Tuesday, May 15, 2012

26-23=3 to be cut before heading to Euros

Blanc has kept 26 players in his pre-list...list for the Euros. He will need to reduce that number by 3 for his final list. Here are the players to keep an eye on:

Kaboul - The Tottenhan central defender has already declared forfeit for the Euros. After re-injuring a nagging knee know, he will not be available for Les Bleus.That is one of the 3. No odds - he isn't going.

Remy - The OM striker also picked up an injury and is in question whether or not his fitness will come back in time. Unlike Kaboul, Remy does not seem to have a clear cut replacement in the list. The striker order appears to have become Benzema the starter with Giroud and Remy as his deputies. Remy offered the flexibility to play on the wings as well. Odds 50/50 that he goes, entirely depends on health.

Together again?
Gourcuff - Does the midfielder have enough to get back in the squad? The manager has a soft spot for Gourcuff and that might put him on the flight to Eastern Europe. Much will be determined in training. Does the midfielder have enough in his legs to be a viable option for the French midfield? I am doubtful that he is any where close to the form he had a few seasons ago. Odds 50/50 a lot of this due to his relationship with Blanc otherwise I would drop his odds at 30%.

Ben Arfa - To me the Newcastle midfielder should be a shoe in to go, but I have a feeling Blanc will heavily scrutinize "Le Petit Prince." I would think that Malouda is the one in jeopardy but Blanc keeps talking about the Chelsea man's experience...Ben Arfa might benefit from Remy not being able to go as the midfielder brings pace and creativity that can be leveraged on the wings (where without Remy would be a void to fill). Odds 75% he goes.

Matuidi - Blanc has retained 3 true holding midfielders - Diarra, M'Vila and Matuidi. For that reason I would think that Blanc will keep all three. However, he demonstrated against Germany that he was not afraid to slot someone like Malouda as a deep lying midfielder. Could Blanc see that as an option or even the likes of Gourcuff playing a deeper lying role? Odds 70% he goes.

Martin - The Sochaux play maker has struggled this season, while still showing well for France. Question becomes, if Gourcuff is kept will that make Martin's participation at risk? With Nasri and Gourcuff, Blanc would have his two main central play makers and might not see the need of a third.
Odds 50%.

A lot will depend on who recovers from injuries as well as how the friendly games go for Blanc and Les Bleus. It should be an interesting few weeks! 

Allez les Bleus!


Anonymous said...

Some very odd choices. Gourcuff? What has he done to merit inclusion on the team? It looks like Blanc is just playing favorites. Also, I'm surprised Mavuba was left off. It seems France needs at least 4 DMs on teh team, esp if it is going to play 4-2-3-1. And given that Remy is injured and might not be able to play, i'm surprised Gomis was excluded from the initial 26.

GFC said...

I agree with all those points. I think Blanc might look at 3 defensive/holding midfielders with the potential of slotting Malouda deep if need be or even Martin or Gourcuff. Speaking of whom, I think Gourcuff is there simply because of what Blanc sees in him and his potential. I just fear it is a gamble such as what was done by Dumbenech when he took Vieira to the Euros 4 years ago and Pat didn't play one minute due to injury.

I am surprised that Blanc took only 2 healthy high strikers - no Gameiro, no Gomis...

Anonymous said...

boss which FRANCE euro team was worst 1992,2008,2012
which one was best..2004, 2000 and 1984
i think 1996 and 2004 was unlucky team..



GFC said...

Wow, worst Euro team...2012 we do not know yet, I think it could be pretty good. The 2008 team was bad because of they way they laid an egg.

Best team is 2000 just because of the balance that team had...but I am always partial to 1984 side. Platini was a beast that year, best player in the world. Had that been a world cup year they would have won it...They were thin up front - Six, Bellone, Lacombe and Rochteau were not lighting up the international game. But their midfield was out of this world - Giresse, Tigana, Fernandez and Platini. Bats was fantastic in goal and the back line solid.

Maurice said...

I think that Matuidi, Martin, and Ben Arfa should go. Remy wasn't the best decision for striker but France only have three in the squad (I'd rather have Gonis, Cisse, or Saha because they're not injured). Gourcuff is a great player for les bleus and is very flexible in terms of position, and for that I think he should stay in the squad, but I wouldn't blame Blanc should Yoann be dropped. Malouda for me is a shoe-in, although he is never hugely impressive he is very consistent with the french team and brings loads of experience. This team is packed with individual talent, but I am afraid that with all these players from different leagues it will be difficult for them to develop a style of play. My expectations for this summer are low, all I want is for France to at least win a game, that would be an improvement.

GFC said...

Maurice - ha I agree with winning one game. Sad to say but after the last two international tournaments, just seeing France WIN a game would be fantastic.

I think that Gourcuff is the wild card mainly because of his injuries, were he 100% healthy I would say Blanc would take him no question. Much will be determined at Clairefontaine.

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