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Blackburn Rovers Blog: It was never going to be quiet in Glasgow
THE recriminations for the latest Old Firm match are approaching their second week and have already extended as far as the Scottish Government. El-Hadji Diouf’s arrival in Glasgow was never going to be a quiet one.
Save for possibly bringing Mo Johnston out of retirement and asking him to play a half for each side, there were few more guaranteed ways of spicing up the Old Firm derby than sticking Diouf in a Rangers shirt and sending him out to play at Parkhead.
The on-loan Rovers forward’s history with Celtic is chequered, shall we say, and he has never been one to play the diplomat.
Far from keeping his head down, for a period he adorned it with a Mohawk dyed in the blue of Rangers.
The surprise was not that last week’s Old Firm game proved so controversial, but that it took until Diouf’s third appearance in the fixture for it to happen.
He has been far from the only one attracting criticism for his behaviour, but his mere presence appears to have been a spark.
One might expect Diouf to be a player most would be glad to see the back of, yet despite it all he has quickly gained popularity at Rangers.
When I travelled to Ibrox for their Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon, it was his name that was being cheered loudest.
He played well that night, and scored in Lisbon as Rangers progressed to the last 16.
As a player, he remains talented and surprisingly hard working. Yet Rovers still face a summer quandary, particularly if Rangers seek a permanent deal.
Diouf’s talismanic presence has undoubtedly been missed, but Steve Kean might cast an eye north of the border and feel a certain relief that the current controversy is not his problem.
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