POLOKWANE (Reuters) – France’s misfiring marksmen have to hit the target sometime and will be inspired to do so in their second World Cup match against Mexico on Thursday, coach Raymond Domenech said on Wednesday.
France’s high-profile forwards have not scored an international goal since last November and had better wake up to avoid putting the 1998 champions in a tricky situation before facing hosts South Africa in their final Group A game.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Florent Malouda has had problems with Raymond Domenech in the past but said on Tuesday that reports he had fallen out with the France coach again since the start of the World Cup were not true.
Malouda was left out of the starting lineup for France’s opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday and French media speculated the winger had paid the price for a heated exchange with the coach the previous day in training.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Centre back William Gallas pulled out of a France training session on Monday with a sore muscle, a team spokesman said.
Gallas, who had been a doubtful starter for the World Cup because of a calf injury but played in France’s opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday, left accompanied by a team physiotherapist with 20 minutes left in the 60-minute session.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – When the France players visited a township on Sunday, the man all the excited, vuvuzela-blowing children wanted to touch was the World Cup’s most famous substitute, Thierry Henry.
Looking a bit lost and almost surprised at still being the centre of attention, Henry humbly obliged and signed a few autographs.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France managed to keep a clean sheet in their opening World Cup match but they will only escape another frustrating campaign if they can also address a glaring shortage of fire power up front.
After having conceded a goal in each of their three warm-up games, the 1998 world champions looked tighter at the back in a 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday in Cape Town but failed to translate superior possession into scoring chances.
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – France are still looking to unearth a new Zinedine Zidane, but they at least seem to have found the next Patrick Vieira.
Abou Diaby was a ray a hope in France’s lacklustre 0-0 draw with Uruguay in their World Cup opener on Friday, stepping out of the shadow of Vieira, who is now in the twilight of his career and did not make the squad.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) – Whether France prove the doubters wrong with a fine World Cup run or make another embarrassing exit remained anybody’s guess after their opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday.
Neither disastrous nor totally reassuring, the former world champions’ performance on the perfect pitch of the graceful Green Point stadium failed to answer the many question marks hanging over their campaign.
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – France deserve to be at the World Cup and are both determined and aggressive before kicking off their campaign against Uruguay, coach Raymond Domenech said on Thursday.
The former world champions, who have done nothing to suggest they could make an impact at the finals, owe their presence in South Africa to a controversial playoff win over Ireland featuring Thierry Henry’s infamous handball.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – With heavy security everywhere, no public training sessions and a leading player refusing to talk to the press, the climate at France’s World Cup base has suddenly deteriorated.
Downpours on Wednesday, after days of gorgeous weather, provided a symbol for the brutal change of atmosphere at Knysna, Western Cape, where the former world champions are preparing for their first game, against Uruguay on Friday in Cape Town.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – The France players preparing for the World Cup have a very selective memory.
While they all seem to have forgotten about what happened just two years ago, they can remember precisely events of four years back.