Thursday, June 19, 2008

Catching Up on Fulham FC News

I have been remiss in keeping up with Fulham news. So here is an update on recent activity:

Danny Murphy has signed a one year contract with the Club. The hero of the relegation battle last year will be around at least until 2009. The 31 year old midfielder played an important role all throughout the campaign last year and of course his header against Portsmouth means that Murphy and the White are still in the top flight.

Fulham have signed Hungarian International and former West Brom midfielder Zoltan Gera to a three year contract. Gera had 21 goals in 136 appearances with West Brom over four years and is the captain of the Hungarian national team. Gera has 53 Caps and 16 goals for his national team.

Fulham have also signed Iranian international midfielder Andranik after a free transfer from Bolton. Andranik has signed a two year deal with the Club. a defensive midfielder with his past clubs, Andranik did not see much playing time with Bolton last year.

Fulham will have a preseason tour in Asia where they will play two matches. One match has yet to be finalized but the other will be against Korean side Ulsan Hyundai on July 26. Early next month, Fulham will travel and play against Southend United and later against Old Firm side Celtic at Craven Cottage. The Whites will then return home to play a final preseason match against Birmingham City on August 2. Given that Fulham's play at the end of teh season relegated Birmingham, the match should be an emotional one in Birmingham.

Fulham will open their season against Hull City on Aug. 16.

As the transfer market heats up, Fulham are still in need of a full time right back. Elliot Omozusi may fill the role and has eight first team appearences in that position last year, but with the relegation battle, Roy Hodgson turned to Paul Stalteri, the Canadian international on loan from Tottenham. The question of Omozusi is whether he is ready and able to play 38+ matches in that position for the First Team.

Fulham also need a fulltime, goal scoring striker to fill Brian McBride's position. My wish list would include David Villa (yeah right) and/or Lukas Podoloski, but it is unlikely that we can afford either player. I would like to see a player like Andrei Arshavin who played well for Zenit St. Petersburg in the UEFA Cup and did well in his only game in group play for Russia. Arshavin is probably in the prime of his career. However, these are sort of wish list players that I am not sure Hodgson has the funds to pursue.

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