Worst case scenario is they inspire Morgan Schneiderlin in a Saints victory. But what are we absolutely guaranteed to see at St James Park on Sunday's special day in celebration of our cross-channel friends?
Bonjour mon ami. Bienvenue à St James Park. Allez le Toon!!!
And that has exhausted my magnificent grasp of the French language, GCSE style, for another year. But yes if you are going to watch Newcastle United this Sunday you will be attending on ‘French Day’ as the club celebrate the growing contingent of French players currently plying their trade on the Tyne.
‘’I think this is a fantastic idea. The French players who were here last season and the players who arrived in January are very proud to be here and to play for Newcastle United so it will be very special to see our fans celebrating our culture and sharing it with us. The support from our fans and our teammates is a big reason why players have wanted to come here to Newcastle. We hope to repay that support on the pitch by giving the best performances we can.’’
Reports suggest there shall be a special French themed surprise as well as a half-time sing-song, face painting and costumes. It sure should be a long way away from the usual site of a grotesquely obese yet pride inspiring tattooed yobbo jiggling his pudge around after Newcastle find the back of the net.
So with this celebration of the French culture which stereotypical and potentially politically incorrect hegemonies can we expect to see on offer this Sunday?
A simple way for a Brit to channel the French spirit is to buy a novelty Garlic Necklace. Anybody who is anybody can tell you that the busy pedestrians walking along the Champs-Elysees on a typical Paris morning will all be adorning the Garlic Necklace. It also doubles up for a Vampire Slayer costume on Halloween. Consumer advice from HITC’s sport section at your pleasure.
Face painting means there is going to be mimes …. And lots of them! Expect to see plenty of tug-of-war, walking down the stairs and everybody’s favourite; man stuck in a glass box on show.
Ahh Oui Oui this is a much less potentially offensive item to bring along to the game. There should hopefully be plenty of red-white-and-blue flying around Newcastle this Sunday; unless France are victorious in the rugby Saturday (awkward).
Nobody will really know the words but I am sure there will be an attempt at singing the French National Anthem at the game; that will inevitably become more of a Geordie tuneless hum above all else.
Here is a quick snippet of the anthem in English for any interested readers.
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
You bear or hold back your blows!
You spare those sorry victims,
Who arm against us with regret.
Who arm against us with regret.
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who, mercilessly,
Rip their mother's breast!
Sacrebleu!!! That should get the players passionate enough. Newcastle fans should hope it doesn’t get arguably Southampton’s best player this season Morgan Schneiderlin too fired up either.
That would be an embarrassing turn up for the books if he scored the winner.
What will you be doing to celebrate French day at St James Park?
image: © korobukkuru