Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...  (Read 1728 times)

Offline whitejc

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Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« on: January 06, 2017, 07:51:28 AM »
 
The magic of the Cup? They must be having a laugh
by DAN on JANUARY 5, 2017


I knew it wouldn’t end well when I saw Ian Wright on my television. The ice-cool forward, remembered by most of you for his goalscoring exploits for Crystal Palace and Arsenal, was making the draw for the third round of the FA Cup. He is, unfortunately, unforgettable to me now because he blocked me on Twitter for daring to contest his suggestion that the MK Dons were ‘a great community club’. It was all the more bewildering because the producer of his then Talksport phone-in had asked me on to discuss Fulham’s 5-0 win over Norwich City. If you are going to make silly statements, expect to be called out on them.

Wright was wearing a garish, ill-fitting jumper – I assume he blocked everybody who poked fun at it on social media – and guffawing alongside Steven Gerrard. Between the two of them, they pulled out a rather dour tie between Cardiff City and Fulham. Two fairly unfashionable Championship clubs. No romance there, I remember thinking to myself. With Manchester United taking up one of the television slots (they have had every FA Cup tie screened since their third round replay against Exeter City in 2005 – remarkably), I must confess I didn’t think too much about the possibility of the game being moved from a Saturday slot and consoled myself with the possibility of a weekend in Wales.

One of my mates, a long-suffering Fulham away traveller, even posted on Twitter that he would be booking his train tickets now, such was his certainty that the game wouldn’t be moved. And, then, the unthinkable happened. During a rather drowsy Monday lunchtime at work, the alert appeared on my phone. Fulham’s FA Cup tie had been selected by BBC Wales for live television coverage. It made me wonder which genius had decided this game would be good for their ratings. It was only when I clicked the link that the true horror set in – it was a Sunday kick-off. The next sentence needed to be read a few times. A Sunday morning kick-off at 11.30am.

I’ve been to Cardiff when games have kicked off on a Saturday lunchtime, either because Swansea were also at home or there was a Welsh rugby international at the Millennium Stadium. Those are justifiable reasons for altering the kick-off time. This was just a TV executive having a laugh. What possible reason could there be for showing the match at 11.30am? Were they worried people might get a bit too engrossed in Andrew Marr, the Sunday Politics or whatever that new Sunday morning show that Robert Peston presents on ITV is called? Perhaps I lived in a different universe where football was meant to be played in the afternoon.

The clubs had agreed reduced ticket prices, starting at £10 for adults, with further concessions for children and senior citizens, clearly because they recongised this wasn’t one of the third round’s glamour ties. That’s all well and good – but any effort to encourage people to make a rare trip to the football because it was Cup third round weekend will have been doomed by the kick off time. ‘You have to be at the ground for what time? 11.30am. You’re all right, mate, I’ll still be sleeping off Saturday’s excesses then’. Even for modern football this was particularly barking.

You see, it’s a shame, because the FA Cup still means something to me. I remember the frenzied build-up to Cup final day, the parties you’d have with your mates and how everyone would pile into the garden afterwards to try and re-enact the best bits. It might have been a while since Fulham have managed a significant Cup run, but even the Whites – with their aversion to playing at Wembley – have managed some memorable afternoons. Think of Kevin Keegan’s boys going to Aston Villa, then top of the Premiership, and winning. Or when they struggled to get past non-league Leigh RMI and David ‘fatty’ Felgate. The old competition can still throw up the odd tie you will marvel at years later, like when Roy Hodgson took his team to Kettering and flirted outrageously with a not-so-glorious exit, and you always see old faces you haven’t seen for years following the team on the road.

That’s the other thing. How on earth were people supposed to get there for a 11.30am kick off on a Sunday? The club, realising that this was probably going to be one of the toughest away games to draw a crowd to (even for Fulham), acted quickly and laid on free coaches, but you’d have to get yourself to Motspur Park or Craven Cottage at some ungodly hour in the morning. The first direct service from London Paddington arrives into Cardiff Central at 10:59 and, if by some miracle, you avoid all the tube engineering issues and GWR manages to dodge the delays and the electrification works and gets you there on time, there’s still a mad dash to what is now the Cardiff City Stadium so you can hear the first blast of the referee’s whistle.

The FA says that people still cherish the world’s oldest Cup competition. If only that were true. Clubs could play full strength sides instead of concentrating on the league campaign – and the punters could pack grounds to the rafters. An added by-product of the Cup’s past place on a English footballing pedestal was that no broadcaster would try something as insane as this. The decision, as the Fulham Supporters’ Trust wrote in a letter to BBC Wales shortly after the scheduling change was announced, just underlines how far down the pecking order the ordinary fan has fallen in the modern game.

It will be in spite of the modern magic of the Cup – not because of it – that I’ll be heading to Cardiff on Saturday afternoon, sleeping in a Premier Inn, and hauling myself out of bed and along to watch our reserves all likelihood get kicked up in the air by a Neil Warnock side the following morning. You see, I told my neighbour’s little boy – who doesn’t get to see much football – that I’d go with him to an away game and, kids being kids, he was quite taken with the idea of going to Cardiff. The next generation are the lifeblood of the game – or so they say.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/01/the-magic-of-the-cup-they-must-be-having-a-laugh/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 07:52:42 AM »
 
Jokanovic up for Manager of the Month award
by DAN on JANUARY 5, 2017


Slavisa Jokanovic has been nominated as one of the contenders to be the Championship’s Manager of the Month for December.

The Fulham boss guided his side on a five-match unbeaten run last month, with three wins and two draws before that frustrating abandonment in the fog at Reading. The Whites began December with an impressive 5-0 win over third placed Reading at Craven Cottage, before that crazy 4-4 draw at Molineux against Wolves was secured by a last-gasp header from Floyd Ayite. Jokanovic’s side then saw off plucky Rotherham at the Cottage and ended Derby County’s seven-match winning streak with a 2-2 draw, before beating Ipswich convincingly on Boxing Day.

Fulham’s Serbian head coach is nominated alongside Leeds United manager Garry Monk, the Brighton boss Chris Hughton and German coach David Wagner of Huddersfield Town. A decision will be made a judging panel that includes George Burley and Don Goodman tomorrow.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/01/jokanovic-up-for-manager-of-the-month-award/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 07:54:38 AM »
 
FULHAM HOPING TO REUNITE WITH PROLIFIC CHAMPIONSHIP FORWARD

Fulham are interested in securing a quick reunion with Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack, according to reports from the Daily Mail live blog (Yesterday, 16:40pm).

The 30-year old looks set to leave Villa this month, with Wolves and Fulham vying for the Scotsman’s signature on a potential loan deal.

The Scottish international, who only left Craven Cottage for the Midlands in the summer, has scored just three goals in 20 appearances since his move to the West Midlands side, despite netting 43 times in 100 games for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men.
 
McCormack is out of favour under new Villa boss Steve Bruce and is considering his options as he searches for more regular first-team football, and with the Cottagers looking to bring another striker, this more could definitely materialise.

Recently, on loan striker Chris Martin demanded that he wanted to leave the West London club, and return to parent club Derby County.



http://footballleagueworld.co.uk/fulham-hoping-to-reunite-with-prolific-championship-forward/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 07:55:36 AM »
 
Kavanagh Departs On Loan

The Club can confirm that Sean Kavanagh has joined Hartlepool United on loan until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old featured in Fulham’s EFL Cup victories over Leyton Orient and Middlesbrough earlier in the season, and has made 27 appearances for the Club in total.

United are currently sitting 18th in the Sky Bet League Two standings, and Kavanagh could make his debut in Saturday’s home meeting with Grimsby Town.

The Republic of Ireland youth international also spent time on loan in League Two last season with Mansfield Town.


http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2017/january/05/kavanagh-departs-on-loan

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 07:57:00 AM »
 
Kavanagh Is Great Addition To Squad - Hignett

Craig Hignett was delighted to add Fulham defender Sean Kavanagh to his squad for the remainder of the season.
And the Manager feels the versatile defender has all of the attributes needed to do well for the Club,

“He’s similar to Liam Donnelly in the fact he’s come through at Fulham and can play left-back, central defence or in midfield if we need him to,” Hignett told hartlepoolunited.co.uk.

“He’s quick and he’s a good footballer – he might not be the biggest but he’s a real competitor and I think he’ll be a really good addition to the squad.

“We need players who can slot in to different positions who are versatile and can do what we want them to do – Sean fits right in to that category.

“He knows what it’s all about and I think he’s ready to show that; he’s been involved at First Team level at Fulham so he’s not coming in to this green. I think he’s going to do really well for us.”

Kavanagh has joined up with the squad for training this morning and will be in contention for Saturday’s game with Grimsby Town at the Northern Gas and Power Stadium (3pm kick off).


Read more at http://www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/craig-hignett-reaction-to-sean-kavanagh-signing-for-hartlepool-united-3502436.aspx#Cd5eRRzXBX2M5GKT.99

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 07:59:32 AM »
 
WOLVES, BLACKBURN AND FULHAM VYING FOR THE SIGNATURE OF PREMIER LEAGUE MAN

Championship trio, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and Wolves are all believed to be eyeing up a move for Burnley’s centre back, James Tarkowski, according to The Daily Star.

West Brom and Stoke are also in the chase alongside a host of Championship clubs but Burnley boss, Sean Dyche, is adamant that Tarkowski will not be leaving Turf Moor this month.

Amid Leicester interest for Burnley’s prize asset, Michael Keane, Dyche sees Tarkowski as the man to stand in should Keane depart for the Premier League champions.

Tarkowski signed for The Clarets just under a year ago, but he has struggled for regular game time, largely due to the great form on defensive duo, Ben Mee and Michael Keane.

Any move for Tarkowski could hinge on Burnley bringing in Barnsley centre back, Marc Roberts.

If Dyche could bolster his defensive ranks, then maybe he would allow Tarkowski to leave on loan, but admittedly, it seems very unlikely.

The 24-year-old defender was superb at his old club Brentford, and was one of the standout defenders in the Championship before his switch to Turf Moor.

If one of these Championship clubs can secure a deal for Tarkowski and he can rekindle the form he showcased at the Bees, he would make a massive impact.


http://footballleagueworld.co.uk/wolves-blackburn-and-fulham-vying-for-the-signature-of-premier-league-man/


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 08:00:31 AM »
 
Paul Went: 1949-2017

Everyone at Fulham was saddened to learn of the passing of former player Paul Went on Wednesday night.

The centre-back (pictured alongside Tommy Trinder and Alan Mullery) scored on his debut for the Whites in a 1-1 draw with Burnley at Craven Cottage in August 1972.

He was only at the Club for 18 months but was a virtual ever-present in that time, making 67 appearances and scoring five goals.

Went’s career prior to Fulham was also spent in London as he represented Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic, while he later went on to play for Portsmouth, Cardiff City, and Orient again.

The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with Paul’s family and friends at this sad time.


http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2017/january/05/paul-went-1949-2017

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 08:02:04 AM »
 
West Ham look to lose out on ex-Fulham striker

The Daily Mail have reported that West Ham have been casting their eye over Fulham youth product Moussa Dembele.

The player, who joined Celtic from the Cottagers in the summer, has been earmarked to cure the club’s striker wishes.

However, the Scottish Champions are expected to ignore any interest for their star forward, who remains crucial to Brendan Rodger’s plans going forward. He has so far netted 19 times for the Glasgow club so far this season.

It is thought that interest in the youngster has developed through a sense of frustration, as Slaven Bilic’s efforts to lure Jermaine Defoe to the Olympic Stadium have so far been unsuccessful.

Dembele, 20, first joined Fulham as a 16-year-old when he joined from Paris St Germain in the summer of 2013.

Despite making the odd appearance for the first team, last season was his real breakthrough. A partnership with Ross McCormack (now of Aston Villa) saw the two contribute over 40 goals between them.

Talks of Dembele leaving, however, has done nothing to change the spirit of Brendan Rodgers, who remains upbeat about the striker’s future.

“It won’t be January for Moussa,” he said.

“You know at Celtic that if you get a really talented player, then the cycle at best is a couple of years, like Victor Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk and Ki Sung-Yeung.

“With Moussa, it was always going to be the case, but the difference now with Celtic is that if he does leave here, he won’t be going to a bottom-end Premier League team.”


http://the72.co.uk/71470/west-ham-look-to-lose-out-on-ex-fulham-striker/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 08:03:40 AM »
 
Fulham ready to snap up Bitton?
by DAN on JANUARY 5, 2017


Fulham have been linked with an imminent move for Celtic’s defensive midfielder Nir Bitton, according to a report in the Scottish Sun today.

The Glasgow giants are prepared to sanction the sale of their Israeli international as they close in on the signing of teenage midfielder Kouassi Eboue. Bitton, who has started just a single Celtic league game since October, is ready to consider his options after being overlooked for last weekend’s Old Firm derby and Brendan Rodgers is believed to be relaxed about letting him leave as he lines up further moves for midfielders this month.

The 25 year-old moved to Scotland for around £700,000 in August 2013 having made more than a hundred appearances for his home town club FC Ashdod after breaking into the senior side at the age of 17. Bitton made his debut as a substitute in a Champions’ League tie with AC Milan and, despite being plagued by injury, made 20 appearances as Celtic romped to their third consecutive league title.

Bitton helped Celtic retain the championship in the following two seasons, becoming a regular in the side and scoring speculative goals from long range against Dundee and Kilmarnock. He followed that up with a terrific strike against FC Malmo the following season in the Champions’ League qualifying round. Button, who has also won the Scottish League Cup with the Bhoys, has won 19 caps for Israel but may wish to move to solidify his international future after the emergence of Stuart Amstrong has blocked his first-team opportunities at Celtic Park.

Fulham are at the head of a queue of Championship sides interested in securing the holding midfielder’s services, with Slavisa Jokanovic keen to add depth to his squad in that position alongside Kevin McDonald and veteran Scott Parker. The Scottish Sun suggests that a fee of around £2m could persuade Celtic to let Bitton leave during the January transfer window.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/01/fulham-ready-to-snap-up-bitton/


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 08:04:57 AM »
 
Fulham ready to loan out Christensen
by DAN on JANUARY 5, 2017


Fulham are prepared to loan out Lasse Vigen Christensen this month in order to ensure the Danish midfielder gets the necessary game time to continue his development.

Christensen, who has captained his country at under-21 level, has been at Fulham since signing from FC Midtjylland in January 2012 after a successful trial at Motspur Park. Highly rated at the club for his intelligence and never-say-die attitude, the versatile midfielder – who had been a regular in the youth team sides – made his senior debut as a substitute in the FA Cup victory over Norwich City in January 2014 and signed a three-year contract later that year.

He broke into the once first team once Kit Symons took over from Felix Magath as first team manager and turned in a series of mature and game-changing performances at the heart of the midfield. Christensen scored five times in 29 appearances, including a sensational strike against Huddersfield at Craven Cottage in December 2014, and was the subject of serious interest from Aston Villa, but persistent hamstring trouble hampered his development – as well as his opportunity to impress Slavisa Jokanovic when the Serbian was eventually named as Symons’ permanent replacement.

Despite seeing his first team chances limited by Jokanovic’s rebuilding of the first team squad during the summer, Christensen signed a one-year extension to his contract and scored the winner against Premier League Middlesbrough in Fulham’s extra-time EFL Cup win over Aitor Karanka’s side. The likable Dane, who had a trial with Arsenal earlier in his career, has made just seven appearances this season and will be offered an opportunity to gain regular first-team football to prevent his career from stagnating as Fulham still see him as a significant prospect for the future.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/01/fulham-ready-to-loan-out-christensen/

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (06/01/17)...
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2017, 08:06:14 AM »
 
Meulensteen: ‘I made mistakes, but I was turning it around’
by DAN on JANUARY 5, 2017


Rene Meulensteen has spoken publicly for the first time about the circumstances behind his sacking at Fulham – and he believes that he was beginning to turn the corner in the club’s battle against relegation from the Premier League.

The Dutch coach, now in charge at Maccabi Haifa, has given a revealing interview to journalist Raphael Geller, which is being broadcast on the BBC World Service’s World Football show this evening. Meulensteen, who was also sacked after just two games in charge of Russian club Anzi Makhachkala, maintains that he was starting to steady the ship after a draw against Manchester United and a last gasp defeat to title challenging Liverpool, but regrets that he wasn’t given the time to see the job through by the Fulham board.

Meulensteen, who was originally brought in to bolster Martin Jol’s coaching staff, eventually succeeded the Dutch coach as Fulham’s head coach after the former Tottenham boss was sacked in December. He speaks engagingly about the task he inherited – feeling that he had to get ‘some energy back into the club’ after the dire tail end of Jol’s reign and believing that, in hindsight, he could have adopted Tony Pulis’ survival strategy to cure Fulham’s defensive woes. He welcomed the opportunity to discuss his shortlived spell at Craven Cottage, saying:

It is actually a good opportunity to come back to that scenario and elaborate a little bit more about it, because sometimes fans are being left a little bit in the dark about what really happened. In hindsight, if people say how do you think you did and how it went, first of all I needed to put some new energy not only in the team – but also in the club, to get them back playing with energy and excitement. I thought we established that.

If you ask me, would you have done something different? In hindsight, I would say yes. I would be very honest with that. I think I should have gone more to a sort of Tony Pulis strategy – to get clean sheets on the board, make sure you are hard to beat and play from there. I mean that with the utmost respect. We were actually moving in that direction when we were playing Manchester United away – where we got a draw. Then we had to play four days later Liverpool and we narrowly lost to a penalty in the 93rd minute. That was very unfortunate. And that’s when the club decided to make a change. That to me was not only very disappointing but very, very frustrating because we all knew – everybody in the club knew – that we were just turning the corner. That was the real disappointing thing, because we knew, at that time, if we kept carrying on, we’ve got a good chance of staying up.

Meulensteen, whose reign also included an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of lower league Sheffield United, was swiftly replaced by German manager Felix Magath – but Fulham slipped out of the Premier League before the end of the 2013/2014 season. Fulham fans never really got to know the real Meulensteen, lauded as part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s coaching staff at Old Trafford, but someone who was clearly learning on the job as a manager himself at that point. The full interview is well worth a listen here.


http://hammyend.com/index.php/2017/01/meulensteen-i-made-mistakes-but-i-was-turning-it-around/