|ESPNsoccernet: Euro 2012|
Former France team doctor Jean-Pierre Paclet has defended Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka's role in Les Bleus' World Cup meltdown and blamed Arsenal's Samir Nasri for causing problems in the team in recent years.
Nasri was not included in the squad for the World Cup, but Paclet alleges that the 23-year-old was a source of a disquiet which dates back further than June after upsetting captain Patrice Evra and senior professionals Thierry Henry, William Gallas and former Marseille team-mate Franck Ribery.
''Here was a kid with a dozen caps looking down on players with a hundred. Scarcely believable,'' Paclet claimed in extracts from his book L'Implosion. ''His behaviour gets on the nerves of almost everybody and he has the gift of really annoying Henry, Gallas and Patrice Evra.
''Most of all, the relationship between Nasri and Ribery was very tense, from the time they were together at Marseille. They were more like kids in a playground rather than professionals on a pitch.
''Ribery would cause general laughter if, say, he put salt in my coffee. If he did it to Nasri, there would be no sense of humour from him.''
Under former coach Raymond Domenech, the team managed just one point and one goal from their three Group A games at the World Cup and their campaign descended into total anarchy when the squad refused to train two days before their third match against hosts South Africa, in protest at Anelka's exclusion from the party following a dressing-room bust-up with Domenech.
''When Domenech went to see Anelka at Chelsea last season, Anelka warned him, let him know that there was no point taking him to South Africa if it was to play him in a position he didn't like,'' Paclet wrote. ''The problem with the French team wasn't Anelka. You have to understand he is loved within the squad, immensely popular, even if he's introverted.''