Remember Chamakh? The joke’s on Bordeaux now

Forgiven: a Bordeaux fan M Salut hammers at badminton

Those of you with hair have torn it out, the milk is well and truly spilt or even spilled Over at non-football Salut!, I wondered aloud whether watching Sunderland could, like smoking, seriously damage your health. It has been a week in which a supporter of West Brom, of all clubs, cockily dismissed Sunderland in his “fan’s view” for the Daily Mail as “physical, determined but limited”. And that was just the first-half, when we were ahead. So let’s change tack. Here, before we start fretting about Birmingham away, is another episode in our French Fancies series …


Yes. I really should get out more. The time to end the ridiculous feud with Les Girondins de Bordeaux has surely past. Who cares if the club president Jean-Louis Triaud and his then manager, Laurent Blanc, insulted Sunderland AFC?

But every time I feel Salut! Sunderland should move on, bury the hatchet, find someone else to taunt, along comes an excuse to reopen hostilities with the self-important Ligue 1 underachievers who declared that Sunderland AFC were altogether too small a club to be allowed to buy Marouane Chamakh (now at Arsenal, where he scores a little and dives a lot).

The healthy sign is that instead of feeling angry every time I hear the club’s name, I now look for reasons to laugh at Bordeaux.

And, remembering that others are laughing at us just now, what better than this, a result that gave me more pleasure than any since our own last win (Jan 22, if you don’t count the Reserves beating Man City 2-0 last night, or the Sunderland Women Football Club’s laudable successes)? …

Bordeaux 0 Arles-Avignon 0

To appreciate this scoreline to the full, look at the foot of the Ligue 1 table:

16 Monaco 30 7 14 9 29 29 0 35
17 Caen 30 9 8 13 33 4 -10 35
18 Auxerre 30 6 16 8 34 36 -2 34
19 Lens 30 6 10 14 28 46 -18 28
20 Arles-Avignon 30 1 10 19 16 57 -41 13

Promoted last season, Arles-Avignon are having their equivalent of our last two relegation seasons. L’Equipe called them the worst team in the history of Ligue 1.

And still they managed to hold Big Club Bordeaux, playing at home before a Big Club Crowd of 24,000, to a goalless draw. L’Equipe featured their Bordeaux forward Anthony Modeste, who is supposed to get the goals now that Chamakh has gone, as the key man before making it clear he was key only in the sense of failing to impress (four out of 10, though one or two of his colleagues collected threes).

How distant must the Ligue 1 title and Champions League seem now. Karma?

“They’re not worthy of this club,” spluttered our pantomime villain, the president, about his players before heading back to his vineyards. Oh yes they are, M Triaud, oh yes they are.

* Lille are still stop, despite losing at Monaco, Marseille missing the chance to close the gap to a single point by dropping two at home to Toulouse). Big Club Bordeaux are eighth. In Ligue 2, M Salut’s in-law interest – Stéphane Sessegnon’s former club Le Mans – have been squeezed out of a promotion slot by Ajaccio, raising hopes of a Corsican presence in the top flight against next season).

But the other bit of good news is that despite having David Bellion on loan (yep, from Bordeaux), Salut! Sunderland‘s favourites OGC Nice, know as le Gym and managed by our own Eric Roy, have made it through to the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. Their opponents next Tuesday night, unfortunately, are Lille, but with a capacity crowd – all of 17,400 to roar them on – who knows? Sadly, Nice are just two points above the drop zone and there is talk of Roy being replaced by Rolland Courbis at the end of the season. Bonne chance et bon courage Eric …

Monsieur Salut

Monsieur Salut

25 thoughts on “Remember Chamakh? The joke’s on Bordeaux now”

  1. “Dear Monsieur Wenger, pretty please, can we have young Ma…oh bugger, we’ve already got our full quota of loanees…”

  2. if the Gunners are getting tired of Chamakh, can we have him until the end of the season on and “emergency loan” – as our forwards have forgotten how to score?

  3. Arsenal Articles:

    1 “The last time you were giving Wenger a hammering because of Ramsey´s injury.”

    – did you have in mind my very first article on the subject, headed “Sympathy for Aaron Ramsey”? Or the follow-up, in which I said: “Arsène is immensely bright, eloquent in at least two languages and … deserving of huge credit for transforming Arsenal from quite successful but dull into quite successful and exciting. If the title race is now a three-horse one, it is Manchester United and Chelsea that I want to see as disappointed runners up on the final straight.”? Or were you thinking of the countless other times I have praised Wenger and way he wants his team to play, while also noting his (annoying to opposing supporters) habit of being selective in condemnation of foul play and bad decisions?

    2 “I think talking disrespectfully about other clubs´ players can always bring negative fan reaction but that is your choice”

    – but it’s OK to be disrespectful about other clubs as Bordeaux were about SAFC?


    You make some valid points, all a welcome deviation from muddled stats and entertaining nonsense about the weather, but none that excuses the insults, however honestly they may have reflected the offending parties’ views. You don’t more readily forgive your murderer just because he genuinely dislikes you. And you admit that Chamakh thought it would be a good idea to come to SAFC, which supports my contention that he was pressurised by president and manager into staying. It was, in other words, their footballing perspective, not his and you should see why I therefore take some delight in that club’s current malaise. Stepping stones are irrelevant to that; when you’re outside the top four or five, you accept that players will see you in that light.

    Arsenal supporters generally:

    Many thanks for coming here again. Some of you – maybe not many – clearly like this site and can even identify humour. More loathe it and a few arrogantly feel I have no right to talk about your club. All are entitled to their views. I didn’t realise until I checked your newsnow pages that at least one Arsenal site had been running criticism of Chamakh (Bhy may have that one in mind) that made my minor reference to his diving seem utterly innocuous. (

  4. I wonder why there so many fools on the internet…….Arsenal are where they are now cos chamakh stepped and covered when there was no strikers, scored important goals like wolves…..then some idiot across intrnet are here blaming many matches has he started since new year? Arsenal fans don’t ever support their players, once they have a form dip, the next thing is to start blamin them

  5. This is the second time I visit this website.

    The last time you were giving Wenger a hammering because of Ramsey´s injury.

    I think talking disrespectfully about other clubs´ players can always bring negative fan reaction but that is your choice.

    Bordeaux are not having the best of seasons but it is mainly because they have lost their bright young manager Laurent Blanc to the French international team.

    As for Chamakh “diving around”, I am not even sure you have watched that many Arsenal games this season. And if you have watched like me, you would not have seen him diving around.

    He has a goal tally of 11 goals in 24 starts – a decent return for a free player in his first season in the Premier League.

    He has also not started a game for a long time due to van Persie´s form. But his overall season has still been a success due to his bright.

  6. Both Laurent Blanc and Jean-Louis Triaud said what they honestly thought. Too bad that some overtly sensitive Sunderland fans took it as an insult.
    From their perspective, they could not understand why a player would leave a club who has just his won their league and was in the champion’s league to join a club battling relegation.
    And you have to admit that from a purely sportive perspective that did not make any sense.
    They could understand if Arsenal or any other champion’s league club were interested but at the time that was not the case.
    Their view was that he was going for the money and was going to regret it. Most of the young players (not near retirement age) who have left a top French club to chase the British pounds have live to regret it.
    Marouane Chamahk floated the idea that he was using a club as a stepping stone. However history has taught us that that very rarely works that way. Most of those players are viewed as greedy mercenary and their career nosedived and never recovered. Also because of the premiership premium, big team seldom buy 26 years old players from another premiership team.
    They either buy potential at an younger age or they buy proven at European club competition or international level.

  7. GoonerGaz
    It has taken 11,000 visits today, mostly from Arsenal fans, to reach this obvious point in the Comments that was first stated in the posting
    Insult was made. Shouldn’t have been. No criticism of Chamakh for that – he at one stage wanted to come but was pressurised into staying – and none for his conduct generally over the bids and transfers made. He was totally innocent; the men named in my article were not.

  8. To be fair, I don’t think anyone should be publicly slating other clubs for being too small, I don’t think Chamakh had anything to do with this, I’m fairly sure it was his agent or the owner of Bordeux.

    And yea Chamakh has been criticised for diving, but Wenger has since put him straight that it’s ‘appreciated’ in England. No worse than say Rooney, or the spuds diving all over the place against Real Madrid tonight. On a positive note I can’t see spurs making the top 4 ever again, they’ve had their chance.

    Also RIP Danny Fiszman.

  9. “…Venatus Deus’s geography is a little better than his maths…”

    The figures which I posted are from this season. Why would you compare DB figures from last season to Chamakh’s this season? Is it because if you compare the stats from this season then both would be considered to have performed at a similar level? Wow… if only this season points counted in 1985, we’d have been champions!

    “… could be said to prove the one small piece of criticism I leveled at the player…”

    You could say the same about Torres, Rooney, Gyan or any other striker. You have already admitted that your own player does it in this comment section, yet you still wheel out this chestnut when you have nothing else to say. You’re talking to somebody who has the ability to make a logical argument here so please think before you write.

    “…explain why Arsenal fans are hyper-sensitive…”

    Explain why Sunderland fans are hyper-sensitive about remarks that are over 12 months old and on the face if it were quite correct. Champions league and winners medals in a warm sunny location without the 50% tax band or bottom half every season in a cold wet dark city in Northern England. Seriously, what are most people going to say?

    I presented facts and opinions that you couldn’t argue with, so all you could do was start tossing yah-boo inanities.

  10. Venatus Deus’s geography is a little better than his maths. Think you’ll find Bent’s tally was 24 PL goals last season – 25 in “all competitions” but we don’t go in much for the other ones these days

    Your comments:

    He (Chamakh) has also won around 5 penalties and his actions have directly lead to the sending’s of circa 3 players. That’s not bad for a striker that started the season as third choice.

    .. could be said to prove the one small piece of criticism I levelled at the player.

    ... Sunderland from my memory is ******* cold and well…

    has nothing to do with anything, but is true. See the left-hand sidebar and you’ll see I cheerfully quote Jimmy Adamson as saying something similar.

    And Bordeaux still leaves you some way short of Spain. It is, in my experience, a moderately appealing city in a very pleasant region, almost as pleasant as where I live, in the Var.

    Last point and then back to some paid work, which may delay moderation of the comments of any further first-time posters, welcome though most are: explain why Arsenal fans are hyper-sensitive. Wenger and his team are praised enormously here, but it speaks volumes that a piece criticising two people in south-western France should so incense some of you.

  11. Let’s have a look at some facts…

    Marouane Chamakh in his first season playing in the world’s toughest league has made 26 starts for Arsenal scoring a total of 11 goals. For clarification, that’s 17 PL appearances with 7 goals. (He was acquired via a free transfer). He has also won around 5 penalties and his actions have directly lead to the sending’s of circa 3 players. That’s not bad for a striker that started the season as third choice.

    Darren Bent who cost you £16 million played a total of 23 games and scored 11 goals before you lost him to a team that currently sits one place below you at number 14 in the table. Again for clarification I think it’s fair to say that Darren started the season at your first choice striker and made 20 starts in the PL scoring 8 goals on total.

    Bordeaux is a city situated in the beautiful wine region of south east France (just above Spain). Their football team has recently won the national championship and they have some of the best players in France and they play Champions League football.

    Sunderland from my memory is ******* cold and well… lets hand this over to your own local paper so there is no calls for being biased.

    You were insulted because it’s true. If it wasn’t… you wouldn’t care 12 months after the fact.

  12. Gooner: “he”, for the last time, is not Chamakh. He said nothing disrespectful to my knowledge about Sunderland and, realising Arsenal were not then going to buy him, gave every indication he would be happy to join us. Signing for Arsenal was his dream and he eventually saw it come true.

    As anyone taking the trouble to read properly what has been said here would instantly see, the gripe is with two other named individuals who did undoubtedly insult SAFC.

    I have mentioned his diving, yes. As I say, his own conduct has made such mention barely controversial. If you like, I will also say that I think Gyan dives, though he doesn’t seem able to do it nearly as well or effectively. Salut! Sunderland despises diving and other forms of cheating whoever commits it; within a few minutes of Arsenal 0 SAFC 0, I reported that Bramble was lucky to get away without conceding a penalty and being sent off (and what is more, I had in mind the sly tug the referee could never have seen but the camera did, not the push). I also, last season, had the Eduardo Question in my “Who are You?” interviews with opposing fans, named after the author of a dreadful piece of cheating, but changed it this season to the Walcott Question in honour of his courageous and, in my view, commendable admission/apology.

    ps Sessegnon? Started well but has faded. In my opinion,he has the ability to thrive and will do, once he has the confidence of having the left the pitch, any pitch, on the winning side. He shows pace and some nice touches.

  13. Salut Sunderland.

    Thanks for the reply – I’ve been sorry to see Sunderland’s decline in the second half of the season, as I thought you were pulling together a decent looking team there.

    I do think you will survive quite comfortably, but I guess the question is more whether Bruce is capable of taking you anywhere next season. He always seems to start well at clubs (well, when he stays longer than 6 months) but seems to hit a wall at some point.

    On another note – how is Sessegnon looking? He was fairly lively against us, and was linked with a lot of clubs before you signed him. Worth it?


    At no point did I mention you by name, but given that you clearly recognised yourself in my description as ‘knee-jerk and antagonistic’ I feel that my comment was justified.

    And, you’re right, I shouldn’t have to apologize for you. But as someone who loves Arsenal, and football in general, I find it embarrassing when Arsenal fans leave comments such as yours.

    This site is clearly put together by someone who loves football, and can string a sentence together – as such they don’t deserve abuse from brave keyboard warriors such as yourself.

    Have a good day.

  14. Let’s be honest if you look at his stats he hasn’t done too bad in his first season. And yes he was comparing Arsenal to Sunderland not Bordeaux, and even if he was he was looking at the competitions with bordeaux being in champs league why would he want to take a step down from that?

    But the reason he hasn’t played recently is becasue we have Van Persie who has been in the form of his life already Surpassing strikers like Rooney who have played twice as long this season. however Chamakh carried us at the beggining of the season and trust me next year given the chance your be choking on these very words you wrote and please don’t criticise our strikers when you sell your best one such an idiot

  15. Matt.

    So you’ll know Arsenal are praised here an awful lot more than they are criticised. And you’ll see what you are up against when you read the comment that has just been posted and will appear immediately after yours or after this.

    Bent’s sale was immensely important, yes. Not because he went – his heart clearly wasn’t in it and I doubt we’d have seen many more goals from him had we insisted on him seeing the season out – but whether it was the owner, the chairman or the manager who determined the transfer should be permitted without cover, the decision was criminally reckless. Beyond that, I allow Bruce his whinge about the curse of injuries but only up to a point since all clubs have them and he’s had plenty of money to ensure an adequate squad. Refereeing decisions you can forget. We’ve lost points for sure (eg Stoke away, probably Liverpool in one or both games) but we’ve been given them too (Stoke at home, Arsenal away).

    We’ve been short of confidence, tactical nous and even, on occasion and this is unforgivable, passion. I believe we’ll stay up, possibly quite comfortably in the end, but it’s a long way short of what I, most other supporters and the owner envisaged, especially when we did what no other team has done and – Bentless – romped to victory at Stamford Bridge.

  16. I’m an Arsenal fan, and I can only apologize for some of our more knee-jerk, antagonistic fans.

    The internet brings with it many wonderful things – the ability to abuse others without having to take any responsibility for your words isn’t one of them.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your article (as I do whenever I visit your site).

    Good luck for the rest of the season (you may need it, as you appear to have turned into the Charlton of 10 years ago. Is it really all down to selling Bent?)

  17. Sachmo: I appreciate that you are making a proper point instead of just tossing yah-boo inanities. Arsenal were not even in the frame at that point,. Chamakh wanted to go to you, Bordeaux wanted to sell to you but Wenger at the time didn’t seem interested. Yes, the comparison was in their minds but Triaud and Blanc were guilty of appallingly disrespectful conduct whichever way you look at it.
    This was not, of course, an anti-Arsenal posting – the mention of his diving was merely en passant and barely even controversial – but an anti-Bordeaux one. They behaved badly and ought to have apologised.

    As for our own shortcomings, you’re preaching to the converted. Bent’s sale would have been good business only if we’d had someone else lined up. A glaring failure of management.

  18. to be fair, when he meant a smaller club, i think he meant in comparison to arsenal, not bordeaux. Bordeaux won the ligue 1 title and were playing in the champions league. Why would he want to move to a club that doesnt even play in europe nor challenge for titles? Also selling your best striker to a relagation threatened team really outlines your intentions

  19. and has only started 16 games in th PL….How must you feel when your top scorer leaves for a **** club haha brilliant!!

  20. cant be that bad he’s at a club in the champs lge, and has scored in every competition this season….his first year here

  21. Another humourless Gooner?

    You may find all of seven of them have come in the Premier. Think you’ll find that is easily surpassed not only by the number of dives but also by the number of goals Darren Bent had for us, ie playing in a bad team/for a small club, at the same stage of last season. Bent being the man we bought when we couldn’t have Chamakh.

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