The coach keeps repeating it: the fall is the test season for his French team, running in eight months before the Euro. And the number one site, the one that occupies his mind, is “offensive animation”. However, this has shown itself to be faulty.
Whether he opts for a three-way defense or a “diamond” midfielder like Sunday, the Blues boss seeks to install an “attack triangle” to place his offensive nuggets in the best possible conditions. Thus, “we are able to be more dangerous, to create more opportunities and score more goals,” he repeated Saturday at a press conference.
Las, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappé and especially Antoine Griezmann seemed unable to find themselves properly. “Sometimes it’s the movements that are not good, sometimes it’s the pass that comes too late,” said Deschamps afterwards. “There were not many sparks,” he added, conceding that his workforce had provided “fewer” opportunities than usual.
From his goals, Hugo Lloris delivered the same diagnosis. “In the last 30 meters, we lacked sharpness, aggressiveness”, according to the Tottenham goalkeeper.
Benjamin Pavard noted another pitfall of this system based on a central attacking trio: “there are no winger”, underlined the Munich defender, forced to “concentrate inwards”, where the spaces are fewer, instead of having wide-ranging solutions, which for example a profile like that of his partner Bayern Kingsley Coman would offer.
Griezmann, is it serious doctor?
Well entered into play and scorer Wednesday against Ukraine (7-1), Antoine Griezmann also crystallizes the questions: he went through the shock against the Portuguese like a ghost, a rarity in the selection for the FC Barcelona striker to whom Deschamps wishes to entrust the keys to offensive animation.
He himself recognized his mistakes. “We’re trying to be with Kylian. There were two occasions where I could have given it but I missed the pass or I chose another player “, we must” work on it and try to improve “, recognized the fifth best scorer in the history of the Blues.
Adrien Rabiot also pointed out the flaws in the front lines. “Offensively, we played with the brake, I think we did not let go too much,” said the midfielder of Juventus Turin. “We should perhaps have supported the attacks more and hurt them more”, insisted the former Parisian.
The France team can feed all the more regrets as it fought a solid fight in midfield, with Rabiot associated with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté.
Against Ukraine, certainly in the face of much weaker adversity, the Blues had also been above in this sector of play with Steven Nzonzi, Corentin Tolisso and Eduardo Camavinga, this trio evolving behind playmaker Houssem Aouar, left in Sunday stands.
“The environment was good, and those who played on Wednesday were good too. I know that there are a lot of qualities in this sector of the game, it should not be to the detriment of the offensive sector, ”Deschamps analyzed.
While a trip to Croatia looms on Wednesday, will the Basque technician be tempted to make changes in his starting XI, where nine holders of the 2018 World Cup were on Sunday?
In the first leg in September, in the absence of Mbappé and Pogba, both positive for Covid-19, the Blues won 4-2 with a pair of attacks Wissam Ben Yedder – Anthony Martial, a midfielder made up of Nzonzi and Kanté and a promising entry into the game for Camavinga. There is no doubt that these names are just waiting to rekindle the “sparks” in the engine of the Blues …