Last night, I was a little startled to hear our former midfielder Simon Elliott on Radio Five Live’s World Football Phone-In. The opportunity to put a question to a Fulham player on national radio was too good to resist. Fortunately, the programme’s producer – Dawn (also a Fulham fan, who settled my nerves by chatting about tomorrow’s game) – got them to call me back and I was soon chatting to Simon, who seemed like a lovely bloke.
We talked about his time at Craven Cottage and in London and how it compares with his experiences in Major League Soccer, where he’s now playing for the San Jose Eathquakes. Then, the presenter Dotun Adebayo, whose enthusiasm is infectious, asked me what I remembered of Simon’s short career at Fulham and we discussed whether it should be Roy Hodgson for the Manager of the Year. Both Simon and I answered without much hesitation that Fulham should make it into Europe on Sunday.
You can hear the exchange via the BBC iplayer here. Simon’s segment starts about an hour in and my entrance is at around 1hr 20min. It’s about four minutes in total. If you can’t get access to the iplayer, I can put a transcript up a little later.
Elliott didn’t really get a great run in the Fulham team whilst he was in London. He was unlucky with injuries and a long-standing calf complaint ruled him out of an entire season. I felt his crisp passing and good delivery from set-pieces gave us something we were lacking. One particular ball sticks in my mind and that was the one that landed perfectly on Carlos Bocanegra’s head to secure a memorable last minute victory over Tottenham at the Cottage in 2006.
Elliott made 13 appearances for the Whites and is now getting back into the swing of things Stateside, where he had previously played for the Colombus Crew. He’s still a regular for New Zealand and has passed 50 caps for his country having represented them at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.