All hail City’s Man of Steel
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ibrahim Amadou’s starring role in Norwich City’s battling Premier League point at Bournemouth was one in the eye to his critics.
The makeshift centre back has had a bumpy introduction to English football, but delivered a command performance on the south-coast, in the view of Daniel Farke.
Amadou won 13 clearances and five aerial duels in a robust performance that underlined why City were so keen to recruit the versatile powerhouse from Sevilla in the summer.
"He is the player I want to praise the most," said Farke.
"He had a really, really decent start. He came from abroad, a different culture, a different language and he had to adapt immediately in a key role where he has not played that much because he is a holding midfielder.
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"Against Manchester City he produced a world class centre back performance.
"In the last two or three games he was criticised and if we are honest he had to accept that criticism because he was involved in a few of the scenes that led to us conceding goals.
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"But to go on and deliver this (Bournemouth) performance, to show steel, mentality and character I thought he was outstanding and it says a lot about his personality.
"I am pretty pleased we have him and especially in the next few weeks as an option for centre back, because we have to go further on with many injured players in this area of the pitch."
Amadou finished the game operating in a makeshift central defence alongside Alex Tettey, following Ben Godfrey's injury exit, behind fit-again number one Tim Krul.
The Dutchman foiled Dominic Solanke with a smothering near-post block in the first half on his return from a back issue.
"After a big loss against Aston Villa to have this experience was crucial, and both him and Alex are great leaders," said Farke.
"They have the soft skills in the dressing room, that good character where it's not only about a performance on the pitch. When we needed him he was there.
"We knew before a ball was kicked how tricky it would be for us this season.
"Then you add the injuries as well, but, listen, we are competitors and we try to create something which might look to be unrealistic. Our sporting director created this Everest example. We want to get back to the top and see the sun, and that means trying everything to stay in this league."