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 …

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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).

Read moreRemember Chamakh? The joke’s on Bordeaux now

Forget Spearing’s dive for Liverpool: Lyon’s cheat in a different class

James Forrest & Dejan LovrenImage: Ronnie Macdonald (Lovren, right, practises ballet skills in Lyon v Celtic, Emirates Cup)

No complaints about today’s result. Whatever justified grievances we have with the match officials, Liverpool deserved to win and we deserved nowt. And, in the latest from our French Fancies series about football on the other side of the Channel, we identify a much nastier example of the ugly face of football …

In one way Jay Spearing is not a cheat at all. But then nor, in one way, was Gary McAllister. Both were indeed fouled by Sunderland players, so falling over was not an impossible consequence.

Their status as cheats is judged on what happened next. The fouls occurred outside the penalty area and the fouled players proceeded to float though the air (McAllister) or run and plunge (Spearing) to land well inside the box.

Read moreForget Spearing’s dive for Liverpool: Lyon’s cheat in a different class

French fancies: feeble Bordeaux, hapless Arles-Avignon


If you have no interest in French football, scroll down to explore the rest of what appears at Salut! Sunderland or wander off for a trip round northern towns at the parent site Salut! or to read about folk and roots music at Salut! Live.

But regulars will know that from time to time, M Salut honours the French side of his family – I may have grown up in County Durham but Mme S comes from Le Mans, where our own St├ęphane Sess├Ęgnon played for two season – by reporting on Ligue 1.

Read moreFrench fancies: feeble Bordeaux, hapless Arles-Avignon