Friday, June 11, 2010

France v Uruguay...nothing gained nothing lost

My my my how we never make things easy. France once again open their World Cup campaign with a very lackluster match. They had their chances and they gave up opportunities...all for naught.

The Good:
  • France did not lose...when that is the best thing you can write that is not good. With the other Group A match ending in a draw France neither gained nor lost with the result.
  • There were no injuries. When that is the second best thing one can say about the match...that is all one needs to know about this game.
  • I was happy to see the play of Diaby, the Arsenal man showed some pace and creativity. He did attempt some
    long distance shots early, which is not bad for him, he has shown an ability to score from distance for his club. He also did some of the defensive work in the midfield and his height played a part defending on set pieces. Something, albeit small, to build upon.
  • Lloris was solid, he was not called upon too often but did make some sure handed saves when called upon.
  • Speaking of keepers, much was made about the young Uruguayan keeper, Muslera. And how he was not the first choice and he was too young...well he played very well, did not get rattled and made a strong save on a Gourcuff free kick midway through the first half.
The Bad:
  • Missed opportunities for France....and Uruguay as well. With both teams knowing the other game saw a sharing of the points, both nations knew if they could grab the full 3 points they would be a very advantageous position in the group standing. Both nations made some attempts to get the win, yet neither team seemed fully invested in the effort.
The Ugly:
  • So much "ugliness" for Les Bleus...not sure where to start. Govou? Again he seemed like a waste on the right side. Anelka looked okay at times but he constantly drifts too deep as a center forward. Ribery? Where was he more lots of the game? Gourcuff? Is he being properly used?? He, Ribery and Anelka seemed to get in each others' way on too many occasions. France just seemed out of sorts, no one seemed to take the reigns on the team on the pitch...maybe not having a Pat Vieira or Zizou on the field is showing in the leadership category. Could this increase the desire to see an Henry back in the starting XI?
So much like kissing your cousin, this game leaves you with a bad taste. France miss out on an opportunity not only to get a full 3 points but also to give a better showing...all this will do is increase the pressure on Les Bleus and increase the doubts on the unity and quality of the team. I realize that Les Bleus did not start the 2006 World Cup very well, but they also had some elements that are missing - on field leadership and the creative genius of a certain Zidane.

On to Mexico next week....nerves on edge....


philip said...

What makes me mad is that ribery played awful usually when France play bad which they usually do ATLEAST Ribery is there to show his magic sadly not today.

JLP said...

Ribery missed more than 50% of his dribbles today. He was double-teamed whenever Uruguay could.
Regarding your "leadership" comment, I don't know about you but at times, I felt Diaby was single-footedly dominating the midfield. Once he gets more confidence from his teammates and from the coach, this domination will hopefully translate into even better passing and hopefully scoring. He's a skinnier Vieira to me.

What I do not understand is why didn't that become obvious during training. I've played enough soccer in my life to know that you scrimmage during practice. With the early group of 30 pre-selected players, why didn't it become obvious that Diaby needed to be on the starting eleven weeks if not months ago? I think that's where all the waste is, the time it took RD to discover this.

GFC said...

Ribery was invisible for too much of the match, not sure what that was all about. As for Diaby, I think that it is a difficult choice to sit Malouda in favor of the Arsenal man. Finally the real issue to me is the complete lack of offense Les Bleus are showing from the right flank. Alas, I am sure we can expect some strange new formation from Domenech next week...when does Blanc start?

Anonymous said...

France Played Well...but problem is u know???Nicolas Anelka has never scored in big turnament(2 Euro.2000 and 2008).So that the problem..France need Henry..He always scored 3 goals and France do well.
Another bad thing is Tulalan Ribery Evra are concede easy yellow will be problem in DO or die match against SA.


GFC said...

The yellow cards were a little silly, but if Les Bleus play like this it will not matter since they will not get out of the group stage!

Adam said...

easy solution: play ribery on the right and malouda on the left. Yes, Ribery will whine about it, but it's time to shake things up. France needs both ribery and malouda on the pitch for balance in the attack, and ribery played great on that side in 2006.

GFC said...

Unfortunately I just don't see Ribery heading back to the right. Plus I think if you stick Ribery on the right you are diminishing what he can bring to the team. The problem is not that there are no solutions for the right, it is just that Domenech appears blind to them or too stubborn to try them aka Valbuena.