Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)  (Read 12878 times)

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2010, 10:52:46 AM »

But even I couldn’t have imagined that Dorrans would blossom into the player he has become. On Saturday he oozed a confidence that made everything look so easy, and he has arguably become the single most important part of our team.

I was one of the many sad to see our former captain Jonathan Greening leave the club for Fulham, but his departure has allowed Dorrans to emerge as the daddy in midfield. Head coach Roberto Di Matteo can also take some credit for helping to rebuild a team around him that has allowed his progress to grow at a surprising rate.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2010, 10:59:36 AM »

Clough's 'wise words' still ringing true as Peterborough send Cooper packing

By Guest

Fifteen years ago, Brian Clough made a ‘tired and emotional’ appearance on the ITV programme Sport in Question (it is available easily enough if you search for him on YouTube). It was tragic to see a man ravaged by his vices to such an extent that the word incoherent was probably a mite generous. However, when the discussion came to Notts County, who had just sacked their third manager of the season, Clough showed that enough of his innate wisdom remained to make a telling observation.

His solution to the chaos on the other side of Nottingham was simple. Should a chairman appoint a manager and then subsequently sack him, then the man who made the mistaken appointment should stand down as a matter of common decency. Although it is something that will remain forever hypothetical, it would be more than interesting to get Darragh MacAnthony’s thoughts on the old maestro’s proposal.

The Marbella-based businessman appointed Mark Cooper on November 14, 2009, following Darren Ferguson’s departure a few days earlier. It would be an outright lie to say the results have been anything near what would have been hoped. One win from thirteen games, conceding an average of a goal every 43 minutes, is not the form to inspire confidence of successfully negotiating the relegation battle Posh are embroiled in. This writer does not subscribe to the view of Graham Taylor that every manager deserves a minimum of two years. In every walk of life, people come into jobs and for whatever reason, it is obvious fairly early on that it’s not going to work out. Clough would have to cite his time at Leeds as one of those instances, and it’s possible Mark Cooper and Peterborough were just bad footballing chemistry.

That is the rational argument, and it happens in every walk of life. But let us suggest you hired someone tomorrow and had to let them go ten weeks later with it clear they were unsuitable. Even without the massive payout that compensates failure (or mistreatment) in the football world, you would sit down and work out how and why the recruitment process went so badly astray. A look at Cooper’s appointment uncovers gaping holes in the logic applied by MacAnthony and others. The ex-Tamworth boss had done superbly well with Kettering Town, taking them into the Conference, enjoying a great FA Cup run in 2008/09 (where they scared the living daylights out of Fulham) and being amongst the front-runners at the start of this season in the race to make the Football League. No doubt he was and remains a young manager with promise, but maybe a job in the higher echelons of English football came a little prematurely. And maybe Peterborough should have gone for a manager who had achieved success at a higher level instead of one for whom the job was not a step-up, but a ten-storey trek without the benefit of an elevator.

Paul Ince’s traumatic period at Blackburn should surely have shown MacAnthony and Barry Fry the danger of what they were getting into. The self-styled ‘guvnor’ had done superbly well to keep Macclesfield Town in the Football League and won promotion with MK Dons from League Two in 2007/08. However, like Cooper, he found himself in a hopeless tailspin three tiers above any level he had ever managed at previously. Less than half a season into his tenure, he found that whatever patience existed had worn thin. Again, this doesn’t mean getting rid of Ince was a bad move. Their subsequent survival under Sam Allardyce would suggest the polar opposite. But it raises the same questions as to why he was appointed in the first place. The decision represented the sort of gamble to make even the most hardened casino-banker blush.

There is a twofold damage to this ‘hit and hope’ approach to recruitment. One does not yet know whether Cooper’s faith in his own ability has been dented after the setback of his 79-day sacking. Steve Staunton, a bright and articulate footballer tipped as a top manager of the future, got the dream job managing the Republic of Ireland despite having no managerial experience. It would be an understatement to say Ireland under-achieved under a man for whom it was “too much too soon.” He now struggles desperately at Darlington, a club in turmoil, and thus one of few in the Football League who would give a shot at redemption to a man unfairly tainted by failure. Another disturbing angle in this story is the fact that it is merely the exacerbation of a trait that has been creeping into football in the last few years. Half-season managerial runs (Phil Parkinson at Hull, Bryan Gunn at Norwich) now barely raise an eyebrow. A decade ago, exaggerated comparisons would have been made with the positively trigger-happy Jesus Gil of Atletico Madrid, famous for getting rid of managers with alarming frequency. Signor Gil appears to have inspired the Briatore era at Queens Park Rangers. Their managerial situation went beyond farcical when Paul Hart became the eighth man to be waved goodbye in two years a fortnight ago.

They say the lesson of history is people never learn the lessons of history. Well, in 1967/68, Derby County finished 18th in the old Second Division. This was following a finish of 17th the previous season, during which they had installed a new manager to revive their fortunes. He would take time to overhaul the playing staff, groundsman and even the tea ladies, who he sacked for laughing at a Rams loss one Saturday. They would go on to win promotion in 1968 and the first division in 1972. They owed this success to two things. Firstly, they had given him time. More crucially, they had appointed the right man to start with. That man of course was Brian Clough. His observation may have been soaked in liquor, but it came from experience. Hopefully MacAnthony and Fry will learn this for next time.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2010, 11:05:00 AM »

Swansea reject bids for star trio  
Swansea City turned down a triple transfer deadline day swoop as they rejected bids for Leon Britton, Darren Pratley and Angel Rangel.

They snubbed a move from Fulham for right-back Rangel while their Premier League rivals Wigan Athletic had a £1m bid rejected for midfielder Britton.

Nottingham Forest also failed in their attempts to sign Swans star Pratley.

"There was serious interest in Leon, Darren and Angel," revealed Swans chairman Huw Jenkins.

"But we resisted the temptation to leave them go, taking into account the high value we place on the players as individuals in the squad."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is an admirer of Britton and wanted the 27-year-old playmaker to follow him to the Premier League and the DW Stadium.

 Paulo feels it is in the club's best interests to keep everyone together until end of the season at least

Britton, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was subject of a deadline day enquiry that the Championship play-off hopefuls rejected.

Spanish defender Rangel, who is also out of contract in the summer, has long attracted top-flight interest.

But Fulham boss Roy Hodgson made a firm enquiry late on deadline day after the Cottagers signed another full-back, Nicky Shorey from Aston Villa, on loan until the end of the season.

Swansea's Championship play-off rivals Forest have been heavily linked with a £1.5m move for key midfielder Pratley during January but their enquiry was rebuffed by the fifth-placed Swans.

Jenkins is "delighted" the window passed without the Welsh club losing any of their key players while Swans boss Paulo Sousa allowed out-of-favour striker Stephen Dobbie to join Blackpool on loan until the end of the season.

"Paulo feels it is in the club's best interests to keep everyone together until end of the season at least... to help us achieve a position as high as we can," said Jenkins.

"All of the players understand our position to retain their services this season. They know how important they are to us and are fully committed and loyal to Swansea City."

Former Arsenal youngster Britton is one of Swansea's longest-serving players after joining from West Ham United in 2003 - after a brief loan spell - as a teenager.

The future of fans' favourite Britton, who roomed with Wigan boss Martinez when the pair were together at Swansea, was under intense speculation for over a month.

It was sparked after he conceded he was "surprised and disappointed" that Sousa made public details of his contract negotiations.

The Swansea boss revealed Britton, who has made more than 300 appearances for the Welsh club, would become one of the best paid players in the club's history if he signed a new deal.

Britton has also previously admitted he has been unsettled by the turmoil of his recent split with his daughter's mother who has moved back to his native London.

Martinez has already signed one-time Swans stars Jason Scotland and Jordi Gomez for Wigan and the Spaniard, who has previously stated Britton has Premier League quality, is interested in signing Britton.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2010, 11:06:08 AM »
Full-on Sale

Tuesday 2nd February 2010

Fulham FC News

The 'Full-on Sale' with new lines just added
The ‘Full-on Sale’ is now on, and with up to 60% off| selected items this is the perfect time to pick up your Official Fulham merchandise. Your purchases can be made at the official online store| , or either of the Club’s retail stores found on Fulham Road and at Craven Cottage.

Recently added Nike items include the Club Zip Training Top| , available in both black and red, and in a wide range of sizes, as well as the official Club Rain Jacket| .

A great opportunity for fans
The Full-on Sale is also a great opportunity for any fan to pick up discounts on FFC souvenirs and the Club fashion range.  Now available at great prices are a large selection of items including the Fulham Golf Bag| , Europa League Baseball cap| , the Heritage Contrast Sleeve T-shirt| and much, much more| .

With items in limited supply now is the time to buy all the latest Fulham FC merchandise.

Such great prices and so much variety, treat yourself today as this sale will end soon.

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White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2010, 12:20:03 PM »
Squad Numbers Confirmed

Tuesday 2nd February 2010
Fulham FC News  

Fulham completed the loan signings of striker Stefano Okaka and defender Nicky Shorey on Monday afternoon and the Club can confirm squad numbers for the two players ahead of Wednesday night's game against Portsmouth.

Roma striker and Italy U21 international Okaka will wear the number 9 shirt whilst former England defender Shorey will wear Fulham's nuber 7 shirt.

Be amongst the first to see Fulham's new additions when Roy Hodgson's side take on Portsmouth at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening! Wednesday’s game is absolutely vital and your support could make all the difference so get behind the team by purchasing your tickets now| !

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White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2010, 12:28:29 PM »

Keane: Fulham Will Be Tough Opponents

Tue 02nd Feb 2010 11:25

Town boss Roy Keane says he expects a very tough game when the Blues’ U18s take on Fulham in their FA Youth Cup fifth round tie at Portman Road this evening (KO 7pm). Striker Connor Wickham is set to play against the Cottagers, having netted a goal in both the previous rounds.

Keane says Fulham have a very good U18 side: “It’s a very, very tough game. Fulham are very, very strong in terms of their youths this year and we should know that because we played them in the league last week and lost 6-1.

“It’s no good beating Arsenal on the Tuesday night [in the FA Youth Cup] and then losing your league match the following weekend. But they’ve paid for that, don’t you worry about that.”

The Blues boss is looking for supporters to get behind the side coached by Chris Kiwomya, whose weekend derby with Norwich was postponed due to the weather: “Hopefully the fans will come out in numbers, it’s always great to see your young lads coming through. The FA Youth Cup has a great history and we’re looking forward to that game.

“We’ve got some decent young lads and I’ve always had an interest in youth football. I’m looking forward to it.”

Keane expects several senior players to be at Portman Road this evening: “I’d be surprised if a lot of the first team squad weren’t at the game. You should always take an interest in what other players are doing and they mix with them every day in the canteen.”

The Town manager travelled to both the 2-0 third round win at Tranmere, in which Wickham and Northern Irish U17 international midfielder Josh Carson netted the goals, and the fourth round 2-0 victory against holders Arsenal when Irish U19 international frontman Ronan Murray and Wickham were on target.

The winners of tonight’s match will take on Aston Villa or Millwall at home in the quarter-finals. They meet in their fifth round match at Villa Park on Friday 12th February.

Tickets for tonight’s match cost £3 for adults and £1 for children and concessions with only the Britannia Stand open.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2010, 02:54:26 PM »

It was mentioned that James Beattie was of interest to a number of clubs, and that Fulham made a bid for him at the death which may or may not have been hamstrung by our game in Sunderland on the transfer deadline, but why didn't we ship him out before? He's 32, looks a good half-stone overweight and despite press reports to the contrary, has been far from brilliant for Stoke, plus he's on about £40,000 a week. The money accrued from a Beattie sale and the freeing up of wages could have seen Stoke look at Victor Moses, a young talent playing every week in a hard league and with Warnock's style of football being in a similar vein to ours he could have been a good fit at Stoke, yet Pulis dismissed it out of hand. Why not buy a versatile player who is 13 years younger than Beattie for a similar fee, whilst at the same time ridding yourself of a player who you now know to be a trouble maker who has between little and no chance of resurrecting his career?

Gary O'Neill continues to fester away playing football in a league below his ability for a team that is now looking increasingly like Celtic's reserves, so why not use some of our contracted players as leverage? I'm sure that Tonge & Griffin would have been enough given that he cannot have much longer than 18 months on his contract (he signed for Boro in 2007), and suddenly we have genuine options on the right. Nicky Shorey, a very recently capped England player continues to flit around on loan when a "proper" full back with excellent free-kick ability would genuinely enhance our team far more than the continued choice between Higginbotham & Collins, which to use an age-old joke is starting to look more and more like the proverbial two bald men fighting over a comb. These are just three examples of players, one of which would have been a loan, and two others would have easily been paid for by either off-setting some of our redundant squad or selling one to pay for another. You i'm sure could have come up with others (Fletcher at Burnley for Kitson & Cort could have been another?).

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2010, 02:57:40 PM »,17033,8749_5912558,00.html

Will You Be Loanly...

One of the deals that went through yesterday was the loan deal of Nicky Shorey, who moved from Aston Villa to Fulham.

"But hang on," we hear those of you familiar with the rules cry. "Hasn't he already played for two clubs this season, and is therefore prevented from appearing for a third?"

Why yes, you would be right. Shorey played six times for Villa before making nine appearances on loan at Nottingham Forest, and would thusly - one would assume - not be allowed to play for Fulham.

One may also recall Javier Mascherano being allowed to play for Liverpool after moving there on an initial loan in 2007, despite having appeared for West Ham and Corinthians already. FIFA announced at the time that such deals would only be approved 'under very restrictive preconditions'.

However, Fulham are apparently 'relaxed' about the deal and hope to get around it because his move to Forest was an 'emergency' loan. Given that Forest had two fit and perfectly serviceable left-backs on their books at the time, the emergency nature of the whole deal starts to look a little shonky.

Assuming Shorey is allowed to play, any accusations that the authorities favour the bigger clubs of the land, who will basically get what they want if they stamp their feet and scream hard enough, will be difficult to deny. Especially when you consider the case of Arron Davies.

Davies was released by Forest earlier this season, having spent a not-particularly-successful spell on loan at Brighton, but was prevented from joining former club Yeovil on the grounds that he had already played for two different clubs this season.

This presumably leaves Davies kicking his heels for the remainder of the season, not allowed to earn his crust because of the apparently arbitrary manner in which the authorities decide what is and is not an emergency.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2010, 02:59:47 PM »,17033,8749_5912558,00.html

Slight Difference Of Opinion

'James Beattie's £2.5million move to Fulham collapsed after he demanded a staggering £45,000 a week. The Stoke striker even had a medical before boss Roy Hodgson pulled the plug' - The Sun.

'James Beattie is stuck with Stoke City after Fulham failed to sign him for £2million - because he could not reach London to have a medical...The far-travelled forward needed a medical as he was looking for a two-and-a-half year contract and Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed demands stringent checks before parting with his cash. Stoke took too long to accept Fulham's offer, holding up the transfer in a piece of brinkmanship that cost them the sale' - The Daily Mirror.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2010, 03:02:02 PM »,17033,8749_5912558,00.html

Read My Lips - Part Two"

I spent three days in Peterborough staying in a hotel and I saw six people. Some were previous international managers and ex-England internationals, foreign managers and managers with experience. But there was one who stood out and who wanted it the most, and that was Mark Cooper. He impressed me like you wouldn't believe...I think Mark Cooper will do a terrific job for our football club" - Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony, November 14.

"I have seen comments about our manager and feel it is incredibly harsh to make judgements on him after five games. The gaffer is just as disappointed as everyone else with the lack of results, but he of course needs 100% support from all of us" - Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony, December 15.

'Nobody has given the bloke a chance since he was appointed 10 games ago and he has had to deal with one fiasco after another. I am of course unhappy that the results have not changed but at the same time I am not ready to throw the towel in as quick as others appear to be' - Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony, January 26.

'Following Mark Cooper's departure from the football club yesterday I wish him well for the future and have no doubt that he will be back in management sooner rather than later. After losing 8 times in 13 games including five defeats in January where we conceded 12 goals and only scored 1, his position became untenable and I felt it was time for a change for the good of the club' - Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony, February 2.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2010, 03:04:03 PM »

Beating Fulham Proves That Aston Villa Are A Top-Four Side - Emile Heskey

Hitman compares Villa win with Liverpool and Manchester United defeats at Craven Cottage...

By Adithya Ananth

Feb 2, 2010 1:04:00 PM

Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey believes that his side have announced their top-four credentials after beating Fulham 2-0 over the weekend.

A first-half brace from Gabriel Agbonlahor was all that was needed for the Villans to rake in the points on Saturday and revive their push to achieve Champions League football next season, having gone four games without a victory in the league.

Referring to Liverpool and Manchester United dropping points at Craven Cottage, Heskey said in The Mirror: "You see teams - top-four teams - go there and get outplayed but we really got at them and I think we deserved the points.

"Now we've got to try and keep our foot on the pedal.

"We always come bouncing back. We will never give up.

"Our confidence was high anyway because of the performances we had been putting in, but you've got to get the goals to go with that and against Fulham we did.

"They are a good side and they pass it around well.

"But we are all buzzing. We have some really great lads and we get on really well together. It's a nice atmosphere."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2010, 03:05:45 PM »

SPL - Team news: Kamara may start

PA Sport - Tue, 02 Feb 13:20:00 2010

Kilmarnock v Celtic (7.30pm)

Kilmarnock have no fresh injury concerns for Tuesday night's rearranged Premier League game against Celtic.

Killie boss Jimmy Calderwood remains without Mark Burchill (hamstring), Frazer Wright (ankle), Ryan O'Leary (knee) and Allan Russell (thigh).

Calderwood may also decide to freshen up his side for what will be their sixth game in 18 days, which comes about after December's original fixture was claimed by the big freeze.

Kamara could make his Celtic debut after signing on transfer deadline day.

The Senegal striker trained with the squad on Monday, but Dutch left-back Edson Braafheid will not feature - he returned to Germany to collect his family and belongings after signing a similar deal from Bayern Munich.

Paddy McCourt is out with a minor knee injury but Celtic are otherwise expected to have an unchanged squad.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2010, 03:11:37 PM »

Alexey Smertin Joins Russia World Cup Bid

February 2, 2010 

Alexey Smertin, the former captain of the Russian national team, is named as sports director of the Russia bid seeking to stage either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Smertin, who was capped 55 times for Russia, will be responsible for working on technical and sporting matters, including offering input on the match calendar, overall team accommodations. He was already a bid ambassador.

Bid CEO Alexey Sorokin said: “As a bid ambassador and member of our delegation who attended both Soccerex and the [2010] finals draw last year in South Africa, Alexey Smertin has shown himself to be a strong representative and advocate for Russian football.

"He will strengthen our bid with his unrivalled experience as former elite player turned administrator. We believe that this new position will expand the opportunities for him to apply his unique expertise to the bid.”

Smertin will be one of the faces of the Russia bid in the build-up to the FIFA decision on the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December.

He is the latest addition Smertin in his Fulham playing daysto the bid team, which was strengthened recently by former FIFA director of communications, Markus Siegler, and new international adviser Viacheslav Koloskov.

Smertin had a distinguished career as a defender and midfield player with a number of clubs in Russia and abroad, including Lokomotiv Moscow, Girondins de Bordeaux, and spells at Chelsea and Fulham. He was named player of the year in Russia in 1999. Smertin won the Premier League and the League Cup with Chelsea in 2005.

“Playing for Russia in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan was one of the highlights of my career," said Smertin, who also played for Russia at the 2004 European Championships in Portugal.

"The significance of this [World Cup] competition and what it means to football fans all over the world is simply overwhelming.

“I am very proud to have been asked to represent my country now on an altogether different playing field and very much look forward to the coming months with the bid committee. I will certainly strive for excellence in my efforts to bring the ultimate football event to my home country, Russia”, he added.

Outside football, Smertin has another career as politician and founder of social development projects. He is currently the deputy of the Altay region Legislative Assembly in Russia, and is also actively engaged in the development of children's sports in that region and in Barnaul, his native city. He has also founded a football sports school for children.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2010, 03:18:31 PM »

Shakhtar warming up for Fulham

by Dan on February 2, 2010

Shakhtar Donetsk are preparing for their Europa League showdown with Fulham with some warm weather training in Marbella. Perhaps they’ve misunderstood just quite how cold the Cottage will be in February.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #54 on: February 02, 2010, 03:20:33 PM »
Team News

Tuesday 2nd February 2010

Fulham FC News 

On Tuesday afternoon Roy Hodgson revealed that Fulham will be without several First Team players when they clash with Portsmouth at the Cottage on Wednesday evening.

The Whites are currently enduring a torrid period on the injury front as Hodgson welcomes loan signings Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka into his squad to face Avram Grant's side.

“The injury situation is very bad I’m afraid,” said Hodgson. “It’s as bad as I’ve ever experienced in football. We have six of our First Team players out injured and one who hasn’t yet returned from the African Cup of Nations.

“To lose seven players from the Team that finished seventh last year is always going to take a lot of dealing with but fortunately we have two players who have come in on loan in Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka which is very useful for me to plug gaps.

“I’m disappointed that Simon Davies, who I was hoping would recover for the game on Wednesday, and Zoltan Gera, who injured himself in training on Tuesday morning, will not be available. To lose a further two in our current situation it seems that the real good fortune we had in terms of injuries last season we’re repaying for this season."

The loan deals to bring in Okaka and Shorey for the second half of the season were announced on Monday afternoon and Hodgson is hoping both players will make an impact at the Cottage, starting with Wednesday night's clash against Portsmouth.

“Both of them will play tomorrow,” revealed Hodgson. "He’s [Okaka] a great talent and has potential because he’s an Italian U21 international. He hasn’t played that many games for the Roma team but he has played some important matches for them and made a very important contribution as a substitute.

“He’s a strong player and has an eye for goal. He’s a determined type of goalscorer and we hope in our current situation, with Andy Johnson out for a further considerable time, he will help us up front to score some goals.

"We’ve been struggling at left back since Paul Konchesky got injured because we’ve not had that player that can cover on the left hand side. We’ve not had a natural left footer and we’ve tried to play right backs there and they’ve struggled.

“Toni Kallio has been injured for a long while and has now been allowed to leave for Shefffield United. The reason I let Toni leave is because we were able to bring in Nicky Shorey who is a very similar player to Paul Konchesky who I am hoping will do a similar great job to the one Paul has done.”

Be amongst the first to see Fulham's new additions when Roy Hodgson's side take on Portsmouth at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening! Wednesday’s game is absolutely vital and your support could make all the difference so get behind the team by purchasing your tickets now| !

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #55 on: February 02, 2010, 03:21:36 PM »,,1004~1953053,00.html

Davo Looking For Home Advantage

Posted on: Tue 02 Feb 2010

Kevin Davies believes that Wanderers will use this week to their advantage ahead of Saturday's game with Fulham.

A demanding fixture schedule in January saw Bolton play five matches in 14 days, and with no midweek match to contend with, the skipper says the squad will be making sure that the full week is well utilised.

Bolton will be looking to make it three consecutive victories on home soil when the Cottagers visit and Davies also explained that there is a real motivation to kick-on and push up the Premier League table.

Davies said: "It has been a tough month with us playing twice a week and obviously we had a few matches postponed before then, which we had prepared and planned for.

"Fulham have a game on Wednesday as well so we will look to use that to our advantage. It's been well documented that lost five league matches in succession and that they have been suffering with injuries, but they must not be underestimated because there will be a determination from them to end their recent run of results.

"But the win against Burnley in our last home match was the big result because it got us out of the bottom three.

"We had been in there over Christmas and it was vital that we got out sooner rather than later, and with the home fixtures coming up, we all believe that we can push-on up the table and open up a gap from the relegation zone."

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #56 on: February 02, 2010, 03:22:55 PM »

Fulham boss misses a Beatt

Date: 2nd February 2010 at 12:53 pm

Author: Mark Turner

Roy Hodgson failed in a last ditch attempt to sign Stoke City striker James Beattie for Fulham last night, with The Sun and The Daily Mirror giving differing interpretations of why the deal fell through. Beattie is surplus to requirements at the Britannia Stadium following a bust-up between Beattie and Stoke manager Tony Pulis at the Emirates Stadium in early December. The pair allegedly had to be pulled apart by backroom staff, and Beattie has started just 2 of the subsequent 9 matches Stoke have played since.

Last night it emerged that Hodgson was making a late move for Beattie, hoping to ease Fulham away from a relegation scrap by swelling his attacking options. Clint Dempsey is out for 6 weeks with knee ligament damage, whilst Andrew Johnson has struggled for fitness for much of the season, also suffering with a knee complaint . With Diomansy Kamara leaving for Celtic on loan until the end of the season, Hodgson finally secured the 6-month loan of Italian under-21 striker Stefano Okaka from AS Roma, but will still be disappointed with his failed attempt for Beattie. The Sun is reporting Beattie’s wage demands of £45, 000 a week were responsible for the collapse of the deal. However, The Daily Mirror suggests that a deal worth an estimated £2 million broke down because Beattie could not get to Fulham for a medical in time. Beattie was with the Stoke squad for their trip to Sunderland last night, and as his club stalled following the offer from Fulham, Beattie was left warming the bench again, watching his teammates earn a 0-0 draw with the Wearsiders. Beattie was looking for a 2-and-a-half year deal, and so Mohamed Al Fayed, The Daily Mirror claims, was allegedly insistent on a stringent medical before releasing the purse strings.

Beattie joined Stoke last January from Sheffield United in a deal worth £3.5 million. Beattie scored 7 goals in 16 appearances for The Potters, and was instrumental in helping them avoid relegation to the Championship. However, Beattie has managed just 3 goals in his 18 Premier League appearances this term.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2010, 03:24:16 PM »

Fulham v Portsmouth Preview: Two Teams Out to End Recent Slumps

02/2/2010 9:35 AM GMT By Ben Hunt


A visit from Portsmouth could be just what Fulham need to get over their recent slump in form.

Roy Hodgson's side are on a dreadful run in the Premier League as FanHouse discussed. Yet those unwelcome successive defeats against Chelsea, Stoke, Blackburn, Spurs and Aston Villa could all be forgotten with a morale-boosting victory over Pompey.

Hodgson's side once revelled in their home form this season and will look to capitalise on that once more. The Fulham manager told a news conference: "We have to stop the rot by winning but we know it will not be easy. Portsmouth are a better team than their league position shows.

"We need to get that win and although we have not been playing badly, we have been punished by our mistakes and not scored goals. The morale and spirit is good in the squad but confidence always diminishes with defeats. The squad know words do not change things, actions do."

Strategy: Hodgson is expected to draft in at least two of the new faces he signed on transfer deadline day. On-loan Aston Villa defender Nicky Shorey will be a valuable addition at left back to replace the injured Paul Konchesky. Roma striker Stefano Okaka is also expected to be given his debut but may start on the substitutes' bench.

Injury Update: The club will continue to monitor Andrew Johnson's knee problem. The striker's much-anticipated return has been delayed by another setback. Simon Davies is also a concern after he limped off against Aston Villa. Konchesky, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil are long-term injuries. Zoltan Gera has joined the injury list after taking a knock in training.

Avram Grant's preparations for this match have once again been overshadowed by the club's failure to pay its players. It is now the fourth time this has happened and, while the players accepted the problem at first, their patience is running out.

It is exactly the situation that Grant wanted to avoid at this crucial stage of the season. His task is hard enough without having to raise his players' motivation from the rock bottom level it currently occupies.

The club have sold Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic in the transfer window and suggest the money will be used to pay the wages, but veteran defender Hermann Hreidarsson wants the club to give a precise report on their their financial.

"They should come clean and let us know exactly what is going on," Hreidarsson said in the Daily Express. "This is the fourth time it has happened this season. It seems to be a never-ending story at the moment. The players and staff are working hard for this club, but we don't know what is happening from the people who are running it. It is just amazing that we have not been paid and they have not been in touch with us.

"I am sure the players will be all right, but it is the staff not being paid that is a big concern. They maybe have mortgages to pay, but do not have their wages."

Strategy: The loss of Kaboul and Begovic will be a blow to Portsmouth, who are already short of players. David James will definitely be in goal and Tal Ben-Haim will come in at centre back. Former Arsenal forward Quincy Owusu-Abeyie could make his first start for the club after coming off the bench against Manchester City.

Injury Update: Papa Bouba Diop and Michael Brown are both rated as doubtful to face their former club. Diop has a hamstring strain and Brown is struggling with a back problem.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #58 on: February 02, 2010, 03:25:32 PM »


By Chris Hammer

 1pt Fulham to be winning half-time/full-time at 9/5 (Blue Square). Fulham will be eager to go in for the kill against a wounded animal.

Fulham head into Wednesday night's clash with Portsmouth on the back of five straight Premier League defeats which has seen them slide down the table - but unless this slump continues until the end of the season, it's unlikely they'll end up in a relegation scrap.

The Cottagers enjoyed a superb first half to the campaign as Roy Hodgson looked to build on their success of qualifying for Europe, so they'll surely see this home game against crisis club Pompey as the ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Hodgson was disappointed with the manner in which they conceded two late first-half goals to Gabriel Agbonlahor during their 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on Saturday but also put down his side's recent struggles to a worrying injury list that includes Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey, John Pantsil and Paul Konchesky.

Simon Davies also had to limp off against Villa with an ankle injury but the squad did receive a lift on transfer deadline day when striker Stefano Okaka completed his loan move from Roma.

The 20-year-old signed off in style for the Giallorossi with a spectacular late winner in Sunday's 2-1 defeat of Siena but having made only seven substitute appearances in Serie A this term, it made sense for Claudio Ranieri allow him to gain potential first-team experience elsewhere.

Fulham also sealed a loan move for left-back Nicky Shorey as cover for Konchesky so Hodgson shouldn't be short of options for the visit of the Premier League's rock-bottom side.

Portsmouth's plight on and off the field has been well documented throughout this torrid season and even the most optimistic of their supporters will struggle to believe they can climb to safety.

Asmir Begovic, Younes Kaboul, David Nugent and Mike Williamson were the major players to depart Fratton Park during the transfer window although they were boosted by the loan return of Jamie O'Hara to the club.

With Avram Grant's men currently six points adrift of the cluster of teams above the relegation zone, hope is fading fast and they desperately need to pick up their first top-flight victory since the shock 2-0 triumph over Liverpool back on December 19.

Since then only an FA Cup run to the fifth round has sought to raise the spirits while at the weekend they suffered a sound 2-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City despite the hosts being well below their best.

Fulham are unsurprisingly odds-on to pick up all three points on Wednesday night so we reckon better value would be to back the hosts to be winning at half-time and full-time, which is available at 9/5 with Blue Square.

Pompey have conceded first-half goals in eight of their last 10 games in all competitions while we can expect a hungry Fulham to come out all guns blazing in search of an early kill against a wounded animal.

Verdict: Fulham 2 Portsmouth 0

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (02.02.10)
« Reply #59 on: February 02, 2010, 03:26:30 PM »
Gera joins Fulham injury list
02/02/2010 - 14:22:22

Zoltan Gera is the latest Fulham player to suffer an injury ahead of the Premier League clash with Portsmouth.

Gera has joined a long list of players in the treatment room after suffering a knock to his knee in training.

Andy Johnson is still struggling with his knee injury while Paul Konchesky (foot), Simon Davies (ankle), Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil (both knee ligaments) are all out.

Loan signings Nicky Shorey and Roma striker Stefano Okaka are both poised for their Fulham debuts.

Provisional squad: Schwarzer, Hangeland, Shorey, Baird, Hughes, Stoor, Kelly, Duff, Murphy, Nevland, Zuberbuhler, Greening, Riise, Dikgacoi, Smalling, Elm, Zamora, Okaka.

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