Earlier this year, Dikgacoi tweeted he ‘had to run’ from one of west London’s wilder inhabitants. But that wasn’t the only complication he faced as he settled in to English life.
“[One day] I was at home preparing to go to training and the time was different to my watch - the time from the TV. I had to call BT and felt maybe there was a fault with my BT box. The lady just laughed at me and said: ‘No, man, the clocks went backwards.’
“It’s stuff I never knew of before - and I had to experience them by myself. I still don’t know why this happens. I thought at the time maybe the Queen was the one who has the date and the time and she’s like announcing from nowhere: ‘Tomorrow, the clock needs to go backwards.’”
Dikgacoi’s life in London began with similar complications on the pitch, progressing markedly under “coach Roy” but struggling to secure gametime after a curtailed Premier League debut.
He explains: “[Hodgson] was like a father figure. We always had a chat and with other players, trying to encourage you and advise you where to improve. It was good to work under him at that time and that’s when Fulham was really doing well.
“[Hodgson said:] ‘Look, there are certain aspects of your game that you need to improve on.’ He obviously encouraged me to work on it, especially on the intensity - to improve on the pace. That’s what he noticed in my game and I managed to work on that and that’s why I managed to play a couple of games.”
In the first of these games, a league meeting with West Ham United, Dikgacoi saw red after an altercation with the Hammers’ Scott Parker. Parker himself was booked for the incident, receiving a one-game suspension in the process, and Hodgson complained post-match that he “didn’t think it was violent. KG is not a violent player. He is the least violent player you will come across.”
Over 13 years later, Dikgacoi reflects on the moment with a reticent air, explaining: “I can’t remember what happened - whether I kicked him. There was a scuffle and, look, I did something I never thought would put me in that situation of getting a red card.
“But then it happened and we felt I didn’t deserve it at that time. Even the coach, even Roy, he was furious… He was actually furious.”
When Hodgson departed for Liverpool in 2010 as LMA Manager of the Year, Dikgacoi found his gametime further reduced, with Mark Hughes using the midfielder just once in six months. Looking elsewhere for regular minutes, KG learned of Palace’s interest.