Nicolas Anelka may have been sent home in disgrace from the 2010 World Cup, but new France coach Laurent Blanc has indicated that he will start his reign with a clean slate for all players and will not necessarily discard the player once known as the ‘Incredible Sulk’.
A dressing room bust-up with former trainer Raymond Domenech at half-time of les Bleus’ 2-0 defeat against Mexico proved to be the spark for a dramatic collapse in the French side, with widespread allegations in the press that ‘Nico’ had seriously insulted the coach. Despite this murky history, Blanc has not moved to distance himself too much from the Chelsea forward.
Speaking to TF1 on Thursday evening, Blanc stated that Anelka’s actions at the World Cup were “intolerable”, though he also noted that the striker can still win a place in the squad provided he “demonstrates that he is the best in his position, reflects my philosophy of play and changes his behaviour”.
Additionally, ‘Le President’ indicated his first object in charge of the side. “[I want to] find a core group of four, five or six players with experience, a sufficient level of talent, of course, but above all a state of mind which is similar to mine and of everyone who loves football,” Blanc indicated.
Les Bleus' first friendly under Blanc comes in early August away to Norway.
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