Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...  (Read 3500 times)

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Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« on: February 02, 2014, 05:41:42 PM »
 
More woe for Rene as outcast Ruiz slams Fulham's 'fighting football' under new man

More embarrassment has been bestowed on Rene Meulensteen after Bryan Ruiz claimed the new Fulham head coach is sucking the life out of the club's flair players.

The 28-year-old was shipped out on loan to PSV Eindhoven for the remainder of the season last month and looks to have no future at Craven Cottage.

And he has questioned Meulensteen's methods after they slipped to the foot of the Premier League.


Angry: Bryan Ruiz has slammed Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen for changing the style of play

Worried: Meulensteen has seen his rooted Fulham fail to score in their last three Premier League games


'Meulensteen wants Fulham playing fighting football but that is not my style,' Ruiz said.

'I should be using my talent, not scrapping for every inch.'

Fulham prop up the top flight after failing to score in any of their last three games, culminating in a 3-0 defeat at home to Southampton on Saturday.

Meulensteen opted to allow Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov leave in January, choosing to bring in Clint Dempsey, Tottenham's Lewis Holtby and spending £12.4million on striker Konstantinos Mitroglou, who is more of a physical presence up front.

There were suggestions that Ruiz and co aren't the sort of characters Fulham need - clearly a belief Meulensteen shares given the transfer activity - but the Costa Rican thinks that's nonsense.

'There is nothing wrong with my attitude - I like to play stylish football.'


Not up for it? Ruiz was shipped out on loan to PSV amid suggestions his attitude wasn't right



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2550395/More-woe-Rene-outcast-Ruiz-slams-Fulhams-fighting-football-new-man.html#ixzz2sBgwb5xy
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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 05:43:01 PM »
 
Holtby: Fight Goes On

Lewis Holtby insists that Fulham will keep fighting for the points following their 3-0 defeat to Southampton.

Holtby: We'll Keep Fighting



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/02/holtby-reaction?

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 05:44:14 PM »
 
Relegation writing on the wall for Fulham after latest loss
Fulham have lost four games in a row and are showing no signs of turning things around



A 3-0 loss to Southampton sent Fulham to the basement of the Premier League and they look destined to stay there this season, according to Ladbrokes.

The Saints’ England trio of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez all found the back of the Fulham net at Craven Cottage to, along with results elsewhere in the division, send them to the foot of the league table.

The west London side are now the 4/11 favourites to be relegated this season and it looks hard to oppose that price on current form.

Rene Meulensteen has now lost four Premier League games on the spin as Fulham boss, and the side have claimed victory just three times in the last 16 league outings.

The damning stats continue to rack up against Mohamed Al-Fayed’s former club, who have lost their last three matches to nil and have conceded two or more goals in seven of their last nine.

In such dire form a side usually relies on their home form to try and dig themselves out of the hole they finds themselves in, except Fulham don’t have any.

Craven Cottage has been the easiest stadium for opposing teams to travel to this season, with eight clubs leaving London with three points so far and just three unlucky enough to depart empty handed.

With Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton all still to make the friendliest trip in top-flight football, it seems the former Manchester United coach has an unsaveable situation on his hands.

The January transfer window was a productive one for the Cottagers, especially on deadline day with Lewis Holtby, Johnny Heitinga and Kostas Mitroglou joining the side.

However, with defence an issue – Fulham have conceded the most goals in the division this season – the attacking flair that Holtby and Mitroglou will provide doesn’t look like it’ll be enough to keep Fulham up.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.


http://news.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/football/premier-league/relegation-writing-on-the-wall-for-fulham-after-latest-loss_186118.html


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 05:45:40 PM »
 
Fulham failed in £5m deadline day bid for Man Utd midfielder – report

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard was a deadline day target for Premier League strugglers Fulham.

The Londoners managed to bring in two Manchester United players on deadline day – Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole – however according to the Mirror, the Cottagers wanted another as they also bid for Jesse Lingard.

The England U21 international is a Manchester United academy product, and has spent time over the last two years gaining valuable experience in the Championship on loan at Leicester City and Birmingham City.

This season, the 21-year-old joined Birmingham City on an initial one month loan deal. Lingard had a memorable debut as he scored an impressive four goals, with Birmingham afterwards subsequently extending his loan at the Midlands side until January.

His performances and six goals in 13 appearances certainly attracted interest. Premier League strugglers Fulham decided to tempt United with a reported £5m bid, however David Moyes knocked that back – believing the youngster still has a big future at Old Trafford.

Lingard has gone on and made no secret of his desire to succeed at Old Trafford, recently telling MUTV that he wished to emulate fellow attacking midfielder Adnan Januzaj by breaking into the first-team:

"I think I've got stronger now and mentally stronger as well,"

"I've been training with the first team all week and feel like I'm back now. It was hard to get back in the fold after missing a couple of games at Birmingham [through suspension] but I feel good now I'm back training at Manchester United.”

"I just want to hopefully break into the United first team. That is my main aim. If not, go out on loan again. I just want to play regular football week in and week out."



http://hereisthecity.com/en-gb/2014/02/02/tt-fulham-failed-in-5m-deadline-day-bid-for-man-utd-midfielder-r/?

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 05:46:21 PM »
 
When Will Mitroglou Play?
   
The last day of the transfer window saw Fulham Football Club break their transfer record fee by signing Kostas Mitroglou.

In paying Olympiakos £12.5 million, it was hoped that Mitroglou would be our saviour, by scoring the goals that would keep us up.

Introduced to the Craven Cottage faithful, ahead of the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton, he must have sat in the stands and wondered what he`d let himself in for,

But, whilst we all pray for something akin to the miracle we need to avoid relegation, there`s something else to ponder over.

It would appear we don`t know when Mitroglou will actually make his debut with Rene Meulensteen admitting,

"We have to wait and see how he responds to training."

Can someone please tell Rene time is currently of the essence!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348181#ixzz2sBiPGwjl

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 05:47:59 PM »
 
Time to Panic
   
Our perilous league position, not only are we in the bottom three but we`re bottom of the pile, is leading to some interesting tabloid talk.

With Fulham having lost 13 of their last 16 Premier League fixtures, the intimation being bandied about by one leading tabloid is that Rene Meulensteen could be axed and Alan Curbishley moved into the managerial chair.

Meulensteen in quoting,

"It`s the biggest challenge Fulham have faced for many years."

May well have summed up our plight and with our next two games being against Manchester United and Liverpool, the tabloid in question suggests that a brave decision might be made to bring in Curbishley, moving him sideways from his current role as Technical Director.

Would this be a panic measure or merely the sensible thing to do?

Your thoughts please!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348182#ixzz2sBipIFF6


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 05:49:00 PM »
 
Two Out of Three Ain`t Bad!
   
Rene Meulensteen`s previous experience in the Manchester United camp certainly proved useful on transfer deadline day.

Rene managed to persuade Manchester United part with both Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe in a deal said to be worth £3 million. The young midfielders should serve Fulham well in the future.

However, it appears that plans to bring a third United youngster to Craven Cottage, the England U21 star Jesse Lingard failed.

It`s being reported that United were offered £5 million for the youngster but United wouldn`t do business with the player also wanting to stay and fight for his United future, remarking to the media,

"I just want to hopefully break into the United first team. That`s my main aim."

I guess two out of three ain`t bad!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348185#ixzz2sBj5rUnt

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 05:50:18 PM »
 
Berba exit shocks Cottagers

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen admits to having been taken by surprise after striker Dimitar Berbatov completed his move to Monaco on transfer deadline day.

The Cottagers played without the Bulgarian striker on Saturday and slipped to the bottom of the standings after losing 3-0 at home against Southampton.

Meulensteen revealed he was side-tracked by the French club's late bid for his star marksman, saying: "It was (a surprise). I kept saying to you all that there hadn't been any offers.

"It wasn't a last-minute change of mind with Dimitar because there hadn't been any offers. He was a Fulham player and he wanted to be a Fulham player.

"When those things suddenly come you're going to weigh things up. Obviously the player makes his desire to take the opportunity clear and you can't stand in the way of that."

The former Manchester United assistant coach added that he is now banking record-signing Kostas Mitroglou and Lewis Holtby to lift the club out of trouble.

"That's done," he continued. "We have added some really good faces ourselves and hopefully they can bring something to the team that will liven the place up."



http://www.football411.com/story/0,22162,14287_9147188,00.html?

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2014, 05:51:06 PM »
 
A Little Confused?
   
There`s a lovely story I stumbled upon in the press this morning.

It would seem that when the Spanish outfit, Valencia, made a surprise move to land Philippe Senderos on transfer deadline day confusion somewhat reigned.

In announcing the capture of the Swiss international defender Valencia, posted on their official web-site a picture of Brede Hangeland.

Now I wonder, did someone really get their wires crossed?


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348192#ixzz2sBjaqslm


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2014, 05:52:02 PM »
 
In the Record Books!
   
Is it something we should be proud of, or something that really is totally irrelevant?

According to those wonderful people that produce statistics, Fulham made history yesterday when we lost 3-0 to Southampton.

It turns out we became the first team in Premier League history to only draw 1 of our first 24 Premier League games.

Right now I`m wishing we`d drawn anther three or four as those additional points might well be life-savers come May!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348196#ixzz2sBjo77Fm

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2014, 05:53:00 PM »
 
Meulensteen assesses Kvist and Holtby after Southampton loss

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen was pleased with the introductions of Tottenham loanee Lewis Holtby and new signing William Kvist, despite a heavy home defeat to Southampton.

The 3-0 defeat saw Meulensteen’s side fall to the foot of the table, evaporating the renewed optimism brought by their late flurry of transfer activity.

Six players arrived and four players departed Craven Cottage during a 48-hour period, but only two of the new arrivals, Lewis Holtby and William Kvist, were registered in time to feature against Southampton.

“It was William’s first game in the Premier League coming from the Bundesliga,” Meulensteen said.

“Lewis is a fantastic footballer and it speaks volumes for them that they’ve chosen to come to Fulham.

“It was a typical last-minute transfer window. Dimitar Berbatov made his desire clear that he wanted to take the opportunity [to go to Monaco] and you can’t stand in his way.

“But that’s done, that’s gone, and we added some really good faces to the squad. Hopefully they can help us liven the place up.”



http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/meulensteen_assesses_kvist_and_holtby_after_southampton_loss_1_3273212

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 05:54:44 PM »
 
Relegation worries grow at Fulham

Fulham suffered a 3-0 hammering at home to Southampton yesterday and slipped to the bottom of the Premier League.

The result from the Cottagers was disappointing, despite the Saints superb second half display.

Worrying

It is very tight in the battle to avoid the drop in the Premier League. However, Fulham’s situation will be a worrying one for everybody connected with the club. The descent towards the bottom of the table has been a tough one.

The likes of Sunderland and Crystal Palace have hit a bit of form, while Cardiff and West Ham both picked up vital victories in yesterday’s games.

Fulham are one of the few teams at the bottom of the Premier League table that do not look like picking up points at present.

Difficult

The Cottagers now have two very difficult games to come. Rene Meulensteen’s men travel to Manchester United next week and then host free-scoring Liverpool at Craven Cottage. Fulham then face a relegation battle with West Brom, before hosting title challengers Chelsea at Craven Cottage.

By the time that Fulham face the Baggies, they could be cut adrift in the race to stay in the top-flight. They cannot afford to lose ground on the teams above them, but at the moment it is hard to see the Cottagers picking up anything from the next two games.

Manchester United be looking to get back to winning ways after that 2-1 defeat at Stoke yesterday, while Liverpool are in the thick of the race for the top four.

Signings

Fulham were one of the most active teams on transfer deadline day. The Cottagers strengthened their defence, midfield and forward line in attempt to improve the team’s fortunes. Dutch international centre-back Johnny Heitinga arrived from Everton, while German international Lewis Holtby arrived from Spurs on-loan for the rest of the season.

The other signing could be the biggest of the lot, with Greek international Kostas Mitroglou arriving from Olympiakos. The striker had reportedly attracting the interest of Arsenal earlier in the season, after scoring 17 goals in 19 appearances this season.

Scoring goals have been a problem for the Cottagers this season, with the Londoners having scored just 22 goals in their 24 Premier League games so far this season. Mitroglou certainly knows where the net is, but it is a matter of how quickly he can find his feet in the Premier League.

A man that will be looking to supply Mitroglou with scoring chances will be Lewis Holtby, who arrived at Tottenham in last year’s January transfer window. The 23-year-old Germany international has struggled to establish himself in the Spurs midfield.

However, Holtby is highly-rated and will be desperate to prove his quality in the Premier League with the Cottagers, especially with the World Cup in June.

Boss

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen is very much a rookie in terms of being a number one. The Dutchman was a highly-regarded coach in the Manchester United setup, before leaving Old Trafford when David Moyes arrived from Everton.

His appointment by the Cottagers was very much a gamble considering his lack of Premier League managerial experience and lack of managerial experience in general.

The inexperienced Fulham boss inherited an aging squad of players from compatriot Martin Jol, who were low on confidence and had endured some really poor results. The results have not really improved under Meulensteen.

In the first half of yesterday’s game the Cottagers could have taken the lead, with Darren Bent being denied on a number of occasions by Saints keeper Artur Boruc. However, they did not find a breakthrough and the Saints went on to gain a comfortable win with three second half goals.

Fulham fans will be questioning whether Meulensteen is the right man for the job at the moment. The Cottagers hierarchy took a chance appointing the Dutchman and so far it does not look to have paid off.

Goal difference

One major disadvantage that the Cottagers have in the fight for survival is their goal difference. Meulensteen’s team have a goal difference of -31, which is nine worse than their closest competitors Cardiff City.

Fulham have conceded an incredible 53 goals this season in the top-flight, which is 20 more than some of the teams around them. Fulham find themselves in their current predicament because they simple concede too many goals and do not score enough. It really is not rocket science.

Favourites

Fulham have not yet been cut-adrift, but are current favourites to be relegated this season and there odds of 14/1 to win at Old Trafford in their next match are probably fair on current form.

It currently looks like it will be very difficult for Fulham to escape the drop this season. However, the Cottagers first half display against the Saints and the new signings will give Fulham fans some cause for optimism, even if they do currently sit bottom of the Premier League table.



http://www.soccernews.com/relegation-worries-grow-fulham/137410/?


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 05:56:18 PM »
 
Fulham target Alfred Finnbogason slams current club Heerenveen as Premier League switch falls through

The Icelandic striker has been in excellent form this season and was also linked with Everton and West Ham but was left frustrated by his hefty price tag


Disappointed: Finnbogason wanted to make a Premier League switch
Getty

Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason has shown his anger at the club for reportedly rejecting an £8million deadline day bid from Fulham.

The 24-year-old tops the Eredivisie's goalscoring charts with 20 so far this campaign and was linked with a potential switch to Everton in December.

West Ham were also thought to be interested but according to Goal.com, it was Rene Meulensteen's Cottagers who made a move for the Icelandic hitman, which was rejected by Heerenveen.

And after being asked about the move falling through, Finnbogason made his frustrations clear.

He said: "They always said they wanted €10million for me and now they didn't co-operate.

"I am disappointed in Heerenveen because I can't play in the Premier League."

Meulensteen brought in as many as five new faces late on in the window, most notably Kostas Mitroglou, who arrived from Olympiakos for close to £12million.

John Heitinga and Manchester United youngsters Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe also arrived at Craven Cottage, joining Lewis Holtby and William Kvist, who made their debuts against Southampton yesterday.

Unfortunately, the quintet's arrival did not have the desired effect as Fulham suffered a 3-0 defeat, which saw them slip to the bottom of the Premier League table.

Meulensteen will hope to include the rest of his January recruits for next Sunday's trip to Old Trafford to face former employers Manchester United.



http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/fulham-target-alfred-finnbogason-slams-3105099#ixzz2sBkqbA29
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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 05:57:51 PM »
 
Fulham Set To Replace Manager Rene Meulensteen With Technical Director Alan Curbishley



Cottagers are currently bottom of the table.

Struggling Premier League outfit Fulham are already set to relieve under-pressure head coach Rene Meulensteen of his first-team duties at Craven Cottage and replace the Dutchman with Alan Curbishley, according to reports in the Sunday Mirror.

The former Manchester United assistant coach has struggled to turn around the west London club’s fortunes since he took over from compatriot Martin Jol in the Cottagers hot seat before Christmas.

In fact, so far under the new manager Fulham have slumped to eight defeats in 10 Premier League contests, including Saturday’s 3-0 home reverse against Southampton that now sees the west Londoners propping up the top flight.

And it is understood that unless their is significant improvement in the club’s form in their next three Premier League fixtures, two of which are against Liverpool and Manchester United, then Meulensteen will be given his marching orders to be replaced by technical director Curbishley.

“Without doubt, this is the biggest challenge I have ever faced in ­football. And it is the biggest ­challenge this club has faced,” he said after the Saints loss.

“What we cannot afford to do is lay down and feel sorry for ourselves. We cannot do anything about what has gone. We can only get as many points as we can from the 14 matches we have left.”



http://www.caughtoffside.com/2014/02/02/fulham-set-to-replace-manager-rene-meulensteen-with-technical-director-alan-curbishley/?

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 05:59:01 PM »
 
FA Cup Preview: Fulham v Sheffield United

An FA Cup fourth-round replay against Sheffield United on Tuesday will give struggling Fulham an opportunity to restore some pride.

The London club's miserable season reached a new low on Saturday when they dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table with a 3-0 home defeat against Southampton.

Rene Meulensteen's side are without a win in four games and have scored just one goal in those fixtures.

Hugo Rodallega found the back of the net to salvage a replay at Bramall Lane on January 26 after 10-man United looked set to pull off a shock win.

Meulensteen has described the task he faces at Craven Cottage as the biggest challenge of his career to date and the Fulham head coach could really do with a morale-boosting win against Nigel Clough's League One side.

The former Manchester United coach's priority is to keep Fulham in the top flight, but a cup run could provide valuable momentum.

Meulensteen attempted to turn his side's fortunes around by bringing in several new faces during the transfer window.

Greece striker Konstantinos Mitroglou will be expected to add some much-needed firepower following his move from Olympiakos for an undisclosed fee - reported to be £12million.

However, Mitroglou, Larnell Cole, Lewis Holtby, Ryan Tunnicliffe, William Kvist and John Heitinga are not eligible to feature on Tuesday as they were not registered when the original tie was played.

Fulham have doubts over John Arne Riise (hamstring), Fernando Amorebieta (knee) and Matthew Briggs (hernia).

Sheffield United also come into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat on Saturday, at the hands of Crewe Alexandra.

Clough was puzzled by his side's lacklustre display at Gresty Road against another side battling to avoid relegation.

United, who pulled off a stunning win at Aston Villa in the third round, are now without a win in four games across all competitions, but gave Fulham a real scare when the two sides met last month.

Chris Porter put United in front, but their hopes of reaching the fifth round suffered a major setback when Michael Doyle was sent off early in the second half and Rodallega denied them 15 minutes from time.

Porter has been struggling with a hamstring injury and dropped to the bench at Crewe, but the former Derby County striker could start at Craven Cottage.

Midfielder Doyle serves the second instalment of a three-match ban as a result of his dismissal in the first tie between the two clubs.



http://uk.soccerway.com/news/2014/February/02/fa-cup-preview-fulham-v-sheffield-united/


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2014, 04:43:37 AM »
 
Fulham – the Fight for Survival

11th May 2008 – Danny Murphy’s 76th minute winner for Fulham away at Portsmouth keeps the Club in the Premier League on goal difference.

Just six years later, it’s a case of déjà vu all over again for Fulham. Managerial change mid-way through the season, large murmurs of discontent, and a slow start under a new manager. Ironically, the squad which had worked the club into 19th position (at the time of writing) was substantially better than those that had been placed in a frail position six years previously. The names of Kamara, Healy, Bullard and Keller dithered in comparison to the household names of Berbatov, Bent, Parker and Stekelenburg. By all accounts they should be, at minimum, lower mid-table, regardless of their age. The wavering influence of Martin Jol, in his third season in charge, however, followed by a string of inconsistent performances under head coach Rene Meulensteen has driven Fulham to the brink. Here, I look to analyse the different components of this trouble, and the remaining hopes the relegation-riddled club have of surviving the drop – undoubtedly boosted by a chaotic January transfer deadline day.

Transfers
2007/8
A brief glance at the incomings and outgoings of Roy Hodgson’s revival era will read
In: Brede Hangeland, Leon Andreasen, Eddie Johnson, Toni Kallio, Jari Litmanen (all undisclosed fees) and Paul Stalteri (loan)
Out: A series a fringe or youth players on loan – no permanent exits.

Roy Hodgson had seemingly exhausted all his European contacts to find players who could fit the bill – hard working mixed with quality. Undoubtedly, the influential Brede Hangeland, although taking his time to adopt to the league was absolutely vital to the revival – Fulham were leaking goals (42, by February 1st) of all sorts before his arrival, and his partnership with Aaron Hughes turned out to be nothing short of sensational. Other than Paul Stalteri, the remainder of these transfers played a minimal, if any (looking at you, Jari Litmanen) part in the incredible escape.

2013/14
In: Clint Dempsey (loan), Konstantinos Mitroglou (£11m), Jonny Heitinga (free), Larnell Cole, Ryan Tunnicliffe (both undisclosed), Lewis Holtby (loan), William Kvist (loan)
Out: Phillippe Senderos (undisclosed), Bryan Ruiz (loan), Aaron Hughes (free), Dimitar Berbatov (loan), Adel Taarabt (loan terminated)

Instantly, all the names on both the incomings and outgoings list strike a startling difference to that of the list above – most, if not all names, are well known. The low-profile signings of Roy Hodgson pale in comparison to the club pulling out all the stops in order to sign prolific Mitroglou, the high-quality Lewis Holtby, and experienced Jonny Heitinga. A different owner is probably a different factor to consider here – with club legend Mohammed Al Fayed selling to American Shahid Khan in the summer of 2013, who seemed to have realised the importance of supporting the manager in his aspirations of keeping the club in the league. Supposing – fairly – that Holtby walks into the first team, alongside Mitroglou (following Berbatov’s exit), the first team instantly has a better feel to it – more hard workers, as well as a more fluent side. Jonny Heitinga will be an improvement on Senderos, who has divided opinions of fans – any good game which the Swiss centre-back will have can, and usually will, be undone in an instant by a fatal mistake, which a team just cannot afford to risk. As vital as the additions are, it would be foolish to overlook the outgoings. The lax, indifferent attitudes brought by Berbatov, Ruiz, and at times, Taarabt were simply proving to be too costly. All three of them are undoubtedly classy – just look to Berbatov’s first season at the club, Ruiz’s…rare league moment of glory and Taarabt’s ability to take on a man (and another…and another…) but the laidback application of that talent was a liability waiting to happen. The hope remains that, as the luxurious players have been shown the door, and players of a harder work ethic have been introduced, the team can start on a remarkable run of form and remain in the league.

Tactics
Roy Hodgson
Briefly looking at the nature of Roy Hodgson’s Fulham – a neat 4-4-2 system was adopted. The full-back system of Stalteri and Konchesky provided width whilst remaining solid in defence. The team that finished the season at Fratton Park lined up as:
Keller, Stalteri, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Bullard, Dempsey Kamara, McBride.
The grit and determination of each of these players to get a result when required was astonishing. Following the comebacks from long-term injury, Dempsey, McBride and Bullard played an influential role in the escape – with each getting crucial goals or assists along the way. Alongside the reinvention of Danny Murphy and Simon Davies, and the more solid back four with a tinge of attacking nous, this well-built team were relatively hard to break down and knew when to get forward.

Martin Jol
Martin Jol, early 2013/14 favoured his previously ‘successful’ formation (I use that term loosely following an appalling run of form towards the end of the season) of a 4-2-3-1; a more modern twist on the 4-5-1 formation. Jol’s favoured XI was something more close to:
Stekelenburg, Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Richardson, Parker, Sidwell, Kasami, Ruiz, Dejagah, Berbatov
This team’s weaknesses were truly exploited towards the last ten months of Jol’s regime when the distinct lack of pace, in addition to Ruiz’s hold up play, left the team essentially playing without a striker – Berbatov getting on the scoresheet only five times in the entire season before being loaned out to Monaco in the January window.

Rene Meulensteen
The new manager started his first game against an out-of-sorts Tottenham team with an altered 4-3-3 formation; with three narrow-minded central midfielders in Karagounis, Kasami and Parker. This system initially seemed to complement the pacey wingers in Dejagah and the bane of commentators, Alex Kacaniklic. The formation appeared to work, with a fantastic performance deserving more than a 1-2 defeat at the hand of two great strikes by Spurs. The following three games produced equally enthralling performances, against Aston Villa (home), Everton (away) and Manchester City (home). Unfortunately, only three points were gained from these, and there seemed to be a dip in subsequent performances. Wins were picked up against West Ham (home) and Norwich (away), but heavy defeats to Sunderland (home), Hull (away) and failure to pick up points in crucial fixtures has left Fulham’s Premier League status in the balance. Following the January transfer window, the starting XI would also seem to be about to varied, with the expected introductions of Holtby in midfield and Mitroglou as a striker; presumably with Jonny Heitinga ahead of Dan Burn as Hangeland’s centre-back partner – once all are eligible to play (only Holtby of those signed on the deadline day are available against Southampton).

The increased focus on youth should also add a certain energy and stamina that has been lacking of late, Mitroglou is 25, Holtby 22, with Cole and Tunicliffe 20 and 21 respectively. If you take into account the average age of Martin Jol’s XI was approximately 30 years old, this contrasts with Meulensteen’s potential lineup (including Holtby, Mitroglou and Heitinga) which would average at 28 years. That two year difference, in theory, should provide the additional energy to drive somewhat of a revival. Reinforcements have also allowed for more dedication and nous on the pitch – Heitinga’s solidarity should improve upon the uncertain Senderos, while Holtby has always given all his effort on a football pitch. Whether it will or not, is down to the players, and one thing is for certain – it will not be easy. As this is being typed, relegation rivals Sunderland and West Ham are comfortably on course for three points each.

Final Thoughts
Essentially, the battle to survive the drop is still a very tough mission facing Fulham. Following a frantic January transfer window, however, the club has been given a massive boost with money being spent on high quality players. Whether these players are introduced immediately, however, and whether they can gel quickly enough to fire the club to safety is still an issue that only time will tell. The spending has undoubtedly been a risk, but it may just have been the necessary glue to stick a side full of good players into a cohesive, fluent team capable of getting results. And if Fulham are to avoid they drop, they will need to do it the hard way, with the second half fixtures including Manchester United at Old Trafford, a brilliant Liverpool side and the dreaded trip up to the Etihad Stadium. But the battle begins today, at home, against a very good Southampton side. Will it be difficult? Of course. Is it impossible? No. Until mathematically concrete, nothing in football is certain – especially with a side who have coined a term specifically for their strange moments of madness (both positive and negative): ‘Fulhamish.’


http://www.breadandbutterfootball.com/fulham-the-fight-for-survival/?

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2014, 04:46:21 AM »
 
Vulnerable Fulham left deep in the minuses on goal difference

When Jay Rodriguez scored Southampton’s third at Craven Cottage on Saturday, it took Fulham’s goal difference to minus 31. Since goal difference replaced goal average in 1976, only Wigan in 2010 have survived in top-flight football with a worse figure than Fulham have now.

Roberto Martinez’s side finished 16th despite losing 8-0 at Chelsea and 9-1 at Tottenham and finishing on minus 42. However, given that it is two months since their last clean sheet, a repetition looks beyond Fulham.

The 3-0 defeat saw Meulensteen’s side fall to the foot of the table, evaporating the optimism brought on by a late flurry of transfer activity.

Six players arrived in the last two days of the window, but only Lewis Holtby and William Kvist were registered in time to feature on Saturday. “It was William’s first game in the Premier League,” Meulensteen said. “Lewis is a fantastic footballer and it speaks volumes for them that they’ve chosen to come to Fulham. Hopefully they can help us liven the place up.”

They will need to be quick.


http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/vulnerable-fulham-left-deep-in-the-minuses-on-goal-difference-9102785.html

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2014, 03:42:26 PM »
 
Spurs boss has high hopes for Lewis Holtby at Fulham

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood is hopeful that Lewis Holtby will be able to prove his worth during his loan spell at Fulham.

The 23-year-old made 22 appearances for Spurs during the first half of the season and scored the winner against the Whites in December, but dropped down the pecking order after Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking.

The German made the move across London to Craven Cottage and made his debut it the Whites’ 3-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday.

“It’s good that he stayed in the Premier League and I’m sure he will play regular football there at Fulham,” Sherwood said.

“He’s a good lad, we will keep an eye on him, and hopefully he will come and play some games for us next year.”

Holtby has found it difficult to impress during his time at White Hart Lane and Sherwood hopes he’ll be able to adapt further to the Premier League with regular football at Fulham.

He added: “Has he struggled to adapt? - That is a matter of opinions.

“I feel he’s adapted, it’s just that we’ve got a lot of traffic in that area of the field, nd I preferred others to him.

“It’s up to him to prove me wrong. He’s only a young kid, isn’t he?

“It’s all about adapting in the Premier League and it’s easier to adapt in the Premier League when you’re playing.”


http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/spurs_boss_has_high_hopes_for_lewis_holtby_at_fulham_1_3278775


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2014, 03:44:22 PM »
 
Fulham - Sheffield United Preview: Meulensteen's men aiming for FA Cup fifth round

The Cottagers slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Southampton on Saturday and are without a win in four games but their deadline-day signings are ineligible to feature

An FA Cup fourth-round replay at home to Sheffield United on Tuesday will give struggling Fulham an opportunity to restore some pride.

The Cottagers' miserable season reached another low on Saturday when they dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table with a 3-0 home defeat against Southampton.

Rene Meulensteen's side are without a win in four games and have scored just one goal in those fixtures.

Hugo Rodallega found the back of the net to salvage a replay at Bramall Lane on January 26 after 10-man United looked set to pull off a shock win.

Meulensteen has described the task facing him at Craven Cottage as the biggest challenge of his career to date and the Fulham coach could do with a morale-boosting win against Nigel Clough's League One side.

The Dutchman attempted to turn his side's fortunes around by bringing in several new faces during the transfer window. Greece striker Konstantinos Mitroglou will be expected to add some much-needed firepower following his move from Olympiacos but he, Larnell Cole, Lewis Holtby, Ryan Tunnicliffe, William Kvist and John Heitinga are all ineligible to feature on Tuesday as they were not registered when the original tie was played.

Fulham have doubts over John Arne Riise (hamstring), Fernando Amorebieta (knee) and Matthew Briggs (hernia).

Sheffield United also come into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat on Saturday, at the hands of Crewe Alexandra. Clough was puzzled by his side's lacklustre display at Gresty Road against another side battling to avoid relegation.

United, who pulled off a stunning win at Aston Villa in the third round, are now without a win in four games across all competitions but gave Fulham a real scare when the two sides met in January.

Chris Porter put United in front, but their hopes of reaching the fifth round suffered a major setback when Michael Doyle was sent off early in the second half and Rodallega denied them 15 minutes from time.

Porter has been struggling with a hamstring injury and was dropped to the bench at Crewe but the former Derby County striker could start at Craven Cottage. Doyle serves the second game of a three-match ban as a result of his dismissal in the first tie between the two clubs.



http://www.goal.com/en-gb/match/129485/fulham-vs-sheffield-united/preview

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03/02/14)...
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2014, 03:46:24 PM »
 
Former Hatters starlet Woodrow recalled by Fulham


Cauley Woodrow, Southend United

Ex-Town striker Cauley Woodrow has been recalled by Premier League Fulham from his loan spell at Southend due to a lack of game time.

The 19-year-old striker had been expected to remain at Roots Hall until the end of the season.

Frustrated Shrimpers boss Phil Brown said: “Fulham deciding to call back Cauley is disappointing news from my point of view.

“Fulham said they had done it because he wasn’t starting matches but Cauley was certainly developing as a player with us and sampled an awful lot.

“Apart from when he was suspended he was involved in every game, he made 10 starts, scored winning goals, was sent off and was getting plenty of experience.

“With Barry Corr, Kevan Hurst and Anthony Straker all pulling up trees it was hard for Cauley to get in the side at this stage but he was still very involved so it’s a real shame this has happened.

Woodrow left Luton for the Cottagers in 2011 in a £150,000 deal that could rise to seven figures.

He joined Southend in early September, scoring four goals in 22 appearances for them.

Brown added: “There aren’t many players of his age who start in every game but it’s Fulham’s decision at the end of the day.

“We wish Cauley all the very best for the future because he’s a great lad and we will have to carry on with what we’ve got.”



http://www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk/sport/luton-town-fc/former-hatters-starlet-woodrow-recalled-by-fulham-1-5851226