Sunday, June 20, 2010

Newsy: France Facing World Cup Elimination

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After two games and no goals, France is on the brink of elimination from the World Cup. Coach Raymond Domenech says the team needs "a miracle" to advance.
“The front page headline is ‘Imposters,’ they’re saying that the team is more or less footballing imposters. They were just useless altogether.”
France is staring elimination in the face after failing to score a single goal in its first two games at the World Cup.
Coach Raymond Domenech says the team will need a quote “miracle” to advance beyond the group stage. France’s own captain, Patrice Evra, says France has behaved like a small football nation.
We’re analyzing coverage of France’s poor start to the tournament from France 24, L’Equipe, Le Monde, The Guardian and ESPN.
France lost to Mexico, two nil, and tied with Uruguay, meaning the chances of advancing are very slim. The French sports paper, L’Equipe, notes the disappointment of French fans: “France is contemplating a field of ruins: its national team. ... No sadness, no despair, especially no anger. That would be giving too much to these men who do not know how to give anything.”
France 24 interviews head coach Raymond Domenech: “We have to come out of this tournament in a dignified way. We have to show we can score. At least that.”
But Le Monde says it’s too late for that, and puts the blame firmly on Domenech’s head: "The absence of a chief, of a strategy, of team spirit, of effectiveness, the wasted talent, the neglected resources and, at the end of it, the stinging failure resonates like a cruel metaphor.” 
ESPN notes, this is the same Domenech who took France to the World Cup Final just four years ago. A man who won 63 of his 74 games as national coach: “But this was also a man ... whose bookish appearance, love of the theatre and intellectual style never caught on with the public...His soft-spoken, almost superior way of answering questions was anathema to grass-roots fans...”
The Guardian says, Domenech first lost the fans... then his own players. Against Mexico, it showed: “Blindingly apparent in Thursday's 2-0 defeat to Mexico was that these French players are desperate to reach the end of the Domenech era so they can start afresh under Laurent Blanc, even if that means withdrawing their labour during games.”
Technically there is still a slim chance -- France survives and advances. So what do you think of France’s play? And the French response? High hopes dashed? Or poor sportsmanship?


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