I barely pondered how Fulham could break their away hodoo in my earlier post, preferring to think over it for a little while. As so often before, Rich has the answer: Diomansy Kamara.
The more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Kamara’s got that blinding burst of pace to take him away from defenders and is a most unconventional forward. The stats make it clear that with Diomansy in the team we perform better away from home, although his injuries have meant that the sample’s a little lower than we might have liked. He’s produced some fine moments on the road, too: think of the venue for tonight’s League Cup drama, Eastlands, and you can help but remember that crucial double that lifted us towards our Great Escape.
Those two goals encapsulated Kamara. It looked as if he’d got himself into a muddle before the first one, the bloke next to me thought he’d fluffed it by taking too long to sort his legs out as he went through on Joe Hart. The finish might have not been the cleanest strike in the world but it found a way through the keeper’s legs. The glorious second, a calm drive into the top corner when plenty of people could have lost their heads in such a situation, came after he’d roared away from the City back line at pace.
It’s not just at Eastlands that Joe’s perked us up. This season he’s scored crucial goals away in Europe – the one that salvaged a point in Sofia and our penalty in Rome. Last year, he scored some vital winners on the road as well. There was the third that put the gloss on a tidy performance at Bolton and he settled the game at Newcastle with a cool finish after sterling work from Erik Nevland.
The timing’s handy too. Kamara played part of the practice game against Plymouth down at Motspur Park today and should be available for selection within the next fortnight. With the injuries to our forward line, his return could be very handy indeed.