Football Diary

by Patrick O'Connor


INTERESTING article in the Yorkshire Post about the 'experiment' being carried out by Championship strugglers Doncaster Rovers.

Their chairman John Ryan has recruited agent Willie McKay to bring a host of high-profile names to the club on loans or short-term deals. The idea is that Doncaster do not pay all their wages but that the player gets put in the shop window, having lost out on the opportunity for first team football elsewhere.

The latest addition is Frederic Piquionne who has arrived on a one-month loan from West Ham.

The 33 year old Frenchman includes Nimes, Rennes, St Etienne, Monaco and Lyon among his former clubs.

According to the Yorkshire Post “the terms of his current deal – which minimises the amount of training he does and allows him to stay in London and head north before a game – may not sit well with Rovers fans who yearn for a more stable, long-term strategy.”

The article goes on: “And the fact that he stands in a clique with fellow French speakers El-Hadji Diouf, Herita Ilunga, Mamadou Bagayoko and Pascal Chimbonda at training, away from the English-speaking players in the squad, may hint at a cultural divide in the Keepmoat dressing room.”

Piquionne is quoted as saying: “ I am here to play nine games. I will try to do my best to help the team stay in the Championship.”

I travelled to Doncaster last weekend to see them take on my own side Derby County who strolled to an easy 2-1 which left the Yorkshire club firmly rooted in the relegation zone.

Doncaster's performance completely lacked passion or drive which was not surprising considering the amount of players in the side who are not emotionally or professionally attached the club.

“I wasn't crying – I was just tired.”

That's the reaction of Manchester City fan John Millington who was pictured, apparently in tears, during his side's 1-0 defeat at Swansea.

According to the Metro newspaper, video footage of Millington 'weeping' has become a viral hit with many thinking that Millington “should get a grip.”

But the 26 year old fan defends himself, saying: “ I wasn’t crying, I was just frustrated and very tired… There may have been a tear in my eye but I was just exhausted and frustrated. They slowed it down to make it look much worse than it was.”

He added that he hadn't got enough sleep the night before and this coupled with the fact that Manchester United were winning their game led to the emotional response.


Walk tall Danny! The diminutive Hollywood star Danny DeVito had to walk through the crowds outside Stamford Bridge after police refused permission for a coach carrying Napoli directors into Chelsea's stadium.

He was a guest of Napoli’s film-producer president Aurelio De Laurentiis at the Champions League clash in London.

Maybe he could have done with the presence of his 'twin' Arnold Schwarzenegger to forge a way through the throng!

Strong words from Scottish Premier League side Hearts who have confirmed a delay in paying players' wages.

A statement on the club website accused fringe players of taking their wages and choosing an easy life.

"They elected to stagnate, preferring to take the club's money while offering very little or nothing in return," said the statement.

That should do wonders for team spirit!