Halliche was at Motspur Park last Friday for his medical and once international clearance arrived the deal was announced Tuesday. For £1.3 million Fulham have the 23-year old Halliche on a three year contract. Although the central defender was unable to cement a place in the Benfica back four, he has made his mark for the national side and played all three of Algeria's World Cup games in South Africa, where of course they held England to a 0-0 draw.
With the enforced six month lay-off facing Senderos after his ruptured achilles tendon, Halliche brings essential cover to our outstanding central defence partnership of Hangeland and Hughes (while Brede took Sunday's headlines, scrutiny of the match tape shows yet again Hughes positional sense, interceptions and distribution to have been immaculate). Fulham incidentally are now possibly the only Premiership club where all four of their centre-backs are current internationals. How about that!
I sense that Mark has one more signing at least up his sleeve. A lot of posters, myself included, still feel more urgency than Murphy at 32 can now inspire needs to come from the midfield. But who's the target here (if at all)?
On the down side, Mark will certainly find Liverpool's overtures to Paul Konchesky unwelcome. Any 'gentlemen's agreement' that might have existed when Roy left for Liverpool (when has that ever held sway in the Prem over the past decade?) was surely swept away by al Fayed's uncalled for damning of Roy after his departure.
Anyway, Liverpool need a left-back urgently. They've offered £3.5 million for a player with one year on his contract, and 29-year-old Paul has expressed a desire to be reunited with his old boss. Write your own headline from that. Fulham's dilemma is that left-back is the hardest position in football to fill and we currently have no obvious candidate to fit Konchesky's boots.
As ever. do let us know what you think. By the way, many thanks re the number of kind comments to date for this blog.
To Patrick may I say, as others have done, I do admire so much of Clint's game. I took a look at his form stats for last season. When we came from behind to beat Hamburg last April at the Cottage (Simon's fabulous finish under pressure and Gera's winner from a corner), Deuce and Zoltan were leading the line for the last third of that game after Bobby's ankle gave out, so he can perform as the front man no doubt. But I do feel for the way he turned his form around last season Gera should currently be getting the nod from the start. Demps will be more useful as an 'impact' player coming from the bench than vice versa. But who'd be a manager? That is a very tough call to make currently with Davies, Duff and Riise all in the mix too.
As for the inability of officials to punish United properly, Patrick it goes right back to our very first game in the Prem - also against United. Leading 1-0 (Saha 4 mins) and giving the Reds a fooball lesson, Mike Riley (known in football as United's 12th man) penalised Finnan for a legitimate challenge 25 yards out, free-kick curled in off the bar by Beckham, United back in the game go on to steal it 3-2.
Monday's Sky Sports had ex-ref Dermot Gallagher in the studio for analysis. He did not mince his words. 'Vidic shirt tug, clear penalty, impossible for the officials to miss. United penalty, totally against the spirit of the game. Duff attempts to hook clear, ball ricohets onto his arm, no intent, entirely accidental - no penalty!'
THANK YOU MR. WALTON