Arsene Wenger and Ramon Domenech don’t like each other. And like any grown adults in the footballing world, they have it out publicly via a series of soundbytes and quotes given in interviews.
The Arsenal boss has always had a problem with the way Domenech has handled the always tense relationship between club and country, and a couple of days ago Ramon finally had enough after Wenger again insinuated that Thierry Henry’s latest injury woes were related to his duties with France,
“Mr Wenger is starting to seriously tire me out and he is starting to tire out a lot of people,” said Domenech.
“He doesn’t have innate knowledge. There comes a moment when enough is enough.
“When he says that a player who played in August injures himself in March, I do not understand how he can explain that.
“He is forgetting to say that each time Thierry Henry played a match for France, three days later he played for Arsenal.
“He has never been injured in matches for France. We have never been allowed to take risks with the player.
“We have a clear conscience.”
Fair enough, but Wenger was still unimpressed,
“It is not unreasonable that I play Henry after a match with the French team,” he told L’Equipe.
“Thierry Henry is a player being very well paid by his club. If the French Federation paid Henry, I would then ask Domenech’s opinion.
“Do I have to set the working programme of a player to match with the French team’s dates? Anyway, we often gave him some rest.
“My feeling is it’s just crazy, and when I speak up against the use of players during friendlies, I believe I am within my rights.
“The latest example is the friendly against Argentina. Was it essential to play Henry for 90 minutes, while we have a crazy period of matches with Arsenal?
“The real problem is the lack of communication. The national coach never calls me.
“He draws on clubs that make the players improve, and he looks down on the clubs, without paying any attention.
“Is it too much to have a phone call to get news about a player we see every day? If there was that behaviour there would be no problem.
“The other national coaches contact me, we talk. The only one who never calls is Domenech.”
It’s a simple case of two men trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability, no problem there, but they also happen to have extremely conflicting personalities. Big problem there. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from arguing with French people, it’s that this dispute not going to get any better until one of them quits or is sacked.
Which would be Domenech.