- Associated Press
Saturday, July 24, 2010

PARIS (AP) - Marseille coach Didier Deschamps has pledged to give his full cooperation to France coach Laurent Blanc’s efforts to rebuild the national team following its poor World Cup.

France went out in the group stage and former coach Raymond Domenech’s controversial reign ended when his whole team went on strike in protest at Nicolas Anelka’s expulsion from the tournament following an expletive-filled rant at Domenech.

Blanc’s request to ban all the players that went on strike for his opening match against Norway in next month’s friendly was upheld by the French soccer federation on Friday.

With France desperate to rebuild its image after its struggles in South Africa, Deschamps feels that Blanc will need all the help he can get.

“This relationship between club and country is fundamental, it even goes beyond the physical and medical aspect,” Deschamps said in an interview with sports daily L’Equipe published on Saturday. “This has to happen in the best way possible and in a common interest, even if sometimes the interest of Les Bleus is the opposite to that of the clubs.”

The unpopular Domenech had a brittle relationship with club coaches and Deschamps said that, “like the majority of my colleagues,” he had absolutely no communication with Domenech when he selected players for his squads.

Deschamps and Blanc have a closer relationship after having played together when France won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship two years later, and Deschamps expects that to help matters during Blanc’s tenure.

“Beyond the fact that we know each other, that we call each other, Laurent has a different approach (to Domenech),” Deschamps said. “As for us (the club), we will adapt, we will provide him with information.”

Following the Norway friendly, Blanc has a Euro 2012 qualifier against Belarus at Stade de France on Sept. 3.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.