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ANTON FERDINAND UPDATE:
THE SUN/Richard Moriarty
Footie ace El Hadji Diouf held over brawl
6 arrests after nightclub ‘glassing’
SOCCER bad boy El Hadji Diouf was yesterday arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after a brawl involving pals of former team-mate Anton Ferdinand.
Diouf — believed to have suffered a face wound — was quizzed by police for several hours before being bailed.
A friend of Ferdinand is in a “serious” condition in hospital with head and neck injuries thought to have been inflicted with a broken glass or bottle. Diouf, 31, left, had arrived with wife Valerie at the Circle Bar in Manchester city centre at 3am.
A source said: “It’s not clear what started the fight but it became very nasty very, very quickly.”
A total of six men were held. QPR defender Ferdinand, 27, was interviewed under caution but not arrested.
Bad blood between the players goes back to their Sunderland playing days. In 2009 The Sun revealed Diouf allegedly threatened to “knife” Ferdinand after a bust-up on the pitch.
Senegal star Diouf — who had played for Liverpool and Bolton — was then sold to Blackburn.
He went to Glasgow Rangers before moving to Championship strugglers Doncaster Rovers. He was not in the side on Saturday when yet another defeat guaranteed relegation.
He has been accused several times of spitting on the pitch at opposing players and even fans.
Last year then-QPR manager Neil Warnock accused him of taunting a player writhing on the ground with a broken leg. The Sun
From a few weeks ago: Anton Ferdinand Interviewed by the Sunderland Fan Site, The Roker Report, talking about Diouf
Exclusive: Anton Ferdinand Talks Bruce, Derbies & Diouf
Miami_tiny by ChrisWeatherspoon on Mar 22, 2012 2:00 PM GMT
"...There were rumours of a bust-up between yourself and El-Hadji Diouf when you were both at the club. We heard a lot of stories via the tabloid media, and he obviously left the club a few days later, but the story has never really been put straight. I was wondering if you would like to elaborate on that for us?
AF: We had a few words.
It was frustration between both of us. Both of us had the will to win games and that wasn't happening at the time. He told me something I didn't like, I said stuff he didn't like, and it just went on from there.
I'm a winner at the end of the day, I want to win every game I play in. If my teammates around me aren't on the same page then I want to know why. That's the way I am.
He wasn't doing something I wanted him to do so I wanted to know why he didn't want to do it.
So are you two on speaking terms now?
AF: Yeah yeah, if I see him, there's no hard feelings. We're professionals at the end of the day - these things happen. It isn't the first time and it won't be the last time that something like that happens in the changing room.
If I see El-Hadji, I'll say "hello," and we keep it moving..."
Guardian/Richard Rae - Mark Hughes hopes returning Djibril Cissé can make difference for QPR
• Hodgson says Albion's league prospects depend on investmen
In a position to address Albion's prospects for next season, Hodgson pointed out that they depended to some extent on what the club were prepared to "invest". And QPR, he said, were a case in point.
"They are a better team compared to when we played them at Loftus Road in December," he said. "There is a shift of quality when you bring in players like Bobby Zamora, Samba Diakité and Nedum Onuoha, and it was harder for us today."
Hodgson did not mention the suspended Djibril Cissé but it was hard not to believe this was a match in which the French striker's presence would have made a considerable difference to Mark Hughes's side. Rangers had plenty of possession but, with the often infuriatingly lackadaisical Zamora as their sole target man for much of the game, lacked a consistent threat in the Baggies' penalty area.
On the rare occasions Zamora did get a shot away and on target, the Baggies' goalkeeper Ben Foster saved competently, while none of Rangers' midfielders came close to matching the power and accuracy with which Graham Dorrans beat Paddy Kenny from 25 yards halfway through the opening period.
Hughes's irritation with his players' inability to raise their game to the level they have been achieving at home in recent matches was increased as this was a fixture he readily acknowledged had been targeted as one where they could improve on a record of having taken only two points from their previous 10 away games.
Whether Cissé, whose four‑match ban is now complete, would have been able to lift them out of their collective malaise Hughes doubted, but given how Albion faded and sat back in the second period, the game was crying out for an individual to make an impact. In Rangers' four remaining fixtures they play Tottenham Hotspur at home, Chelsea away and Stoke City at home before travelling to Manchester City on the final day of the season.
"You wouldn't have had Wigan down for a win [against Manchester United] in midweek, and I'm sure they wouldn't have had us down for a win against Arsenal, Liverpool and possibly Swansea as well," said Hughes. "But you can drive yourself nuts if you look at it too much, you are better off just focusing on the game that you have coming up and that's what we'll do. It's going to change, fluctuate and swing one way and the other. We've just got to make sure that it swings our way."
Making sure Cissé, who has scored three goals but been sent off twice in the five Premier League games he has played for Rangers, stays on the pitch in those four last matches will help. "If we can bring him back I think we will see a lot from him, he has been frustrated from not playing and has a lot to give to the side," said Onuoha" Guardian
Taiwo determined to make Premier League mark
(AFP) Monday 16 April 2012
Taye Taiwo may be fighting an uphill battle to keep Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League but that has not dampened his desire to join the list of Nigerians to win England's biggest honours.
Taiwo, who celebrates his 27th birthday on Monday, was just starting his career when African legend Nwankwo Kanu was lifting the league and FA Cup double with Arsenal in 2002.
The left back has also witnessed international team-mate Jon Obi-Mikel win a succession of honours with Chelsea and play in a UEFA Champions League final.
Even striker Ayegbeni Yakubu can point to a League Cup winners' medal from his days at Middlesbrough and Taiwo is confident he can add to the impressive list of silverware won by Super Eagles stars.
Former AC Milan and Marseille left back Taiwo said: "It is easier for Nigerian players because you don't need to learn the language unlike when you go to Italy or Spain. All The big players we have like Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu, Yakubu, Peter Odemwingie and Jon Obi-Mikel have done well in England.
"When I left Marseille to go to Milan we won the Super Cup. It is a joy if you win because when you go out in the city people shout your name. I am really happy for people like Kanu and Mikel, who won the FA Cup because when you win titles in your career that is what people will write about in the future."
Taiwo's future, like that of Rangers', remains unclear. His loan spell from Milan expires at the end of the season and if the London club do not win their fight against relegation the Lagos-born left back will be looking for his fourth club in little over a year.
Taiwo has already seen enough to suggest his all-action style can help him carve a long-term future in the Premier League. "In England maybe you have to wait for six months to adapt to the Premier League," he says.
"The Premier League is like basketball. You keep moving forward and back and that is why it is the top league in the world. I am very happy to be here with the team and players. They have really welcomed me.
"I am here to work very hard, to make us get good things. It will be lovely if we can stay up. All Africans watch the Premier League and in Nigeria you see fans of Arsenal, Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea."
Nigeria's future hopes
Taiwo's struggles with QPR replicate those of his national team. Nigeria followed a disappointing showing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup� in South Africa by failing even to qualify for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
Taiwo is confident recently appointed coach Stephen Keshi can reverse that slump in fortunes. He added: "The problem with the national team is the manager keeps changing all the time. If you want to win something you will not get anywhere like this.
"All the managers are going to bring in their own set of people and new tactics all the time. It was really sad we did not qualify for the African Nations Cup because Nigeria is a very big country.
"The manager we have now is very clever. He is always talking and always aggressive because he does not like to lose. We are looking forward to qualifying for the next African Nations Cup. That is our focus." Football.co.uk