The first three years at Fulham I was playing every game. I played in the biggest league in the world, I was scoring goals and was having fun, and for a few reasons it went another way.
And what were those reasons? An ego that had convinced himself he was destined to play for Manchester United, perhaps? Or the attitude problem that saw his sharpness suddenly disappear? He quickly lost his reputation as a swift and tidy finisher, becoming surly and almost ‘permanently offside’ as the guy who used to sit next to me at the Cottage would say.
Can he get it back? Who knows? It’s possible at the Fire. Away from the stress of home or the amplified English atmosphere with a perfect role model in Brian McBride, Collins might just crack it. But you sense it will never get any better than 2005-06 for the Dutchman.