Blogs & Opinion


Kevin Phillips blogs on scoring against his former sides

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 20th March 2014 view comments

There was lots of media attention on Didier Drogba's return to Stamford Bridge this week but returning to your old club is always a weird feeling for a player.

Drogba is an emotional man and wears his heart on his sleeve, much like his former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, so it was no surprise to see them embracing before kick-off. Emotions were running high.

Drogba: returned to Chelsea this week

Drogba: returned to Chelsea this week

Going back to an old club can sometimes be difficult but you could see Drogba was enjoying it on Tuesday. The reception he got was incredible and much deserved, considering what he did for Chelsea.

Of course, once the whistle goes you're playing for your current team and you have to put that emotion to one side, although it would have been interesting to see how he would have reacted had he scored on the night!

The first time I went back to Sunderland I scored against them and their fans were singing 'Super Kev'. It was a bit bizarre

Kevin Phillips
Quotes of the week

I played and scored against one of my former clubs, Blackpool, last weekend. It was nice to get on the score sheet - I could have had a hat-trick, to be fair - and it was an important one, killing the game off at 3-1.

However, despite getting a few boos from the Blackpool fans while I was warming up, I didn't celebrate out of respect and that's the approach I've taken when I've scored against the majority of my former clubs.

I remember the first time I went back to Sunderland after leaving. I was playing for Aston Villa and during the build-up I was really looking forward to going back and the reception I was going to receive.

Celebrate

I scored on the day, didn't celebrate and as I was walking back to the centre circle the Sunderland fans were singing 'Super Kev'. It was a bit bizarre!

I know some people disagree with not celebrating, particularly in the media, but perhaps they don't know what it's like.

Yes, you're playing for a different team but there's no need to rub the opposition fans' noses in it.

Of course, everyone has their own view - just ask Emmanuel Adebayor, who ran the length of the Etihad pitch to celebrate a goal for Manchester City in front of the Arsenal fans.

And certainly there are players who get sold against their will or feel they never got a chance at a certain club and when they go back feel like they have something to prove and celebrate scoring. You can understand that.

But when I look at clubs I've been at I feel I've given my all for all of them, scored for all of them and I've left on good terms - even Blackpool.

It wasn't my decision to leave that club, I was kind of forced out and didn't have an option, but sometimes supporters don't hear that side of things so you can understand their frustration.

Stick

The only club I did celebrate against was the first time I went back to Southampton.

I got some horrendous stick down there and in hindsight perhaps I shouldn't have celebrated but that was just a heat of the moment thing - and as we saw with Adebayor, that can happen.

Generally it's nice going back and it's always interesting when you come up against old team-mates.

Obviously from training with them for years you know their weaknesses and strengths and if you're clever and cute you can use that to your advantage.

Of course, on the other hand, they know all about you and what you can do, too. It's part and parcel of the game.

I've scored against a few former clubs in my career now but when you've played for as many teams as I have at some point you're going to come up against them!

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Top four in sight for Spurs

Spurs can make the top four, says Carra, depending on how seriously they take their European duties....

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Merse expects a losing start for Neil Warnock, but wins for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and QPR....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Premier League build-up, Europa League draw and reaction plus all the manager press conferences.

Live transfer updates

Aston Villa and Valencia want Tom Cleverley, Xabi Alonso joins Bayern Munich and Arsenal linked with Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Wenger 'secretive' on deals

Arsene Wenger says he will keep any transfer negotiations at Arsenal 'as secret as possible' in the current window.

Merson's predictions

Merse expects a losing start for Neil Warnock, but wins for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and QPR.

Sky Deadline Day

Follow our unrivalled coverage on Monday on TV, online, on mobile, on tablet and on social media.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.