Thursday, May 16, 2013

Deschamps' list - in with the new and the old

Deschamps announced the list of players he will be taking with him to South America for two friendlies - Uruguay and Brazil. This might be one time I agree with all the naysayers when it comes to international friendlies - two games, far far away from home after long domestic seasons for the players - seems like a little too much. However, I will say that having one of the games against Brazil might be a good tool to motivate some of these players - the World Cup next year will be in Brazil.

The list -

Landreau, Lloris, Mandanda
Clichy, Debuchy, Koscielny, Mangala, Mathieu, Rami, Sagna, Sakho
Cabaye, Capoue, Gourcuff, Guilavogui, Matuidi, Nasri
Benzema, Giroud, Gomis, Ménez, Payet, Valbuena

Some interesting newbies: Guilavogui and Mangala. Both have been promising youngsters, the former playing for St Eteinne seen as the next Matuidi and the latter plying his trade in Portugal for Porto. Mangala has played at the youth level for France with Sakho, so could we see this pairing at
First call up for Porto central defender
the senior level? Guilavogui is another player in the long list of strong defensive minded midfielders France have at their disposal. It will be interesting to see if either of these players sees the pitch or if Deschamps is using this call up as a motivator for both.

Of course there are some old names back in the fold - Mathieu, Gourcuff and Nasri. Calling up the Valancia left back, Mathieu, coupled with no Evra (more on that later) would give the impression that Clichy and Mathieu are the ones competing for the starting role once qualifiers start up again in September. The interesting angle that Mathieu brings is his ability to also slot as a left midfielder. The return of the golden boy - Gourcuff - is not entirely unexpected. As the OL man has finally started to regain his form at the club level. The question remains - where does he fit with France? Deschamps seems to have given the keys to creativity to Valbuena, so where would Gourcuff slot in? On the right side? As a second playmaker? It will be interesting to see how he is leveraged. Finally, speaking of creative midfielder, the return of Nasri was not entirely unexpected. The Manchester City man has been playing well for club and warranted the call back. Could this be his last chance with France? Maybe. Question for Sami is the same as with Gourcuff, where will he feature? Could he be looked to fill the void on the left with Ribery left at home? How about on the right? It will be interesting to see how the Citizen is used during these matches.

The players that were left off a list are usually spoken of as much as those on the list! The likes of Varane and Pogba are being left off so that they may play in the U20 World Cup in Turkey.   That is a wise move. They will get much better experience in that tournament than they would playing Uruguay and Brazil. Ribery is also off the list due to Bayern Munich playing the Champions League final and then the German Cup Final over the next few weeks. The reasons are not as rosy for the likes of Evra, Gonalons, Mavuba, Jallet and Gignac. Evra in particular. As the Mancheter United captain is getting up there in age as well as having some competition at his position. Could he not be
Never to be seen in Blue again?
on Deschamps' mind for going to Brazil (if France qualify). Gonalons and Mavuba both seem to have fallen victim to the depth France has at his position. Pogba appears to have made himself a serious contendor to hold down one of the defensive midfield roles moving forward. As has Matuidi..which does not leave much room when the likes of Capoue, Cabaye, Sissoko (not called up due to injury) are already entrenched. As well as the possibility of M'Vila one day reappearing in Blue. Jallet sees the return of Sagna, not a good sign for the PSG right back. Debuchy should be expected to see himself as the starting right back, question becomes who is second in line. Could Jallet's mistake against Spain create a little doubt in Deschamps' mind? Finally, Gignac, who appears to be back on form in France was thought to have an outside shot at the team. But once again left off.

Of course this list will most likely change, we all know that at least one player will have to drop out. It will be interesting to see who Deschamps calls up when this happens.

Allez les Bleus!

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