WORLD CUP 2022 – Senegal – Qatar – The vertigo syndrome: why Mendy has been collapsing for 4 months

After losing Sadio Mane, his talisman, Senegal can’t even hold on to Edouard Mendy. Against the Netherlands (2-0), the goalkeeper got a hole in the end of the game, so that the Batavians won the match. Two big obvious and indisputable mistakes intervening in an already very difficult series for him. The former best goalkeeper in Europe (2021) missed his start of the season at Chelsea in four months, lost his starting place and knocked off his selection when he participated in the World Cup.

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That’s a lot, even if this sequence isn’t just an unfortunate coincidence. Christophe Lollichon knows it like the back of his hand. He was responsible for the performance of Chelsea goalkeepers and it was he who convinced Chelsea to look at the profile of the former Rennais.

The failed exit of Edouard Mendy during the match between Senegal and the Netherlands, November 21, 2022 at the World Cup

Credits: Getty Images

Staying at the top is harder than reaching

Lollichon has his explanation for Mendy’s spectacular air hole: “He played injured and even overplayed in a club that did not help him physicallyhe explains. And then when you know his three-year rise, there comes a point where everything changes. You go from goalkeeper without a club to the best goalkeeper in Europe, of course there are unconsciously new requirements that influence your performance.

Edouard Mendy went through all the stages with real carelessness until he reached the top by waving the Champions League. Today he has to manage this status, face the demands arising from it. His collapse, “even if he does not neglect anything during training”, can be explained as follows. “Staying at the top is harder than reaching“, notes Lollichon. Today, at least, he seems occupied with doubts, as if everything he has achieved since leaving Marseille has made him dizzy.

Edouard Mendy during the match between Senegal and the Netherlands on November 21, 2022 during the World Cup in Qatar

Credits: Getty Images

He plays lower in a more comfortable area to avoid putting himself in danger

Another possibility mentioned by Lollichon: “Perhaps the pressure builds as the expectations around him grow. Suddenly his influence in the game is compromised, he plays lower in a more comfortable zone so as not to put himself in danger. With the first goal against the Netherlands, if he is 50 centimeters further forward, there is no goal. It reminds me of Thibaut Courtois who played very high at Chelsea until he scored a goal from 60 yards from Charlie Adam in 2015. Since then he has fallen back 10 meters.”

So how can he recover if morale and confidence have been damaged? Without a great Edouard Mendy, Senegal won’t get out of the group and they no longer have the right to make mistakes. “The problem is that his two mistakes don’t occur after two months of strong performanceexplains Lollichon. And then, in the eyes of the whole world, this adds to the difficulty. He already showed that the pressure was on him when he discovered the Champions League. I don’t doubt him, even though I haven’t seen him enough in four months to be completely sure of myself. Let’s just say there’s no question about the Edu I know.“Problem, over four months Mendy seems to have changed a lot.

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