Diarra spats with Houllier
By Patrick Haond & Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lyon boss Gerard Houllier has demanded an apology from Alou Diarra.
Lyon boss Gerard Houllier has demanded an apology from Alou Diarra but of the opinion one is unlikely to be forthcoming, it looks as if the young midfielder could be on his way out of Stade Gerland.
The former Liverpool chief has somewhat of a fractious relationship with the seemingly talented-but-temperamental France international and that has now been stretched to breaking point.
Upon being asked to play with the club's reserve side, Diarra refused and such ill-discipline has not sat well with disciplinarian Houllier.
"Before the last training session for the match with Valenciennes, I said the names of the players who were in the group and I announced that the non-selected players had to play with the reserves, because it is important to keep the rhythm and to play a match," Houllier told But.
"(Jeremy) Berthod, (Hatem) Ben Arfa and (Claudio) Cacapa have accepted. Alou Diarra has refused. I told him that as long as that would be the case, he wouldn't play with the pros.
"This incident follows the first one that happened on the day of the Coupe de la Ligue final.
"I haven't understood his reaction, if the reserve match had been away, I wouldn't have sent him there, but it was at home, on a sunny day, on a nice pitch, against professional reserves. When you love football, you go.
"He made a mistake. It is a lack of a professional attitude and of ethics and collectiveness. A player is a pro and a team-mate. I understand his actual pain because he has lost his place with France. But I don't understand his reaction nor his impatience."
Houllier admits that he would have cut his player slack had an apology been forthcoming, but as he suspects this will not be case, Diarra could be set for a prolonged spell out of the first team picture.
"If he had apologised to the group and staff, I would have forgotten it," added Houllier.
"But apologising isn't part of his nature. Everything will depend on his attitude.
"I don't regret to have signed him, I regret the fact that he doesn't understand he is part of a group. As long as he will have this idea of himself, he won't progress. Collectiveness is stronger than everything.
"I have nothing against him. I prefer (Jeremy) Toulalan. He has a better attitude. It is not my fault if Alou Diarra is late compared to him."