Jewell’s hair-raising remark
EADT correspondent CARL MARSTON describes a press conference that he won’t forget in a while
I HAVE been called some names in my life, but never before have I been called a Jimmy Bullard look-a-like!
And yet that’s just what Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell hinted at, during yesterday’s press conference at Portman Road.
Naturally, Jewell was not referring to our shared footballing prowess – Bullard has two good feet, I have two left feet.
Instead, he was comparing our two hairstyles, both perhaps more akin to the 1970s than the slick current-day cuts.
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I was minding my own business, scribbling down some notes while Jewell waxed lyrical about the merits of Bullard, and the possibility of signing the Hull City loanee full-time this summer.
Then, all of a sudden, the Town boss mentioned my name.
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“He reminds me of another Jimmy Bullard, him there Carl,” remarked Jewell. He didn’t actually point at me, but it was enough to make me almost fall off my chair.
“He’s got that same type of hair-cut. He stands out in a crowd, and his price stands out more than anything,” added Jewell
I’m simply not used to being compared to former Premier League players, especially those who have commanded a fee in excess of �5m and are reported to have weekly wages, at their parent club, of a cool �45k.
Furthermore, after nearly two years under the watchful eye of former Town boss Roy Keane, I was not accustomed to having my name mentioned in any press conference.
Keane never referred to any of us journalists by name, and yet here was his successor comparing my mullet with that of his key midfielder.
I wasn’t complaining, but I think that even happy-go-lucky Jimmy would be startled, and a little aggrieved, to be compared to a local hack with dubious hair.
Hopefully, he never gets wind of it.
Back to the more pressing matter of Bullard’s long-term future, rather than his long-term hairstyle, Jewell went on to confirm that he would indeed like to sign the 32-year-old midfielder if, and it’s a big IF, finances would permit.
“When Jimmy first came here, it was obviously going to be only a short-term loan,” explained Jewell.
“It was to give him a few games to see if he liked it here, though I knew what he could do.
“I think he’s brought a fresh air to the place, the players love him, the fans love him, and sometimes I like him!
“It’s one of these things where if it could be done, we’d certainly like to, but obviously the financial restraints are so high.
“There is a possibility that something can be done, and I know the owner (Marcus Evans) is as ambitious as I am.
“But I don’t really want to get into the realms of the Jimmy Bullard saga for the last seven or eight weeks of the season,” added Jewell.
Bullard, who scored both goals in a superb 2-0 win at Cardiff on Saturday, still has more than two years left on his contract at Hull.
Speaking about Bullard’s personality, Jewell explained: “Jimmy is a very infectious character, and very enthusiastic. He loves playing football, and he loves life.”
He could have been describing me!