Neil Warnock: I've fined Paddy Kenny and he's said sorry to QPR for text excesses
What I Learnt This Week
As I'm sure you are aware, my goalkeeper has been in the news in relation to some text messages he exchanged with people at QPR. I have to say I was disappointed that something that began in good humour got out of hand.
I've spoken to Paddy Kenny and he was full of remorse and couldn't apologise to me quickly enough. I told him there is no problem with having a drink to celebrate a win like last Saturday's over Wolves but he must be aware of his responsibilities to the club and be careful where he is and what he does. I've obviously fined him and he has agreed to finish on Twitter with immediate effect. He has also apologised to Tony Fernandes, QPR's chairman.
I've also spoken to Tony and told him I honestly believe there will not be a repeat. We ended the call on good terms.
It is disappointing when something which is essentially a private conversation becomes public the way this has but, as I've told players before, they need to be very careful about texting and Tweeting. You'll know if you've read this column over the years that I'm not a fan of social networking, and incidents like this only strengthen my belief that people are better off talking to each other.
As I pointed out to Paddy, another reason why he should have left well alone is that certain tabloids will always rake up dirt from his past, so why give them more ammunition? The other aspect which disappointed me about the newspaper coverage is that everyone keeps comparing QPR's 5-0 home defeat on Saturday to their 4-0 home defeat in the opening game of last season, when I was manager. There is a difference – they've spent about £30m since. We had the same team that played in the Championship as I hadn't been allowed to sign any players up to then. The same team then responded, winning at Everton the following week, which augurs well for Rangers at Norwich today. QPR are also due some luck against Norwich, as they didn't get any when I was there.
With Norwich also shipping five last weekend there will be a few nerves at Carrow Road among both sets of teams and their fans. I felt sorry for Chris Hughton on Saturday; I know how it feels going to Fulham and losing heavily – we did it last year. When they get in full flow at Craven Cottage, Fulham are hard to play; if you are chasing the game you just get picked off.
2 Moses, the profit
I don't know what Simon Jordan, my old chairman at Crystal Palace, will be thinking with the news Chelsea are paying Wigan £9m for Victor Moses. That's a decent profit for Wigan. We were distraught when administrator Brendan Guilfoyle let him go for less than £2m, as we had told him and everyone else how much Victor was going to be worth. I remember Simon saying he'd be a £10m player in a few years.
Victor developed his game and I like to think he has been listening to some of the things I've told him over the years about how hard he has to work to give him a platform to show his ability, which isn't in doubt. In the last six months he's worked as hard as I've ever seen him do and now he's got his reward. He's a lovely lad and I look forward to watching him at a top club.
Victor could have gone out of football easily if he hadn't grasped things the way he has. He had a horrendous upbringing, with both his parents being killed in Nigeria when he was a boy. They were Christian missionaries and they were murdered by religious extremists in a riot. Victor, who was about 11, only escaped as he was playing football in the streets at the time. He was then saved by an uncle, who hid him then managed to get him to England.
He was so traumatised when he arrived he did not speak for a long time but playing football helped him settle and he was lucky to be picked up by Palace, who have a very good academy manager, Gary Issott. Gary's a wonderful coach and mentor, and his gentle persuasion and coaching brought Victor's personality and ability out.
3 Ollie's on the up again
It was refreshing to see Southampton have a go at Manchester City and Reading follow suit at Chelsea. Both would have picked up points but for errors by a defender and a linesman respectively.
I'm convinced this type of approach from promoted teams started with Ian Holloway's Blackpool. They played without any fear and were a breath of fresh air. I think Ollie's outlook changed a lot of perceptions with promoted teams. I was thinking about this as we pulled up to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday. It's a fantastic stadium now, something they can be proud of. I can't quite find the words to describe what it was like once, especially the dressing rooms. Well I can, but I can't print them here.
Blackpool were the better team against us but it was still a couple of our mistakes that handed them the game. With two wins in two games to shake off any play-off hangover I don't think they will be far away; anyone just below them will have a great chance of going up.
Wolves are another club who'll not be far away at the end of the season, so it was great to get off to a winning start against them last weekend. The big difference for me in the two games we've played has been obvious on the backs of the programmes. Wolves and Blackpool both have much deeper squads than us and we will have to hope we do not sustain any more injuries like the one Paul Green got, which puts him out for about eight weeks.
We're at Peterborough today. One of the press said: "You must be favourites." I said to him: "I've been in that dressing room when you've lost the first two games. You'll die to get points on the board."
4 A real whale of a time
Sharon and the kids have just gone back to Cornwall but while they were here I managed to take William fishing. I asked a member of staff, who shall remain nameless, to pick me up a small landing net. You can see by the picture that he must have thought we were fishing for whales.
We had a successful day and enjoyed it so much it was pitch-black at the end and I had to use the torch on my phone to see our way out of the pond. I caught this mirror carp just as it got dark – as you can see from the reflection of the torch in the picture.
I also managed to play golf with both sons. It does make you feel proud as a parent playing with your sons, especially as both William and James have superb swings. I hack it like a cricket bat, though I'm hitting straight at the moment.
We've just received a booklet from school and Amy was chuffed to find she's sharing the cover with four Olympians. What an advertisement for the school being able to put Tom Daley on the cover! Amy, by the way, is third right on the top left picture. They have been caving.
Arsenal strengthened their grip on a top-four finish with a straightforward 3-0 win over Hull City.
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