The roster size will be 23 players, 3 of which are keepers so you have 20 outfield players. Let us look at the keepers to start. Of course these names all assume full fitness next summer...
Goalkeepers - Lloris and Mandanda can pack their bags for Brazil. Again short of injury or some massive drop in form with either player, they will both be heading to Brazil. Question is who does DD take as his 3rd keeper. If recent selection is any indication look for former PSG keeper Landreau packing his bags. Seems like DD has a soft spot for the former heir apparent to the French #1 spot in goal. Landreau will be 35 next summer so will be, most likely, his last major tournament. He does have a runner-up medal from the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but missed out from the South Africa debacle, probably a good thing. My question is, does it make the best use of that spot for DD to bring a 35 year old keeper? What about U20 World Cup champion, Alphonse Areola? Or even a Ruffier or Carasso, Going to Brazil: Lloris, Mandanda and Landreau.
|Winning the U20 World Cup for France|
Defenders - I am going with 8 defenders, 2 left backs, 2 right backs and 4 central defenders. The defenders I am sure will go - Varane, Debuchy, Evra and Sakho. The following are the question marks:
- Abidal - Does DD take the aging Monaco player? The 34 year old defender has found a small fountain of youth back in Ligue 1 but that does not necessarily translate into a World Cup spot. Deschamps did bench him on the return leg against Ukraine, does that spell doom for the former Barcelona man? I do think that DD likes the veteran presence in the dressing room and in a pinch he could slot back to the left, granted he might not really have the legs for that any more. I think DD could take him more for his veteran presence than for what he has left in the tank.
- Sagna - The Arsenal right back is a solid defender...but still hasn't hit a cross that makes any defense nervous. I much rather see PSG right back Jallet as cover, I think he defends as well as Sagna but is much more talented offensively. Then again his bad angle against Spain cost France that game, that might be something that DD can't get out of his head.
- Clichy - Heir apparent for the left back role, has not been able to pry it from the veteran Evra. Clichy shows flashes of both good and bad. At times looking like a turnstile while other times using his pace to both defend and attack ferociously. The real saving grace for Clichy is that there isn't a natural left sided defender in the pipeline to threaten for playing time. Tremoulinas was seen as a potential national team left back, but hasn't been able to consistently play at a high level. While Mathieu has waffled too much between left back and left midfielder to really take control of a position. One player that might have an outside shot is Lucas Digne who was France's U20 left back during the
Next time for the PSG left back?
- Koscielny - He is the real enigma in this. Not because his talent does not make him an obvious choice, but because of the potential that he missed the first two games due to the red card he picked up away to Ukraine. Would DD take a player he knows cannot contribute in the first two matches? And if he does, would have have to take an extra defender as cover? This could be one route if DD decides to only take 3 pure strikers, more on this later. If DD does not take the Arsenal man I could see Rami or Mbiwa getting the nod. Or even an outsider like Zouma from St Etienne.
Those are my keepers and defenders. More this week on the midfielders and strikers.