x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Domenech to blame, says Gallas

William Gallas has laid the blame for France's World Cup implosion at the feet of Raymond Domenech, the former coach.

William Gallas has laid the blame for France's World Cup implosion at the feet of Raymond Domenech, the former coach. Les Bleus crashed out in the group stage amid huge unrest in the camp, with Nicolas Anelka and Domenech involved in a bust-up which resulted in the Chelsea striker being expelled from the squad. A subsequent strike by the players in protest at Anelka's expulsion added to the air of farce surrounding France's doomed campaign, which ended with the 1998 world champions finishing bottom of Group A with just one point.

The fallout from the fiasco accounted for Jean-Pierre Escalettes, the former French Football Federation president, resigning from his post having shouldered the blame for the dismal campaign. Domenech left his role immediately after the tournament to be succeeded by Laurent Blanc, and central defender Gallas has wasted little time in aiming a parting shot in an interview with Les Inrockuptibles magazine to be published today.

"If there has been a fiasco there are reasons, and we must not close our eyes: they come from the coach," Gallas told the magazine in excerpts published by L'Equipe. "You can have the best players in your team, if you do not have a coach, you will not get results. "The real problem was the coach. I was not good, we were not good. But the coach was not good either." Domenech's reign was marred by bizarre coaching techniques and team selections, and Gallas concedes it was difficult for players to build a relationship with the coach.

"There really was a communication problem" said Gallas. "Domenech was not open. Many players could not speak with him. That was my case. "Domenech hammered into us time and again: 'Put your egos to one side' but I believe that he forgot to do that himself." * PA