November 28, 2022, 12:41 PM
November 28, 2022, 12:41 PM
Édouard Mendy has recovered his reflexes under the arcor, a good omen for Senegal, who this Tuesday must beat Ecuador at the Khalifa International Stadium if they want to qualify for the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar 2022.
His save against a point-blank shot from Qatari Ismail Mohamad, one of the most spectacular of the tournament, has restored the confidence of the Senegalese, who trust the Chelsea goalkeeper to stop the forwards of the ‘Tri’.
“I am very satisfied with the boys, especially from Édouard Mendy, who has kept us in the game for a long time”, declared the coach Aliou Cissé after the victory against Qatar (3-1).
‘Dudú’ Mendy, the nickname by which he was known when he was the third goalkeeper at Marseille, was criticized after his performance against the Netherlands (2-0 defeat) in his World Cup debut, where the first goal was preceded by a false start by the goalkeeper.
“These are things that happenI think that people exaggerate a lot, there is no need to think about it anymore,” captain Kalidou Koulibaly defended him.
In that defeat against the ‘Oranje’ “the whole team failed, not just one player”, insisted the now Chelsea center-back, where he is Mendy’s teammate. “I’m not worried, he can play a great game against Qatar.” He was right.
Pape Gueye predicted it: “He is the best goalkeeper in the world, So where is the problem. He’s regular, he helps others, he talks to us.”
– ‘An iron mentality’ –
Aliou Cissé had “no doubts about his qualities, he will have the opportunity to show who he is, one of the best goalkeepers in the world”.
The coach also knew that after a discreet start to the season, which led him to lose ownership at Chelsea against the Spanish Kepa Arrizabalaga, his goalkeeper had in Qatar “many things to prove, he is a man of challenges”.
“Edouard is fine”, Cissé insisted after the first meeting. “He has an iron mentality.”
For the coach, “Édouard’s qualities are not in doubt”. “I know that he is a boy who is indeed going through a bit of a difficult time, but I have no doubts. He has all my trust and that of his teammates.”
Winner of the Champions League with the ‘Blues’ in 2021 and also decisive in the first African Cup won by the Senegalese, in 2022, Mendy started the season with a mistake when trying to dribble past Brenden Aaronson, which led to Chelsea’s heavy defeat against Leeds (3-0).
Then he injured his knee in September and new Chelsea manager Graham Potter kept Kepa in the starting lineup.
The Spanish goalkeeper also injured his foot against Brighton and that gave Mendy the opportunity to get back under the posts, but so far it was not having the same performance that he had when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.
Mendy hopes to show off against Ecuadorian Enner Valencia, Qatar 2022 top scorer along with Frenchman Kylian Mbappé (3 goals each), who continues to be among the best goalkeepers in the world.