Alex Kacaniklic says that Martin Jol has given him – and the rest of the Fulham side such confidence – by offering young players a first-team chance so early in their careers.
The former Liverpool winger was thrown straight into the first team upon completion of a successful loan spell at Watford last night and his low, deflected shot grabbed a memorable win at Anfield – even if the goal was snatched away from the Swedish starlet by the dubious goals panel. Kacaniklic has been in action during every first team pre-season encounter and was rewarded with his first international cap as a substitute against Brazil in Stockholm on Wednesday evening.
After previous managers right the way back to Chris Coleman had placed a premium on experience, Kacaniklic saluted the way that Jol has been quick to make the leading members of the U21 squad feel at home.
I’ve been here for two years now, and the manager believes in me and to have a manager like that is just so positive. He gives young players a chance. He really takes care of them. He wants you to improve and encourages you to do what you’re good at. I’m really happy to have him as a manager.
We’ve got a lot of young players coming through here at Fulham – myself, Kerim [Frei], Pajtim [Kasami] Marcello [Trotta] and Matthew Briggs and he takes his time with all of us. He really works hard with us and has extra sessions and he talks to us and encourages us to play our game. He gives us belief that we can play. It means we’ve got a good mix of older players and younger players coming through and it looks like it’s going to be a good season.
Kacaniklic was delighted to get on the scoresheet against Norwich and, in truth, his smartly taken goal – resulting from a well-worked Motspur Park routine — was the least he deserved for an energetic performance on such a roasting hot afternoon by the Thames.
I found out I was starting yesterday. I was so happy. I couldn’t wait for the game. I just wanted it to be Saturday and get on the pitch and play. It was really good. I’ve been working hard to get in the starting eleven and then to get the first goal, especially at Craven Cottage, it’s really good
I was happy with the move here. It was up to me whether I wanted to leave Liverpool. Fulham really wanted me and I really wanted to come here and it was a really good move, certainly it looks like it.
From Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest daily tabloid, slightly more upmarket than the S*n!
Alex Kacaniklic has been handed his first call-up to the Swedish national squad for next week’s friendly against Brazil as a late replacement for the injured Emir Bajrami.
The Fulham winger has been offered an opportunity to impress Erik Hamren after Bajrami injured his back whilst training with Monaco, who he recently joined on loan from FC Twente. Kacaniklic has been capped at under-19 level and been included in under-21 squads but his promotion to the senior side is deserved recognition after his impressive introduction to the Fulham first team during the second half of last season. The twenty year-old, who enjoyed a successful loan spell with Watford, made four appearances under Martin Jol last season, one of which saw him saw a deflected winner at his old club Liverpool.
Wednesday night’s friendly against Brazil is Sweden’s first fixture since their group stage exit from the summer’s European Championship and their last game at the famous Råsunda Stadium before a new national stadium is opened for November’s friendly with England.
Fulham are one of a number of clubs linked with a move for the IFK Göteborg forward Tobias Hysen.
Hysen, the son of former Liverpool defender Glenn, has been attracting interest after enjoying a fine season for Göteborg so far, scoring eight goals in ten appearances. Having returned to his homeland after a disappointing spell at Sunderland, Hysen has firmly established himself as one of the Allsvenskan’s top performances. He scored 18 goals in 2009 season and is able to play either as a left winger or a centre forward.
Fulham have a track record of signing Scandinavian talent in the past few years with the likes of David Elm, Fredrik Stoor and Bjorn-Helge Riise all making the move to Craven Cottage, although none of these were able to make a serious first-team impression. The Talksport article suggests that Mark Hughes is monitoring Hysen closely, but also adds that Ajax and Anderlecht are also interested.
Now, if you solely trust Sky Sports News and many of the newspapers there is nothing else happening in the world of football at the moment, other than the circus happening at ‘the peoples club’ Liverpool. While International weeks are always a dire time consisting of very little football news and a few boring international games a couple or three things have happened.
A lot of our boys have been away with their national teams since we last played in the league. From my Norwegian spy I’ve been reliably informed that Brede was led by example in their 2-1 victory against Cyprus, leaving them top of their group with three wins from three.
Brede Hangeland heads his last-gasp Fulham equaliser
Norn Iron won a credible point by holding former world champions Italy to a scoreless draw at home. Aaron Hughes and Bairdy, along with former Whites Healy, Davies and Maik Taylor all participating in the game.
Hungary enjoyed a comfortable eight nil win at home against San Marino. Our lad Gera getting on the score sheet with a 94th minute penalty.
Over in Chicago Dempsey helped Team USA to a two all draw against Poland. Eddie Johnson failed to take the field and took up his usual role as a bench warmer.A nice touch before the game was bringing former Fulham captain Brian McBride out to a fantastic welcome to celebrate the striker before he retires at the end of the season.
Having taken charge at Leicester last weekend, Erikson is after making fellow Swede Erik Stoor his first signing at the not quite midlands, not southern club. Only having made a handful of appearances for us and not making the bench to regularly these days a loan move could initially be on the cards.
One Swede out another one in? There’s a few stories floating around suggesting we’ve been anticipating Schwarzer moving on in January and are keeping tabs on Victor Noring. Currently part of the Swedish Under 21 side and thought of highly at his club side Trellenborgs FF and has an impressive record since making his first team debut at the age of 18. I suspect talk of us signing a keep would spur some papers into assuming Schwarzer is as good as gone, but come January the Asian Championships kick off leaving us without our first choice ‘keeper for possibly up to five weeks. Considering this could be an important time of the season with the FA Cup kicking off too providing some back up is probably a wise move regardless of Schwarzer moving on or not.
Possibly the only person from the Liverpool area not talking about goings on at Anfield, and making it sound like the end of the world, has been our captain Danny Murphy. After pointing out, with good cause, that some of the swath of bad challenges that have swamped the top division so far this season could have something to do with the styles of play managers are adopting.
“You get managers who are sending their teams out to stop other teams playing, which is happening more and more – the Stokes, Blackburns, Wolves. They can say it’s effective and they have got to win games but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems. The pace in which some players go into tackles now is ridiculous. There’s no brains involved in the players who are doing that.”
The League Managers Association have not taken kindly though and issued a statement :
“It is inappropriate for individuals to direct criticism at certain managers who are honest, professional and continue to achieve success on the field with their clubs.
“The accomplishments of the managers mentioned should be applauded rather than publicly judged. Professional football managers certainly do not incite their players to go out and cause injury to fellow professionals.”
The big loser in all this is us though. It has been decided by the club and player that Murphy won’t be joining the hilarious Adrian Chiles, the beautiful shirt wearing Southgate and tactic truck-less Townsend on ITV tonight to summarise the England game.