals for Egypt so far in the tournament and has attracted interest from Sunderland, Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Celtic.

However, Fulham could have money to spend from the impending sale of Chris Smalling to Manchester United and are willing to put cash on the table or discuss an initial loan deal.

Nagy is contracted to Al-Ittihad until the summer of 2012 and he is highly-regarded by the national team coach Hassan Shehata, who took a lot of flak for including him in the squad ahead of their other well-known stars including Mido.

Geddo, which means grandfather, reflects a maturity in his play and he has grown in a role behind the front striker as a playmaking forward or attacking midfielder.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010, 06:31:55 AM »
Winger Wayne Routledge makes Newcastle his eighth club - and he's still only 25

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 3:17 PM on 26th January 2010

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Newcastle have completed the signing of Wayne Routledge on a three-and-a-half

deal from Coca-Cola Championship rivals QPR.

The 25-year-old winger joins Chris Hughton's side for an undisclosed fee from the Loftus Road club.

Routledge, who has scored seven times in 49 appearances for the Londoners before his move to the north-east, was part of the Hoops side which drew 1-1 at St James' Park earlier this season.

The Magpies are Routledge's eighth club, not including the 12 games he played for England under-21s.

WAYNE ROUTLEDGE - A CAREER IN PICTURES  Crystal Palace (left) 2001-05; Tottenham Hotspur 2005-08

  Portsmouth (loan deal) 2006; Fulham (loan deal) 2006-07

  Aston Villa 2008-09 (far left); Cardiff City 2008-09 (loan deal)

 ...and then there was the matter of just over a year at QPR after signing in the 2009 January transfer window

He began his career at Crystal Palace where he made 110 League appearances before joining Tottenham in 2005.

He played just a handful of games there in three years, instead being farmed out on loan to Portsmouth and Fulham.

Two years ago Routledge joined Aston Villa for £1.25m but was again sent out on loan - this time Cardiff - before signing for QPR last year.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 06:33:35 AM »
The reason why Chris Baird takes free kicks

by Dan on January 27, 2010

He either bangs them in at Motspur or we’re trying to replicate this:

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 06:35:07 AM »

Roy says United are getting Smalling on the cheap

by Dan on January 27, 2010

Roy Hodgson seems upset to be losing defender Chris Smalling, saying that Manchester United will soon realise that they have signed the Fulham prospect on the cheap.

The England under-21 international has agreed terms for a transfer to Old Trafford that will go through at the end of the season and will have a medical in Manchester today, according to reports.

The club has accepted an offer from United and as far as I know that’s where he’s going. I know nothing about an offer from Arsenal. Sir Alex doesn’t make mistakes when he pays a lot of money for a young player because he realises in years to come he is going to seem very cheap.

We knew we had a diamond in our midst but when you are Fulham and you produce a diamond you’re always aware it can be taken away from you.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 06:37:51 AM »

Fulham’s Schwarzer praised by Tottenham boss Redknapp

27.01.10 | Andrew Slevison

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has heaped praise on Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer after a good performance in Spurs’ 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.

The Australia international was at his best in the loss and kept his side in the contest on numerous occasions.

He was undone by a first-half Peter Crouch goal but the 60th minute strike from David Bentley took a cruel deflection off Cottagers defender Bjorn Helge Riise.

Redknapp was quick to applaud the Australian custodian at the post-match press conference, saying: “Three points for Tottenham, that's the main thing," he said. "We've been playing well and we've come up against a terrific goalkeeper.

"But we deserved it, we dominated and our keeper didn't have too much to do.”

The win put Tottenham three points clear of Liverpool in fourth position on the table whilst Schwarzer’s Fulham remained in ninth.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2010, 06:38:56 AM »
Match Reaction

Tuesday 26th January 2010

Roy Hodgson spoke of his pride at Fulham's performance at White Hart Lane on Tuesday night in light of the Club's current injury situation.

After weathering an early Tottenham storm Fulham conceded just as they were beginning to assert their authority on the match and Hodgson admitted his side were somewhat unfortunte on the night.

“Tottenham started quite brilliantly but we were unfortunate with the second goal," said Hodgson after Tuesday night’s match. “In the first ten or fifteen minutes they played some excellent football and if they’d of scored in that period I’d of been less disappointed than when they did actually score the goals.

“We started to get a grip on the game and the first goal was a very unnecessary goal to concede. We didn’t let it get us down and I thought we started the second half brightly. Our passing and movement through midfield was pretty good. It wasn’t that bad in the first half but it even better in the second half.

“When that second goal went in off a deflection it gave Tottenham the security they needed and with the quality they have and ability to keep the ball it was always going to be a tough task.

“I’m quite proud of the players performance given the amount of injuries we have at the moment. I thought it was a brave performance and a hard working performance. We certainly made sure Tottenham knew they were in a game.

“We can’t complain about the result because we didn’t create enough clear-cut goalscoring opportunities to allow ourselves to say we deserved more from the game.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 06:40:00 AM »
There was positive news ahead of kick-off with Roy Hodgson welcoming Bobby Zamora back for Tuesday night’s match at White Hart Lane after the striker recovered from a recent shoulder injury.

Zoltan Gera resumed his role alongside Zamora in attack; a partnership that has brought impressive results in recent months. In midfield Bjorn Helge Riise made his first league start for Fulham following a notable performance in last weekend’s FA Cup Fourth Round victory over Accrington Stanley.

Roy Hodgson revised his defensive line-up to face Spurs with Chris Smalling making his second league start of the season in central defence. Aaron Hughes shifted to right back with Chris Baird highlighting his versatility at left back.

Ledley King returned to Tottenham’s starting eleven on Tuesday night, captaining Harry Redknapp’s side in front of a crowd of 35,467 at White Hart Lane.

It was a testing start for Fulham at the Lane on Tuesday night as Spurs reigned in shots during the opening exchanges. The home side applied pressure down the flanks with Bale and Corluka’s overlapping runs causing particular concern in the first few minutes.

Mark Schwarzer was required within the first minute of play to deny Tom Huddlestone from finding the bottom corner with a fierce drive. Sixty seconds later Peter Crouch went close, heading over the cross bar from close range. However Fulham soon subdued the home side as they settled into the passing game.

Fulham’s first phase of pressure came after 10 minutes of play with Bobby Zamora almost finding a finishing touch from just six yards out. Spurs keeper Gomes managed to smother the ball at the striker’s feet after a positive passage of play in the final third by Hodgson’s side.

Both sides were guilty of losing possession all too easily during the first twenty minutes as the attacking threat dried up at either end. Fulham had certainly settled after the home side’s potent start as their passing game came more and more into play as the game wore on.

After a promising start Fulham were dealt a blow just before the half hour mark when Peter Crouch clipped the ball over Mark Schwarzer from close range. The goal came courtesy of Luka Modric, with the Croatian midfielder stealing the ball off Riise on the left by-line before handing Crouch the opener from barely four yards out.

Following Crouch’s goal the remaining 15 minutes of the half passed without incident but as the break approached both sides went on the offensive. After Bjorn Helge fired in a defence-splitting cross in to Tottenham’s area, Luka Modric found space in Fulham’s area to deliver a curling right-footed shot that skimmed the roof of Schwarzer’s net.

Whilst Spurs enjoyed the majority of attacking opportunities during the first 45, Hodgson’s side would have been disappointed to have entered the break a goal behind after containing Tottenham effectively after the home side’s early surge.

Fulham made a bright, positive start to the second half, playing at a higher intensity with some quick one touch passing. However Spurs continued to threaten, particularly from the flanks and five minutes into the second half Palacios went close, sending a headed effort from Bentley’s cross just wide of Schwarzer’s far post.

Fulham were battling hard to re-establish their position as the hour mark approach and Kagisho Dikgacoi caught the eye in central midfield with some tough tackling and high energy levels.

Just before the hour mark Spurs were awarded a free-kick twenty yards from goal down Fulham’s left flank. David Bentley’s right-footed curling effort caught a deflection and flew into the far corner of the net.

Schwarzer was left with no chance as the ball deviated off its original course to double the home side’s lead.
Following the home side’s second goal of the evening Roy Hodgson made two substitutions in quick succession. First Simon Davies came on for Bjorn Helge Riise down Fulham’s right flank before Diomansy Kamara replaced Zoltan Gera.

Kamara earned Fulham’s next opportunity on 74 minutes, winning a free-kick 25 yards from goal. The set piece was laid off to Chris Baird whose shot blazed harmlessly wide of goal. At the other end Dawson went close a minute later with an angled header which flew just over the cross bar.

After completing almost 80 minutes of action on his return from injury, Bobby was replaced by David Elm. Harry Redknapp followed suit a minute later, replacing Jermain Defoe with Robbie Keane.

The final minutes of the match petered out as Fulham failed to find a way back into the game, resulting in Tottenham taking all three points from Tuesday night’s game. Fulham will now have three full days to prepare for Saturday’s game against Aston Villa at the Cottage.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2010, 06:42:39 AM »

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Fulham 0: match report

Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham at White Hart Lane on Tuesday Jan 26 2010.
By John Ley at White Hart Lane

Published: 6:22AM GMT 27 Jan 2010

David Bentley enjoyed a rare night of success to help Tottenham Hotspur hold on to fourth place in the Premier League.

But his chances of claiming a regular place could be hindered by Tottenham’s late attempt to hijack West Ham’s bid for Monaco’s former Chelsea forward, Eidur Gudjohnsen.

West Ham are understood to have agreed terms with the 31-year-old Iceland striker. But Redknapp admitted he had spoken to his agent and left the matter with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Redknapp said: “I like Gudjohnsen. He’s a good footballer and an interesting player on a loan. I spoke to his agent, he said he was going to West Ham, so I left it with the agent and Daniel.”

Turning to Bentley’s contribution - and his chances of remaining at the club - Redknapp said: “Niko Kranjcar went sick so I gave David a chance. If he shows a good attitude and comes to work and trains hard he has a chance.”

Bentley had a hand in the first goal and claimed the second to earn Tottenham their first League win of 2010, while disappointing Roy Hodgson in the Fulham manager’s 100th game in charge. It also served as a reminder to the latest multi-million pound player that life at the top is not always perfect.

Fulham included Chris Smalling on the day he agreed a £7 million summer move to Manchester United, but the one-time Maidstone defender could do little to prevent Spurs from claiming an ultimately easy win.

They opened the scoring in the 27th minute, after Bentley crossed from the right. Mark Schwarzer miss-punched and Luka Modric’s wonderful tenacity produced dividends with the winger somehow keeping the ball in and clipping it over Bjorn Helge Riise before prodding it back for Peter Crouch, who claimed his 10th goal of the season.

On the hour Spurs doubled their advantage when Bentley’s free-kick caught the head of Riise and flew into the far corner.

Afterwards Hodgson insisted that reports claiming Arsenal were still in the hunt for Smalling were wide of the mark.

“He is off to Manchester overnight to complete his medical tomorrow,” Hodgson said. “There is no doubt in my mind that he will sign for Manchester United.

“Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t make mistakes when he identifies a young player. He realises it will look very cheap in years to come. We’ve known we had a diamond in our midst but unfortunately when you are Fulham you are aware that diamond can be taken away by clubs with more power.”

Hodgson will also be concerned about Fulham’s decline; they have now lost four League games in a row and gone five without a win since beating Manchester United 3-0 before Christmas.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 06:46:13 AM »
Tottenham 2 Fulham 0

LOFTY AMBITION ... Peter Crouch takes the plaudits after helping Spurs cement their place in fourth

From ANDREW DILLON at White Hart Lane

Published: 26 Jan 2010

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DAVID BENTLEY was Bjorn again last night with a goal to help ressurect his career.

Tottenham's forgotten winger put the seal on a comfortable victory - with the help of a hefty deflection off Fulham's Bjorn Helge Riise.

It was Bentley's first Premier League start since Halloween last year.

And he grabbed the chance to put himself in the shop window and escape his White Hart Lane nightmare before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp said: "David did well. Niko Kranjcar was sick so I gave him an opportunity and he took it well.

"If he plays well he has a chance. When he plays like that he has every chance.

"While he is here he has a chance. If he shows a good attitude and comes to work and plays hard. I was really pleased with him. When you're not in the team you're disappointed but he showed a great attitude."

Bentley was certainly in a more positive frame of mind than when he clashed with his manager on the training ground over Christmas and found himself even further down the pecking order.

But Bentley's free-kick which flew in off Riise's head was Spurs second goal of the night and put an easy win to bed with an hour gone.

Whatever Redknapp says, Bentley knows his days in North London are numbered and it is in his best interests to seek a move.

"So this was a great chance to showcase the talent that often lies hidden behind his brooding personality.

Peter Crouch put fourth-placed Spurs ahead on 27 minutes as reward for their relentless pressure.

Tom Huddlestone went close in the first minute as Fulham's Chris Smalling and his fellow defenders endured a tortuous night.

Smalling, who has Arsenal and Manchester United drooling over his potential got a tough examination of his credentials.

Maybe his head has been turned by all the attention but he was looking the wrong way when Peter Crouch slipped away to stab home the opener following great work by the irrepressible Luka Modric.

Crouch said: "We deserved to win the game. We created the better chances and were the better side.

"It's difficult when you don't score early on, you get nervous and people start feeling strange - we've had that a few times this season. It was nice to get the first one and after the second we played some good football.

"It's important for us that we pick up points when others around us drop them."

Roy Hodgson marked his 100th game in charge with a comprehensive defeat - the West Londoners' fourth in succession.

Smalling, 20, was a surprise inclusion in as the Fulham boss was forced into several changes.

Midfielder Chris Baird was shoe-horned into the left-back slot and striker Bobby Zamora gamely returned just three weeks after breaking his collarbone.

Hodgson insisted: "We were unfortunate with the second goal. I would have been less disappointed if they scored when they started well in the first 20 minutes.

"I'm still proud of the performance. It was a brave performance and hard-working with the injuries we have."


Tottenham: Gomes 6, Bale 6, King 6, Dawson 7, Corluka 6, Modric 8, Palacios 7, Huddlestone 6, Bentley 7, Defoe 6, Crouch 7. Subs: Keane (Defoe 81) 6. Not used: Alnwick, Hutton, Jenas, Bassong, O'Hara, Rose. Booked: Dawson.

Fulham: Schwarzer 5, Hughes 5, Hangeland 5, Smalling 5, Baird 5, Riise 6, Dikgacoi 6, Murphy 7, Gera 4, Duff 5, Zamora 5. Subs: Davies (Riise 64) 6, Kamara (Gera 72) 6, Elm (Zamora 79) 6. Not used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Greening, Kallio. Booked: Kamara.

Ref: M Dean 7.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2010, 07:33:45 AM »

Smalling's £12m United deal signals end for Vidic

By James Ducker

Wednesday January 27 2010

NEMANJA VIDIC moved closer to the exit door at Old Trafford yesterday after Manchester United agreed the £12m signing of Chris Smalling, the England U-21 defender, from Fulham for the start of next season.

Smalling's pre-contract agreement will enable him to remain at the west London club until the end of the present campaign before completing the move in the summer, when Vidic is expected to leave the club, probably for Real Madrid.

Barcelona and AC Milan are also interested in Vidic, but Real appear his most likely destination, with United expected to hold out for up to £30m.

Smalling's impending move to United, who beat Arsenal to his signature, caps a meteoric rise for the 20-year-old and a shrewd piece of business for Fulham.

In the space of 18 months, he has gone from playing non-league football with Maidstone United, of the Ryman League Premier Division, to representing his country at U-21 level and agreeing personal terms.

Meanwhile, Roman Pavlyuchenko, the Tottenham Hotspur and Russia forward, could be on his way to high-flying Birmingham City after Alex McLeish challenged Carson Yeung to back up his financial pledges by bringing in a blue-chip striker before next week's transfer deadline.

The Birmingham manager has handed the club president a list of targets thought to be headed by Pavlyuchenko, who is surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane, and Sunderlsand's Kenwyne Jones.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2010, 10:18:43 AM »

Smalling set for United medical

Jan 27 2010

Add a commentRecommend Fulham centre-back Chris Smalling headed for a medical at Manchester United straight after Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

The 20-year-old, who was playing non-league football with Maidstone United less than two years ago, has also interested Arsenal but a deal has been agreed with United for the youngster to join them at the end of the season.

There are still stages of the transfer to be completed but Fulham boss Roy Hodgson insisted: "There is no doubt in my mind he's going to United. Terms have been agreed, he's going for a medical and will sign for them and will join them from next season."

Smalling performed well against Spurs but could not prevent Peter Crouch opening the scoring before the break and David Bentley wrapping up victory with a free-kick that deflected in off Bjorn Helge Riise.

Bentley has been desperate to leave Spurs and his performance could attract clubs needing a winger, although Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is prepared to give the player a chance providing he shows a good attitude in training.

"It's up to him," Redknapp said. "If he shows a good attitude and comes to work every day and plays well and works hard then I have no problems with him. That's all you ask."

Victory kept Spurs in the top four of the Barclays Premier League and the only negative aspect of the evening was Heurelho Gomes picking up a shoulder injury that will require assessment before the clash against Birmingham at the weekend. It was also the first time Gareth Bale has been in the starting XI for a Premier League victory.

"It's a strange statistic," said Bale on Sky Sports. "I'm happy to get it off my back and go on from here. It was one of those freak things. It didn't really bother me but I'm happy to get the win."

Tottenham have shown an interest in bringing in Eidur Gudjohnsen on loan for the rest of the season, but Redknapp believes West Ham have beaten them to the former Barcelona and Chelsea forward's signature.

"I spoke to his agent, he said he was going to West Ham, so I left it with the agent," Redknapp said. "I would take him on a loan. He would be good loan signing playing in different systems. "He's a good footballer and an interesting player on a loan but I think he's gone to West Ham."

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2010, 10:23:12 AM »,19528,11661_5887604,00.html

Fulham boss rues bad luck

Hodgson disappointed following Spurs defeat

Last updated: 26th January 2010   

Roy Hodgson expressed his disappointment following Fulham's 2-0 defeat to Tottenham.

The Cottagers fell behind to a Peter Crouch strike midway through the first half but contained Spurs well for the most part in a game of few chances.

However, the key moment arrived on 60 minutes as David Bentley's free-kick took a deflection to leave Mark Schwarzer wrong-footed and give Tottenham a two-goal cushion.

Hodgson believes his side were unfortunate not to claim a point but admitted that Tottenham had defended well.

"We dealt with Tottenham's play reasonably well, they're a very talented team," the Fulham manager told Sky Sports.

"We were a bit unlucky with the second goal, it took a cruel deflection.

"And I thought in the second half we certainly definitely evened things out, but to be fair their back four did well, ours did well too.

"But with their second goal it meant they could relax a bit more. I'm disappointed for the lads."

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010, 10:39:26 AM »
From non-league to the big league: As Chris Smalling signs for Manchester United, here are some other stars that began their careers in amateur football

By Tom Bellwood

Last updated at 2:48 AM on 27th January 2010

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From non-league football to the biggest club in the world - it has been a dramatic two years for Manchester United's new signing Chris Smalling.

The centre-back, 20, will spend the rest of the season at Craven Cottage before moving to Old Trafford to hook up with Wayne Rooney and co when just a couple of seasons ago he was turning our for Maidstone United in the Isthmian Premier Division against the likes of Canvey Island and Dartford.

It is a remarkable leap in short space of time for Smalling who earned an England Under 21 debut in November last year and a first league start six weeks later, but he's not the first player to make a giant leap up the football pyramid.

Sportsmail takes a look at the other non-league players who made the jump to the big time ...

Les Ferdinand

Ferdinand played for a number of non-league clubs before being snapped up by QPR from Hayes in 1987 for £30,000.
His professional career didn’t enjoy what you waould term an electric start, he was loaned out to Brentford and Besiktas, but he later became ‘Sir Les’ as the goals came by the bucketload up at Newcastle and later Tottenham.
Stuart Pearce

Football, it seemed, wasn’t for Psycho who was establishing a career as an electrician and plumber while playing for Wealdstone long before he’d become the free-kick specialist, World Cup penalty-missing left-back  we all came to love.
Coventry City paid £30,000 for Pearce in 1983 before Nottingham Forest bought him two years later and his career blossomed.

Stan Collymore

Colly initially slipped through the net after failing to make the grade at Wolves and Walsall before moving to Stafford Rangers in the Conference.
But his breakthrough came in 1992 when he was signed by Palace but was soon shipped out to Southend and later Nottingham Forest where his goals earned him a big-money move to Liverpool.
Ian Wright

He left it really late did Wrighty – he moved from Greenwich Borough to Crystal Palace aged 22, in a deal in which his transfer was secured in exchange for a set of weights.
He enjoyed a successful spell Selhurst Park and later went on to become Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer – until Thierry Henry turned up, that is.
John Barnes

Graham Taylor made one of his more sensible decisions by giving the young Barnes a chance in the Watford reserve team after he was scouted playing for Sudbury Town in 1981.

Taylor offered Barnes a professional contract and the faith was repaid with 65 goals in six seasons at Vicarage Road before his £900,000 move to Liverpool in 1987.

 Barnes: Was a firm favourite at Anfield

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 10:41:39 AM »


27th January 2010 By Sami Mokbel


ROY HODGSON last night ­insisted man of the moment Chris Smalling is ready for the big time.

It was a red-letter day for Smalling after Fulham accepted an £8m bid from ­Manchester United for the 20-year-old ­defender.

Goals from Peter Crouch and forgotten man David Bentley gave Spurs a vital ­victory.

However, last night’s London derby proveda bit of a sideshow for Fulham ­after ­Smalling’s big-money switch to Old ­Trafford.

Fulham boss Hodgson said: “Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t make mistakes when he identifies a young player.

“He realises it will look very cheap in years to come.

“We’ve known we had a ­diamond in our midst for a while, but unfortunately, when you are Fulham, you are aware that a ­diamond can be taken away by clubs with more power.

“But Smalling should take credit for the work he has put in.

“He is a good learner and has become a much better player.

“I don’t know who ­scouted him, but, when he was introduced as a player, it didn’t take long to realise he is a special player.”

Tottenham took advantage of Liverpool’s failure to beat Wolves to further stake their claim for a Champions League spot.

And Bentley put his desire to leave White Hart Lane before the end of the month to one side to seal victory for ­Harry ­Redknapp’s men.

And the Spurs boss, who last night ­revealed he tried to complete a loan move for West Ham-bound Eidur Gudjohnsen, insisted the former Blackburn winger can still revive his flagging Spurs career. ­

Redknapp said: “Niko (Kranjcar) went down with an ­illness and Bentley came in and did well. If he plays well, he’s got a chance. It’s up to him.

“While he’s here, he has got a chance to play if he shows a good attitude. I’ve got no problems with him.”

Overnight sensation Smalling was ­handed only his second Premier League start and dealt well with the double threat posed by England strikers Crouch and ­Jermain Defoe.

However, the youngster’s whirlwind day came crashing down in the 27th minute as Croatian playmaker Luka Modric ­unlocked the door after leaving Bjorn Helge Riise for dead on the left.

He then squared to Crouch, who finished past Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer ­after leaving ­Smalling trailing.

Modric went close to doubling Spurs’ lead in the closing phase of the first half before Bentley’s moment ­arrived in the 60th minute.

The winger stepped up to the plate after Gareth Bale was fouled 30 yards out, with the unsettled midfielder’s free-kick ­deflecting off Riise before flying past the helpless Schwarzer to seal the points.

Redknapp added: “It was a good win for us. It gives us a bit of breathing space, ­particularly after Liverpool’s draw.

“It is important for us to keep going ­because we’ve got a great chance of staying at the top until the end of the season.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 10:55:11 AM »

Rinse and Repeat: Spurs edition

By: timmyg | January 26th, 2010

Um, Damien Duff played today, right? Because according to that chalkboard his presence on the left was nonexistent.

Oh golly gee what to say about today. Well Fulham have gone 0-for-3, striking out against struggling opponents. Let’s do some anoraking and see how thankful our past three league opponents must’ve been after facing us.

When Fulham played Stoke Jan. 5 they had not won a match in 6 games, on Nov. 22 when they defeated Pompey 1-0. After that they only managed to score two goals in their next 540 minutes — 9 hours! — before facing us. In under 40 minutes they had 3 against Fulham.

When Fulham travelled to Blackburn on January 17, Rovers had not won in 9 games (a 2-0 win over Bolton, eerily on Nov. 22) scoring just 5 while conceding 14 goals in that stretch. Yet they kept a clean sheet while scoring not one but TWO against Fulham.

Then, before today, Spurs had not scored since December 28. But, more damningly, David Bentley hadn’t scored a league goal since October, 2008. And today was just his second league start this season. Congrats, David!

I don’t have the time or energy to research how long it was since each of the aforementioned clubs scored a goal from a set piece. But, rest assured that Fulham conceded a goal from set pieces in all three matches AND 5 of the 7 goals conceded this month were from set pieces.

Which would explain why Roy looks so perplexing when the camera pans to him. His facial expression isn’t just simple anger, frustration, or flabbergasted-ness. His demeanor is reminding me of William H. Macy’s character in Boogie Nights right before he went on that shooting rampage.

Oh, and lastly, Chris Smalling was sold to United today. I’m going to throw up.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2010, 11:03:28 AM »

Fulham slump to Spurs defeat

Jan 27 2010 By Yann Tear

FULHAM'S chronic inability to win on the road continues to threaten the well being of their season.

Cup wins on the road are one thing, but Roy Hodgson craved a Premier League win to mark his 100th game in charge at Craven Cottage.

He never looked like getting it as the Whites succumbed at White Hart Lane to a first half goal from Peter Crouch and a second half effort from David Bentley.

We shouldn't really be surprised. Fulham have won only once at Spurs in their nine seasons in the top flight and only 23 times in total anywhere since they arrived in the Premier League 2001.

It took 52 minutes to get a shot on target and that Damien Duff effort was hardly noteworthy.

There continues to be a makeshift look about the Whites these days – in contrast to last year's settled and injury-free line-ups.

That was particularly true in defence where both Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird were cast into full-back roles with more obvious choices either unfit or mistrusted by Roy Hodgson.

Man of the moment Chris Smalling was given another rare start, but we might get used to that in the months ahead if Sir Alex Ferguson's need for the youngster to gain experience outweighs any desire to protect him ahead of his summer move to Old Trafford.

There was nothing to dispel a suspicion of fragility at the back early on, with Tom Huddlestone twice testing Mark Schwarzer's alertness in the opening exchanges.

So it proved on 27 minutes when a Bentley cross from the right had the Whites floundering and when Bjorn Helge Riise was caught out trying to police the ball into touch, Luka Modric pinched the ball off him and laid it back for Peter Crouch to toe-poke home.

The luckless Riise also had a role in the second. He was positioned at the end of a defensive wall and got an inadvertent touch to a Bentley free-kick from the edge of the area on the hour that ballooned over Schwarzer.

The expected return of Bobby Zamora against one of his old clubs – his broken collarbone sufficiently healed - raised spirits, but the striker was often outnumbered and unsupported up front, game though Zoltan Gera was as a slightly withdrawn co-striker.

Hodgson's men simply could not get forward in sufficient numbers to trouble the Spurs rearguard, though the late introduction of long-term crocks Diomansy Kamara and Simon Davies added a little late bite.

Modric almost scored for Spurs before the break, curling just over after some clever footwork in the area, but the home side were only just shading a mostly bloodless contest until Bentley added the second with the aid of that deflection off Riise.

After that, it was as comfortable as you like for the home side, with the Whites' thoughts doubtless already turning to the prospect of much-needed home comforts on Saturday.

FULHAM: Schwarzer; Hughes, Smalling, Hangeland, Baird; Riise (Davies 64), Murphy, Dikgacoi, Duff; Gera (Kamara 72), Zamora (Elm 79). Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Greening, Kallio.