David Roth, WSJ notes:

While the French may not be around long enough to become a story in the World Cup, the symbolic import of their flame-out will likely endure longer. After all, none of the other global soccer powers have underachieved so spectacularly (or peevishly). “If national soccer teams are often said to reflect their countries’ characteristics on the field, the French squad today reinforced national stereotypes off of it, namely that they are recalcitrant, indignant whiners,” Vanity Fair’s Julian Sancton writes. “The French team’s debacle has been embarrassingly public, a succession of press conferences held respectively by the players and the team’s managers, a pantomime of France’s near-daily labor disputes.”

I’m not the biggest fan of France. The fact that their soccer team got into the World Cup only by jobbing Ireland (home of my favorite ties with Europe) and now they’re imploding is a nice touch.

As one French football coach has noted:

With Anelka on a flight to Paris last night, insisting that he has retired from international football, Sochaux coach Francis Gillot lambasted the attitude of the French players, observing: “Their attitude is both pathetic and disgraceful. Today I am thinking of the Irish – they should have been there in our place. France is the laughing stock of the world.”