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World Cup 2010: France’s Solution, kick em out!

Grow up Nic!

I woke up this morning, still suffering from my massive hangover after celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. And for those of you who do not know me, that is the one and only thing in all of sports I have ever wanted. I would trade the ’85 Bears Super Bowl, a 6 Bulls championships (though I hate basketball, so I don’t care), and, yes, even France’s 1998 World Cup victory for just one Stanley Cup for the Hawks during my lifetime. That is how much it means to me.

So, waking up, I had a massive headache from all the drinking. Little did I know that this headache would be compounded by the fact that France has to have in-fighting yet again in their squad.

I love France…I love the country and the team. I want them to always go as far as possible in the World Cup. But now, I am not to sure.

No, I didn’t stop supporting France, they are still my favorite team. But with all of this talk about in-fighting going on, I am just wondering if France will ever get a team together in the next 10 to 15 years without players bitching about something.

As many of you might have read, a number of French players (most of them seems to have some sort of EPL experience, which is important as I will explain later) are complaining that Thierry Henry, who really isn’t that good anymore, isn’t going to be a starter in the first game against Uruguay.

In addition, a number of players are complaining that both Sidney Govou and Yoann Gourcuff (both of Ligue 1) are in the line up. Rumors are going around that Nicolas Anelka isn’t passing to Gourcuff during practice. Also, Franck Ribery stole the ball from Gourcuff while the Bordeaux star was taking a free kick.

Ok, the second one might have been a joke, but the first one seems to be deliberate. And, no offense Nic, but you aren’t exactly looking like the hottest player right now.

Anyway, it seems like many of the people that might be part of this rift (Evra, Gallas, Henry, Sagna, Anelka, Diaby) have some sort of connection with the English Premier League. As I have always said, I think the ELP is filled with a bunch of overpriced players that, as proven this year in European play, isn’t nearly as good as many of the other leagues around there. And this is a trend that I feel will continue for EPL teams. Sorry Chamakh.

Anyway, is there some sort of “click” amongst the EPL and former EPL players that they think they are better than everyone else? There always seems to be some sort of arrogance with French EPL players. And it seems like that arrogance is now at its peak.

Still, it seems like every six months or so, someone in the French National Team is getting into a pissy-fit. Henry confrontation with Domenech a few months seems to be a perfect example.

But one thing that a coach needs to do is to tell them who is boss. And, until the end of the World Cup, Doms is the boss. So, if these players want to continue playing for the FNT, then they need to start shaping up.

Now there is one drastic solution to this problem…those players that are causing the problems, kick them off the team. Yes, I said it, kick them out!

While many of the players that I would consider “kicking out” might be “great” players, I feel that everyone is replaceable. For example, if Patrice Evra were to be kicked off the team (now I am not saying he should be, I am just using him as an example), we have both Aly Cissokho and Benoit Tremoulinas to replace Evra. True, we might take a tad bit of a hit on talent, but we would not be “suffering”. Both players are easily capible of playing for the FNT and, I think, could step it up.

But, of course, it is a little to late for that with only hours left until the first match.

One problem with Domenech over the years is that he seems to be a ‘soft’ man. While he is a soft speaker in general, it does seem like he doesn’t have control of his players. Back in 2006, when Domenech took “his” team to the finals of the World Cup, it was really Zidane that kept the team in line, not Doms. Domenech seemed to just be a “formation and line up maker.”

With the addition of Laurent Blanc to the team, maybe all of these “head games” played by members of the team (which I feel has lead to poor performances since Zidane’s departure) will disappear. To me, it seems like Blanc is a “no bullshit” type of manager that will be very strict when it comes to his players and his team. Hopefully Blanc will have a set of balls, unlike Domenech.

But back to the main issue at question…should Thierry Henry be a starter? The answer is easily “no.” In fact, I will go one step further…should Thierry Henry even be on the French National Team? Again, my answer would be “no.” Yes, Henry served his purpose during the last ten years, we can all agree to that. But when a player finally loses it, like Henry has, we need to move on.

Let’s look at two different players. In 2006, we knew it would be Zidane’s last World Cup. But, even if it was his last trip, we knew he had both the skills and the leadership that France needed to get to the World Cup finals.

Now, lets look at Henry. What does Henry bring to the table now that Andre-Pierre Gignac, Kevin Gameiro, Loic Remy or Jimmy Briand cannot? Honestly, right now, I don’t see anything Henry brings to the table except denying one of these talented players a trip to the big dance.

So, the players can bitch all they want about Henry being excluded from the starting line up, but in my opinion, Domenech made the right choice. In addition, I feel that he also made the right choice in keeping Yoann Gourcuff in the line up. I don’t know why they are picking on the guy. Maybe they are jealous because he is the one people will be watching during this World Cup?

I don’t know. All I know is that France is acting like a bunch of babies. And, hopefully, they will get some sort of slap in the face sooner or later. Unfortunately, it won’t happen until Blanc arrives, which is after the World Cup.

Oh, and did I mention that the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup?

Just wondering.

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4 Responses

  1. OK. I’m a fan of the French National Team as well. Still, USA first, but I like the Frogs and we’re gonna disagree on a few things here.

    First, the EPL is still the top league in the world with La Liga quickly gaining. The fact that no EPL teams made it to the final four of the Champions League this season is kind of a fluke- and considering their dominance in Champions League play over the last several years I don’t think you can argue that the English League isn’t one of the top 3 leagues in the world. Overpriced maybe, but Spain’s salaries aren’t exactly fiscally responsible.

    Second, Domenech is the entire problem with the French team. For god sake he picks his team using Astrology charts. There is absolutely no wonder that the team doesn’t respect him. And while we’re at it, the FFF doesn’t even believe in him. They’ve named Blanc as his replacement. Why should the players listen to him? He’s a lame duck. The FFF should have had the nuts to tell Domenech to hit the bricks and let Blanc take over immediately. Whenever there’s in-fighting its the coach’s problem. You think the egos on the French team are any bigger than England, Portugal, Spain, Germany, etc… Their coaches put a stop to the non-sense. And all international teams have to deal with cliques, think about Spain getting Real Madrid players and Barcelona players on the same page.

    Finally, TH14. I’ll always love the man. I can see not starting him, but he deserves to be on the team. He’s a talisman. He can still score a timely goal and he still commands the respect of a defender. He may not have starred for Barcelona this year, but I would argue that Barcelona’s starting line-up is a lot harder to crack than the French National team’s. You absolutely have to have Henry on this team. He’s a guy that you can start in the right game or bring off the bench to draw defenders and to make that perfect run to snipe a goal. I would also argue that if you had a coach that commanded the respect of the team, Henry would help galvanize that team behind the coach and play his role. What does Henry bring to the table? Experience and a nose for the goal. I’m not saying you don’t bring along the new, but there’s still a spot for Henry in this team. Don’t forget, if it wasn’t for Henry’s hand ball they wouldn’t even be at the World Cup. 🙂

    Domenech should have been dismissed after the 2006 World Cup. Right about the time he used the post-loss press conference to propose to his girlfriend. Maybe Domenech’s star charts will lead him out of the group, but I don’t imagine that they’ll make it much farther this year.

    just my 2 cents. 🙂

    Oh, and this is St. Louis, not much love for the Blackhawks around here. 😉

  2. He shouldn’t have been dismissed after 2006, because they did a great job. After 2008 though? Yes, for sure.

    All the points you make about Doms is true. I think the guy is a total nut. The whole reason the FFF didn’t get rid of him in 2008 was because it would have cost nearly 2 million euros to get him out of his contract…and that is where the FFF is cheap.

    As far as the EPL, players are starting to leave that league left and right. Yes, some players like Chamakh are entering, but higher quality players like Ronaldo are leaving. I think that the EPL will eventually be a league of English players (which only a handful of them are any good) and players from small countries, mostly from Africa. Still, I think we are going to see a decline in the EPL standards.

    If any teams survive in the EPL, it will be those teams that can adapt to different styles of play, like Arsenal and Chelsea. They don’t just stick to conservative, long ball crap. That is what separates the Harry Redknapps from the Arsene Wengers.

    As far as Henry, he has never been a great asset for the French National Team. Yes, he did well in club play, but his national team play has to be considered “alright”. On the other hand, you have a number of players, better than Henry, that are missing out on a chance to play for France because of Henry. I still want to see Kevin Gameiro play for France, and I think he deserves it. He might even be one of my favorite players right now. Also, I would easily start Gignac over Henry, as APG has better ball handling skills, which will be more important this year.

    Still, I don’t know if Blanc was the best choice. And I don’t have any problem with the FFF naming Blanc. I mean, we already knew Doms was being replaced anyway, so it wasn’t really any big news. And his replacement being Blanc was the worse kept secret in football. I knew, as most French supporters did as well, that the Inter and Man Utd talk was all crap.

    Oh, and I don’t need love for my Hawks. I just need to see the Cup in Tazer’s hands 🙂 Ahhhhhhh the smell of victory 🙂

    • we’ll agree to disagree then. Still, I wish the best for France.

      • Hey, I like good debate 🙂 Instead of people going around acting like they know something about football, when they really don’t, upsets me. It was nice that you put up your argument in a well constructed manor. And I highly respect your answer to the question. Again, I see a lot where I can agree with you. But the situation in France is fluid at best.

        Again, thank you very much for some actual intellectual debate!

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