We were delighted to see Jimmy Bullard fire his new club, Fulham, to their first league win of the season at the weekend with a cracking free-kick. We’re putting his great start at Craven Cottage down to his people skills, demonstrated on a pre-season trip and revealed by the club’s website in the summer:
Norm [goalkeeper Mark Crossley] was complaining that his room was too hot because it's over the kitchen. We were at breakfast and I had some of that Actimel in my hand so I threw it over him to cool him down but it ended up straight in his face, he was picking bits of tangerine out of his eye for a while... he took it well though.
Jimmy’s love of a good practical joke is such that apparently the Fulham players have threatened to snap his beloved golf clubs in half if he doesn't curb things a bit which would be a particular shame since he plays off a one handicap and a report in last Sunday’s Mirror quoted Colin Montgomerie’s coach as suggesting that the former Wigan man could make a living on the links. Hmmm. Maybe you can’t be too careful, then, lads. Incidentally, Londonist will be taking in Fulham’s opening reserve league fixture against Chelsea at Aldershot tonight looking for the stars of the future and there’ll be a report up on the site soon after.
We’re also very pleased at the turnaround in Barnet’s season. Ten days ago they thumped Hereford 3-0 for their first points of the campaign, then romped down the M4 to turf Cardiff City, two divisions higher, out of the League Cup on their own patch before swapping South Wales for North and earning a creditable draw at Wrexham. A mid-September visit to Leeds United was the reward for their cup heroics while of the capital’s clubs only Leyton Orient, overwhelmed at home by West Brom, and Crystal Palace, embarrassed by League Two Notts County, fell by the wayside.
Paul Hubertz came off Millwall’s bench to fire late winners over Gillingham in that competetion and also Oldham in the league, but it was back to early season jitters on Saturday with a 3-2 reverse at Cheltenham after being 2-1 ahead and matters can't be being helped by young striker Gavin Grant's appearance at the Old Bailey last week accused of conspiracy to murder, a charge he strenuously denies. Brentford lie fifth after a draw at Scunthorpe while Leyton Orient lost 1-0 to a goal from Swansea’s Hackney born striker Leon Knight which he scored in between having a penalty saved by Glyn Garner and being sent off.
Yoghurt / face juxtaposition via szczur's Flickr stream.
In the Championship, third placed Palace got back on track with a double comeback to claim a point against Burnley while local hero Kevin Gallen put QPR in front at home to Ipswich. Unfortunately Simon Walton, on loan from Charlton, equalised from a disputed penalty and the visitors ran out 3-1 winners to leave the Rs just above the relegation spots after five games.
Up top Chelsea and Frank Lampard reverted to winning ways, modelling their black European kit at Blackburn, West Ham lost out to those pesky cup winning Merseysiders again, Tottenham contrived to gift Everton an away win despite having an extra man for an hour, Charlton got their first victory in an elbow-infested game against Bolton and Arsenal made pretty patterns around Manchester City’s penalty box but neglected to score leaving them in an unaccustomed 17th place, though with a game in hand. It’s just as well we count new boys Watford, undone by a poor back pass at home to leaders Manchester United, as one of ours or Arsene’s boys would be bringing up the capital’s rear in the Premiership.