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The French Fiasco

France’s early World Cup exit will come as a shock to many. The Reason: France have some of the finest players, they have won the World Cup and were considered as one of the favorites this time, they were said to have one of the easier groups in the competition and were expected to top it. So occupying last place in the group with just 1 point and a goal difference of -3 is a little disgraceful. Besides, let’s not forget their behavior off the pitch. They refused to train and Anelka was sent home for verbally abusing his manager at half time of Round II.

Sapphaz (with inputs from Zanzy), tells us what she thought of France this World Cup.

First of all, I do not support France and neither do I support any of the teams from Group A hence I’m not going to be biased here. I think France did not deserve to be in the competition in the first place. It was Henry’s handball which sent them through to the finals. Had this injustice not have happened, I don’t think France would have even qualified. If you look at it now, Ireland stood a better chance any day.

Moving on to the group stages, we did not see France play the way they usually do. In fact, they were terrible. For a country who reached the finals last World Cup, it’s a shock to see them exit so early this time. Inspite of having quite a few world class players they did not manage to win a single game. I would not blame the players here. They did try, but their job is to play and it is the manager’s job to tell them how. Every team has had their share of problems but there is a way of dealing with it.

Lastly, France looked to be a very disinterested team. The World Cup is about giving your best, where countries come together to fight till the very end. So if you are going to have a team like France in the competition who seems to lack interest in the game…. the tournament is going to get boring. (Imagine if every game was like France v Uruguay)

I’m happy that France are out now, they anyways never deserved to be there in the first place. I do, however, feel sorry for the players and the supporters.

Talking about the supporters, many of them have traveled over 5000 miles to cheer on their team. This hasn’t been a very cheerful World Cup for them. Prior to the start of the tournament I managed to get in touch with a French supporter, Riwan Makhlouf. Here’s what he had to say:

On his love for football: Bill Shankly once said “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it’s much more important than that.” This is my point of view when it comes to football.

On which team/player will excel in the competition: I think England & Gerrard will create a huge impact. Brazil, Germany and Spain too stand a chance. I would like a surprise from one of the African countries.

On how far France could have made it in the competition: If we play well we can reach upto the very end. There is no such thing as CAN’T.

On France’s main man: Malouda and Anelka play for Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in England where they helped win the league. Ribery is another important player. I personally think Diaby has good tactics.

Yesteryears: France 98 will remain one of the most beautiful moments of my life. A magnificent mix of culture, a chaotic beginning and victory at the very end. The return of a whole nation united around the same cause.

Words of Wisdom for the team: Today you are the ones representing your country. You are eyes and heart of France. Forget your names, your culture, your family and your clubs and play in unity for your country.


France v Mexico

1st Half Analysis

It has been a goalless first half. France haven’t had any real chances. The best shot so far has come from Salcido. Mexico are doing fine but are not very good in front of goal. Let’s see what the second half brings us.

For those of you who care, Arsene Wenger is at the stadium. He is supposed to be working (more…)