On the day that Laurent Blanc will name his first France squad the ghosts of Raymond Domenech’s regime continue to haunt les Bleus, with Nicolas Anelka revealing the depth of his disdain for his former coach in an interview in France Soir.
Anelka was sent home early from the World Cup this summer following a heated exchange of words with Domenech during half-time of France’s second group stage game against Mexico. The Chelsea forward has now revealed that it was an argument brewing for some time and that he even thought about quitting the squad prior to the competition due to his coach.
“I decided to quit the France team after the match in Tunisia during the preparations [for the competition],” he revealed.
“I was already sick of playing this way. But three senior players asked me to stay for the squad. I finally stayed. I should not have.
“My biggest regret is this: not being able to change my position. If the coach wanted to take a player for the penalty box, it was not me he should have chosen. He was wrong about the cast and I am the first to admit that.
“During preparation, my games were mediocre, if not catastrophic. During the World Cup, it was not me. I was useless during this World Cup. Domenech managed to disgust me of football when I was competing in my first and last World Cup.
“[It’s] the coach who should be ashamed after his refusal in front of the world to shake hands with the coach of South Africa. And they told me that I have no respect? I have no respect for kamikazes.
"If he wanted to kill himself, he should have done it alone, but not with us.”
Anelka, like the remainder of France’s 23-man World Cup panel, has been banned from taking part in Blanc’s first friendly, which is a meeting with Norway next Wednesday.