They Said It

They said it: Raymond Domenech

France national football team's coach Raymond Domenech answers to journalists' questions

France coach Raymond Domenech has a peculiar way with words. No stranger to controversy, the 57-year-old tactician is renowned for making bold statements, a strategy designed to take the pressure off his players by heaping it on to himself.

Although yet to win any silverware, he has put together an impressive CV in his five years in charge, becoming the first Les Bleus coach to oversee qualification for two major tournaments in a row: the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ and UEFA EURO 2008. French performances in those competitions have been inconsistent, however, with Domenech's men reaching the final at Germany 2006 before crashing out in the group phase in Austria and Switzerland last summer.

Often attracting virulent criticism from the media for his aloof manner, Domenech, a tough-tackling defender in his playing days, has carried on regardless, taking his side to the brink of qualification for South Africa 2010. invites you to enjoy some of the bespectacled coach's most memorable observations on his job, his players and his testy relationship with his critics.

"I don't mind a player hating me or thinking I'm an idiot. If they're useful to the team, then that's all that matters. Philippe Mexes has said some pretty unpleasant things about me but I've still gone and called him up again."
Domenech on putting the team before all else

"He's the slave and I'm the slave driver. I crack the whip and he comes running."
Domenech on Jose Mourinho's accusation that he was treating Claude Makelele like a "slave" for forcing him to play for Les Bleus

"I am a permanent contradiction."
Domenech on himself

"I sometimes think that if I had to put up with me, I would probably hate me too."
Domenech on his fractious relationship with the media and the fans

"My only wish is to get to the World Cup and to do well there. In the end results are all that matter. In the end I will be God or the Devil."
Domenech on the task of qualifying for South Africa 2010

"I dream about painting my lawn red and blue so I don't have to see green when I get up in the morning."
Domenech, in his playing days for Lyon, on his dislike for local rivals St Etienne

"I agree with him on one thing, that rows don't serve any purpose. But he says one thing and then goes and does the other. Me, I'm done with rows and controversies. The most important thing for me is that the players who are in form play for France and that the players who are out of form..."
Domenech responds to criticism from Florent Malouda for leaving him out of the side

"I wish they could come and be the coach for a day. But what you find is that the fiercest critics are the ones who know everything without ever having done anything."
Domenech on criticism from former players turned pundits

"People who think that a coach, a manager, and me in particular need to have someone watching over them are just stupid and completely lacking in insight."
Domenech rejects calls for an assistant to be appointed to help him

"There's only one dictatorship I know of and that's getting results."
Domenech on Gregory Coupet's accusation that he was running a dictatorship in the France team

"There are a lot of people here today. Ah yes, it's the smell of blood that interests you. It's a good job the laws of exception and the guillotine are no longer around because some of you would take great pleasure in sending me to the scaffold."
Domenech on his detractors in the press

"That defeat in 2006 still sticks in my throat and wiping that memory from my mind is what drives me. The only way to do that is to win in 2010 or 2014."
Domenech on his motivation for staying in the job

"I could have been Materazzi. You're in the World Cup Final, you score a goal, you get the opposition's best player sent off and you score your penalty kick. He was the man of the match."
Domenech on Zinedine Zidane's sending-off at the Germany 2006 Final

"Psychology and management are all about picturing situations. The boys are going to be experiencing pressure together for a month and a half at the World Cup and I want to prepare them for that. There will be real pressure on them there every day, with the need to get results and the whole world watching. Anticipating how they're going to behave is vital. That's what makes a team strong when they set off. That's what repairs the cracks."
Domenech on the pressure of performing at South Africa 2010

"I can give you the same answer for every question: I don't give a damn. I really don't give a damn. I don't give a damn what they say."
Domenech on - not giving a damn

"There's a place in the World Cup at stake. If the players aren't ready for that, then they should get a different job."
Domenech on the upcoming play-off against Republic of Ireland

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