Can Laurent Blanc clean up French football?


French football is in an appalling state. It was bad enough, following the Thierry Henry handball, even before the team reached South Africa. Once they got there, the rot really set in, from the awful performances to Anelka’s foul-mouthed rant, from the players’ revolt to the manager Raymond Domenech’s disgraceful refusal to shake the hand of his South African counterpart. But wIll the sidelining of Domenech and a single match ban on the striking players make everything all right? …

Even I am beginning to tire of hearing about the rotten state of French football. But comments posted here recently prompt me to reflect on the latest developments.

The millionaires’ mutiny in South Africa was a shameful but logical extension of the self-centred, scowling arrogance of the modern game.

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French farce: should Patrice Evra be banished from international football?

This clip shows why Patrice Evra, of Manchester United and France, is ranked among the best footballers in the world. There is also a case for saying the “and France” part of that description should now be considered a thing of history …

Here in France, the inquest continues at various levels, from grass roots to parliament, into the pathetic failure of the French squad to rise at any stage above a surly, snarling and professionally embarrassing presence at the 2010 World Cup.

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