The good thing about the Nations League is that it is practical. Everyone finds there what he wants, or what he can. It is not Didier Deschamps and the French team who will argue the opposite. The competition, created by UEFA and endorsed by broadcasters, was greatly useful in the heart of autumn, when the Blues remained marked by a missed Euro in the great widths, and it allowed them to remind the whole world that they were world champions and kept an ounce of pride as well as a good dose of talent. At the end of spring, the League of Nations is this time far from being won, but it has not completely lost its usefulness.
After two matches (out of six), the France team is far from having achieved full success. Unlike 2018, where she had started well and rowed towards the end, 2020, where she had walked in the first round, the DD band did not achieve much. In defense of the Blues, it must be remembered that the period is not ideal and not conducive to lyrical flights. The League of Nations has its qualities but one of its faults is having to coexist with a winter World Cup which forces all its matches to fit into a bottled schedule like the Paris ring road at 6 p.m.
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Consequently and with a program not far from indigestible (4 matches in 11 days), the Blues are tinkering – and they are not the only ones, by the way. A defeat to open the sequence against Denmark (1-2), a draw with ten new starters three days later in Croatia (1-1), that’s a point and the record is very meager. Especially when compared to that of the Danes who, six units in the bag, have their destiny between their feet.
It’s simple, the Blues could almost say goodbye to the Final Four in the event of a defeat in Austria on Friday. “After these two matches, we fell behind from an accounting point of view. But they are also preparation matches, with very close matches and the situation of certain players that you know. Like all my colleagues, one match to another, we have to make a lot of changes and that will still be the case compared to the team that started in Croatia.”, said Didier Deschamps, Thursday at a press conference. Words that echo those he had launched in Split, Monday at the final whistle. “These are preparation matches in anticipation of what awaits us at the end of the year. Hence the interest of having different things, different players, different systems, which must bring more answers”. So far, the competition had been favored by the coach. Preparation ended up making a big entrance into his June vocabulary.
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The main thing is obviously elsewhere and later, no one will say the opposite. But that does not say, however, that the Blues have dropped the case and already returned their trophy. If that happened, it probably wouldn’t prevent them from sleeping. But as long as there is hope, the teammates of Hugo Lloris, who will find his place at the Ernst-Happel stadion for a 139th selection, will play it hard. It’s like that in the house. “We have our backs to the wall a bit in this group stage. Even if that doesn’t take away the good things we’ve been able to do, we’re short of points. Friday’s game is becoming very important. We’re in the obligation to take three points to have a chance of qualifying. The three points, the qualification: the semi-disappointment of Monday is already in the retro.
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