France captain Thierry Henry has denied criticising coach Raymond Domenech after a newspaper quoted the striker as saying the players were unhappy with the training regime employed by the national coach.
Le Parisien quoted Henry as telling Domenech ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Romania: “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, how to organise. We do not know what to do. We have no style, no guidelines. It is not working.”
Asked if he had said those words, Henry told French television channel TF1: “No. Nothing happened on Friday.
“We had a discussion as often happens between a team and their coach but it was a rather constructive discussion.”
He refused to disclose what they had talked about, saying “such a discussion must stay between the coach and the players, inside the castle”.
In a televised statement published on the French federation website, Domenech said the atmosphere among his squad was “super” and “exceptional” and Henry shared his coach’s view.
“I have been saying so for a long time, there is a super atmosphere among our squad but it’s very difficult to relay such a message when you don’t win games,” said the striker, France’s top scorer with 49 goals from 112 caps.
“The only thing we have to do is to qualify for the World Cup.”
France travel to Serbia on Wednesday trailing them by four points in Group Seven with three games to play, and their best chance of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup looks to be through the playoffs.