Tuesday, June 22, 2010

France v South Africa friendly...errr I mean last group game

So we are about 10 hours away from what should be the last game Domenech will ever manage for Les Bleus and quite possibly ever - not sure even a team of 8 year olds would want him to oversee their team! We all know what has transpired in the dysfunctional French camp since last Thursday's Mexico game. The latest is that Dumbenech was the only one at the team's press conference and of course spouted off against the player strike, good idea heading into the last match. Maybe Domenech should have said "no comment" moved on, come Wednesday he will have plenty of time to spout off on what has transpired. Rather than dwell on that let us look forward to this match and what we can expect from Les Bleus.

First the only way they have the slightest of chances of remaining in South Africa beyond Tuesday, in a non tourist capacity, is to win by a large margin and hope that the Mexico v Uruguay game has a winner (preferably by more than a 1 goal margin which would bring the goal difference down as well) and do a lot of praying and hoping. Second, France cannot play Toulalan, he is suspended and unless Anelka really is not back in Europe, we will not be seeing the "incredible sulk" on the pitch. So what should happen? Go back to the 4-3-3...you only used this for the past 3 weeks prior to the World Cup!

Lloris in goal, not really any questions there.

My back 4 would consist of: Sagna, Squillaci, Planus, Evra. That's right let us change the central pairing! Abidal looks completely out of sorts as a center back...and he should be....he is a LEFT BACK. Gallas does not look fully fit, and let us face it, isn't exactly acting like a vice-captain or captain or good teammate. Sit him down and put in two players who are defensively sound.

The 3 midfield players - Malouda, Diaby, Gourcuff. Yup! Get Gourcuff the choir boy back in the line up. Why? Without Anelka out there maybe the Bordeaux man will have some space to work and will be willing to pass to the front 3...Diaby is your holding midfielder, I prefer him to ADiarra since Diaby has much more of an offensive side to his game. Malouda is the only player that showed effort against Mexico and deserves to be in there.

The top 3 of the formation - Ribery, Henry, Valbuena. I debated slotting Henry on the left and sitting Ribery, but watching and listening to the Bayern Munich man's impromptu press conference I believe that he is truly embarrassed, hurt and recognizes how this is impacting the fans. I think he will be highly charged and motivated to make ammends on the field. Henry should be a stabilizing force for the team the last hold over from 1998 and should be highly motivated to go out head held high. Finally, Valbuena needs to be given more than 15 minutes to show what he can do...if I see Govou on the starting sheet or anywhere near the pitch today I cannot be held accountable for my actions.

I would tell Titi to give it 100% and figure he will be taken out after 60 minutes, slot in Gignac. I would tell the same to some of the full backs. Assuming you will be chasing goals throughout, I would envision bringing in a Cisse around 60 - 70 minutes to try and get another goal, maybe go with the old Brazil formation 4-2-4, slot Diaby back into central defense (really have him sit in front of the back line), have Ribery wide left, Gignac and Cisse as center forwards and Valbuena wide right, supported by Malouda and Gourcuff. Hey you need to score goals!!! No reason to go home with any saved bullets!

Of course having said that, Inspector Clouseau will stick with the 4-2-3-1...stick with his two holding players, Diaby and ADiarra most likely. Probably have Malouda on the left, Gourcuff in the middle and Govou on the right. With Gignac as the lone striker. Domenech will come up with some nonsensical banter about the stars lined up and never playing a Toro to the left of a Virgo when the Summer Solstice has passed within 48 hours....

Oh well, in 24 hours we will no longer have Domenech impersonating a professional manager we will turn our eyes to Laurent Blanc. He of the seemingly Moses type figure leading us to a brighter future....let us face it....Blanc would have to try very hard to do worse than Domenech. There is only one way to go and that is up!

Allez les Bleus. Pour l'honneur, pour la patrie, pour le respect! Pour le Maillot!

Prediction - Les Bleus 4 South Africa 0, brace from Henry, 1 from Malouda and the last one from a Gourcuff 25 yard laser. Mexico v Uruguay ends in a 1-1 draw when inexplicably the Mexican goalie stumbles on a back pass from his defender to suffer an OG allowing both nations to advance and France to go home.....

A better memory of a last World Cup game!!!

1 comment:

philip said...

I predict 2-1 for France and they won't make it by goal difference.

Allez les bleus