Saturday, June 19, 2010

It can always get worse

France's pathetic display against Mexico has provoked a huge uproar back home, as you can imagine. I listen to a lot of French radio live or on podcast, and the football shows are incredibly entertaining right now. Newspapers are mad as hell too, and I've never seen such an explosion of rage against our own, in any sport. It's so bad that many in France are now rooting for South Africa in our last game!

Adding insult to injury, it's now surfaced that at halftime of the Mexico match, coach Raymond Domenech told the inept Nicolas Anelka that he needed to play more at the front, and Anelka reportedly answered "Go get fucked, you son of a bitch." Domenech then pulled Anelka and replaced him with Gignac for the second half. Le Monde says that the team decided to ship Anelka back to France. Former coach Michel Hidalgo (who oversaw the golden age of Les Bleus in 1978-84) commented that "Anelka's insult is despicable. He can't wear the French jersey anymore. I think he won't wear that jersey ever again."

On the plus side, Australia tied against Ghana in a feisty match, despite having a player red-carded after 20 minutes or so. I don't think the scrappy Socceroos will make it to the next round — they'd have to beat Serbia — but they'll leave with their head high, unlike other teams I could name.

Oh, and England self-combusted against Algeria, losing 0-0 (to borrow a headline from the Post). Unlike France, which went into the Cup with few illusions, England thought themselves hot stuff, so it was particularly satisfying to see Algeria bring them back to reality.

No comments: