The French team has come a long way

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France are in the finals of the 2022 World Cup, which is already a huge achievement for Didier Deschamps and his team. The Blues will have the opportunity to complete a magnificent double against Argentina next Sunday, but even defeat will not put the success of this new epic in doubt. Because the French team has traveled a long way, very far. For more than a month, Deschamps turned doubts and other hard knocks into positive certainty.

Let’s remember that at the end of October, the national coach had to juggle between the harassment cases that rocked the French Football Federation and its president, Noel Le Graet, and the extortion case against Paul Pogba and its consequences for the French group (and especially Kilian). Mbappe). That was only a month and a half ago, and now it stems from the previous century. The victories and infectious joy of the French team overwhelms everything in their path.

A broken midfield

But when Didier Deschamps announced his list on November 9, many questions arose. Yes, France has a fiery attack with Benzema, Mbappe, Dembéle, Griezmann, Giroud, Coman, Nkunku, solid defense with Varane, Hernandez brothers, Kimpembe, Upamecano, Konate, Saliba, but midfield begs the question. Pogba and Kante’s packages are official, and it’s a new environment that’s taking shape with Tchouaméni and Rabiot. Rabiot, Tchouaméni, Camavinga, Guendouzi, Fofana, Veretout, six players for two places a priori and almost no certainty. Can we go all the way with these circles? “I don’t have the answer, but I trust these players, potentially, they have everything they need.”Desham tries to calm down.

This sector of the ruined game then leaves France as outsiders, putting Brazil and even Argentina and England among the favourites. But the hard shots are closed. Kimpembe replaced Disasi, Nkunku, Kolo-Muani, while Marcus Thuram was called up as the 26th man after the preliminary list was released. Doubt is instilled then and if Benzema is not fit? The ax will fall in a few days with the Real Madrid forward officially retiring on November 17, five days before their first group match against Australia.

Constant adaptation

Did the original plans collapse? I’m not so sure. Didier Deschamps had already decided to forget the system with 3 defenders and return to defense with 4 defenders. The coach is actually working on a new hybrid system. After Matuidi left the midfield rebuilding 2018, place for Griezmann 2022, relay midfielder and handyman (good). To match Mbappé on the left and Dembélé on the right, DD needs Griezmann to put himself in a special role, to be more defensive, to be able to smooth out the ball, to block each other’s advances. The 4-2-3-1 turns into a 4-3-3 hybrid, with the Atlético de Madrid player prominent.

Everything is falling into place against Australia, despite the last blow. A serious injury to Lucas Hernandez, which followed the Australian goal from the opening minutes, completes a series of sad packages for the competition. Théo Hernandez comes on and the standard team will not move except for the Group 3 match offered to the Barbers. The team lined up against Morocco in the semi-final didn’t really look like what DD had envisioned last October. Hinge? It consists of two men (Konaté and Varane) who are in uncertain physical condition at the start of the World Cup. Scorers? Theo Hernández left as a substitute, Kolo Muani was not on the initial list.

Didier Deschamps’ adaptability, though often questioned by many, is undoubtedly marvelous. Even if it means going back in time, we will also remember the racist chant of some Argentine fans against the French players. November 16, the race was about to start. Just enough to give our blues even more motivation before they go on to challenge for a new world title against the Albiceleste on Sunday.

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