Remember the whispers about Erik Nevland’s future around a week ago? Well, Nevland showed what he could do in front of goal against Stoke yesterday and Roy Hodgson certainly wants to keep him. Whether he’s able to keep up the same levels of performance over the course of the ninety minutes – he tired noticeably in the scond half – remains to be seen, but with injuries to our two front men he might get his opportunity in the final weeks of the season.
Nevland now has three Premier League goals this season despite not having started a league game. The lack of first team football has prompted reported interest from one of his former clubs, Viking, but Hodgson wants to keep him at Craven Cottage. Indeed the circumstances of his performances under Hodgson at Stavanger sound very similar to the impact he had for us last season.
He was a player I got to know at Viking. He has been a Man United youth player. I think he spent some years there but never broke into the first team.
He had been at Viking for a few years by the time I got back there, in fact he was in the last year of his contract. The club was very close to relegation when I got there we were in the bottom two. He did a fantastic job but we could not hang onto him, but I always remembered the job he did for us in those six months.
So when I came to Fulham and was desperate to get out of the situation we were in, I always remembered Erik and what he had done and we were lucky to sign him from Groningen.
Andrew Johnson’s arrival has pushed him back because they are similar players. Erik is not that tall and height and strength in this league is becoming reasonably important.
If you don’t have your fair share of six-footers in the team you suffer from set-plays. I was pleased with him today, he made the chance and took it himself.
He has been an outstanding professional since he’s been here. Viking are desperate to get him back and I’d like to keep him of course. That is something we’ll have to discuss in the coming weeks.
I would be interested to hear how he sees things because he has done such a good job for us and I certainly would not want to force a decision on him that he was not happy with.
Sounds like the final decision will rest with the player – as ever – but I’d be surprised if he would turn his nose up at European football should we hold onto seventh place.