An insight into the absurdity that creeps into Mark Maunders’ role from time to time.

“Being a player liaison officer is a new art, a new trade and a new phenomenon, a bit like the way clubs began employing nutritionists and fitness coaches a few years back,” ran the proud declaration of Fulham’s Mr Fixit, Mark Maunders, in 2004. A year later he was telling FourFourTwo about receiving an emergency call from the defender Alain Goma, whose goldfish were swimming in the wrong direction, and the occasion on which his high?level investigation into why Fabrice Fernandes kept waking with a wet head had concluded that the midfielder was sleeping with his window open when it rained. Then there was the time he had to rescue a Latvian player from London Underground’s lost property office.

I’d heard the stories about Goma and Fernandes before but they still raise a chuckle. Surely the Latvian is our former winger/forward Stolcers? Perhaps that explains why he faded after such a promising start on debut at West Brom.