Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)  (Read 8242 times)

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2010, 07:30:21 AM »

Wally meets... Kasper Schmeichel

By Mike Walters

Published 06:00 13/02/10

The great Swedish lothario popped into Notts County’s dressing room yesterday to say his fond farewells.

After another quiet week at Meadow Lane, when the Football League’s oldest club was taken over and a former England coach left the payroll, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was sadder than most to see Sven Goran Eriksson pack his bags.

It was Eriksson who handed Schmeichel his Premier League debut at Manchester City two-and-a-half years ago, and the blessed Sven who sold County’s dream of surfing through the divisions to one of football’s most recognisable chips off the old block.

And now he has gone, somehow tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at Craven Cottage on Valentine’s Day doesn’t hold the same appeal. Instead of red roses, perhaps we should lay a wreath - because we may never see Eriksson in English football again.

Sven was only part of the Nottingham landscape for six months, but during his short stopover County ceased to be Forest’s poor relations across the Trent.

Thirty years ago, when they lived permanently in Brian Clough’s shadow next door, it was only of passing amusement when growling ex-County manager Jimmy Sirrel said of his centre forward: “He may be a donkey - but at least he’s a 24-carat donkey.”

But now, even among the grated cheddar jostling for the loft hatch out of League Two, they are big cheeses. Promotion rivals Bournemouth even accused Schmeichel of trashing a dressing room door in a hissy-fit in midweek after County’s six-match winning streak away from home ended at Dean Court.

“It’s not even a storm in a teacup,” shrugged the Danish Under-21 international, whose shock of blond hair and voluble encouragement of defenders to keep their standards high are genetic traits he inherited from his old man.

“A storm in an espresso cup would be nearer the mark. Someone has got it into his head that I smashed the doors off their hinges in a rage after we lost, but the truth is much less interesting and I have more important things on my mind at the moment.”

What - like Sven?

“I can only say I have nothing but admiration for the man,” said Schmeichel, 23. “Sven is the reason I have played in the Premier League, and I will always be in his debt for that.

“Of course it is hugely disappointing that he is gone. I spoke to him briefly when he came into the dressing room this morning and explained to the players, in that calm manner of his, that he was leaving, and one day I hope I will catch up with him for longer to thank him for showing faith in me.

“Clearly his position at the club had become untenable, but we can’t afford to dwell too long on it, otherwise our heads will be all over the place at Fulham.

“We have already shown, in the last round at Wigan, it is possible for a team from League Two to beat a Premier League side on their own patch if we apply ourselves.

“The FA Cup has a special place in our family’s hearts because my dad won it three times with Manchester United.”

Ah, yes. Peter Schmeichel - the man Sir Alex Ferguson described as “bargain of the century“ at £530,000 and the Great Dane who even had a dog named after him on Coronation Street.

He won five Premier League titles, the Champions League and the League Cup, including the treble in 1999, and the family surname is like a nuclear deterrent to strikers across Europe.

“As a kid I was incredibly lucky, and privileged, to be in and around the United dressing room at all of the big moments in the 10 years he was at Old Trafford,” said Schmeichel the younger.

“I’ve been to the training ground and seen legends, all-time greats at work, and I can’t stress how much I admire those players and their enthusiasm for the game.

“My dad was a fantastic keeper and I am extremely proud of his achievements. I’ve still got a photo hanging on my wall of me, aged 12, with the Champions League trophy in 1999 and I was there for all his FA Cup wins and Premier League triumphs.

“Opposition fans try to get under my skin by singing, ’You’ll never be your father’ - and they are quite right, I never will be as good as him.

“But I would still love to make a name for myself, aim to play at the highest level possible, and prove that sons who follow their dads into the same business need not walk in their shadows.”

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2010, 07:35:32 AM »

Spotlight on Fulham v Notts

Saturday, February 13, 2010, 07:00


Fulham will name their strongest team to face Notts.

They are expected to be unchanged from their 3-0 win against Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday night.

With strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Clint Dempsey (cruciate ligament) both sidelined until the end of the season, Bobby Zamora and David Elm are likely to be partnered in attack.

Nicky Shorey, who spent two months on loan at Nottingham Forest earlier this season, is not cup-tied so will start at left-back.

Midfielder Zoltan Gera (knee) and left-back Paul Konchesky (foot) are both back in light training after recent injuries but are not in contention for this weekend.

Notts have a fully-fit squad for the trip to Craven Cottage.


FULHAM: Schwarzer, Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Shorey, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff, Zamora, Elm, Nevland, Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Kelly, Riise, Greening, Okaka Chuka.

NOTTS: Schmeichel, Thompson, Edwards, Hunt, Lee, Jackson, Clapham, Westcarr, Hamshaw, Ravenhill, Bishop, Davies, Hughes, Hawley, Rodgers, Akinbiyi, Hoult, Fairclough, Canham.

Damien Duff

The former Blackburn, Chelsea and Newcastle winger will be a huge threat on both flanks because of his pace and trickery.

He will start on the left wing, but always switches flanks with Simon Davies during games.

He is one of Fulham's chief creators and also has an eye for goal, having scored five goals in the Premier League this season.

He also netted in The Cottagers' 3-1 win at Accrington in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Stephen Hunt v Bobby Zamora

Bobby Zamora will be the most potent threat to the Magpies, with Andrew Johnson and Clint Dempsey both sidelined.

He scored his 12th goal of the season on his return from illness in Fulham's 3-0 win against Burnley on Tuesday night.

And he also created the goal for his strike partner David Elm.

Stephen Hunt, who has produced a string of good performances at centre-back for Notts, will have to be at the top of his game to stop The Cottagers' powerful front man.

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2010, 07:38:16 AM »

Fulham v Notts County

Sometimes in football you go on a winless run without really understanding how or why. Fulham were a case in point. Until they beat Burnley that was. And what a good win that was with old campaigners Danny Murphy and Damien Duff particularly impressive. Strong home form has been the big change at Fulham since Roy Hodgson took over at Craven Cottage and here they face a side which isn't one or two but actually three divisions below them. This has been a fine FA Cup run for Notts, including an away win at Wigan in the previous round, but I can't see anything but a home win here.

Recommended Bet: Back Fulham to win 2-0 at 9.0