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Allez les bleus! The France thread


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Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille) og Cédric Carrasso (Bordeaux).

Defence: Gaël Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (AC Milan), Adil Rami (Valencia), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon)

Midfield: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Manchester City), Alou Diarra (Marseille), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise

Matuidi (Paris SG).

Attack: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Jeremy Menez (Paris St. Germain), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).


1.France     10 6  3 1 15-4  21
2.Bosnia     10 6  2 2 17-8  20
3.Romania    10 3  5 2 13-9  14 
4.Belarus    10 3  4 3  8-7  13 
5.Albania    10 2  3 5  7-14  9 
6.Luxembourg 10 1  1 8  3-21  4 

There isn't that high expectations for the French, but personally I see big potential in them and if Blacn can manage the team right they can end up as the big surprise of the tournament :thup:

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The French national team received good news over the weekend when scans on Yann M'Vila's twisted ankle revealed 'no complications', although no date for the Stade Rennais midfielder's return was set. M'Vila was one of three players missing from training on Sunday, along with reserve goalkeeper Steve Mandanda (toe) and Blaise Matuidi (hamstring). Mandanda's injury is considered the least serious of the three and is not considered a doubt for Les Bleus' Group D opener versus England on 11 June.

Sunday's MRI scan revealed no ligament or bone damage, however while medical staff refused to publicly reveal how long he is likely to be missing, it is unlikely M'Vila will be ready for the England clash. With Matuidi also struggling to be ready for the Euro 2012 opening match, former France captain Alou Diarra is the only other pure defensive midfielder left in Laurent Blanc's squad.

Hugo > Mandanda, that is all. :thup:

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No chance of Karim playing out wide, well not from a starting point of view, perhaps if France needed a goal with 10 minutes left but that's a different matter all together. It would be a waste of Karim and a waste of a place (i.e. a winger should be playing there).

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Cabaye is a sure starter.

As for Malouda, he played alongside Cabaye in center midfield against Serbia and was very good, they worked well together and the team looked good. He might have earned a spot in the team with that performance, no way to tell what Blanc has in mind at the moment, but Malouda would play in the center, the wings are already cluttered with quality.

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Blanc wants to stick to a back four so Evra will likely start against England.

He's been so utterly shocking so far, he can be pushed out anytime though.

Pick another LB, jamez91.

The defence is scary, even 'Cool Blood' Lloris looks terrified to play behind them :D

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Does Benzema play so deep in every game?

Actually yes, he did for the last few games, it's a problem and it was evidenced again today. Benzema coming deep and still being the closest French player to the opponent's goal can't work...

Blanc wants to play this style and thinks Benzema is best in this role, he is probably right but it won't work against packed defences if he is alone upfront.

Rémy could have fit in well coming from the right wing as he can play 9 and finish, Debuchy would have bossed his wing. But Rémy is injured and none of our wingers can do this stuff.

I don't think Benzema can have a good tournament. The team is focused around wingers and Ribéry primarily. It should be focused on Benzema, in this system, he'll be either too deep or too isolated.

This is why it is startlingly evident that Blanc should play Benzema and Giroud upfront, they compliment perfectly but he has never envisaged it and never tried playing 2 upfront in two years... Not even tried in ending games.

We have only brought two true 9 and that's if you consider Benzema a 9.

Blanc is talked up as manager, thanks to his player career probably but he is nothing special IMO, very average tactics wise.

His list is questionable, a full basket of wingers but only 2 strikers and 3 CBs.

He didn't have the balls to throw in Ben Arfa or Menez or Valbuena earlier in the game and try to force an issue. Why so many wingers then ?

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Have you forgotten the WC 2010 so quickly?

Blanc has been managing five or so years did you expect him to be tactically perfect already? He needs to learn and it will take time. Who else would you prefer as manager of France? Clown face? For Blanc's lack of experience he has improved France, yes they already had quality but Blanc can get them playing well and together something that has been lacking for a while. He's not perfect but he's still learning. Winning Euro 2012 is not his aim, it's quite clearly laying the foundations for the next WC and dare I say 2016.

I don't see how Blanc can play two up front with four in midfield and not expose an already fragile defence even more, playing a 4-3-2-1 gives them abit more protection. Personally I think Flo and Nasri could have been dropped, or Flo could have been dropped, move Nasri central and play either HBA or Ménez on the wing. The front three should be much more fluid, Benzema will always move wide and drop to get involved this isn't something new (although he doesn't drop that deep always) but those on the wings could have come in more when this occured. France were decent, it's the opening game so I don't see the problem in starting slowly. :D

I agree about Rémy, he is missed.

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I am telling it as I think it is.

I won't be softer because of the last tournament.

Manager of France is not a position for someone who is learning but well, that's beside the point.

France has improved, was there any room left for getting worse ? :D

I am disappointed we didn't take more risks, Blanc fancies himself as an attacking manager but he is actually a very cautious man trying to be daring as it looks better :)

It gives protection but our main goal threat is not set up to score or assist. His talent goes to waste. Benzema is our best player.

Nasri was tried more central several times but the play was erratic and overall unsatisfactory.

Anyways I can't understand with the awesome bench we have that we don't use it. Giroud, Ben Arfa, Menez, all on top form this season.

I fear Sweden a lot, Ukraine is at home and won't surrender to anyone. I am not happy with 1 point in a game I feel we could have won if we had gone for it.

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I wasn't asking you to be soft, but you have to put things into perspective. France has come along way in two years, but yes, they couldn't get any lower after 2010. :D France will beat Sweden and Ukraine, but they have been over-hyped massively. Of course they are dangerous but I don't think they will win this tournament.

As for Nasri, I personally wouldn't have him in the starting line up. Ribéry is erratic as it is and France can't afford more than one 'luxury' player. I think it's a real shame Martin has been below his best form wise but I would still have him, Cabaye and Alou or Yann as the middle three. As for the front three, would prefer Ribéry, Benzegoal and then either HBA or Ménez. Giroud will get some time in the next two games, but I hope that doesn't mean Karim is pushed wide and wasted. :/

There's no point taking massive risks in the first game of the tournament, France didn't take many risks correct but start slowly and build on it. Certainly Blanc made mistakes in this game, France will improve. A quicker tempo and more movement is required for a start. I don't see how Flo can start the next game either.

Manager of France is not a position for someone who is learning but well, that's beside the point.

Blanc has potential and he's clearly a fairly smart guy footballing wise. Better tactical understanding will come in time. I think he's an excellent choice for France at the moment, both fit each other well. Blanc will only get better as a manager as the games/years go on. He's the best choice for France right now. There isn't a world class option anyway who is French and that is realistic anyway.

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