June 23, 2012
France opens old wounds
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
DONETSK, UKRAINE - Another lost tournament means another French autopsy looms.
You can say that France improved from the 2010 World Cup because they didn't go three-and-out this time like they did in South Africa.
But after efficiently being disposed of by defending world champion Spain at the Donbass Arena Saturday, the French, who found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 score, will look back on their Euro 2012 record and see that they could only scratch out one win and a draw in four games.
More alarming is the fact that infighting reared its ugly head again within the bowels of the French dressing room, an open wound manager Laurent Blanc could never completely heal.
Blanc had tried to erase memories of South Africa two years ago when the players refused to leave the team bus because of a dispute with the previous managerial team. Having taken over right after that, Blanc cleaned house and brought back only a handful of players who were part of that mutiny.
But heated exchanges between players after a 2-0 loss to Sweden last week showed that Blanc and the French have a long way to go before all their demons are exorcised.
Let the second guessing begin.