Not the most glamorous, or one that will go down as a ‘legend’ with either but Amdy Faye is one of plenty that has ‘played for them too’, as far as Stoke are concerned.
The ‘played for them too’ series that Vital Pompey runs covers a range of players from small time ‘unknowns’ to famous ‘legends’, from players decades since gone to players still with us now, still with our upcoming opponents – at least at the time or writing – or at the very least still playing now – again, at the time of writing.
Previously when we have played Stoke Chix had looked at Jimmy McAlinden – here.
With so many players having played for both clubs over the years, arguably none more so than in recent years, you could quite literally ‘take your pick’ – and whilst I must admit he would not have normally been the focus of my attentions, and might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, he is someone that has been the subject to much attention in recent weeks and months, and will be in the weeks and months ahead still…
So, we look at Amdy Faye and his career before and after Pompey.
French early years and the world cup
From 1996-2003 Faye spent the early years of his career in France, a relative unknown to many of those away from the French shores – and of course Senegalese national side, which has a strong affinity with France anyway. He started out with Monaco as a youth player before moving onto ES Frejus, but it was with Auxerre that he really made his name in French football.
2002 would be the year that Faye, and a strong Senegalese squad, would announce themselves to the world as they excelled during the world cup in Japan and Korea – they got the world cup off to a shock start be beating holders France in the opening game, a game that current Pompey midfielder Papa Bouba Diop scored the winning goal in.
The defensive midfielders Senegal side made it through to the quarter finals, with Bouba Diop scoring a further 2 goals, before being beaten by Turkey.
‘Amady’ or was it ‘Andy Henry’ under guard!
He arrived at Pompey in the summer of 2003, arriving as a trialist under the name of ‘Andy Henry’, with the famous story going that he was kept locked in his hotel room under the guard of a dog so he could not escape, or anyone else get to him to sign him.
His transfer to the club, and a subsequent transfer that followed caused Pompey problems, that continue to haunt us now – more on this later…
It is ‘said’ that an error on his passport application, meaning his name was registered as ‘Amady Faye’ often sees his name recorded as such – and this is something that I had previously noticed on football cards, so perhaps there is a certain level of truth to this?
It would take a fee of £1.5m to bring Faye to Pompey from Auxerre – and, on the whole, his form for Pompey during his spell on the South Coast was money well spent, right?
Faye picked up a knee injury early in his Pompey career that was expected to keep him out for several months, but was able to recover quicker than expected, although this recover was too good to be true – as it proved, as he broke down again and was out until early 2004, this meant that he also missed the 2004 African nations as a result.
His performances for Pompey in he 2003/04 season saw him ‘linked’ with a move away from the club, with Newcastle just one of the clubs ‘said’ to be interested, but we managed to retain his services – at least until January 2005…
The move to a ‘big club’, and the decline
Finally we caved, Faye seemed determined to move to a ‘bigger club’ and when Newcastle offered something like £3.5m for him we accepted – this was a transfer that caused further controversy down the line, again more on this later…
Things started ok for him at St James’, he played regularly and seemed to be doing ok but suddenly it all went wrong! His ability on the ball is not exactly up there with the best, so was his style of play not in suiting with that wanted at Newcastle or was he just ‘not as good’ as those that paid a fair amount of money for him thought?
Either way ‘the dream’ turned into a ‘nightmare’.
Faye’s unsuccessful spell on Tyneside ended in August 2006 when, after some 18-months or so he was sold to Charlton.
The player nobody wanted…
Typically, a Charlton side ‘struggling’ that was expected to be ‘turned over’ when they came to Fratton in January 2007 – with Ben Thatcher subjected to plenty of abuse following his ‘tackle’ on Pedro Mendes earlier that season, whilst a Citeh player – beat us 1-0, with us beaten by Faye’s goal, which happened to be his first in English football, and as far as I am aware remains his only in English, in fact British football!
Charlton were still relegated and they wanted rid of the ‘high earning’ yet ‘under performing’ midfielder – yet they were not really getting any takers, until Rangers decided to take him on a season long loan deal in August 2007.
This was another disaster and following a spell training with Blackburn in January 2007 he was expected to sign for them, although Fifa rules prevented this as it would have been his third club in a year, which was not allowed.
Faye was left in limbo…
‘Tiny Penis’ to the rescue!
Firstly, let me explain the ‘Tiny Penis’ reference.
This is in no means meant with any malice to anyone, nor am I implying that anyone is ‘guilty of this’, how the hell would I know!
It originates from one day at Ipswich, when Tony Pulis was the Pompey manager. Triv, Rob, Ken and I felt, rather comically – maybe not so much now – thought that the ‘Tony Pulis blue and white army’ chant going round Portman Road sounded like ‘Tiny Penis blue and white army’, so it stuck, hence ‘tiny penis’.
Anyway, back to the story…
Faye’s career was quite literally going nowhere – he had been ‘linked’ with a return to Pompey, but thankfully this did not happen.
Eventually he was ‘rescued’ from the footballing scrap heap by Pulis, who took him to Stoke where he joined an increasing number of former Pompey players, including Pulis’ own son Anthony, who I am sure was a youth player with us and followed him around various clubs following his sacking at Fratton?
Shooting himself in the foot Faye, and I remember seeing this on match of the day, got himself sent off in what I think was his second game for the club – this, apparently, cost him as he has failed to cement a place in the side since and has made only one league cup outing for Stoke this season.
Corruption and continued scandal
Faye’s move to Newcastle was something that was picked up by the ‘Stevens enquiry into football corruption’, with his agent Willie McKay, former Pompey owner Milan Mandaric, former Pompey manager Harry Redknapp and of course Peter Storrie all questioned over ‘inconsistencies’ surrounding the transfer that then Newcastle manager – when the transfer took place, although I am sure he was by that time, former manager – Graeme Souness had highlighted.
These ‘inconsistencies’ were later cleared up and this issue, seen as no ‘clear evidence of irregular payment’ could be seen, was dropped…
Although now, and despite Faye, McKay and others being ‘cleared’, Storrie is, as we know, being charged with tax evasion over a ‘reported’ £250,000 payment made to McKay and Faye following his arrival at Pompey in 2003 – of course, as we also know, this is a charge that Storrie denies and is fighting to clear his name. ‘Bigger fish’ being sought, is something that most people feel is the case with this trial.
I think that Faye is a ‘take him or leave him’ kind of player. I thought he did ok for us, but all in all think we did well in selling him for so much – the thing that annoys me about his transfer dealings, and possibly others, is the fact that ‘speculation remains’ that plenty of people have benefited from this, and that I would imagine does not help him recalled too favourably by many Pompey fans?
Basically all in all I cannot say that I have ever ‘really missed’ Faye, then again I have never been ‘really happy’ that he left. Like I say he did a job, we did well out of him and he moved on. The best thing about him, and his time at Pompey, and the thing that will live on longest would probably be the ‘Andy Henry’ story.
Whilst you can never say never, I think we can fairly safely say that we will be having problems from others this weekend at the Britannia Stadium and Faye will not be coming back to haunt us again with a collectors item of a goal!
I say he will not come back to haunt us, at least he ‘should’ not be doing this on the pitch, off it however, well that is another matter…
PLAY UP POMPEY!