Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)  (Read 11905 times)

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2010, 11:15:24 AM »

January 27, 2010

Spurs 2-0 Fulham

Bleugh.  Today was all about making the best of an injury crisis, but it didn’t really work out for Fulham, and we were comfortably beaten by a Spurs side that didn’t really need to extend itself.

Mark Schwarzer made a stunning low save in the first minute of the game, and from there we appreciated that there may be trouble ahead.  A succession of Spurs corners came and went, but eventually they did score, a cross from the right not dealt with by Schwarzer, shepherded out of play by Riise, then burgled by an alert Modric who hooked the ball back into the six yard box from where Crouch could not miss.   It was about as soft as the goal we conceded at Blackburn the other day.  Roy will not have been amused.

We brought about some kind of stalemate after that, a well-matched midfield battle that we could not turn into anything tangible.   Here is where the injuries told:  Hodgson went with a back four of Hughes, Smalling (soon to be an Arsenal or Manchester United player, we learned today), Hangeland, Baird, and the two new full-backs (understandably) didn’t show the attacking nous of Paintsil and Konchesky.  Time and again our players would work the ball into a wide area, only to have to turn back inside because the full-back was not advancing.  A team as bereft of width as Fulham needs its full-backs to push on; without that option it was hard to see us getting into the penalty area through the congested middle of the pitch, despite an excellent performance from Zamora, who won a good deal of what came his way.

It made for frustrating viewing. Murphy and Dikgacoi were tidy in the midfield, the former still looking a shade off his 08/09 form, the latter showing signs of being a very handy player once he gains his teammates’ trust.  But at no point did it feel like we might score.  Spurs, a goal ahead, didn’t have to do anything daft, and on we went.

Then it was two, a suspicious free-kick (surely Bale had lost the ball by the time he fell?) whipped in by Bentley, off the head of Riise, and into the net.   That was that.   Hodgson threw on Kamara who, not for the first time, suddenly made things happen.  Gomes was given things to do, and while we still weren’t making real chances, at least we were in dangerous areas.  Too little, too late, of course.

Not a game we expected anything from, but disappointing nevertheless.  I love the Spurs away game, a proper ground in a mysterious faraway suburb of London, against one of the few teams that carries some proper mystique in these crass footballing times.  But last night was a let-down, the cold was all too present and my eyes never too far from the stadium’s enormous digital screen, watching the minutes tick miserably away.

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2010, 11:18:36 AM »

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2010, 11:34:12 AM »

Neil Warnock and his squad were in a plane en route to St James' Park for tonight's match at Newcastle United when the club were suddenly placed into administration by their creditors, hours before they were due in the high court to face a winding-up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over an unpaid £1.2m tax bill.

The club are expected to be handed a 10-point penalty, which will take them from the fringes of the play-offs to just above the relegation places, as soon as the Football League receives documentation confirming their status today.

"I was surprised by the timing of it as there's only a few days left of the transfer window but we will just get on with the job," Warnock told the Croydon Advertiser. "The lads are obviously all terribly disappointed and [the Newcastle] game will be one of the toughest they have ever played. I've always felt we were more likely to be in a relegation scrap than a chase for the play-offs - and that's certainly the case now."

The administrators, P&A Partnership, said funds would have to be raised immediately by selling players before the transfer window shuts next week. It means Victor Moses looks certain to leave. Nottingham Forest yesterday added their name to the list of clubs interested in the 19-year-old winger, also believed to include Manchester City, Fulham and Everton.

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2010, 11:35:37 AM »

Fulham and Stoke are tangled up in a web of striker intrigue. Stoke want Roma's Stefano Okaka. Fulham want Roma's Stefano Okaka. Stoke want Newcastle's Andy Carroll. Fulham want Basle's Marco Streller. Newcastle won't let Stoke have Andy Carroll. Basle's won't let Fulham have Marco Streller. The upshot of all that, the Mill reckons, is that Fulham will sign Andy Carroll, Stoke will sign Marco Streller, Basle wil sign Andy Caroll and Newcastle will bag Stefano Okaka. Probably.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2010, 11:37:39 AM »

David Bentley gives Spurs something to smile about against Fulham

Jamie Jackson at White Hart Lane, Wednesday 27 January 2010

Tottenham are one more step towards the dreamland of fourth place and Champions League football next season. Harry Redknapp might just be leading the white part of north London into the European Cup for the first time since 1961 – 49 long years ago — a prospect helped along by Liverpool's draw at Wolves.

That result meant Spurs are now a clear victory ahead of the team from Merseyside, who are fifth and continuing to struggle for consistency.

Fulham, for their part, suggested only intermittently that they might deny Redknapp's men three points, a haul they had not managed since 28 December, when West Ham were defeated here.

"We deserved it, we dominated and our keeper didn't have too much to do," a happy Redknapp said. "Three points for Tottenham, that's the main thing. We've been playing well."

So, too, has Chris Smalling, the Fulham central defender Manchester United had announced yesterday would join them this summer. Last night, given his second Premier League start, he was quick, unfazed and memorably dumped Peter Crouch on his backside during the first half to let the England striker, and neutrals, know what he can be about.

Roy Hodgson, his manager, purred when discussing Smalling's quality. "Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't make mistakes when he finds a young player," he said. "He realises it will look very cheap inyears to come. We've known we had a diamond in our midst but unfortunately when you are Fulham you're aware that diamonds can be taken away by clubs with more power."

Hodgson had been conscious that his team have yet to enjoy a league win in 2010, their previous victory being the resounding 3-0 defeat of United at the Cottage before Christmas. And barely a minute had passed when they nearly allowed Tottenham to score. Jermain Defoe, who had a quiet game, flicked the ball across the edge of the 18-yard line. This allowed Tom Huddlestone to unleash a swerving effort that Mark Schwarzer tipped around the post to concede a corner.

While that amounted to nothing there was further evidence of the Spurs play developed by Redknapp, which consists of easy technique and a slick touch while relaying ball from back to front at speed.

After Huddlestone had prompted David Bentley to probe the right flank, and Gareth Bale had failed with similar attempts from his left-back berth to involve Luka Modric, the home side nearly conceded.

From a corner taken by Damien Duff the ball broke back to the winger. He advanced and delivered a cross from the right that fell to Bobby Zamora but Heurelho Gomes smothered the shot.

Crouch was then upended by Smalling but after 27 minutes it was the striker who wore the grin. Bentley, starting in the league for the first time since October, swung in a high ball with his left foot. When the ball broke to Modric, the Croat midfielder bicycle kicked the ball back into the goalmouth and Crouch tipped it beyond Schwarzer for his fifth league goal this season. "It was nice to get the first one," he said. "And after the second we played some good football."

That second arrived from Bentley's boot. Bale drew the foul, having found himself sandwiched between two Fulham players to the left of their area. Bentley's free-kick had dip but after glancing the head of Bjorn Helge Riise in the wall the ball floated beyond the wrong-footed Schwarzer into the net.

That marked the end of any Fulham resistance. Spurs will be hoping to end January's final week with consecutive victories and six invaluable points. Crouch added: "It's important for us that we pick up points when others around us drop them. It'll be good at the end of the season – Liverpool are a top side and will be right in there, we have to make sure we are."

They certainly are, currently. At St Andrew's on Saturday, against Alex McLeish's Birmingham City, Redknapp, his team and Liverpool may learn more of how their campaign might end.

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2010, 11:38:54 AM »

Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham

 Match facts

Guardian report

Tuesday 26 January 2010 20.00

  Score line 
Final score  Tottenham Hotspur  2 – 0
(HT 1 – 0)
Crouch 27
Bentley 60
Bookings Dawson 89
  Kamara 87
 Tottenham Hotspur's Percentage Fulham's Percentage
Corners 11 78%  3 22% 
Goal attempts 12 66%  6 34% 
On target 5 62%  3 38% 
Fouls 13 43%  17 57% 
Offside 2 28%  5 72% 
Tottenham Hotspur Heurelho Gomes, Gareth Bale, Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka, Ledley King, David Bentley, Tom Huddlestone, Wilson Palacios, Luka Modric, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe (Robbie Keane, 82) 
Fulham Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Aaron Hughes, Chris Smalling, Zoltan Gera (Diomansy Kamara, 72), Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Bjorn Helge Riise (Simon Davies, 64), Kagisho Dikgacoi, Bobby Zamora (David Elm, 79) 
Referee Dean, M
Venue White Hart Lane
Attendance 35,467

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2010, 11:41:20 AM »

Sam Allardyce will target a replacement for Benni McCarthy after Blackburn agreed a fee with West Ham for the South Africa striker.

A move for Stoke's James Beattie is being lined up while Rovers have also looked at Stuttgart's gifted Turkish midfielder Yildiray Basturk.

A fee believed to be for £2.25million has been agreed for McCarthy, 32, who stayed away from training this week in an attempt to force through a transfer.

Allardyce said: "We will now look to secure a replacement - we have been inundated with offers of players who are available."

Asked if he was interested in Beattie and Basturk, Allardyce hinted at a possible move, saying: "If those players are available we may start negotiations, but the first thing would be to contact the club."

Blackburn were also linked with Eidur Gudjohnsen, who is now at Monaco, but it is understood that is unlikely to happen.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2010, 11:42:43 AM »

Bentley fires reminder as Spurs stroll to victory

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Fulham 0

By Sam Wallace, Football Correspondent

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

He has long been the forgotten man of White Hart Lane, so David Bentley's goal last night was an overdue reminder that beneath the hype and bravado that prefaced his fall from grace there is still a decent English footballer hoping to rebuild his career.

It was only a deflected free-kick against a struggling Fulham team, but for Bentley it was the little bit of good fortune that he has needed after months in the shadows. He was only in the team because Niko Kranjcar was ill and this was his first start in the Premier League since October but he took his chance with a goal that reminds the world that he still exists.

Bentley has fallen so far from favour that the best opportunity to kick start his career probably lies in a move away from Spurs with suggestions yesterday that he may be sent to West Ham on loan. It was only Bentley's second league start of the season and you have to go back to October 2008 for the last time he played for England, in Fabio Capello's first year in charge.

Redknapp and Bentley have not always seen eye to eye and you suspect that Redknapp would rather see the back of him, even if last night he did come up with the goods. "David had an opportunity and he took it well," he said. "If he plays well he will get a chance, it's up to him, if he shows a good attitude and in to work every day and trains hard I have got no problems with him."

The real class act on the Spurs side was Luka Modric who switched to the left side to accommodate Bentley on the right. It was the Croatia international who made the first goal for Peter Crouch and helped Spurs to a victory that puts them three points further ahead of Liverpool a places behind in fifth.

It was Tottenham's first win in four games and the first time in almost three years at the club that Gareth Bale has started and finished a game that Spurs have won. The only concern for Redknapp was a first-half collision between Heurelho Gomes and Ledley King that meant his goalkeeper required a painkilling injection at half-time – it might yet cause problems at a club who have no experienced No 2.

For Fulham, this was their fourth straight league defeat and their fifth game without a win since they beat Manchester United 3-0 at Craven Cottage before Christmas.

Roy Hodgson was upbeat, though, claiming that his side were unfortunate at the nature of Bentley's deflected goal. "Given the number of injury problems we had I thought it was a brave, hard-working performance and we made certain that Tottenham knew they were in a game. We can't complain about the result because we didn't create enough."

For Chris Smalling, English football's overnight sensation, there was a tough examination against Jermain Defoe and Crouch, but for a man who is about to make the biggest move of his life he looked quite composed.

Modric's tenacity and ingenuity created Crouch's first-half goal. He chased a lost cause right to the byline and, when Bjorn Helge Riise hesitated, he hooked the ball back and improvised with a volleyed cross that Crouch clipped past Mark Schwarzer for his 10th goal of the season.

The second Spurs goal on the hour came from Bentley's right boot and off the head of the hapless Riise. The free-kick was wide on the right and when it clipped the Fulham midfielder it took a looping trajectory towards the far corner that gave Schwarzer no chance.

After the game, Hodgson left the door open to the possibility that Smalling's move to Old Trafford may yet become a move to Arsenal saying only that "as far as I know" Smalling would go to United. "Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't make mistakes when he identifies a young player, does he?" said the Fulham manager, conveniently overlooking the likes of Eric Djemba Djemba, David Bellion, Liam Miller and Zoran Tosic.

If Smalling wanted an example of the perils that can befall young players then there is none better in the current game than Bentley's recent problems.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, King, Bale; Bentley, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric; Crouch, Defoe (Keane, 82). Susbtitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Hutton, Bassong, O'Hara, Jenas, Rose

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Hughes, Smalling, Hangeland, Baird; Riise (Davies, 64), Murphy, Dikgacoi, Duff; Gera (Kamara, 72); Zamora (Elm, 79). Substitutes not used: Zuberbühler (gk), Kallio, Greening, Nevland

Referee: M Dean (Wirral)

Booked: Tottenham Dawson Fulham Kamara

Man of the match: Modric

Attendance: 35,467

White Noise

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2010, 11:49:58 AM »

"Andy had been in difficulty before the game," revealed Blackwell. "But he went out there and gave us a shift which speaks volumes for his character.

"We knew that if he made it to the interval then the chances were he would have to come off. Willo (Lee Williamson) has also been out but he was desperate to be on the bench so the same goes for him.

"Losing people has been our Achilles heel this season. We had too many out around October and suffered for it.

"I'm aware that we might be slightly short but we've got a group of 15 or 16 players who, when they're all fit, are comparable to anyone in the division."

Matt Mills, who anchored the visitors' rearguard at Bramall Lane, Portsmouth's Aaron Mokoena and Toni Kallio from Fulham are all possible targets while Blackwell, despite appearing to rule-out the chances of him returning, could yet add Stoke's Andrew Davies to his wanted list.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2010, 11:51:17 AM »,17033,13320_5887509,00.html

There`s Nothing Small About Smalling...

Posted 26/01/10 22:41

Chris Smalling could have made Manchester United look pretty stupid for agreeing to pay a sizeable sum for a defender with just 103 minutes of Premier League football under his belt. Announcing the deal on the day Smalling was charged with keeping Jermain Defoe quiet could have backfired spectacularly.

In the end, Smalling merely demonstrated why United were prepared to seal a deal in haste rather than risk losing him to Arsenal.

Ignore the scoreline - you can blame Mark Schwarzer and Bjørn Helge Riise for one goal and Lady Luck for the other - because Smalling barely put a foot wrong all night. He beat Peter Crouch in the air, Defoe on the ground and matched defensive partner Brede Hangeland for full-blooded commitment.

Defoe trooped off after 81 minutes without contributing anything of note to the match, while Crouch barely had a touch barring the goal. Spurs cruised to victory because the injury-ravaged Cottagers offered nothing going forward, not because of any shortcoming in the Fulham defence.

Smalling was excellent against Spurs, just as he was against Chelsea. Anyone who heard Roy Hodgson's uncharacteristically angry response to any suggestion that Smalling's own goal in that game had somehow blotted his copybook, would understand just how highly he rates the youngster. And Hodgson knows a thing or two about football.

Now we know he has at least three other rather knowledgeable fans - Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Stuart Pearce, who called him up to the England Under-21s before he had made his first start for Fulham.

Quite what Millwall's Academy coaches were thinking when they released Smalling at the age of 16 is lost in football history, but on the evidence of Tuesday night, Smalling will be taking a circuitous but well-deserved route to somewhere rather more impressive than the New Den.

Sarah Winterburn

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2010, 11:53:02 AM »

“They could be important qualities against Lincoln because they’re unrecognisable from the team that we beat fairly comfortably at their place earlier in the season."

Former England striker Sutton has worked hard to revive the fortunes of the Sincil Bank club and has started to see a reward for his efforts with three successive victories.

Peschisolido said: "As well as having a new manager, Lincoln have brought in a lot of good youngsters - boys from Aston Villa and Fulham - and they're not at Premier League clubs without a reason.

"They'll have the quality you expect of players from that level and they'll certainly be part of the reason why Lincoln are in a rich vein of form.

"I think it's got all the makings of a fantastic game and we know we're going to have to be at our best to get anything from it."

Sutton said: "Paul Peschisolido has done really well at Burton. They play some decent stuff and really pose an attacking threat.

"They have Steve Kabba on loan from Brentford, who has been around a bit - he is street-wise - and Cleveland Taylor on the right wing, who seems to have some major pace.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2010, 11:54:20 AM »

Plymouth handed a debut to goalkeeper Stockdale, who is on loan from Fulham. Long-serving Romain Larrieu, an ever-present this season, made way.

Stockdale dropped an early cross but handled impressively for the rest of the game. He looked to have been deceived by a deep, pacy centre from McEveley but back-pedalled to collect under his bar.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2010, 11:55:25 AM »

Peter Crouch delighted with team display as Spurs see off Fulham


 Tottenham striker Peter Crouch was delighted with his team's performance tonight as they saw off Fulham 2-0 to keep their Champions League dream very much alive.

Crouch opened the scoring at White Hart Lane in the 27th minute and David Bentley sealed the win on the hour mark.

In a further boost, Liverpool could only muster a draw at Wolves, leaving Spurs three points ahead of Crouch's former team in the race for a place in the top four.

"I think we deserved to win the game," Crouch told Sky Sports 2. "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."

The match also saw Gareth Bale finally end up on a winning Tottenham side after being named in the starting line-up.

And the Wales full-back admits it is something of a relief following 22 previous starts.

"I'm happy to get that off my back and go on from here," said Bale. "It's one of those freak things but it's in the past now."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was disappointed with the defeat and felt his side were unlucky not to get at least a point from the game.

"We dealt with Tottenham's play reasonably well," he told Sky Sports 2. "They're a very talented team.

"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."

Bentley was the surprise name on the Tottenham teamsheet as the winger is desperate to leave Spurs.

But he put in a determined performance in his first start since the beginning of December, capped off by a free-kick that flew in off Bjorn Helge Riise, and boss Harry Redknapp was delighted for the 25-year-old.

"Three points for Tottenham, that's the main thing," he said. "We've been 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.

"Bentley did very well, I'm very pleased with him tonight. He's a talented footballer with great ability and he showed that tonight."

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2010, 11:56:58 AM »

Modric: Teams now park bus at Tottenham

27.01.10 |

Modric says Spurs need to be more patient, particularly when playing at home.

"Everyone in the division knows that we have a good team and that this season we are pushing for a place in the top four, so some teams will come here and defend and look to hit us on the break," Modric told the Spurs matchday programme.

"It is difficult if we don't open them up and get an early goal, then the game gets harder and harder the longer it goes on, but patience is the key. Everyone - the players and the crowd - must be patient and the fans need to get behind us all through the game, even if the goal doesn't come straight away.

"Even if it is 0-0 at half-time, or after 70 minutes, we mustn't panic in these situations. We need to just keep playing our football, keep creating chances and hope that one of them will go in. We will always make chances because we play an attacking brand of football and more often than not we will convert at least one of them."

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2010, 12:00:31 PM »

Peter Crouch and David Bentley help Tottenham cruise past Fulham

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Fulham 0

Tom Dart

1 Comment

Tottenham Hotspur do not do routine. At White Hart Lane this season they have lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers then thumped Manchester City, put nine past Wigan Athletic and none beyond Hull City. But this was as close to straightforward and predictable as their matches get.

Last night was exactly what they needed: a no-fuss victory over a weaker side to quell any hints of anxiety after a run of three games without a win that included a dispiriting defeat at Anfield. That lifted Liverpool to within a point of Tottenham, who remain fourth but are now three points clear of Rafael Benítez’s side.
The midfield player, given an opportunity because Niko Kranjcar was unwell, was not in the squad for the 2-2 draw against Leeds United in the FA Cup last Saturday. His previous appearance was on December 1, in the Carling Cup defeat by Manchester United, and his last top-flight start came in the 3-0 loss to Arsenal on October 31.

To start, score and play well was a small shaft of light in an otherwise black season for the winger, even if his goal came courtesy of a heavy deflection.

Taking a free kick just before the hour, his shot deflected off Bjorn Helge Riise in the Fulham wall and the trajectory changed from near post to far post, giving Mark Schwarzer no chance.

If nothing else, Bentley has reminded the world of his availability only a few days before the transfer window slams shut.

“He did well. If he plays well he’s got a chance [here]. It’s up to him,” Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, said. “If he shows a good attitude I’ve got no problems with him. Tonight I was really pleased.”

The goal confirmed a deserved victory for Tottenham, who had led since the 27th minute courtesy of a close-range finish from Peter Crouch.

Whether the home side opted for the rudimentary approach — lobbing the ball from the wings towards Crouch’s head — or more subtle probings, usually prompted by the quick wit and sharp feet of Luka Modric, they constantly threatened to unhinge an understrength and underwhelming Fulham.

This was Roy Hodgson’s 100th game in charge of the visiting team, but like many of the previous 99, this was a disappointing away result.

At least Bobby Zamora returned to the attack only three weeks after suffering a dislocated collarbone. Zamora’s chief contribution was accidentally to give Heurelho Gomes, the Tottenham goalkeeper, a whack early in the first half as they vied for a loose ball.

Gomes played on after a painkilling injection in his shoulder at half-time. He hardly had to make a save all evening, though Fulham’s workrate and organisation was evident in the solid job they did of containing a Tottenham attack that was always potent but never rampant.

“In the second half we certainly evened the game out,” Hodgson said. “The second goal meant Tottenham could relax that bit more. It gave them the security they needed.

“I’m still quite proud of the players given the injuries we have. We made certain Tottenham knew they were in a game, but didn’t create enough chances to say we deserved anything.”

One minor, if bittersweet, positive was the decent performance of Chris Smalling, focused despite the defender’s impending move to Old Trafford.

“We’ve known we had a diamond in our midst, but when you are Fulham you have to be aware that diamonds might be taken away by clubs with more power,” Hodgson said. Exactly how powerful Tottenham are remains to be seen.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): H Gomes — V Corluka, M Dawson, L King, G Bale — D Bentley, T Huddlestone, W Palacios, L Modric — J Defoe (sub: R Keane, 82min), P Crouch. Substitutes not used: B Alnwick, A Hutton, S Bassong, J Jenas, J O'Hara, D Rose. Booked: Dawson.

Fulham (4-4-1-1): M Schwarzer — A Hughes, C Smalling, B Hangeland, C Baird — B H Riise (sub: S Davies, 64), D Murphy, K Dikgacoi, D Duff — Z Gera (sub: D Kamara, 72) — R Zamora (sub: D Elm, 79). Substitutes not used: P Zuberbühler, T Kallio, J Greening, E Nevland. Booked: Kamara.

Referee: M Dean.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2010, 12:02:26 PM »

Sir Alex Ferguson agrees £12m Chris Smalling deal: Nemanja Vidic nears exit

James Ducker


Smalling completes his rise from non-League football to the "Theatre of Dreams" when he moves to Old Trafford
Nemanja Vidic moved closer to the exit door at Old Trafford yesterday after Manchester United agreed the £12 million signing of Chris Smalling, the England Under-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.

The Times revealed in November that United were resigned to losing Vidic and Sir Alex Ferguson has moved quickly to sign another centre half, although the manager could delve into the market for another, more experienced defender if his worst fears about the Serbia player are realised.

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 £30 million.

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 under-21 level and agreeing personal terms with the Barclays Premier League champions, despite having made only one league start for Fulham.

For all the uncertainty over Vidic’s future, one player who will not be leaving United in the summer is Wayne Rooney. The England forward has been linked with moves to Real and Barcelona, but Ferguson repeated the player’s own claims this week that he would be staying at Old Trafford and vowed to tackle the outside forces he has blamed for attempting to deliberately unsettle the 24-year-old.

“I think we know where that is coming from,” Ferguson said. “In fact, we are sure where it’s coming from. It’s not his agent [Paul Stretford], it’s not Wayne, so we’ll deal with that.

“He wants to stay here. He has made that quite clear himself. But we knew that he didn’t want to leave.”

Rooney is expected to lead the line for United this evening in the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Old Trafford, with Ferguson confident that the player will score at least 30 goals this season. Rooney’s four goals against Hull City at the weekend took his tally to 20 in 28 matches.

“He is in such great form, there aren’t many players matching him at the moment,” Ferguson said. “His scoring form has put him up in that frame [as the best player in the country]. He could get to 30 goals quite easily.”

Ferguson’s appeal in his programme notes for supporters to put aside their anger towards the Glazer family’s ownership of United for the benefit of the team fell on deaf ears on Saturday, with anti-Glazer chants reverberating around Old Trafford. But the United manager does not expect a repeat tonight and is predicting a Champions League-style atmosphere, given the prize at stake and the animosity between both clubs.

“It will be different [tonight],” he said. “The occasion is so much more important to them. Fans are entitled to voice their disapproval about this or that. There’s nothing wrong with supporters complaining.

“[I appealed for unity] because we don’t want a divisive club. We want the supporters behind the club all the time because we’re coming to the important part of the season. Everything is down to what we do as a team.

“The team, always the team, is the most important thing. We should never lose sight of that — and [tonight] we will see that. All I’m interested in is that everyone buckles down to make sure we are successful — players, staff, but the supporters in particular.

“When our supporters are in full voice, they are fantastic. Hopefully, we can produce that against City.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2010, 12:05:12 PM »

Tottenham 2-0 Fulham: The Daily Mirror match report

Published 23:23 26/01/10 By John Cross

Harry Redknapp is one hell of a salesman.

The Tottenham boss, the master wheeler of the transfer market, put David Bentley in the shop window last night and the midfielder promptly delivered a timely reminder to a few Premier League managers.

Bentley struck a stunning 60th minute free-kick - albeit with a big deflection - for his first Premier League goal of the season to keep Tottenham comfortably above Liverpool in fourth place.

It is hard to imagine that it will be enough to persuade Redknapp to have a change of heart about forgotten man Bentley and suddenly save his White Hart Lane career.
But it may just do enough to convince a few managers that Bentley still possesses the talent which made him an England international and persuaded Tottenham to pay £15m for him just 18 months ago.

Redknapp also gave Roman Pavlyuchenko a chance against Leeds in the FA Cup on Saturday and the wantaway Russian striker repaid his faith with a goal to also help his chances of a January move.

And if Redknapp can do deals for the pair, then the Tottenham boss may yet be the busiest wheeler dealer in the January window while at the same time thanking Bentley for his help in a valuable victory last night.

Redknapp said: “Bentley did well. Niko Kranjcar was sick so I gave Bentley an opportunity and he took it well.

“If he plays well like that then he has a chance. When he plays like that he has every chance and 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.

“It was a good result for us because we picked up three points, we need to keep picking up points and so it was a good night for us.”

It was certainly a good night for Bentley, whose last appearance for England was in October 2008, and he has fallen equally out of the picture at Tottenham

Bentley had a training ground bust-up with Redknapp last month after a behind-closed-doors friendly with Grays Athletic.

That was supposed to be that for Bentley and yet injury to Aaron Lennon and Kranjcar going down sick on the day of the game gave him an unlikely look-in.

Bentley grabbed it with both hands and, with the likes of Aston Villa, Sunderland and West Ham looking on, did his best to showcase his talent.

Whether any chairman would pay Tottenham’s £15m asking price as Daniel Levy looks to recoup his outlay is, however, quite another matter.

But if anyone can persuade Levy to loan out Bentley or sell him on the cheap then there is every chance that he can rebuild his career again.

Bentley proved that after just 28 minutes when his deep cross led to Tottenham’s opening goal. Peter Crouch beat Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer in the air, Luka Modric somehow stopped the ball going out and pulled it back for Crouch.

England striker Crouch then pounced for his tenth goal of the season as he hooked the ball home from close range.

It also left the Fulham defence rather embarrassed and horribly exposed with Chris Smalling hardly covering himself in glory on the day that Manchester United and Arsenal both tabled big money bids.

Centre-half Smalling may be the most sought after man at Craven Cottage but last night there was little even the England Under-21 defender could do to stop the Tottenham avalanche.

Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes did, however, look shaky at the other end as he needed a painkilling injection at half time after an early collision with Fulham striker Bobby Zamora.

But Fulham did not test Gomes nearly enough to get themselves back in the game with confidence is clearly running low as last night was their fourth straight defeat.

Tottenham then grabbed a second goal on the hour mark - thanks to a stroke of luck from an unlikely source.

Spurs full back Gareth Bale was fouled on the edge of the Fulham box, Bentley, despite his absence, grabbed the ball and curled in a wicked free kick.

The ball deflected heavily off Fulham’s Bjorn Helge Riise, wrong footed Schwarzer and flew into the opposite corner.

Bentley lapped up the celebration and who can blame him after being the forgotten man for so long.

But you can bet that no Spurs player would have celebrated more than Bale who finally started and finished on a winning Tottenham team only a mere three years after joining the club.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2010, 12:07:20 PM »

Hodgson: 'Smalling is going to Man United, not Arsenal'

Published 23:38 26/01/10 By John Cross

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson last night claimed Chris Smalling will join Manchester United - even though Arsenal made a last gasp bid.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to complete a deal for the England Under-21 defender today and Smalling is due at Old Trafford for a medical.

But Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has not given up and last night it was understood that Arsenal matched United’s £7m offer and it is now up to the player to decide on his future.

Hodgson still believes that ex-Maidstone defender Smalling, 20, will go to United with Fulham keeping him for the rest of the season.

Hodgson said last night: “The club has accepted an offer from Manchester United and as far as I know that is where he is going. As far as I know he is going for a medical tomorrow.

“He is a great talent and we’re proud we’ve produced a player of that quality, but it’s difficult to stand in the way when Manchester United come calling.

“He will be a great success, will prove to be a bargain in the future and it’s just a shame that we will have to watch him do that at United. But Sir Alex is a great judge.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2010, 02:11:13 PM »


Midfielder eyes Palermo move

By Adam Marshall, 27/01/2010

MARCO STRELLER has turned down a move to Fulham.

Roy Hodgson was keen to land the Basel striker but only on a loan basis with a view to a permanent deal.

The timing was not right for the Switzerland international, 28, who wants to at least see out the season with his current club.

"I decided very quickly not to move to Fulham," he explained.

"And Basel also expressed very quickly that they did not want me to go.

"I'm glad because we have a great team and a coach who plays attacking football. And we have big goals."

Fulham lost 2-0 at Tottenham on Tuesday and Hodgson could be doing some more business before next Monday's deadline.

One player heading for the exit door is 19-year-old Luca Mosciatello.

The midfielder is hoping to earn a move to Palermo.

"Who could say no to Palermo?" he asked. "I'd like to return to Italy.

"I will ask my agent if Palermo are really interested because I'd be happy."

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (27.01.10)
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2010, 02:31:22 PM »

Smalling Fee

by lydia on January 27, 2010

I’ll update this as I hear more but Skysports have just said that the fee for Smalling will be around 10million.
Happy Days!