Friday, June 25, 2010

Les Bleus arrive back home...let the blame game begin

The South African "adventure" has finally come to an end for Les Bleus. With the team landing in Paris earlier today, the players can now go back to their clubs, some will never be back in Blue some we might see in 6 weeks against Norway for Laurent Blanc's first official match...so what to make of this fiasco, or is there anything more that needs to be said? Let me recap, I have been writing about this through out the entire mutiny...now there is some new information that has come out - such as the fact that Evra's lawyer supposedly wrote the letter they had Domenech read, the tension in the bus and so on.

So let me put a period on all the on goings. Who is to blame in all this?

  1. The one that shoulders the most blame - the Federation and in particular Escalettes. As I have stated in the past, it is inexcusable that the direction of the Federation stuck with Domenech for this long. Many of the radio podcasts I have been listening to have all made similar points, after 2008 we were told that things would "change." That the federation was sticking with Domenech, even though France crashed out in the first round of the Euros. They added new staff and support structure. Brought in Boghossian, one of the members of the 1998 side, to help manage with Domenech - clearly a move to try and appease the voices from the 1998ers that were disgruntled with the way the team was going. None of this changed anything. The team still had no direction, no strategy and apparently no desire to win. Sometimes you cannot blame the coach, because he is clueless and cannot get out of his own way. That is when the federation is suppose to step in and make the necessary changes. Shame on you Escalettes, I place 45% of the blame on  your shoulders. You should step down or I hope you will be told to step down, the federation needs some new leadership.
  2. Blaming Domenech is easy, but he deserves it. What has he done in 4 years, since his team made an improbable run to the World Cup finals? According to Houllier, who is the technical director for France, stated that for a long time Domenech has worked in isolation from the remainder of the federation, not taking any input not communicating...just being Domenech Clearly Domenech had lost complete control of his team and it is also clear that 6 years of a grating style with his players and the media came back to haunt the astrologically guided manager. His actions in South Africa further demonstrated his ineptitude - not shaking hands with Parriera, blasting his players in a press conference prior to the South Africa game, reading the statement during the player strike and really just showing a complete lack of ability when it came to tactics and strategy. How can you not use one of your substitutes at the end of the Mexico game when just scoring a goal and cutting the deficit to 2-1 gave you a better chance to advance...the manager deserves much of the blame let us say he gets 35% of the blame.
  3. The players have nothing to be proud of either. The way they have handled themselves is nothing short of juvenile. However I will say that sometimes you are subjected to terrible and inept leadership for 6 years and you reach a breaking point. I was listening to Wenger, who has managed Anelka, and the Arsenal gaffer basically stated that for Anelka to snap like that, he must have been pushed to the limit. The player strike was ridiculous and unacceptable....but understandable. The rift between some players and others is not unusually in a team, again these players all have massive egos are the stars sometimes at the club level and do not always want to play nice in the sandbox...but guess what...that is the manager's responsibility to take care of that behind closed doors. Clearly Domenech either was unaware, incapable or did not care enough to rectify this situation. Are the supposed actions of Gallas, Evra, Abidal, Henry and Ribery tolerable, no. Laurent Blanc will have to make some difficult decisions on some of these players. However unlike Domenech, I think the former Bordeaux manager will take control of his dressing room.
This problem started at the top. Without strong leadership there is no respect. Without any respect, players let their massive egos take over and you get what we had in South Africa. Blanc will have a difficult task ahead of him, but he has the cache, ability and honeymoon period to really mold and shape this team.

Good riddance Domenech please take Escalettes with you.

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