All right now: Boghossian claims tensions in French camp resolved as focus remains on Spanish showdown

 

TENSIONS may have risen in the France dressingroom after they lost their final Euro 2012 group game but they are ready to start from scratch against Spain in tomorrow’s quarter-final.

The assistant coach Alain Boghossian, a 1998 world champion. who was on the staff at the 2010 World Cup when off-pitch dramas led to an embarrassing first-round exit, revealed strong words were exchanged after Tuesday’s 2-0 Group D defeat by Sweden. But he said it was nothing compared to the fiasco at the 2010 World Cup, when the players went on strike in support of forward Nicolas Anelka, who had been kicked out of the squad for insulting the then coach Raymond Domenech.

“There were quarrels, well, let’s say exchanges, but it’s normal in a dressingroom,” he told a news conference yesterday. “It would have been worse if nothing had happened. It’s like in a couple, if you sweep the problems under the rug, at some point, it will explode.”

Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda had similarly said: “It’s normal to send some missiles in a dressingroom after a defeat.”

Boghossian did not deny Newcastle United forward Hatem Ben Arfa and coach Laurent Blanc had an argument, but he said the row was over as the French try to put behind them a loss that ended a 23-match unbeaten run.

“That defeat was a staggering blow.

There was a lot of frustration that had to be eliminated. They could have done it by punching doors, they chose to talk about it,” added Boghossian. “Everyone said what they had to say. We start from scratch. Nothing is broken, it’s quite the opposite. The fire has been put out.” Whether France have managed to restore harmony in time for the Spain game in Donetsk remains to be seen.

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