Jacquet: Domenech should have left last year

PARIS - France should have changed their coach after their Euro 2008 flop instead of leaving Raymond Domenech in charge, former France coach Aime Jacquet was quoted as saying on Friday.

Domenech, who was appointed in 2004 and has been under fire since France exited Euro 2008 in the group stage, has faced even more criticism since France's controversial World Cup play-off win over Ireland.

"Four years, that's enough," Jacquet, who was in place from 1994 to 1998 and guided France to their World Cup triumph on home soil in his final year, told France Football magazine.

"After that, it's too tough, there are too many factors that stop you from working correctly," Jacquet added.

"That's what I blame (French Football Federation) FFF for. They didn't understand the real nature of a coach's work and should have protected him, whatever he wished. It's a job you can only do for four years because you face so much exposure. Therefore, you see what I mean, after Euro 2008..."

Jacquet, who said Thierry Henry's handball against Ireland which set up the decisive goal was "reprehensible" but he could understand the player, said Domenech should stay in charge now that France had qualified for the World Cup but should accept a debate over the way his team played.

"I totally realise a coach must be judged by his results and if he gets results, if he qualifies the team, he must stay on," Jacquet said. "But that does not stop us from talking about the team's playing style or, rather, the lack of it."