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After a campaign riddled with controversy and disappointment, it would be best if les Bleus' demise was quick, suggests Goal.com's Robin Bairner...

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The problems of the France team have suffered over the last week have been well documented and are probably only the tip of the iceberg in a squad that seems to be rotten to the core.

Of course, those who have followed the fortunes of les Bleus over the last six years will have been well aware of the downward spiral the once great side have endured under the charge of Raymond Domenech, which has been disguised to some extent with an appearance in the 2006 World Cup final.

It’s clear that the quicker the Domenech era comes to an end for France, the better, even if it means going out of the World Cup at the earliest possible opportunity.

Domenech’s reign, to all intents and purposes, seems to be over. The former Olympique Lyonnais boss is coach by name only. The dressing room is lost, and after six long years of mismanagement, it will not be suddenly found overnight.

It may well be that an agglomerate of senior players will club together to effectively manage the side in what may well prove to be their swansong in South Africa. Patrice Evra, William Gallas, Franck Ribery and Thierry Henry were, if newspaper reports are to be believed, already plotting for a change in strategy prior to the Mexico fixture, and as the most senior players in the dressing room seem to hold sway over all they survey for the time being.

Exactly what knock-on effect this has on the remainder of the squad remains to be seen. Yoann Gourcuff is not a popular figure in the 23, and the young creative midfielder is likely to be one to suffer.

A favourite of incoming coach Laurent Blanc, there is already a potential powderkeg situation developing for ‘Le President’ before he even takes the reins.

That Sidney Govou is also set to be ostracised is telling of the factions behind the scenes, though in the OL attacker’s case that is perhaps more understandable given his patchy form.


As my colleague at Goal.com France Alexandre Walraevens intimated in his editorial ‘Let’s End This Farce – France, Don’t Qualify!’, the World Cup is threatening to become an utter humiliation for les Bleus, and progress to the last 16 could mean a real whipping by one of the games truly strong nations.

The quicker this shambles is over, the quicker Blanc can set about clearing the mess up - though it’s hard to imagine that there will be too many players involved in the France setup at present who won’t be permanently scarred on the international stage by the harrowing scenes of les Bleus’ South Africa farce.

Blanc has big decisions to take and big egos to bruise, but that is to worry about in the future. Today, France have to focus on South Africa, and they have to aim to grab what positives they can from a wretched trip, even if the big plus is finally ridding themselves of calamity boss Domenech.

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