Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...  (Read 2904 times)

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Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« on: June 05, 2010, 07:07:13 AM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/June/TouresToulonTriumph.aspx?
Toure's Toulon Triumph



Footballing history was made recently when Ivory Coast won the prestigious Toulon Under-21 Tournament. Cheick Toure, Fulham's young central defender, was part of the victorious squad and even collected an award for being the youngest player taking part in the Final, aged just 17 years old.

The Elephants secured the trophy against the odds and, as Toure explained to fulhamfc.com, their team spirit more than made up for a less than ideal preparation.

"In the beginning it was hard to see us winning the tournament because it was the first call-up for all of the players," Toure told fulhamfc.com. "We had never played together before. We had one week together and played one friendly, compared to a team like France who played maybe three or five friendly games and they play together all of the time.

"I was injured at the start of the tournament so I didn't play in the first and second games; I played in the third game against France - we lost 2-1, after that we had the semi-final which I didn't play in. I came on as a substitute in the final. I injured my foot in the friendly game against Marseille before the tournament and when I recovered it was not easy to get into a winning team.

"In the beginning it was hard but we all gave 100%. We were strong-minded and that's why we won the tournament."

The Ivory Coast qualified from a group containing France, Colombia and Japan.  They secured their place in the final by beating tournament favourites Chile and went on to record an impressive win over Denmark, who had knocked out the hotly-tipped French in the other semi-final.

"Everyone was thinking Ivory Coast won't win the tournament but because we were strong minded we were thinking like a team," said Toure. "In the coach before games we were singing African songs, it was like a family. We were playing like a family.



 "The lesson I learned from Toulon is when you play football, don't think about who you are playing against, just think about what you have to do. Think about your job, don't think about the man. If you think 'I'm going to play against Rooney or Ronaldo' you will get scared. You have to brave and strong, that's why I like English football."

Toure has developed well since joined Fulham's Academy last year and graduated to Billy McKinlay's Reserve side following impressive performances at youth level. Initially he was a central midfielder by trade, but after having been switched to a central defender his game has further improved. 

"I was playing in central midfield but Gary Brazil said to me that I can play at centre back," Toure explained. "In the beginning I didn't like it but now I prefer playing centre back and I don't want to play in midfield anymore.

"Billy McKinlay's training sessions are hard; he's a very tough man. But he's tough because he wants to help me. I want to stay in England because it's the best league, I like England and I like English football, if you can play in England you can play anywhere. I want to stay at Fulham it's a nice club and I want to improve which is why I like Fulham.

"I like winning tackles, winning headers. In the beginning it was difficult because I couldn't speak English, I didn't know what I had to do and I was sitting on the bench. I said to Lee [Hagger, Academy Manager], 'I need to start speaking English, I need to improve my English'. When I started my lessons everything started getting better. I could understand everything, even Billy's accent. 



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/June/TouresToulonTriumph.aspx?#ixzz0pxL2LoBD

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 07:08:56 AM »
http://www.clubcall.com/fulham/world-cup-star-seeks-new-deal-1067221.html?
World Cup star seeks new deal

Dickson Etuhu says he is keen to speak to Fulham about a new contract once he returns from this summer's World Cup finals.

The midfielder is among several squad members with just one year remaining on his current deal, with speculation rife at this time of year as to which players may move on.

With Fulham putting talks on hold until next month, there has been talk that the likes of Paul Konchesky and Zoltan Gera could be targets for other Premier League teams.

But Nigeria international Etuhu remains happy to stay at Craven Cottage beyond his current deal and is keen to talk figure with Fulham officials.

He told the Fulham Chronicle: "They haven't spoke at me, but it's not like I'm out of contract - I've still got a year left.

"I'm just going to keep my head down, go to the World Cup and see what happens. I'm happy and want to stay here."

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 07:10:11 AM »
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/midfielder-keen-on-talks-1067221.html?
Midfielder keen on talks

Dickson Etuhu says he is keen to speak to Fulham about a new contract once he returns from this summer's World Cup finals.

The midfielder is among several squad members with just one year remaining on his current deal, with speculation rife at this time of year as to which players may move on.

With Fulham putting talks on hold until next month, there has been talk that the likes of Paul Konchesky and Zoltan Gera could be targets for other Premier League teams.

But Nigeria international Etuhu remains happy to stay at Craven Cottage beyond his current deal and is keen to talk figure with Fulham officials.

He told the Fulham Chronicle: "They haven't spoke at me, but it's not like I'm out of contract - I've still got a year left.

"I'm just going to keep my head down, go to the World Cup and see what happens. I'm happy and want to stay here."


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 07:13:41 AM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/6/4/1501423/pros-and-cons-for-roy-hodgson-to?
Pros and Cons for Roy Hodgson to consider if he becomes a legitimate candidate for the new manager at Liverpool

Roy Hodgson has now been linked to a third open managerial position in the past month. The newest link is that Roy might be a potential candidate to be the new manager at Liverpool. These stories in the media are difficult to read. I am a fan of Fulham, and I personally would want Hodgson to stay as long as he wanted. With that said I was thinking about some of the reasons Hodgson might consider for either staying at Fulham or possibly taking another job like Liverpool. If I were Hodgson I would make a list of pros and cons for considering this position.  I am going to list below my thoughts on the "pros and cons for Roy Hodgson to consider if he becomes a legitimate candidate for the new manager of Liverpool".

Pros -

1. Liverpool has to be one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.  Now Liverpool didn't have one of their best campaigns last year, but the club has a worldwide following and an incredible history.

2. The Liverpool fans are extremely loyal and passionate about their club.  When Liverpool get back on top Hodgson would get tremendous support from this fan base. Even while they are a little down he would probably feel the fan support.

3. Liverpool still have a good nucleus of players.  As long as Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are on your team you have a very good chance at winning. You also would have a very good goalkeeper in Pepe Reina. I am also a big fan of Dirk Kuyt. Again, I think the team still has a base of talent.    

4. Liverpool should get back to the Champions League within a few years.  If Roy became the manager of Liverpool he would probably get them back in the Champions League in a short amount of time. Playing in this league has to be a pro for any manager.

5. Liverpool should be in the hunt for the EPL title in a short period of time every year. Since it became the Barclays Premier League, Liverpool have not won the league. If Hodgson was able to give them that title while he was manager he would probably become a legend at that club for that title alone.  

6. Under the current financial situation of Liverpool the job would be a challenge. If Hodgson is looking for a new challenge what would be better than getting Liverpool back to the top.
  

Cons -

1. What kind of budget would Hodgson have to upgrade Liverpool? Liverpool does have a strong nucleus, but to get the club back on top the new manager is probably going to have to get some new players. The current owners are looking to sell so they might not give the new manager a tremendous budget to spend on new players.

2. Who are going to be the new owners?  This could be a major question for a new manager. I apologize in advance but I do have an example from American Football. Bill Belichick did not want to stay with the New York Jets because of the uncertainty of new ownership. He then decided to become head coach of the Patriots with an owner he was familiar with. The chemistry of owner and manager can be extremely important. A new manager might be concerned that a new owner might want to bring in a new manager once the new ownership has taken over. This uncertainty at ownership of Liverpool is definitely a con.

3. There will be tremendous pressure from the fans and the media to get back to the top right away.  When you become manager of Liverpool I think this pressure to win comes with the job. Some managers enjoy this pressure. Some others might not like this at all. I have no idea how Hodgson feels about this pressure. But, I think it might be something to consider.

4. Hodgson currently has a very good working relationship with his owner.  Hodgson has tremendous support right now from Mohamed Al Fayed. This relationship is very important. When the owner and the manager are on the same page that gives your club stability. Why would he want to leave this good situation?

5. Fulham also has a strong nucleus to build upon.  In my opinion Fulham are in good shape to have a second chapter to Hodgson's story. I just think he needs a few more pieces to add to his current base. I wouldn't be surprised to see Fulham back in Europe after next year. Hodgson might want to see if he can continue to build on what he has already established at Fulham.

6. Hodgson reportedly will be given funds to upgrade his talent at Fulham this summer.  Hodgson is probably going to have the opportunity to make Fulham better with more talent. He might not have that opportunity with Liverpool because of the uncertainty of the financial situation at Liverpool.

In concluding, I think there are some good reasons to consider the position at Liverpool. However, there are also good reasons not to consider the job in my opinion. If it were up to me it would come down to what was most important to me. The question is what is most important to Roy Hodgson? Only he has the answer to that question.  

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 07:15:20 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7217
A warm welcome?
by TOR on JUNE 4, 2010

On the whole I think Craven Cottage is a friendly place for our opponents to visit – apart from the odd song about a boy in blue or Jimmy Bullard, we’re a reasonably welcoming bunch. Certainly our victory in the Behaviour of the Public’s league (again), which includes points for “Respect Against Opponents”, would support this view.

BUT

What if this latest rumour about Diego Forlan were to be true? He’s surely Public Enemy No. 1 so it’d be interesting to see the kind of reception he’d face. Not to mention who he’d be playing for – after the two hard-fought ties in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup, I can’t imagine Harry and his Hotspurs are up there on the Christmas card list either. There’s nothing like a bit of banter to add to the atmosphere at the Cottage though, is there?

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 07:18:20 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/liverpool/7804467/Roy-Hodgson-is-favourite-to-succeed-Rafael-Benitez-as-Liverpool-manager.html?
Roy Hodgson is favourite to succeed Rafael Benítez as Liverpool manager
Roy Hodgson has emerged as the leading contender to succeed Rafael Benítez as Liverpool manager as the club’s managing director Christian Purslow and Kenny Dalglish begin their search to replace the Spaniard.


On the move: Roy Hodgson could leave Fulham Photo: ACTION IMAGES

Liverpool are determined not to rush the process and are yet to make any formal enquiries as to the availability of any potential appointment, though it is believed several expressions of interest were made to the Anfield club even before Benítez’s exit was confirmed.

But it is thought Hodgson, who led Fulham to the final of the inaugural Europa League this season, is seen as the steadying influence the club requires after the chronic uncertainty of the last months of Benítez’s six-year tenure.

His stock has rarely been higher after consistently exceeding expectations since joining Fulham in December 2007, and he has won praise for the style of his football, his ability to work on a limited budget and his non-confrontational demeanour in his second spell as a Premier League manager.

Those traits are considered essential by Liverpool’s hierarchy, which prizes stability above all else as they look to guide the club through arguably the most difficult period in Anfield’s history.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the club’s owners, have vowed to sell their stakes in Liverpool, though it is believed that is likely to be a rather longer process than first anticipated, with estimates now offered in years rather than months. It is believed that the Royal Bank of Scotland, to whom Liverpool are £237 million in debt, are losing patience with the Americans’ apparent refusal to compromise on their inflated asking price.

The continuing doubts over Liverpool’s financial health have caused several of the club’s most valuable assets to question their own futures, and the first task for Hodgson should he replace Benítez would be to persuade Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres that Liverpool can be rebuilt.

Purslow and Dalglish will seek their opinions as well as other senior squad members, including Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina, as they conduct their search, though sources at Liverpool are adamant the process will not be run as a player collective.

Of Hodgson’s rivals, Mark Hughes, the former Manchester City manager, has been roundly dismissed as a contender. That the Welshman met Purslow in Lisbon in April as Benítez’s side faced Benfica in the Europa League had been taken as a sign he had some support at boardroom level.

Similarly, Martin O’Neill’s problematic relationship with a popular American owner, Randy Lerner, at Aston Villa in recent months is likely to count against the Northern Irishman as Purslow and Dalglish look to find a manager to work with two unpopular ones. Equally pertinent, perhaps, is why O’Neill would be willing to swap parsimony at Villa Park for penury at Anfield.

Other names suggested as possibilities — Guus Hiddink, Manuel Pellegrini, Louis van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard — are more distant prospects. It emerged yesterday that Rijkaard, currently with Galatasaray, intends to remain at the Turkish side for at least one more year.

Benítez himself, meanwhile, is likely to be appointed as Jose Mourinho’s successor as manager of Inter Milan, the European champions, at the same time as Purslow and Dalglish hope to announce his replacement at Anfield.
The Spaniard, who accepted a reduced £6 million pay-off to draw a close to his tenure at Liverpool, is known to have reservations about accepting the post after the Portuguese, with whom he has never enjoyed an easy relationship, enjoyed such success in his short stay in Italy.

The club’s president Massimo Moratti, though, is confident of securing Benítez after giving up hope of luring the England manager Fabio Capello back to league management, and is likely to offer him the enticement of the chance to make Javier Mascherano, Liverpool’s unsettled midfielder, his first signing of the summer.


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 07:19:39 AM »
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2010/0605/1224271911929.html
Liverpool to approach Hodgson

LIVERPOOL HOPE to make rapid progress in their efforts to install a successor to Rafael Benitez, with Roy Hodgson the leading candidate following further talks among the Anfield hierarchy.

Having finalised the terms of Benitez’s exit swiftly with his representatives on Thursday, Liverpool directors met again yesterday to discuss his possible replacements. Both Hodgson and his Aston Villa counterpart, Martin O’Neill, have supporters inside the Anfield boardroom but the Fulham manager is expected to receive the first approach as Liverpool seek a steadying influence with a European pedigree.

The process of identifying and appointing the new manager is being led by Liverpool’s managing director, Christian Purslow, and Kenny Dalglish. Despite being installed as the early favourite for the vacancy by bookmakers and seeing his cause championed by former Liverpool team-mates including Bruce Grobbelaar and Mark Lawrenson, Dalglish is not expected to return to the role he quit in 1991.

Dalglish, who won three league titles and two FA Cups during his six years at the helm, is employed as the club’s ambassador and has been touted as the man to convince Steven Gerrard and possibly Fernando Torres to remain at Liverpool this summer.

The next Liverpool manager will have limited funds to revitalise a squad that finished seventh in the Premier League last season and it is the future direction of the club, not Benitez’s departure, that will have a greater bearing on players’ decisions.

Javier Mascherano, who has not put pen to paper on a contract extension, is another whose Anfield future is in serious doubt.

Real Madrid are confident of capitalising on the problems at Liverpool with a move for Gerrard after the World Cup and a move from Chelsea or Barcelona for Torres could be difficult for the Spain international to resist in the current climate.

“I think there is only one man for the job and that is Kenny Dalglish,” said Grobbelaar yesterday. “I think maybe now is the time he can turn the tide and take the club, stabilise it, with the fans, make sure everything gets on track and take the club where it should be.”

Liverpool are under no pressure to install an interim appointment or rush the managerial search. However, Anfield officials are confident of securing their first choice.

No formal approach has been made to Fulham for Hodgson as yet and the Europa League finalists would not welcome a move for their manager, who has a €3 million release clause in his contract at Craven Cottage.

Fulham would fight hard to keep Hodgson, who is on holiday and whose wife is from Liverpool.

Guardian Service

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 07:20:51 AM »
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/liverpool-drawn-to-fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-14831427.html?
Liverpool drawn to Fulham manager Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, has emerged as the preferred candidate to replace Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

Benitez left Anfield by mutual consent on Thursday with a £6m pay-off after a season that saw Liverpool finish seventh in the Premier League, and fail to make much impact in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Christian Purslow, the managing director, and former manager Kenny Dalglish, have been tasked with replacing the Spaniard and Hodgson has become the bookmakers' favourites to take over. The 62-year-old is thought to be widely liked at Anfield and not only because of the remarkable job he did at Fulham last season.

Hodgson guided them through a season that started on 7 July and did not finish until 12 May, and featured 63 matches, including the Europa League final where Fulham lost to Atletico Madrid. For his efforts on a tight budget at Craven Cottage, Hodgson was voted manager of the year by the League Managers' Association and his stock could not be much higher than it is at present.

Yet it is what he will bring off the field that is also thought to be highly sought by Liverpool. Benitez never disguised his determination to get involved in boardroom politics at the Merseyside club. Prior to Purslow's appointment last year, he repeatedly tussled with former chief executive Rick Parry overmore say into how the club was run. Hodgson, in contrast, is seen as a manager who will concentrate more on sorting out the many problems Liverpool face on the pitch rather than being involved in disrupting things behind the scenes.

His calm and thoughtful image is also believed to be a factor in Liverpool's interest. At a time of huge unrest among supporters, Hodgson is deemed to be a steady enough pair of hands to re-assert control and improve the reputation of the unstable club.

Yet it remains to be seen as to whether Hodgson, at his age, would be interested in confronting the difficult situation at Anfield. The club's owners, Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett, are actively looking to sell Liverpool in the wake of a near disastrous three-year tenure that has seen debt increase to £351m while promises over a new stadium have failed to be met. Only last week, David Moores, the club's former owner, outlined his own "huge regrets" over selling Liverpool to the duo and called for them to relinquish their shares.

It may well be that, with a comfortable 12-month rolling contract and the widespread admiration of Fulham's fans, Hodgson decides to stay put. However, for a man who has twice managed Internazionale, the urge for one last shot at a world famous club may prove to be too tempting to resist.

Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso, the former Liverpool midfielder, has expressed an interest in being re-united with Steven Gerrard at Real Madrid.

In what appears to be a concerted effort to attract Gerrard, Alonso, who played in midfield with the 30-year-old on Merseyside during his five years at Anfield, has joined manager Jose Mourinho in underlining his admiration for the Liverpool captain.

Mourinho has never hidden his interest in Gerrard and tried to sign him when he was in charge of Chelsea. Although that attempt ended in failure, a new £30m bid is currently being proposed by the new manager at the Bernabeu.

"Steven is a legend at Liverpool and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool's fans and also the club," Alonso said. "But it is clear that he's an awesome player. He has incredible quality."



Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/liverpool-drawn-to-fulham-manager-roy-hodgson-14831427.html?#ixzz0pxObbsId

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 07:25:28 AM »
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/patrick_barclay/article7144341.ece
Past master Kenny Dalglish wise to consider outside chancer

On the face of it, Kenny Dalglish is the perfect answer to the Liverpool question. Making him manager in succession to Rafael Benítez would be not only simple and cheap (he is already on the payroll) but as spine-tinglingly popular as Kevin Keegan’s arrival at Newcastle United. Any of Keegan’s arrivals at Newcastle.

If only Liverpool were Newcastle.

The scale of expectation at Liverpool remains daunting. Because the club won the Champions League only five years ago, took part in another final three years ago and challenged strongly for the English title a little more than a year ago, supporters and media would envisage a rise in Barclays Premier League position from seventh to fourth as a first step towards the old dominance.

Even this would be a shade unrealistic, given that the dark side appear to be under stable and successful stewardship, that Manchester United’s inevitable decline is likely to be gradual in the continued presence of Wayne Rooney, that Arsenal, even if they lose Cesc Fàbregas, have vibrant and still-burgeoning youth on their side and that Manchester City, already fifth, have become the most financially muscular club in the world.

For Liverpool to better any of those would be surprising under any management, given the paucity of resources available for reinforcement unless the best of the present squad — Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano — are sold.

This is not the world as Dalglish knew it when he managed Liverpool before — when they could attract the likes of John Barnes and Peter Beardsley — or as he later knew it with Blackburn Rovers, the Manchester City of the time.

True, when Blackburn’s benefactor jetted in, it was from Jersey and not Abu Dhabi, but Jack Walker still made sure that it was Dalglish rather than Sir Alex Ferguson who received the benefit of Alan Shearer.

The attractions of a Dalglish appointment are undeniable and the emotional ones outlined by Tony Evans in these pages yesterday should not be undervalued. The energy created by an explosion of relief, coupled with a reminder of good times, would help the team next season, especially if Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano were still in it; tradition is part of their reason for being at Anfield, especially in the case of Gerrard. There would also be a semblance of the streamlined power structure for which Anfield was once so admired. When Liverpool ruled English football, three men ran the club: Peter Robinson, the chief executive, would shuttle between the chairman, usually Sir John Smith, and whoever happened to be manager, initially Bill Shankly, then Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Dalglish.

Christian Purslow, the present chief executive, gets on very well with Dalglish. If the American co-owners were now to display enough enlightened self-interest just to stay out of the way and let Purslow and Dalglish get on with it, the burden of club politics would be lifted and that, too, might produce a dividend on the field.

As is so often true in football, an answer to the problems of the present — in this instance the slow death of the Benítez era — lies in the past. Liverpool’s enduring difficulty, however, is that the best of the past has been dismantled.

No longer is there a Boot Room with a seemingly endless supply of coaches (Paisley, Fagan, Ronnie Moran, Roy Evans) ready to do a stint as manager. There is only Sammy Lee and he would be the obvious choice as chief assistant if Dalglish were to take over. It would be an extremely important job, for Dalglish is not a distinguished coach in the mould of, say, Roy Hodgson, whom Liverpool would otherwise be expected to court.

When in charge of the club, Dalglish had the Boot Room to rely upon. At Blackburn, he was astute enough to engage Ray Harford, one of the outstanding No 2s of the past quarter-century in English football. Without a latter-day Harford, even the revered Dalglish might struggle.

It may be in recognition of this that he and Purslow are seeking someone from outside and while this might frustrate Dalglish’s legion of admirers, even beyond Merseyside — among those who concurred with Tony Evans was no less a judge of a manager than Terry Venables — the element of cold reality implicit in the word from Anfield might be in order.

My hunch is that Dalglish will seek Fulham’s permission to have a word with Hodgson. He and Hodgson have a friendship based on mutual respect and it is known that Hodgson, much as he loves Fulham, would relish a big-club challenge. In this case I suspect that biting and chewing would be very different things. But, when ambition still inhabits a 62-year-old heart, caution goes unheeded. Hence, perhaps, Dalglish’s quest for a No 1.


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 07:30:32 AM »
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/sports/irene-112895-africa-players.html
World Cup Capsules: U.S. vs Australia quite a friendly for 4 players

IRENE, South Africa (AP) — After 3½ years of getting ready, it’s time for the final dress rehearsal.

In a refurbished stadium in a western suburb of Johannesburg, the United States plays Australia on Saturday in the Americans’ last warmup match before their World Cup opener against England on June 12. And within the game, there are some intriguing potential matchups that make it quite a “friendly.”

Australian midfielder Tim Cahill will be trying to beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, his Everton teammate for the past four seasons.

And American midfielder Clint Dempsey will be trying to get the ball past the Socceroos’ Mark Schwarzer, his keeper at Fulham the past two years.

There’s a lot of mutual admiration.

“Tim is the ultimate competitor,” Howard said Friday. “He’s miserable to play against, you know, and that makes him a fantastic teammate. And he’s a guy who is very, very fun-loving off the field. But every single game I played with him at Everton, he’s been the first one to take the fight to the other team, to get stuck in, to push and shove, to really push the tempo.”

Schwarzer has been so good there have been reports Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to acquire the 37-year-old to replace Manuel Almunia.

“Any game you play in, you always want to score, but it would be nice to score against Mark because he’s always running his mouth in training,” Dempsey said before cracking a smile.

“He helped us out a lot at Fulham. I think a lot of the success of the team goes to having that experience of him in between the sticks,” Dempsey said. “It’s great having him on the team. He’s someone who has a lot of confidence, has a lot of experience.”

It will be the last chance for U.S. coach Bob Bradley to test a thus-far shaky defense. It will be Oguchi Onyewu’s third game back following October knee surgery and the second for Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit after abdominal strains. Bradley must still sort out whether Steve Cherundolo or Jonathan Spector will start at right back against England.

In the central midfield, it’s unclear whether Michael Bradley will be joined by Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu or Jose Torres.

“We’re still determining how to balance it out,” Bradley said. “Certainly a week before the match we want to continue to move our team forward. That sometimes involves, you know, a different plan for different guys.”

Forward Jozy Altidore could miss the Australia match after spraining his right ankle during training Wednesday. Altidore was held out of practice Friday, instead watching from the bench as his teammates worked out.

Dempsey could be pushed up to forward, which would leave Stuart Holden, DaMarcus Beasley or Benny Feilhaber to start in midfield with Landon Donovan — who spent three months at Everton last season with Howard and Cahill. The other forward candidates are Robbie Findley, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez.

Bradley is expecting a fast-paced game, partly because the field at Ruimsig Stadium in Roodepoort is a bit narrow.

Howard has one primary goal.

“No injuries, first,” he said. “I don’t think the result is too much of an issue. Obviously, we’d want to win, that would be great, But no injuries and everyone feeling like they’re getting up to speed would be very, very good.”

Cherundolo expects players to go hard — only to a degree.

“I certainly don’t expect anybody to be playing in a reckless manner,” he said. “But the best way to get injured is to go out and try not to get injured.”

Last month, the U.S. lost to the Czech Republic 4-2 using mostly second-stringers and rallied for a 2-1 win over Turkey in the Americans’ U.S. farewell.

Australia coach Pim Verbeek planned to rest Blackburn midfielder Brett Emerton, who has been banged up, and give limited action to Galatasaray forward Harry Kewell, been bothered by a groin injury.

This will be the seventh game for the U.S. in South Africa.

“I think it’s, if anything, a very small advantage that you’ve kind of seen what’s coming our way,” Cherundolo said.

A November 2007 exhibition win over South Africa and five matches at the Confederations Cup last June made the Americans more comfortable, but comfort only goes so far in getting ready to play England.

“Certainly,” Cherundolo said, “there weren’t millions behind their TVs watching the game and following every single result and play.”

U.S. players confident Altidore will be healthy

IRENE, South Africa (AP) — Goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Steve Cherundolo are confident injured forward Jozy Altidore will be healthy for the Americans’ World Cup opener against England on June 12.

Altidore sprained his right ankle during a training drill Wednesday and missed Thursday’s practice.

While X-rays were negative, he underwent treatment Thursday night and Friday morning. He was held out of training Friday and could miss Saturday’s game against Australia in Roodepoort, the Americans’ last warmup match.

“We all hope Jozy will get better. We think he will,” Howard said. “We’re not losing sleep over it.”

Altidore appeared to be walking without a limp. He sat on the bench during training and watched his teammates.

“He continues to make favorable progress, and his status remains considered day to day,” team spokesman Michael Kammarman said.

Altidore, who spent last season at Hull in the English Premier League, is the most experienced American forward despite being just 20. The other forwards are Robbie Findley, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez.

“Thankfully, with Jozy, it seems to be just mild,” Cherundolo said. “I think he’ll be OK in a couple of days.”

Findley made the 23-man roster in a surprise to some, but prized by coach Bob Bradley because of his speed. He had an impressive second half in last weekend’s 2-1 exhibition win over Turkey, helping stretch the defense and open space for Altidore, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey.

“It felt good. Whenever you can go out and play like that, it will always help your confidence,” Findley said. “It would have been nice to get a goal, too, but I was effective in different ways.”

In the last season of his contract with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, he started in the March 3 exhibition loss at the Netherlands.

“I wasn’t as comfortable as I wanted to be, but I watched game tape and stuff like that, and learned from that,” he said. “Then my teammates told me just do what got you here. You know, be aggressive, go at players and all the rest will come. I went with that as my main focus in that Turkey game.”

Altidore entered training camp as the only forward assured a spot in the starting 11. Brian Ching, a 2006 World Cup veteran expected to make the roster, was cut.

Findley might suit the style the 14th-ranked Americans are expected to employ against No. 8 England.

“If we’re kind of in a defensive mode and we’re playing counterattack, then he’s very useful,” Cherundolo said. “I think especially in the second half of the Turkey game, everybody got to see why he’s effective, not only going forward, but I remember plays where he was chasing down forwards towards our own goal. For a defender to see a forward do that is magic. It really sets the tone for the half for everybody else. There are really then no excuses for any defender or midfielder if a forward is chasing back. So it’s very important, and the more open the game gets, I think the easier it is for Robbie to show us his qualities.”

Saturday’s game will be the first for the U.S. team with the much-criticized Adidas Jabulani ball. While the Americans practiced with it last month, they used Nike balls for home exhibitions against the Czech Republic and Turkey.

“Listen, the ball’s tragic. It’s no secret. Everyone’s said that,” Howard said. “There are going to be some crazy goals in this World Cup based on the ball, and none of them are going to be called back.”

He is rethinking his strategy.

“A lot of balls that are very comfortable for me to catch on a normal day aren’t, and so I just need to kind of figure out, get the ball out of danger,” he said. “If I’m not going to hold it, just try and put it in safe areas, and I think that’s probably going to be the key for a lot of goalkeepers.”

-- Ronald Blum

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 07:32:21 AM »
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/liverpool-drawn-to-hodgsons-experience-and-high-reputation-1991864.html
Liverpool drawn to Hodgson's experience and high reputation

Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, has emerged as the preferred candidate to replace Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

Benitez left Anfield by mutual consent on Thursday with a £6m pay-off after a season that saw Liverpool finish seventh in the Premier League, and fail to make much impact in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Christian Purslow, the managing director, and former manager Kenny Dalglish, have been tasked with replacing the Spaniard and Hodgson has become the bookmakers' favourites to take over. The 62-year-old is thought to be widely liked at Anfield and not only because of the remarkable job he did at Fulham last season.

Hodgson guided them through a season that started on 7 July and did not finish until 12 May, and featured 63 matches, including the Europa League final where Fulham lost to Atletico Madrid. For his efforts on a tight budget at Craven Cottage, Hodgson was voted manager of the year by the League Managers' Association and his stock could not be much higher than it is at present.

Yet it is what he will bring off the field that is also thought to be highly sought by Liverpool. Benitez never disguised his determination to get involved in boardroom politics at the Merseyside club. Prior to Purslow's appointment last year, he repeatedly tussled with former chief executive Rick Parry overmore say into how the club was run. Hodgson, in contrast, is seen as a manager who will concentrate more on sorting out the many problems Liverpool face on the pitch rather than being involved in disrupting things behind the scenes.

His calm and thoughtful image is also believed to be a factor in Liverpool's interest. At a time of huge unrest among supporters, Hodgson is deemed to be a steady enough pair of hands to re-assert control and improve the reputation of the unstable club.

Yet it remains to be seen as to whether Hodgson, at his age, would be interested in confronting the difficult situation at Anfield. The club's owners, Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett, are actively looking to sell Liverpool in the wake of a near disastrous three-year tenure that has seen debt increase to £351m while promises over a new stadium have failed to be met. Only last week, David Moores, the club's former owner, outlined his own "huge regrets" over selling Liverpool to the duo and called for them to relinquish their shares.

It may well be that, with a comfortable 12-month rolling contract and the widespread admiration of Fulham's fans, Hodgson decides to stay put. However, for a man who has twice managed Internazionale, the urge for one last shot at a world famous club may prove to be too tempting to resist.

Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso, the former Liverpool midfielder, has expressed an interest in being re-united with Steven Gerrard at Real Madrid.

In what appears to be a concerted effort to attract Gerrard, Alonso, who played in midfield with the 30-year-old on Merseyside during his five years at Anfield, has joined manager Jose Mourinho in underlining his admiration for the Liverpool captain.

Mourinho has never hidden his interest in Gerrard and tried to sign him when he was in charge of Chelsea. Although that attempt ended in failure, a new £30m bid is currently being proposed by the new manager at the Bernabeu.

"Steven is a legend at Liverpool and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool's fans and also the club," Alonso said. "But it is clear that he's an awesome player. He has incredible quality."

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 07:34:36 AM »
http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/chester-sport/football-liverpool-fc-news/2010/06/04/liverpool-the-contenders-for-the-managerial-role-59067-26584510/
Liverpool - the contenders for the Managerial role

THE departure of Rafael Benitez from Liverpool yesterday has immediately given way to speculation over who will succeed the Spaniard in the Anfield hotseat.

Here, The Liverpool Daily Post takes a look at some of the leading contenders for one of the most coveted jobs in world football.

KENNY DALGLISH
Won three league titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup in his spell in charge at Anfield and is widely revered among supporters. Has been out of management since leaving Celtic in 2000 and is one of the men attempting to find a successor to Benitez.

ROY HODGSON
The Fulham manager’s stock has risen sharply since guiding the unfancied Cottagers to the final of the Europa League last season. A seventh-placed finish in the 2008-09 Premier League campaign also represented uncharted territory. Hodgson would bring an avuncular and steadying presence to the Anfield hotseat, but, at 62 years of age, time is perhaps not on his side.

MARTIN O’NEILL
The Northern Irishman has long been touted as a possible Liverpool manager and is one of the front-runners to finally make that a reality. O’Neill is fresh from a campaign in which Aston Villa finished sixth in the Premier League and reached the Carling Cup final and FA Cup semi-finals, but a move to Merseyside might not be straightforward with Villa owner Randy Lerner recently issuing a hands-off warning to the Anfield club.

MARK HUGHES
Out of work since being dismissed by Manchester City in December. The former Wales boss is often criticised for a perceived lack of tactical nous but City’s form did not improve significantly under his replacement, Roberto Mancini. May not be a popular choice due to his links to Manchester United.

GUUS HIDDINK
Due to take up the post of Turkey’s national coach in August but could perhaps seek to reach an agreement with the Turks to take up this post instead.

The Dutchman is vastly experienced at club and international level.


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2010, 07:36:31 AM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Roy-Hodgson-saved-Inter-Milan-and-the-Fulham-boss-is-the-perfect-man-to-turn-Liverpool-around-says-Massimo-Moratti-article448745.html
Hodgson has the 'qualities' to ease Anfield troubles



Massimo Moratti became president at Inter in 1995 after a decade of turmoil in which the Italian club went close to meltdown, surviving relegation by a ­solitary point.

One month into the new season Inter were bottom of the table, and Moratti took drastic action by sacking Luis Suarez as manager and turning to Hodgson.

The Englishman had an immediate impact, dragging them up the table to clinch a place in Europe. The following season, he led Inter to a UEFA Cup final and third place in Serie A.

"Roy Hodgson was an important person in the development of Inter Milan to the point we have reached today,” said Moratti. “He saved us at the right time.

“When he came we were in trouble, and things appeared dark. He didn’t panic, he was calm and made us calm

“Disaster was averted at the most important time. Everyone at Inter will remember him for that and his contribution. He is considered by us all as an important person in our history. He left an endowment to this club that’s important in our history.”

Hodgson worked on a limited budget and initially had few of the star names synonymous with the present-day club – his biggest player was Paul Ince. But he unified a previously fractured squad, and created one of the most fondly remembered sides of that decade.

Moratti believes that if Liverpool want a man to calm troubled waters and bring stability to Anfield, the Fulham boss is ideal.

Hodgson had a second spell at Inter as caretaker boss after his sacking by Blackburn in 1998.

“Roy has experience,” Moratti said. “He came back to us to help us when we needed someone to step in and calm things down as a stand-in manager.

“If Liverpool or any club need someone with authority and with a fine reputation people will look up to, players and fans alike, he’s a perfect candidate.

“We still see him, he is part of our family, and always welcome at our club. I’ve been asked about his qualities, and I’d say he has many, most importantly of all he has qualities as a man.”

Hodgson’s career has primarily been spent on the Continent, and many people in England are unaware of his achievements following his disappointing time at Blackburn.

Only in the past year, after he steered Fulham to the Europa League final, has he come to prominence in the Premier League, but in Europe he is regarded as one of the best tacticians in the game.

Fulham fans are in no doubt as to his ability, as one showed with a banner at the Europa final in Hamburg (below left).

Hodgson took Malmo to five consecutive Swedish titles, turned Inter around, claimed notable scalps consistently in European competition, and under him Switzerland reached a world ranking of three by out-qualifying eventual finalists Italy for the 1994 World Cup.

But it is his reputation for being a statesman who can handle a crisis that makes him an ideal candidate, given the unrest at Anfield. He has a proven ability to work with players and create harmony.

Hodgson has remained quiet about Liverpool’s interest in recent days, but the 62-year-old is thought to be interested in one last challenge.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 07:38:59 AM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Liverpool-king-maker-Kenny-Dalglish-will-speak-to-Roy-Hodgson-and-Louis-van-Gaal-about-replacing-Rafa-Benitez-article448869.html
Kenny's Liverpool short list

Roy Hodgson and Louis van Gaal will be the first two managers to be approached by Liverpool king-maker Kenny Dalglish.

A meeting at Anfield yesterday between the Reds’ legend and managing director Christian Purslow has outlined a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Rafa Benitez.

And the overwhelming front-runners on that list are Fulham boss Hodgson and Champions League finalist van Gaal, who enjoyed a successful campaign with Bayern Munich this season.

Dalglish will make discreet approaches to both men and then put together a package to tempt one of them to Anfield.

The Liverpool board feel there is no need to rush, given that the World Cup will dominate the next month and few players will be available until after the tournament.

But Dalglish and Purslow have decided that Hodgson and van Gaal have the perfect qualities to take the club forward after a poor season.

Fulham would mount a fight to stop Hodgson moving to Anfield. He was rewarded with a new rolling contract earlier this season which would cost Liverpool about £2.5million in compensation.

Hodgson’s wife Sheila is from Liverpool and the couple enjoyed living in the north-west while he was boss of Blackburn.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2010, 09:12:13 AM »
http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/media-watch/top-duo-on-reds-shortlist
Top duo on Reds shortlist

The following story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club:

Roy Hodgson and Louis van Gaal will be the first two managers to be approached by Liverpool king-maker Kenny Dalglish.

A meeting at Anfield yesterday between the Reds' legend and managing director Christian Purslow has outlined a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Rafa Benitez.

And the overwhelming front-runners on that list are Fulham boss Hodgson and Champions League finalist van Gaal, who enjoyed a successful campaign with Bayern Munich this season.

Dalglish will make discreet approaches to both men and then put together a package to tempt one of them to Anfield.

The Liverpool board feel there is no need to rush, given that the World Cup will ­dominate the next month and few players will be available until after the tournament.

But Dalglish and Purslow have decided that Hodgson and van Gaal have the perfect qualities to take the club forward after a poor season.

Hodgson's wife Sheila is from Liverpool and the couple enjoyed living in the north-west while he was boss of Blackburn.

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Author: Daily Mirror


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2010, 09:29:15 AM »
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/138447/World-Cup-2010-Ghana-We-re-going-to-surprise-you/


WORLD CUP 2010 GHANA: WE'RE GOING TO SURPRISE YOU

5th June 2010


By Daily Star Reporter


PELE once predicted an African nation would win the World Cup.

And Fulham defender John Pantsil reckons it will be the Black Stars who shine brightest in the first tournament to be held on the continent.

He claims they could emerge as the surprise package of the finals –  because they have the power to shock the world’s big guns.
 
Pantsil said: “There are always surprises at World Cup finals, so who knows? Maybe this year’s will be one of the African nations.

“Hopefully Ghana can be the one to make an impact, and I believe we have every chance. “We have a lot of talented players and many that play in Europe’s top leagues.

“Of course, we have a slight advantage with the tournament being played out on African soil, and the home support will help also.”

There are a total of six African nations contesting the tournament – and four of them have sacked their manager in the last 12 months.

Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon all put a new man in charge for the finals after so-so seasons.

But Ghana have an experienced man at the helm in Serbian Milovan Rajevac, who has spent two years fine-tuning his side for this tournament.

Rajevac has been helped by Ghana’s victory at the Under-20 World Cup last year.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2010, 09:46:25 AM »
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/its-a-drag-being-a-wag/story-e6frf96o-1225875686375


Mark Schwarzer's wife, Paloma - university-educated - spends much of her time bringing up the couple's children, including son Neil, a talented young tennis player.

HE'S good enough that a factor in Schwarzer's move to London club Fulham was proximity to Wimbledon tennis club.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2010, 10:02:56 AM »
Talking about Roy's possible move to Liverpool....I would not be surprised at all to see him go. The fact that he always has had a year's rolling contract suggests that at this stage of his working life he wants to leave his options open for a few late-career "adventures" as the opportunities arise. He can sit and think upon the turn-around at Fulham in his pipe-and-slippers years and realise he will always be thought of as a hero here. How about adding to that memories of returning a world-famous club to glory again. Frustration is high there, and expectation for the near future is low. There would never be a better time for him try his man-management skills at Anfield rather than have them dip into an already stretched purse.

...and of course he is a professional manager, not necessarily a Fulham fan. Our hearts want him to stay.....his head will be looking forward to the challenge if asked. 


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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (05/06/10)...
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2010, 12:08:25 PM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/05062010/58/premier-league-paper-round-hodgson-runner.html
Premier League - Paper Round: Hodgson front runner

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has emerged as prime candidate to replace the departed Rafael Benitez at Liverpool, according to press reports.

The Guardian says the polyglot Englishman has overtaken Martin O’Neill as board favourite due to his vast European experience, which has seen him manage in Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Hodgson would cost the Reds £2.5m, a pre-determined release clause that would save them a few bob compared to Aston Villa’s O’Neill or any of the other contracted candidates (Frank Rijkaard of Galatasaray and Guus Hiddink of Turkey spring to mind).

Liverpool also like his ability to work on a tight budget (The Independent), while getting the best out of the likes of Bobby Zamora and Paul Konchesky bodes well for the underachievers at Anfield.

The Times claims that Hodgson, whose wife hails from the North West, wants to speak to Liverpool, but that Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed will hold firm for the £2.5m, in the hope that the skint Reds look to an out-of-work (i.e. free) option like Mark Hughes.

Sven-Goran Eriksson has thrown his name in the hat for the job too.

"I have been a Liverpool fan all of my life," he told The Sun. "I never mentioned it when I was in charge of England because I didn't think it was fair."

Despite the clamour of groups of fans and ex-players, Kenny Dalglish is not likely to take the job himself, having been out of the management game for a decade and unable to cope with the pressure back when Liverpool were any good.

Chelsea will launch a £70 million summer raid for Fernando Torres, according to the Daily Mail, a bid Liverpool will find impossible to resist given their £351m debt.

Xabi Alonso, meanwhile, has called for Steven Gerrard to join him at Real Madrid.

The Spain midfielder wants his former Liverpool team-mate to reform their formidable partnership.

Alonso told Marca: "Steven is a legend at Liverpool and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool’s fans and also the club, but it is clear that he is an awesome player."

A top-class, multi-lingual coach who has not been linked to Anfield is Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

But the Daily Star think he could be on his way - back to Japan, where he coached Grampus before joining Arsenal. The longest of long shots…

James Milner could still be set for a move to Manchester City, who will renew their interest after the World Cup (The Sun).

The England midfielder is understood to have had talks with Aston Villa boss O’Neill, and his £30m price tag will not put City off. Morocco international Mbark Boussoufa of Anderlecht would be a nifty replacement at £10m.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was criticised for raiding former club Swansea for Jason Scotland and he may indirectly do it again, although midfielder Leon Brittan is available as a free agent after his Swans contract expired this summer.

Portsmouth flop David Nugent could make the switch from one cash-troubled, blue-shirted club to another - although the Daily Star’s tip of European football at Rangers would come as a welcome relief to the one-time England striker.

Pompey team-mate Nadir Belhadj could also be on his way out of Fratton Park, with an Avram Grant reunion tipped at West Ham (Sun).

Birmingham City’s bid for Palermo forward Fabrizio Miccoli has been rejected (Times), while Belgium U21 keeper Simon Mignolet favours Sunderland as his next step, with PSV also looking to sign him from St Truidense.

Also in Belgium, Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland’s agent has claimed interest from Tottenham, although it may not be the wisest move given how many options there are for boss Harry Redknapp.

Eurosport