There are reports coming in and verified by Laurent Blanc, that there was some straight talking in the France dressing room, after they had been beaten 2-0 by Sweden on Tuesday night.
Hatem Ben Arfa - surprising if Newcastle winger involved
That helped England win Group D and they will now play Italy in Sunday’s quarter finals game and France, as runners-up in the group, now play World Champions Spain.
The France manager Laurent Blanc tried to put a positive spin on the events that took place in the dressing room after the game, and thought it was necessary to have some plain taking after their first defeat in their last 24 games.
Blanc had said that things “got a bit heated” afterward.
Other reports suggest that Newcastle’s Ben Arfa and Manchester City’s Samir Nasri were among the players involved in an altercation after the game, but we have no idea if that is true.
The reports suggest Ben Arfa told Laurent Blanc to send him home, after he was substituted in the Sweden game, but that seems unlikely, after their cordial hand-shake when Ben Arfa was replaced just before the hour mark.
However Ben Arfa was on the phone to his family in the dressing room after the game, and that did not please the French manager, and that’s hardly surprising.
It seems that Ben Arfa was disappointed he hadn’t been given more playing time in the Sweden game, where he had a decent game for France in the first 60 minutes or so, before being replaced by Chelsea winger Florent Malouda.
This is the last thing France will want, after the antics of their players during the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.
It is likely the events have been put completely out of proportion, and we expect nothing to come of this, and the French players will get together and put this behind them very quickly.
It’s hardly surprising they were unhappy after their poor performance on Tuesday night, but it’s fodder for the gossip press too – that’s for sure.
Hatem Ben Arfa has been both mature and well behaved in his almost two years at Newcastle, and has caused absolutely no bother at all.