Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bleus Could Be Ones to Watch at the World Cup; France Finding Their Form and Keen to Put 2010 Tournament Behind Them

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bleus Could Be Ones to Watch at the World Cup; France Finding Their Form and Keen to Put 2010 Tournament Behind Them

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer lee.ryder@trinitymirror.com

FRANCE jetted out to a major tournament yesterday.

But there was something different about a Les Bleus team that seem determined to be remembered for all of the right reasons at this summer's World Cup.

Don't forget what happened in South Africa four years ago when the French team ended the tournament in disgrace after storming off the training field in support of Nicolas Anelka - who had been sent home by Raymond Domenech after a dressing room row.

France were dumped out - humiliated in the group stages - and Domenech soon moved on.

The spat, after France's 2-0 loss to Mexico in the first phase, resulted in the row going viral and ending up on the front page of L'Equipe.

Anelka later took the newspaper to court after a front page headline full of expletives of what was supposed to have been said by the ex-Arsenal and Bolton striker in the heated exchange with Domenech.

But it didn't end there.

Just for good measure the French team carried their anger into Euro 2012 with a celebration in which he suggested: "Shut up" to the media in France, sprinting angrily to the Press box after scoring the equaliser against England.

There was anger still fizzing around the French dressing room and there were no surprises when tempers flared again within the four walls, this time under Laurent Blanc.

After France's loss to Sweden in the last Euros, Newcastle United's very own Hatem Ben Arfa was also thought to be involved.

Back then Blanc tried to play down the claims and said: 'There were quarrels, well, let's say exchanges, but it's normal in a dressing room."

Only Ben Arfa, Yann M'Vila, Nasri and Jeremy Menez appeared in front of a disciplinary committee.

As it turned out Ben Arfa had been using his phone in the French dressing room. …

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