El-Hadji Diouf slams former team-mate Steven Gerrard in new book and compares himself to legendary Diego Maradona

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Heated: Diouf and Gerrard didn't see eye-to-eye.

Former Liverpool striker El-Hadji Diouf has reopened his long-running feud with former captain Steven Gerrard after claiming the midfielder “did nothing for his country”.

The ex- Senegal international, whose dire spell at Anfield saw him score just six goals in 80 appearances, has history with Gerrard stretching back to 2007 when the Reds skipper criticised him in his autobiography.

Diouf has since launched regular attacks, with his latest claiming he is “bigger” than his former captain.

“I have no problem with him. He is a strong character and I am a strong character,” the 36-year-old told the BBC.

“‘Stevie G’ was a very good player. People like him in Liverpool, but he never did anything for his country.

“I am Mr El Hadji Diouf, Mr Senegal, but he is Mr Liverpool and Senegal is bigger than Liverpool and he has to know that.”

Diouf’s stint in English football was controversial.

Diouf is not fondly remembered for his time in British football – he had spells at Bolton, Sunderland, Blackburn, Rangers, Doncaster and Leeds – and is best known for spitting at opponents and, on one occasion, a Celtic fan.

Asked about those incidents he said: “Maybe they used to tell me something I didn’t want to hear. I did that, I paid and now it’s finished.”

The feud between Diouf and Gerrard began a decade ago when Gerrard wrote that he “wasn’t Diouf’s number 1 fan”.

“I knew which players were hungry, which players had Liverpool at heart. Diouf was just interested in himself. His attitude was all wrong,” said Gerrard.

Diouf, who starred for Senegal at the 2002 World Cup – helping the relatively unknown nation reach the last eight of the tournament, also said his achievements with his country were on a par with Diego Maradona’s World Cup-winning exploits in 1986.

The two-time African Player of the Year says that tournament was his career highlight and he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Argentine – particularly after helping his team defeat defending champions France en-route to the quarter-finals.

He said: “We put Senegal on the world map. Before the World Cup nobody knew Senegal, but after the World Cup everybody wanted to know where Senegal was.

“What Maradona did for his country is what I did for Senegal. I was one of the biggest men at the 2002 World Cup.”

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Frank de Boer is the new Crystal Palace manager: How have Dutch coaches fared in the Premier League previously?

Sport360 staff 26/06/2017

On Monday, Crystal Palace announced Frank de Boer as their new manager.

The Dutchman, 47, has signed a three-year deal with the Eagles to succeed Sam Allardyce at Selhurst Park after the former England boss resigned at the end of last season having kept Palace in the Premier League.

He isn’t the first Dutchman to have coached in the English top flight – seven managers have gone before him – and enjoyed mixed success.

How do you think the former Barcelona great will fare?

Share your thoughts on Twitter and via Facebook.

Here are the other Dutch managers to have managed in the Premier League and their respective records:

RUUD GULLIT

Club(s): Chelsea, Newcastle
Dates: 1996-98, 1998-99
Win % in England: 42
Gullit famously introduced “sexy football” to England when he became player/manager at Chelsea. He won the 1997 FA Cup and signed Gianfranco Zola, yet didn’t receive a contract renewal. Spell at Newcastle was an unmitigated disaster.

MARTIN JOL

Club(s): Tottenham, Fulham
Dates: 2004-07, 2011-13
Win % in England: 39.4
Moved up from assistant to boss Spurs. Food poisoning stopped them qualifying for the Champions League in 2005/06, before he fell out with the leadership a year later. Fulham stint ended after six-successive defeats.

GUUS HIDDINK

Club(s): Chelsea
Dates: 2009, 2015-16
Win % in England: 54.8
The Dutch veteran’s close relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich saw him carry out two caretaker spells. Lifted the FA Cup in style in 2009 and was begged to stay. Second stint was far less memorable.

RENE MEULENSTEEN

Club(s): Fulham
Dates: 2013-14
Win % in England: 23.5
Failed spectacularly in the tough task of keeping the sinking Cottagers in the Premier League. The ex-Manchester United assistant made several shocking – and expensive – signings. Relegated with a whimper.

LOUIS VAN GAAL

Club(s): Manchester United
Dates: 2014-16
Win % in England: 52.4
The Dutchman came with a wave of excitement after his exploits at the 2014 World Cup, but he never lived up to expectations. Dour football pockmarked a spell which ended immediately after winning the 2015/16 FA Cup.

RONALD KOEMAN

Club(s): Southampton, Everton
Dates: 2014-16, 2016-
Win % in England: 46.2
Koeman picked up the baton from Mauricio Pochettino at Saints and led them to seventh and – a Premier League club record – sixth. This saw him move to Everton, where he is still moulding the team he desires.

DICK ADVOCAAT

Club(s): Sunderland
Dates: 2015
Win % in England: 21
Advocaat did not stay for long in Sunderland, but the Dutch master left his mark. Cried after he sublimely led the Black Cats to safety in 2014/15. But simmering disagreements with the owners saw him depart by October.

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Five reasons why Nemanja Matic would be an excellent signing for Manchester United

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On the move? Matic.

Nemanja Matic has apparently agreed personal terms ahead of his proposed £40m switch from Chelsea to Manchester United next month.

The Serbian helped the Blues to Premier League glory last term but is poised to leave the west London side as they themselves close in on the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Will Matic be a good signing for United?

Here, we break down United’s thought-process behind the transfer.

Share your thoughts on Twitter and via Facebook.

HE KNOWS MOURINHO WELL

The former Benfica man was a key signing made by Mourinho during the winter transfer window of 2014 and the Portuguese has always admired his combative style in midfield.

As such, Mourinho knows what he is getting with Matic – a trait he has seemed to follow time and time again with signings down the years.

Old friends: Matic and Mourinho.

A LIKE-FOR-LIKE REPLACEMENT FOR CARRICK

The veteran may have only just signed a new one-year contract extension but he will be 36 next month and Mourinho knows that his midfield engine room will be fully tested next term with expectations being high that the club will challenge for the Premier League title – and perform well in the Champions league.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Michael Carrick of Manchester United celebrates with The Europa League trophy after the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Carrick turns 36 in July.

HEIGHT

This is perhaps an underrated attribute when it comes to signing a player but at 6 ft 4 in and a bit, the 28-year-old is a towering presence in the air and is more than effective in both penalty boxes.

His power and strength is very much in the mold of what Mourinho likes and coupled with the likes of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Carrick and Ander Herrera, United should be especially strong when defending set-pieces next term.

TOPSHOT - Chelsea's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic (R) vies with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba during the English FA Cup quarter final football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on March 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Would-be team-mates battle in the air last season.

£40M ISN’T TOO EXPENSIVE FOR EXPERIENCE

Despite Matic’s poor form during Chelsea’s title defence of 2015-16 and Mourinho’s eventual sacking, Matic is a player he trusts – and a man who has won two Premier League titles in three seasons in England.

A proven track record.

Chelsea's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic holds up the English Premier League trophy, as players celebrate their league title win at the end of the Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge in London on May 21, 2017. Chelsea's extended victory parade reached a climax with the trophy presentation on May 21, 2017 after being crowned Premier League champions with two games to go. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Matic has won two Premier League titles.

UNLEASHING POGBA

Matic’s experience and know-how to act as a defensive shield in front of his defence, as well as contribute a few goals himself, should give someone like Pogba more license to push forward and showcase his creative range of passing.

Indeed, the fact he has won more tackles and interceptions (combined) then any other Premier League midfielder since arriving in England shows he is Mr Reliable.

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates with the trophy after his team won the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Soren Andersson        (Photo credit should read SOREN ANDERSSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The chains should be off Pogba next term.

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