Friday, October 11, 2013

6-0 where has this team been? France roll over the Socceroos

Wow, 6 goals...3 of which came from strikers. One of which was Benzema. What is going on?!?!?! The Socceroos did not look like one of the better Asian sides today, but seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. After putting up 4 goals last match these are just the types of games that France need ahead of their World Cup qualifier play offs. Just like we should not take too much from losses, let us not get too far ahead of ourselves after this drubbing. But there is a lot of good that game from this game...so we should at least enjoy it!

The Good:
  • 6 goals...anytime you can score 6 goals in an international game that is good. And this wasn't some minnow like the Faroe Islands. Australia has become one of the better Asian sides, but looking nothing like those sides in Paris. After opening the scoring
    First half of his brace
    early on a penalty kick, Les Bleus kept on pressing and really took it to Australia. The score line could have easily been more severs had Remy not missed on two golden chances in the second half. But I will take the 6 goals.
  • The attacking midfield - I have to say that I liked what I saw from Ribery - Nasri - Remy. As I thought, the presence of Remy on the right, especially with Debuchy behind him, allowed for the French attack to be much more balanced. Australia could not simply overload the left side. Nasri in the middle looked like the Nasri of old. He made some great passes, took on defenders when the opportunity arose and pushed the attack. Mid-way through the first half he dribbled to the end line, took on three defenders...who he beat...and drew a dangerous free kick. He also combined very will with Ribery on the third goal, the two former Marseilles midfielders using their pace and passing to break down the Australian defense and then Nasri put a simple square ball right into the path of an on rushing Giroud who was more than happy to get his brace.
  • Speaking of Remy...his work with Newcastle teammate Debuchy was a sight for sore eyes on the right. The Newcastle right back was dangerous all night jumping up into the offensive zone, making runs from deep, offering good crosses and working well with Remy to bring life to the right side of the formation. Oh and Debuchy put away a wonderful left footed volley in the second half. Not sure Sagna would have had the creativity, let alone the talent to put that shot away. Debuchy almost found himself a brace on a header late in the game. The French right has been an enigma for too long. Let us hope that this promise gets fulfilled.
  • Benzema...okay this might be a little tongue in cheek, but the fact the Real Madrid striker got himself a goal, albeit in a one sided game can only be seen as good. It was also a pure striker's goal. Ribery made a pacey run on the left and Benzema did what all strikers are taught to do, make a hard run to the near post. And he was rewarded. I hope this gets him back on the right track.
    Make a near post run and you will be rewarded
The Bad:
  • Remy lack of finishing. Yes I am being picky. But Remy had two wonderful chances in the second half to get himself a goal. The first one he found himself all alone in front of the Langerak, it was clear he opened up the hips to fake going far post and tried to drag his shot back to the near post. Unfortunately he smashed his shot wide, not even calling upon the keeper to make a save. Some are calling into question whether or not he looked at ease enough on that side, but I think he deserves another look. Especially if you keep Debuchy at right back (which I think Deschamps needs to do). 
The Ugly:
  • Australia...the Socceroos just did not look like they came to play.  They were letting the French look like Spain with their passing and counter attacks. The score line could easily have been 7 or 8 nil. At one point in the first half it felt like France might even score double digits. Just not what I expected from a decent national side.
Finally a game that we did not have to pull our hair out about. A game where France gave us a reminder of the talent they do have on the side. I forgot to mention but the duo of Cabaye and Pogba looked fantastic, with the Newcastle midfielder bring more offensive punch to that deep lying midfield (scoring himself on a bullet of a shot). Now Les Bleus need to head into their final match against Finland and look to build on this. I doubt they will get 6 goals, look for Finland to be much more organized and disciplined on defense. But France clearly have to have an eye to the home and away play off. The question becomes - does Nasri get another shot at the #10 role? What about Remy, I think he deserves another look but does DD go back to Payet? And up front, Giroud seems to be making it difficult to not start him. Time will tell. But for now let us enjoy this win.

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