France coach Raymond Domenech has called on his players to set their egos to one side and work for the greater good at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Les Bleus made heavy weather of qualifying, relying on a play-off win over Republic of Ireland to book their place at the tournament. France's dismal early exit from UEFA EURO 2008 still casts a shadow over the Domenech regime, and he is determined his players must learn from the lessons of the past or risk finding themselves frozen out of his plans.
"They must be clever and forget their ego to realise that the only thing that matters is the team, not them," Domenech told French sports daily L'Equipe. "If they don't understand that, I will need a gun."
Domenech will unveil his 23-man squad for South Africa 2010 on 11 May. However, he admitted he was still some way from knowing his final selection.
"It is useless," he said. "Today, if I make a list, what can I do? In one month it will not be the same. It could ... be worse. Qualifying was not easy and naming a squad will be difficult as well.
"When you have so many players that are injured or don't play in such a time, this is not reassuring. The players are the motor and it's them who will advance the machine. It's for that reason that selection is vital."
Jury still out on Henry
Domenech again refused to be drawn on whether he would select out-of-favour Barcelona forward Thierry Henry. "We'll think about that in due time," he explained.
"We'll look at every aspect and we'll make a decision but we still have one month left. I've always trusted great players and Titi is a great player."
France have been drawn in Group A at South Africa 2010, along with Uruguay, Mexico and the hosts.