France. At a tournament. Having a row. Quelle surprise
Word is filtering out that all is not well in the French camp at Euro 2012. Anyone shocked. Anyone?
We would like to say that the black cloud that hangs over French football originated when Thierry Henry did what he did in Paris back in 2009. It certainly didn’t help how most of the footballing world viewed Raymond Domenech’s team but their spectacular implosion at the World Cup in South Africa was down to a heady brew of egos and woeful management, not any Irish curse.
Since then Raymondo has gotten the heave ho and steady, dependable Laurent Blanc has taken over. He guided France to the Euros, via a play-off, and with players like Nicolas Anelka and William Gallas now retired, we thought things might be a little calmer in le camp at Euro 2012.
It seems they aren’t. Just two days before they face the reigning champs Spain, word is seeping out from Les Bleus dressing room that things are not good, not good at all.
According to Tom Williams, a football reporter for Agence France-Presse, Hatem Ben Arfa was at the centre of a dressing room row. It is also alleged that the Newcastle man was using his mobile phone in the dressing room after the Sweden game, something that Blanc objected to. Ben Arfa was not happy and hit back, saying he didn’t deserve to be substituted in the game, that others should have been taken off before him and he is reported to have challenged Blanc to send him home.
That would have been bad enough but there is also reported to be a rift between Alou Diarra and the always smiling Samir Nasri. Diarra is said to have criticised the City man for lack of defensive effort. Add into this the statement Florent Malouda made about ‘old demons’ returning yesterday and it looks like France are self destructing as only they know how.
As we saw, the last thing Spain need is any help. Our tactics played into their hands last week and it looks like France assist them too by being as disunited as ever off the field.