The Chronicle have revealed this morning that Seydou Doumbia ‘didn’t like to train during the week’, with his poor attitude and lack of effort in training meaning Rafa Benitez had no interest in playing the prolific Ivory Coast international in the 2015/16 season.
Looking back, I was actually quite buoyed by the signing of Doumbia on deadline day in January 2016. We desperately needed a goalscorer and Doumbia was exactly that, having bagged almost 200 goals in in 342 career appearances.
It didn’t work out, with him playing just 29 minutes of football for the club, and it’s easy to see why following the quite extraordinary revelation in the Chronicle today.
Here’s what they had to say about the 30-year-old (now at Sporting Lisbon), admitting that he was used to missing midweek training sessions at former club CSKA Moscow – something that he wasn’t going to get away with under Rafa Benitez:
“Carr had recommended him but the first half of the season at CSKA Moscow had seen any training regime go out the window. The story goes that he didn’t like to train during the week for fear of getting injured and those at CSKA let him get away with that.
“With Benitez arriving and a total shake-up in training, Doumbia was never going to be allowed to get away with hiding on the training pitch. There’s no doubting his eye for goal – even in leagues such as Russia and Switzerland – his goalscoring record is outstanding.
“But with a poor attitude and even poorer training regime meant that it was never going to work on Tyneside.”
As proven by Benitez’s preference to play the hard working Joselu over the more dangerous Mitrovic, Rafa will sometimes opt for effort and professionalism over talent.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder Doumbia barely played a minute for the club – despite the prolific Ivorian being brought in to fire us to safety!