A silent, sulking football star is hardly a rare sight in London but Nicolas Anelka’s surprise return from South Africa has sent shockwaves around the world.
The French striker stayed true to form and remained tight-lipped about what went on and what was said at half-time between himself and coach Raymond Domenech and the team’s subsequent one day walkout.
But whatever happened in the dressing room, the French press is clear that the affair is a shambles – a view backed by many Parisians.
“You can’t do things like that. There are loads of kids who’ve been waiting for that for years and they simply don’t realise there are 23 of them and there could’ve been 23 others,” one Parisian said.
“To be honest, I’m ashamed. There’s a match tomorrow, we’re going to watch it, we’ll support them, but I’m ashamed. But Laurent Blanc’s coming and things will be better,” growled another commuter.
Fortunes in football can change quickly, however, and people may feel differently if the other Group B result goes their way and France beat the hosts to go through.