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How Will The Premiership’s French Continigent Recover?


The World Cup in 2010 will go down in history for a few things. Vuvuzela’s, The first World Cup in Africa, England’s abysmal showing, Germany’s bright future, Netherlands awful tactics and the Spanish proving they are the best side in the world. Yet one other event for me outshone them all. The French camps implosion in to cliques, strike action and mole’s leaking information to the press.

Yesterday, every single member of the World Cup squad was put on suspension for the next match, a friendly against Norway on August 18th though most of them will return for the European Championship qualifiers that begin in September. It is a bold statement by the new manager, Laurent Blanc, but something had to be done, though the previous manager, Raymond Domenech is hardly an innocent in all this.

Members of France's national football team are pictured at the airport of 'Le Bourget near Paris, France on June 24, 2010 two day after the team lost their last Group A first round 2010 World Cup soccer match against host South Africa and did not qualified for the next round of the tournament. Disgusted but no longer surprised by their team's dismal World Cup performance, many French fans cheered South Africa's goals as 'Les Bleus' were dumped out of the competition. Photo by Cameleon/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom

Domenech was universally disliked by the French media and public and I was surprised after the Euro 2008 debacle that he didn’t lose his job then. IN an interview after the tournament many people tuned in to see him resign, instead he proposed to his girlfriend. A man who picked the squad based on astrology was always going to be on shaky ground. The team struggled through qualification and of course there was the now infamous handball incident that tarnished the team, the manager and of course Thierry Henry. It was a millstone that ultimately broke the squad’s strength, they simply couldn’t deal with the bad press that came of it.

Even during the World Cup group stage draw, in the run through before the draw started properly, Oscar winning actress Charlize Theron, on drawing France’s name from the pot, announced “IRELAND” to rapturous applause from the crowd. From that moment on, the scene was set, everyone wanted the French to fail. It was a wall of negativity the team could never clamber over and the World Cup was 12 days of hell for everyone involved.

France's Thierry Henry fights for the ball with Ireland's Keith Andrews during the World Cup 2010 Qualifying Play off soccer match, Ireland vs France at Croke Park stadium in Dublin, Ireland on November 14, 2009. France won 1-0. Photo by Steeve McMay/Cameleon/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom

The 7 Premiership players who were part of that squad are all now unavailable though Samir Nasri will be glad he missed out and should return to the squad from here on in. The question is how can those players recover from the emotional and damaging campaign positively. Often, poor performances in a summer tournament can often lead to players wanting to hit the ground running when a new domestic season starts.

Yet the whole strike debacle, the Anelka argument, the trainer storming off the ground and throwing his accreditation in to the bushes only served to make everyone who wished the French ill highly delighted. Throw in the ongoing prostitute story and all of a sudden you have a lot of Irish fans invoking Karma! Coupled with the dreadful performances in all 3 matches and the players involved could suffer something of a post World Cup hangover.

French soccer team captain Patrice Evra is seen in a car as he leaves Le Bourget airport near Paris June 24, 2010. France has been knocked out of the World Cup after being defeated 2-1 by host nation South Africa in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.   REUTERS/Benoit Tessier  (FRANCE - Tags: TRANSPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

William Gallas has still to find a club after his contract expired with Arsenal, Anelka’s reputation has never been very positive throughout his career. Patrice Evra, outed as ringleader has seen his normally cool exterior sullied and the Arsenal trio of Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Abou Diaby must have wondered what on earth they’d let themselves in for. At least they don’t still play in the French League, so they can be spared the reception that will meet some of their international colleagues.

It will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti and Alex Ferguson pick these players up and get them fired and ready for the new season.

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  1. Dave C

    July 27, 2010 at 11:59 am

    How will they recover? Easy – they’ll spend a few weeks on some idylic beach paradise, then return to their clubs and take a look at their pay cheque. I’m pretty sure that will quickly ease any pain they’re feeling.

  2. Jeff

    July 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Even with all the wrongs that Evra & company have committed with the “strike” during practice session before the final World Cup match, Raymond Domenech had to be held responsible for not using players on the fields for their strengths. Particularly with Anelka, as he’s been proven that he is a scorer in club matches, then why not let him prove his worth? Especially with Cisse being either vulnerable or inconsistent, Henry got stuck on the bench & not used at all, and Benzema and other younger players like Nasri are not being called upon, Domenech should have used Anelka as a striker. Instead, look what happened to them. If this was the type of tactics that Domenech used for qualifications, no wonder they failed miserably.
    Now, I sincerely hope Laurant Blanc would consider having conversations with Evra & Anelka again, and start coming up with solutions to not having that piece of sorry history comes up again.

  3. Eric

    July 25, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Is this the same daft writer that drooled all over Spain a few articles ago? Jesus man, quit with the suckfest.

  4. Cord4Gooner

    July 24, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Arsenal’s French players will be over the moon!!!! Back playing in England and the Crazy William Gallas is gone!! Diaby and Sagna are brilliant ball players and all Gooner fans are ecstatic to have them!!! I think Samir Nasri is kinda happy he did not make the trip to South Africa now ……

    French players will adapt back to league play without a problem …. Man U have Evra, Chelsea have Anelka …. etc etc … how could you not want this top class players on your squad….

    The French shite storm this summer was the French Football Association and the French managers’s doing anyways!

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