March 9 2014 Latest news:
Robin Cottle, Reporter
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Leyton Orient’s best season in decades has a decidedly Gallic flavour at its heart.
Romain Vincelot, Mathieu Baudry and Yohann Lasimant have become quite a story since the latter joined his two compatriots at Brisbane Road last summer.
And there was even a quip from captain Nathan Clarke at the club’s Chigwell training ground about the mileage they have got out of their shared nationality.
We caught up with Orient’s Three Musketeers and chatted about missing grandma’s cooking, speaking English in the dressing room and Vincelot’s beard.
What do you miss most about France?
MB: The food is alright but I miss my mum and grandma’s cooking. The weather as well, it 3pm and dark in the winter.
RV: It doesn’t count because you’re from the rubbish part of France in Normandy, it’s practically the same.
I’ve found an excellent French restaurant near where I live in Wanstead, Provender. I know the two guys who run the business and it’s very authentic.
MB: My parents try and come every two months to watch me play and always bring a lot of French food with them.
I love living in London though, it’s crazy. I always take the tube, sometimes I get recognised by Orient fans.
RV: I don’t think the pace of London life is too fast compared to Paris. Yohann says he’s from Paris but he’s actually from about three hours away.
MB: The equivalent would be Yeovil!
RV: It’s in the middle of nowhere...and then in the middle of that. (Paris to Besancon, where Lasimant lives, is a 257 mile drive.)
YL: It’s a big city. It’s bigger than La Rochelle (where Vincelot is from).
Do you speak French in the dressing room and have any other players learned the language?
RV: We speak Engligh because we don’t want to set ourselves apart. Sometimes we talk English when it’s just the three of us and we struggle for our French words.
MB: None of the players speak any French. Just the classics like bonjour and ca va. YL: The new goalkeeper, Eldin Jakupovic, can speak French. He was born in Switzerland.
MB: But none of the English players. The English are very lazy when it comes to languages because everyone speaks it!
YL: My English is not as good as Romain and Mathieu’s. But I’ve played in Greece and Hungary where the spoke English in the dressing room. I’m hoping it improves.
What’s the story behind the beard Romain?
RV: There’s no story! I’ve never shaved, I’ve always just trimmed it. I just started to get lazy and it got long. I liked it and the fans seem to like it too!
MB: It goes quite ginger though.
RV: You’re just jealous you couldn’t grow one.
MB: It’s true. I couldn’t grow one that big.
Do you guys watch British television?
MB: I live my English girlfriend, who I met while I was playing for Bournemouth, so I know all the rubbish programmes. Romain doesn’t watch television.
Living in Brentwood, I know all the TOWIE landmarks. There’s one of them, Debbie Douglas, who’s a big Orient fan.
Are you friends with any Premier League French players?
YL: I’m good friends with the Cardiff right back, Kevin Theophile-Catherine. We were in the Rennes youth academy together.
There was a story that Olivier Giroud turned up at Orient’s training ground with a mate he was trying to get a trial for, saying he knew some of the French players at the club?
RV: I don’t know him personally but I played against him in France. His mate who wanted a trial is a friend of a good friend of mine so I’ve met Giroud a couple of times off the pitch.
MB: I played against Giroud too. His rise with Montpellier was very rapid.