Jimmy Bullard will make a big noise for England, insists Fulham coach Ray Lewington

Some players have admitted they feel intimidated when they join up with an England senior squad for the first time and rub shoulders with the elite.

Fulham's Jimmy Bullard, though, is unlikely to be one of those young men who would prefer to sit in the shadows until they feel more comfortable.

Bullard, formerly of Dartford, Gravesend, West Ham, Peterborough and Wigan and the latest recruit to Fabio Capello's squad, has never been inhibited by shyness, as Capello, his staff, the England squad and most of a certain hotel near Watfordwere probably finding out for themselves today.

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Jimmy Bullard

Unfazed: Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has never been inhibited by shyness.

Capello obviously liked what he saw when Bullard, now back to full fitness after a serious knee injury which threatened his career, dominated the midfield in Fulham's early season clash against Arsenal.

For the coach picked him in the squad in place of the injured Steven Gerrard for England's World Cup qualifiers against Andorra in Barcelona on Saturday and Croatia in Zagreb the following Wednesday.

'We won't be able to shut him up when he comes back to us,' admitted Fulham first-team coach Ray Lewington.

'But then again, there's no change there.'

Those who say there are little or no characters left playing the game at the top level will be delighted at Newham-born Bullard's raised profile.

The effervescent midfield star is almost a throwback to earlier times when sports and science were two different subjects and a foreign player was someone from Scotland.

He looks like a latter day Gilbert O'Sullivan with his hair in a tangled mess and his kit fitting where it touches.

The Fulham crowd love him, though, and now, apparently, does Capello.

'I'll give it until Thursday and Jim will be the leader of the pack in that squad,' said Lewington.

'Nothing fazes him, not even the thought that he might have a chance of playing against Croatia in that hostile atmosphere. He'll love it, absolutely love it.

'The one thing about Jim is that he doesn't do quiet. You can always hear him in the dressingroom at the training ground, shouting, screaming, singing but most of all, laughing.

'It can drive you nuts occasionally but you'll still probably end up laughing at him.

'He's hyperactive, he can't sit still, there's a little of the Paul Gascoigne in him.'

It would be doing Bullard a disservice though, to dismiss him as a just a joker.

'Jim's a marvellous dead-ball kicker, one of the best,' added Lewington.

'I would imagine that, in training this week with England, Jim will be itching to show people what he can do.

'If they're playing a game and there's a free-kick, Jim will want the ball. He'll be fighting off David Beckham, Frank Lampard, David Bentley and the rest.

'His biggest asset, apart from his dead-ball ability, is undoubtedly his enthusiasm. He'll be like a dog with two tails this week.

'I don't quite know what Mr Capello will make of him but, one thing's for sure. Jim won't be bashful.'

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