Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Had Problems with Refs in Italy,too Says Twice Sent-Off Repka

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Had Problems with Refs in Italy,too Says Twice Sent-Off Repka

Article excerpt

JULIAN DICKS was back at Upton Park to watch his old team beat Southampton on Saturday and it's a fair bet he would have given Tomas Repka his seal of approval,

Dicks was a hero in the East End and his motto of: 'Tackle it if it's standing up and tread on it if it's lying down' brought him more cards than Clintons.

Repka isn't yet quite in the Dicks class of sendings-off and bookings but the way the Czech Republic defender has started, he would undoubtedly have West Ham's human threshing machine purring with pleasure.

Tonight's London derby against Chelsea will be Repka's last before he begins a two-match ban following his second red card in his four matches for West Ham.

The former Sparta Prague and Fiorentina star's debut against Middlesbrough finished early, following two bookable offences, and the same thing happened in the 7-1 debacle at Blackburn. Repka's

countryman, West Ham goalkeeping coach Ludek Miklosko, knows both men well.

He played in the same team as Dicks at Upton Park and has taken Glenn Roeder's [pound]5 million signing under his wing.

Miklosko, who, like Repka, hails from Ostrava, said: "Tomas is very like Julian in that they are both winners.

When they step on to that pitch they are both very determined men.

"Off the pitch, however, they are very different.

Tomas is very quiet. He has moved into a house very near me in South Woodford and his family are due over from Florence soon.

"It is difficult for him to communicate, but he will learn the language.

"He had just mastered Italian and he moved, so he has to start all over again.

"He enjoys it here.

Everyone has made him feel at home and he even prefers the climate.

"He says it was sometimes too hot for him in Florence and the temperature here is more similar to back home in Ostrava. …

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