Handball: With the Blues in the bottom four in the world, “it’s not our ultimate goal,” says Melvyn Richardson

The Blues, who mastered yesterday’s impressive 2nd half against Germany like the old days of the Specialists, face Sweden in an explosive semi-final against a home-strengthened 25,000 crowd in Stockholm on Thursday. But like Reunion’s Melvin Richardson, they’re not going to stop there. They will take revenge for the first time in the World Cup held in Egypt two years ago.

And all the blues ran to Remi Desbonnet, who was named man of the match by the IHF (International Handball Federation). The “small” 1m82 goalkeeper from Montpellier (the German goalkeeper is 1m98 tall) single-handedly broke the German machine. He went over the heads of the players, which is slang for completely confusing the shooters. Central midfielder Knorr and right winger Groetsky will have nightmares for a long time, at least until the next Euros hosted by Germany in January 2024.

In the mixed zone, Melvin Richardson was the first to recognize the talent of his growing little goalkeeper:

“He was exceptional, exceptional, I’m very happy for him because he made very important saves and it allowed us to be very confident in attack and defense to play our handball. Remy is the best example that you have to trust everyone. Everyone in this group one player is capable of winning a match”.

In a high-stakes game like a quarterfinal, 14 saves in 30 shots, or a 44 percent success rate, ranks you as a goaltender. Part of this fraternity of goalkeepers, our consultant Patrice Annonay openly appreciates as a connoisseur.

To be honest, I’ve never been scared except for the anxiety in the first quarter, because it’s my sensitivity as a goalkeeper that speaks. (Patrice Annonay, at PSG then a professional at French club Tremblay, is now goalkeeper coach at three levels in France this season for U20 boys, Paris Issy girls and Tremblay club). But what scared me was Vincent Gérard’s 0 in 8 start (Blues No. 1 keeper), obviously you need a good goalkeeper at this level of competition, especially against Wolff who is there. And despite everything, we were not far from them. I felt it spin”.

The impregnable Montpellier goalkeeper disgusted the German shooters

Desbonnet, whom the general public has just met, comes from almost nowhere, banned for a long time in the French team by Omeyer, then Pardin, he is potentially the number 3. This match revealed that:

Remy is a boy who was on the French Beach Handball team with me and his younger brother two years ago. Patrice Annonay emphasizes. He was playing in the sand, not on the goal. I was happy that he could participate in the 1/4 finals. It must be said that the German players did not recognize him, behind a very tight French defense, he made two “pastis” (blocks the ball directly between the two hands after a shot) and allowed the wing players to revive very quickly. . It was the first time I saw it in the international arena. He literally got into the head of the German shooters, disrupted the shooter’s usual gesture, shooting rhythm and filled the head of the guy in front with doubt.I”

“Are the Germans used to playing such small goalkeepers? I don’t think so, Remy doesn’t have the profile of a German goalkeeper in the Bundesliga and that turned into an advantage as the game progressed. »

Patrice Annonay, 1st handball consultant


Apart from the goalkeeper’s performance, the Blues have not been able to play at the level of handball in the second half. Quentin Mahe’s roulette (with the effect of the ball spinning on the outside) drove the German keeper crazy. They have players who can do everything and are incredibly talented, such as Nicolas Tournat at pivot or Melvin Richardson, who allows himself the luxury of scoring with his right hand.

Patrice Annoney’s observation:

“We were very strong in the first half to not crack and not give a stick to beat. After the break, we were very strong physically, we were very strong in the dialectic of reading what the opponent can offer us.”

Behind their goalkeeper, the blues in white are happy

Melvin Richardson went in the same direction in the mixed zone a few minutes after the end of the match.

“We were expecting a big game, it wasn’t easy, because we lost to them last year during the preparation for the Euros. We expected to be behind and it showed in the first half. Although we started the match a bit slow, we managed the game. We got back to level before the break and finished the break well. We didn’t panic, we just continued to play our game and follow the instructions to stay clear.”

It seems simple to say: you have to keep playing your game. After his first failure against Wolff, like Martinique’s Mathieu Grébille, he went to challenge him on the full axis for the second time and scored in the 38th minute. Elohim Prandi continued to distribute spawn to his teammates in shots (5 productivity) and Nedim Remili is not just a puncher with 5 goals and 9 assists, which is a lot of goals.

We know we have the potential to do great things. We managed to stay focused and slowly regained our confidence. But we have to continue, it’s a big step forward, but that’s not our goal, now we have to focus on the next match against Sweden.

Melvin Richardson, France right back


Sweden is facing a problem

Just as the French will now face Sweden during the last World Cup, it will be a rematch to forget the 2021 World Cup in Egypt, a style dominated by an ultra-classic team, defeated 26/32, and in exactly the same style. many

“Sweden, the typical wing ball, fast ball game of Scandinavian handball, also the excellent point guard Jim Gottfridsson, they are the reigning champions of Europe. There was a big generation gap, but they are back on the front of the stage. Small. They just faced less powerful opponents”.

He will be the goalkeeper of Psg Handball, Andreas Palicka, whom Sweden can rely on.

In the game against Sweden, it will be necessary to be careful and avoid the air hole at the beginning of the match. But an important element of the match against Egypt confirmed the injury of the leader’s index finger in the shoulders of the driver Jim Gottfridsson in the early hours of this Thursday. He lost because of this match and now the whole country is shaking.

This is a blow for Sweden, the announcement team must also hurt the Swedish people, sometimes sport is a stroke of luck that can change everything. That is, the French team should play against Sweden as if they were there and not ignore it. The Swedes can rally around the playmaker’s injury. And then there’s Palicka, who can single-handedly bring his team back if they’re in trouble.…” Patrice Annonay says

The goalkeeper of PSG knows his opponents very well, he has played with them since the beginning of the season, he knows their shooting habits, but the goalkeeper can never win a match on his own.

Frankly, the French team is ready to receive a new Holy Grail. With more or less playing time depending on the boys, they are all confident. There are no more questions to ask, we must continue to raise our handball to the world championship”

Patrice Annonay, handball consultant, 1st


“Four games ago, we didn’t show this level. The team progresses according to the challenges and as the competition progresses. I saw him very focused and very worried.” Patrice Annonay continues

“Now we focus only on this match” Melvin Richardson says.
It will be a beauty shock. In front of around 25,000 spectators at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Ditto for the other semi-final between Spain and Denmark. That’s why it’s great to play handball in full halls, finally…!

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