Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...  (Read 3578 times)

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« on: February 05, 2014, 09:50:52 AM »
Inconsolable Rodallega shows discontent after being dragged off as Sheffield United knock Fulham out of FA Cup 

Fulham midfielder Hugo Rodallega seemed inconsolable after being substituted during Fulham's FA Cup fourth round replay defeat to Sheffield United on Tuesday night.

After his substitution on the hour mark, Rodallega sulked towards the bench before sitting down and covering his head with a coat for several minutes.

The Columbian forward had been having a poor game and his removal was roundly cheered by Fulham fans at Craven Cottage which wouldn't have helped his mood.

Me? Hugo Rodallega looks on in confusion as he walks off the pitch during Fulham's FA Cup tie

Off you go: Rodallega was replaced by Ashkan Dejagah in the second half

Upset: Rodallega (centre) hides himself in the Fulham dugout after being substituted

Hidden: Rodallega (centre) was subbed for Ashkan Dejagah after 60 minutes of the FA Cup replay

Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah replaced the Colombian to the delight of the Craven Cottage crowd, but the substitute couldn't help his team prevent the replay going into extra-time. 

The home side were then knocked out of the FA Cup with seconds of extra-time remaining as the Blades found a late winner via the head of Shaun Miller.

Rodallega has failed to impress the Fulham faithful since his move from Wigan in 2012 and doesn't look to be enjoying his football.

The 28-year-old has made just a handful of starts for the Cottagers, scoring three goals during his time at the London club.

Struggled: Rodallega (right) in action for Fulham before being substituted against Sheffield United

Ineffective: Rodallega's heat map shows that the Fulham forward struggled to make an impact

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 09:52:09 AM »
FA Cup fourth round: Extra time winner sees Sheffield United beat Fulham

Shaun Miller's goal in the last minute of extra time gave Sheffield United a 1-0 win at Fulham in their FA Cup fourth round replay.

After a match of few chances, and with penalties looking on the cards, Miller headed home from close range to send Nigel Clough's men into the fifth round.

United are the lowest ranked team left in the cup and their victory meant Fulham's miserable season reached a new low.

Bottom of the Premier League and four points adrift of safety after a 3-0 home defeat to Southampton, Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen spoke in the programme of using the fourth round replay as a chance to "garner some confidence".

If all else failed, the Fulham head coach asked for "togetherness and desire" - something lacking for the most part as Clough's visitors forgot their own relegation worries to reach the fifth round.

Substitute Miller stooped to score the last-gasp winner for a side sitting 23rd in League 1, setting up a home clash with the winners of the replay between Preston and Nottingham Forest.

This was by no means as impressive as the third-round win at Aston Villa, but one which the vocal Blades support will hope can spur them onto better things in the league.

The first half was a turgid affair in which few chances were created, with the main talking point referee Neil Swarbrick's decision not to send off Bob Harris despite a late tackle on Josh Passley shortly after being booked for a foul on the same player.

Harris, whose loan move from Blackpool was made permanent on transfer deadline day, was back at the heart of things when play resumed for the second half, curling a free-kick wide before hitting a powerful effort at David Stockdale.

The natives were getting restless as Fulham's disjointed performance continued, rounding on Hugo Rodallega when the ineffective striker was taken off with 30 minutes remaining.

The Colombian looked distraught and sat with his head in his hands on the Fulham bench after being taken off, with Brede Hangeland blocking a fierce Stefan Scougall effort as matters on the pitch continued.

Howard had to react quickly to push away a deflected Duff cross as Fulham pushed for a winner, before Muamer Tankovic showed good feet to wriggle free and strike wide.

Stockdale flapped at a John Brayford cross and Pajtim Kasami sent an impressive effort just over as play swung from end-to-end, while substitute Jose Baxter was proving a nuisance for the Fulham backline.

Dempsey saw an acrobatic effort blocked and penalty appeals waved away as the Whites continued to press, although they were unable to prevent the match going to extra time.

Unsurprisingly that too did little to warm the spirits of the 10,139 fans on a wet and windy night at Craven Cottage.

The first period involved much of the same aimless to-ing and fro-ing, aside from a moment of class from Brayford.

Collecting the ball just inside the Fulham half, the on-loan Cardiff man burst forward at speed, cut in-between two men and forced Stockdale into a fine save low to his right.

Kasami twice came close in the second half of extra time, fizzing just wide before testing Howard, and, just as it looked like penalties, United grabbed victory.

Baxter sent in a corner from the right, which was headed back across home by Maguire and glanced home by substitute Miller, on in the 97th minute for the injured Scougall, in the last minute of extra time.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 09:53:47 AM »
Fulham 0 - Sheff Utd 1 (AET): Desperately poor Cottagers crash out of the FA Cup
FULHAM boss Rene Meulensteen insisted his job was safe before the game, but the board may have a different opinion following this dire defeat after extra time against Sheffield United.

Fulham were lucky to get a replay after coming from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw in the first tie.

But this time around they got exactly what they deserved in front of an increasingly irate home crowd who braved the underground strikes and horrific weather to witness what must go down as one of Fulham's worst performances in living memory.

The home team's dreadful effort was no slight on United who came and did a job against a team who, on paper, they should never be taking to extra time, let alone beating over 210 minutes.

Hugo Rodallega personified the night for the Cottagers as he sat slumped in the dugout unable to bring himself to look at the action following his withdrawal.

The previous 119 minutes leading up to the goal saw four chances on target with no real sign of a breakthrough.

And the winning goal via Shaun Miller's head summed Fulham's performance up.

A late corner found Harry Maguire who was completely unchallenged by Brede Hangeland and his header fell invitingly to Miller who couldn't miss.

Fulham fans will be wondering where they go from this absolutely abject display, for United it's Preston or Nottingham Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 09:55:23 AM »
Loan watch: Clint Dempsey and Fulham knocked out of FA Cup by Sheffield United
UPDATE — Dempsey started and played all 120 minutes as Fulham lost at home, 1-0 in extra time, to third-tier Sheffield United in a replay of a fourth-round FA Cup matchup.

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)   L, 1-0   Started, played 120 minutes
Feb. 9   at Manchester United   Premier League   –   
Feb. 12   vs. Liverpool   Premier League   –   
Feb. 22   West Bromwich Albion   Premier League   –

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 09:57:28 AM »
Fulham 0 Sheffield United 1: match report
Read a full match report of the FA Cup fourth-round game between Fulham and Sheffield United at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014

Sheffield United’s status as this season’s FA Cup giant-killers is secure. Rene Meulensteelen’s as Fulham manager is not.

Aston Villa’s third-round con­querors added another scalp last night in the most dramatic fashion imaginable as substitute Shaun Miller scored in the last minute of extra-time at Craven Cottage to send them through to the fifth round.

The game was meant to provide some respite for Meulensteen, a chance to relieve the pressure after they crashed to the foot of the Premier League ahead of a truly ter­rifying run of fixtures.

Instead, it was another morale-shattering outing for players and fans alike and a new low in the Dutchman’s two-month reign that is bound to increase speculation that Alan Curbishley, the technical director, is being lined up to replace him.

Nigel Clough, the United manager, was left celebrating his greatest night since taking charge of a side who have sunk to 23rd in League One just six years after locking horns with Fulham in the Premier League.

How much the sparse 10,139 crowd last night was down to a Tube strike scheduled to begin the moment the match ended and how much was down to Fulham’s wretched recent run was a matter of opinion.

Those who did attend would have been relieved that football managers do not take industrial action every time one of their own loses a job following the announcement before kick-off that Michael Laudrup had been sacked by Swansea City. It can only be imagined what the unions which called the 48-hour walkout on the Underground would make of the kind of job security that has left Meulensteen sweating over his own future so soon after his appointment.

Adam Lallana, Ricky Lambert and Jay Rodriguez ran riot in Southampton’s win at Craven Cottage on Saturday and United took less than two minutes to prove that it did not take a trio of England forwards to waltz through the home defence.

Fortunately, Jamie Murphy failed to connect cleanly with his 20-yard shot, which screwed narrowly wide. The let-off did not exactly stir Fulham into action as they tried in vain to prove the 1-1 draw between the sides at Bramall Lane was a blip.

It took more than 20 minutes for them to test United goalkeeper Mark Howard through Scott Parker’s harmless potshot but Clint Dempsey did show glimpses of Premier League quality, a lovely one-two with Hugo Rodallega wasted thanks to a heavy touch by the Colombian.

However, United were far too comfortable for a side languishing second-bottom of League One although they could count themselves fortunate to end the first half with 11 men after referee Neil Swarbrick refused to show Bob Harris a second yellow card for raking Josh Passley seconds after booking him for going through the back of the same player.

Fulham emerged from half-time with more urgency but their lack of penetration forced Meulensteen to act before the hour, hauling off Rodallega and Alexander Kacaniklic for Ashkan Dejagah and Damien Duff.

The changes prompted the biggest cheer of the night from a disgruntled home crowd, something that Rodallega appeared to take personally as he slumped, head down, onto the bench. Parker soon followed for Steve Sidwell as driving rain further cancelled out whatever advantage a Premier League side should have had.

Fulham were left relying on the generosity of Swarbrick when Dempsey went down in the box in the final minute of normal time after being held by Harry Maguire but the referee was in no mood to end their torment.

United might have snatched it earlier in extra-time when John Brayford’s brilliant jinking run and shot was tipped round the post by David Stockdale. Pajtim Kasami went closest for Fulham when his rising drive shaved the post but just as penalties beckoned, Harry Maguire headed substitute Jose Baxter’s corner across goal and Miller stooped to nod home in front of United’s jubilant fans.

Match details
Fulham (4-4-1-1): Stockdale; Passley, Hangeland, Burn, Amorebieta; Kasami, Tankovic , Parker (Sidwell 69), Kacaniklic (Duff 59); Dempsey; Rodallega (Dejagah 59).
Subs: Stekelenburg (g), Karagounis, David, Christensen.
Booked: Amorebieta, Sidwell.

Sheffield United (4-4-2): Howard, Brayford, Maguire, Collins, Harris (Hill 90); Flynn, Coad, McGinn, Scougall (Miller 97); Murphy, Porter (Baxter, 75).
Subs: Long (g), Kennedy, De Girolamo, Dimaio.
Booked: Harris, Miller.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 10:01:46 AM »
Rene on the ropes! Fulham boss fears over future after Blades defeat with Curbishley in the frame to take over
Fulham seriously considering sacking Rene Meulensteen after two months
He would become eighth Premier League boss to lose his job this season
Fulham lost 1-0 to Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Tuesday
They have conceded 30 goals in their last 10 Premier League matches
Alan Curbishley in line to take Fulham job if it becomes available

Fulham are giving serious consideration to replacing Rene Meulensteen just two months after his appointment as manager.

The Dutchman fears he is on the brink of becoming the eighth Barclays Premier League boss to lose his job this season after a run of just three league wins in 10 since his appointment.

Meulensteen is said to believe the club's hierarchy have lost faith in him and are already looking at making a change, with Tuesday night's poor FA Cup defeat by Sheffield United merely underlining his mounting problems.

Under fire: Fulham are considering replacing Rene Meulensteen after just two months in charge of the club

Yellow peril: Sheffield United dumped Fulham out of the FA Cup after Shaun Miller scored in extra time

The club's dismal defensive record of conceding 30 goals in 10 league games is a huge concern at the moment, and there is a belief among senior figures at Craven Cottage that the team are far too open for a side battling relegation.

Meulensteen is renowned for his coaching abilities, but doubts remain over whether he can transmit those talents into management.

Alan Curbishley, who is currently the club's technical director, is an option for the Fulham board should they decide to part with Meulensteen.

The former Charlton manager remains behind Meulensteen, but Sportsmail understands Curbishley would take the job if it became vacant.

Meulensteen arrived at Craven Cottage in November, initially to work under then manager Martin Jol.

But the 49-year-old stepped into the breach following the decision to sack Jol following their disastrous start to the season.

Asked if this was the worst performance since he succeeded Martin Jol, he said: 'Yeah, definitely.

Not all white on the night: Fulham are desperately out of sorts and facing relegation from the Premier League

Thumbs up: Alan Curbishley is an option for the Fulham board should they part company with Meulensteen

'It is very disappointing. It is as bad as the weather - the result, the outcome, the performance. That sums it up. It was a poor night all-round.

'It is no big secret (why we performed like this). When you get into a situation where the results aren't going for you, when you are playing well and putting in a lot of effort, bit by bit it keeps knocking your confidence and what you saw today was a team that lacked confidence.

'You could see that in some of the performances. There was not enough cutting edge and quality at times.

'Then you see trends in the game, really, that you don't want to see in terms of the way I want to play.'

Negative: Hugo Rodallega reacted badly after being taken off by Meulensteen in the 60th minute

Happy: Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough was delighted with his teams extra-time win against Fulham

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 10:03:05 AM »
Fulham boss issues appeal to angry fans

Rene Meulensteen implored Fulham supporters to get behind the team after they crashed out of the FA Cup at home to League One strugglers Sheffield United.

The Whites produced another dismal home display, losing the fourth-round replay 1-0 after a goal in the dying moments of extra time, and Meulensteen described it as their worst performance since he took charge.

Fulham, bottom of the Premier League, were booed off the pitch at the final whistle but the head coach promised they will do everything they can to improve.

“The most important thing for the fans to know is that I understand their frustration,” he said.

“I think everyone associated with the club will feel the same, but the most important message I can give to them is to not to add to the problems we already have.

“We need them to be part of the solution; to stick together and support the team and the players. As soon as the players really start to feel they’re on them, then there will be a bigger problem.

“We need the fans the most at these times. It’s all hunky dory when things are going well, but that’s why they’re called supporters. We need their support.”

Shaun Miller’s strike gave the Blades a thoroughly deserved victory – they were unlucky not to win the game in normal time.

Meulensteen added: “I think the fans have been brilliant so far and even today it [negativity] wasn’t excessive.

“I think everyone can see we are a team that haven’t got the results we’ve wanted and slipped to the position we have, but we are trying hard to get out of it. There is no direct solution.

“What I can promise them is the work we will put in from day-to-day on the training pitch. We will make sure everything possible is done so that we start to improve.”

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 10:05:16 AM »
René Meulensteen admits Fulham will be relegated if they do not improve
Under-fire manager says he has "no worries" about his future but admits that the club face a "big problem" if their dire form continues

New low: René Meulensteen's time at Fulham appears to be coming to an end

René Meulensteen insisted on Tuesday night that had “no worries” over his future as Fulham manager but admitted he could not say whether he would ­survive a repeat performance of their FA Cup humiliation against Sheffield United.

Meulensteen’s two-month reign at Craven Cottage hit a new low when League One strugglers United sent the Premier League’s ­bottom club spinning out of the Cup in a fourth-round replay.

Speculation is rife that Alan ­Curbishley, Fulham’s recently-appointed technical director, is being lined up to replace him and asked whether he was confident he retained the support of owner Shahid Khan, the Dutchman said: “That will only last until that is gone. So, until that time, I just keep doing my job as best as I can. I have no worries in that respect at all.”

Meulensteen branded Tuesday night’s display the worst since he himself was recruited from within to replace Martin Jol and asked whether he could afford a repeat, he replied: “I can’t answer that.”

The former Manchester United No 2 acknowledged that Fulham were doomed to relegation unless they improved quickly.

“If we play like this, we have a big problem,” he said. “We’ve played well enough in other games to be not too scared that this is the sort of trend we’re going to.”

He added: “The most important thing is that we don’t lose the togetherness because that’s the only way we’re going to get out of this mess. If you start falling apart within then you have an even bigger problem. That’s what cannot happen.”

Meulensteen made it clear that also applied to supporters, who repeatedly jeered his side on Tuesday night.

“The most important message to the fans is, one, don’t add to the problems that we already have but be part of the solution,” he said.

“These are the times when you need fans the most. It’s always easy when things are hunky dory and things are going great. That’s why fans are called supporters and that’s what we need – support.”

Sheffield manager Nigel Clough had every sympathy for Meulensteen and assistant Ray Wilkins.

“I do feel for Rene and Ray because you know that feeling when something goes in and you feel that everything is against you,” he said.

Clough knows the feeling well, with United languishing in 23rd in League One. But, unlike Meulensteen, he has had the respite of two FA Cup giant-killings following their third-round win at Aston Villa.

“We’ve had a couple of breaks in the FA Cup which we haven’t had in the league,” he added.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 10:07:57 AM »

Brentford pair Mark Warburton and Marcello Trotta nominated for Sky Bet League One Manager and Player of the Month awards for January

Continuing good form has earned Brentford Manager Mark Warburton and striker Marcello Trotta special recognition.

Brentford are unbeaten in 18 Sky Bet League One matches, a run that now stretches back four months.

They have won 15 of those, taking 48 points from the last 54 on offer and are top of the table.

This run has earned Mark a nomination for the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month award for January.

And Marcello Trotta has been nominated for the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month award for January.

Mark will be looking to complete an extraordinary double.

He was named Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for December, exactly a month after taking charge.

Mark was named Brentford Manager on December 10, a few days after former boss Uwe Rösler left the role.

Uwe himself had been named Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for November, recognition for the start of the current run.

Brentford have won eight and drawn two of Mark’s first ten games in charge.

In January Brentford won four of their five League One matches.

The month started with a win away from home against Peterborough United and that was followed by home wins against Port Vale, Gillingham and Bristol City.

The Bees also drew away from home against Walsall.

They started February with a draw away to Shrewsbury Town that does not count for this award.

Mark has been nominated alongside Joe Dunne, of Colchester United, Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade and Walsall Manager Dean Smith.

Marcello scored three goals for The Bees in January and set up two more.

He scored in all three home wins – the vital first against Port Vale, what proved to be the winner, from the penalty spot, against Gillingham and the killer third in a 3-1 win against Bristol City.

He set up Sam Saunders for a goal in the win at Peterborough and Will Grigg for the second against Port Vale.

Marcello has scored seven goals in his last nine games, continuing his goal scoring run with one in the draw at Shrewsbury.

Marcello has been nominated alongside Peterborough striker Nicky Ajose, Leyton orient defender Scott Cuthbert and James Tavernier, of Rotherham United.

If Marcello wins he will be the second Brentford player in a row to pick up the award after Sam Saunders was named Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December.

The winners of the awards will be announced on Friday, January 7.


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 10:09:22 AM »
Fulham’s Signings Could Be Key To Survival | Holtby & Mitroglou

A lot of odd things have happened at Fulham since the new owner Shahid Khan came into the club: Martin Jol was given more time in the job, that many thought he didn’t deserve; then an untested head coach in Rene Meulensteen was given the job, despite being brought in to assist his fellow Dutchman Jol; even more extraordinary were the appointments of Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley in various positions to assist Meulensteen, both of whom were former managers and have been out of the game for a number of years. Many considered this to be an act that could threaten Meulensteen like the former Manchester United coach’s appointment proved to be for Jol, but the Dutchman appears to have the backing of the board. Fulham find themselves bottom of the league table at the beginning of February with 19 points, four away from Crystal Palace in 17th. Many thought Fulham were certainties for relegation towards the end of January but the signings of Lewis Holtby and Kostas Mitroglou could prove to be the turning points of the West London side’s season.

Lewis Holtby joins from Tottenham on loan for the rest of the campaign and he will add a lot to the Fulham midfield. He played 13 times for Tottenham, with six starts. The amount of midfielders at Tottenham and Tim Sherwood’s move to a 4-4-2 dried up Holtby’s chances. He did create 17 chances in the first half of the season, creating one every 33 minutes which is very impressive. If he repeats these figures at Fulham, he will be a vital player for them. Only three sides have scored less than Fulham this season, so the extra creativity will be an asset for them. Tottenham fans also noted Holtby’s ability to work hard on the pitch, which will be appreciated in a relegation battle. At the age of 23, he will add a youthful exuberance to an ageing Fulham squad.

An even bigger coup for the club was the signing of the highly rated Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou from Olympiakos for around £11m, despite late interest from West Ham. Newcastle, Liverpool and Arsenal have also been linked with the striker in the past six months, so it was a shock to many that Fulham managed to secure the striker. In an age where loyalty is rare in football, Mitroglou may consider that scoring a few goals for a side in the relegation fight like Fulham in the second half of the season will push him to a bigger club, like it did for Carlos Tevez and Demba Ba at West Ham. Fulham fans won’t care, if he secures their Premier League status. He has netted 23 goals in 26 appearances for club and country this season, including a hat-trick away at Anderlecht in the Champions League which is no mean feat. The Greek international also scored the winner in a Champions League match against Arsenal in 2012. He has a natural goal scoring instinct and is very clever when in the box. His strength also leads to many of his goals, while he is useful with both feet. In a season when Fulham are struggling for goals, the signing of Mitroglou could prove to be inspired.

Fulham were very busy in January as Johnny Heitinga, Clint Dempsey, Larnell Cole, Ryan Tunnicliffe and William Kvist came into the club. They currently have the worst defence in the league this season conceding an eye-watering 53 goals, and the addition of Heitinga will improve that, as he seeks to secure a place in the Dutch World Cup squad. His experience with Everton will add a lot to the defence, as he replaces a departing Philippe Sendoros who was very shaky in the first half of the season. The additions of Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe may be geared towards the future, but Meulensteen may be tempted to give them a chance this season. He will know them very well from his time at Old Trafford. Cole will give Meulensteen a pacy attacking outlet which will cause other sides problems, while Tunnicliffe will give the Dutchman another option in central midfield. Clint Dempsey will only be at the club until March, but he has the ability to win the side vital points in this period. Their final signing of the Danish international Kvist will give the club a more conservative option as he is a very effective defensive midfielder. He could be used in the pivot with Scott Parker, which could give Fulham a base to win points.

Fulham have also seen Senderos, Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan Ruiz, Aaron Hughes, and Adel Taarabt depart the club, as Meulensteen has had the chance to form his own squad. The business that Fulham did in January has certainly enhanced the squad, as hard working players have come in to replace mavericks in Taarabt, Ruiz and Berbatov. Also, the likes of Mitroglou and Holtby are younger and will be more keen to impress which will prove beneficial for Fulham, while the team will start to work harder something thatMeulensteen will want in a relegation battle. Many have criticised the age of the Fulham squad, but the signings have added a youthful edge, which will boost their survival hopes. Fulham certainly have the quality to survive the drop, its now down to Meulenteen and the squad to do so.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 10:11:00 AM »
Fulham have hit 'rock bottom' - Meulensteen

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen says the club has hit "rock bottom" after being knocked out of the FA Cup by League 1 Sheffield United.

The Premier League's bottom side were beaten in a dire replay at Craven Cottage by a 120th minute header from Shaun Miller for the Blades - themselves struggling in the league.

"If you talk about this game and ask if we have hit rock bottom, then we probably have," Meulensteen said.

"If you say that, then it cannot get any worse, it can only get better."

The former Manchester United coach also dismissed speculation over his future. Bookmakers have made Meulensteen favourite to be the next manager out of a job, fresh on the back of reports that technical director Alan Curbishley could be drafted in as his replacement.

"Listen, [the owner's confidence] will only last until that is gone," Meulensteen added.

"Until that time, I will just jeep doing the job the best I can. I have no worries in that respect at all."

Asked if this was the worst performance since he succeeded Martin Jol, he added: "Yes. Definitely.

"It is very disappointing. It is as bad as the weather - the result, the outcome, the performance. That sums it up. It was a poor night all-round.

"It is no big secret [why we performed like this]. When you get into a situation where the results aren't going for you, when you are playing well and putting in a lot of effort, bit by bit it keeps knocking your confidence and what you saw today was a team that lacked confidence.

"You could see that in some of the performances. There was not enough cutting edge and quality at times. Then you see trends in the game, really, that you don't want to see in terms of the way I want to play.

"We knew Sheffield United would work hard, get a lot of bodies behind the ball."


Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 72465
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 10:12:19 AM »
Fulham fans and Hugo Rodallega

I, like a lot of other people, made the mistake of sitting through Fulham against Sheffield United last night and if I see a more turgid game of football all season it will surprise me. The obvious – a correct – conclusion from Craven Cottage would be that Fulham’s confidence has flat-lined and that they really have no idea how to win at the moment. Some of the football was dreadful, there seemed to be more empty seats than fans in attendance, and the swirling winds and driving rain were really just a metaphor for the state of this team.

All that considered, it was still jarring to hear Hugo Rodallega ironically cheered by his own supporters when he was substituted.

Whilst life is obviously hard for Fulham fans at the moment, there’s nothing more self-defeating than belittling your own players – given the beatings that this side have taken lately, what does anybody hope to achieve by ridiculing them further?

And ridiculing isn’t too strong a word: imagine how Rodallega felt when he heard that reaction? ITV kept their cameras on him as he took his place on the bench, and you could see that the moment had affected him – and does anybody think that last night will generate a positive response from the Colombian? A player who has struggled for form, confidence, and a defined role all season?

Way to go, way to pull the legs off a spider. The league table entitles Fulham’s fans to be pessimistic, but if that audible minority want to rubber-stamp their own relegation than this is absolutely the way to go about it.

Offline BB

  • tjl
  • *
  • Posts: 144
  • KEEP THE FAITH!!!!!!!!
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 01:17:03 PM »
Dear PL OWL... You opinion is just that, an opinion. Uninvited, unwelcome and inaccurate... Please bugger off and play with your Dinky Toys on the nearest Motorway. :dead horse: 

Offline jarv

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 7301
Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (05/02/14)...
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 01:17:19 PM »
Good comment on Hugo. I cannot stand boo boys in football. They managed to hound Senderos out, next Hugo??? The club cannot go out and buy a replacement (til next season in the championship).
Well done lads. Why don't you morons just stay away from the ground.