Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…  (Read 7335 times)

Offline whitejc

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Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« on: May 10, 2010, 07:23:05 AM »
http://www.tribune.ie/sport/soccer/article/2010/may/09/on-the-brink-of-the-ultimate-crowning-moment/
On the brink of the ultimate crowning moment
Roy Hodgson has enjoyed a long and well-travelled career in management, but winning the Europa League with Fulham would trump all of his achievements

HE has managed in a World Cup and taken two clubs to the finals of European competitions – feats that are beyond the scope of the vast majority of coaches – but Roy Hodgson gives the impression that his success has been some sort of accident. Given that his World Cup, with Switzerland, was in 1994 and those finals have been 13 years apart, you may actually believe Fulham's manager.

If ambition has been the mark of Jose Mourinho's career, then Hodgson admits that it has been lacking from his work. Yet, despite it all, he will be in Hamburg's Nordbank Arena on Wednesday hoping to guide his club to victory against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League, in what is Fulham's first ever European final.

"Whenever I leave a job," the man who joined the apparently relegation-doomed Cottagers in late 2007, says, "I have a tremendous tendency – and it's probably not always been intelligent of me – to jump at the first job that comes my way that sounds half-decent and interesting and sounds like an interesting experience.

"I jump at it without thinking 'how does this affect my position on the ladder'? If I'd been a bit more cynical – if I'd thought 'I'm at Inter, or at Blackburn having just left Inter, my position on the ladder is X, I definitely don't want to lose my position' and if I wanted to go higher – I wouldn't have taken the job at Grasshoppers [in 1999].

"I haven't regretted it. That's the strange thing – maybe I should have done. I don't know. They've been good experiences. The United Arab Emirates was a very good experience. I had no notion of the Arab world before I went there. I would like to think I'm better for it. But, if you're thinking that as a coach you should always be looking to take a step up, I haven't done that. I've gone sideways, backwards and upwards again. If you were to do a graph of my career it would look like a Kandinsky painting." Pretty wild, in other words.




You see what he means when you consider what happened after four years in the ascendancy, first due to his work with Switzerland, then with Inter in reaching the 1997 Uefa Cup [they lost on penalties in the two-legged final to Schalke 04], before he moved to Blackburn that summer, and took them into the Uefa Cup as well. However, he was sacked by them in late 1998 as things went off the rails and they were on course for relegation. Then came his ambition-free years: Grasshoppers [of Zurich], the UAE, FC Copenhagen, Viking Stavanger of Norway, and then the Finland national team. Scandinavia was where he had started his coaching career, in 1976.




That high watermark with Inter did not lead Hodgson to thinking he was any sort of Special One. He says: "When I reached the final with Inter my next thought was not 'how can I reach my next final'? I was just anxious to keep working in football and take what jobs came my way. Most of my career, with the one very obvious, glorious exception of Inter, has not been with the types of clubs who get to European finals. At FC Copenhagen, they had never won the league, so doing that was enough for them – they didn't think 'let's get Hodgson, we'll be in the final next year'."




Fulham were not thinking that either when they made their surprise appointment at the end of 2007. Lawrie Sanchez had failed to arrest the slide that started under Chris Coleman and the club turned to the man from Croydon who was available and willing to work in his home country again.

It seemed like the impossible job, with the club's inability to compete in the transfer market seemingly pointing to an end to seven years in the top flight. Yet come the end of the 2007/8 season, Hodgson had rallied his players to give them hope. With three games to go and needing to win every one of them, they were 2-0 down away against Manchester City with 20 minutes left and won 3-2. On the final day against Portsmouth, they won and stayed up on goal difference.

That game against City also served as a template for arguably the key point in Fulham's European adventure, and proof of how effectively Hodgson has drummed his methods into his players. Having lost the first-leg game against Juventus 3-1, the side from south west London clambered back to win 5-4 on aggregate in an epic night that might not be surpassed for drama, even if they win against Atletico.

Hodgson has doubts over the fitness of Damien Duff and their top scorer Bobby Zamora, but few would bet against him pulling off his most impressive feat yet in management.




Europa League Final: Atletico Madrid v Fulham, HSH Nordbank Arena, 7.45, Live, TV3, 7.30

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 07:24:52 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/7700693/Arsenal-4-Fulham-0-match-report.html
Arsenal 4 Fulham 0: match report
Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Arsenal and Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, May 9 2010.

The most anti-climatic of Premier League finales was only momentarily compromised at the Emirates. After just three minutes, news filtered around the stadium that Tottenham had taken a 1-0 lead over Burnley and so moved level on points with Arsenal in third, meaning that one slip would cause the indignity of finishing below their north London rivals.

That danger, though, proved strictly theoretical, with what was effectively the Fulham reserve team carrying only the most negligible of threats and Arsenal utterly dominant both in possession and chances.

Robin van Persie had forced early acrobatics from Mark Schwarzer with a curling free-kick, while Samir Nasri dragged an excellent early chance narrowly wide after Andrei Arshavin’s cross.

It was Arshavin’s first start for almost a month and a combination of his quick thinking and an uncharacteristic Schwarzer mistake put Arsenal into a 21st minute lead.

Schwarzer, who is the only Fulham starter likely to keep his place for Wednesday’s Europa League final, horribly miss-controlled what should have been a routine clearance to allow Arshavin to take possession.

Arshavin then cut back inside Schwarzer to shoot into an unguarded Fulham goal, with Fulham’s embarrassed goalkeeper left only to honesty hold up his hand in acknowledgement of the error.

The match was then effectively ended when Theo Walcott created two goals in the space of 11 first-half minutes.

He crossed for Van Persie to score following a Schwarzer save and then threaded another ball across the Fulham six-yard box which somehow travelled off the heel of Emmanuel Eboue and then through the legs of John Pantsil before being turned into his own goal by Chris Baird.

Arsenal could and should have finished with an even more comfortable margin of victory. Having helped create two goals, Walcott was less efficient when presented with an outstanding opportunity by another clever back-heel from Eboue, pulling his shot badly wide.

Van Persie then missed two chances to further extend the lead, having one effort blocked by Schwarzer and then shooting against the post from the rebound.

There was also controversy when Eboue got behind the Fulham defence and was clearly fouled by Stephen Kelly, only for referee Mike Jones to brandish a yellow card for ‘diving’.

Eboue was outraged by the slur, with the reaction of the crowd underlining his transformation over the past 18 months to Arsenal cult hero.

There was also rather more ironic cheering every time goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made a successful catch, although Fulham really did not threaten with enough regularity to test Arsenal’s error-prone second-choice goalkeeper.

At the end of a season that had promised so much but again delivered no silverware, Arsenal did at least finish in some considerable style.

Samir Nasri had split open the Fulham defence and Carlos Vela duly converted the chance with a delicate lob over the helpless Schwarzer.

The sight of Johan Djourou - coming on for a first appearance of the season at centre-back - will also have encouraged Wenger, who knows that improving the Arsenal defence remains the overwhelming priority this summer.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2010, 07:26:26 AM »
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1485857.html?rss=1485857+Quique+Flores+targeting+final+flourish
Quique Flores targeting final flourish

Quique Sánchez Flores has worked wonders at Club Atlético de Madrid but, with Fulham FC now awaiting in the UEFA Europa League final, he recognises: "Everything comes down to this match."

Having painstakingly rebuilt confidence in his six months of work at Club Atlético de Madrid, Quique Sánchez Flores knows that a mere 90 minutes now stand between his players and UEFA Europa League glory.

The former SL Benfica coach replaced Abel Resino in the Spanish capital on 23 October last year with Los Rojiblancos bottom of their UEFA Champions League group and boasting just one win from their first seven league matches. Since then, he has lifted Atlético away from the Liga relegation zone and led them to a pair of showpiece occasions, with Wednesday's meeting with Fulham FC in Hamburg coming a week before their Copa del Rey final against Sevilla FC.

It has been a remarkable turnaround, with Atlético now on the verge of their first trophy since their league and cup double in 1995/96, but their upward trajectory will count for little this week. "Everything comes down to this one match," Quique Flores said. "There'll be so much euphoria, while every goal and every mistake will be decisive. It'll be different to any other game."

It will also be different in that Atlético progressed through the last three rounds on away goals after two-legged ties, eliminating Liverpool FC following extra time in the last four. "In a final, there isn't any margin you can take with you, so we have to maintain our level and improve," continued Quique Flores. "It's a privilege for any team to be in the final. We're there now, so we want to take advantage and finish well."

Should they prevail at the Hamburg Arena, it will prove a victory for self-belief as much as talent as far as the coach is concerned. "The confidence aspect was a fundamental thing with the players," explained the 45-year-old, looking back on his early work at the club. "They had to believe in themselves to be able to put in the effort. That was a huge battle, but step by step the team started performing differently in the league and other competitions."

One of the most significant steps was also their first after transferring from the UEFA Champions League, with Diego Forlán's last-minute winner away to Galatasaray AŞ in the round of 32 giving them vital momentum. "We maybe had it hardest against Galatasaray," recalled Quique Flores. "It's difficult to motivate your players at the beginning of the competition when there are so many problems, but they reacted very well in Turkey, which was key. That's when we started to develop a good feeling in this competition."

Now, they face one final hurdle in the shape of Fulham, and Quique Flores paid tribute to the Premier League side. "They're a well-organised team with a good manager," he said. "I've learned that they have a good English player in Bobby Zamora and their three midfielders [Clint] Dempsey, [Simon] Davies and [Zoltán] Gera can make life dangerous for us. But we have players who can make it difficult for them too, like [José Manuel] Jurado, [José Antonio] Reyes and Simão. We'll have to see what happens."


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 07:27:30 AM »
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/37998/Arsenal_thrash_disinterested_Fulham.aspx
Arsenal thrash disinterested Fulham

Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Fulham to clinch third place and automatic qualification into the Champions League.

Goals from Andrey Arshavin, Robin van Persie, an own goal from Chris Baird and a delightful chip by Carlos Vela were enough to dismiss a largely disinterested Fulham, although it did not start that way.

With just one win in their last eight matches, and north London rivals Spurs waiting to take advantage of another slip, the Gunners could not afford to relax on the last day of the season.

Fulham on the other hand, with a trip to Hamburg on their minds, were able to rest a host of first-choice players. Roy Hodgson's side however did not show any early signs that they would lay down.

Perhaps with places up for grabs for this Wednesday's Europa Cup Final, the Cottagers were making a game of it.

There were some early moments of anxiety for the Gunners, principally when Lukasz Fabianski failed to deal with a cross convincingly, sparking shouts of "Wenger spend some money".

Van Persie looked sharp at the other end. His inswinging free-kick from the right tested Mark Schwarzer who managed to parry the ball to safety just before the balled dipped into the net. Samir Nasri also tested the Australian keeper, who pushed the effort around his right post.

The Fulham number one went from hero to villain moments later though. He came out to meet a back-pass and mis-controlled the ball allowing Arshavin to nip in and steal possession.

The Russian cut in to the left side of the area before firing in a shot from an acute angle with the defenders on the line unable to prevent the powerful shot from finishing in the back of the net.

The Gunners went 2-0 up in the 26th minute when an Emmanuel Eboue pass beat the offside trap allowing Theo Walcott to leave a flat-footed defence in his wake before squaring the ball for van Persie.

The Dutch striker's first shot was half-saved by Schwarzer, but the ball bounced back off the bottom side of the bar for van Persie to calmly place the ball beyond the grounded keeper. Fulham's heads visibly dropped.

Baird's own goal in the 38th minute made it 3-0 to Arsenal. Eboue's back-flick from Walcott's cross threw the Fulham defence into disarray. With van Persie bearing down on goal, Baird stuck a leg out and inadvertently directed the ball past his own keeper.

Another Eboue back-flick from van Persie's pass put Walcott in on goal, but the World Cup hopeful failed to test the keeper when through on goal on the right side of the area and he dragged his shot wide of the left post.

The Gunners went close to going 4-0 up just four minutes after the re-start when Bacary Sagna's cross from the right was met on the volley by van Persie but Schwarzer spread himself well to make a point-blank save. The rebound fell to the Dutchman whose snap-shot hit the left post before bouncing away to safety.

Carlos Vela came off the bench to make it 4-0 in the 84th minute. The Mexican ran on to Nasri's throughball before lifting the ball over the oncoming keeper to secure the win and third place.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2010, 07:29:13 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2010/05/09/1916714/fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-weve-done-brilliantly-to-finish
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: We've done 'brilliantly' to finish 12th in the Premier League
Weakened Cottagers side well beaten by Gunners...

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson praised his team's overall league performance despite watching his side thoroughly beaten 4-0 by Arsenal on the final.

"We’ve done brilliantly in the Premier League, 12th is a very respectable place for Fulham," he told BBC Sport.

With the Europa League final on Wednesday, the Cottagers boss made eight changes to his starting line-up which allowed Arsenal to dominate the match.

Fulham didn’t start the game well and found themselves three goals behind at half-time.

"We went a goal down to a rare mistake from Mark Schwarzer," Hodgson continued.

"He said the ball bobbled but I don't believe it. He has blamed the pitch, but I think he was being tongue-in-cheek"

The second half turned into something resembling a training match as both teams saw out the end of the season in comfortable fashion.

There was also time for Mexican substitute Carlos Vela to grab a fourth goal in the 84th minute to ensure Arsenal finished third in the Premier League.

"After going in 3-0 down at half-time, my aim was to 'draw' the second half and we almost did that," Hodgson continued.

"But we didn't have enough in our locker to bother a good Arsenal team and an Arsenal team determined to win the game."

With the league campaign now concluded, Fulham’s attention now turns to their Europa League final clash against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday and Hodgson is waiting on the fitness of five of his first team regulars.

"I rested [Aaron] Hughes, [Brede] Hangeland and [Paul] Konchesky with minor problems. Bobby [Zamora] and Damien’s [Duff] injuries are slightly more serious." Hodgson added.

"The availability of Damien and Bobby means a lot."

And with the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud potentially causing flight problems, Hodgson was unsure how his side will get to Germany for the biggest game in the club's history.

"There’s no leeway [for the game to be moved] from UEFA so we’ve got to get there come hell or high water." He added.

"We would have liked to have played today’s game on Saturday, but it will be very difficult to get away tomorrow. I suppose we have to hope that on Tuesday the flight can take off or otherwise we’ll make arrangements for tomorrow evening."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2010, 07:30:33 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6144294,00.html
Hodgson makes plea to Uefa
Ash cloud could again cause travel chaos

Roy Hodgson believes Uefa should consider postponing the Europa League final if the volcanic ash cloud prevents air travel to Hamburg.

Fulham have already travelled to Hamburg by coach this season in the competition after knocking out the German side in the semi-finals to set up a final meeting with Atletico Madrid.

The ash cloud is again threatening to cause travel chaos for Wednesday's final and Hodgson feels it may be sensible for Uefa to postpone the showpiece if the players and fans are unable to fly to Hamburg.

"If Madrid are also in that situation, Uefa should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there," said Hodgson.

Harsh
"I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

"You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for Uefa to reconsider.

"It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already."

Speaking after a 4-0 defeat at Arsenal on the final day of the Premier League season, Hodgson confirmed his squad are currently due to fly out to Hamburg on Tuesday.

And he admits that it would be difficult for the club to arrange flights to the city before then in order to prevent another coach journey.


Hard to organise
"We can't get out much earlier," Hodgson told Sky Sports. "It's Sunday evening now and I don't think we'll be able to get a flight between now and the end of the evening.

"We're training in the morning, so we've only got between the afternoon and evening to organise and organising flights for 40 people is not such an easy thing to do.

"Obviously it's a situation which our administrative people are keeping an eye on, but we certainly aren't going to gain very much because if we leave tomorrow evening or Tuesday morning early, we're not gaining a great deal.

"I don't know if there is going to be an enormous difference between the ash cloud on Monday evening and on Tuesday morning.

"Whatever decision needs to be taken, we need to take the right one, we need to have good information and we'll see what happens."


Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 07:32:15 AM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/roysarsenalreaction.aspx
Arsenal Reaction



Roy Hodgson gave his verdict on Fulham’s defeat to Arsenal on Sunday evening before delivering the latest fitness news ahead of Wednesday night’s UEFA Europa League Final in Hamburg.

“I thought we started the game reasonably well to be honest,” said Hodgson during his post match press conference at the Emirates Stadium.

“When Mark made his very, very uncharacteristic error it put us on the back foot. I’m pleased he’s [Schwarzer] got it out of his system, because I was beginning to wonder when he’d make a mistake, because he’s made so few this season, if any.

“Then to concede an own goal just before half time, again somewhat unfortunately, I thought we were looking at a rout in the second half if we weren’t careful, but I was actually feeling quite good in the second half.

“I thought we’d done well to keep the score down so I was disappointed when the fourth went in so late in the game.

“There’s nothing for me to do but congratulate Arsenal on their victory. They were clearly much better than we were today.

“I’m actually quite satisfied with how the players went about things and kept battling away and fighting against enormous odds because playing against a team of Arsenal’s quality we were fighting hard to keep our head above water.”

Fulham defender John Pantsil was forced from the field of play during the second half with a muscular injury and Hodgson confirmed the defender wasn’t the only Fulham player suffering at the Emirates on Sunday.

“John Pantsil felt a slight problem in his thigh but we don’t think it’s massive. Don’t forget John hasn’t played for four months. He got injured in the last game in December and now he’ played two or three games in a two week spell. A slight strain is a possibility but we’ll have to reassess him on Monday.

“Bjorn Helge Riise was suffering from stomach cramps at half time and he had to go home. We hope it’s not a viral infection but he was certainly the most injured of the players today.”

Fulham’s players will reconvene at Motspur Park on Monday morning and Hodgson is confident that several First Team players will now be ready for Wednesday’s Final after a few days rest.

“Paul Konchesky’s ankle is better and I’ll be surprised if he can’t train on Monday. Brede Hangeland’s knee will have profited from not having to play for a couple of days and I expect him to be okay, as I do Aaron Hughes, who has had a slight tightness in the groin area.

“Damien Duff has been having treatment since the Stoke game and is making good progress. We are very hopeful he’ll train on Monday and Bobby Zamora is making progress.

“Monday is quite a crucial day to see if he’s [Zamora] fit enough to get on the training field with us, or whether he’ll need more time, but of course the more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection, because he hasn’t played or trained since coming off against Hamburg.”

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/roysarsenalreaction.aspx#ixzz0nVPq5RyZ

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 07:33:37 AM »
http://www.teamtalk.com/fulham/6144357/Hodgson-worried-about-travel-chaos
Hodgson 'worried' about travel chaos

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has called on UEFA to postpone the Europa League final if the volcanic ash causes more travel chaos next week.

Fulham are preparing for Wednesday's clash with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

The Cottagers, who fielded a much-changed side for the 4-0 defeat in their last Premier League game at Arsenal, faced an arduous journey to get to Germany for the first leg of their semi-final after European airspace was shutdown following eruptions in Iceland.

The latest burst of ash is now drifting across areas of France, Spain, northern Italy and Germany bringing more disruption as several airports - including Munich - have been closed.

Forecasts suggest the volcanic cloud could disrupt UK airspace again over the next few days.

Fulham are set to fly out on Tuesday morning.

Hodgson maintains if the situation worsens, then Europe's footballing governing body must take a stance.

"We are worried, because they are always talking about changing wind direction, and having to play this game on Sunday does not give us too much alternative," said the Fulham manager.

"It is all very well people saying change the flights, but we can only change that till tomorrow.

"We are talking about 40 people and a lot of kit - it is not like someone going on a package holiday, it is a major operation.

"We are training tomorrow morning, and I am not expecting to race around and try to contact the players now to say 'You had better bring your bags for 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.'

"It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany.

"It is a very, very complicated matter and while our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us."

With the ash closing Spanish airports, Atletico are likely to face similar problems.

Hodgson added: "If Madrid are also in that situation, UEFA should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

"I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

"You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider.

"It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already."

Hodgson hopes his injury problems will clear up ahead of the Europa League final.

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and Damien Duff (leg) are all expected to train tomorrow.

Striker Bobby Zamora, however, faces a race against time to shake off a niggling Achilles problem.

Defender John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise were both substituted at Emirates Stadium.

Hodgson said: "Pantsil has felt a slight problem in his thigh, but we do not think it is massive.

"It might be a slight muscle strain, but the physios did not seem to be terribly disturbed. We will have to re-asess him tomorrow.

"Riise was suffering from stomach cramps at half-time. That could be worse. He has had to go home, and we hope it is not a viral infection."

Hodgson is keeping his fingers cross Zamora can play some part against Atletico.

"Bobby is also making progress and tomorrow will be quite a crucial day to see if he is fit enough to train, or whether he needs more time," he said.

"Of course, though, the more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection because he has not trained or played since coming off against Hamburg.

"Time is working on his behalf, so if Bobby was lucky enough to be involved for England, then by the time that group get together after the FA Cup final, it would not prevent him from taking part in that."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 07:36:08 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275919/Fulham-fear-Europa-League-journey-volcanic-ash-cloud-wreaking-havoc-continent.html?ITO=1490
Fulham fear for Europa League journey with volcanic ash cloud wreaking havoc on the continent

Fulham face an anxious wait to see if volcanic ash could once again scupper their Europa League plans.

The club were forced to travel 895 miles to Hamburg by coach for the first leg of their semi-final on April 22 as UEFA refused to re-arrange the game.
Roy Hodgson's side may now be forced to repeat their gruelling 27-hour journey ahead of Wednesday's final against Atletico Madrid, which will also be held in Hamburg’s Nordbank Arena.

Volcanic ash affected air travel across much of southern Europe yesterday and the Fulham boss admitted he was worried.
He added: ‘It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany.
‘It is a very, very complicated matter. While our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us.’

Fulham are scheduled to leave Gatwick Airport at 11am on Tuesday morning, but Hodgson called for the game to be postponed if Atletico Madrid’s travel plans are also affected.

He said: ‘I hope UEFA show some transience, rather than the usual intransigence, and try to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

‘You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider. It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already.’ 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1275919/Fulham-fear-Europa-League-journey-volcanic-ash-cloud-wreaking-havoc-continent.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nVQmg7sV


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 07:37:29 AM »
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/174157/Bobby-Zamora-hopes-to-make-World-Cup-squad
BOBBY ZAMORA HOPES TO MAKE WORLD CUP SQUAD

FABIO Capello has 45 players on standby for his provisional World Cup squad that will be announced tomorrow.

The FA has sent emails to the majority of Premier League clubs telling them they have players who could be in the 30-man England party Capello will unveil at Wembley.

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is one. He is battling an ankle injury but hopes to face Atletico Madrid oversee. England are also awaiting injury updates on Gareth Barry.

Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher is certain to make the 30-strong squad after indicating he would end his self-imposed exile from internationals.


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 07:38:39 AM »
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2010/0510/1224270048926.html
Al-Fayed sells luxury store Harrods to Qatari royal family for €1.74bn

THE INVESTMENT arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has bought famous London department store Harrods from Egyptian-born businessman Mohamed al-Fayed in a deal reported to be worth about £1.5 billion (€1.74 billion).

Qatar Holding, the prime vehicle for strategic and direct investments by the State of Qatar,would not confirm the estimated figure reported by Sky News.

The country’s prime minister, who is also chairman of Qatar Holding, said there were plans to upgrade the luxury store, which is popular with tourists and an historic landmark in the upmarket Knightsbridge area of London.

“What I can assure you is Qatar Holding will do their best to upgrade this monument, to make it even greater and better for the tourism and also for the British people,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told reporters in an impromptu news conference at the store. He said it will create a “road map” to upgrade Harrods in the next few months. The deal brings to an end 25 years of ownership by al-Fayed, who will become honorary chairman.

“Mohamed al-Fayed has decided to retire and to spend more time with his children and grandchildren,” said Ken Costa, chairman of Lazard International. Lazard advised the al-Fayed family trust. “Qatar Holding was specifically chosen by the trust as they had both the vision and financial capacity to support the long-term successful growth of Harrods.”

Qatar Holding is an arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen its economy by diversifying into new asset classes.

QIA is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with an estimated $60 billion (€47.12 billion) or more in assets under management.

Qatar Holding has stakes in supermarket chain J Sainsbury, the London Stock Exchange and Credit Suisse.

The purchase followed interest from the emir of Qatar, the prime minister said. “Harrods generates good and stable returns as a business – it will add much value to our international portfolio of investments,” Sheikh Hamad said. – (Reuters)

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 07:40:17 AM »
http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/roy-please-uefa-dont-make-an-ash-of-euro-final-119400.html

Roy: Please UEFA, don’t make an ash of Euro final



THOUGH an early Fulham goal or news of a Tottenham romp at Burnley might have put a different complexion on matters, this game was always going to be about the future.



For Fulham that represents a game in Hamburg in two days’ time and, even more pertinently, the chances of catching a flight there tomorrow.

For Arsenal it was all about not having to qualify for the Champions League next season, having bolstered a squad that once again wasn’t quite up to it in the process.

For the record, the 90 minutes that constituted Arsenal and Fulham’s final fixture of the Premier League campaign featured four goals, some woodwork thumping, a penalty that was missed by the officials, a goal ruled out for offside and a few bookings.

Andrey Arshavin capitalised on an error from the otherwise-excellent Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal to make it 1-0. Robin van Persie, having seen his initial shot deflected on to the crossbar by the self-same Australian, made it 2-0 on the rebound and Cottagers’ defender Chris Baird added another before the break with a comedy own goal from a Theo Walcott cross.

Substitute Carlos Vela completed the scoring with six minutes left with a cheeky little chip as the visitors had to accept the beating its performance deserved.. Fulham fielded a shadow side featuring only Schwarzer, defender John Pantsil and striker Clint Dempsey as regular picks.

The reason, of course, is to keep the rest fresh for Wednesday night’s Europa League final with Atletico Madrid but already there is a problem for Hodgson and Co in the shape of a volcanic ash cloud.

Hodgson called upon UEFA to do the decent thing. "I would be expecting UEFA to show some understanding rather than the usual intransigence and try to find a solution that helps us both by postponing the game for a time when we can both fly," he said.

"The final is a great occasion and we would be playing the game with thousands of fans unable to go because of volcanic ash in the air."

At least Hodgson has not yet had to leave any of his preferred picks at home, although Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff have yet to leave the treatment table and resume training.

Arsene Wenger’s sights are set firmly upon August when his players must once again embark on a quest to find the end of a trophyless trail dating back five years.

Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is due to sign within days but exactly who else will arrive remains to be seen. The Frenchman insisted on debating the exact definition of a ‘big signing’.

"It is always the same when you say big names or big players," he said. "Sometimes it is only one player. Sometimes not big names are still big players. I believe that what the fans want from me is that I bring in top players.

"We bought Thomas Vermaelen last year and nobody knew him. Today he is a big player. What the fans want concerns me of course because we both love the club and want the best possible team. But we have to be in a position where we can pay our wages at the end of the month. We have to respect our business rules."

So, no big names then. And no new contract for the Frenchman either, at least not yet. "At the moment I have not extended," he said. "I am very happy with my club and always respect a contract but when I extend I don’t know yet."

MATCH RATING *** – Arsenal made it entertaining but Fulham were always going to be there for the taking.

REFEREE: Mike Jones (Cheshire) 7 – Booked Emmanuel Eboue for diving and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for handling outside his area so gets plaudits for making decisions that annoyed the home fans.

 

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, May 10, 2010



Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/roy-please-uefa-dont-make-an-ash-of-euro-final-119400.html#ixzz0nVRqtfpr


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 07:41:38 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1275566/WORLD-CUP-2010-Fulham-star-Bobby-Zamora-set-World-Cup-place.html?ITO=1490
WORLD CUP 2010: Fulham star Bobby Zamora set for World Cup place

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is set to be named in England's provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
Zamora's stock has risen rapidly this season after a string of impressive displays that have helped the Craven Cottage club reach the Europa League final.
Three Lions chief Fabio Capello has overlooked the uncapped Zamora for his previous squads.

But according to the Sunday Telegraph, Zamora has received a letter from the FA requesting he is available for the provisional squad - which is named on Tuesday.
Zamora - who has hit 18 goals this season - is facing a race against time to be fit for Fulham's date with destiny against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday due to a long-term Achilles injury.
But should he shake off the complaint, Zamora is expected to be handed the chance to cement his place in Capello's final 23-man squad in the forthcoming friendlies against Mexico and Japan.
Capello must name his World Cup squad by midnight  on June 1.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1275566/WORLD-CUP-2010-Fulham-star-Bobby-Zamora-set-World-Cup-place.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0nVSB09Y4

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 07:44:39 AM »
BBC Sport - Football - Hodgson eyes glory after defeat
Hodgson eyes glory after defeat

Roy Hodgson admitted that a weakened Fulham's 4-0 loss to Arsenal is a small sacrifice for improving their chances in Wednesday's Europa League final.

The Cottagers boss rested players ahead of the match with Atletico Madrid and said: "Reaching the Europa League final outshines our Premier League record.

"Five players were unavailable because of injury, so I rested only Danny Murphy, Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies.

"We didn't have enough in our locker to beat a good, determined Arsenal team."

Fulham take on Atletico Madrid in Hamburg in midweek and victory would see them cap a terrific season with some silverware.

After failing to get the match with Arsenal brought forward a day to give them more time to prepare for their trip, Fulham were always going to field an unfamiliar line-up.

And with Arsenal desperate to earn at least a point to secure third place - ahead of Tottenham - and automatic qualification into next season's Champions League, Fulham's task looked a tough one.

Hodgson praises 'brave' Fulham
"I made a lot of changes to the line-up and we unfortunately went a goal down to a rare mistake from Mark Schwarzer," said Hodgson.

The visiting keeper miscontrolled a backpass and Andrey Arshavin nipped in to steal the ball and eventually fire home.

Hodgson continued: "Mark said the ball bobbled but I don't believe it! I think he was being tongue-in-cheek.

"He has barely made an error all season, so one had to come. And it's better that it happened today than on Wednesday."

Arsenal scored twice more in the first half, through Robin van Persie and a Chris Baird own goal.

"As soon as Arsenal scored their second we knew it was going to be an uphill struggle," said Hodgson.

"After going in 3-0 down at half-time, my aim was to 'draw' the second half and we almost did that.

"We gave a brave performance and people worked hard enough but we were unable to really bother Arsenal."

Arsenal wrapped up the win when substitute Carlos Vela dinked in late on.

But Gunners boss Arsene Wenger seemed in reflective mood after the game, clearly disappointed at ending the season without a trophy for the fifth consecutive campaign.

"We have mixed feelings," said the Frenchman. "With the number of injuries we had, to be third is maybe not too bad - especially when you think what people expected of us at the start of the season.

Wenger pleased to finish difficult season on a high
"But third is not good enough because you want to win."

Arsenal had to do without Van Persie for most of the season, and also lost Cesc Fabregas and William Gallas for spells.

But they remained in the hunt for trophies until they fell away in the last couple of weeks, hammered in the Champions League by Barcelona and then blowing their title hopes.

Wenger admitted: "We scored lots of goals this season but we conceded too many.

"And when you reach March, April and you do not have your best players available it is very difficult."

However, Wenger took some consolation from the fact his side hung on to third place and will again play in the Champions League next season - for their 13th consecutive year.

"I felt that we gave absolutely everything to finish in the top three. It is the second best place to be in England - the first is to win the title, the second is to qualify for the Champions League.

"But for me it is not enough - it is the minimum requested .

"We were close this year, we are a young side and have learnt a lot. We want to add to the squad and come back stronger next season."

Wenger also revealed that he is close to clinching a deal for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh.

"He could be our first new signing," he said. "We have to finalise some papers and he will need to pass a medical but it is very close."


 

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2010, 07:46:32 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/10/1917212/atletico-madrid-winger-simao-expecting-tough-test-from-fulham-in-
Atletico Madrid Winger Simao Expecting Tough Test From Fulham In Europa Final
The Portuguese says the final is evenly poised...

Atletico Madrid winger Simao has insisted that Wednesday's Europa League final against English Premier League side Fulham is evenly poised and added that he expects a tough, physical test from the Londoners.

The 30-year-old also admitted that his side were a little nervous and anxious to play the game while also declaring that winning Europe's silver medal competition would be a satisfying finish to a difficult season for los Colchoneros.

"We're fine, a little anxious to play this final, because it is an important game for everyone, for the players, for the club and the fans. It's a long time since we were in this position and on a personal level it's also an important date, so we're a little anxious, but we have prepared well to have a good game," he said, according to AS.

We reached the final because we really enjoyed UEFA competition to the utmost. I think it was a success to reach the final but now all that goes through our heads is winning."

"Winning the final is the best thing that could happen after the start of season we had, we suffered a lot. We can finish well with a sweet taste and lifting the cup would be phenomenal.

"It's a final and I don't know how Fulham will play. We want to pressure high up the field as always. Fulham has a more direct style of football, typically English. We know that English clubs are very strong in the air and from set pieces so we have to be extremely focused and try not to make mistakes near our goal, because they try to surprise us from set pieces. W want to keep it away from our goal because that makes us closer to scoring.

"A final is 50-50. There is no favourite. I think both deserve credit for having reached the final. We leave behind teams such as Valencia, Sporting Lisbon, Galatasaray and Liverpool and they knocked out Juventus which I think surprised us all when they won at home 4-1.They deserve credit like us for reaching the final so it's 50-50.


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2010, 07:47:42 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-backing-schwarzer-shake-arsenal-gaffe-827701
Fulham boss Hodgson backing Schwarzer to shake off Arsenal gaffe

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has no concerns with goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer after his gaffe in defeat to Arsenal yesterday.

An error from Schwarzer gifted Andrey Arshavin a goal in the 4-0 rout.

But Hodgson, now looking ahead to the Europa League final with Atletico Madrid, reflected: "Schwarzer is blaming the pitch, saying it took a bobble, but nobody believes him!

"I am pleased to see he has got it out of his system because he has made so few this season, if any."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2010, 07:50:09 AM »

Fulham Premier League season review 2009-10
Read Telegraph Sport's 2009-10 Premier League season review for Fulham under manager Roy Hodgson.


Oh what a night: Fulham's Clint Dempsey (left) celebrates after scoring the goal that sent Juventus crashing out of teh Europa League Photo:

GETTY IMAGES Manager: Roy Hodgson

Not just a job done; Hodgson has performed outstandingly, making subtle signings, coping with serious injuries and juggling the Europa League with Fulham's Premier League duties. The man who should be manager of the year deserves every accolade he achieves.

Best player: Bobby Zamora

When Hull came hunting, Hodgson was prepared to let the striker leave. Instead, Zamora decided to stay and, strangely, has benefited from the long-term injury to Andrew Johnson. Injury-permitting, he will lead Fulham in Hamburg and a World Cup call is still possible.

Worst player

Not too many candidates because Hodgson got rid of those under-performing. Seol Ki Hyeon did little before returning to South Korea and Pohong Steelers, but Diomansy Kamara disappointed before he, too, left, for Celtic on loan.

Moment of the season

Plenty to chose from, even better than the 3-1 win over Liverpool or the 3-0 dismemberment of Manchester United has to be the that wonderful night when Fulham, 3-1 behind to Juventus, won 4-1 in the second leg thanks to Clint Dempsey’s wonderful late goal.

Big issue

Can Fulham hold on to Hodgson? He has achieved so much in a relatively short time-span and with little money and suddenly the big boys are peering over the garden wall. Liverpool must be interested, while Juventus will have also noticed his achievements.

Verdict: 9 out of 10

Outstanding. Fulham surprised many by winning a place in the Europa League but they took that a step further by consolidating their League position and reaching the final in Hamburg. Fulham fans are still pinching themselves

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2010, 11:35:05 AM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/FinalTicketUpdate.aspx
Final Ticket Allocation
Monday 10th May 2010
 
The Club is delighted to inform supporters that it has now received another very limited allocation of tickets for the Final over the weekend and this limited allocation is now on sale to Season Ticket Holders who have yet to secure a ticket for the Final. There are a limited amount of tickets in certain categories (majority in Category 1) so please keep this in mind when booking.

You can purchase your ticket by calling, or visiting, the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage. Please note, tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, one per Season Ticket Holder and all tickets must be purchased and collected from the Fulham FC Ticket Office at Craven Cottage no later than 5pm Tuesday 11th May.  Due to limited phone lines we strongly recommend supporters buy their tickets in person.

How to book:
To book your ticket for the UEFA Europa League Final, call 0870 442 1234 (option 3) or visit the Ticket Office at Craven Cottage in person (preferred) by 5pm Tuesday 11th May.

Travel Options
There are still a limited amount of places left of the Fulham Flyer Daytrip to Hamburg and you can book  your spot on the flight online| or by calling Thomson Sport on 0845 121 2018.
.

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/May/FinalTicketUpdate.aspx#ixzz0nWOs3Jnh


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2010, 11:36:46 AM »
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6144816,00.html
SMALLING LIVING THE DREAM

Fulham defender Chris Smalling admits he is struggling to come to terms with the meteoric rise which has seen him go from non-league footballer to Europa League finalist within two years.

Smalling, along with his Fulham team-mates, will depart for Hamburg on Tuesday looking to upset the odds by beating Spanish side Atletico Madrid to lift the first major trophy in the club's 131-year history.

Smalling's impressive performances during the opening stages of the campaign caught the eye of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who moved to sign the defender in a £10million transfer in January.

It is all a world away from where the 20-year-old was two years ago when he was turning out for Isthmian League side Maidstone United.

"If you would have told me that I'd be in a European final back when I was at Maidstone then I wouldn't have believed you," the England Under-21 defender said.

"This is the sort of thing that I used to dream of when I went to bed at night back then. This has been a great journey for us. We just have to kick on now and come away with a winners medal."

Smalling will join United on a four-year deal in the summer but he must first focus on edging Aaron Hughes or Brede Hangeland out of Roy Hodgson's starting XI for Wednesday's clash against Spanish giants Atletico, who include the likes of Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan among their ranks.

Having disposed of the likes of Juventus and holders Shakhtar Donetsk to make the final, Smalling believes he and his team-mates should fear nothing from their opponents.

He said: "Atletico have been regulars in the Champions League over the last few years and they haveen up there in the top half of the Spanish league, but I think some of the teams that we have knocked out have been very much elite in their own countries so we have no fear.

"The management have put that belief into us that whoever we play and whoever is in our path we can get past them."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (10/05/10)…
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 11:37:55 AM »
http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2010/0510/hodgsonr.html
Hodgson hoping Fulham issues will ease

Roy Hodgson is hoping both the latest travel chaos from the volcanic ash cloud and Fulham's own injury problems clear up ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final with Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

The Cottagers, who field a much-changed side for Sunday's 4-0 defeat in their last Barclays Premier League game at Arsenal, are scheduled to head out to Germany tomorrow morning.


However, a new eruption form the Icelandic volcano which forced Fulham to make an arduous journey to the Continent by coach and train for the first leg of their semi-final after European airspace was shutdown threatens to once again hamper travel plans.

The latest burst of ash is now drifting across areas of France, Spain, northern Italy and Germany bringing more disruption as several airports - including Munich - have been closed.
Forecasts suggest the volcanic cloud could disrupt UK airspace again over the next few days.


Hodgson maintains if the situation worsens, then Europe's footballing governing body must take a stance.


'It could be very problematic and I only hope we have the luck to see the ash cloud disappear from the airspace between England and Germany,' said the Fulham manager, who admits striker Bobby Zamora faces a race against time to be fit from an Achilles problem.

'It is a very, very complicated matter and while our administrative team are working on it as best they can, to some extent we are going to be very much in the hands of the aviation authorities. What we can and can't do will be decided by them, not us.'

Hodgson admitted: 'We are worried, because they are always talking about changing wind direction, and having to play at Arsenal on Sunday did not give us too much alternative.

'It is all very well people saying change the flights, but we are talking about 40 people and a lot of kit - it is not like someone going on a package holiday, it is a major operation.'

With the ash closing Spanish airports, Atletico are likely to face similar problems.

Hodgson said: 'If Madrid are also in that situation, UEFA should show some transigence, rather than the usual intransigence, and trying to find a solution which helps us both by postponing the game until we both can fly there.

'I do not think it is quite that simple to say 'the game is Wednesday, you have to get there', if Madrid are facing a 20-hour journey and we are facing a 30-hour journey, because I do not think this is what the finals are about - they are a great occasion.

'You would be placing the game with thousands and thousands of English and Spanish fans not able to go, which I would say is another reason for UEFA to reconsider.

'It would be harsh, especially on a team like ours who have had to do it once already.'

Hodgson hopes his injury problems will clear up ahead of the Europa League final.

Paul Konchesky (ankle), Brede Hangeland (knee), Aaron Hughes (groin) and Damien Duff (leg) are all expected to train later today.


Defender John Pantsil (thigh) and Bjorn Helge Riise, who complained of stomach cramps, were both substituted at the Emirates Stadium.


Hodgson is keeping his fingers cross Zamora can play some part against Atletico.


'The more time he needs, the more difficult it makes my team selection because he has not trained or played since coming off against Hamburg,' said the Fulham boss.

'But if Bobby was lucky enough to be involved for England, then by the time that group get together after the FA Cup final, it would not prevent him from taking part in that.'