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French coach feels the heat ahead of crunch game

Latest update : 2008-09-10

After being criticised for France's loss against Austria in the World cup qualifier, coach Raymond Domenech is comparing himself to someone convicted to the "guillotine" and denouncing those interested in the "smell of blood".

Under-fire France coach Raymond Domenech lightened up a press conference ahead of Wednesday's crucial 2010 World Cup qualifier with Serbia, saying "thankfully the guillotine doesn't exist anymore".

 

Domenech has been feeling the heat this week after Saturday's 3-1 hammering at the hands of Austria in their opening World Cup qualifier.

 

French media has gone into overdrive following the defeat to the 101 world ranked side, calling it a 'colossal catastrophe', with one newspaper saying it was "already Waterloo".

 

The 56-year-old coach weighed into the media debate on Tuesday with his own brand of histrionic self-deprecation.

 

"In the world today... it is the smell of blood that interests you," he said to the assembled reporters.

 

"Thankfully the guillotine doesn't exist anymore because there are some among you who would have the malicious pleasure of sending me for the chop."

 

He added: "But perhaps it would be better if I had killed someone."

 

Following France's dismal showing at the Euro 2008 in June, where they went out in the first round after scoring only one goal, Domenech narrowly avoided the axe but was warned - qualify for South Africa in 2010 or else.

 

That spectre raised its head once more as editorials in Sunday's newspapers bandied names such as Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc as possible replacements for the top job.

 

"I have come here to speak about the match against Serbia on Wednesday, I will not take questions about my departure," Domenech snapped on Tuesday.

 

It's the second time the guillotine reference has been invoked for Domenech, after 1998 World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit blasted the coach in the wake of the Euro 2008 debacle.

 

"We are in France, so it is logical heads should roll," Petit said in June, referring back to the days of the French Revolution and the usage of the guillotine.

 

"I believe that the succession to Raymond Domenech has been settled already.

 

"I feel that the next coach will be Didier Deschamps and I have always felt things before they have happened," he preened.

Date created : 2008-09-09

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