Malouda issues Blanc warning
Florent Malouda has warned there will be no honeymoon period under new France coach Laurent Blanc.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 05/10/10 11:19am
France captain Florent Malouda has warned there will be no honeymoon period under new coach Laurent Blanc.
The former France defender replaced Raymond Domenech after Les Bleus' dismal World Cup campaign last summer.
Blanc has been tasked with restoring faith in the national team and rebuilding team spirit after the squad's mutiny in South Africa.
But his reign got off to a disappointing start with a 2-1 friendly defeat in Norway before Les Bleus lost their opening Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Belarus last month.
France bounced back to win 2-0 in Bosnia-Herzegovina four days later but Malouda has warned his team-mates Blanc will not tolerate any more slip-ups.
"Having talked with him, I don't think Blanc will be patient," he told France Football.
"He is demanding quick results to improve and develop a good atmosphere around Les Bleus.
"His character is quite different to Raymond Domenech. A few months ago, there was a very negative atmosphere around Les Bleus, it is not the case anymore.
"That heaviness was not only due to the coach, but also our bad results.
"But Blanc has brought serenity, structures of work and a calmer atmosphere."
Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra has been banned for five matches for his part in the revolt against Domenech and stripped of the captaincy.
Malouda has since been handed the captain's armband and although the Chelsea forward admits it is a great honour, he believes Blanc is keen to restore a leadership group rather than put so much emphasis on the captain's role.
And Malouda even offered some words of support to the former skipper.
"Evra is not someone nasty who used his position for bad purposes and led the group to disaster," he said.
"The armband is not essential, in my eyes. The coach talked about a core of several key players, and I believe he is right.
"But, with or without the armband he (Blanc) can rely on me. Being named captain against Belarus means that in three months I have gone from rebel to captain, gang leader to doyen.
"The armband has been a pride. When I came back to England, people said: 'So here is the captain.' I felt I had represented France."
Les Bleus continue their qualifying campaign in Paris against Romania on Saturday before facing Luxembourg in Metz on Tuesday.
But Malouda already has his sights set on playing in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, even though he will be 34 at the time.
"Coming from French Guyana, it is a major priority to me," he added. "I would like to go to Brazil - and not as part of the technical staff.
"I talked about it with (Chelsea owner) Roman Abramovich. He laughed, but I said: 'It is my objective, I want to be outstanding until that time.'"