Monday, March 30, 2015

You win some, you lose some - Les Bleus at the international break

I must admit I was not able to watch both the France v Brazil and France v Denmark matches in their entirety. This work thing can get in the way. So I would not do a full good-bad-ugly review of both matches. My apologies. But here are some take-aways from what I saw from both matches. 

  • Les Bleus have some interesting players to watch for the next year. Fekir is the first that comes to mind. Coming on as a substitute for both matches he showed some glimpses of why he is such an exciting player. His pace and creativity were both on display during his game time. He seems as comfortable on the right as on the left side, something that is important for DD. It will be interesting to see how he continues to play for Lyon this season and what happens during the summer transfer window. My home would be he stays with OL, since at times a move to a bigger club and league can cause a drop off in a players game. Not the ideal situation just before a major tournament. Speaking of OL, Fekir's teammate - Lacazette celebrated his first international goal versus Denmark. He could have very well latched on to a second in that game when he split the Danish defense, unfortunately he missed his touch. But he did show an ability to work well playing wide with Giroud as the lone striker. Again another option to watch for DD as he develops his roster. As much as this pains me, I think Payet showed me something as well. It is still hard for me to admit he is a full blown international, but he brought some decent game management skills to the table against Denmark, controlling the pace of play and proving dangerous with his crosses etc. 
  • Les Bleus also have some major question marks. Issues remain, issues that been haunting Les Bleus for the past few seasons. Goal scoring remains elusive. Benzema being the primary culprit for this. What sticks out was his missed volley against Brazil....from close. Granted this past weekend in my old man soccer league I blasted a similar ball into the proverbial row ZZ, but I am not an international level player! I still feel as if Benzema has failed to live up to what is suppose to be bags of talent. France really has yet to replace the likes of Henry and Trezeguet. The right side...yes it is a broken record. But this continues to haunt Les Bleus. It will be interesting to see if and how the likes of Fekir might become a solution to this problem. Speaking of the right side, part of the issue is also the right backs and by some extent the left backs are also in question. I am not sure why the likes of Sagna and Evra are still getting time. Evra to me is not the long term, and by long term I mean the Euros,  solution for left back. With the likes of Tremoulinas and Kurzawa as more likely long term options why is DD insistent on continuing to select Mr Evra? On the right side, hopefully a healthy return of Debuchy will stabilize the position.
  • Who will be the superstar player? I am not asking for the next Zidane or Platini...but France need to find their next star player. Ribery and Henry filled those roles post Zidane. But who is the next player? It does not have to be a superstar offensive player. Pogba appears to be the most likely candidate to fill the role. His box-to-box midfielder can put his stamp on any game he plays in. His form for Juventus has made him one of the most desirable assets in the game. Question remains can he translate this for the national team? If it is not Pogba, not sure where this comes from.
France leave these two games with some positives to build on and some questions that continue to linger. Deschamps does have over a year to figure it out, but that year will go by quickly. Much work to be done, but there are enough positives to have some high expectations for next year's tournament on home soil.

1 comment:

pierrot said...

nice analysis.

as an OL supporter, i would love to see both fekir and lacazette playing CL football in OL's new stadium next year, and together at the euros next summer. they can both pursue other opportunities after hopefully shining for france, 2016.
i honestly believe it's in both their best interest to stay at OL one more year -- certainly fekir at least.