Arsène, Thierry and Jean-Louis: a triumvirate of French arrogance?

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Colin Randall treads difficult domestic territory, braves the disapproval of a French wife and two half-French daughters and, setting himself up as judge, jury and La Cour de Cassation, finds two of the above guilty as charged …

Not every Englishman is a BNP thug who steams through French railway carriages singing: “If it wasn’t for the English, you’d be Krauts.”

We don’t all subscribe to the “lovely country, shame about the people” jibe – though I actually heard it recently on the lips of my French barber (a necessarily short encounter). Some of us even marry ’em, Frenchwomen that is not the barbers.

But what are we to make of the behaviour of three Frenchmen, clues to whose identities appear in the headline? Two are easy to guess; the third is largely unknown in England unless you support Sunderland and therefore feel that Jean-Louis Triaud, president of the Girondins de Bordeaux football club, is a cross between arrogant oaf and prize clown.

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Bordeaux: borderline lunacy

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Until the Marouane Chamakh farce began, we had nothing against Bordeaux. Liked the city (though not too much), loved the (overpriced) wine, respected Laurent Blanc’s championship-winning achievements, albeit in a relatively weak league. Mais zut alors! M Blanc and his equally blank president have sorely tested our patience, and the entente cordiale …

In deference to the French half or, rather, third of its name, Salut! Sunderland had lately suspended hostilities against Bordeaux, hostilities aimed not so much at its fans* as at its arrogant, hard-of-thinking management.

But the latest outburst from the French champions’ president Jean-Louis Triaud cannot be overlooked. Having first claimed, along with the Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc that Sunderland was not a big enough club to sign Marouane Chamakh, he now says the deciding factor was Lilian Laslandes’s “depressing” spell on Wearside.

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