Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...  (Read 3183 times)

Offline whitejc

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Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« on: February 02, 2014, 08:58:26 AM »
 
England youngsters make late Fulham switch


Larnell Cole in training with England U20s.  2013 The FA

\
Ryan Tunnicliffe in action for England U17s against Italy in 2008.


England youngsters Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe completed a last-minute switch to Fulham on Friday evening, beating the transfer deadline to leave Manchester United behind.

The midfield pair signed for the Cottagers for an undisclosed fee after agreeing terms until 2017 with the west London outfit.

And the pair will now relish the opportunity to try and play more first-team football under Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen, who knows them both well from his time working at Old Trafford.

Cole was part of the England U20 squad which travelled to Turkey for last summer's FIFA U20 World Cup and has also featured for the Three Lions at U19 and U17 level.

A skilful, intelligent and pacy player, the 20-year-old spent time on loan with Leicester City last season but has found his chances at Old Trafford limited under David Moyes this term.

And 21-year-old Tunnicliffe has spent time on loan with Championship side Ipswich Town this season after similar spells with Peterborough United and Barnsley in recent years.

He has represented England at U16 and u17 level, although hasn't featured at international level since 2009.

Speaking about the switch, Tunnicliffe told FulhamFC.com: "I’ve known René since I was nine and there was talk when he took over that he was interested in me, so it’s just picked up steam this week really and I’m here now and glad to sign.

"René didn’t have to sell Fulham to me, for a start they’re in the Premier League and I want to play at the highest level. I know René and I know he’s a great coach so I’m just excited to work for him.

"I want to play at the highest level I possibly can and, to me, that’s the Premier League because it’s the best league in the world.

"I want to play as many games as I can and improve as a player because I’m only young, and we’ll see where we go from there."



Read more at http://www.thefa.com/news/england/development/2014/feb/larnell-cole-ryan-tunnicliffe-join-fulham-010214?#g623lpEVshJhZ3DQ.99

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 08:59:35 AM »
 
FFC U18s 2-1 Leicester U18s

Fulham’s Under-18s left it late again to secure a 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Motspur Park on Saturday.

The Whites started brightly, dominating the early play and bossing possession only to fall behind in the 10th minute after some sloppy defending allowed a Leicester player to sneak in at the far post and meet a cross before bundling the ball home.

It was all Fulham for the remainder of the half, but the Whites couldn’t break down a stubborn Leicester defence, with Aaron Redford missing a couple of good chances.

Trailing at the break, the Whites made two changes on 55 minutes, with Patrick Roberts and George Williams entering the fray.

And the Whites levelled five minutes later when Jordan Evans’ corner found Liam Donnelly at the back stick and the defender headed home.

With the game heading for a draw, the Whites snatched victory when good build-up play eventually saw the ball worked to Roberts. His disguised pass found Williams who made no mistake.

It was the third game in a row that Fulham have won a match in the last 10 minutes.

Fulham: Norman, Sheckleford, Donnelly, Adebayo (Burgess 65), Evans, Sambou, Baba, Foday, Leacock-McLeod, Elworthy (Roberts 55), Redford (Williams 55).


http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/01/ffc-u18s-2-1-leicester-u18s?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 09:01:13 AM »
 
Loan watch: Clint Dempsey comes off bench in Fulham’s loss to Southampton

UPDATE — Dempsey played 25 minutes in Fulham’s 3-0 loss Saturday to Southampton.

Sounders FC star Clint Dempsey is on loan with Fulham FC of the English Premier League the next two months, so I figured it might be useful to have a post I can update over that span to keep track of his involvement.

Dempsey was first eligible for a Jan. 1 league game against West Ham United (a 2-1 win) following the opening of the transfer window, but he wasn’t in uniform.

Updates will be posted below:

*     *     *

Date   Opponent   Competition   Result   Note
Jan. 1   vs. West Ham   Premier League   W, 2-1   Did not play, not available on bench
Jan. 4   at Norwich City   FA Cup third round   T, 1-1   Started, played full 90
Jan. 11   vs. Sunderland   Premier League   L, 4-1   Started, played 79 minutes
Jan. 14   vs. Norwich City   FA Cup third round (replay)   W, 3-0   Did not play, was available on bench
Jan. 18   at Arsenal   Premier League   L, 2-0   Started, played full 90
Jan. 25   at Sheffield United   FA Cup fourth round   T, 1-1   Did not play, not available on bench
Jan. 28   at Swansea City   Premier League   L, 2-0   Started, played 71 minutes
Feb. 1   vs. Southampton   Premier League   L, 3-0   Came off bench, played 25 minutes
Feb. 4   Sheffield United   FA Cup fourth round (replay)   –   
Feb. 9   at Manchester United   Premier League   –   
Feb. 12   vs. Liverpool   Premier League   –   
Feb. 15   TBD   FA Cup fifth round   –   If necessary
Feb. 22   West Bromwich Albion   Premier League   –   


http://blogs.seattletimes.com/soundersfc/2014/02/01/loan-watch-clint-dempsey-not-in-action-for-fulham-against-west-ham/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 09:02:43 AM »
 
Southampton beat Fulham with second-half surge to pile on the misery

At the end, there were two delighted managers at Craven Cottage – but Fulham's René Meulensteen was still distressed. Mauricio Pochettino in the visitors' dugout and Roy Hodgson in the stands revelled in the excellence of Southampton, which was crowned with goals by the England trio of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.

That augurs well for the Saints' European ambitions and perhaps also for England's World Cup hopes, but certainly not for Fulham's Premier League survival prospects.

"This is the hardest challenge I've ever faced in football," admitted Meulensteen, who has been trying to transform Fulham since taking charge in early December and is all too aware that the change may not come quick enough. Games are running out and Fulham, fixtures in the top flight since 2001, are not yet moving in the right direction.

"I was hoping so much going into this game," said Meulensteen, shaking his head at the way Southampton snatched the points. Yet the afternoon began full of promise for the hosts.

After splurging on reinforcements in January, three of their new players – Kostas Mitroglou, Jonny Heitinga and Larnell Cole – were paraded before kick-off, while another two, Lewis Holtby and William Kvist, went straight into the starting lineup. Kvist, a loanee from Stuttgart, made a particularly encouraging early impact, proving a potent presence in midfield. With Steve Sidwell and Scott Parker on patrol alongside him, Fulham had a solid centre that frustrated Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin, both of whom were booked in the first half as they strained to keep parity in the middle.

The barrier erected by the home side initially kept Southampton's most inventive player, Lallana, away from the action and Fulham's solidity gradually seemed to beget a confidence that inspired the team going forward.

Fulham's first threats came from corners. Dan Burn nodded over in the ninth minute before Brede Hangeland went even closer, his header being brilliantly pawed away by Artur Boruc. Then Fulham began to create chances from open play.

The move they conjured in the 35th minute showed the rising feelgood factor. Holtby flitted in from the left and zipped a pass in to Parker, who found Darren Bent with an artful flick. Boruc had to match that brilliance to turn away the striker's volley. "We got some really good opportunities, but we didn't take them," groaned Meulensteen. "Boruc was outstanding. It's so important you give yourself a platform with something to hold on to but we couldn't do that." Mitroglu could be ready to start next week and the pressure will be on the £12.5m striker to convert such chances. Here, however, they were soon made to regret their misses.

Unable to pick a way through Fulham, Southampton's only chances in the first half had come from crosses from the wings, a weak header from Schneiderlin and a mistimed one from Rodriguez being as close as they had come to scoring. But Pochettino adjusted his midfield at half-time, introducing Jack Cork for Wanyama, and Southampton started to get the upper hand in the middle.

Lallana gave a warning of his growing menace when he fired off a snapshot from 20 yards out, forcing a save from Maarten Stekelenburg. Then, in the 64th minute, Cork won possession on halfway to launch the move that gave the visitors the lead. After a rapid salvo of passes from Cork, Schneiderlin and Lambert, Lallana skedaddled into the box to crack a low shot into the net from 10 yards out.

Suddenly Fulham's fragility was exposed. They wilted meekly. Within six minutes, Southampton inflicted further damage. Nathaniel Clyne raced down the right wing and exchanged passes with Steven Davis before sending a perfect cross to Lambert, who swept the ball into the net from 10 yards out.

Five minutes later, Southampton made it 3-0. Lambert launched a swift counter-attack with an exquisite 50-yard pass to Rodriguez, who applied a suitably fine finish, curling the ball into the top corner from 15 yards out.

"You could see the impact the first goal had," said Meulensteen. "It was like a boxer that keeps getting knocked down. It was disastrous to concede two more goals in the next 10 minutes."

Fulham have now conceded 53 goals in the league this season, a toll that could prove ruinous if they ever manage to haul themselves level on points with the team in 17th place.

"We can't look at what other teams do. It is about us," said Meulensteen. "We can't feel sorry for ourselves and just lie down. Hopefully the new faces will bring something to the team and liven the place up."



http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/feb/01/fulham-southampton-premier-league-match-report?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 09:04:43 AM »
 
Fulham 0 Southampton 3: match report
Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Fulham and Southampton on Saturday Feb 1, 2014

New manager, new coaches, new players: same old Fulham. The division’s most porous defence was severely punished by Southampton as Rene Muelensteen’s side sunk to the foot of the table, contemplating fixtures against Manchester United and Liverpool in their bid to avoid relegation.

“It’s about us, no matter what other teams do,” said Muelensteen, who described the job of keeping Fulham up as the “biggest challenge I’ve ever faced”. He said: “It’s all about results and we can’t look at what other teams do but you won’t find a more disappointed group than those players in the dressing room.”

Kostas Mitroglou was introduced to the crowd before kick-off but he may be questioning his decision to turn his back on Champions League football after an abject display from the home side. He should not have too much trouble getting in the team at least.

Muelensteen admitted that he was not sure when the Greek striker would be fit to play and said he was surprised to see Dimitar Berbatov leave the club on deadline day.

There was little to choose between the sides at half-time with Darren Bent twice foiled by saves from Artur Boruc, though in truth he should have scored.

Patient and composed, Mauricio Pochettino’s players were content to dominate possession without creating clear openings, though Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana posed an unrelenting threat each time they featured.

“We’re very calm, we’re very tranquil,” the Argentine said of his team’s recent form. “We have quite a young team and we also don’t have that many players in the squad because that’s what we wanted. The main thing is we haven’t forgotten the philosophy and the style of football we want to play.”

A small glimmer of hope for Fulham amid the winter gloom came in the shape of Lewis Holtby who pivoted well between midfield and attack on his debut and was at the heart of what little attacking football they mustered. Fellow debutant William Kvist was anonymous in a midfield which Southampton dominated.

“Lewis Holtby’s just a fantastic footballer,” Muelensteen said. “To be honest, it speaks volumes that he’s chosen to come to us and I’m absolutely delighted.”

The quality of goals from Saints’ England contingent will have had the watching Roy Hodgson further contemplating their inclusion in his Brazil-bound squad. Shaw’s chances must also be increasing after another impressive display. “If Roy Hodgson was in attendance in the games against Yeovil, Arsenal and Fulham then he would have seen our strikers scoring goals. That was very important for them,” Pochettino said.

Lallana crisply finished the first of Southampton’s superb counter-attacks, picking up Rickie Lambert’s weighted pass to fire across Maarten Stekelenburg.

Seven minutes later Lambert converted after Nathaniel Clyne had sprinted to the byline and cut back to provide the Liverpudlian with a simple finish.

The finest of the three goals was the last as Jay Rodriguez collected Lambert’s wonderful long-range pass, ghosted in from the left and curled a perfectly judged shot into the top-right corner. “He’s off to Brazil,” sang visiting supporters after each goal.
By the time Rodriguez was celebrating his effort, many of Fulham’s fans had left. Those who remained ensured the team left the field to much vituperation and were met by the sort of disconsolate expressions which betrayed a desperate lack of confidence, and perhaps more worryingly, a lack of fight.

Match details
Fulham (4-2-3-1) Stekelenburg 6; Riether 6, Burn 6, Hangeland 6, Richardson 5; Parker 5 (Kasami 73), Kvist 5 (Tankovic 83); Holtby 7, Sidwell 5, Duff 5 (Dempsey 64); Bent 5. Subs Stockdale, Kasami, Kacaniklic, Rodallega, Tankovic, Passley.

Southampton (4-2-3-1) Boruc 7; Chambers 6 (Clyne 58), Fonte 7, Yoshida 7, Shaw 8; Wanyama 6 (Cork 46), Schneiderlin 7; S. Davis 7, Lallana 8, Rodriguez 8 (Gallagher 87); Lambert 8. Subs K. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Hooiveld. Booked Rodriguez, Wanyama, Schneiderlin.

Referee M Jones (Cheshire).



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/10612011/Fulham-0-Southampton-3-match-report.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 09:06:19 AM »
 
Brentford held after late goal cancels out Trotta opener
 
Mark Warburton's men frustrated by late Shrews effort


Marcello Trotta
Shrewsbury 1-1 Brentford

Tom Eaves' 90th minute equaliser denied Brentford all three points at Shrewsbury.

Marcello Trotta's goal midway though the second half looked like being enough to maintain the Bees' stranglehold at the top of League One.

But Eaves fired into the top corner to take the gloss off the afternoon. Even so, the draw extended the Bees' unbeaten league run to 18 games.

Trotta's close-range effort - his 11th goal of the season - came barely a minute after the Italian had a penalty saved - the kick awarded after a foul on Alan Judge.

Line up: Button; Yannaris (Forshaw 50), Craig, Dean, Bidwell; Judge (Grigg 84), McCormack, Douglas, Saville; Trotta (Akpom 78), Donaldson. Subs not used: Lee, O'Connor, Dallas, Reeves. Attendance: 4,927



http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/brentford-held-after-late-goal-6657906?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 09:08:10 AM »
 
Fulham must learn how to defend properly for Lewis Holtby to have a positive impact on results

Having arrived in the Premier League in last year’s January transfer window, Lewis Holtby was expected to be another cog in Tottenham’s attacking machine.

Following a year on the White Hart Lane bench, the Germany international has gone from rising star to plateauing, due to a lack of opportunities under both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.

Now he has the chance to show what he can do, as a key component of Fulham’s fight against relegation after signing for the west London club on loan until the end of the season. He is seen as the spearhead in a side going nowhere fast and who cannot defend, something Holtby won’t be able to help with.

Rene Meulensteen has handed the former Schalke man the No.10 shirt, hoping his guile can provide the service his forwards have lacked this season, but seems to have overlooked giving anyone the authority to marshal their back four.

On his debut against Southampton, Holtby started out of the right-hand side of a five-man midfield, but with the license to come inside to influence play and support the isolated Darren Bent upfront.

All set-pieces seem to have delegated to Holtby, whose left foot has the quality to cause problems in the box. He first impacted the game, when his corner found Brede Hangeland, but the Norwegian’s header was clawed away by Artur Boruc.

Considering the height of Hangeland, his central defensive partner, Dan Burn, and new signing Kostas Mitroglou, the added threat of a competent exponent of the dead-ball could be the difference between survival and relegation.

In open play, Holtby helped set up Bent for a chance by dropping his shoulder, losing the Southampton defenders, before chipping one into the box for the striker to volley on goal, following a little help from Scott Parker.

Fulham operated with three men in the centre of the park - Parker, Steve Sidwell and new boy William Kvist. Between them they have the pace of a minor celebrity trying to navigate their way down the slopes, meaning Holtby’s ability to up the tempo in the final third could be significant, as his team-mates struggle to cope with the top-flight pace at times.

His companions in white were operating very deep, forcing Holtby to hold the ball up almost every time Fulham tried to attack, also inviting pressure onto the defence when Southampton retrieved the ball and counter attacked.

The Fulham defence wiped out the memories of Holtby’s early promise in the final 30 pitiful minutes at Craven Cottage.

Following Saturday’s defeat at home to Southampton, Fulham have now conceded 53 goals this season in the Premier League, ten more than their nearest relegation rivals.

The Saints attacked with pace, their first goal coming from Adam Lallana, who found space alongside Hangeland, before firing across a poorly positioned Maarten Stekelenburg.

A quick break down the right from Nathaniel Clyne was finished by Rickie Lambert, as the striker was allowed five yards to himself inside the area, as Fulham’s defence was easily dragged all over the place.

Sascha Riether was out of position for the majority of the game, Hangeland’s best days are behind him, as showed by inviting Jay Rodriguez inside to score Southampton’s third, Burn is incredibly naive and Kieran Richardson is generally just quite inept at defending.

If they continue to look beyond amateurish at the back, the impact of Holtby at the other end of the pitch will be completely redundant and it doesn’t look like Johnny Heitinga is the man to reinforce the league’s worst defence.

Meulensteen has already simplified the issues for himself, saying after the game: “We have conceded far too many goals and we haven’t scored many goals.”

Unfortunately for the Fulham fans, they don’t look like scoring, they don’t look like keeping a cleansheet and they certainly don’t look like staying up.


http://www.itv.com/sport/football/article/2014-02-01/fulham-must-learn-how-to-defend-properly-for-lewis-holtby-to-have-a-positive-impact-on-results/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 09:09:13 AM »
 
I Need a Drink!
   
And so it came to pass us, the Fulham faithful, are set to spend another Saturday night embroiled in gloom.

It`s a familiar patter we`ve been following for quite a while as we plunge towards relegation and into a Championship I doubt we`ll climb back out of at the first attempt.

You can be as optimistic as hell but when you`ve lot 13 out of the last 16 Premier League games you`ve played and let in a colossal 53 goals so for this season then the omens are not good.

We`re in a right old predicament and after the latest loss Rene Meulensteen did his best to remain optimistic but I can`t help thinking it`s more front than belief when the Dutchman remarks,

'We are in a situation where we seem to have to drag the ball over the line. Artur Boruc made some great saves. It was the same against Swansea. We should have taken the lead but we didn't."

'The second goal really killed us. We have to work hard and keep lifting ourselves. It (going bottom) was always a possibility. Now we have to stand up for ourselves. At least we have some new faces in and guys who can breathe a bit of confidence into the group.'

I`m off to the pub, surely the answer is a drink or three!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=348100#ixzz2s9cEJpuj

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2014, 09:10:41 AM »
 
Slick Saints send Fulham to rock bottom
by DAN on FEBRUARY 1, 2014



‘Believe’ was the plaintive cry emblazoned on the clappers distributed around Craven Cottage before kick-off. But believing Fulham can survive surely takes an extraordinary leap of faith after a slick second-half Southampton display saw Rene Meulensteen’s men slip to the very foot of the Premier League table. Three superbly taken goals abruptly punctured the optimism that had been emanating from Motspur Park following Fulham’s hectic transfer deadline day appeared to have breathed new life into their hopes of avoiding relegation.

For a while, there was plenty of positivity on display on the pitch too. The lively Lewis Holtby scampered dangerously around the Southampton penalty area and had the home side not been defied by three smart stops from Artur Boruc, the match might have taken a decidedly different turn. The Polish goalkeeper, a virtual spectator in the second half by contrast, first stretched to claw out a Brede Hangeland header that looked as though it had beaten him and then made two splendid saves in succession from Darren Bent. That was as good as it got for Meulensteen’s men,

Southampton, whose chances were sporadic despite their dominance of possession, were stifled by the presence of William Kvist, a deadline-day loan signing from VfB Stuttgart, who patrolled diligently in front of the back four. Burn and Hangeland largely nullified the aerial threat of the returning Ricky Lambert, with the visitors’ best chance falling to Jay Rodriguez, who failed to find the target with a free header from Lambert’s right-wing cross. Mauricio Pochettini replaced the off-colour Victor Wanyama with Jack Cork, son of former Fulham assistant manager Alan, for the second period and the pendulum swung dramatically Southampton’s way.

Adam Lallana, a peripheral figure for much of the first half, gradually became increasingly influential in front of the watching Roy Hodgson. Only a sharp sprawling save from Maarten Stekelenburg prevented the England international from breaking the deadlock with a low shot from a central position, twenty yards out. Fulham’s reprieve was merely temporary. Cork snaffled up possession on the half way line and fed Morgan Schneiderlen before Lambert drove dangerously on a retreating back four and slipped in Lallana, who ran in goal and drove a clinical finish across Stekelenburg to give Southampton the lead.

Pochettini’s side supplied the killer blow just six minutes with a wonderfully worked team goal. Substitute Nathaniel Clyne sauntered forward from right back, swapping passes with former Fulham midfielder Steven Davies, and squared sumptuously for Lambert to double the lead from ten yards out. If there was any doubt about the outcome, it was extinguished fifteen minutes from time when Lambert floated a sublime ball over the Fulham defence for Rodriguez. The former Burnley forward attacked Hangeland, cut inside and curled a majestic finish into the far corner from fifteen yards. Celebrating a first league win at Craven Cottage since 1947, Southampton’s fans sung deliriously about their boys heading for Brazil – and, on this evidence, Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad could well comprise a quartet from the south coast.

Fulham’s worries are far more prosaic. Stung by the nature of their collapse, Meulensteen frankly admitted this was the biggest challenge of his own career – and of Fulham’s recent history. With a goal difference of -31 and a three point gap to seventeenth place, any form of escapology might eclipse Hodgson’s own miraculous recovery back in 2008. Fifty three goals conceded suggest that, for all the optimism over the arrival of Kostas Mitroglou, Fulham’s problems are at the other end of the field. Meulensteen might find things get worse still: Fulham’s next three league fixtures are against Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

FULHAM (4-3-2-1): Stekelenburg; Riether, Richardson, Hangeland, Burn; Kvist (Tankovic 83), Sidwell, Parker (Kasami 74); Holtby, Duff (Dempsey 65); Bent. Subs (not used): Stockdale, Passley, Kacaniklic, Rodallega.

SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1): Boruc; Chambers (Clyne 58), Shaw, Yoshida, Fonte; Wanyama (Cork 45), Schneiderlin; Rodriguez (Gallagher 87), Lallana, Davis; Lambert. Subs (not used): Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado.

BOOKED: Wanyama, Schneiderlin.

GOALS: Lallana (64), Lambert (70), Rodriguez (75).

REFEREE: Mike Jones (Chester).

ATTENDANCE: 25,700.



http://hammyend.com/index.php/2014/02/slick-saints-send-fulham-to-rock-bottom/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2014, 09:13:35 AM »
 
Meulensteen must be bolder
by FPTAYLOR on FEBRUARY 1, 2014


Fulham slipped to the bottom of the Premier League after a fourth straight loss leaves the majority of supporters with the bitter taste the relegation is upon us. Fulham are of course, only four points away from safety, but the performances show no signs of a win on the horizon, unaided by the fact that we have to travel to Manchester United and host Liverpool in the space of four days.

A positive transfer window gave supporters by ray of hope, that rainbow was coming after a downpour, but that hope and that belief was wiped out by the visitors after a 10 minute hurricane, leading to Fulham conceding 3 goals. The club appears to be stuck in a groun-hog day way of approaching football games, we look positive and progressive in the first 45 minutes but end up rueing missed chances as the opposition take advantage of a mixture featuring the inability to hold on to the ball, score goals and defend.

Were there any positives from today’s match? A few, the individual performances of debutants Lewis Holtby and William Kvist looked comfortable in the team, with Lewis Holtby, despite being placed out wide, looked a real spark for the Whites, and if anything was going to happen, it was going to be through him. William Kvist was a true defensive midfielder, whose job was simple, win the ball back and pop it off elsewhere, which he did, and had his team-mates shown his tactical awareness providing positive angles and distances, then maybe Fulham would have been able to control the midfield with more quality and maintain a higher percentage than 39 for the overall stats.

Obviously, to keep the ball wasn’t our game plan; and I understand that, let Southampton have -the ball, and simply allow them the opportunity to break down past our numbers, when we get the ball, we play quickly and counter attack. Did it work? There’s certainly evidence from the first half that it did, but the second half? We had one shot and conceded three.

I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I don’t want us to play like the away side at home, in fact, I don’t want us to play like the away side, away. Clearly, we lack a central midfielder that can run the play, or do we? We’re not going to win games playing negatively; we’re clearly not capable of sitting back to counter, so let’s try to win games, let’s try to circulate possession, let’s get people in the box. I like the shape of the 4-3-3, but it’s simply not being used properly. The 4-3-3 is to maximise the width of the pitch and to provide the centre backs with passing angles, to build from the back. The three man central midfield also means the ball can be knocked about in the middle without leaving the centre backs fragile.

For the next game, visiting Manchester United, I promote we stick with the shape, but change the thought process and personnel. Alex Kacaniklic for Steve Sidwell, Ashkan Dejagah for Damien Duff and Kostas Mitroglou for Darren Bent. With this, we play with wingers that hug the touch line that provide width, pace, and a direct style of play. Lewis Holtby can drop into the midfield three where he can get his foot on the ball and be the true quality we’ve been lacking in this area.

I don’t claim to be the best in the world, and I don’t want to look like an internet manager, but I’m talking facts. Here’s another fact, if we continue playing negatively at home, showing no interest in keeping the ball, then we will go down. We have wingers at the club that have the pace to beat a full back, I don’t care if they’re 21, 18 or 16, they provide more than Damien Duff currently does. So Rene, please, shows some bottle, because we need to win some games, I appreciate discipline, but what will discipline do for our position with no cutting edge? No quality? No gambling?


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2014/02/meulensteen-must-be-bolder/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2014, 09:15:31 AM »
 
Rene Meulensteen calls on Fulham players to 'stand up' after Southampton loss leaves them bottom

he Cottagers' situation is starting to look disastrous and four defeats in as many games has sunk them to the foot of the Premier League table


Three and out: Jay Rodriguez celebrates as Fulham look bewildered
Getty

Fulham sunk to the bottom of the Premier League table with a 3-0 home defeat by Southampton, leading to head coach Rene Meulensteen to call for his players to "stand up" for themselves.

After a first-half where the Cottagers seemed in the ascendancy, the Saints took charge with three goals in 11 minutes in the second period, England trio Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez doing the damage.

And it left Meulensteen lamenting his side's inability to find a first-half breakthrough and facing life looking up at the other 19 top-flight sides.

"We are in a situation where we seem to have to drag the ball over the line," said the Fulham coach.

"Artur Boruc made some great saves. It was the same against Swansea. We should have taken the lead but we didn't.

"The second goal really killed us.

"We have to work hard and keep lifting ourselves. It [going bottom] was always a possibility.

"Now, we have to stand up for ourselves. At least we have some new faces in and guys who can breathe a bit of confidence into the group."



http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/fulham-0-3-southampton-rene-meulensteen-3102939#ixzz2s9diyszy
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Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 09:17:11 AM »
 
Meulensteen slams 'unacceptable' Fulham display

Rene Meulensteen blasted Fulham's "unacceptable" performance following Saturday's 3-0 loss to Southampton.

Fulham slipped to the foot of the Premier League table after a second-half capitulation that saw Southampton ease to their first victory at Craven Cottage for over 66 years.

Adam Lallana opened the scoring for the visitors with 64 minutes gone, before Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez added further goals to condemn Fulham to a 17th league defeat of the season.

Cardiff City's 2-1 win over Norwich City moved the Welsh side ahead of the London club, who are now three points adrift of safety, and Fulham coach Meulensteen was quick to criticise his players.

"It typifies a little bit the last couple of games," Meulensteen told Sky Sports. "We've had really good first-half performances where we should get in front.
"Then a sort of fluky clearance from them, we're out of position, a good finish from Lallana and it's in the back of the net.
"The problem is that after that we conceded two more goals in 10 minutes and that is, at Premier League level, unacceptable.
"I didn't think we played well enough going forward to turn them and to create chances for ourselves. Especially at home, that is what you should be able to do."

Meulensteen admitted that Fulham's league position accurately reflects their displays this season, but knows there is plenty of time to turn things around.

"You have to be realistic and you have to not hide from the fact that you are where you are," Meulensteen added. "You are there for a reason because you haven't scored enough goals and you have conceded too many.

"We keep working ever so hard on it on the training pitch and in this transfer window we have changed a few things around.
"Hopefully a few more faces will lift the place because that's what we need to do, keep lifting ourselves and keep reminding ourselves that there is still a lot of games to play for."



Read more at http://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/meulensteen-slams-unacceptable-fulham-display#687MKIhpe3eQTPmc.99


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 09:18:42 AM »
 
Premier League: Lewis Holtby believes Fulham have quality to stay up


Lewis Holtby: Loan signing feels Fulham can survive in the Premier League

Fulham's deadline day signing Lewis Holtby believes his new side have the quality to survive in the Premier League.

Rene Meulensteen's side were beaten 3-0 by Southampton at Craven Cottage and are now bottom of the table - with games against Manchester United and Liverpool to come in the next two weeks.

"I'm convinced we have the quality here," Holtby told Sky Sports News.

"That's why I signed - because I believe in this club. There are still 14 games to play and we just need to get some confidence. And the best way to do that is at Old Trafford.

"We're one team here and we all have to work together to get the result."

Holtby, who has joined on loan from Tottenham, felt Fulham were in the game up until half-time but then fell away in the second half.

"The difference was in the second half," he added. "In the first half I think we had a good game, had a couple of chances and could have nicked the first goal."

Defender Brede Hangeland agreed with his new team-mate.

"With a bit of luck in the first half we could have gone one-up," he said. "But I can't remember the last time we took the lead in a game so that's a big factor in winning games in this league.

"It's extremely disappointing and results weren't kind to us either so it was a tough day - but all we can do is graft as much as we can for the remainder of the season and see what happens.

"You can get good results against the top teams if you play well and that's what we're hoping to do."


http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11681/9146697?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 09:20:27 AM »
 
Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen set to be replaced by Alan Curbishley after Southampton loss

Yet another loss for Fulham puts Meulensteen's future in doubt, and Alan Curbishley is in pole position to replace him


Waiting in the wings: Alan Curbishley is ready to take over from Rene Meulensteen
Richard Sellers

Rene Meulensteen is set to be replaced by Alan Curbishley as Fulham’s collapse towards relegation reaches crisis-point.

Curbishley, appointed as Fulham’s technical director over Christmas, has been regularly taking training sessions and there is a contingency plan to draft in the former Charlton and West Ham boss as manager in a last throw of the dice to avoid relegation.

Fulham have lost eight out of 10 Premier League games under Meulensteen, culminating in ­yesterday’s 3-0 home defeat to Southampton, which sent the Cottagers to the foot of the table.

Despite signing six players in the final two days of the transfer window, Fulham will consider ditching the Dutchman before their fate is sealed, unless there is significant improvement with their next two games

Most Fulham players were pleased to see Dimitar Berbatov leave the club on loan for Monaco on deadline day, as they believed him unsuited to a relegation fight.

But former Manchester United coach Meulensteen needs his new signings to make a quick impact if the head coach is not to depart before his contract expires in May and three of Fulham’s next four League matches are against United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

After yesterday’s set-back, he said: “Without doubt, this is the biggest challenge I have ever faced in ­football. And it is the biggest ­challenge this club has faced.

“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.”

The battle to avoid the drop is becoming one of the most competitive and compelling in years. Eleven clubs – from Aston Villa – remain in realistic danger.

West Ham savoured their vital 2-0 win over struggling Swansea. It was the Hammers’ first League win since November 30.

Manager Sam Allardyce said: “My players were brilliant for me. I hope it’s the turning point for us.

“We got quality finishing today, which is something we’ve been striving for on a consistent basis.

“It’s a great result and one that’s taken a little bit of pressure off.”

Swansea’s slide towards the drop zone continues and manager Michael Laudrup admitted: “We really struggled with them ­physically.

“It’s a little disappointing that the first goal came from exactly the situation we analysed and talked about before the game.

“The second goal is disappointing as well.”

It was also a bad day for Norwich, who tossed away an early lead to lose 2-1 at Cardiff. The Canaries are now 15th in the Premier League table, just two points above the bottom three.

And Hughton said: “It shows just how tight the situation is among all the teams in the bottom half.

“I don’t know how many points we will need to stay up.

“You just have to look at each game as they come. Every win, every point is vital.”

Norwich were desperately unlucky to lose after dominating much of the game.

Hughton said: “It’s so frustrating. We deserved to win that game. We had enough chances. But we conceded two poor goals early in the second half.

“You couldn’t fault the attitude of my players after that. We hit the post a couple of times, had shots cleared off the line, two efforts disallowed.

“And their goalkeeper David Marshall, who played well at our place earlier in the season, showed again how good he is.

“That’s why, though we’re disappointed at the defeat, we can’t be too downhearted. We played well.”



http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/fulham-boss-rene-meulensteen-set-3054474#ixzz2s9eyFObr
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Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 09:21:57 AM »
 
Brede Hangeland: 'We must go ahead in games'

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland has admitted that his side cannot keep conceding the first goal in the Premier League or they will leave themselves with too much to do.

For the third game running Fulham went in level at the break but ended up on the losing side, this time in a 3-0 defeat to Southampton at Craven Cottage, but despite their form Hangeland said that the Whites can still survive.

"With a bit of luck in the first half we could have gone one up," Sky Sports News quotes Hangeland as saying. "I can't remember the last time we took the lead in a game so that's a big factor in winning games in this league.

"It's extremely disappointing and results weren't kind to us either so it was a tough day - but all we can do is graft as much as we can for the remainder of the season and see what happens.

"You can get good results against the top teams if you play well and that's what we're hoping to do."

Fulham's next league game is away to Manchester United next weekend.


http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/news/hangeland-we-must-go-ahead-in-games_134632.html


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2014, 09:24:40 AM »
 
Southampton's first league win at Craven Cottage since 1947


The rainbow over Craven Cottage led to a pot of gold for Southampton
Credit: John Walton/PA Wire


Only two of the new arrivals, Lewis Holtby and William Kvist, were registered in time to feature against Saints, who spent much of the first half on the backfoot and had goalkeeper Artur Boruc to thank for keeping the score level.

Fulham were made to pay for those missed opportunities in the second period as Southampton ruthlessly exposed their soft underbelly, with Adam Lallana opening the scoring after 64 minutes with a superb strike across the face of goal.

Rickie Lambert netted his 100th league goal for Saints six minutes later, before the visitors' other England international, Jay Rodriguez, curled home exquisitely in front of the watching national team manager Roy Hodgson.

While Bent saw a handball appeal turned down at the other end, it was Southampton in control.

Lambert was left frustrated after he could not make the most of a hashed clearance, only to then turn provider for the opening goal.

Collecting the ball just inside the Fulham half, the England forward played a wonderfully-weighted ball for Lallana to impressively fire low past Stekelenburg.

The 64th minute goal extended Fulham's wait for a clean sheet to a ninth match - the longest run in the top division - and they almost conceded again soon after.

Only a late block saw a Steven Davis strike wide, before Lallana started a great counter-attack and fed the ball to the overlapping Shaw, whose low cross was prodded wide by Rodriguez.

Southampton did not have to wait long for another goal, though.

Nathaniel Clyne, on as a 58th-minute substitute for the injured Chambers, sent in a fine low ball from the right, which, thanks to an intelligent stepover by Rodriguez, fell perfectly for Lambert to slot home.

Rodriguez's selflessness was rewarded in the 75th minute with a goal of his own. Lambert's long ball to the forward was controlled by his fellow England international, who cut inside away from Hangeland and curled home brilliantly into the top right-hand corner.


Fulham's manager Rene Meulensteen (left) with Southampton's manager Mauricio Pochettino before the start of the match
Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Substitute Pajtim Kasami curled wide as Fulham looked to reduce the deficit in the closing stages, but they failed to threaten Boruc as Southampton won a league game at Fulham for the first time since October 1947.


Southampton's Rickie Lambert (second left) is congratulated on scoring their second goa
Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Southamptopn's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring
Credit: John Walton/PA Wire



http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-02-01/southamptons-first-league-win-at-craven-cottage-since-1947/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2014, 09:26:15 AM »
 
Finnbogason on Fulham bid rejection “Strange decision”

Alfred Finnbogason is not happy that Heerenveen rejected a €10 million offer for the striker from Fulham on the final day of the transfer window.


Despite reportedly being in financial trouble, Heerenveen refused the multi-million Euro offer from Fulham for the top scorer in the Eredivisie.

Speaking to Omroep Friesland, Finnbogason spoke of his annoyance that Heerenveen did not accept the offer from the Premier League club.

He said, ”If you are in financial difficulties and there is a bid of 10 million, and you still want more … A strange decision. I would have liked to make the decision, it is my career. I can not help it. It was a chance for me to play in the Premier League. That does not happen every day.”

“They have always said that they want to have ten million euros for me and then suddenly they want more, I think amateurish.”

Finnbogason has been in terrific form for Heerenveen this season, netting 20 goals in 18 Eredivisie matches, and has been linked with moves to the likes of Roma, Everton, and Celtic in the past.



http://www.football-oranje.com/finnbogason-on-fulham-bid-rejection-strange-decision/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2014, 09:27:34 AM »
 
Fulham fail in Jesse Lingard raid on Manchester United after David Moyes turns down £5 million bid


First team ambition: Jesse Lingard wants to play more regularly at Old Trafford
John Peters

Fulham's double raid on Manchester United could have been a triple swoop – but David Moyes blocked a £5million bid for midfielder Jesse Lingard.

Cottagers chief Rene Mulensteen wanted to take England Under-21 star Lingard having done a £3m deal for midfielders Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole.

But Moyes refused to sanction the Warrington-born player's release.

Lingard has recently returned from a successful loan at Birmingham, where he scored a hat-trick on his debut.

City wanted to extend his stay but the 21-year-old hopes to stay at Old Trafford.

Lingard said: "I just want to hopefully break into the United first team.

"That's my main aim."



http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/fulham-fail-jesse-lingard-raid-3104079#ixzz2s9gqolDd
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Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (02/02/14)...
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2014, 09:29:35 AM »
 
Dutch club closing on Cottagers boss


Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen (Action Images)

Dutch outfit Feyenoord will offer Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen a way out of his West London misery, admit reports that the Cottagers are thinking of replacing him with technical director Alan Curbishley.

Head coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed his decision to quit the club at the end of the season, and Sports Direct News believes that Meulensteen is one of the leading candidates to fill the vacancy.

The Dutch Eredivisie side are likely to keep hold of Koeman until the summer, despite the timing of his announcement causing anger in some circumstances.

Despite Fulham’s struggles in the relegation dogfight, Meulensteen is highly-respected in his home nation for the work he did at Manchester United in assisting former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

He left Old Trafford when David Moyes succeeded Ferguson in the summer and, after a short spell in Russia coaching Anzhi Makhachkala, he took over from Martin Jol in the top job at Craven Cottage, where it is yet to work out for the 49-year-old.

Curbishley's experience of battling against the drop with Charlton Athletic and West Ham United makes him a strong candidate to revive Fulham's fortunes.


http://www.sportsdirectnews.com/fulham-fc-transfer-news/39586-dutch-club-closing-on-cottagers-boss.php#.Uu4Pof0cKbA