Its another post centred more on France and Lyon La Duchere than the real love (still) of my (footballing) life - despite the latest threat of Pardew imposing a Stoke-like team of giants on us for next season. Maybe its just that there are times in any relationship where a little distance can help. This is certainly one of them – although there’s distance and distance. A wedding in Lille is a good enough excuse for avoiding a pointless (in every sense) trip to Barnsley. But for a lifelong atheist an evangelist wedding and reception is not exactly a heaven-sent escape. There was a time when you could get shorter odds on Palace surviving a season in the top flight than on me finding myself running around on a stage (with many others) throwing streamers at the blissful couple, shaking maracas while hollering along to ‘Oh Happy Day’. All that effort and we still lost 3-0.
Further evidence that god may not exist but does have a wicked sense of humour. I now have the euro from god. Before the wedding service my partner Suzanne and I did what any self-respecting couple would do, ie nip into a nearby bar for some pastis. The bar had some sort of horse racing betting going on. So I thought if we’re going to have our sins washed away might as well make the most of it and indulge in a little gambling to go with the alcohol.
Now as we all know church sermons are incredibly dull (vicar, if you’re out there I’m sure yours are the exception), being a mix of poor reasoning (to produce the ‘correct’ conclusion) and misconceptions/distortions presented as facts (our laws are based on christian principles etc). When the sermon is in a foreign language its even worse. You know the guy’s talking nonsense but you can’t pin it down. Suzanne did a little translating and it seemed the pastor was saying that god will provide and meet our needs. If we ask him for money he will give us money. Ha ha, says I, I’m asking for some money.
As Peter Cooke pointed out to Dudley Moore, you have to be specific with the request. We returned to the bar after the service to discover we had indeed won on the horses. I had asked and god had provided. But I don’t think that EUR1.80 was exactly what I had in mind.
I didn’t bother using up what little remains of any brownie points with him upstairs by asking for a Charlton win. It just didn’t matter. But maybe I should have asked for a little assistance for Lyon La Duchere as it seems the nerves are starting to jangle. Its getting tight at the top.
La Duche on Saturday were held to a 0-0 draw at home to 12th-placed Dijon(B). Despite dominating the game and having more unsuccessful penalty appeals than in a season for Ronaldo and Drogba combined, there was to be no breakthrough and Lyon Duchere had to settle for .... three points I think. I still have no idea how the points system operates in this league. Nevertheless, the good new is that Marseilles(B) lost 3-1 away to Venissieux Minguettes, a result which sees Lyon’s other team return to the top of CFA2 Groupe C. They now have 72 points to Marseilles’ 71. However, others are not out of it completely. Although Gueugnon(B) blew their chance of closing the gap on the top two with a surprise 1-3 reverse at home against mid-table Bourg-Peronnas, Villefranche-sur-Saone moved into third with a 2-1 win over Thiers.
So with four games each to go there’s still everything to play for. For Lyon La Duchere next up is an away fixture against mid-table CA Pontarlier, while Marseille are at home to Thiers. It looks an easier round for them than us. Villfranche-sur-Saone are at home to sixth-placed Corte. So the pressure’s really on.
I’m still hoping it will go to the wire for the last game of the season, Lyon Duchere at home to Marseille. Flights are booked (after the past weekend Eurostar is off my radar: will they please stop saying that everyone benefits from the move from Waterloo – they do not) and I’ll be there, hopefully resplendent in a home team shirt. I persuaded Suzanne to call the club just to check whether we needed to do anything to make sure we could get in on the day. It seems the idea that you might need to book ahead gave the guy on the other end of the phone the best laugh he’d had in ages, so she managed to explain that it’s all down to a mad Englishman. Apparently that made sense to him.