Sign in / Join

Team of France: open the game, finally

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | Young striker Kylian Mbappé arrives in Clairefontaine to regroup the French team on November 6, 2017

The qualification for the World Cup-2018 in hand, the team of France enters a new phase: for its last two meetings of the year, it will give some players a chance and try to revive a game that has disintegrated in recent months.

Friday, the Blues receive Wales at the Stade de France (21:00), then challenge the next Tuesday Germany champion of the world, Cologne (20:45).

With which priority? “The margin of progress (…) is in the offensive animation,” said Didier Deschamps Monday on the website of the Federation (FFF).

The game is the challenge, after a year 2017 certainly marked by the mission accomplished qualification, but where the full matches (Paraguay 5-0, England 3-2, Netherlands 4-0) were, at the long, eclipsed by disappointments (defeats against Spain 2-0 and Sweden 2-1, pitiful 0-0 against Luxembourg, laborious victories against Bulgaria 0-1 and Belarus 2-1).

As former player Alain Roche told AFP, “not everyone is able to play like Spain or Germany, but we play too much jerkily: we play for 30 minutes, then we liquefy for 45, we lack consistency.

“Mastery makes it possible to control the tempo, not to be in physical pain, that’s where we have to progress, especially since a World Cup is long, stressful, physically demanding.” work on the content, “adds the consultant of Canal +.

– Fekir and Kurzawa, debates –

It must be said that the coach suffered an avalanche of packages. For the November matches, the three long-wounded (Benjamin Mendy, Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembélé) added the unavailability of Hugo Lloris, Djibril Sidibé, N’Golo Kanté, Thomas Lemar and Dimitri Payet.

Raphaël Varane could join them: injured adductor at the end of October, he had to have evaluated by the coaching of the Blues a pip to a thigh, according to his coach at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane.

This could offer a first selection to Presnel Kimpembe, who paws behind the hinge Koscielny-Umtiti that is emerging. Deschamps counts precisely on these two matches to “see or review some players”, “give them play time by keeping a frame”.

“See”: it concerns the defender Benjamin Pavard (21 years) and the middle Steven Nzonzi (28 years), convened for the first time. “Replay”: we think of attackers Anthony Martial, recalled after a year of absence, and Nabil Fekir, ignored at the previous rally but still boiling in Lyon – with a double against Saint-Etienne Sunday (5-0) with provocation to the public Etienne.

Ⓒ AFP – FRANCK FIFE – | Nabil Fekir on his arrival at the residence of the Blues in Clairefontaine, on November 6, 2017, for friendly matches against Wales and Germany

A polemical celebration that enters the mythology of the derby but less in the famous “cadre” of Deschamps. Who had already kindly moribund Layvin Kurzawa the day after his hat-trick (PSG-Anderlecht in C1, 5-0) and his finger on the mouth to silence his detractors, rather numerous for a few months.

“I do not think it was addressed to me, there (smile), rather to other people.These are things he must avoid of course, it does not serve,” warned “DD” Thursday , with an allusion to the summer video where the left back denigrated.

– Without Bale or Neuer –

Formed players such as Adrien Rabiot and Kingsley Coman have the opportunity to assert themselves in both games, whose goalkeeper Steve Mandanda “will play at least one, that’s for sure,” Deschamps said.

And then there is Kylian Mbappé: after a low, he returned in majesty with a double and a decisive pass to Angers, thrashed 5-0 by the PSG. Will he be associated with Antoine Griezmann in attack?

“Grizi” grows black: the attacking leader of the France team has not scored for more than a month with Atletico Madrid. And the center forward N.1 of the Blues, Olivier Giroud, is still in the hard …

Opponents are also diminished. The Welsh are deprived of their best player, Gareth Bale, and the Germans will play without their defenses (the goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer) and offensive (the versatile Thomas Müller). The games are open.

Terms of service