Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)  (Read 7468 times)

White Noise

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Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« on: April 28, 2010, 10:10:33 PM »
http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/823843-fulhams-roy-hodgson-wary-of-hamburgs-rookie-ricardo-moniz


Fulham's Roy Hodgson wary of Hamburg's rookie Ricardo Moniz


Fulham's Roy Hodgson will be careful not to underestimate Hamburg Fulham's Roy Hodgson will be careful not to underestimate Hamburg

Roy Hodgson and Ricardo Moniz, two men a world apart in terms of coaching experience, will contest tonight’s Craven Cottage semi-final – and the stakes could not be higher. Until joining Fulham, Hodgson may have been unsung in his homeland but his lengthy career with the likes of Inter Milan, Switzerland and Finland is now well-publicised.

Taking the Cottagers to their first European final would be up there with his best achievements. The contrast with Moniz could not be greater – the Dutchman, 45, is experiencing his first week in club management. The former PSV academy chief has been employed as a skills coach and while Hodgson’s teams are famed for their tactical discipline, Moniz has been worried only about technical ability. Until now.

The new Hamburg coach worked at Tottenham under Martin Jol and followed his compatriot to Germany. ‘He knows about English football and can therefore prepare the team in the best way,’ reasoned chairman Bernd Hoffmann.

For Hamburg, victory tonight would mean a final in their own AOL Arena. Defeat would be a disaster – so no pressure, then. Not according to Hodgson, who believes the gulf in experience on the two benches will be immaterial. ‘Their players will be capable of producing a very good performance, whoever the manager may be,’ he insisted yesterday. Spoken from experience, no doubt.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 10:17:01 PM »
I will take Roy at the Cottage, thank you very much! In Roy I trust!!!

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 10:19:09 PM »
http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/823842-fulhams-roy-hodgson-wont-gamble-on-bobby-zamoras-fitness


Fulham's Roy Hodgson won't gamble on Bobby Zamora's fitness


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will take no chances over the fitness of striker Bobby Zamora ahead of the Europa League semi-final, second leg against Hamburg at Craven Cottage.

The 29-year-old – whose 19 goals this season have propelled him into contention for England’s World Cup squad – hobbled out of the first leg after he aggravated an Achilles problem and missed last Sunday’s trip to Everton.

Zamora has not trained with the rest of the squad, instead continuing his fitness work with the Fulham medical team.

Hodgson admits it will be touch and go whether the striker is available to face the Germans.

‘Bobby is much improved and has done some work today with the physios, but we chose for him not to take part in the light training session we had,’ he said.

‘We just have to wait to have a 100 per cent decision on whether or not he can play. Obviously we are concerned about the situation, because if he was fully fit, he would have been training for the last couple of days.’

Hodgson added: ‘When Bobby plays we know what we are ­doing, and when he does not play, we have people who come in and know what we are doing, so we can leave it late in that respect.

‘He will have treatment again tomorrow, then go in front of our medical people, and I think by lunchtime I should know whether or not he has a chance of ­playing.

‘It will be about their ­assessment, Bobby’s own assessment, how he feels, how he thinks it will go –because he will not want to let the team down.

‘He wants to play, but he wants to play as a fit player rather than play and in any way hamper our chances of doing well.’


White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 10:21:38 PM »
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000041/match=2000963/prematch/preview/index.html?rss=1475143+HSV+in+flux+as+Fulham+approach+%27finest+hour%27


HSV in flux as Fulham approach 'finest hour'


Published: Wednesday 28 April 2010, 20.05CET

Roy Hodgson is not sure Hamburger SV's coaching change will play into Fulham FC's hands as they approach the second leg of the semi-final in what is already a historic campaign for his side.
Read more

After a goalless first leg Fulham FC stand on the brink of reaching the UEFA Europa League final in only their second continental campaign – standing in their way are a Hamburger SV side seeking calm amid an internal storm.

A 5-1 defeat by TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sunday spelt the end for Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia with his side just 90 minutes from a European final at their own stadium. Assistant Ricardo Moniz has taken temporary charge but Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is not so sure the upheaval will favour his side.

"Some say its an advantage to us; some say it's an advantage to them," Hodgson said. "When you reach a game at this level, coupled with the quality and experience of the Hamburg players, I think they will be more than capable of giving a very good performance, whoever the manager happens to be. The assistant has stepped into the breach so there's no vast change of style. I'm expecting the same Hamburg we met a week ago."

One difference from last Thursday could be the absence of a man with six goals in Fulham's campaign, striker Bobby Zamora, who faces a late fitness test on an Achilles injury that forced him to miss Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Everton. "He's much improved and did some work today with the physio," Hodgson said. "We just have to wait until tomorrow to make a decision whether he can or can't play."

Moniz faces a similar dilemma over Dennis Aogo, the versatile defender left behind in Germany after picking up a virus. "If Dennis decides to come we have a plane scheduled so he can be here for 1pm," explained Moniz, who is already shorn of suspended midfielder Piotr Trochowski while Tunay Torun faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after the 20-year-old damaged his knee in training last Friday. "We have many options at left-back though.

"Things have been a bit hectic over the past few days and we had to switch focus," Moniz added. ""It's an unbelievable motivation [to have the final at our stadium] but if the players put too much pressure on themselves it's not a good thing". My task is to give them confidence. Last year we had similar situation against Galatasaray [and won the round of 16 tie 4-3 on aggregate] so we know what it's all about."

Fulham do not have the benefit of such experience, yet Hodgson believes his side have already written themselves into club legend. "It's a finest hour; whatever happens it's a finest hour," he said. ""We're all as determined as we possibly can not to fail at this final stage and take the ultimate step rather than go out as gallant losers in the semi-final"."

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 09:28:31 AM »
Rodney Marsh: Johnny Haynes would be proud of Roy's boys

Last updated at 11:53 PM on 28th April 2010

It was like the Harlem Globetrotters down at Craven Cottage in 1976. It didn't last long, but it was fantastic, and now it feels like one of those out-of body experiences where you're not quite sure what happened or who it happened to.

Ken Adam, the agent who had taken me and George Best to play in North America, called me up and said he'd got a deal for us to play at Fulham. They were in the old Second Division and it was during the American off-season, so it was much like David Beckham now at AC Milan.



Fulham buddies: George Best and Rodney Marsh
 
George was in Los Angeles and said he'd go if I went. I was in Tampa and said I'd go if George went. So Ken worked out the rest. Bobby Moore had already been there for a couple of years.

We had an absolute ball. The football was brilliant, George was magnificent and the Fulham lads all took us to their hearts and made us feel welcome.



We were getting so much publicity - well, George more than me - but our centre forward John Mitchell and left back Les Strong started an 'I Hate Marshy' club. They were giving away lapel badges at the games.

We were pulling in crowds of 18,000 when the previous year it had been about 5,000, which was great, because we were on a crowd bonus.
 


Fulham was my first club and I'll never forget starting out there. I joined them at 16 and spent five happy years with them. It was a unique time. They had so many wonderful players.

Johnny Haynes was a truly great footballer - an icon. People say he was the best passer of a ball ever and I wouldn't argue.

He was a perfectionist who could make a precise pass over 70 yards, which was quite a feat with the old ball with the lace in it. He could also make a 15-yard pass which would be just as incisive. He had total mastery of the football.

As apprentices, or groundstaff boys, as we were called it in those days, we'd all go to watch the first team. Haynes, George Cohen, Alan Mullery - all England players.
It was always a special place with a special atmosphere. Inside the old Cottage in the corner, we might see Michael Caine or Sean Connery or Honor Blackman and our mouths would drop open.

There's no star like Johnny Haynes in this Fulham team, but he would have been proud to see what Roy Hodgson has done for the club. Everyone tries to make out they're on a magic carpet ride but, if you know Roy, you'll realise it's all down to hard work. I watched him training at Motspur Park and it was fascinating.

I might be giving Roy's tactics away here, so I hope he doesn't mind. It was before they played Liverpool in a game that they won 3-1 and he was putting on sessions about how they'd combat Javier Mascherano and how they'd play when they lost the ball.

I've known Roy a long time and I started texting him good luck messages before the Europa League games. It's become such a superstition that he called me to say: 'Don't forget to text'. After they beat Juventus I sent a message to say: 'Roy, that was absolutely brilliant'.

It is easy to understate, but for Fulham to score four against Juventus after being three down on aggregate in the tie ... that is just off the radar.

I'm totally convinced they can beat Hamburg.

I'll be watching. Roy should be named Manager of the Year if they do it.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1269627/Rodney-Marsh-Johnny-Haynes-proud-Roys-boys.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0mTYQKQfY

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 09:33:39 AM »
I saved Danny Murphy from the Spurs scrapheap, claims new Hamburg manager

By Laura Williamson


Last updated at 12:20 AM on 29th April 2010
 
New Hamburg manager Ricardo Moniz has claimed he convinced Danny Murphy not to walk away from football two years ago.

Moniz, who was appointed just three days before tonight's semi-final second leg against Fulham, worked with Murphy at Tottenham.

The 45-year-old was a fitness coach for three years at Spurs under Martin Jol and will take charge of his first match as a manager at Craven Cottage.

Hamburg sacked manager Bruno Labbadia after a 5-1 thrashing at Hoffenheim on Sunday which continued their slump to seventh in the German league.

Moniz said: 'I always trained the substitutes - Edgar Davids was there at that time, Danny Murphy, Hossam Ghaly. Danny was very disappointed he didn't play, so we had a lot of contact.

'He was 31 then and he thought that was the end of his career, but I said: "No, no - you keep working and you'll get your reward". He was a little bit cynical about it but I'm obviously very happy for him because, as a coach, you only work for players.'

Murphy, now 33, spoke highly of Moniz, a former Holland international, but remembers him very much as a coach and not a manager.
 
The Fulham captain said: 'He never managed. He worked mostly with wingers and creative midfielders. But he was a good coach and the lads liked him a lot.

'I've always spoken highly of him and I'm sure his players like him because he is that type of guy.

'I just hope he has a bizarre tactical plan that goes horribly wrong, but I'm sure he will be fired up and they will play for him.

'As for a tactician, I'm sure he will be attack-minded, because that is the type of guys he is.'

Moniz recalled Spurs beating Fulham 4-0 at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup in February 2007, but Murphy did not think Hamburg's change of manager would hinder Fulham's chances of progressing.

Murphy said: 'They could have Mickey Mouse in charge and still be desperate to get to a European final at their own stadium (on May 12).

'It's going to be one of two things. People are going to be disenchanted or play with freedom.

'If the other manager was not everybody's cup of tea, I don't think it will be any benefit.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1269625/I-saved-Danny-Murphy-Spurs-scrapheap-claims-new-Hamburg-manager.html#ixzz0mTaRPqxY


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 09:35:02 AM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/apr/29/david-gold-fulham-team-selection


David Gold admits mistake over Fulham team selection complaint

• West Ham co-owner regrets Premier League complaint

• 'We probably reacted in haste and passion'

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 April 2010 09.11 BST 


David Gold admits West Ham made a mistake by complaining to the Premier League over Fulham's decision to field what he describes as their "ladies team" in the Cottagers' 2-0 defeat against Hull.

With one eye on a midweek Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg, the Fulham manager, Roy Hodgson, decided to rest five key players for the match in March, which they lost thanks to goals from Jimmy Bullard and Craig Fagan.

The Hammers hierarchy, fearing the potentially disastrous implications of the Hull win on their debt-ridden club, lodged an official complaint with the Premier League on 2 April but nothing has been made of the matter since and with survival now all-but certain, Gold admits the club now regret their actions.

"I think we were upset at the time and we probably reacted in haste and passion," said Gold. "I have to say that we were very upset and that we were in such a scary position. It's horrible being right down there when you are a club of such might as West Ham.

"We were very disappointed about the decision to put that team out at the time. Let me tell you though, I would have done the same thing. I would have put out the ladies team if I had been Fulham.

"They were beaten 2-0 by Hull and you're thinking: 'Come on, how can that be?' But of course if you put out the ladies team then that's what's going to happen."

Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu all missed Fulham's defeat to Hull, which allowed the Tigers to pull level with Gianfranco Zola's side.

West Ham's 1-0 defeat against Stoke that weekend – their sixth on the bounce – ensured they only remained outside the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference.

The Premier League earlier this week confirmed they were still to receive Fulham's response to the allegations, and Gold's fellow co-owner David Sullivan admitted this week he had attempted to withdraw the complaint.

The West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola, disagreed with the club's complaint and admitted that it could add extra spice to this Sunday's London derby between the sides.

The two club are already at loggerheads after Fulham claimed they were owed £450,000 compensation because West Ham finished one position above them in the 2006-07 season when they included the illegitimately-registered Carlos Tevez among their ranks.

Sullivan is reportedly ready to donate £100,000 to charity if Fulham scrap their bid for compensation and Gold now also hopes the two clubs can move on from the latest episode in their feud. "We're big boys and we'll move on now," he added.

White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 09:38:19 AM »
Roy Hodgson: We can't afford to lose Bobby Zamora... he's our Wayne Rooney

By Laura Williamson


Last updated at 11:48 PM on 28th April 2010

Fulham could be without Bobby Zamora for the most important game in their history as he battles an achilles injury.

Manager Roy Hodgson admitted losing Zamora would be akin to Manchester United without Wayne Rooney or Liverpool without Steven Gerrard, such is the impact the 29-year-old striker has had this season.

Zamora has scored eight goals in Fulham's remarkable run to the Europa League semi-finals and is the tournament's top scorer.
 

SQUAD TO FACE HAMBURG Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler; Konchesky, Hangeland, Pantsil, Hughes, Smalling, Kelly; Etuhu, Duff, Murphy, Davies, Greening, Dikgacoi; Gera, Zamora, Dempsey, Nevland, Elm.

Hodgson said: 'When Wayne Rooney doesn't play for Manchester United then all the headlines are: "United are missing Wayne Rooney" and they've got riches galore compared to us.

'When Steven Gerrard doesn't play for Liverpool and Didier Drogba doesn't play for Chelsea, when Robin van Persie is out for a long time at the Arsenal, all the headlines you read are about these people.

'I can't say that it doesn't matter; that players of Zamora's quality and his importance to the team this year don't matter and we've got plenty of others who can go in and it won't affect us. That would be wrong because that would be undervaluing the contributions he's made this year, which have been fantastic.'

Hodgson, his medical staff and Zamora will make a decision by lunchtime today, with David Elm, Erik Nevland or Clint Dempsey likely to come in if Zamora is not fit to play against Hamburg.

But the striker could still require a minor operation, which would harm his chances of making Fabio Capello's England squad, for which he is still an outside bet.

Hodgson said: 'I would think if it does not clear up in the coming days, then the chances are we would chose to have a minor operation to clear up the area around the tendon, which would help him next season.

'Unless you get to the root of the problem, there's always the risk that, when you start again, sooner or later, the problem's going to ma k e i t s e l f known.


'But, if anything happens, like a call-up for England, I'm sure that would put a different complexion on the matter and it would maybe provoke a different de c i s i o n . '

Zamora limped off after 52 minutes of the first leg against Hamburg, missed Sunday's trip to Everton and did not train yesterday.

Hodgson added: 'Bobby will be absolutely devastated to have been a major influence in us getting so far and then not be able to take part in the final stage.

'Neither he nor I real ly anticipated it going on this long. We obviously underestimated the seriousness of the problem. But he i s a ma tur e and s t r ong person and he'll handle it whichever way it goes.'

Fulham captain Danny Murphy admitted Fulham would not have had such a magnificent run without Zamora, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season. He said: 'Even though we are a team unit, without Bobby we would not be in the semi-final.

'If you get a couple of goals the confidence starts flowing. Last season he was a bit deeper with Andy Johnson higher up the pitch. But this season he has been a bit higher up the pitch and come into play. He is proving his worth and more.'

Murphy also praised Hodgson's impact since arriving at Fulham in December 2007 and said his side's success in Europe this season has stemmed from the manager's experience on the continent.

Hodgson reached the final of the 1997 UEFA Cup with Inter Milan and has managed clubs in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Italy.

Murphy said: 'The way we play seems to suit a more European style. We play a patient game. In a way it has come from Roy's Italian roots, it is an Italian style.'

Murphy won the UEFA Cup with Liverpool in 2001, but said Fulham's European adventure has been one to savour for a different reason. He said: 'Fulham are talking about reaching a final, which would be one of the greatest achievements in our history, whereas at Liverpool they are talking about reaching the same final as a consolation.

'Winning trophies at Liverpool were some of the best memories of my life. But to do it with Fulham, to get to this level would be more satisfying because nobody gave us a chance to do that.'
 
'Each time we drew big teams everyone thought it would be the end of the road but we kept jumping over the hurdles. It was only two years ago we needed to win on the last day of the season to stay up, so it has been a fairy tale in many ways and the manager deserves credit for that.'

If fit, Zamora will be one of three Fulham players - alongside Zoltan Gera and Paul Konchesky - for whom a yellow card would mean a ban from the final. John Pantsil will be at right-back in the absence of Chris Baird, who is suspended.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1269624/Fulham-sweat-Bobby-Zamora-Roy-Hodgson-reveals-star-brink-missing-Europa-League-semi-final-Hamburg.html#ixzz0mTbLkzIh

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2010, 09:40:16 AM »
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/dempsey-fulham-have-europa-final-their-sights

Dempsey, Fulham have Europa final in their sights


In upheaval, Hamburg come to fortress Craven Cottage

Simon Borg

MLSsoccer.com April 28, 2010 11:27pm


U.S. star Clint Dempsey will have the chance to make history on Thursday night in London when Fulham host Hamburg in a Europa League semifinal second leg (tape-delayed broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, GolTV).

Not only does he have a chance to lead Fulham to their first-ever European final. He could also become the second American ever to start a semifinal match in a European competition after DaMarcus Beasley achieved the feat back in 2005.

Dempsey came on as a substitute in the first leg semifinal against Hamburg in Germany last week, entering the match for the final 38 minutes of a scoreless tie. Following 17 hours of travel by rail and road, due to the impact on air travel caused by the volcanic ash in Iceland, Fulham held Hamburg at bay in large part due to the saves of Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

The first-leg result leaves Fulham in good position to advance, particularly given their strong home form this year. Roy Hodgson’s side is 7-1 at Craven Cottage in Europa League play.

At the same time, Hamburg are coming apart at the seams. They have won just four Bundesliga games since the winter break, and after an embarrassing 5-1 league loss at Hoffenheim, head coach Bruno Labbadia was fired on Monday. His assistant Dutchman Ricardo Moniz will take the helm through the end of the season.

“When you reach a game of this level, with the experience and quality of the Hamburg players, they will be capable of producing a very good performance, whomever the manager may be,” Fulham manager Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports. “They have played many, many games together and the assistant has stepped in. So there will not be any vast change of philosophy. I am expecting the same type of Hamburg we faced a week ago.”

Hamburg, who have not won a continental trophy since 1983, are under tremendous pressure given the fact that their stadium is hosting the Europa League final on May 12.

Thursday night will mark what is arguably the most important match in Fulham club history. Hodgson created controversy on Sunday by resting several players for the side’s league game, a 2-1 loss to Everton. Hwoever, the Cottagers actually took the lead and only lost on a last-minute PK from the Toffees. Some believe the club may have been in violation of the EPL rules, which require a full-strength side for all league matches. The Premier League on Wednesday said Fulham will not be sanctioned.

Fulham right back Chris Baird will be suspended for the match while the club’s star striker Bobby Zamora will be a game time decision with an Achilles problem. Meanwhile, Hamburg will be without suspended striker Piotr Trochowski, who kept Schwarzer busy in the first leg.

Hamburg did, however, receive a dose of good news with Ruud van Nistelrooy (hip) and Zé Roberto (calf) returning to full training on Tuesday.

Should Fulham advance, they could face a fellow English club in the final. Also on Thursday, Liverpool look to overcome a 1-0 first leg loss to Spanish side Atlético Madrid (3 p.m. ET on Thursday, GolTV).


White Noise

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 09:43:06 AM »
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/132941/Danny-Murphy-Fulham-will-seal-the-greatest-achievement-in-the-club-s-history/


DANNY MURPHY: FULHAM WILL SEAL THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN THE CLUB’S HISTORY

 29th April 2010

By Danny Fullbrook

DANNY MURPHY insists that Fulham will do an Italian job on Hamburg to seal the greatest achievement in the club’s history.

The Premier League side are now, incredibly, favourites to reach the Europa League final on May 12 in Hamburg after battling their way to a fine 0-0 draw a week ago. 

But Murphy insists Fulham’s brilliant form in Europe this season is down to manager Roy Hodgson’s Italian experience with Inter Milan. 

Hodgson took Inter to the 1997 UEFA Cup final, which they lost to Germany’s Schalke 04 on penalties. 

But according to Murphy it is the manager’s experience in Serie A which has given Fulham the edge this season over more illustrious opponents like Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach this historic moment. 

The 33-year-old said: “The way we play seems to suit a more European style. “We play a patient and resilient sort of football, which in a way has come from Roy’s Italian roots. It is an Italian style. 

“We don’t mind keeping possession and trying to break the other teams down, but even when the team has to change the other players have come in and done well. 

“There are no stars. Perhaps Bobby Zamora has become the star this season because of the goals he has scored, but if you ask people about Fulham they will say we will play as a team.” 

With Zamora such a massive doubt Fulham will need to draw on that team ethic again for this game. 

But considering Fulham would have been relegated two seasons ago if Murphy had not scored the winner on the fi nal day against Portsmouth, the skipper feels reaching this final will have seen his side come full circle. 

Murphy added: “If you look at the betting shop at the start of the Europa League, we would have been nowhere near. 

“We thought if we could get to the group stages, we would have done well. “That’s because we are realists and we had to mix the Europa League with the Premier League. 

“As we progressed it became evident we had a good chance of doing well. 

“Each time we drew big teams people thought we were the underdog and everyone thought it would be the end of the road, but we kept jumping over the hurdles. 

“But if we can do that one more time and get to the fi nal, it will be brilliant because not so many years ago this club was in the lower leagues. 

“It was only two years ago we needed to win on the last day of the season to stay up, so it has been a fairy-tale in many ways and the manager deserves credit for that. 

“The day at Portsmouth was pivotal because what followed could only be possible because of that result, but there was also a disappointment that we had done badly and got in that position. 

“But that was under a different manager. Roy brought a freshness in and to get to this level shows we have come full circle.” 

Murphy, of course, won a stunning treble with Liverpool in 2001 which included the UEFA Cup, when they won with a golden goal in a 5-4 thriller against Alaves in Dortmund, and the FA Cup and League Cup. 

But getting to the final with Fulham, and maybe winning it, would easily surpass that for the Murphy. 

He added: “It’s difficult to compare because when Gerard Houllier took over at Liverpool it was going the wrong way and in a short space of time he turned it around. 

“For Roy it was difficult to get the players in, but the ones he did have done well. 

“You think of Mark Schwarzer, who has done amazingly well and one of the best two goalkeepers in the  Premier League this season. 

“This would be some achievement to reach this final. “You assume at Liverpool each year you would be in a final and as you get older you realise that’s not the case. 

“I’ve tried to enjoy this experience because I don’t know if it is the last time I would be playing in Europe. 

“A lot of the players have enjoyed it because there has not been a lot of pressure. “As I’ve got older I know these are the moments to savour and we will do that if we reach the final.” 

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 10:02:45 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/adu-and-johnson-combine-help-aris-thessaloniki-defeat-olympiakos-802901

Adu and Johnson combine to help Aris Thessaloniki defeat Olympiakos

29.04.10 | Andrew Slevison


USA internationals Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson have combined to help Greek club Aris Thessaloniki defeat Olympiakos in league play-offs for next season’s Euro competitions.

Johnson scored both goals in the 2-0 win, the first match of the six-round play-offs, which will see the winner book a place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. The other three will play in the Europa League.

Johnson, on loan from Fulham, struck in the 39th minute with a header from an Adu cross – who is on loan from Benfica.

Johnson grabbed his second when he pounced on a defensive error seconds before the final whistle.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 10:03:59 AM »
http://www.caughtoffside.com/2010/04/29/tottenham-set-to-make-surprise-move-for-10m-rated-premier-league-centre-back-brede-hangeland/


Tottenham Set to Make Surprise Move for £10m Rated Premier League Centre Back Brede Hangeland


by Mr Neutral on April 29th, 2010
 
5 comments


Harry Redknapp is hoping to beat local rivals Arsenal to the signing of Fulham’s impressive central defender Brede Hangeland. The Tottenham boss is hoping that the promise of Champions League football, if secured, will tempt the Craven Cottage powerhouse to make the short move from west to north London.

The giant Norwegian centre back only recently signed an extension to his contract and has had a great season and has been pivotal to Roy Hodgson’s amazing success this term, culminating a potential place in the Europa League final.

The Spurs manager is looking for options to beef up a back line that is looking increasingly injury prone. Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King and Michael Dawson have managed a total of just 41 Premier League starts between them and the addition of Sebastian Bassong last summer has proven a masterstroke but Harry is still looking for a solid pairing for his White Hart Lane side.

Hangeland has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Manchester City but put pen to paper on a new deal last November but that will not stop Redknapp from trying his luck with a bid rumoured to be in the region of £10m.


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 10:05:09 AM »
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2010/04/29/we-can-cope-without-bobby-zamora-vows-fulham-boss-roy-hodgson-82029-26339635/

We can cope without Bobby Zamora, vows Fulham boss Roy Hodgson


Apr 29 2010


By Jacob Murtagh


ROY Hodgson insists Fulham can cope without star striiker Bobby Zamora.

The 19-goal hitman is a major doubt for tonight's Europa League semi-final second-leg with Hamburg after failing to shake off an Achilles injury.

The Whites boss will give Zamora until lunchtime before making a decision on his fitness ahead of the Craven Cottage clash, with Clint Dempsey, Erik Nevland and David Elm waiting in the wings if he misses out.

But Hodgson is sure Fulham can still get through without the former West Ham frontman.

He said: "We'll be happy if he can play, but if he doesn't we'll accept it.

"It's part of football, but we have other players in the team who can keep our play going, just like we proved at Everton on Sunday when we had nine players missing.

"No one has mentioned Andy Johnson, who was meant to be our key centre-forward, and yet we've had to play without him for most of the season."

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 10:06:20 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7646596/Fulham-v-Hamburg-match-preview.html

Fulham v Hamburg: match preview

Read a full match preview of the Europa League semi-final second leg between Fulham and Hamburg at Craven Cottage on Thursday April 29, 2010, kick-off 20.05 BST.
 
By John Ley

Published: 6:00AM BST 29 Apr 2010


Fulham v Hamburg
Craven Cottage
Kick-off: 20.05 BST
TV: Live ITV 4

Roy Hodgson v Ricardo Moniz: Both men have been schooled in the fine art; Hodgson’s Italian experience has no doubt had an influence in Fulham’s Europa League experience. But Moniz, formerly the skills trainer at Tottenham, is a protégé of the legendary Wiel Coerver and he may well have a trick up his sleeve.

Key battle

Ruud Van Nistelrooy v Mark Schwarzer: The former Manchester United striker got little service in the first leg, but his record of 10 goals in 10 games against Fulham should not be ignored. Schwarzer made some important saves in Germany and, with so much at stake, he could be the difference again.

Talking tactics

The fitness of Bobby Zamora will be key. If ruled out, Hodgson must decide whether to bring in Clint Dempsey, normally a wide man, or gamble with the inexperienced David Elm. Hamburg will miss Piotr Trochowski, who was their best player last week but is suspended.

Probable teams

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies; Gera; Zamora/ Dempsey.
Hamburg (4-4-2): Rost; Demel, Mathijsen, Boateng, Agogo; Tesche, Ze Roberto, Jarolim, Pitroipa; Petric, Van Nistelrooy.
Referee: C Cakir (Turkey).

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2010, 10:07:35 AM »
Life at Fulham just great for Hughes and Hodgson

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Fulham Football Club in a European final. Who would ever have thought it?

Not many when almost exactly two years ago they trailed Manchester City 2-0 at half-time and were heading towards relegation to the Championship.

Amazingly the Cottagers turned that one around and a victory over Portsmouth on the final day of the 2007-08 campaign kept them in the Premier League.

Since then it’s been up all the way. Their highest ever league finish last season secured Europa League qualification and a win or score draw at home to German side Hamburg tonight will see them possibly face Liverpool in an all-English final.

Defeating last season’s UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk was a big enough result for Fulham, but then they went and pulled off an amazing comeback to knock out Italian giants Juventus.

You could say they are destined to make the final, a clash with Liverpool would be intriguing, but it wouldn’t be entirely English, with Fulham having a strong Northern Ireland influence in their team.

Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird both joined the club when Lawrie Sanchez left his job as Northern Ireland boss, with David Healy and Steve Davis making up a quartet of Ulstermen by the Thames.

Only Hughes and Baird remain after Davis and Healy were sold on by Roy Hodgson (pictured) when he succeeded Sanchez who lasted just six months in the post.

Hodgson never had much of a playing career. And it was abroad where he made his name as a manager, starting off in Sweden before spells in Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Norway, as well as managing the Swiss national team plus being in charge of the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

He did have an 18-month spell at Blackburn Rovers, but never really gained recognition in his native country until becoming Fulham boss in January 2008 — and now he’s being tipped as the next England manager!

It’s not hard to see why and guiding unfashionable Fulham to European glory would be his finest moment — and would see him go one better than when Inter Milan lost the 1997 UEFA Cup final to Schalke.

“I think I speak for a lot of the players here when I say the signs were there from when Roy came,” said Cookstown native Hughes. “Straight away we became a lot more organised, more compact and slowly but surely we were began to make more and more progress.

“I was worried when he came in, after I’d been signed by Lawrie. It’s natural that a new manager would want to make changes and a lot of the players that I came in with have now moved on.

“You just don’t know what a new manager’s plans are and he will always want to bring in his own players. It was a concern, but all I could do was what Roy asked and show I could fit into his plans. I’m 30 now and I’ve been in the game a while, but he’s still teaching me new things and I feel like I’m constantly learning.

“In the couple of years that I have worked with him, I have improved more than any other two-year period in my whole career.”

Baird is ruled out of tonight’s game after picking up a second yellow card of the tournament in last week’s scoreless first-leg.

It will be the first European game this season that he’s missed — the positive is that if Fulham reached the final he is guaranteed to be available.

It’s a great turnaround for Baird, who had never really found favour with Hodgson and last season he looked to be on his way out of the club.

“Up until a few months ago I wasn’t even getting in some of the squads, never mind the team, which was hard to take,” admitted the Rasharkin-man.

“At one point I was thinking the time had come to move on.

“I was patient and I have been working hard and I think Roy has made a lot of us better players because he has got all that experience.

“Lawrie was a very quiet man. He would just deal with things with his staff and not come to players and speak to them one-to-one, as much as Roy Hodgson does. Roy would do it every day. He comes out, he shakes your hand, says good morning and all the little things like that.

“It makes a big difference. If you have any problems as well you can speak to him and if you are not doing well he will speak to you.”

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/life-at-fulham-just-great-for-hughes-and-hodgson-14784982.html#ixzz0mTj82uiS


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2010, 10:09:30 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7646603/Fulham-v-Hamburg-Losing-Bobby-Zamora-is-like-Man-Utd-losing-Wayne-Rooney.html

Fulham v Hamburg: 'Losing Bobby Zamora is like Man Utd losing Wayne Rooney'

Roy Hodgson admitted on Wednesday night that the possibility of losing Bobby Zamora for the biggest game in Fulham’s history could be as devastating as Manchester United losing Wayne Rooney.
 
By John Ley


Published: 7:30AM BST 29 Apr 2010
 
Hodgson, in consultation with the striker and Fulham's medical staff, will make a noon decision on Thursday on whether Zamora is fit enough to play after suffering a recurrence of an Achilles problem in the goalless first leg of the semi-final in Hamburg last week.

He took part in light training on Wednesday and may need an operation. Hodgson said: “When Wayne Rooney doesn’t play for Manchester United then all the headlines are, 'United are missing Rooney’, and they’ve got riches galore if you compare to us.

“When Steven Gerrard doesn’t play for Liverpool and Didier Drogba doesn’t play for Chelsea, or when Robin van Persie is out for a long time at the Arsenal all the headlines are about these people.

“Bobby is handling it well. There’s no doubt he is disappointed because I think when he limped off in Hamburg there wasn’t any thoughts in his mind that, 'I won’t be fit for the return leg’.”

Zamora, one booking away from a European suspension, has scored eight goals in Europe. Hodgson added: “He wants to play to help his team-mates do well but I want to make sure he will get through the game and is as fit as one can expect and then I will make a decision. Bobby has made a fantastic contribution and will be devastated not to play and help the side reach the final.”

Hodgson is without Chris Baird through suspension, but admitted he had a stroke of luck in having John Pantsil as a ready-made replacement after leaving him out of Fulham’s original Europa League squad.

“I made the mistake of him being taken off the list,” Hodgson added, “but then I found myself with an extra player. It is an amazing result.”


Hamburg, though, are in turmoil; they lost 5-1 to Hoffenheim at the weekend and on Monday sacked manager Bruno Labbadia, so coach Ricardo Moniz is in charge. Moniz is well known to Fulham captain Danny Murphy, who worked with the Dutchman at Spurs.

“He was a skills coach who worked mostly on wingers and creative midfielders and he was a good coach,” Murphy said. “As for a tactician, I’m sure he will be attack minded, because that is the type of guys he is. I just hope he has a bizarre tactical plan that goes horribly wrong, but I’m sure he will be fired up and they will play for him.”

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2010, 10:10:39 AM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/apr/29/fulham-europa-league-hamburg

Roy Hodgson's heroes well suited to Italian style, says Danny Murphy


Fulham's manager has brought a freshness to the club in a season they will never forget


Jamie Jackson The Guardian, Thursday 29 April 2010

 
The Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has given his side a greater sense of self-belief this season as a remarkable set of results has shown. Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA

Fulham's progress across the continent to reach tonight's decisive home leg against Hamburg in the Europa League semi-final, the most important match in the club's 131-year history, has derived from Roy Hodgson's "Italian-style" football, according to the London club's captain, Danny Murphy.

The first leg in Germany ended goalless as once again Hodgson's men displayed their continental know-how. "The way we play seems to suit a more European style," Murphy said. Hodgson was in charge of Internazionale between 1995 and 1997, and briefly two years later, and Murphy said: "We play a patient game – in a way it has come from Roy's Italian roots, it is an Italian style.

"We don't mind keeping possession and trying to break teams down. There are no stars. Perhaps Bobby [Zamora] has become the star this season because of his goals. But if you ask people about Fulham they will say we will play as a team."

Tonight's game will be the 16th outing in the competition for the side moulded by Hodgson, which lines up 4-4-1-1 and is astute at scoring a vital European away goal. In seven away legs Fulham have scored 10 goals, only failing to do so against Hamburg in Germany last week.

Asked about Murphy's "Italian-style" comment, Hodgson was coy. He said: "You do the job for the best of the team and it's difficult for me being on the inside to analyse if I'd had an influence on the team."

But he did concede that "we've been hard to beat home and away", and Fulham are undefeated at Craven Cottage in the Europa League, only failing to defeat Roma due to a dubiously late equaliser.

Fulham's belief has grown in a season they will not forget. Murphy said: "If you had looked at the betting at the start of the Europa League we would have been nowhere near. If I'm being honest even here at the club we thought that if we could get to the group stages we would have done well. That's because we are realists and we had to mix the Europa League with the Premier League.

"As we progressed it became more evident we had a good chance of doing well. Each time we drew big teams people thought we were the underdog and everyone thought it would be the end of the road but we kept jumping over the hurdles. If we can do that one more time and get to the final it will be brilliant, because not so many years ago this club were in the lower leagues."

Two years ago, Fulham nearly dropped out of the Premier League. After becoming manager in December 2007 Hodgson and his team travelled to Portsmouth on the season's final day knowing a win was required to preserve their top-flight status. A 78th-minute strike from Murphy did the trick. But it had been close.

"The day at Portsmouth was pivotal because what has followed was only possible because of that result," he recalled. "Roy brought a freshness in, and to get to this level shows we have come full circle. It was only two years ago we needed to win on the last day of the season to stay up, so it has been a fairytale in many ways and the manager deserves credit for that. We have become victims of our success – when we're not playing so well, you can hear the fans. [Yet] just a few years ago we were desperate for a win at the Cottage."

Hamburg arrived in west London with a new coach, Ricardo Moniz, after the club sacked Bruno Labbadia earlier this week. While Hodgson states that whether this decision will backfire "will only be proved after the game", Murphy is clear about Moniz's abilities, having worked with him at his former club Spurs. "He was a skills coach who worked mostly on wingers and creative midfielders and he was a good coach and the lads liked him a lot," he said. "As for a tactician, I'm sure he'll be attack-minded, because that is the type of guy he is. I just hope he has a bizarre tactical plan that goes horribly wrong."

Moniz himself had praise for Murphy. "I always worked with the subs – Danny Murphy was disappointed that he didn't play – so we had a lot of contact. He was 31 then and he thought that was the end of his career but I said: 'No, you keep working and you'll get your reward.' He was a little bit cynical but I'm very happy for him because as a coach you only work for players."

Tonight we find out if Fulham's season is about to get even better.

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2010, 10:12:34 AM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/apr/29/bobby-zamora-fulham-hamburg


Fulham take tonic from Bobby Zamora's transformation into talisman


The Cottagers are crossing their fingers that their reborn centre-forward will be fit for tonight's Europa League semi-final
   
Bobby Zamora celebrates scoring for Fulham against Burnley with the gesture aimed at the fans who criticised him last year. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Bobby Zamora discovers at about noon today whether his sore achilles will allow him to face Hamburg in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final at Craven Cottage, after the opening game in Germany ended goalless. For Zamora, the best player of Fulham's superb season, it would be a dreadful disappointment to miss what would be the most glittering occasion of his career so far.

"Bobby has made a fantastic contribution and will be devastated not to play and help the side reach the final," Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, says. "The decision will be made between myself and the medical team and Bobby Zamora. He wants to play to help his team-mates do well, but I want to make sure he will get through the game."

If Zamora is passed fit he will run out at a packed Cottage under the bright lights of big-time European club football conscious that another decisive performance could propel Fulham into the next month's final, and his own star into Capello's England constellation for the summer's World Cup. The Italian will be there tonight watching him.

In scoring 19 goals this season, eight in European competition, Zamora has made himself Fulham's stellar performer, and the player Hodgson and his team-mates most want to see lacing up his boots. "Even though we are a team unit, without Bobby we would not be in the semi-final," says Danny Murphy, the Fulham captain who won this competition in 2001 with Liverpool, when it was the Uefa Cup. "Bobby has become the star this season because of the goals he has scored – our player of the year for sure."

It has been some transformation for Zamora, 29, who has swapped the jeers of his own club's fans for Ruud van Nistelrooy's endorsement that he now deserves a late charge at making it as an international footballer. When Zamora joined Fulham in July 2008 from West Ham he was asked whether playing for England was still an ambition. "Why not?" was his simple answer.

Ambition is admirable and a prerequisite of any premium-class footballer, but at that juncture Zamora's CV made the prospect appear distinctly unlikely. Behind him was an uneven four years at Upton Park (30 goals in 130 league appearances) and a disappointing six months at Spurs (no goals, six starts), while he was about to endure a first season in west London that yielded only four goals and criticism from his own crowd.

Andy Johnson had been bought for a club record £10.5m by Hodgson a month after acquiring Zamora, and the manager says now that he viewed the former Everton man as his No1 striker. "Andy Johnson was our most expensive signing and who we thought was going to be our centre-forward," he says.

Johnson, though, has been injured for most of the year and Zamora has thrived, now he is no longer playing off the former Crystal Palace forward as he had in their debut season together. Zoltan Gera is in the withdrawn role now, Zamora leading the line.

"If you get a couple of goals the confidence starts flowing, and [also] his role has changed a little bit," Murphy says. "Last season he was a bit deeper with Andy Johnson higher up the pitch. But this season he has been a bit higher up and come into play. The amount of games means he has been out there to get the goals. It's mainly the confidence, and he can play higher up to be more of a threat."

Had the jeers of the home crowd been an inspiration? "He's always played with the same work ethic," Murphy says. "I think his disappointment and controversial goal celebrations have been a little bit about the fact that when he came to the club a minority of supporters were quick to jump on him. It also shows he has held it inside for some time – but he is proving his worth this season and more."

Zamora has become Fulham's totem, a striker improved by the wisdom of a 15-game European campaign that has included goals against Juventus, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk (the holders), and Wolfsburg (the German champions). According to those who knew him as a boy playing for the famous Senrab boys club in east London as a 10-year-old, Zamora has always been a fighter.

"If he didn't score he was one of those players that would lay on the floor, hit the floor, and cry his eyes out then get back up and start again," says Tony Purse, the father of Darren Purse, a Sheffield Wednesday central defender who also played for Senrab. "He always wanted to be a winner, always wanted to do well."

Zamora thrived in a glittering Senrab team that was unbeaten for more than three years and produced three future England internationals, John Terry, Ledley King and his team-mate Paul Konchesky. Zamora, like Fulham, hopes he can play tonight to make a final push to join them.


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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2010, 10:19:23 AM »
Click on the link and there is also a radio interview with MAF to listen to -


http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/f/fulham/8650669.stm


Fulham owner Al Fayed says Hodgson will remain as boss

 
By Dan Roan


BBC sports correspondent 



Mohammed Al Fayed is confident Roy Hodgson will remain as Fulham manager despite suggestions he could become a target for England or rival clubs.

"I don't think he'll leave me," said Cottagers owner Al Fayed.

"I'm sure he'll have lots of approaches from other clubs but I give him anything he wants to reach results and we have a good relationship."

Current England boss Fabio Capello is contracted until 2012 but there is talk he could quit if he wins the World Cup.

Liverpool could also be searching for a new coach in the summer if Rafael Benitez leaves or is sacked.

As for Hodgson, his stock has risen hugely this season after guiding Fulham to the brink of the Europa League final.

The Londoners face Hamburg in the second leg of their semi-final on Thursday, having drawn the first game 0-0 in Germany.

"I think it's a great achievement for a manager who I respect immensely," Al Fayed told BBC Sport. "He's a maestro, the way he trains the players and makes them want to win.

 It's not easy, it costs lots of money, but it's a pleasure to see a club come up from the third division to reach this level

Mohammed Al-Fayed
"To build the team who have the will to win is a tremendous achievement and I'm very happy, I'm very grateful and I respect him immensely."

Hodgson, 62, became boss of Fulham at the end of 2007.

The former Switzerland and Finland manager kept the Cottagers up that season before steering them to a stunning seventh place in the Premier League in his first full campaign in charge.

They currently lie 12th after another solid season, a far cry from 1997, when Al-Fayed bought the club as they languished in the old second division.

"I have great satisfaction," said Al Fayed. "It's not easy, it costs lots of money, but it's a pleasure to see a club come up from the third division to reach this level. I'm very satisfied."

With 19 goals this season, Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is in contention for England's World Cup squad, and Al-Fayed believes he should go to South Africa.

"Of course, definitely," said Al Fayed. "Capello would be very wise (to take him)."

Al Fayed was the first foreigner to buy a Premier League club, and the Egyptian-born businessman said he was saddened by the plight of Portsmouth, who recently became the first top-flight club to enter administration.

"I feel sorry for Portsmouth and I hope it is an example to others," said Al Fayed, adding: "I don't think the Premier League and the FA are doing enough to help clubs. I always voice my complaints in meetings."

Since his takeover of Fulham in 1997, the Cottagers have accumulated debts of £167.7m, most of it owed to their benefactor.

"Ambition and common sense have to go together," he added. "It's a problem for any foreign owner to not appreciate that they own a British football club."

When asked if a salary cap would help football finances, he said: "I don't think it's the right thing to do. Players are like movie stars, if you score you deserve. You can't put a limit on that."
 

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (29.04.10)
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2010, 10:24:29 AM »
A Night To Saviour

Thursday 29th April 2010


Fulham FC News



Danny Murphy will lead Fulham out for arguably the biggest match in the Club’s history against Hamburg this evening and Roy Hodgson’s Captain is desperately hoping the Whites can clear one last hurdle tonight and reach the Final of the UEFA Europa League in Germany on May 12th.

“If you looked in a betting shop at the start of the Europa League we’d be nowhere near [the favourites] and if I’m honest maybe people in the Club thought if we get to the group stages we’d have done well.

“That’s because we’re realists and mixing the Europa League with the Premier League was always going to be difficult for a club like ourselves. As we progressed it became more evident that we had a great chance of doing well. I think a lot of the players gained confidence from the results as we went along.

“Each time we drew a team with a huge reputation we were underdogs. Most of the press and people in football thought that would be the end of the road every time we came up against a hurdle - and we kept jumping them.

“Hopefully we can do that one more time because to get to a Final would be a wonderful achievement and a great reward for the supporters, players and staff at the Club.”

Murphy is no stranger to a glorious European cup run, having lifted the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup with Liverpool in 2001, but the former England international evidently cherishes this season’s adventure as much as anything he has experienced in previous years.

“At Liverpool you assume each year there is going to be another final. As you get older you realise that is not the case and you do have to enjoy these trips. Every time we’ve gone away, whether it’s been Shakhtar, Wolfsburg or Hamburg, I’ve tried to enjoy the experience, not knowing if it’s going to be the last adventure in Europe.

“As I’ve got older I’ve realised these occasions are to be savoured and they will create memories that will live with me. The chances of me being on an adventure in Europe like this again are slim. You appreciate it a bit more.

“I think a lot of the lads have done the same. They’ve soaked it up, enjoyed it, and played with a freedom and spirit in this competition because the pressure hasn't been on us.”

Following Bruno Labbadia’s sacking as Hamburg coach ahead of this evening’s European encounter, Murphy was able to give an insight into the newly-appointed Ricardo Moniz, who Murphy spoke highly of from their time together at Tottenham Hotspur.

“He [Ricardo Moniz] never managed when I was at Tottenham as he was a skills coach. He worked mostly on the wingers, front men and creative midfielders on techniques and drills.

“He was a good coach and someone I worked quite a lot with at Tottenham. The lads liked him a lot and I would be very surprised if the players at Hamburg don’t have a good relationship with Ricardo because that’s the type of guy he is.

“As for a tactician and what he might be thinking I wouldn’t have a clue. I’d be amazed if he wasn’t anything other than attack minded because that’s the way he is. I’m not sure he can do too much tactically in the short space of time he’s had.

“I didn’t even realise he was there last week [in Hamburg] and it was a shock when I saw him. He had a bit of a different haircut and we smiled and had a catch-up. As I said, I got on really well with him at Tottenham. He was a good guy and I’ve always spoken highly of him.

“I just hope he has some bizarre tactical plan for them on Thursday and it goes horribly wrong! I’m sure he’ll have them fired up because he’s a nice guy and I’m sure they’ll play for him.”

This evening, if Murphy and company can defeat Hamburg at the Cottage, a new chapter will be written in the Club’s history books, and Murphy credited the Club’s Chairman, Manager and his fellow players for what has been achieved in recent years.

“Not so many years ago this Club was in the lower leagues and the Chairman came along, and if you think how much the Club has progressed, even since that famous day at Fratton Park, it’s been a fairytale and wonderful transition. The Manager deserves great credit for that too.

“To get to this level now it has gone full circle. The players deserve credit as well because I think this year the squad players have made a big impression. There’s been some players that have come to the fore this season. People like Chris Baird have been terrific and he’s done really well.

“Since Roy came in his philosophy has been so refreshing. He’s made the Club a place where players want to come and made some astute signings. The players he has brought in have done tremendously well.

"You think about someone like Mark Schwarzer for example, who has been absolutely amazing for us. He has been an absolute rock. For me he’s been one of the best keepers in the Premier League over the past two years."

Fulham have negotiated their way to the Semi Final like a seasoned European outfit this season and Murphy believes since the Club's miraculous 'Great Escape' two years ago, Roy Hodgson's side have produced a style of play that has proved highly successful both at home and abroad.

“What happened at Fratton Park against Portsmouth was pivotal because what followed was only possible because of that result. It was a special moment but a disappointing moment because it meant we’d done badly to get ourselves in that position.

“Also the way we play does seem to suit a European style. We play a more patient game and you could say from his [Roy Hodgson] Italian roots we have a more Italian style. We don’t mind giving up possession against the so-called better teams and trying to break.

“We’re very well organised and we know our jobs. Even if the Team has to change the players coming in know their roles and jobs within the Team and we’ve come a long way with that.”


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/April/MurphyHamburgReturn.aspx#ixzz0mTmbWII9