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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

Fulham could well knock Tottenham out the FA Cup

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Tottenham v Fulham, FA Cup quarter-final replay, March 24, 2010

Tottenham 1.55; Draw 3.61; Fulham 5.58

How badly do Fulham want to win the FA Cup?

After their tremendous efforts in the Europa League last Thursday night, where Fulham knocked fallen-giants Juventus out of the cup with an incredible 4-1 home win, the Cottagers fell back down to earth on Sunday with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

The defeat to City flagged up a bigger problem that may ultimately define the success of Fulham's season. Currently playing two high-profile matches every week, the Cottagers thin squad is now being pushed to their limits, and in the run up to the Spurs match it is prudent to wonder how the Cottagers should best invest their resources in the final months of the season.

On the plus side for Fulham, Roy Hodgson looks like having a full-strength team to pick from. Brede Hangeland was rested for the 2-1 loss at home to Manchester City on Sunday, while Zoltan Gera and in-form striker Bobby Zamora were substituted early in the second half merely as a precautionary measure.

Elsewhere, Fulham are able to field their strongest spine possible with Mark Schwarzer and Aaron Hughes all at the back, Dickson Etuhu sitting in front of the defence, while Damien Duff and Clint Dempsey are available to offer support from midfield in the Cottagers' attacking areas.

While Fulham almost have the luxury of picking and choosing their starting XI, life at Spurs is tougher. Harry Redknapp's men are enjoying a fabulous season, particularly in their quest for fourth spot, but their injury problems are beginning to accumulate, with Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and striker Jermain Defoe all on the sidelines.

Roman Pavlyuchenko is also out after suffering a hamstring strain in the 2-1 win away to Stoke City at the weekend. With the Russian unavailable, Peter Crouch and Eider Gudjohnsen are the only fit strikers that Redknapp has at his disposal.

Even with all those injury concerns though, Spurs will feel confident of progressing through to the semi-finals, believing that they should still have enough quality in their squad to see off their London rivals.

In that respect, goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes deserves a mention. Having suffered a somewhat unimpressive start to his Tottenham career, the Brazilian goalkeeper is now showing form that backs up the £7 million Spurs paid PSV Eindhoven for his services. The Spurs stopper has kept an impressive nine clean sheets from 23 Premier League games so far this season, and, considering that Fulham have failed to score against Spurs in their last four meetings, Gomes will be hoping for another clean sheet this week. (1.83 to be over 2.5 goals, 1.86 to be under.)

Aside from Gomes, the upturn in form of Gareth Bale down the Spurs left has been considerable of late. Having been relieved of his defensive duties and employed more as an orthodox left-winger, the Welshman has been in super form in 2010 in which he has repeatedly torn down the left channel and consistently delivered dangerous balls in the box for his strikers to feed off of.

101gg predicts: Tottenham 0 - Fulham 1 (12.79)

White Noise

Duff making the most of career kickstart

posted: 23-Mar-2010

On Wednesday evening, Damien Duff has a chance of helping Fulham take a step closer to the FA Cup final when his team face Tottenham Hotspur in a replay of their quarter-final match.

The FA Cup might not be as highly sought after by the 'bigger' clubs than the Premier League or the Champions League, but for a club like Fulham it is a huge competition. After all, they have only played in the final once and ended up being second best.

Things have been going well for the West Londoners since Roy Hodgson took over and their good form this season has largely been helped by Duff's impact since he joined from Newcastle United.

It may seem like a long time since he was lighting up the group stages of the 2002 World Cup, but the Dubliner has only hit his peak now and he has shown that he still has plenty left to offer at the highest level.

Back to his last

This blog admittedly has given Duff a hard time over the last year. Although the criticism aimed at him from this blog has come when he has under-performed in games where he was needed most (several Republic of Ireland games spring to mind), yet he is a player that generally escapes the scorn of the media and the ordinary fan.

Perhaps everyone still sees him as the sleepy-eyed winger who bedazzled defenders for Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea or for his wonderful individual displays for his country. But all of that is in the past and it hasn't been until this season that he has really stood out.

Okay there were glimpses of what he is capable of when at Newcastle and he was the star man in some international outings, but for a player of his quality he has not had consistency in his game for quite a while.

So it is very refreshing to see how well he has performed for Fulham this season. With 6 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League this term, Duff has definitely gotten his career back on track.

A chance to cap it off in style

If Fulham were to beat Tottenham on Wednesday (not as outlandish as it may seem) then the Cottagers would be one match away from reaching the final - a massive achievement for Hodgson's men.

On top of that, they are through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League with German giants Wolfsburg standing in their way. While they won't take their opponents for granted, they will certainly view them as a team that they can beat.

The pressure is on them to overcome these two huge games. If they do then their chances of ending this season on a high will be greatly enhanced and lifting some form of silverware would not be such a crazy thought.

Of course, a lot depends on how they perform as a team, but the influence that Duff can play in those two games is massive and if he performs then Fulham could be on their way into the semi-finals of both competitions.

White Noise


Harry Redknapp is juggling priorities in chasing a valuable Champions League place

Wednesday March 24,2010

By Gideon Brooks

HARRY Redknapp believes Fulham's victory over Serie A giants Juventus last week was one of "the great performances" by an English team in Europe.

But Tottenham boss Redknapp warned those who would prematurely crown Roy Hodgson as their manager of the year that Fulham could yet end the season with nothing.

Redknapp, who was at Craven Cottage for the stirring Europa League success over Juve, was impressed with both Fulham's performance and their general improvement under their wily boss.

He said that their thrilling 4-1 victory, which gave them a 5-4 win on aggregate, had been the talk of the Spurs dressing room at training last Friday morning.

"All the lads watched the game at home and they were all talking about it when they came in the next day," he said. "It was an amazing performance and one of the great European performances."

But Redknapp knows that it is easy to get carried away ahead of the business end of the season and added: "Let's just wait until we see who wins what and who finishes up where.

"Whoever wins manager of the year depends on what happens between now and the end and although Roy has a chance as he has done a terrific job, it all depends what they end up with.

"If Fulham end up winning the Europa League or the FA Cup then yes, but it's not over yet and they could end up with nothing."

Spurs will be confident they can close off one route to that trophy cabinet for Fulham in tonight's FA Cup quarter-final replay at White Hart Lane, especially given their visitors' miserable away record this season.

White Noise

Who needs Joe Cole?


Published: Today

HARRY REDKNAPP last night insisted: Who needs Joe Cole when I've got Niko Kranjcar.
Spurs boss Redknapp has been linked with a summer swoop for Cole, who is in a contract wrangle at Chelsea.

The England ace is available on a free transfer in June, when his current deal expires.

Redknapp is a huge fan of Cole, 28, having given him his first-team break in 1998 while managing West Ham.

But Tottenham will not go near the £80,000-a-week wages he is demanding at the Bridge.

And Redknapp says he does not need Cole as he already has an impressive midfield line-up with Kranjcar as good as anyone.

He said: "I know how good Joe is because I was his manager at West Ham - but I have a lot of terrific midfielders here.

"I'm not short of players who are impressive going forward.

"We've got the likes of Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar.

"When you talk about signings of the year - Niko is right up there.

"He's been a fantastic signing for Tottenham, he cost us just £2.5million from Portsmouth.

"I was the manager at Fratton Park who brought Niko over for the same money from Hajduk Split in Croatia to the Premier League.

"He is a terrific player with a great touch and solid technique. The way he has played for us since signing in September has been top class.

"It was a while before he got a run in the side but now he looks unshakeable.I've developed good contacts with people in Croatia like their national manager Slaven Bilic, Davor Suker and Igor Stimac.

"A bit of a bonus is that Niko has been weighing in with some goals from midfield. He's got eight this season so far - seven for us.

"And, of course, there is the great understanding he has with his Croatian team-mates Modric and Vedran Corluka."

Tottenham hope that Fulham strike ace Bobby Zamora does not come back to haunt them in the FA Cup quarter-final replay at White Hart Lane tonight.

Redknapp believes Spurs probably still regret the decision to offload Zamora to West Ham in a swap deal for Jermain Defoe six years ago.

Zamora then signed for Fulham in a £4.8m move in 2008 - and has 16 goals to his name this term.

Redknapp said: "Zamora has been different class this season for Fulham and he's a good outside bet to make the England World Cup team.

"West Ham regret letting Bobby go and Tottenham probably regret letting him go as well.

"He has developed as a player, he shows well, holds the ball up and importantly is now scoring goals.

"The national manager Fabio Capello was at Craven Cottage to see the fantastic win over Juventus.

"I'm sure he would have been impressed with what he saw from Zamora that night.

"Anything can happen between now and the World Cup and, with Zamora's confidence high, who knows?

"I have so much respect for Fulham and so do my players - who couldn't stop talking about their 4-1 win over Juventus in the Europa League. Nothing will be taken for granted.

"I'm asked if I'd prefer a place in the FA Cup final or finish fourth in the Premier League. We want both."

Read more:

White Noise

We want to go all the way...


Published: Today

CLINT DEMPSEY insists Fulham have bigger ambitions than enjoying a day trip to Wembley.
Fulham will play Portsmouth in the semi-finals at the national stadium if they can see off Tottenham in tonight's replay.

But Dempsey, 27, believes the club have moved on this season and now boast real expectations to go the distance.

The American striker said: "It would be good to reach the FA Cup semi-final but we want to do more than just that.

"You don't want to get one step closer to the final and not go all the way. If you want to do something special in your career this is the opportunity to do it.

"Hopefully we can take advantage of the opportunities we have."

Dempsey, back from a seven-week lay-off with a knee injury, is still on a high after scoring the decisive goal in last Thursday's Europa League win over Juventus.

And he will always remember the fantastic chip which sent the Cottagers into the last eight.

Dempsey said: "It's up there. Along with scoring in the World Cup, scoring the goal that kept us up against Liverpool, the goal against Stoke and getting a brace against Chelsea.

"Those are a few of the special moments I have had."

Read more:

White Noise

Redknapp excited at Sandro signing

By Gordon Tynan

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a £9m fee for 21-year-old Brazil midfielder Sandro and expect him to join them in the summer from Internacional. Spurs said yesterday he will arrive in England once the Brazilian club's involvement in the Copa Libertadores is over.

"I got a phone call this morning from the chairman saying that he thought we were close to doing it," Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager said. "Hopefully it will get done now and it will be a good signing. He is strong. He looks a very, very good player so I am looking forward to getting him here."

Tottenham moved for Sandro under the terms of a partnership agreement they signed with Internacional in August. The player, whose full name is Sandro Ranieri Guimaraes Cordeiro, has played eight times for Brazil's Under-20 team and was captain of the side that won the 2009 South American Youth Championship. He made his debut for the selecao in a World Cup qualifier against Chile last September.

Spurs entertain Fulham in a FA Cup quarter-final replay tonight hoping David Bentley will have shaken off a virus and can feature in the squad. Roman Pavlyuchenko is doubtful after suffering a hamstring injury in the Premier League win at Stoke on Saturday but Wilson Palacios returns after being rested at the Britannia Stadium because he is one booking away from a two-match ban.

Fulham will make a late check on Brede Hangeland's chest injury after the centre-half missed Sunday's home defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.

The winner's of tonight's game will play Portsmouth and Pompey's Jamie O'Hara, who is on loan from Spurs, has angered Redknapp by declaring he hopes Fulham win so he can play in the semi-final. "It is a weird one because for the first time in my life I will be hoping Spurs lose," O'Hara said. "I want to play at Wembley."

Redknapp responded: "Jamie shouldn't say that, really. I understand where he is coming from. I think he just wants to play at Wembley. But this is his club, he is a Tottenham player and he will be back here next year. He has got to be careful what he says because this is his club and the fans love him here.

"He has done a great job for Portsmouth and I am delighted how well he has done for them. I have so much time for Jamie. He obviously wants to go to Wembley and play, so it is difficult. He had the disappointment in the League Cup final of being left out of the team when Tottenham played Chelsea. He is obviously desperate to get there this year."


WN, you are up late or early however you want to look at it.
Fulham for life!

White Noise

Quote from: Tom on March 24, 2010, 03:17:51 AM
WN, you are up late or early however you want to look at it.

Early unfortunately Tom. Too ill to sleep. Intrigued to see some of the pundits tipping us to beat Spurs though. It should be a hell of a game. Wish me luck in getting straight enough to go.  :54:

White Noise

Tottenham    v    Fulham

Live text and stats
Content will update automatically

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The FA Cup

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham v  Fulham 19:45


Tottenham 50% Fulham 50% Attempts on target
Tottenham 0 Fulham 0 Attempts off target
Tottenham 0 Fulham 0 Corners
Tottenham 0 Fulham 0 Fouls
Tottenham 0 Fulham 0
Tottenham 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.


Tottenham (from): Gomes, Alnwick, Corluka, Bassong, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Rose, Bentley, Kranjcar, Modric, Palacios, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Crouch, Gudjohnsen, Livermore, Dervite, Parrett, Fredericks, Townsend, Kane.

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Riise, Hughes, Smalling, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Okaka, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Shorey, Kelly, Hangeland, Stoor, Nevland.

The tie in context

• This is the only quarter-final tie that required a replay, in a competition that now has five Premier League survivors.

• 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.

Semi-final draw

• The winners will be facing Portsmouth, the lowest ranked club left in the competition, in the second semi-final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 11 April (Kick off: 1600 BST)

These clubs fought out 90 goalless minutes in the original tie earlier this month.

Fulham 0-0 Tottenham (FA Cup Quarter-final, 6 Mar)

• It was the second no score draw at Craven Cottage between these clubs this season.

Fulham 0-0 Tottenham (Prem Lge, 26 Dec)

• Between the two goalless games, Spurs prevailed in the league fixture at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham 2-0 Fulham (Prem Lge, 26 Jan)

• Fulham have not won in six league visits to the Lane. They have drawn two and lost four since a 3-0 triumph on 30 August 2003, when Barry Hayles scored twice and Luis Boa Morte got the other.

FA Cup records and best performances

• Tottenham hold a 100% record over the Cottagers in FA Cup ties, having progressed on all four previous occasions they have been drawn together; three at the first time of asking.

The clubs

Current form

• Undefeated in seven in all competitions.

• Won five and drawn two league and cup games since a 1-0 loss to Wolves; their only defeat in 13.

• Won their last three at home, and not lost in 10 at White Hart Lane.

FA Cup form

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

• This is their first appearance in the quarter-finals in three years.

• The most recent of their 17 semi-final appearances was in 2001, when Arsenal ended their interest.

The Manager

• Harry Redknapp famously led Portsmouth to FA Cup victory in the season before last.

• His only other cup triumph as a manager was with West Ham, when they lifted the Intertoto Cup in 1999.

The Players

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


Current form

• Lost three of the last four (all competitions).

• Completed six league and cup matches on the road without a win (D3, L3).

• Not won away from the Cottage since knocking out Accrington from the FA Cup in the fourth round on 23 January.

FA Cup form

• 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.

• The Cottagers are appearing in the quarter-finals for the second year in a row, having been 4-0 victims to Manchester United at this stage last season.

The Manager

• Roy Hodgson won the Svenska Cup twice as manager of Swedish club Malmo (1986 and 1989), and the Danish Super Cup when at the helm of FC Copenhagen in 2001.

The Players

• 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.

Match officials
Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)

Assistant referees: Stephen Child and Simon Beck

Fourth official: Lee Probert

White Noise

Club Focus - Fulham - Back to earth, but does the league really matter now?

By Matt Domm

It is the first season in Fulham's Premier League history that the club's league campaign has taken a back seat. In fact, the 38-game battle for position is not even second-fiddle any more. Sunday's reality-check against Manchester City means that the Whites are almost certainly going to finish outside the European qualification spots come May and, because of this, the fans are now looking towards the two remaining knockout competitions in order for their team to once again be facing off against the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus.

The first option is to win the Europa League - and having knocked out two of the favourites already, this is certainly a possibility. Friday's draw pitted Fulham against current 10th-placed, German side Wolfsburg, who were beaten 5-1 by bottom club Hertha Berlin at the weekend so, on current form, they are only the fourth-strongest team the Whites have had to face so far. Should the west Londoners astonishingly win the whole tournament, then they should - pending the FA requesting their admission - be allowed to defend the title in 2010/11. Of course there is no easy game at this stage of any competition, but the Cottagers are arguably in the easier of the two sides of the draw. This means, should all go well, the really tricky sides, Liverpool, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Benfica, await in the final in Hamburg. Few could deny that Fulham would be deserving winners should they defeat any of the above. Of course, the next round is not until April, the second possible route back into Europe continues tomorrow night at White Hart Lane.

Just 90 minutes stands in the way of Fulham's first Wembley appearance in 35 years, but getting a result at Tottenham is never an easy task, but the lure of automatically qualifying for a competition that has brought so much excitement will make things very tight. Roy Hodgson's early substitutions of both Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera, and his resting of Brede Hangeland suggest that even the manager had his eyes on the Spurs fixture rather than City. Of course, recent fixtures suggest even a full-strength, fit and rested Whites XI will have to be at their very best to get anything at all out of the game, let alone a passage into the FA Cup semi-finals. In three matches against Harry Redknapp's men so far this season, Fulham have yet to score, and were soundly beaten in the league at White Hart Lane. On the plus side, however, Mark Schwarzer has kept two clean sheets - both at Craven Cottage - so they know how to defend against Peter Crouch et al, and Jermain Defoe, comfortably Spurs' top scorer, is out injured. While Defoe's injury does not mean Tottenham are short of attacking threat, his absence will be a huge boost to Hangeland - should he be fit - and Aaron Hughes who have been imperious of late - defending against Wayne Rooney aside, of course. The pair dealt with Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko superbly in the first game, and shutting out Spurs' otherwise sluggish strikers should be the base from which to build.

The defence without Hangeland was cut open too often against City on Sunday, and an exhausted Fulham side were not up to the task of overturning another, albeit smaller, deficit. The players can be forgiven for thinking the league is turning into something of a distraction since the remarkable European campaign kicked into gear, but until the magic 40-point mark has been reached, there is still work to do domestically. However, with several very winnable home games yet to come in the league, the mid-table position is likely to be consolidated sooner rather than later. For a few weeks still at least, the focus remains on cup competition, as - if this writer can discount any away league fixtures, including Hull on March 27 - a likely three league points doesn't come around now until Stoke visit on April 14.

Before that day, Fulham's fate in reaching both the FA Cup and Europa League semi-finals will have been decided. If all goes to plan, the league games could very well do nothing but add to this congested cup fixture list

White Noise

Tottenham v FULHAM: Brede Hangeland faces late fitness test ahead of FA Cup quarter-final replay

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 10:33 AM on 23rd March 2010

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will make a late check on Brede Hangeland's chest injury ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.   

Hangeland missed the defeat to Manchester City at the weekend but Hodgson rested Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera for much of the second half to keep them fresh for the Spurs clash.   

Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil remain in the treatment room, while David Elm has been ill.   

Chest problem: Brede Hangeland missed last Saturday's game at Craven Cottage

Provisional squad: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Riise, Hughes, Smalling, Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Gera, Okaka, Davies, Zamora, Dempsey, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Shorey, Kelly, Hangeland, Stoor, Nevland. 

Read more:

White Noise

9 Fulham - Danny Hoesen (18)The Dutch striker was a regular on the scoresheet for Gary Brazil's Under 18 side last season and impressed enough to earn his first professional contract

Read more:

White Noise,19528,11661_6049308,00.html

Fulham owner slams Fifa

Al Fayed blasts Blatter over technology snub

By Chris Burton   

Last updated: 23rd March 2010   

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed has launched a scathing attack on Fifa for ruling out technology in football.

He believes the sport is ready to embrace such forward-thinking and feels it is wrong of the game's global governing body to have deserted the concept.

Talk of video replays and goal-line technology has been doing the rounds for years, without any success, and Al Fayed is stunned that such initiatives have not been implemented.

"I have been screaming for this for a long time. They don't understand," the businessman told the Daily Express.

"The people in charge are not suffering. They are not paying anything. They are not feeling anything.

"Who put them there in charge of our football? Who elected them there? I have no idea. They rely on African votes, some Katmandu votes, you know, to be elected. But for me, if I was in charge I would sack all those people."

Al Fayed has vowed to prove Fifa president Sepp Blatter wrong by staging a full-scale game at Craven Cottage showcasing the benefits of the available technology.

"I could put on a game at Fulham to say this technology works," he said.

"It is possible. Yes. To show that it works. I think I will do that. Definitely. As proof.

"Then these idiots who always say no, they can see for themselves and then they can enforce it."

White Noise

Now let's try and win it

Tue Mar 23 04:14PM

Fulham's 4-1 win over Juventus was one of the most amazing nights of football that I have ever witnessed - as a spectator.

The spirit and character that the lads showed to come back - in that style - was magnificent and a real credit to them.

Naturally, it would have been even sweeter if I was involved but I now have the opportunity in what should be another fantastic tie against Wolfsburg.

Once again, the fans played their part, and it was the best atmosphere I have witnessed at the Cottage in some time. The vocality of the fans was a major factor in us raising our game to defeat a very talented Juventus side. It will certainly live long in the memory as one of Fulham's greatest victories.

From a personal perspective, it was a setback to be suspended for the two legs but the victory highlights the quality we have within the squad. Before the game, I had a number of individual chats with the lads involved just to reiterate the importance of just focusing on playing our football amidst the pressure.

Looking forward, Wolfsburg will be another good test for us, but having knocked out a very good Shakhtar Donetsk side and a team of Juventus' calibre, confidence is riding high.

We are well aware of the attacking threat that Wolfsburg possess, and the fact that we may have to resist early pressure, but we will have a game plan ready to focus on our strengths.

At this stage of the competition, it is important to take one game at a time. We can't be focusing on the semi-finals and beyond. Within the squad, we have the genuine belief that we can win it, but at the same time we appreciate the importance of focusing on each opponent as they come.

Our attention will solely be geared towards how we can out-perform Wolfsburg. On the back of the Juventus victory, the self-belief within the squad will be an integral factor in continuing our excellent campaign in the Europa League to date.

The FA Cup and Europa League are both priority competitions, but, as I have previously mentioned, the heritage and history that lies behind the FA Cup makes it a very special competition to me.

Our run in the Europa League has been fantastic and we certainly value the impact winning the competition would have on our status as a club.

White Noise

Fulham ready to snap up Wigan star

Published 22:45 23/03/10

By Alan Nixon

Fulham are red-hot favourites to snap up Wigan star Paul Scharner when he quits at the end of his contract.

Roy Hodgson's European heroes plan to beat Stoke in the chase for the versatile Scharner.

The Austrian is a on a big contract at the DW Stadium and seems sure to leave after a long spell at the club - with boss Roberto Martinez no longer guaranteeing him a place in the side.

White Noise

Redknapp issues FA Cup warning to Hodgson

Published 22:45 23/03/10

By Neil McLeman

Harry Redknapp has warned Roy Hodgson he still has a long way to go to this season despite Fulham playing their 50th game tonight.

The Cottagers' campaign began with Europa League qualifying in Lithuania back in July.

Fulham, who are through to the last eight of that competition after beating Juventus, now face Spurs in a replay for the right to play Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Redknapp admitted he voted for Hodgson as the Manager of the Year last season after he took the relegation candidates to seventh in the Premier League.

But the Tottenham boss insisted no prizes are handed out at the end of March.

"Of course he has got a chance to win Manager of the Year this season," Redknapp said. "He has done a terrific job. Their victory over Juventus was one of the best European performances of all time.

"But it depends what they end up with. It is not over yet. If Roy can end up winning the Europa Cup or the FA Cup then he has a great chance. But there is still a long way to go.

"If Arsene Wenger wins the championship this year he would take some beating. But it depends who wins what and who finishes up where. He is obviously hoping to win one or two of the Cups. That would be the real achievement."

Winning the FA Cup and qualifying for the Champions League with a team he inherited at the bottom of the Premier League in October 2008 would also put racing fan Redknapp strongly in the running.

His former West Ham star Joe Cole could be available on a Bosman transfer this season after failing to agree a new deal with Chelsea. But the Spurs boss said he had enough midfield playmakers following the £2.5m signing of Niko Kranjcar.

"Joe is a terrific player but I have a lot of terrific players here," said Redknapp, who will recall Wilson Palacios tonight.

"When you look at Luka Modric, Niko, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, I am not short really. When you talk about signings of the year, Niko has to be right up there. What a fantastic signing he has been for us. To bring him here, the way that he has played, he has been top class."

But a player Tottenham allowed to leave offers Fulham's biggest threat tonight.

"Bobby Zamora has been different class this season," said Redknapp of the 16-goal striker.

"Probably West Ham regret letting him go. Tottenham probably regret letting him go. He is really looking the part. He shows well, holds the ball well and is full of confidence. He is looking a real top player."

Fulham will give a late fitness test to Brede Hangeland after the Norwegian missed the defeat to Manchester Cith with a chest injury.

And striker Clint Dempsey insisted Fulham are not yet satisfied with their season.

"It would be good to reach the FA Cup semi-final but we want to do more than just that," said the American. "You don't want to get one step closer to the final and not go all the way.

"If you want to do something special in your career this is the opportunity to do that.Hopefully we can take advantage of the opportunities that we have."

White Noise

Man City in battle with Fulham to sign young defender

Published 13:41 23/03/10

By MirrorFootball

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and Fulham are battling to sign Southend United's giant young defender Anthony Furlong.

The teenager, who has shot through the ranks at the Shrimpers, has been for talks with Fulham and is due to turn out for City's youth team this week.

White Noise

Premier League nets £1.4bn TV rights bonanza

Global broadcasting deals double in value after bidding war, shattering expectations / Clubs in line for extra £13m each per year

By Nick Harris

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Premier League's sale of its overseas broadcasting rights for 2010-13 will raise around £1.4bn, more than double the previous level of £625m, The Independent can reveal.

With just two deals left to be concluded – in Albania and Russia – the League is assured of raising each club's average annual income from overseas rights alone from £10m now to about £23m per season from this summer.

That leap of £13m per club per year will not necessarily be split evenly. Some of the new cash will bankroll increased parachute payments, up from £11.2m last year to £16m from this summer. Parachute money will probably also be extended beyond the current two years. The League is finalising details on that, as well as how much extra money it might give the Football League in "solidarity payments". It currently gives the 72 Football League clubs £21.6m per year combined for a variety of academy, community and club projects.

The overseas rights bonanza underlines the global appeal of England's top football division, and has been fuelled by intense bidding wars in key areas, mainly between pay-TV rivals in Asia.

The Abu Dhabi royal family, from which Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour hails, has also played its part. The ruling elite's Abu Dhabi Media Company has won the rights for Premier League matches across the Middle East and North Africa from the incumbent holder, Showtime Arabia.

Local sources say Showtime paid around $120m (£80m) last time and that ADMC entered the auction for 2010-13 at $150m, but ended up paying more than $300m (£200m-plus). If that is a stunning endorsement of growth in one region, then the auctions in Singapore and Hong Kong were downright jaw-dropping.

In Singapore, an island with a population of 4.8 million people, the rights are held by the pay-TV operator StarHub, which paid an estimated £67m for 2007-10. Its fiercest commercial rival, SingTel, believes that Premier League content equals lucrative subscriptions so poured huge resources into the effort to take the rights from StarHub. It succeeded. Sources in Asia say SingTel paid £200m for 2010-13.

In Hong Kong (population 7 million), the Now TV station currently has the rights (having paid about £115m last time) but has lost them to i-Cable, which is understood to have paid close to £150m.

The Premier League will retain the same partners for 2010-13 in some regions: Fox and Setanta will continue to be the main carriers of the Premier League across North America and the Caribbean, as will Fox Latin in South America, and ESPN Star across 18 major Asia countries, including India.

Canal+ retains rights in France and Poland (in a deal worth about £60m), but a shake-up in Scandinavia has seen Canal+ lose the rights there to an intermediary sub-licensee, Medge Consulting. Medge has paid £111m for rights in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Medge has sold or will sell the rights on to individual broadcasters at a healthy mark-up. An incidental quirk in the Scandinavian sale is the involvement on a consultancy basis in the sell-on of rights of Rune Hauge, the agent at the centre of the Arsenal "bung" scandal of the early 1990s. Almost 20 years on, Hauge is still making money from English football, strictly legally this time.

The League simply does not have the manpower to do individual deals itself in all 211 countries where its games are shown, so sub-licensing and the sales of packets of regional rights is common. The League has 98 broadcast partners, as well as its own new TV station, Premier League TV, which will provide "viewer ready" action, commentary and analysis for nations wanting to buy rights "off the shelf".

In the future, the League hopes PLTV can attract non-traditional buyers to the market, for example entrepreneurs who want to enter the football market but don't have broadcasting capabilities themselves.

The Premier League's live domestic rights for 2010-13 raised £1.782bn when sold last summer. With such enormous growth in international sales, and room for expansion, foreign rights should overtake home sales in the future.

The League has been careful to strike the right balance in its latest sale between maximising income while making matches available to audiences that are as large as possible. Pay-TV stations pay more because they can earn more by charging viewers, but free-to-air stations always deliver much higher ratings.

In China, the pay-TV firm WinTV will keep rights for 2010-13, having paid around $50m, the same as it did for 2007-10. Exchange rate movements mean that $50m was worth £25.6m in 2007, but £33.3m now.

As The Independent first reported two years ago, the last WinTV deal caused a furore among the Premier League's top clubs because WinTV alienated potential viewers with crass marketing and high prices, and got so few subscribers that viewing figures were negligible. the dark side, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool were unhappy at the lack of exposure in what is seen as a key market for their international brand growth.


Quote from: White Noise on March 24, 2010, 03:21:11 AM
Quote from: Tom on March 24, 2010, 03:17:51 AM
WN, you are up late or early however you want to look at it.

Early unfortunately Tom. Too ill to sleep. Intrigued to see some of the pundits tipping us to beat Spurs though. It should be a hell of a game. Wish me luck in getting straight enough to go.  :54:
Sorry to here that. I hope you feel better my friend! You will bring us luck and we will win the game, no worries WN! Get better bud!!!
Fulham for life!

White Noise

Harry's watching brief

24 March 2010

Harry Redknapp admits to still being in amazement at witnessing what he describes as 'one of the great European' performances from tonight's opponents Fulham last week.

The manager was at Craven Cottage to watch Roy Hodgson's side come back from a 4-1 aggregate deficit to defeat Italian giants Juventus in the Europa League.

It was a result Harry admits he and his players could only sit back and admire as they prepare to face the Cottagers for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup tonight.

So he knows we will have to be on top of our game in front of what is expected to be a packed house at the Lane to prevent Fulham repeating last Thursday's heroics.

Harry said: "We have a mighty tough game on our hands. I was fortunate enough to be there last week to watch them beat Juventus.

"It was one of the great European performances of all time. It was a fantastic night, a great atmosphere and a great performance from Fulham, so this will be a really tough match.

"I have so much respect for Fulham, and my players all saw the game last week and were talking about it the next day. So this is one of the toughest games we could pick as they are a really good side."

And Harry puts Fulham's marked improvement over the last two years down to his much-respected opposite number, Hodgson.

"He has done a great job there for the last couple of years. He is a terrific guy who knows the game inside out and he has been a terrific signing for Fulham. He has taken them upwards and built a very good team there.

"It is good that Roy came back into the game after being out in the cold for so long since his days at Blackburn. It shows what he can do. It is about giving people opportunities."