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Football: Domenech slams Cisse boo-boys

Published on March 29, 2007

PARIS, March 29, 2007 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech hit out at the fans who constantly jeered Marseille forward Djibril Cisse during France's 1-0 friendly win over Austria on Wednesday night.

Cisse, who is on a year’s loan at the Stade Velodrome from English Premiership outfit Liverpool, has become something of a pantomime villain at Paris’s Stade de France, where the game was played.

The striker was involved in an ugly clash with Paris St Germain’s Mario Yepes in February, breaking the Uruguayan defender’s jaw. Three days later he was jeered incessantly at the Stade de France during France’s 1-0 friendly defeat against Argentina.

And the Parisian crowd continued that treatment against Austria, with the jeers increasing in volume following Cisse’s first shot at goal, which went wide of the mark in the 23rd minute.

“They have no right to whistle. He misses chances but he gives his all,” said Domenech, who substituted Cisse at half-time, replacing him with match-winner Karim Benzema – a move that had been decided on before the game began.

“I even considered not taking him off so as not to let the fans feel they had got their way. But that would have punished Benzema who I had intended to bring on.”

Domenech also turned his ire on journalists for their treatment of the misfiring Cisse.

“You are too harsh with Djib, he’s coming back from a long injury break. We know how the curve works: in the first month the player is over the moon and runs everywhere. But then the curve dips and the player hits a trough. Djib is in a trough.”

Domenech had words of caution for Cisse’s club team-mate Samir Nasri, though, after a brillaint debut that included the decisive pass, from a free-kick, for Benzema’s winning goal.

Nasri has been much touted in the press as the new Zinedine Zidane, something the 19-year-old shies away from.

“Samir, like the other young players, has shown talent, nerve, involvement, concentration: those are his strong points,” said Domenech.

“After that, with his age, it’s a question of consistency. You can’t play in patches, you have to play from the first minute to the last. He has to work at intensifying everything he does.”

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news