An isolated regime, rejected by the international community. A paranoid leader, derided for eccentricity and incompetence. A profound poverty of resources. Life inside the French training camp took another grim turn today, as torrential rains reduced the practice field to a dismal mud patch. Manager Raymond Domenech lashed out after his demands for assistance were rejected by the rest of the world, or in any case, by Denmark.
In a video posted to the state-controlled Fédération Française de Football website, Domenech, appearing haggard and in denial of the insurmountable difficulties facing his rule, spoke out against the Danish for refusing to allow his squad access to a training pitch not riven by rain and mismanagement.
We are training in the rain, the pitch is sodden, they are difficult conditions to train in. It's a pity that we couldn't use the second pitch available, but the Danes wouldn't let us. However, that is how it is and we will just have to get on with it.
Domenech, who remains the sole leader of the French team despite persistent rumors of internal dissent within his ruling party, again refused to apologize for his erratic tactics, in particular the flagrant breach of international protocol displayed in his unsanctioned deployment of Florent Malouda. Instead, he diverted attention to what he portrayed as an imminent, unavoidable conflict with North America.
Mexico are a very, very good team, when they play. They accelerate, they monopolise the ball and can destabilise any team, no matter how good they are. It is imperative that we prevent them from monopolising possession so that we don't suffer.
Shrugging off reports of flagging morale, Domenech insisted that the spirit within the French camp was strong. "The players are really impatient for the match to kick off," he said. "I feel this sense of excitement, and also a little bit of annoyance."
Domenech concluded his speech by firing a short-range missile into the ocean.
Photo: Getty Images
- Raymond Domenech