Friday, February 28, 2014

Deschamps submits his list for Holland friendly...left side issue.

Deschamps calls up his roster for the upcoming friendly - do we have a problem with the left side? First of all the list:

GARDIENS : Lloris (Tottenham/ANG), Mandanda (Marseille), Ruffier (St-Etienne)
DEFENSEURS : Debuchy (Newcastle/ANG), Evra (Manchester United/ANG), Koscielny (Arsenal/ANG), Sagna (Arsenal/ANG), Sakho (Liverpool/ANG), Varane (Real/ESP), Mangala (FC Porto/POR), Digne (PSG)
MILIEUX : Matuidi (PSG), Pogba (Juventus/ITA), Sissoko (Newcastle/ANG), Grenier (Lyon), Cabaye (PSG), Mavuba (Lille)
ATTAQUANTS : Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Giroud (Arsenal/ANG), Payet (Marseille), Ribéry (Bayern Munich/ALL), Rémy (Newcastle/ANG), Griezmann (Real Sociedad/ESP), Valbuena (Marseille)
 
The surprise inclusions:
  • Digne: The PSG fullback gets his first senior cap after working his way up the youth ranks. Not too surprising a call up since his showing at the U20 World Cup demonstrated his ability and seemed to destined him to eventually take up the left side for France. What is a bit surprising, and somewhat of a concern, is that Deschamps
    Future starting left back?
    called him up in lieu of Clichy. Not that the Manchester City left back deserves a call up. But with Evra starting to show his decline for the other Manchester side, does Digne have a legitimate chance to go to Brazil? A chance to start? I think no on the latter but yes on the former. Slightly disconcerting when he gets more time playing for me in FMH 2014 rather than in real life for PSG.
  • Griezmann: This is really not a surprise. Once he served his suspension for his transgressions with the U21 national side it was evident that he would get a look from the national side. His recent showings with Real Sociedad against the giants of Barcelona clearly made is exclusion impossible. The one draw back for the youngster, is his spot on the left side is already occupied by...Ribery. It never hurts to have cover. Unfortunately for Griezmann, short of injury he can aspire to at best becoming Ribery's understudy.
There are some interesting names that have been left off the list. Manchester City's left back Clichy was left off. His recent showing wouldn't make anyone scratch their heads with this move. Going to Brazil might be getting further away from him. Assuming Evra would remain the #1 choice at left back, even if by default, there is a real potential that the likes of Digne or another player such as Monaco's Kurzawa being another option. Clichy's teammate - Nasri was also left off the list. He has just returned from injury with Manchester City. I am not sure Deschamps was 100% convinced he needed the mercurial player in his set up. Does he now have the built in excuse to leave him off? Finally, no Abidal. Not really a surprise. The old guard for France is struggling at Monaco. His inclusion, in my opinion, would be to bring some veteran presence and a player that Deschamps can trust in a multitude of roles. But I am not convinced those are valid...

Should be interesting to see how Deschamps rolls out his formation - does he go back to a 4-3-3, which worked with such success against Ukraine? I hope so. I am also curious as to what he does on the right side. Will Payet get his chance? Or back to a Ribery - Benzema - Valbuena line up? Also, does France have a potential issue at left back? Evra will most likely be default starter...but does he still deserve that privilege and can Digne handle the role?

This week training should be very interesting.

Allez les bleus.

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