France are in turmoil - Anelka verbally abused Domenech, refused to apologise and got sent home. Today, Evra + the fitness coach had an argument, the players refused to train and got back on the coach after just 5 minutes and refused to let Domenech on the coach. The French football director has resigned
The problems and friction in the French team are down to a split over one man: Yoann Gourcuff.
Gourcuff comes from a privileged family. He is smart and he is respectful - but he is also still a shy little boy. In his spare time he listens to music, watches films and plays his video game systems. He is, in his own words, a little nerdy.
In a French squad that places more value on how much money you have in your bank account, and what girl is on your arm, Gourcuff doesn't fit.
One incident occurred shortly before the World Cup. Franck Ribery and Sidney Govou had organised a night out at well known gentleman's club in Paris. Several players, including Gourcuff, decided to stay home. When Ribery heard about this he immediately confronted Gourcuff and asked 'does your mother not allow you to go, you (homosexual slur)'
This is one of many incidents.
Ribery is the main instigator in the bullying, however he is far from alone. On the pitch, Gourcuff plays within himself. Scared because he fears the verbal retribution he will receive after the match from his tormentors.
In the squad, Gourcuff can count on only 4 real allies. His best friend Hugo Lloris, his teammate Jeremy Toulalan, elder statesmen Thierry Henry and captain and the glue that holds the team very loosely together, Patrice Evra.
When Raymond Domonech bowed to player pressure and dropped Gourcuff for France's second group match, that was the catalyst for the situation in which we now find ourselves.
Reports of groups hardly talking to each other soon surfaced, however, most notable were the French media suggestions that playmaker Yoann Gourcuff was isolated and suffering extreme verbal and even physical bullying at the hands of Franck Ribery.
"We're not all the best of friends, that's normal, but hopefully that does not translate on to the pitch," midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, a close friend of Gourcuff, said when asked about those reports.
"For instance, when I'm playing with Yoann, I'm not going to pass him the ball more just because we get on well,"
Just Fontaine, who scored a record 13 goals for France at the 1958 World Cup, was damning in his verdict on Ribery.
"Ribery? One day the mistake was made to say he was the team's brains and since, he has believed it. He is an arrogant man. He has a mood and an anger within him that is extremely unpleasant and disruptive"