I've never really understood the reverence with which Fulham fans held Brian McBride. He was good in the air, granted, but he never seems to have much else in the locker. He doesn't take people on, he hasn't got blistering pace and he doesn't have what I would describe as 'the fury' necessary to be captain.
However it is becoming clear to me that was he does have is timing. Time and time again it is McBride who is popping up and breaking the deadlock and helping Fulham claw their way to safety in the league. It is an extremely valuable trait that most other players are lacking in the squad. In fairness, I haven't seen much of the big American this season (what has happened to Eddie Johnson by the way?) with his long term injury, but the more I see, the better he looks.
Against Birmingham it also showed that McBride also had another vital attribute - awareness. Brum had a corner, but the ball was cleared. As all the Fulham players pushed out, McBride had the nous to check out the defensive set-up as Brum won the ball back. For some reason there was a Brum player free on the left side of the box, God knows where Stalteri was, and he ran 15 yards to plug the gap. In this new position, McBride was able to easily chest the cross back to Keller, but had he not stepped in then there would have been a one on one situation. In find that the fact that McBride did this even though he is a striker even more impressive.
So I'm now in the Brian McBride Fan Club. Hopefully he can add to his Fulham legend this weekend.