Steed: the last farewell?

Image: Addick-tedKevin

What a shame that Steed Malbranque has let it be know he is on the point of giving up football.

Only 31, and just 26 minutes into his new career at St Etienne, the former Sunderland midfielder has personal problems and appeared a troubled figure when he spoke to the Ligue 1 club’s manager Christophe Galtier on the eve of yesterday’s game at Sochaux.

He said he would not be making the journey with the squad. Galtier says Steed did not specifically say he was abandoning the game – “it wasn’t exactly what he told me but he is leaning towards it; it’s not impossible but you have to ask him the question. In any case I noticed a troubled young man and I am worried for him.”

Steed was ineligible for St Etienne’s first game but was sent on as a substitute in the draw at Marseille, where he was largely anonymous in 26 minutes on the field.

However, in the slower, more thoughtful (and much less exciting) French top tier, he could have made a mark as a mature, skillful player, for two or three more seasons.

The French football site Foot Mercato, describing Steed’s decision as “incredible”, says: “His ability to beat a player, his acceleration and his linkplay were all qualities the Chaudron (Cauldron, home to St Etienne) was impatient to see. It won’t see them. He has decided to end his career.”

The move from Sunderland seemed a good one pre-season, probably right for player and SAFC, even if we could have done with his creativity in the opening games.

Whatever his problems now (my local paper, Var-Matin, describes them as serious and they are not football-related), and whatever decision he makes concerning his footballing career if it is not already made, Salut! Sunderland wishes him bon courage.

Monsieur Salut

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5 thoughts on “Steed: the last farewell?”

  1. Sad news about Steed and John Parke. I believe that Steed’s family had been in the North East as he spoke of his children being settled in school. Hope it works out for him.
    John Parke was a classy player who never seemed to fulfill his potential at Sunderland. The board signed him and Harry Hood at the same time. I remember him being one of three goalkeepers we played in a 5-0 drubbing at Old Trafford. Monty went off injured, Charlie Hurley went in and then John Parke (it might have been the other way round!!).

  2. It’s very difficult living in another country to your family as a great many SAFC fans will know from experiencing that first hand. I did it for 18 months living on the other side of the Atlantic. It was not an experience that I would care to repeat.

    If Steed had been looking forward to being reunited with his family and he has returned to find that there are some issues or that situations are not what he had a right to believe then that’s a real shame. I feel for the bloke, I really do. His mind and attention is clearly not on football at the moment, whatever the reason. I wish the lad well and hope that he can resolve or come to terms with whatever it is that is troubling him.

  3. Posted by Salut! on Phil’s behalf (Is anyone else having problems when trying to post comments? If so, tell me at the email link between the Paris Hotels and Etineris ads , top right)

    Talking of “Last Farewells”.

    I picked up today, from RTG, that John Parke has passed way.

    For those who are too young to remember him, he was a “board” signing (When SAFC directors believed that they did not need a manager) in August 1964 and played 85 games for us, mainly as a left back.

    Apparently, he had been in ill health for some time and, also, suffered from alzheimers.

    RIP John.

  4. I’ve added a little more detail. It does seem family related in some way. I seem to recall Bruce saying his family was in France but my memory on that may be faulty. I completely endorse your last paragraph.

  5. Some of the French press were, I understand, suggesting that the “personal problems” were family related.

    Does anyone know, for sure, if his wife and children had stayed in France or had they been living with him in England?

    I’ve read some accounts, in the past, which have suggested one of those and others that suggested the direct opposite.

    If it was the former then, maybe, he discovered something that he had been, totally, unaware of when he returned to reside in France and then couldn’t handle it emotionally?

    Whatever the reason it had to be something that he was oblivious to only three weeks ago when he signed a two year contract with Saint-√Čtienne, otherwise why would he have signed it?

    I just hope that he keeps everything in perspective and can get his career back on track because he, certainly, gave many fans in England a lot of pleasure and happy memories.

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