This old clip, starting with Eric Roy waltzing through the Chelsea defence to set up Niall Quinn’s first goal in that 4-1 hammering of too long ago, seemed as good a way as any of illustrating a quick look at events in French football over the weekend.
The team Eric now manages, Nice, who therefore qualify for Salut! Sunderland support in the way Paraguay and Ghana did in the World Cup. came back from the long trip to Brittany with three points after an excellent 2-1 win over Lorient. Loïc Remy, for whom each game is described as probably his last for Nice (Marseille have joined the clubs wanting him but Spurs look favourites) got the winner.
That’s four points from two games for our Mecs from the Côte d’Azur, and they’re sixth top.
Meanwhile Didier Deschamps is in deep trouble with Marseille, the champions, who lost for the second successive weekend (3-2 at Valenciennes). Lyon also lost and have just a point from two games. Poor little Arles-Avignon AC suffered a second defeat and, early as it is, look excellent candidates for a swift return to Ligue 2.
Salut! Sunderland‘s vendetta against les Girondins de Bordeaux is not quite over, of course. It will continue, at whatever level of intensity we choose, until the day Jean-Louis Triaud, the Bordeaux president, apologises for his charmless remark about Sunderland 13 months ago when we were keen on buying Marouane Chamakh.
“I don’t want to insult Sunderland,” said the arrogant winemaker before doing just that. “But I don’t even know where they finished last season.”
Well, I know where Bordeaux are this season. Second – sorry, I mean joint – bottom after two thoroughly satisfying defeats, Montpellier away and now Toulouse at home. And Chamakh had to make do with a long, unrewarding last season at small-time Bordeaux before belatedly getting his wish to join Arsenal (a year after we’d found a much better striker anyway). That’s Triaud, incidentally, on the right of our old friend Kamini-le-Ouf’s photo (we have nothing against Bordeaux fans).
And let’s not forget that the Bordeaux manager at the time was Laurent Blanc, who added his own derogatory centime’s worth: “If he has to go, it will be to a big club. That’s why I am standing in the way of a departure to Sunderland.”
Where is Blanc now. In charge of the disgraced French national side, five of whose World Cup squad are supposed to be up before the beaks in Paris tomorrow to face their comeuppance for the la mutinerie de Knysna. If any Salut! Sunderland readers feel strongly enough, they are invited to wander over to the When Saturday Comes website to read and maybe comment on my piece on the following item (by me):
I will put the payment in kind for writing it, something from the WSC shop, into the pot so that we can start a Who Are You? equivalent of the manager-of-the-month award.
As for M Blanc, he’s just hoping to get post-South Africa disciplinary inconveniences out of the way and regain access to his bratpack for the Euro 2012 qualifying games now creeping up on him. His second string lost their friendly in Norway – absence from which was the squad’s painless collective punishment – by 2-1 the other night.
* See also: Eric Roy on passion and frustration on Wearside