Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)  (Read 3612 times)

White Noise

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Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« on: May 15, 2010, 09:40:16 PM »
http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/news/2010/05/16/hodgson-set-for-fulham-pay-rise-102039-22260926/

Hodgson Set For Fulham Pay Rise

May 16 2010

by CRouter CRouter, The People


FULHAM are ready to offer Roy Hodgson a major pay rise – to fend off interest from Italy’s three biggest clubs.

Hodgson thrashed out his current Craven Cottage contract less than five months ago, but chairman Mohamed Al Fayed is willing to start talks on a new deal after the club’s epic run to the Europa League final.

The Fulham chief’s representatives know their man is in a position of huge strength with AC Milan and Juventus looking for new managers, while Inter Milan are also likely to have a vacancy with Jose Mourinho heading to Real Madrid after next week’s Champions League final.

Former Inter boss Hodgson has a fine reputation in Italy and he is known to be on the radar of all three clubs – although his close relationship with Inter chief Massimo Moratti makes it far more likely that he would join them than cross-city rivals Milan.

Juve were given a painful reminder of Hodgson’s abilities when Fulham dumped them out of the Europa League in March with a stunning comeback.

Hodgson, 62, would prefer to stay in England and would be tempted to stay at Fulham by a large increase on his £1.5million one-year rolling deal.

And keeper Mark Schwarzer has urged Al Fayed to invest some of his £1.5bn Harrods booty in Fulham to keep Hodgson – and him – at the club.

Aussie Schwarzer, 37, said: “I have a year left on my contract and I’m keen to talk. I’m happy where I am – as long as the manager is still going to be here.

“Lots of big clubs are going to be interested in the manager’s services after the amazing job he’s done.

“As players, we hope he’ll stay but it is out of our hands.”

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010, 09:42:46 PM »
http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/football-hotline/2010/05/16/fulham-dream-of-cole-zamora-pairing-102039-22260908/



Fulham dream of Cole-Zamora pairing


May 16 2010


by David Kidd, The People


FULHAM are preparing a £6million move for Carlton Cole – as they attempt to hammer out a new deal to keep Bobby Zamora.

Craven Cottage boss Roy Hodgson has been making enquiries about England ­hit-man Cole, who is ready to leave Upton Park after the departure of his mentor Gianfranco Zola.

Fellow Hammers strikers Ilan, Guillermo Franco and Alessandro Diamanti will ­follow him through the exit door.

But Aston Villa are waiting in the wings with a shock bid for Zamora, who has been offered an improved contract by Fulham after the best season of his career.

Zamora, 29, has only a year left on his deal and talks have been held between his representatives and Craven Cottage chief ­executive Alastair Mackintosh.

The two parties have been ­attempting to thrash out the length of the contract as well as a wage deal.

But Villa boss Martin O’Neill is willing to pay about £7m for Zamora, who could be tempted by a glamour move and the chance to help Villa’s bid for the top four next season.

O’Neill would love to land Zamora in a swap deal, with left-back Nicky Shorey already at Fulham on loan and midfield man Steve Sidwell also the subject of an enquiry from The Cottagers.

But the problem for O’Neill is that Hodgson sees West Ham man Cole as a potential partner for Zamora – not a replacement.

Fulham are losing strikers Erik Nevland and Diomansy Kamara this summer while Stefano Okaka’s loan from Roma will not be made permanent.

Andy Johnson will return from long-term injury early next season but Hodgson is still desperate for one more top-class striker. If he misses out on Cole, he could pay up to £5m for Bristol City’s 21-goal Nicky Maynard, 23.

A Villa move for Zamora could, though, throw a spanner in the works for Hodgson.

He is the type of front-runner O’Neill wants to hold up the ball and lead the line.

His side found it hard to get the right blend up front last season and the Villa boss has been looking everywhere for reinforcements. However, most of them are in the £10m-plus category – too costly for O’Neill.

Fulham will battle to keep their cult hero, but they were close to selling him to Hull a year ago and Zamora may have the final word if he fancies moving to Villa Park.

O’Neill has been told he can bring in new faces but needs to let fringe men go to ­balance the books.

Owner Randy Lerner is confident his manager will stay, but the real test will be whether the ambitious boss can land the men he wants.

Villa are also tracking Tottenham star David Bentley but face competition from Everton.

Struggle

Both were in for the 25-year-old when he quit Blackburn two years ago, but he opted instead to move to White Hart Lane.

Bentley, however, has not always seen eye to eye with manager Harry Redknapp and, despite an excellent second half of the season, knows he will struggle to hold down a regular spot in the first team next term with Aaron Lennon back from injury.

Spurs would ask for a fee of around ­£10m for a player who cost them £15m and Lerner would sanction a move providing O’Neill can offload some players.

West Ham fans worried about Fulham’s pursuit of striker Cole are also ready to wave farewell to three more Upton Park stars – Ilan, Franco and Diamanti.

Sacked boss Zola brought all three to the club but they will be on their way in a West Ham overhaul this summer

Hammers are keen to sign Portsmouth’s on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne, who played in the FA Cup final yesterday.

His parent club Lyon rate him at £2million.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010, 09:44:38 PM »
http://nln24.com/news/story/maidstone-approach-fulham-for-friendly



Maidstone approach Fulham for friendly


Saturday 15th May 2010

MAIDSTONE UNITED have asked Premier League Fulham for a money-spinning pre-season friendly.

Director of football Bill Williams also revealed he expects the Stones to miss out on a cash windfall from the Cottagers as part of the Chris Smalling deal.

The Stones were set to receive a five-figure payment for every 10 first team appearances Smalling (pictured) made.

The defender – who will join Manchester United this summer – made his 19th appearance at Arsenal on Sunday, but will not now reach the 20-game milestone.

Williams tells the Kent Messenger: “There is always hope, but agreements are agreements. We did ask them to consider a few things officially and you never know, but I doubt we’ll get anything.

“You are dealing with plcs and there is no compassion or sentimentality when it comes down to money.”

Meanwhile, Danny Hockton could have played his last game for Maidstone after he was placed on the transfer list by manager Peter Nott.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2010, 09:48:27 PM »
http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/news/2010/05/16/capello-dumps-england-get-out-clause-102039-22260924/


Capello Dumps England Get-Out Clause


May 16 2010


by James Brown, The People


FABIO CAPELLO is staying as England boss until 2012 – by removing a get-out clause in his £6million-a-year contract with the FA.

The England boss, concerned by reports linking him with jobs in the Premier League and Italy after this summer’s World Cup, told the FA he wanted to end all speculation by having the safety-net clause taken out of his agreement.

His contract originally gave both parties a week-long window in late July during which Capello could quit or be released by his FA bosses.

Now, after a meeting with FA chairman Lord Triesman and Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, those options have gone – and Capello will lead England through the Euro 2012 qualifiers, which start in September, regardless of how the Three Lions perform in South Africa.

The move ends the England hopes of Fulham’s Roy Hodgson, Tottenham chief Harry Redknapp, and under-21 boss Stuart Pearce, who had all been tipped as successors to Capello.

It’s a decision which also suits the FA, who didn’t want speculation over Capello’s future to derail England’s World Cup bid.

Having had to deal with fall-out from the Capello Index, FA chiefs wanted all other potential problems removed.

FatFreddysCat

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2010, 09:57:35 PM »
I really wouldn't be happy if we got the rapist Cole, surely not the sort of player we expect at Fulham  :046:

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2010, 09:57:58 PM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Liverpool-boss-Benitez-lined-up-for-Inter-Milan-and-Fulham-manager-Roy-Hodgson-for-Juventus-as-European-managerial-merry-go-round-gears-up-fir-the-summer-article426841.html


Juventus as European merry-go-round starts up

Published 11:57 15/05/10 By MirrorFootball


Rafa Benitez has emerged as a shock candidate for the Inter Milan manager's post as Europe's top clubs prepare to embark on a summer merry-go-round.

The Italian giant's current boss Jose Mourinho is expected to take over from under-performing Manuel Pellegrini at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid lining up summer move to reunite Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho  

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus this season, but it is thought that Inter have now moved to the head of the queue after contacting the Spaniard's representatives this week.

And Juventus are now believed to be be targeting Roy Hodgson, whose Fulham side knocked the Italians out of the Europa League this season. Crucially, Hodgson has also managed in Italy before - with Inter Milan in the '90s, and Udinese in 2001.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2010, 10:01:46 PM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Arsene-Wenger-begs-Cesc-Fabregas-to-snub-Barcelona-and-give-him-two-more-years-at-Arsenal-Exclusive-article426529.html


The latest keeper on Arsenal’s radar is Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, 37, who has been watched several times.

They have also scouted AZ Alkmaar’s Sergio Romero and Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.

But it remains uncertain whether they will sign a new shot stopper.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 10:10:36 PM »
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/football/hodgson-is-the-man-to-succeed-pim-says-schwarzer-20100515-v5f7.html

Hodgson is the man to succeed Pim, says Schwarzer


JOSH RAKIC


May 16, 2010

Star Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has thrown his support behind Fulham manager Roy Hodgson to succeed Pim Verbeek as Australia's new coach beyond 2010.

Hodgson was well in the frame to take over from Guus Hiddink in 2006 before Verbeek was named, but after inspiring English Premier League side Fulham to the best form of the club's history, Schwarzer says the 62-year-old is the man for the job.

''Without a doubt Roy could lead the Socceroos to success,'' Schwarzer said of the former Inter Milan coach. ''His international experience is huge - he's had experience at Inter and all over Europe. And he's proven again at club level what a great manager he is.
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''He's done it before at international level and there's no reason whatsoever why he couldn't easily take over a position like Australia.

''He showed at Fulham the style of football that he has us playing - we play football. So that will calm a few of the critics out there who want to see the beautiful game played in a certain way.

''And I think he has a good mix with it.

''I haven't spoken to him about the possibility - obviously there's been a lot going on at Fulham this season and that position has only become available recently. But he'd be great.''

But Australia will have to act fast if they want to secure the veteran coach, who successfully guided Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup.

Hodgson took over at Fulham in 2007 and helped the club avoid relegation before leading it to an unprecedented period of success over the past two seasons - Fulham finishing seventh on the EPL table in 2008/09 (their highest ever finish), and losing last week's Europa Cup final 2-1 to Atletico Madrid.

As a result, he is firmly in the sights of England officials should Fabio Capello call it a day. He already has the support of former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

''Roy has been amazing for Fulham since the day he arrived,'' said Schwarzer, whose signing by Hodgson has been labelled by critics as one of the coach's best buys.

''His influence was enormous in keeping the club up in the Premier League and the transformation since that day has been pretty remarkable at the club.

''Just the personnel he's brought in, both playing and coaching staff, has been pretty significant and obviously the performances on the field and the results are what matter and have shown what a great manager he is.

''It's pretty hard to look elsewhere for a coach when you can look at the results and the performances. It has been one of the most successful periods in the club's history and the manager has a major part to play in that.

''I have no doubt he could do the same with the Socceroos.'

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 10:29:00 PM »
http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/sport/8167236.Melville_focused_on_Oxford_United_quest/


Melville focused on Oxford United quest

2:00pm Saturday 15th May 2010


    * By Jon Murray »


Oxford United coach Andy Melville says the players look “focused and determined” ahead of the big day.

“It’s a big game for the football club,” he said. “The players at the moment seem very focused and very determined – they showed us that in the two legs against Rushden.

“So we want them to do much of the same.

“There’s a good feel about the place at the moment, both at the club and in and around the city – everywhere’s buzzing – so we hope that’s in our favour as well.”

It seems remarkable that Melville, who had a glittering playing career, winning 65 caps for Wales, appearing for hisnation in dozens of countries, and playing with distinction for Sunderland, Fulham and West Ham after his 135 games for Oxford United, has never played at Wembley.

“I was in a play-off final with West Ham, but that was at the Millennium Stadium while Wembley was being rebuilt,” he said.

“I never played there for Wales. I missed out, it’s just one of those things.

“We had the stage at the Millennium, when I was playing for West Ham, against Crystal Palace, but we lost 1-0 and it was one of the worst feelings I’ve had in my career.

“It was for promotion to the Premiership so it was a massive game.”

Often termed United’s ‘defensive coach’, Melville says that all the coaches work together as a team in training.

“If I see somebody else who’s not a defender, I try and help him as well. It’s everyone together as a group.”

There are few people in football with as much experience as Alan Hodgkinson, United’s goalkeeping coach.

It was 53 years ago, in April 1957, that he made his debut in goal for England,at Wembley, alongside the likes of Billy Wright, Roger Byrne and Duncan Edwards.

That was against Scotland in the Home International Championship, Edwards scoring the winner in England’s 2-1 win.

What another memorable day it would be for Hodgy if Oxford could win tomorrow at the new Wembley.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 06:19:50 AM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Bobby-Zamora-set-to-sign-new-four-year-Fulham-deal-article427453.html


Bobby Zamora set to sign new four-year Fulham deal


Published 22:45 15/05/10


By Steve Stammers


Fulham are close to agreeing a new deal with Bobby Zamora that will keep the striker at Craven Cottage for the next four years.

The 29-year-old emerged as Fulham’s key man in their run to the Europa League final that ended in disappointment with a 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in Hamburg last Wednesday.

Zamora played – but had to defy an Achilles tendon injury that has bothered him for the last two months.

He postponed surgery to cure the problem so he could contribute to Fulham’s bid for Euro glory – and that cost him a place in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad of 30.

Zamora will now have his operation in the close season.

Fulham, despite interest from Aston Villa, are keen to keep him and talks about a new deal are progressing well. He has one year left on his current deal and the club want to extend it by a further three years.

That will be a boost to manager Roy Hodgson, who is looking to build on this season’s success.

Hodgson, on a one-year rolling contract, is also in line for a pay rise and will be given funds of around £25 million by club owner Mohammed Al Fayed to improve his squad.

Al Fayed has the money to invest after the recent sale of Harrods for £1.5 billion to the Qatar royal family.

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2010, 06:27:59 AM »
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/135450/Fulham-chairman-Mohamed-Al-Fayed-Roy-Hodgson-could-be-next-England-boss-/



FULHAM CHAIRMAN MOHAMED AL FAYED: ROY HODGSON COULD BE NEXT ENGLAND BOSS


By Tony Stenson


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

Hodgson was named Manager of the Year by the League Managers’ Association last Tuesday after leading his side to the Europa League Final in Hamburg on Wednesday.


Sadly their long season caught up with them and they lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in extra-time.


Hodgson also guided the club to the FA Cup quarter-finals and 12th spot in the Premier League this season.


Despite the success, Al 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 said.


“It is important England do well. When England came in for Kevin Keegan in 1999 I didn’t have any objections. It gave us pride.”


Hodgson, high on Liverpool and Aston Villa’s wanted list if they search for new managers, has admitted his side will need to get over the pain of defeat before assessing what they can take from the experience.


Hodgson said: “Maybe when that pain has gone we can turn our attention to whether it has done us any good.”

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2010, 06:37:05 AM »

FULHAM'S MARK SCHWARZER IS FOOTBALL'S GLOBETROTTER


Sunday May 16,2010

By Colin Mafham


MARK Schwarzer flies to Australia today with at least one title to his name – football’s globetrotter of the year.

By the time Fulham’s 37-year-old keeper gets back in July, he will have clocked up an incredible 60,000 miles by jetting all over the world in just 11 months.

That’s more than any other player in the country by a mile, and even Schwarzer admits he isn’t exactly sure how he keeps doing it.

The Aussie keeper had little more than 72 hours to recover from the 2-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid in last Wednesday’s Europa League final before embarking on his latest round-the-world adventure.

And his feet will barely touch the ground before he is plunged straight into Australia’s World Cup warm-up game against New Zealand.

Then he will be on the plane again for another 7,000-mile trek to South Africa, where Australia will play friendlies against Denmark and England’s group rivals USA before the tournament kicks off.

Schwarzer said: “It was a real disappointment losing to Madrid but I don’t really have time to dwell on it.”

Most of Schwarzer’s young team-mates are amazed by his stamina.

The incredible marathon started last July with a round trip of 28,000 miles for Fulham’s pre-season tour of his homeland, which took in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

That was followed by Europa League trips to Lithuania (2,200 miles there and back), then Russia (3,000 miles), Roma (1,800), Basel (900), Donetsk, Ukraine (3,400) and Juventus (1,100). Schwarzer followed that with three trips to Germany – one to Wolfsburg (1,200 miles) and two to Hamburg (1,100).      

He will cap all that by clocking up nearly 14,000 miles on World Cup duty – to, from and across South Africa – before another 12,000-mile flight from Australia to London in July, ready for Fulham to kickstart their preparations for next season.

And chances are he will face a further marathon trek if manager Roy Hodgson arranges another pre-season tour to the other side of the world. “It can get a bit tiring but hey, I’m 37, I have just played in a European cup final and I am about to play in the World Cup, so I’m not complaining,” Schwarzer added.

“And it certainly shows some of the young lads there’s still plenty of life in the old dog yet.”


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2010, 06:49:29 AM »
http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/814647/HODGSON-SLAPS-IN-BID-FOR-MAYNARD.html


HODGSON SLAPS IN BID FOR MAYNARD


Fulham fancy City striker

By Andy Dunn, 15/05/2010

FULHAM boss Roy Hodgson is set to signal his commitment to the club.

He will make an offer of up to £4.5million for Bristol City striker Nicky Maynard.


And Hodgson is convinced the Championship outfit will be unable to say 'no'.


Maynard, 23, has also become a prime target for Everton boss David Moyes.


But Hodgson is determined not to lose out on the former Crewe forward, who has scored more than 30 goals in his two seasons at Ashton Gate.


City manager Steve Coppell insists his prize asset is not for sale.


But a fee approaching £5m will be impossible to snub.


Hodgson will also be busy ensuring key players have deals extended.


Top of the list will be Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer, who has only a season left on his current contract.


The keeper - arguably Fulham's player of the season - said: "At my age, it always seems to be one year at a time. I am happy where I am as long as the manager is there as well."


And Schwarzer urged Mohammed Al Fayed - who sold his Harrods business for £1.5billion last week - to give Hodgson some serious financial backing.


Schwarzer went on: "Let's hope the chairman might spend some of the money he's got. He has done a fantastic job for the club. In the three years I've been here, his involvement and interaction is fantastic.


"He is the best chairman I have ever worked under. He is a right character but a very generous man."


And under Al Fayed and Hodgson, Schwarzer believes Fulham can prosper.


He said: "Four years ago, the Middlesbrough team I was in broke up after the UEFA Cup final. It was a disappointment.


"Let's hope it doesn't happen with Fulham. I am confident it won't - the guys really enjoy playing football at the club.


"It's a great little environment, it is a great little club, the set-up is fantastic and the manager's great.


"Everyone is extremely happy but in football you never know, things can sometimes change overnight unfortunately. But I hope most of the guys stick together."

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2010, 07:07:23 AM »
http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/2010/05/15/no-victory-no-tantrums-but-roy-is-still-a-winner-115875-22259737/


No victory, no tantrums.. but Roy is still a winner


By Alan Mckinlay 15/05/2010

SPORT ON TV

There was a moment at the end of the Europa League final (Five) which said a lot about Fulham and the man who led them to it.

When the final whistle went, and the "plucky West Londoners" (copyright everyone, everywhere, all season) were beaten, by a heartbreaking deflected goal which denied the possibility of one of the greatest European triumphs of them all, the TV cameras focused on the Fulham bench.

There was manager Roy Hodgson, shaking hands with every one of his substitutes and backroom staff, congratulating them on a job well done.

No tears or theatrics for Hodgson, no tantrum, no raging at the referee.

No time for losers? Hodgson (above) and his men were anything but losers. On the pitch , the players were clearly distraught, but there were no tears of self-pity, no weeping that a trophy had been snatched from them in the cruellest way.
 
In the style of their manager, they shook hands with the jubilant Atletico Madrid players and, after receiving the runners-up medals, stayed to watch the presentation of the trophy that had just eluded them. What style, what class, what dignity.

You read a lot of garbage these days about how winning is the only thing that matters in sport, that what makes a great player or manager is that he is a terrible loser.

The fact is that losing does not always diminish those who finish second.

What Fulham did on Wednesday night was proof that it can sometimes even add to their legend.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2010, 09:25:28 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-boss-hodgson-gain-pay-rise-and-£25m-transfer-kitty-841811?
Fulham boss Hodgson to gain pay-rise and £25M transfer kitty

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is set to be handed a bumper summer transfer kitty.

The Sunday Mirror says Hodgson, on a one-year rolling contract, is also in line for a pay rise and will be given funds of around £25 million by club owner Mohammed Al Fayed to improve his squad.

Al Fayed has the money to invest after the recent sale of Harrods for £1.5 billion to the Qatar royal family.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2010, 09:27:08 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198833
Fulham - Historic Year
2009/2010 has been nothing short of spectacular for Fulham Football Club. Domestically our campaign may have withered but on European turf we have had a year to remember.

Now though, it is all behind us. A summer of sheer uncertainty lay ahead on the banks of the Thames and the prospect of the World Cup doesn't even come close to hiding my fears and doubts as we enter the close-season.

However, rather than foreseeing a predictably miserable and bleak few months, I will reflect on what has been a historic campaign for us and, more specifically, re-live some unforgettable moments.

It all officially started on Thursday 30th July in Lithuania. Little did we know that the 3-0 victory that night over FK Vetra would kick start a revolutionary Europa League run which would stretch right through to only last week.

That first European tie followed a somewhat inconsistent Pre-Season with confident victories over Perth and Melbourne, alongside shaky results against both Peterborough and Gold Coast United.

That aside, we had secured a place in the next Europa League qualifying phase with a similar 3-0 result over Vetra in the reversed tie, at Craven Cottage; before the Premier League season had even begun.

Still though, the victories did little to boost our egos and many a Fulham fan was still highly skeptical of the prospect of European football.

Significantly in my eyes, Fulham kicked off the league season with a 'fortunate' away win at Fratton Park. Whilst the result was far from memorable and while the winning goal was a bit, let's say, 'cheeky', a win away from home for Fulham is a very valuable 3 points.

Taking into account the previous year, which held distinct bad fortune in any arena that didn't hold the name 'Craven Cottage' (or the Reebok, or St. James e.t.c), an opening day away win was a sign of much promise for the Whites.

After an aggregate victory over Amkar Perm, in controversial circumstances, with Andy Johnson picking up a worrying injury following a cynical foul, Fulham were through to the group stages of the Europa League. Again, this was met with mixed reactions from the Fulham faithful.

Fulham started where they had left off from the season previous; with some admirable home form. The likes of Everton, Basel and Liverpool fell to the Cottagers in London and a respectable point against Roma went on to further prove Craven Cottage's new 'fortress' status.

After a relatively disappointing November, European football finally became a highlight for us Fulham fans. After an unlucky defeat at the hands of AS Roma, Fulham needed to win their 2 remaining group games to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the competition.

We did so too, in Fulham fashion: the hard way. CSKA Sofia came to London and were defeated 1-0 before we flew out to Basel in what was an all-or-nothing affair. We achieved our aim in the snow, albeit sailing close to the wind, with a 3-2 victory. Celebrations were rife and mid-week was now a time to treasure rather than a time to dread.

We dragged our inspirational performances from European football into our league campaign and only 3 days after the Basel result we celebrated a very pleasing 3-0 win over Manchester United in SW6.

January was of course the month that the FA Cup rolled into town and our performances in that very trophy led us on another interesting, if not shortened, cup journey.

We had beaten Swindon Town, Accrington Stanley and Notts County before being drawn against high flying Tottenham Hotspur.

With belief intact and the tie being at home, we went in the game with quiet confidence. However, a poor 0-0 draw was played out and the replay proved an inconvenience to an already crammed fixture list for Fulham.

We lost the replay convincingly and our domestic trophy dreams were dead and buried for another season. However, after defeating Shakhtar Donestk, the trophy holders, in the first knockout stage of the Europa League, one dream was still alive.

The next round of the cup drew us against Juventus. The Italian giants and firm favourites to lift the trophy itself. We traveled to Turin and fought out a 3-1 loss; with our away goal proving crucial.

The return leg at the cottage proved to be a magical tie and one that will go down in Fulham folklore. Many fans, myself included, wrote us off well before the game had kicked off. Deep down though, we still believed, and even after conceding an early goal, we replied with the required four to progress to the next round. It was a night that will never be forgotten for the spirit the Fulham players showed.

Next, concentration turned to Europe. Our League form dipped slightly as Roy turned his attentions, rightly, to our fledging European campaign. We had already stifled the critics and we weren't going to let German champions VFL Wolfsburg spoil the party.

Fulham comprehensively beat the Germans with more than a little help from Bobby Zamora, who has proven himself to be a prolific goalscorer as well as a terrific target man this year.

The semis beckoned and we faced the hosts; Hamburg. With ash clouds causing devastation to travel arrangements for the Fulham squad, Roy Hodgson and his men arrived in Hamburg by coach; finding time to train on the motorway in the progress.

We battled for a 0-0 draw and the return leg in London proved to be another night for the history books.

We went a goal down to a fascinating Mladen Petric free kick on 22 minutes, which churned chants of 'Stand up, if you still believe' from the Hammersmith End.

The players responded gracefully and the Cottage was brought into raptures with splendid strike from Simon Davies followed by a sublime Gera goal. The scenes of jubilation post match created an atmosphere that I will personally cherish for years to come. It was the night we made the final.

And, that final did come around on the 12th May. We wrapped up our Premier League season with disappointing results to Stoke and Arsenal respectively and set our eyes firmly upon the Europa League final.

All of England was behind us as we turned up in Hamburg, again, to face Atletico Madrid. We were, as always in this competition, underdogs. However, as the story of this fantastic campaign goes; Fulham fans never stopped believing.

We conceded first yet again but Davies responded well and carried the game into extra time.

Extra time though, was our downfall, and with little under 4 minutes remaining, former Manchester United forward Diego Forlan dealt a cruel blow to the Whites.

We had lost the final but our pride was still intact. The loss capped off a season to remember, but, it failed to extinguish the hurt of 131 years without a major trophy to taunt.

Maybe next year, hey?


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=198833#ixzz0o4xix06i

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2010, 09:28:19 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7153
Mo ready to splash out?
by DAN on MAY 16, 2010

A piece in this morning’s Sunday Mirror suggests that Mohamed Al Fayed will invest the funds he’s gained by the recent sale of Harrods in improving the playing squad.

The piece asserts that Roy Hodgson, who is ‘in line for a pay rise’ after guiding Fulham to the Europa League final, will be handed a transfer budget of £25m. That seems a serious outlay – and I’d trust Roy to spend it a little more sensibly than Sanchez.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2010, 09:30:04 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7155
Bobby poised to sign long-term deal
by DAN on MAY 16, 2010

Lydia’s already filled you in on the rumours linking Bobby Zamora with a summer move away from Fulham, but the Sunday Mirror seems to think our talisman is set to sign a four-year contract during the close season.

That ties in with the cheeky quote Zamora gave the Guardian in a report about his injury problems and the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup:

A new contract would be lovely.

We think so too.


Offline ScalleysDad

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (16.05.10)
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2010, 02:44:21 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7153
Mo ready to splash out?
by DAN on MAY 16, 2010

A piece in this morning’s Sunday Mirror suggests that Mohamed Al Fayed will invest the funds he’s gained by the recent sale of Harrods in improving the playing squad.

The piece asserts that Roy Hodgson, who is ‘in line for a pay rise’ after guiding Fulham to the Europa League final, will be handed a transfer budget of £25m. That seems a serious outlay – and I’d trust Roy to spend it a little more sensibly than Sanchez.

As Mo has a few quid burning a hole in his post office account one of the better 'signings' could be writing off the debt and then letting us put in some foundations. Huw Jennings was a start, Billy Mac could do with some long term back up and a commitment to the reserves structure,(put Murph and Duff through their badges), bring back that curry franchise and sign Forlan so that he can takes Nevs place on the bench.