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The Diafra Sakho Affair – a defence!

Sakho and agent Mark McKay

Sakho and agent Mark McKay

By Hugh Southon

Ok, he splits opinion like nobody since Ravel Morrison but Diafra Sakho’s world on Wednesday August 30,2017 needs to be examined a little more closely before hard and fast judgements are made about his behaviour.

And the truth surely is that at a time when the manager’s man management is so heavily under fire, his role in the events which led to this squalid little Rennes business, needs more than a passing look.

As I understand it, Sakho got the hump when Andre Ayew was selected ahead of him for the game at Newcastle given, presumably, the goal and assist which led to us entering the next round of the League Cup.

Understandable – so would I have done, and I reckon most any one reading this would too, although it’s very doubtful many would have responded in Sakho fashion.

However, this is a guy who has battled back again from a shocking injury caused by clumsy Senegal physios whilst he was on international duty creating a scenario which has seen him play four times in two years.

His career stands at a crossroads big time and if he doesn’t do it this year it could easily be career over at the top level – he has a right to worry but I entirely accept that he HE HAD NO RIGHT TO BEHAVE AS HE DID.

Having said that and given the the boy’s track record when he believes he has a justifiable complaint about his non selection this one should surely have been handled a lot more carefully.

And let’s be honest, is there anyone out there who can tell me after his contribution against Cheltenham, why Ayew replaced him?

Water under the bridge of course but we also need to ask what Sakho’s agent was up to in allowing his client to put his client on the front line of the barrage of abuse that has followed the striker after his day out across the channel.

These guys escape much criticism in such affairs with the words “badly advised” sometimes covering a multitude of sins.

I listened to a radio programme last night in which some presenter was claiming that Sakho’s behaviour was “disgusting and appalling” etc and that if he wears the shirt he hoped he was booed. Talk about pandering to the basest instincts!

Surely we have enough problems without creating such a shocking situation around a bloke who, shall we say, has a well known and unfortunate personality. He needs help, guidance and very careful handling, especially from his manager.

I can understand all of those who say he is a lost cause, a hopeless case, that he be allowed to leave and that he has shamed himself and the club. I really do get it.

But he remains at West Ham and although I have no doubt there is a strop coming on, he has started to look good and sharp again. Therefore Β I can see absolutely no reason why he should not play in front of Ayew on form.

Nor do I believe that there’s many – looking at things purely from a football perspective -who will disagree.

Sakho at his best gives us a different dimension and should have been selected last Saturday over Ayew in my view. I honestly though it was a given ahead of the game.

I do not in any circumstances agree with Sakho’s reaction but I do understand it Β and believe it to be entirely predictable given what we all know of his character from a distance. And if we know it Slav and his team know the issues far more intimately.

Love Sakho or hate Sakho, booing and abuse will only make another messy situation even worse so as my associate Sean Whetstone wrote elsewhere on the site let’s give the guy a break and a possible way back.

So much depends on Sakho and everybody else pulling together now – we need no more splits and trouble given the bigger picture and our League position.


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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

38 comments on “The Diafra Sakho Affair – a defence!

  1. Wise words Hugh imo. I hope there is somebody at the club who is listening & is up to the man management job. A lot of the fans on here & elsewhere will be spitting venom & yesterday i just wanted him out or humiliated. The danger is that the club will bow to those emotions on the part of fans rather than take a wiser but more difficult route out of this mess. He has to accept some punishment, but given the window is closing & the owners have dug their heels in on a transfer the question is do we want to find a way to get a contribution from him until at least Jan, or do we want to alienate him by making him train on his own or with the kids. Yes, I know I suggested the latter yesterday, but you know the phrase ‘Act in haste repent at your leisure’. A time for wise heads I think.

  2. Nope. We as a club aren’t here to pander to Sakho every time he throws a tantrum when he’s on the bench. Been 18 months nearly since the Arsenal game which kicked this all off and he’s not changed so should go, preferably today. Ayew also scored against Cheltenham and i would say it was 50/50 between the two of who should play against Newcastle.

  3. Hugh, I love how you somehow make it all Slav’s fault. Really couldn’t make it up. If Andy or Mark Noble had acted in a similar fashion you would want them driven out. Difference is, they never would. By the way has Sakho ever actually withdrawn his transfer request??

    • Yes he has withdrawn it. Andy or Mark get a fair crack from me mate when they deserve it. Sakho is getting no chance at all even when he’s playing well and winning games for us (Cheltenham) before being dropped for Ayew. You think that’s acceptable. If so fine opinions are opinions but I think it just drains confidence and knowing DS personality to be expected and avoided by man management

      • Hugh did u see the goal he scored at Cheltenham??? Behave your self it was a awfully shot that only went In because of they had the world’s worst keeper!

      • To say you treat Andy Carroll and sakho the same is a joke I don’t know how any sane man can have a problem with Carroll but not sakho, both fair enough they both have problems but sakho creates most of his by himself! Your straight out with multiple articles to back sakho yet 1 pic comes out with Andy Carroll that could be anywhere, no drinks in sight and you jump straight on his case for being out getting drunk. I’ve got my own problems with Carroll but compared to sakho his a model player the hypocrisy is unreal. Where was the lets get behind the team and slav when you tried hanging him out to dry for not signing inheanacho?

  4. Give him a massive fine then. Make him train with kids. Slag him in the press. He has a bad time. We don’t have a striker, so we have a bad time too. Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    Sell him? He wins. We lose, unless we by some miracle stitch up a deal with a better player in the next 12 hours.

    Find a way to get something out of him? Seems to make sense to me… it will be a bit if a climbdown & it seems unfair the club should have to back down at all. But you know what they say about life and fairness….

  5. Dont get this at all and i like sak but if he wants out get 9 or ten mill in the bag if we keep the geezer and his unhappy not playing to his potential as he tends to be moody and we get zero cash end of season from a player whos not interested in staying. Of course should have sorted this out much earlier but thats hammers all over. Like the useless fonte should sell and get in a quality player who can defend alongside reid with oggy back up ! We all know who needs to go or bench noble is one and who to sell carrol is another spending huge chunks on the treatment table its not rocket science .Plenty of cash still in the sky for sully to buy

  6. One of those who will never be happy unless he starts every single game. However, don’t sell if we don’t have a replacement ,and yes give him a run over Ayew who was bought partly in a vain attempt to keep his mate Payet happy and has only proved that Β£20mill buys you average nowadays

  7. Hugh we all no you think Sakho is mustard but the guy is a loose cannon.You also used to defend Bilic to the hilt as well (give him a long contract).Now it is flavour of the month to blame Bilic for EVERYTHING lol

    • Absolutely not true and too simple mate. Yes I think DS is excellent. I also xplained his actions were entirely unacceptable but thing are never as simple as we would like them to be and it’s not about taking sides although usually that’s how people see it. I tried to examine it and have obviously failed in your world πŸ™‚

    • 4 games says it all ????
      Get him and sakho out !!!! Don’t blame the manager ? Wow, sakho is done , a Norwegian blueπŸ˜‰
      The whole problem is defence lol , the diafra sakho and the defence affair , it will be a film one day πŸ˜‚
      I won’t be booing I don’t boo noble or any other on the park ! That’s why we vent our feelings on sites like this ! Will bilic get bood after another shambles ? Naa , cheer em on and get a result , and if sakho plays and scores don’t cheer !! Boooo ! Like frustrated old women πŸ˜‰

    • C&h seem to have changed there tune when it comes to slav since he shut down a lot of the inside info on transfers ECT. Main article that comes to mind was when they started stirring the pot over slav giving the thumbs down on the inheanacho deal, seemed very petty and malicious from my perspective. Slav was proved to be very shrewd imo backing out of a complicated transfer with no end in sight and signing Hernandez.

  8. I’d get the hump if Ayew was picked before me – and I can’t play football – well not for 30 years anyway!

  9. Sorry but did Bilic cause his troubles when he got in the mire with one of his old grifriends and police.Did Sullivan crash his car for him.The man is a fool and if he was a fella in our own local area we would all think he was a full on idiot.
    But becausd he is a footballer we should feel sorry for him…nah im not having it.

    • Best, Bowles, Gazza etc etc etc – remember those. Hardly a new phenomenon. If only life was that simple

      • Extreme but
        Hitler, Gary glitter, Michael Jackson, Saddam Hussain, Katy price ECT ect remember those. Hardly a new phenomenon. If only life was that simple.

        People get away with what you let them get away with, everyone’s got a hard life and sob stories it in no way excuses the choices we make. And sakho has zero right to treat the club the players the manager the fans his girlfriend’s his neighbours and everyone else he comes into contact with like dirt. Disgraceful human being I’d rather have Joey Barton at the club even he could teach sakho some class! Which says it all!

  10. Your having a laugh Hugh, this guy deserves all the stick he gets, poor advised bollox, my twelve year old knows the the differnce between right and wrong, if we were not so desperate you would not defending him.

    • . I am making out a defence but as stated in the piece his behaviour is unacceptable and he will be hit with 2 weeks fine. But all this sanctimonious claptrap about his life and character and why West am must get rid as a result is really not on.. I’m really glad I have been forgiven a few times otherwise I’d have topped myself. I’m only interested in what he does on the pitch

      • Well you seemed pretty interesested in Poppodom when he went on the lash with Randolph on an allnighter Hugh.You ripped him a new one for it.That was away from the pitch, though there was a bar involved,just not a crossbar.Come on you cant have it both ways old chap 😁😁

        • Yes I did and yes I can. He went on an all nighter after a meeting to sort out problems and created an even bigger one which was appalling. Sakho is extremely difficult but he’s stropping around cos having got fit and had surgery he ain’t getting the the chances he believes he should. Ayew rather than Sakho ?
          REALLY! Going anbout itnbadly as I said but the two cases could hardly be more different.

          • Hughie,i was only pulling your leg 😁

          • Not having a pop at you Rads. I’m srtill angry about that cos I rang the Market Porter I think its called in Boroogh Market and some pizza palace in Sjhoreditch and was told by people in there just how bad they were and it got covered up.

            What’ypur e mil – need to talk

  11. One other thing.The fella has played no football for a year,now every other player seems to understand they get eased in gradually with fleeting appearances then up to longer playing time but not him??
    And please dont say well he played the match at Cheltenham,that was a run out in comparison to the levels required in the PL
    Carroll comes back from injury & sits on the bench for a few matches,he doesnt throw the toys and strop.

  12. We need to keep him whatever happens.Even if he is a loonie tune.What else have we got,Little Pea or Poppodom as recognised Prem standard strikers.
    Anyway it doesnt matter how many strikers we have on the pitch they will never score more than our defence lets in 😁

  13. πŸ‘

  14. So everybody walks on eggshells around Sakho. Allow him to do as he likes in case we upset him at a time when he’s needed. If we had 3/4 fully fit ,good strikers would he still get this leeway?

    • Well, AC is usually only 3/4 fit…..

    • Yep mooro we’ve all got to walk on eggshells for sakho don’t worry about all the hard working dedicated reliable players we should drop them for sakho because his fit today and isn’t off trying to force a move again?!?!

      What happens next week when kouyate starts doing all the same stuff as sakho, then byram, then adrien, then fonte, then the youth start at it with oxford Quinna rice all learning from the great ‘professional’ that is diafra sakho saviour of west ham, do we tread on eggshells for them too?

  15. All this continuous crap needs to stop , just back the team and be the twelfth man cos we need us big time ✌😁

  16. If I were Sakho I would have the hump if Ayew was picked ahead of me, I would probably tell the manager first that I am better suited to playing than Ayew, then again I think Amalfitano did something similar when he wasn’t being picked, Bilic seems to be lacking in skills when it comes to players voicing their opinions or acting like sulky children in Sakho case. I started writing this thinking I was going to be attacking Sakho but now realise there is not enough known about what goes on at the training ground to decide whether the player is to blame or not. If I were DS I would probably want to find out from Sakho, Mark McKay and Bilic their sides of the story because it might be that a lack of communication is to blame and if that cannot be rectified then either Sakho or Bilic should go depending on which you value more.

  17. If you look back over a few seasons every club has had players who have wanted out,made a fuss or gone to the press.
    Too start questioning Bilics man management skills is a joke when you dont have a clue what has happened.Conte bad management skills because Costa has the hump?
    Pulis with berahino
    Wenger with Sanchez
    Rainieri with Ulloa
    Klopp with Coutinho
    None of them we have a clue about so how can you say Bilic cant take it when a player voices an opinion.Do you sit in the dressing room.Laughable.

    • Berahino and Costa I give you but really the others? Sakho let’s face it has been a massive pain in the backside ever since his first season. I take the point that he should be disappointed not to start over Ayew but you simply don’t act in this way. He’s coming back from a long term injury, where he has had way too many false starts in the past after being rushed back. Any decent professional would realise he needs a slow reintro and get a strop on every time.

    • It has been widely reported about Amalfitano, also insiders reported about Song/Sakho in Song’s case he just stood up for Sakho and as a consequence never played for the club again. Only those present know the context of what was said and certainly if it was disrespectful enough then no one can blame Bilic but even if it was disrespectful there should be the opportunity to make things right and play your way back in, Sakho seemed to have done that, scored a goal and assisted the other then immediately dropped, doesn’t look right especially when Ayew has not been setting the world alight.

  18. I am sorry Hugh but you are trying to defend the indefensible however you choose to spin it.
    This guy has made barely an appearance for 2 years – yup thats 2 years – and 80+ matches whilst he has had his salary duly paid and had access to the best medical care and attention you can receive. This after his health problems that were none of the clubs doing. The club have also invested significantly in getting him back to the best condition they could possibly do – yes he has apparently put the effort in but so he should for being paid for 2 years with pretty well a zero return for the club. He should be showing some significant gratitude to the club for the way it has handled him with his rehabilitation. However in this time he, from the reports, has proved nothing but trouble and a disruptive influence for Slav and the club if he doesn’t get his own way – pick me first I am the number 1 striker. As if Slav doesn’t have enough to handle he gets some childish behaviour from one of his supposed key strikers – and you say he should be picked! David Sullivan is bang on about the way he has handled things – and congrats to him for the stand he has taken and the clarity with which he has expressed the position. Seriously are you really defending this position that leaves the club with a day or 2 to go before the transfer window closes – with our striker position and the availability of top class strikers in the market. Sakho spits his dummy says he wants x, y and z and expects everyone to jump to it. Slav is paid, for now, to be our manager. He deserves our full support until or if he is removed and that includes his position and decisions over Sakho.

    • You make some great points Mike but I don’t retract because I believe there is far more to this than meets the eye and he has been handled very badly. I am not an Allardyce fan but he had no such probs with him. I have made it clear that I do not approve of his behaviour and I find it difficult to believe that maybe he wasn’t punted around by the club in France. An agent wouldn’t just go out there on a flier. Yes he’s a difficult boy but all the probs seem to have arisen under SB of whom I have always been a big fan until recently. but let’s remember his probs arose on the Senegal treatment table and it’s the club’s duty sadly to sort them out at their own expense. That’s hardly something Sakho should feel grateful for. Just the way it is. Nobody truly knows what has gone on between those two and nobody therefore we hold a point of view. It’s a mess and respect to you for giving your view so coherently and free of foul language.

  19. So sorry if I offended any of you delicate blossoms out there but he is what he is. I can’t see any possible way that his behaviour can be defended let alone championed. After 2 years of sucking wages out of this club with virtually no return, now he’s finally in a position to repay a bit he does one to frogland looking to do the dirty on us. This on top of all his previous dummy spitting. Now it’s all someone elses fault. Apologists always look for the good in someone but I can’t see any redeeming trait in this guy. Most condemned the snake when he did less than this ungrateful child.

    • Sak The Baks witchdoctor has cast a spell on them.Brainwashed in to repeating “Diafra is being hard done by,Bilic is a demon” πŸ˜‚

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