Brian Kerr fears France coach Raymond Domenech has wound up his new stars following his failure to recall the old guard.
Under-pressure Domenech is last week believed to have telephoned Zinedine Zidane, Lilian Thuram and Claude Makelele in an effort to tempt them out of retirement for Saturday’s crucial Group Four World Cup qualifier against Ireland at the Stade de France.
Domenech’s words fell on deaf ears, but rather than proving detrimental to those he did eventually name in his squad, Kerr reckons it could have the opposite effect and act as an inspiration to players determined to prove a point to their manager.
“If you look at the team, they could field seven who played against Croatia in a game in the European Championships finals – Barthez, Gallas, Silvestre, Dacourt, Henry, Wiltord, Pires – so they are not bad are they?” questioned Kerr.
Domenech has failed to capture the imagination of the French public after uninspiring results last month against Israel and the minnows of the Faroe Islands in his opening two matches in charge since taking over Les Bleus from current Spurs manager Jacques Santini.