Jérôme Rothen did not at all appreciate the attack by Michel der Zakarian, coach of Montpellier against Thierry Henry, coach of the Espoirs who had questioned the low number of goals in Ligue 1.
Jérôme Rothen and Christophe Dugarry in support of Thierry Henry. Monday in Rothen ignites, the former PSG midfielder and the former OM striker took up the defense of the coach of the France team, targeted by a big tackle from Michel Der Zakarian, coach of Montpellier after being asked about the low number of goals during the last two days of Ligue 1.
“His words are shameful”
“I don’t agree with Thierry Henry,” said Der Zakarian in Midi Libre. “He trained where? What did he do in Monaco? He did three months and he left. The guy works for the FFF and criticizes French football. It’s bullshit! It’s easy to denigrate the championship when we are coach of the France Espoirs team. He has won twice 4-0 but against whom? He has not beaten anyone. Whether he wins 5-0 against Spain or Italy and I will say bravo. “
“His comments are shameful,” counterattacked Rothen. “It’s not just about Ligue 1 but also about Thierry Henry’s coaching career. We have the right to speak ill of him but when you are a colleague, you must have a minimum of respect for the person already. You attack him personally and on his profession and I find it gratuitous to take his words out of context and say: ‘he speaks, he criticizes L1 but he only stayed three months coach in Monaco.’ I don’t see the connection, it’s completely off topic. We can redo Michel Der Zakarian’s coaching career and I’m not even talking about a player because we can ridicule him even more. He never coached a big club and we could say: ‘we minimize your 300 matches as coach in Ligue 1 or Ligue 2, you have not won any titles’.”
“The subject is elsewhere, we must not invent the remarks,” adds Rothen. “Either he’s a liar because he transformed Thierry Henry’s comments, or he didn’t listen to the comments that were reported to him by the journalist. If you want to talk about Didier Deschamps or Thierry Henry, go see what they said and then you make up your own mind. When I hear Der Zakarian say that he (Henry) denigrates Ligue 1, if there is one who has highlighted it since “he is a consultant and then coach of the Espoirs, it is indeed Thierry Henry. In our special broadcast, he even said: ‘Ligue 1 has a very good level, it is largely on par with the championships in Europe, it is very complicated, tactical, defensive. He just talked about the last two days of the championship.”
“If Michel Der Zakarian is happy with what Montpellier gave over the last two days of the championships, it is better that he goes and does something other than coaching a Ligue 1 team. He (Thierry Henry) finds circumstances mitigating in addition. For me, what he (Der Zakarian) said is gratuitous. It’s right in front of us: we got into trouble with twelve goals on the last day (12th) of the championship. It stinks. bitterness, jealousy. He is a liar and we cannot say that recently he has shown great sincerity and frankness, reminding you of the Mamadou Sakho episode. He is a little too tense , it’s still weird.”
Dugarry denounces an attack “below the belt”
Christophe Dugarry joined the former Troyes and Monaco player on the subject. “At no time does Thierry Henry attack Michel Der Zakarian,” he concludes. “He gives his opinion on football. For me, there is no category of person who has the right to give his opinion on football, a championship day or players. Everyone has the right to talk about football, there is no duty of reserve, there is respect to be had between colleagues and I find that Michel Der Zakarian disrespected Thierry Henry with attacks below the belt. His attacks are null. Even s “he felt targeted, it wasn’t against him. If you feel targeted, it’s because you perhaps have something to reproach yourself for. Attacking Thierry Henry on his career… I find it pathetic.”