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I won´t be gagged, warns France coach Domenech

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Aug 2008

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Under scrutiny France manager Raymond Domenech told the country's footballing authorities on Tuesday that he will never be a 'yes' man, warning that he did not intend to change his methods.

Domenech narrowly survived the sack despite France's poor showing at Euro 2008 and a very public gaffe made on TV after the team's defeat against Italy.

But in order to keep his job and prepare the national squad for 2010 World Cup qualifiers in September, Domenech had strict working conditions imposed on him by the French Football Federation (FFF).

Despite these new conditions, which limit Domenech's role to on-pitch activities and reports that he is to be assisted by former international midfielder Alain Boghossian, the 56-year-old insisted he would not be gagged.

“To imagine that I'm going to change would be utopic and dishonest,” he told the sports daily L'Equipe.

“Can you imagine me being a good boy who accepts everything and says yes to everyone? I have ideas, I know how the team works and I'll go all the way.

“I'm not going to hold back my opinions. I regret not being myself during the Euro. And I'm not going to do that again.

“People who think that a manager, a coach and me in particular can be put under guardianship, either they're stupid, or totally delirious.”

But Domenech did admit he regretted the timing of his misplaced marriage proposal on live television – seconds after France were knocked out of Euro 2008 by Italy.

In that fated interview, Domenech swatted aside a question about his professional future to propose to long-time girlfriend TV presenter Estelle Denis – an incident that enraged the French public.

“I made a communications error, it wasn't the right time, it was something personal, you won't hear me ever again on this subject,” he said.

And he admitted for the first time that his side had a disastrous European championship.

“It's a failure when you don't qualify for a round, it's obvious, we didn't have the feeling that we gave everything we could,” Domenech told French television.

Domenech, who lead France to the 2006 World Cup finals, had until now termed their Euro elimination as a “disappointment”.

France were knocked out in the first round after a draw and two defeats with just one goal scored to six conceded.

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