As always Domenech has thrown some major surprises, some good some down right atrocious....so here are some observations:
- Steve Mandanda - The Marseilles keeper is the rising star of French football. He has been pegged as the future back stop for Les Bleus. I believe that between himself and Hugo Lloris from Nice, France has two quality keepers ready to challenge Frey and Landreau once Coupet calls it quits. I think the decision to call up the young OM keeper is a great move for Domenech to allow him to see the young keeper, as well as motivate his other keepers who might be getting a little to comfortable with their places in the national team. Neither Frey nor Landreau showered themselves in glory the last few France matches, Frey made a horrible botch on the Sheva goal in the Ukraine and Landreau leaves something to be desired on his failure to keep out the Mcfadden blast in Parc Des Princes. While both of these keepers remain the next logical keeper to have backstop Les Bleus in 2010, it never hurts to infuse some youth and competition.
- Gael Clichy - The young Gunner deservedly has been called up for Les Bleus. He has become the uncontested left back from Arsenal, which allowed Wenger to let Cashly Cole leave for Chelsea. Clichy has become one of the best left backs in the Premiership and deservedly is being looked at for Domenech's squad that will head to the Euros. In addition he is a natural left, has bags of pace, can defend and has demonstrated the discipline to know when to make his runs and when to hold back. I am surprised it has taken Domenech this long to call him up, when we would see Lassana Diarra being slotted at left back (against Italy at the San Siro) it makes you scratch your head why you would play a natural midfield at left back when you have a world class natural left back sitting in Northern London....granted Diarra played very well when slotted at left back, but still makes you scratch your head. I hope this is a sign that Domenech sees the young Gunner as his future left back, he would infuse a level of youth into a back line that is in need of some turn over.
- Sebestien Frey - The Fiorentina keeper had a difficult game for his first cap against Ukraine, giving up a dodgy goal against Shev. I would not have been surprised if Domenech had banished him to the land of Pires, Guily and Trezeguet. However for once Domenech has given someone a second chance...a deserved one. Frey should give Landreau a run at the clear #2 behind Coupet.
- Jeremy Menez - The young player from Monaco has been compared to Zidane (then again so is Nasri and a host of others....). The young Frenchman has plenty of admirers in Europe and is touted as the next French player to leave Ligue 1 for one of the big three leagues. A good player that Domenech needs to look at for both the Euro and the World Cup 2010.
- Boumsong????? Are you kidding me???? What is Domenech thinking? Boumsong should qualify for the bad and the ugly of my rant. He is terrible. He is slow, has no sense of positioning, basically he is the French version of Senderos....not sure why Domenech would feel the need to select him when he should be behind a host of other more qualified central defenders...I mean is he going to be ahead of Mexes in the pecking order? Or Escude, Givet and Squillaci?? This is just a wasted slot in my opinion.
- Briand - I do not necessarily think the Rennes striker is a bad choice, but just not convinced I see where he would fit in the greater scheme. With offensive players such as Gouffran and Gourcuff, granted the latter is not getting much time at Milan but the former is doing well at Caen. I think this would have been a good time to get a deeper view of both U21 players.
- Boumsong - Sorry but I have to harp on this but what is Domenech thinking!!!! He is a waste of a spot for this game(s)....maybe Domenech was watching the game last week where Boumsong scored for Juve, and forgot the 1437 other games where he has been awful.
- Trezeguet - I am sorry but this is getting UGLY. He is France's third leading all time goal scorer, a top scorer in Serie A and you are telling me there is no room for him on the team! On top of which, Domenech has the audacity to state that the door is not shut for the Juventus striker to play for France in next year's Euro????? I watched the Juventus game from the weekend where Trezegol had a brace, and it was clear that he remains LETHAL in the 18 yard box. For some reason with France, he seems stuck alone at top of the formation and is not given the freedom to roam a bit more as he does with Juve. Right now, top of my head he is a top 10 stiker in the world - Ronaldo (Portuguese one, not the fat Brazilian), Ibrahimovic, Messi, Toni, Adebayour (never thought I would say that about the Togolese but he is lighting the Prem on fire), Eto'o, Drogba.....maybe Tevez.....but Trezegol has his place in the list. There is clearly some bad blood between Domenech and Trezegol, but that should not stop him from being selected.....Domenech selects Mexes who has treated him to all kinds of insults in the Italian press. I just do not understand how a striker of Trezegol's talents can be left off the team and how Domenech can be so arrogant as to claim that he still has all the chances to be in the squad for the Euros.....
This will be a good test for the French, in a hostile environment (how loud will the whistles be for the Marseillaise?).....just wish Domenech had brought his best bullets.