They both refuse to resign. Despite overwhelming pressure from French fans, current and former French players, French and outside media pundits, outside soccer fans and The Legend of Carl Awesome, Raymond Domenech refuses to go away.
Ignore that phenomenal mustache for a moment and look at his resume. He took over in 2004 after France busted out of the Euro's. Since then, to put it simply, France struggled to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and barely made it out of their group. They beat Spain in the knock-out stages, Brasil after that, Portugal after that and finally lost to Italy in the finals. While that improbable run seems to help Domenech's case, in reality it was a result of Zinedine Zidane. In my opinion Zissou was one of the best, if not the best center midfielder to play the game - it's kinda of hard to screw that up even though Domenech really did try.
So France gets Spain in the knockout stages and it doesn't take a soccer historian to recall that Spain is the most disappointing World Cup team probably ever. Spain of course, doesn't disappoint to disappoint (and they'll choke in 2010, book it and don't act surprised when they tear up their group and lose to Australia in the 16's). Then France beats Portugal while enjoying what can be understated as a hostile crowd towards Portugal. Recall that the round before, Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of getting Wayne Rooney a red-card, seen here, after Rooney intentionally stamps a players groin. That video, stunning in its bias and lunacy, perfectly illustrates a laughable English media sentiment with nice xenophobic undertones. It turns out to be one of the most polarizing moments in the World Cup that year and instead of revealing Rooney as the brute fraud he is, ends up beginning the end of Cristiano Ronaldo in England. A shame really, but I digress.
France beats Portugal, Zissou shines bright as ever, and a still quirky, as opposed to clinically insane, Domenech looks like a genius. Coincidentally I develop this headache whenever the talent of the French football team is brought up (Zidane, Ribery, Henry, Viera). Yes, the French do well in the 2006 World Cup and Domenech retains his job, already a controversy in some camps.
Two years pass by and the French Federation gets it's chance to justifiably fire Domenech. France gets embarrassed in the Euro's, and I mean embarrassed. TLOCA laughs with delight as surely this is the end of our nemesis. No.
The struggles continue as a 2010 World Cup birth is in imminent danger before this stylish French guy palms the ball and sends them to South Africa at the expense of Ireland. No replays confirm the Le Main de Dieu part deux and this will totally die out in a few weeks.
On December 4th the 2010 World Cup draw is scheduled and The Mail has done some hypothesizing on what the pots will be.
Pot 1: South Africa (required), Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England, France
Pot 2: Holland, Portugal, Switzerland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia
Pot 3: Uruguay, Paraguay, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria,
Pot 4: Japan, Australia, New Zealand, North Korea, South Korea, United States, Mexico, Honduras
Some minor notes as this is surely wrong, and I'm not blaming the Mail, its just that Fifa makes the Sudan looked like a transparent, trustworthy government.
- France has no business being in the "top-seeded" pot. And if Platini doesn't want more controversy on his hands, he'll make sure they're not.
- Holland deserves to be in Pot 1
- Teams that are not as good as you think: France, Italy, Argentina, Paraguay
- Teams that are alot better than you think: Slovakia, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Korea, Mexico
A rare event worth noting will occur Sunday, November 29th. The authors of TLOCA will join forces to watch Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.