August 19, 2014 by bluenosebible
By Tom Giles (@smurchison101)
If you were to ask me to sum up N’Daw in one word it would be ‘beast’. This and the attractive football we played under Chris Hughton in the 2011/2012 season meant we really did have Beauty and the Beast!
N’Daw came as somewhat of an unknown quantity to Blues on loan from French side Saint Etienne but eventually became a bit of a cult hero at St. Andrews. He patrolled the middle of the park sniffing out opposition attacks and won the ball with his ‘scythe in a corn field’ style of tackling and alongside the delicate Keith Fahey formed a good partnership in central midfield.
He made his debut in our interesting Europa League campaign against Braga at home (Blues lost 3-1). Reviewing that night, Blues blogger ‘Often Partisan’ wrote on his blog page:
‘It was a bit of a curate’s egg of a performance from our on loan Senegalese midfielder. He started off slow, looked out of sorts and gave away the ball. Yet as the game went on, he grew in stature a bit, and started playing at least the simple stuff to an acceptable standard. He reminds me of an articulated lorry; he needs a massive amount of space to execute a 180 turn but when he starts running, it’s going to need a lot to stop him. He’s not at the level Gomis is, but I think with time he could be useful for us.’
This proved a rather accurate description and he did turn out to be useful. However, at first his lack of quality on the ball showed through and quite frankly people thought he was poor and ill disciplined. Despite this the big Senegalese won us all over with his passion and drive and eventually became an important part of the team as a great box-to-box midfielder. Though perhaps the most memorable moment of N’Daw was the dramatic away game in the Europa League against Club Brugge when, after Spanish centre half Pablo Ibanez was knocked out, N’Daw burst into tears and had to be calmed down.
Unfortunately after being called up to the Senegal national team for what turned out to be a disastrous African Nations campaign he went off the boil. It is said that the different training regime used by the national team in this tournament had an effect on his form.
He also played for fellow Championship Ipswich Town. So what do Tractor Boys fans think of him? I asked this question on an Ipswich fans forum.
They answers were pretty much a repeat of how Blues fans viewed him with comments such as ‘unit’, ‘tank’ and ‘He was the size of a small panda. That was quite helpful’. Criticism was also fairly similar, criticising his technical ability. However they seemed to warm to him and their favourite memory was when he smashed the ball into the goal from about a yard out. Classic no-nonsense N’Daw!
However, his time at Ipswich was also marred by off-field controversy. He was accused of assaulting his wife in March 2013 and then banned from seeing her. That being said, these charges were dropped, although unfortunately for him after he had left the Suffolk club. Important his wife made it clear she did not support the prosecution.
One Blues fan I asked about N’Daw’s time at Blues said ‘ I think the crossbar is still shaking at the Tilton end from one particularly ferocious shot’
This sums him up.
N’Daw now plays for FC Metz where he signed a two-year contract over the summer.
What are your thoughts on Guirane N’Daw?