Tuesday, May 04, 2010

France World Cup squad - Part 1 - Goalkeepers

And away we go....first part of what should be 4 parts on who should head to South Africa for Les Bleus. I will break up my discussion into who should go and who Domenech will call up on the 11th. The basics:

  • 23 total players
  • Probable breakdown - 3 keepers, 8 defenders, 7 midfielders and 5 strikers
  • I categorize players such as Malouda and Ribery as midfielders, they are wingers which to me is a midfield position
  • I will assume that Domenech will favor the 4-2-3-1 formation
So with these ground rules let us jump into who the keepers will be for Les Bleus -

Who Should Go:
  • Hugo Lloris (Lyon): Can you really argue with the Lyon keeper? I will admit I had doubted him when he was first called up as the France #1, I felt that Frey was the deserved #1 for Les Bleus. However the matches against Ireland in the play off as well as how he has played for Lyon, clearly makes him the undisputed #1 for France and I would argue one of the top 5 keepers in the world currently. He can steal games on his own and with a questionable defense in front of him might be called upon to do so! A no-brainer.
  • Steve Mandanda (Marseilles): He was the surprise call up in 2008 for the Euros making the squad as the #3 keeper behind Coupet and Frey. This was a major surprise since Landreau was always seen as the 3 member of the France goalkeeping roster. Post Euro he was given the first shot at securing the #1 spot, while his performances were not terrible they did nothing to cement himself in that role. He is a strong shot stopper but I question his ability to command his area. While I do not think he could cost France a game he will not win one either...making him a #2 at best or the out right #1 for England were he British.
  • Mickael Landreau (Lille): The aforementioned former France #3 should be back in the squad as the #2...he has had a very solid season for Lille the reason why the Northern France club is sitting in 3rd place. Let us face it....the only reason Landreau was dropped from the national team is only known to Domenech, the play on the field did not diminish to a point that he should be banished to the waste lands. Maybe he did not have the proper astrological sign for Domenech.  I think the 30 year old would welcome a trip to South Africa, even if it means he will be sitting in the stands or on the replacement bench. However since his days at Nantes he has been nothing but the consummate professional and his experience will be invaluable for Lloris and Mandanda.
Who Domenech will take:
  • Lloris - Even Domenech knows that the Lyon man is France's clear #1
  • Mandanda - No reason to change now...
  •  Carasso (Bordeaux) - Domenech will probably forget to read the papers to learn that the Bordeaux keeper has a number of injuries keeping him out of action. At least this is the #3 keeper spot and if Les Bleus need to play him ... well they have bigger problems!
Other keepers that might get a look:
  • Ruffier (Monaco) - he has been outstanding in a number of matches this season. Watch what he did against PSG earlier in the season as well as this past weekend in the finals of the France Cup. He is also getting scouted by some big European clubs, he should be in the conversation for the national team.
  • Janot (St Etienne) - the 32 year old is probably too "old" to get his first call up for France to head to South Africa, but the tattooed headed keeper has played very well the past few seasons.


Anonymous said...

No doubt LLoris is the best GK in France but France need a Tie Breaker Specialist goalkeeper like Toldo(Italy)..if France has that type of GK then France was 3 time WC Cahampion(82,2006)...
My three GK
1. Lloris
2. Carasso
3.Mickael Landreau (Experiance)

GFC said...

I agree that having a keeper that is strong on PKs would be nice to have, but I am not sure Lloris is not a good keeper in those situations. I think Carrasso is out due to injury, at least that is how I look at it. But I am sure Raymond will once again surprise us all.