Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)  (Read 8032 times)

White Noise

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Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« on: May 04, 2010, 06:10:41 AM »

Mark Schwarzer fears Fulham success could prompt Hodgson to leave

• Goalkeeper says manager's 'mean streak' key to success
• Hodgson 'might think he can't take the club any further'

    * Dominic Fifield
    *, Monday 3 May 2010 22.35 BST

Mark Schwarzer has offered an insight into how Roy Hodgson has inspired Fulham's staggering season, admitting he can be "an angry little man at times", though the Australia goalkeeper expressed fears that the manager could yet decide he has taken the club as far as he can should the Cottagers win the Europa League next week.

Hodgson said he remains "happy" at Fulham after their victory on Sunday over West Ham United in the wake of suggestions that Liverpool could attempt to lure him to Merseyside as a replacement for Rafael Benítez. His time at Craven Cottage has been hugely impressive, keeping the club up against the odds in his first six months before leading them to seventh last season and their first European final, where they will face Atlético Madrid in Hamburg, this time around.

"He's the man in charge and he makes the decisions and has been extremely successful, but he's always going to be linked with other positions," said Schwarzer, who has flourished under Hodgson since moving from Middlesbrough in 2008. "Whenever there's success and someone achieves what our gaffer has in the last two and a half years, there's going to be interest. We've had a truly remarkable season and the manager, for me, is without doubt the manager of the season. We'll lock him in a room or something and make sure he can't go anywhere."

Asked whether success in the Europa League could yet persuade Hodgson to stay at the club beyond the summer, Schwarzer said: "I don't know. It might work the other way. He might think: 'Well, you can't go any further than that.' But, listen, we haven't won it yet. We've still got two Premier League games to go and then there's the final. We need to make sure we continue our run, finish in the top 10 and then go about the small job of trying to win the Europa League."

Hodgson has revived this club, inspiring a relatively small squad and producing a supremely organised and disciplined side which has excelled in the 60 games played so far this season. "You don't get this sort of success without the spirit we have," said Schwarzer. "He can be an angry little man at times, but that's what you need to be. It's well documented that Sir Alex Ferguson has got a very mean streak, as do other managers who are successful. I don't know any manager who's successful who hasn't got that angry streak, or that ruthless streak. Our manager is no different.

"No one gave us a hope in hell of getting as far as we have in the Europa League while also backing it up by continuing the success we're having in the Premier League. Trying to emulate what we did last season, finishing seventh, was always going to be a huge task but I think it's been pretty remarkable. Two more wins and we can guarantee 10th position, and that's our goal. But with the Europa League final, and for me the World Cup, to come – well, it doesn't get any better than this. What we've achieved at this club in the last two years has been unbelievable. I'm loving every minute, and I don't want it to end."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 06:15:28 AM »

Football Weekly: Hail Roy Hodgson and Steve McClaren

Chelsea close in on the title, Man City and Spurs set up a showdown for fourth and we celebrate the success of two English managers

      Comments (161)

    * Presented by James Richardson and produced by Iain Chambers
    *, Monday 3 May 2010 17.13 BST

It's a bumper edition of Football Weekly today as Barney Ronay, Barry Glendenning and Sean Ingle join James Richardson to talk about the title race, Barry's ticker and the heart-thumping excitement promised by Wednesday night's showdown for fourth between Manchester City and Spurs.

Sid Lowe is on the line from Madrid to talk about an action-packed weekend in La Liga, while the pod is shocked by unexpected developments in Serie A, where Lazio rolled over and had their tummy tickled by Inter.

As well as a bumper crop of posts, we wave our pom-poms at Roy Hodgson for leading Fulham to the Europa League final while from Holland Louise Taylor reflects on Steve McClaren leading FC Twente to Eredivisie glory.

Have a listen and give us your thoughts on the blog below. Remember to find us on Twitter and Facebook, and get your daily dose of our free football email, the Fiver too.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 06:18:52 AM »

Fulham hope to keep Roy Hodgson under lock and key

Russell Kempson

As the praise continues to rain down on Roy Hodgson and potential suitors appear to be queueing for his services, Mark Schwarzer has suggested a novel way in which to make sure that the Fulham manager stays at Craven Cottage.

Taking Hodgson hostage might seem a shade radical but Schwarzer, the Fulham goalkeeper, believes that it might be the only method of keeping the man who has masterminded their remarkable run to the Europa League final.

“I think it’s been a truly remarkable season and, for me, the manager is without doubt the manager of the season,” Schwarzer said. “It’s inevitable, given the success he’s had here over the last couple of years, that he’s been linked with jobs elsewhere.

“But we’ll make sure he doesn’t go because we’ll tackle him, lock him up in a room or somewhere and then he can’t go anywhere. He’s been extremely successful and he’s always going to be linked with other positions. We just hope, as players and as a club, that we can hold on to him as long as possible.”

Hodgson has mostly appeared calm throughout Fulham’s marathon 60-match season, which will reach 63 after they have met Atlético Madrid in the Europa final in Hamburg on May 12. However, Schwarzer revealed that Hodgson occasionally resorts to the hairdryer treatment in the manner of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

“We do have a special bond, a nice chemistry, with the manager and you don’t get this sort of success without that,” Schwarzer said. “He can be an angry little man at times but that’s what you need to be.

“Sir Alex has got a very mean streak as do other managers who are successful. I don’t know any manager who is successful who hasn’t got that angry streak or hasn’t got that ruthless streak. Our manager is no different and that’s part of his success.”

Schwarzer hopes that winning Europe’s new second-tier competition might persuade Hodgson to remain at the West London club but also fears that it could have the reverse effect. “I just don’t know,” Schwarzer said. “It might work the other way. He might think: ‘Well, you can’t go any further than that’.

“But listen. We haven’t won it yet. We’ve still got two Premier League games to go [against Stoke City at home tomorrow night and Arsenal away on Sunday] and we need to make sure we continue our run to finish in the top ten. Then we will go about the small job of trying to win the Europa League.”

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 06:23:38 AM »

David Beckham’s withdrawal because of his Achilles injury has left Capello contemplating taking an additional striker as a replacement, instead of another nippy winger, such as Shaun Wright-Phillips. The choice of a wildcard striker is likely to come down to Bobby Zamora, the Fulham forward, and Darren Bent, of Sunderland, with the former’s greater ability at holding up the ball giving him the edge.

Capello is still concerned about the training pitches at England’s training camp in Rustenburg and has dispatched Franco Baldini to make a last-minute assessment. The general manager will return to London with his findings on Thursday, although it is unlikely England would seek to move elsewhere at this late stage.

Matt Hughes's England 23

Goalkeepers R Green, D James, J Hart
Defenders G Johnson, P Jagielka, J Terry, R Ferdinand, M Upson, L King, A Cole, L Baines
Midfield players T Walcott, A Lennon, G Barry, F Lampard, S Gerrard, J Milner, M Carrick, A Johnson
Strikers W Rooney, E Heskey, J Defoe, P Crouch

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 06:29:59 AM »

West Brom want Southampton old boy Jelle van Damme in £2.5m deal from Anderlecht

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 2:29 AM on 4th May 2010

West Brom want Anderlecht’s £2.5million midfielder Jelle van Damme for their Barclays Premier League return — but could face competition from Stoke and Fulham.

Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo has had the Belgium international watched several times — and the 26-year-old is eager to return to England, where he played for Southampton five years ago.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 06:35:59 AM »

Why Roy Hodgson should be Liverpool's next boss, plus the home truths facing Leeds

By Stan Collymore

Published 22:49 02/05/10

Roy Hodgson gets my vote for Manager of the Season after his work at Fulham and I now hope he gets the Liverpool job.

I have given up on campaigning for former Chelsea maestro Jose Mourinho to go to Anfield.

I was hoping if I said it enough it would come true.

But Liverpool won't be able to afford him and he will want to go somewhere where they have more cash to spend.

So who better than the vastly experienced former Switzerland and Inter Milan boss to go to Liverpool? I certainly can't think of many better candidates.

Hodgson's Fulham side qualified for the Europa League final with another gritty display against Hamburg.

And their route to the final is highly impressive having played the likes of Basle, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and the German champions Wolfsburg.

Aged 62, Hodgson is at the kind of age where he understands the game very well.

His stock is high enough in its own right to attract players and he has proved he can work within a budget.

So I would like to see Liverpool go for Hodgson.

They would be able to afford him and he would at least be able to put the club on an even keel.

Rafa appears to have had his head turned and seems set to go to Juventus.

But hopefully Liverpool can find a more than suitable replacement - starting with Hodgson.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 06:41:54 AM »

Revealed: The six British Football League managers capable of being the next Roy Hodgson

By Michael Calvin

Published 23:02 01/05/10

Ian-Holloway-Blackpool cropped

He’s the Special K One, wholesome and full of goodness.

Roy Hodgson will never be a Karma Chameleon in the manner of Jose Mourinho.

He’s a Grandad tending the allotment, rather than a glory hunter cultivating the legend.

Yet the pair are blood brothers, Eurostars of ­modern management.

Each, in his own way, is revered at Inter Milan.

They’re brilliant tacticians, men of substance who ­strategise as effectively as any QC.

They’ve both exported their talent. But in Hodgson’s case, football has come home.

He’s reminded us of the merits of that ­under-rated breed, the British manager.

To give an indication of his importance, we present Woy’s Men in Waiting.

They’re six Football League managers, suited to this age of austerity. All deserve ­bigger stages, better ­budgets, greater recognition:

Ian Holloway (Blackpool)
A cross between Spike ­Milligan, Sir Bobby Robson and an Old English ­sheepdog. You don’t know whether to laugh, listen, or let him off the lead.

Like most comedians, Olly has a serious side. He ­re-evaluated his football ­principles during a dark year out of the game. He was radio’s loss, Blackpool’s gain.

He went for experience, leavened by bargain signings such as Charlie Adam – the find of the season in the ­Championship.

Nigel Pearson (Leicester)
Not one of life’s sunny ­optimists, he tends to the gloomy side of dour. He’s as solid, and reliable, as ­pre-stressed concrete.

He’s not a natural performer, which puts some chairmen off in an age in which football is an extension of the Big ­Brother house.

But he is a clever, ­commanding presence on the training ground.

He has worked wonders on limited resources at Leicester, and looks like a Premier League boss in the making.

Paul Lambert (Norwich)
A thoughtful Scot, his ­management style ­incorporates some of the ­traditional disciplines of the German game.

The highlight of his playing career was dominating ­Zinedine Zidane in Borussia Dortmund’s 1997 Champions League Final win.

He’s adapted to the rough and tumble of League One, and has Mourinho’s flair for getting under the skin of rival coaches.

At Colchester he halved the size of the away dressing room, painted it black and took out all the power sockets. Nice.

Kenny Jackett (Millwall)
On the day he was appointed, Jackett bumped into David Moyes, who told him: “If you can manage that club, you can manage any club.”

Jackett, the best coach you’ve never heard of, is regarded as a ‘proper’ manager by the most ­demanding fans in the game. At Millwall, that’s a symphony of praise.

He’s transformed a club which chewed up eight managers in 28 months ­before his arrival.

Tactically astute, he spends his chairman’s money as if it is own, and is now ­tantalisingly close to the fourth promotion of his ­career.

Keith Hill (Rochdale)
He plays up to his image as the Rochdale Cowboy by wearing flat caps and ­dispensing the sort of
homespun advice that stuns Prime Ministers.

You have to love his ­contempt for the way Notts County have bought the League Two title with money they do not have.

He’s unorthodox, ­inspirational and it takes real ­resilience to ­recover from having your best ­players sold to balance books.

Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
He’s 32 but looks 23, a boy band refugee who has somehow found his way into a working men’s club.

He began by ­keeping Bournemouth in the League despite a 17-point penalty. He followed up by winning promotion, despite a transfer embargo which ­limited him to 19 players.

Widiculous, as the sainted Woy would say…

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 01:42:26 PM »

Wickham rumours rumble on as Fulham and Wolves reportedly join the chase

Tue 4 May 10 by Dave Gooderham

Roy Hodgson and Mick McCarthy have entered the race to sign Connor Wickham, according to one national newspaper this morning.

An anticipated hectic summer at Portman Road started within 24 hours of Sunday’s final match with the Daily Mail linking Tottenham with a £5million bid for Ipswich Town’s teenage starlet. This “offer” had risen to £6million by the time the Daily Mirror had got their hands on it with both papers claiming Spurs boss Harry Redknapp would be willing to loan back Wickham next season.

Now the Guardian have claimed Fulham and Wolves have joined the race to sign the 17-year-old who ended his first full season with Ipswich in such impressive fashion. In truth, virtually every Premiership manager next season would like to have Wickham in their squad – Roy Keane has said so much.

And none of the national stories have had any quotes to back their stories up, even if scouts were once again in attendance when the youngster led the line in the 3-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United. Wickham seemed a little out of sorts on Sunday, as if the last few weeks of first team football had finally caught up on him.

While £5million and a chance to keep Wickham for a season might tempt Keane and the moneymen upstairs, the vast majority of fans on the forums had some choice words for Harry Redknapp and his offer. But supporters will have to accept that their summer will be dominated by transfer rumours surrounding the future of their greatest hope.

Ironically, some have claimed Wolves’ striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake would be a perfect signing for Town next season and both McCarthy and Hodgson could use fringe players to try and tempt Ipswich into doing business. It has already been claimed that Sunderland were willing to offer Daryl Murphy, David Healy and possibly even Jack Colback in exchange for Wickham.

Naturally, a lot of this can be dismissed as paper talk but one thing seems certain – teams will come in for Wickham over the summer. And while £5million for a 17-year-old who has only just signed his first professional contract might seem a lot of money, most fans are hoping Keane, chief executive Simon Clegg and owner Marcus Evans resist such advances.

Through the door marked in, Town have been linked with Hungarian keeper Marton Fulop, the man who could play a major role in deciding who plays Champions League football next season. Currently out of favour at Sunderland, Fulop has been loaned to Manchester City on an emergency basis after Shay Given’s season was ended by injury.

After playing for City at the weekend, Fulop will line up in goal in Wednesday’s match against Tottenham with the winner expected to secure the coveted fourth spot – reported to be worth a massive £30million to either side. Aside from such glamour, the Hartlepool Mail have claimed that Keane is lining up Fulop to replace Richard Wright and challenge Brian Murphy and Arran Lee-Barrett for the number one spot.

The 27-year-old, who was signed by Keane when he was in charge of the Black Cats, still has 12 months remaining on his contract so Sunderland will expect a reasonable fee.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2010, 01:45:26 PM »

Mark Schwarzer hails 'mean streak' possessed by Fulham manager Roy Hodgson

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson might be universally regarded as one of football's gentlemen but, according to Mark Schwarzer, his affability can be mixed with displays of anger to match even Sir Alex Ferguson.
By Jeremy Wilson

Published: 7:30AM BST 04 May 2010

 You looking at me? Roy Hodgson has a mean streak Photo: GETTY IMAGES
With Hodgson being lauded as the rightful 'manager of the year' by his peers and now regarded as the natural native successor to Fabio Capello in the England set-up, Schwarzer revealed that his success can be attributed to more than just forensic preparations.

"He can be an angry little man at times but that's what you need to be," said the Fulham goalkeeper. "It's well documented how Sir Alex Ferguson's got a very mean streak on his side. I don't know any manager who's successful who hasn't got that angry streak or hasn't got that ruthless streak. Our manager is no different and that's part of the success that he's built at this club."

Sport on television Hodgson admitted on Sunday that it was flattering to see his name linked with the potential vacancy at Liverpool but stressed he was happy at Fulham, with Schwarzer also outlining the depth of desire in the dressing-room for the 62 year-old to stay.

"Whenever there's success, whenever someone has achieved what our gaffer has in the last 2½ years, he's always going to be linked with other positions," said Schwarzer. "We just hope as players and as a club that we can hold on to him as long as possible. We'll make sure he doesn't go because we'll tackle him and lock him up in a room or something so he can't go anywhere!

"No one gave us a hope in hell to get as far as we did in the Europa League, let alone get to a final and continue our success in the Premier League. I think it's a truly remarkable season and, for me, the manager is without a doubt the manager of the season.

"Will he stay if we win the Europa League? I don't know, it might work the other way, he might think, 'Well, you can't go any further than that'."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 02:02:03 PM »

Wigan Athletic, Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Wolves all scouting at Huddersfield Town game

May 4 2010 by Dougie Thomson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

WIGAN Athletic’s Spanish goalkeeping coach Inaki Bergara was among the scouts at Town’s clash with Colchester.

The Latics were one of six Premier League clubs represented at the fixture, with Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Hull and Wolves also watching.

Newcastle and West Brom, who will be playing in the top flight next time around, had Tony Howard and Stuart White respectively at the match.

Former Chester goalkeeper and Liverpool coach Billy Stewart, of the Football Association, was also present, as was John Boultbee, of the Australian FA, although World Cup hopeful Dean Heffernan didn’t figure for Town.

Ex-Town striker Brian Greenhalgh represented Watford.

Of Town’s possible play-off opponents, Leeds (Gary Chapman), Millwall (Keith Edgington) and Charlton (Jeff Baskerville) were there.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 02:03:30 PM »

Boycott The Fulham Game-If The Players Don’t Care Then They Don’t Deserve The Support

Lets get one thing straight. I’m proud to be an Arsenal fan, I would follow this team into the Conference if I had to, but never in all my years have I been embarrassed for the club I love so dearly..

Losing is one thing, but losing without any effort, heart or passion is another thing entirely.

No doubt certain sections of the support will try to defend our players but quite frankly I don’t care for those opinions right now. There should be no excuses and no looking to blame others. The blame lies with the manager and the set of spineless wimps he’s assembled…

Where is the pride??? Where is the passion??? Thousands of fans turn up week in week out to support this shabby lot and they can’t even be bothered to run for 90 minutes for them.

Selfish, greedy and not good enough!!!!

We were the team that had the ‘easiest’ run in and we’ve managed one win in eight games and that was a scrappy 1-0 win against the mighty Wolves.. The rest of the games we just havent turned up..

For crying out loud we’ve gone from being top of the table to maybe losing out 3rd place to the Spuds, but the players don’t give a toss because they have no pride. They dont even play good football anymore, they are playing worse than Championship players, not putting the effort in, defending like schoolboys and getting beat

It annoys me when I see certain players busting a gut for the cause, only to be let down by others who seem content to treat the game like a training exercise and stroll around the pitch like they are just there for their wage packet..

Arsene Wenger originally assembled a  young team that he wanted to grow together and have the values of the club at heart but it has backfired badly with many of them..

For this the blame has to fall on the manager. For years he has given constant 1st team appearances to the out of form players or the ones who are not good enough and then handed them new contracts at the end of it all. Also, he doesn’t recognise two of the four cups that are available every season and uses them as a training exercise..Wenger makes it clear its OK to lose these cups as they not a priority..

The players are spoiled and don’t have what it takes..They’ve grown up with a culture that rewards poor performances and accepts losing and they’ve carried that through into the 1st team..

The truth is that without Cesc we are pretty much a one man team and without better players around him we will never be good enough.

It’s now come to a point where things have to change. The fans deserve better for the 5 years of patience and the millions of pounds they’ve ploughed into the club, helping them pay off the debts, the fans deserve something in return. We don’t have a god given right to lift a trophy, but we do have a right to see  our strongest eleven players on the pitch running their socks of for 90 minutes in every game in every competition..

The board and the manager have become complacent, happy to take the fans money and not give anything in return and they have gotten away with it for far too long. All the lies and all the spin has to stop after this season and the squad needs major reinforcements in all areas but do we trust them to do whats right by the fans?? Not if we continue to act like we don’t care they wont..

Arsenal fans should boycott the Fulham game and really put the shivers up the club’s top brass..Without the fans this club doesn’t exist so its high time the fans raised their voice..Wenger has already postponed the AGM..He knows whats coming so he’s tried taking the voice away but this is not dictatorship.

They need to know the likes of Diaby, Almunia, Denilson, Fabianski, Silvestre, Theo and co are not good enough and we need to get some new faces in in the summer..Some top class faces to play alongside RvP and Cesc and take their positions when they are injured and who know who to win..

This season has crumbled into a farce. I’m glad there’s only one game left because I have no doubt if there was 4 or 5 we would have dropped out of the top four..

I’ve stood by this team all season saying they would win the league but they have let me down badly. Some of them don’t deserve to play for this club again and if Wenger can’t see that he needs to be shown. There’s no better way than an empty stadium on the last day of the season..

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 02:09:51 PM »

Lou Macari: Etherington and Zamora are shining examples

By Lou Macari | Published: Tuesday 04 May 2010 |  2 comments

THERE could be two old pals shaking hands with each other at Fulham v Stoke tomorrow night – and both will have plenty to feel pleased about.

Matthew Etherington has just cleaned up at Stoke’s player-of-the-year awards and appears to have got his life back on track after his gambling problems.

And then there is Bobby Zamora, his old West Ham and, briefly, Spurs team-mate, who’s come so far in the last season that people are now touting him for a place in England’s World Cup squad.

I know Etherington has gone down a storm with Stoke fans this year and I’m told his player-of-the-year trophy is fully deserved.

He took what many might regard as a backward step by leaving London to come to Stoke, but it was obviously the right choice after getting his career up and running again.

What an example that must be to certain other players in the Stoke dressing room.

All players go through a bad patch for one reason or another, but instead of bellyaching to the media, why not pull your finger out and take some responsibility for your own life and career?

Do your talking on the pitch, not off it, and you might just enjoy the kinds of rewards coming the way of your Etheringtons and Zamoras.

Both have also benefited from having great relationships with their managers, I shouldn’t wonder, and I agree with those calling for Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, pictured below left, to be named manager-of-the-year.

Never in their wildest dreams could Fulham fans have imagined they would be in a major European final, especially after playing about 130 games to get there.

It’s a wonderful achievement, particularly for Hodgson, and just goes to show how he’s revitalised both the club and players like Zamora.

Fulham has always been a lovely place to visit down by the Thames – and you could invariably bank on three pretty routine points if you were one of the bigger clubs. Not anymore.

It’s no coincidence that Hodgson is an experienced manager with a CV that includes many different jobs in several different countries, at both club and international level.

And it’s no coincidence that you see other experienced managers like Sir Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti and Harry Redknapp mixing it at the top end of our game.

I don’t think you’ll see them spending hours on a tactics board and swapping their system around every week.

No, they stick to what they know and trust, then make sure their players are properly prepared to go out and play football and do battle.

There’s been growing talk about Hodgson being the next England manager, too, and you would certainly have to throw his name into the mix at the moment.

Especially if you’re picking the next manager because of his experience and results – and not because he’s young and talks a good game in a TV studio.

Stoke go to Manchester United for their last game of the season on Sunday and they should be braced for a tough one.

I can’t see United winning the title now, but that won’t stop them going for it against Stoke.

United have to believe that Chelsea could slip up against Wigan at Stamford Bridge, but with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan already booking his players a holiday in Barbados, they literally are one step away from the beach.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 02:11:11 PM »

Why did Hangeland reject Arsenal?

By Fab4.

Brede Hangeland has claimed he turned down a move to Arsenal, and that Fulham’s miraculous run to the Europa League Final proves he made the right decision. We know Arsene was keen on Hangeland last summer, but i always thought Arsenal were unwilling to match Fulham’s asking price and that’s why a transfer never materialised. But now Hangeland is suggesting he had the chance to join us but chose to stay at Craven Cottage.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, Hangeland said:

“I’ve had so many great nights at Fulham and that was probably the best one.

“I signed my new contract here so I could take part in games like that and I’m really happy to be at this club.

“Does this justify rejecting a move to Arsenal? I think so.

“Nights like that are for the history books and something I will always remember.”

This may be another case of ‘lost in translation’, but i can’t really believe he would reject a move to Arsenal. Sorry, no disrespect to Fulham, but what player would turn down champions league football, playing at one of the biggest clubs in europe, playing in front of 60,000 every other week and fighting for the title to stay at Fulham? Not in his wildest dreams would he have thought he would be playing in the Europa League final this time last year, so he can’t have stayed just to fight for mid-table and hope for a good run in the Europa League. There must have been more to it, no player in their right mind would turn down Arsenal to stay at Fulham.

So what reason could he have given, either to himself or Arsene Wenger, to justify this apparent rejection? Was Hangeland going to be signed instead of Vermaelen, or possibly as well as? If it’s the latter, he may not have been guaranteed first team football every week so chose to stay where he was. Maybe Arsenal wouldn’t offer him the wages he wanted. Maybe he lacks ambition to further his career and is one of those players whose happy to settle for mediocrity. Or maybe this story is rubbish.

You may have guessed that I’m pretty gutted we didn’t sign him! And this ’snub’ may also put Arsene Wenger off from making a second attempt to sign him this summer, which would be a shame because he would be a terrific signing for Arsenal. But fair play to him, he has been at the heart of everything that Fulham have achieved this year and i really hope they go on and win the Europa League. But i would love to see him in the red and white next year!

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 02:12:49 PM »,+says+Shawcross+.html

Fulham are an inspiration, says Shawcross

By Michael Baggaley | Published: Tuesday 04 May 2010 |  Be the first to comment

STOKE star Ryan Shawcross says he would love to represent the club in Europe after being inspired by Fulham’s achievements.

City are at Craven Cottage tomorrow (8pm) to take on a Fulham side who are through to the Europa League final after becoming English football’s last survivors in Europe.

Shawcross says the London club’s achievements have given hope to all smaller clubs in the Premier League.

He believes City’s priority must be to avoid relegation next season, but Fulham have shown what could be done in future campaigns.

He said: “Next season, our first aim will be to reach a points tally where we can’t be relegated, and then we will push on from there.

“I would love to play in Europe – ask any of the Stoke lads and they would say the same.

“It is the ultimate for a professional. If we could do it, it would be fantastic, although but it is difficult and the first aim is to get to that safety mark.

“But Fulham are a good example of how, if you get off to a good start, you can push on.”

Stoke haven’t played in the UEFA Cup, now renamed the Europa League, since the 1974/75 campaign when a team featuring Denis Smith, Alan Hudson, Terry Conroy and Jimmy Greenhoff lost to Dutch giants Ajax on away goals.

Shawcross was named Stoke City’s young player of the season for the third year running at the club’s awards ceremony on Sunday.

The 22-year-old defender, who was called up to the England squad in March, says he owes huge thanks to Stoke.

He said: “When I first came on loan to Stoke from Manchester United, I was just looking for a few games.

“I was trying to prove that I could play professional football because that wasn’t set in stone.

“To do as well as I have since then is fantastic, but that is thanks to a lot of people, mostly the manager and the coaching staff.”

Shawcross has also thanked supporters who gave him a rousing reception for Saturday’s game with Everton after two months out of the starting line-up with suspension and injury.

The match was the first time the defender had played at the Britannia Stadium since February 27 when he was sent off against Arsenal and heavily criticised by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger for the challenge which broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg.

Shawcross said: “It was emotional for me, but the fans – as usual – were fantastic.

“Whenever one of their players has trouble, they are always brilliant. They are the best in the Premier League.

“Playing for Stoke City means a lot to me because the club has helped me through bad times and the fans are always there for me. When you are down, the fans keep your head up.”

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 02:13:58 PM »

Hodgson: It has been a season to remember

9:32am Tuesday 4th May 2010

By Simon Fitzjohn »

Roy Hodgson has urged his Fulham side to complete their miraculous season in style when they clash with Athletico Madrid in the Europa League final next week.

Having seen off Hamburg in dramatic style, the Cottagers will meet the Spanish side in Germany on Wednesday.

And the Fulham boss hopes his charges will grasp their chance at history.

Hodgson said: “It has been a real season to remember for us but we have the chance to go one better.

“If we could lift the Europa League trophy it would be an incredible achievement and it would be almost impossible to match that.

“We have our sights fully set on the final and I do not think anybody could expect any different.

“Next year will be back to the nitty, gritty of surviving in the Premier League but for now we have to enjoy this.”

Hodgson rang the changes as his side saw off West Ham 3-2 on Sunday thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey, Stefano Okaka and a Carlton Cole own-goal.

And the veteran boss admitted he was delighted with the response of his incoming players.

Hodgson added: “I had faith in the players I bought in and they did not let me down.

“I think highly of them but they still have to go out there and perform and they did.

“It was one of those games where we could have been flat but we deserved the win.”

Hodgson has also been garnering praise from a host of Premier League managers regarding a possible Manager of the Year nod.

And Fulham boss revealed he had been touched by the comments.

He added: “It is extremely pleasing to hear some of the plaudits.

“When you have people like Sir Alex Ferguson coming out and saying how they appreciate what we have done here means an awful lot to me.”

Fulham’s remaining fixtures: May 8 Arsenal (a), 12 Athletico Madrid (EL, Hamburg)

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2010, 02:16:35 PM »

Finalist clubs set to meet press

Published: Tuesday 4 May 2010, 10.30CET

As a precursor to the UEFA Europa League final on 12 May, Club Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC will take part in media open days at their respective Spanish and English bases this week.

Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC have confirmed details of their media open days heralding this season's UEFA Europa League final at the Hamburg Arena on Wednesday 12 May.

Representatives of the international media will have the opportunity to interview the coaching and playing staffs of both finalist clubs.

Atlético – for administrative purposes the home team in Hamburg – will hold their press day on Thursday 6 May at the Estadio Vicente Calderón. Proceedings will start at 10.30CET with a news conference featuring coach Quique Sánchez Flores and a senior player, followed by a fully open training session and a mixed zone enabling media to interview the entire first-team squad.

Media wishing to attend should email Tomas Calvo at the Spanish Liga club's press office:

Fulham will meet the press on Friday 7 May at their Motspur Park training ground located in New Malden, Surrey. An open training session will take place from 10.30 local time, before a mixed zone involving the players at 13.00 and a news conference with manager Roy Hodgson from 13.30.

Interested parties are advised to contact Carmelo Mifsud in the Premier League team's press office:

The two sides have also announced details of their pre-match media activities at the Hamburg Arena on Tuesday 11 May. Atlético will have their press conference at 18.45CET with coach Sánchez Flores and two players available to answer questions. An open training session will follow from 19.30 to 20.30.

The Fulham news conference will be staged at 17.15 with manager Hodgson and two players present. Media representatives will then be allowed to watch the west London outfit train between 18.00 and 19.00.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2010, 02:26:46 PM »
Hamburg Ticket Collection

Tuesday 4th May 2010

Fulham FC News

Supporters who have purchased their UEFA Europa League Final tickets and requested to collect their tickets from the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage can do so from 9am this morning.

Please note this is only for supporters who have asked to collect their tickets in person.  Fans who did not request to collect their tickets in person will have their tickets sent to them via post.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2010, 02:27:53 PM »
Sprint To The Finish

Tuesday 4th May 2010

Fulham FC News

Fulham take on Stoke City in the final home game of the season on Wednesday evening (kick-off 8pm) and Bjorn Helge Riise is hoping for a continuation of the Whites' fine form of late.

The Norwegian international played the full 90 minutes in Sunday's win over West Ham United and the midfielder was certainly pleased with the way the side performed.

"It was nice to play 90 minutes and nice to win," Riise told  "There were a lot of players today who haven’t played a lot recently so to beat West Ham 3-2 is a very positive result. I enjoyed it a lot and hopefully I’ll get to play a bit more in the last three games.

"Now it’s important to beat Stoke on Wednesday to secure 10th place, and then to finish the season at the Emirates will be magnificent. I’ve never been there before, but people tell me it’s a great stadium, so I’m looking forward to that, and to play there would be really nice.

"We want to be in that top 10 so that when we look at the table on TV we’re there in the top half. And to achieve that after the season we’ve had, and getting to the Europa League Final, would be a very good season."

Roy Hodgson was clear that he didn't want an 'after the Lord Mayor's Show feeling' to Sunday's game following on from Fulham heroics against Hamburg the previous Thursday - and the players certainly delivered a performance full of enthusiasm and energy.

"We live to play football games so there was never any question of us not being up for it," Riise explained. "For those of us that were on the bench on Thursday it was a chance to prove ourselves that we can play football and that was important for us.

"We don’t want to lose games. Especially in the last weeks of the season and especially when we have a Final in 10 days so for us our aim is to get that 10th place and if we beat Stoke on Wednesday I think we will be close to achieving that."

Don't miss Fulham's final home match of the season on Wednesday night (KO 8pm) when Roy Hodgson's Team take on Stoke City. Get behind the Whites at the Cottage - tickets are now on General Sale.|

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2010, 02:29:04 PM »
Fulham v Stoke City

Barclays Premier League

Wednesday 5th May

Kick-Off 20:00

Don’t miss the season finale at Craven Cottage when Stoke City visit SW6 on Wednesday 5th May (Kick-Off 8pm). Come down to the Cottage and show your appreciation to Roy and the boys in our last home game before the UEFA Europa League Final!

On-sale dates
Season Ticket Holders On sale
Fulham Club Members On sale
General Sale  On sale
Buy tickets now|

My First Matchday Package
My First Matchday offers Junior supporters and an accompanying adult the opportunity to see what really goes on behind the scenes at Craven Cottage in the build-up to matchday. Pretend you’re a radio commentator in the press box, run down the tunnel, pretend you’re directing the players from the Manager’s seat in the dugout, interview a guardian in front of the TV interview boards, see our trophy cabinet and even meet a Fulham FC legend! More info and prices|   

Group Discounts
Save 25% when you purchase eight or more adult match tickets. Call 0870 442 1234 (select option 3) to book your group tickets now. Group discount tickets can also be booked online using the group booking form. This offer is only available to advance purchasers and not on the day of the game. All tickets are subject to availability in the Riverside Block Z only.   

How to Buy Tickets
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online*
by phone on 0870 442 1234 (option 1) - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
by fax 0207 384 4810 (download printable form )
by postal application to FFC Ticket Office, Stevenage Road, Fulham, SW6 6HH enclosing a stamped addressed envelope (download printable form )
Seatwave - the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange
Thomas Cook - match breaks for all Fulham FC home games
* Lower booking fees compared to telephone booking

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (04.05.10)
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2010, 02:30:22 PM »
Fulham to Wear Third Kit

Tuesday 4th May 2010

Following the finalists’ meeting in Hamburg on Friday, UEFA instructed that as Fulham had been drawn as the away club, the governing body of the competition had decided what kits both teams would wear for the Final.

To differentiate entirely from Atletico Madrid's home strip, UEFA specified that Fulham would wear its Third Kit.

A commemorative version of the Third Kit will be available with a specially stitched inscription celebrating the Team's place in the Final.

Pre-order the shirt online|

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