With Queens Park Rangers 6 points adrift of safety and Portugese fullback Jose Bosingwa vilified by new manager Harry Redknapp for reportedly refusing to take his place on the bench for Fulham’s visit to Loftus Road two Saturdays ago, there’s obviously strain going into Sunday’s clash with Liverpool. Anxiety aside, it seemed a tad xenophbic for R’s defender Clint Hill to tell reporters, “the foreigners have been brought up in a different way. Do they get taught that losing is hard to accept?”. A day later, Cameroon-born, jersey-tossing Stephane Mbia seems eager to remind Hill, Redknapp and anyone else paying attention that he’s capable of caring about the club’s fate, regardless of his nationality. From the Observer’s Dominic Fifield :
“People have spent hard-earned money on tickets for games, they’ve been through so much and we’ve given them hardly anything in return,” he says before Sunday’s visit of Liverpool. “You have to give something back. People say some footballers live in their own little world, where it’s all about expensive watches, glitz and glamour, but that life’s all false. Things like the visit to [Hillingdon] hospital the other day, seeing wards full of sick children … that opens your eyes. That’s real life.
Those words were not supposed to boom out at a struggling club where at least one player did not deign to sit on the bench for that derby against Fulham. Indeed, Mbia has since expressed a desire for José Bosingwa to patch up his differences with Harry Redknapp for the good of a group hastily flung together by two sacked managers and whose defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday left them with one win and 10 points from the first half of the season. Yet the contrast in attitudes is still telling. The professional in Mbia would not stoop so low. “My life is easy: I play football,” he says. “I have a chance to go through my life with a smile, joke, enjoy myself and try to make people happy. On the pitch it’s different: that’s my job, the serious stuff. But that’s how this all works.”