League of Nations – The cheat sheet of France – Croatia (0-1): They had saved the worst for the end

League of Nations – The cheat sheet of France – Croatia (0-1): They had saved the worst for the end

The Game: In Praise of Helplessness

We will not yet go so far as to say that Didier Deschamps has followed the direction of history. But by establishing Christopher Nkunku alongside Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé at the head of a 4-3-3 out of the hat, the coach of the Blues had followed the logic of this strange gathering.

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In the middle, Deschamps had relied on the Marseille automatisms of Boubacar Kamara and Mattéo Guendouzi, with Adrien Rabiot as a left torchbearer. Finally, in front of Mike Maignan, the coach of the Blues had changed 75% of his defense. Only Ibrahima Konaté had chained, associated with Presnel Kimpembe in the axis, Jules Koundé and Lucas Digne taking care of the sides.

Konaté, for his second cape, quickly distinguished himself by provoking a penalty which changed the face of the game. Led 1-0 from the 5th minute, the Blues ran (not very quickly) after the score. It’s simple, apart from Kylian Mbappé who tried to make differences on the left side, no one took responsibility in the first period.

And it is not the last minute of the initial act, more disheveled than the others, which has modified the general impression. DD changed his plans at the break (Pavard in place of Koundé, Tchouaméni for Kamara). It was better. But still sterile.

Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappé, Presnel Kimpembe and even Boubacar Kamara protest after a penalty awarded to Croatia against France

Credit: Getty Images

The players: Koundé drowned again, Benzema missed almost everything

Aligned as a right-back, Jules Koundé again delivered a match that was too limited for this position. Not helped by the configuration of the match, Karim Benzema will have been both discreet and clumsy, which is a lot. Very good against Austria, Boubacar Kamara failed, like his two fellow starters in the middle. The notes of the Blues.

Jules Koundé overtaken by Josip Brekalo during France – Croatia, 2022

Credit: Imago

The info that has nothing to do but interests us all the same…

Failing to be satiated by a very hollow month of June, the Blues know the November menu. On Monday night, the Australians qualified for the World Cup by beating Peru on penalties. In Qatar, they will find the France team from the first match. Like four years ago.

“We had the impression of seeing the Deschamps of the Euro again”: Why did DD grope so much?

The stat: 23

Any series that extends inevitably approaches its end. The one that had seen the France team score in its last 23 matches – a record for the selection – ended Monday evening at the Stade de France against Croatia.

The (unfortunately) anecdotal tweet

The declaration: Didier Deschamps (coach of the Blues on TF1)

Obviously, there are always lessons to be learned when we come out with results like ours.

The question: A month of June for nothing?

We can’t say we didn’t know. After all, Didier Deschamps had warned. During the first press conference of the rally, the coach of the Blues had admitted, outright, that he had “never really found the formula“during these long months of June, those where the Blues come together but have nothing to gain. It is a constant of the DD era. And 2022 was no exception to the rule. reinforced in proportions which one would not have imagined two weeks ago.

Four matches against Croatia (twice), Denmark and Austria = zero wins and a Final Four which is already flying. We would have told you that during the Nations League draw, you would not have believed it. And me neither. After the initial misstep at the Stade de France and two draws further east of the continent, the Blues completed their work in Saint-Denis for a second consecutive defeat in their favorite enclosure, which had not happened to them since 2015 ( Brazil, Belgium). And if the second period was better than the first – which was not very difficult – the last impression of this month of June will have been the worst. That is to say.

Burnt players, fluctuating systems and four games without a win, France has been treading water five months before the World Cup. A World Cup which one wonders if it will not happen too quickly in the end. The great idea of ​​DD, three behind, lasted an hour against the Danes and four the rest of the time, it was not brilliant. In short, no one was reassured.

If Aurélien Tchouameni looks like a satisfaction, he is not far from being the only one to fall into this category. And it’s worrying for the others, those who have one butt on the plane, the other next to it. We strongly think of the other midfielders in the evening, who have advanced backwards. When you don’t score points, you lose points. To regain credit, there will be two matches left for the Blues. This is little.

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