Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nasri out for a month - will miss France qualifiers

News out of Arsenal is that Nasri has undergone successful knee surgery but will miss a month of action. Not great news for Arsenal....probably worse news for Laurent Blanc and France. At least with Arsenal you hope to see Cesc back in action for the Gunners. With Les Bleus there are two Euro qualifiers next month - Sept 3rd at home against Belarus and 5 days later against Bosnia at Sarajevo. Laurent Blanc, we assume, will be bringing back some of the World
Cup 23 into the fold. The loss of Nasri could be more damaging to Les Bleus than Arsenal. Why? Gourcuff will be out due to his red card and will be suspended. Ribery is out for 3 games due to his actions in South Africa. Basically Blanc is looking at missing out on 3 of his potential play-making #10 type midfielders.

Blanc has his work cut out for him to determine which players can step up to take on the role of #10. If he goes to, what I think makes the most sense, a 4-4-2 diamond then he will need to have a player who sits atop the diamond who can act as the offensive director. At first blush, I could see Blanc leaning on Malouda on the left to bring animation to that side of the pitch and maybe slot Menez at the top of the diamond supporting the 2 strikers - we could also see Valbuena on the right of this formation. Of course this could morph into a 4-3-3 with Menez slotting higher into a line with the strikers. Or could Cabaye be looked to slot on top of the diamond? Not a traditional #10 style player, but could slot there in the short term. Blanc will certainly earn his pay over the next few games. This qualifying group is not impossible for France but not a cake walk either. The away game to Bosnia will be crucial to determine who emerges from the group.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh no! terrible news for both nasri (who is missing his chance to establish himself on the NT) and les bleus.

GFC said...

I think that Nasri will still have all his chances to make his role with Les Bleus a more regular occurrence. Just another challenge for Blanc as he is also without Gourcuff and Ribery. The most likely players that could act as the meneur de jeu.

Anonymous said...

who is left that can play this position? menez? ben arfa? valbuena?

Jean-François said...

Malouda is going to be France's best player in qualifying. I really sense that this is his breakout season. His performance against WBA last weekend was outstanding. I think Valbuena deserves another chance as well.

Also have you ever seen this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TaecFvNiqo

GFC said...

I think that Malouda has a very strong case to make to be one of the focal points of the French attack. I think Blanc might turn to a system where you have your midfield wings "running" the offense. Malouda on the left and a Ben Arfa or Valbuena on the right. I could also see Menez playing a role in the formation, either at the top of the diamond, almost a 3rd striker or out on the left (but then not sure where Malouda would slot). It will be interesting to see.

That video is great!

Jean-François said...

I was thinking since we have a lack of a play maker in our next 2 matches. Maybe we could do something similar to what Chelsea do with the 3 up front? Maybe we could play a 4-3-3 with the offense including Malouda, Benzema, Valbuena, Ben Arfa, Diarra, Menez? It's a very tough situation. We have depth, but with only 2 players missing France are in (more) trouble!

GFC said...

@Jean-Francois - absolutely. I think the 4-3-3 could be an option for Blanc without Nasri, Ribery and Gourcuff.

I think the middle 3 could come from the likes of Diaby, Malouda, M'Vila, Ben Arfa (unless he is still on strike!) N'Zogbia, Valbuena...with the strikers Hourau, Remy (assuming he gets medical clearance) Gignac, Menez, Cisse, Briand...

Of course Ben Arfa, Menez, Valbuena could slot in the midfield or up front as wide wingers...good options, but going to be tough for Blanc to determine the proper mix.

Jean-François said...

The only thing that makes me nervous is that right now Blanc needs more luck than skill in finding the right 11 for the next match. We need more friendlies.....

GFC said...

Unfortunately more friendlies are not in the cards. I think Blanc will find the right mix for the opening qualifiers for the Euro. Fortunately he starts with Belarus in Paris. Not to say the Eastern European nation will be a cake walk, but playing in Paris for Blanc's first game in front of the home fans should give his side a decided advantage.

The trick will be the second game away to Bosnia. If Les Bleus come out of these two games with 4 points I will be satisfied. 6 points fantastic, 3 points okay...less than that, not good.

Anonymous said...

J-F, I love the attacking intent of your proposed line-up and compeletely agree (and have argued for a year) that Malouda is our best player. You are truly the Ferdinand Foch of football (J'attaque!). I will never understand why Domenech (may his name never be uttered again) placated Ribery by playing him at LW instead of Malouda.

GFC said...

For whatever reason, Domenech constantly yo-yo'd Malouda. Dropping him entirely from the France set up, then calling him back when he was playing well at Chelsea...but not even having him dress for games...to finally having him back in the mix, but trying to placate Ribery and Henry so trying different ways of fitting everyone on the pitch....just thinking of it makes me sick...yet another situation where I cannot for the life of me imagine what Escalettes saw in keeping Domenech around for so long. What a waste!!!

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