Wednesday, August 17, 2005

International Friendlies

France comes back with a vengence: http://www.sport.fr/football/foo/Retour-gagnant-45828.shtm

With the old guard starting - Zidane, Thuram, and Makelele, it would appear that the French rediscovered some of their flair that made them such a world beating team. I was not able to watch the game but followed it on line. France beat the Ivory Coast Elephants 3-0, now before you start to down play the opponent, they have players of the stature of Drogba, Kalou and Toure all of whom play important roles for big european clubs, Chelsea, PSG and Arsenal respectively.

From what I followed, Zidane and Dhorasso created a solid tandem in the midfield distributing the ball well to the Henry and Wiltord. Even with Vieira on the beanch, the midfield was able to control the pace. Thuram and Boumsong is a solid middle back 2, granted Thuram left with injury. With Gallas and Sagnol on the wings the defense would appear to be solid, with Sangol being solid threat make offensive runs. And Coupet, while not spectacular, is solid and makes all the right plays in goal. This result bodes well for France prior to their next World Cup Qualifiers. They have the Farie Islands on Sept 3rd, that should prove a game where Domenech can continue to work on the system, allow the players to work together, and hopefully secure an early lead after which players can rest. Since a few days later they will embark on a crucial game in Ireland, a game they must win. While world cup qualifying remains far from secure, this result gives one hope.

Other games of note: Holland and Germany draw 2-2, from all indications Robbens was unstoppable, but a good sign that Germany fought back to draw; Denmark 4 - England 1, when will erickson look for another option in goal? James is terrible, and needs to go. England will not go far in the World Cup if they don't straighten out that problem, for a team with so much talent they seem to constantly underachieve; Italy 2 - Ireland 1, Good win for the azurri in Ireland, I think the Irish need to be a little wary prior to receiving france in Sept, they lost a lead to Isreal and now sounds as if were outclassed by Italy (albeit not on the score sheet); Switzerland 2 -Norway1, the swiss are emerging as a force to reckon with in the WCQ (never thought I would say that) the game between France and Switzerland would appear to determine who goes to Germany in 2006.

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