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Friday Fulham Stuff (14.01.11)

Started by White Noise, January 13, 2011, 09:45:08 PM

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Moving Forward

Manager Mark Hughes is looking for his Team to build on their recent away win against Stoke on Saturday at the DW Stadium and Fulham's Manager believes his side will continue to improve during the second half of the 2010/11 season.

"We're looking forward to the game on Saturday against Wigan and it's another chance for us to build on the great performance we showed away from home at Stoke," Hughes told

"In terms of goals conceded away from home I think it's only Manchester City that have conceded fewer, so our away form is good. It's important that we're resolute on our travels because that's been a weakness in our play in recent times. I think the squad will get stronger as a consequence of working together and we'll keep on improving."

Whilst the Barclays Premier League table remains tight at both ends, Fulham have the chance to move towards the top half against Wigan this weekend as Fulham look to keep earning the results their performances deserve.   

"I think the clubs that have come up this year have been stronger than in previous years," said Hughes. "Most of the clubs that have come up have done really well. We feel that we've come through a period when we were playing well but not picking up points.

"I'd rather go through that at the beginning of the season than the second half when it's the business end. You've got to be moving forward at the crucial end of the season. You've got to be really strong in the second half and I'm confident that we'll be fine. In the second half of the season my teams are always stronger."

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Premier League preview
Three classic contests take centre stage on Sky Sports HD1/1 & 3D

Wigan are only one point off bottom spot ahead of the DW Stadium arrival of Fulham, but they also trail their 14th-placed visitors by just the same margin. Roberto Martinez will hope that last weekend's FA Cup win at Hull City will provide confidence, but Fulham should be on an even greater high after dismantling Peterborough. Mark Hughes has steered the West Londoners out of the relegation zone, but wretched away form, with a 2-0 victory at Stoke on 28th December their only win in 28 Premier League games on their travels, means that the Craven Cottage club are unlikely to know if they will be safe from the drop until the very end of the season.


Wigan Athletic rival Fulham FC for Espanyol keeper

According to reports Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni is interesting a number of Premier League clubs.

Wigan Athletic and Fulham are believed to be monitoring the player's situation at Espanyol.

After seven seasons with the Spanish outfit it seems Kameni is looking for a new challenge and wants to leave.

It is understood his most likely destination is England and that a bid has been lodged.

"An offer has already arrived," revealed the Cameroon international.

"We will study it carefully."


BBC: Wigan v Fulham

Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia makes a timely return from a three-match ban, with Tom Cleverley ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland suffered a bang to the head in the last league game at Bolton and will be assessed.

Fulham could be bolstered by the return of forward Andrew Johnson from a torn hamstring, and Moussa Dembele after nine weeks out with an ankle injury.

New signing Steve Sidwell is in contention to make his debut.

Doubtful: Kirkland (concussion)
Injured: Boselli & Cleverley (both hamstring), Di Santo & McCarthy (both ankle), Moses (shoulder)

Doubtful: Dembele (ankle), A Johnson (hamstring)
Injured/unavailable: Briggs & Senderos (both calf), Schwarzer (international duty), Zamora (leg)

Promoted together from the league's bottom division in 1997, Fulham and Wigan's shared objective this year is to ensure their rapid rise does not end in a fall.

Both clubs enjoyed three promotions in quick succession to reach the Premier League, but they are currently looking simply to survive rather than thrive.

Wigan kick-off in the bottom three, knowing a win on Saturday will take them above a Fulham side that only moved out of the relegation zone after the last round of fixtures. Fulham have doubled their tally of victories for the season since Christmas - to four - but still share the lowest number of wins in the top flight with three other clubs, including Wigan.

A paucity of goals has been a major cause of their struggles, and Wigan's poor home form allied to Fulham's dismal away record of one win in 28 attempts means the odds are short on a fifth successive draw between them at the DW Stadium.
This fixture has always provided one of Wigan's lowest attendances of the season, and so the club is offering adult fans the chance to buy two tickets for £20 in an attempt to swell support.

• Wigan are currently on a 10-match unbeaten home run against Fulham, although the last four meetings were all drawn.
• Fulham have gone eight matches without defeat against Wigan since a 1-0 home loss in March 2006 (W3, D5).

• Wigan only average a point per game at home this season - the worst record in the top flight.
• They have drawn four of their last six league matches, winning and losing once.
• The Latics have the least potent attack in the division, scoring 18 goals in 21 matches.
• They have led at half-time in only two of their 21 league matches this season.

• Fulham have won three of their last four matches in all competitions.
• They are vying for back-to-back league victories for the first time in 11 months since beating Burnley and Birmingham.
• Mark Hughes's side have the worst record in the division when scoring the opening goal this season, winning only three of eight matches.
• Clint Dempsey has scored five goals in his last seven matches against Wigan, including twice in Fulham's 2-0 win in the reverse fixture earlier this season.


Rodallega: 5 goals (5 league); N'Zogbia: 4 goals (3 league)

Dempsey: 7 goals (6 league); Kamara: 5 goals (2 league)

Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistant referees: Andy Garratt & John Flynn
Fourth official: Mike Jones

Wigan (D1-1 v Bolton, a): Kirkland (Pollitt 62); Stam (McManaman 90), Alcaraz, G Caldwell, Gohouri, Figueroa, Thomas, Watson, Cleverley (Diame 12), McArthur, Rodallega. Subs not used: Gomez, S Caldwell, Lopez, Robinson.

Fulham (W3-0 v West Brom, h): Stockdale; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird, Davies (Riise 82), Murphy, Etuhu, Duff, Dempsey (E Johnson 87), Kamara (Gera 63). Subs not used: Etheridge, Salcido, Greening, Halliche.


Wigan Athletic v Fulham: match preview
Read a full match preview of the Premier League game between Wigan Athletic and Fulham at DW Stadium on Saturday Jan 15 2011, kick-off 15.00 GMT.

Saturday, January 15
Wigan Athletic v Fulham
DW Stadium
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
TV: Highlights, BBC1 Match of the Day

Fulham travel to Wigan targeting a second successive away win after earning their first in 28 attempts at Stoke.

Languishing in the bottom three, the Latics will aim to get back to winning ways at home having not won at the DW in their last six games.

New signing Steve Sidwell will be in contention for the Cottagers, but Mark Schwarzer is still away on international duty.
Wigan welcome back Charles N'Zogbia from suspension.

Wigan Athletic have Charles N'Zogbia back for Saturday's Premier League clash with Fulham at the DW Stadium after the winger completed a three-match suspension.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland missed last weekend's FA Cup third-round victory at Hull following the bang to the head he suffered in the previous game against Bolton and will have his condition assessed.

Mauro Boselli will not feature as he has been nursing a hamstring problem and is set to join another club on loan for the rest of the season.

Tom Cleverley's hamstring injury continues to keep him sidelined, while Latics boss Roberto Martinez hopes James McCarthy, Franco Di Santo (both ankle) and Victor Moses (shoulder) will be close to full fitness again by the end of the month.

Steve Sidwell could make his Fulham debut as Moussa Dembele and Andy Johnson return from injury.

New signing Sidwell is lacking match practice following last week's move from Aston Villa but the midfielder is in contention for the trip to the DW Stadium.

Dembele (ankle) could finally make his comeback, while Johnson is fit following a minor hamstring tear, but Bobby Zamora (leg), Philippe Senderos (Achilles) and Matthew Briggs (calf) are still out and Mark Schwarzer is on Asian Cup duty with Australia.

Prediction: 2-1


Can We Make It Two In A Row On The Road?
By: Jason Gatties | January 14th, 2011

Before I get to my wack pre-match thoughts, I should offer an apology. It was originally my intention to post several times this week, bringing in hits and making mad cash for the overlords here at "The Offside" (settle down, its a joke) but it's been a rough week. I have a back condition called "spinal stenosis" and without getting too medical on you, it means my back is fucked.

I live with  certain amount of pain everyday but it's been much worse this week. If it sounds like I'm making an excuse, well, I am. But I do apologize. You can stop sending those email complaints now.

Fulham will travel to Wigan tomorrow and not only will they be looking for their second straight road victory, but will also look to sweep "The Latics" on the season. Back in October, Clint Dempsey recorded a double in Fulham's 2-0 win at Craven Cottage.  That match with Wigan was also significant because our downward spiral would begin a week later and we would go win less until we beat Stoke on the road at the end of December.

Plenty of pundits are calling tomorrow's match a "relegation six pointer" but I still refuse to buy into that on January 14th. It is however a very important match in order to keep our current positive form, as we have won 3 out of 4 in all competitions.

Newcomer Steve Sidwell will be available, but don't expect him to start. Moussa Dembele & Andy Johnson are also available for selection and may see some time in the second half.  As far as a starting XI goes, I see:
GK: Stockdale
Def: Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird
Mid: Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies
For: Dempsey, Kamara

Take a picture of that starting XI as I predict you'll see some new names in the starting line up when we welcome The Potters to Craven Cottage in a week.  With that in mind, I'm expecting Duff, Etuhu & Kamara to be playing for their jobs this week, which I hope leads to something positive.

Roberto Martinez will be without a few key players, so I'm hoping we can take advantage of that. Fulham hold a 15-12-10 advantage over Wigan in all competitions over the years and tomorrow, I predict we'll record our 16th all time victory.

The boys are playing well and even though we're on the road, I see no reason for that to change. This is another example of Fulham needing to win matches they are suppose to win. In my world, failure is not an option.

Prediction: Wigan 0-1 Fulham

White Noise

Wigan v Fulham tickets

Barclays Premier League
Saturday 15th January
Kick-Off 15:00

On-sale dates
General Sale On sale (Max 6 tickets)
Loyalty points: 5 (more info|)

Adults - £15 - or 2 for £20 (only available by phone or in person from the Ticket Office - not available on the day)
Over 65s - £10
Under 16s - £5
Disabled Ticket Prices

Wheelchair/Ambulant Disabled - Adult £10 - Under 16 £5

Coaches depart from Motspur Park at 8am, Craven Cottage 8:30am.

Coach travel price

Season Ticket Holders - Adults £22; Juniors £12
Non Season Ticket Holders – Adults £27; Juniors £20
To book coach tickets, call 0843 208 1234 option 3.

How to Buy tickets
in person from the Ticket Office: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; non-match day Sat 10am-12pm
on the gate at the DW Stadium

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White Noise

Martinez rallies rested Latics

Fri, 14 Jan 13:27:09 2011

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is looking for an energised performance from his team against Fulham this weekend to make up for the flat display they put in at Craven Cottage earlier in the season.

Martinez suggested his players had struggled to cope with the demands of their fixture schedule when a Latics side showing just four changes from a midweek Carling Cup tie against Swansea were beaten 2-0 by Mark Hughes' team in October.

Going into Saturday's game at the DW Stadium, though, Wigan will have had a full week without a match for the first time since Boxing Day. Several regular starters were rested for last weekend's 3-2 FA Cup victory at Hull as well and Martinez hopes to see the benefits when the team take on Fulham.

"The performance against Fulham away was one of the biggest disappointments we have had this season," Martinez said.

"We didn't perform at our level, we were quite flat and probably the cup competition took too much out of our energy tank.

"We need to look at the game on Saturday as a great opportunity to be ourselves and try to put that performance right with the second encounter."

White Noise

A chocoholic with too many trainers, but SWP is a star

Dickson Etuhu

14 Jan 2011

I fiirst saw Shaun Wright-Phillips play when we were both 13 years old. We were in the same Sunday League team in Beckenham.

Shaun and his brother Bradley played with me and my brother Kelvin for a team called Ten Em Bee. Even back then I knew Shaun was going to play for England.

He was so fast and so strong for a player who was so small! At the time, I was more interested in athletics and was a keen long and triple jumper but Shaun was obsessed with his football.

After Shaun was told by Nottingham Forest that he was not big enough to make it as a professional player, he went north to Manchester City when he was 17 — six months later I joined him after being spotted playing for Ten Em Bee.

We ended up sharing a room in digs living with a family in Bramhall just outside Manchester for the next four years.

Surprisingly, for teenagers we were both really tidy but I could not get over the amount of trainers Shaun owned. I had never seen so many pairs of running shoes yet I could not borrow any of them because his feet were so small.

He was also addicted to chocolate back then, he just loved it. We were very compatible and spent a lot of time together after training, on our computers or in arcades . . . we were too young for the Manchester club scene.

Shaun broke through into the first team before I did but would still turn out on occasions for the youth side. The manager would bring him on for the last 20 minutes of games and I lost count of the number of times he'd score a hat-trick to win us matches we were losing.

One thing fans don't realise about Shaun is that he has a wickedly hard shot and is such a tough competitor. You could hit him with a heavy tackle in training and he'd still be up before you and racing away with the ball.

He has not had much luck in his career to date as his big-money moves to Chelsea and back to Manchester City have not worked out for him.

But the fact that Fabio Capello was still picking him for his England squad, even though he wasn't in the City first team, shows how highly he is regarded.

He has now been told he can leave City by boss Roberto Mancini and has been linked with a move to Fulham.

It would be great to play with him again but I'm sure there will be other clubs interested in taking him as well because of his speed and ability.

Mark Hughes has strengthened our squad by bringing in Steve Sidwell from Aston Villa which will be a big help to us in the run-in to the end of the season. Steve, who used to play for Chelsea, still has a house around the corner from our training ground so I'm sure he'll be glad he doesn't have to drive all the way up to the Midlands any more.

Fulham take on Wigan tomorrow and although we are only two points off the bottom, a win will see us go above both Everton and Liverpool, who play on Sunday, on goal difference.

The Premier League is so tight but we are all confident we are going to stay up because we have not been losing matches. We have been beaten just seven times whereas Liverpool — who we face in a couple of weeks at Anfield — have already lost 10 matches.

White Noise

Schwarzer In Action

Friday 14th January 2011

After making a perfect start to their 2011 Asian Cup adventure on Tuesday with a 4-0 win over India in Group C, Australia drew 1-1 with Korea Republic on Friday afternoon.

Mark Schwarzer played a full 90 minutes for the Socceroos, who had to come from behind to claim a point at the Al Gharrafa Stadium in Doha. Koo Ja-Cheol put the Korea Republic ahead on 24 minutes before Mile Jedinak hit back after 62 minutes.

Prior to kick-off there was a moments silence to pay respect for the flood victims in Queensland, Australia. Schwarzer will be back in action in Australia's final group C match against Bahrain at the Al-Sadd Stadium, Qatar, on Wednesday 19th January.

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White Noise

Penalty Appeal

by lydia on January 14, 2011

Do you realise that Fulham are still yet to recieve a penalty this season? So after 21 league games and 3 Cup games we are yet to get the chance to score from the spot. Want to hear something else interesting? Wigan are the only team so far not to give away a penalty. I wonder will this week be the week that both of those records are broken!

Aside from that little piece of useless information lets have a look at the match tomorrow. The last time both teams meet was in October when Dempsey fired the boys to victory with a storming performance. From what I can remember from that day Fulham were playing some lovely football but just couldn't add more goals than the 2 that Dempsey scored.  And our goal hungry American seems to love playing Wigan as he has scored 5 times against them in 7 appearence so lets hope he adds to that tally tomorrow!

The last four meetings at the DW have all ended in draws but overall Fulham have tasted victory in this fixture more than Wigan with 15 wins to their 10. I'm pretty optimistic about tomorrow as Wigan have a poor home record and I know that our away record is nothing to boast about, but we do find ourselves in a good run of form at the minute. We have also had several boasts as Dembele and Johnson are returning to the squad to add some venom to our attack and we are likely to see Sidwell pop in from off the bench at some stage.

I'm predicting Wigan 0-2 Fulham with Dempsey to get at least one of the goals. Lets hope that by the time we play Stoke at the Cottage next week we will  see another few attacking players on the team list.

White Noise

Fulham v Norwich City tickets

FA Youth Cup sponsored by E.ON

Friday 14th January

Kick-Off 19:00

All tickets will be for the Riverside Stand only and tickets will include access to the Trophy Lounge.

On-sale dates
General Sale  Now on sale
How to Buy Tickets
buy tickets online  - 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. Save on booking fees by booking online
Pay on the Gate
Adults - £3
Over 65 / Under 16 - £1

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White Noise

Squad sheets: Wigan Athletic v Fulham, Friday 14 January 2011 15.22 GMT

Short of strikers all season Fulham could welcome two back with both Andrew Johnson and Moussa Dembélé almost fit. Mark Hughes has also reinforced his squad with Steve Sidwell and the former Aston Villa midfielder may make his debut. Wigan have Charles N'Zogbia available after a three-match suspension but Mauro Boselli, who has been loaned to Genoa, will not feature. As Wigan have been held five times at home and Fulham have drawn five times away already, logic suggests the points will be shared at the DW Stadium for a fifth successive season. Richard Jolly

Venue DW Stadium, Saturday 3pm

Tickets £15 (0871 66 33 552)

Last season Wigan 1 Fulham 1

Referee Anthony Taylor

This season's matches 7 Y24, R2, 3.71 cards per game

Odds Wigan 13-8 Fulham 2-1 Draw 11-5

Probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Graphic Wigan

Subs from Kirkland, Pollitt, S Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Golobart, Mustoe, McManaman, López, De Ridder

Doubtful Kirkland (concussion)

Injured Cleverley (hamstring, 27 Jan), Di Santo (ankle, Feb), McCarthy (ankle, Feb), Moses (shoulder, Feb)

Suspended None

Form guide DLDWDD

Disciplinary record Y34 R3

Leading scorer Rodallega 5

Subs from Etheridge, Kelly, Riise, Gera, Halliche, Greening, E Johnson, Sidwell, Dikgacoi, Dembélé, Salcido, A Johnson

Doubtful Dembélé (ankle), A Johnson (hamstring), Sidwell (match fitness)

Injured Briggs (ankle, 22 Jan), Senderos (calf, Feb), Zamora (broken leg, Feb)

Suspended None

Unavailable Schwarzer (international duty)

Form guide WLWLDL

Disciplinary record Y23 R0

Leading scorer Dempsey 6

Match pointers
• If selected, Stephen Kelly will be making his 100th Premier League appearance

• Wigan have scored six goals in 11 Premier League meetings with Fulham and never more than once in a single match

• Chris Baird's two goals this season are the first he has scored since he got three for Southampton in 2006-07

• Wigan have the worst shots-to-goal ratio (14.44) in the top flight

• Clint Dempsey has scored five goals in seven league games against Wigan, including two in the reverse fixture earlier this season

White Noise,19528,11675_6662455,00.html?

Espanyol play down Ruiz talk

Planes denies knowledge of Premier League interest

Last updated: 14th January 2011

Ruiz: Wanted man

Espanyol's sporting director Ramon Planes has denied knowledge of English interest in Victor Ruiz, but admitted he had received bids for Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.

Big-spending Manchester City are reported to be keeping tabs on central defender Ruiz and he is also supposedly on the radar of Tottenham.

Long-term injuries to key defenders at Tottenham such as Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate have left them in need of cover in that position.

Planes, however, has stated he is unaware of any interest from the Premier League duo in the 21-year-old.

"I don't know about Manchester City's or Tottenham's interest in Victor Ruiz," he told

"I know the guy is very popular in Italy and Germany, he's a player who we like very much and would like to keep him until the end of the season.

"However, if a sizeable offer was made for the player, we know that we would have to evaluate it."

Meanwhile, Planes did confirm that there has been interest in forward Osvaldo from two Premier League clubs.

He added: "I've received two bids for him from Fulham and Blackburn but for us, he's a player not for sale."


White Noise

Wigan have unfinished business with Fulham - Martinez

Published 14:06 14/01/11

By MirrorFootball

Roberto Martinez is looking for an energised performance from his Wigan team against Fulham this weekend to make up for the flat display they put in at Craven Cottage earlier in the season.

Martinez suggested his players had struggled to cope with the demands of their fixture schedule when a Latics side showing just four changes from a midweek Carling Cup tie against Swansea were beaten 2-0 by Mark Hughes' team in October.

Going into Saturday's game at the DW Stadium, though, Wigan will have had a full week without a match for the first time since Boxing Day.

Several regular starters were rested for last weekend's 3-2 FA Cup victory at Hull as well and Martinez hopes to see the benefits when the team take on Fulham.

"The performance against Fulham away was one of the biggest disappointments we have had this season," Martinez said. "We didn't perform at our level, we were quite flat and probably the cup competition took too much out of our energy tank.

"We need to look at the game on Saturday as a great opportunity to be ourselves and try to put that performance right with the second encounter."

A player who has certainly had a chance to recharge his batteries is Charles N'Zogbia, who returns to the Latics squad after serving a three-match suspension.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland missed the Hull game following the bang to the head he suffered in the previous fixture against Bolton and will have his condition assessed.

In other injury news, James McCarthy has targeted the match against Arsenal on January 22 for his potential return to action - something Martinez, although pleased with the midfielder's progress in recovering from ankle ligament damage, is not so sure about.

"If he's got that in his head, he won't be far off, but from a medical point of view, probably the first week of February is a more realistic target," Martinez said. "But when he wants something he normally achieves it, so I wouldn't discount it."

Franco Di Santo (ankle) and Victor Moses (shoulder) are also doing well.

"From the three we have had very good news," Martinez said. "They are starting to step up in their training programmes now and they have had a very positive response in the last 10 days.

"We expect them to be really close to full fitness for the end of the month, and that is a real positive.

"Franco is training pain-free, Victor has seen the specialist and everything is going really well and for James it is exactly the same - he can step up with his final push in the recovery, and we are delighted."

Meanwhile, reports have suggested Moses may be interested in representing Nigeria at international level rather than England, a decision Martinez says the player must consider carefully.

"Nowadays, when you represent your country you need to give up a lot of time and make a lot of commitments in a busy schedule," Martinez said.

"Only the player can make that decision - he really needs to play for the nation that he feels is his nation.

"That is something Victor will have very clear. He is a very proud young man and he knows exactly what he wants to do.

"All the advice he can get can be a little help, but it could be misleading.

"As a player you need to look inside, see where you want to perform for your country and chase that dream, however hard it might seem at the time. But Victor has got amazing potential."

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White Noise

"We have had an examination and wish to proceed '

Viktor Noring looks to be the next Swedish Premier League.

After a week of practice games with Fulham, the club decided that they want to buy the Swede.

- We have received positive signals from Fulham and they now want to take this matter forward, "says Noring agent Martin Klett to Sportbladet.

Under-21 squad Viktor Noring opened on Monday five-day trial game with Fulham. After today's final training session held a meeting with club Noring and his representative, Martin Klett, where they explained that they want to buy the Swede.

"Want to take the matter forward '

- We have had a briefing with Fulham after Viktor's training visit. What I can say is that we have received positive signals in such a way as to Fulham today expressed an interest to pursue the matter. This means concretely that I will hear from me to Trelleborg in the weekend and report on the meeting with Fulham, "said Martin Klett.

As Sportbladet experience there are clear framework for transition, something Klett not want to comment on. It is clear that 19-year-old Noring now very close to the Premier League.

Positive impression

- I do not want to say too much before I talked to Trelleborg. It does not feel professionally that they should read the details in the newspaper. But we have received a positive response in that they expressed an interest to move forward in contacts.

What about Victor?

- He has had a positive impression of the club. They have been very professional, both in the level of activity and people involved.

White Noise

FA Youth Cup: Fulham 3-0 Norwich

Friday 14th January 2011

Fulham's Youth Team booked their place in the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup sponsored by E.ON thanks to goals from Alex Brister, Kerim Frei and Marcello Trotta.

Fulham started the game in bright fashion with Marcello Trotta creating the first opportunity of the encounter with a wonderful first touch in the area which took him away from two defenders. The Italian striker spun and hit a fine volley which had Remi Matthews, in the Norwich goal, beaten. Unfortunately Trotta's shot clipped the outside of the post.

Norwich soon started to assert themselves in the game and, courtesy of some unforced errors in the Fulham defence, were able to pressure the Whites' back line – thankfully without any end result.

Fulham almost opened the scoring on 15 minutes after Kerim Frei surged through midfield before laying a pass into the path of Ronnie Minkwitz whose shot was saved well by the onrushing Matthews.

The Whites continued to look good in attack and moments later Alex Brister found himself in a promising position. Although the Fulham attacker scuffed his shot somewhat, the keeper was well beaten, only for a spare defender to clear off the line.

Fulham's attack was certainly the more incisive in the first-half and another fine counter-attack saw Josh Pritchard try an audacious chip from the edge of the penalty area which just sailed over the bar.

Fulham deservedly took the lead in the 23rd minute courtesy of a crisp finish from the edge of the area from Alex Brister. The impressive Ronnie Minkwitz played the ball to Brister who placed a fine shot inside the far post.

The Whites started in the second-half in a confident manner but there was a moment of danger when Aaron Pierre brought his man down on the edge of the Fulham area. Jesse Joronen needed to be alert to punch out the resulting set piece and clear the danger.

Trotta played the role of the lone front man to perfection, holding up play well and being ably supported by willing runners from midfield. Norwich captain Matthew Ball picked up his side's second yellow card of the second-half when he was forced to bring down Frei after another purposeful run from the Fulham midfielder following excellent work from Trotta.

Cristian Marquez-Sanchez almost netted and remarkable goal when his 50 yard run took him into the heart of the Norwich penalty area unfortunately the Spanish youth international smashed his shot into the side netting.

Aaron Pierre's involvement in the game ended on 67 minutes when he was replaced by Robert Maloney. But Fulham doubled their advantage soon after when tenacious work from Marcello Trotta won possession back for the Whites inside the Norwich area. Trotta muscled his way past a defender before playing a square pass across the face of goal, leaving Kerim Frei with a one-yard tap in.

Trotta then netted a well-deserved goal on 77 minutes, confidently collecting the ball 20 yards out before stroking a sublime left-footed finish past Remi Mattews. Kit Symons' men then saw out the remaining minutes comfortably.

The Whites will now play Wigan or Watford at home in the Fifth Round (fixture date and time to be confirmed).

Fulham: Joronen; Marquez-Sanchez, Kamau, Toure, Pierre (Maloney 67); Arthurworrey, Brister (Gameiro 83), Minkwitz, Trotta, Pritchard (Owusu Ansah 80), Frei

Norwich: Matthews; Barker, Toffolo (Stevens 78), Brindley, Jones, Gordon, Oakley, Dobbs, Werndly, Ball, Kelly (Loza 45).

Attendance: 645

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White Noise

Transfer Silliness

Filed under: General — timmyg @ 9:24 pm

Three names that we were "linked" with have all fallen through. And probably for the best.

Roque Santa Cruz:

In total, Santa Cruz started eight games, with another 16 substitute appearances. The Paraguay international has earned around £6m in wages. (via guardian)

City have hardened their stance on the issue of wages for loan players since agreeing to subsidise Craig Bellamy's move to Cardiff earlier this season and Blackburn will pay the majority of Santa Cruz's salary. (via soccernet)

Robbie Keane:

Personal terms have not yet been discussed and Keane's £65,000-a-week wages would make him Birmingham's highest-paid player by some distance (via guardian)

David Bentley:

United target David Bentley is likely to join Birmingham City after having a "must play every game" clause sanctioned by Alex McLeish, with the second city side also prepared to shell out over £70,000 per week to meet his wage demands. (via chronicle)

Oh, and not that he was "targeted" by us, but West Ham are paying Wayne Bridge £90,000 a week.

I don't have any proof that these figures are exact, but my lord are they ridiculous. And I am glad we aren't paying these bit-part players' ridiculous salaries. (What is AJ's salary again?)

So far this season, Santa Cruz has played 34 league minutes and 80 minutes in the Carling Cup. Bentley has played 102 minutes in the league and one entire Carling Cup match — that 4-1 loss to Arsenal. Keane has played in most of Spurs' competitions, but still only 2 starts and 10 substitution appearances. For context, Eddie Johnson has the same amount of total appearances: 1 start and 11 subs.

Obviously, players are loaned out in January because they aren't playing enough for their clubs. But, not to sound like a broken record, for the loan recipient team to still pay these wages in full is absurd, and explains why they aren't at SW6.

In other transfer news, Robert Milsom and Fredrik Stoor have both left. I'm not surprised about Stoor (why didn't it happen over the summer?), but am about Milsom. Sure, the lad is 24, but he was touted as a blue chip. Now, he'll be playing in Aberdeen.