France and L'Equipe Stunned at Raymond Domenech's Survival

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJuly 3, 2008

I'm just back from my holiday in Toulouse, and while there, I became a regular buyer of the newspaper L'Equipe. For those who don't know, L'Equipe is a 24-page sport newspaper published every day.

The front pages, while I was there, consisted of Stade Toulouse's epic victory over Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14 final, and Arnaud Clement's sensational run to the Wimbledon quarter finals.

However, the front page that sold most copies and drew most debate was that of Domenech's future.

I actually have the paper in front of me and my French translates it as, "70 percent of Frenchmen want to see a new coach carry France to the World Cup in 2010."

It goes on to say that Didier Deschamps is wanted by 50 percent of France, vying for change. Wenger and Blanc 20 percent each, and Jean Tigana 10 percent. Deschamps would have been a shroud move, yet the French Football Federation have declined to axe Domenech.

Even Canal lost its coverage of Germany vs. Turkey when the documentary "Fiasco Les Bleus" was showing. And, in my best French, what I could understand was anger at France's poor performances and disbelief at Domenech's substitutions.

The man even used the Italy post-match interview to propose to his girlfriend. He should have been apologizing for leading Les Bleus to last place behind Romania!

His fiancee now seems to be the only person who wants him around!

Every French person I spoke to seemed to think the man is a clown, because he almost didn't qualify for the 2006 World Cup. And, it was Zidane, not Domenech, that lead the team to the final that year.

On another note, Toulouse are stunned at the decision to sell top scorer Ellmander to Bolton and Emana to Real Betis. With no replacements in sight, they are in line for a dog fight next year.

On a positive note my team, Stade Toulouse claimed Top 14 with a stunning win over Clermont Auvergne. Maxime Medard's try sent the city into a frenzy.