Handball World Cup: 1/4 finals, blues against German rivals

Ahead of the quarter-finals this Tuesday evening at 20:30, France vs Germany, our Martiniquais advisor Patrice Annonay talks in detail about France’s level of preparation ahead of this first game. There is no need to fear for him, France comes in the best mental and physical condition to get through this first match of the final stage, which in case of victory could already project him into the last four and medal race. .

1time : Is the French team finally getting the hang of it after that? 6 matches unbeaten?

Patrice Annonay : “After the game against Spain on Sunday, I see that we can rely on a few individual elements, but also on the stage of a few collective games. First of all, we can count on the big, great Vincent Gérard to score goals: when he’s in a real goalkeeping duel, with a top-class guy like the Spanish goalkeeper Corrales in front of him, he outdoes himself. . That will be the case against German Wolff.

Quentin Mahé is the leader, he spins around the pivot and there are races and things to do. The Mahé / Remili couple is even interested in the presented solutions. Prandi and Brillet complement each other, with Brillet able to cut through defenses with his wingspan (at 2m 05) and Prandi being a real impact player in his game. When it manages to launch, it hits hard and brings everyone back with it. He should not use it too often and forget the collective playing of the blues. A bit like Melvyn on the right side, but he makes up for it with his other qualities and knows how to let others shine more.

Dika Mem scared me a little, but it was clear she needed some rhythm. Especially if we go very far, because the semi-finals mean at least two more games. If we say that we did all this without Nikolas Karabatic, we should have played such a match against Spain. »

“I found a French team that sometimes had phases of the game where the players were blindfolded. On the other hand, once we break away from the collective game plan, especially in attack, individuals must make the difference and that’s where it can get complicated. But frankly, this team is very confident. »

Patrice Annonay, handball consultant La 1ère


What do you think of the performance of the team’s two ultramarines in this last match and this first part of the tournament?

PA: “Mathieu Grébille was good against Spain, played a full game in circulation and played more time than Nahi. He also left his mark on the match with a last-gasp winning goal against a formidable opponent like Coralles. He made 100% (4 of 4) and was very good at both ends of the floor. Undoubtedly his best performance since the start of this World Cup.

Melvyn Richardson was beaten by Alex Dujshebaev, be careful not to get into a one-on-one duel against the German

Melvin was a bit inside, but the coach’s strategy was to give Dika Mem some playing time in this right back position. So we saw less of it, but I liked seeing half of the Melvyn center from time to time. Again, this is not a semi-professional center, so it works three times as soon as he leaves the game project and wants to convey his individual qualities more than the collective. But the left-handed central midfielder brings other solutions to the game, for example, with Spain Dujshebayev, and it also causes the opposition to be unbalanced in defense, which I found interesting. »

1time : How do you think Guillaume Gilles has managed his squad well since the start of this championship to know which team will appear in the 1/4 finals?

PA: “I think he managed it well because the danger of the competition is injuries to your older players. We were a bit scared about what happened with Mem, he’s one of the best in the world in his position, so he’s a key part of your game. Seeing him back on the pitch, I think medically it’s very well managed.
We were able to give the legend Niko (Karabatici) a rest, so we will find players with both freshness and confidence. At pivot, we may have seen less of Nicolas Tournat, but he was terrible in his relationship with the backcourt.
So if we want to go as far as possible, we’re going to need everyone. »

Guillaume Gilles angry point has managed his group well so far

1time : France is now regularly involved in matches, is there anything to fear?

P. A: “This is part of the path to the ultimate goal. Half-finished matches, I think, can give another dimension in match preparation, which is a good thing. The French team arrives in the best mental state possible with the confidence that lives there. Don’t be afraid to show it.

The players have recovered physically: there are those who play less, those who play more. The aim is to come with the most complete squad and we have one more day to recover compared to Germany. A true being. »

1time : What about Germany? A new team that is not used to this kind of game, maybe it is better to accept it now?

PA: “Two things need to be analyzed, first mentally: the German team is used to being in the quarter-finals of the World Cup or Europe, it is in their history and often against us. On the other hand, this group may not have shared enough in the collective experience. Compared to Germany, we have so much experience

Mathieu Grébille played a full game here in defense against Spanish winger Odriozol

Sportingly then, Germany is a great defense placed 6 / O, they have great dimensions, we will go over them, it will be a real fight for the French pivots to make their places and find defensive positions against it.
Also keep an eye on their backline as they are heavy hitters well led by Knorr Jr. and don’t forget goalkeeper Andreas Wolf. These are very physical players in the German league.

“I think there will be a contrast in style compared to our game, which has less physical templates, but Latin handball, which is more lying, more playful. »

Patrice Annonay, 1st handball consultant


We have players who know this German game and have played in Germany, Romain Lagarde, Quentin Mahe, coach Guillaume Gilles, so we have experience in this area. To be honest, it’s better to take Germany than Norway now, because it will be hard to beat this German team at home in the Euros next year.

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