Friday, September 06, 2013

France draw with Georgia...5th straight game without a

So France get a drab draw against...Georgia....not the SEC school but the former Soviet nation. I think the UGA men's soccer team could have given the Nation of Georgia a better game. France leave with a wonderful point after a 0-0 draw. Yet another game where France did not score and did not win...BLAH.

I have a hard time coming up with any good, bad and ugly for this this post will mostly be my rants about what is going on with this France team. Seriously. What good can be said about this game? Or this team as it is constituted...They have not scored a goal in 5 games. FIVE games. They have not won a game since...when Kopa and Fontaine were playing for France. Okay maybe not that long ago. But it feels that way.

Not sure what I can say about this game that I have not said for the past few games -
  • Can't score - Benzema et al go one more game without a goal. Giroud did have a golden chance at the end of the game but could not find the lower corner of the goal and instead headed it straight at the keeper. I realize they could have been granted a penalty kick...but guess what, a team like France should be able to score from the run of play against Georgia and not need a referee to get them a goal.
  • Defense is good...but shaky - Georgia had good scoring chances...hitting the post. The back line allowed too many leaks at times, fortunately they were facing Georgia and not Brazil or Spain or Germany or even an Altidore...
  • No creativity - midfield was shaky when it came to sustained offensive pressure. Yes Ribery was dangerous on the left, Valbuena looked good but it was all solo efforts from these players. France still struggle with finding and sustaining creativity and offensive pressure.
  • No real options - Gignac and Nari were introduced into the game...but they did not offer anything new to the game. And the reality where are the other options for France? Is there a Henry in the wings? Or a Papin? Or a Zidane? I realize some of these names are once in a life time but a nation like France should be able to have a pipeline. Looking at the past France was able to go from Platini to Cantona to Zidane all world class players...who is this generation world class player? Ribery...maybe. But it does not feel like we have that available.
  • UGH....what else can I say...just more blah.
So what does this mean? France will have to go through a play-off to get to Brazil next summer. Looking over the groups, and a first pass here are the second place teams that should go into the play-offs. Of course this could and will change before the end of the group stages. France might even drop down to third place!!!

France, Croatia, Sweden, Romania, Norway, Russia, Greece and Montenegro they will be broken down into two groups

Assume that pool A will be Russia, Greece, Croatia and France drawn against pool B: Montenegro, Sweden, Romania and Norway.

There are no guarantees that France can defeat any of these nations in a home/away series. France do not fare very well heading to the Nordic countries and their showing last time against Sweden in the Euros was pathetic. Montenegro also not an easy draw and heading to Eastern Europe to play Romania...not thanks.

The way France is playing right now I would put their chances of heading to Brazil at a 65% chance, better than 50/50 but not by much.


Anonymous said...

I would rate French chances at less than 50%. I don't think France is better than any of the teams in your proposed Group B.

GFC said...

I would tend to agree. I was trying to be optimistic! The reality is France cannot score goals right now so it does not matter who they play. If they can't score a single goal how can they expect to advance? Two 0-0 draws and then PKs???

With Benzema - Giroud - Gignac I have little faith that this trend will change any time soon. It is difficult to see a way through. And even if Les Bleus get to Brazil, I do not see them doing much more than maybe winning a group game.