Sunday, March 24, 2013

Delicate situation facing Deschamps - sit or start Benzema?

The one big asterisk that emerged after the victory Friday against Georgia was what to do with Benzema? One more match for France, and another 90 minutes where France's #1 striker didn't do what he is supposed to do - score. What was even more frustrating was the fact the other three offensive players - Valbuena, Ribery and Giroud all scored. The last two could have both had braces as well. The question remains - was Benzema's presence what sprung his strike partners free? Not sure.

I am not as harsh as others...in particular his former coach, Domenech. By the way, Dumbenech needs to really keep his yapper shut...click here for that story. I did see some good things from Benzema on Friday. He found himself in good positions on 2 clear scoring chances but could not finish (granted the inability to finish is the bad). Not sure that other players would be able to get themselves in similar goal scoring positions. Of course one might argue that other players in better confidence would bury just one of these opportunities. Apparently the public also thinks this, as 55% think Deschamps should sit the Real Madrid striker on Tuesday. So what to do?

Scored when France went to a 4-3-3 vs Bosnia
Unfortunately for Karim, the timing might be bad. It appears that Deschamps is thinking about his team and how to best align against what is sure to be a very hungry Spanish side. From early indications, France might revert to a 4-3-3. Something that Deschamps predecessor, Laurent Blanc, utilized in matches where he wanted to control the midfield and look to counter punch. I am thinking of an away qualifier to Bosnia where the trio of M'Vila, Diarra and Diaby controlled the midfield...and a certain Benzema scored! Could we see a trio of Pogba, Matuidi and Cabaye on Tuesday? They could cause some problems for the likes of Iniesta, Cesc and Xavi. If we have Ribery and Valbuena on the wings again with a lone striker that could be enough to cause problems for Spain. Also, keeping Ribery and Valbuena wide with pace might force the Spanish backs closer to home and not allow them to push to high up the pitch.

The question remains - does Benzema get the nod as the lone striker? Or will Giroud get the nod. The Arsenal man has scored in France's last two qualifiers....it will be a difficult decision. But that is why Deschamps gets the big bucks!

Allez les Bleus.

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