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The Times

Liverpool's exile risks red wrath by singing the blues
February 11, 2006By

By James Ducker

IT IS hard to envisage many circumstances when Everton supporters might cheer a Liverpool player, but Florent Sinama Pongolle could be afforded that dubious honour when he trots out at Goodison Park this afternoon blissfully unaware that he has paid the blue half of Merseyside perhaps the ultimate compliment.

Sinama Pongolle joined Blackburn Rovers on loan from Liverpool a fortnight ago, but despite claiming to know "all about the rivalry between Everton and Liverpool", the Reunion Island striker made something of a faux pas yesterday when he suggested that the majority of Liverpool residents were Everton fans.

Like Manchester City fans who mischievously claim that the majority of Manchester United supporters are glory-hunters hailing from everywhere but Manchester, the issue of home-town allegiance is just as fierce on Merseyside, but while he can be excused for not knowing the extent of the rivalry, Sinama Pongolle's comments play right into the hands of the Everton faithful, who have made a point down the years of calling themselves "The People's Club".

"I've been in this country for three years so I know all about the rivalry between Everton and Liverpool, but everywhere I go in Liverpool, the football fans I meet are all Everton fans," Sinama Pongolle said.

"The bigger part of people in Liverpool all support Everton. Liverpool have fans in Europe and everywhere else, that's why Anfield is always full.  But when you go to Goodison, it is just full of Liverpool people.  It is all Scousers."

Sinama Pongolle was only half-joking when he said he expects to get "a very warm reception" at Goodison Park today, but it would appear a distinct possibility now, even if he does hope to "score the winner" for Blackburn.


[The above is unedited and provided within ToffeeWeb for archival purposes.]


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