Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...  (Read 8740 times)

Offline whitejc

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Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« on: January 09, 2014, 06:17:10 PM »
 
Is Wenger playing mind games about Berbatov at Arsenal, or is he just a fall-back?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appeared to rule out a move for Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov earlier this month but is the boss playing mind games?

On paper the former Tottenham and Manchester United striker ticks all the boxes Arsenal need ticked – he has the technical quality, he has the proven track record and experience.

His contract expires this summer at Craven Cottage, Fulham could use the financial injection and the player himself seems keen to leave for the other side of London.

However, the man who decides on the criteria seems to have ruled out, or at the very least distanced himself from, the possibility that Arsenal could sign Berbatov.

“I won't go into any specific names. That would be disrespectful. We are assessing our options which are restricted. Berbatov is not a name we have considered,” said Wenger this month.

Perhaps the boss does indeed have other targets in mind – perhaps the likes of Diego Costa, Álvaro Morata or Jackson Martinez, as has been suggested. Maybe Wenger is simply playing games with the player and or his current club - and as he says anyway - he won't go into specific names.

For example, Wenger stated just a few days later, as I outlined earlier this week, that he would prefer to negotiate with clubs who are need the cash as it makes potential transfer deals easier to tie up swiftly in January.

Fulham do need to spend this January to give themselves a better shot at survival, with new owner Shad Khan yet to make a major injection in terms of transfer funds, and cashing in on Berbatov may be a way to speed that along.

Given that Berbatov is their highest earner on more than £5 million a year (with his contract soon to expire) one would think the former Manchester United striker would be a player Wenger would indeed be considering.

The reason I believe Wenger may well be bluffing over the potential deal is that he’ll want to ensure Fulham are keen to sell for a low price (they have a weak hand in the deal because of his contract situation and the fact he has expressed a desire to leave publicly) and also because Wenger is generally against paying such high wages, especially for a player of 32 years of age.

Berbatov has made it clear he would take a move to the Emirates in a flash and maybe this is Wenger’s way of letting him know Arsenal are less than impressed by the prospect of signing him in order to drive down the player’s wage demands.

For example, for a chance to join the Premier League leaders and line up alongside Mesut Ozil could very well be enough to make Berbatov take a wage cut which would suit Arsenal and Fulham who could take the money and part with a player who is clearly unhappy and hasn’t performed at his best for them of late.


http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/01/08/jl-is-wenger-playing-mind-games-over-berbatov-transfer-to-arsena/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 06:18:46 PM »
 
Ones to Watch: Fulham

safc.com profiles three key men for the Cottagers.

Pajtim Kasami
Swiss international Pajtim Kasami was the match-winner when Fulham visited the Stadium of Light in August and he has continued to impress during the 2013-14 campaign at Craven Cottage.

The 21-year-old began his youth career with Grasshopper before joining Liverpool and then Lazio as he looked to make his break in senior football.

In 2009, Kasami returned to Switzerland with Bellinzona and made ten appearances before moving to Palermo of the Italian Serie A.

An under-17 World Cup winner as a youth, Kasami joined Fulham in 2011 after making 20 appearances in his sole season in Sicily.

Kasami featured mainly in the UEFA Europa League during the 2011-12 season for the Cottagers before joining Luzern on loan a season later.

He made 20 appearances for the Swiss top-flight outfit before returning to Craven Cottage ahead of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League campaign.

His first Fulham goal came against Sunderland before he announced himself to the Premier League with a wonder strike in Fulham’s 4-1 away win at Crystal Palace.

Clint Dempsey
Now in his second spell at Craven Cottage, Clint Dempsey is one of the most successful American’s in Barclays Premier League history.

The Texan forward initially moved to Fulham from New England Revolution midway through the 2006-07 campaign and went on to have five more successful seasons in south-west London.

Dempsey picked up the Cottagers’ Player of the Year award in both 2011 and 2012 after previously helping Roy Hodgson’s side to the UEFA Europa League final in 2010.

In total, he made 225 appearances during his initial spell with Fulham, scoring 60 goals before he moved across the capital to Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.

The 30-year-old spent just one season at White Hart Lane, scoring 12 goals in 43 games before returning to the MLS with the Seattle Sounders.

Following the completion of the MLS season, Dempsey returned to Fulham on a two-month loan deal in December.

Steve Sidwell
Former England youth international Steve Sidwell is now in his fourth season at Craven Cottage after joining the Cottagers from Aston Villa in 2011.

Sidwell progressed through the youth ranks at Arsenal but never made a first-team appearance for the Gunners and, after successful loan spells with Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion, he joined Reading in 2003.

It was during Sidwell’s five seasons at the Madejski Stadium that he began to make a name for himself as the Royals won promotion to the top-flight in 2006.

However, Reading were relegated after just one season in the top-flight and Sidwell left to join Chelsea in 2007.

The Wandsworth-born midfielder spent a year at Stamford Bridge, making 15 appearances and scoring one goal before moving to Villa in 2008.

He was a League Cup runner-up during his time at Villa Park before he left to join Fulham midway through the 2010-11 season.
Sidwell, who was twice an FA Youth Cup winner with Arsenal, has made 95 appearances for Fulham, scoring 13 goals.


http://www.safc.com/news/team-news/2014/january/otw-fulham?

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 06:19:55 PM »
 
Rowell Report: Sunderland must take cup mentality into Fulham crunch

AFTER two successful cup games, it is back to Premier League action this weekend, as Sunderland face fellow strugglers Fulham in a crucial match at Craven Cottage.

This game really is a dogfight between two teams fighting for their lives, with points all that matters – and that rarely provides a feast of football.

In their last home game, Fulham did what we can’t do, by beating a team around them and gaining a huge three points when West Ham provided the opposition.

It was Fulham who beat us as the Stadium of Light way back in August in the first game of the season, which got our campaign off to the worst possible start, and we’ve struggled badly in the league ever since.

But Fulham have their own problems – they have the worst goal difference in the Premier League and just a couple of games ago conceded six in the second half of their game at Hull City.

So Sunderland must go there with confidence and a positive attitude, because Rene Meulensteen’s men are vulnerable defensively.

The Black Cats need to find the mentality they have when they play cup ties.

Because of our league position, the pressure is greater in league games, but they must deal with that as we can’t afford to lose further ground in the battle to avoid the drop.



http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/sunderland-afc/rowell-report-sunderland-must-take-cup-mentality-into-fulham-crunch-1-6361521


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 06:21:41 PM »
 
No Fulham move for Lescott - Yet

Fulham have yet to make an offer for unsettled Man City defender Joleon Lescott but could revive their interest later this month.

The Cottagers had been heavily linked with the centre-back and there were reports earlier this week that they had made an official offer for the former Everton man. Several Premier League clubs are monitoring the 31-year-old, with West Ham among those interested, as they hope to take advantage of City's huge squad with their boss Manuel Pellegrini thought to be open to letting him move on in the current transfer window as he is nearing the end of his contract. However, Pellegrini selected the England international in their Capital One Cup semi-final rout of West Ham on Wednesday and, publicly at least, says Lescott, whose deal expires in the summer, will not be leaving this month. "He is not going for the moment," the City boss said. "Joleon Lescott is a very important player for us. He finishes his contract in June. We will see what happens in the future."
Despite those comments, City may well be prepared to let Lescott go if they do receive a suitable offer this month rather than let him go for free at the end of the season and Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen is believed to be ready to bid in the region of £5million for the experienced defender.


Read more at: http://www.clubcall.com/fulham/no-fulham-move-for-lescott---yet-1692618.html?

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 06:23:16 PM »
 
Ex Men: Fulham

safc.com profiles three of the 34 players to play for both the Black Cats and the Cottagers.

Vic Halom
Halom was one of the key players in Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup winning squad, scoring key goals in the fifth round replay against cup favourites Manchester City and in the semi-final against Arsenal.

The striker was one of Bob Stokoe’s earliest signings and repaid all of the £35,000 that Stokoe paid Luton for his services, with some memorable performances in the famous red and white.

Halom had played for Fulham between 1968 and 1971 before joining Luton, scoring 22 goals in 72 league games.

Kevin Ball
Former Sunderland captain Kevin Ball made 388 appearances for the Black Cats in a spell that spanned nine years.

He won two Division One titles in his time on Wearside as well as being part of the squad that reached the 1992 FA Cup Final.

Now Senior Professional Development Coach at Sunderland, Ball is 12th on the all-time appearance list for the Black Cats.

Ball won the Black Cats’ Player of the Season award in the 1996-97 season before moving on to a brief spell at Fulham, where he made 18 league appearances, towards the end of his career.

Steed Malbranque
Steed Malbranque made 112 appearances for the Black Cats in a three-year stay on Wearside between 2008 and 2011.

The Belgian-born midfielder was key part of Steve Bruce’s side that finished tenth in the Barclays Premier League, Sunderland’s highest finish since 2001.

Steed joined Fulham in 2001 in his first venture into English football and he became a fans’ favourite at Craven Cottage making 211 appearances and scoring 44 goals.


http://www.safc.com/news/team-news/2014/january/ex-men-fulham?

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 06:24:28 PM »
 
Dutch duo and Fulham chase Labyad

Vitesse will face competition from Fulham and FC Twente for the transfer of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Zakaria Labyad.

Sporting Lisbon are keen to sell midfielder Labyad, who is yet to make an appearances this season, in order to free up funds for other deals this January.

A return to PSV Eindhoven for Labyad or a move to Ajax have been rumoured, but according to O Jogo in Portugal, it is Fulham, Twente, and Vitesse that have reported to Sporting Lisbon for a deal.

Vitesse are believed to be the favourites with a delegation from the club set to fly to Portugal this weekend in order to hold talks over the player.

Labyad was highly rated at PSV Eindhoven, but after making 45 league appearances for the club, he left for Sporting Lisbon on a free deal, which angered the Eredivisie club.

Since his move to Portugal, the 20-year-old has only appeared 27 times for the club, accumulating three assists, and three goals. Although he was born in Utrecht and represented Netherlands at U-17 level, Labyad has made one appearance for the Moroccan national team.


http://www.football-oranje.com/dutch-duo-and-fulham-chase-labyad/?


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 06:55:37 PM »
 
Arsenal, Liverpool and Fulham lead chase for bargain Swedish defender Milosevic

Arsenal, Liverpool and Fulham have been put on alert with the news that highly-rated Swedish centre back Alexander Milosevic is pushing for a move to England.

Milosevic is out of contract at Swedish club AIK in the summer and the player's agent Francesco Di Frisco is hunting for a Barclays Premier League club.

Fulham have tracked the 21-year-old extensively and he is also thought to be a target of Arsenal and Liverpool.


Case for the defence: Milosevic holds off England's Connor Wickham in an Under 21 international

But they face competition from across Europe with AC Milan, Fiorentina, Celtic and Eintracht Frankfurt all monitoring his progress.

Milosevic is one of the most sought-after young defenders in Europe and has already impressed for club and country.

Arsenal were considering a £3.5million offer for the player back in 2011, but he will now be available for a cut-price deal with his contract set to expire.


Highly-rated: The AIK star is being tracked by three Barclays Premier League clubs

Out of contract: Milosevic's deal at AIK runs out in the summer


Fulham are in desperate need of a centre-back with first-choice Brede Hangeland struggling this season with a persistent back problem.

Former manager Martin Jol was keen on Milosevic and had him scouted, although his replacement Rene Meulensteen is likely to have his own targets.

Milosevic is keen on a move away from Sweden to continue his progress and to compete at the highest level.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2536485/Arsenal-Liverpool-Fulham-lead-chase-bargain-Swedish-defender-Alexander-Milosevic.html#ixzz2pvewkBti
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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 06:56:38 PM »
 
Heitinga Linked With Fulham Move
   
According to the tabloid press Fulham are suddenly the favourites to land the Dutch star Johnny Heitinga.

This season the 30 year old defender, who is also able to play in midfield, has been out of favour at Everton, only playing a cameo role.

Recently linked with a move to West Ham, a move that Heitinga rejected, it is being intimated that Rene Meulensteen`s close relationship with Heitinga`s agent, a certain Rob Jansen, means that Heitinga could arrive at Craven Cottage for as little as £1 million.

Jansen, talking about his client`s situation, has remarked to the media,

"It`s been frustrating this season."

"Johnny wants to go to Brazil and the only way that will happen is if he plays regularly."

Keep them eyes peeled, I have a feeling that this could be a deal that happens!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=344829#ixzz2pvfUmqFq

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 06:59:36 PM »
 
Morrison wants to quit West Ham this month as Fulham boss Meulensteen eyes £5m bid for former United star

Ravel Morrison does not see a long-term future for himself at West Ham and is keen to leave this month.

The England Under-21 international has been a rare bright spot during the Upton Park club's dismal season.

Sam Allardyce has denied Morrison will be made available for transfer ahead of the transfer deadline.


East to West: Ravel Morrison could be tempted by a link-up with former mentor Rene Meulensteen at Fulham

Thinking time: Morrison, pictured here scoring a solo effort against Tottenham earlier this season, is considering leaving West Ham

Happy times: Morrison celebrates a goal against Cardiff in the Capital One Cup but he is now open to quitting Sam Allardyce's struggling side


But Morrison has told close pals he is ready to quit the club, leaving Allardyce with another major problem to deal with.

The former Manchester United youngster's existing deal expires at the end of the next season.

West Ham are keen to extend his £15,000-per-week deal, but Morrison is reluctant to do so.


Connections: Morrison worked with Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen at Manchester United

Wanted man: Fulham are interested in a £5million move for Morrison this month

Hard times: Hammers boss Allardyce watches his side go down 6-0 to Manchester City on Wednesday night


It means the Hammers will have to sell Morrison in this transfer window, or in the summer, to avoid the prospect of losing the talented 20-year-old on a free transfer.

Fulham have shown a firm interest in Morrison ahead of the transfer deadline at the end of the month.

Cottagers boss Rene Meulensteen wants to use his relationship with Morrison to tempt him across London.

Meulensteen worked with Morrison at Manchester United, and the West Ham forward is known to have enjoyed working with the Dutchman.


Humiliation: Morrison looks down in the dumps after West Ham were thrashed 5-0 at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2536463/Ravel-Morrison-considering-West-Ham-future-Fulham-eye-5m-bid-Hammers-star.html#ixzz2pvflBh7p
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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 07:01:08 PM »
 
Dream Come True

The first half of 2013/14 has been quite the campaign for Lasse Vigen Christensen; regular Captain for Fulham’s unbeaten Under-21 side, the Danish teenager was handed his First Team bow last week.

Often when a youngster is given their debut at a club, they’re thrown on for the closing stages of a game already won, but there were still 20 minutes to play at Carrow Road on Saturday when Christensen entered the action, with the match evenly poised at 1-1. 

“I’m happy it was that sort of game to come on in because that shows that the Head Coach has confidence in me,” Lasse told fulhamfc.com. “I like to think that I paid his trust back with a decent last 20 minutes, or at least that I didn’t do any harm!

“I tried to be positive and do some good things on the pitch, so I’m happy with how it went. I was a bit scared that I wasn’t going to enjoy it because it was a big occasion in a game that was pretty even, but when I got on the pitch I had a good feeling and I was happy that it went well.

“It was a very pleasing moment for me. It’s what I’ve been working towards in the two years that I’ve been here as it’s always been a dream to play for a Premier League team. I know it was in the cup but it was still with the First Team. It was a bit of a dream come true.”

The Denmark Under-21 international is approaching the two-year anniversary of his arrival at the Club, and he admitted he was delighted with the turnaround time between signing his contract as a 17-year-old, and making his maiden appearance as a First Team player.

“I think if you’d asked when I signed if I’d be happy about where I am now, I’d say that I would take that any day,” he said. “I’m happy and I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a player and as a person.

“Now I’m hopefully on the edge of something quite big so that’s what I want to keep trying to build on so that I become a better player. If I keep working hard then hopefully soon in the future more opportunities and experiences will present themselves for me at the Club. But I’m very happy with how it’s going right now.”

Despite his tender age – he doesn’t turn 20 until August – the introduction of Christensen at Carrow Road came as little surprise to Fulham fans, such has been his progression at the Club.

He had already been named on the Whites’ bench this season for our 2-0 victory over Aston Villa, while he regularly trains with René Meulensteen and his squad of seasoned professionals.

“Straight after he [Meulensteen] came in I was quite involved for a few games,” Christensen explained. “That was very good for me to be in and around the First Team.

“It also helped when I did come on [against Norwich] because it wasn’t like it was the first time that I was there and everything was new. It’s been good to be around the guys and it gives you a lot of confidence and motivation to keep working hard and to just keep going.

“Training with them definitely helps. Since the new boss came in I’ve started training more regularly with the First Team and I think that’s what I need now, to train more with the guys, to get to know them and for them to get to know me.

“That will lift me as a player, I think, and help me reach the level required to play in the Premier League, because that’s a totally different level of football. Tempo-wise and the physicality, it’s just so much quicker and when I get up to their level in terms of moving the ball and things like that then I think I’ll be alright.”

Promptly after Meulensteen took charge of First Team affairs, the Club announced that he would be aided by Under-21s Manager Kit Symons – a move that boded well for our younger players.

“Kit has been a big influence on my career,” stated Lasse. “I’ve been working with him for almost two years and he’s helped me a lot. He’s been a good coach for me and it’s been nice to have him around for us young boys because we’re now closer to the First Team than before.

“In Kit we have a man who speaks for us and knows what we can do. He sees us every day and it was nice to have him around for the games I was involved in – it gives you a secure feeling because you have someone who you know will back you, and that was very nice.”

Christensen’s rise to the Fulham First Team has come on the back of a number of stellar performances for the Under-21s. Sharing the captaincy with Jack Grimmer, the industrious midfielder has led his side to the summit of the league, winning seven and drawing four of their 11 matches to date.

Speaking ahead of their U21 Premier League Cup clash at home to Arsenal on Thursday, Christensen admitted: “It’s a bit surreal, to be fair. I don’t think that any of us expected that we would be going on such a long unbeaten run.

“I know from last year that at Under-21 level, you’ll have different teams every week, you’ll have different players. Players will drop down a level for whatever reason so sometimes you’ll play a team that has got a lot of first teamers in it who have dropped down.

“But we’ve managed to be very consistent and put in a lot of good performances. We had a few games where we maybe let our standards slip towards the end, but whenever that was the case everyone would step up and that ensured that we remained unbeaten. That builds momentum and it’s created an ongoing effect.

“We just don’t want to lose and that’s very, very good because, at this level, it can be a bit of an individual league sometimes because everyone wants to get to that next step. But we’ve got a real team ethic here, and that’s something that will help us all in the long run.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/january/09/dream-come-true?

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 07:02:08 PM »
 
Adams says Vale new-boy Grimmer will make debut at Brentford

LOAN signing Jack Grimmer will make his Port Vale debut at Brentford on Saturday, manager Micky Adams has confirmed.

The 19-year-old Fulham defender can play right back or centre half and, although Adams hasn't confirmed what position the youngster will play, he is preparing to put him into the back four against the league leaders at Griffin Park.

Vale expect to be without Richard Duffy for two to three weeks with an ankle injury. One possibility would be for Grimmer to replace Duffy in central defence alongside Chris Robertson, with Adam Yates at right back and Carl Dickinson on the left.

However, if Grimmer replaced Yates at right back, Liam Chilvers, Joe Davis and Robertson would be competing for two spots in central defence.

Adams said: "There will be changes in the back four, that's for sure. One is enforced with Richard Duffy. Jack Grimmer will play and I will let you people guess the rest.

"Jack can double up as a full back or a centre half."



Read more: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Adams-says-new-boy-Grimmer-make-debut-Brentford/story-20422888-detail/story.html#ixzz2pvgslzp2

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 07:03:35 PM »
 
Bryan Ruiz will join Betis on loan for the rest of the season on Friday, Fulham will receive just under €1m [Marca]



Bryan Ruiz’s time at Fulham is about to come to an end.

Ruiz, who will come up against England at the World Cup in Costa Rica’s last group game, is set to leave Craven Cottage to join La Liga’s Real Betis on Friday, according to Spanish paper Marca.

Marca report that Betis have reached an agreement with the Fulham to get Bryan Ruiz on loan until the end of the season. The Costa Rican is set to have his medical in the next 24 hours.

Should the deal come to fruition, Fulham will receive just under €1m as compensation for their striker’s services. Ruiz became the club’s record signing when he arrived from FC Twente for £10.6m in 2011.

28-year-old Ruiz is currently in his third season at Craven Cottage, however he has failed to hit top form at Fulham this campaign with one Premier League goal in 12 appearances.

Real Betis are rock bottom of the Spanish first division, having scored only 15 goals in 18 games and having only picked up two wins.

Bryan Ruiz - Touch of Class


http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/bryan-ruiz-will-join-betis-on-loan-for-the-rest-of-the-season-on-friday-fulham-will-receive-just-under-e1m-marca/?


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 07:05:02 PM »
 
Goodbye, Bryan

A few books have actually made a tangible contribution to my life. John Updike’s Rabbit series made me appreciate that I wasn’t the only idiot in the world and set in motion some quite important events for me.

But well before that it was “The Silence of the Lambs” that really shaped my life.

I once went on a school trip to Scotland and took the book with me. On this trip a number of curious things happened to me and I won’t go into them here, but the takeout is that I read Silence of the Lambs and decided I liked the idea of becoming a serial killer hunter like Jack Graham and his FBI people.

This lead to the discovery of psychology as a thing. I went to the University of Surrey where I learned all about psychology. I didn’t become an offender profiler at all in the end but I did meet the girl who would go on to be the mother of my children so that was good. All because of the Silence of the Lambs.

So? Well at the end of the book Hannibal Lecter calls Clarice Starling:

Dr. Lecter: [on telephone] Well, Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?
Clarice: Dr. Lecter?
Dr. Lecter: Don’t bother with a trace, I won’t be on long enough.
Clarice: Where are you?
Dr. Lecter: I have no plans to call on you, Clarice. The world’s more interesting with you in it. So you take care now to extend me the same courtesy.
Clarice: You know I can’t make that promise.
Dr. Lecter: I do wish we could chat longer, but … [eyeing Dr. Chilton] I’m having an old friend for dinner. Bye.
Clarice: Dr. Lecter? … Dr. Lecter? … Dr. Lecter? … Dr. Lecter? …

That’s what I felt about Bryan Ruiz. The world’s more interesting with him in it. Ruiz was a lot better than given credit for but let’s face it, the vulnerability was part of the appeal. You don’t worry about John Arne Riise; you don’t empathise with Giorgios Karagounis; you don’t worry whether Scott Parker’s feeling okay today. But when Bryan Ruiz plays for Fulham I’m desperate for him to do well. You see that face, a mixture of shock and innocence, and you worry that he’s not quite cut out for the hurly burly neanderthalism of English football.



The game wore him down. In the end he worked hard – people said he didn’t but he did – just not efficiently. Ruiz’s answer to not being in the game was to run around in big loping circles, which just served to keep him on the periphery. He didn’t have the confidence to stand there, to let the game come to him.

His legacy at Fulham will be those goals. He scored but a handful, and all but one I think were beauties. That chip against Everton when he looked up and perceived a gap over a goalkeeper who was more or less on his line. That scoop against Bolton when the obvious thing to do was certainly not to scoop the ball 20 feet in the air when clean through. The smash against Reading when the ball went from under his feet outside the box to the top corner before anyone knew what was going on, and that bounteous curler against Cardiff when he saw the top corner and potted the ball into it from distance.

Otherwise there were lots of nifty throughballs to Clint Dempsey and lots of unfortunate incidents when he didn’t quite work out what he was going to do with the ball next (he really had no business in his own half).

So yes, bummer that he’s been jettisoned. In his place may come John Heitinga of Holland and Everton, which would be a bit like replacing Miles Davis on the record player with the Sex Pistols, but whatever.



http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/goodbye-bryan/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 07:06:08 PM »
 
Fletcher available for Fulham trip

Striker ready for game at Craven Cottage.

Gus Poyet has confirmed that striker Steven Fletcher is fit and available for this weekend’s trip to Fulham.

Fletcher, who scored in a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage last season, limped out of the midweek Capital One Cup semi-final win over Manchester United.

However, he has returned to training ahead of Saturday's trip to the capital.

“[Steven] is perfect, he trained today with no problems at all,” Sunderland’s head coach said.

“We’re pleased there’s no problem because as you can imagine we were a bit worried.”


http://www.safc.com/news/team-news/2014/january/fletcher-available-for-fulham-trip?

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 07:07:10 PM »
 
Elsad Wary Of Black Cats

Sunderland may arrive at Craven Cottage on Saturday (3pm) bottom of the league but Elsad Zverotić is expecting a tough test of Fulham’s credentials.

The Black Cats are currently four points adrift of safety at the foot of the Barclays Premier League, but have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes of late. Gus Poyet’s side have lost just one of their last five league games and also earned a morale-boosting win over Manchester United in the First Leg of their Capital One Cup Semi-Final on Tuesday night.

The Whites, too, are on the up and Zverotić told the official website: “We know that the game against Sunderland is an important one. It’s so tight at the moment, and there are a lot of teams that need to fight their way out of where they are in the table.

“They [Sunderland] are at the bottom right now, but they’ve shown that they’re a very capable side on their day. They beat Manchester United 2-1 in the League Cup this week, and that would have given them a lot of confidence.

“They’ve actually had some very good results; beating Newcastle United, Manchester City and Everton this season. They also defeated Chelsea in the League Cup and ran them close in the league.

“Gus Poyet has come in as Head Coach, and he’s having a good effect. He has some good players in his side, and we’ll have to be very aware of that when they come to Craven Cottage.”

A win for the Whites on Saturday, coupled with results elsewhere, could see René Meulensteen’s men go up to the dizzy heights of 13th.

“We opened the season with a win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, so hopefully we can get the three points again,” said right-back Zverotić, who started last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City in the FA Cup with Budweiser. “If we can do that, then we could really start to push up the table.

“We got a fantastic win against West Ham United on New Year’s Day, and it’s vital that we build on that. We’re playing some good football; if we keep playing the way we have been then I’m sure we’ll fine. We’re taking one game at a time.

“This is a tough league, one of the best in the world. It’s so competitive, but that’s the challenge I knew that it would be when I signed. I’ve enjoyed my time at the Club so far, and I’m determined to help the team as much as a I can.”


http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/january/09/elsad-wary-of-black-cats?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2014, 07:08:02 PM »
 
Sunderland Tickets Limited

Tickets for Fulham v Sunderland are now limited, and supporters are advised to buy as soon as possible in order to guarantee a seat.

Prices start from just £35 for adults and £15 juniors and can be purchased online at fulhamfc.com/tickets or by calling 0843 208 1234.


Matchday Hospitality Package

Enjoy an extra special day at Craven Cottage with your very own Matchday Hospitality package.

Packages for this match are available from just £99 per person (+VAT). Read more and choose from our wide range of options here.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/january/09/sunderland-tickets-limited?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2014, 07:09:48 PM »
 
Göttingen Training

Take a look at some of the photos from the Under-18s' first training session since their arrival in Göttingen, Germany.











Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 07:11:22 PM »
 
Dempsey rides to the rescue for Fulham

When a club finds itself in trouble, supporters reach out for encouraging precedents.

At Fulham, who climbed out of the Premier League’s relegation zone for the first time in eight games with a victory over West Ham in their last match, they reach for the stars and stripes, part of superstitious faith in the United States cavalry in times of trouble.

Go to Craven Cottage and you will see a cafe named McBride’s, in honour of the American former striker Brian McBride, whose goals helped the club pull off an apparently impossible escape from the drop into the Championship in 2008.

Glance into the stands in their last two home games and there was Clint Dempsey, the Texan who joined on loan for two months and made his first appearance of that spell in Saturday’s 1-1 FA Cup draw at Norwich City.

He should make his home debut in the key league fixture at home to last-place Sunderland on Saturday.

Dempsey knows the territory. He first joined Fulham exactly seven years ago, recruited from the New England Revolution at age 23, one of the several landmarks he has set in his career.

The fee was US$4 million (Dh14.7 million), the highest ever received at that stage by a Major Soccer League club.

His talent, as an attacking midfielder with good ball skills and competitive spirit was clear. The team’s difficult circumstances in his first 18 months demanded that he adapt quickly to English football.

Aspects of his game developed: his heading ability, meeting crosses and set pieces, his eye for long-range scoring opportunities.

One such strike, against Juventus in the Europa League to guide Fulham through to the quarter-finals of that competition, puts Dempsey as prominent in the folklore of the club as McBride.

Fulham’s unlikely run in Europe that year, 2009/10, would end at the final. That dreamy Europa League campaign gave Dempsey the taste for top-level midweek adventures in Europe, and with his stock rising and his goalscoring record improving, he nursed ambitions for Uefa Champions League status. Fulham, who aspire to mid-table security, were never going to supply that.

The divorce was somewhat messy, though the broad welcome Dempsey received at Craven Cottage when the current loan deal was announced suggests wounds have healed since the summer of 2012.

Then, he exempted himself from pre-season training, his heart apparently set on a move to Liverpool. Initially, they seemed keen, but interest faded as other Anfield targets came into view. Late in that transfer window, he signed with Tottenham Hotspur.

Dempsey has always set elevated targets for himself. He is admired in the US for his ascent from a background of few material resources. The fourth of five children in a family who lived for much of his childhood in a trailer parked at the Texas home of his grandparents, he learnt his sport among Mexican immigrants and commuted long distances to play.

He won a college scholarship on the back of his football. He suffered tragedy at 12 when his sister, a promising tennis player, died from a brain aneurysm.

Medals have eluded him. He has been a runner-up in the Europa League, and with New England, in two MLS Cups, and with the US, in the 2009 Confederations Cup.

At Spurs, he finished fifth in the Premier League in what was a mixed season, personally.

He would not replicate his excellent strike-rate from his final campaign at Fulham – 23 goals in 46 matches across competitions, as a midfielder in a middleweight team. And when Tottenham brought in a half-dozen new players, all suitable for Dempsey’s wide midfield positions last August, he recognised that his future opportunities would be limited.

It was a World Cup season. For a man with more than 100 caps, that preyed on his mind. He has three young children, whom he wanted to raise in his home country. Another MLS record was set, when the Seattle Sounders signed Dempsey from Spurs and made him the highest-paid star in the league’s history.

It has been a stop-start return to the MLS so far, initially hampered by injury. The Fulham loan coincides with the break in the US domestic calendar. He will return to Seattle by March 8, a day before his 31st birthday.

The US national-team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, encouraged Dempsey to seek playing time in Europe and backs a player, to whom he has given the captain’s armband, to be in peak shape in Brazil in June.

“Clint himself has set the highest benchmark for himself,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously, we want the best Clint Dempsey ever and that’s what we’re going to push him toward as we look toward Brazil.”

It will be his third World Cup, and should he get his name on the scoresheet at the finals, he will be the first American to do so in a trio of such tournaments. Should he leave Fulham well clear of the bottom three by early March, any rancour over his previous exit will be erased.



Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/sport/fulham/dempsey-rides-to-the-rescue-for-fulham?#ixzz2pvjE7Vk5
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Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2014, 06:25:21 AM »
 
Fulham U21 0 Arsenal U21 1: The Ox is back! England winger completes first half as Eisfeld nets only goal for young Gunners

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed 45 minutes for Arsenal’s Under-21 side as he ended five months of injury frustration with a return to match action.

The England speedster hobbled out of Arsenal’s opening Barclays Premier League match against Aston Villa after just a quarter-hour with a damaged knee and endured half-a-season on the sidelines as the Gunners soared to the top of the table.

Clearly keen to put the setback behind him and get miles in the tank, Oxlade-Chamberlain switched constantly between flanks in a lively return, though some aspects of his game are naturally still rusty.


Look who's back: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his long-awaited comeback for Arsenal Under 21's

His long-awaited return was nearly capped with a goal when he connected sweetly with a half-volley from 25 yards only for Fulham goalkeeper Jesse Joronen to save well.

In the end, that missed chance didn’t matter as Thomas Eisfeld scored the decisive goal 14 minutes into the second half to see Arsenal though.

On their first attack of the second half, they broke into the Fulham box and, after Benik Afobe couldn’t find a clear sight of goal, Eisfeld nudged the ball left and blasted it into the roof of the net.

The win set up a tantalising last eight clash with London rivals Chelsea, who beat West Ham 2-1 on Monday night.

Arsenal were without their hotshot striker Chuba Akpom, who has joined Brentford on loan, and gave a run-out to another first-teamer in Carl Jenkinson.

Fulham’s French prospect Moussa Dembele had the first opening at Motspur Park after being played in by the livewire Ange-Freddy Plumain but he carelessly fired the ball over.


England hopefuls: The Ox was among a strong young Gunners line-up, with Carl Jenkinson (left) starting, as well as Benik Afobe (second left) and Emmanuel Frimpong (right)
   
Comfortable: The youngster looked the part on his return to action, though was naturally quite rusty

Cover: It was a welcome boost for Arsene Wenger after Theo Walcott was ruled out for the season


Wearing lime green boots, long sleeves and black gloves on a chilly night in south-west London, Oxlade-Chamberlain was immediately into the action. Played in by Afobe after a clever turn, his attempted cheeky chip fell wide of the far post.

Emmanuel Frimpong, on the fringes of the first team for so long but now so unlikely to break into it, at least showed attacking intent, but an early low effort was dragged badly wide.

Kit Symons’ Fulham, who are top of the Under-21 League, weren’t frightened to commit men forward and Arsenal keeper Matt Macey had to be alert to beat Plumain to the ball in the first of many one-on-one contests.

Oxlade-Chamberlain struggled consistently with corner deliveries, but his devilish free-kick from the left was headed towards goal by Afobe, only for Joronen to tip it onto the crossbar.


Japanese speed: Flying winger Ryo Myaichi started on the opposite side to Oxlade-Chamberlain

Speedster: Oxlade-Chamberlain shows a trademark run away from a Fulham player


A languid first half finally ignited into life in the five minutes before the break, with good chances at both ends.

Fulham wideman Lyle Della Verde ran at the Arsenal rearguard and after Semi Ajayi made a hash of his initial clearance, he recovered well to block a goalbound follow-up from Ronny Minkwitz.

Moments later, Kristoffer Olsson had played in Eisfeld for Arsenal, only for Joronen to again win a one-on-one duel.

The visitors didn’t dare risk Oxlade-Chamberlain for the second half, replacing him with Jon Toral. The Ox will likely have another couple of matches at this level before being slowly reintegrated into the first team. It may come sooner than anticipated given Theo Walcott’s long-term injury.


Long lay-off: He had been out of action since injuring his knee against Aston Villa back in August

New surroundings: The midfielder arrives at Motspur Park ready for his comeback against Fulham U21


Fulham started the second period with intent and Plumain broke clear down the left, only to be pushed out wide and forced into releasing a tame shot.

The chances dried up after Eisfeld’s 59th minute goal with Arsenal happy to see the game out. But they still had chances to settle things once and for all.

Jenkinson surged down the right and blazed over from the edge of the six yard box, Frimpong got through but saw his effort blocked by the sprawling legs of Joronen before Frimpong was thwarted in similar circumstances.

Ryo Miyaichi was also clean through at one stage as the Fulham defence switched off for a third time but the Japanese forward hesitated, lost his footing and was hunted down by three white-shirted defenders.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2536740/Fulham-U21-0-Arsenal-U21-1-Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain-plays-48-minutes-Thomas-Eisfeld-notches-winner-young-Gunners.html#ixzz2pyS5v6XT
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Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (10/01/14)...
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2014, 06:27:35 AM »
 
From Joleon Lescott to Simon Makienok: The top five transfer targets for Fulham this January

We’re well into January already and with Clint Dempsey already in the bag, the rumour mill at Fulham is hotting up.

With the likes of West Ham United, Cardiff City and Sunderland plotting significant investment over this next month, it’s important that we get things right. So here’s the low down of who we’re supposedly after, what they’re good for and whether we really need them.

1. Joleon Lescott. A tenuous link at best but a few sources have us plotting a loan move for the Manchester City defender and, for what it’s worth, it’d be a superb move if we could pull it off. Full of experience at the highest level, Lescott would add infinite knowledge to a porous defence. Perhaps an even more vital asset, though, is his mobility. He’s not quite where he used to be in terms of agility and pace, but he is still some way ahead of the more brutish Phillippe Senderos and Fernando Amorebieta. The two stumbling blocks are of course his wages and his likely reluctance to take a step down.

2. Jucilei. This rumour came somewhat out of nowhere but apparently has substance. Jucilei is a defensive midfielder, currently plying his trade in Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala, and carries with him a substantial reputation that belies his mere £4million asking price. The 25-year-old is a strong, well-built player who would help solidify a leaky defence but, just as with Lescott, there are huge doubts over the viability of a deal. Though there are suggestions a bid has already been lodged, a work permit is unlikely. As a Brazillian with only two caps to his name, playing in the UK is going to be a near-impossibility.

3. Johnny Heitinga. Another centre-back, though it’s not surprising given how we have defended of late. The Everton man comes with a good pedigree and could well do a job on a temporary basis, but any permanent move would have to be discouraged. Out of favour on Merseyside, a loan move is a very real possibility, with the 30-year-old having already spurned a move to West Ham. A strong, technically proficient defender, Heitinga could well add some much needed class to our back four.

4. Ravel Morrison. The Hammers midfielder wants out of Upton Park and Rene Meulensteen is, apparently, keen to link up with the 20-year-old again, having worked with him at Manchester United. On the surface, it would seem like a good deal – a young, talented prospect stolen from a fellow relegation-battling struggler. But he comes with distinct problems, the most notable of which is his mercurial attitude. On top of that, he’s another skillful attacking midfielder among many we already own. Is that something we really need?

5. Simon Makienok. A lanky, Scandinavian striker. Does that ring any bells with Fulham fans? Hopefully, should this deal come to fruition, Makienok will prove to be no David Elm but there is always that risk when you’re tapping into unknown markets. Strong and good in the air, the 23-year-old could prove a good addition given Meulensteen’s more progressive approach to wing play. But only if the price is right – and at around £3.3million, that could be something of a gamble.



http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/09/from-joleon-lescott-to-simon-makienok-the-top-five-transfer-targets-for-fulham-this-january-4257060/?