- There is not much good from this game, but once the dust settles we will recognize that Les Bleus actually go to where this team deserved to go - the 1/4 finals. Yes France had an easy group and yes they had a relatively easy draw against Nigeria, but if the past showed us anything was that the team could easily succumb to the situation and melt. They didn't and they achieved what they were expected to. Anything more than a 1/4 final would have been pure gravy.
- This pains me to say, but Low finally got the right formation for the Mannschaft. Finally moving Lahm out to the right fullback role gave the formation more width and attacking pace down that side - granted Lahm seemed to disappear at times defensively and somehow let Benzema waltz into the penalty area for a last minute chance. Partnering Schweinsteiger and Khedira as the two holding midfielders completely shut down Pogba - Matuidi - Cabaye from taking more control of the midfield. The partnership also provided cover for the likes of Lahm to push up as well as allowing Ozil and Muller to worry more about the offensive side of their game rather than having to drop back and defend. Which they don't do very well regardless.
- Les Bleus are moving in the right direction. They got to the 1/4 finals. More importantly look at players that will make up their core for the foreseeable future -
Not a bad pair to build around.
- I have been harping on this for a while, but the French finishing was bad. Valbuena, Benzema even Varane had some decent chances. But whether it was a bad first touch, like Griezmann in the first half on a wonderful deep ball. Or just a lack of creativity when it came to the attacking third. There was also a lack of communications. Ball through to what looked like an on rushing Valbuena that Benzema takes, while he still created a good opportunity, it seemed Le Petit Velo would have put on a cracker had he been allowed to make his run. Just not enough practicality and clinical finishing for Les Bleus.
- France seemed to sit back a little too much to start the game. They gave Germany lots of time on the ball and didn't put pressure on the back line. Les Bleus started to put some pressure on that back line late in the first half but there was not the type of urgency necessary in a 1/4 final match. This continued into late second half. Was it the heat? Maybe. Could be why these European nations seem to fade when playing in South America. Regardless, should have been more from Les Bleus in terms of urgency.
- First let me start off by saying that I think Deschamps is a large reason why France have turned things around. Compare this World Cup to what transpired 4 years ago. Even look at what happened during the Euros 2 years ago. This team is much more unified and moving in the right direction. DD deserves the credit for this and thankfully will be managing France for another 2 years until the Euros in France. However...Deschamps' management of this game was a bit ugly. First - why did Sakho start? Whether or not you think he deserves to start - I know the Gooner questions his ability and I was nervous about having him start this game. This is compounded by the need to take out the Liverpool man for Koscielny in the second half. My stance is you should never have to make a like for like substitution on defense during a game - baring injury. Especially your center pairing. They are expected to last the game. If they have to be taken out for another central back...you made a poor decision on your starting sheet. Second, I am not sure what was DD's substitution strategy. He brings on Remy in the 73rd minute for Cabaye. He had already brought
Deserves a hug and a kiss for work with Les Bleus
It will be interesting to see how the likes of Griezmann, Pogba, et al develop over the next two years before the Euros. Also, how will players like Lacazette, Grenier, Zouma, Rabiot and Thauvin might integrate into this side. Keep an eye on Rabiot and Thauvin, they might offer France that creative central player that they are lacking.
Good run from Les Bleus, difficult to lose to the Germans and the way they lost was bland which made it frustrating!
Allez les Bleus.