Ed Denies Story

Edouard Cisse says his team mates have laughed off a newspaper story published on December 8th that claimed he had attacked them, and goalkeeper David James in particular.

The Sunday tabloid claimed that Edouard had 'made a scathing attack on the club', had 'accused his team mates of dressing room hostility towards him' and had said it is 'bizarre playing in the same team as a keeper like David James'.

The likeable Edouard, who says he has not spoken to an outside journalist - a French one - since "three or four months ago", was delighted with his team mates' response to the piece.

"My team mates are really cool about it and they laughed," he reveals. "They said it was a good joke, and that was a nice reaction from them, because they know me and that if I am going to say something I will say it to their face - and not to a paper.

"I don't know where the rumour came from because I definitely didn't say it, I didn't 'blast' Jamo as it said.

"I have spoken to him about it and I said 'if I have some trouble with you I will tell you, not the press, because we are men'."

The article referred to the fact that Edouard has played alongside French international keepers Bernard Lama - once at West Ham on loan - and Lionel Letizi, and implied that Edouard felt there was a difference in quality between them and David James.

"Maybe it was some journalist not understanding what I had said, I don't know, but I did not compare Bernard Lama and David James," he insists.

"It is not my job, and David James is an international player - I think it is a bad joke but the reaction from my team mates was good, and they are laughing.

"Everything is okay with David, I have spoken to him, and my team mates understand me."

The story also spoke about his efforts to learn English and implied there was a 'clan' of the French speakers in the dressing room.

But Edouard says: "We are in England and we have to integrate into this country, so of course it is better for us to speak and understand English.

"Our team mates understand us, and my main goal was to be able to communicate well with them.

"I am working at home to improve and learn the grammar because I make a lot of mistakes."