Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Deschamps second list, now it gets real for Les Bleus

Deschamps unveiled his second list as head of France, as always with these lists some surprises by who made the list as well as those off the list. The list:

Gardiens : Landreau, Lloris, Mandanda
Défenseurs : Clichy, Evra, Jallet, Koscielny, Rami, Réveillère, Sakho, Yanga-Mbiwa
Milieux de terrain : Cabaye, Capoue, Diaby, Gonalons, Matuidi, Mavuba, Valbuena
Attaquants : Benzema, Giroud, Gomis, Ménez, Ribéry, Payet

The surprises that were included - Landreau, Reveillere and Mavuba.

Landreau - the former French international appeared to be in purgatory after he was dropped for Mandanda just before the Euros in 2008. Landreau was always seen as the "next" keeper for Les Bleus, I remember watching him come up the ranks for Nantes back in the day. He had his moments but for France might always be remembered for giving up against Scotland in a Euro qualifier. It is an interesting move from Deschamps, I am not sure that Landreau will really threaten Lloris as the #1 and is he really someone you want as your #2, not that he is not up to the task, but he is also no spring chicken (granted 33 is not "old" for keepers). Or is this a move to shake things up, send a message to his team that no position or player is guaranteed a spot?

Reveillere - This was a surprise to me because I am not sure where the Lyon player slots. The 32 year old right back is behind Jallet and Debuchy, the fact the Lille right back is absent might be the main reason for this call up. Yet it appears to me that Deschamps will lean on Jallet to man the right side until Debuchy and Sagna are back in form, so where is the need for Reveillere? Why not call up a player such as Corchia for cover on the right side?

Mavuba - A surprise for me because he did not show case very well against Uruguay, I realize that was a small sample size. I am surprised that Deschamps went back to him rather than call back a Diarra or even M'Vila. I know on the latter DD stated that the fact the Rennes midfielder was in flux with regards to his club was what left him out...but that is a weak reason.

It is good to see Menez back in the list, I think he will shore up the right side of the offense. And if paired with right back Jallet, you might get some advantages since they both play for PSG together. The big question is whether or not Deschamps will look to roll out a 2 man attack again. It was just short of a disaster against Uruguay...but he also does not have a real #10 playmaker without the likes of Nasri, Gourcuff or even Ben Arfa. However, the return of Cabaye should have a huge upside for Les Bleus and the midfield.

At first blush I look for the following:

Lloris in goal.
Jallet on the right, Clichy on the left, with Kos and Rami paired in the middle (although do not discount Mbiwa getting a look)
Diaby and Cabaye as the holding players
Ribery on the left and Menez on the right...and this is where it gets tricky...I think he will roll out Giroud and Benzema again, looking to Benzema as a fake #9 and seeing him float deeper in the formation. If he does not go with 2 strikers could we see a three pronged attacking midfield of Ribery, Valbuena and Menez?

Lots of questions leading up to Sept 7th!

Allez les Bleus!!!

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