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Sep 7, 2009

Henry slams Domenech as France struggle

France striker Thierry Henry has launched an attack on the methods of coach Raymond Domenech, with the quotes coming out in the French press just two days before their make-or-break World Cup qualifier in Serbia.

The Barcelona player has hit out at the training regime and tactics, claiming that the players are getting bored during training sessions and are lost on the pitch. He spoke directly to Domenech to outline the players' concerns but was overheard by a journalist.

Henry also complained that the team did not know "how to play, where to be on the pitch, how to organise".

France, who stood by Domenech despite a horrendous showing at Euro 2008, trail group leaders Serbia by four points with three games remaining. Defeat at the Stadion Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade on Wednesday would end their chances of automatic qualification and consign them to a play-off at best.

But they are even under pressure for a play-off place and that would intensify if Austria win in Romania this week. It would make the meeting between the two nations in the Stade de France on October 14 a winner-takes-all match.

Speaking to Domenech last Friday at France's training camp, Henry was quoted by Le Parisien as saying: "Coach, we have something to tell you. I am speaking in the name of the squad.

"We are getting bored during your training sessions. In 12 years with the French team, I have never been in such a situation. We do not know how to play, where to be on the pitch or how to organise. We do not know what to do. We have no style, no guidelines. It is not working."

French Football chiefs are trying to play down the incident claiming there is "no urgency'' to speak about the matter.

France failed to win at home to Romania on Saturday, making it difficult for them to book an automatic place. Henry put the home side in front on 48 minutes but they could only hold the lead for seven minutes as Iulian Apostol earned a share of the spoils.

Domenech took charge of the national side in 2004, with France reaching the World Cup final in 2006 before being knocked out in the first round of Euro 2008.

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