Monday, August 30, 2010

Toulalan finished as a French International...not as crazy as it sounds.

A few months ago the Lyon holding midfielder was seen as a potential future captain for France, today I might argue that his career in blue might be coming to an abrupt end. Why?
  • Toulalan is slotting as a central defender for Lyon, a natural place for him to evolve. His defensive work rate is second to none, however he has not added an offensive dimension crucial in the holding midfield role. While there is still room for the "Makelele" role, that requires offensive midfielders of the likes of Zidane, Lampard, Ballack, Figo et al. With Toulalan moving more towards central defense, not sure he is a clear cut choice for France.
  • The emergence of M'Vila. Granted he only has 1 senior game under his belt, but the U21 captain was pre-selected for the World Cup so there is something there. Unlike Toulalan, the young Rennes midfielder brings a little more offense to the table. He also appears very comfortable as the single holding midfielder in a midfield diamond.
  • Speaking of the diamond formation, the potential usage of Mexes - Rami as the central defensive tandem is another road block for Toulalan. Mexes is very comfortable bringing the ball out from the defensive back and with M'Vila who acts as a high sweeper it allows Mexes that freedom of carrying the ball up the park.  Not sure Toulalan can play a similar role to Mexes and not sure he is a better defender than Rami.
With a 1 game suspension, which is really a 2 game penalty since Blanc did not call him to his squad since he could be played in the first game, will he find himself watching more games as the international season progresses? Maybe. Much depends on  how he does as a central defender, what Blanc wants with regards from his back pairing as well as holding midfielder. However, what might have appeared as outrageous a few months ago, might not be as crazy now - Toulalan not a regular for France.


Jean-Fran├žois said...

You're probably right, Toulalan will miss most of the matches during this Ligue 1 season because of the position change (someone please fire Puel). During that time Blanc will have finalized his squad, and it will be tough for a newcomer, the only new players will be really young ones.

Did you see that Reveillere and Cabaye got called up?

GFC said...

I did see the two call ups due to LDiarra having to forfeit. Blanc mentioned that Diarra was cover for right back as well as holding midfielder, reason for Cabaye and Reveillere being called up.

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