Posted: 6/13/2009
Title: OO - AH, CANTONA: ALLEZ LES ROUGES

Blog:                                                                                                                         

         I haven't laughed and cheered so much since watching Mexico lose, again, and again!! Well, I got that off my chest.

        In 1996 at the UEFA Championships in England, there were some really great advertising hordings from UMBRO.   Outside Old Trafford there was one that stated  "1966 Was a Great Year for England-Eric Was Born"   Well, it did not refer to Englands' only World Cup triumph but to Eric Cantona, born in Paris May 24th 1966 and after a falling out in France he came to England to restart his career. Sheffield Wednesday gave him a 2 week trial before Howard Wilkinson at Leeds United signed him and they won the last of the old First Division Championships in 1991.

       By November 1992 he was not wanted or appreciated, and the steal of the century, a 1.2 million transfer across the Pennines to Old Trafford, was the start of 5 years in red, and some fantastic football, before he shocked everyone and retired in 1997. He had won league championships with 3 clubs, OM-Marseille, Leeds United and Manchester United. and is now the manager of the French beach football team. In 2001 he was voted Man Utd  'Player of the Century' by fans.

      Today I watched the premier of LOOKING FOR ERIC, a heroic comedy directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty.   It's about a postman in Manchester, also called Eric, played by Steve Evets, who is a broken man. He drives round roundabouts the wrong way, has trouble with his job, which worries his mates, and is thinking of suicide.  He had walked out on his wife and baby daughter 3 decades ago and his work mate Meatballs, played superbly by John Henshaw, suggests that he and other workers think about somebody they admire. Eric still admires CANTONA, and his messy bedroom walls are covered with Manchester United souvenirs and a huge Cantona poster.  Its a joy to see many of the fantastic goals that Cantona scored for Sir Alex Ferguson in the movie.

      Eric the King literally walks into his room, and into his life, to council him and try and get him to talk and hook up with his ex wife Lily, while he is baby sitting for their only daughter Sam's baby Daisy.  'When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown in the sea.' and other Cantona sayings are intersperced with some basic Mancunian language. 'I am not a man-I am CANTONA!'.

      Along the way he makes some bad decisions, complicated by his two teenage step sons at his house who get into trouble with a local tough guy, his minders and a very fierce dog. You can see the trailer in French or English on You Tube.

     It all ends happily in the end, which you have to see, so I won't spoil it for you, and will make you laugh and cheer the triumph of good over evil.

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