As we had expected and hoped for, the arguments in the France dressing room after their 2-0 defeat to Sweden, seem to have been sorted out, in the calmer hours that followed the various altercations.
Laurent Blanc – altercations settled
And the news is that Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa and France manager Laurent Blanc have made peace, following news yesterday that Ben Arfa had even offered to be sent home from the tournament, according to L’Equipe.
Blanc’s assistant manager Alain Boghossian told reporters that the pair had discussed the altercation once things had calmed down, and they shook hands at the end of their discussion.
Well, that’s good.
Of course the last thing France wants is any repeat of the player revolt that happened in South Africa at the World Cup two years ago, and Boghossian was quick to say that there was no comparison to what happened on Tuesday night, and the events of the World Cup in 2012.
This is what Alain said:
“There was an exchange. That is normal for the change rooms. It would have been strange if it had not happened.”
Blanc replaced Ben Arfa after about 59 minutes of the game, which France lost 2-0, and when Ben Arfa walked off he seemed OK, and shook hands cordially with his manager.
The French manager admitted there had been arguments after the game in the dressing room:
“Yes, it became heated in the change rooms but after the players showered, the situation calmed down again,” “Those things happen after a defeat.”
“If a side wins, they accept what happened and are happy. The players noticed that not all their teammates gave 100 per cent.”
And the French Daily L’Equipe had reported there had also been an altercation between Samir Nasri and Alou Diarra, after Diarra had accused Nasri of not doing enough work to help out the defense.
And apparently Ben Arfa and Samir Nasri also didn’t exactly see things eye to eye after the game either.
But this situation is an awful lot different from 2010, and to be expected somewhat, after a bad defeat in an important game, and at least the players seemed to care about losing their first game in the last 24.
The main difference with 2010 is that France are still in the competition, and if they can play somewhere near their best form against Spain on Saturday, they have an excellent chance of reaching the semi-finals.
And with Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye back in the side, and running the midfield again, that should be a big plus for France, and it will also be interesting to see if Ben Arfa gets a game on Saturday, either as a starter or as a substitute.
And if Cabaye continues the form he has so far shown for France, he could make the team that’s comprised of the best players in each position in the competition.
And maybe it’s still possible to have an England vs France final on July 1st?
That should be the end of this story, and we are hoping Ben Arfa keeps with his mature ways on Tyneside, and we fully expect he will.