Why I’m a fan of the man most people love to hate

So that’s six games played at Carrow Road this season and the record is won two, drawn two, lost two – scoring 10 goals and conceding one less in the process.

Not too bad in all fairness, but I think everyone would agree that with a bit more luck it could have been much better.

It was always going to be a very tough game against Arsenal, and an even tougher task would be to keep their in-form striker Robin van Persie from adding to his 11 goals tally for the season. I think he’s a top player and after his brace on Saturday against the Canaries he became only the fifth player to score 30 or more goals in the same calendar year, the others being Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Thierry Henry – not a bad quartet to join. This shows it’s not just Norwich who have struggled to keep RVP quiet this year.

But we move on to the next game and another challenge, which comes in Neil Warnock’s QPR. They won the Championship at a canter last season and have had a good start to this campaign. After a terrific win at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. they are currently ninth, but only two points separate them from Paul Lambert’s team. They have already won three of their six away games this season, so it’s going to be another stern test for the lads tomorrow. Now I know Neil Warnock is probably one of, if not the, most hated men in football today, and sometimes I can see why. He hasn’t helped himself over the years with some of the things he’s shouted while on the touchline or in one of his post-match interviews, but I can honestly say I like him a lot and I do get on very well with Neil. I have done ever since I played for him in my Huddersfield Town days back in 1993. He was great to play for and always had the knack of getting the best out of players that other managers wouldn’t give the time of day to.

He’s one of the best man managers I’ve ever played for and I’m not one bit surprised he’s gone on to be as successful as he has.

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks about racism in football after the incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez. This hasn’t been helped by the comments of the head of Fifa, Sepp Blatter. My personal opinion, and I don’t think I’m alone, is that he really needs to step down as it was one blunder too many when he said that racism on the pitch should be solved with a handshake.

Last Friday I heard the Brighton manager Gus Poyet talking live on radio about how we in this country are the only nation with problems with racism. I was so angry I nearly punched the radio, but some people are so ignorant and they’ve demonstrated it with some of the comments they’ve made.

Most Read

There’s no place for racism in sport, or in any walk of life for that matter, and we should all stand together on this.

We need to get rid of this once and for all, and the consequences for guilty culprits must be severe in order to send out the message that such behaviour is unacceptable.