Friday, March 09, 2007

Titi out

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=413445&cc=5901

The news keeps getting better in North London...Titi is out for the next three months...ouch. Then I guess it is not a bad thing since Arsenal have nothing really left to play for, other than the 3-4-5 position in the Premiership. However this will impact Les Bleus. Or will it?

Their next match is March 24 against Lithuania, no footballing powerhouse, but still a trap game. Without Henry, Domenech might turn to his other striker pairing - Anelka and Trezeguet. The game is on the road so will prove difficult, however the French should find a way to emerge with the full 3 points. Where it gets tricky is the early summer matches - 2 home games June 2nd versus Ukraine and June 6 versus Georgia. Henry should be back at that time, however will he be in any shape to play against the Ukraine? Hopefully the French will be able to defeat Georgia at home with out Henry, but the Ukraine match might need their talismatic striker.

Domenech does have a wild card to play, and that is return of Cisse back to form. However Cisse has had some recent difficulties as does his club. With Saha apparently on the mend as well, Trezeguet in poor form for France, Domenech has few options to choose from where he used to be embarassingly rich. However June is a long way away, and much can change. Watching some Juventus highlights I saw all the talent and ability from Trezegol, with a crushing goal from outside the 18. Maybe this is what Trezegol needs, being paired with another striker, such as Anelka. As Laurie from France.worldcupblog.org stated, sometimes the French malaise in scoring may be due to Henry...someone who is devoid of reproach from the press and fans.

Against a team like Lithuania I think a pairing of Anelka and Trezegeut will be very potent, with support from Malouda, Ribery, Vieira and Makelele I think Les Bleus should be able to find success against their opponents in March and June. The difference between Anelka and Henry is that Henry has become a bit one dimensional with Les Bleus, he floats to the wings and waits to beat defenders one on one. He does not appear to look to shoot from distance (not doing much of that for Arsenal either) something that made him so deadly. A tandem of Anelka and Trezeguet will force the defense to defend deeper, allowing more running room for the French wingers. The beauty of Anelka and Trezegeut is that both are great poachers around the penalty area. Anelka has the added dimension that he has no fear of taking on players one on one or one on many (see his early season wonder strike against Arsenal for Bolton)

Without the spectre of Henry looming over the team, France will give its other strikers chances to show what they bring to the table. I also feel it is a great time to call up the youngster Benzema from Lyon. I am not endorsing not having Henry in the line up once he is healthy, but I think Les Bleus can use this injury as an opportunity to get other strikers on the pitch.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Henry has become a bit one dimensional with Les Bleus, he floats to the wings and waits to beat defenders one on one."

Exactly! And when he's not fully fit, which has been the case for most of the season (except for a little spell after the first of the year) he doesn't beat them often enough to justify building an entire offense around him.

I also agree 100% that it would be fun to see an Anelka-Trezeguet pairing. (But if you read my blog, you know that already.) I love Anelka's fearless style of play. I'm hoping he will be given the opportunity, and will use it to explode into Domenech's consciousness as a regular starter. Too much to hope for?

And I know I'm the only person in the world who will notice this, but your link to my site doesn't go through. But thanks for linking to me!

Laurie

GFC said...

Great points Laurie, I would say that Henry has played a ton of games last season. With Arsenal getting to the Champions League finals and France to the World Cup finals, that was a lot of extra mileage on his body. Great article today on ESPN.com about the need for Henry to refuel the tanks this off season. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=413392&root=england&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos1&cc=5901I think we will see what France and Arsenal have left with Titi if he is able to recoup this off season.

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