Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...  (Read 4438 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2014, 04:48:42 AM »
 
Rodallega unhappy with Meulentsteen

Hugo Rodallega has accused Rene Meulensteen of showing him a “lack of respect” and stated the manager’s decision to substitute him in Fulham’s FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United left him broken hearted.

The 28-year-old was visibly upset when hauled off after just 59 minutes as Fulham crashed out of the Cup with a 1-0 loss, and he made his unhappiness even clearer when interviewed on TV station Win Sport in his native Colombia.

Rodallega is understood to be angling for a move to Everton in the summer, to link up with his former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez. While the Colombia forward enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Spaniard, that does not seem the case with Meulensteen.

“I have never experienced what happened [on Tuesday] and it is something that keeps me awake at night,” Rodallega said.

“I love this sport and I always want to do things right and keep my starting place. I have had a clean career, without trouble or disciplinary problems. What happened [in being seen to cry] was rage, frustration and the desire to keep playing.

“It was a lack of respect on the part of the coach. They always tend keep the front players on, whatever happens, and I feel he went too far. I didn’t play a good pass and was taken off only minutes after the second half started. That broke my heart.”



http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1706969?&cc=5739

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2014, 04:50:13 AM »
 
So, At Home To Arsenal Or Away To Doncaster?

When Martin Jol was relieved of his duties as Fulham manager on the 1st December, many Fulham fans would have been forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief.

Languishing in 18th place in the Premiership, with a return of three wins, one draw and nine losses from the first thirteen games of the season, it was clear that something needed to be done to bring the smiles back in SW6. Enter fellow Dutchman, owner of one of the strangest accents in football, Rene Meulensteen.

When Meulensteen was appointed as Martin Jol’s assistant there was a widespread feeling throughout the football community that Jol has signed his own p45.  Although Meulensteen had failed previous attempts at bridging the gap from coach to manager, notably at Brøndby and Anzhi, his pedigree as trusted assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson meant  the majority of  Fulham fans were happy with the appointment.

Fast forward two months, and Fulham fans will be wandering what exactly has changed.

Ex-Fulham captain Danny Murphy was the first to address the situation by claiming that Meulensteen is too similar to his predecessor. Speaking on the Colin Murray show, Murphy said:

He is quite similar to Martin from what I can gather. Martin was a coach, he is always out on the training pitch, and I think Meulensteen is the same.

Similar nationalities, similar traits in some ways and I think they went like-for-like rather than a different extreme, which can give you a reaction.”

Besides the obvious link to Holland, Murphy believes that both managers have a similar coaching style, which has failed to spark the reaction new owner Shahid Khan was looking for.

Comparing the records makes for grim reading, with Meulensteen only able to add three wins in his eleven games in charge, losing eight times. Worryingly for Fulham, Meulensteen hasn’t been able to address the leaky defence either, shipping a further 29 goals, compared to Jol’s tally of 24.
This included a humbling six-nil second half capitulation against Hull. Both Fulham sides are lining up with a similar 4-2-3-1 formation, which so far has left the frontman isolated, and required too much work-rate for the aging legs of Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell and Giorgios Karagounis, leaving the back four constantly exposed.
So is all hope lost for Fulham? The simple answer is no.

There is no doubting that Fulham need to drastically improve, but judging Meulensteen on his first eleven games in charge is futile, as he was working with Martin Jol’s squad. In the January transfer window, Meulensteen was able to stretch his financial muscle, and he will be ecstatic with the signings made.

Fulham brought in a goalscorer in Kostas Mitroglou, offsetting the loss of Dimitar Berbatov, who, although at times genius, is not the fighter you need in a relegation scrap.

The signing of Lewis Holtby on loan from Tottenham will add the much needed creativity and work ratethat was missing from Bryan Ruiz and Adel Taarabt. Although the chances are slim, Holtby will be fighting for a spot in the German world cup squad, as well as his Tottenham future.

He was also able to add the premiership experience of John Heitinga, and the much needed injection of youth from former United youngsters Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunicliffe, who Meulensteen knows well from his time in Manchester. These signing have given Fulham a fighting chance of avoiding relegation, although the next two fixtures, against Manchester United and Liverpool do not bode well.

Ultimately, if Fulham do stay up, then expect the new signings to be instrumental in the rise up the table.

Fulham may benefit from the fact that, with so many other teams struggling, there will be 3 or 4 teams that stay up without deserving it. In bringing the age of the squad down, and shipping out the deadwood at craven cottage that Jol compiled, Meulensteen has already upgraded Fulham. However, the acid test for his managerial career will be whether they start next season at home to Arsenal, or away to Doncaster.



http://threeandin.com/archives/34634?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2014, 04:51:36 AM »
 
Warburton, Trotta Nominated

Continuing good form has earned Brentford Manager Mark Warburton and striker Marcello Trotta nominations for the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards for January. Warburton 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. Trotta scored three goals for The Bees in January and set up two more.


http://www.griffinpark.org/forums/showthread.php?t=109544&p=2307814#post2307814


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2014, 03:53:12 PM »
 
Clint Dempsey trying to regain form

A little more than four months before the U.S. World Cup opener, Clint Dempsey is trying to regain his form.

He set a record for an American in Europe with 23 goals for Fulham two seasons ago and earned a transfer to Tottenham, a wealthier and more prestigious London club.

After scoring just 12 goals for Spurs, Dempsey made the surprising decision last summer to return to Major League Soccer and joined the Seattle Sounders for a $9 million transfer fee. But hampered by a calf injury, he scored just once in 12 matches.

Now the U.S. captain is in the middle of a two-month loan back to Fulham, trying to help his old club get out of last place and avoid relegation from the Premier League.

"It's been tough, but also it's been good for me, trying to get back to fitness and feeling good, coming off an injury towards the end of the season with the national team,'' he said during a telephone interview Thursday. "It's good to get some games, some minutes over here, but unfortunately the results haven't been going our way. But I've still got a month left and hopefully we can start getting some points.''

Dempsey, a midfielder and forward who turns 31 next month, started a trend of American soccer repatriation. Michael Bradley, a 26-year-old midfielder, was sold from Italy's Roma to Toronto FC last month for 7 million euros ($9.5 million). Midfielder Maurice Edu moved from England's Stoke to Philadelphia and defender Michael Parkhurst from Germany's Augsburg to Columbus.

After taking over as U.S. coach in 2011, Jurgen Klinsmann had pressed his players to challenge themselves on bigger stages _ as long as they put themselves in situations where they saw playing time.

"Obviously, you want more in the Champions League, where the music is played,'' Klinsmann said in May 2012, adding he told his players "none of you guys, none of you guys have really experienced the highest level of club football on a consistent basis. Maybe a year here or a year there, but not really what it takes to be a consistent performer on the highest level. So I can tell you what it takes to be there, because I was there.''

Uncertain of minutes in every match, the quartet returned to MLS and will face a quality of play that has vastly improved but still falls short of what their European clubs experience.

"I'm not worried about that. I think the more important thing for a player is to make sure that's you're playing and you're playing well and playing consistently. If doesn't matter where you are,'' Dempsey said. ``You're seeing more players come back to MLS in their prime and the homegrown talent coming up that's of high quality. I think that game's always continuing to grow and I'm happy to be part of that growth and come back to the league.''

Dempsey hasn't scored in six matches with Fulham this year. While he helped the Cottagers reached the Europa League final in 2010, they are last in the Premier League this season at 6-17-1 and were eliminated from the FA Cup this week in the fourth round by Sheffield United, which is 23rd among the 24 clubs in the third-tier League 1.

Fans at Craven Cottage applauded Dempsey during a warm welcome when he returned, but he knows he has to reward them with goals and that lead to points and keep the club from dropping into the second-tier League Championship for the first time since 2000-01.

He's just one of the Americans on a scoring skid. Jozy Altidore broke Dempsey's mark for goals by an American in Europe with 31 last season for the Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, but the forward has just two this season for England's Sunderland.

At the World Cup, the Americans play Ghana, Portugal and Germany in what appears to be the most difficult first-round group. Preparing for its seventh straight World Cup appearance, the U.S. won last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup and topped the final round of qualifying for the third straight cycle.

"The confidence seems to be growing. The quality seems to be getting better. There's more competition for spots,'' Dempsey said. ``They just keep pushing us even more to get better and better. We're coming off one of our most successful seasons, successful years with the national team, and hopefully we can carry that into 2014. I'm excited about the challenge of the World Cup and the group that we're in, and looking forward to going down there and try to continue the growth of the game in the United States and getting out of the group.''

Sponsor interest also is increasing. Four years ago, Nike put up a 70½-foot billboard of Dempsey near New York's Penn Station. Dempsey took part in a video chat Thursday for Degree Men deodorant as part of a promotion in which a fan named Faiz Hasya Deniza won a trip to the World Cup that includes a meeting with Dempsey.

For now, Dempsey is living through another London winter. He's actually back in the Wimbledon Village apartment he rented when he first arrived following his sale from the New England Revolution in January 2007.

"I still had the landlord's number,'' he said. "It's nice to get back into the same flat that I was in, but it's lonely not having the wife and kids over.''

He plans to rejoin the Sounders ahead of their MLS opener against Sporting Kansas City on March 8 -- three days after the U.S. is scheduled to play an exhibition at Ukraine -- and hopes to be sharper than he was when he got to Seattle last summer. He'll have a little more than two months with the Sounders before the national team gathers in mid-May to start final preparations for Brazil.

"It never really changes, your mindset,'' he said. "All you can do is put in work. That's what you can control, the effort that you put in, and that's what I'm doing.''



http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1707331?&cc=5739

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2014, 03:56:23 PM »
 
Fulham defender Brede Hangeland: I'm just an ordinary guy who happens to play football
Fulham defender tells Jonathan Liew there is more to life than three points


Ordinary guy: Fulham's down-to-earth defender Brede Hangeland 

As a teenager, Brede Hangeland served a year of national service in the Norwegian navy.

“I’ll tell you a story,” he says in a vaguely conspiratorial tone, suppressing a chuckle as he gets the facts straight in his head.
“We had to go on the range and practise shooting. After that, you had to take your gun apart, clean it with oil, and put it back together. That took two hours.

“After the first time, a few of us got together and decided there was no point actually shooting. So we just pretended, gave the ammo to the next guy, and then you could sleep for two hours. I fired about 16 shots in 12 months.”

There are two conclusions you could derive from this. The first is that Fulham’s 32-year-old centre-half is a resourceful, intelligent sort of guy. He did four years of a part-time degree in business and economics, which he has topped up with a number of online courses. He reads voraciously: books and newspapers, and not just the sport pages either.

The second is that for all the stresses, dilemmas and background noise that accompany the existence of the modern Premier League footballer, Hangeland really just craves a simple life. Not for Hangeland the neon honeypots of the Kings Road, or the branded luxury goods of the aspirant sporting icon.

He is perfectly content living with his wife and three children near the idyllic suburban grasslands of Richmond Park, from where he can easily take the train to work in the morning.

This hankering for something more and something less than the archetypal footballer’s life partly explains why he has remained at Fulham for almost six years. It also explains why, even against his career’s turbulent backdrop – struggles with relegation, new managers and injury strife, a daunting trip to Old Trafford on Sunday – he can appreciate that there is more to life than three points.

Here’s something you may not know about him. At his wedding in 2009, guests were asked not to bring gifts, but to make a donation to Save the Children, the proceeds of which – around £45,000 in total – went towards the construction of a school in Cambodia that is already up and running.

“How did you know that?” he asks; surprised, because he has never sought any publicity for his act of altruism. “There wasn’t anything we needed, so it was a nice thing to do. I think there are 500 kids going to school there than wouldn’t be going otherwise. I haven’t been to visit, but that’s definitely that’s on the bucket list.”

So, why did he do it? “I see myself as just an ordinary guy who happens to play football. It’s important in this game to be able to broaden your horizons. You can get caught in this bubble, where football seems like the most important thing in the world.
 Although it means a lot to people, there are definitely bigger things out there. It’s useful to remember that we are really privileged, and the problems we have are small in comparison.”

Hangeland sits on the management committee of the Professional Footballers Association, and thus has a certain interest in the way footballers are perceived.

“People think we’re all the same, that we all just play golf and PlayStation, and drive expensive cars, and that’s it. There are some that are superstars, and act that way, but that’s not necessarily true for the rest. And it’s important to keep that in mind.
“The fact is that everyone’s different. Some get the train into training in the morning. Simon Davies used to do that. Some read the papers, read books. We can actually read, some of us.

“There are lots of different types. It’s just that there’s only one portrayed. There’s always a big story in the papers when someone does something wrong, but there’s not much focus on normality in football. It just shows, in this day and age, what makes a story. Which I can understand, because I suppose it’s a bit boring.”

At the moment, the real story is Fulham’s Premier League survival. For all the fresh ideas promised by new manager Rene Meulensteen, Fulham are still bottom of the table, having blossomed for periods but not, Hangeland admits, for a full 90 minutes.

“I agree with that,” he says. “We need to get points on the board as soon as possible. When times are a bit difficult, like now, everyone working here has a job to lift the mood and work hard.”

Does he feel an emotional connection with Fulham? “Very much so. That’s an important thing, especially in modern-day football. Players come and go; go wherever the money’s best, so to speak. So I think it’s good to have something that connects you with the club on a deeper level.

"You don’t want to be a mercenary, just travelling around. You want to really care about the place. From the day I arrived, I’ve felt at home, and I’ve never really found any reason to leave. I can see myself finishing my career at Fulham, no question about that.”

Hangeland, who was signed by Roy Hodgson from Copenhagen in 2008, has seen a good deal of change in his six years. “The style of play has seen a big difference,” he says. “When I played with Aaron Hughes under Hodgson, we used to work on defending every day, basically spend a whole session on it.

It was almost mechanical, like a telepathic understanding.

“Hodgson did a lot of work on the defensive side, shape and teamwork, over and over again, the same stuff. Mark Hughes and his guys were very keen on energy and the tempo of play, whereas Martin Jol was definitely more attack-minded. A lot of ball work, a lot of technical drills, keeping the ball, creating overloads. Of course we worked on defending, but less so. So there was less of a system in place.”

What about Meulensteen? “He’s made a difference since coming in. I realise results haven’t been great, but there’s a difference in the quality of our training and the way we try and do things, so I think we will improve.”

At that point, he abruptly stops himself. Something has caught his eye.

Pressed up against the office window is Damien Duff, flexing his bare, pasty torso for our private benefit. “Can we get some self tan or something here?” Hangeland shouts. “Guys like him. How can you leave this place? He isn’t your typical footballer either, I can tell you that. He’s on his bike, cycling home after a game, a little wicker basket on the front.”

Having had his fun, Duff’s brilliant white features recede into the background. This really isn’t your ordinary club, is it?
“I don’t think it is,” Hangeland smiles. “I think that’s the reason I like it.”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/fulham/10622939/Fulham-defender-Brede-Hangeland-Im-just-an-ordinary-guy-who-happens-to-play-football.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2014, 03:58:26 PM »
 
BRENTFORD DUO MISS OUT ON SKY BET AWARDS

Brentford Manager Mark Warburton and striker Marcello Trotta did not win Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards

Brentford Manager Mark Warburton and striker Marcello Trotta missed out on the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards for January.

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 earned Mark a nomination for the Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month award for January and Marcello Trotta was nominated for the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month award for January.

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.

That was not enough for the prize as Layton Orient boss Russell Slade was named the winner.

Orient won four League One games out of four in January, beating Shrewsbury and Crewe Alexandra away from home and Carlisle United and Coventry City at home.

They lost to Yeovil Town in an FA Cup with Budweiser tie that did not count and started February with defeat to Rotherham United, another result that was not factored in to the judging.

It meant Mark did not 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.

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.

However, Peterborough striker Nicky Ajose took the award.

The striker hit five goals in the month, a hat-trick against the ten men of Notts County, the third in a 3-0 win over Tranmere Rovers and one in a defeat to Oldham Athletic.

His five goals in five games won him the prize.

Marcello missed out on being 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 Manager of the Month award is decided by Dave Bassett, Sky Sports’ Football League expert Don Goodman, Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson, League Managers Association Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Head of Football Paul Wiggins.

The Player of the Month award is decided by Don Goodman, Football League Head of Communications John Nagle, Olaf Dixon and Paul Wiggins.


Read more at http://www.brentfordfc.co.uk/news/article/mom-pom-jan-2014-1344224.aspx?#d3XkIedbvrifQBSr.99


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2014, 03:59:43 PM »
 
Wayne Rooney v Pajtim Kasami: Head-to-head analysis ahead of the clash between Manchester United and Fulham



Check out all the vital statistics concerning the two sides' players ahead of this weekend's Premier League meeting at Old Trafford

Ahead of this weekend's Premier League meeting, between Manchester United and Fulham, see how the sides' players Wayne Rooney and Pajtim Kasami compare.

Data and graphic provided by whoscored.com



http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/wayne-rooney-v-pajtim-kasami-headtohead-analysis-ahead-of-the-clash-between-manchester-united-and-fulham-9113018.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2014, 04:01:02 PM »
 
Things never change at the Cottage

Fulham FanZoner Andy Lye believes poor tactical decisions are costing the Cottagers, and hopes the club's new signings can turn things around.

We'll have to wait until Sunday's game at Old Trafford to really see if what was probably our best transfer deadline day ever will have the effect we want, but if our desperate need for energetic players wasn't already evident, the old ones made sure it was beyond doubt with their performances this week.

We've gone backwards, it's fair to say. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd say we were still playing under Martin Jol. When Rene Meulensteen took over our play improved overnight, and that was primarily down to one simple thing: he picked a balanced team with players in their correct positions.

Suddenly he's stopped doing that, and is compounding the issue with ludicrous substitutions, just as Jol used to. The team line-up against Southampton was obviously wrong from the moment it was announced. Against a quick team we had no pace in the starting 11 at all, with the players who should have been first choice (Ashkan Dejagah and Alex Kacaniklic) sacrificed seemingly to shoehorn new loan singing William Kvist into central midfield alongside established pair Steve Sidwell and Scott Parker.

Obviously Lewis Holtby needed to start as well, so he was stuck out on the right so, along with Rene's inexplicable persistence with Damian Duff, whose lack of confidence going forward is easy to see, we lined up with no real wide options.

Inevitably Holtby was rarely out on the right, often cutting inside to look for the ball, and with three central midfielders we crowded ourselves out in the middle. Southampton therefore enjoyed a lot of space down the flanks all day.

But the new ones were our best players. Kvist kept his passing neat and accurate, tackled sensibly, and didn't stop running. Holtby similarly was full of running and, despite a few wayward passes, he was easily our most eager, creative player. Meanwhile Sidwell was appalling, and Parker was largely anonymous having apparently lost the confidence to pass. Up front Darren Bent was also dreadful, and shouldn't have been allowed to stay on for 19 minutes, let alone the full 90. How Rene couldn't see it was a mystery.

Bent and Sidwell were the obvious changes to make, for Hugo Rodellega and a winger respectively. That would allow Holtby to move inside and feed the striker. Instead Clint Dempsey and Pajtim Kasami came on for Parker and Duff, so we still didn't have any wingers on the field and effectively had three number tens all trying to play in the same place.

Against Sheffield United, Parker was absolutely awful and looked completely demoralised. The famous pirouetting in the centre circle has started, which is a clear indication that he doesn't have the confidence to look for a pass forwards, and after an hour he simply stopped running.

Several out of position players, including Muamer Tankovic lost in central midfield, and Kasami on the right wing, doing his level best to replace Dimitar Berbatov in the ineffective-but-stroppy stakes, likewise had bad games, and although Kacaniklic got the start he deserved, Dejagah was once again left out. What he's done wrong to deserve being dropped so often is anybody's guess.

Meanwhile Rodellega had to put up with barely getting a sniff of the ball as the midfield queued up to pass backwards, so we had to rely, bizarrely, on Brede Hangeland and Dan Burn attempting long range passes to get the ball forward. Unsurprisingly that didn't work.

The solution was again simple. Giorgos Karagounis for Tankovic to get a bit of energy and confidence into the middle and allow Parker to drop back without the pressure of needing to go forward, and Dejagah for Kasami to get some pace down the right.

Instead Rene hauls off the only two players in the side who might actually achieve anything if given the chance, Kacaniklic and Rodellega, to bring on Duff and Dejagah. Kasami then spent the next few minutes completely lost because he didn't know where he was meant to be, while Rodellega looked like a man who wished he'd left in January.

I honestly thought we finally had a manager with a real tactical mind, but the last two games haven't provided particularly compelling evidence, and I'm getting tired of looking for small positives in otherwise diabolical performances. Sacking him would be a mistake, especially after backing him so heavily in the transfer window, but the new recruits simply must do the business.

Starting with Man U we have got to get a balance back to the team, get as many new players, hopefully untainted by the awful season we've had so far, into the side as possible and hope their work rate is high. If that means sacrificing Parker, Duff, Kieran Richardson, or anyone else, so be it. Every week it feels like the opposition has more men on the pitch than us, and that's because we simply aren't working hard enough to cover the pitch and close down the ball or break quickly.

That means big new striker Kostas Mitroglou must start, with Holtby behind him. We need to use real wingers, with Kvist and one other (this should really be Karagounis, at least for an hour) in the middle, and John Heitinga at left back. Although not a natural left back, he is athletic and tough-tackling, which is something we often lack in that position, and is desperate to prove a point and get into the Dutch World Cup squad.

The new signings really seem to be our only hope, because most of the old players look like they've already given up. We look like a team going down, and must change that attitude. We've ejected the right players from the squad (Senderos, Ruiz, Berbatov), and on paper signed a lot of quality, so all hope isn't lost just yet.



http://www.teamtalk.com/fanzone/15164/9153860/-?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2014, 04:02:41 PM »
 
Poor Transfer Targets And Forward Thinking Leave Fulham In Mire



Anyone who has seen Fulham lately will realise that despite the small points gaps in the relegation battle, the Cottagers can have no complaints about sitting last place. There are obviously various reasons they find themselves there, but the lack of a transfer policy and forward thinking has caught up with them and meant a squad lacking youth, imagination and cohesion.

When Rene Meulensteen was brought in as Manager in December, he was left with a pretty uninspiring squad. However, most people felt that with the right additions in the Transfer Window and a few good results, things would improve. The New Manager couldn’t be blamed for the previous summers transfers, which did little to help and aging squad. Fulham brought in what you would now have to class as some real unimaginative signings, which were the opposite of what they needed. However, the last transfer window has done little to make the squad see much improvement. Other clubs with similar budgets targeted young players, but with a good reputation. With the change of ownership, fans of the whites would have been waiting with anticipation to see some ambition from the off.

One area that has been slightly improved in the Winter Window is Defence, with Dutch International John Heitinga arriving. The usually solid Brede Hangeland has been paired firstly with the now-departed Senderos, then occasionally un-inspiring summer arrival Amorebieta and recently youngster Dan Burn. The availability of the likes of Steven Caulker (now Cardiff) last July, would have been the perfect type of player. A player with big potential, and could play week in week out with Hangeland. However, Martin Jol signed unproven Amorebieta from Spain and also went with the underperforming Hangeland. Luckily, Heitinga has been brought in now – one piece of decent transfer work.

In Midfield, the club has never planned forward. The three options in there are all the wrong side of thirty. Both Scott Parker and Steve Sidwell normally start, but neither now find it easy to dictate the tempo of the game. The third is the veteran Georgios Karagounis, who is now thirty five. The loan signing of Defensive Minded Midfielder William Kvist a couple of weeks ago seems even more strange, when you consider the type of player the club seems overloaded with. Again, it stems back to the start of the season though. Most people will tell you that the summer window is the time to get the best players. Players like Tom Huddlestone (a good tempo dictator through passing) or even Jonjo Shelvey (who can break from Midfield with energy) went to Hull and Swansea. Surely they are the type of players that a club like Fulham should be competing for.

Even in Forward areas, they haven’t been scoring enough. Dimitar Berbatov was allowed to leave – which some will say is no bad thing. However, it’s still a gamble to let that talent go mid-way through a season. Big money has been spent on Konstantinos Mitroglou from Olympiacos. It would seem he has the attributes to be a good Striker, but he may take time to settle – something Fulham haven’t got. So the main pressure for goals currently falls to Darren Bent. Unless he gets better service though, he will struggle to score. That will fall at the feet of loan signings Lewis Holtby and Clint Dempsey, who will be tasked to play the ‘number ten’ role. Wide areas will need to up their game – another part of the team which needed better options. With his Manchester United links, should Meulentsteen have gone all out to loan Wifried Zaha? His pace on the wing couldn’t have been a bad thing. Relying on Damien Duff to deliver every game is too much to expect of a thirty four year old. Other options like Kasami and Kacaniklic are too inconsistent to think they will make the difference more often than not.

All in all its not looking good for the Cottagers. However, the way the Premier League is at the moment, they are certainly not a lost cause. The players will have to stand up and be counted soon though, as Fulham look to avoid the Championship.



http://www.sport.co.uk/football/poor-transfer-targets-and-forward-thinking-leave-fulham-in-m/4599466/?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2014, 04:03:40 PM »
 
A Good Challenge


John Heitinga is itching to make his Fulham debut when the Whites head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday (4pm).

The Netherlands international joined Fulham in the final hours of the January transfer window from Everton and was therefore ineligible to feature in last weekend’s 3-0 home loss to Southampton.

Introduced to the Fulham faithful beforehand, Heitinga watched on as the Whites dominated the first half, only to concede three goals in quick succession in the second 45 to fall to defeat.

The result saw Fulham slip to the foot of the Barclays Premier League table, but Heitinga has seen enough in his short time in SW6 to suggest his new side can get out of trouble.

“The spirit in the squad is good,” Heitinga told the official website. “I knew Maarten Stekelenburg beforehand from the national team and the other boys have welcomed me into the group.

“They’re professionals and good players. We know exactly what we need to do to get out of this situation. It’s a top club and we have the quality to be higher up the table than we are.”

With 14 games remaining, Fulham Head Coach René Meulensteen believes at least six wins will be required in order for the Whites to survive.

And centre-back Heitinga, who can also play in midfield, is eyeing the start of that run against the Red Devils, a side who have suffered a mixed campaign of their own under new boss David Moyes.

The 30-year-old had made just five appearances for Everton this season and is understandably keen to feature when the Whites run out against Moyes’ men.

“Hopefully I’ll make my debut on Sunday,” said Heitinga. “It will be a good challenge but a tough game away from home. United haven’t been as dominant at home this season as they have in the past, we need to get some points and we’re aiming to start on Sunday. If I can help play a part, then that will be good.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/07/a-good-challenge?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2014, 04:04:57 PM »
 
Fulham's Hugo Rodallega slams 'disrespectful' Rene Meulensteen after upsetting substitution

Fulham striker Hugo Rodallega has told Colombian TV that head coach Rene Meulensteen showed him a lack of respect by taking him off against Sheffield United.

Rodallega has had few chances to impress at Craven Cottage since Meulensteen took charge but he was given a start for Tuesday's FA Cup replay.

However, Meulensteen's decision to replace the striker after an hour left him more devastated than at any other time in his career, with the forward sitting with his head in his hands on the bench after leaving the field.

Rodallega cannot understand why he was substituted when other forwards at Fulham tend to be given a whole match, and has criticised his boss.

"I have no relationship with the new manager and I think he has been disrespectful to me," Rodallega is quoted as telling Colombian TV show Kick Off.

"He always keeps his forwards on whether or not they are playing well, so I don't know why he has done this to me. It broke my heart.

"I've never gone through a situation like the one on Tuesday in my whole career. I couldn't sleep that night."

The 28-year-old added: "I've had a good career with no acts of indiscipline anywhere.

"But at that moment I felt rage because I wanted to keep playing."

Fulham crashed out of the FA Cup defeat with a 1-0 defeat as Shaun Miller scored for Sheffield United in the final minute of extra-time.



http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9154017/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2014, 04:06:05 PM »
 
U21 Chelsea Preview

Our Under-21s face Chelsea at Motspur Park on Friday night (7.05pm) in what promises to be an exciting SW6 derby.

Kit Symons’ side continue to set the pace in the Barclays U21 Premier League following their 1-0 defeat of West Ham United last time out. The victory stretched the Whites’ unbeaten run to 12 league fixtures.

Opponents Chelsea are also enjoying a fine run of form, with the Blues undefeated in their last seven matches. Like Fulham, their only recent loss came against Arsenal in the U21 Premier League Cup.

To date, Dermot Drummy’s side have lost just twice in the league, slipping to a 4-2 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur in their opening game and then to a 3-2 loss at Everton in mid-September. Taking 22 points from their 12 games, the Blues sit in fourth place and six points behind the Whites.

Last season Fulham and Chelsea met on four occasions at Under-21 level, with both winning two games each. The Whites claimed 3-1 and 1-0 victories at home.

As a result of the U21s’ impressive campaign to date, a number of Symons’ charges have been rewarded with First Team football this term, with Chris David, Moussa Dembélé, Buomesca Tué Na Bangna, Josh Passley, Ange-Freddy Plumain, Muamer Tanković and Lasse Vigen Christensen (pictured) all involved at various points.

Chelsea, too, boast a talented group, particularly in the form of England youth internationals Lewis Baker, Isaiah Brown, Fankaty Dabo, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and John Swift. Frenchman Jeremie Boga and Scotland Under-21 international Islam Feruz are also key players for the Blues.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/07/u21-preview?


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2014, 04:09:39 PM »
 
Adams hoping to extend Grimmer loan



Manager Micky Adams has revealed that he would like to extend Jack Grimmer’s loan until the end of the season.

Grimmer has been a big success since joining the club on loan from Fulham but his initial month’s loan will expire after the game against Swindon.

Adams said: ”The plan is to talk to Fulham and see what they want to do.

“He is their player so we always have to be mindful of that, and ask the question.

“It is up to them what they want to do with him.”



http://www.onevalefan.co.uk/site/adams-hoping-to-extend-grimmer-loan/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2014, 04:11:16 PM »
 
Can Fulham pull off the great escape?

It took a while coming this season, but Fulham have finally hit the foot of the Premier League table. Their 3-0 home defeat to Southampton on Saturday has left them two points off 19th-placed Cardiff and four away from Crystal Palace in 17th. On current form they are certainly down, but with 14 games left will they be able to improve in time?

Here, Sports Mole considers a number of factors that could go in the Cottagers' favour or against them in their battle to pull off an unlikely survival.

1. Coaching team

Fulham's coaching set-up must have been dreamed up by the writers of The Matrix, such is its complexity. Since they dispensed with the services of the previous manager Martin Jol, the club's heirarchy - namely chairman Shahid Khan and CEO Alistair Mackintosh - put head coach Rene Meulensteen in charge of first-team affairs. All well and good, but throw in assistant head coach Ray Wilkins and technical director Alan Curbishley and there are certainly a lot of cooks keeping an eye on that broth.

Initially, in Meulensteen's first few games in charge, the players showed a new sense of vigour and an intent to attack and they looked as though they had more than enough to survive. However, and it remains to be seen whether this is a coincidence or not, since Wilkins and Curbishley have arrived the football on the pitch has returned to the slow-paced, uncreative fare from earlier in the season. Perhaps one clear boss - whether that is Meulensteen or Curbishley - would put the Whites in a better spot?

2. The run-in

Every team plays every other twice throughout a league season so there is no real advantage, but there is little doubt that a less tricky run-in is a bonus for a side desperate for points. Not only do some teams have less to play for at the end of a season, but a spell of home games against teams in a similar league position can pull a team up the table and those near them down it.

In this respect, Fulham have as good a final five games as could be hoped for in a relegation battle. Although they have a tough time of it over the next couple of months, should they stay in touch of 17th before the last five their run-in could make the difference. They take on four bottom-half teams in April and May, which is far preferable to facing Champions League teams.

Fulham have history here, too. In the 2007-08 season they had just 24 points after 33 games before finishing strongly to somehow survive on the final day. At this point, fans would take a must-win game against Palace on May 11.

3. Are there worse teams?

Having plummeted to the bottom of the table, Fulham are also propping up the form league over the last six games. That makes it tough to see three other sides who the Whites can climb above. On paper, however, some of the players they have compare favourably to their relegation counterparts. For example, a World Cup finalist goalkeeper in Maarten Stekelenburg as well as a lot of Premier League experience in the likes of Scott Parker and Brede Hangeland.

That said, a lot of the other teams have found the right combination already. Palace may have a less strong squad on paper, but in Tony Pulis they have a manager experienced at producing results even if the football is not so eye-catching. Sunderland, bottom for so long earlier in the season have seen Gus Poyet turn their fortunes around. Perhaps Fulham's best chance of catching teams will be others falling into the scrap who were previously comfortable, such as Swansea City and Norwich City.

4. New signings

Whatever else has happened to Fulham this season, the owner Khan has signalled his intention to give his side the best chance of survival by sanctioning some important signings. This includes the club-record signing of Konstantinos Mitroglou from Olympiacos. Before the January transfer window Meulensteen had to work with Jol's squad, but with a handful of new signings to work with he has many of his own players now.

The new players, who also include William Kvist and Lewis Holtby on loan, have had time to train with their new teammates and all could provide fresh momentum to what has been a failing relegation battle to this point. What's more, many of the new players improve the squad in key areas.

Mitroglou is an energetic battering-ram and much more valuable in a relegation scrap than Dimitar Berbatov. Holtby will provide a creative spark with his passing and running that the team simply lacks in the likes of Steve Sidwell and Parker, while Kvist is a different kind of midfielder, happy not to roam too far from his defensive midfield position.

How well the players adapt will be crucial to Fulham's chances, but they must also turn all the above points in their favour. There is still time, but with 42 points left to play for - and 21 needed to reach the magic 40 - even that is running out quickly.



http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/fulham/relegation-battle/news/can-fulham-pull-off-the-great-escape_135836.html

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (07/02/14)...
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2014, 04:12:41 PM »
 
GBK Joins The Team

Gourmet Burger Kitchen has agreed a deal to become an Official Partner of Fulham Football Club for the remainder of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season. The partnership sees GBK offering unique benefits to Fulham Season Ticket Holders, Members and Junior Members.

As a partner of Fulham, GBK has secured a variety of marketing rights around the Club which will focus on adding value to junior memberships and include activations such as bringing the GBK burger bus to Craven Cottage and give fans the chance to meet Billy the Badger at an event at GBK Wandsworth Southside!

Burger Hungry? Download the GBK app to enjoy free burgers & sides on every other visit*, enter competitions and receive discounts. Download at gbkapp.co.uk or visit your app store. Dining in without our app? You're missing out. The immensely popular GBK App rewards burger aficionados with free burgers and other tasty treats.

The free side offer is available at the below GBK restaurants, when you download the gbk app from gbkapp.co.uk and quote ‘Fulham Football Club’ at the till:

- Wimbledon: 88 The Broadway, London, SW19 1RH

- Kingston: 42-46 High Street, Kingston-Upon-Thames, KT1 1HL

- Wandsworth: 54 Garratt Lane, Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth, SW18 4TF

- Putney: 333 Putney Bridge Road, Putney, London, SW15 2PG

- Fulham: 49 Fulham Broadway, London, SW6 1AE

*Terms and Conditions: Free side when you purchase a main meal and download the GBK app. Present your app customer ID at the till when ordering and quote ‘Fulham Football Club’ to receive the offer. Offer is also valid for existing app users. Valid at GBK Wimbledon, Putney, Wandsworth Southside, Fulham and Kingston restaurants only. Valid until 31st July 2014.



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2014/february/07/gbk-joins-the-team?