Thursday 23 November 2017

Patrice Evra's bizarre week - from James Brown to kung-fu kicks

Patrice Evra was sent off for aiming a kick at a Marseille fan
Patrice Evra was sent off for aiming a kick at a Marseille fan

Daniel Zeqiri

They say a week is a long time in football, but few weeks have been as bizarre and downright odd as Patrice Evra's last seven days.

The former Manchester United left-back always had an element of surprise when popping up to score some crucial goals, and in the autumn of his career now tends to save his most eye-catching contributions for social media.

Things looked to be going smoothly after a clean sheet and away win with Marseille at Lille last Sunday, before things began to take a turn for the surreal on Monday.

The France international gave his Instagram followers a morning wake-up call with a video of him dressed up as James Brown dancing to the American soul signer's hit 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine'.

After showcasing some impressive footwork, Evra then showed an extraordinary commitment to celebrating Halloween with an elaborate costume.

Evra's make-up and fake blood would not have looked out of place on a film set, the defender wielded a fake machete in front of his torso and pretended to scrape it down his tongue.

With a couple of pumpkins to cover his nether-regions, the stunt was certainly a step up from popping in a pair of plastic fangs to mark the occassion.

That was all fun and games, until Evra was responsible for some actual violence before Marseille's Europa League at Vitoria on Thursday evening.

Lashing out at a travelling Marseille fan for reasons still unknown, Evra was sent off for aiming a kung-fu kick at the fan's head.

Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Evra, and the incident was reminiscent of Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in 1995.

Marseille boss Rudi Garcia revealed afterwards Evra had reacted to taunts from the fans, but still criticised his actions.

"Pat has experience and he must not react, it's obvious," Garcia was quoted by L'Equipe as telling BeIN Sports.

"Patrice is a more than experienced player and we cannot respond to insults so low and so incredible because they come from one of our supporters."

On the fan, Garcia said: "He is not a supporter of OM, because you cannot insult your own players, you have to be behind everyone."

It is not the first time Marseille's support has run into conflict with the players. At a home game last year, they serenaded the team with the Benny Hill theme tune in a protest against their dreadful season.

They famously welcomed Joey Barton with a reference to the The Smiths' song Sweet and Tender Hooligan.

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