Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10  (Read 7725 times)

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2010, 05:10:06 PM »
Fulham - Living Within Our Means!

Rumours relating to Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland being on Mark Hughes shopping list were all the rage last week!

But it seems highly unlikely that either will get the chance to wear our famous shirt due to one reason - money!

The tabloid press seem quite keen to hammer home the point that Mohammed Al Fayed isn`t prepared to break our strict salary structure to bring in players and if they are not prepare to accept that fact then there is no chance of a deal being struck.

On one hand it seems a touch disappointing that we`re not prepared to go out on a limb for that odd special player or two but on the other you have to admire the fact that our club isn`t prepared to sacrifice its principles and place its whole future in a financial whirlpool!


Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=208244#ixzz0w7r6yT43

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2010, 05:11:09 PM »
http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6782NU20100809

Fabio Capello faces hard task to rebuild players' confidence

England (Reuters) - England manager Fabio Capello admitted Monday that he was struggling to find a way of rebuilding his players confidence after their disappointing early exit at the World Cup finals in South Africa.

He also made a public apology to the fans for England's poor performances which ended with them losing 4-1 to Germany in the second round of the tournament after being ranked among the pre-tournament favourites to win the trophy.

"I think what is really important is the mind of the players but I don't know what we have to do to improve it," the Italian told a news conference as England prepared to face Hungary in a friendly Wednesday which will be their first match since the World Cup debacle.

"At the moment I do not know. We did not play with confidence, we played with fear and that must change. I have a few ideas in mind, but I do not know."

He reiterated his view that things might have turned out very differently for England if Frank Lampard's legitimate goal against Germany had stood rather than not been given after the ball clearly crossed the line. That would have made the score 2-2 against the Germans who benefited from the reprieve and went on to dominate the rest of the match and ruthlessly expose England's failings.

But even though the World Cup ended so badly, he said he had learnt a lot and improved as a manager which would help him prepare England for his next challenge: winning a place in the finals of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

PUBLIC APOLOGY

However, he expected England's fans to boo him and his team at the start of Wednesday's match.

"I expect that yes," he said. "I have to say sorry to the fans because our performance was not good. We know the fans spent a lot of money and time to support us in South Africa and I am really sorry.

"We did not play at the same level in South Africa as we did in the qualifying.

"In the World Cup you have to arrive in a really good physical situation. The level was not high."

Wednesday's match is England's only warm-up before the start of their qualifiers in which they face Bulgaria, Switzerland, Montenegro and Wales, but Capello's plans for the game were disrupted when goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Wes Brown announced their international retirements after being selected for the squad.

"I respect their decisions," he said.

Capello has called up just 10 of his 23-man World Cup for this squad, including youngsters Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal, even though they have only a handful of first team appearances between them.

Wilshere made seven appearances for Arsenal last season and 14 appearances on loan at Bolton Wanderers. Gibbs played six times for Arsenal.

He has also selected 29-year-old striker Bobby Zamora of Fulham after leaving him out of the World Cup squad.

"He is not young, but he is a good player. At the moment I have to change something but who knows what will happen in the future."

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2010, 05:44:58 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6303200,00.html

Gera could leave Cottagers
No guarantee Hungarian forward will stay put

Zoltan Gera's agent has done little to curb speculation surrounding his client's future at Fulham.

The Hungarian is reported to be interesting several clubs across Europe, having enjoyed a productive six-year stint in England.

From the Premier League, Liverpool and Sunderland are believed to be monitoring his situation, with the Reds now bossed by former Cottagers coach Roy Hodgson.
Elsewhere, German giants Werder Bremenare said to be preparing a move for the experienced forward after seeing him bag a hat-trick against them in a recent pre-season friendly.

Gera's representative admits there is a possibility a deal could be struck before the summer transfer window slams shut, and has attempted to tout his client's services to Liverpool.

Dangerous

"At the moment I don't want to comment on the news, but there is always a chance for a club change when a player has enjoyed such a great season, like Gera did," Vladan Filipovic told www.origo.hu.

"Mr Hodgson liked him very much at Fulhamand that belief could be seen in Gera's performances, he played some great football."

Filipovic added: "I think his favoured position is behind the striker and there could be a place for him in the Liverpool starting line-up.

"They have signed Joe Cole, and there are several world-class players in the Liverpool squad, but they don't have a player in Gera's position who is as hard-working as him or as dangerous in front of goal.

"He showed with his hat-trick against Werder Bremen that his form is as good as it was last season."


os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2010, 05:46:20 PM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/08/09/oneills-departure-from-aston-villa-underlines-the-growing-weal/

Martin O'Neill's Shock Resignation Highlights the Growing Gap Between the Top Clubs
Ian Edwards

Martin O'Neill issued the clear threat towards the end of last season that he would have the ultimate say on his future at Aston Villa and the manager has been good to his word after apparently deciding the economic frustrations of life in the Premier League left him with no choice but to quit.

Three successive sixth-placed finishes would not normally be the trigger for a manager to vacate his position but O'Neill has tendered his resignation after growing frustrated at hitting a glass ceiling which has prevented Villa from breaking into the Champions League places.

O'Neill's relationship with American owner Randy Lerner appears to have taken a turn for the worse since January largely because of the Cleveland Browns owner's reluctance to make further heavy investment in the team.

That, coupled with the increasing spending power of Manchester City and the impressive work of Harry Redknapp at Spurs, has left O'Neill feeling he can no longer take the team forward in the manner he would like and he seems to have taken the reluctant step of stepping aside.

It is not thought that the protracted saga surrounding James Milner's possible move to City is responsible for the poorly-timed departure of the Northern Irishman. After all, Milner's desire to leave was something Villa were powerless to prevent, especially when the prospective buyers are Manchester City. Few clubs in the country could compete against that.

The expected £27m transfer may well have been the straw that broke the camel's back but the troubled waters at Villa Park run deeper than Milner and there is little suggestion that Villa are too unhappy at the shock, even if it leaves them with precious little time to find someone to take O'Neill's place in time for the start of the season.

O'Neill has spent over £150m since he arrived four years ago and Lerner has made it clear his pockets are not bottomless, especially as Villa's expenditure was up 42% in the last financial year and their wage bill was larger than that at Spurs, who made it to the Champions League qualifiers.

Yet while O'Neill's budget was substantial, the enormous spending power of City has meant that all teams harbouring ambitions of breaking into the top four have effectively taken a step backwards and the manager clearly believes that Villa have now missed the chance to progress to the next level, especially with Liverpool apparently poised to receive a major cash injection.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Aston Villa, said: "The club would like to thank Martin for the great work he has done at Aston Villa over the past four years.

"He has helped to establish the club in the upper echelons of the Premier League, has taken us to Wembley and we have also qualified for European competition for the past three seasons under his management. We wish him the best in the future."

O'Neill said: "I have enjoyed my time at Aston Villa immensely. It's obviously a wrench to be leaving such a magnificent club.

"I would like to pay tribute to the Villa players, my coaching staff and the Villa supporters for all the support and encouragement they have given both the club and me personally during my time as manager.

"I wish them all the best for the future. I will obviously be assisting the club in the immediate short-term with regard to the handover of my duties."

Kevin MacDonald, reserve team manager, has assumed the role of caretaker manager and will prepare the team for the opening game of the season against West Ham on Saturday at Villa Park.

How long he will have to remain in charge remains to be seen, but the timing of O'Neill's leaving could not have been worse.

If this had all been sorted out at the end of last season, when O'Neill was clearly unhappy with his lot, Mark Hughes would surely have diverted from Fulham to Villa Park.

With things so late in the day, the potential candidates for such a big job will be thin on the ground and repairing the damage done will be a huge task.

Yet while O'Neill's sudden departure will frustrate many with Villa Park connections, his actions will no doubt be regarded with some degree of sympathy at those other talented managers who feel powerless to bridge the growing wealth gap that exists between even the top teams.

Tottenham may well have finally breached the established top four last season but O'Neill's actions suggest he believes a new hierarchy is about to be established. And that hierarchy doesn't include Villa.

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2010, 05:47:16 PM »
http://www.livesoccertv.com/news/1263/grasp-the-england-shirt-bobby-zamora-fulham-boss-marc-hughes/

'Grasp The England Shirt, Bobby Zamora', Fulham Boss Marc Hughes
Angela Asante, August 9th, 2010

Ahead of the England vs Hungary friendly, new Fulham boss Marc Hughes has backed club star Bobby Zamora to take hold of Wednesday's opportunity for a bright future in the England squad. Bobby Zamora, 29, will actually receive his first cap against Hungary at the Wembley Stadium.

The English player of Trinidadian decent is one of the three new names called up by Coach Fabio Capello for this upcoming friendly match. Bobby Zamora was instrumental for Fulham last season, helping the London club to stun elites such as Juventus on their way to the final of the Europa League.

With Darren Bent pulling out of the Hungary friendly match through injury, Zamora could be given a bigger role and thus a bigger opportunity to make an impact upfront alongside fresh 2010 Community Shield winner Wayne Rooney.

Fulham manager Marc Hughes expressed his joy concerning Bobby Zamora's England call-up. He stated:

"We are delighted for Bobby. It is recognition for his fine play in recent times. He looks a good player and he has to kick on now and be one of the main players in the Premier League."

As England's national football team tries to repair all the problems that humiliated the country during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Fulham boss Marc Hughes encouraged Bobby to take his chances.

"If he has an opportunity and he gets the shirt, it's all about grasping it. He must not allow the progress that he has undoubtedly made in recent times to waver.

"There is a wind of change in the England squad, and he may well benefit from that. What Bobby has got to do is to build on last year and on the performances that have been highlighted by Capello."

Mr Fulham

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2010, 06:22:14 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6303200,00.html

Gera could leave Cottagers
No guarantee Hungarian forward will stay put

Zoltan Gera's agent has done little to curb speculation surrounding his client's future at Fulham.

The Hungarian is reported to be interesting several clubs across Europe, having enjoyed a productive six-year stint in England.

From the Premier League, Liverpool and Sunderland are believed to be monitoring his situation, with the Reds now bossed by former Cottagers coach Roy Hodgson.
Elsewhere, German giants Werder Bremenare said to be preparing a move for the experienced forward after seeing him bag a hat-trick against them in a recent pre-season friendly.

Gera's representative admits there is a possibility a deal could be struck before the summer transfer window slams shut, and has attempted to tout his client's services to Liverpool.

Dangerous

"At the moment I don't want to comment on the news, but there is always a chance for a club change when a player has enjoyed such a great season, like Gera did," Vladan Filipovic told www.origo.hu.

"Mr Hodgson liked him very much at Fulhamand that belief could be seen in Gera's performances, he played some great football."

Filipovic added: "I think his favoured position is behind the striker and there could be a place for him in the Liverpool starting line-up.

"They have signed Joe Cole, and there are several world-class players in the Liverpool squad, but they don't have a player in Gera's position who is as hard-working as him or as dangerous in front of goal.

"He showed with his hat-trick against Werder Bremen that his form is as good as it was last season."

What an idiot that agent is! Unbelievable! :014:


os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2010, 06:30:30 PM »
http://www.sbnation.com/2010/8/9/1613330/english-premier-league-2010-11-preview-where-we-left-off

Premier League 2010-11 Preview: Picking-Up Where We Left Off

By Richard Farley

The 2010-11 English Premier League season kicks-off on Saturday. Before it does, it's time to take inventory of where we left off -- long ago, before the World Cup.

   

Aug 9, 2010 - Our continued (and for some people, illicit) love affair with English football ignites again on Saturday with the start of the English Premier League (EPL) season.  Still, after a summer dominated by the World Cup, many fans may have forgotten where the league left off.  And by "many fans," I mean me, because May 2010 seems so long ago.

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to take this time to dig into the annals of Premier League history, to a time before the second Hand of God and the Dutch attack on Spain in Johannesburg.  Long before Diego Forlán was DIEGO FORLAN or adidas debunked Newtonian physics, there was the 2009-10 EPL season.

So I looked it up, and it turns out not only did Chelsea win the league without José Mourinho (whatever happened to him?) but Tottenham Hotspur qualified for Champions League.  And - get this - Fulham made it to the final of a major European tournament.  A team went into administration, Liverpool finished seventh (seventh!), Manchester City's spending might have broken the league because Newcastle United was nowhere to be found.

It turns out there were a number of interesting stories that were swept away by the World Cup's wave, so at the onset of the 2010-11 Premier League season, now's a good time to flashback to May and take inventory of where we left the league's 20 clubs: some on highs; some on lows; and some carrying mixed bags into the new season.

HIGH

Blackpool - Blackpool won five of six matches to close the season, including the Championship playoff final at Wembley, beating Cardiff City 3-2 to earn promotion for the first time in the club's history. While much of this summer's discussion of the Tangerines has focused their small stadium (12,555 at Bloomfield Road) and lack of resources, manager Ian Holloway, entering his second season on the job, will be an asset to the Premier League regardless of his club's finish:



It's going to take all my powers of restraint to resist using "on the pull" in each Blackpool match report.

Tottenham - It's still difficult to believe Spurs finished top four. After being brought-up on the maxim "Tottenham always fades," I saw Spurs accelerate to and through the Premier League finish line, further evidence Manchester City's broken the league.  Wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, and City over the league's last month have Spurs one two-legged tie from their first Champions League appearance. While it's unlikely 2009-10 will prove tthe point Tottenham becomes a permanent member of the EPL Elite (code name for the crew featured in the documentary Ronin), Spurs supporters can start the 2010-11 campaign with bragging rights over City, Liverpool, and the other clubs trying to keep up with the league's three Joneses.

Arsenal - Though the Gunners felt some late season pressure for third place from their North London rivals, it was a season of mild redemption for Arsenal. Coming off a fourth place finish which had many prognosticators predicting a fall out of Champions League, Arsenal made a small title push before succumbing to injuries (most notably to Cesc Fábregas and Robin van Persie). The mere fact that they have their two most dangerous players healthy and with the team (and not in Barcelona) makes 2009-10 an building block instead of a relic.

Birmingham City - Recent history says Birmingham City, one of the yo-yo teams of recent seasons, is not in the clear yet, but after climbing from Championship to ninth place in one season, Alex McLeish can be permitted an exhale. And that's where we find Brum - reflecting on a remarkable campaign. True, City has failed to reinforce their team over the summer and have had to swap Joe Hart for Ben Foster, but if Roger Johnson and Scott Dann can replicate their 2009-10 performances, the Blues will carry their warm-fuzzies into 2011. For now, it's all warm-fuzzies.

Wolverhampton Wanderers - The last time Wolves came up (2003) they went right back down, so their ability to stay-up with largely the same team that won the 2008-09 Championship had to be satisfying. That Mick McCarthy secured safety a week early gave Wolves supporters a chance to savor the season's last match, a 2-1 victory over McCarthy's former team, Sunderland, in front of near-capacity crowd at the Molineux.  For a team that may have had less talent than any team in the league (well, Burnley), Wolverhampton rarely looked relegation-bound after January, a triumph for their manager.

Everton - It looked bad - really bad - for Everton after the first few months of last season. People were talking relegation, so for the Toffees to surge to eighth place while exhibiting a contender's form sends supporters optimistically into 2010. With Mikel Arteta, the club's best player, returning from injury to record six goals in 13 end-of-season appearances, Toffee fans can understandably have a take-on-all-comers attitude.

Chelsea - And then there's the league champions, who put up 103 goals on their way to a third Premier League title. There's no other place you can put the victors than into the "High" group.

MIDDLE

Aston Villa - You can forgive Villa supporters their mixed emotions. On the one hand, their club's coming off a strong league performance that saw them break through their late season wall and maintain in their Champions League challenge deep into the season. On the other hand, Villa's failed to make improvements this offseason, should expect Liverpool and Everton to be stronger, and are letting their summer be defined by James Milner's move.  Now you might ask what those facts have to do with an end-of-season reflection.  They don't, but when a club's manager unexpectedly resigns as I'm editing this piece, format goes out-the-window.

Bolton - Owen Coyle came in mid-season and lifted the club out of the relegation zone, consistently getting results against bottom-of-the-table competition. The problem: Coyle's open style of play combined with Gary Megson's personnel saw the Trotters ripped open by the more talented teams in the league. That's the bargain made by Bolton in bringing Coyle in. Do they have the stomach for a full season of it?  Being the EPL litmus test?

Manchester City - Fifth place can't help but be a disappointment not only because they were expected by some jump-the-gun projections to make Champions League.  The disappointment also comes from fourth place being in their grasp, slipping away with a late, home season loss to Spurs. Had City lost a decisive match to Arsenal, Chelsea, or even Liverpool, it would have been understandable, but given the club's goals at the season's onset, Tottenham was not a team that was supposed to beat them. Fifth place was a strong finish, but it also carried misgivings.

Newcastle - A great Championship season sees the Toon bounce up after one campaign in the second division, but for a team that should have never gone down, it's the expected result. Congratulations to Chris Hughton for righting the ship, but unlike Ian Holloway, Hughton should be expected to steer his team above a relegation battle, a feeling that had settled-in by the beginning of summer.

West Bromwich Albion - This is the fourth time since 2002 that West Brom's earned promotion, which tells you they've been sent down a number of times, too. Why is 2010-11 going to be different? There isn't much to say it will, but we don't need to tell that to Baggies supporters. As nice as it is to jump-up to the Premier League, the promotion comes with misgivings. A here we go again feeling settled-in long before last season's promotion.  It's become part of the club.

Stoke City - It's not fair to Potters players who helped solidify Stoke in the league, but Stoke's season will forever be linked with Ryan Shawcross's tackle on Aaron Ramsey. Not only did the play put the Arsenal midfielder out of a year, but it also led to a prolonged debate about Stoke's tactics and, of course, the state of the English game.  The derision targeting Ryan Shawcross was ill-placed, with the World Cup providing a welcome rest for club and player.

Blackburn - Rovers supporters are a gang of Fausts, and Mephistopheles just took them to tenth place.  Whereas once Blackburn supporters stubbornly opposed the idea of Sam Allardyce's style of football, a year and half after he saved them from a Paul Ince-induced relegation battle, they're stuck.  Can't live without Big Sam, so might as well try to live with him.

LOW

Manchester United - For a club that's won's 11 of the Premier League's 18 iterations, any season in which Manchester United goes without a title is a relative low point.  In absolute terms, United has little to worry about.  They finished one point back and have a number of reasons to believe themselves in position to claim a 12th title.

Sunderland -  A lot was expected of Sunderland in their first season under Steve Bruce, but the Black Cats flirted with the a relegation fight throughout the season, and while a true battle never materialized, Sunderland's 13th place finish represents a lost season, particularly in light of their spending.  The lingering feeling:  Is Steve Bruce destined to manage relegation-battling teams?  Because the feeling around the Stadium of Light sees a team with too much talent to play to that fate.

Wigan Athletic - The few Latics fans that showed-up to the DW were left wondering whether this team's destined for a 2011 relegation or will take a step forward in their second year under Roberto Martínez.  I suppose any struggling team could set-up that dichotomy, but with Wigan, there were undeniable indications of each.  Wigan allowed the most goals of any returning team yet were still able to record wins against Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Chelsea.  So what's it going to be Wigan?  Are you that team that gave up 79 goals?  The team that got three wins against the top six?  Or, are you just that indecisive?

West Ham United -The Hammers took a huge step back.  The team never seemed capable of winning a close game or protecting a lead, so although their goal difference was only eight worse than the year before, the Hammers dropped from ninth to 17th.  New owners David Gold and David Sullivan took over the team mid-season, immediately making public the club's huge financial problems, creating a certain foreboding around the team.  Although West Ham survived the season (thanks to the historically low point totals of the relegated clubs), 2009-10 left Upton Park feeling like the first act of a zombie movie.

Fulham -  The Cottagers finished the season in high-spirits despite losing the Europa League final to Atlético Madrid, but when Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool in early summer, there developed a feeling that the ride may be over.  Seventh place one year.  Major tournament final the next, all on the heels of a barely surviving a 2007-08 relegation fight.  Shortly after the end of the 2009-10 campaign, when if became clear that Hodgson would leave, the mood around Craven Cottage shifted.  Are relegation battles back on the table for Fulham?

Liverpool -  True, Hodgson replacing Rafa Benitez is an upgrade, and signing Joe Cole is a great signal of intent, but Liverpool finished seventh last season.  Now the term "Big Four" hasn't been used in so long, I'm tempted to explain it.  Whether ownership or management was to blame, Liverpool took a historic step back last season.  In that context, only three teams had worse 2009-10 campaigns, and they're no longer in the league.

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2010, 08:57:48 PM »
http://www.thisisanfield.com/blog/2010/08/09/mike-kelly-joins-hodgson-at-liverpool/

Mike Kelly joins Hodgson at Liverpool

Article added: August 9th, 2010  Add a comment
TIA Home » LFC News » Mike Kelly joins Hodgson at Liverpool

 
Since his appointment in July Roy Hodgson has yet to appoint any new coaching staff at Liverpool, despite the departures of three key men who shaped Rafa Benitez‘s backroom team.

First team coach Mauricio Pellegrino, goalkeeper coach Xavi Valero and fitness coach Paco De Miguel have all joined up with Rafa at Inter Milan.

With the new sports science team arriving at Melwood this summer, Darren Burgess – the new head of fitness and conditioning – appears to have taken De Miguel’s role but no appointments have been confirmed with regards the goalkeeper coach and first team coach positions.

However, we understand that Mike Kelly, Hodgson’s assistant at Fulham, has now joined up with the Reds and was at Melwood last week. Kelly is a goalkeeper coach and so can fill the void left by Valero’s departure. Kelly’s appointment has yet to be confirmed by LFC but he is no longer listed as a member of staff on Fulham’s official website.

We understand Liverpool were first denied in their approach for Kelly shortly after Hodgson’s appointment until they had concluded their search for a new manager, which ended last week with the appointment of Mark Hughes, seemingly leaving Kelly free to rejoin his former boss at Liverpool.

Kelly has vast experience as a keeper coach, including three World Cup’s. Two with England in 1986 and 1990, and in 1994 with Hodgson and Switzerland.

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2010, 08:59:23 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/teams/england/7935628/England-v-Hungary-Bobby-Zamoras-belated-debut-highlights-wider-problem.html

England v Hungary: Bobby Zamora's belated debut highlights wider problem

The commanding figure to whom the Football Association committed £6 million a year 30 months ago is, temporarily at least, no more. That, not the players, is the biggest problem facing England in this part of the cyclical process of picking ourselves off the floor after failing at a major championship.
 
By Kevin Garside

More than ever England need to be led, not propping up a fading guru scratching his head. “I don’t know what we have to do to improve the minds of the players. At this moment I don’t know.” Capello appeared diminished and uncertain in the critical atmosphere that pervaded England’s first day back at school.
His first engagement post-South Africa was always going to be one to get out of the way. His discomfort was exposed in the rush of scripted apologies with which he began the televised inquisition. Like a guilty child caught smoking behind the bike sheds Capello wanted to talk, to pore over the detail of what went wrong at the World Cup as if to purge his conscience for the part he played in it.
 
There was no catharsis to be had. The story has moved on. Capello was quickly pinned with questions about those selected but not in attendance. He was forced to reach for explanations in a way he has not experienced before.
It was hard to watch his authority being questioned in this way. The reverence has gone. England are in trouble if the players feel the same way.

The cynic would have no trouble linking the retirements of Paul Robinson and Wes Brown to a wider discontent, fringe players though they were.

Capello strode out of the changing room at Arsenal’s London Colney training base alone, some minutes ahead of the players. The cameras went berserk.

Capello’s appearance might have been entirely innocent but circumstances being what they are, there was symbolic value in that singular walk. The cameras knew it, too.

Throughout his post-training media commitments Capello was accompanied by his English teacher. She was particularly energised when Capello struck a defensive attitude, reminding people of the competent job he had done in qualifying. Capello continues to grope for the right word, which in a losing coach is not a positive attribute. It merely adds to the perceptions of inadequacy.

The urge to pin blame somewhere is difficult to resist. But it may be that the England problem is insurmountable. That is the view of Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who sees in the primacy of the Premier League over all other considerations a structural impediment that none could overcome.

The argument goes something like this. The Premier League is inextricably linked to the Champions League and European club competition in a way the old first division used to be with England. When the Bobbys Moore and Charlton were in their pomp, the England team represented the highest technical level since it culled from the clubs the best players in the country.

The finest footballers in the country today are more likely to be foreign than English, a feature that has driven the technique and intensity of club football higher than it is with England. Therefore when Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard step out for their country they are in effect stepping down a level because the spread of talent is thinner.

Emile Heskey could barely get a game for Aston Villa last season yet he went to South Africa as England’s first choice partner for Rooney.

On Wednesday Bobby Zamora, of Fulham, is expected to make his debut at 29, which makes Wenger’s argument forcibly. If Zamora is good enough now, he was good enough five years ago. He hasn’t changed that much. Circumstances have.

The reduced talent pool is compounded by a wounded coach. Capello is clearly embarrassed by his own failings as much as the team’s. He was shocked by the South African experience, unnerved at having his certainties shredded.

Nothing in his bag of tricks acquired at the great footballing houses of Europe, at Real Madrid and AC Milan, prepared him for a month in the African bush with a mixed bag of knackered Premier League footballers.

Capello’s pride is hurt. He did not expect to have to prove himself all over again. Not many on his salary do. But that is his lot. Against Hungary on Wednesday Capello is on trial as much as his players.


os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2010, 09:10:19 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11854_6303466,00.html

Clubs considering Marchetti

Arsenal and Fulham linked with shot-stopper

Skysports.com understands that a number of clubs will be watching Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti against the Ivory Coast in London on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old, who played the majority of the World Cup following an injury to Gianluigi Buffon, has been placed up for sale by Cagliari.

Arsenal and Fulham have been linked with Marchetti as a result, with a possible decision resting on which of the Premier League rivals are in possession of Mark Schwarzer come the end of the summer.

The fact that Marchetti was called up in South Africa appears to have raised his own ambitions, with the player publicly declaring that he was disappointed not to be given the opportunity to move to Sampdoria.
According to the shot-stopper, Cagliari asked for too much money from their Serie A rivals, denying him the chance to play UEFA Champions League football next season.

os5889

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2010, 09:11:12 PM »
Shay won't take a Hart transplant: Given ready to quit City if he loses No 1 jersey
By COLIN YOUNG Last updated at 7:56 PM on 9th August 2010

Having spent the pre-season watching Joe Hart start all six of Manchester City's warm-up games, Shay Given is not going to sit quietly on the sidelines as the real business begins.
The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, arguably the finest in the Premier League, is ready to throw Eastlands into turmoil by demanding showdown talks with manager Roberto Mancini if he is left out of the side to face Tottenham on Saturday.

Shay Given v Joe Hart: The facts behind the fight to be Manchester City's No 1
Given is believed to be prepared to request a transfer if he is left on the bench. Mancini says he has yet to decide whether to start Given or England keeper Joe Hart at White Hart Lane but Hart is thought to be his first choice.
With Fabio Capello hoping to name the Premier League keeper of last season as his No 1 for England's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, there is pressure on Mancini to go with the Englishman, who has returned to City after an impressive season at Birmingham City.
Ireland No 1 Given, who is recovering from a shoulder injury with his 104th cap against Argentina on Wendesday night, says Mancini has given no indication who will play.
But the 34-year-old, a £6million signing from Newcastle just 18 months ago, has made it clear he is not prepared to start as a substitute and will seek a meeting with the Italian coach on Monday.
Given said: 'I haven't joined City to sit on the bench. I've gone there to play. If that's not the case, I'll sit down on Monday with the club and see where I can go after that. The manager hasn't picked the team yet and he hasn't spoken to me. It's not ideal. You want to know mentally whether you're starting.'
Given, in Dublin for the first international at the re-built Lansdowne Road, could have skipped Monday's press conference before the Argentina friendly. But, as ever, he was keen to speak, and will be happy to confront Mancini if he is overlooked for the season's opener.
He said: 'It's different if you're a midfielder - you can rotate them and play them in different positions. It's a specialist position and you can only play the one player.
'Joe did well last year and deserves great credit for that but I'd like to think I did OK at Manchester City. I missed only the last week of the season and I worked hard all summer to be fit for the new campaign.'
Last week Sunderland boss Steve Bruce revealed his loan bid for Hart was turned down by City. Bruce wanted cover for injured Craig Gordon for two months.
City have also rejected offers from Fulham and Arsenal. Arsene Wenger kept tabs on Given during his 10 years at Newcastle but never accepted the club's valuation. Given has now again been linked with Wenger as he seeks an experienced keeper.
Given said: 'To discuss now would be a little disrespectful to the goalkeepers they have already. Arsenal are a fantastic club, it's just too soon.'
Given added: 'I'm 34 and you cherish every year, every game. For me, it's very important that I play football. I know I'm at a very exciting, very ambitious club with great owners and great ambition to win trophies. That's why I went there.'
Mancini said: 'We have two good keepers and one will play and one will stay on the bench. We play a lot of games in one year - three games every week - so we could play both goalkeepers.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301582/Shay-Given-ready-quit-Manchester-City-Joe-Hart-Eastlands-choice.html#ixzz0w8pi2vir

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Monday Fulham Stuff 09.08.10
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2010, 10:47:38 PM »
Eidur Gudjohnsen on the verge of joining Fulham after snubbing Rangers and Birmingham offers


By Sportsmail Reporter


Last updated at 10:01 PM on 9th August 2010


Fulham are on the brink of completing a season long loan signing of Monaco striker Eidur Gudjohnsen in the next 24 hours.

The Iceland international, 31, spent last season on loan at Tottenham, and new Craven Cottage manager Mark Hughes looks to have beaten off competition from Birmingham City and Glasgow Rangers.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1301668/Eidur-Gudjohnsen-verge-joining-Fulham.html#ixzz0w9Da6wRA