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Domenech´s head must roll, says French World Cup winner

SoccerNews in European Championships, Ligue 1 15 Jun 2008

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France coach Raymond Domenech must be replaced by World Cup winning captain Didier Deschamps after Euro 2008 said one of the latter's 1998 World Cup team-mates Emmanuel Petit on Sunday.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona star – who scored in the 3-0 victory over Brazil in the World Cup final – said there was no other option and it would bring to an end six years of poor choices as coach of the national side.

Domenech has a contract that runs till 2010 but his position would be in a precarious state of affairs should France go out of Euro 2008 on Tuesday.

“We are in France, so it is logical heads should roll,” commented Petit, 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.

“Deschamps is the only one capable of rising to the challenge.

“He is looked on favourably by the Federation and has played and coached at the highest level. He would be a natural choice,” Petit wrote in Le Parisien.

Petit said that on all fronts Deschamps, who astonishingly guided Monaco to the 2004 Champions League final and subsequently Juventus back to Serie A after they had been relegated owing to the matchfixing scandal, was a better option than Domenech, even if the latter had taken the French to the 2006 World Cup final.

“He would be more credible than Domenech. He has a good relationship with both the public and the media.

“That is an important factor, especially if France were to be knocked out of a tournament early as it would be imperative to douse the fire immediately.”

Petit, who was also a team-mate of Deschamps when France won Euro 2000 with a golden goal against Tuesday's opponents Italy, listed a whole series of errors committed by Domenech at the tournament – something which has not gone unnoticed by other papers such as Journal du Dimanche who also call on Deschamps to be given the job.

“I have not understood atall the changes he has made during the past two matches,” said Petit.

“Against the Dutch (a crushing 4-1 defeat) he should have taken Jeremy Toulalan off as he was exhausted, and replaced him with Samir Nasri.

“That would have allowed Franck Ribery to stay on the left, which is where he is best suited.

“And to send on Bafetimbi Gomis (during the second-half leaving France footballer of the year Karim Benzema on the bench) was not doing him a favour.”

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