If Ligue 1 were a pantomime it’s likely that there would be plenty of people ready to cast Brandao in the role of the villain.
Though audible boos and hisses don’t usually accompany the Brazilian striker on to the pitch, his physical style of play does little to win him friends among opponents. Or, as Le Parisien puts it today:
“His style of moving, elbows regularly caressing the faces of opponents, and his rudimentary technique, coupled with chronic clumsiness, saw him quickly labelled a lumberjack.”
Elbows regularly caressing opponents faces? No one ever described Duncan Ferguson thus. French is such a beautiful language.
Already an unpopular figure in Paris due to his association with that lot from the south and his elbow on Yohan Cabaye during our match against St Etienne last season, Brandao futher blotted his copy-book by head-butting Thiago Motta in the players’ tunnel at the Parc des Princes following Saturday’s 2-0 win for PSG over his current club, Bastia. There’s no need to stick an ‘allegedly’ in there as the video evidence is pretty conclusive, and Motta has a broken nose.
Bastia released a statement this afternoon saying they are taking no further action against the player, and laying the blame at the feet of Motta himself, who was apparently chipping away at the Corsican players all match using some fruity language. Personally I find it difficult to believe that Motta, a man famous for his embodiment of the Corinthian spirit, would display such behaviour, but there you go. One suspects a lengthy ban and a hefty fine will be coming Brandao’s way once the LFP have finished their deliberations over the incident.
Brandao’s bonce has distracted from a couple of more important matters; PSG got their first Ligue 1 win of the season courtesy of a fine back post finish from Lucas Moura , and a well-taken second from Edinson Cavani , which owed much to the vision and quick-thinking of Marco Verratti, who enjoyed a fine game at the heart of the midfield.
But the victory came at a price, with Greg van der Wiel departing injured at half-time, joining Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the treatment room. VdW has a fractured vertebrae, an injury which sounds horrific but one that will apparently only keep him out for ten days or so. Ibra’s problem, a strained muscle in the chest, is more serious, and he’s looking at least a month on the sidelines.
With Motta likely to miss a game or two while he gets his nose fixed ( ), it will leave PSG without the spine of the team – Silva; Motta; Zlatan – which served them so well last season.
While I doubt any of the other Ligue 1 teams will be getting the violins out in sympathy, we didn’t cope very well last year without our key men, Ibra especially. It will be up to the rest of the squad to step up to the plate as we face matches against two of our recent bogey sides – Evian and St Etienne – in the coming weeks.