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Friday Fulham Stuff - 01/11/19...

Started by WhiteJC, November 01, 2019, 06:54:36 AM

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Former Carlisle loan midfielder Harry Arter and Jeff Hendrick criticise Derby County after the Rams sack former Carlisle Utd defender Richard Keogh

Former Carlisle United loan midfielder Harry Arter and Jeff Hendrick have leapt to the defence of ex-Blues defender Richard Keogh after he was sacked by Derby County.

Keogh, 33, who played for Carlisle from 2008 to 2010 after an earlier loan spell with the club, was shown the door at Pride Park yesterday after he decided not to accept an offer of reduced wages in order to stay at the Championship club.

He sustained serious injuries at the end of a team-bonding night last month, suffering knee ligament damage that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for more than a year.

Keogh was in the back seat of Tom Lawrence's car when it crashed into a lamp post after the night out on September 24.

But, on Twitter, Arter, on loan at Fulham from Bournemouth, said: "So, the one left unconscious in the car and not arrested gets sacked."

Hendrick, who also played with Keogh at Derby for four years, retweeted Arter and echoed his sentiments.

"Agree. Talk about kicking a man [the captain] while he is down, instead of helping him through this physically and mentally tough time," Hendrick said.

In a statement, Derby wrote: "Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24th.

"As a result of that process, Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days.

"As we have said from the outset, the club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute."

Lawrence, who also had a loan spell at Brunton Park, and team-mate Mason Bennett were fined, banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work for their part in the car crash, which happened on the A6.

The pair appeared in court on October 15 after being charged with drink driving. Derby also fined Lawrence and Bennett six weeks' wages each.

Keogh joined the Rams from Coventry in 2012 and went on to make 356 appearances, leading Frank Lampard's side to last season's Sky Bet Championship play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.

Arter's loan stint at Carlisle came in 2011, while Lawrence spent time with the Cumbrians during their 2013/14 season.

In total, Republic of Ireland international Keogh made 95 appearances for United, scoring six goals.


Fulham could be without trio for Hull City clash

The latest Fulham team news ahead of Saturday's match

Fulham manager Scott Parker prior to defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in May (Image: Getty Images)

Fulham could be without up to three of their key players for Saturday's match against Hull City.

Goalkeeper Marek Rodak was sent off for the Cottagers during their goalless draw with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium and will serve a one-match suspension for the weekend's clash against the Tigers at Craven Cottage.

Rodak's ban will mean that Marcus Bettinelli is likely to start in goal in the capital, the man who replaced Rodak in their stalemate in the north east at the weekend.

Midfielders Stefan Johansen and Harry Arter both missed that match through injuries and are doubts for the weekend. Arter has missed Fulham's last two matches through injury, whilst Johansen has only missed one. 

One midfielder who is set to feature for Scott Parker's side on Saturday is Tom Cairney, Fulham's club captain who came through the ranks with City.

Cairney made 80 appearances for City during his four seasons as a professional before heading to Blackburn Rovers prior to his West London switch.

Fulham have been struggling for form in recent weeks, having won just once in their last four matches. They face a Hull City side who have beaten Nottingham Forest and Derby County in their last two matches.


Hull City to miss Norbert Balogh against Fulham after latest injury setback

The Hungarian was injured on his debut for the Tigers earlier this month

Cliff Byrne has revealed that Norbert Balogh is likely to miss Hull City's trip to Fulham on Saturday.

The Hungarian forward sustained a calf injury during the win over Nottingham Forest eight days ago, ruling him out of the victory against Derby County at the weekend.

Balogh has played just once for the Tigers since arriving in England as a free agent following his release from Palermo earlier this year.

Whilst City's assistant head coach is confident that the 23-year-old's injury is not a serious one, he explains that Saturday's visit to west London will probably come to soon for Balogh to return.

"I think it might be a little too soon for Norbert," said Byrne.

"He has not reacted to treatment as well as we would have hoped so I think that may have bought him back another week or something like that but it is one we are looking at on a day to day basis and the physios are right on top of that.

"Norbert will be fit and ready when the medical department sign him off. No immediate concerns."

Apart from Balogh, head coach Grant McCann has a near fully available squad for the weekend's trip to London, their third of the season.

Forwards Balogh and Josh Magennis will be absent through injury and suspension respectively and Byrne believes that the rest of the squad should all be available for the weekend.

"None that I am currently aware of, everybody has got a clean bill of health, same way as last week," added McCann's assistant Byrne.

A win for City on Saturday would see them secure a third consecutive Championship victory for the first time since April.


Hull City Sold Out

Tickets for Fulham's fixture at Craven Cottage this Saturday against Hull City are now SOLD OUT. Thank you for your fantastic support!

Fulham FC Ticket Exchange

Season Ticket Holders unable to attend this weekend's match can take advantage of the new Fulham FC Ticket Exchange to list their seat for resale online, ensuring their seat doesn't remain empty for the game.

More information around the Ticket Exchange can be found here, and further seats may become available as and when Season Ticket Holders list their seats before 3pm on Friday 1st November. Any unsold seats after this time will return to Season Ticket Holders.

Limited Matchday Hospitality Available

A limited number of offsite Fulham Palace Matchday Hospitality packages remain available to purchase.

The only way to watch the action unfold at Craven Cottage this weekend, Matchday Hospitality packages start from £130(+VAT).

For more information or to book your package, buy online, call our Hospitality team on 020 8336 7555 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm), or simply email [email protected].


Fulham vs Hull City: Team News

Hull City have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's trip to Fulham.

Norbert Balogh will miss out once again as he recovers from the calf injury picked up at Nottingham Forest last week, while fellow forward Josh Magennis serves the second of a four-match ban.

Speaking on Thursday, Assistant Head Coach Cliff Byrne said: "We've got a clean bill of health, with the exception of Norbert, so we're in a position of strength with close to a fully fit squad to pick from.

"Norbert just needs a little bit more time with the physios. He's got a bit of a dead, and badly bruised, calf which hasn't responded as quickly as he and we would have hoped this week.

"He definitely won't be available for the weekend, it might be another five or seven days but the physios are on top of it and he'll be ready when the medical department sign it off."

Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak will miss Saturday's game after being sent off against Middlesbrough last weekend, with Marcus Bettinelli poised to come back into the team.


Tom Cairney pokes fun at Fulham fan after receiving award

One player who has stood out for Fulham this season is midfield creator Tom Cairney, with Aleksandar Mitrovic possibly the only Whites player currently ahead of him.

And on Thursday he was finally rewarded, presented with the PFA Championship player of the month award for September after an excellent start to the current campaign.

So far, the 28-year-old has notched a brilliant five goals and three further assists as Scott Parker looks to guide the South West Londoners straight back to the Championship following their emphatic relegation.

And after receiving his award, Cairney shared a funny post on Instagram, poking fun at the fan chosen to present him with the trophy.

Sharing a photograph on his Instagram story, Cairney wrote "Delighted to get PFA player of the month. My guy doesn't look too happy to be giving the trophy away tho", referencing the dower looking fan stood alongside him.

As things stand, Fulham currently sit in seventh place with 14 matches played, one point adrift of the play-off places and four behind table-toppers West Brom.

Coming up next for the Whites is the visit of Hull City to Craven Cottage where they will be keen to get back to winning ways following Saturday's hard fought draw with Middlesbrough at the Riverside.


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Fulham fans should be full of confidence now after key Leeds United figure offers verdict

As things stand, Fulham currently sit in seventh place with 14 matches played, one point adrift of the play-off places and four behind table-toppers West Brom.

Coming up next for the Whites is the visit of Hull City to Craven Cottage where they will be keen to get back to winning ways following Saturday's hard fought draw with Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

It is a start that will be more than adequate for manager and former midfielder Scott Parker, although he will be eager to see his side improve on it further in order to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

One of his rival manager's talked up his chances of doing just that on Thursday afternoon.

The impact that Marcelo Bielsa has had on Championship is pretty unparralleled, with the Argentinian legend turning Leeds United into a huge force once again, bringing plenty of drama along with him.

This weekend sees them clash with QPR at Elland Road, but in the build up he was asked about who he sees as their main competition for promotion this season, with Fulham and West Brom the two teams mentioned.

After last season's Spygate drama, we are all well aware of the hours Bielsa puts into monitoring his second-tier rivals and concluded that Fulham's results so far this season had not reflected how well they had often played.

Whilst they should of course remain grounded, fans of the South West London club should be hugely encouraged by the Argentinian's latest comments.

He is somebody who seriously knows his stuff when it comes to football and especially the quality of individual teams and coaches.

Although confidence in their boss remains very high, there have been a few doubts among fans over whether Parker is the right man for the job or whether he has enough experience.

But when someone like Bielsa makes a comment like he did today, it is something that you sit up and take notice of.

There is still a lot of work for Fulham to do this season if they are to return to the top-flight, but they should be at ease now that they are on the right track.


Fulham midfield ace previews Hull clash

Fulham go into their clash against Hull City on the back of a 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough last time out, and they will be hoping to bounce back against the Tigers.

The talking point of the match at the Riverside Stadium was the sending off of Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak, for handling the ball outside of the area.

Despite that setback, Scott Parker's side held on to take a point back to West London against the strugglers.

The Cottagers sit in 7th place in the Championship table, with 23 points. A win on Saturday could take the side into the play-off places.

They will be facing a Hull City side buoyed by back-to-back wins against Nottingham Forest and Derby County, lifting them to 13th.

The threat of  Jarrod Bowen will play on Fulham's mind as he has found the net eight times this season, with a brace and a Man of the Match performance against Derby in Hull's last match.

On the other hand, one of Fulham's star performers this season has been midfielder Tom Cairney, who has found the net on five occasions, and provided three assists.

The 28-year-old has said that the away side will come to Craven Cottage with confidence, and Fulham must be wary to avoid a negative result on Saturday.

He said:

"Them [Hull] getting them two big results, they'll come to us with confidence, it will be tough but we've definitely got enough in the dressing room to win."

However, the midfielder stressed that his teammates are keen to build momentum and go on a good run.

"I think momentum is key in this league. especially speaking from the year we went up. The momentum we had in the second half of the season was crazy, we literally thought we were going to roll out and win no matter what happened, we had that belief."

The Verdict

Cairney is correct – momentum is key in the Championship, which was demonstrated by Fulham last time they were in the division.

Scott Parker will want to prove his doubters wrong and establish Fulham as a leading side, as he has a fantastic squad at his disposal. However, Hull will be a tough test.


This man has sat out the last two games, but could he hold the key for Fulham? Comment

Fulham have endured a mixed start to life under Scott Parker in the Championship, but could one midfielder be the one who steadies the ship at Craven Cottage?

After dropping down from the Premier League last season, Fulham were keen to return straight back to the promised land and Scott Parker was the man granted the task of doing so.

The former Fulham midfielder is a likeable character in the sport, but many believe his side have under-performed this season.

14 games down and Fulham sit 7th in the table – one point behind Bristol City in 6th and four off leaders West Brom.

It's still early in the campaign and 7th is a respectable position, but Fulham have won just three of their last ten games, their last being a 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough after spending the majority of the game with ten men.

Parker's side have drawn five of their last nine and that, their inability to see out winnable games, is what's keeping them from being a top team in this league.

He's got so many talented players at his disposal in what's arguably the strongest side in the league, and Fulham recruited well in the summer with the likes of Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert joining the club on-loan.

But something's not quite clicking at Craven Cottage at the minute, and this man could be the cog that Parker so desperately needs to get his team firing.

Another player who joined the club on a season-long loan in the summer was Bournemouth's Harry Arter.

The 29-year-old is a legend at his parent-club, playing over 200 games for them, winning promotion from both League One and the Championship with Eddie Howe.

He's actually Parker's brother-in-law, but there may be some family feuds after Arter has been left out of the match-day squad in Fulham's last two games.

Harison Reed is Parker's favoured choice in the middle of a midfield-three, with captain Tom Cairney on the left and for the game against Boro, Josh Onomah on the right.

For a player with the Premier League experience that Arter has, let alone what he's achieved at Championship level, to be left out of the squad and used more and more sporadically by Parker is questionable.

He's a dynamic midfielder who has a lot to offer both in attack and defence. Whilst Reed has been performing okay in midfield for Fulham, Parker may see the experience of Arter as a better option and could well prove to be the man who makes the change at the club.


Talking Points: Cliff Byrne Press Conference

Assistant Head Coach Cliff Byrne spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference:

On the importance of the fans...
It makes a huge difference to see the numbers of fans that were in the stands for the Derby game last weekend. With that being the case, it was important that the players put in a performance, especially with it leading into an important week for the Club with it being half term. It's been a great week of interaction with the fans and all the events have been really enjoyable.

Last Tuesday's open training session was a great day and it was nice to give the fans a bit of insight into what we do on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully, the fans enjoyed the occasion and the kids enjoyed being out on the pitch. It could only be a great day though if the fans took part the way they did. They queued up for the signing session and waited patiently.

Everybody plays a role though – it's not just the players, the management or the club – it really was a team effort and everyone played their part on what was a fantastic day. It was great to see and hopefully, they'll come to games in the future to get behind the team. We believe the fans can play a massive, massive role.

On the West Brom ticket offer...
It's brilliant that it has come so soon after the original offer. Sometimes with initiatives like this, you do it every now and again but it's a great reaction from the Club and the owners. Credit to everyone involved and hopefully, we can see the same number of fans come through the turnstiles for the game against West Brom.

On team news...
We have no new injury concerns – none that I'm aware of anyway. Everyone has a clean bill of health that played last week. I think it might be too soon for Norbert (Balogh). He's not reacted to the treatment as well as we would've hoped, so that may put him back another week or so. It's one we're looking on a day-to-day basis and the physios are right on top of that. Norbert will be fit and ready when the medical department signs him off. We're pleased to have a fit and healthy squad at our disposal. We've got good options throughout the squad.

On Fulham...
They like to get the ball down and play free-flowing attacking football. They've got many, many threats that we'll work on but the focus will be massively on us. We'll be focusing on what we want to do and how we see opportunities to go and win the game present themselves. I don't think it (Fulham being in the Premier League last season) brings any more pressure. It's a game of football that we're looking to find a way to win and it's no different to last week or next week. We can't look too much into form, they've got a terrific group of players at Fulham and we know we need to be on our game.

On contracts...
That's in the hands of the football club. It's an ongoing process and we're pleased with that. The focus from the coaching staff is always on what's on the grass. We just focus on getting the players on the grass, working with them on a day-to-day basis to improve and preparing them to win games.