Oh, I do love football sometimes.
Cast you mind back to January 2011 and a relative non-fixture between QPR and Blackburn. Neither side were that interested in winning the wet and windy FA cup tie with priorities more pointed towards Premier League survival and the game was thus decidedly drab and uneventful, but for one incident.
Jamie Mackie, the QPR centre-forward, was caught in a horrific challenge and had his leg broken in two places. The player was eventually stretchered off the field to be taken to hospital. However, Blackburn’s El Hadj Diouf didn’t believe that Mackie was really hurt and let his feelings be known. Whilst the QPR player was writhing on the floor in pain, Diouf was busy hurling a range of abuse at him and aggressively tried lifting him to his feet. Disgusting actions that saw him damned by many, even by some of his teammates, but it was Neil Warnock’s response that was the most notable.
“For many years I have though he was the gutter type – I was going to call him a sewer rat but that might be insulting to sewer rats…I think he is the lowest of the low…I hope he goes abroad because I won’t miss watching him…He’s a nasty little person”
To which El Hadj Diouf responded.
“Who is Warnock? He’s nothing to me. He’s not Alex Ferguson, he’s not Arsene Wenger, he’s not Sam Allardyce or an important manager. I know he doesn’t like me, but it’s the same for me too – I don’t like him.”
The charming pair then became colleagues in 2012 at Leeds United. You just couldn’t have written it.