LOUIS Saha’s got a sense of occasion, but no sense of timing. Yes, he scored his first Everton goal against one of his former clubs. But, sadly, he didn’t score it in injury time.
Last night’s final match: Everton 1 Fulham 0
Commentator: Steve Wilson
When he joined Everton in the summer, Saha publicly called on his new club not to pay him until he was fit to play, as he was still recovering from a knee problem. Chairman Bill Kenwright and manager David Moyes decided not to take him up on the offer.
Saha was so injury-prone during his time at Old Trafford that Manchester United fans nicknamed him ‘Balsa Man’ and ‘Mr Glass’. But he wasn’t always this way.
Don’t forget that Sir Alex Ferguson spent the best part of two years trying to come up with a way to get Saha to come to United from Fulham. During his time in West London, Saha developed a reputation as one of the brightest strikers in the Premier League. And there was a chant which paid tribute to his goalscoring prowess. At least, I thought there was at the time.
ITV’s On The Ball did a feature on Saha during one of his prolific goalscoring phases at Fulham. If I’ve recalled it correctly, a large part of the item consisted of Gabby Logan interviewing Saha in some impossibly glamorous cafe on the banks of the Thames, intercut with shots of him strolling around near his apartment with his impossibly glamorous girlfriend.
(If I’ve remembered it incorrectly, then the item contained all of the above features, but with Gabriel Clarke doing the interview instead of Logan, and adding a moody voiceover. It’s a worrying sign if I’m getting those two mixed up.)
The remaining part of the feature was filled out with a vox pop of various Fulham fans saying things like: “Louis Saha’s great. He’s scored loads of goals. What else can you say?” (I can’t imagine Gabby doing a vox pop, though. Perhaps it was Dave Beckett who did the interview? This is really going to bug me now. It wasn’t Jim Rosenthal; I’m certain of that.)
The fan segment also featured a group of supporters chanting, in an Alan Partridge style: “Knowing me, knowing you – Saha!”
At the time, I thought: Oh, that’s quite clever. But I’ve never heard that chant since. As far as I’m aware, Manchester United’s fans never took it up, and I don’t think it has been heard at Goodison Park either.
Given that chants do tend to follow players around, I’m slightly curious about this. Was the Knowing Me, Knowing You chant genuine? Did Fulham fans really used to sing it when Saha banged in another goal? Or did a producer at ITV Sport make it up for the purposes of that feature all those years ago?
Someone out there must know.
1. Blackburn: 4
2. Wigan: 3 (Capello difference: +2)
3. Middlesbrough: 3 (Capello difference: +1)
4. West Brom: 3
5. Capello: 2
6=. Bolton: 2
6=. Fulham: 2
8. West Ham: 1 (Capello difference: +1)
9=. Everton: 1
9=. Hull: 1
9=. Sunderland: 1
9=. Newcastle: 1
13=. Gubba: 0
13=. Arsenal: 0
13=. Aston Villa: 0
13=. Chelsea: 0
13=. Liverpool: 0
13=. Manchester City: 0
13=. Manchester United: 0
13=. Portsmouth: 0
13=. Stoke: 0
13=. Tottenham: 0
(NB: Teams level on points will be separated by Gubba difference: the number of times a team is last on Match of the Day with Tony Gubba commentating. If they are still level, they will be separated by Capello difference: the number of times a team is last on MOTD with Fabio Capello present.)