Just a few general things that have come to my attention over the last couple of days.
An intriguing Fulham Reserves line-up were comfortable winners at home to Portsmouth. Young midfielder Wayne Brown grabbed a brace and Portuguese winger Lino Goncalves scored the 0ther as the Whites secured a surprise win against a strong Pompey side. Given the way we’ve slammed Billy McKinlay and company for the make-up of our reserve side in the past, the team was intriguing. Alexei Smertin played for 67 minutes in the heart of the midfield, Moritz Volz managed an hour in a game that he had previously thought ‘might have come too soon’ and Seol Ki-Hyeon played the full game. Nathan Ashton and Elliot Omozusi, the latter playing at centre-half, both enjoyed run-outs have made impressive first-team appearances of late.
The Torygraph has an interesting piece with ex-Fulham Academy director and former Palace manager (as well as Fulham fan) Alan Smith. Whilst he doesn’t really touch on Fulham in any great detail, it is certainly interesting to read his thoughts on youth development, especially because the last outstanding player we produced through the youth set-up was Sean Davis, who is now setting the world alight at Pompey.
The silly season seems to be starting earlier. We’re not even into December, the transfer window doesn’t open until January and still the likes of tribal/vital/i haven’t got a clue football are churning out rumour after rumour. A bit lazy journalism connects us to Daniel Ljuboja again, after we were in for the Stuttgart striker in the summer. Vital throws up the name of Barnsley goalkeeper Heinz Muller as a potential replacement for the crocked Kasey Keller, but there doesn’t seem to be any great foundation for that one. And last, but by no means least, we’re also keeping tabs on Dario Simic. Apparently, he met Al Fayed in Harrods – so this one’s obviously got the highest ‘sauce’ rating.
The managerial merry-go-round is also in full swing and I can’t really work out whether it’s good news for us or not. I’m not a massive fan of Steve Bruce and would go as far as suggesting that Birmingham got the better end of the deal, after Wigan paid £3m for his services and then the Blues went and enticed Alex McLeish from north of the border. I was mightily surprised that Derby sacked Billy Davies given that, whoever replaces him, there are almost certain to be falling through the relegation trapdoor. Wouldn’t it be rather better to rebuild for next season with a talented young manager at the helm (a la Watford) then risk the upheaval of a new man coming in with no chance of an ultimate reward? It sounds like they’ve opted for installing Paul Jewell.
And, as for my best eleven, here it is:
Baird – Hughes – Stefanovic – Konchesky
Kamara – Bullard – Smertin – Davies
Make of that what you will.