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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
The curse of Amdy Faye
Amdy Faye

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Amdy Faye is undoubtedly a fine defensive midfielder, a man blessed with bountiful physical and technical attributes who has already attracted a good deal of attention from Premiership scouts.

So how come Faye has been unable to get a game for the Lions - despite the injury crisis hitting the Lions' central midfielders?

Against France both Sylvain Ndiaye and Pape Sarr were out, yet Bruno Metsu prefered to shift captain Aliou Cisse up from his customary central defensive berth than give Faye a go.

Persecution

The draw with Denmark must have been even more galling for the Auxerre midfielder: not only was a clearly unfit Pape Sarr preferred to Faye to start the game, but Metsu chose to bring on a right-back, Habib Beye, to play in central midfield once Salif Diao was sent off.

Faye must certainly be developing a persecution complex.

There are two possible reasons for Faye's disappointing World Cup.

First, and most simply, is the hypothesis that Metsu simply does not rate the midfielder. But in that case, why bring him to the World Cup?

Secondly is the rumour going the rounds of the Senegalese camp: Faye is simply considered bad luck.

A Senegalese journalist explains: "Amdy is a really good player. But almost every time he has played for Senegal the Lions have lost."

Certainly Faye's international debut, against Egypt, marks the only time the Lions lost in the World Cup qualifiers.

Midfield crisis

He also played in the side that went down to Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia! - just before the World Cup commenced.

More critically, Faye missed a spot kick in the African Nations' Cup final, having come on as a substitute.

Senegal have scarcely put a foot wrong in these last two years, so for three of those rare stumbles to occur amongst Faye's six caps has set many talking.

Against Uruguay Metsu has another midfield crisis: Diao is suspended, Sarr is half fit, Sylvain Ndiaye quarter-fit and Aliou Cisse hardly fit at all.

If any of those - or worse still someone operating out of position - is played ahead of poor Faye in central midfield, it would seem as if Metsu is a superstitious type...


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GROUP A
  P GD PTS
DENMARK 3 +3 7
SENEGAL 3 +1 5
URUGUAY 3 -1 2
FRANCE 3 -3 1

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