Attack is the only way back for France

October 24, 2008

Why are France struggling so much in their World Cup qualifying campaign ?

Such a team should not have had any problems against Austria, Serbia or Romania, the three teams they’ve met so far. Yet, they only have four points and it could have been worse, as it seemed Les Bleus were in for a spanking in Romania in their last game as they were trailing 2-0 after 15 minutes.

That was until Yoann Gourcuff netted with the kind of shot you see in the Bundesliga every weekend but that we have not seen here in France since Franck Sauzee in the 1990s: a 30-metre drive that went under the bar and put France back on track.

It looked like in this match, which ended in a 2-2 draw, Raymond Domenech’s side realised they were not a defensive team any more.

France built their 1998 World Cup triumph on a rock-solid defence, often playing with three defensive midfielders. They now don’t have a Didier Deschamps or Emmanuel Petit to do the dirty job. Patrick Vieira could do it, but he is starting to look his age.

So Les Bleus must accept they will concede goals, loads of goals, but they need to believe they can score – loads of them.

With players like Gourcuff, Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery but also Samir Nasri, who should return from injury one day, it is far from impossible.

PHOTO: France’s Yoann Gourcuff celebrates after scoring against Romania during their World Cup qualifier at Farul Stadium in Constanta, Oct. 11, 2008. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

2 comments

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Very well said. They also need to realize that they have many more players that can move. Benzema, Nasri, Gourcuff, Ribery, Clichy, Evra, Sagna, etc etc all move… a lot. And their style of play needs to be more fluid. It was refreshing to see Gourcuff force movement with very quick intelligent passing.

Domenech has (although not as of very late) been trying to force the same style of play where, like in 98, the back 4 (minus Liza) never really moved, the middle just suffocated the opposition, and henry stood about 3 inches from the offside flag and scored a record amount of goals.
I believe Mr. Wenger would have a field day with this team and then France would be a team worthy of mention in the same sentence as Spain’s squad.

Posted by clement | Report as abusive

Attack is the only way back for France…

Why are France struggling so much in their World Cup qualifying campaign ?

Such a team should not have had any problems against Austria, Serbia or Romania, the three teams they’ve met so far. Yet, they only have four points and it could have been wors…

Too bad Zidane knocked himself out , France needs a player like him :/

Posted by ViT | Report as abusive