We seem to have a thing about missing defensive midfielders. You remember how we issued a plea for sightings of Alexei Smertin when he disappeared from the first team last year. Well, the good news, we know where Andranik’s been hiding. He’s hardly been in the first team picture since a fleeting appearance in the win over Arsenal back in August, but he’s back in training after recovering from a knee injury and hopes to return in the New Year.

I have started my training and will be ready in the next two weeks. I thank my family, especially my wife, who helped me adjust to this hard situation.

Like Zoltan Gera, he thinks a European spot is not beyond the realms of possibility. It’s nice to see the squad so optimistic after the trials of last term.

To earn a European spot is not so impossible for Fulham. We have the advantage of good coaches and players. Hopefully, Fulham will get more points in the next games to qualify for the continental competitions.

I sincerely doubt that when Roy Hodgson said he was still interested in coaching a national team that he meant to indicate that he was up for succeeding Aage Hareide as Norway coach. It’s natural for a man who’s had such success as a national team coach (nearly reaching Euro 2008 from a tough group with Finland remember) to think he can still work his magic on the international stage, but they’ll be plenty of time to do that once he’s won the European Cup!

Our Development Squad (as the club has rather grandly rechristened the reserves) drew 1-1 with Spurs last night. Ironically, this side had more of a reserve team feel to it. Freddy Stoor, Toni Kallio, Chris Baird and Seol Ki-Hyeon went the full ninety whilst Dickson Etuhu and Zoltan Gera had an hour and Leon Andreasen came off with ten minutes to go. It was a game that had been on my radar but with the sheer immediacy of Christmas and a busy weekend to come I had to give it a swerve. Matthew Briggs, who I remember being quite a prospect, scored the Fulham goal.

And, finally, as we predicted about a week ago, our old friend Lee Clark is about to take his first steps in management at Huddersfield. Shame the sub editor couldn’t spell his name correctly though.