Swansea City vs. Fulham  0 - 3


Fulham plan Schwarzer solution talks

20 May 2013 04:35

Fulham manager Martin Jol will not guarantee Mark Schwarzer a starting position at the English Premier League club next season.

But Jol has not given up on his plans to retain the goalkeeper's services at Craven Cottage.

Jol's comments are not a great sign for the Socceroos' potential World Cup campaign in Brazil next year, as Schwarzer, at 40 years of age, could find it hard to find a new club, while the next generation of goalkeepers have yet to reach the heights of Australia's current number one.

Speaking after Fulham's 3-0 win over Swansea on the final day of the 2012/13 Premier League season, Jol revealed Schwarzer had rejected a contract offer from the London club because he wanted a guarantee he will be the number one goalkeeper next season.

The long-time Socceroos goalkeeper has played five seasons with Fulham, racking up over 30 league appearances each campaign, but Jol's comments imply the two parties are far from an agreement.

"We offered Mark a new contract but the only thing is he wanted to be guaranteed to be the number one and that is not easy as we need a goalkeeper anyway," Jol said on Sunday.

The situation is complicated due to the form of one of Fulham's other goalkeepers, David Stockdale, who has spent the past season with Championship club Hull City.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper played 26 matches for Hull City as they were promoted to the Premier League and Jol may be tempted to try the younger gloveman ahead of Schwarzer next season.

But after watching Schwarzer put in a brilliant performance during Sunday's victory over Swansea, Jol has not given up hope the veteran Australian will sign a new deal.

"We will sit down with Mark and try to find a solution.

"Hopefully we will find a resolution. We won 3-0 and he was very good.

"It would have been different if he had not been there but you have to compete and fight for your place.

"He wants almost a guarantee to be number one but if we cannot find a solution we need to get a very good goalkeeper because you need to be very good to be better than, or the same, as him."

While Schwarzer was in fine form against Swansea, the Australian has looked slightly shaky this season, conceding more goals for Fulham in the Premier League than in any other campaign since he joined the London club.

Schwarzer picked the ball out of his net 57 times in his 36 Premier League appearances this season, with his previous worst performance coming in the 2009/10 campaign (45 goals conceded in 37 games).


Jol pleased to end ´horrendous´ run

19 May 2013 22:35

Fulham manager Martin Jol was relieved to end his side's "horrendous" run as they signed off their season with a 3-0 win against Swansea.

Fulham travelled to the Liberty Stadium following six defeats in their last seven leagues games and although the hosts offered some impressive football, they failed to take their chances.

Jol's players, on the other hand, were clinical - with Alexander Kacaniklic opening the scoring in the 22nd minute before Dimitar Berbatov and Urby Emanuelson wrapped the win up with goals in the final 15 minutes.

Jol enthused: "It’s about expectations. We have damaged our season by our results over the last six or seven games.

"We were one of the few teams out of the top eight who looked safe by April and then we never managed to win a game, so that was horrendous. But that win puts us back in a good position.

"We were in the top 10 and we threw it away, but on the other hand we played the top teams and some tough away games.

"Even against Spurs, we beat them 1-0 and now Swansea away from home. That won’t happen very often, beating Swansea away from home and scoring three goals."

The star of the show from a Fulham perspective was undoubtedly goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who kept the visitors ahead with a string of excellent saves, but his future at the club remains in doubt as Jol suggested he was not willing to guarantee the Australian first-team football.

"We have offered him a new contract," Jol added. "But he wanted to be the guaranteed number one and that is not easy.

"We need a goalkeeper anyway because we don’t know what will happen to (David) Stockdale, because he does wants to be number one as well. And that’s the problem.

"Can you go in the market and get a useless goalkeeper? You want a good keeper and if you find a good goalkeeper you want them to compete for a place, but we will sit down with him and try to find a solution.

"Hopefully (he will stay), because although 3-0 looks very good, it could have been a lot different had he not been there."


Premier League: Swansea 0 Fulham 3

19 May 2013 19:18

Fulham ended a run of seven league matches without a win thanks to a resounding 3-0 victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Martin Jol’s side had dropped close to the bottom three having lost six games during that period but they ended the campaign with a flourish in Wales on Sunday.

Swansea dominated throughout, playing some excellent football, but failed to take their chances as Alex Kacaniklic, Dimitar Berbatov and Urby Emanuelson grabbed the goals.

Both managers made three changes to their respective teams as Michel Vorm returned in goal for Swansea, and Emmanuel Frimpong was handed just his second league start of the season for the visitors.

The opening 10 minutes saw both sides create chances, with Michu and Pablo Hernandez both missing good opportunities while John-Arne Riise’s low free-kick was tipped wide of the left-hand post by Vorm.

Swansea looked to be in absolute control when Pablo hit a shot just wide from the edge of the area after a wayward pass from Philippe Senderos, but Fulham soon capitalised on their hosts’ profligacy.

Ashley Williams was robbed of possession near the centre circle, allowing Bryan Ruiz to poke the ball to Eyong Enoh. The midfielder played a perfect through-ball down the centre for Kacaniklic, who struck a powerful left-footed shot into the bottom right corner.

The hosts looked dangerous going forward, but in defence they were all over the place, and Fulham cut them open again in the centre just after the half-hour mark only for Kacaniklic’s flicked shot to hit the post.

Swansea showcased some delightful flowing moves as the first half neared its end, but they had no luck in breaking down an impenetrable Fulham defence as the visitors took a 1-0 lead into the break.

The second half began much like the first had ended, with Swansea well on top. However, their early chances fell to the wrong men as Angel Rangel had a shot tipped wide from a narrow angle, while Chico Flores mishit a volley straight at Mark Schwarzer from seven yards out.

The hosts’ best chance came just before the 60th minute, as Rangel flicked Leon Britton’s pass into the areabut Pablo hit his shot straight at Schwarzer.

With 20 minutes left Jonathan de Guzman chipped a pass to the far post from deep, but Routledge could only hit the side of the post from a tight angle as luck continued to evade Michael Laudrup’s team.

Despite all of Swansea’s pressure, Fulham doubled their lead with 12 minutes remaining when Ruiz slipped a well-timed through-ball into the right channel behind the hosts’ defence and Berbatov nonchalantly took it round Vorm before passing into an empty net.

Fulham then added a third in stoppage time as Emanuelson tapped in a rebound after Kacaniklic's shot was saved by Vorm.


Laudrup: Finishing eighth would be like winning the title

17 May 2013 17:28

Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup has claimed that finishing eighth in the Premier League would be like winning the title for his side.

The Welsh club go into their final game of the season against Fulham in ninth place, just two points behind West Brom who face a daunting meeting with Manchester United at the Hawthorns.

And Laudrup believes leapfrogging Steve Clarke's side on the last day would be a momentous achievement for Swansea given their limited budget.

"Things would have to go very bad for us not to finish ninth and we even have the possibility – if Manchester United can do us a favour – to be eighth," he said.

"And for us that's like winning the championship because eighth is probably the maximum we can be when you look at the seven above us.

"So ending up first or second in our league, plus the cup, makes it an amazing season. The only downside is that it's almost impossible to do better.

"How we take things on can be a problem. How can we do better? It's nearly impossible. But you always have to try and find a mark and a mark for this club, with the lowest budget in the Premier League, is try and consolidate in the mid-table.

"I know it sounds a little arrogant for a club with our budget to try and do that. But after two seasons in the Premier we have finished 11th and either eighth or ninth, so after achieving that we have to try and aim for it again."

The Dane also discussed the challenge of emulating this season's achievements next time around, with several clubs expected to splash out after receiving money from the lucrative new television deal.

"It won't be easy because I know clubs below us really want to spend heavily in the summer to try and do better than they have this season," he added. "So it is another huge challenge for Swansea City next season.

"There is more money (for us with the TV deal) but we have a philosophy at the club with salaries and fees, so it is difficult to compete.

"We have to try and do it our way, as we have done quite well this season, bringing in players before the others are aware of them – and we have to do it again.

"If we have to compete with the others (for players) we have no chance. Money is not everything in life, but it is quite important. So to have the lowest budget and be where we are is maybe even a bigger result than winning the cup. That's a tribute to my players.

"Now next season I want to try and consolidate Swansea because it is a big challenge as well as playing in Europe. I would like to have that experience as a club, as a team and I want to be a part of that."


Jol calls for strong finish

17 May 2013 16:28

Martin Jol wants his Fulham side to finish the season strongly with victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

The London club have had a terrible run of form, losing five straight Premier League games including a 3-1 loss at home to Liverpool last Sunday.

But they can still secure a mid-table finish if they can overcome the Capital One Cup winners, and Jol has called on his side to give the fans something to cheer in the final game of the season.

"I would love to have a good result over there," he said.

"Because it would put everything into perspective. We would be on 43 points and, of all the other teams around us, Swansea are the team who could probably finish in the top eight.

"If they beat us they could finish there, so it could be a real boost for us if we won."

Swansea are themselves in a poor run of form, winning just once in nice matches. And Jol believes that it is difficult to separate the two sides.

"The difference between us and Swansea is the game at Craven Cottage," Jol added.

"They have 46 points, we have 40, so if we had won that then we would both be on 43. We were the first team to have more possession than them and we made two mistakes in our defence and they scored.

"That is the Premier League though.

"The first spell we had, we were in the top five but then we had to change the team (because of the transfer window) and we had eight central midfielders.

"After Christmas we were very settled and we had a fantastic spell but then we had to change it again and if you look at all the other teams, even Swansea, they have had a very bad spell over the last eight or nine games.

"It's hot and cold and that has been our season."


Premier League Preview: Swansea v Fulham

17 May 2013 13:16

Fulham's visit to Swansea on Sunday is of little consequence in the Premier League, but Martin Jol's men will want to avoid another defeat.

Jol's men can - mathematically - finish in the top 10, albeit requiring multiple results to fall their way.

And the one result that hasn't gone Fulham's way of late is their own - they haven't won in seven matches, losing six of them.

It seems once the west Londoners hit 40 points - they did so with a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa - they took their foot off the gas, as they fell to Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Reading and Liverpool.

While four of those five are top-seven clubs, it certainly is a mark on what was a promising season earlier on.

Swansea, meanwhile, have fulfilled their promise by sitting in the top half of the Premier League.

Michael Laudrup's men finish their campaign at the Liberty Stadium, a place they haven't won at in four matches.

They only managed one goal in that stretch of losses to Arsenal and Tottenham, and draws to Southampton and Manchester City.

They should break the trend against Fulham, though, as three of those clubs occupy spots in the top five and are all either qualified, or are vying for, UEFA Champions League football.

Swansea also showed fine resilience in winning away at the now-relegated Wigan, before conceding late at champions Manchester United to end hopes of a point.

In team selection news, Steve Sidwell will be available for Fulham after serving a suspension, while Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) are not in contention due to injury.

Missing for Swansea will be their leading goalscorer this season Michu (18 goals) with a hamstring problem, while Michel Vorm (head) is also unavailable.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25