Titi lays into his national manager in front of whole French squad
After helping France reach last place in their group at Euro 2008 – an embarrassment that was compounded by an awfully-timed post-match marriage proposal – it it highly surprising that Raymond Domenech has managed to cling onto his job. The pressure on the national team coach has intensified once more, as Les Bleus’ disappointing 1-1 draw with Romania on Saturday was preceded by a barrage of criticism from team captain Thierry Henry.
In a press conference last Friday, Henry raised a few eyebrows when he claimed the team have “always had problems” during Domenech’s reign. According to a report in French paper le Parisien, Domenech then gathered the players and staff into a meeting room, where he offered the following:
“I hope today you’ll be better in training. So far, I have not seen guys who wanted, who were fully prepared for the important meeting on Saturday.”
After an awkward silence, the tense atmosphere is said to have been broken by captain Thierry Henry, who replied:
“Coach, we too have something to say. I speak for the entire squad.
“We are getting bored during your training sessions. In twelve years with the French team, I have never been in such a situation.
“We do not know how to play, where to be on the pitch, how to organize. We do not know what to do. We have no style, no ideas and no identity. It is not working.”
Domenech was said to be shocked by Henry’s attempt to undermine his authority, but nevertheless the Barcelona star still captained the side in the Romania game. France face group leaders Serbia on Wednesday knowing that a loss will virtually consign them to scrapping for a play-off place in their World Cup qualification group.