Striker Nicolas Anelka (above) found himself bounced from the French national side after telling manager Raymond Domenech, “go fuck yourself, you son of a whore” during intermission of a 2010 first round World Cup defeat to Mexico. Anelka’s teammates responded by boycotting practice, an incident Domenech recalls in the forthcoming memoir, “Tout Seul”, with the following excerpts courtesy The Guardian :
In a book called Tout Seul (All Alone), to be published on Tuesday, Domenech reserves his most critical comments for Franck Ribéry, Anelka and Thierry Henry. “I couldn’t bear to hear everyone giving their opinion on everything,” Domenech said. “I just wanted to be sick, to cry, to leave.”
On the day of the strike hundreds of locals from the town of Knysna gave the French players a rousing reception when they stepped off the team bus. After quickly shaking hands and signing autographs, they all returned to their bus.
“The France team had just crucified itself, in public, live on television,” Domenech said. “Maybe the players realised it, maybe they didn’t. Anyway, it was too late. The infernal machine had started up and was dragging all of Les Bleus to the abyss.”
Domenech felt powerless to regain any control of his squad. Even though France still had one match to play, against the hosts South Africa, the head coach was stunned when players chose to skip massage and other treatments and he exploded with rage in the hotel lobby.
“I’m out of here. I couldn’t give a damn about this bunch of imbeciles,” he says in his book, written largely in diary form. “I have no energy left. I don’t like them any more. I’ve had enough of their tantrums,” Domenech wrote before the 2-0 defeat by Mexico. “This team is completely incapable of transcending itself and I’m certainly to blame for something. I got it all wrong. I feel humiliated to have got it so wrong.”