Florent Malouda believes it is time for France to move on from agonising over their dismal World Cup campaign and focus on the future.
France were knocked out in the group stages in South Africa as they suffered three straight defeats in a chaotic campaign that also saw Nicolas Anelka sent home and players refusing to train.
Raymond Domenech quickly departed as coach, as was already planned, and new boss Laurent Blanc made a point of not calling up any of the 23 who were in South Africa for his first game in charge.
Malouda is now one of 10 World Cup players – including injury replacement Anthony Reveillere – who are in the squad for this week’s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Belarus and Bosnia, but Malouda wants to hear no more about what happened two months ago.
“Even if this is something that is engraved on my career and I can’t erase it, we must go forward,” Malouda told L’Equipe.
“I am sorry, but what is done is done. We cannot do anything about it. At some point, we must stop lamenting it and focus our attention on the two teams we have to face.
“Even if they are still questions about the management of what happened in South Africa, it’s over. My best answers I will give on the pitch. That is my therapy.”
The ongoing post mortem into the World Cup campaign resulted in four players being handed bans. While Anelka got the longest – 18 matches – Patrice Evra, the captain in South Africa, has also been suspended for five games.
That has opened up the question of who will take the captain’s armband on Friday night.
Malouda has no designs on being that man.
“The captaincy is the responsibility of the coach, and if I don’t get it, I will not be disappointed,” he said. “It has never been a personal ambition. I am here to win.”