July 31, 2021

“In football, the auspicious often serve as a disguise for the bad”

“The French must win it. Otherwise, it will be a failed Euro. “” The France team is above everyone. ” If José Mourinho (in The Sun) and Michel Platini (on Franceinfo) get started, it will be difficult to dispel the excess of confidence that accompanies the French team on the way to the European Championship. In football, good omens are often used as a disguise for bad ones.

Since the Euro has retained the 2020 vintage despite its postponement, inverting two figures is enough to give it a little more an air of 2002. The oldest and the most pessimistic inevitably think back to this Japanese-Korean World Cup eve that was bathed in reckless euphoria.

Since then, the Blues have obtained the second star that their equipment manufacturer’s ads had prematurely sewn onto their jersey – an insult to football that the latter had repaired with a return after three games without a goal scored. The official anthem by Johnny Hallyday was all the more tragically remembered – which should invalidate any criticism against Youssoupha’s song.

We especially hope that France is no longer the immature country of football which had so ignored that this sport was as random as it was cruel – in particular for the pretentious -, and that it enjoys torpedoing in tears the scenarios that seem to rush towards a happy ending. Because in the meantime, 2006 and 2016 have completed the national numerology.

Manage the offensive lean

The assurance conferred by past victories is invaluable, but excess is never far away and the recall of Karim Benzema, who gives the French attack the appearance of an armada, also gave The team a roundel blanket (“All countries envy us”). However, this is not the time to hand the stick of our arrogance to the Belgians.

In 2002 too, we were proud of the top scorers in the Italian, English and French championships. Certainly, David Trezeguet, Thierry Henry and Djibril Cissé could not be aligned all together, while the trio Benzema-Mbappé-Griezmann is complementary on paper. It is also necessary that they do not step on each other’s toes and that this new offensive tropism does not unbalance the team.

We have seen them, against Wales, strive to find the right distance so as not to get entangled in the opposing defense or in their own combinations, and to prevent the “total freedom” granted to them from degenerating into confusion. As for defensive work, Griezmann being a specialist and Benzema a disciplined player, Mbappé will just have to remember that he is not at PSG.

Didier Deschamps must in any case manage the offensive inclination imposed on him by his workforce, he who had experienced such a transition as a defensive midfielder between 1998 and 2000. The 4-4-2 diamond shape that emerges will put his current counterparts and his side under pressure. We must also protect N’Golo Kanté from physical glitches as much as from dreams of Ballon d’Or.

Ward off bad spells

For the rest and to tackle this very special event, we will rely on the science of the final stages of the coach. Edition 202 (1) being complicated by a very tough group F and by a group enlarged to twenty-six, even more confined than usual, it will be up to him to manage the weariness and turbulence. To believe the composition of the official photoHe chose to keep the bigger egos within his immediate reach.

And then, this tournament comes at the end of a season marked by surprises, at a time when selection football is increasingly making fun of hierarchies and logic. Absent from the Russian World Cup, the Netherlands and Italy can rank among the favorites, England’s time will eventually strike, Belgium and Croatia will one day have their revenge. We say that to exorcise, of course.

There will be other bad spells to ward off by finding a way to unsettle the penalty shooters, by shortening the catchphrase. “Benzema still hasn’t scored”, or even avoiding extrasportive embarrassments such as a new celebration of Griezmann’s goal or yet another embarrassing declaration from Noël Le Graët – not to mention an untimely show from the President of the Republic.

In this great shaker of probabilities, the France team still has a lot on its side, but this margin can disappear for a detail, for a match without, for an opponent’s exploit. Without this risk of the fall, there would be less excitement in following it and measuring its chances in this new expedition.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Euro 2021: the return of Karim Benzema, a primarily sporting affair for Didier Deschamps