|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||West Ham|
2019 12 13 Retrieve
[Watford winger Ismaila Sarr has said that Liverpool star Sadio Mane has helped him adjust to life in the Premier League after his off-season move from Rennes] Sadio is talking to me all the time. He advises me to ‘do this, do that’. He is a big brother for me. When I arrived, he sent messages saying welcome to the Premier League, welcome to England and we also talk when we are in the national team. He gives me tips, I try to execute them and to implement them. ‘If you don’t play, be calm, carry on, do your job, it will be OK’, that is what he says. So I try to do the same. If I do not play, no problem. I come and work on the following day
[Sarr confessed that life at Vicarage Road wasn’t easy at first] It is different. It has been difficult for me during the first two months as I was not playing. Now I start playing a little bit and I hope it will be like that from now on
[Sarr is aware that his side face a daunting task against the league leaders at Anfield on Saturday] I think the match will be like any other. We are going to work. We are going there to fight. We are not going there just to watch Sadio play - we will also have to play. I have to show I understood the advice I was given by him. At the end of the match he can give me some more tips.
2020 03 05 Retrieve
[Liverpool giant slayer Ismaila Sarr admits to having snubbed Barcelona switch] When I moved to Rennes in 2017, it was a last-minute transfer. It is true that I chose Rennes over Barcelona and I made this decision because I didn’t want to go to Barcelona to just sit on the bench or play in the B level. I wanted to play, I just really wanted to play and that’s why I chose to go to Rennes. I heard many good things about the place. I didn’t know anyone there before joining, though. It didn’t matter for me that the club was in France, all I cared about was playing. I didn’t feel any pressure from the big transfer fee, I never feel that kind of pressure with transfer prices. We had a good season when I went to Rennes. We finished fifth in the first season and we finished lower in the league the second season, but we won the Coupe de France, so we were really pleased because we qualified for the Europa League.
My transfer to Watford was similar to Rennes. It was last-minute. I got a call to say that I was going to Watford. I was in training and I heard that they were negotiating, and I said I was going home and that when they made their decision, they could give me a call. It was very important to me, transferring to the Premier League, and even more so being Watford. I always wanted to play in the Premier League because I’ve always liked it since I was small, and I used to watch it a lot. I used to like Manchester United. I always watched the Premier League more than any other league. Everyone in Senegal watches Premier League football. I’ve been at Watford for six months now. I haven’t got a favourite moment at Watford though, because every day is great. Every day I wake up to go and train, and that’s great for me
2020 07 16 Retrieve
[Ismaila Sarr on West Ham ‘final’] I think we were seven points adrift at the bottom when Nigel arrived. We had started very badly. It’s a big achievement to get the situation to where it is now, and restart for next season with better ambitions, but we are all really focused to help the team keep ourselves up this season. He’s changed a lot of things. First of all, the mentality, and also the balance between the defence and attack. Personally for me, he’s changed a lot, I now am playing regularly and he’s given me his confidence, so I try to do my job in the best way to satisfy this confidence. Going to West Ham will be a very difficult, very tough game, we know that, but we are focused on the game altogether to play like a team, improve our quality on the pitch, and we know that it is very much going to be like a final. We’ve prepared for it like that, in the best way. Coming into the game after back-to-back wins is very important, because since the restart we had been in trouble, but these games have given us a lot of confidence to fight until the end of the season to stay in the Premier League. The mood in the dressing room is better, obviously we needed to win these two games and it’s not easy to do that when the pressure is on but to get two in a row, six points, is very difficult
[Was he planning to watch Aston Villa’s visit to Everton on Thursday evening] I don’t think so, I would prefer to watch a film. I would like to see the result and hope Everton can do something for us, but it’s not a good feeling to be seeing a game and wait for the result to help us - I just want to focus on our result on Friday. I like to concentrate on myself, not others. It’s important for me to have this mentality, to have this positive mentality to go into the next game. My relationship with Sadio is really important to me. He’s given me a lot of advice, I try to apply it on the pitch, sometimes he calls me after the game and tells me what I’ve done wrong, and it’s very important support for me. He’s a big man, he doesn’t do it only with me but a lot of people too, and it’s why our relationship is really important. When I first came to this country he said ‘welcome to England’, and told me to do my job in the same way I know, that it’s important to stay as what you are
That was the thing which was most difficult for me arriving in England, staying on the bench at first. You have the language barrier too, when you arrive, to understand things, even with the [French-speaking] players we have here like Etienne Capoue, and Christian Kabasele. But the most important thing is to be on the pitch in the first months, which was difficult because I was staying on the bench so much. Since December I have really enjoyed playing, and I hope I can increase the level of the team in future
[But for now, it’s all eyes the prize - West Ham, and Premier League survival] I have no regrets. All of my focus is on finishing the job and keeping us in the Premier League