Is Naughty Nic Entirely To Blame?

So, with more drama surrounding him than a double episode of Eastenders, Nicolas Anelka has been sent home from the World Cup in shame.

As we all know (because it’s been splashed across every headline from here to Outer Mongolia already), the Chelsea front man got a bit arsey with Domenech questioning his performance during the first half of France’s 2-0 defeat to Mexico on Thursday. Unfortunately though, Anelka’s displeasure played itself out with him making inappropriate remarks about his manager’s mother in the French dressing room.

I suppose once it became public, the French Football Federation had little choice but to send him home in disgrace, with FFF vice president Noel Le Graet confirming “The decision has been taken. It was perfectly normal to do it today, it couldn’t have been done any other way. I find it unbelievable, because if anyone has protected Anelka, it has been Domenech. Domenech has played Anelka throughout the past two years. There are of course differences of opinion surrounding tactics and positioning, but it merits friendlier conversations.”

It goes without saying there’ll be plenty of opinions on this one and one of the first to do this in the press is Anelka’s team-mate Patrice Evra, who although clearly stating Anelka’s comments were “unacceptable”, seems a bit more concerned with how they got into the press in the first place.

The United defender, who is reported to have intervened at the time, says “(It) came from someone in this group, who wishes the French team harm. The problem isn’t Anelka, it’s the traitor among us, you have to say it. How can this come out? We must eliminate the traitor from the group, because he wants to hurt the team.  There is no little mouse in the locker room, this comes from someone who is on the team and wants to hurt the team.   We are not going to lie, the reporter (from L’Equipe) did not make this up.  I do not know anything (about this person), I am not a magician.”

Shame really because it looks as if Anelka could do with a bit of the Paul Daniels to make this one disappear. Mind you, Anelka – who clearly hasn’t calmed down yet – also seems a bit more concerned with the ‘grass’ than what he actually said, with the (former) French striker stating “I indeed had a heated conversation with the coach, but it happened within the confines of the changing rooms, between the coach and me, in front of my teammates and the staff. That should never have come out of the changing rooms. I don’t know who can benefit from that, but repeating these kind of things certainly doesn’t help (the team). My aim was never to destabilise the French team, an institution I respect. I accept my exclusion from the France team and I wish them good luck. I have a lot of respect for the France team, I equally have a lot of respect for all of my teammates without exception, I insist on that point.”

Not taking anything away from what Anelka has done – because to be honest, if he did the same in the Chelsea dressing room, I wouldn’t want him at the club anymore – it has to be said the French World Cup campaign so far has all been a bit dodgy to say the least. Domenech started the campaign leaving Malouda on the bench for personal reasons, which undoubtedly bit him on the arse.

So there’s been rumblings there from the start and maybe a full-blown row was inevitable? And whilst Anelka (or any player come to that) has to be able to take constructive criticism, you do have to wonder what exactly it was Domenech said because Nicolas Anelka may well have been a bad tempered prima donna in the past but we’ve seen nothing like that at Chelsea. If anything, since he’s been at Stamford Bridge, Anelka has been pretty passive – despite provocation along the way.

No doubt this one isn’t over yet.

14 Responses to “Is Naughty Nic Entirely To Blame?”

  1. The manager gave Anelka the opportunity to apologise the following day, no longer in the heat of the moment, and he refused to.

    Le Sulk has kept his head down at Chelsea but his disgraceful behaviour during half time of a crucial World Cup game proves that a leopard can’t change its spots.

  2. Congratulations to Anelka for being the only one to have the balls to tell Domenech to his face what I believe everyone, including the French press has being dying to say to him for a wee while now. So Monsieur Domenech, this one’s from me too…….Go f…k yourself, you son of a bitch.

  3. Scott the red whatever mate. We don’t know what Domenech did to prompt it but considering the failures of France at the world cup are mainly down to him, i’d say he probably did a lot. Of course he hasn’t done this at Chelsea, his manager is Ancelotti, a man who knows what hes doing and respects his players. Domenech is a disgrace, I think all the french players would like to punch him in the face let alone insult him. Nico showed his balls here so I say fairplay.

  4. Firstly the whole things been blown out of all proportion. Nico and Domenech had a row; Domenech said that if he didn’t stop playing out of position then he would take him off and replace him with Gignac. Nico then started having a bit of a go. At which point Evra stepped in and told the pair of them to cut it out as there was a game to be won. Nico then sat down and as Domenech turned away he muttered the famous phrase under his breath, which is certainly not the same thing as giving it to him full in the face.
    Domenech then said that Anelka left him no choice and told one of his assistants to go and tell Gignac to speed up his warm up as he would be on for the second half.
    Secondly who benefits from the story breaking out?
    1) The French media, who are already calculating the loss of earnings due to an early elimination.
    2) The Federation farts (Escalettes at their head) who have been largely discredited for maintaining Domenech as manager since 2008.This is a very grubby smoke screen.
    Thirdly its a real shock to see such a phrase used as a front page headline by l’Equipe, France’s biggest selling (sports) newspaper.
    Lastly the whole French dressing room is falling apart with Gallas refusing to train, sulking because Evra got the armband, Ribery playing the schoolyard bully picking on Gourcuff because he’s better looking etc etc.
    I just hope that there will be no repercussions with regard to the club because Anelka is still a great player and is little more than a scape goat in a much larger and even sadder affair.
    PS Latest news: Patrce Evra and Robert Duverne (the French physio) have just had a scrap, and so the squad are now refusing to train. “De mieux en mieux”

  5. I said there had to be more to this than met the eye. So now we know Evra’s had a barny with the French fitness coach, the team have refused to train, the manager is said to have ‘lost control of the team’ and the team director has gone home with the hump! Let’s face it, France are a bloody mess and still without excusing the completely unacceptable way Anelka chose to express it – the content of what he was trying to get across was probably just what the rest of them already thought anyway.

  6. Evra’s had a barny with the fitness coach because they found out he is the one to leak the comments Anelka made to the manager and are now refusing to train because Anelka’s been sent home.

    Don’t forget, Anelka had the opportunity to apologise for calling his manager’s mother a whore at half time, but he refused.

  7. To get it factually correct – seeing as a statement of ‘fact’ has been issued – they were refusing to train because the FFF chose to send Anelka home on the word of the press rather than discuss it first with anyone who had actually been in the dressing at the time and would know the correct version of events.


  9. Evra was in the dressing room and in a press conference he said Anelka did say what the press were reporting.

    If Anelka had apologised, it might have been different, but Le Sulk would rather walk out on his national team than apologise for something he had done wrong.

  10. 1) The decision to send Anelka home (strangely he’s still at their luxury base camp!..) was taken whilst Domenech and the squad were training. The squad feel that they’ve been squeezed out.
    2) Anelka apologised in private but refused to make an act of contrition in public, the FFF insisting on the organising of a special press conference with all the trimmings – can’t say that I blame him, it was after all a private affair.
    3) Scott the Red,It is pure speculation to affim that Robert Duverne is the mole. It is far more likely that he threw a wobbly because his training programme is going down the pan.
    4) This is all far more fun than Big Brother, Survivor and all the rest. Its also far more sad.

  11. Scott the Red,
    Nobodies denying that Anelka did say “Va te faire enculer, sale fils de pute” or something very,very similar. However as I said before he muttered it into his beard (dixit Domenech), sitting in a corner, it was no confrontation with him ramming it down Domenechs throat. ITS NOT THE SAME THING.
    And he did apologize to Domenech and the players in private.

  12. The FFF should be blamed for the whole French debacle- why on earth did they not fire Domenech?????

  13. He should not have said what he did but the fact that the team supports him shows that he had a right to be outraged

  14. Scott why are so obssessed anyway? I bet you’re not even french. You’re a Man U fan no? Well then you’re not exactly in a place to comment on the attitude of players in rival teams when you’ve had the likes of Keane and more recently Rooney?? Now as an England fan i’d be more worried about what he has to say, but of course you’d defend him. Hypocrite.