France news

Domenech slams France stars

Former manager blames lack of collective spirit

ESPN staff

Domenech himself struggled to control egos within the Les Bleus side

Former France manager Raymond Domenech has slammed the current squad for a perceived lack of unity after reports of unrest following defeat to Sweden on Tuesday.

Domenech, who resigned the France managerial role after the World Cup in 2010, experienced problems with squad personality clashes in his time at the helm and he believes that they are yet to be ironed out.

At that competition, Nicolas Anelka was sent home for abusing Domenech, whilst several players were later suspended by the French federation for staging a strike - with Patrice Evra, Frank Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan suspended for their role in the incident.

"Are they a team aware of what they represent or a collection of individuals?" Domenech asked in his column for Ouest-France. "It is the absence of collective investment on behalf of the players that I despair.

"I watched Laurent standing in front of the bench. He must have been reflecting on what was happening. But did he know? Probably not. Me neither. But it's not easy to shape a group. It takes time and we must accept the ups and downs."

Having failed to top Group D, France now face the unenviable task of taking on Spain on Saturday for a place in the semi-final. All eyes, though, will be on the team dynamic with the disputes having grabbed all the headlines in recent days.

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