Date:Tuesday April 10 2007
Aaron Mokoena and Blackburn Rovers has suffered since the South African broke Arjan Robben's foot in 2005. The Axe still maintains it was an accident and Jose Mourinho was out of line with his comments.
In February 2005 as Chelsea pushed on for their first Premiership Title and Rovers battled, quite literally for their Premiership lives, Aaron Mokoena broke the foot of Arjan Robben in a challenge in the early stages of the match. Chelsea won that battle, thanks to Robben's early strike and ultimately the Premiership as a result but the attack from Mourinho in his post match interview has stayed with, and haunted Rovers ever since.
At the time we were far from, and still aren't angels but the attack from Mourinho has been very hard for Rovers to recover from, with so many still labelling Rovers with the same "bully boy" label which we did have then, and to some degree rightly so. We never went in with the intention of hurting players but we roughed them up as it was a case of needs must at the time.
Mokoena, who does have a hard way of playing the game has always insisted that he never intended to cause such an injury to the Dutch International and still feels Mourinho was unfair in his comments after the game:
"It was an accident. It's part of my game being hard and tough; that's how I play and I can't change it.
"But I'm not there to hurt players, and I'm not there to destroy players' careers either.
"I'm there to get stuck in, and that's me. That's how I play."
So many still cannot, or will not accept there is more to Rovers than the label they have but I've basically gone beyond trying to make people aware of this. However, the Axe feels Sunday is the perfect stage for us to show the footballing world that we can play football, as we often see.
"We are a team that wants to play football. The coaching staff encourage us to play that way."
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Date:Tuesday April 10 2007
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