Blackburn Must Beware Danger from Dhorasoo Lyons' Uefa Cup Campaign Is Being Inspired by `the Next Zidane'
Szreter, Adam, The Independent (London, England)
THE TASK facing Blackburn Rovers at the Stade Gerland in Lyons tonight is an unenviable one: Roy Hodgson's side have to beat a Lyons team who lie second in the French league and are unbeaten this season if they are to make progress in the Uefa Cup - a tournament in which Hodgson went all the way to the final with his previous club, Internazionale.
After a poor start in the League, Hodgson might have been forgiven for looking to Europe as a source of inspiration for some of his players, but in the first leg at Ewood Park they were made to pay for some profligate finishing by an efficient Lyons outfit and a wondrous strike at the death by the Polish international defender Jacek Bak - something Glenn Hoddle will have taken note of for later use in England's Euro 2000 qualifying campaign.
But, had it not been for an equally wondrous save by Tim Flowers, Blackburn might have been trailing long before that. The man Flowers denied was the Lyons playmaker, Vikash Dhorasoo, a talented 25-year- old who, since moving from Le Havre in the summer and making an impressive start with his new club, is being compared favourably with the incumbent No 10 in the French national side, Zinedine Zidane.
Dhorasoo, a Hindu who was born near Le Havre to parents who emigrated from Mauritius two years earlier, was voted the French player of the year by the sports paper L'Equipe in his last season with his home-town team, an achievement which attracted the attention not only of Lyons but several other clubs, including one or two from the Premiership. "I don't want to say who, because I'm quite happy at Lyons," he said shortly after Friday evening's drab goalless draw at Nancy, which Lyons seemed to treat more as a training exercise for tonight's match than anything else.
If Dhorasoo had chosen to come to England, it certainly would have been popular with the people of Mauritius, who are fed a regular diet of English football through satellite television. Dhorasoo's brothers and sisters were all born there, and he himself is a regular visitor on family holidays.
"They love English football, particularly Manchester United and Liverpool," Dhorasoo said. …