Fergie Time: Didier Drogba’s Malaria Proves That Nobody Knows Anything


Welcome to Fergie Time, a roundup/newsletter type deal that delivers news, opinion and links directly to your screen. As the name suggests, there will be some exaggeration, nsfw moments, canceled press conferences (oh, who are we kidding) and late, late, late scoring of points. You’ll like it, trust me.


Screenwriter William Goldman famously wrote that “nobody knows anything” in Hollywood. The same could be said of the Premier League. After Didier Drogba’s all-conquering start to the season, his goalscoring form has dipped over the past month. Then he was left out of Chelsea’s starting line up to face Liverpool last weekend, and we all wondered: Why? Well, turns out Drogba has had malaria. For a month.

Drogba was only diagnosed this past Monday, so no one could have known. But I think it just proves that whenever you read pundits pontificating about players in newspaper articles or blog post, or on television show, radio shows or podcasts, nobody knows anything. Or at least nobody knows everything.


The Manchester derby wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t all that exciting either. And the fact that Manchester City played Nigel de Jong, Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure in the centre of midfield, at home, might have had something to do with the whole thing finishing goalless.


The guys from 3 Up Front debate whether they owe Torres and Hodgson an apology now Liverpool look a bit sharper, ask whether Harry Redknapp would make a decent England manager or not, and question whether the Premier League as a whole is losing a bit of its lustre. Listen to episode 13 of 3 Up Front.


Fergie Time: Didier Drogba's Malaria Proves That Nobody Knows AnythingThe quote of the week is usually just a sentence or two. A paragraph at most. But when Ian Holloway’s mouth starts moving, the rules go out the window. Holloway is potentially facing a a few questions from the FA after making 10 changes to his Blackpool team, which went out and lost – narrowly, just 3-2 – to Aston Villa on Wednesday. Here are the edited highlights of what Holloway said afterwards, about the possibility of the FA coming after him for fielding a weakened team:

“I’d pack in, I can’t work for this madness. I would resign. [The authorities] do not know what they’re talking about. You haven’t got to be a genius to work out what happened to Wolves last year and how wrong that was. [Wolves manager] Mick McCarthy can pick whoever he likes.

“We deserved at least a point and how dare anybody tell me the players I’ve been working with, I can’t treat them with respect and give them a chance. [My reserves] should have played before now. I wasn’t sure they were ready, but tonight they have enhanced their reputation with me.”

“Let some person from the Premier League even try to tell me who I can pick. I am the manager of Blackpool Football Club and I select people to come to the club and play them whenever I want.

“I’m going to come here and try to beat Aston Villa and I’m going to go to West Ham and try to beat them and all. If I pick a different team, I’ve got every right to do what I like.

“Let them try and fine me, it’s an absolute disgrace. I’ll show the Premier League. We were a credit to football, and let the Premier League try to tell me otherwise.”

And, once he’d calmed down a bit:

“First they would have to come up here, because why should I have to travel down there? Maybe I’ll pop in on the way down to West Ham at the weekend, show them the team sheet and make sure they are happy with it and we can go from there. My chairman doesn’t tell me how we should play, so I won’t have someone from the Premier League doing it.”

You tell ’em Ollie.


Unluckiest goalkeeper: I’ve no idea where this took place, or who the goalkeeper is. I just know that it’s funny.

It’s a penalty shoot out, the shot hits the bar and bounces up in the air, and so said keeper runs off to celebrate. Except when he turns around from his first-pumping the ball has bounced down and is in the back of the net. Unlucky son.

Angriest goalkeeper: “It would be flattery to call you fans. You’re just a bunch of dogs,” the 21-year-old goalkeeper Wang Dalei posted on his microblog after Monday’s 3-0 loss. “You bunch of morons are the main reason why Chinese football can’t make progress. You throw in stones after a man has fallen into a well.”

The Joey Barton award for unnecessary violence goes to… Joey Barton of course. Watch this video and tell me why Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen could possibly deserve a punch to the ribs.


Nominate all your football favourites in the Soccerlens Awards. There are ten categories, like Best Football Website, Best Football Journalist and Best Football Blog, so head on over there and get nominating to make sure your favourites are in the running.


Fergie Time: Didier Drogba's Malaria Proves That Nobody Knows Anything Has to be the Milan derby: Inter vs Milan, Sunday night. Also, look in on David Beckham’s quest to win MLS Cup when LA Galaxy play FC Dallas in the Western Conference Final (essentially the MLS Cup semi-final) Sunday night US Pacific Time.


The groups for Copa America 2011 were drawn today. Argentina are hosting, so the only way this tournament could get any better is if El Diego returned to coach the albiceleste on home soil.


Week 13 of the the Soccerlens Fantasy Football Game is coming. To be in with a chance of winning the weekly prize money, just pick your XI and enter.


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