Ligue 1 - Lyon chief dismisses Domenech's Gourcuff claims

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has shrugged off criticisms by former France coach Raymond Domenech of midfielder Yoann Gourcuff, saying what happened in South Africa two years ago is “in the past”.

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Ligue 1 - Lyon chief dismisses Domenech's Gourcuff claims
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Yoann Gourcuff and former France coach Raymond Domenech during the 2010 World Cup

Domenech, much-maligned in his time as France coach but largely absolved of blame for a player mutiny that derailed Les Bleus 2010 World Cup campaign, used his autobiography to accuse Gourcuff of being mentally weak and unable to stand up for himself.

The former Bordeaux and Milan playmaker, who initially struggled for form and fitness after joining Lyon following that World Cup, was “a follower, not a warrior” who feels “suffering” and lives in the “world of the Care Bears”, according to Domenech.

This sits starkly with other reports on the softly-spoken Gourcuff’s personality, who has mostly been described as being detached from the culture of the French team.

Gourcuff has since returned to form for club and country, and Aulas countered Domenech by saying his player is “mentally strong” and will not be effected by “nonsense” from the past.

“The media has the intelligence to realise that this is all in the past and that there is nothing to this mini-controversy,” Aulas – who worked with former Lyon coach Domenech between 1989-1993, said.

“Indeed, (Domenech’s claims) are completely out of step with pretty much everything else that has been said about the South Africa debacle.

“Yoann is very strong mentally and will not worry himself with something that doesn’t make sense. I think I’m as shocked as Yoann about these claims, as he is just not like that.”

Regarding Domenech’s book, titled “Alone”, Aulas said that he agrees with some of his former employees statements, but not with others.

“I was one of Raymond’s great defenders and worked well with him for many years,” Aulas added. “But he is wrong on this one.”

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