If Senegal is not helped by the absence of Sadio Mané, it was also weighed down by a less sovereign Édouard Mendy against the Netherlands. A performance in the image of the delicate season that the doorman of the Teranga Lions is going through.
In the absence of Sadio Mané, package for the World Cup, Senegal may be counting on Édouard Mendy to take on the costume of the manager of the selection. After all, the 1.94 meter goalkeeper seemed to have the shoulders, between his decisive role in the conquest of the African Cup of Nations at the start of the year and his high-flying performances in the Champions League until the end of the season. coronation with Chelsea in the spring of 2021. Only, it has not been the same Doudou for some time. The Teranga Lions understood this well, this Monday afternoon, seeing the Netherlands take advantage in particular of the Senegalese goalkeeper’s feverishness to snatch the three points by scoring twice at the end of the game. Mendy was not faultless on both Dutch goals, first missing his exit on an excellent cross from Frenkie de Jong and leaving Cody Gakpo to open the scoring in the 84e minute. Rebelote at the end of additional time, when the former Rennais repelled a strike, certainly vicious, from Memphis Depay at the feet of Davy Klaassen for the 2-0. Cruel, but above all in the image of Mendy’s poor form in the Chelsea jersey.
It seems very distant, this time when Doudou Mendy logically embedded himself in the debates to define the best goalkeeper of the moment on TV sets where it was in good taste to be indignant to see Gianluigi Donnarumma win the Kopa trophy, in 2021, ahead of the Senegalese. Those days are over, and the endearing goalkeeper seems to have returned to an ordinary level for almost a year, chaining errors costing goals. Like in the Champions League against Real Madrid last spring or against Leeds in August. The state of grace is over, and the arrival of Graham Potter has not helped Mendy’s affairs. “It’s good that we have competition in this position, we need players to push each other because that’s how they improve” released the technician in October after relegating him to the bench in favor of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
On October 29, the injury of the Spanish goalkeeper pushed the coach of the Blues to relaunch the Senegalese international after returning from the locker room from a difficult meeting against Brighton. Results ? Mendy has not gained in confidence, conceding six goals in five games played, for a sad record of four defeats and one victory (against Dinamo Zagreb in C1). A bad pass which did not leave the threat of a demotion in the national team hanging over, Alfred Gomis not having played a minute with Stade Rennes this season and Seny Dieng, Doudou’s understudy, not claiming to steal his chair . “Competition with Édouard Mendy? I don’t want to talk about that, he remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world. » This World Cup was a great opportunity to remember and breathe, but for the moment it is far from being won.
By Nelio Da Silva