Looking to the upside from El Hadji Diouf's blatant disregard for the rules of the game, here's hoping at this early stage of the season all EPL referees are now on watch for this tactic from Rovers notorious bad boy. Just in case, I am writing to the PGMO this week to demand our Premier refs give the video from Saturday's draw at Ewood their due care and attention.
Anthony Taylor, in charge of just his second EPL fixture, was clearly not up to the task. Nor am I optimistic my missive will make it any further than the waste basket. After all, head of the PGMO (Professional Games Match Officials association) is none other than our friend 'Old Mother' Mike Riley.That's rather like making Osama bin Laden head of White House security.
This is not sour grapes at two points dropped from Fulham's trip to Blackburn, we didn't play well enough over the 90 minutes to warrant a win. I used to have a lot of time for Allardyce as he made his way in management up the leagues with Blackpool and Notts County before hitting the mother lode at Bolton. He gave good pressers, told it like it was, a man of the people and champion of the underdog.
Somewhere along the way Sam's got above his station. He was great for Bolton, but bombed at Newcastle, and having come off the heady high of being touted a genuine contender for the England job in 2006, has now turned into misanthropic Mr. Glum o' the North. Listening to him now the word lugubrious was indeed invented for the Blackburn boss.
It started with a dig at his old nemesis Arsene Wenger last week and ended with a quote to guarantee pride of place at the shooting gallery. Papers and forums have been lining up for pot shots ever since, and no wonder. Here's that quote if you missed it.
“I’m not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Inter Milan or Real Madrid,” Allardyce said. “It wouldn’t be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time. Give me Manchester United or Chelsea and I would do the same, it wouldn’t be a problem."
Breathtaking. Failing to batter Fulham into submission is unlikely to have chairmen at Real, Barca and Inter dialling Sam's number. I do not believe Diouf yesterday set out from the off to cynically target our keeper from every dropping ball unless instructed to by the manager. This was clearly a pre-meditated tactic. You see if you slo mo the replays how other players clear a 'hole' for Diouf's run on the keeper, he at no time watching the flight of the ball.
El Hadji Diouf's 'tasteful' gold Cadillac
One of the few things that might question my allegiance to Fulham, would be if we ever signed a player like El Hadji Diouf. He has form, and plenty of it. Spitting at Celtic fans, wife beating, year long drink driving ban (he is of course a Muslim), diving, long international ban for abuse to officials and putting his boot through advertising boards at 94 Africa Cup of Nations etc .etc.
I was at the above game in Tunis commentating. At the final whistle Senegal's over-rated playboy and captain completely lost his head after defeat. During that tournament Senegal were quartered, not in a hotel, but at the HQ of Tunisian elite club Esperance, where I had connections. They have a hotel within the club complex, but this was off limits to press. I bluffed my way past the security, but the 'superstar' after his 2002 World Cup headlines was unapproachable. He strutted around in a red Kangol worn back to front, walkman, track suit and clunky gold jewellery straight out of the Bronx.
Must cut quite a picture moseying down the streets of Blackburn for a kebab. The quicker he leaves the English scene the better. For Allardyce to accomodate such a vile character in his Rovers side is as mystifying as Big Sam's high regard for his own credentials.