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Sunday Fulham Stuff (30.01.11)

Started by White Noise, January 30, 2011, 06:37:59 AM

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White Noise

Sparky launches £1.5m Kon job to bring Liverpool full-back Paul back to Craven Cottage

Jan 30 2011

by Dean Jones, The People

PAUL KONCHESKY will be rescued from his Liverpool nightmare by ­returning to Fulham for a cut-price £1.5m in the summer.

Craven Cottage boss Mark Hughes wanted the full-back on loan now, but has struggled to tie up the switch.

Konchesky, 29, has been told to focus on getting through the season at Anfield, where he has failed to win over fans since Roy Hodgson signed him for £4m on a four-year deal in August.

Sparky expects defender Carlos Salcido to return to Mexico in June, then will go back in for Konchesky.

The Fulham boss has told Norway's Bjorn Helge Riise, 27, that he cannot go out on loan.

White Noise

Football is all relative for Fulham's Clint Dempsey

Jan 30 2011

by Dean Jones, The People

CLINT DEMPSEY is drawing on the inspiration of last season's incredible Europa League run as he dreams of landing his first club trophy.

But if the American fails to collect this season's FA Cup, do not expect him to feel sorry for himself – as Dempsey has been driven by an inner determination to make his family proud.

In 1995 his sister, Jennifer, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm and ever since he has been determined to excel to help provide for his relatives.

Last season he was a catalyst behind Fulham's path to the Europa League final with a brilliant goal against Juventus.But an extra-time strike from Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan denied them in Hamburg.

Dempsey, who suffered heartache in MLS Cup finals in 2005 and 2006, and in 2009 with the USA in the Confederations Cup final, said: "Losing to Atletico was tough but there have been things in life much worse than losing a final, like losing somebody."

Bobby Zamora will be given a run-out in a friendly in a fortnight as he prepares to return after the broken leg he suffered in September.

He hopes to be back in the first-team frame by the end of February.

White Noise

Danny Murphy's joy as he signs new Fulham deal

Jan 30 2011

by Dean Jones, The People

FULHAM captain Danny Murphy signed a new one-year deal with the Cottagers last night.

People Sport revealed earlier this month that the midfielder had opened talks with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh.

And the 33-year-old has now penned a contract to keep him at Craven Cottage until 2012, with the option of extending it further.

Murphy, who joined from Spurs in 2007, said: "We've achieved great things during my time at Fulham, not least our highest-ever league finish and reaching the Europa League final last season.

"I believe we've got many more great years ahead of us."

White Noise

Wright-Phillips stuns City by slapping in transfer request

Published 23:00 29/01/11

By Simon Mullock

Shaun Wright-Phillips has stunned Manchester City by slapping in a transfer request.

Just 24 hours after City boss Roberto Mancini indicated that Adam Johnson's ankle injury could hand Wright-Phillips an Eastlands lifeline, the England winger told the Blues that he wants to leave before the transfer window closes tomorrow.

City will wait until Johnson is assessed by a specialist again today after an initial scan proved inconclusive.

If, as expected, the problem will not sideline him for more than three weeks then Mancini will not stand in Wright-Phillips' way.

But the City hierarchy are unhappy with the timing of the 29-year-old's decision to ask for a transfer.

An insider said: "It seems a bit opportunist. Shaun and his advisers were told that he could leave the club on our terms and that a loan deal was unacceptable in his case.

"For him to hand in a transfer request after Adam Johnson was injured hasn't done him any favours. It has reinforced the determination to only allow him to leave if a club meets our valuation."

Johnson was injured in training on Thursday, but his ankle was so inflamed that a diagnosis could not be made.

That seemed to open the door for Wright-Phillips to stay with the Blues.

City told the winger that he could leave in January – provided he could find a club willing to pay their £4million asking price.

Both Fulham and Bolton are interested, but are only prepared to take Wright-Phillips on loan.

As Sunday Mirror Sport revealed last week, City were willing to allow Wright-Phillips to link up again with Mark Hughes at Craven Cottage in a deal that would see the Londoners pay a fee to make the move permanent if they secured their Premier League status.

With Wright-Phillips looking for an increase on his £65,000a-week City earnings, the financial package has so far proved to be beyond Fulham.

Wright-Phillips' form has slumped in the last 12 months after he rejected City's offer of a new contract worth £75,000-a-week and he has lost his place in the England squad.

He now risks alienating the fans who made him a cult hero when he returned from Chelsea in an £8million deal in August 2008.

Read more:

White Noise

Murphy signs new Fulham deal

Published 15:47 29/01/11

By MirrorFootball

Fulham captain Danny Murphy has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until the end of next season.

Murphy joined the Cottagers from Tottenham in 2007 and when his new deal expires he will have been with Fulham for five years.

The former Liverpool midfielder scored the goal that kept Fulham in the Premier League in 2008 and was made club captain the following season, leading the side to the Europa League final last year.

"I'm delighted to have signed a contract extension this morning," he told

"As a club we've achieved great things during my time at Fulham so far, not least our highest-ever league finish and reaching the Europa League final, and it is a great source of pride for me, as club captain, to have played a role in some truly historic moments for Fulham Football Club.

"We've made great progress, on and off the pitch over the past few years, and with the chairman's continued support, I believe we've got many more great years ahead of us.

"On Sunday we've got a massive game against Spurs in the FA Cup and as a team we will give our all tomorrow afternoon to earn a place in the Fifth Round. I'm sure it's going to be a great atmosphere at the Cottage and hopefully we can continue our impressive start to 2011."

Read more:

White Noise

Cup Matters

Sunday 30th January 2011

Clint Dempsey has put last year's painful Europa League Final defeat firmly in the past as he targets further success with Fulham in the FA Cup this season.

Mark Hughes' side must navigate their way past Spurs at the Cottage this afternoon in order to secure a berth in the 5th Round but Dempsey, having experienced tournament success with Fulham and the USA, knows the ingredients required for Cup competition success.

"I've won a few Gold Cups and reached two MLS Finals and hopefully there will be more Finals for me to play in," said Dempsey ahead of today's game. "I would definitely like to win the FA Cup. I've won two finals but I would like to win a cup with the Club.

"If you work hard and everyone works off the same page you can do something special. That's what we did in the Europa League."

Whilst the Europa League adventure ended in heartbreak for Fulham, Dempsey was able to move on quickly thanks to an outlook and perspective on life that is truly refreshing to hear.

"It was kind of destiny for us to reach the Europa League Final and it was something I shall never forget. It was tough to lose [the Europa Final] but it doesn't weigh on my mind too often now because it's in the past and you have to look towards the future.

"I've experienced worse things in life than losing a game. I think the toughest thing in life is losing somebody that you love. At the end of the day football is a game but in your career you want to be successful. It's a sport that I love and it's taken care of my family and I owe a lot to it, but it's not the only thing that brings me happiness in my life."

Dempsey and company are well aware of the threat Spurs will pose at the Cottage this afternoon but after narrowly losing out to their North London rivals in the FA Cup last season, Dempsey is determined to set the record straight this afternoon.

"I'm excited [about today's game] because it's an opportunity to play against a good team and a chance to turn the tide against what happened last year, because Tottenham are the side that beat us in the FA Cup.

"We're looking to do better and win the match. We're excited by the challenge ahead of us and the fact that it's a home game - we need to take advantage of that."

Mark Hughes has singled Dempsey out for individual praise several times this season in what is turning out to be a fine campaign for the US international. With nine goals to his name in all competitions Dempsey is proving to be a jewel in Fulham's crown this year and being on the pitch, making a difference, is what counts for Clint.

"It doesn't bother me where I play – I just want to play," Dempsey explained. "I feel like I have been consistent and I have had a good year but it's about pushing on and doing better and that's my aim – to do the best I can do."

Read more:

White Noise



Betfair: 30 January 2011

Gareth Bale is out of Tottenham's FA Cup fourth round tie at Fulham this afternoon with a back injury.

Bale came off after just ten minutes of Spurs' draw at Newcastle last week with a back spasm. Manager Harry Redknapp is insisting that the problem is not serious and expects the winger to return to action in ten days' time.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Heurelho Gomes and Wilson Palacios missed the game at St James' Park but should return today. Ledley King, and Tom Huddlestone remain sidelined.

Fulham loan signing Gael Kakuta is cup-tied.

New signing Steve Sidwell is available to play his second match for the Cottagers following his arrival from Aston Villa.

Bobby Zamora, Philippe Senderos and Matthew Briggs are injured while Mark Schwarzer is on Asian Cup duty with Australia.

Fulham Squad: Stockdale, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird, Davies, Riise, Murphy, Sidwell, Etuhu, Duff, Dempsey, E Johnson, Kamara, Gera, Dembele, Etheridge, Salcido, Greening, A Johnson, Halliche.

Tottenham Squad: Gomes, Pletikosa, Cudicini, Hutton, Corluka, Dawson, Kaboul, Gallas, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Khumalo, Sandro, Palacios, Jenas, Lennon, Modric, Dos Santos, Van der Vaart, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko, Keane, Defoe, Pienaar.

White Noise

Defeat wrecks Schwarzer's big day

The West Australian

January 30, 2011, 12:42 pm

Alex Tobin hailed Mark Schwarzer as a legend of the game after the goalkeeper's record-breaking Socceroos appearance ended on a sour note in the Asian Cup final.

Schwarzer became Australia's most capped player in A internationals when he stepped out for his 88th cap at Khalifa Stadium in Doha to surpass the mark held by former Australia captain and defender Tobin.

An injury time goal to Japanese substitute Tadanari Lee ruined Schwarzer's chances of a fairytale night to mark the occasion but Tobin said it took nothing away from the feat.

"I managed to catch up with Mark after the game and he was obviously very disappointed but it's a magnificent achievement," Tobin said.

"He's had a stellar career with the Socceroos, he's a credit to the game, a credit to the country.

"I'm sure he's going to play a lot more games but he's not as young as he used to be so to be playing so well as he did at this tournament as well in club football makes him a very worthy recipient."

Schwarzer has had many ups and down in his career and is no stranger to defeat in tournament finals.

In May last year he reached the final of the Europa League with Fulham before losing 2-1 in extra time to Atletico Madrid.

"Unfortunately, I've lost a couple and I know exactly what it's like," he said.

"It's majorly disappointing without a doubt.

"I would have much preferred to have won the tournament and broken the record later on, but it wasn't to be."

Tobin was in the team when Schwarzer made his debut for Australia off the bench against Canada in a World Cup qualifier in Edmonton in 1993.

It was the return leg of that tie where Schwarzer really made a name for himself in a penalty shootout victory and Tobin admitted he was excited by the prospect of a repeat performance as Australia and Japan approached the end of extra-time.

"That would have been a picture perfect way to do it, to come up trumps in a penalty shootout as he's done a few times," Tobin said.

White Noise

Redknapp, Tottenham head into FA Cup fourth round

by Ian Winrow

3 hours, 51 minutes ago

It's a measure of the progress Tottenham have made over the last two years that they head into their FA Cup fourth round meeting with Fulham on Sunday with priorities lying elsewhere.

The competition has frequently marked one of the highpoints of Spurs' ambitions in years gone by when they fluctuated around the middle of the Premier League.

But with their Champions League campaign due to resume with a last-16 meeting against AC Milan next month, and the battle for a top league finish entering its final stages, the importance of the cup has been diminished this season.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp insists he is treating all three trophies with equal respect, but he knows the greater prestige and financial rewards lie elsewhere.

"People forget where Spurs were two years ago," he said. "We're involved in three competitions and we want to give it our best shot to go as well as we can in all of them."

By contrast, Fulham's focus is on the FA Cup following an improved run that has brought four wins in their last seven games and eased the pressure on manager Mark Hughes.

Hughes became the first player to collect four FA Cup winner's medals and, with his club's league position now looking less precarious than it was a month ago, is anxious to secure the victory at Craven Cottage that would ensure a place in the fifth round.

"We want to progress in the FA Cup and it's a competition that's close to my heart," said Hughes.

"I've had great experiences playing in the competition during my career as a player and manager. I want that to continue. We'll try to do the best we can and get as far as we can.

"Tottenham are a very good side and I'm not sure how high the FA Cup is in Harry Redknapp's list of priorities because he's doing very well on a number of fronts, Champions League included.

"It will be interesting to see what team they go with but our intention is to progress. We're in two competitions and given the quality we have in the squad we can manage to compete on two fronts. I don't see it as a burden."

Tottenham have triumphed in the teams' two league meetings this season although their first victory, at Craven Cottage in October, was secured by a controversial Tom Huddlestone goal that was allowed to stand after initially being ruled out for offside.

The return at White Hart Lane at the turn of the year was similarly close and marked one of the first in a series of vastly-improved performances by Hughes's side.

Their chances of finally overcoming Redknapp's team will be enhanced by the absence of Spurs winger Gareth Bale who has been ruled out with a back problem although the Tottenham manager insists there is no long term concern.

"He won't need an operation. He should be fit in 10 days," Redknapp said.

"He'll make the Milan game in the San Siro, all being well."

Niko Kranjcar is expected to deputise for the Wales international after being linked with a move to Fulham in the build-up to this game.

Hughes, though, has denied having any interest in the player.

"We're not interested in Niko," the manager said. "We've got a lot of midfield players and he's not a priority for us."

That will come as good news to Redknapp who is keen to hold onto the Croatia international despite the player's growing frustration at his lack of starting opportunities.

"With Gareth Bale out, Niko is an important player," said Redknapp.

"A German club who have come in for him and offered good money but I am not keen to lose him because he is a fantastic player."

White Noise

Up for the Cup

Posted by Phil Mison 14 hours, 16 minutes ago

Our name on it?

Expectations are high ahead of the 4th round Cup clash with Spurs this Sunday, This will be our 8th attempt to down Tottenham in the FA Cup, we've won none of the previous seven.
There's a sobering statistic for starters. Added to the superstition that says Spurs always win the Cup when the year ends in a 1, that they've already nicked 6 points off us this season, and that they ended our dreams of Wembley last seaon in a 5th round replay - how many more reasons do you need to suggest fate is against us?

As a club Fulham do seem to have an Achilles heel in coming up short on the big occasion - defeats in the only two big finals in our history to date, '75 and last May. 2nd best at Villa Park v Chelsea in our one semi final appearance of the last decade, and going back through Cup history we failed four times at the semi-final stage before at last making it to a Wembley Final - in epic fashion - back in 1975.

For followers unaware of this footballing curiosity, Fulham's record of games needed to progress in 1975 can never be topped. In the days before penalty shoot outs Alec Stock's team required 11 games to make that Wembley date with West Ham. I was reminiscing about that campaign earlier this month after a dinner in the Riverside with Les Barrett, John Mitchell, John Lacy, Barry Lloyd and John Fraser from that team.

This nearly but not quite theme has also cast its shadow this season. We've come as close as anyone to beating United, and would have done so had the officials done their job and penalised the assault on Dembele by Vidic. Narrow defeats at Chelsea and Arsenal, Spurs both home and away, then more heartbreak just this week at Anfield, where Torres was made to look ordinary and Liverpool rode their luck.

But, they do say the good teams create their own luck in football, and there's a case for suggesting for some reason Fulham do seem to hit a pyschological barrier when it matters. The exception to this perhaps our European adventures last spring. If Hughes can invoke the spirit of the Europa nights for Spurs, we have every chance of putting out one of the big teams. It goes without saying, Fulham fans would relish getting the better of their London rivals.

'Arry intends to play a strong side. But we know that won't include Bale, and what a bonus that is. With two meetings against AC Milan and a derby clash with Arsenal coming up next month, I suspect the Spurs camp won't lose too much sleep should they exit the FA Cup here.
Their priorities will be Europe and pushing for league points, while for Mark the FA Cup is all Fulham can now win. On current form there's little between the sides. Let's hope it's Fulham who get the rub of the green and that we for once do ourselves justice on the day.

Rounding out the month, it appears FFC activity in the transfer market is done. Despite the pressing need for more strike power, and the declared intent to acquire it, I see no names on the horizon. That's not to say enquiries haven't been made. At some point down the line we may learn more. On paper we seem to have enough about us squad wise, though its marginal, while injuries and suspensions can derail the best laid plans at any time.

We must salute Mark Schwarzer's record 88th cap for Australia at the Asian Cup. He returns without a winner's medal, but no blame attached for Japan's winner. Well done to Danny for getting another year on his contract. With younger legs around him Murphy still has something to offer a Fulham side firing on all cylinders, though he may not find himself an automatic starter from next season.

The last word this week goes to our friends on the Kop. We know you don't take kindly to being tagged a rather ordinary mid-table side in decline, but even Fernando's heard the drums now and can't wait to become Drogba's successor at Chelsea - where he might stand a realistic chance of winning medals...

COYW - Let's rock da house Sunday and outsing the Spuds!


White Noise

Huddersfield's Lee Clark puts Arsène Wenger's philosophy to acid test

Arsenal are a yardstick for Huddersfield's manager and the FA Cup tie is the biggest examination of the League One club's passing game

Louise Taylor The Guardian,

Saturday 29 January 2011 Article history

Lee Clark, left, became aware during his time as a player at Fulham under Jean Tigana that fitness and diet 'enabled you to sell your wares better'. Photograph: Jed Leicester/Empics

Lee Clark closes the laptop on his impressively tidy desk and concedes he has changed. "In the past I didn't know if I'd be able to get on with new technology," says the Huddersfield Town manager. "But I'm always using it now. I've got all the computer programmes, I've tried to embrace it."

At one time many people would have been astonished to see Clark choreographing both a League One promotion campaign and an FA Cup adventure with Arsenal from the manager's office at the Galpharm Stadium.

The former Newcastle United, Sunderland and Fulham midfielder was, unfairly as it transpires, widely deemed a daft Geordie lad who, whisper it, did not seem the sharpest tool in the box. If such theories gained currency when his stint at Sunderland came to an abrupt end after he was pictured attending the 1999 Newcastle v Manchester United FA Cup final wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with "Sad Mackem Bastards", they have been thoroughly undermined in West Yorkshire.

These days Clark is regarded as a potential high-flyer whose insistence on Huddersfield playing a smooth, thoughtful, passing game has persuaded Arsène Wenger to loan him Arsenal's England youth international striker Benik Afobe.

While Afobe will not feature at the Emirates tomorrow Clark, also missing his injured leading scorer, Jordan Rhodes, can expect a warm greeting from the sometimes sniffy Wenger.

"It's a big boost to me that we've had players loaned here from not just Arsenal but Liverpool and Manchester United too," he says in his soft Tyneside accent. "It's very complimentary that top Premier League managers want their players to come to Hudderfield. It's important for me to win games and get out of this league but I intend to do it playing the way I want, with a good passing ethos."

Kevin Kilbane, the much travelled Ireland international, recently arrived on loan from Hull and believes few managers do more assiduous homework. "Lee's attention to detail and analysis are unbelievable," Kilbane says. "He's also a very good coach; I can certainly see him going higher up the management ladder."

For the moment all Clark can think about is the most glamorous game of his two years at Huddersfield. "Trying to get out of this league and into the Championship is the biggest test," he says. "But playing at Arsenal is my toughest and most exciting challenge. The style Arsenal play is what I aspire to. My dream as a manager is to get to that level, to have a team like that. As a club and a manager Arsenal and Arsène Wenger are a yardstick."

A chat Clark enjoyed with Wenger at a coaching seminar remains a treasured memory. "I remember our conversation word for word and I keep going back to it," he says. "Those type of things are worth their weight in gold to young managers like me."

At 38, he remains relatively inexperienced but benefits from having served under an eclectic assortment of managerial mentors including Ossie Ardíles, Kevin Keegan, Peter Reid, Jean Tigana and Graeme Souness. "I've been lucky in that I've enjoyed working for all of them so I don't hesitate to pick up the phone and ask for their advice," he says.

An epiphany came when he played for Wenger's compatriot Tigana at Fulham and suddenly appreciated that an apparent fixation with players' fitness and diet "enabled you to sell your wares better". By then realisation had also dawned that there really was life outside Geordieland. "Leaving the north-east was tough at first," Clark says. "But within a month I knew I'd made the right decision. Once I'd settled in to life down south I loved it. The lifestyle my family and I had living in Surrey was great; we had a magnificent time."

Nonetheless, Newcastle still exerted a powerful pull and, not long after returning to St James' Park in a junior coaching capacity that involved helping develop Andy Carroll's academy skills, Clark was confronted with another big choice.

This time Glenn Roeder called, offering the post of assistant manager at Norwich. "I didn't want to leave Newcastle, it was where I wanted to be," he says. "But I knew if I was going to make my mark in management Norwich was an offer I couldn't turn down."

The decision to listen to his head rather than his heart was vindicated a year later when Huddersfield made him manager after hearing through the grapevine that Roeder had hired one of the brightest young talents in England's coaching pool. His seemingly natural, attention-grabbing poise and authority in a tracksuit were not acquired overnight, however.

"I got my first coaching badge at 23," says Clark who, early in his playing career, helped coach Walker Central boys club where Newcastle's Shola Ameobi was harbouring hopes of turning professional. "It gives me a lot of pride that I had a little bit of impact on Shola and Andy Carroll. But I always knew I wanted to be a manager. I didn't just want to be a coach, I wanted to be the one making the decisions."

Although he is doing precisely that at the club Bill Shankly managed before taking charge at Liverpool, Huddersfield has lately been regarded more as a poisoned chalice than a stepping stone. After all the 1922 FA Cup winners and three-times League champions have not resided in English football's top two tiers for 10 years now. Clark is their seventh manager in 12 seasons.

Yet with the team third in League One and anxious to atone for last spring's play-off defeat against Millwall, there is cautious optimism that his partnership with the club's wealthy new owner, the greetings card magnate Dean Hoyle, will finally end an era of instability.

It is not merely Clark's habit of artfully knotting a blue and white scarf around his neck on matchdays that has earned him the "Roberto Mancini of League One" sobriquet, but a perception that Huddersfield are, à la Mancini's Manchester City, now capable of financially outmuscling their divisional rivals.

"This is a huge club," says an increasingly suavely groomed and smartly dressed manager who does not care to contemplate "what my Geordie mates might say" about that now hallmark scarf.

"Not so long ago Huddersfield were in administration but we've just bought land to build a training facility which will be of Premier League quality," says Clark.

"The owner wants to see this club competing at the highest level and my ambition is to get us there. Reaching the Premier League is a dream but teams like Wigan and Hull have shown it is an achievable dream.

"Sunday at Arsenal will whet the appetite. We're massive underdogs but I've got some gifted young players ... and the FA Cup is all about shocks."

White Noise

Jeff Taylor: Footballer who went on to forge a career as a popular singer and inspirational teacher

By Stephen Chalke

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Taylor playing for Huddersfield Town, as drawn by his brother Ken

In the early 1970s Radio Three broadcast a most unusual talk.

It began with a Bellini aria, sung by Maria Callas, which faded intocommentary on a Bobby Charlton goal. "Whatever could be the connection?" Neilson Taylor, the well-known baritone, then asked. In an earlierlife he had been Jeff Taylor, the quick-footed centre-forward for Huddersfield Town and Fulham, and for 10 minutes he explored the affinities between the two activities: the muscular control, the self-discipline, the poise and balance. "Certainly for me," he concluded, "football and singing are not so far apart."

His was a rare combination of talents, and his younger brother Ken was no less remarkable. Also a professional footballer for Huddersfield in the old First Division, he played cricket for Yorkshire and England and studied fine art at The Slade. The two of them were like gentlemen amateurs from the Edwardian age, yet they came from the humblest of backgrounds in the Primrose Hill district of Huddersfield. Their father struggled to find work through the 1930s, and they lived in a small terraced house where, till he was 15, Jeff shared a bed with his younger brother.

Jeffrey Neilson Taylor was born in 1930 into a working-class community that valued music. "You were an outsider," he said, "if you didn't sing." Every Sunday evening after chapel the choir would gather around a piano at somebody's house, and as a boy soprano Jeff won a talent contest in Greenock Park with a rendition of the Victorian hymn "The Holy City". He also had a taste of popular entertainment when as a boy he accompanied his grandfather to Blackpool beach for his Punch and Judy show. Jeff's task was to attract a crowd by performing a tap dance on a small mat.

He scored goals aplenty in junior football – 62 in nine matches in the local under-15 league – and, after attending Almondbury Grammar School, he was signed by Huddersfield Town. He scored on his debut against Chelsea in November 1949, and he used his wage of £6 a week to support himself through a geography degree at London University, travelling each Saturday to meet up with his team-mates. In two years he played 71 matches, scoring 29 goals.

One football magazine tipped him for international honours. "Taylor," it wrote, "is only of medium build buthe moves like quicksilver, has good ball control and is very dangerous anywhere near goal with either foot or head." His university professor advised him to cut back on football in his final year but, instead, Jeff gothimself transferred to Fulham, who paid him a £10 signing-on fee. Theclub was known for its showbusiness atmosphere: the chairman Tommy Trinder was a popular comedian,and the board also included Chappie d'Amato, the bandleader. "It wasmore of a Christmas club than a football club," Jeff said. "A fun club. Not at all like Huddersfield. I felt very much at home."

Fulham were relegated to the Second Division, but they had a forward line of rising stars – the future England captain Johnny Haynes, the future England manager Bobby Robson and the ever-loquacious Jimmy Hill, who would become the face of football on television. Taylor stayed with them for three seasons before moving to Brentford, where he became club captain.

All the while he continued his studies. He trained to be a schoolteacher, but an unhappy placement at Chiswick Grammar School convinced him that he was on the wrong path. "They put me to teach a class ofsix sixth-form girls, and it frightened me to death. I didn't know anything about girls."

He remained an active amateur singer. Once, after a match at Liverpool, he hurried off to sing the baritone lead in Merrie England with the Colne Valley Male Voice Choir, and he was prominent in the university's Music Society. So, when teaching no longer appealed, he applied to the Royal Academy of Music, where he began training as an opera singer.

His football ended one Saturday in December 1956 when his cheekbone was fractured in a Cup tie against Crystal Palace. He stayed on the pitch, scoring a late goal, and was sent for plastic surgery to East Grinstead. "I had to go down on my own on the train, and nobody in the club got in touch till Tuesday." All his life he had a numb nerve from the operation, and he decided to call it a day as a footballer, resisting Brentford's offer of a £1-a-week pay rise.

The Brentford chairman Vic Oliver offered him work on his radio variety show Band Box, and this led to years with the Cliff Adams Singers, on Friday Night is Music Night and Sing Something Simple.

By now he was Neilson Taylor, his working life taking in both light music and opera. One time he was in Australia, training a backing group for Tommy Steele; another he was at Glyndebourne, playing Arbace in Mozart's Idomeneo alongside a young Italian tenor on his first visit to England, Luciano Pavararotti. He spent a year in Mantova in Italy, studying with Pavarottis's teacher Ettori Campogalliani, and this led to opera work in Covent Garden and Rotterdam.

The promise of those early years was never fulfilled. When his performance as Montfort in Verdi's Sicilian Vespers was rereleased a few years ago, one reviewer wondered why, with such a fine voice, "his tone so rich and secure", he was not a household name. Perhaps, as with his football, he lacked a little in self-belief, and he was not helped when his Yorkshire stubbornness led to a dispute with an influential impresario.

He found his calling in 1974 when he became Professor of Singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow, staying there for 18 years and coaching several singers, male and female, who went on to greatness, notably Anthony Michaels-Moore, Iain Paterson and Simon Neal. He was an outstanding teacher, a perfectionist who understood the technicalities of singing and the individual requirements of each of his students. Through his will he has established a fund to help young singers at the start of their careers.

Neither of his two marriages lasted, but he enjoyed many friendships in his final years which he spent amid the beautiful countryside of the Holmfirth area, south of Huddersfield. He despaired somewhat of the cynicism of modern football, but he never grew weary of the company of musicians. Several of them continued to visit him for coaching, even in his last months when he was very ill. For years Michaels-Moore, wherever he was singing a leading role, would fly Taylor out to hear the final run-through.

From the terraced house inPrimrose Hill to the roar of the crowd at Fulham's Craven Cottage, fromthe Methodist chapel choir to the opera at Glyndebourne, he movedfar beyond the horizons of his parents' world. "But I'm still a Yorkshireman," he would say proudly. "Whatever I've done, nothing has knocked that out of me." His brother Ken, a working artist, survives him.

Jeffrey Neilson Taylor, footballer, singer and teacher: born Huddersfield 20 September 1930; married twice; died Holmfirth 28 December 2010.

White Noise

Champions League / Juventus Amauri: Fulham and Zaragoza in pole position

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Juventus - A few days at the end of the winter market. Juventus are ready to take a forward and dispose of the Italo-Brazilian Amauri. The site reports that the Juventus player has received an offer from Fulham and the Zaragoza important, confirming what was said this morning on an exclusive Pocetta the player's agent.

In fact, Italy Genoa and Sampdoria have not shown concrete interests for the player. Juventus are tired of the player, this time with Amauri Juventus has not shown the good done to see in Palermo.


Sky report Dempsey would like to play in the European cup. But is happy at Fulham.

Well its news. Isn't it?
The above IS NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT. It is an opinion.

We may yet hear the horse talk.

I can stand my own despair but not others hope

White Noise,19528,11679_6710628,00.html

City to reject SWP request

Winger keen on City exit; Fulham keeping eye on situation

Last updated: 30th January 2011


Sky Sports News understands Manchester City will reject a written transfer request from Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The winger has failed to hold down a regular first-team place at Eastlands under manager Roberto Mancini and is hopeful of making a move away.

Wright-Phillips has made only two starts under the Italian in the current Premier League campaign.

However, it is understood City have yet to receive any acceptable offers for the 29-year-old, who is in his second spell with the club.

Mancini recently admitted he could allow midfielder Michael Johnson to leave on loan following a long-term injury, but the club are not keen on Wright-Phillips to depart, unless it is a permanent deal which meets their valuation.

Fulham have previously expressed their interest in the England international and are understood to be monitoring the situation.

Mark Hughes brought the player back to Eastlands from Chelsea when he was City manager in the summer of 2008 and is known to be keen on signing him for the Cottagers.

White Noise,19528,11661_6710674,00.html

Dempsey has high hopes

Cottagers forward keen to compete at the very top

Last updated: 30th January 2011


Dempsey: Lofty targets

Clint Dempsey admits he has ambitions of playing in the UEFA Champions League at some stage of his career.

The United States international is currently on the books of Fulham, where he has spent the last four years.

During that time he has become an established Premier League performer, with his ability to provide a goal-threat from a deep-lying position making him a useful asset to any side.

He has played a leading role in the Cottagers' recent successes, with a run through to the 2010 Europa League final marking a significant high for both Dempsey and the club.

The 27-year-old forward admits he would relish the opportunity to turn out at such a lofty level on a regular basis, with continuous improvement the target for any player.

Dempsey said: "I have been here for four years and, with Simon Davies, I am one of the longest-serving players.

"That's the way things are now in the game because it is so competitive and it is all about winning. It has been a good time and I've enjoyed my experiences.

"I still have ambitions. I'd like to play in the Champions League. You want to win cups, too.

"Anyone who plays wants those things and all you can do is make the most of where you are at, and that is what I am doing.

"I have won two CONCACAF Gold Cups with my country, now maybe I can win a final with a club."

White Noise

Fulham - Spurs Preview: Life Without Gareth Bale

Life without Gareth Bale? It began after 10 minutes last weekend, will continue today and, if scurrilous rumours are to be believed may even take on a more permanent edge, with Inter understandably keen to see "Year abroad" added to his already astonishing CV in the near future. Mercifully, this is one of the transfer window's less likely rumours, but his absence nevertheless seems likely this afternoon. At one point last weekend we adapted to his absence by reverting to what looked like a 3-5-2, with Lennon wide left, Hutton wide right, and Pienaar, Modders and VDV central midfield, as 'Arry crept ever closer to his goal of one day fielding a team of eleven outright attackers. The all-or-nothing nature of FA Cup fare gives him another chance to throw caution to the wind, and such is his all-action mentality that the day cannot be far off when he decides with 10 minutes remaining to haul off Gomes and replace him with Pav upfront.

Initially however, a more familiar 4-4-1-1 is on the cards. The FA Cup is now our lowest priority, and although Fulham away hardly constitutes an easy afternoon's work 'Arry may be tempted to rest one or two of the key players, particularly with a league game in midweek. This may therefore be an opportunity for supporting cast members such as Kranjcar, Sandro and Pav to go scuttling around to no great effect for an hour or so, before Modders, VDV and Lennon are sent on to rescue the situation.

Once upon a time our heroes could not go five minutes without scoring from some angle or other, but the goals have dried up in recent weeks, and when they do arrive they tend to be from midfield. While a victory by any means would be welcomed, it would be encouraging to see the forwards click and goals flow, particularly against Premiership opposition. And then we up our bid, sign Andy Carroll and everyone lives happily ever after. Huzzah!


Quote from: White Noise on January 30, 2011, 06:37:59 AM

Sparky launches £1.5m Kon job to bring Liverpool full-back Paul back to Craven Cottage

Jan 30 2011

by Dean Jones, The People

PAUL KONCHESKY will be rescued from his Liverpool nightmare by ­returning to Fulham for a cut-price £1.5m in the summer.

Craven Cottage boss Mark Hughes wanted the full-back on loan now, but has struggled to tie up the switch.

Konchesky, 29, has been told to focus on getting through the season at Anfield, where he has failed to win over fans since Roy Hodgson signed him for £4m on a four-year deal in August.

Sparky expects defender Carlos Salcido to return to Mexico in June, then will go back in for Konchesky.

The Fulham boss has told Norway's Bjorn Helge Riise, 27, that he cannot go out on loan.

Toro poo-poo

I would be shocked if this reporter talked to anyone at Fulham or Liverpool.

Oh, and Salcido came to us from The Netherlands. How is it possible for him "to return to Mexico in June?"

It must be nice not to be bothered with telling the truth in order to keep your job.
"As long as there is light, I will sing." -- Juana, la Cubana