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Wednesday Fulham Stuff (24.03.10)

Started by White Noise, March 23, 2010, 10:21:25 PM

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White Noise

Spurs - Fulham Preview: Cue The Star Wars Theme Music

A Cup quarter-final, under the floodlights and in front of a jam-packed White Hart Lane – if that doesn't get your juices flowing my friend you're probably better off at the Emirates. The Star Wars theme that greets the players as they amble out each week may not be everyone's particular brand of cognac, but pre kick-off it certainly makes the hairs on the back of the AANP neck stand to attention, and by the time it blares out this evening I suspect I'll be bouncing off the walls and ready to kill someone with my bare hands.

With any luck the eleven in lilywhite will be similarly frenzied come 8pm. The omens are fairly encouraging - in our recent League double-header against Fulham we worked hard for a goalless draw on their patch, and then comfortably beat them 2-0 at the Lane barely a month later. A slice of nice meaty déjà-vu would go down nicely tonight.

Team News

For all our injury problems our starting eleven is still fairly imposing. Sergeant Wilson will be restored to midfield tonight; Gudjohnsen has served notice that he is now up to speed; and Saturday even saw BAE make a rare but highly effective foray behind enemy lines. If I may be a little greedy I would quite like to see more goals, or even just efforts on goal, from Modders, but the recent strict diet of victories gives little room for genuine complaint.

Ye gods be praised, as it looks as if reinforcements are finally arriving. Hudd and Bentley might be back in contention, and even if they do not swan straight back into the starting line-up I'll be exhaling in relief merely at the sight of them snuggling up on those comfy seats in the dug-out. While it is positive to see Livermore, Townsend et al mingling with the first team superstars, if we are hit by further injuries or even just tired legs, it will be reassuring to gaze around and behold chaps of the ilk of Bentley and Hudd stretching their multi-million pound limbs on their sidelines. 

Fulham: Abusive To Old Ladies

I fancy us to win this, as do the bookies, but complacency will be banned from the premises given that Fulham dealt out a right thumping to (an admittedly ten-man) Juve last week. Form is temporary and class permanent, according to the adage, but whatever the explanation Bobby Zamora is playing like a man who has been eating his greens. He has been a handful against us on a couple of occasions already this season, and let's face it, our lot hardly relish having to face these big burly chaps, all elbows, backsides and upper-body strength. I suspect that Sebastien Bassong earns more in a week than I do in a year, but I will happily dispense with envy tonight if he merits the full pay-packet tonight and keeps Zamora under lock and key.

These things don't always go to plan, but if our heroes blow this opportunity I might never forgive them. It ought not to come to that. Everybody will be singing, when the Spurs go marching on.

White Noise

Tonight on ITV1 and Watch Tottenham v Fulham's FA Cup sixth round replay and join our live chat

Published: Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 10:42AM

Tonight on we've got live FA Cup replay action as Harry Redknapp's Tottenham face Fulham at White Hart Lane for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Fulham are fresh from a sensational win against Juventus in the Europa League last league while Tottenham are vying for a spot in the UEFA Champions League next season: but who will prolong their FA Cup campaign?

Our coverage from White Hart Lane begins at 7.30pm and you will also have the chance to have your say on the game with our live chat.

Follow us on Twitter!

White Noise

Mark Schwarzer's not tired of success as battling Fulham refuse to run out of steam

David Smith


Fulham tonight reach the half-century of games played this season, nine more than Tottenham. But you won't find Mark Schwarzer complaining about a marathon haul that has taken his side to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and FA Cup and a place in the top half of the Premier League.

Doom-mongers have been waiting for fatigue to set in and there were signs that a crowded fixture list was taking its toll on Roy Hodgson's men when they went down 2-1 to Manchester City at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

But Schwarzer, who will make his 39th consecutive appearance in Fulham's goal at White Hart Lane, said: "We've accepted the situation we're in with open arms.

"We've accepted it as a positive instead of a negative like some people portray it to be because of the workload.

"I think we've approached it in a manner which says we're delighted to be in the position we're in.

"As the gaffer has said, we're victims of our own success. But I'd rather be in that position than not. Football is a very, very short life for most of us and you've got to make the most of the opportunities that are put in front of you.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to be involved with Fulham at this stage and I want to enjoy every moment with them."

There was, in truth, little to enjoy at the Cottage at the weekend. But Zoltan Gera, Fulham's two-goal hero in the momentous victory over Juventus last Thursday, insisted he and his team-mates are up for the challenge against Tottenham tonight.

The Hungarian international, who has formed such a successful strike partnership with Bobby Zamora, said: "The result on Sunday was disappointing, we all know that, especially after the game against Juventus.

"But we have to forget about that now and we have the perfect match to bounce back when we face Tottenham.

"We are facing a very good side and one that have a lot of top players. We know this will be a difficult game for us, as the first one proved.

"But there wasn't a lot between the two teams that afternoon and I think it will probably be the same again tonight."

Gera has relished the big occasion this season, having scored goals in Europe against CSKA Sofia, Basel, UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus.

With Fulham within touching distance of a first Wembley appearance since the 1975 FA Cup Final, he wants to be on target again against Spurs.

"It will be an important night for us," said Gera. "And hopefully I can play my part. I have managed to score some important goals and I would like to do so again."

White Noise

Tottenham v Fulham: Big Match preview

All eyes will be on Bobby Zamora at White Hart Lane tonight

By Dave Smith  March 24, 2010

Tottenham vs Portsmouth - 27/03/10 03:00 PM

Home win1.25 | Draw5.25 | Away win11.00Sunderland vs Tottenham - 03/04/10 03:00 PM
Home win3.35 | Draw3.25 | Away win2.10Hull vs Fulham - 27/03/10 03:00 PM
Home win2.45 | Draw3.25 | Away win2.75Fulham vs Wigan - 02/04/10 03:00 PM
Home win1.80 | Draw3.40 | Away win4.30Fulham vs Wolfsburg - 01/04/10 07:45 PM
Home win2.20 | Draw3.20 | Away win3.20

FA Cup Quarter Final Replay

Venue: White Hart Lane
Date: March 24, 2010
Kick off: 7.45

Team News


Spurs recall Wilson Palacios after the central midfielder was rested for Saturday's victory at Stoke. Jermain Defoe is out with hamstring trouble and Younes Kaboul is cup-tied but Spurs hope David Bentley and Danny Rose will be passed fit after training.

Fulham are hopeful Brede Hangeland will be fit after suffering a chest injury. Hangeland missed the defeat to Manchester City but Roy Hodgson will call upon Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera after substituting the pair on Sunday.

All eyes will be on Bobby Zamora at White Hart Lane tonight


Spurs boss Harry Redknapp singles out Bobby Zamora as the main threat to his side's quest to book a semi final showdown with former club Portsmouth.

Zamora failed to make the grade at Spurs after moving from Brighton, but re-built his reputation at West Ham, and has gone from strength to strength with tonight's opponents Fulham.

Zamora is in the best form of his career and his performances, and goals, this season have made him a serious contender for Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

"He is a really good player. West Ham probably regret letting him go. Tottenham probably regret letting him go. He is really looking the part," said Redknapp.

"He shows well, holds the ball well and is full of confidence. He is looking a real top player. His all around game has improved, and everything has been clicking for him."

Hodgson was the first to back Zamora for an England call-up and Redknapp adds: "I think he has a realistic shout. Fabio was at the Juventus game and he must have been impressed with his performance. He is in the frame. He is bang in form.

"Anything can happen between now and then. One or two injuries. He is certainly not doing himself any harm."

Spurs v Fulham: the facts


• Tottenham is the most successful club still alive in the FA Cup, having won the competition eight times.

• Fulham are the only remaining club who have never won the oldest cup competition in world football.

• The winners will be facing Portsmouth, the lowest ranked club left in the competition, in the second semi-final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, April 11.

• Spurs are undefeated in seven in all competitions, having won five and drawn two league and cup games since a 1-0 loss to Wolves; their only defeat in 13.

• Spurs have beaten Peterborough, Leeds and Bolton in this cup run, with the aid of replays in the last two rounds.

• Jeramin Defoe is Tottenham's top scorer in this FA Cup run. His five goals includes a hat-trick against Leeds.

• Fulham have lost three of the last four in all competitions). They have completed six league and cup matches on the road without a win (D3, L3).

• They have not won away from Craven Cottage since knocking out Accrington from the FA Cup in the fourth round on January 23.

• This tie is the first time Fulham have faced Premier League opposition in this cup run. Swindon, Accrington and Notts County were all dismissed in previous rounds on their way to the last eight.

• Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora are Fulham's joint top scorers in the FA Cup this season, with two goals each.

• Zamora, Simon Davies, Stephen Kelly and Danny Murphy are all former Tottenham players, while Paul Konchesky was on loan at White Hart Lane.

White Noise

Eidur's dreaming 

24 March 2010

Eidur Gudjohnsen says every footballer dreams of playing at Wembley - that dream is one win from reality again as we face Fulham in an FA Cup quarter-final replay at the Lane tonight (Wednesday, March 24).

Victory against Roy Hodgson's team will book a place against Portsmouth in the semi-finals on Sunday, April 11 and a third-successive appearance at the national stadium after our Carling Cup Finals of 2008 and 2009.

And Eidur - who told us just how much the FA Cup meant to him before our fifth round clash against Bolton - can't help but look further ahead than that as he hunts down the medal that will complete his set in English football after bagging the Premier League title, League Cup and Charity Shield with Chelsea.

"It's the one trophy missing on my CV," said Eidur, who bagged his first goal for us in Saturday's 2-1 win at Stoke. "It's a great competition and we've got a great opportunity now we're back at home. We have to go for the win and then Wembley awaits us.

"That's what every player dreams of, to play at Wembley and it's what the fans dream of as well, having a day out and not just that, going to Wembley with one eye on going back and winning the trophy."

Eidur insisted there would be no underestimating the task ahead against Fulham in tonight's replay with players and management alike suitably impressed by the Cottagers' fantastic 4-1 win to beat Italian giants Juventus over two legs in the Europa League last week.

"They've done really well," he added. "The evidence was there when we played them in the first game (a goalless draw).

"They are a good footballing side with players who have improved a lot, especially Bobby Zamora. I have to give him credit, his all-round game is very strong and he's a big threat.

"They produced an amazing result against Juventus and we know it will be a difficult game for us and one we have to be ready for."

White Noise

Spurs v Fulham, Daniel Levy and Happy Clappers

March 24, 2010


No messing about. Fulham are good but tonight's match is there to be won, because we are better. The path has been laid out for us: one match from a Wembley semi-final where we will start as favourites, two league games against teams below us in the league, then the fireworks begin...

I'm in an upbeat rather than complacent frame of mind. We have to go out and win those matches, which is not straightforward. What I do believe, passionately, is that we are capable of linking high quality football with the strength of character that will see us through, even that will enable us to look forward to the challenge as opposed to fearing it. Without playing superbly, and certainly not playing with our best team, far from it, we are unbeaten in seven, five wins included. Disrupted team selection, defensive tactics, the physical approach, we've taken them all on lately and sent them packing.

Wilson is likely to return tonight: the rumours circulating round the boards that he is unfit appear to be unfounded. Otherwise, the same again with Eidur starting up front. I suspect he's not ready for 90 hectic full-on minutes, so there's just the merest thought that Harry could leave him on the bench until half time and allow the game to open up a little before he comes on. Possible but unlikely. Gudjohnson's preference for hanging back off the very front could unsettle Fulham's back four who when defending do not like to come too far forward. They will therefore be presented with a dilemma – do they desert their post to follow him, thus leaving a gap for Luka, Bale or Kranjcar to fill, or stay at home and thus provide Eidur with a bit of space. Whatever, Modric and Krancjar are once again our key men. Nico can drift in from the right and use that sledgehammer shot while Modric will buzz in the middle to move the well-organised Fulham midfield around.

On Sunday our opponents rested a few of their best as a mark of respect towards us. Although they were easily beaten in the league fixture at the Lane not so long ago, the fact that they will be sterner opposition this time is due largely to one man, Bobby Zamora. I had written him off as terminally average but relatively late in his career has been given the target man role by the canny Hodgson, thus making the most of his limited abilities. Here, expectations are clear and horizons narrow, i.e. staying fairly central, often with back to goal and hold it up or knock it off to a grateful and always willing midfield. By restricting his game, he's become more effective. He was poor in the league match but was just coming back from injury. In the away tie he tried to drift left towards Bassong rather than Dawson, but Seb did well enough. Further danger will come from Murphy's probing and Dempsey's desire to get forward.

Spurs have as ever been active in the community, and so to publicise the events there are two good interviews today with Modric  in the Times and Kranjcar in the Standard. Both are enjoying life at the Lane. Luka provides an insight into Harry's methods, describing his half- time talks when things are going badly as scarier than those of Bilic, his national coach, who I had always thought of as one hard case. This lays to rest once and for all the image of cuddly ol' Uncle Harry that he cultivates so assiduously with his media mates. I'm not bothered: I want a tough man as a leader, and Redknapp allows his men to play their natural game, once they are favoured. If not, then as Bentley, Pav and Bent all found, life can be hard.

And before I go, a word in praise of Daniel Levy. He's not been in the headlines this week, or last for that matter, and that's just the point. Although I have been heavily critical of his past dealings with managers, he knows how to run a business. That's something that cannot be said for most football clubs but years of prudence have left us financially sound. In stark contrast, Davids Gold and Sullivan are seldom more than a few feet away from a microphone and camera intoning their mantra that everyone at West Ham is rubbish, including their manager which is eminently helpful in their campaign against relegation, and that there is a rising groundswell of opinion that the club need to move to the Olympic Stadium. West Ham have fast become a byword for bad judgement under the Icelanders, the nation not the shop, although the lowliest checkout operator could have told them not to buy Dyer and Lundberg on 70k a week. I'm not that bothered about where they play, and although they hate us, I expend all my energy despising the Arse and Chelsea. And it was clever of them to pay for 30,000 clappers last night that made a booing sound.

However, when I heard Gold talking last night about 'what a good product' it was, this sticks in the throat. Football is passion and glory, joy and pain, everlasting love. It's a business too, I don't doubt that. But the idea of it being 'product' is simply abhorrent and revolting. Never, whatever your colours, never.

Look out for the Tottenham On My Mind competition to win a copy of the spanking new book 'Spurs Cult Heroes' – unsigned!! You never know, if I finish my report his afternoon, it could be up by this evening. Must get on.