Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)  (Read 28087 times)

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Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« on: January 25, 2011, 10:40:47 PM »

Gaël Kakuta poised to join Fulham on loan from Chelsea

• Nineteen-year-old will sign until the end of the season

• Fulham end interest in signing Shaun Wright-Phillips

David Hytner, Tuesday 25 January 2011 17.32 GMT

Gaël Kakuta had a medical with Fulham today ahead of a proposed loan move from Chelsea until the end of the season. Photograph: Nigel French/Empics Sport
Gaël Kakuta is poised to complete a loan switch from Chelsea to Fulham until the end of the season.

The French winger began his medical at lunchtime today and if, as expected, there are no problems, he will end the manager Mark Hughes' search for a dynamic and creative midfield signing. Fulham, meanwhile, have dropped their interest in Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, has agonised for some weeks over whether to loan out Kakuta, weighing up the benefit of him being able to enjoy greater playing minutes against whether the club might need him over the second half of the season.

He has been unable to grant the 19-year-old, who is rated as the brightest young talent in French football, the game time to accelerate his development, starting him only once in the Premier League this season and four times in total.

Ancelotti was on record as saying that he could not start his young players while the club were enduring their "difficult moment," which appeared to end last night with the 4-0 win at Bolton Wanderers.

Ancelotti finally decided that the change of scene would be the best course of action and, rather like the former Chelsea manager José Mourinho did in the second half of the 2005-06 season with Wayne Bridge, he has handpicked Fulham as the club for the loan.

Fulham have shown an interest in taking Kakuta since they became aware that Ancelotti was considering the move and they will not now pursue Wright-Phillips any further. They had held talks with City about taking the winger on loan but they were told that the only option was a permanent transfer, which they did not want. City have refused to soften their stance.

Chelsea are also close to an agreement with Leicester City for the loan of the 20-year-old Dutch left-back Patrick Van Aanholt for the remainder of the season. As with Kakuta, Ancelotti has high hopes for Van Aanholt but he has found it difficult to offer him sufficient playing time. Van Aanholt spent most of last season on loan in the Championship at Coventry City and then Newcastle United.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 06:23:39 AM »

Fulham and Birmingham on Caracciolo
01/25/2011 23:00 

Source: itasportpress
 © Photo by Alberto Mariani

Sirens again for the British market Brescia striker Andrea Caracciolo. The heron was followed by several Italian teams that seem to find, however, difficult to enter into negotiations with the club Lombard. So back in fashion the involvement of Birmingham City who, after surveys began with the 'Swallows', seems willing to make a concrete offer, but in England also continues to be drawn up to the Fulham player.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 06:30:31 AM »

Kenny Dalglish says return of Steven Gerrard will add momentum

• Liverpool look for back-to-back league wins from Fulham's visit

• Gerrard admits Anfield's new manager was his hero

Andy Hunter and David Hytner The Guardian, Wednesday 26 January 2011

Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool face Fulham and are looking for their first back-to-back league wins for over two months. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Kenny Dalglish believes the return of Steven Gerrard will provide added impetus when Liverpool attempt to record back-to-back league wins for the first time in over two months against Fulham tonight.

There is a genuine mutual appreciation society between the Liverpool manager and captain, who is available after serving the three-match suspension he collected 32 minutes into Dalglish's first game in charge, the FA Cup defeat at Manchester United. Gerrard had a poster of Dalglish on his wall as a child. Today he has the Liverpool legend's No7 shirt framed and on the wall of his home.

Gerrard's 383rd league game will be his first for his Liverpool idol tonight but Dalglish does not believe his managerial presence could inspire any greater effort from the 30-year-old than he has already given. He is confident, however, that the midfielder will add to the momentum of improving performances and the first victory of his second tenure, Saturday's 3-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"He's a Liverpool boy. He's given everything to this club and will continue to," said the Liverpool manager. "There is absolutely no doubt about that. Others can judge what level it's on. For me he's been absolutely fantastic for us and will carry on being so. We're just happy to have him. It depends how much you judge his commitment already but this club is much, much better off with him in it. We're proud and privileged to have him as one of our players."

As for being the subject of Gerrard's hero worship from a young age, and his shirt being a prized possession of the Liverpool captain, Dalglish added: "He won't get round me that easy but I might sign it for him. If I played a small part in someone's feelings for this club, then so be it. Certainly since I have been coming to watch this club, Stevie's played a huge role in its history. We all know the games come easy to mind – the most memorable and important ones. I have also got a Steven Gerrard shirt up in my house. We'll have to stop this society."

Liverpool have not won successive league games since beating Blackburn, Bolton and Chelsea in October and early November. Raul Meireles has impressed playing behind Fernando Torres in Gerrard's absence, scoring against both Wolves and Everton, but Dalglish refused to be drawn on where the Liverpool captain fits into his vision for the team.

"It's just great to have our captain back," he said. "Everybody will be delighted to see him back. The whole place will get a lift – the punters, the players and the staff will get a lift."

Ryan Babel has finally completed his move to the Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, the Dutchman signing a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Mark Hughes, meanwhile, has lamented the fact that Fulham will face Dalglish's Liverpool at Anfield this evening rather than the team under the disastrous charge of Roy Hodgson, which Hughes suggested had been riddled with unhappy players.

Hodgson left Fulham in July, to be replaced by Hughes, but he has not made it to the fixture against his old club, having been sacked by Liverpool earlier in the month.

Hughes says that Fulham will travel to Merseyside with confidence after taking 10 points from an available 15 to move up to 14th place in the Premier League table but he is wary of the Dalglish factor.

"Kenny's gone in and he's a huge figure there," Hughes said. "Everybody seems to be back on board, which wasn't the case before. Maybe everyone's on a high there now and so it's not the best time to go there, but so are we. We are playing well away from home. We're picking up points and we don't concede many. We can go there and play well because we have the ability to cause them problems."

Hughes clashed with Dalglish in the 1980s, when he was a star at Manchester United and Dalglish was the darling of the Kop. "He was always at the other end of the pitch from me so thankfully I didn't have to go up against him one v one because he wasn't a bad player by all accounts," Hughes said.

"I know he's been out of the game in terms of having a No1 job and all that entails but obviously he was still in and around it. He watched a hell of a lot of football. His knowledge base is without question. He'll do fine there. I know Kenny. Not socially but I like the guy. He's good company."

Hughes added: "If you look at the top end of the table, a lot of the older guys are doing great jobs because maybe over a period of time you get the opportunity to get the bigger jobs. Us younger guys have got to keep going and make sure you're around and in the discussion when they come up."

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 06:33:54 AM »

"When was the last season (if indeed there ever has been one) that all the clubs in the English top division finished the season with the same manager they had at the start?" wonders Tom Shaw.

The Knowledge turned to Twitter in search of an answer for this one, and after stirling work from @ChristopherHarv and @STV_Andy, shadowy and intimidating stats robot @OptaJoe's eyes started flashing, his cogs started whirring, and from within his metallic depths out chugged the answer – 1965-66. In each of the 45 seasons since, someone has lost their job in the top-flight.

Perhaps imbued with pre-World Cup bonhomie Blackburn stuck with "Jolly Jack" Marshall despite barrelling headlong towards relegation, ending bottom with the lowest points tally in 19 years (though he was sacked midway through the following season – "This post at Ewood Park has been likened more than once to what the Americans call a 'hot seat'," reported the Guardian at the time). Dave Bowen, who was also moonlighting as the Wales manager, survived at Blackburn's fellow relegatees Northampton.

Fulham, despite a relegation-threatened season, stuck with Vic Buckingham; Ian McColl, appointed during the summer of 1965, survived at Sunderland who finished 19th; Nottingham Forest stayed up by three points and kept faith with the softly-softly approach of Johnny Carey ("Some of their tackling, while never vicious, lacked the finesse and complete inoffensiveness of a team managed by Mr Carey," wrote the Guardian after a mid-season 1-1 draw at Manchester City. "Forest, like so many clubs, have had to adapt their style to meet modern requirements, although Mr Carey would never instruct his men to 'mix it'.") Above Blackburn nine teams ended the season separated by four points – perhaps this was a rare – and final? – example of clubs choosing the devils they knew.

The detente didn't last, however. Arsenal started the 1966-67 season with a new man in charge, Billy Wright having resigned in June

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 06:37:37 AM »

Liverpool v Fulham: Preview

by Lork on January 25, 2011

Back in December I wrote a preview for this game but snow had other plans and so instead the game kicks off a month later than scheduled. Roy’s got the boot and been replaced with ‘King’ Kenny Dalglish, a man who has unconditional love and support from literally everyone associated with Liverpool. The enthuasiasm from the fans towards their club has really increased, and they’re playing better football too. Torres looks a different player, they’re getting more men forward and Meireles, Roy’s most successful signing, is now easily paying back every penny of his £10 million fee, a wondervolley in their last game against Wolves one of the best we’ll see  all season (not as good as Dempsey’s against Stoke mind, be sure to remind everyone of that!). Oh, Gerrard’s coming back from suspension too.

It would then, on the face of it, seem like a torrid time to play Liverpool but we’re in a nice little run ourselves. Dembele has finally played after taking way longer than initially thought to recover from his injury and he breathed fresh life into out attacking play against Stoke. AJ is looking sharper and sharper with every game that comes, Dempsey’s on course to be our highest league scorer since we were promoted, Murphy’s controlling midfields for fun, our defence with the inspired idea of Baird at left back is looking just as assured as it was under Hodgson, even Stockdale is statistically the best goalie in the league. Our players are coming back into form after a dip and it all points towards a promising performance.

The horrible loss to West Ham on Boxing Day appears to have been the catalyst for some very impressive games. Since then we’ve played  6 games in league and cup, lost one, won 4 and scored 14 (slightly skewed by the Peterbrough game but a nice stat nevertheless). In amongst those games were three clean sheets, so for all our improved attacking play it has not come at the expense of an exposed defence which has been improved with the benching of Salcido and the promotion of Baird. This has suprised me, I like him as a player and would be quite comfortable seeing him at right back, centre half and midfield, but I never thought that outside of emergencies he would realistically play well over a series of games at left back so I think that over the past few weeks he is the player that comes out with the most credit (but as I say, we have alot of players in good form). Only City have conceded less away from home which bodes well for one of the toughest away games we’ll have had this season and for the final of this stat barrage all but two league losses have been single goal defeats. By 10 tonight Liverpool will know they’ve been in a game.

The win over Stoke was about as comfortable as you can get but unfortunately a couple of key players have picked up injuries. Etuhu who had been impressive in recent games will almost certainly miss tonights match. Fortunately we have the new signing of Sidwell to step in. He’s a player I’ve rated since his Reading days, and although his career has fallen off slightly since the move to Chelsea and subsequent move to Villa, I have no doubt that he is a professional, hard working player that will get back to top form here. I really am looking forward to seeing how he’ll do after a promising half an hour on Saturday. Hughes too, one half of the immovable object that is the H&H partnership, is likely to miss the game after picking up a knock. Halliche came on for him on Saturday but personally I’d be much more comfortable seeing Baird move to centre back and Salcido take over his position at left back. It’s not a great solution since isntead of moving one part of the defence we’re moving two, but Halliche, as of yet, doesn’t look entirely comfortable in English football in the few minutes that he has played. Salcido hasn’t either to be fair, but he played well in his first few games before his injury and he has much better pedigree than Halliche. Other than those two changes though, I’d expect Fulham to put out the same team.

Back when I wrote that preview I was concerned at how even 10th place seemed to be getting further and further as the league settled, but now this run of form has again given us genuine top ten hopes. Back then, 10th place was 6 points away, and after the game on saturday we were the same distance from Europe as we were from the relegation zone! Wigan’s defeat to Aston Villa today means we’re now 4 points ahead with a game in hand. A result then would be massive. Even a draw would mean that we keep our momentum going and keep pressure on the teams above and below us. A win would of course be better though and there’s no reason to go to Liverpool and limit our ambitions to a point. They have been strong at home this season but this Liverpool team are still not yet playing to their potential and I doubt that just a couple of weeks under Dalglish will have fixed all their confidence issues. If we play like Blackpool and Wolves, be brave and put in a professional performance to frustrate the home team and the fans that back them then we could be looking at a victorious Mark Hughes in the post match press conference. The most important thing to be wary of is their vastly improved counter attack, since Torres is not getting so isolated as he was before they showed at Wolves that on the counter they will make extra men they throw forward count. However for a team as disciplined and professional as ours shouldn’t be particuarly worried about being caught cold, so if I was going to predict a result (and I am) I’d reckon it’ll be a third straight 0-0 at Anfield.

A quick note on the expected signing of Kakuta too. An exceptionally talented young player, this is a decent deal for us and I can’t really see any drawbacks. He won’t take a place in our 25 man squad or demand a large cost, and we have a quick, tricky midfielder to offer us something we don’t really have at the moment. A good signing. It indicates that we won’t sign Shaun Wright-Philips which is a shame because it means in the summer we’ll have to look for a Kakuta replacement, but in the short term I’m pleased.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 06:39:21 AM »
Kenny Dalglish hails Steven Gerrard as the new Kop King as Liverpool skipper returns

By Chris Wheeler

Last updated at 1:28 AM on 26th January 2011

 Returning hero: Gerrard

It is little more than two weeks since Liverpool fans welcomed back Kenny Dalglish with open arms.

Tonight sees the return from suspension of Steven Gerrard, with Dalglish happy for Liverpool’s dynamic skipper to succeed him as the new ‘King of the Kop’.

Gerrard has played just 32 minutes under the new boss, thanks to his red card in the FA Cup tie at Manchester United.
And as Fulham prepare to visit Anfield tonight, the Liverpool boss is in no doubt about who makes his team tick.

‘He’s a Liverpool boy,’ Dalglish said of Gerrard. ‘He’s given everything to this club and will continue to. We’re proud and privileged to have him.’

Fulham manager Mark Hughes recognised the impact of Dalglish’s return. ‘Kenny’s a huge figure there,’ he said.

‘Everybody seems to be back on board, which wasn’t the case before.’

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 06:44:02 AM »
Emmanuel Adebayor seals loan switch to Real Madrid after leaving Manchester City for the rest of the season

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 8:55 PM on 25th January 2011

Real Madrid signed Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City last night after he agreed to take a pay cut.

The 26-year-old has joined on loan with view to a permanent £13million transfer at the end of the season with Real describing it as a ‘unilateral option’.

Real discussed signing the Togo international at the start of the transfer window but considered him
too expensive.

 On his way out: Emmanuel Adebayor (left) with Kolo Toure in Manchester City training

He has since been the subject of interest from Monaco, Tottenham, Fulham and Everton but Real came back after Jose Mourinho put his board under pressure to find him a quality striker.

Adebayor showed his willingness to make it happen by taking a cut from his £148,000-a-week wage deal at City.

A Real statement read: ‘Real Madrid and Manchester City have reached a deal that will see Emmanuel Adebayor play on loan. The player will remain at Real Madrid until the end of the current season, at which point the club hold a unilateral option to purchase the player.’

The Spaniards, who have also been linked with Atletico Madrid’s Sergio Aguero, returned for Adebayor after being unable to persuade Hamburg to allow Ruud van Nistelrooy to return to the Bernabeu.

Adebayor joined Arsenal from Monaco for £7m in January 2006 and moved on to City three years later for around £25m.

 Initial success: Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal's fans after hitting the thrid goal in City's tempestuous 4-2 win over the Gunners in September 2009

But he has become surplus to requirements, starting only two Premier League games this season,
and has cut a disenchanted figure after training ground bust-ups and a fall-out with Roberto Mancini over his attitude in training.

City, meanwhile, are continuing to monitor Dani Alves’s situation at Barcelona and have not given up on Espanyol centre half Victor Ruiz.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola signalled he was ready to sanction Alves’s sale to City yesterday with contract talks far from resolved.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 06:46:02 AM »
Liverpool flop Babel exits Anfield after completing £6m deal to join Hoffenheim

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 6:57 PM on 25th January 2011

Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has completed his move to Hoffenheim after signing a two-and-a-half-year contract, according to the German club.

The Reds accepted a fee for the Holland international, believed to be in the region of £6million, last week but the deal appeared to be off up until late on Monday when the player flew out to finalise contract details.

'The 24-year-old striker signed on Tuesday a contract for two and a half years until June 30 2013 (plus an option for another year),' said a statement on Hoffenheim's website.

Sunderland and Fulham expressed late interest in the striker, but were too late to stop Babel's move to Germany.

 A Dutch disappointing: Babel failed to live up to his growing reputation at Anfield

'Ryan was our first-choice attacking player. He strengthens our squad also with his experience despite being only 24 years old,' said coach Marco Pezzaiuoli.

Manager Ernst Tanner added on the club's website: 'We are very proud to be able to sign in Ryan Babel an internationally-experienced player from a top club like Liverpool.

'We are convinced that he is a big gain for us with his character traits and his sporting qualities.'
The forward, who failed to realise his potential during just over three years at Anfield, is relishing a fresh start in the Bundesliga.

'I am looking forward to my new mission in Hoffenheim,' he said. 'My first impressions are absolutely positive. I hope now to be able to quickly get into the team.'

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 06:48:08 AM »
Chelsea kid Kakuta close to Fulham loan deal after undergoing medical at Craven Cottage

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 6:54 PM on 25th January 2011

On the move: Chelsea youngster Gael Kakuta

Gael Kakuta is close to leaving Chelsea on loan after arriving at Fulham for a medical.

Fellow youngster Patrick van Aanholt was also set to be allowed to move on a temporary transfer, with Leicester a possible destination.

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes last week revealed his interest in 19-year-old winger Kakuta, who last month signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Chelsea.
Hughes said on Friday: 'He's a player I know and I like the qualities he has.'

The same day saw Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti reveal he was still considering whether to farm out Kakuta, widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the game when he joined the club from Lens in 2007.

'We are thinking about if it's good for a young player to have experience on loan for six months,' said Ancelotti at the time.

Frenchman Kakuta has made 16 appearances for Chelsea but only five starts and was an unused substitute in last night's 4-0 Barclays Premier League win over Bolton.

He would doubtless benefit from regular first-team action, as would Van Aanholt, who has also been used sparingly this season. The 20-year-old left-back spent most of last term on loan at Coventry and Newcastle.

The Dutchman has also been touted as a possible makeweight in Chelsea's pursuit of David Luiz.

Slobodan Rajkovic and Nemanja Matic, currently at Vitesse Arnhem on season-long loans from Stamford Bridge, have been mentioned as alternative options for the Portuguese club.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 06:52:23 AM »

Fulham's Pantsil named in Premier League best team for the week

Posted On Wednesday, 26th January 2011

Welcome to, Ghana's most authoritative football news website.

Fulham's John Pantsil has been named among the Premier League' best players for last week

Ghana right-back John Pantsil has been named in the ‘Team of the Week’ in England following his heroics for his club Fulham at the weekend.

Pantsil was ousted from the team’s line-up since coach Mark Hughes joined the team at the start of the season.

But the Ghanaian won his place back after injuries to several players and has now proven that he merits a place in Fulham’s starting team.

His performances continue to ease relegation fears for Fulham.

Below is Eurosport’s analysis of the best players for the week.

GK: Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan) – he may have conceded three against Arsenal, but the Omani prevented a cricket score at the Emirates with some excellent shot-stopping.

RB: John Pantsil (Fulham) – struggled with injury earlier in the season, but Pantsil is now fit – and Fulham are unbeaten in four with the Ghanaian in the side.

CB: Richard Dunne (Aston Villa) – the Irishman was dropped after a training-ground bust-up but is back in favour and was superb against his former club in a surprise win.

CB: James Tomkins (West Ham) – the youngster played well in the 2-2 draw againstEverton as the 10-man Hammers held on.

LB: Gael Clichy (Arsenal) – Clichy was in excellent form in the 3-0 win over Wigan, using his pace to good effect and giving Steve Gohouri a torrid time.

RM: Aaron Lennon (Tottenham) – Lennon has added end product to his pace and showcased it in style with an injury-time equaliser at Newcastle, a trademark low drive across goal from the right.

CM: Raul Meireles (Liverpool) – scored his second in two games with a spectacular strike against Wolves. The Portuguese is looking like the player who impressed at the World Cup.

CM: Kieran Richardson (Sunderland) – Richardson scored both goals as Sunderland won at Blackpool – an all-action performance from the midfielder who still harbours England ambitions.

LM: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) – there is talk of playing on into his 38th year as Giggs rolled back the years with some super runs and a rasping finish in the 5-0 win over Blackburn.

CF: Robin van Persie (Arsenal) – Van Persie seems to be fit and strong after a rotten time with injury and he bagged his first hat-trick for Arsenal in the win over Wigan.

CF: Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United) – Outstanding in every way against Blackburn, it was Berbatov’s third hat-trick of a season in which he is finally looking like a £30 million player.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 06:53:39 AM »

Kakuta moves to Fulham on loan

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Chelsea's Gaël Kakuta will join Fulham on loan for the rest of the season. The 19-year-old midfielder underwent a medical yesterday ahead of a move across SW6 in search of regular Premier League football.

Kakuta has only started one Premier League game for Chelsea this season, as well as once in the League Cup and twice in the Champions League. In three of his four starts he was withdrawn at half-time. He has made 11 appearances as a substitute and is yet to score a goal.

He started his career at RC Lens and has played for France up to Under-20 level.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 06:55:25 AM »


26th January 2011

By Paul Brown

MARK HUGHES claims Premier League management is an old man’s game – and is backing Kenny Dalglish to be a winner at it again.

Doubts were raised about the 59-year-old when he returned as Liverpool boss after a decade out of the game.

But Sparky Hughes, whose Fulham side go to Anfield tonight, insists all the Premier League’s top bosses are golden oldies.

Of the four clubs at the league summit, only Manchester City have a manager under 50 in Roberto Mancini. “If you look at the top end of the table, a lot of the older guys are doing great jobs,” said 47-year-old Hughes.

“I know Kenny’s been out of the game in terms of having a No.1 job, but he was still in and around it. He watched a hell of a lot of football. He’ll do fine there.”

Fulham, unbeaten in four matches, yesterday gave Chelsea striker Gael Kakuta a medical ahead of a loan move.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2011, 06:57:00 AM »

Liverpool v Fulham preview
Written by Darren Phillips 

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 22:37 

Steven Gerrard is available to Kenny Dalglish once more after serving a three match ban and is expected to replace Christian Poulsen in an otherwise unchanged Liverpool side.

Jamie Carragher is the only absentee through injury though Brad Jones remains on international duty with Australia at the Asia Cup.

Fulham's first choice keeper Mark Schwarzer is also in Qatar.

There are doubts over Dickson Etuhu and Aaron Hughes who picked up injuries during the weekend win over Stoke City.

Mark Hughes is already unable to call upon Matthew Briggs, Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos.

Steve Sidwell could make his full debut for the Cottagers.

Dalglish is keen to deploy the Reds captain for just the second time since he succeeded former Fulham boss Roy Hodgson. 

"He is a special person - he's not just a special footballer," the Anfield boss said of Gerrard.

"The way he has served this club and what the club means to him - it is nothing short of fantastic. He's served this club unbelievably well and we will certainly ride along on the back of that.

"I don't have words in my vocabulary to be complimentary enough about Steven other than to say this club is much better off with him than it could be without him.

"Certainly he's more influential wearing a red shirt more than any colour. He deserves to be up there in the folklore and the history of the club. He is a fantastic footballer that we're very lucky to have at our disposal."

The 59-year-old added: "Having your captain available after missing three games gives everybody a great lift. We had a great result and performance at Molineux and we've got a very difficult game coming up. So for us to have Steven available again on the back of the performance and result at the weekend is a great boost for us."

Fulham are without a win in 29 visits to Anfield and lost a League Cup game 10-0 during September 1986. 

From 59 previous meetings overall Liverpool have 33 wins and 16 draws with 10 defeats suffered. 


Liverpool from: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Kuyt, Lucas, Gerrard, Meireles, Maxi, Torres, Gulacsi, Cole, Pacheco, Kyrgiakos, Spearing, Shelvey, Aurelio

Fulham from: Stockdale, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Halliche, Baird, Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Sidwell, Duff, A Johnson, Dembele, Gera, Etheridge, Salcido, Kamara, Davies

Referee: Lee Probert

Kick-off is at 8pm

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 07:00:50 AM »

Big Man in Small Room loses Stature

Posted by Phil Mison 12 hours, 58 minutes ago

Surveying the official club web-site on the couch and playing some old vinyl while slipping into slacker mode when 'Reasons to be Cheerful' hit the speakers. Time to lighten up this blog.

And why not indeed. A dash of absurdity has been lacking from this site since before Christmas, when a number of Arsenal fans clearly not resident in the northern hemisphere missed the joke in my spoof letter to 'throw' our game at the Emirates. While we're at it, come now, how many of you really believed my 'synthetic spray-on' shirt story last year?

As Ian Dury soothed my internet trawl, and with no hint of spin from the club, there we had it today, three genuinely 'feel good' stories on the FFC home page. AJ relishing the imminent return of Big Bobby - who celebrated his 30th birthday this week, Hughes singing the praises of Dempsey, a common theme with all UK media since Saturday, and a profile on the ever-modest and unassuming Brede Hangeland commemorating three years with the Whites for our Rock of the North. The term 'model pro' was never more apt for this grounded and likeable fella.

Now for the absurd. Sir Alex finds time in his busy schedule to single out our dressing rooms for criticism. What's this all about? So incensed is he by the cramped changing conditions for his superstars in the bowels of the Cottage, why, it's only taken him 5 months since their game last summer to bring it up. Never one to mince his words, the Govan bruiser from the slums of Glasgow describes our facilities as 'an absolute disgrace and ridiculous.' In his view the Prem should demand higher standards being imposed - as if the EPL don't have enough muscle.

Hope you caught Kevin Day's warm little look around our club on Sunday's MOTD 2. If not watch from i-player or the net. That's who we are and that's how we like it. Fergie, you just made a fool of yourself. And probably guaranteed no hot water when you turn up next. Let's hope so.

I've changed in that dressing room for a charity game at the Cottage. I've also been inside Liverpool's and plenty of others. OK, there's no comparison in terms of space, but oh my Fergie, you should have seen them in the mid 90's! With the club on its uppers and on the verge of being evicted, nothing apart from essential maintenance was being spent on the ground. I had a few seasons in the press box getting dripped on via holes in the roof, the radio point was primitive and temperamental, a lovely old dear turned up with home made scones in a tin as half-time refreshment for the press corps (and never ever received payment for it), while the 'Press Room' was the size of a broom cupboard. There are plenty of old pictures out there with volunteer fans painting the ironwork around the ground pre-season. Oh yes, none of it was that long ago.

But back to those ancient, rusting dressing rooms in the era of Jimmy Hill as Chairman. Now, there's a topic worthy of a book...The club at the time was being run so poorly only David Lloyd's admirable fanzine provided a platform for our frustration. Eventually, the long-suffering players were forced to raise the issue of our decrepid facilities with Ray Lew. He passed their complaints upstairs. Jimmy trotted down from the office and was indeed horrified. He proclaimed outrage in his programme notes, and promised action. Jim wanted supporters to know he was on the case.

We published a spoof piece in the fanzine soon after where JH drops by the training ground and to his consternation also discovers the whole first team is completely useless. Rushing back to the ground he informs the board relegation is a certainty with this bunch of misfits, only to be informed they have all been purchased with the last of the club's money by the deadbeat managers Jimmy has recruited.

The best bit about satire, is there's always a huge grain of truth in it. From rags to riches, let's hope we never forget where we came from, how we started, and what we've had to overcome. Unlike Ferguson.

Small ground next to a river, modest facilities, rarely hit the healdines, but what heart. Pure Fulhamish. May it never change.


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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 07:02:52 AM »

Chelsea's Gael Kakuta on verge of Fulham loan move 

Winger Kakuta joined Chelsea in 2007 from French side Lens

Chelsea's France Under-20 international Gael Kakuta is on the verge of joining local rivals Fulham on loan.

The 19-year-old was at the centre of a major row in 2009 when he was accused of breaking his contract with Lens two years before in order to join Chelsea.

Both Kakuta and Chelsea were given bans that were subsequently overturned.

The Lille-born winger signed a new four and a half year deal with Chelsea only last month but has now undergone a medical at Fulham.

Last week, the Fulham manager Mark Hughes said of Kakuta: "He's a player I know and I like the qualities he has."

The same day Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said he was considering whether it was a good idea "for a young player to have experience on loan for six months".

Fellow Chelsea youngster Patrick van Aanholt could also be about to go out on loan, with Leicester City a likely destination.

The 20-year-old left-back spent most of last season on loan at Coventry and Newcastle.

Kakuta's time at Chelsea has not always been a happy one.

He has made 16 appearances for Chelsea but only five starts and was an unused substitute in Monday night's 4-0 Premier League win over Bolton.

In 2009, he suffered a fractured ankle which kept him out of action for six months.

Later that year, he was banned from playing for four months and given a fine of more than £670,000 by Fifa for allegedly breaking his contract with former club Lens.

Chelsea were also fined and banned from any activity during two transfer windows.

The club appealed against their punishment, claiming that Kakuta did not have a valid contract with the French club.

The sanctions were lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February 2010.

Kakuta has played for France at every level from Under-16 to Under-20 and in December 2009, aged 18, became the youngest ever player to represent Chelsea in the Champions League.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 07:07:09 AM »

Liverpool v Fulham: match preview

Read a full match preview of the Premier League game between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield on Wednesday Jan 26 2011, kick-off 20.00 GMT.
LIVERPOOL V FULHAM Wednesday, January 26 20:00
6:00AM GMT 26 Jan 2011
Wednesday, January 26

Liverpool v Fulham
Kick-off: 20.00 GMT
TV: Sky Sports

Mark Hughes reignites old battles with Kenny Dalglish at Anfield tonight and urged respect for the game’s elder citizens.

Dalglish returned to Liverpool earlier this month 10 years after leaving Anfield. Now 59, he earned his first win at Blackpool on Saturday and has steadied a rocky red ship.

Fulham, though, have taken 10 points from a possible 15 and Hughes, 47, is confident he can build on recent successes.

But the former Manchester United striker believes respect should be paid to the older managers.

“If you look at the top end of the table,” said Hughes, “a lot of the older guys are doing great jobs because maybe over a period of time you get the opportunity to get the bigger jobs.”

Indeed, of the top five clubs in the Premier League three are currently led by men in their 60s with Sir Alex Ferguson (69), Arsene Wenger (61) and Harry Redknapp (63) all using the benefit of their experience.

“Us younger guys have got to keep going and make sure you’re around and in the discussion when they come up,” added Hughes, who believes the time was right for Dalglish to return.

“Kenny’s gone in and he’s a huge figure there. Everybody seems to be back on board, which wasn’t the case before.

“I know he’s been out of the game in terms of having a No 1 job and all that entails but obviously he was still in and round it. He watched a hell of a lot of football. His knowledge base is without question. He’ll do fine there.”

Fulham should be concerned as they have never won at Anfield. In 23 league visits they have lost 16, drawn seven, conceded 55 goals and scored just 15.

And in nine Premier League visits Fulham have scored in only two, drawing four and losing five while conceding 16 goals.

“Maybe everyone’s on a high there now and so it’s not the best to go there,” admitted Hughes. “But so are we, and we’re playing well away from home.

“We’re picking up points and we don’t concede many. We can go there and play well because we have the ability to cause them problems.”

Hughes will almost certainly give a full league debut to new signing Steve Sidwell, in place of the injured Dickson Etuhu, while Rafik Halliche could come in for Aaron Hughes.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 07:08:09 AM »

Liverpool vs Fulham Match Preview

Liverpool will be looking to follow up on the first win of the Kenny Dalglish regime when they play host to Fulham on Wednesday night. The Reds will climb up to 7th with victory, while Fulham are looking to increase the four point gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

Jamie Carragher is sidelined with a shoulder injury for Liverpool, and the Reds will also be without Dutch winger Ryan Babel who has left the club to join Hoffenheim.

Liverpool will be boosted by the return of captain Steven Gerrard, who will be back from a three game suspension.

Kenny Dalglish spoke glowingly to BBC Sport about what he believes the return of Gerrard will mean to Liverpool. Dalglish said Gerrard’s return would be “a fantastic lift for everybody.” The manager also described Gerrard as “a special person, not just a special footballer.”

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will not play as he is away representing Australia in the Asian Cup. Dickson Etuhu and Aaron Hughes are doubtful with injury and will be assessed ahead of kickoff for the Cottagers.

Philippe Senderos and Bobby Zamora are long-term absentee’s for Fulham, while striker David Elm left the club this week to join Elfsborg.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 07:09:28 AM »

Premier League Betting: Liverpool v Fulham

Dan Fitch / 25 January 2011 /

The visitors have conceded just 11 away goals this season, with only the ultra-defensive Manchester City having let in less goals on their travels.

After a win at Wolves, Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool will be looking at another victory, but Dan 'The Betting Man' Fitch thinks that cautious Fulham will make this tough. Best Bet: Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.87

Venue: Anfield
Kick Off: 20:00

The spectre of Roy Hodgson looks like it could be lifting from both Liverpool and Fulham, as the veteran manager's former clubs meet at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Under Mark Hughes, Fulham have recently pulled away from the relegation zone with a run of good form, while Liverpool have finally recorded another win on their travels after months of trying.

The home side will be boosted by the news that their skipper Steven Gerrard will return to the team after serving a suspension, though Jamie Carragher will remain on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.

For Fulham, Dickson Etuhu and Aaron Hughes picked up hamstring injuries at the weekend and could miss out. New signing Steve Sidwell could make his full debut after coming on as a substitute against Stoke on Saturday.

Match Odds: Liverpool 1.58, the draw 4.2, Fulham 7.4
Although I fancy a home win, these odds look a little skinny. Liverpool may have won their last game comfortably, but beating a team in the relegation zone doesn't necessarily signal that the club have turned a corner.

They failed to beat a struggling Everton team in their last home game and the return of Steven Gerrard could disrupt a side, where Raul Meireles has shone in the captain's absence.

Liverpool's defence still looks shaky, particularly at left back where an out-of-position Glen Johnson could prove a liability. With Fulham now unbeaten for four games, this is a potential banana skin for Liverpool and I'd wait until their price possibly improves In-Play before backing them.

Over/Under 2.5 goals: Under 2.5 goals 1.87, Over 2.5 goals 2.1
Liverpool may have Fernando Torres back amongst the goals, but they will find it difficult to penetrate a Fulham team that keep things very tight on the road.

The visitors have conceded just 11 away goals this season, with only the ultra-defensive Manchester City having let in less goals on their travels. The flip side of this cautious mentality is that Fulham don't pose much of a goal threat, with only Wigan having scored less.

Eight of their 11 away games have resulted in under 2.5 goals, which makes the 1.87 very good value.

Liverpool Clean Sheet
Liverpool's clean sheet against Wolves was their first for six games, but I feel that the 2.12 for them to not concede, is a pretty good bet.

I never thought that I'd be writing this, but Fulham have badly missed the goal threat of Bobby Zamora this season and as we've discussed, play a very cautious game away from home and score very few goals.

If you fancy the Liverpool defence to be breached, then the odds of them conceding are 1.86.

First Goalscorer
Fernando Torres grabbed two goals at the weekend and he will be available at around 4.0 to open the scoring when the first goalscorer market opens on Betfair closer to kick off. Such a price reflects his poor form this season, but if Kenny Dalglish can get Torres back to his energised best, then it could represent great value.

The returning Steven Gerrard will be priced at around 6.5, with Dirk Kuyt available at about 7.0 and the in-form Meireles an interesting option at 13.0.

For Fulham, the former Evertonian Andy Johnson is likely to be priced at around 11.0, with his strike partner Moussa Dembele at 12.0. A better option though would surely be Fulham's top scorer Clint Dempsey, who has scored eight league goals this season and should also trade at about 12.0.

Best Bet: Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.87
Recommended Bets: Back a Liverpool clean sheet @ 2.12, back Fernando Torres to score first @ 4.0

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 07:11:36 AM »

Match Preview: Liverpool v. Fulham, 01.26.11

By: Ed | January 25th, 2011

Liverpool face Fulham in the second of the two rearranged fixtures.

We can probably all agree that this is a slightly better time for Liverpool to be facing…anyone, yes?

You Hodgsonphiles will likely miss the romance inherent when a former manager faces his old club—the admiring gazes exchanged prior to the opening whistle, the friendly pats on the back when they encounter one another, the loving cheers from the former supporters, and the rapture everyone experiences when they’re watching two teams compete to see whose centerbacks can kick the ball furthest.

Shame we had to move on, really.

But we must, and we move on to focus our attentions on Liverpool’s detoxification from hoofing addicts to a team that fancies themselves quite decent at passing and moving. The performance on Saturday was what we’ve been waiting for, and now’s the time for this squad’s progression to take precedence. Or, you know, we can just continue to focus on the lack of activity in the transfer window and get all panicky and work ourselves into a fit that the owners are doing exactly what they said they’d do and ohmigod why hasn’t anything happened yet it’s just like the previous owners why are my testicles orange it’s a disaster.

Well then. Fulham make their 30th league visit tomorrow come hell or high water, and they’ll come in search of their first victory in that many visits. The London side have been in decent form since the start of the new year—spurred on by a late December win away to Stoke (which ended a streak of nearly two months without a win), they’ve since won three in all competitions and lost only once in a narrow 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.

Clint Dempsey was the hero this past weekend, netting twice to give Fulham their second 2-0 win over Stoke on the season. The American has been in good form for the Cottagers, leading the squad in scoring and asserting himself as one of the side’s top playmakers up front in lieu of the long-term injury to Bobby Zamora. Regular goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is away at the Asian Cup with Australia, but backup David Stockdale has been fantastic in between the posts and hasn’t lost in any of his eight starts. The rest of the squad will likely play out as expected, with Danny Murphy anchoring the midfield alongside Simon Davies and Hughes-Hangeland-Baird-Paintsil across the back. Andy Johnson clawed out of his own grave in recent weeks, and he could provide support for Dempsey from the front.

As for Liverpool:

1. Who will start for Liverpool?
2. What’s the most important factor for the Reds?
3. Who’s going to win and what’s going to be the scoreline?

1. Who will start for Liverpool?

Kelly Skrtel Agger Johnson
Meireles Lucas
Kuyt Gerrard Maxi

—Only injury of note at the time of writing is Jamie Carragher’s, but rest assured someone will get hurt in the next 24 hours. Mostly likely suspects include Joe Cole, Fabio Aurelio, Fabio Aurelio, or Joe Cole.

—Steven Gerrard makes his return to the squad after his three match ban, and there’s little doubt that he slides back into the eleven with relative ease. The big question that comes along with that is how Kenny Dalglish navigates the conundrum created by Raul Meireles’ stint as deity against Wolves—does Gerrard push back to central midfield to partner Lucas with Meireles more advanced, or does Meireles return to the position he’d been thriving in prior to thriving…more at the weekend? Might not be as complicated as I’m making it out to be, as Dalglish has shown a preference for a more fluid three man midfield, but it’ll be interesting nonetheless.

—Even with a relatively short resting period, I’d guess we get most of the same eleven that faced Wolves, with Gerrard for Christian Poulsen the only change. For me, one of the more encouraging changes that’s been made since Dalglish has arrived is the workload he’s placed on the players. Obviously fitness will continue to come into play, but he hasn’t treated what he feels to be his best eleven as if they’ve had FRAGILE stamped on their foreheads. There’s times when the best eleven will need a break, but with seven days between tomorrow and the next match, I think there’s more than enough time for recovery.

2. What’s the most important factor for the Reds?

Bottling the performance from the weekend and successfully adding Steven Gerrard to that mix. No telling where Liverpool would be if they’d played like that all season, and that’s obviously what we’re looking for from now until May. Getting exactly that will, of course, be nearly impossible, but with almost all of the first team fully fit and ready for selection, the challenge is going to be performing at a level that earns results regardless of the personnel. No doubt that Gerrard can make the team better, and he’s clearly a vital component moving forward. Finding the balance with him involved might take some work, though, so hopefully tomorrow we see a relatively seamless return.

3. Who’s going to win and what’s going to be the scoreline?

Continuing the positive trend, I see Liverpool winning 2-0. At Anfield, on the heels of their best 90 minutes of the season, and looking forward to better things to come.

Right now I’m not sure where exactly this one’s going to be broadcast in the UK, as the official site doesn’t have any listing. It is on Fox Soccer Channel for those in the US, so if you’re off work or have you should probably be able to do the legal thing. Otherwise there’ll be streams and links up tomorrow morning along with any news leading up to kickoff. Unless it has to do with transfer reports of active inactivity.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, and take solace in knowing that you won’t have to suffer through any run-of-the-mill xenophobia and bland, generic hyperbole for your matchday experience.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (26.01.11)
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 07:13:45 AM »,19528,11681_6701321,00.html

Sidwell ready for new start

Playmaker grateful to have finally moved from Villa

Last updated: 25th January 2011

Sidwell: Happy to be at Fulham

Steve Sidwell hopes to kick-start his career with Fulham ahead of a potential full debut at Liverpool on Wednesday.

Having made a second-half appearance against Stoke on Saturday following his move from Aston Villa, the midfielder could start at Anfield if Dickson Etuhu does not overcome injury.

Sidwell is eager to use his opportunity with Mark Hughes' Fulham to restore his reputation to that of the playmaker who was a star at Reading, before stalling at Chelsea and Villa.

The former England Under 21 international told Fulham's official website: "Since I moved from Chelsea to Villa, it has been a bit stop-start for me, and it's fair to say that things haven't quite gone to plan.

"I've had a few injuries as well which was frustrating, because I've always been quite lucky on that front - fingers crossed.

"I played every game at Reading and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I was then given a fantastic chance at Chelsea and played a fair amount of games there, but now I'm looking to show what I can do again."

Sidwell is also relieved to have finally become a Fulham player after a drawn-out transfer.

The move broke down last summer after Roy Hodgson quit Fulham to take charge at Liverpool, while the arrival of Gerard Houllier at Villa gave Sidwell a chance to resurrect his career in the Midlands.

A last-minute snag then saw a switch to West Ham collapse earlier in January and talks with Wolves quickly followed before Hughes finally picked up where his predecessor had left off.

Sidwell said: "I'm really pleased that it was something that the club looked at again and I'm delighted to finally be a Fulham player.

"This is a great place, with top facilities and a good group of players.

"There's a good team spirit and, as a result, I've managed to settle in very quickly."