Forgotten Reading FC Premier League player hoping to lead Ivory Coast to AFCON glory – Reading Today Online

Emerse Fae Picture: Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication

Former Reading FC player Emerse Fae is on the brink of leading Ivory Coast to glory in the Africa Cup of Nations after taking his team to the final.

It has been a whirlwind of a tournament for the host nation who only just squeezed through the group stages.

After beating Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in their opening match, a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria was followed by a humiliating 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea.

As a result of their thumping loss in their final group game, they took the astonishing decision to sack head coach Jean-Louis Gasset midway through the tournament.

Despite the shock decision, it appears to have benefitted the team greatly, who are now looking forward to a mouthwatering final with Nigeria on Sunday.

Ivory Coast got past current AFCON holders Senegal on penalties before a last-gasp goal from Oumar Diakite helped them see off Mali in extra-time.

The host nation then got past DR Congo in the semi-finals thanks to a winner from striker Sebastien Haller.

Former Royal Fae was named as the interim manager for the remainder of the tournament and the 40-year-old is now on the cusp of achieving a trophy for his nation.

After Steve Coppell’s side had won promotion to the top flight in 2005/06 and then backed that up with an incredible eighth placed finish in their first ever Premier League season, they broke their transfer record in the summer of 2007 to sign Fae.

The midfielder completed a move from Nantes to join the Royals for around £2.5million.

However, the move to Berkshire didn’t work out as Fae only played eight league games for the club as they were relegated to the Championship.

He also reportedly refused to play for the reserve side after falling out of favour in the first-team which led to him being fined two weeks wages, suspended for two weeks and Coppell remarked that he would never play for the club again.

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