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Rating Bobby’s England chances

Four Four Two have a timely post from bookmaker Paddy Power on Bobby Zamora’s chances of breaking into the England squad for the World Cup.

From what I’ve seen of Fabio Capello, he’s pretty stubborn so Bobby will have to keep his current exceptional form going to have a shout of getting on the plane to South Africa. Having said that, his 19 goals in a Fulham side that doesn’t score too many, surely must count for something. The quality of his last four European strikes (that stunner against Shakhtar, shrugging off Canavarro to set the Whites on the way to humbling Juve, the lovely curler in the first leg against Wolfsburg and that brilliant first-minute finish last night) should also get Capello’s attention.

The odds on both Zamora’s inclusion in the World Cup party – and Fulham to lift the Europa League itself – are actually quite tempting. But, come on guys, Roy wouldn’t us getting ahead of ourselves, now, would he?

Making sense of it all

Alex has a great post up at Sound Off, noting just how different the last seven days was when compared to the Juve hysteria.

Like he says, things might have been so different:

But to look at the results in the above way neglects the subtleties of the recent run of poor results. Fulham could have drawn against City if Okaka had scored when through one on one. Fulham were undone against Tottenham by a decent delivery and a slice of luck. And against Hull, many key first teamers were rested for the upcoming clash with Wolfsburg on thursday night. The myopia of some fans is truly amazing.

He hints at summer signings freshening up the squad, but that – to a certain extent – will depend on how well we do in the run-in and how successfully Roy has managed to persuade MAF of the need for imminent investment.

Fiorentina fans congratulate Fulham

It probably has more to do with the Juventus-Fiorentina rivalry but it’s still nice to see a massive ‘Complimenti a Fulham’ banner at their home game with Genoa this afternoon.

Keeping our feet on the ground

Dickson Etuhu paints Roy Hodgson as a bit of a killjoy here, but the Fulham midfielder knows it’s all for a good cause.

The second thing that came out of his mouth after ‘well done’ in the dressing room was ‘Manchester City on Sunday’. Do you think our manager would let us ease off against City? No way.

Who comes to Fulham and gets an easy ride? I’m looking forward to the game as I’ve still got a lot of friends at the club and my brother is still there, though he’s injured at the moment.

Would I swap a night like the one we had against Juventus for City’s cash? Well I’ve had a great career and it keeps getting better and better. I’m not thinking about the past, I’m looking to the future.

The same article catches Paul Konchesky in bullish mood.

What we’ve proved is that we can beat anyone. Tottenham will be worried about us going there now.

By beating Juventus 4-1, everyone will look at that and think it will be tough playing against us. We go into this game knowing we are just one win from Wembley. The manager has said that every pitch is the same, it’s just a different stadium, so why can’t we go and win at White Hart Lane?

The Fulham left-back admits he’s considered his chances of a surprise World Cup call-up, though surely the on-loan Nicky Shorey must be a contender as well.

The thought of getting into the England squad has crossed my mind. The team is doing really well, and if anything comes of that it’s a bonus – hopefully there will be a knock on the door for one or two of the English players here.

Hodgson shifts focus

Roy Hodgson says Fulham’s amazing comeback against Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday has led to a reordering of his priorities for the remainder of the season.

Hodgson began the season with the objective of retaining Fulham’s Premier League status and used the European games to rotate his squad, giving some of his new additions and fringe players an opportunity to shine. Now that Fulham’s progress in the Europa League and FA Cup has taken them into the last eight of both competitions, he has admitted that he’ll be shifting his focus to prolonging those Cup runs.

I don’t think we’ll go down this year. Maybe we’re a few points short but I’m pretty confident that we will do it, so there’s no doubt that the two cup competitions will now take priority, particularly the one on Wednesday, but that might be a competition that come Thursday we won’t have to worry about because that game at Tottenham is by no means a given.

But he insists there will be no danger of any of his players not being fully focused on Manchester City tomorrow afternoon.

I think in the Premier League, with the quality of the opposition, the interest in the game, the full stadiums of people, the cheering, the intensity and the speed of the game, I think it will be very difficult for a serious professional footballer not to be up for games.

I haven’t thought that much about who they have lost and who they have beat but it’s comforting to think that they have lost against some of the so-called ‘lesser teams’. They do have a lot of good players though and they have obviously spent a lot of money on a team that is capable of winning the Premier League just as Chelsea did a few years before them, and I’m certain that they will be very disappointed if they don’t get into the top four.