Moussa Sissoko has declared ‘we will have to come back even stronger’.
It doesn’t take a genius to guess that the ‘we’ isn’t a reference to the Newcastle United squad.
Newcastle fans watched in bemusement on Sunday night as a player with Sissoko’s shirt on produced a performance completely unrecognisable from what we had all watched over the course of the last three years.
It was quite bizarre that during this final of the European Championships, one of the biggest talking points throughout the game, was (in co-commentator Danny Murphy’s words) why hadn’t Moussa Sissoko played like this since his Newcastle home debut against Chelsea back in 2013?
Similarly, in the studio, you had Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry all saying much the same.
With each match at these Euros, Sissoko has got better with each game and against Portugal looked by far France’s biggest threat throughout most of the match.
The Newcastle midfielder was powering his way past opposition players, some real quality opponents, on one of the biggest occasions in the football calendar. Yet this is a player who scored once for Newcastle as they were relegated last season and was anonymous for all but the odd match until the final handful of games in the relegation run-in.
Before yesterday’s final, Arsene Wenger maybe summed it up best of all. Saying that even after 40 years he can still get things wrong and that he accepted now that Deschamps had been right to keep Moussa Sissoko in his team ahead of N’Golo Kante against Germany in the semis.
The Arsenal boss describing the contribution of Moussa Sissoko as ‘remarkable’ in these European Championships, nothing he saw last night will have altered that viewpoint.
Moussa Sissoko talking to the French media after France lost 1-0 to Portugal:
“There was a lot of disappointment and sadness in the locker room because we had a very good match.
“We had a lot of chances, we showed some great things in the game – football is like that, you can show beautiful things and still lose.
“We must digest this big disappointment, we really wanted to win this competition, she held out her arms but unfortunately we did not manage to win.
“It was a great adventure, a great competition at home. Our public has always been behind us.
“We lacked a bit of luck, we must accept it, anyway we have no choice.
“We will have to come back even stronger. “
During the tournament, Moussa Sissoko was asked about his club future:
“Newcastle’s relegation is sad, but I’ll have time to think about my future after the Euros.
“I’m not thinking about my club future (for the moment) and that’s sincere.”
There are now only 25 days until the season kicks off at Craven Cottage, that Moussa Sissoko we watched last night would do a canny job in the Championship…