And the fallout from France’s ignominious World Cup debacle continues. Embarrassed by the conduct of French skipper Patrice Evra, former France captain Marcel Desailly has chimed in with his two cents on the whole affair.
”The Federation president and the coach have already paid the price,” Desailly said. ”And I think that Evra, who is the origin of the strike, should pay too.
”The captain made a mistake and he has to assume the consequences of his actions. He decided not to train, before realising his mistake and apologising. But he deserves at least a temporary suspension.
”He is an excellent player, our best left-back, but he should be suspended for two months, because the captain is the first one to be an example. His behaviour affected the image of France throughout the world.”
Desailly’s comments mirrored those of France’s most-capped player, Lilian Thuram.Speaking after an FFF council meeting, the former Juventus defender said: “I demanded that the players be harshly punished and that Evra never returns to the France squad. When you are captain of the France team, you must have a responsibility to the jersey and the people.”
The shambles that accompanied France’s World Cup campaign has made them the laughing stock of the football world. Whilst one can point to the (often baffling) decisions made by recently departed coach Raymond Domenech, the conduct of the squad, particularly those orchestrating the camp rebellion, was reprehensible.
Although the acts and decisions made by the non-playing stuff may have contributed to the side’s failure to win in South Africa, the majority of the blame must be apportioned to the players for their dismal performances. As captain, Patrice Evra was the figurehead of France’s playing staff, and subsequently responsible for his and their actions. In leading the mutiny, Evra undermined the coach and his authority, an act which breached the fundamental trust and relationship existing between player and coach.
New France coach Laurent Blanc has acknowledged the challenges that face him in rebuilding a damaged side. Having expressed his own disgust at the players’ decision to strike, Blanc has admitted that no player is safe from the axe, stating: “‘I can’t act like nothing happened in South Africa. It wouldn’t go down well. I followed the events, as you all did, with a lot of sadness. I was outraged by certain behaviour. It’s a delicate situation. There are meetings to be had.”
Whether or not Blanc decides to heed the words of World Cup-winning pair Desailly and Thuram remains to be seen. However, Patrice Evra can have no complaints should he find himself succumb to the national team guillotine.
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