French Fancies: Steed marches on and Nancy fans show Sunderland the way

This week, we combine a very brief Salut! Sunderland’s Week with an even briefer French Fancies

No need to rely on the French speakers in the Sunderland squad – Sess and Mig for starters but who knows what other linguists lurk in the dressing room? – to get the message of this photo, taken at the home ground of the French Ligue 1 side (for now) Nancy, across in time for the Britannia. We’re not talking A level or degree stuff.

By and large we’ve been OK at the back so far. Man City was a tonking and deserved, but if the lads upfield had been doing their job, the goals scored total would be a lot higher than the goals conceded tally.

And we are not in quite the same predicament as Nancy. At the bottom with just three points from nine games and likely to remain there.

Le But est Ici
indeed. Maybe our travelling fans can just point towards the Stoke goal and hope the players cotton on – Fletcher is an honourable exemption from that jibe. Thanks again to @AshleyJane9 for the tweet that alerted me to the photo (if anyone knows its provenance, tell me so that i can properly credit it).

It is fair to say Martin O’Neill’s job is in no danger from Monsieur Salut. So I don’t suppose he will feel any need to listen when I plead for an outbreak of boldness and, if it is a pairing that works in training, Saha and Fletch to start together at Stoke. That would require, again in my non-expert view, Sessegnon to keep his place and provide creativity behind them.

So I’d send this lot out and hope for the best: Mignolet; Bardsley, Rose, O’Shea, Cuellar; Gardner, Cattermole, Sessegnon, Johnson; Saha, Fletcher. With McClean on the bench and expecting to be sent into the fray as an impact player. If James McFadden is fit – and surely he must be if he’s only on a three-month contract – stick him on the bench, too.

Jake's part of Spain will erupt if only we can win

As for France, I have begin to get annoyed about the stream of reports telling us how well Steed Malbranque is doing at Olympique Lyonnais. The man is having a stormer of a season. I’m delighted for him but, since OL are probably the best hope France has of stopping filthy rich PSG running away with Ligue 1, he’s doing it at such a decent level that I just wish he were doing it for us.

One French report ( )described his as “omnipresent” in a 1-0 win over Brest last weekend, showing “generosity and talent when distinguishing himself once again … with a display of the highest order … In the absence of ClĂ©ment Grenier, he is quite simply indispensable”.

Ah, and take a look at this extraordinary equalising goal for Toulouse in the last second of a recent game against Rennes (I am indebted to a Sunderland supporter @daninfrance who lives east of Toulouse in Castres) …

I said this was also an edition of Salut! Sunderland’s Week, so is there any other business?

* plenty of time to Guess the Score:

** see our Stoke City ‘Who are You?’:

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

*** And tell M Salut whether he’s talking rubbish about Sunderland, Stoke City and Arsenal in his latets ESPN Soccernet piece:

Jake captures the theme

For those whose interests stretch beyond football to folk music and current affairs, here are a couple of bonus postings:

***** Kate Rusby celebrates 20 years on the road in style:

***** And Sir Jimmy Savile springs to life to lambast the wicked media:

3 thoughts on “French Fancies: Steed marches on and Nancy fans show Sunderland the way”

  1. Love the banner.I hope no players have complained that their feelings are hurt.Good to see Reims holding their own.I remember their exploits in the early years of the European Cup when it was just for CHAMPIONS

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