Gyan: gyannen to sign or what?

Update: from the Sunderland Echo: photographs of Asamoah Gyan arriving at Newcastle Airport have been posted on Facebook.

For Salut! Sunderland’s Nice corner – our regular look at French football – I scoured today’s L’Equipe in vain hope of finding authoritative news that Asamoah Gyan is already booking his passage from Rennes to Roker.

One or two other French reports were still talking of our interest in bolstering an attack “trop dépendant de Darren Bent” as one put it. But the emphasis was more along the lines of “Sunderland not abandoning hope of signing…” than “Sunderland set to clinch deal ..”.

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Salut!’s Nice corner: Eric Roy 4 Jean-Louis Triaud 0

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.

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Eric Roy on passion and frustration in Sunderland

Salut! Sunderland chats to Eric Roy, a man whose time at the Stadium of Light was, sadly, short but who is remembered with great fondness by many supporters …

See also: why Salut! Sunderland is supporting Nice

There are players who go for season after season for most their careers, giving their all for Sunderland. There are players whose magical – or maybe just full-blooded – performances, as goalstoppers, goalmakers or goalscorers, leave indelible memories.

And there are those recognised by discerning fans as oozing class but who, for any reason from persistent injury to managerial misjudgement, play so rarely that they must have something special to remain in people’s minds almost 10 years after moving on with only 27 games and a solitary goal to show for a season-and-a-half at the club.

Step forward Eric Roy, a midfielder possessing the sort of gifts only a fairly blinkered management team could fail to appreciate. The same Eric Roy who, in the post only a few days ago but nine or 10 years since he last kicked a ball for SAFC, received a request out of the blue from a Sunderland fan asking for his autograph.

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Nice tale about ‘ooh aah’ Eric Roy

00-01 Eric Roy Match Worn Shirt
Image: Sunderland shirts

Despite the tone of recent pieces, there IS still something good to say about French football. Needless to say, there’s a strong Sunderland connection here …

Salut! Sunderland has hit upon an obvious choice of team to support in the French top-flight Ligue 1 that kicks off a week on Saturday. It did no harm to Paraguay in the World Cup, backed by this site in honour of their Sunderland players (Paulo da Sila and Cristian Riveros) and red and white stripes. And now we hope our cheerful allegiance to the Olympique Gymnaste club de Nice will bring even more sunshine to the Mediterranean coast than it already enjoys.

Think back to a cold Saturday afternoon in Sunderland. Dec 4 1999. Not a bit like the Cote d’Azur.

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England, Algeria and a city en fête

Clip: Matt2586

There was another night when England had an important match, and I found myself enjoying a non-football night out in France instead.

It was only a week or two before September 11. England away to Germany in a World Cup qualifier. I was tucking into a great meal in the pretty Normandy town of Honfleur, not far from the distinctly unpretty city of Le Havre. Such was the depth, then, of my eternal club-before-country feeling that I’d briefly forgotten about the game in Munich.

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