Like many others who watch French football, I have a soft spot for Auxerre. Not just because I love Burgundy, but because the football team – they were managed for 36 years by the same man, Guy Roux – seemed for so long a stable fixture of the French game.
Tonight I found it in my heart to loathe them, before remembering that even if a team has a big toerag element within its support – fill in the missing letters in M***w**l or L***s or C**d*f* – it is necessarily a toerag club.
With their barrages of tennis balls and toilet paper, a significant minority of Auxerre fans to be known from now on as la racaille or les voyous twice stopped the game against Montpellier. This could have swayed the outcome of the championship since all matches kicked off the at the same time. The effect on Montpellier players’ nerves must have been unbearable.
Yes, like much of France -and also my Mag Twitter follower Ninème, a great fan of French footie – I wanted Montpellier to win or draw, all that was needed to secure the title and stop PSG claiming it with all their Qatari gold.
And yes, if I were an Auxerre fan, I’d be upset and even angry about going down, a fate sealed before this game.
But I am delighted the yobbish interruptions merely delayed the result and therefore, for a short time, the identity of the league title winners. In the event, PSG’s win at Lorient mattered for nothing; since Montpellier also won, they took the league by three points.
It was soon after the second disruption at Auxerre that we heard confirmation that PSG had won their game. With Auxerre-Montpellier at 1-1, we knew then – with the two frontrunners on equal points and goal difference – that an Auxerre winner would send the trophy to Paris.
Thanks heavens it didn’t happen. Bravo Montpellier, MHSC or whatever you wish to call supertubby Louis Nicollin’s club.
But I have no reasont to thank anyone for poor Dijon’s relegation. Patrice Carteron’s team needed to do better than other threatened clubs to survive but succumbed to a 5-0 drubbing at Rennes.
And now? Do we buy Giroud or Utaka, scorer of both Montpellier goals, or do we settle for Grant Holt? Discuss …