Fulham FC v Amkar Perm on TV?

As for the previous round, it’s very difficult to know whether the Europa Cup games will be shown on television in the UK. The home leg against FK Vetra was on ITV4 last week, but so far I haven’t seen anything to say whether they will cover the game at Craven Cottage on Thurday 20th.

The away leg in Perm is also not yet listed for a game.

Again, as before, I will update this post if I see anything new. In the meantime, there’s http://www.livesportontv.com/football/ which seems to be regularly updated.

Update August 16, 1009 at 19:15 – Still no sign that either leg will be on television that can is broadcast in the UK. Scottish viewers will get both legs of the Dinamo Zagreb – Hearts tie on BBC2. Channel 5 is showing the second legs of the Everton and Aston Villa games next week. Fulham is getting nothing.

Maybe it was thought that Fulham had already had too much screen time, with the Premiership games against Chelsea and Villa both being on Sky over the next two weekends. But still, for those of us who can’t get to a game, it’s disappointing.

Going far in Europe

My dad and I have decided that we’d like to get to an away game in the Europa Cup. However, we decided it couldn’t be too far. So when we saw the draw for the previous round and that it would be either in Helsinki or Vilnius, we realised that was too far (and too expensive), especially as we wouldn’t know which until less than a week before the game.

Oh well, we’ll just see who we get in the Play Off Round. There’s plenty of Dutch clubs in the draw, as well as Guingamp from the north of France, and Lille which is just perfect for the Eurostar.

But no, Fulham have drawn Amkar Perm. Perm being in the foothills of the Ural mountains, about as far east as you can go and still be in Europe. This involves a 12-15 hour journey by air, with a change in Moscow. As Perm is a few hours ahead of London, in order to get there for kickoff, you’d probably have to leave London on Wednesday lunchtime, and not not bank on getting home until Saturday.

The Home leg comes first, on the 20th, with the away leg on 27th. This means that Fulham have to do well in the first game. The defence has to avoid conceding, and ideally they should get a few goals in to build up a lead.

Fulham 3 – 0 FK Vetra (6-0 agg)

It was never going to be a thriller, or at least I hoped that it wouldn’t become one as the only way would be for Fulham to concede early goals. That the game was played out in the pouring rain a short time before the start of the domestic season didn’t help much.

So, the first half was fairly lacklustre, with a handful of real chances which all went begging. In the second half the pace picked up a bit, and the visitors started to tire noticeably.

Zamora had a poor game, always wanting to get the extra touch in or passing when he could have tried for a shot. Andy Johnson took a long time to get his eye in. Shortly before his first goal, he was just short of a chance in front of an open goal. It fell to Etuhu to get the first goal, a header from a perfectly weighted Konchesky corner after 56 minutes. AJ took the next two, both good “poacher’s” goals from a few yards out from crosses.

The new boys, Stephen Kelly and Bjorn Riise both came on for the last twenty minutes, and they both looked fairly good – Riise with some good passes at times. Eddie Johnson also came on late, and was the source of the cross for the last goal, and he does appear to have improved since I last saw him play. On the other hand, Gera took a knock on the knee when making a pretty pointless foul, and Kelly was booked for pulling down a player – again quite unnecessary and in European competitions the yellow cards can quickly start causing suspensions.

Murphy and Dempsey both had good games as far as I could see. Konchesky joined up with Dempsey to provide a very dangerous threat on the left wing, with them both able to get crosses in off the back line.

Fulham did not, however, look like a strong Premiership side. They didn’t need to be, as they could still comfortably win and Vetra had very few real chances. I can’t see Roy Hodgson letting the team rest on their laurels after that performance though.

Vectra 0 – 3 Fulham

I didn’t even get to listen to the game, as I had to work late and it wasn’t on any radio stations I could get in the Midlands.

I did get the updates from TalkSport as they gave them, and was relieved to hear that the end result was a convincing win for the Whites. Zamora opened the scoring before half-time. Danny Murphy converted a penalty and Seol Kyi-Heong scored the last shortly after coming on as a substitute.

The game at the Cottage next week will probably be fairly lucklustre – as long as the defence don’t mess up, they should be able to hold Vectra, and there’s no point pushing players too hard just before the season starts.

Turns out that when I wondered why Zamora was still starting games, I’d missed that while Hull’s offer of £5M has been accepted, the player has not agreed terms, and may well want to stay. Roy Hodgson does want to keep Zamora, even though he only scored two league goals last season.

Also today, the England Under-19 team got to the final of the European Championships after beating France 3-1 after extra time. Defender  Matthew Briggs of Fulham has started every game and scored in the 7-1 demolition of Slovenia on Monday. He did come on as a sub for Fulham in a game against Middlesborough in 2007, and set a record as the youngest Premiership player. He’s still got another year in which to play for the U19s, and hopefully we have a real talent on our hands for the future.

Fulham FC v Vetra on TV

Further to my post here from yesterday, I have found that the home leg on 6th August will be on ITV4, starting at 7:30pm (kick off is at 7:45pm).

No word yet on the away leg which happens in two days’ time, but I will keep an eye on http://www.livesportontv.com/football/ which seems to be a good source to find almost any sport on UK channels.

Update July 29, 2009 at 19:48 – Still no sign that the game tomorrow is going to be televised live. Radio 5 Live will presumably have updates at the very least, but has scheduled programmes about the Ashes.

I think Setanta would have had the rights, but of course they went bust last month and disappeared from the airwaves (does digital tv have ‘airwaves’?). ESPN, the new channel that will pick up Setanta’s Premiership contract, start on Monday 3 August, but that’s a bit late. I don’t even think it’s being televised in Lithuania, despite it being the furthest that any Lithuanian club has gone in the UEFA cup.

If anything changes in the next 24 hours, I will update this post.

Update August 9, 2009 at 18:45 – The away leg was not televised live, but the home leg definitely is on ITV4. Great if you have cable, satellite or access to a pub. For those of us too far away to get to SW6, it will be a chance to finally savour being back in Europe. It’s been a long 7 years…


Never Mind The Baltics

I didn’t check the result of the Helsinki v Vetra game last week, I’d kind of assumed that Helsinki would win, what with a 1-0 lead and home advantage. As it was, they scored in the first three minutes to go 2-0 up on aggregate, and then conceded two around the half-hour mark (to be behind on the dreaded away-goals rule) before being knocked out properly by a late Vetra goal.

Not that it makes much difference, because as far as Fulham are concerned, either team is going to be tough, with a long trip for the first leg. I noticed a few searches that led to this blog had been on whether the games would be televised or not. There’s nothing to suggest that they will be – the club website has nothing and I can’t see any indication. We might get some highlights if we are lucky.

Going out there seems not to be much of an option – there aren’t many tickets available, flights are going to be expensive at short notice, as hotels may be hard to come by. Turns out that Vetra have their own little gang of hooligans, who might be relishing the idea of meeting up with some English (even though Fulham is not really much of a hooligan team).

We may get to see the new signings, but probably not Bjorn Helge Riise, who is coming over from Norway soon. He’s John Arne Riise’s younger brother, which reminds me of the time when we were interested in buying John Arne, only to be gazumped by the more attractive Liverpool. Hopefully Bjorn Helge is as good as, if not better than, his older brother.

I’m also trying to figure out what’s happening with the Bobby Zamora. He’s being sold to Hull, but he was playing for Fulham at the weekend in the friendly against Peterborough. Why play a guy who’s being sold, unless there are players needing a rest?