In-fighting could undermine France’s World Cup dream

By Michael Owen
thierry henry

Members of Domenech's squad are said to be pressuring him into giving Henry a starting place

Internal fighting within the French squad may prove to be their downfall at this year’s World Cup.

Reports circulating suggest the squad is divided, with manager Raymond Domenech struggling to keep control in a squad full of big personalities.

It is already known that Arsenal defender William Gallas is refusing to speak to the media, a silence believed to be due to his unhappiness at missing out on the captaincy after the armband went to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Many players are also believed to be pressuring Domenech into promoting Thierry Henry and Abou Diaby to the first team at the expense of Sidney Govou and Yoann Gourcuff

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal gave an indication of the problems facing the French national side when he told reporters: “We can try and put our ideas together and try and find a middle ground, but the manager decides.”

This all comes after the French side’s now infamous controversial qualification for the tournament when a Thierry Henry handball helped France to a narrow victory over the Republic of Ireland.

If France want to go one better than they did in 2006, where they were beaten in the final by Italy, they will need to ensure the problems within the squad are resolved in order to avoid a repeat of the disastrous competition they experienced in South Korea and Japan in 2002 where they were knocked out in the group stages.

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