Tomorrow’s Telegraph carries some quotes from our new midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong after the on-loan Arsenal midfielder made his Fulham debut in Saturday’s draw at Norwich.
Arindam Rej points out that Frimpong’s career has stalled at the same time as his old school mate Jack Wilshere looks set to anchor the midfield for club and country for many years to come. Frimpong’s lack of progress has plenty to do with injuries and a knee operation, from which he’s only just recovered, but the Ghanaian midfielder says Arsene Wenger was keen for him to sample some more first-team football at Fulham:
The boss at Arsenal, Mr Wenger, told me to come here and get some games because there is no point sitting on the bench. I was told to show what I can do, come back next season and see what happens. I’ve had injuries, just like Jack. I’m not going to get his head even bigger than it already is and say he is an inspiration! But he is a great footballer.
Frimpong’s new manager, Martin Jol, seemed happy enough with his performance, only withdrawing him when he looked in danger of transgressing for a second time:
It was the first time he had to play with Sidwell so that was not ideal, but we still looked OK. Hopefully in the next two weeks we can do a lot on the training pitch with our new players.
There were two sides to Frimpong’s Fulham bow. The first impressions were overwhelmingly positive: he was eager in the tackle, sharp and purposeful and looked comfortable in possession. A bit of doubt and anxiety seemed to creep in once he picked up a booking for felling Robert Snodgrass, however, and it’s clear he still needs to get used to playing in Jol’s system. Frimpong certainly gave Fulham a bit more of the bite they’ve been missing during Mahamadou Diarra’s prolonged absence and they might need more of his physicality against Stoke City in a fortnight.