Leeds United legend Brendan Ormsby answers your questions.
Hi Brendan. I know you were critical when El-Hadji-Diouf signed for Leeds. Have his performances changed your mind?
Dave C, Beeston
I’ve got to be honest, yes.
He’s still not my favourite person, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve heard and seen a few new things about him since he has been with us – good stories.
Everyone has said the same to me about him; even the backroom staff such as the security guards who have got to know him. They say the same thing; he is a nice bloke who has always got time to talk and sign autographs, which a lot of players won’t do.
Some may say he is doing it because he wants people to like him again. Maybe he is, but even if he is, he is winning a lot of people over.
The spitting thing was something he did in the past, so I suppose you should forgive and forget. It’s just that, in all my time in football, the one thing I hated was spitting.
That really did annoy me; everything else was pretty much part of the game, bad tackles or whatever.
It’s in the back of my mind, but I should not hold that against him.
Maybe, he’s just getting older as a bloke and that is helping. Maybe he has learnt from things.
Football-wise, you can see the quality in him. I gave him the man-of-the-match award the other night against Everton, as the sponsors did.
Eddie Gray was also raving about him afterwards.
Looking at us, we have got a big squad and quite a few have been on the football scene for a number of years at decent clubs. But Diouf has been at the top level and you can see that in his play.
He is a quality player and you cannot knock his on-the-field ability.
You can always see the difference between quality players and average ones. And Diouf does stand out, as he did in midweek.
He is also a player who works hard for the team. You can see when he gets the ball that he doesn’t panic, as some young players do when they get the ball and get rid of it.
Like good players do, he gets the ball and relaxes with it and holds it up and invites players in to tackle.
He will take a dive if he has to, but he can look after the ball.
You do need someone like him in your team and he is someone the opposition will worry about.
He can also play in a few positions and is versatile. As long as he is doing the business on the pitch on the pitch – which he is – the Leeds punters will love him.
Fair play to Neil Warnock for taking a punt on him as well. It must have been interesting when they first met, given what he previously said about him.
He’s obviously had a chat and told Diouf what he wants from him and said the past is the past. And he is certainly getting the best out of him.