Probably for one week only, French Fancies returns to record the latest edition of the Mediterranean exploits of one Steven Fletcher, on loan from SAFC to Marseille …

There are worse things footballers can be called than goats, as Olympique de Marseille were during Saturday’s 0-0 draw on Saturday, a 14th home game in Ligue 1 without a win.

If the people calling you goats also happen to accompany the jibe with the Benny Hill theme tune played from the stands, it seems even less wounding as an insult.

But it was not simply a case of gentle, harmless banter or wall-to-wall good humour at the Vélodrome on Sunday as our own (if only just) Steven Fletcher and the rest of the OM team were given a piece of the supporters’ collective mind.

The draw with our old bêtes noires, Bordeaux, also made it nine games, home or away, without a league win – and the crowd’s reaction got nastier.

If OM are hardly in the same pickle as us, the result leaves them an uncomfortable six points from the drop zone. Five games remain and while Marseille are best placed, among the six clubs in most danger of going down with already relegated Troyes, narrow survival is not what that club thinks, with good reason, that it’s about.

Disgruntled hotheads lit flares during Sunday’s match (though in fairness, as Pete Sixsmith will recall from a visit with Monsieur Salut (vs Troyes a few seasons back), they do that even when winning. After the match, about 200 fans had to be dispersed by riot police using tear gas.

The players – my local paper described Fletcher as “available but having little impact” – were not alone in attracting the supporters’ fury.

The owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus was described in banners as a “rich incompetent heiress” and advised to “get lost” or, in sexist fashion, get back to her “real job as housewife”.

Fletch can console himself that there are worse places to be in the world than Marseille, even when things are going wrong and provided you keep out of the way of all those feuding, gun-crazed drug dealers.

In other news, a certain ex-Mag, Hatem Ben Arfa, scored all three as my other local side, Nice, waltzed past Rennes and into fourth place.

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

3 Responses to “French Fancies: Marseille fans get Steven Fletcher’s goat (and not just his)” Subscribe

  1. Eric012 April 12, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Relegated twice in the same season with different clubs? Couldn’t happen to a nicer person!

  2. Phil D April 12, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    I assume he hasn’t posted a picture of himself with a posh car on Twitter again. The fans wouldn’t be best pleased. He may find it covered in goat crap.

  3. Pete Sixsmith April 14, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Interesting how much our performances have improved since we got rid of Fletcher and Johnson. How much negativity in the dressing room came from those two?

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