|Could we see both these men in Blue on Thursday?|
- Let us start with the debutant - Marvin Martin - what can you say from a player who entered the game at the 79th minute and had quite the last 10+ minutes of the game. The leading assist man from Ligue 1 showed that he has a good goal scoring touch as well. Hitting a sneaky shot for distance that found is way just inside the inner post and then patiently latched on to a simple square ball from Benzema, and cooly finishing with a strike into the Ukrainian upper 90. Martin also came close to springing Benzema on a wonderfully weighted pass. Before we get ahead of ourselves and start comparing him to Zidane - and the fact Zizou also scored a brace on his debut for France will draw comparisons - we only saw about 12 minutes of Martin. He was also playing against a tired Ukrainian side; however, it is something to build on and it is positive.
- A number of France's other new starters did some good things. Cabaye gave Newcastle fans something to look forward to, he had a high motor and made some strong passes. Matuidi demonstrated an ability to play the midfield "destroyer" role, however at times I felt he was pushing a bit. Kaboul had a quiet, yet solid
game, his goal was a great show for the Tottenham man, always good when you can get your central defender to be a threat in the air on set pieces. Finally Gameiro showed me something, an ability to turn what appears to be a lost cause near the 18 yard box and turn it into a goal scoring threat. His goal was a great example of a goal poachers goal - he latched onto a loose ball and, without hesitation, struck a thunderbolt into the Ukrainian goal. He had done the same end of the first half, turning what appeared to be a lost ball and forced a strong save from the Ukrainian keeper.
- Ribery is starting to look like his old self. He was devastating on the left flank when he entered the game, every time the ball game to him he had the chance to spring the Ukraine defense. The last France goal was a direct result of Ribery's high pressure causing the Ukrainian turn over. Let us hope that Der Kaiser has been humbled after last year's world cup and plays the way he did rather than spend time his time being a pain in the team's collect side!
- 4 Goals...can never complain when you can post 4 goals in any game.
|A true poacher|
- The goal against Mandanda was not good....one would think the shot would have been deflected, but on replay it was a simple pile-driver shot that Mandanda misread. Granted the ball did have some nasty movement, but when you are an international keeper you must make that save. Seems like French keepers have problems playing away to the Ukraine...remember Frey's gaff a few years back?
- Too Bad Les Bleus did not play like this last Friday! It was bad that France found its scoring touch during a friendly and not when the games counted.
- By no means a perfect match, but cannot really identify any truly ugly showing. I might come up with something over the next few days.
After defeating any team 4-1 you cannot leave unhappy. Blanc will look toward Thursday's game again Poland to close out the season on another upside. I would expect to see the remaining players who have not showcased during the past 2 games - N'Zogbia, Hourau, Valbuena and Carrasso. I have a feeling Blanc will leverage a similar line up as against Ukraine. I do think he will go back to a 4-2-3-1 or even a 4-4-2, with Martin pulling the stings, N'Zogbia on the left and either two strikers - Gameiro and Hourau, or the PSG striker alone up front. Valbuena should see time on the right side in either formation.
Will be interesting to see, I hope for another four goal game!
Allez les Bleus.