Mar 08

Europop 2008: Group C – France 1 Romania 1

FT19 comments • 740 views

Our first Group C match features a giant of the European pop game up against a relative newcomer. Play or download the songs right here and click below the cut for polls, managerial comment, analysis and previews!

FRANCE: Jodie Foster – “La Vie C’Est Chouette”

The manager says: “Like St Etiennes green kit in the 70s, we are seeking glory through brightness and confusion. Just as green signifies hope and the joys of spring, so Jodie entrances the masses with a siren song of hope. And demented lunacy. No, we don’t know what she’s on about, but this is a stylistic Round 1 effort, as sugary as a Latte on the Left Bank.

You haven’t even noticed while you were listening, we shot you a haughty glance and mocked your fashion yet have you? Vive La France!”

Our analyst says: The lone striker may be more familiar to followers of other sports, but the rest of this outfit are certainly French, with a languid passing style reminiscent of an earlier era. Are these nostalgic tactics really suited for the modern game, though? And can the glamorous star up front stick it in the net?

ROMANIA: Crush & Alexander Ungureanu – “Hello”

The manager says: “After my surprise call up by the Romanian Pop Association I was nervous about what to expect given their lack of experience in playing at this level. I shouldn’t have worried though – on arrival here in sunny Bucharest I soon realised I was spoilt for choice by the array of talent on display in the domestic league. The players may lack the experience and sophistication of our French rivals, but I’m hoping that Alexandra’s youthful enthusiasm and raw talent will be enough to catch the over-confident French off-guard. Deşteaptă-te, Române!”

Our analyst says: No sneaky gauloises behind the medical centre for this lot – Romania are fielding a fearsomely well-drilled team and playing a very direct game. The glassy-eyed bulk of the formidable defensive line suggest that their former Soviet ‘dieticians’ have been earning their pay well, but while Romanian fitness levels are not in doubt you wonder if a lack of flair will tell against them.

HOW TO VOTE: Listen to the songs. Pick the one you like best! You have six days to do this – poll closes next Thursday.

France v Romania: Which Do You Prefer?

  • Romania: Crush & Alexander Ungureanu 55%
  • France: Jodie Foster 45%

Total Voters: 20

Poll closes: 3 Apr 2008 @ 10:00

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COMING NEXT: Two new managers go head-to-head, both with serious on-paper pedigree. Holland lost no time in removing their former manager after his long-bosh game saw them fail to progress in the Pop World Cup: they’ve turned to Doctor Mod, who boasts an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Dutch leagues. Meanwhile Matt DC, a well-respected commentator and analyst of the game, has taken over Italy: the popazzuri are expected to come back strongly after a frankly disasterous Pop World Cup showing. It promises to be an intriguing match.


  1. 1
    Steve Mannion on 28 Mar 2008 #

    A curious team selection by the French! The music is nice enough but maybe the approach is too familiar for their opponents who could gain an advantage with their pace. Are they gambling too much on their veterans here? I just hope we get to see some of their scintillating crop of young players come through before the group stage ends.

    In reply the Romanians offer solid synth pressure – quicker than expected on the break and some sturdy playmaking to upset sceptics. The only doubt for me is their shots on target frequency and whether it can be enough. On this occasion, just maybe.

  2. 2
    koganbot on 28 Mar 2008 #

    Given their drastically different looks, it’s interesting that in its own way each team plays a busy, swarming game. The Rumanians (spelled with “u” here in the Murrica) bolster their classic Italodisco with layers and echoes, but their singer needs not to be bolstered, but a clear path. The French meanwhile don’t go for a path at all, rather a soundscape, taking in the whole field, as it were, easy-lounging disco from the lush early ’70s, crowded with chatter and deliberate misdirection. Despite their diffusion, I think the French are playing a stronger game, even if in general I prefer the passionate Rumanian style.

  3. 3
    Alyson Tamara Guard on 29 Mar 2008 #

    I’ve gone for a quite unashamed style over substance song with my selection – Jodie Foster, in all her late teenage confused late 70s French glory, taking time out from making Moi, Fleur Bleue to entrace the nation, and then making no sense at all with her thoughts (incidentally, the lyrics allegedly came to the songwriter in a dream). What more could anyone want! It’s stylish, with a star singer, and represents a sophisticated, understated approach to the game, the solid passing game replacing the long, pointless ball. (I can totally google things about your football!).

    Besides, if it wasn’t for our generosity, the Romanians couldn’t afford to get here! We paid their air fares! If we don’t win, we’re taking back Alexandru Ion Herlea’s Doctorate in the History of Science and Technology from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers and we’re sending in Jordy, the rapping baby! Be warned!


  4. 4
    koganbot on 29 Mar 2008 #

    It’s hard being a baby.

  5. 5
    Alyson Tamara Guard on 29 Mar 2008 #

    Jordy certainly thinks it’s hard being a baby, especially with such complacently indiferrent hippy parents in the film clip stealing his cereal, however, be warned Europe, if we don’t get out of this group, he’s coming! And he’s got issues! Especially after his tourist attraction, Jordys Farm, got shut down.


  6. 6
    Matt DC on 31 Mar 2008 #

    Never let it be said that the Italian team do not offer their opponents respect, but I have a feeling the French team selection would make even the Republic of Ireland 1994 squad blush. I’m going to go with Romania’s route-one trance pop on principle.

  7. 7
    lockedintheattic on 31 Mar 2008 #

    It’s clear the French are a bit more scared of my Romanian squad than they’d like to admit – we never expected a team of France’s heritage to be desperate enough to draft in a US-born striker just to get past us.

  8. 8
    Alyson Tamara Guard on 31 Mar 2008 #

    There has been some talk in L’Equipe that this selection has been viewed as self indulgent, but I stand by the selection of Jo Le Foster. I’m not revealing all my tricks just yet, this was a stylish, test the water effort. I don’t agree with the criticism, and have spent my time shaking my fist in an angry haughty manner!

    However, it’s all in the results! We’ll see what happens Romania!

  9. 9
    Lex on 1 Apr 2008 #

    WOW I never knew Jodie Foster had a singing career! On first listen her track is a bit of a mess, but it’s a compelling mess which makes me think it’ll probably resolve itself into something really good with more listens. By contrast you know exactly what you’re going to get with the Romanian track by about 10 seconds in, ie poppers o’clock; it’s perfectly serviceable but their lack of variety comes back to haunt them. FRA it is.

  10. 10
    Tom on 2 Apr 2008 #

    24 hours left to vote in this – we haven’t had as many votes as usual so GET EM IN.

  11. 11
    Tom on 3 Apr 2008 #

    France did just enough for the point, it seems.

  12. 12
    Pete Baran on 3 Apr 2008 #

    Alyson, when you say this is a stylish, test the water effort, does that mean your going to use the Beatles in the next round because All you Need Is Love has La Marseillaise on it?

    Its like Serbia /Croatia again but no-one batting an eyelid.

  13. 13
    admin on 3 Apr 2008 #

    wonder why the imbalance in total download/plays – esp when it doesn’t reflect voter popularity

  14. 14
    Tom on 3 Apr 2008 #

    It’s a French backing band playing a French-written song!

  15. 15
    Matt DC on 3 Apr 2008 #

    This is the ideal result for both the Dutch and the Italians, the winner puts clear daylight at the top of the group and the loser is left with everything to play for.

  16. 16
    Steve Mannion on 3 Apr 2008 #

    ‘wonder why the imbalance in total download/plays – esp when it doesn’t reflect voter popularity’

    i was wondering if it’s something to do with one being on top of the other as it’s happened each time (i think) but can’t see why this would be a thing.

    still tho, what if the two flash audio-players could be placed side by side (you’d have to embed a table or some similar nonsense perhaps ack)

  17. 17
    Tom on 3 Apr 2008 #

    It doesn’t seem to be affecting the actual voting so I’m fine with the layout as it is.

    I think maybe what’s happening is the top track is part of a feed somewhere and the bottom one isn’t.

  18. 18
    admin on 3 Apr 2008 #

    YES. that is it.

    if you look at the stats there are 14 french downloads via RSS feed, which accounts for the difference. both files SHOULD be in the RSS feed download, but it’s not a very standard feature of podcasts – and auto downloading would prob just see the 1st one.

  19. 19
    Alyson Tamara Guard on 4 Apr 2008 #

    I thought it was a perfectly fine choice, I stand by it, I think it’s got too much of a slagging! It was a French written song, released only in France, for a French movie with 1/2 the song in French! Plus it’s a great song!

    I can see some anti French sentiment here, it’s like when we sank the Rainbow Warrior all over again…


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