Cottage industry keeps Hodgson's schedule full
Fulham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Monday 08 March 2010
Before kick-off on Saturday, Roy Hodgson was presented with the award for the Barclays Manager of the Month for February. If he manages to win it for March as well then he will have certainly earned his prize.
This drawn FA Cup quarter-final is followed by a fixture list that reads Juventus (away), Manchester United (away), Juventus (home), Manchester City (home) and Tottenham (away). Five games in two weeks that show just how far Fulham have come since Hodgson was appointed in December 2007, and saved the club from relegation to the Championship.
The Cottage was rocking for Fulham's FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham, but it wasn't even the biggest game of the week as far as the home supporters are concerned. Thursday's trip to Turin to face the might of Juventus added a compensatory gloss to the rather disappointing fare on offer on Saturday.
Simon Davies, Fulham's former Tottenham midfielder, is not one to complain about the accumulation of fixtures. "Coming from nearly being relegated two years ago, I think if someone would have offered that run then we'd have been jumping at it," Davies said. "We've had a great run in February and it was a tough month, and it'll be another tough month in March, but there's a lot of experience in the squad and I'm sure the manager will negotiate the month quite wisely."
In much the same way that Fulham's fortunes have turned full circle under Hodgson, so Tottenham are a greatly improved team since Harry Redknapp took over, having risen to fourth in the Premier League. Saturday's game was a contest between the two leading English managers, men who could have every right to believe they have a chance to replace Fabio Capello when the Italian has had enough of managing the national side.
Redknapp thinks that English managers contesting the game's top honours will soon become an even rarer occurrence. "With more foreign owners there will be fewer British managers. Every club will have a foreign owner eventually," Redknapp said.
The Fulham owner Mohamed al-Fayed has proved, contrary to predictions, to be one of the game's more sensible foreign owners. Certainly, his decision to appoint Hodgson has become the defining moment of his tenure. Despite missing key players such as Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy to injury, Fulham enjoyed the better of the chances, forcing Heurelho Gomes into a fine reaction save to deny Zoltan Gera's header in the game's best moment.
Bobby Zamora led the line well for Fulham, while Luka Modric for Tottenham relished his move to midfield, although his influence faded the longer the match went on. Tottenham will be favourites for the replay, not least because Fulham have a dismal record away from the Cottage.
Niko Kranjcar, the Spurs midfielder, said: "We've already proven we can beat them because we did so in the league 2-0 earlier this season."
Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey; Duff, Etuhu, Greening, Davies (Elm, 73); Gera; Zamora. Substitutes not used: Zuberbühler (gk), Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Kranjcar, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Pavlyuchenko (Defoe, 82), Crouch. Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Gudjohnsen, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.
Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne and Wear).
Booked: Fulham Etuhu.
Man of the match: Palacios.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'