Habib Beye was surprisingly straight talking and obviously disappointed with Senegalâ€™s performances at the African Cup of Nations, when he talked at length to the Newcastle Journal today.
Habib Beye – unhappy with Senegal team spirit – glad to be back
Here’s what Habib had to say about Senegal, their elimination from the African Cup of Nations and the new manager, Kevin Keegan:
â€œIt was not a good experience at the African Cup of Nations, we went out in the first round and we did not play together,â€ â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter if we had a lot of good players, we didnâ€™t have a good team.â€
â€œ There was no team spirit and no togetherness. Everyone knew before the tournament there was a problem in the squad. We had young players and old players and there was a problem between the two. We didnâ€™t play together at all and it was not a happy place to be.â€
â€œI was very happy to go to the African Cup of Nations and join the Senegal squad, I was looking forward to it, but I knew we had problems in the two friendly games before the tournament.â€
â€œThe spirit was no good and we lost to Angola 3-1 in our second game, that made it too difficult to qualify. We should have done a lot a better, but you cannot play if the team is not together.â€ â€œBecause it was so miserable playing for Senegal it was a big relief to come back here to Newcastle and to be able to play for my team-mates again.â€ â€œIt makes me very happy to be back here, but we must change results,â€
â€œWe have some very big games now because we need points badly before we can feel comfortable.â€ â€œWe need to stay in the Premiership, we are low in confidence and we need to start winning games or we are going to be in trouble. Thatâ€™s the most important thing now.â€
â€œItâ€™s strange coming back and Sam has gone. I came to Newcastle because of Sam, I signed for him, but thatâ€™s football sometimes. There is a new manager here now and thatâ€™s all that matters.â€
â€œKevin Keegan is a legend at Newcastle, he did a good job here before and we need to help him do that again. I was away with Senegal when I found out about Sam and I was very disappointed. I think we, the players, have to take some responsibility for that.â€ â€œTraining is a little different under Kevin, but it doesnâ€™t really matter. I am here to work, do my best for Newcastle and I will help Kevin Keegan as much as I can.â€
â€œI came back to training on Monday and I spoke with Kevin straight away. He said he was happy to see me and that he was looking forward to working with me. He makes everyone feel confident and relaxed and we need that because itâ€™s very important we start winning games because we need points. If you donâ€™t have confidence itâ€™s difficult to play.â€
â€œPeople have said that I have stopped playing for Senegal, but I never said that. All Iâ€™ve said is that Iâ€™m very disappointed at what happened. All that is important to me at this time is coming back to Newcastle. I will think about what I am going to do about playing for Senegal later.â€
Good words from Habib and we have always been impressed with him since he seems so experienced and mature, and appears to like it at Newcastle.
We even think Habib would make a good captain at the club, and we expect Kevin will make some decision on that during th summer.
We really hope the former Marseilles captain comes straight back into the side today as we suspect Keegan has been told how well Beye was playing before he went off the the African Cup of Nations. Also Kevin has had a full week to watch him in training.
It’s good have have Habib back, and we’d like to see both Beye and his Senegalese team-mate Faye back in the starting line up today.
Comments very welcome.