OT - Disaster for French World Cup Team

Submitted by DoubleMs on June 20th, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Per the commentary on this morning's Italy-New Zealand game, the French Coach and Team Director have quit, and the team refused to practice today.

Anyone else miss Zidane and how well the team meshed around him?


Pai Mei

June 20th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

Zindane is a legend.

The French coaches player selections were pretty bad. Govou isnt very good. He didn't bring Benzema and they have scored 0 goals. It's a complete mess right now.


June 20th, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

I don't think they have anywhere near the talent of Argentina, Brazil, Holland, Portugal, or Spain.  Now that Henry and Zidane aren't factors, you are really just talking about Malouda and Ribery as the only class players going forward.  Right now they are probably not even in the top ten on talent (I would put Germany, Ivory Coast, Italy, England, etc. ahead of them).  Combine that with a manager who is absolutely mental and you get the results we've seen so far.  In fact they really haven't been all that good the last four years.  In Euro 2008 they lost to Scotland twice in qualifying but got in because the Scots dropped points to lesser teams.  And it took a very obvious handball to qualify them for this World Cup.


June 20th, 2010 at 12:12 PM ^

You appear to be just thking in terms of offensive players. The French are loaded with world class players on defense. If anything the French are lacking at Forward and their forwards are/were Anelka,Henry,Cisse and yes Govou.


June 20th, 2010 at 2:57 PM ^

I agree with you. France has top flight talent, look at the individual clubs their players are on. They aren't playing as a team. They have a lack of leadership and don't mesh well. Talent doesn't always translate to success. Look at 1998 Argentina, favorites to win the whole thing and couldn't get out of the group. They will stear the ship in the right direction for the 2014 cup in Brazil.

France is kinda like USA soccer in the fact that France usually follows a dreadful World Cup performance with a vengeance in the next.


June 21st, 2010 at 3:51 AM ^

Argentina didn't make it out of their group in 2002.  In 1998, they were eliminated by Holland in the quarterfinals thanks to a last minute game winner by Dennis Bergkamp.

I don't mean to be a dick, I just think that was one of the more memorable matches of that tournament.


June 20th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

They are just as average at the back.  Gallas is aging, there is no Makelele to win the ball in front of the backline, the goalkeeping is average, and someone like Sagna isn't anywhere near on par with fullbacks like Maicon, Alves (Brazil has freaking two of them for one spot), Cole, Lahm, etc.  Evra and aging Gallas does not equal "loaded with world class players."


June 20th, 2010 at 9:30 PM ^

Loaded with world-class players on defense?  I don't agree.  Evra is very good, but who else?  Gallas and Abidal are over the hill.  Sagna is nothing special.  And the holding midfielders are just so-so.  This is a far cry from the glory days of Thuram, Sagnol, Makelele, et al.  The talent level is down. 


Not a Blue Fan

June 20th, 2010 at 8:17 PM ^

Cote D'Ivoire ahead of France? They're talented, but the only world class player on that team is Drogba. Maybe you could argue that they're on an equal basis (although certainly CIV is playing much better than France right now), but I don't know that I'd put them above France.


June 20th, 2010 at 9:14 PM ^

Kolo and Yaya Toure, Zokora, Eboue, Romaric, Keita, Dindane and Kalou are all class players (most) at quality clubs.  Throw in Drogba (who is far superior to anything France has going forward) and they are at worst an even comparison at this point.

The French were the best team in the world by a good margin with Zidane, Henry, and company in 1998 and 2000.  No one on the current squad comes close to those players or the current crop of the world's best though.  They have a young, inexperienced goalkeeper.  Abidal is forced to play out of position in central defense next to an aging Gallas.  Sagna and Evra are quality, but not spectacular.  There is no creativity in the center of midfield and Toulalan is a poor substitute for Vieira and Makelele.  Malouda and Ribery are good enough, but not anywhere near the likes of Robben and Schneider (for one example) and neither is a threat to score.  The attacking options are a disaster unless Henry finds the fountain of youth. 

Where is all the talent that I'm missing? 

Blue in Yarmouth

June 21st, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

people have really sold the Ivory Coast short as they have a great deal of talent. I would put them above France for sure at this point. Most of their top players  are in their prime as well, which is more than can be said for France.


June 20th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

Yeah, I'm all for the French, but this is a complete disaster.  I too miss the days of Zidane, especially headbutting those F'ing I-talians. Nice tie by the Kiwis.  Good to see them pull it off.


June 20th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

It is great to watch since it was a crime that France is even in this World Cup. Ireland should be sitting back and enjoying this as they totally fall apart. I hope South Africa obliterates France in the last match.


June 20th, 2010 at 9:57 PM ^

Why do people assume Ireland would have won the penalty shootout?  France and Ireland were tied in the aggregate when Henry committed the handball.  Had the referee called it, Ireland would have faced a penalty shootout in a hostile stadium to advance.  Maybe they'd have made it, maybe not.


June 20th, 2010 at 10:11 PM ^

you said it yourself, the chance was robbed and that was criminal. They had their chance to advance to the World Cup taken away from them. No one would be talking about that two leg playoff if Ireland lose in a penalty shootout, because that would have been a fair result. However, the issue is that France robbed them of that chance by blatantly cheating and if that happened to the United States, or an equivalent situation for a Pro Sports/College team in this country, there would be outrage. Imagine if a call or decision as brutal as the Galarraga perfect game would have cost a team a shot at a chapionship. There would be such an uproar from every single media outlet it would be nuts. That outrage of a chance being robbed would be well deserved, as it is in the case of the France/Ireland debacle. That is why it is great to watch them implode and why Ireland is probably enjoying every minute of it.


June 20th, 2010 at 10:23 PM ^

Yes, but there is a distinction to be made between saying "Ireland was stripped of its chance to go to South Africa" and "Ireland belongs in this tournament."   There seems to be a misconception that Ireland was minutes away from qualifying when the handball happened.  They were minutes away from a shootout.  We'll never know how they'd have done on PKs.   


June 20th, 2010 at 1:01 PM ^

Karma?  If they had lost to Ireland it would have been a quick and clean operation.  This is just dragging their death out for everybody to see.


June 20th, 2010 at 1:32 PM ^

Raymond Domenech is a nut case. He has been known to use astrology to pick his sides.  He has been quoted saying that he likes Leos to play on defense.  

Also during the 2006 World Cup Zidance was basically the manager giving most of the tactical strategy to his teammates.


June 20th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

I do miss the legend Zizou, but the shear talent level of French players should be enough to help them stay in the top 5 in the world.  I expect them to be a force at the next Euro and World Cup.  Allez les bleus


June 20th, 2010 at 9:54 PM ^

Thuram and Malouda were born in France, just not the European part of it.  Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Réunion are French departments, legally equivalent to those on the mainland. 

Of the players who were foreign-born (Vieira and Makelele were), all immigrated to France as children.   This wasn't a case of "nationality-shopping," which has gone on elsewhere.  It may seem strange to people to see so many black players on the French side, but France actually has a pretty large black population nowadays - and it's fanatical about soccer, whereas the mainstream (white) population is not quite as obsessed with the sport as its European neighbors are. 

Transatlantic Flight

June 20th, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

Raymond Domenech did not do a good job of getting the team to mesh. Ribery and the other offensive players have been disappointing (France haven't yet scored a single goal in a group they were expected to dominate). I am disappointed Domenech quit, because that is a classless move in the middle of the World Cup, but he more than likely would've been canned after the tournament anyway barring a miracle run to win the cup.


June 20th, 2010 at 8:19 PM ^

Coach didn't quit, the s&c/stamina/trainer did. Synopsis was he was working as a go between for the players and got badger by the head so he tossed his credentials and left. Players refused to continue after


June 21st, 2010 at 5:34 AM ^

I am not a big fan of the French. I was in the military when they refused us overflight rights, when we attacked Libya.

However, I have to give credit where it is due. The French don't always fail Dreisbach...
During the last week of May 1940, the Allies were in desperate straits. The British Expeditionary Force, along with remnants of Belgian and French forces... had retreated to a French coastal town known as Dunkirk. An entire British Army was about to be overrun.
The British utilizing everything that could float, organized an evacuation effort. However, for the evacuation to succeed,  they would need time. 40,000 French troops, 40 miles away at a town called Lille, would try to do their part to buy that time. They manned the Dunkirk perimeter. They prepared and waited for the Germans... knowing full well that they would be surrounded and cutoff. They also knew however, that every moment they delayed the Germans, meant more of their comrades would make it to safety.
They didn't have long to wait. A large German force led by the legendary Erwin Rommel attacked. Despite being badly outnumbered, the French troops held for 5 days. 5 days that tied up the German advance. After the battle, the French defenders had impressed the Germans so much, that they were allowed to march into captivity with bayonets fixed and full honors.
Thanks to the bravery of these French troops, another 100,000 men were saved. They had played a major part in the, "Miracle at Dunkirk". A miracle for which the Germans would later pay dearly. Over 300,000, mostly British troops had been saved. Trained men that would go on to fight in places like North Africa and Italy. They would eventually, along with Americans, Canadians, Free French, and others... return to put an end to Hitler's 1000 year Reich.


June 21st, 2010 at 1:34 PM ^

And of course, there was that little thing called the American Revolution.  I've never understood this enmity for the country that came to our aid when we fought for independence.  In the decisive battle of Yorktown, half of Washington's troops were French.  (Not to mention that France covered the cost of the whole war effort, supplied with us with virtually all our weapons and ammunition, and blockaded the coastline to prevent the British from sending in reinforcements.)