Monday, 28 April 2008

Oh Happy Day

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.


Wyn Grant said...

I was at a (metropolitan) French restaurant in Montreal last night where the staff refused to speak English - although they could. I thought of you in France as I struggled with the menu.

Anonymous said...

What is next for the godless traveller, afternoon tea with the Vicar?

Looks like our team felt the same as you on Saturday...a pointless trip to Barnsley.

Why does nobody see what is happening! This is shocking.

We have a bunch of players who are not bothered...there is no fear.

We have a manager who I have respect for but is losing the plot. It is one daft excuse after another. It is not being unkind to suggest that his answer for everything is next season...he will correct this and that next season.

AP how? Surely you must sell players to buy, most of the squad should be fighting for a future if not with us then to attract a new club. Yet they roll over and die as soon as the game starts. It is a disgrace and a huge concern. BA don't you turn Christian and start defending this shower of shit.

I am not painting all players with the same brush, the hangers on are known to us all.

BA or anyone would you give money to AP to buy more players given his record in the transfer market and his current muddeled thinking?

If one listed in date order AP's comments on team performance he would cringe and see a reflection of a manager lost in his own confusion.

Cambridge Addick

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse we lose Peter Varney and get David Brent in as Chief Executive.

Anonymous said...

Cambridge your concerns are justified.

That performance stinks and have they no respect for the club, themselves never mind us.

Given the disappointment of this season, it should be a top priority to try and sort out or confirm in the remaining games what needs to be done for next year. The waste of such an opportunity is shameful.

We have to go up next season or we will not be in a position to compete in the future.

Your question as to why AP should get money for players is valid.

Is there any there of substance unless we sell first?

Why give him money if we are struggling to work out his intentions. What is he telling the board?

Again we are expected to go forward to next season with nothing more then hope but little substance that this shambles won't be repeated.

All I am asking for is that the teams gives it everything and in my view that is not happening.

Anonymous said...

Vicar here

Normally i would try to calm troubled waters but I have to agree with the comments above. AP has become unstable with his reasoning and management style throughout the season.

I suggest he has to thin the squad out, then look to buy. Many of the players on view last sat just do not cut the mustard and must be let go.

As for AP himself, he has one season to show he has what it takes to gel a team, cultivate a "must win,can win" mentality and produce the right football for a tough division.

As fans we have to support him in this and give the "new" team for next season our total backing, to get our beloved club back into the division we belong.

I will be at the last game of the season and will cheer our team and manager on!

Take care of yourselves