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Saturday, 31 March 2012

QPR: Should Cisse Practice What He Preaches?


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Aside from sporting multi-coloured haircuts that have ranged from bright yellow to lime green,  the main thing you may remember when you step foot into the wonderful world of Djibril Cisse is a not-so-amusing character memory; the two horrific broken legs he has suffered.

The first injury occurred against Blackburn back in 2005, and turned knees all across the football world into jelly. His second fracture came with a bitter insult that probably surpassed any pain Cisse may have felt from his injury. After all, June the seventh was a date to forget  – it was just four days before the 2006 World Cup began. Not exactly the perfect tournament ice-breaker.

Six years later and despite seemingly being around forever, Cisse is remarkably just 30 years old. Fresh – or not fresh should I say – from a dismal spell at Italian club Lazio, where he converted just one goal from 18 appearances, Mark Hughes knew what qualities Cisse would bring to the table when the Frenchman put pen to paper. A decent, powerful forward who takes more chances than he misses, albeit one with a few temper problems: Cisse is an asset in football terms. But he’s not an asset when acting as stupidly as he acted last Saturday.

Indeed, QPR were given the run around; partially caused by Cisse’s recklessness which served no purpose other than to stoke up a relegation fire that is seriously burning the London club at the moment. A vicious, lunging two footed tackle on Sunderland’s Frazier Campbell all but confirmed the evaporation of any lingering hopes Rangers had of winning that encounter – and it’s made their relegation-run in a lot trickier. What was the need for a tackle like that? What excuse did Cisse have for making such a challenge? Is there any excuse? No, there isn’t; but at least when Cisse was sent off against Wolves earlier in the season, his reaction could be justified somewhat.

As most footballers do nowadays, Djibril ‘tweeted’; ‘I would like to apologise for my stupid reaction who cost us the game – I shouldn’t react like this.
‘I have to say that the tackle was very dangerous and he could have (sic) broken my leg and after 2 legs break, I felt scared and I reacted like this.
‘But my reaction was stupid and I feel really bad cause (sic) I let my team down and we lost 3 vital points. I promise you all fans and to my team to make it up to you all. Thanks all of you for the support, I will pay you back trust me.’

At least that excuse evoked a feeling of sympathy. At least that excuse was understandable. What is his excuse now? Was Cisse scared that his leg would snap even when no other player was within 10 foot of the Frenchman when he launched that challenge? Does he not consider how scared Frazier Campbell would have been after spending a season and a half on the touchline because of injury? After his first sending off, how petulant and moronic is Cisse to provoke the appearance of another red card from another referee? If Cisse detests dangerous tackles to the point where he would grab Roger Johnson’s face like a raging bull, then perhaps he should practise what he preaches instead of hypocritically driving through the grass like the Karate Kid and nearly cracking Frazier Campbell’s shins open.

There is no greater annoyance than watching your own player capitulate to his own obtusity. Djibril is a member of what I call the ‘Lee Cattermole’ fraternity; players who simply refuse to learn from their mistakes, no matter what punishment is decided upon.

In a relegation threatened team, Cisse’s football is indeed an asset; but his attitude is not. When cool heads are needed and when game plans need to be kept to, he is corrosive to QPR’s chances and he is a liability. He is a liability regardless of how many brilliantly headed goals he scores against the likes of Liverpool. After being dismissed a ludicrous two times in just five appearances, how can Cisse be trusted? He is now banned for the foreseeable future, while his teammates have to do battle with formidable opponents; Manchester United, Arsenal and Swansea.

Why should any club in England bother to keep the signature of man who so often allows the red mist to descend upon him? Why should any club display faith for a footballer who leaves others to pick up the pieces? And even when Cisse does return from suspension, is there any evidence to suggest he won’t just fly off the handle? Could there or should there be any apology profound enough to persuade Hughes to place his trust in the striker again? Being zany and wacky is fine. But not when it’s detrimental to your club's chances of survival. This isn’t a playground food fight. It’s a war that has heavy consequences.

Cisse should practise what he preaches. Cisse should learn his lesson. But with another lengthy suspension and another display of petulance, Mark Hughes will be hoping it doesn’t take being relegated for that lesson to be truly engraved on the Frenchman’s skull once and for all.

Do you agree with Jack? Can Cisse learn from his mistakes and save the Hoops from the drop or should he be axed for his petulence? Whatever your view we'd love to hear from you.

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