Thursday, March 15, 2007

Les bleus for Lithuania

Of course a minute after I posted my last rant, Domenech announces his team -

Grégory Coupet (Lyon)
Mickaël Landreau (Paris SG)

Eric Abidal (Lyon)
François Clerc (Lyon)
Julien Escude (FC Séville)
William Gallas (Arsenal)
Philippe Mexès (AS Rome)
Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich)
Sébastien Squillaci (Lyon)
Lilian Thuram (FC Barcelone)

Milieux de terrain
Abou Diaby (Arsenal)
Lassana Diarra (Chelsea)
Claude Makelele (Chelsea)
Rio Antonio Mavuba (Bordeaux)
Samir Nasri (Marseille)
Jérémy Toulalan (Lyon)

Nicolas Anelka (Bolton)
Karim Benzema (Lyon)
Djibril Cissé (Marseille)
Sidney Govou (Lyon)
Florent Malouda (Lyon)
Frédéric Piquionne (Monaco)
Sylvain Wiltord (Lyon)

Some nice surprises and some interesting absenses.

First the surprises -
The midfielders, as the rumors stated, Domenech looked towards some youth in the midfield - Diarra, Diaby and Nasri. There are already "critics" stating that neither Diarra nor Diaby have carved out starting roles for their teams. Hogwash. Diarra has been playing an increased role for the Blues of Chelsea. Mourinho has demonstrated the confidence in his young Frenchman by playing him along side Makelele in the middle of the park and at times on the defensive flanks. It is not like he is playing for a second rate team lacking in star power through out its effective. As for Diaby, we soon forget that his season was cut short last year which spilled over into this season. Prior to that set back, Wenger was turning to the U-19 France Captain more and more in terms of being the holding midfielder supporting Fabergas. Again, it is not as if he is playing for a Div 2 team where he would start every game. I think these three selections are very positive. I hope for the Austria game they all get some time on the pitch.

Piquionne, the lanky Monaco striker was an interesting and deserved selection. A striker in the mold of Kanu or Adebayour he has been one of the in form strikers in France (netting 9 goals since the beginning of the year). It will be interesting to see if he will become on of the future strikers available on a regular basis for Les Bleus....

And now the surprise - Trezeguet - the Juventus striker was left off the roster. Domenech gave some strange reason, how he wanted to allow Trezegol to concentrate on helping Juve back into Seria A....hmmm...not sure I buy it. Domenech is making a mistake, Trezeguet has seen his confidence at an all time low for Les Bleus, after a difficult World Cup qualification period, a World Cup where he saw more of the bench than the pitch, and culmination to the World Cup where he say his PK slam against the cross bar in the finals. Domenech needs to make sure he maintains France's third all time leading scorer at a higher level of confidence. Why not select him, if you want to start Anelka - Cisse then so be it, but at least you get Trezeguet into the practices and into the team again, ensure that he understands he has your confidence. Now maybe Domenech has spoken with his striker and knows more than I do....which would not be a stretch to believe.

I truly believe that Trezegol has plenty left in the tank. However I do not want to see that tank drained because of a lack of confidence.


Anonymous said...

Do you have any thoughts on how to watch France-Austria in the US? Setanta and Setanta Broadband don't seem to be covering it.

The Lithuania game may be the must-win one, but France-Austria is the one I want to see because I want to find out what Domenech is going to do with these new players. I also wanat to see what kind of steps he's going to take to create an offense that actually scores goals. I wouldn't even be surprised to see Piquionne starting, even though it's his first call-up.

But at any rate... Any thoughts on watching the game?


GFC said...

Good question, I too a stumped as to where to watch that game. I will most likely have to "read" it on, I think they have th e best site for keeping up on live sporting events...albeit reading the game and not watching it!

If I find any other options I will post it.

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