THEY WERE SH*%E IN BLACK N’ WHITE STEPHANE GUIVARC’H
By Omar Mirza
Sunday 26 Dec 2010 11:41:00
Browse all They Were Sh%*@E In Black And White articles
 

 

Its France ‘98.  A World Cup Summer. England are out, beaten in heartbreaking circumstances on pens by the Argies in the second round. France are motoring towards their first ever World Cup triumph and one of their ‘stars’ is set to light up Tyneside in due course.

 

A French side containing some fine players namely Deschamps, Desailly, Zidane, Thuram and Lizarazu would eventually romp to a 3-0 success over Brazil. It also contained a lone ranger. Their perennial ahem ‘hit-man’ by the name of Stephane Guivarc’h, with as you can see an oddly placed apostrophe in that surname of his.

 

Unfortunately for us that wasn’t the only thing odd about this Gallic sharpshooter.

 

‘FROG ON THE TYNE!’ roared The Sun’s back page in its usual subtle xenophobia-ridden manner, announcing the arrival of Guivarc’h to these shores and of course to Tyneside itself.

Now a man who has hit over 20 goals in each of his last two seasons and comes with a World Cup winner’s medal hanging around his neck is not to be sniffed at I reckoned. Not for a paltry £3.5 million fee from Auxerre.

 

Oui aye man!

 

Then it hit me. This is the same calamity that I have just spent witnessing contribute the total some of sweet fuck all to France’s imminent charge to glory. This is the same dud who France have actually won the tournament in spite of and not because. Oh dear.

 

They played with a lone striker in Wor Stephane, though I’m pretty much certain the Frogs would have posed an even greater threat if they’d started each game with ten men. Oh dear.

 

I recalled some of his catalogue of misses during that tournament as our new maverick strode purposefully behind enemy lines only to fluff chance, after chance, after chance. Only the brilliance of those around him hid his shortcomings. Oh dear.

 

Now I know what you’re thinking. How can anyone possibly be judged as being truly inept in the space of just four games for the Toon. Well trust me seeing is believing and Guivarch’s subsequent rapid departure only heightens my fury.

 

 

Dalglish brought him in. And after an uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to Charlton, Kenny was on his bike.

In came Ruud Gullit, and ‘Sexy Football’ was back on the agenda. So sexy in fact we were well and truly bummed on Ruud and indeed Stephane’s debut  thanks to a 15-minute hat-trick from Welsh midget and future Tyneside villain, Michael Owen.

 

But our hero had his say in between Owens rampage and notched a debut goal too. Yes the only chink of light from a rotten opening 45 minutes was the fact that the only World Cup winner on show had become an instant Gallowgate hit.

 

Guivarc’h displayed the composure of a goalscoring great as our very own White Pele steadied himself 8 yards out collecting Rob Lee’s pass and firing into an empty net. Via the inside of the post.

Deadly!

 

Gullit didn’t get much right during his stint at SJP. But even he could spot a steaming pile of useless shite a mile off.

 

Hence Monsieur Guivarc’h’s paltry return of appearances in the hallowed stripes. His nadir would come a month or so later when Guivarc’h turned in one of the worst displays ever witnessed by an NUFC ‘striker’ that I can recall.

 

In a 2-0 reverse at Spurs (many thanks to that Norwegian hotshot Steffen Iversen for a quickfire brace), Guivarc’h was a disgrace. Running down blind alleys, winning nothing in the air or on the ground ,in fact it was such a listless performance I was hankering for the return of Tony Cunningham and Frank Pingel in an instant!

 

His one golden chance was fairly routine too, but it came as no surprise that not only did he miss the goal, but the ball completely too.

 

If Carlsberg did World Cup winning flops.........

 

 

Ruud shipped him out ASAP to Rangers who (unfortunately for all parties concerned) had already attempted to entice Stephane to their Ibrox lair before he said non and opted for North East England.

Lucky us.

 

Somewhat astonishingly, we managed to recoup every single penny as Dick Advocaat shelled out the same fee to take Guivarc’h North of the border.

 

So it was with no real surprise that I watched Guivarc’h’s Gers debut unfold on Sky, away to St Johnstone.

 

Lo and behold the useless French bugger scored twice in a 7-0 rout. And one of those was a peach of a goal too, collecting the ball, turning and chipping the keeper all in one swift movement.

 

I hadn’t seen a finish like that since the days of Micky Quinn for fucks sake! Perhaps, at last, Stephane had found his level.

 

Sadly not.

 

Despite helping the Jock (no that’s not a typo!) outfit to a League Cup final success, Dick and Co sussed pretty quickly that he was indeed a lazy, piss poor excuse of a footballer and miraculously even they managed to ship him back to Auxerre for a bargain £3.4 million by the end of the season.

 

Guivarc’h played out the rest of his career in his homeland, spending two seasons with Auxerre and an injury-plagued year with Guingamp, before being forced to retire due to the effects of a knee injury in 2002.

 

He hit the headlines again almost a decade later when the Daily Mail named him as the worst striker in the history of the Premier League!

 

Slamming Gullit, the English and the price of croissants too, our man vehemently defended his honour and stated that he never stood a chance on English shores.

 

That Daily Mail article was bang on the money though in my book.

 

Stephane Guivarc’h truly was Shite in Black N’ White.

OMAR MIRZA



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