Thursday, November 10, 2011

Les Bleus - the next wave on defense

Blanc and Les Bleus have faced a number of injuries on the defensive side of the pitch - Abidal still with Barcelona, Sagna injured, Mexes injured, Evra personal issues, Clichy out of form, Kaboul non selected...this has opened the door to 3 players - good article about the players here. The players in question - Koscielny Mathieu and Debuchy. The article discusses each players opportunities in length so I will not rehash what is said, but to me I think the player with the best opportunity is Debuchy.

Mathieu is third in line behind Abidal and Evra for left back. While the Valencia defender offers some interesting offensive options, I do not think they are superior to what Abidal and Evra bring to the table. I watched Abidal play for Barcelona this weekend against Athletico Bilbao and the cross he offered to Cesc was a thing of beauty. Koscielny has a good future, but it will have to wait, I think that Blanc will go back to leaning (correctly) on the Rami-Mexes tandem. However I think the Gunner has a strong chance to find his way into the starting line up sooner rather than later, granted neither Mexes 29 nor Rami 25 are on the verge of retirement, but over the next 2-3 years there could be a place to be had.
Future starting RB for Les Bleus?

Which brings us to Debuchy, who I think has a strong chance to take on a greater role on the right side. Sagna has been the unquestioned started for France the past few seasons. I am not convinced his place is firmly cemented. One area I have always been frustrated with Sagna (as well as with Clichy, must have to do with being a wide defender for Arsenal) is his poor crosses and too often wasted offensive forays. Watching Debuchy for LOSC, he offers a much more solid and dangerous offensive repertoire (he has 16 career goals to Sagna's 3, okay I realize no one is going to mistake the LOSC player for Van Basten). The LOSC player brings a more lively attacking option for France. Something that is vital at the international level. His other competitor, Reviellere is a good option, but I think age plays against him (the OL player is 31).

Of the three mentioned in the Sport24 article, I think the LOSC man will be a mainstay with France and has the potential to be a starter for the next few years.

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