Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)  (Read 3746 times)

Offline whitejc

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Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« on: March 31, 2010, 07:23:47 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/15/germany/2010/03/30/1856274/wolfsburg-striker-edin-dzeko-doubtful-for-fulham-europa
Wolfsburg Striker Edin Dzeko Doubtful For Fulham Europa League Clash
The Bosnian attacker has picked up a knee injury...
By Stefan Coerts
Mar 30, 2010 5:49:00 PM

Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg have received some disappointing news on the injury front in the build-up to Thursday's Europa League quarter-final against Premier League side Fulham.

Head coach Lorenz-Guenther Koestner may have to make do without the services of star attacker Edin Dzeko when the Wolfe lock horns with their English opponents.

According to a report by Bild, the Bosnian international picked up a knee injury during Monday's training session and was unable to participate in squad training on Tuesday due to the knock.

The 24-year-old will undergo intensive treatment in the upcoming days, but it remains to be seen whether Dzeko will be match fit in time to enter the pitch on Thursday.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2010, 07:25:47 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1262388/Plymouth-0-Barnsley-0-Stockdale-rescue-Pilgrims-weather-storm.html
Plymouth 0 Barnsley 0: Stockdale to rescue as Pilgrims weather the storm

Plymouth and Barnsley played out an entertaining goalless draw in the long-delayed Coca-Cola Championship clash at Home Park. 
Torrential rain caused the original November fixture to be abandoned in controversial circumstances with Barnsley 4-1 ahead, and FA Cup commitments followed by another waterlogged pitch necessitated further rescheduling. 


Argyle, who are five points shy of safety with as many games remaining, enjoyed long periods of dominance in an absorbing encounter, but they were indebted to goalkeeper David Stockdale who pulled off a string of fine saves as Barnsley fashioned the clearer openings.   
The pace of Yannick Bolasie and Bradley Wright-Phillips had Plymouth on top in the opening exchanges but the visitors almost opened the scoring in the 11th minute.   
Adam Hammill's corner evaded Stockdale and on-loan Stoke defender Ryan Shotton was unlucky to see a spectacular overhead kick cannon back off the crossbar.   
The home side responded through Jamie Mackie, who slipped past challenges from Hugo Colace and Stephen Foster before dragging wide, and they tested the woodwork themselves after 18 minutes.   
Mackie got in behind the Barnsley defence and squared to Bolasie whose shot bounced to safety off the angle of post and bar. 
In the 24th minute, Barnsley's Emil Hallfredsson cut in menacingly from the right flank and his goal-bound shot was deflected into Daniel Bogdanovic's path, forcing Stockdale to spring from his line and save from point-blank range.   
Hammill then skilfully engineered room to deliver a teasing cross, which Colace glanced narrowly wide after timing his late run into the area perfectly.   
After 35 minutes Plymouth's Reda Johnson headed Alan Judge's free kick against the crossbar after Shotton brought down Onismor Bhasera.
A defensive lapse from Bondz N'Gala let in Macken two minutes before the interval and Stockdale had to produce an impressive stop.   
Argyle started brightly after the interval with Bolasie's trickery causing Shotton particular problems. 
In the 50th minute Tykes keeper Luke Steele pulled off a superb reaction save from Mackie after good link-up play with Wright-Phillips.   
Barnsley sprung to life midway through the half and substitute Iain Hume found himself one on one with Stockdale thanks to Macken's measured pass, but Stockdale was equal to the task once more. 
In the 68th minute a wonderful pass from Argyle sub Joe Mason split the Tykes defence and Mackie cut inside Shotton to drill in a low shot which Steele grasped at the second attempt. 
Stockdale came out on top in another one-on-one with Hume after the Canadian caught Karl Duguid napping to spring the offside trap with 12 minutes remaining.   
The on-loan Fulham stopper then saved Colace's 30-yard effort in a more unconventional fashion, palming the Argentinian's shot against the crossbar before gratefully clutching the rebound. 
In stoppage time, N'Gala almost won it for Argyle, forcing Steele to tip his snap-shot over at full stretch.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1262388/Plymouth-0-Barnsley-0-Stockdale-rescue-Pilgrims-weather-storm.html#ixzz0jjV6F1hQ

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2010, 07:27:26 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/8595814.stm
Loan striker Diomansy Kamara keen to extend Celtic stay

Forward Diomansy Kamara wants to extend his stay at Celtic beyond the summer, despite the recent departure of Tony Mowbray as manager.

Kamara joined from Fulham on a six-month loan deal in January, reuniting with his former West Brom boss Mowbray.

Mowbray was sacked last week and a former agent of Kamara claimed the manager's departure would extinguish the player's desire to stay in Glasgow.

"Leaving Celtic is not in my plan," Kamara told the Celtic website.

"I read some wrong things in the newspaper when someone called Fabrizio Ferrari was talking in my name. But he was not talking for me at all. This is a massive club that I have a lot of respect for.

"I started well here and scored some goals. I am still playing with good players in a good team. I have been so impressed with the club and the supporters and I am still enjoying my time here. My only problem has been this (hamstring) injury.

"I hope to stay at Celtic as I have been so impressed by this club and I think we can do some good things in the future and I would like to be part of it."

 I am hoping to come back to training next week for the cup semi-final

Diomansy Kamara
Kamara was one of a raft of Celtic captures during a busy January transfer window but Mowbray's side lost ground in the race for the Scottish Premier League in the months that followed and Wednesday's 4-0 loss to St Mirren triggered the manager's exit.

"I am sad that Tony Mowbray left as I have a lot of respect for him, but this is football," Kamara said.

The Senegal striker netted twice in his opening three Celtic appearances and the 29-year-old is keen to get back in action in time to face Ross County in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

"I am hoping to come back to training next week for the cup semi-final as this is an important game, so I have this date focused in my mind so I can get fit in time for it," he added.

"This is a big club with big expectations but I love to play with big expectations on my shoulders and when you see 50-60,000 people at home games and the great away support, it's unbelievable.

"Hopefully we can win the cup as well for the supporters."


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2010, 07:28:34 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12874_6064250,00.html
Kamara wants Celtic stay
Senegal striker denies he is looking to leave

Diomansy Kamara insists he wants to make his switch to Celtic a permanent one.

The Fulham striker joined the Bhoys in January on loan until the end of the season.

It had been suggested that, following Tony Mowbray's sacking, Kamara would want to return to England.

But he insists that he would happily stay on at the club under interim boss Neil Lennon.

"Leaving Celtic is not in my plan. This is a massive club that I have a lot of respect for," he told the club's official website.

Future
"I started well here and scored some goals. I am still playing with good players in a good team.

"I have been so impressed with the club and the supporters and I am still enjoying my time here. My only problem has been this injury.

"I am sad that Tony Mowbray left as I have a lot of respect for him, but this is football.

"I hope to stay at Celtic as I have been so impressed by this club and I think we can do some good things in the future and I would like to be part of it."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2010, 07:29:38 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham%E2%80%99s-hughes-confident-progressing-europa-league-semi-final-736491
Fulham’s Hughes confident of progressing to Europa League semi-final
Aaron Hughes believes that Fulham can get the better of Wolfsburg over two legs and progress into the semi-finals of the Europa League.

The two sides will lock horns in the first meeting of the double-header at Craven Cottage on Thursday night.
Roy Hodgson's charges sensationally overturned a 3-1 defeat by Juventus in Turin to triumph 4-1, but since then the Cottagers have crashed to three consecutive domestic defeats after the shock victory.

"Obviously we were disappointed to have lost the game against Hull," Hughes told the club's official website.

"But what is done is done; we have to move on, as we have done this season. You have to move on quickly whether you win or lose, because there is always another game around the corner.

"We know a fair bit about the opposition, and started our preparation this week," said Hughes.

"We’ve been having a look at them, and a few things that we could possibly do. By Thursday we’ll know pretty much all there is to know about them, and we’ll address that accordingly.

"You get to this stage and you do start to think that anything can happen. Obviously it gets tougher the further you go, but we haven’t got this far through luck – we’re here on merit. We deserve our place in the quarter-final and we’ve made a lot of progress in this competition. It will be tough, but there is no reason why we can’t go further."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 07:31:38 AM »
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/sloth/
Sloth
Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude @ 7:30 pm

It is hard being CCN these days.  Our bread and butter over the last three or four years has been hoovered up elsewhere, there’s no point in me re-creating any wheels, so I am left with whatever thoughts happen to force themselves into my head.   It is extraordinarily hard to have original thoughts (you would find more of them if this were not the case), and to an extent whatever ideas I might have are largely driven by whatever material is presented:  if I see an interesting goal or move or tactical somethingorother I can talk about it; if I don’t, I can’t.    What can you do?

None of which is helped by an overwhelming feeling of jadedness.  I can well understand why the players might have switched off;  I haven’t got to do anything but sit there for 90 minutes and I’m tired of this season.    I am a bit different to some people in that I love the cut and thrust of the league.   I remember being nine years old, and Great Barford Cubs formed their first football team.   We weren’t especially excited about playing as such – we did that all the time anyway – but were thrilled about being in a league.     That the local papers did not publish the Bedfordshire Under 9 Cub Scout league table was a disappointing discovery, but still.

In the adult world of professional football I love league tables.    I work with a Millwall fan, and he’s having a great time seeing the team scorch through the division like men possessed; I have watched Norwich City’s season flip from atrocious to dominant;  I have seen another friend’’s team, Southampton, flying up the League 1 table (and having a brilliant time at Wembley… thrashing Carlisle in the Johnstone’s Paints trophy final).

None of those things is as good as beating Juventus in the Europa League.   And yet somehow all the cup pyrotechnics have lessened the thrill of the league campaign.

I don’t know.   Let’s blame it on the clocks going back.     But last year I would have found something to get excited about on Sunday.   I would have been interested to learn how Wigan can be the most inconsistent team in the division:  can they defend?  Is Victor Moses all that?   How is Hugo Rodellega getting on?   How’s Titus Bramble, long a favourite of mine, playing now Steve Bruce is gone?

Ah, there is much to enjoy, isn’t there?  And we play Wolfsberg on Thursday, as big a game as I’ll see at Craven Cottage I expect.   And before then it’s Arsenal v Barcelona.   Yeah, things are alright.

Here is a giant sloth I photographed in the Natural History Museum before the Man City game.    How prophetic.


Offline Tom

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2010, 07:32:30 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/8595814.stm
Loan striker Diomansy Kamara keen to extend Celtic stay

Forward Diomansy Kamara wants to extend his stay at Celtic beyond the summer, despite the recent departure of Tony Mowbray as manager.

Kamara joined from Fulham on a six-month loan deal in January, reuniting with his former West Brom boss Mowbray.

Mowbray was sacked last week and a former agent of Kamara claimed the manager's departure would extinguish the player's desire to stay in Glasgow.

"Leaving Celtic is not in my plan," Kamara told the Celtic website.

"I read some wrong things in the newspaper when someone called Fabrizio Ferrari was talking in my name. But he was not talking for me at all. This is a massive club that I have a lot of respect for.

"I started well here and scored some goals. I am still playing with good players in a good team. I have been so impressed with the club and the supporters and I am still enjoying my time here. My only problem has been this (hamstring) injury.

"I hope to stay at Celtic as I have been so impressed by this club and I think we can do some good things in the future and I would like to be part of it."

 I am hoping to come back to training next week for the cup semi-final

Diomansy Kamara
Kamara was one of a raft of Celtic captures during a busy January transfer window but Mowbray's side lost ground in the race for the Scottish Premier League in the months that followed and Wednesday's 4-0 loss to St Mirren triggered the manager's exit.

"I am sad that Tony Mowbray left as I have a lot of respect for him, but this is football," Kamara said.

The Senegal striker netted twice in his opening three Celtic appearances and the 29-year-old is keen to get back in action in time to face Ross County in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

"I am hoping to come back to training next week for the cup semi-final as this is an important game, so I have this date focused in my mind so I can get fit in time for it," he added.

"This is a big club with big expectations but I love to play with big expectations on my shoulders and when you see 50-60,000 people at home games and the great away support, it's unbelievable.

"Hopefully we can win the cup as well for the supporters."

Thank God and let's hope it's true!

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2010, 07:35:00 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6664
Covering Clint Dempsey
by Dan on March 30, 2010

Just spotted a couple of Fulham-related pieces in preparation for Thursday’s Europa League quarter final.

The E:60 team are focusing, perhaps understandably, on Clint Dempsey. Here’s a piece introducing the Texan, first impressions of Motspur Park and some photos.

http://e60productions.blogspot.com/2010/03/clint-dempsey-intro.html
http://e60productions.blogspot.com/2010/03/clint-dempsey-shoot-march-29.html



Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2010, 07:36:06 AM »
http://e60productions.blogspot.com/2010/03/clint-dempsey-intro.html
Clint Dempsey Intro
Gutsy 27-year-old midfielder Clint Dempsey is one of Team USA’s best players.  Growing up in the humble Texas town of Nacogdoches, Dempsey began his soccer odyssey traveling 6 hours round trip to play for a club team in Dallas.

But due to low family funds and the need to spread what little wealth they had, Clint’s parents put some resources into older sister Jennifer’s burgeoning tennis career.  But less than a year later, Jennifer died of a brain aneurysm.  Clint, a skilled freestyle hip hop/rap singer (stage name Deuce), was approached to make a video for Nike during the 2006 World Cup.  The video, called Don't Tread, became one of Nike’s biggest promo campaigns during the ’06 Cup.  He asked that local Texan musicians be used and that they film in his home town.  At the end of the video, Dempsey places a flower on his sister’s gravestone.  With his sister as one of his guiding inspirations, Dempsey continued his soccer journey and flourished.

Dempsey would star for the Furman University Paladins before garnering MLS Rookie of the Year honors with the NE Revolution.  Dempsey now plays for Fulham in the English Premier League and has become a vital cog for the national team.  Regarding his tough guy approach to the game – he once played for several weeks with a broken jaw and recently scored a crucial goal for Fulham against Italian giant Juventus in his first game back following a knee injury.

E:60 is on its way to London to interview & shoot Clint, some teammates, and possibly his parents - who are visiting while we are there...

Submitted by Dave Salerno


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2010, 07:38:22 AM »
http://in.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idINIndia-47340320100331
PREVIEW - Fulham revel in Europa League limelight
LONDON (Reuters) - Fulham are billing it as the biggest night in the club's history but for Liverpool it is painful reminder that they are now operating amongst the also-rans -- welcome to the Europa League quarter-finals.

Fulham take on German champions VfL Wolfsburg on Thursday in the home first leg still trying to come to terms with their astonishing 4-1 second leg victory over Juventus in the last round.

The journey that began against Vetra Vilnius last July and that has already involved 14 matches and a victory over holders Shakhtar Donetsk has been a heady one for Fulham fans and players unused to such adventure.

"They've done very well to get where they are, we've done very well to get where we are so it's a meeting of fairly similar clubs and I'm looking forward to it," said Fulham coach Roy Hodgson, who has turned the club round completely after taking over when relegation seemed likely two years ago.

Defender Aaron Hughes said that everyone around the club was buzzing. "You get to this stage and you do start to think that anything can happen," he said. "Obviously it gets tougher the further you go but we haven't got this far through luck - we're here on merit."

Like Fulham, Wolfsburg are enjoying their best run in a UEFA competition, though they entered this one through the side door after their Champions League group-stage exit.

That was Liverpool's route too and for fans who watched them win the Champions League in 2005 and reach the final in 2007, the Europa League is something of a comedown.

With their chances of securing Champions League football via the Premier League far from guaranteed as they face an uphill battle for fourth place, fans are reluctantly turning to the secondary competition, which they won in 2001, to give them something to cheer about

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2010, 07:40:13 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1262417/Al-Fayed-closes-door-Gulf-advances-Harrods.html
Al Fayed closes the door on Gulf advances for Harrods
Harrods' owner Mohamed Al Fayed brought the shutters down on potential suitors after rebuffing the advances of a wealthy Gulf investor, thought to be Qatar Holdings.
The iconic Knightsbridge retailer insisted it is 'not for sale', but would not confirm or deny that any bid talks had taken place.
Harrods did admit it had written to staff to reassure them that the business would not be sold in the face of ' gossip' about a potential deal.

It follows reports that Al Fayed, who has owned the London luxury goods store since buying it for £615m in 1985, had received an unsolicited approach from a major Gulfbased investor.
It is thought Qatar Holdings, which invests on behalf of the state's royal family, has been working with investment bank Credit Suisse on the move.
Discussions are said to have taken place between Qatar and the Egyptian tycoon, who also owns Fulham Football Club, until just a few days ago, and it was suggested the business could fetch around £2bn.
A Harrods spokesman said: 'We do not comment on rumours or speculation. That is neither to confirm nor deny that any discussions have taken place to sell the store.
'However, for some time we have been aware of gossip circulating over a possible sale, and we took the decision to reassure staff this morning that this was not the case via a store-wide announcement.
'We are happy to confirm that Harrods is not for sale and is not being sold.'
Harrods was founded in 1834 as a wholesale grocery shop in the less than salubrious Stepney area of East London by Charles Henry Harrod, who had a special interest in tea.
He moved, in 1849, to a small shop on the site of the current store to escape the crime and vice of the East End, and to capitalise on trade from the Great Exhibition of 1851 in nearby Hyde Park.
The current store stands on a 4.5 acre site on Brompton Road in prestigious Knightsbridge, and has more than 1m square feet of selling space, spanning more than 330 departments.
Harrods is not the only Western trophy asset to interest the Qatari royals. The state investment arm also owns 26pc of Sainsburys, 15pc of the London Stock Exchange, 7pc of Barclays, and 24pc of Canary Wharf developer Songbird Estates.
A spokesman for Qatar Holdings declined to comment.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1262417/Al-Fayed-closes-door-Gulf-advances-Harrods.html#ixzz0jjYjGjpZ

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2010, 07:41:57 AM »
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/down-memory-lane-brilliant-best-and-heroic-haynes-lit-up-the-cottage-14748606.html?r=RSS

Down Memory Lane: Brilliant Best and heroic Haynes lit up the Cottage
By Malcolm Brodie

Nothing is more intriguing in sport than when David slays Goliath and the underdog emerges triumphant.


Fulham’s recent Europa League 4-1 (aggregate 5-4) win over Italian giants Juventus in the Europa League was the perfect example.

Or, as one ecstatic London journalist put it: “Fulham’s virgin soldiers brought the Old Lady of Turin to her knees and tore a remarkable reputation to shreds with the most astonishing of comebacks after conceding a goal and facing a seemingly impossible uphill battle.”

Tomorrow night Fulham play German side Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals.

Fulham, founded as St Andrews Church Sunday School FC in 1879, has a special place in the heart of football lovers, nestling as it does almost on the doorstep of Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham, Crystal Palace and QPR.

Craven Cottage, the club’s 24,500-capacity stadium on the bank of the Thames, may have been refurbished in recent years yet it still exudes that friendly, family atmosphere. Its contribution to English football has been immense, the crop of international players remarkable.

Northern Ireland has always had a close affinity with the club, particularly during the Frank Osborne immediate post-Second World War era.

When Belfast Celtic withdew from Irish League football in 1949 they agreed terms with the London club for Johnny Campbell and Robin Lawler, two of the heroes of the 2-0 defeat of Scotland in New York.

Jimmy Jones, broken leg victim of that infamous 1948 Boxing Day match with Linfield at Windsor Park, also joined Fulham but difficulties with the English football authorities over his registration forced him to return home.

And after Lawrie Sanchez quit his Northern Ireland post to join Fulham, he soon had David Healy, Aaron Hughes, Chris Baird and Steve Davis on his staff. Only Hughes and Baird remain since Roy Hodgson took over the managership with outstanding success, illustrated by that win over Juventus episode.

We should not forget of course that the great George Best (pictured) turned out for Fulham between 1976 and 1978 when he wasn’t playing in America. Alongside his big pal Rodney Marsh, they had plenty of fun at the Cottage, as did the supporters watching them.

Unquestionably the man regarded as Fulham’s greatest player however was inside forward Johnny Haynes, known to the fans as The Maestro, and the first in English football to be paid £100 per week on the abolition of the £20 maximum wage in 1961.

He made a record 658 appearances, scoring 158 goals between 1952-70, collected 56 England caps, captaining the side 22 times, and also skippered the English League star-studded XI defeated 5-2 by the Irish League at Windsor Park in April, 1956 — a performance masterminded by skipper Tommy Dickson, the Duke of Windsor, Wilbur Cush, Alex Russell and George Eastham Jnr, one of the finest talents ever seen in local domestic football.

Haynes, born in Kentish Town, died aged 71, in 2005 after suffering a brain haemorrhage when driving his car on the Dalry Road, Edinburgh where he had opened a business after returning from South Africa; his third wife Avril was seriously injured in the crash but recovered.

He was the most accomplished passer I’ve seen. Almost daily he would set a towel in the middle of the pitch and practice pinging passes on to it — rarely did he miss.

He remained throughout his professional career at Fulham despite many approaches by other clubs including AC Milan. Today a statue has been erected and a stand named in his memory, by Fulham supporters who over the years fought so hard against economic adversity to keep alive their near-bankrupt club until along came Harrods owner Al Fayed with his millions. Their love of Fulham and pride in Haynes is bred in the bone marrow.



Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/down-memory-lane-brilliant-best-and-heroic-haynes-lit-up-the-cottage-14748606.html?r=RSS#ixzz0jjZAWJg5


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 09:58:20 AM »
http://www.101greatgoals.com/fulham-will-hope-to-establish-a-good-lead-over-porous-wolfsburg-in-the-first-leg-of-their-europa-league-tie/51704/
Fulham will hope to establish a good lead over porous Wolfsburg in the first leg of their Europa League ti

Fulham v Wolfsburg, Europa League quarter final first leg, April 1, 2010

Fulham 2.20; Draw 3.25; Wolfsburg 3.10


After seeing off Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus in the knock out rounds of the Europa League, Fulham (11.00 to win the Europa League) face the German champions and one of the finest attacking teams on the continent. The good news for the Cottagers is that Wolfsburg are not so hot defensively and if they can keep things tight at the back, this is not a German side built on solid defensive foundations.

Genius coach Felix Magath led Wolfsburg to an unlikely Bundesliga title last season in one of the fairytale stories of 2008/2009. Wolfsburg’s success was founded on a brilliant strike force of Grafite, Edin Dzeko and Zvjezdan Misimovic. The Brazilian looks set to be a part of Dunga’s World Cup squad whilst both Dzeko and playmaker Misimovic could be on their way in the summer following a disappointing season in the league for Wolfsburg.

Currently sitting in ninth Wolfsburg have been dogged by inconsistency as a small squad has struggled to cope with a heavy European campaign and the pressure of being champions. Armin Veh lasted as coach until January and Lorenz Gunther Kostner has overseen progress in the Europa League knockout rounds with wins over Villareal and Rubin Kazan. (Wolfsburg are 8.00 to win the Europa League.)

The big team news surrounding the tie is that Edin Dzeko is a doubt after injuring his knee in training on Monday. The Bosnia-Herzegovina striker is Wolfsburg’s main man as he showed with a clinical late brace at Mainz on Saturday to secure a 2-0 win. Dzeko has already bagged over 20 goals this season and is also a main provider for many of Grafite’s goals as well. If Dzeko doesn’t make it, former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins will relish his return to English soil.

Much like Danny Murphy for Fulham, Zvjezdan Misimovic is the player Roy Hodgson’s side will have to contain. The 27-year-old playmaker set a new record for assists in the Bundesliga last season and scored a terrific crucial away goal at Rubin Kazan in the last round.

Fulham should though be confident of scoring and not only after their heroics against Juventus in the last round. Wolfsburg have conceded 51 goals in the Bundesliga this season and only struggling Hannover have let in more. “Die Wolfe” were also on the receiving end of a 5-1 home defeat just a few weeks ago by Hertha Berlin, comfortably the worst team in the league. (1.98 to be over 2.5 goals, 1.79 to be under.)

Despite their sensational victory over “The Old Lady,” confidence may not be so high at the Cottage as they have lost all three games since the 4-1 home win over Juventus. Roy Hodgson rested a host of players for Saturday’s defeat at Hull and Danny Murphy and Damien Duff will return.

Bobby Zamora will also be hopeful of a starting place although he will have to overcome a stomach problem picked up in the FA Cup defeat at Spurs last week. The likes of Aaron Hughes, Dickson Etuhu and Jonathan Greening will also all be pushing for a starting place after they were rested at Hull.

There is a familiarity to Fulham’s side this season and the strong spine of Schwarzer, Hughes, Hangeland, Etuhu, Murphy and Zamora have been key to a wonderful run which has seen them progress further than ever in European competition. Zoltan Gera has though been at the forefront of their European campaign with the Hungarian claiming three goals in Fulham’s last four games in the Europa League.

With another high octane night at the Cottage to be expected, goals should be expected but Fulham will do well to put the tie out of sight with Dzeko, Misimovic and Grafite all able to change the course of the tie in a split second.

101gg predicts: Fulham 2 – Wolfsburg 1 (8.06)


Fulham 2.20; Draw 3.25; Wolfsburg 3.10

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2010, 09:59:49 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6674
Niemi leaves Portsmouth
by Dan on March 31, 2010
Tucked away in Teamtalk’s paper round-up is this snippet about Antti Niemi:

Goalkeeper Antti Niemi has been axed by Portsmouth after earning £14,000 a week for playing in two reserve games and sitting on the bench for one Premier League match.

I notice the paper doesn’t mention what a consumate professional Niemi is and the fact that he only came out of retirement to be a back-up goalkeeper at a time when Portsmouth were struggling to find cover for David James. Niemi, with an impressive career behind him, simply doesn’t deserve a Sun smear.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 10:01:06 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6648
Wolfsburg facts and figures
by Dan on March 31, 2010

Tomorrow’s Europa League quarter final pits two European novices against each other at Craven Cottage. Neither Wolfsburg nor Fulham have reached this stage of a major European competition before and both are easily the most inexperienced of the eight quarter-finalists, even if the Germans have played almost twice as many European games as us.

Researching the game has thrown up some interesting statistics:

Wolfsburg have faced English opposition three times before. They won one game, defeating Portsmouth in last year’s UEFA Cup but lost the return at Fratton Park and were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United in this season’s Champions League.
Edin Džeko likes playing English sides, though. He scored in all three matches.
Fulham’s remarkable second-leg comeback against Juventus also meant we preserved a proud unbeaten European home record that stretches back some fourteen games to 2002.
Fulham have won their last three European home games (CSKA Sofia, Shakhtar and Juventus).
Wolfsburg have drawn both away games since being eliminated from the Champions’ League but their only European away win this term was an impressive 3-0 success at Besiktas.
Fulham have committed more fouls than any side left in the competition (149). Their four red cards are the joint-highest, with Spanish side Valencia.
Fulham are more threatening in the first half, scoring ten goals before the break. The Whites are particularly deadly just before half-time, with five of our 16 strikes arriving between the 31st and 45th minutes.
Grafite tops Wolfsburg’s European scoring chart with six goals – three each in the Champions’ League and the Europa League. But Džeko is just behind him on five.
Zoltán Gera (five) and Bobby Zamora (four) have scored more than half of Fulham’s European goals.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given some of the refereeing we’ve seen, Zamora has been penalised more often than any other player: 35 times.
Roy Hodgson won both of his home games against Bundesliga sides, but lost all three of his games in Germany. His Inter side were beaten on penalties by Schalke in the 1997 UEFA Cup final.
Mark Schwarzer, whose parents are German, played for Dynamo Dresden and Kaiserslautern before moving to England.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2010, 11:20:08 AM »
http://www.wsc.co.uk/content/view/5064/38/
Fulham's strange and successful season
31 March ~ Sometimes it's the little things that show how times have changed. Like a pair of tubby Italians, chugging as fast as their stubby legs would carry them towards the away end during Fulham's trip to Turin two weeks ago. The duo – Juventus fans – were keen to share their joy with the away following after the home side's first goal. Having aimed a few traditional Italian gestures at the gloomy faces beyond the Plexiglas they waddled off, patting each other on the back a tad over-enthusiastically. Juventus fans taking the piss out of Fulham? Fifteen years ago these fatties would have been wearing Brentford shirts. This really is a brave new world.

Which, interestingly enough, was the consensus in the national press a week later after Fulham had knocked the Italians out in SW6. "Fabulous Fulham humble Juventus," barked the front page of the Guardian's sport section. "There cannot have been a greater day in the history of Fulham," wrote Kevin McCarra. "Juventus, aristocrats of Serie A and twice winners of the European Cup, have fallen at Craven Cottage."


The Scotsman's breathless tone was replicated almost across the board, although elsewhere the tone was perhaps a tad more condescending. "Oh I say!" sniggered Andrew Dillon in the Sun. "The well-heeled at the Cottage will remember this night for the rest of their lives. History is rarely made at this genteel club, especially when money counts for so much in modern football." The general feeling was that the Cottagers – as no Fulham fan ever calls them – had exceeded their brief as English football's lovable/slapstick underdogs. The club that everyone likes to patronise had finally shown it had teeth.

Fulham's supporters were understandably euphoric. Grown men cried in the Hammersmith End and the Riverside Stand even raised the occasional cheer. It was remarkable stuff but many had been less pleased after the first leg, and not just because Fulham were so mediocre. A 9pm kick-off time in Turin made for plenty of very well-lubricated away fans, an excellent atmosphere and a fight 20 minutes in. Although only about ten supporters at most appeared to be involved, the punch-up dragged on almost until half time and only came to an end when the rest of the stand struck up a jaunty chorus of "If you can't take your drink, fcuk off home."

It was a nasty incident, though, and on the web afterwards many thought it symptomatic of a new edge to the club's support that was out of line with its traditional values. Messageboards were full of supporters inviting the protagonists, somewhat pompously, to go and support Chelsea if that was their idea of fun. Others felt the incident had been blown out of all proportion, a not uncommon event now every supporter with a computer and a modem can have his say to the world.

Nonetheless, it clearly struck a nerve with many and perhaps made them see the club differently. A week later, and for a much happier reason, everyone was seeing Fulham in a different light. Will Hawkes

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2010, 11:27:11 AM »
http://www.fansfc.com/story/20125.html
Blues fancy Fulham fullback
Paul Konchesky is wanted at Birmingham City Football Club.

The Blues have enjoyed a fine return to the Premier League this season, with any worries of relegation to the Championship long since banished.

Alex McLeish is now hoping to push for a place in Europe next year, and club owner Carson Yeung will back him when the transfer window reopens.

The Daily Mirror claim a new left-back is amongst the wanted list at St Andrews, with Fulham’s Konchesky emerging as a leading candidate.

The former West Ham United man has been in excellent form for Roy Hodgson this season, with some of his fans surprised he hasn’t earned a call from Fabio Capello and England.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2010, 01:29:06 PM »
http://www.bluesqfootball.com/story/0,20970,13040_6066102,00.html
Stewart cracks Craven Cottage invite
Histon's highly-rated defender Callum Stewart has been invited to train with Fulham's Under-19 squad.

Stewart will spend three days with the Premier League outfit after catching the eye of the Cottagers' chief scout Malcolm Elias.

But Stutes boss Alan Lewer has played down the possibility of his player moving to Craven Cottage.

"Callum has gone down there for three days' training," Lewer told Cambridge News.

"Malcolm's seen him play a couple of times and has been asking me about him.

"He's gone there to train with their Under-19s and to see if he can cope with that, and Fulham will see if they like him.

"Callum was at Ipswich before he joined us and he enjoys the full-time training, but I wouldn't read too much into it."


Elias has a proven track record in the scouting field and is credited with spotting the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Kenwyne Jones


Offline whitejc

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (31/03/10)
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2010, 01:30:58 PM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/03/31/fulham-v-wolfsburg-preview-zoltan-gera-hungry-for-europa-progre/
Fulham v Wolfsburg Preview: Zoltan Gera Hungry for Europa Progress
EUROPA LEAGUE: CRAVEN COTTAGE, THURSDAY APRIL 1, 2010. KICK OFF: 2005 BST

FULHAM:

Fulham's marathon season continues with one of the most important games in the club's history.

Roy Hodgson's charges have exceeded all expectations to reach the quarter-finals of the inaugural Europa League, but midfielder Zoltan Gera says his team mates possess the appetite to reach the final.

Standind in their way are German side Wolfsburg, who won the Bundesliga title kast season. This season, Lorenz-Günther Köstner's team have not performed as well and they currently lie in ninth place in the league table. But Hungary international Gera says the Cottagers need to be cautious of the German side.

He says: "The next game is always the most important one but Thursday's match is a big one, not just for us, but for the club and the fans.

"It's already a big achievement to have reached the last eight of the Uefa Europa League but we're still hungry. Wolfsburg are a good attacking team that score a lot of goals.

"We need to be very careful against them because they have some top strikers and attacking midfielders. We need to defend well but they do concede so hopefully we can score some goals. It's very important to keep a clean sheet in these types of games.

"The fans are a big plus for us at the Cottage and they help us a lot. Hopefully the crowd will produce the same atmosphere as we had against Juventus."

Strategy: Hodgson is expected to retain the squad that beat Juventus in the last round. Clint Dempsey, who scored the decisive goal, could be handed a starting berth alongside Bobby Zamora. Stephen Kelly, Aaron Hughes, Brede Hangeland and Paul Konchesky will line-up in defence.

Injury Update: Fulham's injury problems have subsided with only Andy Johnson (knee) and John Pantsil (knee ligaments) on the sidelines. Zamora and David Elm have been suffering from a virus but should be okay. On-loan defender Nicky Shorey and Roma striker Stefano Okaka are ineligible.

WOLFSBURG:
Wolfsburg have concerns about the fitness of star striker Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian picked up a knee problem in training on Monday and has subsequently missed the following sessions. A late decision is expected to be made on whether he is included in the squad.