France Players Diaby & Escude Urge Supporters To Think Of Substance Over Style

The duo have hinted at their disappointment at the lack of support les Bleus’ player receive, explaining that the outcome of the game is more important than how it is achieved...
Over the course of 2009 France have endured something of a tempestuous relationship with their supporters, who have been quick to boo and heckle their side, and this has led Abou Diaby of Arsenal and Julien Escude of Sevilla to urge the fans to adopt a more pragmatic stance in the crucial World Cup qualifier against Romania on Saturday.

If les Bleus are to secure automatic qualification for the South African jamboree, it is likely that six points will be needed from the weekend’s tie and an awkward looking trip to group leaders Serbia. Raymond Domenech’s men are not playing at their best level, and Evra believes ever ounce of backing they get will make a difference.

“People complain that players from the France team do not play well,” lamented Diaby to L’Equipe. “But we know very well that when we enter the field, we want to win everything. It is the result that counts at the end. The important thing is to qualify.”

Escude chipped in, too. “We know that when we get into the World Cup, everyone will be behind us,” he asserted. “If there is disaffection, perhaps the disenchantment is with the bad style of play, but our style is winning.

“Apart from [Barcelona], I do not know many [attractive] styles of play.

“We have quality players from the best European championships. But to make a team and integrate everyone, this is not done after two games. And then there were teams from France with a more attractive style, but French football has never really been about style.”

Public apathy remains high, and despite the Romania fixture being vital for les Bleus, over 10,000 tickets for the Stade de France as yet remain unsold.

Robin Bairner,