Bad timing from Bernard

Last updated : 13 April 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Our left back didn’t have one of his better games against Manchester United, but he wasn’t the worst player on the pitch either.

If we had one of those patronising most improved player awards Bernard would certainly be the recipient this season, having developed into a more than competent attacking full back this season, but it was interesting to hear that he doesn’t see himself as a defender.

"This season I have played only once as a midfielder, against Manchester United and it was my only goal as a midfielder. Every other match I played as a full back," he told L’Equipe.

"In the past I used to be a forward, but to make a name for myself I needed to step back.

"Later I will play up front. There is competition in attack so I tell myself being full back is not too bad.

"At my age I need to play to learn. But I am not at all a defender."

Interesting thoughts from a player whose performances at left back this season have been good enough to take him to the fringe of the French national squad.