Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)  (Read 8772 times)

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2010, 09:35:49 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2557/news/2010/05/11/1919047/manchester-united-boss-sir-alex-ferguson-confident-fulham
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson confident Fulham will win Europa League final
Fergie backing Hodgson's men for glory in Hamburg...

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has little doubt that Fulham will beat Atletico Madrid this week in Hamburg to win the Europa League.

Cottagers manager Roy Hodgson was named manager of the year on Monday evening by the League Managers Association, after steering his side through a marathon campaign to the final of the competition.

Ferguson cannot see Atletico beating the west Londoners, who have benefited from having a settled side over the season.

"I think there's only one choice to be honest with you," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"Roy Hodgson's performance and feat in taking Fulham to a final after 63 matches is quite amazing really.

"I think they've an absolutely magnificent chance - I think they will win it.

"I think that the great thing about Fulham at the moment is you know what you're getting every week. There's a consistency and there's a good team selection all the time.

"The same team has been doing the job all the time.

"Hopefully Bobby Zamora's fit for it because he's an important player for them, obviously.

"But they've got the shape of their team right, they've got the balance and they know how to play. I think they've got a great chance."

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2010, 09:43:22 AM »
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/134760/Decision-day-for-Fabio-Capello-about-final-World-Cup-squad-/
DECISION DAY FOR FABIO CAPELLO ABOUT FINAL WORLD CUP SQUAD

FABIO CAPELLO gets nought out of 100 for his absurd World Cup commercial game with the England players.



The Capello Index was launched yesterday and what an own goal from the England coach. 



The 63-year-old Italian has not put a foot wrong since taking over but has now dumped his size nine right in the **** with this venture. 



Capello is to mark his World Cup players out of 100 after every game in South Africa for a ‘football index for fans’ project. 



He has been working on it for two years to help create an international player ranking system as well as the scoring mechanism for a new fantasy football game – the Capello XI. 



What is he thinking of and why on earth did the FA not stop him? 



This is right up there with former chief executive David Davies writing a World Cup 98 diary with manager Glenn Hoddle and Graham Taylor being wired up for sound in the dressing room without the players knowing. 



Capello had not discussed this extraordinary venture with his players either and says he will use the markings as motivation in South Africa. 



Oh yes, great motivation when players discover they have got 20, 30 or 40 out of 100 for their performances. 



Players hate this kind of thing. Capello has always fiercely protected his men and this blows any secrecy completely. 



What you think of your players should stay in the dressing room, not splashed all over a commercial website. Yesterday’s announcement came just 24 hours before Capello’s 30-man squad get texts today telling them they are in before the names are made public. 



From 4pm today he can’t make a mistake and must get everything absolutely right. 



The backdrop to the announcement is now controversy and news that will shake the players. This is so unlike Capello, who prides himself on doing everything right. 



He has banned the players from making a World Cup record, told the WAGS to stay away and frowns on the use of too many electronic games inside the South African HQ. 



He has been the tough schoolmaster they were waiting for. Then he goes and does this without the squad knowing. 



It is the fi rst slip of the iron mask we have seen and it can only be for financial gain. 



On £6m a year he should have focused only on the World Cup and not dropped his guard so blatantly. 



There are 62 days to the World Cup Final in South Africa and Capello simply can’t afford another mistake like this one. 



He hasn’t achieved anything yet because England should always qualify for the major tournaments. 



He gets vast amounts and is viewed as one of the best coaches in the world. 



He certainly has more problems to solve than he would have liked at this stage of England’s build-up. 



Capello has always maintained he would never take a crocked player to South Africa. Also, his players have to have performed regularly for their clubs. 



All that has come back to haunt him because of so many injuries at the end of a long, hard Premier League season. 

 

It is likely Spurs captain Ledley King will be included despite a dodgy knee and the fact he can’t train between matches and needs round-the-clock treatment. 



But Capello yesterday dropped a massive hint when he said of King: “I am really happy because he has played four games in 15 days.” 



What happens if he breaks down early on in the tournament? 



King is a Cinderella story but he must not go to the ball. 



Rio Ferdinand has played fewer games than King this season and his form and fitness is one of the biggest concerns. 



At this moment Ferdinand and King are both gambles. It’s why Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher has been persuaded to come out of international retirement. 



Carragher will be in the final 23 because there is no point in bending over backwards to get him to change his mind and then leaving him behind. 



Carragher quit England because he was fed up with turning up, travelling and then sitting on the bench. 



He will have to get used to that again if Ferdinand and Terry are fit and in form. Or has Capello made bigger promises to him? 



Surely the England coach can’t gamble on Owen Hargreaves after a couple of seconds on the pitch for Manchester United this season? 



A fit Hargreaves walks into the 30 and then the 23, but not after such a long lay-off and the complication of a virus that ruled him out of Manchester United’s last game of the season against Stoke on Sunday. 



Wes Brown of United is set to be named even though he has never inspired as an international. 



Phil Jagielka of Everton has only played a handful of matches at the end of the season and there can be no place for Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott, whose season has been blighted by injury. 



Capello will not go for Gareth Barry, who is recovering from an ankle injury. Tom Huddlestone is waiting for a late call, and what does Capello do about Joe Cole of Chelsea? 



Capello said yesterday he would address the Cole situation today. It is not encouraging for the Chelsea man. 



He loves pace and in attack so there will be places for Theo Walcott of Arsenal and Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon. 



Can he squeeze Shaun Wright- Phillips in to the final 23? The answer is probably no. 



Bobby Zamora of Fulham has made a late bid and seems certain to be in today’s 30 – if he is fi t. If he’s not, Darren Bent of Sunderland will replace him. But for me he is not an international footballer. 



That is the point of today’s announcement. Capello has got to get it right and then carry on getting it right. On and off the pitch. 



He conceded yesterday: “I have two decisions to make. One is a medical problem and the other is something else.” 



The decision to announce his Capello Index is the one that could come back to haunt him, especially if things don’t start well in South Africa. 



Nought Fabio.... and that is marking you highly. 




Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2010, 11:25:59 AM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/11/fulham-europa-league-final
Fulham's Europa League final given go ahead
• Ash cloud threatens to disrupt air travel
• Uefa will review situation if planes are grounded


Fulham's Zoltan Gera celebrates scoring his side's winner against Hamburg in the Europa League semi-final second leg. Photograph: Joe Giddens/Empics Sport

Uefa expects tomorrow's Europa League final in Hamburg to go ahead as planned, despite the threat of the latest ash cloud potentially disrupting air travel for Fulham and Atlético Madrid and their supporters. European football's governing body will reassess the situation if air travel from the United Kingdom is suddenly ruled out overnight.

Airports were closed in Germany on Sunday for nine hours, though the London-Frankfurt route, which many Fulham fans are expected to use, was open for business yesterday morning.

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, voiced his concern after the club's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal that the ash might again affect his club's ability to fly to Hamburg. Fulham were forced to travel by rail and road for the semi-final first leg against Hamburg after airports were closed due to the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano. Hodgson, right, said: "If Madrid are also in that situation then Uefa should try and find a solution to help us both."

Fulham had to endure a 12-hour trip to reach Hamburg a fortnight ago and will hope to fly out this morning as they originally planned. Hodgson, meanwhile, was last night voted manager of the year by his peers, the League Managers' Association, for steering Fulham to a European final.



Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2010, 11:27:42 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6146787,00.html
Aguero - Fulham are inferior
Forward insists Atletico not afraid of Cottagers ahead of Hamburg final

Sergio Aguero has played down Fulham's chances of winning the Europa League after insisting Atletico Madrid deserve the trophy on the back of their European heritage.

The Primera Liga side won the old Cup Winners' Cup in 1962 and have competed in the UEFA Champions League for the last two seasons and Aguero, 21, reckons Atletico have every right to feel that they are the favourites in Wednesday's showpiece.

The highly-rated Argentine forward insists the Spanish outfit do not fear Roy Hodgson's side, despite the Cottagers' fine run to the final which has included the scalps of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.

"If we analyse the history and the statistics in Europe, Atletico are superior to Fulham," Aguero told the Daily Star.

"This is no guarantee in the final, I respect Fulham because they have defeated Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.

"They will fight for the ball, but they are not Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal."

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2010, 11:29:51 AM »
http://www.adifferentleague.co.uk/p6_1_2844_club-focus-fulham-hodgson-the-history-maker-on-the-brink-of-europa-league-glory.html
Club Focus - Fulham - Hodgson the history-maker on the brink of Europa League glory

And so ends a somewhat ordinary league season with a 4-0 defeat to Arsenal. While the Whites have exceeded all expectations in Europe with an extraordinary run to the Europa League final, the Premier League campaign has taken on a far more familiar look. Defeat in North London means the opening-day victory at Fratton Park remains Fulham's sole away league win all season.



For everything Roy Hodgson has achieved at the club, it appears only Jesus himself could overturn the Whites' miserable form on the road - not that anyone involved with the club dare ask for anything more, as for many of them the Messiah is exactly what they have been provided with. It is a remarkable achievement, of course, that the continental run did not come at the expense of the Cottagers' top-flight status, and the league finish is, in itself, a massive success, such are the resources available to Roy Hodgson and his troops. The manager resisted the urge to give his first-team a thorough test before Wednesday's final, deciding instead that rest would be far more useful to his overworked side. Keeping the European heroes fit is of far more importance than a measly Premier League fixture, and form in the build up to European knock-out ties is hardly anything to go by, either. The Whites lost three on the spin between that Juventus tie and the first-leg against Wolfsburg, and the two Hamburg legs were sandwiched between a morale-sapping last-minute defeat at Goodison Park. The league had no effect on either of those occasions, and nor will the players be thinking about their current two-match losing streak when they line up alongside Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan et al on Wednesday night.



Just as times could not be better for the club, Chairman Mohammed Al-Fayed has sold one of his prized assets, Harrods. Whether this means he will be looking to sell one of his others - Fulham - will likely be a huge topic of speculation over the summer. If rumours are to be believed, he has been open to offers for several years. The Egyptian is undeniably looking to wind down, and leaving behind a legacy of the (potential) inaugural Europa League winners would certainly be the highest of curtain calls. All anyone can go by is the Chairman's own words, which are that he has no intention of selling. Besides, there is the small matter of a European final before attentions may or may not be turned to off-field matters. Fans can take comfort from his recent comments on Hodgson’s moment of recognition: “This award shows that occasionally football makes the right decision, and Roy is it. Now all he has to do is win the Europa League competition and I will pay the excess baggage for him to bring the trophy back.” His generosity has known no bounds since becoming a part of the SW6 furniture, and Hodgson would certainly not turn down an offer to fund some more European gems along the lines of Brede Hangeland this summer.



The former Blackburn Rovers manager may well have missed out on the Premier League award for top boss, but the LMA gong comes as a well-deserved nod to his achievements at the club - achievements that, should the foundations hold firm, could well keep coming. The speculation surrounding Hodgson, Liverpool and England will go on but this writer questions the sense in the Merseyside rumours at least - he is not the kind of man who courts publicity or likes to have his every move questioned. English clubs failed to give him his big opportunity in his younger years and he instead had to ply his trade in Europe - it seems now, with a humble club that gave the modest man his chance, a deserved European trophy is just 90 minutes away from his grasp. He has certainly found success with his continental outlook and, ironically, what he was forced to learn away from these shores he has brought back with him to the detriment of his opposite numbers - what many clubs would give to have a Hodgson of their own.



It probably will never get bigger for Fulham fans than tomorrow night, and if there was ever a manager to lead an English side to European success then it is Hodgson, who has seen everything our continental neighbours have to offer - and has beaten it all tactically.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2010, 11:31:49 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/05/11/1919182/fulham-sweating-on-the-fitness-of-striker-bobby-zamora-ahead
Fulham Sweating On The Fitness Of Striker Bobby Zamora Ahead Of Europa League Final
Hughes hails Hodgson as a knowledgable boss

Aaron Hughes admits that Fulham are desperate to see striker Bobby Zamora spearhead the attacking third of the pitch during the Europa League final.

The London-based club will take on Atletico Madrid at Hamburg in a battle to be crowned winners of Europe's second-tier competition. But Zamora must first overcome a persistent Achilles injury if he is to play a part in the proceedings on Wednesday.

"Bobby's desperate to play. It's a European final and he's contributed so much the club," Hughes told the press. "This season he's had the goals to go with his hard work whereas last season he didn't get the recognition he is now for scoring.

"Everyone's delighted that he's been able to get the recognition he deserves. He's such an important part of our team.

"If he doesn't play we'll miss him but fingers crossed he'll be fit and if he is that's definitely a plus for us."

The Cottagers' defender maintains that it is a great achievement to be part of the squad that has made it to the first European final in the club's history, but wants to ensure victory over Atleti to make the occasion that much sweeter.

"We've done it the hard way in getting to the final and that shows our character more than anything," said Hughes.

"We kept believing in ourselves and the way we play and that's got us to where we are. There's no reason why we can't win it.

"Atletico are such a big name with such big players that we have to be the underdogs

"It's a fine line because anything can happen in the final. It's impressive to get this far but it would be great to win it."

A lot of credit for Fulham's dream run in Europe has been attributed to manager Roy Hodgson, who has now been named the LMA Manager of the Year.

And the Northern Ireland international added: "Roy's about hard work, about getting across his principles on style of play. Everyone knows their job and their position.

"He's seen it all in his career so is very composed - he knows how to deal with situations.

"He's pretty calm and that transfers to the players. You don't see us panicking much in games, we just stick to the plan.

"He stresses that win or lose a lot can be made of one game when in fact you play 38 in the league alone."



Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2010, 11:32:41 AM »
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/11/manual_102101.html&TEAMHD=soccer
AL FAYED WOULDN'T BLOCK HODGSON

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has revealed he would have no objection to Roy Hodgson becoming the next England manager.

Cottagers boss Hodgson was named manager of the year by the League Managers' Association on Tuesday after leading his side to the Europa League final, with Fulham set to face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.

Hodgson also guided the club to the FA Cup quarter-finals and 12th spot in the Premier League this season, but Fayed insists he would be willing to let his manager leave should England come calling.

"If it is England I don't mind having to sacrifice Roy," Al Fayed told The Guardian.

"It is important England do well. When England came for Kevin Keegan (in 1999 when he managed Fulham to promotion from Division Two) I didn't have any objection.

"It gave us pride that England was led by an ex-Fulham manager."

Al Fayed is hoping Fabio Capello can prosper with England at the World Cup this summer, adding: "Of course but, anyhow, if they want Roy for England I don't mind."

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2010, 11:34:01 AM »
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/key-cottagers-in-training-boost-1061052.html
Key Cottagers in training boost

Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff have handed Fulham a boost ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday by returning to training.

The Cottagers have been sweating on the fitness of top scorer Zamora, who has failed to feature for the club since they progressed to the final courtesy of their semi-final second-leg win against German side Hamburg last month, due to an Achilles problem.

Republic of Ireland international Duff was forced to miss Sunday's final Premier League game of the season at Arsenal, due to a calf injury he picked up in the 1-0 home defeat to Stoke last Wednesday.

However, they both trained on Monday afternoon and enhanced their chances of playing in the final against Spanish side Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Meanwhile boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful that John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise can also prove their fitness for the game after both were substituted in Sunday's 4-0 defeat against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium with respective thigh and stomach problems.

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 reassess him.

"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."

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2010, 11:35:17 AM »
http://www.clubcall.com/fulham/duo-back-boost-cottagers-1061052.html
Duo back to boost Cottagers

Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff have handed Fulham a boost ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday by returning to training.

The Cottagers have been sweating on the fitness of top scorer Zamora, who has failed to feature for the club since they progressed to the final courtesy of their semi-final second-leg win against German side Hamburg last month, due to an Achilles problem.

Republic of Ireland international Duff was forced to miss Sunday's final Premier League game of the season at Arsenal, due to a calf injury he picked up in the 1-0 home defeat to Stoke last Wednesday.

However, they both trained on Monday afternoon and enhanced their chances of playing in the final against Spanish side Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Meanwhile boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful that John Pantsil and Bjorn Helge Riise can also prove their fitness for the game after both were substituted in Sunday's 4-0 defeat against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium with respective thigh and stomach problems.

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 reassess him.

"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."


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2010, 11:36:39 AM »
http://www.bettingzone.co.uk/football/betting/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=betting/10/05/11/manual_091951.html
FULHAM CAN MAKE DREAM COME TRUE

Fulham are preparing for the biggest match in their history against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and we're backing the Cottagers' fairytale journey to end in celebrations.

Roy Hodgson has demonstrated his managerial genius against all the odds in Europe this season by guiding his side to the Europa League final and there's little doubt what a remarkable achievement it would be for them to prevail in Hamburg.

They are regarded by the bookies as outsiders at a best of 7/5 with Blue Square to lift the trophy but considering what they've been through just to get there, you could argue they have the 'sporting gods' on their side.

At 4-1 down on aggregate against Juventus following David Trezeguet's second-minute goal in the second leg of their last 16 tie at Craven Cottage, Fulham were as good as out and their dreams in tatters.

But in one of the most magical nights of the season, the Cottagers battled back through Bobby Zamora, Zoltan Gera (2) and Clint Dempsey to claim a stunning 5-4 victory and set up a quarter-final clash with German champions Wolfsburg.

Despite being underdogs once again, Hodgson's men cruised through 3-1 on aggregate after impressively edging the second leg 1-0 away from home, never looking troubled as soon as talisman Zamora gave them the lead inside a minute.

Another trip to Germany beckoned in the first leg of their semi-final and although the volcanic ash cloud forced them to undertake a gruelling 17-hour journey on a bus, Fulham's defence stood tall as they frustrated hosts Hamburg to a gutsy goalless draw at the Nordbank Arena.

They didn't make it easy for themselves at the Cottage, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1, sparking wild scenes of celebration with their supporters now looking forward to a historic first ever European final.

In total they've played an incredible 18 games in Europe this season and can boast 11 wins, four draws and just three defeats, which they suffered away in Rome, Turin and way out near the Ural Mountains in Russia last August, so they have every reason to be confident of causing one last upset.

But having already beaten the likes of Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Juventus and big spending UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk, would overcoming a rather average Atletico Madrid side really be a shock?

The Spanish side failed to win any of their Champions League group games during a dismal campaign which saw them sneak third place ahead of Apoel Nicosia on a measly three points while they haven't looked much better in Europe's secondary competition.

After edging to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Galatasaray in the first knockout round, Quique Sanchez Flores' men then progressed past both Sporting Lisbon and Valencia on away goals without winning a single leg.

Diego Forlan was the hero in their semi-final against Liverpool, scoring the only goal at Vicente Calderon before netting the decisive away strike during extra-time at Anfield, and he'll be the man Fulham's defence will be fully aware of.

Domestically, both clubs have experienced pretty similar league campaigns with Fulham ending up in a respectable mid-table position of 14th while Atletico, who have also reached the final of the Copa Del Rey, can't finish any higher than ninth heading into Spain's final round of fixtures.

It's to Fulham's credit they effectively managed to seal their safety early enough for them to fully concentrate on their European ambitions, which had been the second priority earlier in the season, and recent Premier League results shouldn't be relied on too much when betting on this match.

The Cottagers were thumped 4-0 at Arsenal on Sunday - their 62nd game of the season - having rested a number of key names while you have to wonder if recent defeats to Stoke and Everton were really that much of a disappointment.

Atletico have only won three of their last nine Primera Liga games, drawing one and losing five so again there's no reason to think Fulham are up against a vastly superior side at a venue they've already experienced of course.

The fitness of Zamora and Damien Duff will be crucial to Fulham's chances but don't forget they actually scored both goals against Hamburg at Craven Cottage without their star striker on the pitch.

We'd rather take the 7/5 about overall victory for Fulham rather than the 13/5 on them to win inside 90 minutes because of the amount of draws Atletico have forced so far in this competition.

It could also be an extremely cagey affair given how desperate these teams will be to win the trophy and we wouldn't be surprised to see this go all the way to penalties.

In that case, it's obviously a lottery so a small punt on either side to win via that method would also be advisable - Atletico are a best of 10/1 with Stan James while Fulham are priced at 12/1 with the same firm.


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2010, 01:07:11 PM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2010/05/11/1918988/europa-league-final-analysis-atletico-madrid-v-fulham-the
Europa League Final Analysis: Atletico Madrid v Fulham - The Key Battles
Goal.com's Subhankar Mondal looks at the key individual duels that could determine the result of Wednesday's Europa League final.....

Luis Perea v Bobby Zamora

Colombia Nationality England

31 Age 29

Centre Back Position Centre Forward

7 Matches 13

0 Goals 6

 857 Castrol Ranking 588


Luis Perea was solid as a rock on most occasions against Valencia and Liverpool in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively of the Europa League this campaign. The Colombian international centre-back played an important part in stopping Liverpool score at the Calderon.

Atleti's major defect is their defence, and although Perea cannot be ranked as one of the best defenders in Spain, the 31-year-old has proven in the knockout stages of Europe's second most prestigious club competition that he can be relied upon for the most part. Along with his central defensive partner Alvaro Dominguez, Perea will be looking to maintain a solid front at the heart of the Atleti defence on Wednesday evening.

Bobby Zamora has had a breakthrough season with Fulham this campaign and has been a very important player for the Cottagers in the Europa League. Zamora, who has been struggling with an Achilles problem, has struck six times and completed two assists in 13 matches in Europe and scored against both Juventus and Wolfsburg.

The Fulham striker has been so good that he is expected to be named in Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup finals. Zamora's movements and eye for goal will give Atletico Madrid's defence a huge problem, but he will have to encounter tough challenges from Luis Perea and Alvaro Dominguez. Atleti custodian David De Gea has acknowledged the threat posed by the former West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur striker when he defined Zamora as a "great player".


Paulo Assuncao v Danny Murphy

Brazil Nationality England

30 Age 33

Midfielder Position Midfielder

 8 Matches 9

0 Goals 1

 512 Castrol Ranking 476


Paulo Assuncao has been a consistent figure in the Atletico Madrid midfield since arriving from FC Porto at the start of the 2008-09 season. The Brazilian defensive midfielder might not always get recognition for his battling qualities in the middle of the park but he will be a key player for Atleti on Wednesday night.

Atleti's notoriously porous backline will depend on how Assuncao works in the midfield and protects it. Assuncao was recently nominated for the Atleti player of the season award by Goal.com and he should be looking to justify it.

Danny Murphy has rejuvenated himself since joining Fulham in 2007 and has had an effective and successful season this term. The 33-year-old has scored once and made another in nine appearances in the Europa League for the London side.

The former Liverpool midfielder's best days may have been at Anfield but this campaign the ex-Charlton Athletic medio has shown that he still has fuel in his tank. Murphy will be featuring in central midfield for Fulham and will be looking to push the Cottagers into the opposition half. Murphy's experience in big games will be an asset in combating the Atletico midfield.
 

Simao Sabrosa v Damien Duff

Portugal Nationality Ireland

30 Age 31

Winger Position Winger

8 Matches 11

1 Goals 1

291 Castrol Ranking 297


Simao will start on the left side of the midfield for Atletico Madrid and will be a huge threat. A winger by description, Simao is best as a wide midfielder who has the ability and propensity to drift inside.

The former Barcelona winger, who can also feature as a forward on occasion, will have Jose Antonio Reyes across the pitch at the other end and he and the Spaniard will be looking to create havoc on the flanks. Moreover, Simao's free-kick skills could come in handy.

Damien Duff will start on the right for Fulham, which implies that the Irishman will be facing Simao, at least initially. Duff is a tricky winger whose dribbling, shooting and passing abilities are markedly brilliant.

Duff is more direct and faster than Simao and it will be interesting to see how the duo battle with each other when they come face to face.

Sergio Aguero v Brede Hangeland

Argentina Nationality Norway

21 Age 28

Centre Forward Position Centre Back

7 Matches 11

2 Goals 2

64 Castrol Ranking 632


Sergio Aguero hasn't been as prolific in Europe as one would have expected him to be but the Argentine international striker will be a key threat to the Fulham citadel. With Diego Forlan, Aguero forges one of the most dangerous strike partnerships in the whole of Europe.

The 21-year-old's runs, movement, dribbling skills and link-up play with Forlan will keep the Fulham defenders on their toes throughout. It will be interesting to see what plan Fulham manager Roy Hodgson hatches to cope with this diminutive, world class striker.

Brede Hangeland's physical presence and aerial prowess at the heart of the Fulham defence will be hugely important. The Norwegian international centre-back is also known for his technique and he will be keen to see that his side do not buckle under the threat of Aguero and Forlan.

Aguero needs the ball to be at his feet to weave his magic and if Hangeland can intercept the passes threaded through for the Argentinian, then he will win this individual duel.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2010, 01:08:15 PM »
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/05/11/SOCCER_Fulham_Pantsil.html&TEAMHD=soccer
PANTSIL RELISHES IMPROVED STATUS

John Pantsil believes that Fulham have earned the right to be known as one of the biggest clubs in the land thanks to their incredible Europa League exploits this season.

Fulham will end the week with their first major piece of silverware if they overcome Atletico Madrid in Wednesday night's final in Hamburg.

A win over the Spanish side would cap a memorable season for the Cottagers, who started their 18-match campaign back in July with a qualifying win over Lithuanian side FK Vetra.

Roy Hodgson's side have had to dodge ash clouds, deal with injuries to key players, and overcome the odds to knock out the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach the final.

Pantsil, who joined Fulham in 2008 when Hodgson had just steered the club to safety, believes the Cottagers will get some well-deserved recognition thanks to the run - and has backed his team-mates to pull off another shock win against Atletico.

"When I came to the club I knew they'd do well, I knew the club played good football but to get to the Europa League final after beating who we've beaten is just incredible," the Ghana defender said.

"We have come a long way in this tournament. We started all the way back in Lithuania in July, that wasn't easy, then we went to Bulgaria and then we had to go to Russia and Italy so it has been a very long journey for us.

"Now no-one can call Fulham a small club because of what we have done.

"Now we have got this far after working so hard that we are not going to let this opportunity go easily. We deserve to win it."

Pantsil is a doubt for the game after being substituted in the second half of Sunday's 4-0 loss at Arsenal with a thigh injury.

Should Pantsil overcome the knock, his appearance at the final would represent a remarkable comeback for the 28-year-old, who thought his season was over when he picked up a cruciate ligament injury in Fulham's west-London derby with Chelsea in December.

The right-back returned to action last month after successful surgery, which has put him back in contention for a place in Ghana's World Cup squad.

He is now determined to make up for lost time by guiding Fulham to glory.

"When I got injured I thought I was going to miss out on the World Cup, The African Nations Cup and the rest of the season so now I'm happy that I'm back," the former West Ham man said.

"When I had to sit out I was feeling terrible. It was frustrating sitting on the sidelines watching my colleagues playing and doing so well.

"It was strange because I was happy that they were winning though because I knew that if they continued then I would be able to come back and play towards the end of the European campaign.

"I told myself that I had to work hard just in case that when I got back I would be able to play in the competition so I think I have come back at a good and exciting time."

Hodgson has two back-up options in Chris Baird and Stephen Kelly if Pantsil fails to overcome his injury, but the 62-year-old will be more concerned about the fitness of key duo Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora.

Duff (calf) and Zamora (Achilles) are both doubts while Brede Hangeland (knee) and Bjorn Helge Riise (stomach) picked up knocks during Sunday's defeat.

The Fulham boss will give an update on the fitness of his squad when he holds his pre-match press conference at the Hamburg Arena later today.



Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2010, 01:10:12 PM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/05/11/1919282/goalcom-worldview-atletico-madrid-fulham-europa-league-final
Goal.com Worldview: Atletico Madrid - Fulham Europa League Final Predictions
The global view of the big match...

It is perhaps unusual to see two mid-table sides contest a European final, yet nobody would say that Atleti and (especially) Fulham don't deserve their moment in the sun. Both have pulled off shocks to be here and will regard this game as one in which they have nothing to lose. Thus I expect it to be an open affair, but for me the Spaniards have a bit more attacking firepower and though they are prone to errors they will make that tell in extra time. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham (AET)
Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com International

This is time for Aguero to book his first team place at the World Cup, and he has to be the winner. This also applies to Forlan, and Simao is under competition from Nani...so Atletico have more than one reason to win and  have proven they can hurt any opponents when they concentrate. They have beaten Barcelona and Liverpool and can do it again on Wednesday. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Mohammed Awaad, Goal.com Arabic

Although this is not the biggest match-up, both teams did special things to be in Hamburg. The frontline of Atletico will be dangerous, but Fulham have proven already that they can handle big attackers. So, with the support of thousands of Fulham fans, they can do something crazy. Atletico Madrid 1-2 Fulham
Wout Stravers, Goal.com Netherlands

It's a final which nobody expected. Fulham are the suprise of the season, who slapped Juve and HSV in their faces. They're on a high and have nothing to lose. It's maybe their biggest game ever, so the English fighters will be motivated. But maybe Atletico are much more experienced, cooler, more clever, and this could make the difference in the end. But who knows? It wouldn't be the first Fulham sensation this season... Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Francois Duchateau, Goal.com Germany

Fulham and Atletico Madrid are two unpredictable teams. If you look at the rosters you would put money on the Spanish team. Fulham has proven to be a very well organised team and I think that it will be an entertaining match. Fulham have chalked up some incredible results but I am not sure they can do it again. They also lost 4-0 on the last day of the Premier League season. Atletico Madrid have more strength up front with Forlan and Aguero, so I bet on the Spanish team. Atletico Madrid 3-1 Fulham
Alexandre Walraevens, Goal.com France

If you'd have told Roy Hodgson that he'd be leading Fulham into a Europa League final back in 2008, he'd have probably laughed at you. It really is a fairytale story to have seen the Cottagers, who just two years ago survived relegation by the skin of their teeth, reach their first European final. Having already beaten some tough opponents en route to Hamburg, Atletico should know they simply can't underestimate Fulham, but having already knocked out Liverpool, Atleti should be full of confidence and thus I'm tipping them to edge it on the night. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Steven Darwin, Goal.com UK

Fulham have had a remarkable season, and you only need to look at the teams they have toppled to reach this point to see how far they've come. Meanwhile, everyone in the UK is well aware of Diego Forlan and Atletico Madrid, who, while disappointing domestically, are a team that has enjoyed Champions League football in recent years. If Bobby Zamora misses out through injury Fulham may struggle, and on a one-off occasion, I would expect Atleti to shade it - just. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Jamie Dunn, Goal.com UK

This should be a great match to watch. Styles make fights as they say, and this is a stylistic match that should produce some great football. Fulham like to play with the ball on the ground, but they stick to the defensive mindset above all. Atletico love to attack and have great skill on the ball. I think the Spaniards are the better side, especially considering the health issues of Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora, but Fulham are extremely hard to break down and it will be a tight match. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Allen Ramsey, Goal.com USA

In Roy Hodgson, Fulham have an able tactician and a great manager who has churned out the maximum from an otherwise average squad. In the games against Juventus and Hamburg they were the underdogs who excelled and showed that they truly deserve to be where they are. However, I do believe that Atletico have that extra fire power up front in players like Reyes, Forlan and Aguero, which will prove to be the difference. Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham
Rahul Bali, Goal.com India

Atletico Madrid are a very strange team, but historically a great one. It's poignant that the worse the team seems to get, the more fans follow the club. There is a historical debt owed to these people - it's been more than 10 years since Atleti won anything - and now's the time to pay it back. Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan are the two 'cracks' that must overcome the resistance of Fulham. The Londoners are no slouches, but the team that eliminated Valencia and Liverpool will prove to Europe that they are once again a great club. Atletico Madrid 3-1 Fulham
Ivar Matusevich, Goal.com Spain

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2010, 01:11:42 PM »
http://www.caughtoffside.com/2010/05/11/europa-league-final-sergio-agueros-unwarranted-attack-gives-fulham-boost/
Europa League Final: Sergio Aguero’s Unwarranted Attack Gives Fulham Boost

Atletico Madrid spouts his mouth off and gives Craven Cottage side even more motivation to win in Hamburg.

Sergio Aguero has played down Fulham’s chances of winning the Europa League after insisting Atletico Madrid deserve the trophy on the back of their European heritage.

The Primera Liga side won the old Cup Winners’ Cup in 1962 and have competed in the UEFA Champions League for the last two seasons and Aguero, 21, reckons Atletico have every right to feel that they are the favourites in Wednesday’s showpiece.

The highly-rated Argentine forward insists the Spanish outfit do not fear Roy Hodgson’s side, despite the Cottagers’ fine run to the final which has included the scalps of Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg.
“If we analyse the history and the statistics in Europe, Atletico are superior to Fulham,” Aguero told the Daily Star. (Sky Sports)

Now no one is saying that what Sergio Aguero is saying is not correct, of course it is, but what does he have to gain from saying it? Nothing. What could he stand to lose from saying it? Well you can guarantee this is the kind of thing that Roy Hodgson can print out and pin to the dressing room door before Fulham march out to take on the La Liga strugglers.

It would be akin to Frank Lampard going on record before the FA Cup Final to state “We are so much better than Portsmouth, they don’t stand a chance”.

Personally I feel that Fulham will have enough to beat Atletico Madrid who have had a torrid season. What do you lot think?


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2010, 01:13:32 PM »
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832699-bobby-zamora-starts-training-raising-hopes-he-will-face-atletico-madrid.do
Bobby Zamora starts training, raising hopes he will face Atletico Madrid

Bobby Zamora could make a dramatic return for Fulham in tomorrow's Europa League Final after coming through his first training session in a fortnight.

The 19-goal striker has not played since limping out of the semi-final win over Hamburg with an Achilles problem and Roy Hodgson had only rated him as “touch and go” for the clash with Atletico Madrid.

But the Fulham manager is now waiting to see if Zamora has suffered any reaction to yesterday's 90-minute session before deciding on his team.

Fulham's remarkable march through Europe owes much to an attacking partnership in which Zoltan Gera plays just behind Zamora.

And Gera believes that his team‑mate's presence on the pitch tomorrow would be a huge boost to Fulham's challenge.

“This season Bobby's played much closer to goal and he's much more dangerous there,” said the Hungarian. “You can see it: he's scoring goals, he is setting up goals, he keeps the ball well, and gives lots of passes. He can shine if he plays in the final.”

Winger Damien Duff could also be back in the side as he trained yesterday having missed Sunday's defeat to Arsenal with a calf injury.

Although this is the biggest match Fulham have played, it is not the only reason tomorrow will be an historic day for the club.

For at a board meeting hours before kick-off, it is understood owner Mohamed Fayed will announce that he will keep Fulham despite selling Harrords last week.

A £1.5billion deal saw Fayed end his 25-year ownership of the Knightsbridge department store.

That had led to speculation the tycoon could try to sell Fulham after 13 years but it is reported his commitment is still strong and that he could take an even greater interest in running the club.

Hodgson, meanwhile, flew with his team to Germany today having been named manager of the year by the League Managers' Association.

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever League position last season.

“This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in Europe.”


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2010, 01:15:56 PM »
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/football/article-23832750-forget-the-beatles-and-stones-this-doesnt-get-any-bigger-for-diddy.do
Forget the Beatles and Stones, this doesn't get any bigger for 'Diddy'


Talk to Fulham fans about the legends who have graced Craven Cottage and the names come thick and fast: Johnny Haynes, Bobby Robson, George Cohen, Alan Mullery, Jimmy Hill, George Best, Diddy' David Hamilton.

Diddy' David? The veteran broadcaster has never kicked a ball in anger for the Whites, yet his lifelong affection for the club that embraces cheering from among the weeds of the old Putney End stand, a spell in the directors' box, and playing the part of pitch-side announcer for the past 14 seasons, has endeared him to the Fulham faithful.

He will be on the microphone again tomorrow night, having been asked by UEFA to be the English announcer for the Europa League Final between Fulham and Atletico Madrid here.

Hamilton was once among Radio One's elite roster of disc jockeys, he regularly hosted Top Of The Pops and rubbed shoulders with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Yet, on the eve of the biggest match in Fulham's history, the 71-year-old said: “This is about as good as it gets.”

Dubbed Diddy' by comedian Ken Dodd for his shortness of stature, Hamilton said: “This season has been unbelievable. Getting to the final has been such an achievement but we've beaten so many good teams to get here that I don't see why we shouldn't win.”

Hamburg's spectacular HSH Nordbank Arena, which hosts tomorrow's game, is quite a contrast to the Craven Cottage which Hamilton first attended as a nine-year-old living near Putney Bridge station. “It was a very cold ground,” he recalled.

“There was no stand on the river side, there were just big hoardings with flags flying over them. The wind would come off the Thames and whip across the terraces.”

Hamilton has fond memories of knocking a ball about with his mates in Bishop's Park near the Cottage and watching in awe as Robson strode by in his blazer and flannels. And there were the glamour games of the mid-seventies when the likes of Bobby Moore and Best graced the Cottage with their famous but fading talents.

“That was a great showbiz era,” said Hamilton. “My daughter used to sit next to Angie Best, who was George Best's first wife. She learned a whole new vocabulary through Angie ranting at referees because they didn't give George enough protection. George was losing his speed by this time and he got kicked a lot. He used to come off the pitch black and blue and Angie used to get very upset about it.”

Hamilton tells another story of complimenting terrace favourite Les Strong on his performance alongside Best in a game that kicked off at midday on a Saturday at Crystal Palace. He said: “I told Les, You played very well'. He replied, Funny you should say that because Besty and I were out on the p**s all night and when we kicked off at 12 o'clock, to be honest, I was still p****d'.

“I was a director at the time and I told Les, As a director, my advice to you is this: if you can play like that on a Saturday, make it your regular Friday night routine'.”

Such were the accepted excesses of the day. Of course, that behaviour would not be tolerated by current boss Roy Hodgson, whose usual position in the technical area at the Cottage is just in front of Hamilton's dugout section.

Hamilton has the highest regard for the manager who has led the club to their first European final. “Roy is the perfect manager for Fulham,” said Hamilton. “He's very Fulhamish. Not only is he a terrific coach, he's also a true gentleman.”

Hamilton has also established a warm relationship with Fulham owner Mohamed Fayed, the eccentric who once invited his bemused announcer to the boardroom at Harrods and presented him with a bottle of whisky and some Viagra, insisting: “This is what you need.”

There is concern among some Fulham supporters about the future commitment of both Hodgson, said to be a possible target of Liverpool, and Fayed, following his sale of Harrods over the weekend.

Hamilton believes Fulham can continue to be a force if the two men remain. He said: “I think Roy loves it at Fulham and he knows that we love him. The chairman loves this club, too. He gets such a warm welcome from the supporters. I don't think he would want to miss out on that.

“If the manager and the chairman stay, I believe next season might be even better than this one.”
The voice was that of an accomplished announcer but he spoke with the passion of a fan.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2010, 01:48:26 PM »
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1487017.html
Hodgson named top manager in England

Fulham FC boss Roy Hodgson has been named as England's Manager of the Year by his peers after leading the Premier League club to the inaugural UEFA Europa League final.



Fulham FC's Roy Hodgson has been named as Manager of the Year by his English peers after guiding the west London club to the UEFA Europa League final.

Fulham coach since December 2007, the 62-year-old received the League Managers Association (LMA) award on Monday night. He will lead his side into their first major European final on Wednesday as the Cottagers meet Club Atlético de Madrid at the Hamburg Arena.

LMA chairman and former Leeds United AFC manager Howard Wilkinson said: "Since joining Fulham, Roy has transformed the club's fortunes. He initially saved them from the brink of relegation then took them to their highest ever league position last season. This year he has capitalised on that platform, achieving remarkable success in this season's Europa League."

The club's chairman Mohamed Al Fayed added: "I am delighted that Roy should win this award; he's not just a great football manager, he is a splendid human being. It is a pleasure to work with him and we have a great relationship. This award shows that occasionally football makes the right decision, and Roy is it; now all he has to do is win the Europa League competition and I will pay the excess baggage for him to bring the trophy back."

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2010, 01:51:40 PM »
http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/postcard-europe-fulham-supporters-over-moon-about-dempsey
Postcard from Europe: Fulham supporters over the moon about Dempsey
Fans gush about the onetime Revs star ahead of Europa final



Stateside fans are proud as peacocks with U.S. star Clint Dempsey set to wage battle against Atlético Madrid in the first-ever Europa League final on Wednesday in Hamburg, Germany. But they’re far from only the Fulham watchers beaming over the Texas native these days.

The 27-year-old attacker has become a bona fide fan favorite since arriving at Craven Cottage midway through the 2006-07 campaign. But don't take my word for it.

"Everyone loves Clint, I think," Richard Allen, season ticket holder and author of the annual Fulham Review book, told MLSsoccer.com. "There seem to be more No. 23 shirts in the crowd than any other number, certainly."

"I think this because of how he plays the game,” Allen continued. “He works as hard as anyone, but has that glint in his eye, too -- you know that he could come up with something special at any moment. It's a powerful combination."

Diehard Fulham fan Dan Crawford, co-proprietor of Cottagers blog Hammy End, concurs.

"The short answer is that Fulham fans love Clint Dempsey," he said. "He's clearly benefited from the success of Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra down by the Thames."

"He scored a massive goal against Liverpool to secure our Premier League status [in 2007] and quickly became popular with the supporters for his desire, work ethic and the ability to produce a brilliant a bit of skill out of nothing."

Crawford says Dempsey then became even more popular in West London for fighting back into the lineup after the "Great Escape" goal against Liverpool that spring.

"Clint lost his place," he recalled. "There were rumors that he might move on. But, instead of sulking about it, he knuckled down, scored goals from the substitutes bench and proved his worth to Roy Hodgson. He's become an automatic selection when fully fit and is probably the most popular member of the first team with the fans--just listen for how loudly we sing his name."

The American's Cottage song fulfills the two basic grandstand requirements: It rhymes and it slurs archrival Chelsea.

He scores with his left,

He scores with his right,

That boy Clint Dempsey,

Makes Drogba look sh---!

It's a hearty claim, but Dempsey's flair for the big exploit is what gives these singers full voice. If the relegation-beater three years ago made his name and consistent effort strengthened it, the sublime comeback capper to oust Juventus from the Europa League in March put it in lights.

"The Liverpool goal was hugely important for us and also for him," compared Allen. "The Juventus goal might just be the single greatest thing 20,000 Fulham fans have ever witnessed."

"I was overcome with emotion," said Crawford of the devilishly crafted diagonal chip shot. "I started going to Fulham in the early 1990s when the club's entire existence was under threat and we were losing to non-league clubs in the first round of the FA Cup.

"If I'd have told people that the team that was at the wrong end of Division Three in the 90s would be beating Juventus and heading to a European final, they would have thought I was mad!"

"Dempsey's chip was without doubt the best moment of my Fulham-supporting career,” he insists. “It all seemed to happen in slow motion and we held our breath as the ball headed towards the far post. It underlined what Fulham fans have known for a while: Clint's class and England better watch out in Rustenburg in June."

Not all proud Cottagers hail from London, mind you. Will Lytle, an American living in Malta, was in the house when Dempsey's inclusion sparked the semifinal rally against Hamburg.

"He immediately had an impact on the game and the guys around him," said the club member, who makes it over to London when he can. "I cannot say I thought we'd come back, since two goals in 30 minutes against a team like Hamburg is very difficult, but you got the sense that that fans were all much more optimistic once Dempsey entered."

"After [Simon] Davies knocked in that first goal with a brilliant first touch, I don't think there was anyone at the Cottage that evening who thought the second goal wasn't a sure bet,” Lytle continued. “It was an incredible change of atmospheres that night, and a big part of that was attributable to Dempsey.

This spark should come as no surprise; the American captures Fulham spirit while lending some needed moxie to a club playing in Europe for just the second time.

"I guess he embodies Fulham ‘09-10 in that he is a talented player who has worked hard under the manager and taken his game to a new level as a result," offered Allen.

Added Crawford, "His confidence is vital, too, because he will try things that others just wouldn't dare and he has such natural ability that they often come off."

With plenty of show-stopping moments already to his credit and Wednesday's final the next stage, it's seems to fair to ask if Dempsey could actually go down in Fulham history alongside 2006 World Cup teammate McBride, ranked last year by The Times as the 10th-best Cottager ever.

"Put it this way,” posed Allen. “In years to come, when people look back on this golden age of Fulham FC, they'll remember Clint Dempsey's contributions. One of the greats? That's hard to say, but he's been here a while now, and keeps on improving. So you never know. Come back in five years and we'll see where we are."

Greg Seltzer will report from Hamburg for Wednesday’s Europe League final. His “Postcards from Europe” appear every Tuesday on MLSsoccer.com.


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2010, 01:53:09 PM »
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/hughes-fears-zamora-injury-blow-1061122.html
Hughes fears Zamora injury blow

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes admits the absence of Bobby Zamora would be a blow to Fulham's Europa League hopes.

Hughes knows his side face an uphill battle when they face Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Europa League final in Hamburg, especially with their star striker facing a fitness battle to be take part in the Cottagers' biggest-ever game.

Zamora has been struggling with an Achilles injury and the Northern Ireland defender admits that the underdogs can win in a one-off final, but their chances of pulling off a shock will be affected if their top scorer is not available.

"Bobby's desperate to play. It's a European final and he's contributed so much the club," said Hughes.

"He's such an important part of our team. If he doesn't play we'll miss him but fingers crossed he'll be fit and if he is that's definitely a plus for us."

"It's a fine line because anything can happen in the final. It's impressive to get this far but it would be great to win it."

Roy Hodgson's men have raised many eyebrows with their impressive run to the Europa League final and many fans may use their free bet on the biggest game in Fulham's 131-year history.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71740
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff...(11/05/10)
« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2010, 01:54:48 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/england/7710692/World-Cup-2010-Bobby-Zamora-ruled-out-of-England-squad.html
World Cup 2010: Bobby Zamora ruled out of England squad
Bobby Zamora’s chances of being part of the England squad for World Cup 2010 have been dashed by his Achilles injury – though he will still play for Fulham in the Europa League final.

Zamora was already an outsider for the final 23-man squad to go to South Africa but many had predicted he would feature in Capello’s 30-man provisional squad to be named this afternoon.

The former Brighton and West Ham striker has had the best season of his career and done much to propel Fulham to their first ever European final, where they will meet Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

Telegraph Sport has learnt that Zamora will take an injection to ensure he can feature in that match but he will undergo surgery after the game, thus ending his hopes of ending his season year with a World Cup tournament.

Capello will name his provisional England squad around 4pm today with the prospect of surprises open as a number of key players struggle for fitness.

Yesterday Capello said: “We have some problems. The doctors are speaking with the teams’ doctors, so we have to wait.

“It’s not so easy because 30 is very important number but 23 is more important and telling seven they have to go home will not be easy for me.”