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Foreign Legion - The Ivory Coast


By Admin
May 12 2005

We profile the players from the Ivory Coast who have turned out the Saddlers...

 

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SAMASSI ABOU 
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Apps - 8
Goal - 0
Period - October - November 1999
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He began his career with Martigues, but soon moved on to bigger things with Lyon. He spent two seasons as a first team regular, but his poor goal scoring form soon him pushed to the fringes of first team action. 

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He eventually moved on to Cannes for the 96-97 season. Having failed with Lyon he had something to prove, and he set about rebuilding his career. It didn't take much time for him to settle in and he was soon wooing French crowds with his silky skills and dynamic forward play. Harry Redknapp was suitably impressed and splashed out £200,000 to secure his services midway through the season.

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He went on to become one of the most recognizable players in the Premiership. His wacky hairstyle and unique style of play made him a cult hero with the Upton Park faithful. If Abou could have applied his undoubted talent in the right kind of way then he could have been a big success with the Hammers. As it stands he failed to deliver what West Ham needed - goals. Just like at Lyon he soon found himself outside the first team picture. 

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It was around about this time that he moved to Walsall. We had just been promoted to the First Division and needed a quality striker to partner Andy Rammell. A position that had been filled by a series of on-loan journey men the season before.

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Abou was brought in much to the joy of the Walsall fans who were pleased to have a big name player at the Club.

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His debut came in a 2-1 defeat to Stockport where he partnered Andy Rammell up front. The game was settled bv a  Tony Dinning goal.  After just one game you could see why both Lyon and West Ham had taken a chance in signing him. You could only call his style of play unique. His first touch set him apart from everyone else on the field. 

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As his spell drew on, you also began to see why he frustrated so many of his managers. His work rate was comparable to Kyle Lightbournes on a bad day. He would drift in and out of games showing moments of brilliance but vast swaths of laziness.

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One of  those memorable moments came against West Bromwhich Albion. A sublime bit of individual skill saw Abou rattle the Albion bar with a well placed shot that deserved a goal. From the moment the ball left his foot  you could have heard a pin drop in the Hawthorns.  We went on to win the game thanks to an Andy Rammell goal, but that Abou effort is still fresh in the memory.

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Abou left the Club without a goal after 8 games. Maybe in a more productive team he would have found the net on a regular basis. Then again, if you look at his goal scoring record over the course of his career i wouldn't have put money him reaching double figures if he played for Real Madrid.  

 

His next loan move was to Promotion chasing Ipswich. His one month stay at Portman Road finished with 5 appearances and 1 goal. 

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Abou went on to have one more loan spell before leaving West Ham. This time he went North of the Border to play for Kilmarnock. This was yet another loan spell that ended without a goal.

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Having failed to make an impact in the English game he headed back over to France where he signed for Corsican minnows AC Ajacio. Abou enjoyed a fair amount of success out in Corsica,  achieving promotion during his second season.

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Unfortunately for Abou he wasn't going to figure in there Ligue 1 plans and he moved on to another Ligue 2 Club - Loreient.  Loreient were Abou's last known Professional Club.

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Should you have any information on his where abouts or career then please leave us a message on the forum or e-mail TheSaddlersFC@hotmail.com

 

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