Uproar at silent protest at Marseille, as manager is called a Japanese chicken.


“Making the Arsenal” – the book of Arsenal’s decline and rebirth

 Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal


by Billy le chien

I do like to keep the occasional eye on French football, particularly our loan player, ex-player and indeed the surrogate Man City that Paris St Germain has become.   But of course now there is Marseille, and I must say I had no idea how amusing a club could be (although over the years the Tinies have given us a chuckle or three).

But first, before OM (as we call them in the trade) the results…

This weekend Lorient lost 3-1 away to Stade Brestois 29.  Campbell played throughout, but Sunu (no longer one of ours of course), just came on for the second half.  Marseilles beat Dijon 3-2 while Lyon managed by Remi Garde beat St Etienne 2-0.    PSG, the Man City of the league, made it six wins in a row by beating Caen 4-2.

And so what of Marseille beyond that result?

In their last five games in all competitions (league cup, Champs League, and 3 league) Marseille have won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1, which is CRISIS written very large, down by the docks where the boats from Algiers pull up.

Two weeks ago a group of fans called for the sacking of the Didier Deschamps, the manager, putting up banners to that effect in the stadium.

Vincent Labrune the President rebuffed this saying the club “is like a big family and in any big family there are differing opinions. I can understand the fans’ disappointment, but as Margarita [the rather attractive lady owner of the club] has said, Didier is the right man for the job.”

Now I realise that saying the owner of the club is attractive is sexist, in that I have never said that about a male owner of a team on Untold.  So I am going to start searching for an attractive male owner of an English club.  All suggestions to Untold as usual.

But back to France.   Marseille then beat Barcelona 4-2 in the under 19s cup, so all was fine until  L’Equipe said the manager “is not untouchable”.  What I assume happened next is that Deschamps got a copy of Mr Wenger’s message to the Arsenal AGM but got the translation back into French wrong and said (translated back into English) “Is everybody at the club pulling in the same direction? I don’t want to say more, there are enough complications.  I don’t want to go into things you already know about, I know about, and a lot of people know about. Maybe I’ll come back to this soon.” 

Which I reckon makes it clear.

In response L’Equipe pointed out that Marseille have scored three goals from open play all season and hit the target with just ten out of 152 shots.

Then the fans upped the situation by arranging that the players should walk out and be greeted by … silence with the fans having vowed to give the team ‘grève d’encouragements‘ (no vocal support).   The banners (which they do quite well on the coast said)…

– ‘Silence, we’re sinking’
– ‘Millionaires in life, down-and-outs on the pitch’
– ’36 more points to avoid relegation’

José Anigo the sporting director, then talked to local journalists and said of the coach: “It’s time to stop blaming different people.  It’s irresponsible to come out with stuff like that in the current climate.”

He then called the boss something akin to a mechanical Japanese cartoon chicken.

Now I don’t know if you have ever been called a mechanical Japanese cartoon chicken, but I have to say it stretched my French a little to get this.  It does however seem to be a rather strong insult no matter how it is translated.

Didier Deschamps then said, “Never, in 27 years of my professional life, have I heard such abusive words said about me.  Nobody has the monopoly when it comes to love for this club. I love Olympique Marseille too.”

In the aftermath the president of the club tried to look authoritative so he imposed a fine on Mr Anigo (the sporting director, as I have mentioned), but didn’t tell anyone how much the fine was.  “More than ever before, the interests of Olympique de Marseille need to be placed ahead of the interests of individuals,” the president declared.

The (rather attractive) owner said nothing, but has in the past said she might sell up.

OM then took on Lens (currently 18th out of 20 in the second division – a league that has as its current leaders a club with the wonderful name of Clermont Foot).  OM won the league cup match 4-0 and got some applause from the crowd.  It was a bit like Manchester Untidy against Aldershot (or Torquay if you listen to Radio 5).

They then held a press conference in which a journalist said, “Has normality now returned the club?”

“I don’t know,” said the manager.

Honest, I’m not making this up.

Here’s the league table.


1 Paris Saint-Germain +15 12 29
2 Montpellier Hérault SC +12 12 26
3 LOSC Lille Métropole +9 12 23
4 Olympique Lyonnais +7 12 23
5 Toulouse FC +3 12 22
6 Stade Rennais FC +6 12 21
7 FC Lorient +1 12 17
8 AS Saint-Etienne -4 12 16
9 Olympique de Marseille +1 12 15
10 SM Caen -2 12 15
11 FC Sochaux-Montbéliard -6 12 14
12 Stade Brestois 29 0 12 12
13 AJ Auxerre -1 12 12
14 Evian TG FC -3 12 12
15 Girondins de Bordeaux -4 12 12
16 OGC Nice 0 12 11
17 Dijon FCO -12 12 11
18 Valenciennes FC -1 12 10
19 AS Nancy Lorraine -7 12 8
20 AC Ajaccio -14 12 7




Untold Arsenal – the (fairly) complete index

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here




12 Replies to “Uproar at silent protest at Marseille, as manager is called a Japanese chicken.”

  1. “Billy the Dog”; “Billy Le Chien”,
    Oh, the joys of a name that changes at each International border post! Oh, the confusion of the passport inspection officers…

  2. Zut alors mes amis….as Wenger would say in his Alsatian accented French! Marseilles seem to be a mirror image of AFC but do expect them to come to the emirates and give us a good game. We will do them the honour of giving them one as well.

  3. @ Anne, Roman Abromovich did a rather beguiling walk (think John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever) up to the High Courts of Justice today…

  4. Where is Phil? is he still having a lie down after getting the team selection for Chelsea correct on Saturday?

    I would go with Chezzer, Verm, Kos, Jenks, Santos, Rosicky, Song, Arteta, Theo, Gerv and Park tomorrow as my slightly suprising starting line up.
    This game is about tactics, Arsene Vs Dechamps. The Marseille team last time round were hoping to come up against an expansive and open Arsenal so they could exploit the gaps. The problem they encoutered was that, Arsenal kept it tight and compact. Dechamps has a real headache if he bases his team selection on our last meeting or any of our last three games he might of seen recently, because I don’t think there is enough talent in the Marseille team for them to really consider playing expansive football like Chelsea over 90 mins. Because of our 11 changes, the Bolton game will not of really told him anything about how and who we will play tomorrow either.

    Though I think we have to organise ourselves as if were playing against a good Bolton or Liverpool side. Arsenal subs will be vital in this game and Arsharvin could be very influencial coming off the bench, RVP goes without saying and Ramsey too.
    The reason I would go with Park (my 1st preference would of been Chamakh) for this one is because it would be unexpected and he has shown he can play against similar teams, I do however except this a bit of a risk because he’s not played that much and this is a massive game (I am hoping his french league experience counts for something though). Marseille won’t know whether to stick to marking him as they would of RVP, or switch focus to Theo or Gervinho who they think they do know. I would like Song to lead the midfield attack for this one.
    They also think our defence is weak, but I am hoping that Kos & Verm marshall the line to perfection tomorrow. We are in for a tough game tomorrow and they have an excellent goalie, who I hope doesn’t travel well.

  5. In football, I have played every position, and I’ve done athletic first aid for teams across a big range in abilities (best adult amateur, collegiate, provincial youth at nationals, …). I never wanted to get into managing a team.

    That notwithstanding, I too have noticed the lack of an “offical” UA prediction. For a couple of reasons (more psychological than anything), I would go for Fabianski in goal.

    On the back 4, Santos. I have nothing against Jenkinson. I would try Vermaelen and Mertesacker at centerback, and have Koscielny play right back. Mertesacker and Vermaelen haven’t worked together in a game (I suspect they have in practice). It is a pairing which needs to be investigated. If there are problems, Vermaelen and Koscielny can switch positions, and there is no need to waste a substitution. If there is a problem that switching Vermaelen and Koscielny can’t fix, I would look at Djourou as a substitute.

    As I am suggesting an experiment at centerback, Song should play in front of the centerbacks in midfield. How many experiments can one do in a game? I would put Ramsey and Benayoun as the other 2 midfield. If Ramsey and Benayoun can’t work as a pairing, Arteta would have to come in as a sub.

    Too many people seem to be focusing on van Persie at striker. I too would start Park at striker. For wingers, I think Walcott and Gervinho should start.

    Am I allowed to pick 7? Do I need to pick more?
    Bench: Szczesny, Djourou, Arteta. Arshavin, Ryo, RVP, AOC

    And as I can’t seem to track down a list of players listed for the game, I could have placed a player that was never selected.

    Champions League is a lot of money. EPL is bread and butter. More so, EPL is rough (flouting laws) and CL is not so bad in that regard. Starting with an experimental roster is probably less of a problem in CL than in the EPL. Especially if you pick the substitutes properly.

    I hope they do well. And I also hope we don’t pick up any injuries (we’ve had enough of those).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *