By Barry Hindmarch
Tuesday 15 Nov 2011 08:37:00
Browse all They Were Sh%*@E In Black And White articles

Ils ont été shite en noir et blanc – Le Francais


Or put another way, They Were Shite In Black And White – The French


As our current French Foreign Legion grows, with Cabaye, Marveau, Abied and Senaglese-French Ba joining the returning Ben Arfa on Newcastle’s books this summer, it will be interesting to see how they perform over the coming months.  Of course, we have had some quality players from across Le Channel in the past, most notably David Ginola (later pronounced Dav-eed Jin-o-lar) and Laurent Robert.  We have also, unfortunately had one or two not so good – or “merde” as they say in France.  Let’s remind ourselves of some of the most (un)forgettable…….


Jean-Alain Boumsong

Boumsong, was such a bad signing, that he has already had a full TWSIBAW dedicated to him on his own.  Signed from Rangers for £8m by Graeme Souness in a deal which looked so dodgy (especially as Souness allegedly got a piece of the fee), that the Stevens Enquiry looked into it.  To be fair, he didn’t look too bad at first, until he was ripped to shreds by non-league Yeading in the cup, and his form and confidence went downhill from there.  Amazingly, we sold him to Juventus (who had just been relegated) and got over £3m back.


Franck Dumas

Dumas signed in 1999, to slot into midfield and pass the ball around, the way those classy French players did at the time.  Unfortunately for our Laughing Cavalier look-alike, he wasn’t very good at this, and after only six appearances, and a few disparaging remarks about the club, the area and the Geordies, he was sent on his merry Gallic way back to France where he played out his career at Marseille, Lens and Caen, where he is currently manager.


Alain Goma

Once again we signed a French international centre back who looked ok, playing alongside Marcelino (who gave us the metaphorical and literal finger), but he seemed to buckle under the expectations of the club.  After only 33 appearances and one goal (against The Smoggies) he showed his lack of heart and ambition by dropping a division to sign for Fulham for £4m.


Stephane Guivarc’h

The man with the bizarre apostrophe in his name, was centre forward for the all conquering French national side of the late 90’s.  Unfortunately, then manager Kenny Dalglish somehow managed to sign the worst player ever to win a World Cup Winners medal, failing to score in the tournament.  At Newcastle, new manager Ruud Gulit (who could pick a bum player too) didn’t even fancy him, and after only 4 appearances and one goal, he was sent packing to Rangers, where he couldn’t cut the mustard (French or English) either.  Despite this spell in Britain, his record before and after, while playing in France, was pretty good, with a goal every other game in almost 300 matches.  That however didn’t help us, and the Daly Mail listed him as the worst striker in Premier League history. 


Other notable French foibles...

Sylvain Distin came to us on loan, but the long-necked speed merchant wasn’t keen on playing at left back and so moved to Man City despite the offer of a very good contact at Newcastle.  A move to Portsmouth was followed by a transfer to Everton where he has proven to be a steady performer in the Premier League.

Charles N’Zogbia (the Zog on the Tyne) was signed by Sir Bobby as a teenager and, to be fair, was a good player for us, helping us in our famous 4-1 win at the dark place with a solo goal, and by winning a penalty which proved to be Shearer’s last ever goal.  He did, and still does, have ideas above his station, and when Joe Kinnear called him “Insomnia” on TV, he was off to a big club – Wigan to be exact.  Rumours are that he could be moving back to SJP however, though several clubs including the red and whites are being linked with him – by the time you read this, we should all know if he is back.

Olivier Bernard was a big hit at left back for us, paying a big part in Bobby Robson’s European adventures.  He left after a contract dispute, and ended up at Southampton who promptly got relegated, though rumours are that he changed his mind on the contract offered by Newcastle, but we told him tough luck, the offer no longer stands.  A spell at Rangers then saw him back in Toon, but after a season without making an appearance he was on his way, and now coaches in the region.

Lionel Perez was something of a cult figure (I said CULT) at the Wearside lot, but after their famous Wembley defeat against Charlton on penalties, he signed for us, but never played a competitive match, before moving on and down through the leagues.


So there you have it, a few French chaps who didn’t quite get things right at Newcastle.  Let’s hope Alan Pardew’s new French Revolution turns out to be to be a winner – otherwise it will be off with his head! 

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