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Old 10-22-2008, 10:09 AM   #121
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Here are a few more points I found interesting in the never-ending interview:

The victory over Nadal is his most beautiful one ever because it's the match he enjoyed the most. The match against Fed in Toronto was different because he really wanted to win that one, so he was tense during the whole match. But the win over Fed is the reason why he was able to beat Nadal, so it also was essential for him.

He wasn't feeling invincible at all last week in Madrid after having saved so many MP. On the contrary, as he had no feel for his shots. "It was impossible for me to produce better tennis on the court. It's been frustrating during a good part of the tournament. Same during the 1st set against Nadal" when he was "restraining" his shots while there is no reason to play like that against Nadal. And then he managed to free himself and to enjoy it.

The interviewer says it's encouraging to win those matches playing badly and it means he can go far if he plays well. Gilles answers he's been sure of that for a while now. When he plays well, he can go very, very far. He started beating top 10 players a while ago already. He played awesome tennis against Gaudio in Hamburg in 2006, for example, when Gaudio was still a top player. But he wasn't able to keep it up afterwards.
He loves playing beautiful points which will look amazing for the people watching and he has trouble accepting to play poorly in the first rounds of an event. It really bothers him a lot people might say they were bored watching Gilles Simon.
And yet, it's a prerequisite for him to win matches playing like that too. He knows he would have been a bit bored if he had watched his matches against Andreev and Ginepri in Madrid. It's easier to try beautiful shots, but he'll end up losing these matches and won't get the chance to play a magic match like the one against Nadal then! It's a fight with himself, not easy, but in the end, the crowd will prefer the player who manages to win the match. Even when the level of tennis is poor, one can also please the crowd showing mental toughness. And all in all, it's very comforting to know he can beat players like Andreev and Blake without playing out of his mind.

"My philosophy on the court is that I'm allowed to play poorly, I'm allowed to have no feel for my shots, just push the ball, play 8 meters behind the baseline. Because one can't play pretty tennis every day. But I mean one has to give the maximum mentally and physically. Even though it was a bit difficult to get my legs moving in the final, I tried to show the best possible attitude because I mean that one has to be beyond reproach at that level."

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:48 AM   #122
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The guy develops into a talking machine.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:27 PM   #123
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Instead of giving interviews everywhere, he apparently gave one long interview to the FFT and it was sent everywhere so all the media can pick parts of it. I posted the "raw" version, that's why it is so freaking long.
But yes, Gilles Simon "s'écoute parler" (I don't know how to say that in English, he savours his own words?), that's nothing new, he's not just "developing" into it.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:37 AM   #124
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L'Equipe has an article "The New Musketeers?" today, I posted it in Ritchie's forum:
http://www.menstennisforums.com/show...postcount=1187
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:59 AM   #125
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His game:
Some people say he reminds of Mecir (the timing, the eye, the felineness) and Escudé (the BH, the skinny build - but without the volleying skills!). He moves very well along his baseline, has an extreme staying power and can speed up the ball with the wrist from everywhere on the court. He can play on all surfaces, is very confident ("no, it is not a fault" ) and has a great tactical sense.

His record:
If you ask people who beat Fed and Nadal this year, they will answer Murray, which is true, but Gilles also did it. 5 titles in his career, like Ritchie, which is 1 more than Seb, PHM, Arnaud, Escudé - and 4 more than Jo and Gaël.

His shortcomings:
He's been attacking more in the past few months (incited by Tulasne) and needs to do it even more. He's working on his serve, too slow, and his netgame still is a liability.

His personality:
Simon is a chatterbox. After his press conferences, the journalists need a new notebook for the next interviews. Tulasne says they sometimes spend the whole dinner talking about his game. Simon is clever and mischievous. Some people think he is bigheaded because he's very confident as a player and not afraid to say it.

His hobbies:
Very talented for the piano, good student, he is the world number 1 on the tour for video games. He doesn't have time for sightseeing when he's playing tournaments, but when he comes back to Neuchâtel, they've launched an operation "One day one city" with Karine. His favorite dessert: McFlurry.

What he thinks of the other 3:
Gaël is getting more and more consistent, he seems to have found his way. They were sharing a room during the Olympic Games and it was crazy, the restaurant was like 5 minutes away only, but Gaël was talking to everybody on the way so it took them one hour! That's Gaël for you. Very endearing guy. Jo is the strongest of all 4 mentally. Richard is a "very, very big player" who just needs to blossom. He thinks it will do him good they're now up there with him. People haven't acknowledged Richard's achievements enough last year. They expect him to be the new Federer, "but I don't think he will". Richard should have told them: "I'm doing my job and to hell with you".

What he knows about the "real" Musketeers:
They're the reason why there are so many tennis schools in France. They did an awesome job to promote the sport.

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Old 10-27-2008, 08:12 AM   #126
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And what the other guys say about him:

Jo: "Richard is Ronaldinho, Gaël Adebayor, Gilles Chris Waddle and I'm Drogba." I only know Ronaldinho from that list! Who is this Chris Waddle guy, is that flattering?
His personal message to Gilles: 'Hey, Gilou, do you still sometimes wake up in the morning fully dressed with the PlayStation gamepad in your hand?'

Richard: he's obviously closer to Jo and Gaël, but he's not surprised at all by Gilles' rise in the rankings. He has a big potential, a feel for the game, never makes UE. "The first word which comes to my mind is 'smart'." Very clever, friendly, polite, not moody. He has always played a lot of tournaments and that's a strength.

Gaël: Gilles is a very smart guy, a crafty one. They were together at the INSEP "and I love him!" He's a genious at video games. If you're stuck in a game, ask Gilou, he will know the solution.

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Old 10-27-2008, 08:19 AM   #127
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Chris Waddle was my fav player as a youngster, he was the number 8 in the Marseille team that won the Champion's league. He was the tactician with brilliant technique, it's very flattering actually! He was real fun to see playing with a very laid back attitude (that's probably Tsonga's point)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xg8wg0FFu0
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #128
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Thanks!

An article in Le Monde today:
Quote:
Gilles Simon : balles neuves

Il ne s'est pourtant jamais caché, Gilles Simon. Ce jeune homme de 23 ans est du genre disponible et causant. A l'aise. Clair, futé. Ce que les journalistes appellent un "bon client" : un garçon capable de faire les questions et les réponses, avec un vrai sens de l'analyse et des formules qui font mouche.

Mais c'est ainsi. L'ombre de ses camarades de promotion du tennis français l'a longtemps éclipsé. Au sein d'une génération foisonnante en talents plus ou moins confirmés (Richard Gasquet, 22 ans, Gaël Monfils, 22 ans, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 23 ans), le chemin vers le devant de la scène est un sentier interminable.

Gilles Simon est, aujourd'hui, le numéro un français, et c'est comme s'il s'était glissé là par effraction. Souvent, constatait-il récemment, des personnes rencontrées au hasard lui demandent ce qu'il fait dans la vie. Et, lorsqu'elles apprennent que le tennis est sa profession, elles veulent savoir s'il connaît Gaël Monfils...

Depuis le 20 octobre, Gilles Simon est classé parmi les dix meilleurs joueurs du monde. Il a battu, cette année, les trois ténors du circuit, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, et, récemment, Rafael Nadal, chez lui, à Madrid. L'exploit, cette fois, n'est pas passé inaperçu. "Ça fait plusieurs fois qu'on me dit que je change de statut ! Cette saison, j'ai déjà changé trois ou quatre fois de statut...", relativise-t-il.

A Bucarest, en septembre, il a gagné son cinquième tournoi. Seuls Yannick Noah, Guy Forget, Henri Leconte et Fabrice Santoro, en France, ont fait mieux depuis le début de l'ère professionnelle. Il reste en course pour se qualifier pour les Masters, la compétition prestigieuse qui réunit chaque année les huit meilleurs joueurs à la fin de la saison (du 9 au 16 novembre, à Shanghaï). Le tournoi de Paris-Bercy (du 25 octobre au 2 novembre) s'annonce décisif pour lui.

Est-ce parce qu'il a pris son temps qu'il commence à peine à attirer les projecteurs ? Alors que Richard Gasquet était à la "une" de Tennis Magazine à 9 ans, Gilles Simon n'a jamais été considéré comme un petit Mozart. Il était un enfant doué, souvent dans les dix meilleurs espoirs nationaux de sa classe d'âge, mais jamais le premier. L'affaire s'est encore compliquée à 13-14 ans, quand les autres ont pris des centimètres et des épaules. Un retard de croissance de deux-trois ans lui fut diagnostiqué.

A 15 ans, il a tout de même rejoint, alors qu'il ne mesurait que 1,53 mètre, l'Institut national des sports et de l'éducation physique (Insep). En attendant son heure, il a servi de faire-valoir aux costauds pensionnaires de la pépinière à champions.

A sa majorité, le cap où les meilleures jeunes pousses quittent l'Insep pour rejoindre le Centre national d'entraînement de Roland-Garros, il ne suit pas le mouvement. Pas mûr. Un entraîneur, Luigi Borfiga, décide cependant exceptionnellement de le garder un an de plus à ses côtés, et de ne pas le renvoyer à la maison. "Il perdait beaucoup de matches. Mais je me disais que son goût du jeu et son esprit vif pouvaient faire de lui un bon", se rappelle Luigi Borfiga. Il précise : "Gilles Simon n'a jamais été très intéressé par la technique, mais c'était un vrai "matcheur", un joueur qui ne lâche rien. Cependant, honnêtement, alors que j'étais un des rares qui croyaient en lui, je n'aurais jamais pensé qu'il puisse se classer parmi les dix meilleurs mondiaux."

Gilles Simon s'est servi de cette période difficile pour poser les fondements de son jeu. "Je ne pouvais pas lutter à armes égales. J'ai donc développé mon sens tactique", explique-t-il. Le jeune homme a obtenu ses premiers succès sur le circuit professionnel en déboussolant ses adversaires, à défaut de les déborder. Depuis, son arsenal s'est étoffé. "Je suis capable d'accélérer. Si je joue encore parfois lentement, c'est pour créer des différences de rythme, pour mieux surprendre", explique-t-il.

A 20 ans, alors qu'il pesait 60 kg pour 1,81 m - la balance affiche aujourd'hui 69 kg - Gilles Simon traînait aussi une réputation de dilettante. Sa biographie officielle fournie par l'ATP, l'organisme qui gère le tennis professionnel, explique qu'il aime la préparation physique. Cette précision est une blague de l'entraîneur de ses débuts sur le circuit, Jérôme Potier, qui a rempli la fiche de renseignements à sa place. Il lui reprochait son manque d'assiduité à la salle de musculation.

"A l'époque, on disait que j'étais talentueux et fainéant. Aujourd'hui, on dit que je suis un laborieux parce je cours dans tous les sens", balaie Gilles Simon. Pas possible d'en finir avec le scepticisme. "Certains n'ont pas compris que son corps ne permettait pas, à une époque, qu'il s'entraîne autant que les autres", explique Luigi Borfiga.

Lorsqu'il était suivi par Jérôme Potier, Gilles Simon a également été catalogué rétif à l'autorité. Lassé "d'être à l'école", il a changé de coach en 2007, une semaine avant de gagner son premier tournoi, à Marseille. Depuis, son association avec Thierry Tulasne tient : "Il explique les choses. Si on me dit juste "mets le coup droit là", je le balance où je veux. Passé un certain niveau, il ne va pas de soi que la compétence d'un entraîneur est supérieure à celle de son élève."

D'origine niçoise, Gilles Simon, qui a grandi à Fontenay-sous-Bois (Val-de-Marne), a l'aisance d'un fils de bonne famille. Son père est réassureur, sa mère médecin, son frère ingénieur. Il aime le piano, étudié au Conservatoire, et le golf. Il a passé son bac scientifique à 18 ans, comme il se doit.

Dans la vie de tous les jours, il dit goûter la solitude. Ou les balades à deux, avec son amie, rencontrée il y a trois ans. "Pendant un temps, elle m'a accompagné sur le circuit. Mais elle a trouvé que ce monde n'était pas très enrichissant. Je ne peux pas la blâmer..."

Avec son côté réfléchi, bien dans sa peau, peut-être n'est-il pas assez décapant pour faire une star. Lorsque ses gains sont devenus rondelets, il a acheté une maison et a déménagé en Suisse. Il roule dans une discrète Audi A3. Il se dit attentif à la marche du monde et "de droite, même si la droite et la gauche, ça ne veut pas dire grand-chose".

Pour accéder à une plus grande reconnaissance, il doit aussi mieux réussir dans les tournois du Grand Chelem, où il n'a jamais dépassé le 3e tour. Il le sait. Pour autant, il dit ne pas rechercher la notoriété. "Je ne la fuis pas, non plus. Ça peut servir et desservir. Je pense que Richard Gasquet serait mieux classé s'il n'avait pas dû vivre depuis son plus jeune âge avec la pression. Il serait probablement plus heureux, aussi. Mais il a signé de beaux contrats."

Les résultats de Gilles Simon, bien sûr, ne passent pas inaperçus chez les sponsors. Cependant, il n'a pas l'intention de changer d'équipementier. "Mon contrat actuel prévoit des gains qui évoluent en fonction des résultats." Tactique, toujours.
Pierre Jaxel-Truer
http://www.lemonde.fr/sports/article...#xtor=RSS-3242
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:01 PM   #129
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It's a nice article, the Simontards already know most of the stuff, of course, but there are a few new things too. Here's a summary:

The media should like him, as he is alert, talkative, with a flare for words. And still, nobody was paying attention to him until last week. It looks as if he had sneaked into the French number 1 spot like a thief.
Unlike Richard Gasquet, he never was called a "little Mozart" and never was the best in his age group. The growth retardation issue of 2-3 years became a problem by the age of 13-14 years. He was behind the others of his generation and was lucky Borfiga decided to make an exception and to keep him in the system because of his fighting attitude on the court. "But even if I was one of the very few people who believed in him, I would never have thought he would enter the top 10 one day, to be honest", Borfiga says.
Since he couldn't fight on equal terms with the others, he developped his tactical mind. His game was all about disorientating the opponent at that time. "Now I'm able to speed up the game. If I still play slowly sometimes, it's to better vary the pace and surprise the opponent."
By the age of 20, he weighed 60 kg for 1,81 m - they say he weighs 69 kg now!! - and had a reputation of being a dilettante. The "Hobbies include PlayStation, Game Boy and fitness training" in his ATP profile is a joke from his former coach Potier who filled in the form for him. He hated that, on the contrary.
Gilles: "People were saying at that time that I was talented and lazy. Now they say I'm laborious because I run so much on the court." Borfiga means that people didn't understand that his build didn't allow him to train as much as the others.
He felt like "at school" with Potier (too domineering) and that's why he changed at the beginning of 2007 and started working with Tulasne who explains things instead of telling him to do this, to play his FH there, etc. Gilles means that at one point, the coach isn't necessarily more competent than the player.
He likes being alone or spending his time with Carine. She travelled with him for a while on the tour, but didn't find that environment very rewarding. "I can't blame her for that..."
He has an Audi A3, follows what is going on in the world and says he's from "the right wing, even if right and left doesn't mean much."
He isn't looking for fame, but he isn't avoiding it either. There are good and negative sides. "I think Richard Gasquet would be higher ranked if he hadn't lived with the pressure since he's a kid. He would probably be happier too. But it brought him nice contracts." ^^
Some sponsors have noticed him lately, but he will stay with Adidas because he says his earnings are linked to his results with his current contract. Another tactical move.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:52 AM   #130
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there is an interesting article for Gilles this morning on Eurosport.com:
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/281020...et-ground.html


PARIS (AFP)

To be recognised as your country's best tennis player in a land with form and history in the sport is one thing - and Gilles Simon will be delighted to take a bow before a home crowd in Paris this week as the season draws to a close.
But the French number one singles player is surely due a little recognition from beyond the borders of 'La Grande Nation' after vaulting into the world top ten.
Memories can be short in sport - though where the women are concerned Amelie Mauresmo's Australian Open and Wimbledon double is hardly sepia-tinged having been achieved in 2006.
Among the men, however, French fans hardly need reminding that Yannick Noah's 1983 Roland Garros triumph gave his compatriots their only singles Grand Slam title in the Open Era.
That's not quite as bad as a British drought going back to Fred Perry in 1936 - but it's food for thought for Simon as he comes to terms with being thrust into the spotlight following his exciting run earlier this month to the Madrid Masters final, where Andy Murray proved a bridge too far.
With the Paris Masters the final week of regular season play, Simon is on course for a place in the season-ending masters Cup in Shanghai - something the 23-year-old from Nice would hardly have dreamed of back in January.
"There is pressure, all the more so when you're playing in France," he conceded, after winning a hard-fought doubles match on Monday alongside Gael Monfils in a prelude to a Tuesday singles meeting with Russian Igor Andreev, against whom he has a 2-0 record.
"But it's not the kind of pressure which makes you afraid and which will make me mess up my game. I'm going to go about things exactly the same way as I always do - I'm not changing anything," he asserted.
In the latest ATP world rankings released on Monday, Simon had racked up 1740 points.
That's a long way behind the 7100 of top-ranked Rafael Nadal but a fine haul for a new name keen to stay ahead amid healthy domestic competition from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet (absent this week through injury) and Monfils, who are 14th, 15th and 16th in the standings.
Going into the event at the Bercy Stadium in eastern Paris, Simon held the precious eighth and final berth for Shanghai, which starts on November 9.
His chief rivals are Spaniard David Ferrer, American James Blake and up-and-coming Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Simon has the slimmest of leads over those immediately below him - although one of them, Argentine David Nalbandian, says he wants to focus on the Davis Cup final against Spain after Shanghai and hence intends to bypass that event anyway.
With China swimming into focus Simon says he is aware he must watch out he doesn't "fall into the trap of wanting to play too well" against fans who will demand more of the same after watching him dump Nadal in his own backyard of Madrid.
"You want to pull off some fancy tricks when you feel people are expecting something from you - you can want to play it too fancy and forget why you're out there.
"I'll try not to lose sight of what I'm aiming at," he insisted, adding that he had risen up the rankings by being willing "at difficult moments to stay behind the line for three hours and only chip when I needed to to win" the point.
Asked if the doubles was not overdoing things Simon insisted: "It's not more tiring than training (and) I was out there drinking in a little of the centre court atmosphere."
Simon will also feel he owes the home supporters, given he crashed out in the opening Round at Roland Garros while making round four of the other Slams this year.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:43 AM   #131
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I so hate the expression "La Grande Nation", that's how they call France in Germany too, on the news, etc., so people here think that we arrogant pricks call ourselves like that. Which is completely wrong! Nobody uses or even knows this expression in France.


Back on topic, here's the article in "Le Parisien" today, they asked Gilles' mother about him (she's a doctor).
"As a kid he was... small." 67 kg now, she wishes he would bulk up a bit, but he makes the best use out of his few muscles.
Nobody believed in him when he was younger because he was so small, and all these "slaps in the face" helped him to build up quite a character, she says. "He had to fight so much!"
She admires him for his ability to always keep his distance from what is happening to him. She doesn't understand why some players are saying he is arrogant. Maybe they are annoyed by his "methodical progress".
Gilles isn't a nasty or a violent person at all. He's just too honest when he's asked a question, especially about tennis. He loves talking about tennis so much, it's like chess for him, he thinks a lot about it. "Sometimes he stuns us, for example when he explained to us point by point how he had beaten Federer."
She means that being famouse will annoy him. He already is annoyed by his current overexposure. Until last week, nobody knew about him, people around them didn't even know their son was a tennis pro.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:06 AM   #132
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And the Tulasne article in L'Equipe, he's really going over the top sometimes, I hope he doesn't harm Gilles' image with this kind of statements. I sometimes say Gilles used to talk big, but it is peanuts compared to Tulasne!

Tulasne says that when he reached the top 10 for one week, it really was the maximum he could do and he was already starting to have physical problems. Gilles' situation is very different. He can still improve on so many little things. Time management, nutrition, conditioning. He already does all this pretty well, but he could do it even better. Tulasne also means he's able to make life even harder for his opponents.
According to Tulasne, only 2 players are way above the others. Gilles is able to be better than Muzza and Nole.
But he'll obviously have to change a few things for that, and the first thing will be to adjust his scheduling. He needs to play less. That way:
1. he will protect/preserve his body, which Tulasne wasn't able to do as a player (he started having hip problems when he reached the top level)
2. it's important for Gilles not to have any inferiority complex towards the best players (= I think he means "not to have to play a lot to build up confidence", he wants Gilles to naturally feel confident about his abilities). Not that he really has a complex, but Tulasne has even less.
Gilles obviously isn't consensual in French tennis. And the more famouse he will be, the more people will dissect every word he will say. When Tulasne was 17 years old, he gave an interview to L'Equipe and answered, when he was asked about his goal: "To enter one day the top 10 and to become the French number 1". The journalist's reaction: "You're crazy to say that, people will kill you!" The problem was not to say he wanted to enter the top 10, but that he wanted to be better than Noah...
He has read or heard lately that some French players were not too keen on Gilles, but he wants to stress that they're really getting along very well with Jo, Richard and Gaël.
As for the work on the court, he doesn't have a lot to do with Gilles - just help him to not get too frustrated by an error, to get over an unlucky action. But Gilles is well aware of the situation and doesn't need to be "refocused" a lot during matches.
He's not worried for him in Slams, he has never made it past the R3 indeed, but Tulasne means he played very well in Slams in 2008. In 2009 he'll just need to be more aggressive during the first 3 rounds. There is no reason he can't go far in this kind of events too.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:08 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truc View Post
I so hate the expression "La Grande Nation" , that's how they call France in Germany too, on the news, etc., so people here think that we arrogant pricks call ourselves like that. Which is completely wrong! Nobody uses or even knows this expression in France.
............................ha ha said that to the americans!!!!!!!!!!

(scotty - nothing personal buddy)
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:11 AM   #134
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Thanks so much Truc for the articles, I agree with you on "la grande Nation", only Le Pen would say that in France, we're not Americans, we don't need to hear our politicians constantly say we are the best in the World in everything. They actually wisely refer to better models like Nordic countries for improvements of our society (rtgy indeed maybe the Americans should admit that as well).
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:07 AM   #135
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"La grande Nation"

I like gilles personnality more and more.He looks very smart and simple.
Hope the best for him in bercy and so on.
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