Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...  (Read 17316 times)

Offline whitejc

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Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« on: April 18, 2013, 06:19:49 AM »
 
Chelsea cruise to Fulham win

Fulham 0-3 Chelsea

CHELSEA moved up to third in the table after a comfortable derby win at Fulham.

John Terry's headed brace, coupled with a David Luiz wonder-strike, earned the Blues bragging rights with victory at Craven Cottage.

It could have been different if Bryan Ruiz hadn't wasted a good chance to give the hosts the lead inside two minutes when he blazed Sascha Riether's cross over the bar from four yards.

Giorgos Karagounis' rocket flew just over, while John Arne Riise shot tamely at Petr Cech as the home side made most of the early running.

However, the Blues took the lead in stunning fashion on the half-hour mark.

Luiz picked the ball up just inside the Fulham half before unleashing an unstoppable 35-yard drive into the top corner that gave Mark Schwarzer no chance.

Chelsea had Cech to thank for keeping their lead intact when he dive down low to his left to keep out Urby Emanuelson's effort.

But the Blues doubled their lead three minutes before the break.

Juan Mata sent in a teasing cross from the right, and Terry ghosted in between Riether and Philippe Senderos to nod the ball into the net from close range.

Fulham were left with a mountain to climb, but they should've pulled a goal back midway through the second half through Senderos, only for Petric to divert the ball over the bar from a yard out.

It was all over moments later when Terry got his second of the game, heading Fernando Torres' goal-bound effort over the line to put Chelsea out of sight.

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise (Rodallega 67), Enoh, Karagounis (Frimpong 77), Emanuelson, Ruiz, Berbatov, Petric (Frei 81).

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Richardson, Hughes, Manolev.

CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand, Hazard (Oscar 69), Ramires, Lampard, Mata (Ba 82), Moses, Torres.

Subs (not used): Turnbull, Mikel, Azpilicueta, Benayoun, Ake.



Read more: Fulham Chronicle http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/fulham-fc/2013/04/17/82029-33193098/?#ixzz2Qn04ytqt

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 06:21:15 AM »
 
Sloppy Fulham fall to 3-0 defeat against Chelsea

A David Luiz wonder goal changed a game in which, originally, Fulham looked composed and elegant. In the end, Rafa Benitez's side needn't have left first gear.

There's a case to be made that the 3-0 defeat to the hands of Chelsea on Wednesday night was a harsh one. It's not the strongest case, but a judge would surely listen to its merits.

Fulham looked classy throughout various, lengthy portions of the first half and settled well into an intricate, delicate passing game.

Urby Emmanuelson in particular was brilliant and sharp, dashing up both wings with purpose and intensity. His ball skills were palpable too, especially given they have been previously well hidden since joining in January.

But it was David Luiz who truly stole the show. His strike, from goodness-knows-how-many yards out, set the tone for a match in which Fulham controlled possession, looked more lively, but were simply not clinical.

Chelsea were polar opposites. They created little in truth but finished off when they did. Juan Mata was his typical, creative self while Fernando Torres was also characteristic with his anonymity.

This is not to say Fulham were perfect - the scoreline can tell you that. The passing was sloppy and mistakes were at a premium, Phillipe Senderos adhering to his one game, (at least) one error tally. This time, it was somewhat more serious for the Swiss, though, as he gifted Chelsea their second and most important goal.

Fulham had carved out some worthy chances before Luiz popped up with his wonder strike with Emanuelson coming closest. The AC Milan loanee stormed up the pitch, delicately avoiding a myriad of Chelsea lunges. He eventually found himself barely a metre outside the Blues' penalty area and his subsequent right-footed effort forced Petr Cech into a good save.

Giorgos Karagounis, combative alongside a very strong Eyong Enoh, came close with a long range effort but an early period of Fulham dominance transitioned into something far less refined for the home side.

Rafa Benitez and his fatigued men were beginning to instill some class to the game and Luiz's effort soon followed. It was fairly indistinct in its build up but, once the defender opened his body up and struck the ball, it felt inevitable that it would find the net. The top left corner ruffled with the impact and Chelsea had an advantage they hadn't necessarily earned.

Fulham didn't seem overly deterred by the goal but Chelsea, being the top-four side that they are, hadn't left first gear before capturing their second. Senderos marked John Terry with nonchalance, allowing the defender five yards of space. That was all that was needed for him to nod the ball in.

In the second half, Martin Jol's men worsened, allowing their opponents more space, more time and more respect. Fulham themselves became impotent - creativity waning and, as if it were even possible, clinical edge fading further.

It's not like Chelsea exploited this, or grew into the game. They just maintained a cosy, uncomplicated level that became increasingly difficult to cope with. If anything, we looked the heavy-legged side while Chelsea played at a canter, barely breaking a sweat.

Terry had his second, and Chelsea's third, on 71 minutes, heading home from a Torres cross. It added unnecessary gloss to what was an average Chelsea performance.

Fulham continued to add light pressure well into the four minutes of added time at the end, but the incompetence with the final ball continued.

For, this was no exceptionally poor performance as a whole and yet, in many, infuriating parts, it was. The willingness to push Chelsea was hugely encouraging but, as we've come to learn with Fulham, execution isn't one of our strong points.

But, at the very least, there's always next year.



http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2013/4/17/4235946/fulham-3-0-chelsea-terry-david-luiz-wonder-goal?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 06:22:28 AM »
 
Chelsea's John Terry and David Luiz make short work of Fulham

Performances as authoritative as this insist there is life in the old guard yet. Chelsea have thrust their way back into the Premier League's top three, eclipsing Fulham at a canter with players whose days at the club appear to be numbered thriving in the familiarity of a derby. Those crammed into the Putney End will have found reassurance in the sight of Frank Lampard and, in particular, John Terry excelling. This was a throwback, a saunter to enjoy on the banks of the Thames.

Both the veterans had sat out Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, a watershed given the significance of that occasion and the reality they have been permanent fixtures on the bigger stages when fit. The sheer weight of games has forced each into Rafael Benítez's policy of rotation though Lampard, his contract drifting to its conclusion, and Terry have started to feel more second-string than first-choice.

The 60th game of Chelsea's season offered a reminder of their qualities. When the team sought strength they rallied, albeit against opponents too wasteful to inflict their own wounds. A first away win in the league since mid-January was timely given the fixture clutter.

Lampard oozed calm authority on his 600th appearance for the club, even if he still seeks the two goals to equal Bobby Tambling's club record of 202. It was Terry who registered twice here, a header in either half puncturing Fulham's resistance, the captain ending the contest bare-chested and celebrating in front of the away support. "I'm really pleased with his performance, but the most important thing is always the team," said Benítez. "They all know that. The players have to be ready to perform and on their toes every game." With Gary Cahill close to a return from a knee injury, Terry's alternate selections may well be prolonged but, regardless, he can make his mark on the run-in.

Benítez had required his captain's strong-arm presence here. The reality is Chelsea had needed a spark to ignite what had initially been another understandably leggy display. Fulham had created the early opportunities, Dimitar Berbatov orchestrating their play, with the visitors limited to flurries of possession before David Luiz tired of all the pretty approach-play. He collected the ball some 30 yards out and with Bryan Ruiz too half-hearted in his attempt to close him down, lashed a shot which caught the wind gusting around the arena and careered beyond Mark Schwarzer into the top corner.

It was a staggering goal to pep the visitors' resolve. Half-time was close when Lampard belted a free-kick from distance and tapped into the same flight path, the ball swerving in mid-air and thudding into Schwarzer's chest before dribbling behind. Fulham never recovered their composure from the resultant corner, Juan Mata eventually floating a deep cross to the far post where Terry leapt unchallengedbetween Sascha Riether and Philippe Senderos to power a header into the net.

That lead was never likely to be properly challenged thereafter, Chelsea's composure established. For all Fulham's huff and puff, there was little surprise when the revitalised Fernando Torres flicked on a corner and Terry, from virtually on the goal-line, nodded in a second 19 minutes from time.

Fulham stewed in their frustration. They are not used to yielding to their local rivals so readily in this arena, with this a first defeat in four years, though the exasperation was born more of an inability to take their own chances. Martin Jol's side had forged the clearer opportunities when the game was goalless only to be blunted by profligacy.

The tone had been set in the opening attack Riether – a player Jol hopes to secure on a long-term basis from Cologne in the summer after an excellent season on loan – crossing beyond David Luiz only for Ruiz, alone in front of goal, to poke an awkward volley over the bar. Giorgos Karagounis and Berbatov also went close, the visitors rattled to the extent that Branislav Ivanovic lunged two-footed at Mladen Petric near the corner flag and was fortunate to escape only with a caution.

It took an excellent save from Petr Cech to deny Urby Emanuelson's skimmed attempt, the shot flicking off Lampard before it was touched round a post, though their toils were rather summed up by Mladen Petric contriving to deflect Senderos's goal-bound header over the bar from under the woodwork. "The linesman would have flagged him offside if he'd turned it in, so the real frustration was playing so well for the first half-hour but then failing to close David Luiz down," said Jol. "We had a good go at them, but never capitalised."

Chelsea did not make the same mistake, their ruthlessness hoisting them above Arsenal and back into third. Benítez returns to Anfield on Sunday; he will go back to Merseyside buoyed by a resounding success.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/apr/17/fulham-chelsea-premier-league?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 06:24:15 AM »
 
Martin Jol bemoans 'harsh' defeat

Fulham manager Martin Jol has insisted that the final score of his side's 3-0 defeat to Chelsea was not a fair reflection of the game.

The Dutchman believes that his side should have had an early goal during this evening's Premier League clash, putting the reverse down to bad luck.

"We couldn't get the goal we should have had in the first few minutes and we had other chances, but we didn't get the break," BBC Sport quotes Jol as saying.

"If you didn't see the game, the result was bit harsh."

David Luiz found the net and John Terry scored twice during the London derby, helping the Blues move above Arsenal to third in the table.



http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/news/jol-bemoans-harsh-defeat_80091.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 06:26:00 AM »
 
Fulham boss Martin Jol felt 3-0 defeat to Chelsea was harsh on team

Martin Jol felt the scoreline did not reflect his team's performance after Fulham lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea.

The Cottagers began brightly but a stunning strike from David Luiz gave Chelsea the lead and two headers from John Terry, one in each half, gave the visitors a comfortable victory.

Fulham boss Jol was left frustrated by the manner of the goals his side conceded after competing well with their local rivals in the early stages of the contest.

"You saw the goalscorers," he told Sky Sports. "John Terry two and David Luiz one, so the defenders scored and that was the story of the night.

"I thought we were great in the first half. We should have scored in the second minute but didn't and then we didn't close Luiz in midfield. It was a great shot but we could have closed it down.

"For the second goal we couldn't clear the ball so we didn't push out to the edge of the box. When that goes in it is always difficult, especially against a good team. The third goal is a corner as well.

"You see the score, it is a bit harsh. They deserved the goals but I thought we were maybe the better team for the first half an hour. That's the frustrating thing - we couldn't capitalise on it."

Jol was also left annoyed by the decision of referee Mike Dean to book Bryan Ruiz for simulation after he stumbled in the box under a challenge.

"I think it was a ridiculous situation," he added.

"Of course, you could argue maybe that the other player didn't touch him. But you could see he lost his balance because of the defender.

"I can live with a goal-kick or whatever but a yellow card? It was never a dive. Anyone could see that. He is the only person on the pitch who thought that was a dive."



http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11661/8646804?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 06:27:41 AM »
 
Dangerous Defenders Give Fulham The Blues
Chelsea win on the road to take charge in battle for Champions League place

Chelsea ticked another game off the ever growing list with a 3-0 win over mid-table Fulham on a windy Wednesday night at Craven Cottage.

Once again, it was the home side's inability to convert their chances that left them chasing the game against their near neighbours. As always, Martin Jol's team worked hard, but hard work alone will not get you far against a Blues team that are routinely clinical in front of goal.

The visitors did look tired as they played their seventh game in 19 days but they took advantage of a home side that was clearly missing Damien Duff who has created seven goals in the league for them.

The Whites had started the game brightly and looked odds on to score first until David Luiz broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. Sascha Reither had the first real chance, but he blasted his shot over the bar after good work by John Arne Riise.

Fulham continued to create opportunities with Dimitar Berbatov having his strike blocked by John Terry and Riise shooting straight at goalkeeper Petr Cech, when he would've done better to chip the ball.

Branislav Ivanovic seemed determined to add his name to the boo-boys list alongside his captain and achieved it when he went in two-footed on Mladen Petric at the corner flag, to earn himself the first yellow of the night. On another night, the right-back would've seen red for the needless challenge but he can thank the leniency of referee Mike Dean. Fulham wasted the resulting corner, with the ball ending up in the grasp of Cech.

There was a sense of inevitability that Jol's men would come to rue their missed chances and this was the case on the half-hour mark when the Blues took the lead. Luiz collected the ball 35 yards from goal and he made no mistake as his right-foot strike flew into the far top corner, dipping perfectly to miss Schwarzer's outstretched arm.

Fulham nearly levelled minutes later when Cech saved Urby Emanuelson's shot, but they again failed to use the resulting corner.

Like many in the Premier League, the home side showed their need for a 20-goal a season striker as they continued to miss the target. Berbatov the latest player to send a shot wide.

Juan Mata, who had been quiet by his own high standards, set up Terry to double Chelsea's lead with a header a minute before half-time.

This may have knocked the stuffing out of some clubs, but not Fulham as they raced up the other end only to have Bryan Ruiz booked for diving in the box. It looked more as if he fell over, rather than deliberately dived, with the Cottage faithful loudly showing their displeasure for referee Dean.

In much the same vein as their FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City, Rafa Benitez' interim men appeared sharper in the second-half and their fans clearly thought so as they predicted a score of 5-0 in favour of their team.

It may have been more than three, had Fernando Torres not returned to his unpredictable self; as he sent one chance wide and completely missed the ball during another as he attempted a bicycle kick.

As the game wore on, Fulham continued to try their luck with Berbatov and the lively Giorgos Karagounis at the heart of most forays forward. Just before the hour, Berbatov looked to be through on goal, before the whistle went for off-side. Replays showed it was a harsh decision, at best.

Things got stranger when Petric blocked the ball on Chelsea's goal-line from a Philippe Senderos' header. Post match Jol conceded the defender was offside, but it epitomised their bad luck on the night.

It wasn't that the Cottagers were bad, just that Chelsea were better but Jol will feel hopeful for next season if his men can add finishing to their work rate.

And their south-west London neighbours proved that again, when Senderos allowed Terry to get free in the box and send his header past Schwarzer to complete his brace. The boys in blue return to third in the league, after Arsenal's stalemate with Everton the night before but everyone at the club will know that only wins will keep them in complete control of their own destiny.



http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/dangerous-defenders-give-fulham-blues?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 06:29:33 AM »
 
Fulham and Crystal Palace eye Airdrie duo



Two of Airdrie’s brightest young stars have gone on trial with English clubs.

Striker Jordan Allan and centre-back Aidan Bickerton are members of the Diamonds’ under-15s squad.

But the duo have spent several days in London with Allan training at Fulham and Bickerton impressing with Crystal Palace.

Allan, who made his Airdrie reserve-team debut at the age of 14, scored twice in a game against Chelsea and Fulham have already asked if they can take another look at him in the summer.

Bickerton was also on target during his trial and could be set for another trip south.

The Diamonds’ first-team manager, Jimmy Boyle, praised both players.

“Jordan did fantastic,” he said. “He’s had a great season, scored a lot of goals and played for our reserves which tells you how much I think of him.

“Aidan was also in England and did very well. We’ll speak further with Palace and see what their thoughts are.”


http://www.acadvertiser.co.uk/coatbridge-airdrie-sport/lanarkshire-football/airdrie-utd-fc/2013/04/17/65864-33189113/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 06:44:42 AM »
 
The View from South Texas — Fulham FC v. Chelsea

by HatterDon

Tame Fulham Surrender Meekly to The Undead

Today, Fulham hosted a match-weary Chelsea at The Cottage and, before a nearly packed house allowed the visitors to stroll to the easy victory they sorely needed in their drive to finish in the top four. Three goals by Chelsea’s two central defenders – only one of them from a set piece – did the trick, and with the loss, Fulham have now garnered one point from their last three matches. The Whites are the Premier League’s form team no longer.

Ah, but it might have been so different. For the first 20-25 minutes of the match, Chelsea looked toothless – little cohesion between defense and attack, and giving the ball away all too easily. They looked listless and cautious. By contrast, Fulham were spraying the ball all over the park and creating chances. Ruiz, Berbatov, and Karagounis scorned full or half chances, but Fulham looked to be in an attacking mood, with the always impressive Sascha Riether the most potent force up the right wing. One could have found himself wondering what Fulham could do in this mood with Ashkan Dejagah prowling the right in cahoots with Riether. But then … .

Totally against the run of play, Fulham found themselves behind. David Luiz, certainly the most interesting central defender in the league, looked to be no danger to a well-organized Fulham midfield and defense when on the half hour he launched a screamer from fully 40 yards into the upper right corner of Mark Schwarzer’s net. Nobody was at fault with the goal. You kind of hope that opposing central defenders will decide to shoot from that range. And Fulham were behind 0-1.

When a few spirited attempts for a quick equalizer suddenly petered out, Fulham fell back to playing ball control. Facing a side that had played 12 matches in six weeks [while Fulham had played 5], Fulham became content to string pass after pass along the midfield and then check back and let the central defenders play a one-two before going back to the same routine. When Chelsea screwed up a corner just before half time, John Terry remained in the Fulham penalty area. Instead of moving quickly to take advantage of Chelsea’s aging, slowing captain being so far out of position, Fulham instead began their agonizingly slow and steady progression up the field. When the ball was finally lost, Terry was right where he stood when his side took the corner. One quick pass and Terry left Riether for dead, sneaked behind Senderos and scored with a well-taken header. 0-2 just before the half. If there was anyone in the park that didn’t believe that the three points were gone for good, he must have been deluding himself.

Terry added a third in the second half, leaping between Senderos and Riether – the latter was ready to clear Fernando Torres shot off the line – to head home from about 6 inches. Schwarzer didn’t stand a chance with any of the goals. Fulham? Fulham made a few forays up the field as Chelsea contented themselves to inviting attack and then quickly countering. Senderos should have pulled one back but for a heroic goal-line block by his teammate, Mladen Petrić. And that was it.

Chelsea, who hadn’t won a league match on the road for three months, walked [and I do mean WALKED] away with the easiest three points they’ll have in a long time. And, yes, I know the difference in the cost between the two match day squads, but the truth is that Fulham drew their last four matches with the other team in Fulham – two and perhaps three of those matches could easily have been Chelsea defeats. They were exhausted from their efforts in three different competitions, and are desperately trying to fight off efforts by Arsenal and Tottenham to deprive them of eligibility to participate in the Champions League. They were nervous, slow-witted, and fully at sixes and sevens, and … .

An attacking team that counts on speed and width could easily have dominated the Chelsea of the first 25 minutes of the match. Attacks up the wing, simple running of the channels could have spread their defense and made them more easy to turn – more apt to make critical mistakes. Chelsea was there to be taken by a team that pushes up wide and quickly, that stretches the defense, that drives to the dead ball line. But Martin Jol Sexy Football © doesn’t allow for that. No, in order to play MJSF, you must move upfield carefully and, at the first sight of a defender stop short. Instead of putting that defender under pressure, you must check back and pass sideways or – preferably backwards . In MJSF, the traditional “slow, slow, quick-quick, slow” football interpretive dance must be performed as “slow, slow, slower-slower, slowest.” It is a prayer come true for tired, jaded defenders and midfielders and especially for aging, half-speed central defenders.

So, we lost, and if we play like that against Arsenal – just as hungry for points and not nearly so tired, we’ll get smashed by them as well.

Quick snapshots department.
1.   This was Hangeland’s second sub-standard match in a row. Was his dramatic return to form just a short good patch of play? Is the poor play we saw so much of in late 2012 now the norm?
2.   I absolutely hate the fact that the Petrić that I’ve been calling for to get a chance was nothing short of horrid on the day.
3.   Why was our first substitution made at the expense of our most sure footed defender? Riise was excellent today. I hope not to hear any more calls for him to be rested.
4.   Somewhat related, I immediately understood why Jol converted Emanuelson from a left back to a midfielder.
5.   It was cruel to bring on Frei so late and have him run the left wing. We could have used his pace and his natural attacking instinct on the right wing and from the very beginning.

Things I am tired of seeing over and over that I saw again today:
1.   Berbatov STANDING 10 yards from a loose ball and making not the slightest move to win it.
2.   Karagounis auditioning for RADA. I know that everybody loves his all out effort, and the Ancient Greek does take a good free kick/corner, but his histrionics, his constant wailing and moaning, AND his diving should be an embarrassment to Fulham and its supporters. You’ve got game, dammit; play football like a man.

Oh, and there is no Man of the Match when we lose 0-3 to The Undead.

Grumble, grumble.



http://www.friendsoffulham.com/wordpress/?p=269

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 11:24:48 AM »
 
Fulham 0-3 Chelsea: What Happened

David Luiz deposited a 35-yard screamer and Mladen Petric cleared Philippe Senderos’s goalbound header off the Chelsea goal line.

What.

That was my reaction after this match. What did I just watch? Turns out that Luiz Zeus-bolt was a harbinger of things going to come, but I had a hard time wrapping my head around the entirety of it.

This was one of the weirder matches of the season. Fulham didn’t play poorly at all. The buildup play was creative – albeit sloppy – and the defending was relatively solid. In addition, Chelsea really didn’t play all that well. They were sluggish (so was Fulham) and they definitely didn’t have a top 5 cutting edge about them.

And yet, here we are, 3-0 losers at home.

Ultimately, Fulham made mistakes (a lot of them) and Chelsea made them pay, and that’s what good teams do And Chelsea is a very good team.

The good:

Eyong Enoh – The best Fulham player on the pitch by a longshot, Enoh was physical, accurate, and looked like he was trying a whole hell of a lot harder than anyone else under Martin Jol’s command. Enoh finished 48/49 passing, 5-for-5 in tackle attempts, and drew 3 fouls while committing 2. The only blemish on his record was a “failed clearance” he somehow got in the attacking half of the pitch on the touchline. I like what I see from the Cameroonian, and I hope Fulham give him a few more chances to prove he’s worth exercising the option to buy on his loan deal.

The bad:

Bryan Ruiz – Ruiz has been a focal point for discussion between Fulham fans this entire season. He cost a great deal, and hasn’t brought a whole lot of quality to the pitch. Many refuse to give up on him yet, but time is quickly running out on the “he needs to get used to the Premier League” excuse. To be fair, he has 6 assists, second most on the team. Everyone knows he’s ineffective on the wing and a little more effective stuck behind Berbatov. The Costa Rican hasn’t been awful….until last night. Ruiz’s passing was horribly inaccurate, and he displayed a quality his detractors have repeatedly pointed to – a lack of physicality. Ruiz was pushed off the ball numerous times, and other moments he had an opportunity to make a tackle but was simply brushed aside. I’ve made the argument in the past (and I know at least a few agree with me) that Ruiz’s biggest issue on Fulham this season is that he’s the exact same player as Berbatov. A player who uses technical ability and occasional bursts of pace to excel up front and slip into spaces most players wouldn’t dare take on. But with Berba up front already, and obviously not going anywhere, where is Ruiz to go? We’ll have to see what happens in the near future, but Bryan’s flirtations with fans patience is rapidly running out.

Mladen Petric – It was difficult to have a worse game than Ruiz had, but Petric managed to pull it off. It was exciting to see his name back in the lineup after months of being relegated to the bench. He’d shown a bit of an understanding with Berbatov both early in the season and in his few short substitute appearances. However, after an invisible first half, his world came crumbling apart in the second period. The most baffling moment was clearly when he attempted to redirect Philippe Senderos’s header off a corner into the net where he happened to be stationed at the far post. The problem was twofold. One, the header was already clearly goalbound. Two, Petric redirected the ball alright – out of the net and over the top. I must say, it’s quite impressive how Petric managed to get that ball over the top of the bar, but he figured out a way. That completely changed the course of the match. Fulham trailed 2-0 at the time, and a goal would certainly have put pressure on Chelsea that so far had eluded the home side. Instead, Chelsea went down and scored a third minutes later, sealing the match. Petric was off target, lacked any pace whatsoever, and had no connection with his teammates. A player who early on in the season showed the potential to be labeled a steal off the free transfer market now probably falls into the “you get what you pay for” category.

Sascha Riether – I hate to put the German in this category, because he’s had an outstanding season, and because of that certainly gets a pass for a few bad matches. He’s been one of the top 3 right backs in the Premier League. However, after an outstanding cross lifted into the box by Riether in about the third minute (which Ruiz managed to flub completely into a howling miss), the right-back proceeded to have possibly his worst match of the season. Riether had trouble handling passes, and had a poor time defending. He allowed John Terry – one of the best in the league with his head – 5 yards of space about 7 yards from the goal, and Terry made him pay for his first goal of the night to make it 2-0. Sascha picked a bad match to have a stinker too – the club relied heavily on his attacking play with Ruiz having such a tough time on the right wing. Riether’s 48 received passes is his most in a match since he had way too many (70 to be exact) against Manchester City back in January.

Man of the Match – (null) I guess I can give it to Enoh by default, but everyone else was poor/non-existent.

Other observations – So many players on this roster have never been more obviously replacable than they were at Craven Cottage last night. John Arne Riise is no longer the force he was on the left side and has become wildly mediocre. He had acres of space in the box in the closing minutes of the first half and managed a timid outside-of-the-foot “shot” from a player who used to be known as the Riise Rocket. Wasn’t much of a rocket. Urby Emanuelson has shown nothing of value beyond the fact he plays for AC Milan. His strengths don’t translate well to the Premier League, and he can head back to Italy sooner rather than later as far as I’m concerned.

Where to go from here – The hardest part about this match was the exposure of Fulham’s patchwork roster. It’s never been more evident how many holes this squad has. The striker situation is still a mess – Berbatov is the only reliable goalscorer and quite frankly only consistently solid play up front. The midfield outside of Steve Sidwell is a patchwork of loanees and old misfits. The wing is aging and injured. The defense is incredibly old spotty – embarrassing mistakes are rampant and outside of Riether they provide little pressure link-up play in the attack. The club will limp towards the finish-line just fine, but this summer will be unbelievably important to the club’s future. It’s funny because that’s exactly what we all said last summer, and we were stunned with the last-minute results. This summer, the shock departures are officially a thing of the past, and Martin Jol can begin his long-term plan for how to bring this club better results.


http://fulhamsfinest.com/2013/04/18/fulham-0-3-chelsea-what-happened/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 11:26:25 AM »
 
Ramsey - We must end the week strongly

Aaron Ramsey is "positive and confident" that Arsenal can finish in the top four - but he knows a win is needed at Fulham on Saturday.

Arsène Wenger's side beat Norwich City last weekend but had to settle for a point against a resolute Everton side on Tuesday and dropped down to fourth in the Premier League after Chelsea's 3-0 win at Craven Cottage the following night.

If Arsenal can follow suit at Fulham they will return to third place before Chelsea visit Liverpool and Tottenham entertain Manchester City on Sunday. According to Ramsey it's imperative that Arsenal keep their rivals under pressure.

"It's important [to open up a gap]," he said. "We always knew that this week was going to be a big week for us. We've got four points out of two games so far. We're still unbeaten in a load of games and hopefully now we can finish the week off strongly and get a win at Fulham which will put us in a really strong position.

"It was important for us not to lose against Everton and I think we still have a lot of confidence. It didn't quite happen for us in the final third [on Tuesday] but overall we were quite solid and we're looking forward to the weekend.

"Tottenham and Chelsea still have to play each other. They still have tough games. The teams are going to drop points so we're still positive and confident that we can finish in the top four.

"We're just concentrating on our own game and taking every game as it comes. [If we are in third place] maybe they might feel a bit of pressure going into their [next] game to try and get three points to get back above us."

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are leading the race for a top-four finish but Everton were impressive at Emirates Stadium and are only four points adrift of the fourth-placed Gunners. Ramsey is not ruling them out of the Champions League picture.

"I'm not so sure [Everton are out of it]," he said. "I think they've still got to play a few teams which are in and around fourth place. Teams are going to drop points so it's important for us just to keep our momentum going and win our remaining games."

Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source



http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/ramsey-we-must-end-the-week-strongly?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 11:27:24 AM »
 
Reading on General Sale

Tickets for our penultimate home game of the season are now available to buy on General Sale.

The Whites face Reading on Saturday 4th May (3pm).

Prices start from just £40 for adults and £20 for juniors and supporters can purchase their tickets online today.

Tickets are also available to buy in person from the Ticket Office or by calling 0843 208 134 (Option 1).

Find out the latest availability and buy online today!



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2013/april/18/reading-on-general-sale?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 11:28:27 AM »
 
Fulham hand former Chelsea winger Buomesca Tue Na Banga a three-year deal

Fulham have given a three-year deal to former Chelsea winger Buomesca Tue Na Banga.

The 19-year moved across west London, to Craven Cottage, in August 2011 after two years with local rivals Chelsea.

"It's a great moment for me," he told the Fulham programme. "I can't stop smiling."

"Fulham have been very good to me, I have made a lot of friends and there are good people here."

The deal includes an added option of a fourth year which could extend the exciting prospect's stay with Martin Jol's side until 2017.

The midfielder, known as Mesca, is the older brother of £4m-rated Manchester City target Bruma.



Read more: http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/130418/fulham-hand-former-chelsea-winger-buomesca-tue-na-banga-three-year-deal-19584?#ixzz2QoFlkKyI
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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2013, 11:29:34 AM »
 
Premier League preview: Fulham v Arsenal

Arsenal need a win at Fulham on Saturday if they are to keep their late-season charge for a Champions League berth going strong.

Arsene Wenger's side have lost just one of their past 11 English Premier League games, and head into the encounter at Craven Cottage in fourth place - just one point behind third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

Fourth place would earn Arsenal a spot in the Champions League qualifiers, but they are under considerable pressure for that position, with fierce rivals Spurs breathing down their necks - just two points behind and with a game in hand.

In their most recent match, Arsenal could only manage a 0-0 draw at home against Everton on Tuesday.

Martin Jol's Fulham, meanwhile, are in 10th place in the league, but are without a win in their past three games - with a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday in their last start.

The last time they played, the two sides fought out a brilliant 3-3 draw at Emirates Stadium last November.

Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski put the Gunners 2-0 up in the early going, before a Dimitar Berbatov brace and an Alexander Kacaniklic goal had Fulham leading 3-2.

Giroud's second goal levelled for Arsenal, and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was the hero when he saved Mikel Arteta's late penalty.

Both teams are in good physical shape ahead of the match, with Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski hoping to have recovered from a rib injury in time to contend for selection.

Arsenal's only confirmed absentee is Abou Diaby, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament last month.

Fulham will likely be without Damien Duff due to an adductor strain, Mahamadou Diarra is still battling a knee issue, but the home side will welcome back Steve Sidwell after his three-match suspension.



http://uk.soccerway.com/news/2013/April/18/premier-league-preview-fulham-v-arsenal/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 11:31:15 AM »
 
Fulham Unlucky to Lose to Chelsea Feels Urby Emanuelson

AC Milan midfielder Urby Emanuelson, on loan at Fulham, has admitted that the Cottagers were unlucky to lose by three goals against Chelsea in the Premier League last night.

Chelsea were two goals up in the first half, courtesy of defenders David Luiz and John Terry. Another from the England centre-back in the second half gave the Blues a comfortable three-goal lead at Craven Cottage.

“We played well in the first half and there is a bad feeling about the goals we got against us. We had our chances, we played well, but we were unlucky”, the Dutch international told Fulham’s official site.

“We created a lot of chances for ourselves but we missed a little bit of luck and in the end we lost 3-0, and as a team you don’t feel happy about it.”

The 26-year-old was also amazed with the superb strike from Chelsea centre-back David Luiz in the first-half, as the ball went all the way into the net with full force 30 yards from goal.

“The shot from Luiz was great. have nothing but applause for it. He is a great player, and he showed. But for us it was killer as we were playing well and we got a goal like that against us, that hurts.”

The Cottagers now take on fourth-placed Arsenal this Saturday in the Premier League. The Gunners lead them by 20 points in the standings.



Read more at http://www.insidefutbol.com/2013/04/18/fulham-unlucky-to-lose-to-chelsea-feels-urby-emanuelson/83844/#3kLG0U7FChdB0e5s.99

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 11:32:09 AM »
 
Fulham linked to Sparta hitman

Fulham and West Brom are among a clutch of clubs understood to be closely following Czech international striker Vaclav Kadlec.

Euro giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have also been monitoring Kadlec this season and are on a list of 15 clubs, including Manchester City and Arsenal, that Czech newspaper Sport say are interested in the 20-year-old forward. Kadlec has scored five goals in his last three appearances for Sparta who are vying for the Czech title with Victoria Plzen. His club are expected to set his price-tag at £5million, but agent Pavel Paska has said that the player should remain focused on playing for Sparta for now. Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dynamo Kiev, Red Bull Salzburg, Torino, Sampdoria and Genoa are also mentioned in the Czech press as clubs that have scouted him recently. Kadlec has hit 10 league goals and four Europa League goals this season, although he failed to score in either leg of Sparta's tie against Chelsea, despite starting both matches.


http://www.clubcall.com/fulham/fulham-linked-to-sparta-hitman-1577939.html?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 11:33:43 AM »
 
Brede Hangeland: Fans played important part in decision to stay at Fulham

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland says the club's fans played a major role in convincing him to extend his contract at the west London club.

The 31-year-old was due to be out of contract in the summer but he has agreed a two-year extension to the delight of the supporters and manager Martin Jol.

"I was just really pleased to sort it out and commit myself to Fulham for some more years. I'm certainly really happy to have signed," Hangeland told the club's programme.

"I haven't really seen what the fans have said, but I'm told they were very happy about me signing which is nice to hear.

"The supporters have always been great to me here and we seem to have a great bond.

"I've loved my time here. It's a special football club; it has a great family feel to it and some great people behind the scenes. Craven Cottage is a wonderful stadium too.

"I couldn't really see myself at any other team in the Premier League so to have signed and to know I'm here for a few more years is great.

"I didn't know much about the club when I signed, there were quite a few teams interested in me, but I ended up at Fulham and it has been brilliant."



Read more: http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/130418/brede-hangeland-fans-played-important-part-decision-stay-fulham-195852?#ixzz2QoH4hSBd
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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 11:34:39 AM »
 
Kaca Returns

Fulham winger Alexander Kačaniklić has been recalled from his loan spell at Burnley with immediate effect.

The Sweden international midfielder joined the npower Championship Clarets on a temporary basis at the start of March and made six appearances for the Turf Moor club, the last coming in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at Leeds United.

However, he is now back in SW6 and could feature for the Whites when they host Arsenal at the Cottage on Saturday (3pm).

Prior to his move to Lancashire, the youngster had made 19 appearances for Fulham this season, scoring three times.


http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2013/april/18/kaca-returns?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 11:35:39 AM »
 
Beşiktaş close in on Fulham target Sinan Bolat

Beşiktaş are closing in on a four-year deal with Standard Liege goalkeeper Sinan Bolat according to Turkish newspaper, Milliyet.

The Black Eagles have conceded the third highest number of goals - 42 - this season and have been linked with Bolat in the past.

Fulham are also interested in the 24-year-old keeper after narrowly missing out on signing him the January transfer window.

The London club are looking for a replacement for Mark Schwarzer. Fulham manager Martin Jol told BBC: "Mark Schwarzer saves games for us so I would like him to stay but we are looking for a goalkeeper."

Bolat missed most of the season with a cruciate ligament injury however, has been recovered and is expected to return to competitive football next season.

The Turkish international keeper famous for being the only goalkeeper to have ever scored a goal in open-play in the Champions League and kept 19 clean sheets in 52 games last season.


http://www.turkish-football.com/news_read.php?id=4461


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 12:19:30 PM »
 
Fulham and WBA chase Prague poacher

Fulham and West Brom are among the clubs understood to be closely following Sparta Prague’s Czech international striker Vaclav Kadlec.

Euro giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have also been monitoring Kadlec this season and are on a list of 15 clubs, including Manchester City and Arsenal, that Czech newspaper Sport say are interested in the 20-year-old forward.

Kadlec has scored five goals in his last three appearances for Sparta who are vying for the Czech title with Victoria Plzen.

His club are expected to set his price-tag at £5million, but agent Pavel Paska has said that the player should remain focused on playing for Sparta for now.

Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dynamo Kiev, Red Bull Salzburg, Torino, Sampdoria and Genoa are also mentioned in the Czech press as clubs that have scouted him recently.

Kadlec has hit 10 league goals and four Europa League goals this season, although he failed to score in either leg of Sparta’s tie against Chelsea, despite starting both matches.



http://www.footballfancast.com/premiership/fulham/fulham-and-wba-chase-prague-poacher

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (18/04/13)...
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 12:21:06 PM »
 
Galatasaray Target Deal For Fulham Midfielder

Turkish giants want Fulham’s Frei.


Galatasaray are reportedly eyeing a deal for Fulham midfielder Karim Frei, according to Turkish website Maraton.


The 19-year-old, who is of Swiss-Turkish descent, recently switched allegiances from Switzerland to Turkey, having climbed the youth football ladder with one and playing full blown international football with the other.

Frei began his career at Grasshopper Zurich before joining Fulham in 2010. He broke into The Cottagers first team last season and made 25 appearances, but has seen his playing time cut short in West London this year. He spent the start of the season on loan at Cardiff City and upon his return he’s managed to feature just six times as injury has also played its part in keeping him out of the squad.

Galatasaray have reportedly sent sporting director Bulent Tulun to England to check on Frei as well as run the rule over Reading midfielder, Jem Karacan, who they are also rumoured to be interested in.

Coach, Fatih Terim confirmed the club’s interest by saying; “We scouted Kerim Frei last season as well. We have been scouting Frei for over a year and remain interested. We will make an offer for him at the end of the season.”

Frei is reportedly worried about his place in the Turkish national side and is wary of following a similar path to that of Colin Kazim-Richards who is now struggling at Blackburn Rovers.



http://www.caughtoffside.com/2013/04/18/galatasaray-target-deal-for-fulham-midfielder/?