Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)  (Read 6470 times)

Offline whitejc

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Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« on: May 07, 2010, 06:48:59 AM »
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134149/Erik-Nevland-hails-hard-line-Hodgson/
ERIK NEVLAND HAILS HARD-LINE HODGSON

ERIK NEVLAND claims Roy Hodgson’s stubborn streak has led Fulham to their crack at greatness.

The west Londoners face Atletico Madrid in Hamburg in the Europa League final next Wednesday – the club’s first European final.

The turnaround in fortunes under Hodgson is remarkable considering Fulham were on the brink of relegation before he took over in December 2007.

And Nevland, who worked with him at Norwegian club Viking, says his gaffer’s strict football principles have sparked Fulham’s revival.

The former Manchester United striker explained: “I played under him six years ago but he hasn’t changed a bit.

“He believes in the same things and does the same things now as he used to do back then.

“He knows his football and that hasn’t changed.”

Nevland, 32, played his last game at Craven Cottage in Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat against Stoke.

His contract runs out at the end of the season and he will leave after the final.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed myself at Fulham from day one. It was disappointing to lose my last game at the Cottage, but overall it’s been a great time.

“It would be great to leave the club on a high by helping us to win the Europa League.

“It’s one of the biggest games I’m ever going to play in. I hope to play some part.”

His chances of featuring depend on whether leading scorer Bobby Zamora recovers from an Achilles injury.

And Hodgson’s casualty list increased against the Potters after Damien Duff aggravated a calf injury which could rule him out of the big game.

The Premier League yesterday turned down Fulham’s request to bring forward their final game of the season at Arsenal to give them extra time to prepare for the clash against Atletico.

The Cottagers made a formal request to have the Emirates Stadium match moved from Sunday to Saturday, but the league insist all matches kick off at the same time in the last round of fixtures.

Hodgson is now likely to rest all of his big guns for the trip to north London.

Nevland added: “I don’t know what team we will play at Arsenal.

“The gaffer might make a few changes, but I wouldn’t expect too many.”

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 06:50:41 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/06/1911997/fulham-striker-eric-nevland-eyes-dream-end-to-cottagers-stay
Fulham striker Eric Nevland eyes dream end to Cottagers stay with Europa League final triumph
Norwegian ready to fill in if top-scorer Bobby Zamora can't play

Erik Nevland believes it would be a dream come true if he were to end his two-and-a-half year spell at Fulham with a Europa League winners' medal.

Fulham return to Hamburg next week, hoping to overcome the odds once again by beating Atletico Madrid to lift the first major trophy in the club's 131-year history.

Roy Hodgson's side will go into the match as underdogs against an Atletico side who dumped Liverpool out in the semi-finals. And with top scorer Bobby Zamora and winger Damian Duff struggling to overcome injuries for the match, their chances will take another hit.

But the London club have already put out the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsburg and Hamburg to make the final in Germany, and if Zamora misses out Nevland would relish the chance to fire Fulham to victory and end their incredible run in style.

Nevland is due to return to Viking Stavanger, the club where he began his career, at the end of the season and the 32-year-old told the Press Association: "We want to win every game we play but for me personally it would be an absolute dream to leave with a Europa League medal around my neck.

"Obviously I want to play in the final. It's one of the biggest games I will ever play in and I want to be a part of it.

"There is still a big game to play so it's going to be exciting and we are looking forward to it."

Duff, Hodgson's other major injury concern, will be monitored by the club's medical staff on Thursday as they seek to determine whether the Republic of Ireland winger will be available for the game, after he was forced to leave the field at half-time of Wednesday night's Premier League defeat against Stoke.

He is likely to miss Sunday's Premier League finale against Arsenal, while Zamora is struggling to overcome the Achilles injury which has kept him out of Fulham's last two games.

UEFA are expected to announce over the next couple of days whether or not Fulham have been successful in their application for extra tickets for Wednesday's game.

The club sold out their allocation of 12,650 tickets within hours of them going on sale on Friday morning.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 06:52:01 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197846
Fulham - Konchesky Linked With Move Away!
Now here`s a conundrum for you all!

One leading tabloid is running an article this morning that implies that Paul Konchesky is looking for a new club.

It implies that Konchesky, who has twelve months left on his contract, is willing to leave Craven Cottage.

That may well be so!

But, the waters get muddier when the article then goes on to suggest that Paul is being linked with a move to either Bolton or Birmingham.

The latter perhaps but the former, a definite no, no!

Unfortunately, it gets worse, with the tabloid implying that we already have a ready made replacement on our books in Nicky Shorey.

Now Shorey may well be a decent enough player but currently he lags behind Konchesky in the pecking order.

Surely a better solution, if there is an ounce of truth in this article, is to talk to Paul and convince him to stay!

Or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197846#ixzz0nDhwDGzi


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 06:53:11 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197844
Fulham - Stoke Defeat Inquest!
Hands up if you thought Stoke`s mauling at the hands of our rivals down the road would have an adverse effect on our result?

After losing 7-0 to that lot down the road you just knew that it would be a far more resilient Stoke outfit that pitched up at Craven Cottage.

Tony Pulis is a hard task master and assisted by Gerry Francis and Peter Reid, he wound his boys up suitably enough to frustrate us on the night, prompting (Sir) Roy to comment after the game,

"We know what Stoke do and we stood up to it well. For large parts of the game, we passed it around them."

But with the grandeur of a European Final next week, it was always going to be a performance whereby those expecting to start next Wednesday might have their minds on other things, prompting Roy to quip,

"You can`t take next week`s match out of their minds. We haven`t changed anything in our preparation but that doesn`t mean the players won`t have that game in their minds - thinking about strong challenges and injuries."

Sadly, any thoughts of finishing in the top ten might just have gone out of the window with that single goal scored by Matthew Etherington!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197844#ixzz0nDiFRIxX

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 06:54:28 AM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/6/1460501/analysis-of-my-5-keys-to-victory
Analysis of "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Stoke City"

Fulham lost 1 - 0 to Stoke yesterday at Craven Cottage.  For me this was a frustrating loss. Fulham gave up a late goal to Matthew Etherington of Stoke. I have to give credit to Stoke City. They played well in the second half and did create chances for themselves. This was a lost opportunity for Fulham. To have a real good shot at the top 10 in the league they will probably need to win at Arsenal. I believe a point could help, but a win would increase their chances of a top 10 finish.  It is time to look back at "my keys"  to the match to see if they were factors yesterday.  Below is an analysis of  "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Stoke City."   

1. Fulham need to be next to perfect defending set pieces.  Fulham did  their job on set pieces. This key did not burn them yesterday.

2. Fulham need to score early in this match.  This key I think was a factor in the match. Even though Fulham controlled the first half, they did not score. If Fulham were able to get an early goal, it really could have hurt the confidence of Stoke. Stoke recently lost 7 - 0 to Chelsea. Instead, Stoke came out well in the second half. All they did was take advantage of an opportunity.

3. Fulham need to contain Matthew Etherington. I guess you can say Fulham failed at this key to the match. Matthew Etherington scored the winning goal yesterday. He was also very active in this match.

4.  Clint Dempsey again needs to be involved in scoring opportunities.  I thought Clint Dempsey was very involved in scoring opportunities yesterday. This wasn't a key that caused the loss. He did his part. Dempsey just couldn't get that goal that Fulham needed. 

5. Chris Smalling needs to step up once again and be very solid on defense.  Chris Smalling did not play yesterday. This key was a non - factor in the match. The defense played well for the most part.   

The big question I was asking before the match is who would be starting for Fulham?  Hodgson put out a very strong side yesterday. Bobby Zamora was the only significant player who did not participate in the game. The fact that Fulham had a pretty strong side yesterday makes this loss more disappointing.

In concluding, I think two of my "keys"were factors in this match. First, Matthew Etherington was very good yesterday. Also, Fulham were not able to score early in this match.  Now, it is on to play away to Arsenal on Sunday. The big question for this game  is who will be starting?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 06:55:51 AM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/05/06/plaudits-for-roy-hodgson-are-well-deserved-but-hes-too-old-for/
Plaudits for Roy Hodgson Are Well-Deserved but He's Too Old For England

Hodgson for England? The words are heard now, after Fulham's extraordinary success in the Europe League. Heard from such former, famous internationals on television as Alan Hansen of Scotland and Lee Dixon of England. Sentiments which I myself, who have known and admired the managerial skills of Roy Hodgson for so many years, would heartily endorse. Indeed, I would go further, believing that he could well have been given the job of England manager as long ago as 1994, when he had resourcefully guided Switzerland to the finals of the World Cup in the United States, having previously given Italy a terrible fright in the eliminators of the tournament.

Alas, at 62-years-old, it is most unlikely that Roy will receive the appointment he has long deserved. This, after a remarkable, cosmopolitan career which, more recently saw him successfully manage the Finland national team. I came to know him well and appreciate his abilities when he was in charge of Internazionale of Milan. Having previously won the fervent support of the late Giacinto Facchetti, Italy's attacking left back of the 1960s, an Inter player himself, now a senior coach; hugely enthused by the performance against Inter in the European Cup of Hodgson's Swedish club, Malmo.

In no time at all, Hodgson had revised and revitalised the tactics of an Inter team which had been shipping water. Though early the following season, he reacted bitterly to what he regarded as unfair treatment by the local, notoriously aggressive press, eventually refusing to conduct his interviews in Italian, rather than English.

No doubt at all that at modest Fulham, bank rolled by the controversial tycoon, Mohammed Al Fayed, Hodgson has worked wonders. Two seasons ago, he saved them from relegation at the last gasp. This season, despite one disastrous spell of five league losses in a row, he has guided them to a safe and solid position. Above all, he has taken them all the way to the final of a ludicrously overcrowded, absurdly drawn out new Europa League competition, beginning at the start of the season, meaning that by the time Atletico Madrid are met in the ensuing final, Fulham will be playing their 63rd game of the season.

Meanwhile, he has reactivated the likes of striker Bobby Zamora, midfielder Danny Murphy and the elegant Irish winger, Damien Duff, knocked out such powerful opponents as Juventus and Hamburg, installing both resilient tactics and unbreakable morale. At 62, he could still serve England well, a fascinating rise from the obscurity of local amateur Home Counties soccer as a very modest player.

Watching Portsmouth yet again last week, at Fratton Park, this time vigorously winning against Wolves, doomed to virtual extinction after they have met Chelsea in the imminent FA Cup Final, I was astonished by the vivacity. As we alas know, they are already not only due to be relegated at season's end, fined a multitude of points for going into administration but most of their gifted players will be sold or lost after loans. Will Jamie O'Hara, voted player of the year by a host of local polls, be playing in the final? He wasn't fit for the Wolves game, is on loan from Spurs, and longs to be present.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2010, 06:56:58 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2559/rumours/2010/05/06/1911867/fulham-set-to-swoop-for-on-loan-portsmouth-striker-frederic
Fulham set to swoop for on-loan Portsmouth striker Frederic Piquionne - report

Fulham are set to bid for Lyon striker Frédéric Piquionne, according to reports from Sky Sports News.

The 31-year-old is currently on-loan at Premier League strugglers Portsmouth, but is set to return to France after next week's FA Cup final, and it is believed that Roy Hodgson is ready to add the experienced striker to his ranks as he looks to ease the burden on Bobby Zamora.

Lyon are likely to be eager to sell, with the former Monaco and Saint-Etienne man way down the pecking order at Stade Gerland, behind the likes of Lisandro Lopez and Bafetimbi Gomis.

Piquionne is Pompey's top-scorer with 11 goals this season, and is believed to be interesting a number of Premier League clubs — including Birmingham, Bolton and Wolves. The player himself spoke back in March of his desire to extend his stay in England.

He is set to lead the line as Avram Grant's already-relegated side take on Chelsea at Wembley in next weekend's showpiece event, and a good performance there could convince Hodgson to turn his interest into something concrete.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2010, 06:58:04 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197858
Fulham - Nordbank Arena Ticket Carve-Up!
For those questioning as to how the ticket allocation for the Europa League Final has been distributed, read on……….

The two competing teams, Fulham and Atletico Madrid, have both received 12,650 which gives us a running total of 25,300

4,600 tickets have gone to the local organizing committee, running total increases to 29,900

6,100 tickets have gone to the UEFA associations and commercial partners, making the running total 36,000.

14,000 tickets have been allocated to the general public making a running total of 50,000

A typical carve-up for a major final we believe!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197858#ixzz0nDjSNzCm

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 06:59:28 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197857
Fulham - Ticketing Shambles Rumbles On!
Looking at our FORUM, once again it appears that tickets for the Europa League are in abundance on the black market.

If you haven`t got a ticket I besiege you to be careful if you enter into negotiations with anyone you select from the pages of this site as we are not liable for anything that may go wrong.

But, it still wrangles with some that Fulham Football Club appears to have handled the sale of the tickets for the final in a rash manner.

Allowing season ticket holders to purchase four tickets at a time soon meant that the limited stock of 12,500 was sold out.

A rough mental calculation shows that even though Craven Cottage holds circa 25,000, those 12,500 tickets could see as little as 4,100 regulars and circa 9,000 of their friends enjoying themselves in Hamburg.

It`s no wonder some supporters are up in arms about the situation.

Surprisingly, the club feel that they did nothing wrong and some quotes form Sarah Brookes, the Director of Communications, offer an insight into there way of thinking,

"We had a limited window to sell off our tickets and if we didn`t manage to sell them all then the club would have taken a million pound financial hit."

"We apologise, of course we apologise if anyone has missed out, but this really is an unprecedented level of demand - we have never sold out an away ticket allocation so quickly."

"We are looking at ways to help genuine supporters and season ticket holders who may have missed out and we will do all we can to help sort out any anomalies."

"But I am confident that the vast majority of fans who have followed us through thick and thin over the years will be with us in Hamburg."

Word, just words, we doubt that last statement will ever hold water Sarah!

On election day; it sounds like typical election speak!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197857#ixzz0nDjoXuO7


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 07:00:41 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197856
Fulham - Don`t Even Ask!
It was worth a go I suppose!

Asking the Premier League if we could go against tradition in moving our last game of the season back to Saturday from the normal Sunday!

Perhaps the answer, a blunt refusal, was only to be expected what with Arsenal and Spurs still, in theory, contesting third place.

Nevertheless, we shouldn`t be too disgruntled!

After all it`s only a European Final for which we were seeking to get an additional days rest!




Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=197856#ixzz0nDk6f13h

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 07:01:48 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7101
Early Transfer Talk
by lydia on May 6, 2010

With the season coming to a close, the Fulham board are likely to start looking at transfer option for the summer. The Europa League finalists have had a super season so ar and hopefully it is only to get better next Wednesday.  One of the added bonuses of devastating many European teams  this season will be that people aren’t going to sneer at bids from Fulham. Teams will be even more attracted to our little club if we secure European football next season by winning the Europe League next week. Everybody knows that we have a tiny squad at Fulham so adding players is very important and with Roy having this amazing ability to find stars out of nowhere on the cheap, this could be a very interesting summer for Fulham fans. However I would like Fulham to use their money wisely and sign someone who wealready  know is good!

I think that if we are in europe next season again we will need to add at least 4 players to our squad. Already some rumours have developed surrounding Fulham. First of all, it looks like a target of last year by the name of Paul Scharner is leaving Wigan and we are in bidding wars with Everton for him. He is a decent player and could do well at Fulham. Another player who we seem to be interested in is Portsmouth loanee  Frederic Piquionne. The 31 year old looks likely to leave Lyon in the Summer and Fulham are amongst the clubs who are reportedly interested. Piquionne has done quite well at a struggling Portsmouth team and has scored 11 goals so far this season. Lastly, we seem to be scouting Camaroon mid fielder Somen Tchoyi. The 27 year old is one of Red Bull Salzburg star players. He is a typical african mid-fielder- strong, quick and has a good eye for goal.

As a fan, I have to admit that I would like to see some quality youth players added to the team. Stephen Ireland’s Man City future seems to be in doubt and I wonder would he be affordable? He was certainly be a super player to add to our ranks. The average age of our team is around 30 so I definatly think that now is the time for younger players to start playing along side the older guys to learn Fulhams style for the future.

I certainly hope its a good transfer window for Fulham.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 07:03:13 AM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/5/6/1460573/will-tottenham-fans-become
Will Tottenham fans become supporters of Fulham for just one day?


Let me start off by saying congratulations to Tottenham and their fans for getting into the Champions League. This is a very big achievement. Fans of Fulham and Tottenham have much to be proud of this year. However, is it possible for Tottenham fans to actually support Fulham on Sunday as they play Arsenal?

I read this nice post on spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk entitled " Come on Fulham !!!" .  The writer of this article is mentioning the advantages of Tottenham ending third in the EPL. For this to happen, Tottenham would need to win and probably Fulham would have to beat Arsenal. According to this article, if Tottenham ended third they would be avoiding the play - off round in August of the Champions League.

As a Fulham fan I know all about playing extra matches. Fulham had to go through the qualifications stages of the Europa League at the end of last July. If Fulham win in the Final they will go right to the Group Stages of the Europa League next year. I definitely see the advantages of wanting to avoid these extra stages.

Now the match on Sunday is not going to be easy for Fulham. I think they have a decent chance at a draw. But, if Fulham win it could give them a great chance at a top 10 finish. It would possibly indirectly benefit Tottenham. Below I will give my opinion on pros and cons for Fulham in this match against Arsenal.  I will actually list the cons first.     

 

The cons for Fulham against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday are below:

1. Fulham have only one road win this season in the EPL.  This record on the road for Fulham is terrible. In fact, their only road win came against Portsmouth in the Opening Match.

2. Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff are probably both not playing on Sunday.  Damien Duff came off at halftime yesterday with a calf injury. His availability for the final is being questioned right now. Bobby Zamora I doubt very much will play. These two players are very key scoring options for Fulham. Without them Fulham will need to rely on Clint Dempsey and Zoltan Gera.

3. Who else will Roy Hodgson rest for this match?The final will only be a few days later. Will Fulham put out a side similar to the team that played West Ham?



The pros for Fulham against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday are below:

1. I think Fulham would like to go into the Final on a positive note.  The loss against Stoke City might change how Roy Hodgson plays this game against Arsenal. I don't think the manager or the club were happy with the result yesterday.  If they are able to win on Sunday it could give the club an added boost going into the Final. You don't want to go into that match with a negative result.

2. I think Fulham would like to end the season in the top 10.  For a club like Fulham any additional money that they can get by getting a higher position in the league is probably important. Also, being in the top 10 would be quite an accomplishment regarding the amount of games the club has played. 

3. This could be Erik Nevland's last match actually playing with the club. There is a possibility this Sunday could be his last match with playing for Fulham. He could play in the final if Bobby Zamora is not fit to play. Regardless, this will be Nevland's last EPL match with Fulham. He might have some extra incentive to really play well on Sunday. Nevland is returning to Viking next season.

4. This game could also be the final impression that Stefano Okaka could make on Fulham.  He is on loan from Roma,  and slated to return after the season. He is ineligible for the Final. If for some reason he wants to stay at Fulham this will be his last chance to show the club what he has to offer. Fulham I believe do have the right to potentially make the loan move a permanent one. This will be his last chance to shine. He does have goal scoring potential. 

 I think Fulham do have an opportunity on Sunday to end the League season on a very positive note. I would love to see them get this victory at Arsenal. Realistically it does look difficult.

To the Tottenham fans I will leave you with this thought. No one believed they would get to the Final of the Europa League. They have been counted out so many times this year during the Europa League. They have the ability to surprise you.  Don't completely dismiss this as a possibility they could win. Two years ago they could have been relegated on the last day of the season. They beat Portsmouth away to stay up.  Just when you count them out they can surprise you. Why not come along for the ride for just one day?   


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2010, 07:04:31 AM »
http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/content/Islington/gazette/Arsenal/story.aspx?brand=ISLGOnline&category=ArsenalNews&tBrand=ISLGOnline&tCategory=defaultArsenal&itemid=WeED06+May+2010+17%3A32%3A00%3A007
Fulham have bigger fish to fry than worrying about Arsenal

A few years ago this would have been a typical end of season fare for Arsenal - one team has nothing to play for and the other has their minds on a bigger prize.

The somewhat alarming reality for Gunners fans however is that their season has been over for weeks, while Fulham have a little date in Hamburg to think about next week.

Reaching the Europa League final, where they will face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, is an achievement that still takes some believing. Where all the Premier League heavyweights have failed in Europe this season, Fulham have excelled in reaching only their second ever major cup final.

The first was in 1975 when they were beaten in the FA Cup final by West Ham, but the 35-year wait has certainly proved worth hanging around for with this season's miracle run.

Let us not forget, Fulham's European quest started 10 months ago in July, has encompassed 18 games so far, and has seen them knock out the holders, Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus, Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, and Hamburg, who were denied the chance to play the final in their own stadium by last week's breathtaking semi-final second leg win.

Perhaps even more impressive feat from Roy Hodgson's side is that they somehow dust themselves down and maintain their Premier League form, as Sunday's 3-2 win over West Ham showed, which keeps them in with a chance of a top-half finish.

All of this has led to Arsene Wenger acclaiming Hodgson as deserving of the manager of the season award.

"Fulham and Roy have been fantastic," said the Gunners boss. "They are the ones more than anybody else who have punched above their weight. And maybe that's why Roy deserves it [manager of the season].

"Their intelligence, experience and his scouting has been good. His buys have been good. He's bought players who aren't in the top three or four but have the level to flirt with it.

"Zamora, Duff have played at top clubs, Murphy has played at top clubs. They have players who can play at the top level but at some stage lost out.

"Hodgson is a fantastic manager - but there's no secret. You need good players and they have good players."

Not that many of them will be trotting out at the Emirates on Sunday - with the final just 72 hours later, it will be a strictly B team from Hodgson, and their Euro heroes such as Zamora, Davies, Duff, Hangeland, and Schwarzer will all surely be rested. Not that the squad players are nobodies - defender Chris Smalling will play his final game before joining Manchester United, who he of course chose ahead of Arsenal, in the summer.

Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey and Stephen Kelly all have plenty of Premier League experience while the likes of powerful South African Kagisho Dikgacoi and strikers Stefano Okaka and David Elm have already impressed in glimpses. But Fulham's fans will be in party mood and really couldn't care less about Sunday's game as long as nobody who has a chance of playing in Hamburg gets injured.

As a result, and despite the professionalism shown by Hodgson's wonderful team this season, you can't help but feel they are the perfect opposition for an Arsenal side low on players and even lower on confidence.

If Arsenal can't raise themselves end the season on a high note, Fulham really would be the miracle men. But then again they have had some season....

Prediction: Arsenal 3 Fulham 1

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2010, 07:05:44 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6137273,00.html
Nevland looking to end on high
Striker wants to take Europa medal back home

Erik Nevland is hoping to finish his Fulham career with a flourish by winning the Europa League trophy.

The striker, who was one of manager Roy Hodgson's first signings when he joined the club in January 2008 from Groningen, will return to Norwegian club Viking Stavanger at the end of the season.

The Norwegian has made five starts and four appearances off the bench for the Cottagers in Europe this season, and is desperate to play some part in the final and take home the trophy when they face Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday.

Despite Hodgson's best efforts to keep the former Manchester United player at Craven Cottage, Nevland's desire to return to the club he began his career with means an appearance in the final would be his last for the club.

Dream
With first choice striker and top goalscorer Bobby Zamora still in doubt to start, Nevland may be asked to take his place in the starting line up, with the 32-year-old clearly relishing the prospect.

"We want to win every game we play but for me personally it would be an absolute dream to leave with a Europa League medal around my neck," he said.

"Obviously I want to play in the final. It's one of the biggest games I will play in and I want to be a part of it.

"There is still a big game to play so it's going to be exciting and we are looking forward to it."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2010, 07:07:07 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/06/1912375/atletico-madrid-captain-antonio-lopez-we-wont-underestimate
Atletico Madrid Captain Antonio Lopez: We Won’t Underestimate Fulham In The Europa League Final
Atleti captain won’t let the fans down…

Atletico Madrid captain Antonio Lopez has insisted his side won’t underestimate their English counterparts when they meet Fulham next week in the UEFA Europa League final in Hamburg.

“We do not underestimate any of our rivals, much less Fulham, who have every right to be in the final,” Lopez told the club's official website. “We will go there with all the enthusiasm and desire to win the final.”

“We have long been excited about the season finale,” he added. “We hope everything goes well.”

Finally, the Spanish international praised the club’s fans and assured them the players were desperate to put on a good show.

“On Wednesday we have a European final, which all players want to be a part of,” he said.

“We hope to give our great fans the joy that they deserve.”


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2010, 07:08:34 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/06/1912474/quique-flores-insists-atletico-madrid-must-not-underestimate
Quique Sanchez Flores Insists Atletico Madrid Will Not Take Fulham Lightly In Europa League Final
Los Colchoneros eyeing double cup success...

Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores has declared that the club have reached two finals this season through patience and hard work but noted that his side must not underestimate Europa League final opponents Fulham in the Hamburg showpiece later this month.

Flores once again acknowledged the work of his predecessors in the Atleti hotseat and praised the patience of the fans before declaring that his side must ensure they give their best possible display against Roy Hodgson's men.

"We were tested and the players have come out as winners. I've always said that I believed in these players, and you can see the results having recovered the values of each player. Before Abel [Resino] reached important benchmarks and [Javier] Aguirre, and today the levels achieved are very important. I am pleased because we have created a tremendous enthusiasm," he said.

"This has been achieved with great patience by the fans, the work of the players and the will to believe that the challenge was not seen as an insurmountable obstacle."

"We are obliged not to underestimate [Fulham], we must even overstate their resources. Above all we must think of how to make our best effort. Fulham are in the final because they have the capability to be there.

"I've been to clubs, meeting objectives, but sometimes there comes the chance to achieve titles. I have suffered a lot with this team and with these players. The intention now is to show the fans how committed we are to the club."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2010, 07:09:49 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274038/Fulham-set-inquire-Portsmouths-loan-striker-Frederic-Piquionne.html?ITO=1490
Fulham set to inquire about Portsmouth's on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne

Fulham have inquired about signing Portsmouth's on loan striker Frederic Piquionne.

Piquionne is on loan from Lyon and they are likely to sell the 31-year-old for around £4m. Birmingham, Bolton and Wolves are also interested.

Fulham are also rivalling Birmingham and Everton for Ghana international midfield prodigy Andre Ayew, 20, from Marseille.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1274038/Fulham-set-inquire-Portsmouths-loan-striker-Frederic-Piquionne.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nDmUxjJm

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2010, 07:11:49 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1273978/Spurs-wont-protest-Fulham-field-reserves-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490
Spurs won't protest if Fulham field reserves at Arsenal as Roy Hodgson rests his stars for Final

Fulham have been given the green light to field a weakened side against Arsenal on Sunday with both the Premier League and Tottenham 'highly unlikely' to complain if Roy Hodgson rests his star names ahead of the Europa League final.
A request by Fulham to have their final league game of the season brought forward to Saturday was rejected by the Premier League on the grounds it could damage the integrity of the competition.

The same reasoning could certainly be applied to the case of Fulham fielding a weakened team at the Emirates as defeat for Arsenal and victory for Spurs against Burnley would see Harry Redknapp's side finish above their North London rivals in third spot.
But Spurs, who sealed fourth place by beating Manchester City, are ready to let Hodgson prepare in a way which gives Fulham the best chance of victory over Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, even if it means they must qualify for the group stages of the Champions League next season by competing in the final play-off round.

Hodgson is sweating on the fitness of winger Damien Duff, who was withdrawn at half-time against Stoke with a suspected muscle injury.
Bobby Zamora is also struggling with his achilles problem and has not played since lasting only 58 minutes of Fulham's semi-final second-leg win over Hamburg last week.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1273978/Spurs-wont-protest-Fulham-field-reserves-Arsenal.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nDmwsfF2



Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2010, 07:13:39 AM »
http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/fulham-facing-final-wait-for-injured-wing-wizard-duff-119164.html

Fulham facing final wait for injured wing wizard Duff



FULHAM manager Roy Hodgson hopes the injury which Damien Duff picked up during Wednesday night’s defeat against Stoke will not rule him out of next week’s Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.



Duff hobbled off at half-time during the Barclays Premier League defeat with a leg muscle injury.

The Republic of Ireland winger has been an integral part of the Cottagers’ European campaign, which has seen them brush aside the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach Wednesday’s final in Hamburg.

He did emerge after the final whistle to take part in a lap of appreciation for the Fulham fans following the club’s last home game of the season.

He will now be monitored by the club’s medical staff, who are already working overtime to make sure that top goalscorer Bobby Zamora is fit for Wednesday’s final.

"Duff was taken off at half-time because he took a kick a while ago and we think one of his muscles was cramping up," said Hodgson.

"We hope it’s not too serious.

"I hope he’ll be fit for the final. There’s a week to go now. The medical staff don’t think it’s a muscle tear or anything like that.

"They think that it’s something to do with a kick he took a while ago which is switching off the muscle."



 

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, May 07, 2010



Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/fulham-facing-final-wait-for-injured-wing-wizard-duff-119164.html#ixzz0nDnQPr3p

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff... (07/05/10)
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2010, 07:15:44 AM »
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/173724/Harry-Redknapp-and-Roy-Hodgson-keep-home-fire-burning/
HARRY REDKNAPP AND ROY HODGSON KEEP HOME FIRE BURNING

JUST for a second, Harry Redknapp did not look too happy after ­being drenched with an ice bucket by ­Tottenham’s players in ­celebration of qualification for the Champions League.


That familiar grin soon spread across his face and now he is going to auction his soaked suit for a cancer charity. But you would have understood if he had got the hump.

It has been difficult for English managers to get football to take them seriously these past few years.

At the point of his finest achievement, having confirmed Spurs as something like the force they always should have been, did he really need to be standing at Eastlands dripping wet?

The Manager of the Year award seems destined for Roy Hodgson, who has fabulously led Fulham to the final of the Europa League. But Redknapp surely runs him a near second and that is even if Carlo Ancelotti secures a first league and FA Cup Double for Chelsea.

The difference is that both Hodgson and Redknapp have built and shaped their teams by their own hand, while Ancelotti – quite admirably and cleverly, it must be said – has simply made a few shrewd tweaks to a side he inherited at Stamford Bridge.

There has been a lot of soul-searching in England over perceived failure to produce top-drawer coaches. After Steve McClaren’s failure with the national team, we turned again to a foreigner, Fabio Capello, and watched agape as he made the transformation of the side look so simple. Perhaps we were just being impatient.

In Redknapp’s case, the leap towards a proper acknowledgment of his wisdom and instinct could not happen until he got to a club with significant resources like Tottenham. But it is a telling point that he and Hodgson are finally being hailed here now they are in their early sixties, when all their years of learning and experience are bearing a rich reward.

The key thing both have done is what managers are supposed to do – manage. They have bought wisely, balanced their teams well and given them an emphatic sense of themselves and what they are trying to do, tactically and mentally.

The timing of the current appreciation of this is important because it contrasts so starkly with the latest round of whingeing from Rafael Benitez, who is complaining yet again about apparent broken promises from the Liverpool boardroom.

He is demanding yet more money for yet more signings. But his team show no evidence that they have been constructed and run with any sort of cohesion or idea of development in mind, even if somewhere in Benitez’s fevered mind there was a grand scheme.

He has spent nearly £300million and traded 105 players during his six years in charge. Ian St John was on Five Live discussing the decline of his old club and was told Benitez had made 76 signings. “What?” replied ‘The Saint’. “Is he starting his own league?” Set this against Spurs’ composed and disciplined display at Manchester City as proof foreigners do not always know best.

For starters, there is the advancement of Michael Dawson into a potential England World Cup defender, confirming Redknapp’s ability to inspire and develop players.

Then there is his outstanding work in the transfer market which has given Spurs their strongest, most well-balanced and purposeful squad for years. And he simply will not deny a love of attacking football. Spurs play with style and daring.

Hodgson’s Fulham have been more careful at times during their European adventure. But the proper practice of management is about getting goalless draws at Hamburg as much as inspiring extraordinary wins over Juventus.

Like Redknapp, Hodgson has bought shrewdly and blended a team, not a collection of individuals. The players tell of how training is all about coaching team shape and patterns of play, drilling in both the framework and discipline which has enabled them to pull off so many shocks. Only now is Hodgson a hero in his own land. Even when he was bucking the trend abroad to ignore English coaches and leading Inter Milan to third place in Serie A and the 1997 UEFA Cup final, it passed largely unnoticed here.

Ironically, his elevation here has coincided with another Englishman making a rare mark in Europe.

McClaren won the Dutch title for Twente last weekend. This is a remarkable rehabilitation. It proves young English coaches can learn from their misfortunes and apply their own experiences. Suddenly, the English are showing they can shape the game they invented as cleverly as foreigners after all.