Two Coaches – Two Conflicting Emotions

Beleaguered French coach Raymond Domenech has paid tribute to his team for fighting right until the end of their 2-0 defeat by Italy; a result that confirmed France’s elimination from Euro 2008. How he can praise his team though is quite beyond us, as they have been poor right from the start of the tournament. In fact, they haven’t been much cop since they won Euro 2000, two years after winning the world cup.

In the match against Italy, Domenech lamented the fact that anything that could go wrong, did go wrong for his team. He moaned about the injury picked up by Franck Ribéry (OK, we concede that he is probably France’s best player at the moment) and the sending off of Eric Abidal after just twenty-four minutes. N.B. Would someone please explain to Domenech that if his player clearly fouls an opponent in the penalty area, especially from behind, and even more especially if that player was the last player, then he is going to get sent off!

He concluded by saying that “We never gave up”. That doesn’t matter one iota Mr. Domenech, you are heading for the exit door! At least one good thing came out of the match for him though; he proposed to his girlfriend just after full time!

Meanwhile, over on the Italian side, coach Roberto Donadoni was basking in the glory of a “great” win for his team, who now look forward to a mouth-watering quarter-final confrontation against the impressive Spaniards.

Donadoni was quoted as saying that although this was not his greatest moment as coach, it was certainly one of the most satisfying. He went on to say that although they have had some difficult times in the last couple of years (football bungs anybody?), the lads have always managed to find the strength to bounce right back.

He admitted that they did get a couple of fortunate breaks in the France match (nothing new there then for the Italians!) with Franck Ribéry injury making it especially hard for the French, not to mention the deflected free-kick by De Rossi.

He refused to admit they were lucky though because of all the chances they created. And he has a point as Luca Toni contrived to miss enough chances that would have given him at least a double hatrick on the night!

He finished off by congratulating France for giving them a great game and making it difficult, despite the handicap of playing with only ten men for most of the match.

It must be great to be gracious after knocking them out…

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