Friday, June 20, 2014

Les Bleus! France play like it is the 1958 World Cup - lots of goals...for both sides

I will freely admit I was nervous even when France had a 5 goal lead...and I was sort of vindicated when Les Bleus decided to give back 2 goals. Okay okay that is the cynical side of me. What a game from France!

I told the Gooner that I would stay positive with this here is the good...and only good.

The Good:
  • Five goals from five different players...from that stand point it was nothing short of spectacular. France might have been able to add at least a couple more as well - Benzema missing the penalty and Cabaye some how hitting the cross bar on the follow up. As well as Benzema on a second half volley that the Benaglio made a strong save on. France was able to score from the run of play as well as from a set piece. They also were very dangerous on the break, Valbuena scoring from a fantastic break that started from a defended corner - Varane broke out and put a ball to space where Giroud was hustling back from defending the corner to pick out a clinical pass to Le Petit Velo. I think that is the most the big Arsenal striker has run ... ever. 
  • Benzema - remember when Karim went dog years without scoring a goal? Thankfully that seems behind him. 3 goals in two games...and could have been more! He arguably had a hat trick against Honduras and if he had hit his PK oh and if the official had waited a few seconds to whistle the end of the game...okay okay...I realize I am
    Acrobatic volley bags Benzema his 3 goal of WC
    being greedy. But what is good is that he is clearly in form right now. His goal was a pure striker goal, a great diagonal run into the box, Pogba served him a sumptuous ball that as a good striker, he just put in the back of the net. Never looked at goal, just put it exactly where he wanted. Even though the last goal didn't count, do not underestimate what the strike does for his confidence. In his mind he knows he can score and take chances like all good strikers have to do. He also can add two assists to his tally. After his first two World Cup games, it appears that the Real Madrid striker is enjoying the biggest stage.
  • Pogba's pass was a pure caviar of a through ball. A cheeky pass, with the outside of his foot from about 30 meters out, right into the path of Benzema was nothing short of splendid. One commentator said it was Zidane-esc, It might very well have been.
  • A wonderful first goal from Giroud. The Arsenal man did not look thrilled to have been taken off by DD. I am sure he thought there were other goals for him out there. But a goal and an assist is not a bad day at the office for the striker. I will be interested to see if DD sticks with his formation of Giroud and Benzema on the pitch together. 
  • France put themselves in a good position - getting 6 points from their first two games cannot be underestimated in terms of importance. They are virtually assured of going through, the only question is whether in first or second place. Their goal difference also doesn't hurt. All they need is a draw against Ecuador to assure they get through and probably in first place. The ability to head into the last game without major pressure to win is a huge plus. This will also allow Deschamps to protect his side, the players on yellow cards as well as turn over his roster and get some players on the pitch. This allows Deschamps to turn one eye to the knock out round. This might be even more apparent if the result tonight puts France through - a draw or a loss by Ecuador and France is through. 
  • The French depth of roster - Les Bleus have a deep roster. This should not be a surprise for a nation like France, but it is encouraging to see when in action. Being able to bring in a Pogba or Griezmann is impressive. Being able to see Sakho have to come off and being replaced by Koscielny is also a great example of the depth. This depth might be on display again in the next match. We know that Cabaye will not play
    Not bad when you can bring him off the bench
    since he received a second yellow. It will be interesting to see if Sakho is healthy enough to go, or if Deschamps replaces him regardless to protect his central defender. Evra and Pogba are also on yellow cards from the Honduras game, maybe DD sits both of them to protect them from missing the first game of knock out. Although DD might have wanted to both to get a yellow in this clear the slate...alas couldn't game the system.
  • Deschamps needs to get credit, regardless of how this World Cup ends, on having done wonders to have changed the team attitude and make up. After two World Cup games it appears that DD has the team playing in harmony and as a team. Something that was not uttered 4 years ago, maybe even 2 years ago during the Euros. Watching the team celebrate after the goals there seems a real unity, I realize that is a small part but in the last few tournaments there was not much celebrating...and when there was it was often marred by histrionics. See Nasri's goal against England in the Euros. 
  • France join Brazil, Germany, Italy and Argentina, as the only nations who have score a century of goals in the World Cup. Their total tally is 104. Not bad company to be in!
Like I said earlier, only good in this post. Even the late two Swiss goals will not be allowed to get me down - plus Benzema had the sixth...had the official allowed play to continue for a few more seconds. What a difference 4 years make, this time during the South African world cup France had score zero goals, lost to Mexico and drawn with Uruguay...and about to have their mutiny. Much more enjoyable this time around! I will be very interested to see what happens with regards to Sakho and his injury, as well as how Deschamps tackles the last group game. The result from Ecuador v Honduras will determine a lot of how DD can go into the last match. A draw would be nice. Guarantee France go through and most likely in the #1 spot.

More work ahead for Deschamps, but tonight he can have a glass of champagne.

Allez les Bleus!!


HHKB Chris said...

It was a great game. One big concern would be the fact we still can't stop set pieces, this could come back and bite us.
Either way, Les Bleus look on form. Interested to see what the team looks like for Ecuador. Kos terrifies me in the back 4. He gave up the penalties that led to Spain beating us in Euro 2010 and in the Ukraine away game.
Hopefully he can get his sh*t together!

GFC said...

France has had issues with set pieces for a long time. I agree it continues to be something of a concern for Les Bleus.

I am not too concerned if Kos plays against Ecuador. I think he gets too harshly criticized for his play. I think it is important for Sakho to get his leg in full health.